Archive for the ‘Food For Thought’ Category

A Light Dusting Of Appreciation

June 5, 2016

by Florence Ondré    c. 9/5/11


Do they remember?

What do they remember; growing up; the good times; the bad; the joys;

the sorrows; the lessons I taught; the energy in which they were taught?

Do they remember the kindness; the silly; the serious; the laughter;

the love?

How do they perceive and pass on these things?

Do they remember the warp and the wealth;

the ills and the health?

And how did living with me affect them? In what ways were they shaped?

What ways do they pass on to their children?

Are their kindnesses, boundary settings with their children reflective

of my power of example, added to with the shine of joy they beam to their children?

What failing and mistakes of mine became their opportunities to find

their own better ways?

Do they remember?

Did they see the efforts on my Mother/Father part to give them more than I had?

Do they remember food stamps and welfare in proportion to prosperity?

Did they know the truth? Do they Care?

Do they have gratitude for the simple things?

Will they wonder these things years from now too?

I know I am eternally grateful for their being gifts every day of my life.

They grew to wonderful persons with family and paths of their own.

And I grew….older.

Do they have a light dusting of appreciation to occasionally waft my way in their busy lives?

I wonder.

I wish.

And then, at the end of a silver heartstring, I let go and simply keep on loving;

unconditionally loving… and letting go becomes the next gift.









November 30, 2013

Woke up this morning in the afterglow of yesterday’s lovely, simple and fun Thanksgiving/ Channukkah afternoon.  I can still hear the laughter, see the smiles on everyone’s faces and smell and taste the delicious racks of ribs my son proudly cooked on his beloved bbq/smoker.
(right here is where I ask my dear vegetarian friends to please turn away. avert your eyes! please, don’t judge me)

Picture a tall, happy looking guy standing outside his garage in the freezing cold; bundled up for winter; scarf wrapped around his neck, hands gloved and a nice knitted hat covering his head and ears (ok. it was a bright yellow wool ‘minions’ hat; one half of a two part set knitted by his wife for him and his 3 yr old son for their duo costumes on Halloween, but it did lend the chef a jaunty, humorous air to his serious business of seasoning)

Not being much of a rib gal after Tony Roma’s closed, this newly acquired culinary artistry escapes me…until yesterday….

Watching my grown son lovingly lavishing his attention to tending his culinary creation at the finish line of 8 (count ’em, 8!) hours of basting, turning, temp checking with the precision of a surgeon, was enough to rope me in to at least trying this entree again.

He proudly took me into his kitchen and showed me his impressive array of spices, sauces and rubs; explaining his process of how he chooses which for what reason and how he makes his own combinations for just the right flavors of sweetness and spice for each rack.  I listened with respect as he described the stages of the cooking and reasoning behind each to bring about perfection.

In honor of tradition and with permission from the my son, the host, we’d brought a small roast turkey with trimmings. (and honestly, for me, just in case I didn’t fancy more than a polite bite of ribs…I mean, two whole racks of ribs! Who’s gonna eat them on Turkey Day?)

Under the heading of ‘O ye of little faith,’ he opened the promise land lid, plated those babies and ‘ta da’d’ them into the kitchen with the flair of Guy Fieri  confident in his grillwork or Moses parting the sea.

They looked falling off the bone delectable; tantalizing, scintillating, aromatic and tasted tender, sweet and woody smoked.

I went from ‘oh, I’ll try them because my son made them,’ obligatory to bbq sauce mustachioed convert with the first mouth watering bite.  I found myself thinking, ‘Will two racks be enough?’

It was a stand up feast in the kitchen and those bad boys were gone before you could say, “Let’s eat!”

Wow!  All those hours to make/minutes to devour; leaving only the scent of enjoyment, the sounds of lip smacking contentment and smiles on our sauce smeared faces.

Later that night, my nose still filled with mesquite and honey, I wished for more.  Turkey, my tush! I only yearned for what was gone but not forgotten.  We’d split the leftovers; the usual turkey for sandwiches, the sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and cranberry sauce.

And all I craved was wispy dreams of ribs.

As easy laughter and warmth of the day spent in happy camaraderie came floating back to me upon awakening, I realized what a gift my son had given all of us in the invitation to gather at his home.  His was the same labor of love as mine was when, for all his growing up years, I got up at 5 in the morning to start the turkey roasting for as many hours as the bird’s pounds determined, in order to create a fine meal and the custom of giving thanks…. with the grace of the extra ingredient of every really good meal and family tradition…the ingredient of love.

And on this historic, double holiday of Thanksgiving and Chanukkah which will not occur for another 70,000 years, I am filled to delicious, overflowing heart warmth as I share the threads of light we pass along, each in our own way, to one another other; to our children and our children’s children; opening our hearts for better than the best we can imagine in all outcomes… Happy, healthy history with what changes may evolve.

For and from me and mine, to old and new ways of celebrating the good in life…. here’s wishing you a moment in history where new meets old…Happy Thanksribukkah!

Quote For The Day

June 22, 2013

“Never has indecision been so definite.”

Thomas Freeman

A Little Nightmare Music

June 20, 2013

Ever have one of those days where you struggled out of chaotic, toss and turn scenarios in the night instead of peacefully sleeping?

Then you awake thinking, ‘whew! I’m outta that one!  It was thankfully just a dream.  It couldn’t get worse than that.”

And then your day begins and it does…in ways your krazy kat mind didn’t even dream of.

Well, my mind pulls up soundtracks to go with.

