my money is on the baby for the win .
“the world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool.”
free movie night at campus martius park in detroit
safe, distanced, well-planned
the little one soon had her own plan
she moved right up front by the screen
laughing, dancing, twirling
throwing spells along with elsa from ‘frozen 2’
until she became a part of the movie.
“true enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire wherever I see it.”
not me, but someone in my age range with a similar level of enthusiasm
on my maiden voyage
into the world of
the senior grocery shopping hour
60 and up’s
pallor of someone
who’s done hard time served in quarantine
i was met at the door
by a customer helper
who wiped down cart handles
as we each took one
in an orderly way
i was happily headed in
when a worker at the self-checkout
shot me a disdainful dirty look
i chalked it up to her being forced to be here under duress
moving among the others
mindful of age
people with less obvious challenges
trying to be happy and friendly
as i was getting ready to leave
a fellow shopper approached me
“they really should check i.d. and you know what i mean!!”
it finally hit me
that both negative reactions
came in response to them doubting if i was really a senior
i had to laugh and take it as a compliment
thought back to my younger days
when i falsely tried to convince people i was ‘of age’
by using my oldest sister’s license as fake i.d.
funny how things change and stay the same.
“none are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”
-henry david thoreau
image credit: animal planet
when one local dollar tree store closed
my favorite enthusiastic manager
moved to the new location
and judging by my recent visit
he has not lost one bit
of his dollar store fervor and expertise.
this was a conversation between bob (the manager) and evelyn (my cashier) as i was checking out:
E: “bob, you’re really good at remembering all of the balloon numbers to ring up and knowing each one of them without looking.”
B: “well, i’ve been doing it a long time. once in a while a number will change or a new shape will come in, like a unicorn, but it’s part of my job to keep up with it.”
E: “when i worked at the grocery store, i knew all the prices for the cucumbers, the peppers and tomatoes. the easy ones”
B: “some are trickier, like avocados, and for some of those things you only see sometimes it’s harder to remember the all the plu’s.”
E: “it’s really a skill, bob. to be able to do that.”
customer john interrupts:
J: “hey bob – so this is where you’ve got up to – how are you liking the change?”
B: “hey, john. good to see you. it’s great. every day is great. i’m so lucky to be here.”
and how lucky is dollar tree to have bob as a manager?
a man who truly loves his job
takes pride in all of it
is always smiling and helpful
knows exactly where every item in the store is located
and who happily learns the number for the new unicorn balloon.
happiness is a dog
running free on 10 green acres
out in the elements
playing with the others
water bowls for all
in a huge fenced park devoted to them
and their people
walking and talking
benches and trees
waiting for them
when they tire out
while the dogs
just keep on smiling and running.
“dogs have boundless enthusiasm but no sense of shame.
i should have a dog as a life coach.”
swift run dog park, ann arbor, mi, usa
(my glamour shot after returning from the salon and in full singing mode)
i love that my class
that i am not a top notch singer
they are the best audience ever
very non-judgmental and accepting
as i belt out my tunes
and try to get them on board
i often improvise my own lyrics
when i only know part of them
think of something i’d like to add
many times accidentally
creating my own key
it’s all about the gusto
and not so much the skill.
“music in the soul can be heard by the universe. “
children’s book author roald dahl and his daughter, lucy
What If Willy Wonka Was Your Dad?
Roald Dahl’s Magical Parenting With Food
“food was a huge part of our upbringing,” lucy dahl says. her father delighted his children with fanciful “midnight feasts” in the woods and often used mealtime to test out new characters from stories he was working on.
three-course dinner chewing gum.
fizzy lifting drinks.
these, of course, are the creations of willy wonka, who himself is the creation of author roald dahl. food is a huge part of his work, and as it turns out, dahl’s creative and sometimes twisted approach to food wasn’t confined to his books.
“food was a huge part of our upbringing,” says dahl’s daughter lucy.
tn this week’s episode of the sporkful podcast, ahead of father’s day, lucy shares stories of the witch’s potions that accompanied bedtime, the cabbage her father said came straight from the queen’s garden, and being woken up in the middle of the night to eat chocolate.
“everything about our childhood was eccentric,” she says, “although we didn’t realize it at the time because it was just normal to us.” lucy dahl is 51 now, but she still bursts with childlike glee when she recalls her father’s “midnight feasts.”
he’d wake the kids up in the middle of the night and pile them into the car – which was full of hot chocolate and cookies – and drive them up the road in the english countryside where they lived.
then they’d walk in to the woods in their pajamas to look for badgers.
“you couldn’t talk, and he’d say, ‘nobody move! and if you’ve got an itch, blow on it. try and hold your breath, try not to breathe!’ ” lucy recalls. “and sure enough, mr. badger would come prowling out and walk right past us. it was incredibly exciting.”only once they had seen an animal could they tuck in to their sweet feast.”and then,” lucy says, “we’d all go home, back to bed, delighted.”
roald dahl kept his kids entertained during normal eating hours, too. he often used mealtime to test out new characters from stories he was working on.”the minpins lived in the woods beyond our house,” lucy remembers, referring to one of her father’s last books, about a tiny people who live inside trees. “the BFG – the big friendly giant – lived underneath our orchard. it all coincided with what we ate. for breakfast were minpins’ eggs and fried bread. but what they actually were were quail eggs.”
just as roald dahl used stories to bring food to life at home, he used food to bring characters to life in his books. willy wonka’s fizzy lifting drinks aren’t just a fun idea – they also tell us something about who he is. in fantastic mr. fox, the three mean farmers who are out to get mr. fox are described only by their body shapes and their diets.
so this father’s day, wake your kids up in the middle of the night, take them into the woods in their pajamas to look for badgers, load them full of chocolate, then put them back to bed.
“even though you’re growing up,
you should never stop having fun. “
– nina dobrev
credits: npr, the spoon, the sporkful, dan pashman, m.haircloth