The song, “My Favorite Things,” will always remind me my parent’s Tony Bennett Christmas album, even though the song originates from the musical, The Sound of Music. And, while I’ll admit that some of the “things” listed in the Rodgers and Hammerstein lyrics are nice, they are not among my favorite. Cream-colored ponies and schnitzel with noodles are not ranked high on my list. But, upon returning to the States, I’ve gained a better appreciation of the little nuances of life. These are a few of my favorite things…
1. Indoor plumbing with fresh water. Sounds simple and ordinary, but waking up in the middle of the night and getting dressed to walk 20-50 yards is a drag. As a bonus, you can drink from an American tap without needing hospitalization afterward.
2. Women freely and openly appearing in public. Not covered up in a burqa or lurking in the shadows. Actually seeing women everywhere, busy living ordinary lives in full view of society, is comforting.
3. Crisp cool ocean breezes, second only to the fragrant scent of eucalyptus trees. I hadn’t caught deep breaths this pleasant in a long while.
4. 18 inches of snow in Boston while you're in San Francisco. A toast to all the times I’ve been stranded at Logan, Dallas and Philly due to weather.
5. The sight of old friends that you haven't seen in ages. Freely sharing stories of antics that occurred over the past 2 decades.
6. But, nothing tastes as a good as a beer at the Grant and Green while recalling North Beach nights of long ago.