Andy’s Letter: My Favorite Things

I am not a huge musical theater guy, but from time to time I appreciate and take note of a really good production. As many of you are aware this year is the 50th Anniversary of the release of the movie, “The Sound of Music.” Arguably, it is the most beloved musical of all time. It is sweet and redeeming, has marvelous scenery, features Julie Andrews at her peak, has the ultimate villains (Nazis), it turns out well in the end, and it is based on a true story. Amazing! And it is told with music of engaging melodies by Richard Rogers and clever lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein.

What does that all have to do with Ohio in the second decade of the 21st century and my quest to fill a year with twelve months of thanksgiving? “My Favorite Things.” The title of the song that the character Maria sings is what I am thankful for this August. If you recall, she sang to the children who were afraid of a thunderstorm in the middle of the night about her favorite things and how the thought of them made her feel better when faced with challenges, “…I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.” Maria’s favorite things included “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with string….” and so on.

Certainly Maria’s list of favorite things was rather silly, but that is not the point. The point is we all have a list of favorite things and it is part of what gets us through the day. For me the list is very appropriate for the month of August and it probably changes throughout the year with the seasons. Add “My Favorite Things” to the list of things I am thankful for. Summertime! Especially here in NW Ohio it is a time filled with fresh, ripe local produce, busy schedules, plenty of daylight, and lots of fun activities. Hot Dogs! Yes, the much maligned tube-steak is one of my favorite things. Load it up with all the fixins you like and enjoy the All-American summertime food. Baseball! Talk about All-American! It doesn’t get any All-American than baseball. My team is the Tigers and, though several games out of first place, they are in the middle of the pack for the American League Central Division. There’s still time left, but as much as we all love a champion the real pleasure is in the game and watching the boys of summer. Vacation! We are not like some countries that take off the entire month of August, but it is still the most common vacation month in America. And, oh, isn’t it a pleasure to take a vacation, unplug, and get away from the hub-bub of the 24/7 connectedness of the modern workplace. Swimming! Cool, wet, weightless fun with people you like hanging out with. Swimming circles back to Summertime, no doubt, as they go hand in hand. Barbecues, Wine, and Ice Cream! I am going to group those together because they’re all so tasty and represent three of the four major food groups. To quote people smarter than I am,

  • “I’m a man. Men cook outside… That’s the way it is and always has been…” – William Geist
  • “Wine is sure proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “I hope your only rocky road is chocolate.” – Amanda Mosher

So, for month #10 I am thankful for the “My Favorite Things.” I suppose my list is silly, too, but “The Sound of Music” has got nothin’ on me. Think about your list of favorite things. Makes you smile, right? I bet it makes you thankful, too. I guess Rogers & Hammerstein had it right.

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