Custom Curriculum

I passed the class and decided to apply this very same method to another tiresome class, P.E. My best friend Annette and me would leave school (cut out of gym) and ride in her black Javelin to a great little Greek diner not far away. We ate super fresh French fries smothered in ketchup and chatted about life in general. It was a good system. Towards the end of the year, when it warmed up in spring, I swam after school in the Olympic-sized pool. Sometimes I had the whole thing to myself.

Frigid Fluid

It was the fluid that was used to embalm bodies back in the day. I’ll never forget the smell. It clung to my husband’s clothes, it emanated from his lungs when he breathed. It was strong, not garlic strong, but more metallic, cold, citrus, and floral at the same time like you took a room full of flowers and sliced it with steel through and through.

Cabbage Noodles – (Káposztás Tészta) Part One.

Thinking about my growing up Hungarian, I have specific food memories, which I know every single culture on the planet has…the comfort food of childhood. Noodles, dumplings, and pasta, it keeps us alive, but when it’s made just right, it’s the most sublime, perfect mouthfeel and chew, delicious meal on the planet.  The wheat protein, with or without egg, makes a nutritious dish. Coated with a sauce or simple combination of ingredients makes it magical, it’s what memories are made of.

Cabbage Stories: Food and Punishment.

The first showcases my brilliance at mimicry. I was observant, I was quiet and watched things. In my little Nelson central school, I had a teacher named Mrs. Savage. Her husband was the headmaster. She had dark short curly hair and was a little soft and round. Her remarkable attribute was a wide and round bottom, spanning east to west and north to south with equal measure. It was fascinating to watch the roll to the side, and then the compensatory vertical drop.

The Legendary Lavender Sport Coat.

The story begins when Ken sees an ad in the paper, showing a lavender sports coat. He liked it and went to buy it. Apparently, it was made for advertisement only and none were available for sale. This news upset him greatly, and spurred on by righteous indignation, he commissioned the neighborhood tailor, to custom…

Yesterday I cried for the water.

The water is my escape, it’s the place between the heavy, solid every day and the spirit world. It’s where I float and glide, it’s where I become part of the bigger world, the fish, the rocks, the low-hanging trees, and the sand made of millions of sea shells. It’s the element that would heal me, or let me forget pain and anxiety.  The ocean heals, the lake and river balances, and pools let me swim with abandon knowing I won’t hit rocks or be swept out to sea. 

Little Andie: Konini street. Fish and Chips or Pasties?

When I had a shilling to spend for food, I chose between pasties or fish and chips. The shops were almost next to each other. One was a bakery that made the pasties, the other a fish and chip shop. They were both across the street from my Nelson Central School. I love fish and…

Little Andie: Nile Street. The Neighbors.

Behind our house, the house we lived in was Mrs. Turtin. Her front started where the river bent, next to where the eels lived. Her house was closer to the street and full of flowers. The back of her house was full of flowers too, I could see them across the river from our back lawn. Their houses were painted white too, but they were much brighter inside. 

Little Andi. Nile Street. The soundtrack of my babyhood.

My parents were refugees from Hungary. I don’t recall popular music of the time from my babyhood and toddlerhood until years later when I became a child. Then, the radio was tuned into the music of the day. As a toddler, my soundtrack was the Hungarian music my parents must have listened to when they…

Little Andie: Nile Street 1. River eels.

The river ran deeper where it turned sharply. That’s where the eels lived. I could sit on the bank on the opposite side and wait for them to come out of their holes. They were dark and fast little snakes. If I moved, they’d hide right away, so I had to be still for quite…

Little Andie: Nile Street 2. The Gypsy told me.

Someday I’ll tell you how I lost my voice, but I’m thinking, not today. I always knew he had a soft hold on the world from the minute he was born. So I watched over him better than anyone else. Even better than our mother, who loved to tell trash like “A gypsy told me…