Hanukkah memories: sour cream or applesauce?

Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah

“Applesauce or sour cream?” will be one of the most hotly debated issues around family tables this Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins this coming weekend and will last for eight days. The holiday celebrates the triumph of the Maccabees over the Assyrian Greeks 2300 years ago and of the re-consecration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Families everywhere will soon sing festival songs and light Hanukkah candles on a Menorah, an eight-branched candelabra, adding one candle each night until the candelabra is completely filled with light on the very last night of the festival holiday.

The issue at stake surrounds the humble Latke, a potato pancake, Hanukkah’s signature food. There are a wide variety of opinions regarding how to make latkes correctly, what they should taste like, and whether a latke is best eaten with a liberal application of applesauce or sour cream. Every family has a slightly different recipe and public heated debates have been held surrounding latkes, their use and preparation. I am a sour cream stalwart.

What was Hanukkah like for you growing up? How did your family prepare latkes? Or did your family like make sufganiyot, ball shaped fried doughnuts instead? Has someone actually written down the family recipe?

Did you family give Hanukkah Gelt, spin the Dreidel together, exchange gifts with one another, Christmas-style. Some families give a gift for each night, some only once, and some give no gifts. What are your family’s festival traditions? How has the Hanukkah celebration changed for your family over the years?

Use can ask these questions and find other questions like these on the Memoriesbroughttolife website. Use them as a guide to recover your parents’ and grandparents’ memories of Hanukkah. There are pages you can use either stand alone, or as part of a family Living Legacy LifeBook.

To obtain these free pages, click on the Downloads tab on the Memoriesbroughttolife website and be guided through a very simple process, entering your name and e-mail address to be provided complementary access to all downloadable files available.

These are irreplaceable memories well worth keeping, valuable memories providing a window into the lives of our ancestors.

Pearl Harbor memories

Where you, your parents or grandparents on the Day of Infamy?

Nothing would ever be the same after that day, December 7, 1941, the day Imperial Japanese airplanes attacked U.S. naval fleets and air force bases in Hawaii.

That day, that would be known as Pearl Harbor Day would be remembered as the day our nation’s view of itself and of its role in the world altered forever and laid the groundwork for the world we know today.

Before the end of the Second World War ended, millions of American would be drafted to serve in the American armed forces and citizens everywhere would join together to support a national war effort.

And it all began seventy-two years ago this week, December 7th, 1941.

How long did it take them to learn of the attack in the days before television and Internet?  How were their lives affected? Did your family plant a Victory garden,  collect tin foil, or participate in scrap drives for the war effort? Do they remember rationing? How did rationing affect your family and community?

Use can ask these questions and find other questions like these on the Memoriesbroughttolife website. Use them as a guide to uncover your parents or grandparents memories of that historic day. These are pages you can use either stand alone, or as part of a family Living Legacy LifeBook.

To obtain these free pages, click on the Downloads tab on the Memoriesbroughttolife website and be guided through a very simple process, entering your name and e-mail address to be provided complementary access to all downloadable files available.

These are irreplaceable memories well worth keeping, valuable memories providing a window into the lives of those who not only remember December 7th 1941, but who actually lived through that historical day.

Thanksgiving Memories: complementary pages to download for your feast

In time for Thanksgiving!

When we stop and think we might notice that Thanksgiving has changed over our lifetimes and the lifetimes of our parents.

Familiar faces that no longer grace our tables, fond family stories of Thanksgivings past, favorite recipes we once shared each year.

As we all gather to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, how about we take the time to stop and remember and preserve memories of Thanksgivings of past years?

Here are complimentary Thanksgiving memory page templates from Memoriesbroughttolife.com ready for your download. Pages you can use either stand alone or as part of your Living Legacy LifeBook.

To take advantage of these pages, go to the Downloads page and be guided through a simple process: enter your name and e-mail to be provided complementary access to all the downloads we currently have available.

We would love for you to have them and add them to your collection and capture these irreplaceable stories.

May we all enjoy a truly memorable Thanksgiving.

paul.zohav@livinglegacylifebook.com

 

Singing the “Everything is Going Fine Blues.”

At first, my visits to my aunt Martha were going “Fine.”

“How are you?” she would ask, “Fine,” I would answer. How are the children? “Fine.” How’s your work? “Fine.”

After about five more “Fines,” I would begin to feel uncomfortable, start to look at my watch, and wonder if I had been there long enough? Could I leave now without hurting her feelings and still look good to myself – and the nursing facility staff?

I will be the first to admit that I was not being the best conversationalist, but after visiting her week after week, there really wasn’t much to say that was new and different, let alone exciting to relate.

