Saturday, March 8, 2014

Do You Want to Know How Smart We Are Today?

Every morning my husband and I have a simple ritual passed to us by Maxine, my mother.  Since we are both retired we don't have to start each day sprinting through the kitchen, grabbing breakfast on our way out the door.  Now we enjoy the morning.   Of course, Nimbus must be fed her food of choice before either of us think of preparing our own breakfast.  And...I must feed and water the birds, squirrels and little Monk our feral kitty. 

Ray fixes his breakfast of oatmeal and toast.  Sometimes I fix an egg but often I wait to have breakfast at mid morning.

 We sit across from each other, newspaper waiting to be read, and I say, "Do you want to know how smart we are today?" or..."Do you feel smart today?"

Ray will open the Peach Section of the Toledo Blade...the section with comics, advice columns and movie reviews....the fun section.  On the lower right corner there is the Trivia questions to start our day.

  It always brings memories of my mother.  She had lived in Toledo for 35 years before moving to Columbus to live with me.  Twelve years later Ray and I got married, and mother and I moved back to Toledo. Maxine was thrilled to get back and have the Toledo Blade to read each day.  (She did not like the way the Columbus Dispatch wrote their head lines...said they tried to be to clever and would miss the point.)

 She read the newspaper from front to back everyday and when she was too ill to read, I read it to fact she died after I finished reading Trivia Challenge.

Maxine working at her draft table.

Each morning Maxine and I would plan the day...she eating her breakfast of chocolate chip cookie sandwiches with butter in the middle and strong coffee.  But before any plans were made...she would say, "Do you want to know how smart we are today?"  I would open the Peach Section and on the lower right corner...there it was...the Trivia Challenge.

I am thankful that Ray carries on this ritual...even if we rarely get all seven questions right....those sport questions get us every time.  Ray seems to do best at the history questions...and for some reason...I do well with the  political ones. :-)  Maxine always got the fashion questions right.  It's a fun way to begin our day.


  1. You have such a gift! I really enjoy your posts and today had fun peeking into your morning ritual - then and now.

  2. What a great way to start the day. Although I get up before Kathy, I never have breakfast without her. I did that for 33 years while I was working. Now it is nice to sit down with breakfast and discuss our plans or lack of for the day. Of course the beasties are always fed first. I wish our paper had a trivia section.

  3. Do you feel smart? That's a scary question! I feel smart, but I bet I wouldn't by the end of the quiz. You put the fun in every piece you write.

  4. I enjoyed reading this post. I can sense how much you love (and miss) your mother and loved reading your reflections on the memories you have of her and the Trivia Challenge. It's so great that you continue that tradition even today with your husband!

  5. I love your Maxine stories. What a wonderful peek into your morning. Thank you so much for sharing your slice of live!

  6. Maxine had the best idea for a breakfast...and also a morning routine. How lovely to be able to carry on the tradition.

  7. Maxine would be happy to hear you are still checking your smarts every day. Great story!

  8. I love that. It reminded me of my grandpa and myself when we would do the Cryptoquip at our separate houses, then call each other to see who got it right first. I love that you keep up with these simple traditions.

  9. Jackie,
    I am terrible at Trivia. Cortney is amazing! Everyone wants her on their team if we play a trivia game. I had to laugh at the thought of starting each day with "Do you want to see how smart we are?" I enjoyed the way you wove the past and present together seamlessly. Delightful.