A Promise or Living in Two Worlds and Trying to Stay Sane

People start to drink it when they feel they are ready, or when their parents allow them to have caffeine, or when they go to college, or get married – like I did…

Today I realized that I didn’t have my coffee in the morning. I was out for an appointment early in the morning and then, when I stopped for a small breakfast on my way home, I didn’t order a coffee. I liked mine, the way I made it. So, I got home, sank into writing and rewriting, took a nap, and after a few hours I really needed my cup. It was after 5PM when I brew it, and I’m still enjoying it now, after 6PM.

When we stayed in Nazareth for a few days, I was amazed to see children drinking coffee every morning. They were full of energy anyway, but that didn’t seem to bother the adults. ( I recall that their specific coffee is strong and has a fragrance of pine.)

I saw mom making her first coffee when I was a teenager. I knew that was coffee, but I had never tasted it. I’ve always associated its aroma with the cigarette smoke. Mom got her bag of ground coffee from the Communist store, where they kept it in small containers when they had it, mixed with ground chickpeas. I found out that mom’s dear boss, a lovely German lady, shared some cups of coffee with my mom during their work break and mother kinda got used to it. I recall that she invited me to try a sip. I tried it, but I didn’t like it.

If I’m correct, I had my first coffee with my mother-in-law. Her son and I were newly weds and we lived with my in-laws for a few years. We had the entire second floor for ourselves, with a common entrance and a common interior staircase. When my mother-in-law made coffee, the strong scent invaded the second floor. She started to make one for me everyday. But what was special was this: because original coffee was impossible to find ( it was always mixed with chickpeas), some small merchants who had the right to travel to former Yugoslavia, started to bring instant coffee and sell it on the black market. I can’t forget it, “Amigo” instant coffee.

Making a cup of instant coffee was art.
You put a full teaspoon of the granules in your cup, add the same amount of sugar and 3-4 drops of water. You start working it, mixing it with the spoon until it comes out like a foam. Then you add hot water.
It took maybe 10-20 minutes to finish the process, time when we were around the table in the courtyard under the cherry tree and sharing about our day. I liked drinking my coffee, but much, much more I enjoyed the company of my family and friends.

After many years, when I had my own children and we lived in a flat, I used to send one of my children to the store to buy a few sachets with instant coffee for the week. I can’t forget what I said to my oldest son when he was about 8 years old:
“When I will get old, you will come to visit me and we’ll have a coffee together.” Because coffee is not only a hot drink, but a promise of a sweet relationship, a dear fellowship with family members and friends.


The Day When People Looked Younger

One of my childhood’s thoughts was that there was no life after I would be forty years old.

I don’t know for sure when it came to me and how, but I remembered I wasn’t thirteen years old yet because when I was thirteen we moved to a big flat on the seventh floor. Our home was still in a very small apartment close to the river, and because I liked to have my privacy, I would go and hid under the table with a book. I was reading there one day when it hit me: ”When I will be forty, my life will be over. “ It wasn’t a premonition about my early death, but a feeling of being too old to enjoy life at that age.

I did the math and I joyfully established that there were still three decades till then.

Mom had me when she was eighteen and I was suspiciously looking at her to detect signs of her getting old. She was 28.

Years went by slowly and even if I wasn’t looking for the “morbid age” when I was 8, I wanted to be 10. When I was 10, I wanted to be 12. Each day for me was like an inflated balloon, a humongous one, hard to pull it from the moment I was awake to my time to go to bed.

We had a few neighbors mom and dad were friends with in our common courtyard, and I knew some of them were in their forties. They looked old, worried and overwhelmed all the time. The times were tough and joy was not so much at home there, but our family was pretty happy.  Everybody worked six days every week and I sensed that the most rejuvenated day for the adults around me was Saturday.

That was the time when people looked younger for one day.

The Milk Tour – This Reading Can Affect You

I don’t know about you, guys, but the morning after Thanksgiving is even better for me then the Day itself. And why is that? Because you find yourself with a pile of food for a week, your kids and grandkids walking around in their pajamas early in the morning, coffee, kids food in your coffee, toys, grumpy adult kids who try to sleep in, cats waiting for their treat, and an urgent need : we are out of milk.

