Monday, August 28, 2017

SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH



Acrylic painting by me

Contrary to what we’re much too often coerced into believing by repetitive news’ stories in the various media...reports that are continuously being shoved down our throats...not all of our youth are uncouth. 

One Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago I met a very pleasant, well-mannered couth youth.  He and I conversed and bonded for quite some time.  The lad was outside on the lane that runs past my cabin..and me, I was talking to him through a window of my cabin.

It was his stylish, restored, glistening black 1960 Cadillac that first drew my attention while I was quietly lost in my own little corner of the world, reading the daily newspaper.

A deep-throated rumble, gurgling on the lane a few metres away, out from my window, alerted my attention. 

On the opposite side of said lane to where my cabin sits is vacant bushland...five acres or so of it.  As described in previous posts, this “court” (as it’s called)...my address for the past 15 years...is a dead-end with only five dwellings (including my cabin), each on acreage.

 No! The deep rumble wasn’t coming from the youth...a re-enactment of the musical “West Side Story” wasn’t happening out on the road.  The rumble emanated from the young fellow’s beautiful beast of a vehicle as it came to a halt, but with the motor still running. 

They sure don’t make cars like that anymore! 

My little car, “Lady” (a white Toyota Echo) would fit in its boot/trunk comfortably, with room to move. 

The nice young bloke and I had a friendly conversation.  He appeared thrilled that I’d shown interest in his vehicle.

After he drove away I was sorry I’d not asked if he’d take me for a ride! 

Of course, I wouldn’t have been so forward, but the thought of cruising along the mountain roads in the classy car was a nice dream.  I’m a bit prone to daydreaming, even at night. 

The front bumper of the Caddie would’ve been at the John Muntz Causeway, at the base of this plateau, with the rear of the vehicle still at the top of the Oxenford-Tamborine Road at Eagle Heights!   

All I would have had to do was climb over the front seat, through the interior, and out the back window - and I’d not have left the mountain.

Constantly being force-fed negativity by the media about the bad behaviour of some youth, so easily we overlook the fact we don’t need to be a sleuth to discover the truth - which is - the majority of our youth are great young folk who have their eye on the ball as they forge their positive path through life with a dogged determination to fulfil their dreams.  

I can be down in the dumps, at the dump or elsewhere; feeling blue under a blue or grey sky; or be fed-up with whatever and everything, but when I happen to meet young persons, similar to the lad with the Caddie, who are friendly, smiling, young folk oozing good-manners - with a natural confidence that is in no way arrogant - how can I not be uplifted? 

Their joie de vivre is contagious.  I’m happy to be contaged and engaged.

“Salad days”...the sweet bloom of youth...when expectations are animatedly spirited and awake.

Kermit the Frog sang “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, believing he became invisible because he blended in with other ordinary things, causing him to be passed over; but Kermit soon sang himself into believing it was okay to be green after all. 

Once happy within his own skin, Kermit came to the realisation he wasn’t ordinary in any way.  

In fact, he discovered it was okay being green...that he was special. He realised that having much to learn about life was a good thing.    

Being positive not negative enabled Kermit  to appreciate an exciting adventure lay ahead for him.  Opportunity and adventure waited to be grabbed with both hands.
 
One can either run with it and go cruising in a shiny, black Cadillac.

It takes some of us longer than others to get to that stage - the point of realisation - but the ride, like I expect a ride in that black Caddie, is worth it. 

Today’s youth may not yet know who they are - even some of us “oldies” haven’t yet discovered the secret – Life’s experiences are the lesson-givers.  We learn as we go along...step by step.  

Many young folk - the silent majority we too often hear nothing about - already know who they want to be; what they want to do; where they want to go, and how to get there.  To me, that’s admirable. 

When I meet young people who hold the captivating traits of positivity and enthusiasm, I feel hope, happiness and warmth.

