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My cousins (the dears!) sent me this bowl from their late mother’s estate. It was our grandfather’s. I have not seen it since the 70s. I had forgotten all about it but when it came out of the box I instantly remembered it. A flood of memories came out of the bowl like a genie from its lamp.
I can still see Grandfather’s den with its wooden panels and artifacts. These could have been from anywhere, but I imagined them from someplace magical like Oz or Narnia or Middle-Earth. As you sat in Grandfather’s large red leather chair to your right on the light stand stood this shiny bowl. It is of the Art Deco style, made of stainless steel perhaps. I never knew the story where he got it. I was more intrigued to know its contents, for in it was candy.
There was nothing exquisite about the sweets. Grandfather went for the ‘old lady’ types of candy, such as jelly beans, spice drops, and little chocolate dots with white spots which cracked when you bit down on them. As I never saw anyone buy or put candy into the bowl, there was a belief the sweets just appeared by magic. It was from this mysterious bowl I first encountered candy corn. I thought candy corn strictly a Halloween thing but finding some in the bowl in May seemed a sort of miracle, like finding a snowdrift in the heat of August.
Back then the sweets were oh so delicious. Did they make better tasting candy then I wonder or is it a false memory, coloured by time?
My cousins tactually packed the bowl with a bag of gumdrops.
It is quite a delight to hold it again, extract a sweet, and remember…..
One of the many pleasures of going home last holiday was rummaging through various boxes and drawers trying to find something only to find something else. The Brothers Spo discovered all sorts of sundries and bricolages that haven’t seen daylight in decades. Perhaps you have found similar; ancient things that immediate evoke instant memories when discovered even though you’ve forgotten all about them.
When Brother #2 and I were boys, our grandparents would traveled and when they returned they brought us hats, kimonos, helmets, and other wearing apparel. I remember receiving a bullfight costume from Spain, a Chinese get up that no proper 1960s Communist would be caught wearing, and fezzes from Morrocco.*
My favorite found were the Bavarian hats brought to us from a trip to Munich. We had a look-see in the family photo album and lo! There they was the original! :
Mein Bruder und ich in unseren Hüten.
There is nothing more amusing than donning chapeaus that haven’t seen daylight for nearly fifty years. They gave us great pleasure to wear.
Alas, we couldn’t find the lederhosen, which is a pity, but perhaps for the best. I daresay they wouldn’t fit anymore.
Mein Bruder und ich JETZT in unseren Hüten.
*When the fezzes were pulled out of their boxes, the nephew’s eyes widened with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise. They each took one home on the axiom “Fezzes are cool”. I dare say they thought these the best Christmas presents, surpassing all others – including the Spo-shirts I made them.
**That’s German for Jolly good fun !
Visiting the folk’s home has been a frolic, but also full of nostalgia. I can’t open a drawer without finding some lost item or knickknack unseen for decades. I found Brother #3’s baby pillow and #2’s books. While rummaging through the shelf above the stove (looking for some matches) I came across this item:
This little bunny mug was my first ‘big boy’ cup. I must have received it when I was about four. I have not seen it in maybe fifty years. It is one of those things if you asked me directly I would have no memory of such, but upon laying eyes on the cup, I instantly recalled it. I asked Mother if there was some sort of story behind it. Perhaps the cup was an heirloom from some distant relation or had been purposely chosen among a myriad of mugs to be my special sipping mug. All she could remember was one of her friends (she didn’t know which) gave it to me as a when she mentioned I was old enough to handle such. She remembered too it was the receptacle out of which I drank cocoa. I would not use anything else. Sometimes out of whimsy I had some Campbell’s Chicken Noodle (or Star) soup. Then I was too young for tea; she did not remember bunny mug being used for such.
Considering I drop and break everything I own (given enough time), the intact mug is a sort of miracle.
Needless to say I got all warm and runny inside over the notion Mother had saved it.
Throughout the holiday weekend I was Tea-master to wit I continually made tea to serve the troops. They all got china cups and saucers, but I drank from my bunny mug. I was pleased as punch.
Mother thinks I should take the mug back to AZ, but I think not. I like the notion of it staying ‘in the past’, here in MI, waiting for me when I next visit. Using it was a pleasant perk to a splendid Christmas weekend.
Do Spo-fans have a precious childhood object? Do tell.
*Actually she saves nearly everything. She gets this from her Mother’s side . It’s all that Nordic blood, I dare say.
UPDATE! I found these two bowls. How funny is memory. I remember the mug but don’t recall the bowls. Mother remembers we ate our cereal from them, Brother #2 and I.
Last night was the annual office holiday party. We did the annual white elephant exchange. The rules of the ritual: pick a prize, open it and decide to keep it or ‘steal’a previously opened prize. Some of the more coveted or outrageous prizes were stolen a few times (although there was a limit of 3x stolen).
