juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

HUMOR

HUMOR       

 

I have decided all of my posts need not be serious, and if it is t rue that variety is the spice of life, I offer here a few things I find humorous.  I hope they brighten your day

 

ONE LINERS

 

“More and more of our imports are coming from overseas”. (George Bush)  How brilliant of you Georgie!

 

“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries.” (Stephen King)  Wouldn’t Freud love this guy?.

 

“Men have two emotions; Hungry and Horny. If you see one without an erection, make him a sandwich.”  No comment.

 

“Well, aren’t you a waste of two billion years of evolution.” The ultimate insult.

 

 

Excerpted lines from my poem, “MOTHERHOOD”

 

After you deliver them obstetrically you’ll deliver them by car – endlessly . . .

That’s motherhood

At the end of each day you’ll forget the spaghetti in junior’s hair,

You wish you had time to shave both legs at once –That’s motherhood. . .

Wishes shift from a cruise to a responsible baby sitter – That’s motherhood

You count the chocolate chips on each kid’s cupcake

Live on macaroni and cheese instead of tuna salad. . .That’s motherhood. . .

When they’re teen agers you hug them  to sniff for booze or pot. . .

To remain sane you avoid entering their bedrooms,. . .

Reluctantly write a check for Driver’s Ed – That’s motherhood . . .

You’ll come to believe that grandchildren

Are God’s gift for raising your own kids – That’s motherhood . . .

 

 

A JOkE

 

A  team of archaeologists was excavating inIsraeland came upon a cave. Written on the wall of care were the following symbols in this order.

A dog               A donkey         A shovel           a fish                A Star of David

 

They held a meeting to discuss the meaning of the inscriptions and  concluded the dog meant they had animals for companionship; the donkey meant they were smart enough to have animals help till the soil; the shovel meant they had  tools to help them; the fish meant that in times of famine they fished for food; and the Star of David meant they were obviously Jews.

 

Suddenly a little old Jewish man stood up in the back of the room and said, “I object to every word.  Everyone knows Jews don’t read from left to right, but from right to left.  Now, look again – It says:  “HOLY MACKERAL, DIG THE ASS ON THAT BITCH.”

 

Have a joke or a humorous comment you want to share?  Do so.

 

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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FANTASY 3 – THE SANDPIPERCChallenge.

Yet another fantasy.     If  you’ve been following this blog, you’ve read The Loon and The Peacock.  Here’s The Sandpiper.  Reading it again causes  nostalgia and wishful thinking to rear their heads.

THE SANDPIPER

            Now, nearly three decades later, I sometimes fantasize about what it would have been like to have married him. Then, as a young man, he was a bit of a maverick. He once picked me up for a dance, dressed in a tuxedo – but barefoot. One weekend he whisked me off to a deserted shack on a bayou when I didn’t even know what a bayou was. Skillfully he poled a skiff across it, delighting in my ignorance, and thoughtfully described the surroundings in his soft, southern drawl. We ate spaghetti with crayfish for breakfast.

Tall and lanky with sparkling blue eyes and copper-colored hair, his face wears a smile always. He is warm, loving, and more than generous. Even then I saw him in later life as a barefoot beachcomber and that is how we live now.

A rickety wooden cottage sits about 100 yards back from the shoreline. It contains only the essentials and a fine stereo system. Our house is full of music and laugher. We cook on an open stone fireplace and work at a picnic table on the front porch. The writing we do requires  minimal time and provides enough income for food and shelter. We collaborate on the kind of pictorial stories found in National Geographic.

The sea is our home. We spend hours walking the beach, gathering shells, making love in the surf. We sail to nearby islands for picnics, sometimes camping overnight. We snorkel and scuba and are expert surfers. We have accumulated an extensive nautical library and spend evenings in the soft glow of a flickering gas lantern studying the breeding habits of the manatee, reading aloud Kon-Tiki or sharing the adventures of Jacques Cousteau. We dream of someday being able to sail throughout the South Pacific.