Those young folk are like sparkles in the water, or stars in the sky – and I wonder why 

Warm Green Salad: Trim 1 bunch kale; cut leaves into ribbons; slice 1 red onion crosswise into thin rings. Blanch or steam kale; drain well. Heat 1tbs olive oil over med-low heat; add onion and 2 large garlic cloves, minced; cook 1-2mins; add 2tbs dried cranberries, 3tbs chopped walnuts and 1tbs Balsamic vinegar; cook 1min; add kale. Toss to coat and warm.

Spinach-Roasted Sweet Potato-Grain Salad: Cut 1 medium kumara into 1/4-inch cubes,. Toss with 1tbs olive oil, 1 med-red onion, cut into wedges and 1tbs smoked paprika.  Roast in 175C oven, 25-30mins. Cook grain of choice e.g. brown rice, quinoa, millet etc; cool before using.  Whisk 2tbs lime juice, 1tbs honey and 2tbs olive oil. Toss cooled grains with 2 or 3 handfuls of fresh spinach and dressing; top with roasted kumara/pumpkin.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad: In bowl, combine 450g sliced Brussels sprouts, 2 large kale leaves, chopped,  1/2c dried cranberries, 1/4c sunflower seeds and 4 cooked bacon rashers, crumbled;  toss. Whisk 1tbs x-virgin olive oil, 1tbs pure maple syrup, 1-1/2tbs lemon juice, 1/2tbs wholegrain mustard and salt; pour over Brussels sprouts; toss to coat.

Chickpea Tabbouleh: Starting with the quinoa –in bowl,  layer 2c cooked quinoa, 1 finely-chopped red capsicum, 1 seeded, finely-chopped tomato, ½ bunch chopped parsley, 2 chopped shallots, chopped  jalapeno, to taste, 1c chickpeas (ending with chickpeas); chill; just before serving, drizzle with x-virgin olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice.   

Roasted Cauliflower Salad: Cut 1 large cauliflower into bite-size florets; toss with olive oil, chilli flakes and salt. Roast 25- 30mins; turn halfway, until cauliflower is tender and golden on edges. Cook 1c rinsed farro until tender. Drain; mix in 2tsp olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and salt.  Toss together cauliflower, farro, halved kalamata olives, 1/4c drained sun-dried tomatoes, 3/4c crumbled feta, 1tsp lemon juice, freshly ground pepper, thinly sliced avocado, and 4 handfuls of greens e.g. spinach/rocket etc.

28 comments:

  1. Sadly bad news makes for a much more dramatic story. And will be repeated. There was a good news newspaper started up in the US of A some years back. It died quickly. Lack of interest.

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    1. Too true, EC...too true.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. Luckily, not all youngsters are "bad apples". In fact, many of them give us hope that a better world is possible. Glad you've met one of them.
    Your dishes look delicious!

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    1. Hey DUTA....that' what we hope for in this muddled-up world. We can't let go of, or give up on hope.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. I agree there is too much bad press about today's youth, I've met many young people who are decent, with nice manners, working towards their futures.

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    1. Hey there, River. I agree....every time I go out I meet great young folk...as you say...decent, good-mannered kids.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  4. I assume that is not the car, but if it looked like that, what a stunner. You should have taken a ride and experienced what it is like to float along a road. Some say to drive them is like wallowing along a road, but they do give a lovely ride.

    I agree with you about youth. Their idealism and faith in the world contrasts to my grumpiness about the world, and I love them for it. They seem polite and helpful too, when they look up from their phones. They will go on to save the world while simultaneously staring at their phones.

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    1. G'day Andrew. No, that's not the car that was outside on the lane. The one that grabbed my attention was similar to that one, but it had a tan top.
      The young man who owned it obviously treats it well....it was sparkling, and he had a smile to match. He was rightly proud.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  5. I hope there are some nice houng folks still around...I haven't met any lately.

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    1. Hi Delores...that's a shame that you've not met any nice young folk lately. Fortunately, every time I shop at our local supermarket I'm served be great young people...they're all very pleasant and they make my grocery shopping a happy experience!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. I am signed up for Good News Network and my first email every morning has two or three good news stories. It is refreshing.

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    1. Hey Annie...that's great...and that's how every day should start...and end...and be like all day through.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. We've had so many old cars in our marriage, if only we had them now, we'd be rich if we sold them. now I am craving a salad. Ha. Your painting is intriguing has me wanting to go on a forest hike.

