Life, love, and farm animals from America's Northeast corner.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I'm learning a unique colloquialism to rural farm areas: the difference between "lunch", "dinner", and "supper".
Now I've had some experience with these terms. My mother came from rural northern Minnesota, and on occasion used the term supper. But mostly she treated this the same way that my grandfather treated his Swedish -- as something to be forgotten. Both were seen as being "less than", for my grandfather, less American, for my mother, less urban.
So here I am again, hearing people talk about lunch at 9pm, dinner at noon, and supper at all kinds of times. So as a service to myself and you, dear reader, I will attempt to put these terms into context.
Lunch - This is a "break meal". My guess is that it came from times when everyone would be out farming and doing chores (or youngsters in school), and they took a meal with them into the fields. I have heard this term used by the snowplow driver here in town for his 8am meal, and by a waitress at The Restaurant for her post work meal at 9pm. The meaning is the same, though. Its a meal taken during a break from working.
Dinner - This is a formal meal, but not necessarily the evening meal. Oftentimes, this is the noon meal. But whenever it is, it is usually the largest meal of the day, and all (or most) of the family is expected to be in attendance. I was quite surprised when on Thanksgiving at The Restaurant we filled our Thanksgiving Dinner seatings at noon & 2pm, but had no takers for later. I grew up with the concept that the largest meal of the day was always the evening meal. I now know better.
Supper - This is the less formal meal. It can be considered the "other meal" from what I can tell. This is larger than a snack, but not necessarily by much, and isn't necessarily taken as a family. I've noticed that people will have sandwiches or soups as this meal. This may be taking into account the reality of rural life that family members often work on different schedules.
So, I'm learning something new. If you have more input on this, I'd love to hear it. Or maybe other meal colloquialisms that are unique to you.
1. Practice meditation twice a week for three months 2. Attend a Christian church for a Sunday service 3. Make a four course meal for four 4. Take a skiing lesson 5. Learn to shoot a rifle 6. Camp outside for a weekend 7. Go to a hockey game in Canada 8. Go to an NHL game 9. Get my Nexus Card or Passport 10. Outline my autobiography 11. Create a fictional character 12. Write a first chapter of a fiction book 13. Wirte a first draft of a fiction book 14. Enroll in and complete a semester at a community college 15. Go to the dentist proactively 16. Follow through on the dental plan 17. Complete my health care paperwork 18. Go to the doctor for bloodwork every 3 months 19. Win a satellite poker tournament into a larger tournament 20. Give an anonymous gift to someone in need 21. Kayak on a Maine river 22. Plan a surprise overnight getaway 23. Send out holiday cards one year by the Saturday after Thanksgiving 24. Bake a homemade pie 25. See my niece get married 26. Call my sisters monthly for a year 27. Enter a photograph in the county fair 28. Go to bingo night with a friend 29. Join the Aroostook County Democrats 30. Go to an UMPI (University of Maine at Presque Isle) basketball game 31. Go to a Maine Black Bears hockey game 32. Go to a Maine Black Bears football game 33. Go snowmobiling 34. Ride ATVs to the top of Mars Hill 35. Volunteer for a local political candidate 36. Attend a town meeting 37. Take a scenic day tour of Aroostook County 38. Visit Baxter State Park 39. Visit Acadia National Park 40. Manage my own section of garden for one season 41. Carve a pumpkin 42. Go ice skating 43. Make homemade cookies 44. Put together a game night 45. Email a friend "just because" once a week for three months 46. Write a short story 47. Write a poem and publish it on my blog 48. Write a weekly political column on Daily Kos for six months 49. Post on my blog daily for one month 50. Attend a benefit supper 51. Write in a diary three times a week for 6 months 52. Keep to a housekeeping schedule for 3 months 53. Build a snowman 54. Decorate for a holiday 55. Create a calendar for and send birthday cards to friends for one year 56. Attend a lecture 57. Go to a book reading 58. Read a classic 59. Complete a Teaching Company course 60. Go swimming in a lake in Maine 61. Spend a day at a county fair 62. Complete a corn maze 63. Take a beginners French course 64. Go to a movie at a movie theater 65. Go to a concert 66. Post a review on Trip Advisor 67. Attend the Northern Maine balloon festival 68. Attend a high school sporting event 69. Attend a fundraising dinner in Aroostook County 70. Finish watching Friday Night Lights 71. Take an out of state vacation with The Partner 72. Buy flowers for The Partner 73. Plan and throw a birthday party 74. Take a Sunday drive 75. Ride a horse 76. Watch an Academy Award winning movie made before 1968 77. Watch a sunrise 78. Spend 72 hours without internet or cell phone 79. Take The Partner's parents to dinner 80. Collect chicken eggs from the chicken coup 81. Organize kids games for the town's Fun Days 82. Attend a board meeting in person 83. Attend a LGBT dance 84. Buy girl scout cookies 85. Finish "in the money" in a multi table poker tournament of 180 people or more 86. Attend a demolition derby 87. Read Dan Brown's latest book and write a review on Amazon 88. Spend a day fencing the fields 89. Spend a day haying 90. Continue our couples night Valentine Day tradition 91. Take a digital photography course 92. Make a snow angel 93. Go outside in below zero temperatures 94. Attend gay pride in Bangor 95. Liveblog a Dancing With The Stars Episode 96. Spend a shift waiting tables at The Restaurant 97. Go to a karaoke night and sing a song 98. Take a picture a day for a month and post them on Facebook 99. Buy a new suit 100.Buy a tuxedo 101.Marry The Partner in Maine