Sunday, November 28, 2010

the beat goes on

They had so much fun; my parents and their friends.  I'd give anything to be hanging out with them, the way it was back then. 

My mom says we measure our lives in decades.  

To a great extent, I measure my life by their decades.

Such vivid details I've stored; the earliest and most nostalgically memorable, are of Cooper Drive.  There we lived smack in the middle of The American Dream.  

It was a small house in a new suburb.  Hip black and white linoleum tiles were laid out in a dizzying pattern.  We had a tiny concrete patio outside the sliding glass door.  Occasionally, Big Dan, our distant neighbor's Basset Hound, would lumber up to our door and my dad would call his owner, who would come and lead the old dog home.

The kitchen had a built-in, curved, counter top.  I'd sit with my dad on the bar stools while my mom fried oysters for him.  He'd eat them in batches while they were hot, passing some to me.  I don't know if I really liked them or if I just really liked sitting there with my dad. 

That was the decade the music started for me. 

There was always music.  My mom was a jazz singer, my dad, a jazz aficionado and her biggest fan. 

The stereo cabinet housed a turntable and beneath were two doors which you slid left to right or right to left, depending on which album (stacked alphabetically) you wanted.  From that little cabinet came trios, quartets, sextets, big bands, and Sunday operas.  My favorite-----Bossa Nova! 

             "Tall and tan and young and lovely...."

Getz/Gilberto/Jobim would be playing as my parents dressed to go out for the evening.  Mom's dress always had a zipper up the back.  She'd hug me goodbye, leaving the slightest trail of Arpege. 

There were spontaneous, neighborhood parties too.  It was a cocktail world back then; wine was rare.  My dad had a tall martini pitcher.  Whenever he made a batch, I'd hear the clink-clink, clink-clink of the long, glass stirrer as it hit the sides of the glass pitcher.  Then the doorbell would ring and the music would start. 

I wish I could find that pitcher.  I'd give it to my friend Cindy. 

She had a Friday afternoon martini party long ago.  She served the classic drinks in sixties-style martini glasses.  You know the ones---just small enough to assure your martini will still be cold when you reach the olives.

My parents are in their eighties now and have lost most of their friends.  They look at me and see decades they wish they could have back.  I look at them and long for decades as rich as theirs.

The music continues. 

A day doesn't pass that my dad's not playing something from his vast collection and Mom and I have been hanging out at local wine bars, listening to live jazz.   

I'm soaking up all I can from this decade of theirs; one day, one song, and one martini sangiovese at a time.

Cindy's Sixties Martini

Keep the martini glasses in the freezer. 
(More than one, just in case.)

Keep the gin in the refrigerator. 
(Boodles highly recommended.)

Put one or two drops of extra dry vermouth in the frozen glass.  Swirl and pour out any that does not cling to the sides. 
(If you've had a really bad day, skip this step.)

Fill the martini glass with Boodles, leaving room enough for two, large green martini olives or a nice sliver of lemon rind.

Monday, November 22, 2010

may i present

Isn't she beautiful? 

You can almost hear the red trumpets blow, announcing her arrival.

Kevin and I've been talking to her every morning.  We're getting quite attached.

I wish she could stay forever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

i am woman

I met a lady named Florence.

She wore a turban on her head. 

I was instantly drawn to her by her name, since Florence is, as you know, my favorite city.  Also, I'll let you in on a little family secret.....  I was conceived in a small town named Florence.  

I find that so fitting. 

Florence is the founder of Noble Women Of Impact, an organization which works to provide opportunities for women in Uganda. The evening I met Florence, she was a guest at a Women Intelligently Networking meeting.  She told us a story about her homeland, giving us such insight into the lives of those Ugandan women.  Her story went something like this:

A woman wanted to attend a cake-baking class being offered to the women in her village.  She walked to the class even though it was a far distance.  Her husband owned a bicycle but she dared not ride it without permission and she knew that to ask, might cause disagreements about her attending the class.

That afternoon she learned how to bake a cake and proudly brought hers home, serving her husband a piece of it that night.  He was very surprised to hear that she had attended the class but so happy to have cake that he told her she could not only keep attending but she could ride his bicycle to and from classes.

I purchased a cloth from Florence that night and have since joined in with other Networking women, each of us trying to sell three strands of beads for the organization. 

The necklaces can be worn singly or wrapped twice.  Here's the amazing part; they are made of paper.  

Begun by a woman named Margaret, in the town of Jinja, forty-seven other women now make the necklaces to sell in the bead co-op.  They twist long, thin triangles of magazine paper into shapes and string them, along with small, colorful beads.  The necklaces are then varnished.  Each one is $20.

I know, it sounds like an awful lot for a strand of paper beads.

But the next time you kick back with that second glass of Shiraz, take a minute; those three necklaces will send a child to school for an entire year.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

under the radar

Okay, maybe I did have just a wee bit of vino before Sunday's Anna Bolena.  But I wasn't seeing things.

I love the Winspear.  That blood red!  That chandelier!

Spoke and I were walking through the beautiful lobby; soaking up the space before the show.  Just to my right, close enough to touch, was First Lady Laura Bush. 

Not one to be star struck, I was star struck.  Like the rest of the crowd though, I managed to stare discreetly.  That wasn't our give-away.  It was the hush that had come over the lobby bar as we all watched her get in line with everyone else.

A First Lady not wanting to be first.  

There was no privileged exiting either.  She stayed til the fat lady sang.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

you know who you are

We fly a flag here at 3906.

We will always fly a flag.  I can't imagine ever not flying a flag.

It's such a little thing.  But oh, it's such a big thing.

Happy Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010