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20200515_150329

It was just another visit from our son and three grandgirls.  That was way back in November.  It was prepademic you know.  And none of us had a clue about a virus that was to shut us all down and stop family visits from out of town.

We were all sitting around the kitchen table shoulder to shoulder and I remember telling them about the wonderful exotic tropical fruits that grew in my backyard when I was a little girl.  I lived in South Florida where we had avocado trees, bananas, oranges, kumquats, mangos and guavas.

We also had Sapodillas!

“What is THAT?” they asked.

“Oh, I haven’t tasted a Sapodilla since I was a little girl about 70 years ago,” I said.  “A Sapodilla looks exactly like a kiwi (but uglier) on the outside.  But on the inside the fruit is brownish and has the most beautiful shiny brown/black thumbnail sized seeds.  And the fruit tastes so sweet!”

All three girls sounded interested but we eventually moved on to other subjects.

Enter the Pandemic ShutDown and I haven’t seen my family since.

Can you guess what the three Grandgirls got me for Mother’s Day?

A beautiful box arrived in the mail and it was:

FIVE POUNDS OF SAPODILLAS!

I simply could not believe it.

“WOW!  WOW!  WOW!”  I said. “This is an amazing gift and how did they ever remember and how did they ever find it and what a precious thing that they thought of it and acted on it so many months later!”

And my first taste was like floating back back back to childhood.

There was my Dad again and I was just a little girl.  He was once more telling me not to eat the seeed and saying, “You will love this my little Gypsy.  It will taste just like honey.”

And it did.  And it does.

And it was the nicest gift ever because it was a gift of memories.   I only wish the Grandgirls had been here too, so I could have introduced them the same way as my Dad did.

Now every little bite of the five pounds is gone.  And only the memories linger.

And the smiles!

Note:  You will probably never see a sapodilla in the grocery store.  At least I haven’t in all my years.  The kids found them online.

Sapodilla (Sapota)

Sapodilla or sapota (chikoo) is a popular tropical fruit. Sapota is a tropical evergreen, fruit-bearing tree belongs to the family of Sapotaceae, in the genus: Manilkara. The fruit, popular as nasebrry, is a most relished tropical delicacy.

sapodilla
Sapota fruit cut section. Note for dark brown seed.

 

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father-daughter-quotes

I am back in time, a teenager again with the power to tune Dad out.

He was “old world” old fashioned you know.  Out of date.

He was a European immigrant who became a naturalized American citizen and he created a life and a family in the country of his dreams

And when I was a teenager I could fool him into thinking I was always listening to his words of wisdom.

I must have been listening

because all these years later

I am remembering his lectures.

“Don’t overstay your welcome Darling,” he would say when I was to spend part of a summer with my Aunt and Uncle and young cousins.

“After 3 days, company smells like dead fish,” he said.   (What he was really saying was he would miss me terribly.)

But now I know my Dad’s lectures originated from love.

  • “Sit up tall at the dinner table and eat as if you are royalty.” (If you act like a Queen you will be treated like one.)
  • “A suitor should wear a white shirt and tie and kiss your mother’s hand.” (You will be happiest with a man who respects women.)
  • “Do not neglect your education.  Learn a skill like typing – something you can fall back on  to earn a living.” (Don’t count on anyone but yourself to take care of you.)
  • “Take time with your grooming.  Your hair is your crowning glory and every strand should be in place.” (If you care, everyone else will care too.)
  • “Always be early for every appointment.”  (If you are prompt, people will respect you.)
  • “Do not borrow.  Pay everything with cash.”  (Remain self sufficient so you will never be without.)
  • Always look for the best and buy quality. (Well made things last longer and are better investments.)
  • “Keep a clean house.  You should be able to eat an egg from the floor.” (Cleanliness is vital for good health.)

There are more words of wisdom of course, and I hope to remember and record them all.

For as old fashioned and out of date as Dad was,  the great part is his lectures always began and ended with love.

Daily Prompt: Lecture

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salt-shaker-pouring-400x400“The cook is not in love.”

That’s what my unforgettable Hungarian Dad used to tell us (with a smile) at the dinner table.  He claimed it was a popular saying from the old country that meant the cook (in this case, my mother) did not put enough salt in the food.  I have never heard that again but I always taste and re-taste to avoid the label “not in love.”

Lately, I have been thinking of all the sage words of wisdom my parents offered us kids growing up.  The parents are long gone now but many of their beliefs and admonitions live on.  And surprisingly, I think much of my life is still parent-directed (or maybe mis-directed as the case may be).

Dad used to say,

“Never visit a person’s home without bringing a gift – bread, wine or candy.”

Yep.  I do that.  If you were thinking of inviting me over, you may be in for a treat.

Chocolate 1

“Never borrow.  Never go into debt.  Pay CASH.”

Do credit cards count if I pay them on time?   Always do.  No debt here Pop.  Nope.  No debt here.

“Do not get FAT.  Your husband will divorce you.” 

Uh oh.  Well Dad, I am  “pleasingly plump” and  still married.  However, due to that warning I am always a bit worried about a slimmer woman taking over.

Weight

.

“Do not sit by an open door or window during a thunder storm. And do not pat a dog.  Dog’s attract LIGHTNING!” 

No wonder I head for the closet!  Used to blame it on the dog’s fear though.

 “Allow for cross ventilation in a hurricane or the wind will take the roof off.  Be sure to open two windows.”

We lived in Florida and had hurricanes.  Dunno if Dad’s observation was true but a roof is important right? I don’t live in Florida or even in a hurricane prone area, but still keep two windows cracked just in case.

“Only FOOLS sing at the dinner table.” 

Does humming count?  I can’t carry a tune, so maybe he invented that one to ensure silence.

But Dad wasn’t the only one who came up with interesting cautions and observations.

Mom said,

“You are not really old until you are 60.  It’s all downhill after that.”

Uh oh.   Thanks A LOT Mom.  It’s  definitely a steep decline.

“Always carry a dime for an emergency telephone call.”

Huh?  I suppose now it would be, “Don’t forget your cell phone!”

“Don’t be an OMELET!” 

Can you guess what she meant by that?

“He’s a big Butter and Egg man.” 

How about THAT?

“There is no excuse for bad manners.”  

Agreed.

“Don’t be a doormat.”

(Stand up for yourself)  Agreed.

After a cursory revisit to the words of wisdom of my parents, I have concluded it may not really be the sins of the fathers or mothers that shape our lives, but the sayings.

What did your parents say to influence your life today?

Note:  The cartoon of the woman on a scale is from an unknown source.  It came to me in an email and I cannot make out the bottom credit.

 

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