top of page. picture of Rob and Bob with information about the radio show.

                                  WHAT WAS THAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT ANYWAY?

                                  Hi neighbors.
                                  Many of you catch us talking about a book on the program and call us to get that information so as to purchase it. We will post the information here for you from now on.
                                  Bob and Rob.


                                  This is the link to Earnie's Market in Oak Park.



                                  Valentin Imperial Maya

                                  This is the information for the resort Rob stayed at in the Riviera Maya which he talked about Monday morning.

                                  "The Valentin was wonderful and I will go back"!

                                  Click here to visit valentinmaya.com/

                                  Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal Puerto Juarez KM 311 500
                                  Playa del Secreto
                                  Playa del Carmen Solidaridad 77710

                                  For Reservations only, please dial:
                                  Tel.: 1.800.232.8316 - USA
                                           01.800.262.9428 - Mexico

                                  To contact the Hotel directly, please dial:
                                  Tel.: +52.984.206.3660
                                  Fax: +52.984.206.3661

                                  For Reservations only, please contact us at:
                                  E-mail: reservations@valentinimperialmaya.com.mx

                                  This place just got it right. You should consider it for your next vacation.


                                  Click On Aging.Com Web Site
                                  Picture of ClickOnAging.Com Interview with Bob, Rob & Alexandra.


                                  We had a lovely interview today with Alexandra Hichel from the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan. We talked about a new web site called ClickOnAging.com that provides information to link seniors to services and resources in Southeast Michigan. ClickOnAging.com is a community service from 12 local organizations in the field of long term care. You can hear the interview by clicking on this link to VNA.Com.

                                  Rob Allison.


                                  Bill Bonds Commentary on WXYZ

                                  Channel 7 recently had it's 60th anneversary here in Detroit. We got a rare treat that day, Bill Bonds came back and let us remember television news with passion! He is simply the greatest news ancorman that ever lived. I had a tear in my eye when he brought me back to the thrilling days of yesteryear as he gave, what I dearly hope is not his last, commentary. If you ever had the pleasure to watch Bill in Detroit, New York or L.A. you know of what I speak. Love him or hate him, agree or disagree, Bill Bonds speaks his mind and he WILL make you think! I have known this man since I was a boy and had some sprited discussions with him, walked out angry or smiling, but I always had to ponder his points. He just said it like it is and nobody else I see on the air seems to have his undying passion and fiery presentation. Bill, you can come on our show anytime you have something to say!
                                  Rob Allison Jr.

                                  Bill Bonds commentary:
                                  We’ve heard an awful lot about the energy crisis we have, and I have always believed that optimism and hope were the twin fuels that made this democracy run right. For as long as I can remember, Americans have always been kind of an optimistic people, and a hopeful people, a pretty happy nation, and glad to be the way we are. This might be the last television news that I ever get to anchor, so I’m gunna take a shot at one little commentary here. Like you, I love America, love being an American. But, you know something? More and more frequently, I don’t trust my government. I don’t believe what some of our elected leaders are telling us from time to time. This country and this America we so love, and the rest of the world so desperately needs, is indeed in deep, deep crisis. And if we’re gunna successfully maneuver our way through these nightmares, I think we’re gunna have to play a little hardball with these two political parties of ours and the people who control them. We’ve got to find a way to tell these democrats and these republicans -- these liberals and these conservatives, “hey, look guys and gals, before you were a republican, before you were a democrat, or a liberal, or a conservative, you were first an American” I believe there are a lot of Americans who are now convinced that you kinda have forgotten that. I think a lot of Americans believe that maybe you’re just more loyal to your parties than you are to your country and your fellow citizens. And maybe, just maybe -- the change we really need this election, is to somehow dump these two parties and form a new one, because whatever it is you guys and gals are doing it ain’t workin’ anymore. And, that’s kind of scary. Try to imagine what the world would be like Friday morning if we all woke up and there was no America. Now, I know somebody at home is saying, come on, Billy! This is America, that can’t happen. Can’t happen? What happened to the Detroit that was the industrial center with a world population of 1.7 million people -- and where have all the car companies gone? Think about this: If you don’t change, you don’t adjust, you go bye-bye. Talk that over with the next dinosaur you see driving a Nash, a Hudson, or a Packard automobile. Course, you can’t do that , they’ve all disappeared.


                                  ChiChi And The Greek Vintage Clothing

                                  This is the link to the vintage clothing store we talked about Friday morning.


