When we figured out that the perpetrator was Colonel Mustard who went after Mrs. Peacock with a Candlestick in the Conservatory we knew we were playing games hooked. Until then we had no “Clue.” After several games we got that putting hotels on the Boardwalk Square in Monopoly was going to cost anyone who landed on it a couple of the orange and yellow monopoly money. Ah! The days of sitting on the floor with our friends and playing Jacks, scraped hands aside, were so much a part of our “Wonder Years.” The days when getting up from the floor could be done with a quick sprint in the absence of a knee jerk and holding onto something to level ourselves. You with me?
So many of the old adages are now living at our front door. Cliches that we never got, couldn’t internalize or just weren’t ready for have now come into play with regularity. Fortuitously, they serve as the bettor at our Mah-jongg table and the leathered decorated card turner at our Canasta games. More forgiving and grateful with less of a focus on verbalizing differences seems to be our new posture. We sit down and the magic occurs. First game out we adjust our seat, call on our strategy and throw the dice or deal the cards. We leave so much more to chance. No more rebuffing what is, just fact and acceptance feel like the right paths to take. We flinch at the first interference in our game of Life–and in turn almost welcome it. A phone call from a friend’s daughter sharing the joy over their daughter’s ballet recital, is typical. An interruption because the dentist needed to move our appointment up a half an hour, or the bell ringing when the handyman comes to fix the window that is stuck, is how it goes. We pool our woes and share our joys. We take home the name of a good dermatologist and flatter one another when we admire a new pair of very cool boots. We are the lucky ones who have turned happenstance into “sheer” delight.
My parents had an activity with their weekly Canasta group called “Coffee and…” I am now getting that the “and” was so much more than chocolate bridge mix or babka. Yes mama, I’m counting sevens and aces, remembering to take the Talon and looking three cards back not to throw the deck.
I love our “and.” When I was younger and had pieces of chicken, I would eat the wings last. I savored the best for then. I now sit down to our chicken lunch and go for the wings first. I rush thru my broccoli and cheddar omelette just to get the cards in my hands. I know that the real reason I enjoy our games so, is because they recapitulate my parents activity of continuity. Well here’s to so many more days of Mah-Jongg, Canasta “And.”
Hello, I just dropped in from the 60’s!
And then one day we just stayed in bed, under the covers, eating Hebrew National pigs in the blanket and drinking Whispering Angel. A day of feeling sorry for our stuck inside moments. With so many things on our “to do” list, we are fearful of a new mutation, as this very determined virus continues to procreate and send out new soldiers. With precautions in place, we shop for chopped meat and hope our cholesterol levels don’t recognize that our creatively stuffed peppers disguised the meat. The only panacea is time. We long to watch reruns of Dobie Gillis, I Married Joan and Topper. One episode at a time, pre-binging. We derive comfort in exhuming memories of eating a can of Buitoni ravioli after school before leaving to go to our algebra tutor. Did anyone really need to know what a parallelogram or a quadrilateral was, ever? Algebra D‘s, creative writing A’s. You do the math I can’t.
Ah, the simple joy of listening to AM radio and Cousin Brucie, who is now 80 unbelievable seven. The glory days when one of our pleasures was listening to the Temptations, cause we were “not to proud to beg” while we waited to be built up by buttercups, knowing at this point it was the “worst that could happen.” Run on sentence counters, I know. Guilty pleasures were driving under the tressel at Third Ward Park and the endorphin rush in spotting our friend’s cars.
The long ago and far away days, we so long for now. If only the worst of frustrations came in the form of busy signals and not because we had to upgrade our cell phones due to out dated-technology. We lovingly remember setting our hair with big, pink plastic rollers, spritzing Aqua Net hairspray and adjusting the awkward tubes from our portable hairdryers. We looked forward to our snacks of peanut butter cheddar crackers, Ring Dings or Funny Bones and always grabbed our can of Tab, the acronym for the first (Totally Artificial Beverage). Who knew Herbie Frankel’s wife Arline was A TAB babe too. Love the TAB cap, shout out to Arline Frankel. All this came without hangovers. With lots of quarters, nickels and dimes we’d stop for snacks at the candy store next to Jan, Jill and Jon’s on Main Avenue. How about Rhoda and Seymour Zucker (antique aficionados) for 50 years . What a run. So back to today – under the covers with bated breath waiting to hear how our future decisions will be weighed in by one more round table medical update from a virologist, scientist or one of the Dr. Gupta’s. Double masking off as we pray for the times when Cosmo Topper, married Joan and the only thing unstable were the rabbit ears on our black and white Tv’s and -that was an easy fix.
