My formative years were spent in an  industrial blue-collar town with a mixture of European immigrants. Even though it was not for religious reasons in our house we always had fish on Fridays like most of the families in our town. 

I always hated those fish Fridays because it seems every time we had fish, I was the only one in the family lucky enough to get the tiny hidden bones tucked between the flesh. How I remember chewing, chewing, chewing every bite until my jaws ached just to be sure that I wasn’t going to swallow a sharp bone that I was sure would puncture my stomach, causing the end of me. Friday’s were definitely not my favorite days. 

But, in spite of my memories of those torture fish Fridays of long ago, I guess life habits are hard to break. You would think a sane person would have left the bony protein behind as I waved good bye to that industrial town. ‘Forget about it’ as my good Jersey shore friends would say, I still have fish on Friday. It is the only thing I eat with both a head and eyes.


Now I do feel lucky to have lived near the ocean most of my adult years. At least once a week you will find me at the local fish market, or at the dock waiting for the fishing boats to come in after a day at sea. I’ve shopped in the Pike Market in Seattle, Fulton Fish Market in New York and browsed markets all over the world. For me, there is something to say about the fresh saltwater smell of fresh fish. Most of the markets have powerful fans to whirl away the strong smell, but I like it. It reminds me of my love of the sea.

Well, today it’s Friday. Arthur and I left the beach this morning to take the fifteen minute ride into Miami to the Casablanca Fish Market where all sorts of fresh fish can be found. 


 Crazy as it seems, I still love the smells every time I open the Casablanca door. I love the noise and the eclectic mix of people who stream in, hovering over the various days catches. 

The simple pleasures of life that mean something are getting easier and easier to find for me. As my grandson would say, ‘it is a big time senior citizen adventure!’  

Come on, Kid. It sure beats Snapchat.  

Copyright Sandra Hart©. All Rights reserved.


Tell Me, How Does Your Garden Grow?


Tell me, tell me true have you ever tried to dig a perennial flower garden in soil comprised of peanut stone and blog iron formed 11 million years ago, just waiting for a senior citizen to come along and plant something in it? You know, a lot of little peanut pieces, and mixed in the red soil just to make it more fun are plenty of rocks – big ones.  
When I was a wee Ohio lass years ago it was a challenge to fight with this ornery New Jersey soil. The Midwesterner in me was not going to let any East Coast ground beat me. You guessed right, the peanut stone won. I returned to the house and raised my children. I let nature be my Gardner. The lilies reproduced, azaleas grew big and colorful, birds planted berries, the ivy climbed beneath the mountain laurel and the natural habitat of dogwoods multiplied all while I was enjoying my life and never lifted a finger.  
Well, that was the smart someone I used to know. This over-fifty woman must have lost her marbles and memory to think she can still mine peanut stone.
So today when I returned from Lowes with a trunk load of perennials I had the good intentions of planting and re-energizing my flower garden near the front gate. But it only took the first ‘clink’ as my shovel bit into the impenetrable ground to wake up my memory- sort of a version of shovel shock therapy. I remembered why I have a natural landscape. 
Faced with the dilemma of ‘what next’ and not one to waste a trip to Lowes (or my money), I started to dig half-holes, or about as much as the concrete ground would give me,  all over the garden. It looked like a drunken gopher had been at work. In went the daisies, coneflowers and tall grasses. Half in and half out in a half-planted-‘half-arshed’ way. Topped off by a bag of potting soil and a prayer of forgiveness to these poor perennials, I dragged the hose and gave them a well deserved drink. Please survive sweet things but I’ve got to run. See you tomorrow. 
Slipping off my garden gloves I headed back up the beach stone path to the house defeated by my 11 million year old peanut stone soil. The next drink will be for me. Defeated by a bunch of dirt!

Copyright Sandra Hart©. All rights reserved.