Happy Holidays! 🌴

We visited Nana and Pappy in Ft. Myers, Florida, this week. 

It’s been Christmas music at the pool, tinsel-clad golf carts, and this alligator sunning himself by a roadside lagoon.

Nope nope noooope. Give me the rogue wild turkey gang roaming the stone walled curves of Ashland, Mass, any day.

One feature of belonging to Melissa’s family — the Italian DNA is profondo. 

This means that as you’re washing down your cinnamon raisin English muffin with your last swigs of coffee, someone’s asking, “What’re we doing for dinner?”

One evening the choice was pizza. Or pizzer. They’re Rhode Islanders. (The [r] rules are complex.)

When the plan was set, Nana’s eyes widened atop big smile, and she skipped back to the pantry. She emerged with a substantial pepperoni sausage she held aloft like a drum major.

“We can use THIS!” she proclaimed. 

Despite the fanfare, homemade pizzer plans met a veto in favor of pickup and paper plates. But Nana had introduced the pepperoni as a symbolic fixture for this family visit.

Jude immediately recognized the cured meat’s bellicose/phallic implications and concocted a yet-to-be-introduced Marvel Universe identity wielding the deli item like a (Dr.) strange cylindrical flesh hammer.

He’d already been taunting his older brother about his toy fire truck’s ladder length. This stuff’s cellular, apparently. Boys, you both have nice fire trucks. 

Later in the week, we hung the piñata Aunty Krissy brought from Mexico in the front yard so the boys could get out some energy and dig for the strewn contents among the St. Augustine grass. 

We searched the garage for the best paper mache thwacking implement — a broom handle? the light bulb changer thingy? the grill brush? Someone please get the grill brush out of Jude’s hands. 

But who knew that the perfect safe and effective piñata demolition device would be a cross-cultural salumi? 

The peppeRONE. 

Loofas, Pez dispensers, and candy canes flew, and the meat log served a surprising purpose.

Then, on our last morning, the boys were bouncing around shenanigizing as usual. Noah slipped on Nana’s cushy carpet, and his lower lip met the corner of her stylish mosaic coffee table. 

There was blood and tears. 🙁

As I doctored Noah’s lip and patted his back, Jude barreled out of the pantry door once again wielding the titanic tube. “Here you go, Noah! This’ll feel you better!”

The two boys laughed and laughed, and it was the best moment — seeing your lil nuggets share a joke and see how one can help the other in his own way.

The pizza topper was soon weaponized again.

All this to say —

You never know when you’ve got a pepperoni just hanging out in your pantry that can 1. spark your imagination, 2. bust open a piñata, and 3. make your bestie laugh when their lip’s bleeding. 

Every tool we have can be used in tons of ways, so when you’re working your way through a hairy situation with your singing or otherwise, that thing you do for your breathing might help you with your belting, and that thing you do with your belting might just help you with your head voice vibrato action.

Try stuff. 

And if you just need a good laugh, take a look at Jude menacing you with a pepperoni in Joy jammies.

Most of all, though, remember, there’s only one you, and folks need to hear the story only you can sing.

Love much,

ps speaking of warfare salami, do you know about Steven Pressfield? Author of The War of Art. Terrific book and helpful tools to recognize and transcend resistance. He did and interesting interview with Tim Ferris recently. I recommend. 

pps I’m sharing regularly on the social channels, so if you’re not already there, come to my party! IG is here. FB is here. Read. Listen. Comment. Send me messages.