Bridges and Puzzles

Monday Morning Musings:

“Then we got into a labyrinth, and, when we thought we were at the end,
came out again at the beginning, having still to see as much as ever.”
–Plato

“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world.”
—William Shakespeare,  Love’s Labor’s Lost, Act V, scene iii

 

There are bridges that carry us across rivers

And there are bridges that close gaps in time or understanding

But life is a labyrinth

There are no direct routes

It twists and turns

Until it finally ends

Unsolved

 

We took a bridge to my sister’s house,

Our annual Mother’s Day ritual,

Lunch prepared by my sister and her wife

Stuffed shells, meatballs and sausage for the meat eaters,

A great salad brought by my niece

(ten minutes of agonizing about it over

the phone the day before)

because that’s what we do

The women in my family can make

Not simply mountains out of mole hills,

We can make Mt. Everest out of speck on the ground

But oh, we can spin stories, too–

Best done with food and wine,

Enough food for twice the number at the table

Also part of the tradition–

So we sit at my sister’s table

We talk about our pets

The size of our cats

(big and small)

The time my daughter’s dog

“sprint peed” around her apartment

We talk about family

The “art genes” we carry

The ability to write and a love of chocolate

(Must be carried on dominant genes)

Perhaps a love of spicy food, too,

As no one thought the “hot” salsa was particularly hot

And daughter and I had

a little pizza with our hot peppers the night before

My niece discussing family craziness

“If our husbands die do you want to live together

 and we can drink and be crazy together?”

She might have said this to my daughter

That’s perfectly normal, right?

And then it was off to Macy’s

How many women does it take to shop with my mom?

We have our assigned roles,

Dresser

Assistant dressers

Clothing hangers

Hunter and Gatherer of new items

But sometimes it takes a village

IMG_3789

And this year, we also have

The bra hunter

And dressing room bouncer

Do you wonder what it must be like

Or why we laugh?

You hook the bra, and I’ll put the boobs in

And later a whispered aside:

Just put the pillow over my head if I start wearing bras like that

She has great boobs– you have good boob genes

(Is this carried along with the writing and chocolate gene?)

To the dressing room bouncer,

How about if you close the door– I’m sitting here in all my glory.

Finally, the shopping is complete

My mom has quite a haul– dress, pants, shirts—no new bra

What $40? Forget it?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

We head back to my sister’s,

where my husband, brother, and sister’s wife

have been watching the Phillies

They won!

Time for dessert,

My brownies and daughter’s cannoli dip

We like our chocolate

FullSizeRender 19

Not much left here!

And coffee

What? You don’t make coffee at home?

Back in the car, driving my mom home

We talk of family history

We learn that some of her family lived in a refugee tent city

In England

Caught there between Belarus and the U.S.

Early in the twentieth century

Perhaps during WWI?

My mom doesn’t know

She said her cousin, then a young child

Thought it was fun—the children got to run around and play–

Their mothers probably did not enjoy it as much–

We arrive at my mom’s, but

Just before she gets out of the car

She leaves us with one more family puzzle

Her father left family in Russia who vanished during

“the war,”

That would be WWII.

I have no idea what to make of this.

What people?

How did they vanish?

Life is full of such puzzles

We can never solve all of them

But there’s a quest to try

To work our way through the labyrinth

Not right now though

It’s late

And so we head back over the bridge,

East with the sun at our backs

To home

Where there is more chocolate waiting for me.

IMG_3796

 

 

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Bridges and Puzzles

  1. There is so much to love here, especially the quirky family stories like yours (and mine). You mention labyrinth as a good metaphor, and I agree. But a double helix might work too, suggestive of the complementary strands of DNA, another way to identify family.

    I have some chocolate in the kitchen, which I will try to resist until morning snack. 🙂

  2. A wonderful labyrinth. I loved the shopping/dressing room section, but this is my favorite conjunction of lines:
    We can make Mt. Everest out of speck on the ground
    But oh, we can spin stories, too–

  3. Well, now, THAT sounds like the perfect Mother’s Day! And just think – your sister-in-law missed all that girly time by staying home for sports! EESH! Take me shopping ANY day over sports! Even if it means helping a stray boob or two pop back in the bra. 🙂 (Are there any more openings in your family? If so, sign me up!) ❤

  4. What a wonderful family you have, Merril. To be able to laugh and enjoy each other’s company across several generations through family dinners and shopping sprees..Priceless!.:-)

  5. Oh, Merril! How I wish I had sisters! Luckily, i had my best friend, my mom. I waa blessed with 2 daughters and one son. We are rather wild and funny, too. 🙂
    My Mom is still alive and kicking, but she has some “loose marbles” (early dementia?) so we have her in a safe, but freeing in passage and choices, senior living apt building near sadly, my 2 brothers. We love thrift stores, chocolate, action and love stories, history and magical gardens. She recites world lit and Spanish since she taught both.
    I will see her over Memorial Day, last visit at Easter. Brothers took to one if their homes and they had a picnic/BBQ. When I called to talk she said she got my card which I told her when I was coming and her gift would be along, too. I bought her a lovely door hanging with bluebirds on it. Smiles, Robin

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