My favorite food

It’s so politically incorrect to love a good hunk of bread nowadays. All those carbs slathered with warm butter. Egad! A culinary disaster. Nevertheless, I love good bread. The crust must be crunchy and the inside must not turn to mushy flour as you chew it. It must have some flavor—it doesn’t matter if it’s sourdough, rye, wheat, dill or chile-cheese—as long as it has character.

People are like bread. They need substance and character. Most of all they need . . .

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Dignity

A flashback: a party in a Hispanic household, menudo simmering on the stove in the kitchen, people on folding chairs circling the living room with a tiny space in the center for dancing, lots of conversation and music. My young and handsome date asked a matronly woman on one of the folding chairs to dance. She accepted and danced with the greatest dignity I’ve ever seen. If dignity has a aura, she displayed it. Propriety and pride seemed to . . .

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Vespa

pink Vespa scooter

Marian’s 65th birthday present to herself was a Vespa. A pink one. Very sensible purchase, she said, because it gets 80 mpg.

I admit she looks ultra cool in her matching pink helmet and her pink leathers. I’m not sure she needs the leathers for her jaunts around the neighborhood, but she loves wearing the full getup. She calls out to people she passes, shouting, “. . .

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Street cleaners

I slowed to 5 mph behind a street cleaner. There was no room to pass, but I wasn’t in a patient mood. A little reckless driving would be cathartic, burn off some stress. I wanted to charge past this guy and leave streaks of rubber on the road behind me.

Then I saw three kids lined up like stair steps behind a fence, watching the street cleaning machine. And I remembered. I remembered how exciting it was to watch one of the ungainly machines creep up and down the pavement, sucking up debris and leaving wet tracks in its wake . . .

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Balloon

The car in front of me was filled with helium balloons. I assumed the driver was a mom on the way to decorate her kid’s birthday party, but I couldn’t see the driver for all the balloons.

A little head popped up in the back seat, twisted around to peer out the back window. Probably the only way the little guy could find a breath of air. I wondered if mom up in the front knew that the angel in the back seat had squirmed out of the proper seat belted position. The kid grinned and waved and I waved back.

It reminded me of the days before seat belts were the law when . . .

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Cuppa Coffee

“Just gimme a cuppa coffee,” he muttered. We called him Zorro because he wore a black hat and an oversized black duster every day of the year—hot or cold, it didn’t matter.

Some days Zorro had a few bucks and ate eggs, pancakes, bacon. Some days were just coffee days. I gave him a full pitcher of cream with his coffee.

If we had day-old pastry on Zorro’s lean, just-coffee days, I offered it to him free, but today we didn’t have any. I sneaked a glance at Mike on his stool over by the register. He was watching. Damn. He didn’t like me letting Zorro drink up a whole pitcher of cream. Might cost him a quarter . . .

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Hate crime

I propose that campaign ads should only contain documented acts the candidate has done for the good of the people. Any campaign ad that points out the horrors of the candidate’s opponent should be outlawed as a hate crime or something equally dire.

Negative ads are confusing. Okay, so you don’t like the opponent. But what have you actually done that it worth repeating and should earn my vote? That’s what I want to know. I can’t learn that from a negative ad. I want to know . . .

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Jump Rope Rhymes

Ronni over at Time Goes By got me thinking about childhood rhymes today. Remember all those jump rope rhymes that supposedly determined how many children you would have or the first initial of the person you were bound to marry? Dick and Jane sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

Everyone says kids grow up too fast today, but it seems to me that kids have always been interested in matters of love, sex, marriage, relationships and . . .

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Embrace

“Embrace your blessings,” I said, “and get off your pity potty.”

She wiped at the tears coursing down her cheeks as anger flashed in her eyes. She didn’t want to be reminded that she was wallowing in self-pity.

I had little hope of changing her lifetime pattern of doing nothing to change her situation while feeling sorry for herself about being in the situation. I . . .

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Gravel

I hid from the storm in a covered shelter with a concrete picnic table. It did no good. The wind blew sheets of water under my roof. Water ran down the mountain. It carried gravel from the trail with it, fast moving rocks and sticks obeying the laws of gravity while I tried to stay out of the way.

I tried to distract myself with pleasant thoughts. Happy times at picnic tables, lists of gravel-voiced singers like Dr. J and Tom Waits, rain storms I had enjoyed while safely ensconced in my warm home, . . .

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