"If it's not fun, why do it?"

Posts tagged ‘Memories’


sloth - Thowra_uk

“Hi there. Ain’t I such a cutie pie?”
sloth” by Thowra_uk, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Nothing fills the soul with pleasure the way a good belly laugh does! 

Memory 1: A close friend accompanied me to a lecture one evening several years ago. On the way home, I decided to stop at the supermarket for milk. We walked through the aisles toward the very furthest corner at the back of the store where (naturally) the milk was kept. On the way we passed the greeting card display. So we did what women do; we paused to look at a few.

You wouldn’t ordinarily think that greeting cards would be a source of great amusement.

However, some are good for a giggle. Maybe you’d get a few chuckles over a good quote from a “Shoebox” card by Hallmark. Or perhaps Maxine would get you grinning. I’ve dwelled over a few funny cat cards to be sure.  ….. sooooo … (pause for the punch line) …

greeting cards

cards” by Tom Magliery, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Luckily for us, few people shopped at that particular store at that particular time on that particular date or 9-1-1(1) would have been inundated with calls to rescue the two middle-aged ladies who were rolling on the floor(2) laughing for over an hour!!!

That was a great belly laugh!


“Speak into the microphone!”

Memory 2: My sisters and I had only one first cousin (our father was an only child and my mom’s sister had only one child). Needless to say, family was small but precious. It was the night before our cousin’s wedding and we four girls went out for coffee and cake without the parents. No bachelorette party but something nice. We were reminiscing, swapping stories, teasing our cousin about marriage, comparing lipstick, etc., and all of the things girls talked about in those days. We were jolly but not outrageous. I remember playing the interviewer, holding up my spoon as if it were a microphone, and asking an interview question around the table. The bride and my sister #2 said something into the “mike” and we were laughing. When I held the “mike” to my sister #1, she was laughing so hard that she burst into tears! At that point, the rest of us lost it and started howling laughing, too. For years afterward, the phrase, “Speak into the microphone,” would propel #1 into paroxysms of tears and laughter.

Now, that really was a great belly laugh!

Have some joy this week.

PS – Doesn’t that little sloth just make you want to smile until your face hurts?  Cuuute!

1. American emergency contact telephone number. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9-1-1
2. Only in the idiomatic sense; but afterwards, our sides ached from the laughter as if we had been rolling on the floor!


What Mess? What Noise?


Whatta lotta matzah!

Whatta lotta matzah!

Passover is done for another year.

I loved it. I loved having five of our children around and various guests. I loved the planning, cooking, and serving. Even the cleanup after meals didn’t faze me. I was “in the zone.” I felt connected and fulfilled. My shopping list on Google Drive made me ecstatic in the stores. I felt efficient and prepared. I loved the crumbs on the table, the potatoes, and having to reach into a different cupboard than usual for a plate. I loved the seeming mess, having things displaced, needing to walk new paths, searching for equipment. A change, a shake-up. Spring-cleaning for the mind. Last year we were slaves; this year we are free.

And oh my–the second batch of chicken soup was one of the best I’ve ever made! With matzah balls! (The first batch was great, but this second batch… ummm yummm!)

Single-Bottle Wine Caddy
Last Sunday I “turned my kitchen over,” i.e., boxed up and sequestered all of the Passover plates, cookware, and equipment so I could bring out the year-round items. I discarded unused equipment: the wine bottle caddy my husband received with a Purim package ages ago but is not useful at the Seder; his Chinese-patterned melamine plates from before we were married that we used before we bought the new purple ones; and the decorative metal and glass serving box for machine-made square matzah because we predominantly eat handmade, round matzahs. I climbed up the stepladder to the cupboard above the refrigerator–which is closed year-round–and lovingly tucked the Passover supplies to sleep for another year.

I wish there had been more noise. Crazy? I wish there had been more visitors. I wish the apartment had been full of our children and their friends laughing, playing games, and squabbling. Although we played Settlers of Catan one afternoon, people drifted away for naps instead of digging in for the noisy, competitive, seemingly endless tournaments we’d played in younger years. The friends live elsewhere and a small New York City apartment gets crowded quickly.

I have memories of family meals from my childhood. Adults babbled in important adult tones; children laughed and shrieked while spilling drinks and tracking crumbs. Blotchy with wine stains, the tablecloth reminded us of years past. There’s a photo of my sister and our cousin, both about 5 years old, pouring soda and laughing. That’s what I remember.