                                  They buy and sell vintage clothing, old perfumes, furs, jewelry and art. They are located in Waterford Mi. and can be reached for private appointments as well.


                                  The Food Encylopedia

                                  THE FOOD ENCYLOPEDIA by Jacques Rolland and Carol Sherman

                                  Photo of the book

                                      THE FOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA

                                  Over 8,000 Ingredients, Tools, Techniques and People
                                  By Jacques Rolland and Carol Sherman
                                  $49.95/ Laminated hardcover
                                  ISBN: 0-7788-0150-0

                                  THE FOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA it is the most authoritative food dictionary in the marketplace today. Packed with over 8,000 definitions and cross-references on foods, wines, beverages, cooking methods, techniques and biographies of prominent food people, it is the ultimate guide to all things culinary. With lush full-color pages, hundreds of stunning illustrations, and dozens of gorgeous photographs, this book is as lovely to look at as it is informative.

                                  Also included are more than 120 biographies of the culinary world’s most important players, from famous chefs to authors to inventors, including: Julia Child, Paul Bocuse, Michael Stadtlander, M.F.K. Fisher and Carl Sontheimer, the inventor of Cuisinart.

                                  The more you learn about food, the less you know, but you’ll never feel in the dark with THE FOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA within reach. This superlative book is a must have for any kitchen.

                                  About the Author Jacques Rolland has a degree in culinary art and hotel management and is a certified sommelier. His appreciation and knowledge of food has been honed from the many cultures he has experienced.
                                  Carol Sherman is an editor and author. She has edited many bestselling cookbooks and food-related books, including The Substitutions Bible, recently nominated for an IACP award.


                                  The Duct Tape Diet

                                  THE DUCT TAPE DIET by Leonard and Theresa Malysz, RD

                                  Photo of the book

                                      Not really a diet book, this is an informative and humorous account of the co-author’s experience of losing weight and coping with diet villains that strike when we’re most vulnerable to food cravings. Len Malysz (pronounced may-liss) puts it this way It’s seldom that we can exact control over our lives, but this is one opportunity to be master of our fate ... and feel really good about it, too.

                                  He suggests a "bind and gag" mission with that old standby duct tape providing the means of silencing all those goodies that seem to call out to us. A quick wrap or two of this tool kit on a roll can mummify the worst offenders in our personal rogues?gallery of caloric muggers. This action also puts the household on notice that something serious is going on, and may discourage anyone from gorging on these temptations in our presence. By eliminating just five hundred calories a day with this approach (little more than three cans of regular soda), a typical adult can lose a pound a week and maintain the motivation necessary to stay on track.

                                  Dietitian/nutritionist for the kidney/pancreas transplant team at a major Detroit area hospital, co-author Theresa Malysz, RD has helped many obese transplant patients lose weight as a prerequisite to this lifesaving surgery. Husband and co-author Len Malysz lost 35 pounds in 21 weeks under her guidance and decided to share this experience in an entertaining and informative narrative throughout the Duct Tape Diet. His background includes radio broadcasting, as well as executive positions with major Detroit area marketingcommunication agencies, and freelance speechwriting for automotive executives. The couple appear on Ask Your Neighbor in Nutrition On Call -- a 30-minute feature dedicated to issues of healthy eating, weight loss and general questions on nutrition.

                                  The Duct Tape Diet is unique in many ways -- larger type, space between paragraphs and sidebar comments from both authors. But it’s really two books in one, since more than half is devoted to a listing of over 6,200 foods with their relative content of saturated fat, carbs, protein and calories per 100 gram portions. In this way, readers can judge for themselves which foods make the most sense for their daily food choices.

                                  The price is $14.95 plus $0.90 sales tax for Michigan residents. Send checks or money orders to Drivetime Publishing, P.O. Box 80246, Rochester, MI 48308-0246 or phone (248) 726-9698. Shipping via USPS media mail is free to Ask Your Neighbor listeners.


                                  "I'LL HAVE A PIECE OF EACH PLEASE" FAMILY COOKBOOK

                                      The Cooke Family Cookbook

                                  About 400 tried and true "family" recipes. The book comes in a loose style cover and is for sale for $15.00 US, which includes mailing.

