On his way out the door to return to college after spring break, Noah's mother called to him, "Don't forget your box of matzoh." 180 degree turn, Noah went into the kitchen for his box of the Passover "unlevened bread" and headed out to meet his ride. So what? Before Noah was born his parents, one Jewish, one with no specific religious background, became born again evangelical Christians. Their church is still the lynchpin of their social and intellectual lives. So why is his mother sending him off with a box of matzoh? Why was it that a couple of days ago when I stopped at her house to pick up something she was making matzoh brei for lunch and told me of shopping a bit out of her way because she had a coupon for a dozen boxes of matzoh. [FYI: matzoh brei is a concoction of broken up matzoah and eggs. A bit like french toast, often eaten with butter and cinnamon or even maple syrup.]
As Noah's grandmother, yes, it was I who introduced this part of the family to matzoah brie, many long years ago although it was certainly my Jewish husband who inspired the whole thing. At Noah's age, I was almost entirely unconscious of all Jewish customs and had never tasted the peculiar flavor of matzoh. In truth, I did not grow fond of it and have long since moved into other phases of my life that include no Jewish rituals at all -- nor any Christian ones either.
What is the moral of this story: It's simply Hey, you never know what's going to be an influence. Yesterday afternoon was a birthday celebration. Akitchen conversation turned to the changing eye and hair colors of the children in the family. We older generation understand dominant and recessive genes but the conclusion about what the babies were going to look like concluded, Hey, you never know.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!