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Breakfast Jam And Politics



It is a new day and Hubby is in rare form. Happy with the morning routine. My head is still full of fluff as I am not fully awake. An injection of coffee directly into my veins would help considerably.

His morning pita has been scraped of dangerous “brown spots”, heated, buttered and slathered with jam according to his instructions (dare I say, his demands?). He looks at it, points to it and asks: “Where are the “dark things?” He is clearly not referring to the other dark spots from the baking process, which we had studiously removed prior to serving. Perhaps he is talking about raisins which he loves in my home-baked oatmeal cookies. I am wrong. When I suggest it, he looks at me with obvious pity. Violet and I begin a guessing game, to fill in the blanks, to know what he wants. She wins. He is asking for the blackberry jam instead of the apricot which is currently on his pita. Violet brings out the almost empty bottle of the critical jam and shows Hubby that there is not enough left. He is not satisfied with her explanation. How can he possibly eat the wrong jam? I asked her to add the little remaining blackberry to the apricot already awaiting consumption on the cooling pita. She does so and he is satisfied. Whew – such a relief!

Actually, I had stopped buying blackberry jam. Hubby’s habit of studying the back of the pita for black spots requires that he turn it upside down to do so. The jam hence falls onto his lap. Blackberry makes a stain, time for orange or apricot instead. Hubby cares about his clothes, and we have a towel ready for meals to protect them, which he actually requests, when we are not sharp enough to offer it quickly. He impatiently expects us to do a better job. His needs are paramount.

Time for Hubby to read his daily schedule now…

“Have I taken my after-lunch pills yet?”

“No… you have not had lunch yet. “

He announces his recorded blood pressure results. I am supposed to react with enthusiasm.

“Are you listening?” he demands.

“Yes, but I did not think you asked a question,” I respond.

“Well, is the reading good or not?” …. This is all quite a reasonable conversation it seems, except that it is yesterday’s reading.

“You have not had your blood pressure taken yet this morning.” Violet responds.

“Then what are you waiting for!?”

It matters not that she is eating her own breakfast, Hubby has his priorities! In a nutshell, his needs demand our immediate attention or the world will stop spinning on its axis.

Ten minutes later –

“Is it HER day off?” he asks.

“No, Violet was just here.”

“Where is she then?”

“She is in the kitchen. “

“Violet… can you take my blood pressure?”

“We just took it,” she responds. His memory does not go back to ten minutes ago.

Hubby moves on to a dramatic reading of headlines on the first page of our newspaper. He really enjoys the morning headline announcements. His comments are not unreasonable:

“Lapid says: Present Iran with credible military threat.”

Hubby is not quite sure who Lapid is, which is reasonable considering how often Israel changes its government and goes to new elections. Prime Minister Yair Lapid was speaking to U.S. President Biden on his recent visit, which brought the center of Jerusalem to a veritable “lock-down” for days. The city was decorated in red, white and blue and the red carpet was thrown at the President’s feet. Most analysts agree that no one on either side of the political spectrum actually thought anything was achieved by his visit to this region with over two hundred government facilitators. Hubby was the first in line with doubts about exactly what the headline was suggesting. Again, he was right even though he did not read the details in the article. Instinctively he makes fun of all the headlines, as well he should! Nine times out of ten, he is actually right on the mark!

This morning I am fortunate that he is content to read the articles to himself – rather than aloud. It is all so fascinating to him that his eyelids have closed and he is sleeping at the breakfast table, newspaper in hand. How will I ever stay atop of the day’s news?

If we get lucky, when he awakens, he will ask where his breakfast is. As he has lost a great deal of weight in recent months, Violet will once again offer him a choice of pita with jam, or cereal with raisins and bananas. We hope that he will not remember that he has already eaten. There are times when his short-term memory loss works in his favor!

Hubby just opened his eyes and said “Barbara, I love you darling.” Not such a bad “second start” to this morning after all!


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Barbara Diamond is a journalist living in Jerusalem, Israel. She has been a political activist on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people for over fifty years, having participated in political and humanitarian missions to Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, China, and Europe to meet with world leaders on matters of concern. She has written over 100 articles for the Jerusalem Post and on her blog at The Times of Israel, hosted an English radio talk show in Jerusalem and continues mentoring others to pass on the torch of responsibility. You can reach her at [email protected] and visit her site at