A -my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Al, we come from Alabama and we sell Apples. As I open the cupboard on memories, bouncing a Spaulding as we sang the A my name is Alice rhyme, lifting our leg over the ball with each bounce, was an all time great walk around the corner and under a tree. A veritable, primordial work out and creative singing lesson all in one. My sister Bettie Ann and I grew up together and hung with the “girls on the block.” We stopped playing and walked home for our tuna sandwich or the treat of salami on rye, only made better with the delicious taste of deli mustard. After lunch we would stroll to the all purpose grocery store. I can vividly see the barrel of pickles prominently sitting next to the left of the front door. We would use part of our allowance to buy candy. Our first go to was a striped pixy stick, a straw filled with lik-m-aid. For those in the know it’s a tasty sugary retrospective in time. The original version of Fun Dip. We would then mosey over to the red licorice and marshmallow peeps. At Halloween the chicks turned into orange faced pumpkins. Fast forward 58 years. It’s 6:00 A.M. time to put up the coffee, my turn to “make the donuts.” I woke up salivating for a piece of my past, inside that grocery store. My sister Bettie Ann and I would bring our bag of goodies up to the counter. The familiar face of the man, (whose name we never knew,) would take the pencil he harbored behind his ear and tally up our treats.
With our visual bounty in hand we would skip our way home and unveil the contents, perhaps trade a piece or two.
Our afternoons were often consumed through adventures with Dick and Jane, The Bobbsey Twins or figuring out if Nancy Drew was ever going to hook up with one of the Hardy Boys. As we felt the heat of the oven cooking sweet potatoes we knew they would soon be sitting next to the very well done baby lamb chops and canned peas Sophie was making for dinner. A welcomed pre-dinner activity was watching Patty Duke and her identical cousin navigate their way through high school. We often tried to distinguish between the subtleties in their looks. Hmmm! I long for those days of innocence when the doctor appointments took place as we sat upon the kitchen table. Ah! the local store that sold glass bottles of milk and farmer cheese made no room on the shelf for ammunition. Dwight D. Eisenhower was President.
Everybody in Grovers Corners looked into the grocery store and the drugstore once a day in “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. It is with older eyes and wiser hearts that we live our lives. So, just for today reach for the red licorice after a very sour pickle and make it a good Day!
“When I was just a little girl I asked my mother what will I be,
Here’s what she said to me
Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be will be.”
And then she let go of my hand and “what will be” became what is.
How much easier life would be if we had a crystal ball for which to see
The future unfold before it came
Minus the struggles, our choice of game
Challenges and misfortunes factored into the mix
Gave us our backbone our strength to behold
But just for a moment with a dream in place
Take away the name, add a new face
If we could throw our troubles into a pot
Would we take ours back and be grateful for what we got
I suppose we would, but just for today
With a dream, a prayer and a fantasy intact
We’d like to think of not taking ours back.
With less of that and more of this
The hardships, the stife wouldn’t be missed
We have lost so much and gained even more
As fate unfurled, at our front door
The cards were dealt, we carried out the plan
A divine order in place and sensibility kicking in
We followed the plan
Kept our eyes on the win.
“When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart, what lies ahead
“Will we have rainbows
Day after day
Here’s what my sweetheart said
Que sera, sera
What will be will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera”
Make it a great Wednesday- you got this!
When the object of desire
Is a shot into the arm
Held our breath as science led us
To the temple safe from harm
We crawled underneath the covers with protection on our side
We knew where to go and we learned just how to hide
With belly laughter moments
Put aside for a year or more
We battled with the metrics
Just which side should we implore
A light of hope and promise
Outside- not out of reach
As buds follow birds chirping
Our sites upon the beach
With the object of desire
Recognized at our front door
We won’t need to run for safety
We prepared for just this day
As they open up the floodgates
Move quickly out of the way
We’ll pack devil dogs and ring dings
No more saving our best fare
Watched as mountains became molehills
Helped alleviate our fear
As we stroll through the market, buy a flower maybe two
As life unfolds the certainty of which we always knew.
Mandy Patinkin admired from afar
As Che in Evita the consummate star
With your “Criminal Mind” you gave Chicago such Hope
As Carrie’s Saul Berenson you widened her scope
The Homeland would be safer as you exposed the truth
With your focus on song, your loyalty strong
You could sing from any page from The Book of Ruth No walk in The Park on a “Sunday Afternoon”
You broadened our view as Serault with his brush
The regulars gathered round in silence and hush
In awe as Che sang to Eva Perron
Ah! But our breath was taken,
As Avigdor to Anshel you starred
Never disputed you had us at Talmudic
Yes all of us from wide and from far
Inigo Montoya you blew us away
Show us your hand with six fingers, please do
Took us Over the Rainbow left a song in our heart
From there we won’t sway
We have our head start!
