The other day I happened upon a display of Moonpies in my local grocery store. Now living in the Northeast, I hadn’t seen or thought about the chocolate-covered, marshmallow cookies in years and just the sight of them brought back summer memories of childhood in the Midwest. Moonpies. RC Cola. The Cubs on the radio. Taking off my sneakers to wade in a cold, muddy creek. Moonpies: a time machine inside each wrapper.
Even as meteorologists forecast another winter storm, the appearance of gardening catalogues portends the arrival of Spring. Of course the glossy pages promise flowers and vegetables airbrushed to perfection, not the humble denizens of my gardens. And yet, like Eve, the apple tempts and the rose calls, “Come hither. This year, I’ll turn your flowerbeds into the bees’ knees.”
And I turn down pages and circle my favorites. Even as Spring comes each year, every year I’m certain things will work out better than the last. Japanese beetles will remain at bay, mites and aphids will disappear and the plants will thrive.
Until then these glossy pages fuel a gardener’s imagination.
Pewter sky, frozen world,
Geese honk overhead,
As if spring is nigh
After congratulating me or saying, “Mazel tov,” after learning that I’m going to be a grandmother in a few months, a surprising number of people also asked me what I want to be called. The first time, it took me a moment to realize what the person was asking. Then she said that she is “Bubbe” to her grandchildren. My husband had a Bubbe and a Mom Mom. I had a Grandma and a Nanny. My mother’s grandchildren call her Grammy. Another friend is using Mimi.
I know that whatever the baby calls me when he’s old enough to talk will be music to my ears.
The wind sends leaves circling
Red, yellow, brown
Where has time gone?
Winter’s icy fingers will be here soon– too soon
Summer hikes up her skirt and flees
“Enough Said” is a sweet flick, featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini as middle aged divorcees who manage to conjure romance in the throes of middle age.
But for this movie goer, Gandolfini’s recent demise tinged the entire experience with melancholy. After Gandolfini came into our home week after week as Tony Soprano, he came to be a familiar personality rather than a distant celebrity. His untimely death came as a shock. Not nearly enough lived — or enough said.
Federal officials have said the Great Recession is over. Maybe that’s true by whatever criteria they use. But if it’s really over, why are there so many beggars, and in places I’d never encountered them before? No longer content to beg on city streets, the suburbs have become prime begging turf. Even in upscale Lower Merion, I was accosted by a beggar outside a convenience store. On a recent day in Cheltenham, outside the drug store and at a gas station, two different beggars plied their trade. One, a woman, held up a sign that said she was homeless, hungry and has diabetes.
The musical cicada chorus invokes childhood days when I rode my bike along the side of gravel roads to an old covered bridge that stands near Springfield, Illinois.
The heat, the relentless sun, the Queen Ann’s lace and milkweed growing in roadside ditches, with monarch butterflies punctuating the green with orange flashes. Here and there a tree would offer welcome shade. I’d pause and listen to the sound of those bugs that we then called “locusts.” There vibrating chant marked the long summer days.
Finally, the bridge would appear as the road sloped down. Beneath it a small creek made its way through taller weeds and elms draped a canopy over its passage through time.
I was reading the directions for my new hair dryer and came across one that seemed strange: Do not use while sleeping.
Now who would use a hair dryer while sleeping?
Then I remembered accounts of people on a certain medication having middle of the night feeding frenzies and driving their cars. But if you’re in a sleepwalking state, would you remember to follow directions like not to use your hair dryer while sleeping? It gets curiouser and curiouser, Alice.
Author Thomas Wolfe’s title “You Can’t Go Home Again” sums up my reaction to the new Star Trek movie “Star Trek Into Darkness.” While on one level, it’s an enjoyable action-adventure movie, on another level, I just could not relate to the new actors playing the cherished characters from my childhood favorite show, “Star Trek.”
In no way does Chris Pine inhabit Captain Kirk, formerly portrayed by William Shatner. And Zachary Quinto makes a pale shadow of Leonard Nemoy’s Mr. Spock. In the same vein, the other characters, Scotty, Dr. McCoy, and Lt. Uhura do not compute. Better to have moved on with an entirely new venture, rather than this soon to be forgotten flick.