When thinking back to my days as a child, I have many fond memories. I remember summer days of running through the sprinkler on the front lawn, making mud pies in our backyard or wrapped up like a mummy riding my tricycle (then a bicycle) with my siblings in the back alley. I remember Chimo the Alaskan Husky that lived further down the alley and how he jumped over his backyard fence to chase away a loose bull-dog that threatened to attack me. (To this day, I still wonder how Chimo knew I was in danger … )
But before all this outdoor fun time, I also remember having to do math problems and recite poetry. The math problems were simple but reciting poetry was not my strength. Actually, reciting anything (poetry, prose, idioms) was a challenge for me. I always found that by the time I get to the fifth or sixth line, I would have already forgotten the first two lines. Of all the years that I had to recite poetry, there is only one poem that has managed to lodge itself in my memory… but only the first few lines. Do you recognize this…?“I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, From the seas and the streams; I bear light shade for the leaves when laid In their noonday dreams.”
The poem goes on for much longer but that’s all that I can remember. While in high school, I tried to memorize the rest of it, but couldn’t remember anything after this first part. In case you’re wondering, it’s from The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Despite having to recite poetry or prose, reading was still one of my favourite hobbies. (I just didn’t see the point of memorizing someone’s writings). If I found the right book, I could sit and read for long periods of time. I enjoyed trips to the library to pick out books to read. We lived relatively close to a public library although with my short kiddie legs, the walk seemed like forever. That’s right, we walked to and from the library so we were limited by the number of books we could carry (and the maximum amount my mom could take out on her library card). Choosing my books became a very important (and strategic) task because it had to be worth carrying to and from the library AND it had to last until the next visit.
Occasionally I would pick up some books that allowed the reader to choose the next course of action or response. The outcome of the story depended on what choices were made along the way. It was fun to read a paragraph or two, be given a couple of options, make a decision, flip to follow the story line and then find out eventually come to some sort of ending. I remember going through the book the first time with every choice that I felt was best. After completing that first adventure, I’d go back and start all over again until I managed to go through all the storyline variations. So many options and several different outcomes! Thankfully, I was generally pleased with my original sequence of choices.
Obviously, in real life, we cannot check out every path or course of action before satisfying oneself that the right decision(s) was(were) made. The same goes for food. I often dread a lengthy menu with too many options. I spend more time reading what each one has and determining what I like and don’t like about each item. Sometimes there are things that I like in one menu item but the accompanying veggie or cheese is not to my liking. Through a lengthy process of elimination, I am usually able to narrow down my options. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to build your own menu item.
One of my coworkers had been telling me about a noodle place called Deer Garden Signatures in Richmond. She told me that they have a really “awesome” pepper fish soup base that she orders every time. We soon discovered that a Deer Garden Signatures had opened up in Vancouver. Together with M and C, we decided to go for noodles after work.
I really enjoyed the Watercress and Almond Fish soup base… and even tried a bit of M’s Gingko and Pepper Fish Soup. They were both good options but I am glad I got the watercress with my noodles. The noodle combo also came with a drink and thankfully M suggested getting a cold drink. They package up the cold drink in a take-out sealed container so I didn’t feel pressured to finish my drink while I was there. In fact, after slurping up every drop of the soup, I don’t think I could have had any of my drink if it came in a regular glass or cup.