Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Arthur's Theme

Arthur's Theme (Best that you can do) ...This song has a way of sweeping me off to another time and place. It starts in my childhood and winds itself through my life all the way to my husband.

I grew up in the late 70's and early 80's when music was magical and movies were not age appropriate! But we watched them anyway.

The  movie Arthur came out in 1981 when I was seven. My dad was very much in to theater, art and music so he had no qualms with me seeing movies that might not be fitting for such a young mind. He allowed me to watch them because he could see artistic quality in almost anything. So, like many of our other weekend visits (my parents were divorced) he took me to the movies to see Arthur.

When my mom found out, she was less than pleased. I don't blame her now, obviously. But back then I could not see the problem. I mean, Arthur had a good heart. He was a good person and it was a sweet story. As an adult now I see how wildly inappropriate it was for my 7 year old eyes to see a movie about an alcoholic who drove drunk, frequented prostitutes and didn't actually work for a living. I get it!

After the mild disagreement settled, the memory remained. I loved the movie, especially the theme song.

When I met my husband in 2000, I fell madly in love with him. I love hearing stories about his childhood. One of my favorites is when he got a keyboard one year as a gift and he learned to play Arthur's theme. The very thought of my husband as a kid rocking this song on an 80's keyboard is almost too much for my heart to handle! He's kind of adorable.

I realize it must seem like no big whoop, this story of mine. But to me it's deep. I feel it ties us together. Connects us in some cosmic way. Something as simple as a song in common is a beautiful thing.

I have many Christopher Cross songs on my music playlists, but Arthur's Theme always stops me in my tracks no matter what I'm doing. I think of my husband when I hear that sound. Precious in my memory, forever.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wendy & the Won Tons

It's no secret that I attach memories to "things". I do it all the time. Every day of my life.

For example, to this day I can't eat a crab rangoon without thinking of one of my favorite babysitters of all time, Wendy.

From my past blogs, you know that I did not always have the kindest babysitters when I was a kid. But, Wendy was different. She was a teenager with soft, brown hair. She loved all the cool music of the early 80's. She would part my hair on the side and tell me I looked like Princess Diana!

She took very good care of my brother and me and for some reason I've never forgotten the time she made us won ton wrappers....Strange, huh?

I remember sitting in the kitchen of her (and her parents) home. It was a typical kitchen from the 70's. It was dark brown  with pops of white and possibly orange, but it had a counter with bar stools to sit at. I was sitting up there waiting for a snack. I didn't know what she was making.

She had a fry daddy out, probably not super safe, but again...it was the 80's. She took a package of won ton wrappers from the fridge and dropped them in the fryer, one by one. Not filling them, not folding them. Just as they were, a small square. She fried them for less than a minute then drained them on paper towels.

She served them to me on a plate with ketchup. I thought it was a magnificent little treat! I had never had such a snack, and never have again....Until this evening.

Last week while grocery shopping, I ran across a package of won ton wrappers. I'm sure they are always present but I simply never look for them. When I saw them, a wave of sweet nostalgia ran through my body. I closed my eyes and smiled right there in the fresh food aisle. I thought of Wendy. I thought of my childhood.

I put a package in my cart and told myself I'm going to make these, for old times sake. This evening was that time. I went above and beyond and went on to fill about 10 wrappers with a cream cheese mixture then lightly fried them in a shallow pan. The rest I kept exactly as they were, in their square form. Fried them lightly and drained them, just as Wendy had done for me all those years ago.

I didn't use a fry daddy, nor do I have a brown kitchen, but I do have the 1970's Sears "Merry Mushroom" canister set on my kitchen counter. Just a bit of whimsy and a nod to homemakers of the past.

I sat down with my children at our vintage dinette set with the television turned off. I told them the story of my sweet Wendy and the Won Ton wrappers while they ate (for the very first time) these "new" snacks.

I connected the food they were eating, to a memory. Maybe someday it will mean something to them.....I hope!

Arthur's Theme

Arthur's Theme (Best that you can do) ...This song has a way of sweeping me off to another time and place. It starts in my childhood an...