Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Honestly! It feels like the closing line of winter’s drawn-out narrative is hundreds of pages away. Up here, more than a landscape, it’s a snowscape. Storybook scenes better left for snow globes have yet to melt into history and unearth the spring panorama that signals planting season. The moon’s struggle for space is over and the sun has risen to the occasion, but still, there’s little I can do but turn to reflection for warmth and comfort.
The fireplace and a cup of tea help keep these cold days cozy. I suppose I’ll cuddle up to my daydreams and ponder this year's garden theme…The Garden of Memories.

My heart pounds for its rich earth and the bounty it will bear. The bees, butterflies and lacewings call. I’ll be there soon, and one by one, I’ll sow the seeds of recollection. I'll dwell on the past in my metaphor for memories and recall while I till the days of insolence and innocence. I’ll remember yesteryear, and long before I taste what I reap, I'll harvest thoughts of times long ago. A flood of memories will water it as a reunion of friends takes me back to my roots.
The little details have faded, but the gists play back in surreal time... Starfires and great escapes. Sports nights, Steam Heat and Wooden Soldiers On Parade. A clock out the window and corsage-decked blazers. White lies, white suits and red wine stains. Good dirt and great gossip. Who knew that moments like these and so many more would mean everything to me?
Like the countless memories of way back when, I welcome them back into my life… my friends from then, my best friends forever. The line between the seasons might be blurred, but one thing remains clear. They were always dear, but again, they're near, and I mark the occasion with a recipe.


Bernadette’s Olive Sandwich
From a traditional standpoint, the olive branch symbolizes a warm welcome, but with none readily available, I’m bringing to the table something equally welcoming. Bernadette’s Olive Sandwich. For sure this delicacy has a bit of teen dare and defiance to it that will confuse your taste buds. Is it good or not? A favorite midnight snack when sleepovers kept us up all night, the sandwich has an unexpected yuminess that leaves you wanting just one more (and I don’t even like olives). Open wide for this one. Come with me to my treasured days.

A coupla besties
A dash of dare
A dollop of defiance
2 slices of white bread
Halved Spanish olives stuffed with minced pimientos
Salt (maybe not) & Pepper

I can’t help but think back to the time we thought we were so cool. A license to drive meant a license to do whatever we wanted (pray tell!! this is not cool anymore!). On one particular day, it translated to sneaking off into a forbidden place… The City. We had our sin planned to perfection. Our parents would never find out. We'd drive to the train station. Park the car where it would never be spotted. Board the westbound iron horse. And that’s it! Devil-may-care as we were, our deception came to a screeching halt when a certain parent standing on the opposite platform called out, “Girls! If you want to go to the City, you’d better come to this side.” So we did what every rulebreaking, troublemaking teen would do. We hauled ass from the wrong side of the tracks to the right side and rode in with Bernadette’s dad. To this day, I laugh till I cry at that silly memory and I take two pieces of bread. I channel the dare and stir in the defiance. I spread the mayonnaise and line up the olives. I sprinkle the pepper (and salt, if you’re so inclined), and chase every bite with a memory. It tastes best at the stroke of midnight, but anytime will do. 
For now, the flames in the fireplace have dwindled and the cup of tea has a left a stain on the end table. In my parting thoughts, I contemplate May’s full moon... my cue to plant The Garden of Memories. Honestly! God only knows where the time went, but I know that I never again want to see it fly. And on that note, I think I’ll have an olive sandwich.

In memory and honor of the parents who loved and love us no matter what.