 

We build bonfires on the sand and occasionally invite neighbors to share a fish boil and a sing-along. He plays both a guitar and a flute. Their melodies blend into the sound of the waves kissing the shore and the tide tumbling back to the sea as we all nestle in the sand around the dying embers munching on sticky, toasted,  marshmallows and sipping the wine a neighbor was kind enough to contribute. Another neighbor takes delight in pointing out stars and constellations as they come into view.

He frequently greets the morning sun with his flute and its soft, lilting tune is the first thing I hear as the sun begins to sift through my window. Together we sit on the sand and bid good night to the sun to the tune of his strumming guitar. The children of the beach have chosen him as their Pied Piper. His music calls to them. They giggle and tumble and build sand castles all around us. We share their joy, laugh, and sing with them.

We have few cares on this idyllic beach. We neither need nor want anything. Each of us, to the other, is enough. Casual touching, loving hugs, laughing eye contact and warm embraces are the ingredients of our daily lives. There is tenderness and gentleness, concern and consideration. We speak softly to each other just as the sea whispers to the sand on a calm sunny day. And we make love passionately just as the waves thunder against the shore in a storm.

The depth of this relationship exists in none of my other fantasies. It is, perhaps, what might have been.

(Sigh)

 

Challenge.  Describe and share your concept of ideal living c icumstances.

 

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

 

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TWO TOASTS TO THE SABBATH

TWO TOASTS TO THE SABBATH

 

A CHASIDIC STORY

 

One of the traditions observed at the Jewish Sabbath is blessing one’s children.  Parents place their hands on the child’s head and to girls say “May you be like Sara, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.”  For boys it’s “May you be like Ephraim and Manasseh”

 

It’s a lovely custom but I’ve always wondered why we wish our children to be anyone other than who they are.

 

My question is answered in a Chasidic story. One day his disciples found Rabbi Zusya weeping and they asked him why. He explained that he trembled when thinking about the end of his life and being asked by the Almighty not “Why were you not like Moses?” but “Why were you not Zusya?”

 

Indeed! It didn’t take very long for me to change the blessing for my kids.   It became, “May you be blessed with the strength and the wisdom to become who you are.”

 

 

A WOMAN OF VALOUR

 

            Traditionally, as the Sabbath meal commences, husbands recite A Woman of Valor in honor of their wives. (Proverbs 31-10)  There’s much to be said about the value of maintaining traditions but I often had to surprises a giggle. It wasn’t me my husband was speaking of when he said, “She seeketh wool and flax and works willingly with her hands,,” or “She considers a field and buys it,” Right. I should be so lucky as to have enough resources to buy a few acres of land. And I seeketh wash-and-wear – not wool and flax. “She maketh linen garments and selleth them.”   Who? Me?  I search for those linen garments in resale shops.  Find me a woman who “Rises while it is yet night and giveth food to her handmaidens.“. Instead, how about “She willingly driveth the children to soccer practice, and tolerateth her husband’s idiosyncrasies  with patience?”  Handmaiden?  Are  you kidding? An occasional foot rub by my husband is the closest I’ll ever come to a handmaiden.

 

For many years I was so blessed but accepted that blessing with a sense of unfairness..  Why should the children and the wife be blessed and not the husband? Finally, I took it upon myself to rectify what I considered to be a thoughtless omission. Here it is. I leave rephrasing of Woman of Valor to you.

 

Ode To A Husband

 

I am fortunate for I have found a man to treasure.

His worth is immeasurable.

He is committed to the welfare of his family,

Works diligently to provide for them

And cares for his friends and community as well.

His concerns are those of a king beholden to his kingdom

And the toils of his labor are in their behalf.

He is neither selfish nor idle and conducts himself with dignity and compassion.

He walks with a straight back and a raised head

And the touch of his hand is my delight

Blessed is the man who honors his wife and

Directs his children in paths of righteousness.

May his love be appreciated by those whom he cherishes.

How would you bless your children or your spouse? Post a comment.

