This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some things they've given him through the years:
~ garden produce - this is a given; when you live in a gardening community, you're going to be given extra tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini and whatever else the grower can't use up :)
~ corn-on-the-cob from a "famous" local stand
~ pumpkin bread
~ tickets to the circus
~ a free ride on Cass Scenic Railroad
~ clothes for the boys
~ clothes for Jeff
~ clothes for me
~ puppies :)
~ bear meat
There are definite advantages to being an old-fashioned, small-town barber!
Saturday, Jeff called from work and announced his latest gift:
My thoughts raced, "Ducks? DUCKS? Why would someone give him ducks? Don't we have enough animals around here? And where are we going to put them? We don't have a pond!"
Then he clarified:
My thoughts took off again, "Oh, duck meat. Somebody shot some ducks and cut them up and gave Jeff some of the meat. He'll bring home some Ziploc baggies of duck meat; and although I don't really know how to cook duck, we'll figure something out. I can look up some info on the Internet."
I still didn't have it quite right.
This is what those ducks looked like:
Jeff was not discouraged. His little boy tribe gathered around him and watched as their Daddy-Who-Can-Do-Anything did...well...something to the ducks to get some meat to grill for dinner. The boys thought it was grand.
I, on the other hand, didn't enjoy it quite as much. I'm not a vegetarian, and I've lived in the country long enough and spent enough time during my growing-up years on my grandparents' farm to know, for example, that the delicious fried chicken Grandma served for dinner was pecking around the barnyard just the day before and the juicy steaks we enjoyed recently came from the steer whose dark brown eyes I gazed into last summer. It's the cycle of life, and I get that.
But these ducks were so pretty! In a flash, I turned into one of those kinds of people who doesn't mind eating meat, but would rather buy it wrapped in cellophane at the grocery store, and who doesn't want to think too much about where it came from before that!
If only Jeff's customers weren't quite so generous! ;-)