Free food? I did a double take at the email. To get it, customers just had to show up at a Chick-fil-A wearing a cow costume or something with a cow theme.
Such a quandary. Look silly and save money or keep one’s dignity, stay home and skip the free stuff.
Or it would have been a quandry if we had lived near a Chick-fil-A.
Now my daughter – that is a different story. She lives about five minutes away from a Chick-fil-A.
I passed the information along. “Would you like to do that?”
“I sounds like fun,” she mused.
“I have some cow fabric.”
“Well let’s see.” I walked back to my sewing room, pulled fabric from the shelf and did a shoulder to chin measurement of the pieces I had purchased at yard sales. “Oh, about eight yards. Do you want me to make you something?”
“Just make capes,” she said.
Capes? I could do better than that. I spend Monday evenings at College Avenue Church of Christ participating in Sewing for the Master. I can now whip up a pillowcase dress in less than 90 minutes, from start to finish. Saturday afternoon, I measured out the granddaughters’ approximate height and began whacking off yardage in holstein spots and bright pink.
Rummaging through my patterns, I found one for simple pajamas for the grandson to create a mooooving pair of pjs. Finally, I opened the package of apron patterns and made my daughter a simple coverall apron with a Holstein print bound with light pink bias tape. I said it looked like Old Mother Hubbard … she said she looked like a nanny.
A couple of large, odd triangular shapes became a cape for her husband with one seam to join them.
I folded everything neatly to deliver on our way to see the St. Louis family over the Fourth of July. Hours before we left, our Pennsylvania daughter-in-love called and asked if her four could stay at our house for a month while they sorted out a mold problem in their attic.
My husband and I high-fived each other, “Grandkids for the summer!” We demurely told her, “Of course they can come. We can save you miles and time and meet you in St. Louis.” After a whirlwind weekend in the big city, we arrived home with three teenagers, a grade school student and a month to fill with activities.
“Would you like to dress for Cow Appreciation Day?” The two youngest thought it sounded like fun. I pulled out more pajama patterns and began sewing. The oldest just wanted me to get the general shape done. She finished the costume by sewing top and bottom together, designed and sewed a bright pink udder, cloven hoof mittens and an impressive cow’s face with the tongue licking its nose. Cows do that.
Little sister designed a pair of hoof mittens and said she might wear the outfit as pajamas afterward.
I made an appointment to go to Little Rock to do some research on Cow Appreciation Day.
The day before we went I came home and Grandpa and grandson were painting black blotches on white slacks and shirts from the thrift store. Grandpa added cardboard horns and used Holstein scrap fabric to make cow ears for his straw hat. Someone decided to sew tubes of Holstein fabric to stuff as tails.
The oldest granddaughter used her skills with the crochet hook and fashioned a white tail and a white head band with cow ears to wear with black clothes she enhanced with white spots.
I decided to join the party. I could have made an apron like my daughter’s but most of large pieces of fabric had been used. I pulled out the sewing machine, researched a frilly, tiered apron on the Internet and began sewing. Three hours later I had an apron with four tiers of Holstein and pink fabric, a pink top with a Holstein printed heart and black ties. OK, it took three hours, but I had fun and I have a new apron.
While I worked at the library on Cow Appreciation Day, a lot of faces received black eyes, black cheeks and noses. Headbands became holders for pipe cleaner cow ears. Our herd of 13 descended on Chick-fil-A.
The manager and his assistant came out with their cow mascot. He definitely thought we qualified for a full entree. Thinking of all that food, we smiled eagerly for the photographer before we moooved into the store to enjoy our free meals of chicken.
As we ordered, the lady beside us asked “what is this about?”
A clerk explained. She said, “I should have had my daughters here for this. How did they find out?”
Oh, just reading a little bit of an email that crossed my desk at the office. I find lots of fun ideas hidden in the many words that cross our paths every day.
((Joan Hershberger is a staff writer at the News-Times and author of “Twenty Gallons of Milk and Other Columns from the El Dorado News-Times.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)