                                  Make checks out to:
                                  Lorraine Cooke
                                  1725 Tiverton Rd. Unit-2-A
                                  Bloomfield Hills, Mi. 48304

                                  THE TURKEY'S LAMENT

                                      THE TURKEY'S LAMENT (By Anita's Mother)

                                  My life on earth, it soon will cease there is going to be a feast. I have not much longer here to stay I will be devoured on Thanksgiving day. They have stuffed my craw for a week or two getting me ready for a hungry crew. I hate to die, but it really doesn't matter people seem to like me best when I'm placed on a platter. I'll be stuffed and baked to a golden brown and will soon be gobbled down. Then after eating lots of pie and cake they are likely to have a stomach ache. Somehow to me, this might atone for pickin' the meat from off my bone. There's no use for me to throw a fit for it won't alter things one bit. Oh well, guess I was just hatched out to be Sacrificed for company.

                                  BLUE RIBBON COOK BOOK

                                      MICHIGAN STATE FAIR BLUE RIBBON RECIPES COOKBOOK

                                  Make a check or money order for $18.00 U.S. to Michigan State Fair or State of Michigan and send to:
                                  Michigan State Fair - Community Arts Building
                                  1120 W. State Fair Ave.
                                  Detroit, MI 48203
                                  Attention Cookbooks



                                      Does the statement "...because we've always done it that way" ring any bells... ?

                                  The US standard railroad gauge (distance beween the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?
                                  Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.
                                  Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.
                                  Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
                                  Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
                                  Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.
                                  So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.
                                  And the ruts in the roads?
                                  Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.
                                  Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Ergo, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right. The Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.
                                  Another little twist to the story... When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs.
                                  The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.
                                  The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel.
                                  The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.
                                  So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass . ... and all of this time you thought being a HORSE'S ASS wasn't important!

                                  From : DETROIT ROTOSCOPE

                                  "The Americans" By Byron MacGregor

                                      You can Get the CD in the Metro Detroit area at Harmony House Records. To order directly from Westbound Records call: (248) 569-4033. The proceeds are being donated to the American Red Cross. Tapes are $11.99, and CD's are 17.99.  

                                  Michigan State Fair

                                  Information for entering a food dish to the Michigan State Fair: call (313) 369-8260.

                                  "The people -- farmers, vendors, store owners, customers -- are the core of the Market's life. They are the focus of this book. Through questionnaires, conversations, interviews, and observations we wanted to capture the personalities of these "food people." They have much in common -- long days, early hours, the vagaries of the weather, and knowing they are essential to their community. They each have a different story to tell, and a recipe to share." (excerpt from the preface).

                                  DETROIT'S EASTERN MARKET
                                  A Farmers Market Shopping And Cooking Guide

                                  By: Lois Johnson and Margaret Thomas
                                  Price: $17.00
                                  To order: Call Lois@ (248) 545-1215. Or Margaret@ (313) 259-9831.

                                  Photo of the book

                                  Here's what the book says about a couple of our sponsors at Eastern Market:

                                  CAPITAL POULTRY
                                  1466 E. Fisher Freeway
                                  (313) 567-8200
                                  Hours: Tues. - Sat. 8:30 am - 5 pm.

                                           In 1927, when Lillian Licata Arnone was born, her father, Tony Licata, started his poultry market on Gratiot and Vernor in a space rented from the Germack family. He called it Capital Poultry, "spelled with an 'A'."
                                           After Extensive remodeling and modernizing, today's customers are served from a center aisle, running front to back, with long refrigerated counters on each side. Midway down the aisle at the ordering, weighing, and paying area, you can catch a glimpse of your poultry being prepared on stainless steel tables.
                                           Capital buys their fryers, roasters, and capons from Amish farmers in northeastern Indiana. These free-range chickens are totally grain fed. The turkeys are raised in southeastern Michigan, "the best he can buy", says Al Arnone, Lillian's son, who operates the Gratiot store.
                                           Poultry comes in live (except for ducks and rabbits) in wooden crates and all the preparation is done on the premises. During Thanksgiving week, Arnone's turkey population jumps to over 2,000, and they work around the clock to get them ready.
                                           Arnones opened a warehouse on the north side of the freeway in the 90's, meeting federal guidelines to sell wholesale. Larry Arnone, another son, runs the warehouse.
                                           Lillian talks fondly of the days when Vernor Highway (now the Fisher Freeway), was a street-level thoroughfare with a stop light and a policeman.
                                           During the war, throngs of people came to the Market. This was long before the freeway came in and divided it. There was a communal feeling. "We had a stall in shed #1 until 1954 and sold live chickens, 3 for a dollar."