Don't open! חמץ (Chometz; leavened items) may be lurking there!

Don’t open! חמץ (Chometz; leavened items) may be lurking there!

That’s what I hope to recreate.

The noise, the mess, the planning, the excitement. The expectation of the Seder meal, retelling our exodus from slavery in Egypt. The drama of one whole week of the year dominating our minds so thoroughly. That is Passover of the past, present, and of the future. I hope our children will retain happy memories of this year’s holiday. Doesn’t every parent wish this to be so?

We pray: Let us all be reunited in Jerusalem as One People, celebrating the Passover together, giving thanks to the One Who freed us and continues to sustain us throughout all time.

לשנה הבאה בירשלים

Next year in Jerusalem!

The Best Part of Wakin’ Up™

©/TM/® The Folger Coffee Company

©/TM/® The Folger Coffee Company

Did you know the Folgers Coffee jingle is 35 years old?

As one of the most memorable and recognizable pieces of advertising, “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up is Folgers in Your Cup®” Jingle has helped millions of Americans start their day with the sounds, sights, and smells of fresh-brewed Folgers® Coffee. Composed by Leslie Pearl, the original Jingle debuted in 1984 and has since been transformed into country, gospel, jazz, R & B, folk, Celtic, and a cappella versions. 1

I love a dark, deep and hot cup of coffee, the scent rising aggressively from the cup, the turbulent steam assailing my nasal passages. Exquisite espresso, captivating cappuccino, luscious latte, basic black. The aroma wraps around my neurons, sheathing the axons and coating them with a scarf of enlightenment. “Aaaahhh!” the brain cells sigh, “coffee,” and the sun shines brighter, the birds sing in glee, and there is world peace.

Sadly for Folgers (somewhere along the line they lost the apostrophe), I’m not really a fan of their coffee, preferring Nescafé Tasters Choice Dark Roast when I need a cup of instant. I’ll allow, however, that the best part of waking up just may be coffee. You are thinking, “it’s the caffeine. She’s fueled by caffeine.” No, I protest, it’s not the caffeine; too much gives me the shakes. The smell, the odor, the fragrance opens my mind to new horizons… or at least, it opens my eyelids to the new day.

Every day I wake up
Pour myself a cup
Of that rich Folgers aroma
The best part of waking up.
It's the doo-wop doo-wop in all I do
The mountain grown aroma always comin' through.
Oh the best part of wakin' up
Is Folgers in your cup.
[Now, I'm right in harmony
When I doo-wop doo-wop di-dee
One more cup and it's a nu-wop she-bop for me
Oh the best part of wakin' up
Is Folgers in your cup.]
The best part of wakin' up
Is Folgers in your cup.2
The glass top fairly jumped with boiling coffee on that cold morning.

The glass top fairly jumped with boiling coffee on that cold morning.

I learned to love the aroma of while living with my grandparents. It’s the mid-60’s. Imagine the bright yellow kitchen in the morning sun. A January day with single-digit temperatures, the windows sparkle with frost inside and glisten with some condensation. The glass percolator lid seems to jump with the fresh-brewed coffee clamoring for attention.  Zayda3 is seated at the table already with a cup of coffee, and the radio atop the radiator is likely tuned to WCAU, 1210 AM.  Bubba4 hurried me to eat breakfast before school—Mom must have been busy with my younger sisters elsewhere. A bowl of my favorite, oatmeal, awaits me.  But wait, there’s more: Coffee Milk! That elixir, that concoction of greatness: Coffee (pronounced kaw-fee5). My glass receives an inch of coffee from the busy aluminum pot and the rest is milk… because I’m old enough to drink coffee! Motes of dust sparkle in the air. I scratch my name onto the frosty window. I spoon sugary oatmeal puddled with butter and dreamily drink coffee milk never knowing that some 50 years later, this will be one of my cherished memories.

1. – See more at: http://folgers2.votigo.com/folgers-jingle-history#sthash.47iUrQxb.dpuf
2. Rockin’ Morning – Folgers Coffee sung by Rockapella
3. Yiddish for grandfather.
4. Yiddish for grandmother.
5. The Overlooked Philadephia Accent, accessed February 2, 2015.

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