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Milli Gilbaugh

The shift in make-shift

Food For Thought

A recent luncheon with some of my old school friends, several of whom I first met in kindergarten, brought to mind the toys and activities we enjoyed during the late 1930s and early ‘40s. Looking back, I suppose I had more toys than the average child from a family of comparable means, because of my dad’s belief a child’s business was playing, and the tools for that business were toys.

Ho-hum in the kitchen

Food For Thought

Can’t think of anything to fix for supper? Tired of the same-old, same-old in the lunch bag? What to take for that family reunion potluck? Having trouble even making out a grocery list? Join the club. After 65 years of keeping house and putting meals on the table, there seems to be nothing new or tempting left to try. And then, a strange thing happens and cooking becomes an adventure once again.

Peanut butter and WHAT?

Food For Thought

I could hardly believe my ears. Right there on national television, on the 5:30 p.m. news, someone was ranting about a strange new sandwich that had become popular. A woman, who apparently just sampled it expressed disgust, saying it definitely was not for her. This purportedly latest addition to that convenient innovation was age-old news to me.

On being a gardener

Food For Thought

The seed catalogs have been thumbed through, pages have corners turned down, order blanks have a few tentative lines filled in, but the past six weeks or so have not been encouraging. We have put off starting those first seedlings in the greenhouse, sun porch, or under plant lights in the basement. Not long ago, we looked out the window at the patch of earth we’d hoped to have already tilled and partially planted and what did we see? Snow. Not in piles, granted, but lurking in chilly little patches where the meager sun seldom reaches.

Where’d it go?

Food For Thought

While cleaning out a drawer the other day, I came across an old typewriter ribbon. (I never actually “clean out” a drawer in the sense of emptying it and putting its contents somewhere else; mostly I just look through stuff and put most of it back.) I don’t know how long the typewriter ribbon has been there, but it must have been a good long time, as it was a ribbon for a little portable Olivetti I had while in college and used for maybe 25 years afterward.

A little nostalgia goes a long way

Food For Thought

Indulge me for a few minutes; yesterday was my birthday and, after this many years, everybody is entitled to a little wallow in the past once in a while. I spent a good deal of the day writing birthday cards for a number of my friends who are also April babies. At our age, receiving cards on or before the exact birth date is immaterial. The big thing is just to have people remember we are still around and able to read and comprehend.

A purse that’s “big enough”

Food For Thought

It may be coincidence but about this time every year, I find myself going through my purse and weeding out all the old expired appointment cards, credit cards, receipts, shopping lists and other leftovers of my life. I’m always surprised at how much of that stuff loiters around clear at the bottom amid the chewing gum wrappers, paper clips, assorted coins and what appear to be cookie crumbs, though I swear I never carried cookies around in my purse.

April

Food For Thought

Sometimes cloudy, often rowdy, wet and warm, calm then storm, hot then cool, April fool!

Pleading guilty

Every so often, things from my past come creeping out of the dark and bite me in the conscience. I try to dismiss them as soon as possible, but sometimes they persist and I can’t seem to forget about them. I do know confession is good for the soul, or wherever our conscience resides, and there may be some value in sharing such experiences with others. If nothing else is gained, at least someone might be warned by my experience and avoid the same mistakes.

AAADD or a runaway train?

Food For Thought

Being one of those people they refer to when they say someone can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, I used to think that implied a lack of physical coordination, but I’m more inclined to believe it’s a matter of having a one-track mind. There may be people who can drive a car and talk on a cellphone simultaneously, but I know myself well enough to know I’m not one of them. I can’t even read the newspaper and drink coffee at the same time. Sip. Read. Sip. Read. Throw in a doughnut and watch me short-circuit.

Try a little magic

I imagine when you were in kindergarten or first grade, you sang, over and over, that little ditty known as The Alphabet Song. I’ve long been impressed by the fact such young children manage to memorize, in order, the 26 letters of the alphabet. That’s a pretty long string of facts to remember, in sequence, for anyone, not to mention a 6-year-old. (Have you ever played that game where participants take turns repeating then adding to a list of things they’d take on vacation? Have you ever managed to accurately repeat a list of 26 items in order? Chances are slim, aren’t they?)

To fly a kite

Food For Thought

March is supposedly a good time to fly kites. Tradition tells us, since March days are often too windy, too cold, too wet and too short for most of the other outdoor recreational options of spring, it is the perfect time for kite-flying. In a way, that’s probably so– at least it used to be– because a great deal of kite time was spent indoors constructing and repairing the kites, and a relatively short time actually spent outdoors engaging in the business of flying them.