Monday, July 6, 2020

CHILDHOOD REKINDLED


I miss my carefree summer days as a child. My family lived in a house, on a city sized lot, right on the outskirts of Baltimore. We had a white picket fence and all the trimmings. On one side of the street were Catholics. On the other side, Jews. All my friends were Jewish, save for a few Catholic ones who went to our church. I learned to eat bagel, lox, gefilte fish and matzoh. We played in the streets, on the porches and in the yards with careless abandon. Life was good. There was an archway of concord grapes with a gate leading into the yard on the right side of our property. And along the back edge of the fence, in the far reaches of the yard, were blackberry bushes. My mom used to bottle them and make jam. I delighted in picking the fresh fruit off the vine. The taste of those succulent fruits melted in my mouth. I lived there on that street from the time I was 4 years old, until I was in the 7th grade. Then, my family moved out to the suburbs. And I was devastated leaving all my friends behind. Many of the Catholic families participated in this mass exodus. But most of the Jews stayed put. My very best friend Barbara was one of them. We stayed in touch for a year or two after the move, then we lost track of each other. Years later, after we had grown up and left our collective homes, my mother and hers, would occasionally bump into each other in stores, in the old neighborhood. And they would talk about us. Our lives had taken completely different paths and with nothing in common, no new addresses were exchanged for us to communicate. The last time my mother saw hers, I found out shortly later, that Barbara was living in New York City. After 9/11 I tried to find her. Not knowing whether she had married or not I searched using her maiden name. There was a picture in a paper that I thought might be her, but I had no way of knowing for sure. And when I tried to pursue it, I reached a dead end. I was frustrated and disappointed. But it was, what it was and there was nothing else I could do. Time marched on. But it didn’t stop me from wondering about Barbara and her life. Toward the end of last year, my mom got a letter in the mail. It was Barbara looking for me. My dad had passed earlier in the year and she saw the obit. She sent my mom her address and phone number and my mom forwarded them to me. I was in shock to hear from somebody from my childhood. It was so long ago. I wrote Barbara a quick synopsis of my life and mailed it. I warned her I’m pretty boring. Never venturing far from home. I’m just an armchair traveler and a bit of an entrepreneur. After getting it, she texted me. And just like that our friendship was rekindled. It’s as though we never parted. She travels the world. And I’ve been mesmerized by her stories of far off places. She doesn’t do any social media at all. But she’s lead me to old school mates that do. I’ve looked up many of them on Facebook. But so far I haven’t friended any of them. It was ions ago, and most of them probably don’t remember our escapades as youngsters. I am so glad to read about them, though. Sometimes the most unexpected things turn into blessings in disguise. I’m so happy Barbara and I found each other again. It has enriched both of our lives so much, in this time of crisis in the country. And I am so grateful.  



Saturday, July 4, 2020

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA



ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND.
STAY SAFE.


WEAR A DAMN MASK
(and make sure it covers your nose)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

COMPUTER on the BLINK

My computer is on the blink. Most days I use it for trivial searches, to read papers and shop. But this week I needed it to do some important work. My best friend recently got a Pomeranian pup. So to honor her new adoption, I bought her a cute magnet, hand painted by an artist, on the East Coast. He sent it to my friend directly… instead of sending it to me, to send to her. The Post Office, via a tracking number says it got delivered yesterday. She checked her mailbox and says it didn’t arrive. I need the computer to send her all the documentation proving it did, so she can present it to her local branch and complain. If I can’t get online, I can’t do that task. To add insult to injury, another package I ordered from overseas, arrived leaking holy oil last Friday. (a message from God, no doubt) The bottle inside was half full and the box was stained. Apparently the lid had cracked in transit. Since this was a gift I contacted the seller to lament about the disappointment I felt receiving it in that condition. Of course they wanted proof, so I had to take photos of the damage. I need to download, and then process those photos, before I forward them to the company I ordered the product from. This takes time… and I need the computer. But with my intermittent computer problems, I can’t do that either. I also need to authorize a prepaid Visa card, at their website, so I can use it. But that’s also put on hold. So I sat down to write this and complain. Without the computer, I’m lost, floundering around, with no way to do… what needs to be done. My husband has other issues, he’s bogged down with… at the moment, and helping me get back online, is not… at the top of his list of priorities. So I sit here, wringing my hands in frustration. If and when this post appears on my blog, you’ll know the problem has been temporarily resolved. To fix it permanently… I may have to buy a new computer… which will only add fuel to the fire. Because… at this stage in my life, that’s a learning curve I don’t want to tackle. Fingers crossed it doesn’t come to that. Don’t you hate when your plans are thwarted by the unexpected? I think I’m going to get in my van and head to the grocery store later today and forget all about computing.


