Meet Stumpy

Okay, so my inner Lorax is showing again. This time, I’m sharing my very favorite tree stump. My muses, they are still away on holiday and Gatsby and I are busy, meandering all over the place in an effort to keep him exercised while I’m at work, and me free from worry (huh!) while I am away from him. Where I really wish we were walking is out on the trails of our sort of, back yard, the Wissahickon.

On this particular trail, no matter the season, the kinder (children) have to jump on the stump and imagine, explore and pretend. It never gets old for them or for me. Photo ops abound. Well, okay, I admit, I too would enjoy a climb on, or even through this beauty. For me, stumpy here epitomizes all the good parts of childhood. Stumpy brings up images of bright red radio flyers, flowered banana seat bikes with multi-colored streamers, Keds sneakers and, skimming stones in the creek.

I can even taste the stale gum that comes with the pack of baseball cards. Do you hear the ice cream truck, or is it just me? This stump, it may just be the very best stump in all of the world. And we have it, right here, in our sort of, very big, backyard park.  Nothing to kvetch (whine) about here.

Go out and be with the trees, my friends.

 

      

     

 

The Wisdom of the Trees

The wisdom of the trees

There is a certain trail we take when hiking, the Mrs., me and the kinder (children), where we pass this stunning tree. I love this tree, and it’s very obvious how many others do too. I would never carve my initials in it or declare my undying love for the Mrs. atop its thick ‘barky’ skin — I’m too much of a ‘Lorax for such behavior. My Little and Big, they always ask why so many people would hurt the tree with so much engraving and writing? Who am I to know…

It’s good to behold beauty and live with wisdom. Oif shainem iz gut tsu kuken; mit a klugen iz gut tsu leben.

I do believe that this tree, (all of the trees actually), holds inside a certain shrewdness about you, me, and all of those that pass by its grace and grandeur. This tree, it feels our pains and celebrates our victories. She is a living, breathing road map of where we have been and will tell the tale of where we will go.

In the meantime, this very tree will continue to help our environment by absorbing the CO2 in the air, releasing clean oxygen, fighting against water pollution, protecting our skin from the powerful rays of the sun, and holding in its canopy, a wealth of wildlife, like squirrels, opossums, bugs, birds and the very special and much-needed, bees. I must add how this very tree is a wonderful source of outdoor play for my shanah maideleh’s (sweet girls) as we traipse about in her home, the woods.

This tree, may she continue to give me a big sigh of relief. When I look at her or think of her, I feel a little better about everything.

Zie gezunt! Be healthy, be well!

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Presence vs. Presents: A wordless Wednesday

My Bashert (my heart)
My Bashert (my heart)
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul! And this family can laugh!
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul! And this family can laugh!
The love of eating goes deep, shows early, and can't be taught. Hymie's whitefish salad!
The love of eating goes deep, shows early, and can’t be taught.
Hymie’s whitefish salad! TDF…
Frayndshaft (friendship), nothing like it!
Frayndshaft (friendship), nothing like it!
Shep naches (get such pleasure from) these faces...
Shep naches (get such pleasure from) these faces…

What a wonderful couple of weeks we have had, this holiday season. We are so rich with love! ❤

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To the moon, and back again

A little break on the way to the Tolerance Statue
A little break on the way to the Tolerance Statue

In this space, many a time, I have spoken ill of my kinder (children) and their need to gai schluffy (go to sleep) on their own and in their own room. Last night, the first sleep over of 2017, had our Little and Big’ with their own Little E. and Big M.’ in tow. Sibling birthed besties! Literally, friends ‘in/out of utero,’ ‘of/for a lifetime.’

Let me preface this bubba meisah (a bit of a tall story) with the fact anecdotal evidence that up until now, and for three short months shy of nine years, the Mrs. and me have been a part of some irrational scientific lab experiment on sleep deprivation. I gotta say, our ‘sleep banks’ and our ‘regular banks’ are probably equally underprovided…

I have so many girls to look after!
I have so many girls to look after!

Knowing that our Little shana madelah was going to be the cause of the majority of any anticipated schluffy tsuris (sleep trouble), we started our adventure with our first hike of 2017. We had two cars, 4 girls 8 and under, and Gatsby (a barking meshuggeneh boychik on a leash) and headed off for the beautiful trails of the Wissahicken. A little fresh air, a new trail and a New Year! Surely we were finding our true north early in the year. We chose to head over to the Tolerance Statue, Mr. William Penn himself, in full-marbleized regalia. 2017 is going to need a lot of ‘tolerance,’ more than usual given the unfortunate circumstances of our hacked democracy. The weather was perfect, the lighting gorgeous and the adventurous state of the girls was scary thrilling!

These ‘explorer kids’ ran, chased, scaled, and reached for the stars as we made our way to the statue. There was a lot of joy on the trail that day, as everyone who passed was filled with smiles and well wishes for a Happy New Year. It felt quite lovely. The maidelahs and the boychik felt the holiday spirit too as they giggled and climbed. Wink. Wink. Nod. Nod. The Mrs. and me thought for certain that we were golden; a promising quiet night with 4 sleeping beauties, nestled snug in their beds.

Home Alone. Popcorn is cooking
Home Alone. Popcorn is cooking

We filled their tiny bellies with pizza and ice cream, the entrée of all sleepovers. We brought out the trampoline for some additional arduous, aerobic activity, then stoked up the TV with Home Alone, the original. The smell of buttery popcorn wafted through the hallways of the Manor, a nice nosh (nibble) for a movie. It was a night of memory making, a simcha (cause for happiness) over these beautiful friendships.

Entertainment: Home Alone, the original
Entertainment: Home Alone, the original

Hugs, kisses… “Goodnight girls! We love you to the moon and back again!” Oh, how naïve we were.

The Bigs, they had their books to read and set off to our bedroom to quietly read. Our Little, she flipped a switch and began an award-winning melt-down, complete with alarming geshrei’s (screams like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween), stomping feet and kicky legs too! Totally expected. The Mrs. spent some time in the room with them. I came back from walking boychik and headed for my tour of duty.

Many hours later, I lay motionless in the dark, essence of oils diffusing ‘balance’ into the air, two sleeping Bigs and two wide awake, albeit loud, Littles. It’s time for the Mrs. again. Soon after, I am called back in for a song. The Mrs., she cuts it off at a song. So Little E. requested a ‘lullaby’ that her mom sings her each night. Oy vey…

So, I pull out my very best lullaby. Like a jackrabbit, Little E., she jumps up and says, “That was good, but the one my mommy sings goes like this.” She sang proud and strong, and with the largest, wiggly-jiggly toothed smile shining by the light of the diffuser. It made my very tired, post-tantrum, miserable kinder (child) smile too.

From that moment on, they held hands, smiled, and fell fast asleep. Long night, but completely adorbs all around. Oh how I love these girls!

And chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Another nice nosh...
And chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Another nice nosh…

Gut-yor (A good year) for all!

Yeder kind offers zeyer eygn eyntsik talant fun glik tsu di velt. Every child offers their own unique gift of happiness to the world. – Russian proverb

 

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