Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moab Diechleer and the Book of Chance

I am really not sure where this will go, what to think of it, how I should talk about it or who Moab Diechleer is.
But I'll give it a shot.

See, when my mother died she had left boxes and boxes of stuff in her closets. The hall closets, the bedroom closets, the basement closet. Some were full of dress patterns and fabric scraps; she was a great seamstress back in her prime and a great saver... well past her prime.  Other boxes were full of old photographs, postcards, news-clippings and recipes.  A tremendous amount of those..  Some of the recipes were on note cards, some hand written on scraps of paper and even napkins.  Still more were clipped from Newspapers.  Those I can date and there are some from the 40's and 50's.  Most though were from the late 70's and into the 80's. There were enough that I decided I would take the boxes home and sort at my leisure because there was enough evidence that she had sorted and resorted these boxes through the years and that any single box could span years.  One box could contain my brother's second grade report card, a church bulletin from 1968, a photo of her parents from 1948, a recipe from 1958, or a clipping about my father from 1978.  Crazy eights I tell you.

At first I started just throwing the recipes away and keeping the good stuff, the family stuff.  I truly was working with 12 or fourteen of these things and it was a big clutter. But then I looked at a couple of the recipes and thought they might be worth trying.  See, my mother was not a great cook by any stretch of the imagination.  Oh, see had a handful of items she made that were excellent, but all in all, nope... boiling water and adding salt... she did that ok, but there was a big fall off after that.

So I got a little more careful in my scrutiny.  Then in the middle of one box  I found a yellowed piece of paper, almost brittle to the touch, on which was typed..

"When frosting a cake make sure the cake is made first"
 -Moab Diechleer

Now I got a chuckle out of that and set that piece aside and continued sorting. Soon I came upon another old looking scrap and on this  was typed..

 "Never buy a chicken from a politician... you never know what crap
   that bird has eaten."
   -Moab Diechleer

Seriously now I am very intrigued.   Who is Moab Diechleer?  I could not find any reference to him on google and it is not a name that ever came up in any family discussion.  Was he an old family friend?
By this time I stopped and went and got some beer.  This is getting interesting.  In the bottom of another box was a recipe, handwritten, for turkey and walnut casserole. signed,,,,,,, Moab Diechleer.  It really looks like an awful recipe.  I'll never try it.  But I put that aside.  Soon there was another scrape of typed paper.

"When in doubt, stop thinking."
  -Moab Diechleer

Now Mom was never much of a philosophical thinker, she rather relied on the Vatican to do that for her, and most everyday living thoughts she garnered from Ann Landers so I am working on a mystery now.  I have all of the boxes emptied.,,,, spread all across the bed, the couch, chairs, floor.  I am looking for more Moab.  Wrapped in old cellophane I uncovered pages, all Diechleer-isms and recipes that Mom had sewn together as a book.  'Goldmine'!!!!  and then.... the mother lode... an old ledger that she had pasted recipes and clippings and a lot more Moab!!!!

I will relate more of this later, as I get it sorted out.  I still do not know what to think of this......but as Moab says.,,,
  "If at long last you have to go looking for Truth and Wisdom.... 
    you must have been  pretty stupid in the first place."
    -Moab Diechleer


Sue said...

Hmmmm I keep saying the name over and over to see if it comes out differently, like a joke from Mom, Ya Know? Could these be her writings meant to be found by family??

PENolan said...

I LOVE this story.

ps: the word verification is

susan said...

The mystery of Moab Diechleer - what a great story. Do you suppose he may have been a running joke between your mom and dad - you know, like Lisa and Mathman texting each other?

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