I was #6 in the line. #5, the wife of the Boss-man, opened this:
It is a metal ‘tree’ with green and red candle votives. My eyes widened. My face was suddenly lit with joy with the radiance of a brilliant sunrise. I could not believe The Fates had delivered such a gift. I stole it in a second. I told this tale:
When I met Someone he had this decoration. He hated it. He explained he got it at a time when he could not afford better trimmings or even a tree. It reminded him of bleak times; he thought it cheap christmas trash. Before I knew this I fell in love with it. Every holiday I got it out and he would roll his eyes and ask why. This mild fracas was an annual Christmas tradition. About five years ago some of the votive candle broke. I was heart broken; Someone smiled a bit.
The white elephant Christmas tree votive was a must-have-or-perish. I host malevolent looks at anyone who dared consider stealing it.
When Someone came home from ushering he asked what I got at the party. I told him to brace himself and close his eyes. I was relieved he didn’t weep or clutch his chest in a heart spasm but laughed out loud and thought it funny; he understood in a flash.
Alas, it is missing a votive candle and it wants cleaning but these are small matters. Synchronicity has us maybe without a tree this year. This cheap little one will do. I hope it brings us tidings of great joy, or at least warm memories of dating twenty years ago.
Samhain – or All Hallow’s Eve – is Urs Truly’s favorite holiday. This year’s entry is a”Curious Things” rather than a “Spo-reflection”. In the House of Spo Hallowe’en candy is a serious subject. I say feh to the usual imperial tid-bits to give out real treats, no rubbish. There is a a strata of sweets, depending on the beggar before me:
The “A” Candy.
This is for the munchkins in proper and clever costumes, and who are gracious and remember to say thank you. This year’s “A” candy are proper sized chocolate bars.
The “B” Candy.
The “B” sweets are for the hoi polloi and the hobbit-folk in decent enough costumes. They each will get two parcels of Sour Patch kids.
The “C” Candy.
Children who are a) not in costume or b) brazen or c) just plain impudent get Smarties (cauldron not included. Two are given if the brat is only mildly bad; one if he’s a little brute.
This year there is a bonus bonbon. I had to hide the ‘A” candy chocolate bars as Harper kept eating them – or so Someone said when I questioned the shortcomings. So I squirreled them away only to forget abut them. Meanwhile I came up with another “A” candy – which is now the “A+” candy for tykes with superior costumes or who have’élan’ or come to my door with handsome dads. I’ve put several square of chocolate together tied up in a black pipe-cleaner. Suffer, Martha!
It has been a long time – over a year! – since there was a ‘curious things’ entry. I suppose this is because there is nothing curious in these parts. More likely: I simply forgot to do so.
Yesterday as the refrigerator men were hauling away the old and bringing in the new, I spotted a large marble on the floor. I picked it up and asked the man if he had lost his marble. He was initially taken aback by this question but upon seeing the marble he assured me with a grin it was not. He conjured it had rolled out from underneath the fridge during the moving process. He’s seen this sort of discovery before; the marble must be mine. The glass orb was heavily coated with dust and grime, supporting his hypothesis it had come from under the GE.
I washed off the gunge and found it was a lovely thing. Later, when Someone came home from work, he rationalized it must have been the the boy’s marble, the boy in the family from whom we bought the house. This seemed reasonable so I didn’t argue against it.
My marble metanoia unsettled me. We bought the house (with fridge) ten years ago; the marble had been sitting under it for over a decade. As a boy this sort of discovery would put me into hysterics for I had lot of belief toys had souls. Imagine this poor disconsolate marble, weeping away for over at decade, suffering so from separation anxiety, for his long-gone master.
I thought of contacting the former owners to inform them I found the boy’s marble and would he like it back. Chances are the boy is now in his 20s and hardly interested in marbles, nor would he remember it. His parents would think I had lost my marbles or (worse) think me a perv for wanting to get in touch with their son, the marble a mere pretense to do so.
So I guess I will keep this glass gem although I am not sure what to do with it. On the dresser is a small box for bricolages. The marble can join the other curious but useless knick-knacks I can’t seem to discard.
On second thought perhaps I should roll it under the new fridge and let the next owner find it twenty year’s hence. If marbles could talk . . . .
The old bathroom scale is mercurial in providing my weight. It’s an old scale; I daresay some of the part aren’t functioning properly. As I get on and off and on again, it provides a series of readings with a rather large standard deviation. The ritual is I take the average of a few ascents or I pick the lowest reading.
Like a broken clock that is right twice a day (while a slow clock is never correct), by using it as my only scale I get a consistent inconsistency.
