Monthly Archives: March 2013

Favorite Things

I spent the past few days doing one of my favorite things, which is spending time with loved ones. Well I did several of my favorite things actually, as I also traveled, went for walks and felt the sunshine on my skin, cuddled my nephew, laughed over old pictures and memories, took photos, baked cakes, tried new foods, and sang songs. My favorite things occurred on a quick trip to Seattle to see my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, who recently moved there, and also my mum, who was over visiting from England. The song by the same name, from the film The Sound of Music, became our theme tune during my trip.

My Favorite Things is one of my favorite songs to sing. I love the actress, Julie Andrews, who sings it, who not only stars in The Sound of Music, but also Mary Poppins, and The Princess Diaries, to name a few. She has a beautiful voice and wonderful smile. Hers were the songs I would sing to children on the chairlifts, when I taught as a ski instructor – “Doe, a deer, a female deer…” or “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…” could be heard drifting past the pine needles to the surrounding chairs. It made me smile when one little girl, upon hearing me sing in my British accent, asked me in wide-eyed innocence “But are you Mary Poppins?  Are you?” Invariably when I am around children, the songs come out.

Over the past few days I found myself humming or singing My Favorite Things as I made tea, or heard my mum sing it as she pottered about, and all of us would sing it to my nephew James. We like to sing in my family (well, at least the girls do). I will always remember my mum singing when we were growing up. Each morning she would skip into the room I shared with my sister, raise the floral Austrian blinds with the pink trim which she had sewn for us, and proclaim in her sing-song manner that it was a wonderful new day.

My family would sing in the car on our weekly drive to my grandmother and grandfather’s house; my parents, siblings, and I would sing to Bob Marley or Motown tapes while making dinners; we sang songs to learn our times tables; at karaoke while on holidays; and my sister, friends and I would sing at the bus stop on the way home from school. It was not always Von Trapp style songs mind you, my family humored me with Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice, Baby, when I was 11. The singing wasn’t always tuneful either (my sister and I were encouraged to leave a karaoke machine after a particularly untuneful version of U2’s With Or Without You), but singing made us feel good.

In the song from The Sound of Music, the favorite things include Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings. I can visualize each one, something simple and pleasant, which puts a smile on your face. They evoked happiness for the character Maria in the film, when she was feeling sad. It inspired me to jot down my favorite things from my recent trip, in the style of the original song (but I took poetic license to add an extra verse):

Some of my favorite things from the past few days.

Some of my favorite things from the past few days  -picnics, candles, walks, blossom, and babies.

Picnics in paper and sun on our faces,
Playgrounds and swing sets, and skipping all places,
Candles, and birthdays, and a restaurant that spins,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Walking by water and ducks going swimming,
Chatting and hiking with my favorite women,
Blossoms on branches and the first signs of spring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Wide blue eyed babies, so trusting and loving,
The smell of fresh muffins that bake in the oven,
Tickles and giggles and laughter that rings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cuddles and cradles, and small toes and fingers,
Bouncing the baby his sweet smell that lingers,
Chuckles at midnight at photos and things,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Though I miss you, know I love you,
And we won’t feel sad,
We’ll simply remember our favorite things,
And then we won’t feel so bad!

That one is for you Mum, Madeleine, August, and nephew James. I like writing poems and sometimes include them in birthday or thank you cards for people (for some friends it has been the first poem/rap/ditty ever written for them). It puts a smile on people’s faces. What are your favorite things to do for yourself and others? I am lucky to get to do some of mine again this week with my husband and some great friends who are visiting us. I hope you get to do your favorite things soon.

Lydia