Little Nuns and Pineapple

It is pouring down rain here. And I mean pouring. We lost our electric yesterday, but by 4 a.m. today it was back up and running. This April 20th. I think the rain makes me feel nostalgic, for some reason. Sentimental. Dewey-eyed. And April 20th is one of those jam packed history days. A few of those occurrences have given me cause for nostalgia. Others, not so much. Either way, it is hard for me not to revisit them.

Let’s just get the bad news out of the way first. As if we need reminding, one of the most evil and nefarious people ever to live, was born on this date. Adolph Hitler, came into this earth in 1889 (born in Austria-Hungary), and left again in 1945. Here is what I’ve always wondered about him. Was he born evil, or did he learn it? If he learned this, his teachers were just as guilty as he. We should be careful what we teach to the people in our lives.

Another dark mark in history. In 1999, the Columbine High School massacre occurred. Again, we probably all know the details. But this was the day that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injured 24 others. They then committed suicide at Columbine High School, Colorado. They were young, and somehow, they had taken a horrible turn. Now, on this 20 year anniversary, nothing has changed in our system to help avoid these occurrences. School shootings have become commonplace here in the U.S. We must be careful what we teach our children.

With that sadness aside, we can rejoice in some brighter parts of life. Scientifically, two notable things went down on this date.

In 1862, we saw good Louis Pasteur. I always pictured him out in a pasture, talking to cows who are bearing milk. Anyway, this is the date when the first pasteurization test was completed by Lou, and Claude Bernard. It was a good thing for years to come, and to this very day.

Also in science. In 1902, that charged-up couple, those radiant kids, Marie and Pierre Curie, isolated the radioactive element radium chloride. A glowing accomplishment.

There were a lot of famous people born on April 20th also. But one of them reminds me of my Mom and her slight TV addiction.

In 1923, Mother Angelica was born. She died in 2016. Ironically, these are also the birth and death years for my Mom. Anyway, Mother Angelica was this little Catholic nun. A Franciscan. She reminded me of Dr. Ruth in a habit. She had a TV show on some Christian network, and Mom used to watch her like crazy. In fact, the last time I saw my Mom, we had been watching two shows that day in her nursing-home room. First, The Price is Right, and then The Mother Angelica Show. Always that. Quite a combo. I was getting ready to leave for Germany, but I didn’t want to tell her. I wanted to keep the routine as normal as possible in her dementia filled world. Truthfully, though, I think she knew I was going away for a couple of weeks. She died before I could get back.

One more birthday note. I saw this good person on the list. Aubrey de Grey, British biomedical gerontologist, born in London, in 1963.

The only reason I mention her is the name, Aubrey. It is a good name. But. If you have a daughter, and you name her Aubrey, you are setting her up for explaining her name, every single time she says it. Did you say Audrey? No AwwwwBBBBReeeee. It is going to make her a little crazy. Heck, name her Petunia instead. There’s no mistaking Petunia.

Finally, April 20th is Pineapple Upside-Down-Cake Day. Here is the thing. I think all cakes should be named Upside Down Cakes. They just sound better that way. Check me on this:
“Hey. I’m baking a Pineapple Cake today.”
“Hey, I’m baking a Pineapple Upside-Down-Cake today.”

When you write, you should never say, “You see what I mean.” But today, I have to say it.
“You see what I mean?”


“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”
― Emily Dickinson


“If you smile when you are alone, then you really mean it.”
― Andy Rooney


“It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning.”
― Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway