When my children were small, I sang them many silly songs. They’d usually complain ‘Mom, do you HAVE to sing a song about EVERYTHING???’ If the truth be known, if I didn’t already KNOW an applicable song, I’d make one up on the spot. I just enjoyed singing to those poor suffering young souls.
Someone must have put something in the water they drink because as adults both Rafi and Susan have asked me to tape those very same songs. Interesting…
I started to, but life is a busy adventure and I never got too far with the task. Susan decided to take things in hand and get things started, so on our last visit to her and Michael, she filmed these three ridiculous videos. I admit I’ve never had so much fun or laughed as much.
It’s also nice to know that long after I’m gone, my children will have these absolutely stupid and awful videos of me in my old age singing a few of their favourites.
Lucky you! You can enjoy them too. Just click on the following.
You can also find them on YouTube and if we get millions of viewers, we’ll be rich. (Chuckle.)
Another birthday. Another hope that this one, at last, would bring me some wisdom. The night before I turned 86, a venerable age indeed, I crawled into bed hopeful. Surely it was time for wisdom to arrive, right???
The next morning I awoke without an iota more of that valuable stuff. Oh, well — perhaps it will happen next year.
Meanwhile, daughter Susan sent me the above greeting for my special day. I enjoyed it so much, I had to share it with you lucky folks.
Just visited loved ones in San Francisco who drove me to Nevada to visit daughter Susan and her Michael. Susan and I, as we often do, got into some mischief. Shall share some of that on my next post. Be patient…
As always, I was spoiled rotten by everyone and will be impossible for months to come.
Looks like grandson Remy keeps getting taller and taller and I keep getting shorter and shorter.
By the way, it is Susan’s birthday on August, 7th. If you can, wish HER a happy birthday.
It is Fathers’ Day. My son Rafi is a father — a devoted, loving father and I am proud of him. Surely, he and his lovely Chandra are raising a son who will also be a loving father.
I remember when I’d be pushing little Rafi, dressed in red overalls, in his stroller and strangers would comment: ‘What a beautiful little girl.’ He WAS pretty with his soft brown curls and it didn’t matter to me. I’d just say: ‘Thank you.’ (Red is still my favourite colour.)
When Rafi was very little, we didn’t have the fancy olives displayed in the grocery markets today. I used to buy black olives in cans. He’d push one on each finger and march around the kitchen thrilled with himself. I’d chuckle. He was so much fun.
His sister Susan loved him, but couldn’t help but take advantage of him occasionally. When he was about four, she told him a nickel was worth more than a dime because the nickel was bigger. She was offering to exchange her nickel for his dime. I overheard the transaction and scolded her. Rafi, always the peacemaker, insisted he was the one who wanted the nickel.
I wish my son Rafi, who has given me so much pleasure through the years, all the best on this day devoted to men like him. I am also proud of him and of all his accomplishments.
Please don’t interrupt, I’m deep in conversation. With whom? With myself of course. Yes I talk to myself — who else would listen as carefully and give me such expert advice — for free? Professionals charge by the hour.
Problem solving is important and requires extreme concentration. I haven’t lived all these years for nothing… Besides who is more familiar with the circumstances in my life and more capable of figuring out what to do?
I’m also a good listener, especially when I’m doing the talking. I may not always agree, but why argue? I want to hear what I have to say, so I pay total attention.
Am I bored? Insulted? Never! As a good debater (I did well on debating teams at school), when I don’t agree, you’d never hear ME make personal attacks. Not even when I debate myself. Personal attacks aren’t cool, I never say things like: ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’
Something I truly value is humour and I CAN, at times, be hilarious. I’m at my best when I make me laugh. Laughing is good for the soul, so I laugh often. It also makes me happy.
I’m known in my family for being a nut and appreciate their tolerance because it is certainly true.
Don’t you agree?????
HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO MY SON RAFI, THE BEST FATHER I KNOW!!!
My first love was a boy in my class at elementary school. His initials were ‘ME’. Mine were ‘MR’. What he saw in me I’ll never know, but he’d write our initials within a heart on the board for the whole class to see. And he wasn’t just teasing, we enjoyed each other.
He often invited me to play with him and his sister after school. Theirs was a child-oriented home with many games and books. I never forgot that and made sure my young children had them too.
When we were 10, he invited me to see ‘The Fun Parade’ with him at the Forum. We heard it on radio. (No one had TVs.) It wasn’t expensive — perhaps a dollar. We paid for our own tickets. There was a huge crowd, not much came to Montreal then.
At intermission, he jumped up like a Jack-in-the-box and announced: ‘I’m going to get you a hot dog and a coke.’ He didn’t ask, just ran off. I suppose his mom gave him money and told him to treat me. She must have been amused by the whole episode.
Unfortunately shortly after that, his family moved to Winnipeg. (That was long before computers or email.) I never saw or heard from him again. Did we ever kiss? Of course not!
When daughter Susan asked for a story about when I was young, I checked Google and learned that he, like so many of my other old friends, had died. Looking at his photo, I tried to see the young boy in his adult face. I found it impossible.
However, I was pleased and not surprised he’d obviously had an involved and worthwhile life, a lengthy marriage, and a family that loved him.
Still going through my papers. Still finding things which I find interesting.
This poem was written by a very young daughter Susan and dated 2/14/80. I like it, although I’m sure Susan would write it very differently today.
AFTER THE RAIN
A singular droplet of crystalline water fell upon my brow, Drawing my face upwards to see if the sky would begin to Cry in earnest.
The heavenly shower began to pour around me; Washing away the sins of the world in a sporadic burst of Innumerable silver amulets. The horizon was clothed in dismal grey as the relentless Storm sent the nectar of the clouds crashing to earth in Wind-blown fury.
My consciousness soon became as drenched and distraught as The sparrow in the treetop, being thrashed about By his maker’s own discontentment. After the clouds had scoured the earth with efficient grace, They retreated to their mountaintop mansion, Allowing the sun to once again bathe the earth in brilliant, Warming rays.
A spectrum of colours danced across the heavens As the mist evaporated into clear, blue skies, Reflecting the light of life in it’s entirety, Radiance and joy were to be found everywhere: For even in the frail web of the spider, Translucent, shimmering specks of water gleamed like Diamonds on a string.
Beauty was granted a chance to show full face As the world responded to the precious gift the clouds Had bestowed upon the earth.
*P.S. Don’t be concerned if I don’t post for awhile. I’ll be busy with other things.
My San Francisco kids visited at Xmas. It turned out to be a White one and Rafi, Chandra, and grandson Remy loved walking in the snow. (It doesn’t snow in S. F.) On one of their many excursions, they passed a sign in my neighbour John’s window. Rafi, of course, had to take a photo of it.
John is one of those special, interesting and multi-talented individuals who is interested in everything and everyone. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to know him, but what I like best about John is his kindness to others — including me.
I first saw John acting onstage when I was writing a column covering the arts. Aside from that his photography is so beautiful, if I had any more room on my walls, I’d try to purchase one from him if he’d sell it. What else does he do well? I don’t at all know because the guy never brags. I asked John if he had written the words in the sign below. He said he hadn’t. If you know who did, do let me know.
In case the photo of the sign is difficult for you to read, this is what it says:
B L E S S E D * A R E T H E * Weird People The Poets & Misfits T H E A R T I S T S T H E W R I T E R S & MUSIC MAKERS The dreamers & the O U T S I D E R S For they force us to see THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY
Once upon a time long, long ago, I worked full-time and invited friends to dinners too. We’d have a children’s table, our large dining-room table extended with a folding table, plus extra places on the upright piano seat with place-mats on the flat surface over the keys. Those days are looonnnngggg gone.
A friend and I had lunch together yesterday. She’s interesting, I love her. She’s a devoted vegan. I didn’t have to worry — we ate out. Friday I’m having dinner with a young vegetarian. He’s my kind-of grandson. He’s been busy and hasn’t had much time for us to get together so I’m delighted. Again, I don’t have to worry — we’re eating out.
During this pandemic, some people won’t eat in restaurants. I respect that. Sometimes one special friend and I have lunch on a park bench nearby. She has definite food needs and always brings the lunch. I want to reciprocate, but aren’t brave enough. What can I fix for her??
