Ghosts linger around my Passover table 


The Passover of 2016 was tinged with sadness because I couldn’t help thinking of my childhood.  My parents and grandparents faded from sight; one right after the other, mostly without warning.

Grandma was a small, stout lady, with a face that I can’t really ever forget because I look so much like her, especially in my 66th year. My grandfather, was short in stature, but high on everyone’s respect list. He had a head full of beautiful white hair.

I remember going along with my tall, handsome, adored daddy to pick them up at their apartment. My grandmother would have her coat on, and announce to my grandfather that “the machine is outside, and it was time to go.” Why she didn’t just refer to it as the car was a mystery to me. I do remember she wore red old-fashioned shoes, a longish skirt, and a long sleeve blouse. She always carried a  black purse that held Dentyne gum. She would offer this special treat randomly to all her grandchildren.

We’d arrive at my house where we ate the standard dinner we always ate at holidays, it didn’t really matter which one. Mom was in charge and she didn’t appreciate any help.

There was always chopped liver and matzah ball soup, my mother’s tie to her ethnic background. We’d all gathered around  the kitchen table, my grandparents sitting next to each other on one side, my mother, wearing her blue apron, always up during the meal serving us.  My father and

My dapper grandpa, Harry Zelivyansky

My dapper grandpa, Harry Zelivyansky

My Grandmother, Miriam Zelivyansky when she was young.

My Grandmother, Miriam Zelivyansky when she was young.

Marilyn, Mom, Dad and me .

Marilyn, Mom, Dad and me .

My sister Marilyn and I with my dad outside of Grandma and Grandpa's house,

My sister Marilyn and I with my dad outside of Grandma and Grandpa’s house,

L to R: Eileen, Dad holding me, and Marilyn.

L to R: Eileen, Dad holding me, and Marilyn.

two sisters and I would take our familiar seats. It was usually turkey, sometimes a roast, salad, sweet potatoes, and a vegetable.

The Seder I remember was not too formal. I do remember my grandfather singing some prayers. He had a beautiful voice that I can almost hear when I close my eyes and concentrate.

Little did I know that one day my grandparents and parents would be long gone, but their presence would always linger; they’re always around me, like a loving purple aura.

This year I particularly missed them all, but I’m grateful for the love that is still there.

 

Les Miserable


If you’ve never seen the Broadway play of Les Miserable, maybe you’ll appreciate this clip from a 10th anniversary special. These were all the professionals who played the main parts.

I did enjoy the movie, but I was a little haunted by all the big voices I was used to hearing when I saw it live. This play is a particular favorite of mine.    I’ve seen it several times. What do you think?

The Circleville Pumpkin Show: Pumpkins galore!


Pumpkin Pie from a *real* pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie from a *real* pumpkin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Circleville Water Tower, one of t...

English: The Circleville Water Tower, one of the symbols of this Ohio city. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is a pumpkin show?

It’s a show showcasing Circleville pumpkins, gourds, and the people who grow them.

On the way to the pumpkin show, you might even spot some of the fall trees that are so gorgeous this Fall.  Today was a spectacular day!

My first official date with my husband in 1971 was at The Circleville Pumpkin Show;  so we went today for old time’s sake.  When he first asked me, I thought it was a little odd. I didn’t know about Circleville or pumpkin shows.

My first Circleville Pumpkin Show featured:

 *Pumpkins
*Pumpkin princesses (little and big)
* Fair Food .
* Parades

We went on the Ferris Wheel, and another shaky ride.

On the midway, a man couldn’t guess my age. I used to look very young.

My husband won a big stuffed animal for me.

Today
I  noticed all the festive houses decorated for the occasion. We only looked at the rides. Neither of us wanted to go on the Ferris wheel.

Pumpkin Festival food includes:

pumpkin pie
pumpkin ice cream
pumpkin shakes
pumpkin soda
pumpkin candy
pumpkin  Jo’s (A sloppy joe with pumpkin in it).

We ate french fries, pumpkin pie, and shared a pumpkin soda. It was weird, but it was a little different. It had a candy pumpkin in the bottom of the glass.

There was booth after booth of all sorts of stuff that I don’t really want or need. If I had money to burn I might’ve bought an artsy glass pumpkin.  I did think about getting a painted on tattoo. (Only for a minute.)

I didn’t want him to win a stuffed animal for me. He did ask. I don’t need any more stuff to clutter up my life.

I didn’t let anyone guess my age. I was afraid he’d get it right this time.

Kids like festivals
I sat down and watched some of the little kids riding on the kiddie rides.  It doesn’t take much to make a little kid happy. Just put them on a little roller coaster, or little merry-go-round.

We watched some little girls dancing in an inside stage area. They were cute, and wearing some pretty fancy costumes.  They seemed to be having a little trouble staying together, but it was entertaining. Their families looked proud.

A Crafts barn

My husband agreed to go in a crafts barn with me.  It had some pretty neat stuff: quilts, crocheted things, homemade sculptures, and very cool children’s art. That was the first time I’d spotted it

When we were going home, we reminisced about our lives together, and some of the trips we’ve taken to the Circleville Pumpkin Show. We manage to have fun each time.

Little Princess Pumpkin Parade

We left before we could watch the whole parade. There were little princesses, riding on tops of cars as far as the eye could see. Lots of bands were playing.

Go, it runs through, Saturday, October 20th.  You’ll see some crazy gourds and pumpkins. The prices of the food isn’t too bad. $2.00 for a slice of pumpkin pie is a pretty good deal.

If you go, tell me what you liked.  Did anyone else ever go on their first date at a festival?

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10 top reasons a Baby Boomer still misses her mother


Cover of "Chocolatherapy: Satisfying the ...

Cover via Amazon

My mother died 5 years ago. She died a day before Mother’s Day. (It wasn’t this exact date, but close enough). I still miss her all the time. I miss her when I have some good news to tell her. I miss her when I just want to talk. How many of us will dial the phone number after someone we loved has died just to hear it ring? I don’t do it any more, but I did for a little while after she died.

Here are my top 10 reasons for missing her.

  • 1. She loved me unconditionally, and I loved her back.
  •  2. She was a good listener.
  • 3. she was a link to my past although she started to forget it at the end. She called me by my childhood nickname.  I miss hearing her say it.
  • 4. She appreciated any little thing I did for her, no matter how trivial.
  • 5. She still tried to mother me any chance she got. One time the apartment she lived in sent up some extra food for her, and she asked me if I wanted it. (It was sweet).
  • 6. She was always happy and excited to see me.
  • 7. She was someone I could be around without watching everything I said.
  •  8. We had fun together. We loved to go to restaurants together. By the end of her life, that’s about all she could still do.
  •  9. She cared about my kids and husband and  always treated them like royalty.
  •  10. It still kept my father alive in some way. She never forgot stories about him. My only hope is that they’re together somewhere in some way.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom wherever you are!

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