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I am sixteen going on seventeen…

Now, Liesl will forever be going on… well… 74.

Liesl dead… Gone.

Charmian Carr was the charming eldest Von Trapp daughter Liesl in the movie The Sound of Music. She was sweet and flirty with an angel’s voice that left me sporting an 8 year-old laddie crush.

The romantic lilt of her song as she danced through the moonlit glass house with her 17 year-old love Rolfe was the sweetest tease and… well…  I wanted to be 17 going on 18 right then. My boyish hormones probably felt their first steamy tsunami rush because of lovely Liesl.

And now sadly, she’s the first of the “children” (or the adults for that matter) to leave us.

The Sound of Music is my very favourite musical of all time with simple, timeless ditties and classics that are stuck forever in most of our heads… whether Doe (re-mi) a deer a female deer or How do you solve a problem like Maria.sappy, syrupy and yet so sweet.

My kids grew up in a warm hugging Sound of Music milieu. It was our go-to video to pop into the old VHS machine when we parentals needed a rest or respite from wearying non-stop kiddie activity.

Our 3 wee munchkins would plunk down quietly, spellbound, in front of the TV every time the frightful thunderstorm blew through the shutters and curtains of the Von Trapp mansion.

One-by-one the lightning-terrified batch of Von Trapp moppets jumped aboard Fraulein Maria’s bed to simply remember their favourite things so they wouldn’t feel so bad …

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things.

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”

It was uncomplicated and sugary but filled with beautiful imagery that sweeps us into clouds of personal reflection.

It was Liesl’s passing this week that set me in a reflective state of mind and had me wandering through long lusty lists in my own head.

Favourite things. What are a few (OK, a whole lot!) of MY favourite things? Let’s see…

  • the first sip of hot velvety latte in the morning
  • the bittersweet shift of a major chord into a minor chord in a song’s chorus
  • peanut butter and banana sandwiches
  • the achingly beautiful perfume of the Lily of the Valley bloom in early spring followed weeks later by the scent of fresh summer lavender blooms crushed in my hand releasing their fragrant oils.
  • the multi-layered harmonies of the Eagles or The Beach Boys or Zac Brown
  • the fruity flavour of a chilled glass of Gewurtztraminer or Pinot Gris on a winery patio 
  • the soft-textured touch of fleece inside a warm sweater on a cool fall day as leaves tumble to the ground
  • Maureen’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  • chocolate… Cadbury Fruit and Nut or WunderBar
  • my guitar in perfect tune
  • creamy smooth Banana Cream or Coconut Cream or Key Lime Pie
  • the morning trill of a chickadee in the birch tree
  • the sensuous look and erotic feel of feminine lace
  • writing 500 words of a blog or one whole verse of a song while in a trance without consciously thinking
  • the cool softness when my head first hits the plush pillow at bedtime and the warm weight of the downy duvet caressing my weary limbs.
  • the thrill of satisfaction when crossing a finish line at the end of a gruelling running race or triathlon
  • the exhilaration of selling a stock pick that has doubled or tripled since purchasing it a year or two back
  • playing and singing Fire and Rain late in the dark evening solitude
  • the salty taste of Clamato juice served in a plastic cup with a few ice cubes on an airplane flight to a far-off destination
  • Cara’s killer boot camp “300”
  • the rare book that refuses to let me stop reading at the end of a chapter because I have to know where it’s taking me.
  • the intoxicating scent of salty buttered popcorn mixed with the anticipation of a perfect movie as the theatre lights dim to darkness
  • sweet maple syrup on a freshly made blueberry banana pancake
  • warm sunrise on a mildly breezy Cuban beach
  • the scent of cigar smoke circling me
  • Marsha’s soothing yoga voice, “Release, relax and just let go…”
  • the sound of my kids chattering at the dining room table 
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James Taylor/ Carole King… another favourite thing.

My favourite things.

My favourite things remind me of SEEDS; the abundant seeds I have planted in my world; seeds that sprout and flourish .

Some germinate instantly, like a glorious firework burst, and fade quickly, which is okay. Others are slower, more perennial, carrying on satisfyingly like a waterfall, for years of ongoing pleasure, unending foreplay.

My favourite things.

My favourite things remind me of GRATITUDE.

Easy to say, sometimes hard to remember when life is feeling shitty or unfair. Blaming is draining. Complaining is draining. Gratitude is inner peace and calm, sunshine even in the rain.

Liesl? You and your siblings have always been on my list of favourite things.

Rest now, sweet songstress that tugged at my boyish heart.

So long… farewell… auf wiedersehen… adieu…

liesl

PS Care to share 5 (or more… or less…) of your favourite things?

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