So, my daughter-in-love, my granddaughter and I in pajamas strolled our flip-flops to the car in the drive way on a torrential rain. But who cared? Rain in SoCal is like first snow in Europe, and we loved to get in the crazy water up to our ankles. I got to comb my hair before leaving and that was good. People at Von’s here know me, some of them are good friends I made during the years, and I wanted them to be able to recognize me. First thing I saw: the pineapples were almost for free. We got two. And by the time we were checking out, we forgot to get milk.

The sky was falling down outside, the drops of rain were big like cherries, and we were completly soaked when we reached our car in the parking lot. But we didn’t mind it. We laughed until we got home.

Now the breakfast party is going to start. I have to go.

Goose Eggs Roller-Coaster – from the “Real Stuff” series

Pepper the dog here:

Mom visited a certain country a while ago to do some teaching for different groups of teachers. And as you can guess already, she didn’t take me with her. “Nobody is bringing their pets on this trip, Pepper.” That was a sad excuse because when she came back home she placed two goose eggs on the table and a jar with homemade pickles. “This was what I got as a gift from the family I was staying with,” she said and let me marvel at the awesome gift. I immediately agreed with myself that the big, shiny, bluish eggs were pets. Yes, mom had some pets with her at the end of the trip. Analyzing this idea I felt betrayed.

Then the horrible thing happened: both two eggs rolled on the table, took speed and ended splashing on the floor.

The truth was that I helped them a little bit.

But don’t tell mom.

You, Naughty Dog!


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful


5.0 out of 5 stars Go Pepper Go!!, September 3, 2013



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This review is from: Pepper and the Open Gate (Volume 1) (Paperback)

I loved this book!! Easy to read and fun for the kids can’t wait for the next book in the series!!!

Pepper pic

“Better Go Away”

I like story nights.

Mom opened the book and started to read.

<It was early in the morning when this farmer went to the gate to let the cow go to the pasture with the village cows. When he turned back to close the door, he saw a little bird sitting there in the dust. He looked both sides to see if the birdie belonged to somebody, but no one was there to claim her.

Some people were coming down the street and the farmer waited to talk to them.

“I found this bird at my door. Do you want it?”

No, nobody wanted it.

So, the man took the bird in and let her be with his poultry in the backyard.

The hens and the chickens, the turkey, the geese and the ducks were not happy to have such a not so worrying about living creature among them. But they let it be.

Until one day.

The little bird was playing in the sunshine when she started to chirp. The chirp turned into an amazing song that made all the animals in the farm stop and listen. The melody was getting in their hearts, healing the wounds, bringing hope and courage for the day.

The farmer was working in the vegetable garden. When he heard the song his worries were lifted up and his spirit was strengthened.  He smiled for the first time in days.

“This little one is a real gift for us,” he said and continued to listen.

But the envy crept in. The backyard became a sea of words and opinions between the feathered beings.

“Who does she thinks she is?” “Why care about her songs?” “She is less then any of us.” “We have the rights here, not her.”

Then the turkey took charge of the situation and went to talk to the bird.

“You have to stop singing. Nobody wants to listen to you. Your song is meaningless. You better go away.”

These heavy words made the new bird weep. She was feeling so wounded. Brokenhearted, she went in a corner of the stable and stayed there and sobbed.

But something happened. The rooster, the ducks, the chicks, the pigeons, came one by one and comforted her with hugs and words of encouragement.

“Your song is health-giving. Keep singing and don’t listen to the choir of disheartenment. You have an unique gift. Use it. Strengthen your heart and continue to sing.”

So, the bird wiped her tears and renewed her song. And she still sings today.

There will always be two choirs in your life: one to encourage you and lift you up, and one to make you fearful and tear you down. Take courage and use your gift. It’s worth it. >


Mom closed the book and looked at me. She patted my back and smiled.

I knew she would never put me down.

And I knew that I will always lift her up.