                                  RAFAL SPICE COMPANY
                                  2521 Russell Street
                                  (313) 259 6373
                                  Hours: Mon. - Sat. 7 am - 4 pm.

                                           "I don't smell anything, not a thing. The bankers love it because the money smells like spices!" says Donald Rafal. "I'm glad my father wasn't in the fish business." Spices and herbs, coffees and teas give Rafal's its heady bouquet. Rafal finds his store comfortable and the rent is cheap. His grandfather had owned the premises since the 1920's.
                                           Brightly labeled bottles, boxes, and bags, each containing an elixir to perk up any concoction, line the shelves. Glass jars are filled with every spice and herb imaginable, from adobo and asafetida to xanthan and za'atar. To the left of the spice area, canisters of teas and kegs of coffee beans lend their fragrances.
                                           Behind the cash register, Rafal sells an interesting and comprehensive assortment of pepper mills, and a wide selection of pepper-oriented spice mixes.
                                            Donald Rafal explains, "Rafal is from Rafalsky. When my grandfather came over from Russia, at the turn of the century, immigration officers shortened our name. We say Rafal, like the ticket, raffle ticket".

                                  This is both Bob and Rob's favorite cooking magazine. Highly recomended!!!

                                  COOK'S ILLUSTRATED

                                  Click here to go to Cook's Illustrated web site

                                  Click here to go to their web site

                                  Click here for a free trial issue

                                  Here's the low-fat book that sounds like "millennium".

                                  MEAL LEANI YUMM!
                                  (ALL THAT'S MISSING IS THE FAT)

                                  By: Norene Gilletz
                                  Price:$33.95; Wipe clean hard cover/concealed Wir-O-Binding
                                  Published by: Gourmania Inc., 4001 Bayview Ave., Ste#414, Toronto, Ont., Canada, M2M 3Z7
                                  To order: call 1-888-811-9866
                                  Visit their web-site: Gourmania

                                  Photo of Book/Click here to visit website.

                                               You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the 800 yummy recipes in this low-fat, high flavor cookbook. The recipes are simple to make, use readily available ingredients and practical cooking techniques. A wonderful resource for people with health and weight concerns, part-time vegetarians or those who couldn't care less but just love good food. The majority of the recipes are suitable for diabetics. There are also many delicious dishes for the major Jewish holidays.
                                           Here's a small sampling:

                                  VEGETARIAN HARVEST ONION STIRFRY

                                  1 medium eggplant, unpeeled
                                  1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green pepper
                                  1 medium Spanish onion (about 2 c.)
                                  2 medium zucchini, unpeeled
                                  2 c. sliced mushrooms (try Shiitaki or Portobello)
                                  4 cloves garlic, crushed
                                  1 T. olive oil
                                  2 T. balsamic or red wine vinegar
                                  salt and pepper to taste
                                  2 T. fresh chopped rosemary or basil (or 1 t. dried)

                                  Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut eggplant, peppers, onion and zucchini into narrow strips. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (may be prepared in advance, covered and refrigerated for 3-4 hours). Spread in a thin layer on a large foil-lined baking sheet which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place pan in top rack of oven. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or til tender-crisp and lightly browned, stirring once or twice.
                                  (makes 6 servings)

                                  Per serving: 99 calories, 3 g. fat (0.4 saturated fat), 0 mg. cholesterol, 3 g. protein, 18 g. carbohydrate, 8 mg. sodium, 532 potassium, 2 mg. iron, 6 g. fiber, 55 mg. calcium.

                                  SESAME SALMON

                                  4 pieces salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
                                  juice of 1/2 lemon (or 1 T. rice vinegar)
                                  2 T. lite soy sauce
                                  1 T. maple syrup or honey
                                  1 t. Oriental sesame oil
                                  2 cloves garlic, crushed
                                  1 T. grated ginger
                                  1 T. sesame seeds

                                  Place salmon in a baking dish which has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle salmon with lemon juice. Combine remaining ingredients except sesame seeds and rub over salmon. Let marinate for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle salmon lightly with sesame seeds. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes (or microwave covered on HIGH for 6-8 minutes) until fish flakes when lightly pressed.
                                  (makes 4 servings

                                  Per serving: 284 calories, 13.2 g. fat (1.9 g. saturated), 94 mg. cholesterol, 34 g. protein, 4 g. carbohydrate, 529 mg. sodium, 856 mg. potassium, 2 mg. iron, trace fiber.

                                  This is the newsletter we talked about 2/15/00. Omega 3 fatty acids and the juicer.

