Tag Archives: moving ahead

Days: Black Saturday

(Yes I am recycling. This is a copy of my Black Saturday y post from 2 years ago. I liked it so I am sharing all over again!)

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Today is another quiet morning. It is cool outside. 2 Celsius and the light dances warmly over the edge of the roofs (or is that rooves?) as the sun slips out of her eastern bed spilling out her springtime warmth.

I woke up early and I am writing as I do other things. Dribbling thoughts into my keyboard and up onto the white pages of my blog. Black letters on a white page.

Today is Holy Saturday, or Black Saturday. I don’t really follow the religion I learned as a child. Yet it is still there – the rituals and traditions of growing up. I remember this was always a day of being austere. Puritanical. A quiet day filled with an edge of expectation.

If something still needed to be done to prepare for Easter it was completed. But if it wasn’t needed it was not to be done. Black Saturday is really a day of mourning within the Christian tradition.  In my childhood the meals on Black Saturday  were always simple, something boiled like pasta or roasted like potatoes, and there was no flesh of any kind.  I think for my mother that made today a real and true holiday – as otherwise she was always in the kitchen baking and cooking.

Still, I do remember it was a day for visiting and visitors. Dropping by to see people that you knew you couldn’t see on Easter.  It was a day of going for walks in the nearby woods and seeing if early wildflowers and pussy willows had made an appearance. And then happily bring some home to mom.

Usually by Easter the weather had turned warm enough to melt most of the snow – so it was also a time for us children to go find large puddles and overflowing ponds. In rubber bo0ts and jackets we would explore the gullies for flowing water. There we would make rough boats out of scraps of whatever we could find. Setting them adrift and then watching sail away in the swollen ditches. Asking ‘do you think it will make it to the river?’ Or even better we would find rocks and try and sink each others boats.

If there was a pond near me now I would probably still go set some dream boats free – and imagine the long journey of that boat to the sea.

The birds are awake now. The sun is quickly warming up the air. Time to get going. Time to visit family and friends and enjoy the peace of this day.

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Days: Good Friday

(Yes I am recycling. This is a copy of my Good Friday post from 2 years ago. I liked it so I am sharing all over again!)

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This day seems to be the forgotten holiday of the year. There is no lead-up to Good Friday. No frenzied fanfare of festivity. No elaborate feasts to plan and prepare. That is probably why I like this holiday the best.

Good Friday really is a day off from the bustle and hustle of the consumer world. No sales. Just time to contemplate the world. I am sitting here this morning with a second cup of coffee, watching the sun peak over the horizon. There is a slight mist on the roofs of the houses as the day slips from springtime chill to springtime warmth.

I have time to think. Let my brain play with words. Roofs. Rooves. I remember learning in school that the plural of roof was rooves. But now we use the american “roofs”. When did that change? The rule I learned was if it ends in ‘f’ or ‘fe’  then to make the plural you drop the “f” sound and writes “ves”.

dwarf to dwarves
elf to elves
hoof to hooves
knife to knives
leaf to leaves
life to lives
self to selves
wolf to wolves

Of course then there are words that ignore the rule anyway – like the plural of beef is not beeves. And the plural of proof is not prooves.

Ah English the language of rules, and long lists of exceptions to the rules! This is why English is such an exceptional language.

As you can see Good Friday is for getting diverted and contemplative. Mindless musing. The above was simply pointless stream of consciousness.  A raw slice of my brain straight up. I am full of trivia. Or full of something.

My favourite memory of Good Friday is from many many many years ago. I was in my early twenties. I was with some friends driving up to Midland, Ontario to find a very specific restaurant that served Lake Huron whitefish. Our friend and driver had heard the fish was incredibly fresh and delicious.

Now I don’t remember the restaurant name but I do think it was Henry’s Fish Restaurant. I’ve been back a few times so my memory may be muddled. And the fish is still worth the long drive!

But this memory isn’t about the destination. It is about the journey. That day was a foggy Good Friday. Dense white cotton fog slowing us down to well below the speed-limit. The trees and posts shadowy dark flickers flashing by us. The road shiny black and slick. There was no-one else on the road. Just us – some friends on a journey. Cocooned in our own reality.

