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Monday, November 17, 2014

A Magic Wand

     This post is going to be longer then usual, that's because it covers 35 years. First I need to tell you a little about the person responsible for this tale, my mother, Mateel.  My mother passed in 2003, she left many wonderful memories for myself and numerous others. She was the kind of person who never met a stranger and accepted people without judgment. Her out going personality drew people to her like a magnet. She was a willing listener and people felt comfortable talking to her. When she made a friend they were a friend for life.

Sharon (L), Mateel (R)  1944

     There are numerous other things I could write about my mother and perhaps I will in another post. But this one will illustrate her sense of humor and fun. This is shown in the following story. The writing of this tale was started by my Aunt Sharon, Mateel's older sister. She wrote until 1985 when each person took over and added their bit to the story. As I copy the story for your pleasure, I will put in parenthesis the relationship of the person to Mateel.

She lived life with gusto  1956

A Gift Gone Awry?

The History & Chronology of the Infamous Potato Peeler
(an electric peeling wand)

     1979 - It all started at Christmas time, when Mateel attended a "Fancy Dan" luncheon at the Castaways in Burbank (California). She received the wand as a door prize and under her breath she muttered, "Oh shit!" (The donor remained anonymous). All too quickly she passed it on to Lillian (daughter-in-law) who received it with great joy. Or was that look one of consternation?

     1980 - Lillian presented the peeler to Sharon, who received it with her famous comment of "What the hell?" (Lillian looked on with great contentment and satisfaction).

     1981 - The magic wand then returned to Mateel as part of a birthday present. Her EXACT words when she opened the gift were,"Oh shit!" (When it came to the wand, Mateel was a woman of few words).

     1982 - With wrapping paper in hand, Mateel took great care in wrapping this wonderful wand for Susan (niece) for Christmas. Susan should have been a little wary when she got the package from her Aunt Mateel. When Sharon watched Susan open the present, she got a devilish twinkle in her eye, and then laughed so hard she could be heard up and down the Bitter Root Valley (Montana). No one could hear Susan exclaim, "It's a peeling wand. What does this @*%!& do, and WHY ME?"

     1983 - Susan sent the precious package to Beverly (niece) for her birthday with a pre-warning sign on the card that said, "Do not shake! Maybe you should wait until you are all alone and have a glass of wine first, better have two! Open ASAP in a safe place". Beverly took the advice and, with glass in hand, proceeded to open the gift in the privacy of her bedroom. The roar of laughter brought all the kids running to see if their mom was still sane.

     1984 - Christmas was when it started and on each Christmas that followed the magic wand seemed to wend it's merry way to the next unsuspecting relative. And so it was that Beverly experienced the joy of giving when she presented the family "heirloom" to her mother. Sharon was underwhelmed as the gift was opened and uttered, "My God, It's back already." While Beverly's gleeful laughter rang through the house.

     1985 - The wand did not gather dust. Sharon sent it with loving care and great relief to Jackie (daughter) with the following note:
      Jackie it is with great delight that I remember you on your birthday, and add you to the list of family members who have experienced temporary ownership of this mystical peeling wand, take good care of it while it is in your possession, and remember, you don't have to wait until Christmas to pass it on.
     That same year, Jackie wasted no time. The wand made its way to Southern California to Chris (daughter) with Jackie's words of sincerity:
     I have to say I was overwhelmed when I received this, ah, interesting gift from Aunt Sharon. It has graced a very special place in my closet since February. As much as I hate to part with it, I feel it is only fair that Charis have a turn in owning this wonderful item. Because I am such a loving and devoted sister, I now pass the potato peeler to my sweet sister Chris. Enjoy it in good health and just remember Christmas isn't that far away.
     1987 - But as you can see, Chris could not bear to part with it. There was something magical about the wand and she could not bring herself to give it up. Finally, after much self-recrimination and in a great gift giving mood, she made the sacrifice when she learned Aunt Sharon would be spending Christmas with her sister Mateel. When Sharon opened the package she was less than ecstatic, but realized immediately that an old friend had returned to her life. And yes, she thought fiendishly, Susan was getting married.

And so the chronology continued......

     1988 - Back to Susan at a family picnic, she began to plot to get even.

     1989 - Susan finally changed the course of the wand travels by giving it to the first male. She gave it to the newest member of the family, Bill (husband).

     1990 - Bill decided to pass it along in a "manly" tradition and Vince (son) was the lucky guy. And Vince, the poor soul, sent the wand back to the closet and there it stayed until......

     1997 - .....and it came back into the hands of Beverly.

     1998 - Back to Susan until its 20th anniversary in 1999! And who should receive the anniversary gift but Sharon.

     August 20, 2000 - Sharon decides since Mateel started this over 20 years ago, she deserves to have it just one more time - just for the helluvit.

     August 3, 2002 - Mateel gives it back to Susan.

