“I enjoy, occasionally, a day with my memories — these paintings hanging on the walls of my mind.”

What a day! The breeze is cool. The leaves on the backyard trees are swaying, almost musically. The sun is glinting through the branches of the trees. It is 72° and won’t get much higher.

I don’t eat beans except maybe string beans which I don’t really think are beans at all. Kidney and Lima beans are the grossest. My chili never has beans.

When I was a kid, Italian and Chinese foods were considered exotic, especially Chinese. Every now and then my father would get take out from the China Moon. Jumbo shrimp and scallion pancakes were my favorites. We ate spaghetti with meatballs. Everybody did.

Even on the coldest winter days, when I had to wear layers on my walk to school, I never wore tights. I wore knee socks and pink long underwear under my skirt.

When I was growing up, we ate far more ground beef than any other meat because it was so versatile and it wasn’t expensive. My mother had a repertoire of ground beef recipes so we never tired of eating it. I loved her American chop suey and her Chinese food which had water chestnuts and bamboo shoots so it was exotic and Chinese to us. We also had chicken but not as often. The best was Sunday dinner, always a roast with mashed potatoes and some sort of canned vegetable. Baby peas and corn were my favorites.

Christmas was amazing. My mother always had a Christmas club at the bank so she could afford the gifts we wanted. I don’t remember ever being disappointed. I do remember being surprised in the best ways.

It never occurred to me we didn’t have a whole lot of money. Much later, when my father had a different job, things changed. We went out to eat often. Ground beef became only hamburgers for weekend barbecues. My parents took some cruises and even went to Egypt. Christmas was still a delight. My gifts were wonderful surprises. My parents were generous.

I am thankful for all the wonderful memories my parents gave me. I consider myself extremely lucky.

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6 Comments on ““I enjoy, occasionally, a day with my memories — these paintings hanging on the walls of my mind.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    Greetings from a place near the river Rhine, I just visit my relatives again, about 7 hours by (5 slow) trains along the river today. Sunny and hot. Too hot. At least no rain, an open air Light Festival is in town, illumination art at the front of the big castle.
    And no, I still don’t miss my parents. Luck you!

    • katry Says:

      I think I would never mind a train ride along a river.

      There is always so much going on for you. We do have town bands who do concerts all summer but I would love more. The latest is a sand sculpture trail. You follow a map from town to town to look at all the sand sculptures.

      I had uke practice tonight. In the summer, unless it is raining, we practice outside. Tonight it got cold. My fingers were freezing. It was 17° celsius by the time we finished.

      I was lucky with my parents.

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    The weather has cooled down to a pleasant 102° 🙂

    I’m amazed that hailing from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you don’t like baked beans. I was under the impression that everyone in and around, Bean-town ate baked beans. I agree with you about Kidney and Lima beans. “Yuck”. No one in their right mind puts beans in chili unless you come from Cincinnati Ohio. Don’t ask what they do with their chili with beans. They call it, “Chili Five Ways”.

    Because my folks came from NYC, they had a taste for both Italian and Chinese food when we moved to Texas in the 1950s. In those days Dallas was an ethnic food desert. The only exception was Mexican food. Even that wasn’t real, it was “TexMex” food. There’s a family run Mexican restaurant called, “El Fenix”, that has been in business in Dallas since the 1920s. Real Texans, (Non Hispanics), still go there on Wednesdays for their special Cheese Enchiladas dinner. It’s two cheese enchiladas, covered in Rancho sauce and served with Spanish rice, refried beans and a big glass of iced tea. “Ola!”

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I’m sorry to say it is now 64°. I had outside uke practice, and it got cold sitting there. I had to warm my fingers.

      There is just something about baked beans that disgust me, maybe their texture. They were part of Saturday night dinners in just about every household: franks, beans and brown bread. People here often put beans in their chili. I always tell them that beans are untraditional. They are just a filler.

      Massachusetts now has many ethnic restaurants. The best Mexican restaurant closed a long while back. Now the ones left here aren’t traditional but people still eat there anyway. When I visit Colorado, there are restaurants with traditional Mexican food. I always go to at least one. Refried beans never touch my plate!

      • Bob Says:

        I also am not a fan of refried beans especially refried pinto beans. When I go to a Mexican Restaurant, I ask if they have black beans. I like Frijoles Negros.

      • katry Says:

        I find even their appearance disgusting. I also do not like black beans.

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