I have had several dreams over the last few nights…I should have written them down earlier…but they are still pretty vivid…So here goes the latest.
Dream 2 – 5/24/12
I had it this morning – around 11am – because I woke up expecting to see two more cats in my house. Could I handle 7 cats?
Someone showed up at my door with two cats. The peep hole was filled with a wool coat and a the brim of hat.
I couldn’t actually see who was at the door, and I knew the doorman had not buzzed me. The nameless, faceless man rang the bell and for some reason I thought it must be a delivery I forgot about, so , after hesitating and knowing it was wrong , I opened the door, and the next thing I knew there was a rather tall gentleman holding a box or a bag with two cats. A Black one and a white one, and he said, “You have to take them. I brought them as we discussed.” They were younger than the M-Cats…Kittens in their first year.
I thought the gentleman might be from FB, but I didn’t recognize him. Anyway, he stayed a little longer, but the next thing I know, I was in the kitchen and trying to figure out if they would eat Fancy Feast, which was going to be a given I might add, and relieved that Jazzpurr was already kissing the white kitten’s
nose. The white kitten was a girl, and not in the best of shape. The Black kitten was a boy, most likely her brother. I was trying to figure out if I could manage to foster them, and my brain was thinking about Vets..
Jazz walked across me on the sofa, and I woke up. That last sentence is not part of the dream.
Dream Number 1 – 5/17/12
I can’t be sure of the exact date, so, about a week ago I had another dream that involved me in a car. I’m not sure if I was driving, but either way I was not in control. It was a convertible, which is odd, because I have never liked them. They wreck your hair, and you can’t hear the music on the radio because of traffic. Any way, I was on a highway and then off of it and headed down a hill or off a cliff or into a wall, and I realized Jazzpurr was out of his carrier, and sitting on the top of the back seat. He actually walked across the back and then sat on the edge like a real “purrson”.
I was very upset – I’m not sure where the rest of the M-Cats were. I was mostly concerned about Jazzpurr and how he could be in a convertible car, that was heading off a cliff…I think I woke up crashing into a wall…Coupurr plopped down next to me…Thank The Universe!
There was more to this dream, but I recognize the signals, which is what really matters. My car had no breaks….After that dream, I put mine on. My breaks, and my seat belt.
The second dream, has haunted me, but it has not re-occurred. I rarely have re-occurring dreams. But I do have re-occurring metaphors. Cars and cats come to mind, though the cats are hardly metaphors…more like “This is your life”.
They are the best part of my life right now. The five M-Cats that I have and the two Dream Cats….
The cars are old standby symbols for me. I have always had dreams with cars. Paul Simon was even driving one once. I am not always the driver in my dream. I have been taught to look for that. I f I am not driving the car in my dreams, it usually means someone else is in charge. I’m not saying, that is a bad thing. In my mind, it depends on who the someone is. If God is driving, it’s ok:). The Devil Went Down To Georgia is another story.
OK…It’s 5PM and I done dreaming for today…Time to feed The M-Cats.
Sometimes when I feed the M-Cats, I feel like one of those mothers who send their kids off to school with the “wrong” lunch.
The lunch, that upon opening, either on the way to school, or in the lunch room itself, dooms the unlucky recipient to a solitary meal, of unwanted breadcrumbs.
Nobody wants to trade, much less sit next to the hapless student, with the un-cool lunch/Mom!
Egg salad was the killer in my own family. Like me, my mother fed my brother a tuna fish sandwich as soon as he was weened, at 12 o’clock noon every day of his life, until his first day of school when he entered first grade, at The Solomon Schecter School – a Hebrew Day School.
Because of the religious environment, the cafeteria was kosher. No meat and dairy could be mixed, so dairy lunches were the rule. Tuna fish was permissible. Shell fish were not .I know all this, by the way, because I was in the third grade, when my brother entered his first year. It was 1961 !The first graders ate earlier than us, and there had been a knock on my own classroom door a little after noon, on that early September day.
