Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fine Vine

I love sweet potatoes. I eat them baked several times a week and often make a full meal out of a big fat one. Last night I thought of something as a put 2 scrubbed beauties in the oven. It occurred to me I hadn't tasted a sweet potato until after I was married.

In our family, the Depression years were complicated by my father's reluctance to work even when such a thing was possible. My mother worked at a soda fountain while I toiled in the kosher butcher shop gutting chickens. Father slept in.

Our budget was understandably tight and unfortunately, in addition, my mother was totally clueless when it came to nutrition. Our meals were very white---usually consisting of potatoes and day-old bread/pastry with fatty meat on the odd occasion. Precious little dairy and nary a veggie in sight. Even then, I knew there must be a better way to eat---and live!

When I married Ben we swore our children would have everything they needed. We produced one son and made good on our resolution. As a baby Jack loved sweet potato baby food. As he grew older I became very adventurous and cooked real, live, sweet potatoes. I thought I was very sophisticated, I can tell you! Around this time I saw a magazine article that give instructions for growing a sweet potato vine. I thought that sounded like a nifty idea and so embarked on my great horticultural experiment.

The sweet potato grew in sync with our son. We watched the vine sprout and stretch just like Jack. It grew luxuriant---twining draping over the kitchen divider. I regarded it as a prized possession and fretted whenever it was droopy or petulant and nearly burst with pride when visitors commented on its beauty.

Alas, it didn't make a successful transition to our next apartment. I went back to working full-time and deprived of accustomed affection and attention, the poor sweet potato vine just faded away. However, it will aways live in my memory as a reminder of those long-past times of innocent hope and simple pleasures. Perhaps that's why sweet potatoes taste so wonderful---even now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's a Jungle Out There!

Every Wednesday I wake up with the thought, "This is the day the stores change their specials!" Some folks might suggest that I get a life, implying that bargain-hunting is a trivial pursuit. They simply don't understand the nature of the beast.

My long-time blog friends know me as Lucy-the-Intrepid-Bargain-Hunter. Picture a dense and steamy jungle crawling with hungry predators---Walmart, for example. Now imagine Lucy, pith-helmeted and armed with coupons, slipping stealthily through the aisles. Why are you laughing? This is serious business.

First off, I must be honest about our family conflict over my bargain shopping. Carole and Jack rant and rave about our overstuffed freezer. "We don't eat frozen dinners and Sara Lee desserts!" Actually, I don't either but how can I resist a 2-for-1 Marie Callender Chicken Fettucini Alfredo? I remember paying an arm and a leg for that stuff at the Marie Callender restaurants! I'd have to be insane to pass up a deal like this.

Also, the checkout cashiers are so very amiable. At King Soopers I'm gratified to hear, "I see you took advantage of our wonderful bargain on coffee. I hope you enjoy it." Actually I won't as I don't drink much of the stuff, but when a $6.99 can sells for $3.59, even a sip tastes downright delicious. Therefore I smile sweetly at the gracious cashier. "Thanks so much. I'll be back for more before the sale ends." And that's the truth.

Intrepid-Bargain-Hunter Lucy has triumphed yet again---and will be back to shop another day!

Monday, July 09, 2007

More Than Enough

I wish I could tell you all how much my blog connections mean to me. I go to my faithful friends every morning. It's like meeting in a sweet cafe for coffee. I love it so much. From there I go to their friends, who have joys and trials I closely relate to.

Do these folks know how much I relate and really care for what is happening to them? I'm quite sure not, but I believe my concern and good intentions can't hurt. I talk to my kids about these people as though I know them personally. Jack and Carole listen and I believe, truly care. I think I have the best kids ever.

However, sometimes. as in other enduring relationships that evolve, my kids and I get sick-to-death of each other. Alas, we live together. In most TITs (Tempests-in-a-Teapot) our mutual first response is to silently withdraw and self-rightously wallow. I'm very good at that---I've spent 70+ years perfecting the process. Unfortunately my kids aren't willing to participate in my perfected process. Ungrateful for sure but what to do? I decide to think about it. I go shopping.

When I get home from my shopping trip the house is quiet. I go into my room and find a pure white lily in a crystal cup sitting next to my computer. Next to the cup is a simple note that says, "Love You Mom..." Family and friends. It's more than enough.