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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HOPE

HOPE

 

Jerusalem– city ofHope

Birthplace of the world

A sanctuary of confidence

The utopia of faith in the future

 

There “break a leg,” “good luck,” “best wishes,”

“forever yours,” and “l’chaim” were coined

There, in spite of guns and mortars,

Industry thrives and great minds enrich humanity

There, the persecuted come to rest

Find solace from outstretched hands

Home also to generations of war

Hate and destruction

Against which hope has prevailed

 

The sliver of land we callJerusalem

Has taught mankind that

Hope outshines, outlasts suffering, despair

That optimism transcends terror and fear

Born there, hope remains

Never willJerusalembe its grave

 

Simcha  – 5/12

 

Julie Rose

julirose601@gmail.com

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PRIORITIES

PRIORITIES

 

Somebody once said to me, “I would like to be one of those who lets nothing important escape him.”  Are there such people? The implication of that statement is that one always knows what the important things are. I’m not sure that’s true either but I am sure that what is important at one stage of one’s life is not necessarily what is important at another time. If the things we consider important didn’t change, we’d all be stuck where we were at 18 or 19 or 20 and heaven help us if that were to happen!

 

The statement also presumes a sort of universality of importance when what is more likely, I think, is that we all have our own agendas as to importance. Yours and mine may be similar but you might find it more difficult than I to put down Melville or Keats in favor of taking a walk. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t. It just means that on a scale of importance, you’d place a little more weight than I on the book in your hands. If you stayed with Keats and I took a walk does that mean you’ve let something important escape you or that you’ve opted to stay with what you deem important?

 

Certainly our understanding of what is important  changes with time. I do think, though, that there are things that are universally important. We all have our own opinions about what is important, but heaven help us if we ever get to the point where we cannot agree about the value, the goodness or evil, of some things. I deplore the sociological relativism that has stripped us of reasonable opinions of right and wrong, along with traditional values, and replaced those with absolutely nothing, as some of the social scientists, to their dismay, are beginning to discover.

 

It’s important to me that I continue to learn and not allow my brain to stagnate. My children and grandchildren – my blue ribbons – are important to me.Israel, Judaic values and the Jewish community are on my list of what’s important. So too is the exercise of whatever creativity I’ve been blessed with. It is important to me that I always keep in mind the oneness of mankind; that, to the best of my ability, I don’t neglect those in need; that I am tolerant of the views of other.

 

I have a copy of a poem by George Eliot on my refrigerator door. It serves to remind me what’s important. Eliot had it right:

 

If you sit down at set of sun and count the acts that you have done

And counting, find one self-denying deed, one word

That eased the heart of him who heard

One glance most kind that fell like sunshine where it went

Then you may count that day well spent

But if, through all the livelong day

You’ve cheered no heart, by yea or nay

If, through it all you’ve nothing done that you can trace

That brought the sunshine to one face

No act most small that helped some soul and nothing cost

Then you may count that day as worse than lost.

 

What are your  priorities?  Post a comment.

 

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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I’VE LEARNED

I’VE LEARNED

 

I sometimes ask myself what I have learned.  Usually I am dissatisfied with the answer.  It feels incomplete – as though by the age of 75 I ought to have learned a good deal more.

 

I have learned to be content with less than perfection. I accept the fact that I’m not going to win the Nobel Prize or be entered in the Guinness Book of Records. I’ve come to understand that my contribution to our troubled word is that I managed to raise three well adjusted kids, all of whom are considerate, honest, caring people. I take some pride in that and am past striving for more.

 

I have learned how little I know – how little I understand. There is a whole world of unread stuff – a universe of un-understood things – that beckons me every day. I have come to realize how insatiably curious I am. I always feel that even if I taste it, I won’t have digested it. I want to feel about something the way Helene Hanff feels aboutLondon– to know all its nooks and crannies, to weep at the sight of the Towers. I want to be inside the skin of an Israeli whose village is threatened – to be able to intelligently discuss what happened at the Finland Station – to comprehend Joyce, Shakespeare, Descartes and a host of others – to spend hours upon hours inside the world’s great museums and come away understanding something – and on and on .