                                  "FOR THE HEALTH CONSCIOUS INDIVIDUAL"

                                  By Dr. David Williams.
                                  Published by: Phillips International Inc.
                                  To subscribe: call 1-800-219-8591
                                  To order the juicer: call 1-800-211-8562 M-F, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET

                                  "Washing the dishes to wash the dishes?"
                                  That book is titled:

                                  THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS
                                  A Manual On Meditation

                                  By: Thich Nhat Hanh
                                  Price: Was $8.95 but that was a few year ago.
                                  Published by: Beacon Press, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA., 02108

                                  Photo of the book

                                               The excerpt was written in 1974 from the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh to Brother Quang, a main staff member of the School of Youth for Social Service in South Vietnam. Hanh had founded the school in the 1960's as an outgrowth of "engaged Buddhism." It drew young people deeply committed to acting in a spirit of compassion. Upon graduation, the students used the training they received to respond to the needs of peasants caught in the turmoil of the war. They helped rebuild bombed villages, taught children, set up medical stations and organized agricultural cooperatives.

                                  The quotes Dad and I were looking for are as follows:

                                  WASHING THE DISHES TO WASH THE DISHES

                                           Thirty years ago, when I was still a novice at Tu Hieu Pagoda, washing the dishes was hardly a pleasant task. During the Season of Retreat when all the monks returned to the monastery, two novices had to do all the cooking and wash the dishes for sometimes well over one hundred monks. There was no soap. We had only ashes, rice husks, and coconut husks, and that was all. Cleaning such a high stack of bowls was a chore, especially during the winter when the water was freezing cold. Then you had to heat up a big pot of water before you could do any scrubbing. Nowadays one stands in a kitchen equipped with liquid soap, special scrubpads, and even running hot water which makes it all the more agreeable. It is easier to enjoy washing the dishes now. Anyone can wash them in a hurry, then sit down and enjoy a cup of tea afterwards. I can see a machine for washing clothes, although I wash my own things out by hand, but a dishwashing machine is going just a little too far!
                                           While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that's precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I'm being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There's no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.

                                  THE CUP IN YOUR HANDS

                                           In the United States I have a close friend named Jim. When I first met him eight years ago, he was working with the Catholic Peace Fellowship. Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we've finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else. One night Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said "go ahead, but if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them." Jim replied, "come on, you think I don't know how to wash the dishes?" I answered, "there are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes." Jim was delighted and said, "I choose the second way - to wash the dishes to wash the dishes." I transferred the "responsibility" to him for an entire week.
                                           If while washing the dishes we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not "washing the dishes to wash the dishes." What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future - and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.

                                  EATING A TANGERINE

                                           I remember a number of years ago, when Jim and I were first traveling together in the United States, we sat under a tree and shared a tangerine. He began to talk about what we would be doing in the future. Whenever we thought about a project that seemed attractive or inspiring, Jim became so immersed in it that he literally forgot about what he was doing in the present. He popped a section of tangerine in his mouth and, before he had begun chewing it, had another slice ready to pop into his mouth again. He was hardly aware that he was eating a tangerine. All I had to say was, "you ought to eat the tangerine section you've already taken." Jim was startled into realizing what he was doing.
                                           It was as if he hadn't been eating the tangerine at all. If he had been eating anything, he was "eating" his future plans.
                                           A tangerine has sections, If you can eat just one section, you can probably eat the entire tangerine. But if you can't eat a single section, you cannot eat the tangerine. Jim understood. He slowly put his hand down and focused on the presence of the slice already in his mouth. He chewed it thoughtfully before reaching down and taking another section.



                                                My grandparents were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word "shmily" in a surprise place for the other to find.

                                            They took turns leaving "shmily" around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more. They dragged "shmily" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring.
                                  "Shmily" was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave "shmily" on the very last sheet. There was no end to the places "shmily" would pop up. Little notes with "shmily" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. "Shmily" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture.

                                            It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents' game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love-one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life.
                                  Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection which not everyone is lucky enough to experience. Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. The finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble.
                                  My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew "how to pick 'em." Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.

                                            But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents' life: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside. Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they went to church every morning. But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone. "Shmily." It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time. Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby. Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. For I knew that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.


                                  See How Much I Love You.

                                  Thanks to Maureen from Redford for sending this to us.

                                  Check this page when we talk about a book on the program and you want to track it down.
                                  Bob and Rob.

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