Last week Someone came home from Bloodbath and Beyond with this king-size titanic unsinkable Molly Brown new scale. As you can see, it is clear with digital readings in pounds and kilos. To my horror it tells me I am nearly seven pounds heavier than I was last week on the old one. Someone, always the rationalist, thinks this is Thanksgiving weight gain. I found it amazing (and abhorrent) I could have gained seven pounds in one week. Alas, this scale doesn’t have readings swings but is like plain-song la la la one one note, or weight. We are not amused. I brought up the possibility it was faulty and should be brought back to the store for a refund. Someone states he weighs more too, about seven pounds. So we have been living is fool’s paradise as it were.
As you can see from the photograph, the new scale is more transparent both figuratively and literally. When I step off from the clear plate I leave behind my carbon footprint. I anticipate Mr. Scale will need frequent wipes with Windex.
My saving grace about the seven pound increase is my trousers aren’t tighter. I put on a pair of jeans not worn in months and lo! they are no tighter. Along the logic in the ‘witch trial’ scene in “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” I’ve concluded I am not fatter but more dense. Carl Sagan states we derive from star-stuff; I must be slowly translating back into a star – a neutron star. The thought is comforting especially if it means I will become more bright and cynosure and men can’t resist gravitating towards me.
Another Spo-fan request: show us your ornaments! I can’t deny this Spo-fan anything; what he asks I do….
Our christmas ornaments are a sundry of lovelies, precious and kitsch, plastic, wood, and glass; a hodgepodge of different types accumulated over the years. There is nothing ‘thematic’ about our ornaments .I try to get a new trinket whenever we travel. It is a work in progress without any long term vision.
If you live in Michigan then it is obligatory to have a Bronner’s bulb with your name on it.
I have several Pacific Northwest ornaments, made of cedar wood.
My christmas teapot.
There several bears of various sizes and shapes.
Somebody didn’t do their research. Only male cardinals are red. This made in Korea ornament has two male birds making a nest together. Naturally it was a must-have-or-perish item.
Out of whimsy several years ago I got the Teletubbies. I think they are sort of stupid now, but every year they go up on the tree nevertheless
I have several glass ornaments in the shape of aloha-style shirts. Lovely!
Harper has a few of her own.
When all the ornaments are up, we hang the icicles and wrap the tree in ribbons.
I promised a dear and handsome Spo-fan I would blog about our christmas tree ornaments. The problem is they are not all up yet. I’ve had little time to do much of anything other than work. Last Friday the cable at work ceased to function; we had no telephone service and no internet access to the electronic medical records. Can you imagine? It all came back up today, which was good. However, there was a sudden birage of telephone calls, faxes, electronic prescriptions. On top of it all I need to translate 30 progress notes into the system. No fun, this.
Usually Someone can erect the Christmas tree and trimmings while I am a-working but the poor man has contracted my flu. We are both exhausted. Tonight we started to decorate the tree but we had to stop. I needed to do my some charting and Someone couldn’t hold up from sickness.
At the rate we are going it will be this weekend before things are up and looking like Christmas.
Here is our Christmas tree skirt. I made years ago and I don’t remember when. I am rather proud of it, for I had never made something like this before. It turned out well. Harper is my super model in showing it off.
Tomorrow’s forecast says it will be sunny and in the upper 70s tomorrow, so we can open up the windows and blow out the miasma of flu-filled air. Tomorrow night we have tickets to see the luminaries at the botanical gardens. This is under the proviso I am not swamped with work and Someone can breathe.
It’s late and we both need sleep, even if it is artificially induced by antihistamines.
Someone likes Nyquil; I like hot toddies.
I don’t suppose either makes any difference, but it feels good to do something.
I haven’t done a “Curious Things around the house” in a very long time. More’s the pity, for there are many curious things around the house indeed. They are always good for a ‘I can’t think of what to blog about today’ entry.
This is not a black pylon from Mr. Kubrick’s “2001”. It is a roller; it is made of hard foam rubber. TPT (the personal trainer) would have me use it every day prior to exercise. I put it down on the ground, lay on top of it, and roll back and forth. Roll roll roll. They come in various sizes, colours, and hardness.
Mine is quite hard, and often covered with hair.
The point: to break up the muscle knots and loosen up fascia. Fascia is the fibrous wrapping that surrounds muscle, like plastic wrap. Fascia gets tight, and needs breaking down to allow better blood flow in and out of the muscles.
This maneuver is not a easy at is sounds. It can be rather painful. I fall off frequently. In my youth, rolling on the floor (or down grass hills) used to be easy. Nowadays my bony habitus feels every bump; ouch! But it feels oh so good to have the lower back muscles squeezed and hear the thoracic bones pop and crackle. I have the tightest IT bands and these are proving obstinate to loosen up. Rolling sidewise to address them is proving more difficult than a Cirque de Soleil act.
But it is a ‘good hurt’. Afterwards I vow to roll everyday. I have made this resolution a thousand times.