Archive for May, 2011

May 24, 2011

Remember the Fiddler on the Roof song, “Traditions”?  What family traditions do you follow and are they uniquely yours, long time family, religious or acquired?

Recently I was speaking with a friend who was hoping that she was not going to get together for her birthday with her sister. I was surprised because I know she and her sister are very close. What I did not know is the tradition the sisters have since they were kids to celebrate their birthdays by going out to dinner at the same restaurant and ordering the same food every year. Year after year the restaurant is Denny’s!

Evidently her sister like many people who hold on to traditions fiercely, feel you can not deviate at all from the tradition. When my friend was growing up, Denny’s was close to their home and an acceptable place for kids to go alone. The traditional dinner menu, chicken fried steak! Now there are really good restaurants they can go to since they drive and order many things off a menu besides the fried mystery meat entre, but is that keeping with tradition?

Some people I know earnestly strive to set traditions for their families and their children. Just because you get together with someone for New Years Day does not mean it is a yearly occurrence, or is it? What if they think it is a tradition and you are breaking from it if you decline the invitation?

Some traditions are wonderful and stand the test of time. Many families just starting out yearn to make their own traditions. Over the years many families and individuals start new traditions and drop some of the old ones.  Holidays, vacations, family reunions are all laced with traditions. Are you embraced with traditions or saddled?

Jackie Kennedy Onassis set a tradition for her children to write in their own handwriting a poem and read it to her as a special gift. Caroline Kennedy continued the tradition with her children. A lovely way to get children acquainted with poetry. What a lovely way to keep a tradition going as the children mature. What Caroline doesn’t mention is who prompted the continuation of the tradition. There has to be a person that initiates and enforces a tradition otherwise, we all get a bit lazy. Are you the tradition maker, enforcer or recipient?


Meals On Wheels
May 17, 2011

Recently, instead of spending all day working at my desk I went with my husband on his delivery route for ‘Meals on Wheels’. What a great way to start the business week by taking a couple of hours to volunteer.

This ‘Meals on Wheels’ operation is run efficiently, happily, respectfully and rather yummy. Not to gush too much about what a good cause this mostly volunteer organization is in providing a hot meal and week-end meals, but more about what else it gives to its clients.  

All of the recipients are low income. Some live in their own homes. Some of the people live in state housing apartments or duplexes. Most of the people are elderly but some are younger and suffered an injury or an illness and live alone.

The ‘Meals on Wheels’ driver is sometimes the only person that these folks see in a day or open their door to let into their homes.  A quick conversation full of weather and pleasantries, and it is off to the next home. It is a quick and meaningful volunteer opportunity face to face helping those who need and appreciate a smile, a hello and a hot meal.

Having dealt with an elderly parent living alone, I know how important a good meal and a check-in is! Before my Mother went into assisted living she would sometimes have toast and tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the winter, two or three days could lapse before she would leave her home or see anyone in person because of the snow. Luckily for our family we have a wonderful cousin who became my Mother’s own personal meals on wheels program. Most people are not this fortunate!

If your city, or county has a ‘Meals on Wheels’ program and you have the flexibility to volunteer before the lunch hour, look into it. The thrill of volunteering!

Superstitions and Explanations
May 9, 2011

Friday May13th is the only Friday the 13th for 2011. Are you superstitious? Is this an ominous day for you or one for fun? Does breaking a mirror, or walking under a ladder give you pause?  Do you suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia? (The official name for fear of Friday the 13th, or a name someone made up!)

I looked at some other superstitions and thought it would be fun/spooky to share:

Spilling salt
Spilling salt means bad luck or going to have a quarrel.
In order to avoid the bad luck or to prevent a quarrel, one has to throw a pinch of salt that was spilled over Your shoulder.

Black cat
If you see a black cat, you should spit (three times) over your left shoulder. Only if it crossed your path otherwise is it bad. But if you take 7 steps backward, you can get your luck back just in case.

Whistling in the house
It is not good to whistle inside a house, because you will lose your money.
In Dutch there is a saying “Boys who whistles gets a girl with a fortune”.

Opening an umbrella
Never open an umbrella in the house because you may lose the house.

Bouquets must have an odd number of flowers
Thus, never give 4, 6, 8 flowers to a person because bouquets with even numbers are for funeral ceremonies or cemeteries.

My Favorite: Sewing a hole in a garment
It is not good to sew a hole while wearing the garment. In case you keep your garment on, put a piece of the sewing thread in your mouth.
Explanation: Using an iron needle may attract evil spirits. During sewing you may hurt yourself. The thread in the mouth functions as a channel to leave the bad spirit out.
If someone else does it to you the person may sew your mind; which means that afterwards you cannot think anymore.

What superstitions do you follow?

Mother Knows Best
May 2, 2011

As we age some friendships fall by the wayside. We were friends because of work or because of the kids or the neighborhood, and then circumstances change, and friendships wane. Some friendships end with death. Getting older means this occurrence happens more often.

My father who died at age 86 had outlived all of his close friends. He was then friends with what he called the ‘B’ List.  This may sound mean but it was really just realistic. The guys he really wanted to play golf, play cards and hang out with were all gone.

While I still have many “A” lists friends, I did lose one to cancer last year. This is the anniversary of her death and over the week-end I bumped into her son who I haven’t seen in a year. He is a handsome young man, with an MBA and gainfully employed. He was meeting some friends for lunch and we could only catch up for a few minutes. I asked about his girlfriend and was told they broke up.

My friend never cared for the son’s girlfriend, but never mentioned it to anyone but her girlfriends. At my friend’s funeral the son’s girlfriend was not dressed appropriately, too short of a skirt, fishnet hose, and a neckline showing all her tattoos and more while walking up and down the aisles. There usually is one such person at most funerals that cannot resist the attention of an audience, and she was ‘it’.

I was thrilled to hear his news about his break-up, but restrained my reaction. He mentioned that his Mom never got close to the old girlfriend and asked me did I know why?  I was able to say in all honesty that his Mother was very intuitive, and perceptive. His reply sent me into tears, “Yeah, Mom always did know best”.

Happy Mother’s Day to all intuitive perceptive Mothers who do as a matter of fact know best!