What Would You Ask Santa For… PAZAZ™ Style?

If your head was above the crowd and you could see what no one else could see, and you could ask Santa for something that would enhance your life exponentially… What would that vision look like?

If you’re in the Golden Years (that’s when you have to pee more often) would health be the number one request? Or would it be to travel to places you’ve always dreamed of visiting? Or would it be to have those people you’ve lost, during this short life, back with you to share one more very special moment?

If you’re like me we sometimes dream of those moments in places far away being able to achieve any physical task before us with the people we’ve loved and cared about. The beauty of the dream is that we are transported to a parallel universe that becomes so real its as if we believed in Santa all over again.

However, if you’re young it seems life will last forever. Perhaps in Never/Never land that is true but certainly not in real life. But sometimes the boundary between fiction and non fiction becomes blurred. Wouldn’t it be great if Santa did deliver packages to all the children in the world and because of his importance to humanity he never aged?

And what if on some level he answered our wishes and in the dream we’ve all had… we could fly? The human drones flying all over and even into places only accessible by flight. Santa would then have thousands of helpers to give presents to everyone in the world.

The Christmas I remember when I received that one gift from Santa I will always remember… was many years ago. The night before (Christmas Eve) we would start the festivities with our Christmas Eve meal which consisted of onion soup and a shrimp salad with thousand island dressing. Then, my mom, dad, and grandmother would sit in the living room around the Christmas tree located right by the fireplace. I would play Santa giving presents to my mom, dad, and grandmother from the gifts located under the tree. We would wait until everyone had their presents and then we would take turns opening the gifts.

I loved playing Santa as each of my parents and my grandmother would revert to their childhood. Each adult would shake the gift, look at the dimensions, and try to figure out what was inside. I think never losing the child within is a very important gift you can give yourself.

Typically I would make the gifts for my parents or spend my allowance on gifts or more than likely they would purchase a gift and put my name on the card with theirs. The smiles on their collective faces as they opened their gifts was a memory I will never forget. It certainly is part of the most important feelings I have associated with the “Christmas Spirit”.

The beauty of the season related to gifts culminated on Christmas Day. That is when the one gift (if I was on Santa’s good list) would appear as if by magic, usually in the living room by the Christmas tree. That one gift, at that moment in time (to this day) brings a warm feeling that can only be explained by the entire sensory experience.

The magic of discovery was heightened by the anticipation of the moment. That moment is framed in a time capsule I unwrap at this time every year. That year, many years ago, I walked into the living room to find the gift that was carefully hidden under the tree. It was a BB gun. To many that would seem like a trivial gift, but to me it was a right of passage that brought me into my teen age years unveiling the child that had now become a young man.

This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ™ “The Magic of Cooking” Kitchen tools for the discerning chef. Please go to www.pazazshop.com to purchase these “AMAZING” Kitchen tools.

Mother’s Day…

mother's day - pazaz bakeware
I would like to think that if your mother is still alive you hold this holiday very dear to your heart. I would also like to think that if she is not alive you cherish the memories you shared over the course of a lifetime.

Mother’s day is a day to honor your mother. Usually this takes on the form of a card, flowers, and even a meal (if you are lucky enough to have her close to you). The many times we shared this special day revolved around how blessed I was to have her in my life. The very special moments I remember sometimes seemed like mundane events but looking back, accentuated the fact that I miss her everyday.

My mom, Dorothy, used to consume her steak a certain way with each bite using a different condiment until the very center of the steak, the prize, was delightfully enjoyed. I remember the smile on her face and her hands giving a happy sign to signify the utter joy in this simple yet satisfying experience.