Tired of talking about the “former guy”
Will never be followed by “I cant imagine why
Lettia James and Cyrus Vance
Step up to the floor
It’s your chance to dance
What ya got lurking behind the door?
Our breath it is bated
Just play out the scenes
Give him the cell held by the “Queen of Mean”
Let liberty follow justice, for one for all
Can’t wait to watch the “former guy” fall
Not Studio 54, Maxwells Plum or the like
Justice will be served, give it all of your might
He’d prance around town in cashmere and lace
Moved down south
Can’t show his face
We will sit by the screen
As you unravel the facts
Stop this “former guy”
Head on in his tracks
Mary Trump has said “uncle”
We are waiting for you
With the law and your order
Tell us all what you knew
No Dancer or Prancer can save this dude Trump
We will scream with delight
Bring him down with a Thump.
Don’t pick the side with the long odds. Thank g-d for modern medicine, scientific metrics being so advanced and Dr. Fauci. He became our symbol and pedagogue for hope.
As upperclassmen who are AARP card carriers, and eligible for over 65 senior discounts, we qualified for early eligibility to be vaccinated a few weeks ago. With the 2nd vaccination in and the side effects of the shot behind us we have new, first time after we got vaccinated feelings. Watching children as they accomplish something for the first time or take a taste of a new food they “yum”about is a favorite pastime. This new beginning of opening up access to our long learned activities of pleasure and enjoyment only makes us realize- “we got a lot of living to do.”
Blessings counted and appreciation levels pumped up high. This lesson, perhaps in disguise, make us know even more now then ever how precious and precarious life is. Make it a good one. Oh, and if we run into you over frozen yogurt at Bloomy’s let’s share the “yum” as though it was our first time moment. Hashtag -“All for one and one for all.”
The sociopath and the sycophant
Went up the hill
The loud cries fast and furious
Audible ”find him and kill”
With loyalty and disgrace
Through thick and through thin
Counting on four more years, stuck by for the Win
With family in tow and clinging to dear
Nothing could prepare for the horror, the strife
Through a treacherous slope riddled with danger and fear
A sight to behold
With nothing to compare
A lifetime of duty
Serving his country with length
The sociopath gave orders to rip out his strength
The world watched by, as the House
With facts on their side
And so much to tell
Letter perfect they shared
Justice the Plea
Matters of fact for all just to see
Our States so divided
With shivers of disbelief
The trials, the travesty without the relief
With hopes of delivering the sociopath
Never going forward with so much undue.
The sociopath and the sycophant
Will just change the names
Our beloved America we are crying in shame.
Definition of Recidivism-a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially relapse into criminal behavior. Is there a fine line between addiction and recidivism? Let’s consider how popular prison romances are and seem in no danger of dying out. One theory is that prisoners create a literal wall against closeness. Conjugal visits preclude hanging out Sunday morning with Russ and Daughters and The New York Times. They certainly eliminate variegated activities i.e. strolling through The Whitney and eating french toast at Bubby’s in TriBeCa.Delving into a veritable pantheon of theories that depict the profile of personalities enraptured by the incarcerated is a thesis unto itself. Far from the cover for every pot concept. I recently viewed Jacob Ephron’s documentary on his mom Nora Ephron. I watched it for the second time, can’t wait to see it again. Oh, Nora you hated your neck and we loved you. We so related when Harry met Sally and they were Sleepless in Seattle. We followed as Julie and Julia Got Mail. Your self-deprecatory humor was comforting. And I quote “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Amen! The converse rings ever so true. When you understand that burnt pot roast doesn’t necessarily taste so good, negating that we grew up eating it, you throw it out and start again. Sensibility does not kick in by chance. Don’t wait for the next ship to come in to carpe diem.” Seizing opportunities and disregarding discouragements are our modus operandi.How many rapprochement’s succeed? When we get sick and tired of being sick and tired, we move to another table in search of our eight card fit. I know cliche counters, I know. Last eve a couple of The Julia’s – acronym for (Just Us Ladies Into Aging) had dinner. Our portfolio sports 57 years of round tables together. From our early days of sharing french fries at Wassers and Awful Awfuls at Bonds, we got another chance to embrace our history “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess.” Nora Ephron you get us!