Thursday, September 21, 2023


     The helicopter ride was fun but the dinner had it's laugh and cry moments. 

     The Captain was on the deck to welcome us to the ship. He was dressed in a formal dress uniform , shirt etc. Since I was classified as a local administrator, for some strange reason I was to be of equal rank. He was an excellent host. 

    Now my  paternal family were Ukrainian, Polish, Russian peasants. They had a small plot of land...40 acres. There wasn't any lumber so they had a small clay house. These houses were made with a mixture of straw and clay. There was a dirt floor and straw roof. They were warm but small. They had only  very basic cooking utensils. They did not have a stove but a fireplace. 

    When they came to Canada they had very few cooking utensil and built the same kind of clay house. Things were limited. 

    On my maternal side they were also very poor and did itinerant farm labor. 

   As a result  formal manners around eating were limited. In fact, they were unknown. 

   When my Dad set up house he bought cooking equipment on auction sales. We did not have a set of cutlery or dishes. Your spoon, knife and fork may have come from 3 different sets. 

    Well, you can predict what's coming next. The dinner on the ship was very, very formal. I had never heard or seen salad forks or the proper place for soup spoons.  Or soup spoons for that matter.  Some of the dishes I had never seen before. Or for that matter more than knife , fork and spoon on a place setting.  I was not used to being told where to sit. I sat down before the Captain told us where to sit. As a result there were quite a few boo boos as far as etiquette was concerned. 

    The Captain was a gracious host. We had good conversation. We had soup, salad, main course and desert. For us the best part was salad as we hadn't had any fresh produce for a year. We still talk about the salad. 

    So the trip back had a heavier load. 

     I had also learned a few things about eating that evening.