Mrs. Ruebell, the first grade teacher, peered into to my class and put her left pointer finger to her mouth, in an attempt to show she was not interrupting. With her right pointer finger crooked, she motioned me to the hallway. Perhaps my first mixed message?
“Rivkah, we have a problem. Your brother does not want to eat his lunch. It seems he does not like his sandwich, and your mother only gave him a piece of fruit for his snack. Is it true he is allergic to apples?”
“I’m not sure Mrs. Rubell? Do you want me to find out what’s going on? It’s his first day – maybe he’s nervous?”
“Well, that’s what I was thinking…Remember how nervous you were?
Mrs. Ruebell never forgot a thing. She was referring to the time my mother brought me to a Spring Preview.
I had not even been in the school yet. My Mother thought it might be a good idea to show me where I would be going for the next eight years.
“But I was only 5, in kindergarden …I wasn’t even in the first grade yet!”
Mrs. Ruebell just shook her head.
“Bring your lunch…maybe if he eats next to his sister, he will feel better. When your class goes down to the cafeteria, in another half hour, you can move over and join them. I know it’s the first day, but isn’t it nice you can be a Big Sister? By the way, we have a nice music and art program this year. You will like it.”
In truth I was probably in the middle of positioning for a new best friend, or feeling out my own new third grade teacher…I had Hebrew classes in the mornings, and this new teacher was the first male pedagogue I ever had. I was nervous and excited, all at the same time. Nonetheless, having no choice, I followed Mrs. Ruebell down the 5 flights of stairs, to the basement lunch room – the one that had caused me to burst into tears and go running, when 4 years prior, my mother had taken me to the welcome preview, before I had actually entered first grade. The idea was to orient the incoming first grade class.
The SSS cafeteria, could be overwhelming. The large room was used for a variety of events, as it was part of The Rego Park Jewish Center. The Solomon Schecter School held it’s classes at The Center, Monday through Friday, during the school term – until eventually they moved to a building of their own.
Consequently, a room known as the little ball room, was used during the week to serve the daily repast. The hard wood floor was actually a dance area, and the bathrooms were large and spacious. The ladies room was actually a changing room for brides, during weddings. It had an area where we girls could spin each other around, and inspect our school girl clothes.
We were allowed to go to the bathroom, two by two, until often all the girls would end up in the “spinning room” until a teacher came and shooed us back for the Birkat Ha-Mazon.
Out in the cafeteria, there were rows of tables inhabited by children, while teachers served as monitors, walking back and fourth, making sure that we prayed, ate and prayed again in that order. Thankfully I had grown accustomed to the organized chaos. I always looked forward to lunch. I spied my brother, sitting in the corner, staring at his plate. Around him boys in yamalkas were eating, laughing, throwing spit balls. The girls were sitting together, learning each other’s names. The usual first day elementary school stuff.
“Hi Andy -What’s wrong?” I went right to the point. “Is someone giving you a hard time?”
I sat down next to him, noting the empty chairs.The rest of the kids seemed to be at the other end of the table.
“Yes…Mom is! She gave me an egg salad sandwich and an apple.. I was supposed to get Tuna Fish and a snack! Hostess Twinkies or some Yodells. No one wants to trade with me, and I can’t eat it…even the bread is soggy with egg salad.”
I understood immediately. My mother had done it again. She had done it to me too, on my first day. I’ll never forget how appalled I had been..having-just like my brother- eaten a tuna fish sandwich everyday of my life, until that first day at school.
To this day, My mother has never been able to come with a satisfactory explanation – one that could give either my brother or me any degree of closure. Her claim was and is, that we needed to try something new, and she was trying to keep us healthy. We both know better.
She never could sell that egg salad, except possibly to her second husband, and even he seemed to squirm when he took the first bite. It still makes me want to gag.
My brother, is married with four children of his own, and he too, cannot reconcile with the egg salad!