“How Grateful I Would Be To Have Just One More Day”

By Kathy J. Parenteau

“If I could have just one more day and wishes did come true,
I’d spend every glorious moment side by side with you.
Recalling all the years we shared and memories we made,
how grateful I would be to have just one more day.
Where the tears I’ve shed are not in vain and only fall in bliss.
So many things I’d let you know about the days you’ve missed.
I wouldn’t have to make pretend you never went away.
How grateful I would be to have just one more day.
When that day came to a close and the sun began to set,
a million times I’d let you know I never will forget
the heart of gold you left behind when you entered Heaven’s gate.
How grateful I would be to have just one more day. “

When I was younger she would help me with little booklets that taught me English, history, and math. She would also help me memorize my lines for the many plays I was in. In addition to teaching me just about everything I knew she also helped me with my violin lessons.

My mom was a concert pianist and would go over every piece to help me with my intonation and violin lessons which I would have to complete for that week. She would read my homework to make sure I completed the assignments, and through that process exhibited the patience of Jobe. My teenage years proved to be a bit challenging. Not because I was such a problem but because I didn’t drive.

Orchestra was at 7:15 am, football practice after school, then drama practice across town. Each day was some type of practice which involved orchestra outside of school, singing, violin lessons, etc. My mom never complained about the schedule and many times would wait for me to complete my lesson or practice.

Through-out all of this she had debilitating arthritis. Never once did she complain about her maladies though it was hard for her to walk. In addition to that her hands showed the arthritis disease in the form of swelling and curvature. Her inner strength, intelligence, and kindness were on display everyday. My mom was chairman of the Cancer Society for Marin County and she orchestrated drive schedules for many drivers that would pick up cancer patients that were either too frail to drive or were less fortunate and didn’t own a car. This led to her receiving an award where she was recognized by a San Francisco radio station as a person that gave so much back to society. I can not begin to express how grateful I was to be blessed to have my mom in my life (though it was for to short a period of time).

I look back and smile at the time we spent together. If ever there was a person that made the world a better place… it was my mom. I hope and pray that all that read this will either reach out to their mom or remember that time together you hold so dear.

This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ ™ “The Magic of Cooking” Kitchen tools for the discerning chef. Please go to pazazshop.com to purchase these “AMAZING” kitchen tools.

Our Comfort Zone… The Best Things Never Change!

Bring us back to the Beatles, rotary phones, bean bag chairs, lava lamps, and incense. This, mixed in with bell bottom pants, flower shirts, and an occasional bottle of cold duck… and you have the perfect recipe for time travel.

When we travel back in time to our “Comfort Zone” you will notice the lifting of certain stress enhancing factors that have magically disappeared. No more cell phones, lap tops, or any other communicative devices. We actually have to speak to each other face to face. No Zoom calls, Face Time, or any other technological short cut. Also, none of those four hundred calls a day about life insurance, car insurance, reverse mortgages, hearing devices, cremation, or warranty extensions. As Martin Luther King would say, “Free at last, we are free at last.”

The best things that never change are our commitments to our family, appreciation of natural beauty, treasuring the arts (music, poetry, stories, books, art, etc.) and finally the random acts of kindness that bring an unexpected smile to our mind, heart, and soul.

Sometimes to achieve this time travel we must venture to the unspoiled wilderness that offers no expression but the faint utterance of change that slowly turns creeks to rivers and crevices to canyons.

The unmitigated evaporation of tension when we are in nature supplies us with an ability to drink in the sensory experience. We connect to this powerful force drawn to its subtlety and energized by its host of dynamic interludes. Within this network of natures symphony of sounds is the prelude to our understanding of the peace that becomes our internal voice.

When this perfect storm arrives we become enriched as God intended. So simple, so subtle, so beautiful. In this state we can accomplish anything… the worthwhile formulation of an uncomplicated theory.

This theory that is inside all of us is the strength that becomes our comfort zone. This places us in a picture that is constantly changing, within parts of us that will never change. No travel required but the six inch distance between our ears.

The Waves the Waves

Occurring and Occurring

Always Threaten to Drown Me…

Until I Realize

I am the Ocean.

This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ™ “The Magic of Cooking” Kitchen tools for the discerning chef. Please go to wwwpazazshop.com to purchase these AMAZING kitchen tools.