Thursday, December 12, 2013

Oh, the Holidays

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Last night I was walking the puppy when all of a sudden some black ice found it’s way under my feet.  It was 6:00pm, there was no light, and the ground was hard. Unable to stop my forward progress, I skied (without the benefit of ski’s) down the small hill in the front yard… fell forward, and landed hard on my left knee.  I yelled and yelled for David. In the meantime, the small flashlight slipped out of my hand.  The puppy picked it up and began to circle me. When David finally made his way outside, the light helped him to find me in the dark. Despite the obvious pain I was experiencing, it was hilarious.  Tyrone is applying for his Gaffer license.

This is not an “oh! poor me”, blob.  It is rather a reflection on mankind’s vulnerability.  You know better than to believe that for a moment, I hope. No, this blob is about the pithy and insightful thinking I do.

Yesterday, when I was shopping for a table on which to set up the new record  player, (it’s a real old time player that plays and transfers music from LP’s, 33, 78 and 45’s to a computer – we have thousands of these vinyls  but haven’t heard them in years.) I was thinking about what happens when my generation of cousins is gone.  It wasn’t heavy thinking all that. In fact it brought back memories of pretty funny stuff.   Like, who will be there to remember that when Aunt Helene laughed, she always laughed so hard she peed in her pants.  Or when Aunt Fritzie made kippers, the house smelled like fish and onions for three weeks.  Or that Aunt Betty bought  all our sexy lingerie when we got married.  Or that Aunt Sophie bought plastic tablecloths, fitted them, cut them, and if she didn’t like the way it looked, returned them – in their original packaging, (no easy task).  Or when anyone needed advice, Aunt Peppy happily offered it – even when not asked. And the advice was always colorful.

With some work, (as shown in The Gefilte Fish Chronicles)  memories, recipes,  and traditions,  are passed from one generation or the other, there are some things that you cannot pass on. The sound of a voice or laughter, the smell of perfume or after shave, or the feel of a hug. If you didn’t experience those things in person,  it is almost impossible to duplicate.  When mom died, her helper at the retirement home asked if she could take a bottle of the perfume she always wore.  It was her way to keep mom in her life. But she couldn’t duplicate the look she gave us when she was aggravated.  We can reproduce the tea and jelly grandpa made for us. And  we can retell the stories Aunt Sarah told us.  But we can’t see the expression on their faces.  It’s a little too much reality for my taste.

People often offer diametrically opposed platitudes.  Some of my personal favorites are,   “Life must go on,” or “Never put off anything you want to do, because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”  And “you need to wait for your turn and good things will come.”  That’s pretty much like,  “Save today, because you cannot predict the future.”  All this is to say, -- We should all be encouraged to live our lives with good memories of the past, and enormous hope that we will be remembered in the future.  What I want people to remember about me is that I was kind, funny,  honest and had a clear sense of who I was.

When I write one of these blobs, I never know how to finish them.  So I will leave with this thought.   Once you have tasted the grapes of wrath you will ever be satisfied with bananas.  Happy Holidays.  We’re Just Sayin’… Iris


jsbx101 said...

Iris, There is a wonderful book call The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Murial Barbery. It's a good read so I am not spoiling by telling you that at the end one of the key characters says...."because I will be searching for those mementos of always within never..." Those memories of the smell, the look, the voice, the attitude, those are my moments of always within never and I cherish them all. Would that we could bottle them and pass them along the next generation. Wishing you, David and Tyrone all the best in the calendar New Year. Jesse

calvininjax said...

"Once you have tasted the grapes of wrath you will ever be satisfied with bananas."

I am struggling to work out whether it should be "Once you have tasted the grapes of wrath will you ever be satisfied with bananas?" or "Once you have tasted the grapes of wrath, you will forever be satisfied with bananas."

That's just me wearing my copy editor's hat.

Is it original? If so, I think it is a splendid saying or has the makings of a splendid saying.