The bottom line was that  I was fine, she was not, but we really couldn’t talk about THAT for too long. either.

So, with not much either of us could do and we settled for silence, an ever shorter visit, and or being entertained by whoever was on the dementia unit that day to help us all pass the time.

It was from my experiences with my aunt Martha and my work as a geriatric chaplain and professional counselor that led to my designing and publishing the Living Legacy LifeBook (livinglegacy-lifebook.com) to help to help elders and their children with the “Everything is Going Fine Blues.”

De-fragment for life

Celebrate the doughnut not the hole.
I suggest that too many of our community suffer from fragmented memories leading to living fragmented lives.
It is as if our biological hard drives are fragmented, with a snippet of memory here, another piece of memory residing there, and it is difficult for us to see our own lives as a single narrative.
Some of us have a doughnut’s worth of life and of living – but are only aware of the holes, the struggles, the survival.
Too many are astonishingly ignorant of triumphs, contributions, and achievements.
The Living Legacy LifeBook  is only one of many tools out there to reclaim your own life and living and take your rightful place in the sun.
Celebrate the doughnut not the hole.

LifeBook thoughts and expanding permutations

There are 76 million baby boomers and another fifty plus million others who could use the Living Legacy LifeBook as a framework for honoring themselves, each other, their roots, futures, and their descendants.

The more I discuss my book and ideas with others the more ideas for application arise. Please add more in your comments below (Thanks)

LifeBook or LifeBooks could be:

  • Part of a welcome packet for an independent living or retirement community.
  • Part of a Pre-burial plan contract purchase (if you are buying a hole that has not been dug, a monument that has not been cut to be erected on a plot you yourself will never really enjoy, have one of these to complete between now and the time you will be using your plot. It also makes for a well-written eulogy…)
  • Home care agencies, instead of watching one more soap opera with their home bound client – they can ask great questions and listen to some truly astounding replies.)
  • Senior downsizing movers and De-clutterers could use this.
  • Senior housing placement agencies can offer this as part of their services.
  • Senior centers could use this as inspiration for activities.
  • Retirement or other financial counselors could offer this to clients as a service.
  • Divorce counselors, attorneys, mediators can offer this to couples in distress to help them clarify their marriages and intentions, conceivably help restore health to damages relations.
  • A gift from:
    • Adult children to their Senior parents which would make visiting their parents much more enjoyable and productive
    • Senior parents to their adult children which would make visits much more enjoyable and productive
  • A gift to:
    • Newlyweds so that they can start their Living Legacies right away, and learn each other[s families early on in their marriage.
    • Oldy-weds (a relationship enhancement tool) who can take their intimacy and compatibility to the next level by sharing their lives in this manner – one tell their stories or bucket list, the other scribes – then switch roles, then discuss between them.
  • A service for religious congregations.
    • Honoring their senior members,
    • younger members, youth groups, can visit and listen and record older members as they retell their stories, share their wisdom.
  • And much more yet to be conceived. 
  • There is even a memory board game in the works… (imagine)

Anything you can do or say that will help me reach 150 million Americans would be deeply appreciated.

You can write to me directly at livinglegacylifebook@gmail.com

Thanks!

Paul

 

 

 

Living Legacy LifeBook – the movie!

 

    Our Reticent Writers and Bloggers Support Group has been an enormous resource for me this past year. Our support group member Scott Bell produced this excellent video for me; Susan Straub-Martin designed the beautiful covers.

Here is the link to the video.

Living Legacy LifeBook video, six minutes.

Here is the link to the website:

The Living Legacy website

Here are the Living Legacy LifeBook’s high-points:

You can’t take it with you – but you can leave something of abiding value behind, your Living Legacy.  Downsizing your life should not mean you need to garage sale your mind nor compromise your identity. The Living Legacy LifeBook is a simple, easy, do it at your own pace guide that permits adults to:

  • Process a lifetime of memories.
  • Review life accomplishments.
  • Achieve an enhanced sense of self and safeguard identity.
  • Create a memory aid for when remembering becomes a concern.
  • Downsize living quarters and distribute long-held possessions – without losing the memories associated with those possessions.
  • Enhance relationships with those who are closest.
  • Experience and enjoy meaningful, good quality time spent with family and friends.
  • Keep vital life documents close by, readily available for reference.
  • Create a personal Living Legacy, a contribution, a posterity that will last for generations – a true immortality.
  •  And much, much more.

Please send me your feedback, thoughts, networking suggestions, and responses.

Thanks for watching.

Paul Zohav