Meanwhile years have passed and everything seems to take more energy. Energy? Where did that go? It eludes me at will and some days I can’t seem to hustle any muscle at all. My old arthritic bones act up whenever THEY choose. They aren’t thoughtful. They never make appointments ahead of time. I can’t picture many dinners happening at my place anymore, which is just as well. What would planning a homemade dinner look like? I’d rather treat when we eat out.
It seems what everyone eats today is more complicated. What my older friends consume is sometimes affected by health issues like high-cholesterol, diabetes, ulcers, medications requiring them to avoid certain foods, or allergies — and goodness knows what.
Do we become delicate flowers with age? Yup! What I used to call a cast-iron stomach doesn’t exist any more! I, myself, have developed allergies! (I’ve been told these develop as we get older, but I also believe some of it is due to chemicals added to our food to extend shelf life.)
My San Francisco kids do a lot of entertaining. Their friends are younger and don’t seem to be affected as much by medical conditions as my older friends. I guess I’ll just leave the dinner parties to them. If you visit me — let’s eat out.
For years I worked for newspapers and dreamed of getting a real scoop. I’d kick my desk in frustration when another colleague got one. Why couldn’t it be me??? Finally it happened! SO REMEMBER YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!!
A confidential source advised me of a crisis at the North Pole this season. I couldn’t help it, I had to go.
Things were so bad the dogsled RCMP could hardly believe it. Santa’s elves, instead of making toys, were noisily demonstrating against his huge conglomerate, St. NIck’s Toy Manufacturers Inc. As CEO, Santa holds all world’s rights to the distribution of toys for children at Christmas.
‘We’ve not been paid overtime for over a century’ the newly elected Elf shop steward told me, pointing to his placard which read ‘Unfair labour practices’. ‘We want a union, and we want it NOW.’
Close by, there was another demonstration. I cautiously approached and realized these were all elves as well, but female. ‘Discrimination against women.’ their leader shouted as she noisily chewed her gum. ‘It’s impossible to live on one salary these days. We demand equal opportunities. While you’re having your holiday dinner, our elflins are walking barefoot in the snow.’ (Oh, my. I never thought of that.) ‘Down with sexism.’
I was scared, but I’d do anything for a story. I sneaked off to the other side of the factory and saw more signs. ‘Santa unfair to reindeer’ ‘Animal rights violations’ What??? Santa’s reindeer? What was their problem? I recognized Prancer and singled him out for a statement.
‘Look, when I applied for this job,’ he explained, ‘Nobody said anything about flying. What a ridiculous requirement! Who ever heard of reindeer flying? If that’s what Santa wanted, he should have advertised for Storks!’
‘Then, there’s his little favourite Rudolf. Big deal. So that whippersnapper has a shiny nose. We managed well enough without him for over a hundred years.’
Oh my, were those tears I saw in Prancer’s eyes? I had no time to lose.
Fortunately, I’d packed my arbitrator’s hat, put it on and started negotiating immediately. I think I did a pretty good job, but if Santa misses your house this year, please understand the man had his hands full and did the best he could under the circumstances.
Life isn’t fair: It isn’t fair that my children are funnier than I am. It isn’t fair that they’re cleverer than I am and it sure isn’t fair that they write so much better than I do — and they started doing so early.
Rafi wrote one at about the same age, but if Susan’s was a saga, his called ‘How did she die?’ was a tome, much too long for this post. If you want to read it you will have to wait until it is published. (Chuckle.)
Instead I’ve chosen to share the following poem written during his early university years — in about 1991.
A MAN AND HIS TEAR
By Rafi Kauffmann
Looking into a sullen eye A moment of realism slips through A moment of evil and self-destruction Yet of kindness and redemption, A tear
Sold is the innocence of youth For a rough tempered style, Tattered is the skin Worn beyond its years But still, a tear
Glistening with emotion It swells but won’t fall The impression on others holds it back
A positive sign this tear A breakthrough well needed An escape well deserved
Honestly it sings of experience A living history contained within its walls What it knows he knows What it is, he is