Shopping with a Holiday-Fried Brain, Giants in the Hills and Cashew Moments


Like so many others during the holiday season, I find myself making multiple trips to the grocery store to buy that one  special ingredient for a recipe that I only make once a year.  As I wandered up and down the grocery store aisle, I literally ran into a display featuring “Entertainment Crackers.” That held my attention briefly as I wondered what type of entertainment crackers could supply. Do they sing, dance or tell jokes?

I finished my shopping and returned to my car. I couldn’t help but notice that the inside of the windshield was still coated with  a slightly-oily mystery substance. I told my son I had tried cleaning the windshield with the cleaner the manufacture recommended, but it hadn’t work. He suggested I use crumpled newspaper and glass cleaner. I hadn’t done that yet, but I would.

Given the state of my fried brain, I began to wonder about the cleaning process. I read that newspaper subscriptions are down and very few people actually buy newspapers with any regularity. I also read that most people now rely on social media for news, especially their smart phones. Did that mean that these newspaper- deprived, smart-phone users would have to use their smart phones to clean the windshield? Does Siri do windows?

One of the best things about the holidays is spending time with family and friends, reliving memories and sharing stories. Coming back from one  family gathering, we drove through an area of California that has low, rounded hills. In the Spring the hills are bright green, but now they are covered with a low brown growth that looks like suede from a distance. There are no deep canyons, only  soft, undulating bumps. Our family knows the area well. During the drive, my son reminded me that  when he was little, he thought the hills were sleeping giants and the brown growth was a blanket covering the giants.

My beautiful daughter-in-law and handsome son visited from out-of-state. They are wonderful to talk to. They shared a story about cashews. They discovered that they really liked cashews and had a supply on hand at home. When my daughter-in-law’s parents visited from Korea, they asked the name of the curiously shaped nuts.

Neither my son nor daughter-in-law could remember the name. They decided to avoid that problem in the future by spending a day when they referred to everything as a cashew; e.g. “Oh, my cashew (phone) is ringing.”  This apparently worked.

We now refer to those times when a word is not on the tip of your tongue as a “Cashew moment.”

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Best wishes for the new year.