Beignets in New Orleans
New Orleans is a place where some adults frequently act like 6-year-olds. Usually the behavior is brought on by alcohol. During our visit to Nola last week, I let the famous sweet treat from Cafe du Monde, help me recall my 6-year-old self. I never ate a beignet when I was 6, but I have good donut memories.
One whiff of my beignet, brought back memories of my mom making donuts in our kitchen in Iowa. Since I knew of no one else who made donuts, besides bakers, I was impressed. I thought Mom was sort of daring and magical when she plopped circles of dough into the sizzling pan of grease. After the dough cooked, she drained the piping hot rings on paper towels, before giving them a shake in a paper bag filled with powdered sugar.
Cafe du Monde
To this day, the smell of funnel cakes reminds me of Mom's donuts.
But the taste of beignets, is an even closer match! A delicious celebration of sweet!
For the 6 Year Old
Not many know that Arthur Miller wrote a children's book. It was published in 1963, during the time my family lived in New York and my dad worked with the famous playwright. I don't remember when Mr. Miller gave this book to our family, but I remember reading it in our Staten Island apartment. I was 6 and too young to care that he had signed the book to my sister and me.
I was more intrigued that it was about a little girl growing too old for her security blanket. I was 6 and very aware that I was growing too old for my thumb-sucking habit. The book's sweet story and illustrations spoke to me. There were pictures of "Jane" at my age... sucking her thumb!
From 6 to 60
On Mother's Day I enjoyed slipping back to my 6 year old self and reading Jane's Blanket. Then I acted more my age and went to see an Arthur Miller play at Houston's Alley Theatre.
It was nice to be my age and not a 6 year old, yawning and squirming through an adult play. (I saw a lot of them as a child) It takes a few decades as an adult, to fully appreciate a Miller play!
Celebrating on a Porch!
Last week we stayed with friends in a house that had a screened in porch. I was amazed at how sitting in the shady space, transported me back in time.
I've never lived in a house that had one, but I have fond memories of my grandmother's porch. Just a few days ago, I spent a good part of the morning, sitting on this porch. I sipped coffee, read a little and reminisced about "Daw's" porch.
I have no pictures of "Daw Daw's" screened porch, but my drawing shows her front porch. We stayed with Daw, the summer I was 6 and I spent a lot of time in the cozy screened porch, in the evenings. We sat on the cushioned, wicker furniture and played games.
The sound of cicadas surrounded us. Sometimes the lightening bugs would lure us out, from our mosquito-free porch. But the safe glow of the light through the screens, always brought us back. My little porch celebration has made me more determined. Someday, I will have my own screened in porch!
Remembering My Old Schwinn
I learned to ride a bike in Grinnell, Iowa. Our sidewalk was buckled from tree roots, but by the time I was 6 I was flying down Summer Street. Barefoot and helmet-less, I pretended my little Schwinn was a pony! Best of all, I liked bike-riding with friends.
I recently got to relive those carefree bicycle days with my friend Kim, in Florida. The quiet neighborhood was car-less and our heads were helmet-less. I pedaled with my flip-flops and squealed at my own wobbly steering. (I blame that on my heavy camera bag in the basket) We laughed our way to the beach for sunset and laughed some more when we had a little bike mishap, which ended with a skinned elbow. I'm not telling more.
A bike celebration! A perfect way to remember being 6!
When I attended P.S. 35 in Staten Island, the first day of May was a big deal.
The older kids got to do the Maypole, which impressed me to no end.
Little Dutch Dance
The first graders had to perform a little Dutch dance, which I vaguely remember.
What I remember more vividly, is how my headband, covered in flowers and ribbons, fell over my eyes. Being a rule follower, I did as I was told and didn't let go of my partner's hands. I danced blindly and hoped no one would notice. You can tell which girl is me, in the photo. I was mortified when I discovered my mom had a photo to capture the memory.
So on this May Day, I had no options for a Maypole dance. I could have asked Don to dance with me, but instead I decided to make a May Basket, just as I would have done decades ago.
I used to love the yearly ritual, when children made little paper baskets and filled them with candies and "flowers" pulled from the yard. We delivered them to our friends' houses and knocked on the door before running away. If caught we would be kissed.
So I made a little basket for my neighbor, Lorrie. It was pretty similar to the baskets I made with cupcake liners and yarn, as a 6 year old. I placed the tiny surprise near her doormat and rang the bell. I didn't exactly run home. Instead, I strolled home texting a bit of an explanation. Sigh... I can't believe I allowed technology to get involved with my May Day fun!