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    1. Hey there, Linda. To see cars of old restored, looking even better than brand new is invigorating. I love them. The older models are far more interesting to look at than the cars of today...most of which all look boringly the same.

      Thanks for coming by. Mind you don't get lost on your forest hike! :)

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  8. Mixing with the wealthy and their cars again?
    Lucky lad, I expect however it costs a fortune to run.

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    1. G'day Mr. Ad-Man...Good on the young bloke, I say. Better spending his money on his beautiful Caddie than on drugs, I say.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. I agree with you about the news - and the media. It is like they think we don't have a brain of our own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And I think I am going to make that first warm kale salad. Yum.

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    1. Hi Sandie...I'm sick of the news...and try to watch as little of it as possible these days. It's repetitive and can be oh, so, depressing!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. I think there are many youngsters whom I would far rather be with than many older people I know. Generalisations are rarely generally applicable. Your lad and his car both sounded rather special. I like you painting too.

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    1. Yes, Graham...I, too, would rather be infected by the joys expressed by some young folk than the gloom spread by many older people.

      The young fellow with the Cadillac was brimming with life. He was so thrilled that an old codger like me showed so much interest...and he was happy to share his joy. It was great. His attitude made my Sunday.

      I'm glad you like my painting,,,thanks....and thanks for coming by. :)

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  11. Oh Lee your salads are amazing.
    With summer soon coming to an end here in the UK I'm making the most of summery salads.
    Lovely recipe ideas, thanks.

    All the best Jan

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    1. You're welcome, Jan...summer is not that far away from us here - our spring commences tomorrow...so our salad days will also arrive.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  12. Oh yes the Salad Days can't come soon enough Lee. Going down to 0c - again, overnight!
    I think it is necessary now and again for the spotlight to be put on youngsters who are living a good life. They will be the ones taking this country on to bigger and better things when we have gone. They have a hard enough time as it is at the moment I hate to think what may happen in the future.
    Loved the 'Nun's Story' you wrote for this week's WFW - just wondering what could be in Sister Tess's magical concoction ~ Cathy

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    1. G'day,Cathy. We've had a pretty mild winter up this way...and I'm hoping the cooler weather lingers a little longer. It really doesn't get very cold up here on Tamborine Mountain...just very pleasant. I'm not looking forward to the sticky heat of a long, hot summer. One good thing is we're always a few temps cooler than other areas below us and, of course, north of here.

      I'm glad you enjoyed my WFW...I enjoyed yours, too. :( I think Sister Tessa might have pinched some of the communal wine as part of the ingredients of her magical concoction! I won't tell if you don't! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  13. You're so right about youth. They are the same as they always were, thank goodness. A bit tough to think that their elders are also the same as they have always been, on the whole. Complaining old gits in many cases! :) I didn't realise you were a painter, your picture is atmospheric. That car is just wonderful. What a terrific thing to pull up outside!

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    1. G'day, Jenny.....unfortunately, some find it easier to complain than to praise. If they only realised how easier things are if a smile and kind word is shared.

      I've not picked up my paint brushes, pencils and paints for quite a while. They're all gathering dust at present.

      Thanks for popping in, Jenny. :)

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  14. Like racism, ageism can work both ways. I say that everybody is different be they young, old or middle-aged. We should assess people on their own merits without reference to the number of birthdays they have had. Let's hope the young man with the black Cadillac comes by again to take his newly-adopted Auntie Lee for a cruise in the country.

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  15. Hey Yorkie...One never knows what lies ahead, Mr. Pud. One thing I am sure of is he won't be calling me "Auntie/Aunty"....I didn't even expect my niece and nephews to call me by that term. "Lee" is my name...and it is the name I prefer to be referred to as being. Even when I was married I hated the "Mrs" bit...always politely asking people to call me by my given name.

    Feminism had nothing to do with my feeling that way. It's just how I am. :)

    Thanks for coming by. I'm glad you had a lovely time in France....from your accounts it was a wonderful visit. :)

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