my days by the water

i’ll never forget my days by the water
a childhood so perfect
it almost hurts to remember

seashells and crab boils, best friends and cousins
a brother so close
he was almost my double

sunburns and skinned knees and sand in our eyes
fishing and sandcastles
huge wide-open skies

potluck parties where parents talked politics
where active listening happened
and no one left mad

“beach bum” friends of my parents, ex-soldiers
recovering from war
found peace in the waves

bonfires, fireworks, beach birthdays and family
acceptance and love as
abundant as sunshine

i’ll always remember
those days by the water


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Image by Bikurgurl

I stumbled on the concept of “100 Word Wednesday” in a blog called Bikurgurl and decided to participate this week, Week 15 of the challenge. The prompt was this beautiful lighthouse, and the rules are simple:  write something 100 words long, use this image or another of your choosing, and link back to the original blog. The lighthouse made me think of my childhood living by the water on a very different kind of shore on the Bolivar Peninsula in Southeast Texas.

This rough little poem came spilling out of me as I thought of those halcyon sand-ridden childhood days and so many memories flooded in.  Everything seemed so safe, so permanent, so lively-lovely in our tiny town of 600, Gilchrist, Texas.  My brother and I went to the beach almost every day, even in the winter.  My aunt and uncle moved just down the street from us, and our cousins became more like brothers. Beach birthday parties and fireworks spawned grass-fires and the scruffy men of the volunteer fire seemed delighted to be called out.  My mother made mirrors rimmed with sea shells and sold them at a local art gallery.

My parents, while definitely not hippies, had escaped the mind-numbing sameness and materialism they found in suburban life for the quirky, slower and sometimes downright backward way of life on the Bolivar Peninsula.  I didn’t realize at the time that the larger world was present, even there.  Mom and Dad hosted election parties and invited all kinds of folks from both sides of the political aisle, and taped the lively but respectful conversations to send to my uncle, who worked for Hamilton Beach in Africa and was on a plane that was hijacked on his way home (he survived).  A young man who was AWOL from the Army climbed up our stairs turned himself in to my Dad on our deck one Saturday morning while we were watching cartoons.  “Beach bums” staying in a cabin a few doors down from us turned out to be Vietnam vets, confused and weary guys trying to patch up their lives and come to terms with their experiences.  They were kind to an awkward tween-age girl; they paid me a few dollars to embroider peaceful sayings and seagulls on their frayed bellbottoms.  They remained friends with my parents long after they all left the beach for more stability inland.  Hurricane Ike took away the entire town in 2008.

So many more memories and stories, but this was supposed to be a post for 100 Word Wednesday.  So I’ll leave you with some links with related stories and a few pictures.

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In this photo, my brother was the awkward tween
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Mom on the deck; she made those macramé plant hangers
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My Dad and brother, fishing in the Intracoastal Canal, at the end of our road
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The view from the deck, some years after my childhood but before Hurricane Ike

 

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Home Alone Comfort Food: Scrambled Egg Sandwich

So over the last three weeks I had a long trip for work to Paris and then right away, a shorter trip for relaxation to Colorado (I know, I know, you’re not crying for me). After arriving home in Southeast Texas in the wee hours last night and working all day today, I found myself home alone for dinner tonight with no “on purpose” food in the refrigerator. That is, no food that was purchased with a menu or recipe in mind; all the Grill-Meister and I have in the icebox is a plethora of condiments and some too-old leftovers, and he’s not here tonight to justify my ordering Chinese.

What to do? What to do?

Comfort food to the rescue: a Scrambled Egg Sandwich.

I give thanks to my Dad for teaching me the joys of this humble little culinary bundle of joy. I made it a little differently than he did when I was growing up: his version with “Sandwich Spread” and cheddar on white bread evolved into mine with jalapeño jack and fresh baby spinach on wheat, but it’s still a wonderful go-to comfort food item.

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There’s really no recipe for this:  simply scramble a couple of eggs the way you like them (don’t forget the salt and pepper), toast a couple of pieces of bread, and assemble by resting the eggs atop a bed of baby spinach or perhaps some thinly sliced tomatoes on the bottom piece of toast, adding a slice of your favorite cheese and topping with the second piece of toast.  Voila, a lovely dinner for one, reminiscent of your childhood.  Or mine, at least.

I’m curious – what is YOUR easy comfort food when you’re home alone?

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Postcards from Montmartre

More random photos from an extremely pleasant afternoon in the Montmartre section of Paris.

Flowering trees and shutters, seen from the viewpoint of Renoir’s Gardens, otherwise known as the Museum of Montmartre.

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The Eiffel Tower framed by ancient oaks, a few steps from the famous Steps of Montmartre.

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More to come…

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Haiku for My Dinner Last Night

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Weeknight wickedness:
a hasty – and yet tasty –
Benedict for one.


The Grill-Meister wanted leftover Jambalaya last night (I’m all jazzed about Jazz Fest and having been binge-cooking New Orleans food in anticipation), but after having it for two dinners and three lunches AND giving some to a coworker with Louisiana roots, I was ready for a change.

So I made myself a quick Southwest Eggs Benedict for One, with a pico de gallo hollandaise.

On a Monday night.

I felt naughty.

But I’m not sorry.

I might do it again tonight.


For more random Glover Gardens haiku, click here.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! My “gift” to you is a reminder and a few versions of the wonderful classic from the American jazz songbook, My Funny Valentine. I just love this song by Rodgers and Hart, and it has been recorded beautifully by so many marvelous singers.

One of my favorites is the Frank Sinatra version from his first album with Nelson Riddle.

Another of my favorites is Chet Baker’s haunting rendition.  This one is in the Library of Congress National Registry of Recordings for its cultural heritage and historical significance.

And let’s wrap it up with another classic version by Ella Fitzgerald, with an intro not included in the others.

In talking with my son who is majoring in Jazz Composition and plays a mean piano, he suggested that any post such as this should definitely include the performance by Bill Evans and Ray Hall.  It’s a lovely instrumental that really does the tune justice.

Lyrics

My funny Valentine, sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable
Yet, you’re my favourite work of art

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines day

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines day

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Happy Valentine’s Day, to my own special valentine, and everyone out there.  Love of all kinds is a beautiful thing to celebrate.