My Very Favorite Things

Effusive adjective (as defined by Google)

  1. expressing feelings of gratitude, pleasure, or approval in an unrestrained or heartfelt manner.
  2. GEOLOGY (of igneous rock) poured out when molten and later solidified (not germane to our discussion today, but interesting nonetheless-debbie).


Best happy dance of all time.

“I could sense your enthusiasm.”-The Café Driade barista, when I discovered they weren’t out of baguettes.  Also, what The Kid now says to me when I get excited about something—normally 8-10 times a day, and at least twice that when I’m somewhere I like, or when the weather cools off, or there’s cake involved, or I’m wearing new shoes, or a favorite song is playing…so really, I guess, most of the time.

I know this isn’t technically cake, but just look at that frosting.  Hubba hubba!

I’ve always been like that.  So much so that my shirt sleeves are permanently stained red from my heart being worn out there.

When I was little I loved when this pretentious baker would appear on Sesame Street to announce and describe the very fancy dessert he carried.  He’d then fall down the stairs and end up covered in it.  I loved picking out my new lunch box every year at back to school shopping.  I loved the look on my big brother’s friend’s faces when I’d catch the football that they threw extra hard to make the pesky little kid go away and stop yelling, “Over here! I’m open!”I looked forward all week to sitting in front of the TV watching Saturday morning cartoons and eating Lucky Charms with my brother Homer.  I loved the Sundays when I’d go along with him on his paper route and then we’d hit Hardees.  We left before sunup, it was so early Elizabeth City was deserted and belonged only to us.  Eating a Hardees roast beef sandwich at 8AM feels to an eight-year-old like delicious rule-breaking.  Sometimes we’d even go fishing after eating.In elementary school in Puerto Rico, there was an annual event that I eagerly anticipated, but which my parents dreaded and feared—the arrival of the Scholastic book catalog.  We’d get the brochure early for browsing and for our parents to write a check.  For me, it was the catalyst to week-long negotiations with my own parental check writers.  I always got less than I wanted, and they always spent more than they’d planned.

But that’s the definition of compromise, isn’t it?In junior high in San Diego, I loved our twice-yearly trips to Disneyland.  And this Greek diner, Troy’s near our house.  It’s where I had my first patty melt; cheesy, grilled ambrosia, and liver; a horrible, horrible practical joke played on my taste buds.

I loved going with my mom to work on Saturdays.  She worked part-time during the week so she could take us to school and pick us up, then made up the hours on Saturday.  The office was deserted, so I’d pack a couple books and hang out with her.  She worked in La Jolla, one of the most exclusive towns in California.  I’d go out to pick up lunch for us, or window shop, or visit the library.I loved that library.  It was small, quiet, and had a great young adult section.  But best of all, the library had one of my very favorite things.  I mean it’s up there with potato salad and new boots.  It’s a nook.  A little semi-private corner somewhere, preferably a padded window seat, made for curling up, reading and daydreaming. I think my personality was pretty much finished cooking by junior high.  Looking over my list, all that stuff still makes me happy—even Lucky Charms, and the clumsy Sesame Street pastry chef.  Although, now I’d add Petey and The Kid, and walking in the woods with my dog, oh, and mowing the lawn, and lattes, and the State Fair, and Costco, and my Hunter wellies, and new sweats, and…well, you can probably sense my enthusiasm.Thanks for your time.

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