     August 8, 2002 - What a lovely birthday gift for Chris.

     December 25, 2002 - Chris decides to be a trailblazer and give it to the first grandchild - Casie.

     January 2006 - A mere 3 or so years later, Casie opts to relinquish the almighty wand to her new sister-in-law, Kristin. Welcome to the family!

     December 2009 - After opening the gift three years earlier and asking her husband,"What is this weird thing?" and also wondering what kind of people she is now related to, Kristin and Vincent (grandson) move to a new house and move the wand with them. The wand languishes in the garage where every time Kristin parks the car she sees that weird box and thinks, "must get rid of that ugly thing" and "now why can't Vince's family pass down something like, say a Louis 14th silver tea set?" Finally the opportunity arrives, there is a wedding, Danny (grandson) gets married. "Ah, a new unsuspecting bride," Kristin thinks. "Better welcome her to the family and finally clear out my darn garage."

     December 25, 2009 - Carolyn and Danny received a mysterious package from Wyoming. Danny opened the box, chuckled and said, "Holy shit." Then he said, "Oh Carolyn, this one's for you." Carolyn reluctantly and cautiously opened it. She said, "I don't like this, WHAT?!" After reading the story, Carolyn wanted to get rid of it right away. After thinking it through she decided to give it to her new sister-in-law. Merry Christmas Katrina (granddaughter)

     November 18, 2012 - After persistent pressure to clear out the closet from her mother (Chris), Katrina knows she needs to get rid of this wand. But to whom? Luckily, Facebook tells her that it was Casie's birthday only a few days ago! And the family is all getting together for a pre-Thanksgiving feast. The perfect storm for a surprise potato peeler gifting. Happy Birthday, Cuz!

     June 21, 2014 - Casie happens upon the perfect opportunity to introduce yet another family member to the wonders of the wand. What better occasion than a graduation! A graduation party is the perfect place to bestow this upon Serena (granddaughter). Being 18 and heading off into the big world, Serena is ready for this responsibility. Congratulations!

  I didn't think Serena would be able to get rid of the wand so fast, but another wedding made for the perfect opportunity. She was able to pass it off to a new unsuspecting cousin. Katrina's (granddaughter) husband to be, Eric. With the help of her mother, Serena sent the following:

     September 20, 2014 - In honor of the wedding of Eric and Katrina. All our best. Keep going....instructions follow:
Young Eric soon to be wed
Just lounging around in his bed
A package doth come
What's to be done?
The possibilities filled him with dread

Hum does it reek like a skunk?
Possibly some swill to be drunk?
A box of rocks
Some stinky socks
Just open it up you big lunk!

Could be something appealing
Sure to just set you reeling
Peel back the wrap
Or give it just a slight tap
Remember with whom you are dealing...

We say kitchen tools are just the right touch 
For skilled tasks like PEELING and such
If veggies abound
Keep this around
and remember we love SOOOOO much!

     As I said each person has added their tale of the wand, but now instead of typed on paper, it is on a zip drive (which gets sent with the wand). No one has ever tried the peeler, it's so old now it might explode. The box is held together with string, but as you can see Mateel gave a gift that keeps on giving. There are still some relatives that haven't had this magical gift, who will be next? The spirit of Mateel lives on in this special "Magic Wand".

     I asked Serena to take a picture of the peeler because for some odd reason no one ever did. Unfortunately she asked her father, my brother, to carry out the task. The following is what I received from him. His exact words, "I thought this would be more A-Peeling."

A though to ponder: Life will always be to a large extent what we ourselves make it.

Participating in:No Rules Weekend


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  2. Fun story! Wouldn't it be funny as hell if that anonymous donor, the genesis of all this, stumbled upon this post?? :-)

    I couldn't help but notice that when it was returned to Mateel in 2000 that she sentimentally kept it for 2 years before passing it back to "Hot Hands" Susan, who kept it for a mere 5 days (that has to be the record turnaround!) And how, pray tell, has Al managed to evade finding this in his Christmas stocking so far?

    Your mom was clearly a hoot, and it's clear from his food porn photo that your brother inherited a big dollop of her prankster DNA. :-) (Speaking of porn, am I the only one who sees the picture on the box and thinks it looks like some kind of sex toy? LOL)

    1. It's one of our favorite stories. I'm not sure the anonymous donor is still around but it would be funny if they saw this.

      Susan was the fastest and my brother was the slowest getting rid of the wand. I'm not sure why Al hasn't had it yet, just lucky I guess. I*m sure his day will come.

      My brother is a prankster. He gave me a lot of grief when we were growing up. He would get in trouble for bugging me. I would get in trouble for being bossy (imagine that).

      OMG, I didn't notice the picture on the box that closely, now I see it. This post will probably get shut down for being obscene. LOL !

  3. LOL, yeah - "magic wand" indeed. You brazen hussy! ;-)