I was over Heather Armstrong‘s site catching on the current wackiness in her life and her post Of Lima Beans and Pickle Juice cracked me up. More to the point, it reminded me of my own family’s last encounter with the dreaded lima bean.

This was probably about six, maybe 7, years ago. I was having dinner with my folks. Mom had just finished setting the food on the table and was about to take her chair; when Dad dishes himself up some of the mixed vegetables. While dishing the vegetables; he makes a comment –sounding rather excited as he does so– that there are lima beans in the vegetables.

Mom shudders in disgust and finishes sitting down. Dad looks at her somewhat puzzled.

I’m going to stop this narrative momentarily to point something out about my father that was truly amazing to me. That would be his memory. He never forgot anybody’s name and would frequently remember small details from conversations he had with them years ago. He was an active member of the local Masconic lodge and for their ceremonies/ritual; he would memorize the entire thing and do it without resorting to any kind of reference. As I understand it that’s expected of the local Masons but is still something that not all of them are able to do.

Myself, I have to carry a PDA in order to keep track of my own phone numbers and my fiance remembers the names of my cousins better than I do.

Back to the story….

Still looking puzzled, Dad asked “what’s wrong?”

With a mixture of disgust and a hint of confusion on her face; Mom said “I hate lima beans.”

Dad was just floored by this. “You hate lima beans?!? Huh, I never knew that!”

At that point, Mom gave Dad a look that said he was treading on thin ice and which made me glad that I’d just stayed on the sidelines of this conversation. Then she said “In all the years that we’ve been married; have I ever cooked lima beans for you before?”

He sat there for a moment, casting his mind back through all the meals over the years. Finally he looked up at her with a smile and said “No, I don’t believe you have.”

Mom just kept looking at him.

Eventually, Dad had the grace to say “Ah” and we were able to continue on with the meal. The remainder of the meal was uneventful and I couldn’t say what else we were eating that night; but I’ll never forget that moment.

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