 

I have learned that anger and self pity, jealousy and envy are self-defeating. I have learned and appreciate the fact that mankind is one kind and I strive to incorporate that point of view in all I do and say.

 

I have learned not to waste worry. I know I am too trusting but I have no desire to be anything but.  ‘Parlous’ times are not familiar to me. I have learned to value and take pride in some personal qualities that, some years ago I didn’t recognize. I like my flexibility, my open-mindedness, the things that make me caring and loving, whatever creativity I possess.

 

One of the most important things I have learned occurred one day on about the 50th lap of a one mile swim in a pool.  Like a bolt of lightening I suddenly realized that subjecting ones self to unpleasant living circumstances only causes one to lose self respect.

 

On the other hand, I have failed miserably to learn anything about cynicism or skepticism. Essentially (foolishly?), despite all evidence to the contrary, I  believe  good will triumph over evil and that people are basically kind and honest. I have been sensible enough, however, to have taken my phone number off the number/address tracking line and I don’t walk down dark alleys.

 

I have also failed to learn much about patience and how to control my impulse to snoop.  If it wasn’t illegal I’d probably open other people’s mail.  Nor can I control my tendency to be critical of those who butcher the English language.  I haven’t learned how to participate in small talk nor how to reach out and make friends.

 

In a discussion about satisfaction I was given a quote from an inscription at the Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan. It said: “I am content with what I lack.”  I don’t lack the essentials but I am not content with living alone, the lack of enough resources to travel, my medical problems.  I have, however, learned to be content with what I lack.

 

Surely there’s more – more I’ve learned and more I’ve failed to learn. I’ve yet to determine what they are.

 

What have you learned? Are you content with what you lack?

 

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Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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WHAT HAPPENED?

WHAT HAPPENED?

 

Scene 1.  I was 16 when I got lost on my way downtown,  driving  a convertible with the top down, and found myself in a neighborhood: of  tenement housing, broken windows, homeless people sleeping in doorways, and streets littered with empty beer cans.  Today I recognize the potential danger to a young white girl in that situation but I am no more familiar with places like that now than I was 60 years ago.

 

Scene 2.  I live more modestly today than I once did but always in an upper class suburb.  I am not surrounded by the downtrodden and the indigent. The streets are not littered with garbage and the cars on the streets cost triple what the 10 year old rusty Fords of the ghetto cost. I am happy to buy a designer dress for eight or ten dollars from a resale shop rather than spend two hundred or more for the same dress at Neiman-Marcus.

 

The inequality between the two scenarios bothers me.  What troubles me more is the tendency of those who live in Scene 2 to succumb to the marketplace.  It is as if the advertising geniuses have leashed the populace who are willing  – nay, even anxious – to be led to the cash register.  The parking lot of an upscale mall I frequently drive by is always full and I envision a woman inside buying her 50th pair of shoes, a man trying on a Brooks Brothers suit to add to the 20 he already owns, a teen searching for yet another gadget to add to his computer.

 

How did it happen that people became so addicted to the latest and the newest; that they adopted a philosophy of “I want it all and I want it delivered”?  Doesn’t anyone  pause to think about the simple things that have been lost in the pursuit for MORE?

Is it no longer possible host a child’s birthday party with ice cream and cake and no hired clowns?  How many people would choose a in the woods instead of a walk through a shopping mall?  Does anybody consider visiting a neighbor for a chat instead of sending email?  Think of what one might do instead of shopping.

 

He might plant a few flowers.

He might lie in the grass and watch the clouds go by.

He might take a walk on a beach, dip his toes in the water and collect seashells.

He might make a cake from scratch and lick the beaters.

HE might read a story to a couple of kids.

He might clean out your closets and make a Good Will donation.

 

I once spent a summer living in a small Israeli apartment and was without a car.  I survived very nicely without bowing down to mechanics, the insurance company and Standard Oil.  There is freedom to be found in not being a slave to possessions. We’d do well to break away from the ad tycoons, the entities that employ them, and reclaim that freedom.

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Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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