xoxo

Today’s my dad’s birthday and I’m flooded with memories. My father never wanted us to make a big deal of his birthday. He never wanted to be the centre of attention and, as for surprise parties, he was not a fan.

My mother and I respected his wishes up to a point. We never even thought about throwing him a surprise party or any other kind of party. We did, however, insist on a small celebration — either just the three of us or a very small group of our immediate family — either at our house or at a restaurant. But there was never a Continue reading

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Bittersweet …

Today is the last day of Rosh Hashanah. It’s the Jewish New Year and the first of the Jewish High Holy Days. For this holiday, the meal includes apples dipped in honey, to symbolize a sweet new year. But for me, this holiday has both sweet and bittersweet memories.

My family was not particularly observant. We followed some traditions and didn’t follow others. But when it came to the holidays, we were all in. Not as much for the religious significance as for the Continue reading

Not a day goes by …

Sunday was Mother’s Day. I’ve dreaded it ever since my mother passed in 2007. But this year was a bit different. I realized that the “official” Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, is just one of 365 days in every year when we can, and should, honour our mothers, thank them, appreciate them and love them.

Really, the only difference between Mother’s Day and any other day is, the florists and restaurants are super busy and Hallmark does a booming business.

I think of my mother every day. I miss her every day. I miss her belly laugh. The glint in her eye. Her sunny Continue reading

Remembering Gaga …

Not Lady Gaga. My paternal grandmother. Long before I made my entrance into this world, an older cousin of mine struggled with saying “grandmother” when she was first learning to talk. The best she could manage was “Gaga” — and Gaga she remained for all generations to come until she died at 98.

I’m taking this little trip down memory lane because of a pot. No, not the kind you smoke or ingest.

My grandmother was a fabulous cook. All the women on both sides of my family were, but she was kind of unique because she eschewed any and all modern conveniences. As far as she was concerned, good Continue reading

I can’t help but wonder …

This has been a year when we’ve had front row seats as America has said goodbye and thank you to Barbara Bush, John McCain and now, former President George H.W. Bush.

We’ve seen and heard the tearful tributes and fond memories shared by numerous friends, family, colleagues, global leaders and even journalists who covered them over the years. We’ve watched footage of the significant moments of their lives — both personal and professional — replayed over and over and Continue reading

Good old days …

Amid all the ugliness last week, I did get some glimpses of sunshine; and I’m not talking about the  weather. Twice, I spent time with people I haven’t seen in years, and I do mean years, reminiscing about all the good times we shared.

The last several years I lived in Montreal I was doing advertising and PR in the fashion industry; and, after a couple of years at a tiny agency that specialized in the fur industry, I ended up working for a manufacturer and Continue reading

What is it about the Holidays?

Well, Chanukah and Christmas are over for another year and I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom this season triggers many memories.

Christmas wasn’t a holiday we celebrated when I was growing up, we didn’t have a tree or exchange gifts, but we certainly got into its joyful spirit. Ours was a close family, and we spent just about every day and evening together for that week. Good times, good food and much laughter is what I remember.

Like all kids, I looked forward to being out of school for a Continue reading

Can you remember your first kiss?

I ask because I have absolutely no recollection of mine, yet I hear so many people describe theirs minutely. Every little detail. Is it really that momentous an occasion?

Have I somehow failed at life because, at least on this particular subject, my mind is a total blank? Am I some kind of a misfit?

There’s no doubt in my mind that I had a first kiss, I had to — because there have been many kisses since that I do remember — so logic Continue reading

Losing it …

As you may have noticed (or maybe not), I am trying desperately to steer clear of writing about U.S. politics. Aside from the fact that it’s stressful and aggravating, there doesn’t seem to be any point to it. It changes nothing.

Hence all my recent trips down memory lane.

Sadly, though, even if I am trying my best to remain silent on the subject, no one else is.

There doesn’t seem to be any escaping “45”, his (insert swear word here) family, his cronies, his partners in crime, his sycophants, his tweets and  Continue reading

an only child no more …

When I was four years old my mother had an ectopic pregnancy. Although it’s unusual she couldn’t conceive after that. It seems her remaining fallopian tube had been badly damaged in the process and was permanently blocked.

My parents had always wanted more children and, after giving it a lot of thought, considered adopting. They asked me if I’d like a brother or sister.

Instead, I asked for a dog.

Alas it took many years and a lot of emotional blackmail before my mother gave in to my request. If you must know I played the “poor-me-the-only-child” card. My father pled Continue reading