It’s no secret that the food at Drowsy Water is a hearty affair. Something about the mountain air, the horses, the people, and the creek make you hungry here, really hungry. It’s magical. That’s why we get the week at DWR kicked off with a classic Thanksgiving Dinner.

Every Sunday, Randy Sue starts the turkeys in the morning and Calvin (the chef) and the cooks come in and start on the rolls, stuffing, pies, etc. The day has a nice, familiar routine about it. Randy Sue has the meal down to a science: while Calvin and the cooks get the turkey carved, the pie sliced, and the veggies dished, Randy Sue works on the mashed potatoes.

Let’s talk about her mashed potatoes for a minute. Her mashed potatoes are a work of art. They are thick and creamy with the perfect amount of butter and just enough lumps that you know they are real.

Her mashed potatoes are so perfect that they have given me a complex. You know how most husbands have one thing that their mother just absolutely, hands-down makes better than anyone else in the world? Well, for Justin, that would be his mom’s mashed potatoes. There they are, in the pot on the oven, ready to be served. Wish I had a better picture. I’ll take one on Thanksgiving.
Let me tell you, I have tried hard at mashed potatoes as a way to get to my cowboy’s heart but they’re never quite “like mom makes them”. I think that there are only two logical explanations for Randy Sue’s ability to make delicious potatoes and my failing.

It’s either:

1. The combination of her thirty-some years of making mashed potatoes every Sunday and the fact that, until I got married, I hardly used butter in anything so I have no idea an appropriate amount. A tablespoon? A whole stick? A vat?


2. Randy Sue has a mashed potato fairy.

For the sake of romanticized holiday propaganda, let’s go with option two.

Here’s my proof:

One Sunday this summer, Randy Sue was away hiking and I thought I’d better ask Calvin if he needed help in the kitchen as Randy Sue is typically there to help and I thought he might be a little overwhelmed without her.

“You could start the mashed potatoes,” he replied.

I froze.


I looked outside.

Surely this would ruin the meal, Calvin! I don’t have a potato fairy!

I contemplated pretending like I didn’t hear him.

No one will eat dinner if I make the mashed potatoes! The ranch will be ruined! Forever!

I contemplated pretending like I’d had a heart attack.




“Okay, sure.” I answered, sheepishly.

Sweating profusely from below the shoulder region, I grabbed some butter and some milk and then grabbed the potatoes. Just as I was about to start towards the mixer, I heard screaming.

Familiar screaming.

It was Peyton.

Never was that scream such a welcome sound.

I found her, out in front of the lodge, with blood on her knees. Phew! a boo-boo! “Oh, baby, Mommy will help you! Let’s just take care of this little boo-boo.”

This will take time to treat. Maybe this will give the potato fairy time to come save me, I thought.

And, you know what? I think it must have been the potato fairy herself that pushed Peyton down in the first place (that witch!). As Peyton and I emerged from boo-boo care, I swear I saw a flash of light pushing Randy Sue up the path to the kitchen. The meal was saved! I hadn’t touched and thus, hadn’t ruined, the potatoes. Randy Sue was there to take over, and the ranch survived another Sunday.

Now if she’d only tell me where she found that fairy. . .