No News..........

No News..........

In this case, no news is some of the best news that we've had in a long while. We opened our mail box and found nothing but junk mail.

To celebrate not having found any bills in the mail, Today, I've convinced my husband to take us out to The Sizzling Tandoor in Santa Rosa. We'll eat and watch the belly dancer. I used to be a student of belly dance myself, albeit a rather flakey one. One of my fantasies of my retirement is time enough to spend my days learning to belly dance until I'm good enough that people not only pay me to do it, but talk about me, after I've left the building, in glowing terms, the way they talk about Suhaila Salimpour and her daughter.

I'm going to start a new tradition. Every time my husband and I are out to eat, on our own, I'm going to insist that we each come up with several original toasts, throughout the meal that speak to our dreams and aspirations and hopes for being together forever. After all, we need something to replace our tradition of tasting the Tyramisu at each different restaurant, since I found out that I've got to eat gluten free.

Tonight, I'll toast to retiring on an island and spending our time partying and continuing to dance.

Our tradition for quite a while, both before and after we married was
tasting Tyramisu. It was the bottom layer of our 3 layer wedding cake, because it was the first dessert that we shared. The second layer was of course chocolate, in deference to the guests at the wedding, and the top layer was carrot cake, in deference to my wonderful father, because that's his favorite dessert.

I'm beginning to think that new traditions should be created on a weekly basis, just to keep life fresh. Traditions have often been a source of humor in my family and have brought us together. They're often jokes that came about because of things that a grandparent or aunt or uncle did habitually. I'm sure that you and yours tell many of those same types of jokes.

For instance: We called one of my grandmas Nana. The joke was never eat the last banana, because that one's Nana's. It came about because she used to wake up at night and eat a banana to ward off leg cramps.

Nana's real name was Daisy. Lazy Daze (a play on words) became the name of the boat that Poppy bought to go with the house at Tahoe. Every boat owned by my family since then has been called Lazy Daze, followed by it's number in the succession. Even the dinghy is called Lazy Daze IV 1/2.

My parents and grands created those traditions with their families. It only seems appropriate, now that I have a family, to get a little creative myself, and start some new traditions. It's easy enough to carry on the jokes, and explain where they came from, but that won't really mean as much to my son, as the traditions that we create in his life-time.

Spontaneity and looking askance at old ways have their place in our lives too. Sticking religiously to tradition would preclude trying some new things, like new recipes, new styles of clothing, and thinking for oneself. In some regions, breaking with tradition is so vehemently discouraged, that one sect, sex or caste need have no compunction in how they treat another sect, sex or caste, because they know that tradition will win over outrage, no matter the provocation.

In light of those inequalities and oppressed lives, I've begun with my son, the tradition of empathy and respect. He was telling me about having stuck up for a friend at school, Today. I was careful to tell him that being a bully in order to stop a bully would make him just as wrong as the bully, and that he needs to leave the teacher's job to the teacher.

I can only hope that other parents are being just as direct with their children, and modeling courtesy and respect within the marriage and family. There's a lot of talk about discouraging bullying, these days, but not a lot of talk about what different behavior to teach in it's stead. You can't simply break a habit by quitting. Something has to fill the place of the old habit.

Traditionally, children were taught to work together on the farm toward the common goal of getting the animals fed and the ground broken, planted or harvested before dinner time, and then they would be encouraged to dance together at the barn dances. Today, there seems to be little modeling or teaching of working together toward a common goal. Now our children sit at desks and each works on their own project.

Co-operation is taught by coaches during ball practice, and traditionally, no one thinks to wonder if it's enough, because schools have been run by principals and PTAs for a very long time, now, and it seems that we've always trusted them to do that.

Is there a solution here? Is there a problem?

I leave it to you, Dear Readers, and I am as always...

Yours' in Service:
Sue Hirsch, Owner of Perfect Day Massage in Petaluma, CA. 94954