There’s a song I used to hear a lot, growing up with my Dad. The song, from a band called the Wolfe Tones, is called Quare Things in Dublin, and on the surface is about a clock in the city that has four separate faces. If you look at it from one side of the street, you’re running well ahead of time, but on another corner, you’re already late.
If you get through the song without being lulled into the lilting music, you’ll hear the real meaning behind the song. It comes in the lyrics at the very end.
“There’s a lesson in life to adopt and interpret.
It applies to all people regardless of race.
Don’t put your trust or your faith in a person
If sometimes they seem to have more than one face.”
I have a friend who was recently thought to be a shoe in for a job. He had all but been told there wasn’t even another candidate close in the running, and he could almost rest assured he had this gig in the bag.
This message is for him, as he licks his wounds and tries to regroup and come up with a “what’s next” plan. He’s young enough to put the lesson to good use.
A child walked into a house today and made the declaration, “Oh my gosh, whatever you’re cooking smells amazing!”
It was my house. This was one of my children. And she wasn’t fishing for concert tickets, car keys, or a puppy.
My house is cluttered. Currently, my railing is sporting two weeks worth of clean laundry that somehow made it through the washer and dryer, but failed to hook up with the hangers from whence they once came. I have unsorted socks on a chair in my bedroom, and while part of me thinks I really need to get them done, my cat has declared herself king of that mountain and I haven’t the heart to dethrone her.
The dresser in my bedroom has three stacks of books on it. And I have a Kindle. There may also be a package of unopened Valentine pretzels among those stacks. Don’t judge.
More often than not (and especially this week), dinner is supplied from a local takeaway restaurant. My kids are as familiar with the menus of the local Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and pizza restaurants as they are their times tables (and these are some times table smart girls).
Having a kid walk in this well loved, well worn, well lived in home and claim that anything was amazing? That’s what perfect is all about.
I may have expressed a fondness for the Mo Rocca show on the Cooking Channel “My Grandmother’s Ravioli”. I love it – beyond love. It is a look at the grandparents who came to this country from foreign lands, bringing with them the recipes from generations of Irish grandmoms, Italian grandmoms, Jewish and Russian grandmoms.
I am always touched by this show. I am smiling, thinking of my own grandmothers and their recipes. Both of them were Irish, and while there weren’t elaborate meals, there was stick to your ribs soups and stews, Irish soda bread, pudding cakes – everything made with the love of generations.
This past weekend, the grandmom came from Thailand. She grew up in poverty, but came to this country filled with hope, optimism, and a determination for a better life.
And when Mo asked her, all these many years and American experiences later, what she thought when she came to this country, her face lightened and brightened. A smile poured across her face like maple syrup over pancakes – slow and sweet. And with the joy of a thousand Christmases, she exclaimed, “It was WONDERFUL here!”
And you know she still believes it; it IS wonderful here – you could read it in her happy eyes and joyous face. Most of us will never know or never experience the things that some of our grandparents knew and lived through. We will never know hunger so great or poverty so desperate or intolerance for beliefs so oppressive. But we can know how much it meant for our grandparents to get here, find a better life, and hold onto the traditions and the foods that will help us remember where our lives – our histories – began.
I love this show – one that could only have been made here in America.