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

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Back in the saddle again (so to speak)

Believe it or not, it’s been several years since I’ve been behind the wheel of a car.

It all started back sometime in 2009. I was at one of those speaker events. This was a breakfast and the speaker was an author whose new book had just been published. I honestly can’t remember his name, but the book title is The Green Metropolis.

The point being made in the book is that big congested cities are more environmentally conscious and successful then more rural, less densely-populated areas — which is the opposite of what most Continue reading

Goodbye Marianne …

We’ve been having a heatwave in Toronto. I’m not complaining. I promised myself, during the endless deep freeze that was our winter of 2019, that I would not complain of the heat ever again, no matter how bad it is. So I’m merely stating a fact.

This past Saturday was particularly oppresssive, with not even the merest hint of a breeze. My apartment is air conditioned so I could have busied myself at home. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to be out, doing something. “Ahhhh,” I thought to myself. This is a perfect day to go to a movie.

Much as I love movies, I tend not to see too many of them in summer, it’s too nice outside and we have Continue reading

Family …

My mother once told me that when she and my father got married there were 200-plus people at their wedding, most of whom were family. Like most children, I never thought about a time when our family would stop growing and start shrinking. Children assume everyone they love will be around forever.

In actual fact, I’m lucky. Most of my family lived long and full lives. I was 15 when my great grandfather passed away, in my 20s when my great grandmother passed. One grandmother lived to 98, the other to Continue reading

Maria Shriver strikes a chord yet again …

If you follow my blog or regularly read my posts on my social media you know I’m a fan of Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. She always blows me away because she consistently writes about issues that are on my mind. But just as important, if not more so, she also talks about matters that should be on my radar and should concern me — this past Sunday’s essay being a perfect case in point.

In it she talks about reactions to medication, women’s health in general and the gender gap in medicine —  and then she segues to the allergic reactions we also have to people, what those reactions tell us and how we should handle them. All of it very important, so here’s a link. While you’re there, take a minute and subscribe.

I know to some degree we all suffer from information overload, but trust me when I tell you that the Continue reading

Some things never change, and they shouldn’t …

When my mom decided she wanted to move from Montreal to Toronto, she came and stayed with me for a month, while she looked for an apartment.

The area where I lived at the time, Av & Dav as the locals call it (Avenue Road and Davenport), was and still is known for a one-block-long strip of shops selling flowers and plants and a diner, the Avenue Diner. They’re landmarks, and not just in that specific ‘hood. Cars are double and triple parked outside the flower shops on weekends, people come from all over the city. And the diner, which has always been owned by the Continue reading

A first time for everything …

I don’t have a sweet tooth, never have had, even as a child. Apparently, as far back as when I was two or three instead of reaching for the platter of brownies, I’d be reaching for the olives and pickles. Odd, because both my parents liked sweets.

My father was discriminating. Way back when there was what would now be described as an artisanal chocolatier in Montreal — Andrée Chocolate. They had a small store on Park Avenue, in an area of the city called The Plateau. I can still see their boxes. White, with “Andrée Chocolate” written in script, in black.

They only used dark chocolate and my father loved their almond bark, chocolate-covered ginger and Continue reading

Let them eat cake and plenty of it …

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I wish the photo was that recent, but both she and her twin sister, with whom she is celebrating, have both passed.

In fact, it goes back quite a while, because my mom moved to Toronto in 2000, after my aunt died. And when this was taken, she still lived in Montreal.

Clearly, they were surprised and happy. They loved birthday parties, everyone’s parties, and particularly their own. And most of all, they loved birthday cake. So I fully expect they had plenty of cake yesterday. And, if my 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

I surrender …

I’ve always been a news and political junkie; and, when I moved to Toronto from Montreal, I instantly became addicted to CNN and its 24 hour news cycle. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven.

Now it’s more like being in hell.

Am I the only one struggling to find something positive on the news?

Not that I’m an escapist. I’ve never been one to bury my head in the sand, avoid reality or run away from it — even Continue reading