On my own first day, I had been lucky enough to sit next to Steven Braun, who quickly traded his vegetable sandwich. Good old Steven Braun -RIP – he could eat anything.
Also, I had been savvy enough to take two Twinkie packages with me, that morning. One I ate, the other I traded for a ring ding. Lucky for me, I had a public school friend, a year older than me, who had explained “Lunch is all about trading – doesn’t matter if you go to public or private school – bring the right food, and you’re in!
On my first day, I had been smart enough to bring the extra snack, but it never occurred to me to inspect the contents of my tin-foiled wrapped sandwich.
By third grade, I made sure of both. I knew what was in my brown bag and I knew what was being traded on the lunch-room market floor;). And lucky for my brother, I had come prepared. I had a tuna fish sandwich in my brown bag.
“Here…take this…it’s tuna fish, and a package of twinkies…I brought two, just in case Mom did the fruit thing again. Give me the egg salad. I might be able to trade it for a hot lunch..They’re serving chicken chow main, with out the chicken. If not, I’ll be OK…I’m not that hungry anyway.
I was a sugar baby, even back then. I ate the nutritional stuff, but only at great prompting.
My brother brightened considerably. I turned to one of the other boys.
”Hi, I’m Andy’s sister… You’re Harvey Rumel? I took my brother’s lunch bag my mistake. Maybe he wants to trade part of it. Harvey sat down next to Andy…
“What do you have? How about one Yodell for one Twinkie?”
Seeing that my brother was going to be all right, I motioned to Mrs. Rubell. My own class had just entered the lunch room. My friend, Elizabeth Friedman was motioning me to a seat. She had come down without a partner, waiting for me.
“I’m going to sit with my class, now. Andy and Harvey are going to eat together.”
“Good Job, Rivkah. A Mitzvah! Your class is just starting lunch. This Friday, when it’s Shabbat you can be one of the leaders in Birkat Ha Mazon. You can be the Emah ( hebrew word for mother) and light the candles. Another Mitzvah and an honor!”
I took my second package of Twinkies, and my brother’s offending brown paper bag, with his re-wrapped uneaten Egg salad sandwich, and moved over to the third grade table.
“Bye Andy, see ya at 3 O’clock
My brother, his mouth full of tuna fish and Twinkies, nodded happily. I knew it was his way of saying “Thanks”.
As I type this, Jazzpurr is pawing the chair behind me, signaling that he is not entirely happy with his own Fancy Feast meal – Chicken and Tuna Feast Flaked –
“Watch out buddy! Or it’s Egg Salad for you!
The was once a Red Rose in the rain
Who only felt sorrow and pain.
With thorns in his side
His petals un-pried .
Permit me to further explain
This Red Rose was a pessimist too
As for friends, there were less than a few.
The Squirrel said “Nuts!
No if, and, or butts
This late bloom is missing a few.”
But The Red Rose hung on for dear life,
Avoiding the scissors or knife.
“Buck Up,” said the sun.
“You’ve only begun
Perhaps you should look for a wife?
Or partner, with whom you can share?”
But The Red Rose just gave a cold stare.
He was prideful and proud
and at last said out loud,
“I don’t think that would really be fair.”
“See these thorns that are stuck in my side?
I admit they have wounded my pride.
But my standards are high
I’m just that kind of guy
So my time in this tree I shall bide.
Til my petals unfurl in the sky
It’s just nature, no need to ask why
So go on with your day
I will grow while you play”
Said The Red Rose in the rain, with a sigh!
Copyright C Robin Amy Bass 5/2/2012
I took the photo yesterday. The rose is in a tree on the block where my mom lives. I grew up in the house next door to the tree. I wrote the poem this morning, while lying in bed and thinking about how I’m going to paint this rose with my new water color pencils….I’ve been purrcrastinating;) I wish drawing came as easily as rhymes.
OK…back to the sketch pads and The M-Cats…they are simply sleeping, waiting for the rain to stop.
Robin Amy B AKA The Big Girl
Copyright C Robin Amy Bass 5/2/12