Meatballs for Christmas

My friend D. makes meatballs every year as part of her Christmas extravaganza.  She has hosted Christmas Day for decades, welcoming anyone who drops by with a smile.  She prepares for weeks before.  On Black Friday she makes the  meatballs.

Now we have been friends for nearly 50 years.  We met in high school.  We were and are total opposites, proving the old adage that opposites do, indeed, attract.  She is meticulous in her appearance, her house is a showplace, she has great taste and she labors over things like what to serve a guest for dinner or what color to paint a room.  She is a “fretter”.  I am not.  I have often said that somewhere between her and me is the perfect person.

Honestly, though,  to me she is a perfect person.  All her fretting and stress is for love of friends and family.  She is never really about D.  She’s all about the rest of us.  She takes time to consider our lives and our feelings.  She is always there with a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.  She is always welcoming.  A cup of tea and some great conversation are things she and I share often.  I call her house the INN and her husband is the INN keeper.  As far as husbands go, he’s a winner.  He sits and listens to us cackle for hours and never makes me feel that I am infringing on his privacy. (By the way, my husband enjoys her company as well.  Just wanted to mention that).

My family lives close to her… I am 100 miles away.  When I visit, I stay with her.  My son and his family often visit me there and my grandson thinks that I live with Aunt D.  She knitted what turned out to be his favorite blanket.  He carries it everywhere.  She is part of the fabric of my family.

My point is, D. has been there through wedding night jitters, pre-baby jitters, personal crisis after personal crisis, illness, loss, happiness and joy.  She knows more about me than anyone else ever will.  She does not judge or criticize.  She is the definition of a friend and a perfect person.

So, when I shake my head at her stressing over the Christmas meatballs, it’s out of love and appreciation for having someone in my life who cares so much and so selflessly for others. I’m happy to be considered her friend.  I hope I am providing what she needs like she provides for me. I wish you all a friend like D.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great holiday and a great weekend.

Pickles, Pretzels and Piffle

I had the distinct pleasure of spending the night with my 3 year old grandson this week.  I have not done this before and did not know what to expect.  We decided to “camp out”.  That’s where you pull out the sofa bed in the living room and sleep there instead of in your bed in your room.  It seems he and Daddy do this on occassion and it’s fun.

E. loves to play Cut the Rope on my ipad, so that’s what we decided we would do.  He is amazingly good at this game for a kid his age and is very excited when the frog finally gets the candy.  If he has trouble with a particular level he hands it to me and says,”Here Grandma.  Tell me when you get it” and he goes off to do something else while I struggle with the game.  When I failed at one attempt, I used me safe word instead of a cuss word.  I said, “Oh piffle!”.  The kid went nuts laughing.  He laughed so hard I started laughing, and he kept saying ,”piffle, piffle, piffle.”

Time goes by and he’s on level 21 and he misses.  “Pretzel”, he says!  He starts laughing again and there I am laughing and crying and we are both hysterical and he says,”Piffle, Pretzel!” and continues to crack up.  This three year old is playing me!  He knows he’s funny and he’s stretching the bit!  So I start saying “Piffle, Pretzel” and he says, “Pickle”.  We are out of control now.  Every possible combination of  pickle, pretzel, piffle is flying around and we are in tears laughing and his Mom is upstairs with his baby sister wondering what the heck is going on with E. and G’ma.

When we calmed down, he said to me,”Will you stay until yesterday Grandma?”  He sometimes mixes up yesterday and tomorrow.  I said I would and we turned off the TV and went to sleep.

When he woke the next morning he said,”Grandma!  You stayed all night! PICKLE!”

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Community

You hear a lot about community nowadays. Community has many faces in an average life. Family, clubs, church, neighborhood,etc. There are many definitions and many manifestations of community.
I have a great family. A husband, two great kids and four beautiful grandkids, some very lovely in-laws, and a wonderful sister make up the community that is my family. Within it we interact as people do. We help eachother, agree and disagree, love and nurture and sometimes annoy the crap out of eachother. My point is, interactions vary like snowflakes within a community. But what about the communities in your life which are not made up of folks you actually know? I have been thinking about this lately, and have realized that you don’t have to know somebody to be in community with them.
Take ,for instance, where I live. A huge development with over 300 units is not exactly the ideal setting for making friends. You live on top of or below someone for years and the only interaction is a nod in passing. Yet, you know your community. There’s the “thumper” who lives upstairs who clomps around over your head so hard that the pictures on your wall go all kittywumpus. There’s the pilot guy who lives across the street and helps you shovel out from winter snow storms. And there’s the lady with the little dog who clomp, clomp, clomps down the stairs at 6:30AM in her big shoes to walk him before she leaves for work. I don’t know them, but I know them. They probably know me as the old gal from downstairs who food shops more than anyone else they know.
What really prompted me to post this today was my experience this morning at the local WaWa. There is a flow to things and a rhythm to this place that really struck me today. First, the parking parade. Everyone wants to get a pull-through spot so they don’t have to back out later. If you can’t find one, you have to calculate which car is most likely to vacate a pull-through spot first and park behind him. Next comes the door dance. I don’t know if other convenience stores have this action, but WaWa has two sets of doors to negotiate to get in or out. You always check to be sure nobody is behind you before letting go of the door. It is like a ballet and an opera, where everyone is stepping aside and saying ,”excuse me”, “thank you”, and “no problem”. The get your coffee routine is crazy. Don’t block the pots, don’t hog space at the condiment bar, get your cream and sugar and vamoos, all the time being very careful not to bump anyone or spill hot liquid on them. You see the same faces. The lady with the crazy hair who is at least 50 but is trying really hard not to be. There’s the great looking guy who looks exactly like a guy in your favorite TV show that gets hot chocolate every morning and nods a hello. How about the jolly fellow who flirts with all the ladies every day from his perch near the register? Is this the only interaction he will have today? It’s a community.
Anyplace that you frequent and are familiar and comfortable is a community that you are a part of. Take part. Contribute according to it’s specific requirements, and celebrate its people and its customs with joy. It’s part of your life and part of your day and part of who you are. Celebrate the communities in your life.

My First Post

This is the second time I have ever written anything that I thought anyone besides me would read. It is a little daunting. Will anyone be interested? Will it be good enough for folks to be entertained ? Is what’s important to me or interesting to me important or interesting to anyone else? My answer to these questions is “I hope so.”
In my younger days I made attempts at poetry and prose alike. I was pretty good for a kid, and might have kept up the effort, had I been given any encouragement at all. But I was labeled a dreamer and sent off to do meaningful and important “girl” things. I had not the backbone then to stand up for myself and my dreams. Well, I’ve got it now.
I want to tell my stories. I want to free the muse. I am a smart and vital person and I have lots to say. I also have lots of questions to ponder. Perhaps answers to some of them lie out there among the citizens of the WunderWorld that I find myself inhabiting.
If you pay attention to the people and things around you new thoughts and ideas will find their way to you. A wise person will learn something new every day. Eleanor Roosevelt said ,”Do one thing every day that scares you. ” Well, here I go. I’m scared and I’m excited and I’m ready to share. I hope you will enjoy what you read here.

Have a great day and thanks a lot for reading!