In honour of Oprah, here are a few of My Favourite Things
Somewhere between Winfrey's diamond necklaces and Julie Andrews' raindrops on roses fall grandchildren, mountains and heated car seats
If you are any kind of Oprah acolyte, you will be familiar with the media queen's periodic forays into unapologetic retail therapy known as My Favourite Things, which is Winfrey's annual shopping guide to the always trendy and sometimes luxurious goodies that catch her fancy and are thus shared (and often gifted) to her followers.
Her 2012 lineup of My Favourite Things, for instance, numbered 60 and included an e-bike, a puffy winter coat, a diamond necklace, 600-thread-count sheets, blue velvet cake, specialty tequila and Microsoft's Surface tablet.
Over the past 15 years of her fave things, Winfrey has revelled in cashmere, embraced gadgetry, stage-schlepped in sparkly sheepskin Uggs and, along the way, introduced us to funky new products while boosting the fortunes of many a company with the good luck to catch her discerning and influential eye.
But what if you don't have Oprah's budget or personal shopper?
What if you're not on the receiving end of the Winfrey golden ticket?
What if, just for fun, you decided to come up with your own list of My Favourite Things?
You might discover, as did I, that the list falls somewhere between Winfrey's consumptive inclinations and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, whose more ethereal roster of favourite things included raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Turns out that my list, like Oprah's, includes food, because I'm only human.
But the others? Most of them aren't the kinds of things you can give away, and most of them don't come wrapped in a pretty bow.
Which is why I call them, more appropriately, The Things I Will Miss When I'm Dead.
Sitting alone in the cool dark of a Sunday matinee at the movie theatre.
Magnolia trees, in the short burst of bloom.
Grandchildren, when they're sleeping beside you, all sweaty and a-twitch in dreams, and when they say things like, "Do girls have minds?" and "Can you make us real macaroni and cheese?" and "Nana, what swimming level is Michael Phelps in?"
Oil of Olay.
Spring, because as Joni Mitchell so perfectly puts it, "and the first thing that I heard, was a song outside my window ... and the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses."
Cotton sweaters, cotton T-shirts, cotton socks, cotton sheets. Dried on a clothesline in the summer sun.
Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty.
The mountains that suddenly fill the sky when you turn north on Larch off Fourth Avenue, their magnificence so breathtaking and unexpected as to make you gasp. And standing on the corner of 40th and Main, face turned west for the last warm rays of the setting sun as it filters through the thick canopy of majestic beech trees lining the street.
Heated car seats.
Settling into a chair that lets you fold up your legs and is just close enough to the fireplace to feel the heat, and opening a new book for the first time, the binding quietly cracking and the pages waiting patiently to be turned, signalling the new adventure before you.
Freshly fallen snow on the big cherry tree in the backyard.
Fresh raspberries. Warm egg tarts in delicate pastry. Chocolate ganache cake. Coconut anything. Boston cream pie. Norwegian lefse. Rare rib-eye steak. Sweet gulab jiman. Crisp potato pancakes. Sweet tea. Vanilla bean ice cream. Brazil nuts.
Just a few of my favourite things.
What are your favourite things? Send them to me at the email address above, with Favourite Things in the subject line, and we'll publish the best.
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