In the back of the car was a book – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - and for me it was an incredible find. At that moment, in that space, that book and the message inside clicked with me. There are concepts in that book that I had no idea could actually exist! My friend – the driver of the car – saw me thumbing through the book and gave it to me.

From where I sit today I can see that same book looking at me from my shelves. It is bedraggled and stained and dog-eared. The book has survived the years – my friend the driver did not. He died later that year from leukemia. But on that Good Friday there was no leukemia darkening our thoughts. On that day we were full of life twenty-somethings on a road trip. Our driver was a big robust man full of life and zest – and by the fall of that year he was an anemic husk gasping for air in a hospital bed. He was much too young to die.

That Good Friday held no hint of the sadness waiting in our future. We laughed, we talked. The restaurant wasn’t open we arrived, so we walked the waterfront. We drank early morning beers (cans in bags – oh we were so clever!) by the lake, while we discussed philosophy and how we would change the world. By the time we had finished our exploration of Midland – the sun had burned away the morning fog.

The fish was indeed wonderful, and we promised that next year we would repeat the road-trip. We promised that this would become our Easter weekend ritual. I’ve been back since then – but the ritual never blossomed.

In the mid-afternoon sunshine we drove back the way we had come. No hurry to get anywhere, we stopped at used bookshops and curio stores along the way looking for old National Geographic magazines. And books on World War II history. Our own version of an Easter Egg hunt for those that no longer believed in the Easter Bunny.

Good Friday: A good day to remember how we have arrived at this moment in time. And to remember those who we loved and left behind.

Pancake Tuesday – mardi gras!

I love pancakes. I especially love the variety known as crepes – and crepes are even better when cooked Hungarian style as palacsinta.

Palatschinke

Palatschinke (Photo credit: Mario Spann)

Ingredients

    3 large eggs
    1 cup milk
    1 cup carbonated water
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    pinch of salt if desired

Optional:
1 tablespoon sugar for sweeter dessert palacsinta (crepes)

Directions
Beat eggs into milk until blended (add sugar/salt at this point). Pour the egg/milk mixture into the flour until fully blended into a smooth batter. The batter should rest for at least an hour.

When it is time to cook the crepes place a crepe pan to heat (or an 8-inch frying pan). While the pan is heating add the carbonated water to the batter and gently stir until just blended.

Add a bit of butter to melt in the hot pan and swirl to cover the bottom.

Pour a ladle of the batter into the pan and gently tip and twist the pan so that the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan. When the top of the batter bubbles, turn the pancake over and cook for 4 or 5 seconds longer. Remove the cooked palacsinta to a serving plate in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Continue until the batter is all cooked. Remember to add butter before cooking each palacsinta.

For savory palacsinta fill with cooked asparagus, ham and Havarti cheese…or some other dinner filling
For dessert palacsinta try plum jam OR cinnamon&sugar OR Nutella with strawberries….

Palacsinta can be served hot or cold.

Haiku Spielen: AMARYLLIS

Amaryyllis

Amaryllis

Written for Haiku Spielen Inspiration (Join the haiku fun see below!)

Can you hear that sound
as each each new blossom unfurls?
First trumpet of Spring.

This prompt will end at on March 1st, 2014 at 6:00 PM EST.

These are the general guidelines.

1. Write a haiku on the prompt given and post in your blog.
2. Link back to Haiku Spielen with a hyperlink.
3. Enter your name and your post link into the Linky widget  (the blue frog below)
4. Please Visit, Read and Enjoy the submissions of the other writers!

Haiku Spielen: LUNAR (2)

Written for Haiku Spielen Inspiration (Join the haiku fun see below!)

unreliable
you wax and wane through the night:
making my heart race.

This prompt will end at on 22th February 2014 at 6:00 PM EST.

These are the general guidelines.

1. Write a haiku on the prompt given and post in your blog.
2. Link back to Haiku Spielen with a hyperlink.
3. Enter your name and your post link into the Linky widget  (the blue frog below)
4. Please Visit, Read and Enjoy the submissions of the other writers!