Just enough of the Oscar Meyer Wiener jingle  plays tickety-tack to annoy me a twitch to roll over and open my brain to cranky energy because the song never stops going, like a roundelay loop.

And just when I think I’ve shaken the annoyance by yelling in my head, ‘Stop! No more!’ what takes it’s place is multi-layered angst of either relationships running aground in all the myriad shoals of life, entanglements with those I’ve met in this human experience, and those I can’t remember having ever met in any life, but their energy is pleasantly and unpleasantly familiar.

From these I wake up exhausted from always winding up with gigantic frustration at having no positive effect on any of them while they continue to entwine all kishkas (innards) in a ball resembling those giant rubber band collections.

Somebody is always singing something too.  Occasionally it’s me as I fight to no avail in the land of Lethe.

Sly Stallone scenes, complete with massive crashes, vehicle and people pile-ups and sound effects of the world as we know it coming to an unearthly end, visit like unannounced guests.  These leave me, in daylight hours, sticking to the inside lane as I drive over bridges and give me a bit of panicked pause when confronted with traveling through tunnels.  Antsy and anxious are apt emotional descriptions which remain like hangovers or harbingers of horrors yet to be.

Of course like any star; intrepid heroine, I plow through.

Since hurricane Sandy and the great flood of aught 12, restful and peaceful sleep has been an especially challenging blessing with which to come by.  On nights of torrential rains, it can be particularly unsettling.  With visions of streets becoming rivers and waves crashing closer on shore than is comfortable again, the October 29th, night of terror and heartbreak flood (you should pardon the expression) back unbidden.

Sleep is erratic and anxious with every passing truck or bus outside the apartment building, as it shakes even the tiniest reminiscence of that high wind darkness with raging fires and green explosions in pitch black water covered neighborhoods all around us.

No, it’s not the end times, but it sure feels like it again with flashbacks or transference in a PTSD post Sandy world.

Last night, after being awakened to stare at a black spot in one corner of the ceiling in the little room in Mt. 6 Manjaro, the apartment where I have my sleeping pad, since Hurricane Sandy displaced me from my home, I lay stock still, thinking, ‘Oh, God, not spiders to the list of plagues, please!’

Turns out, with lights on, it was a megamillipede which skeezed me out even more than the first pleading thought.  Yikes!

Couldn’t find the step stool to stand on or anything to whack him into the eighth dimension, so got the long dust buster and tried to suck him up, to put outside on the terrace.  Sounds good doesn’t it…humane even.

But noooooooo….he slithered away on his uncountable digits at warp speed; down the wall, behind the dresser, near the window and no matter the search with klieg light torches, became the unfindable one.


Now how do I sleep?

“Screw it!” I say.  “I’m going in the other room and blowing up the air mattress!”

I’ve been wanting to try this instead of the pad on the floor on which I slept during the evacuation and sheltering days post flood, and ever since, up in the shelter of Mt 6 Manjaro ( my pet name for the little apartment which is my temporary rental shelter on the 6th floor of the building right around the corner from my devastated home.)

It got its name  from the weeks of no power, no elevator, no potable water, no sewer, bare to zip communications, freezing cold and 7 double flights of stairs to climb several times daily to summit; pack laden with whatever could be saved on bent backs from the flood.

One joke which got me through those first days of shock was that I’d say, I am  now a card carrying member of the sherpa society and just don’t remember joining that rarified elite.  It was my Kilimanjaro in so many ways.   Hence “Mt 6,” this little storage box close to Heaven, will forever be; Peruvian pipes playing in the mp3’s of my mind.

Only now, this night where I am finally test driving the twin sized aerobed, thanks to the giant bug visit, my exit stage left is to any room other than the one in which it did its Houdini act.  After months of procrastinating; holding fast to the pads on which I crashed on the floor every night of the torturous days of surviving, I airily now look forward to perhaps a comfy night’s sleep.

Comfy?  Who has comfy in all the muck and mess in the Zone  where thousands are still digging out from under, with every day facing a fresh Hell?

‘Let’s just see how my spine does after an adjustment, icing, arnica-ing, and a night resting on air,’ my inward conversation carries on while I try to get Cole Porter lyrics out of my head.

It takes me forever to fall asleep.

Cole is fairly unforgettable and his tunes are as catchy as his rhymes, rolling into one another so beautifully, like waves of double entendres too heady and memorable to forget.  Once started, it usually takes weeks of elevator humming to wind the twenties victrola down.

Through the night I’m aware that I’m ‘trying’ to sleep.

Can’t get the covers right.  Foot hangs off.  Pillow bunches wrong. Finally zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And when I awake, it’s to what I call the ‘un-named dreads’, which are a heaviness, anxiousness and pressure I feel when there’s a Mother Earth energy upheaval a coming.

Usually when this happens, I know to simply send light out into the world and the universe and rest assured that it gets exactly where needed and is joined by others who also hold the light for this world.

Today it seems to be tied to the aerobed.  I can’t seem to remember much of the dreams and “Jaws” music ebbs as I send light out from my heart.

Awakening, danced-to-the-tempo-ticking of time where dreams fade, I settle more into in my earth suit.

All I know is that this discombobulated feeling seems to stem ultimately from displacement.

Even this, in the scope of the world, I know, is trivial…a move from one sleeping pallet to an almost bed in another room, not a life or death situation.  Yet, in this time; this place in time, I acknowledge to myself that I am still part of the diaspora; those of us who are not yet back home; sleeping with the uncertainty concerto playing in our cells; awaiting the lullaby of familiar surroundings.

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