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Woke up the other morning fuzzy and a little confused about where I was since I’d been out of town a couple of nights before. But clearly through the haze two words came to me: church chocolate. In that order. Related. Unexpected yet it all made sense. Not chocolate church–that’s a different dream. I love alliteration even when I’m asleep. To my mind, especially at 6 a.m., church chocolate combines religion with all that is holy. If only pain au chocolate were the bread that gets broken at church, I might make an appearance now and again.

A chocolate for my thoughts?

16 apostles here

Of course, Jesus didn’t say, “I am the chocolate of life,” but perhaps he’s regretting his turn of phrase. With so many people avoiding wheat and going gluten free, bread is getting stale.

I’ve long had a theory that the whole Last Supper thing was a game of telephone gone awry. Jesus is at the table and says, “The bread tastes fresh.” And around and around the table his comment gets repeated, until it comes out, “the bread made flesh” and transubstantiation had to fill in the blanks. I think my version is every bit as believable.

Trees are often romantic–

that's all she wrote

Of course, this romantic flourish didn’t work out all that well for the tree in question as its heart art meant its wound didn’t heal. Ouch–let’s not read too much into that. Romanticism is overrated; handily dark chocolate is not.   But this bit of rustic love is a sweet touch for my neighbor girls’ treehouse.

Yesterday was my father’s birthday. He doesn’t seem like somebody who would have ever been 79, perhaps because he died at 76. Certainly can’t imagine him becoming frail and fragile. Glad we were spared that.

I was visiting my mother, who had an impressive cough, so instead of going out to dinner with her, I wound up in the grocery store a couple of times, picking up soup and such and cough medicine for her. And a few other things, all chocolate, for me.  I used one such grocery store trip as an excuse to salute my father with a big Mr. Goodbar, one of his trademarks.

nov 15 covers 002


Can you tell the package is mostly empty? I did spread the consumption of it over three days, but still a dumb idea.  I could have just as easily bought a huge Hershey Bar with Almonds or scary grocery store eclairs or liverwurst or frozen creamed chipped beef or any number of mostly awful foods I associate with him.   When I mentioned this list to one of my sisters, she chimed in with Entenmann’s waxy, repulsive “chocolate” doughnuts.  How could I forget? Another sister ordered profiteroles out to dinner in his honor. That’s more like it. The guy could go either way–classy or low rent.  A filet mignon at Ruth’s Chris or chili from a can, (which he would say looked like dog food and eagerly slurp up)  Either way, it’s dangerous to use his birthday as an excuse to eat his favorite foods.

As if I could still set him off, something I had a knack for when he was alive, I could eat something he was famous for hating: chinese food. I can still hear him make throwing-up noises at the table those times some of us would bring home take-out, teasing, “Look what the monkey threw up.” I don’t cringe so much at his jokes anymore now that they’re coming at me across the great divide.  Who knew that fake throw-up sounds could have such a sweet, even comforting,  resonance?

I’m back!