"It's strange that the water comes out of the cow's mouth," Mom said during a dinner.
Husband said, "Would you rather have it come out the other end?"
And with that, the pitcher's place was sealed in family lore--and on the mantelpiece.
Next to the cow is a thank-you note I was given in a train station in Torino, Italy. I was serving an LDS mission and had received the surprise news that I was being sent across the country, where the new Padova mission was opening up. (Those of you who are familiar with Mormon mission areas in Italy will know the boundaries have changed again since that day in 1990.) Missionaries usually learned if they were being sent to a new area during transfer day each month, but this news came mid-cycle, and it was a bit of a shock.
The other missionaries gave me a great send-off at the Torino train station, including the note from Elder Baer, a talented kid I never saw again. But I remember that he played piano, and in addition he penned some verses that included these lines:
A beacon of humility,
You radiate tranquility...
It's flattering and embarrassing to be the inspiration for a poem like that. Mostly flattering. Enough that I kept that card through multiple moves, tucked away in a mission photo album and mostly forgotten. But when the World Cup was going on it brought back memories of Torino, because Italy hosted the World Cup in 1990. And then I remembered that goofy note with its homespun poetry:
Continue shining forth your faith
And lift this lowly human raith. *
*race--but it didn't rhyme.
Now really, could a commercially-produced card do better than that?
What goofy things do you hold onto?