Oh My God, I Left My Baby on The Bus!!!!!!

Okay, seriously, I was and still am that person who forgets everything!!!

I like to think it’s because I am distracted easily and have many thoughts going through my brain at the same time. (We brilliant folks do!  It’s a cross we must bare!)  I probably have ADD, though I’ve never been tested, but ask my children or husband and they will say, without a doubt!

Last week I was carrying around my knapsack with me and didn’t realize I had left it somewhere until 2 days later. I was looking for something and remembered I had placed it in the knapsack.  Luckily, I could retrace my steps and fortunately, I didn’t have a wallet or passport inside it, but nevertheless, I had to return sheepishly to the doctor’s office my husband and I had been sitting in 2 days earlier.  The receptionist came out with the knapsack and said, “We didn’t know who it belonged to!”  It didn’t have my identification in it since there was no wallet.  Phew!

It is the worst feeling in the world to lose things.  I should know since I’ve been doing it all my life!

When my 1st child was born, my husband bought me a tee shirt that said “Oh My God, I Left My Baby on The Bus!”  This was amusing, to be sure, but could I actually do that, be so absent minded as to leave a living breathing person on public transportation and not realize it until I got off??!!  Thank God, it never happened.  Maybe, I didn’t take enough buses at the time!!  A story just appeared this morning though in Newsweek with a mom leaving her baby on the plane, so I am in good company!  Check it out!

I was the kid who came home from school without her books so that when it came time to do my homework, OOPS!  One time I left an entire duffel bag and had to explain to my teacher that I couldn’t do my homework because I didn’t have my assignment or my notebook!  Really, JOY!!!  REALLY!!   I guess once forgetful, always forgetful because I have carried this trait throughout life. My mother always said to me, “If your head wasn’t screwed onto your body, you’d forget that too!”  Thanks mom.

The good news is I never did lose the baby, not the 1st one or the 2nd one.  I remember my dog, my husband, and for the most part important things.  Keys, sunglasses, and a shopping bag are a whole different story!

Today’s Takeaway:

. Focus, concentrate, try your level best to be aware of what you are carrying.  If you are like me, (I pray you are not!) know your shortfall and be extra careful when something is in your possession.

. If that’s my worst flaw, so be it.  Learn to laugh off the small stuff.  Material possessions can always be replaced, humans a bit harder!!

 

Enjoy the Ride!

 

xox Barclay & Joy

 

 

 

Craks, Bams, Flowers, and Winds – Doing What Makes You Smile

I was looking for a way to connect with my new upstate New York community, to meet people, make new friends.  I had played the ancient game of mah-jongg many years ago in Westchester, where I raised my family for 25 years, but really didn’t have the time to hone my skills.  Dinner needed to be cooked, laundry needed to be done, homework needed supervision, the dog needed to be walked!  My husband, while helpful, is not me.  I am a controlling individual, so have no one to blame but myself for always being pressed for time. Enter retirement!

Mah-jongg dates back from the Quing Dynasty, an ancient Chinese game of tiles being made into suits of flowers, dragons, winds, craks, and bams (short for bamboo) Even suits, odd combinations, singles and pairs, consecutive runs, etc. One lives and breathes the Official Standard Hands And Rules card, which you are allowed to keep in front of you while playing ( $9 sold by the synagogue with proceeds often going to worthy Jewish causes such as Hadassah) issued by the National Mah Jongg League, Inc now in it’s 81st year.

The game was brought to American shores in the early 1920’s.  The theory is that with the advent of immigrants coming to this country, it was a way of tying folks together.

Much like Chinese food, which we all know Jews eat on Christmas Day, the game became synonymous with this cultural group of middle aged women.  In the 1950’s when bungalow colonies were popular as summer vacationing destinations, ladies sat around the pool and played in groups during the week, waiting for their husbands to come up on weekends from the hot city.  My own family did this (not that my  mother played mah-jongg-she wouldn’t dream of it!) while my father toiled in Harlem running a drug store with his brother.

Every Monday, since I returned from winter in Mexico, I drive to Temple Israel in Catskill, NY (where else?!) to sit with a group of women, some older than me, some younger, make that none younger!  I may not have much in common with them, but we all share our fascination with this ancient, somewhat exotic game of strategy, focus, tactics, and a bit of luck!  Getting good tiles from the onset doesn’t hurt.  There is casual banter among the players and one must come with $5 in quarters for the betting (big stakes poker this is not!) plus $3 as a contribution to the snacks that are set out on a table every week.  Cake from someone’s birthday the previous weekend, cookies, trail mix, brownies, etc.  Jewish women like a nosh!

I am getting to know people from week to week and I like the challenge of the game, in addition to the fact that we are mostly of the same faith so share a certain simpatico. We play from 12-4 on Mondays with a break for lunch and I am sitting at the beginner’s  table for now. The women are patient and someone comes over to look at my hand pointing out possible combinations, since  I am still a newbie. There is something captivating about the click clacking of the tiles.

Amy Tan wrote in “The Joy Luck Club”, of her mother asking the question, ‘What’s the difference between Jewish and Chinese mah-jongg?” Her mother replies, “Entirely different kind of playing…Jewish mah-jongg they watch only for their own tile, play only with their eyes.”

mahjongg-tiles.jpg

It’s even said when the last member of a mah-jongg group dies, it’s her job to bring the mah-jongg set with her to the world to come.” Now, that’s dedication!

 

 

If you think this game will make you smile, here’s how to get started – thanks to our friends at Amazon!  Just click the image below.

 

Today’s Takeaway…

What is that you love to do?  What haven’t you had the time for during all those many years raising a family?  Is it gardening, bridge, a book club, ceramics, painting?  Maybe, it’s mah-jongg. Follow your passion.  Now is the time! Maybe, you’ll make a new friend or two.

. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Pick up a tennis racket, even if you’ve never played.  Pickle ball, which Barclay and I are both learning.  Who cares if you look silly or make a mistake!  You have nothing to prove.  You’ve lived a successful life and can do whatever makes you smile. 🙂

Enjoy the ride

xox Barclay & Joy