Archive for the 'holidays' Category
No matter how busy I am throughout the year, I always make time to slow down in the summer. I make time to pamper myself and those I love. I make time to relax. To laugh. I make time to be present in the daily moments of wonder, of gratitude and of beauty.
So here’s my recipe for a magical summer:
Daily one-on-one time with my sweetie. Yup. I KNOW he’s gorgeous.
Eating well. Summer is my favorite food season. Oops, second favorite. Winter’s first;
Long talks with my BB’s - beautiful brilliant - children. Far into the night;
Creating. Playing. Relaxing;
Ice cream dates. Every day. Why not?
Get-togethers with friends. The conversations, the laughter, the ease of being with people who love me and don’t judge.
Reading. Reading. And more reading. Inside. Outside. On a blanket at the beach. On a blanket in a field. Anywhere. Anytime.
How about you? What are your recipes for a great summer?
When I was a child, every March 8 dawned fresh and glistening. In our country it was a national holiday, a celebration of being a woman, a mother, a wife, and a colleague. Children at school worked on crafts and wrote letters to their mothers. Men brought flowers and chocolates for the women in their lives. Mothers sent children to school with bouquets of spring flowers for the female teachers, and after saying, “I kiss your hand,” the obligatory child to female adult greeting, the flowers would be handed over and the teacher’s desk became a mini flower shop.
In our house, my dad prepared the breakfast on this special day. We usually had a simple one of chunks of homemade bread spread with sweet butter and homemade jams, or clover honey, a boiled egg on the side, and mugs filled with hot milk in which a dark chocolate bar would be broken into several pieces and stirred in until all melted. It was a delicious breakfast made even more so by the anticipation of handing our gifts to our mom, trying to guess whose gift she liked better.
So, many happy years to all of you, my beautiful, amazing females friends and readers, whether you are young or old, single, married, divorced, or widowed. Let’s live our lives fully and with purpose! We have come a long way, and yet, WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE to accomplish. Let’s go forth, and make the world a better place!
Love to you all!
As teens, my sisters and I would roll our eyes whenever my dad or mom would bring forth the subject of their courtship. It seemed such an old fashioned concept, and we were more than slightly embarrassed by it. Normal people’s parents had dated, not courted. According to my dad, mom had quite a few suitors and she couldn’t make up her mind between them. One night she’d meet one of them for a walk down the linden city center streets, stopping somewhere for a beverage or dessert, and the next, together with her girlfriends, she’d run into another at an ice cream parlor.
Apparently these meetings carried on for a while, and dad was losing patience. Christmas was approaching, and he was playing the trombone in a brass band that visited the surrounding village churches. He would be gone for a while every Saturday and Sunday and those were their designated days to walk the promenade, coyly flirting, my mom in her tailored miniskirt and kitten heels and dad in his well-cut suit. On a cold November Sunday he demanded that she choose between him and the other man. Who would it be?
I can just imagine my mom looking up at him surprised. What was his hurry, she had probably murmured in her soft voice. My mom is very soft spoken. She couldn’t be rushed, she had most likely added. She was just twenty-one. And so my dad did what every honorable man of his time did. He paid a visit to my grandparents, laden with gifts and asked for my mom’s hand in marriage.
The only problem was that another of her suitors had beat him to it, and while she hadn’t been promised (as the decision was solely my mom’s), my grandparents prayed that she would choose the kindest of the two.
My mom took a while. She could see herself having a future with either of them. Finally she decided that she’d leave it up to fate. She’d pick the one she would first encounter, unplanned. She got herself ready, her long dark hair in a topknot popular in those days and went to meet a girlfriend. And whom should she meet on the way there? My dad, of course! Was it planned, a coincidence perhaps, or was it really a sign from God? No one’s telling. And my grandmother had a saying she loved to repeat over and over whenever I pressed her about it: God’s not into magic tricks.
A month later my parents were married, and almost two years after that I came along, the first of five children. Now, as they are preparing to celebrate their 42nd anniversary together, on New Year’s Day, I am praying for their long, happy marriage to continue, in good health and in love, side by side.
Happy New Year, to you all, my lovely friends. May the journey through 2012 be a blessed one, filled with joy, love, peace, good health, and prosperity.
I am sure it wasn’t so, but for some reason I remember all the Easter Sundays of my childhood as sparkling and bright. The long grasses we had picked together with our dad the day before, had been turned before bedtime into fluffy nests, and we found them the following morning to have been visited by the Easter bunny who brought sweets and treats all the way from America. I remember holding hands with my sisters, skipping on the cobblestone sidewalk in front of the house, waiting for our parents to lock up so we could go to church. In my memory, all our Easter dresses were variations of pink or purple, all our Easter eggs were red, and all the hymns sung that early morning in the coolness of the church, sent shivers down my spine.
My family loved keeping to tradition the Friday before Easter, slaughtering the baby lambs we played with and loved, allowing them to silently bleed to death, then turning them into stews and roasts. To this day, none of my siblings like the taste of lamb meat. They had spent too much time chasing a little lamb friend across the yard. We remembered too clearly the horror of their silence as the blood trickled down into the damp spring earth. Children do not recognize the importance of a symbolic ritual, no matter how often they may hear the story repeated.
The family gatherings after church were the best part of Easter Sunday. Uncles and aunts and cousins and close friends, everyone dear, together. The cracking of the colored eggs, the stories told of far away places and long ago days, the silences of stories not dared voiced, the laughter, the desserts. And somehow the sun was always shining and the food was plenty, and the later it got, the greater was the sadness that the day would have to end and Monday would come, and we would miss the togetherness and the memories we had made.
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