Sunday, June 7, 2020

Thread The Needle, Singer and Covid19


Back when I was seventeen… decades ago, I owned a vintage Singer sewing machine from the 1800’s. The kind made before electricity. Found it at a roadside sale. Family was trying to raise money after the death of a loved one and put it out there for passerby’s, hoping to make a deal. Cost $20 or $30. My husband at the time, bought it for me, so I could sew baby clothes. You had to use a push pedal to power it and it was a daunting task. So using it, I was never a great seamstress, but I managed to turn out a thing or two. A few years later, my Nana bought me a more modern sewing machine, that got the job done much faster. I loved it. Used it… mostly to make hems and repairs. The old Singer languished away in the corner of the living room being ignored. When I got divorced, the babies and the sewing machines came with me… but the machines remained unused in the back of my parents garage… until I figured out what to do with my life. I eventually went back to school and worked as a store detective to pay the bills. One night… I met my current hubby at a party, and the rest is history. We’ll be married 40 years this July and will be together 42 years in October. Now you can guess my age. Anyway, he adopted my daughters and we went on to make a good life for ourselves… taking the sewing machines with us. I never touched them again until our daughters got into the Girl Scouts. Then… there were badges to sew, projects to do etc. However, when my hubby suddenly lost his job and we were strapped for cash, we were going to sell those sewing machines. But… thought otherwise, and shipped them back East to my parents, instead. My Nana was thrilled to have the modern machine and sent me some cash. My mom displayed the old Singer in her living room. Time passed, the kids grew up, my Nana died, and my mom no longer wanted the Singer. So her and my dad, put the two machines in the van, and drove them halfway across the country, to give them back to me. The modern machine got put up in the attic, out of reach. I had begun taking everything to a local seamstress. But… my hubby wasn’t thrilled about the vintage Singer sitting in our living room again, since my first husband had given it to me… so we gave it, to our older daughter, who had recently got married. Her husband didn’t like it either, so it got stuffed in the back of their garage, left untouched for ten years, until my daughter got divorced too. Then we had to move it to her new house. She didn’t want it inside either. Time and neglect had taken it’s toll on the old Singer and it wasn’t in good shape at all. I encouraged my daughter to find an antique buff, that might buy it, to restore it. But that suggestion fell on deaf ears… and it ended up in a big old barn, full of varmints... on her property, that she uses for storage. That’s where it still is. Sad... when I think about it, remembering all the times I used it as a young woman starting out. The reason it came to mind again, is because of Covid19. I bought a handmade mask a month ago, sewn by a nice lady, somewhere here in Suburbia, using her sewing machine. She made it with love, to help those of us, vulnerable to the virus. I loved this mask, until I discovered the elastic holding it in place over my ears... has frayed on one side, barely holding on by a thread, making it unusable. Without my old sewing machines readily available… I had to tackle the situation, using old weary hands that have neuropathy, to fix it. I went into my Nana’s old sewing tin and found an ancient wooden spool of thread. Being older than dirt… and needing new glasses, it took about 25 minutes for me to thread the needle. But I eventually did. And I’m here to say, my old sewing skills kicked back into place, and I fixed that mask with the same love that made it. So… thankfully I still have protection of sorts, from the Grim Reaper. But this exercise… reminded me of long ago… when I did stuff like this, on a routine basis, with little or no trouble. It makes my heart ache for simpler times. So much has changed in the world. My old vintage Singer is rotting away…. in a dark place, far removed from the hustle and bustle… of a technically advanced society, that has all but forgotten... this important relic of the past. But sitting here in my humble abode, I NEVER will. REST IN PEACE, my dear SINGER. Rest in Peace.





Monday, June 1, 2020

God Help Us All.


STAY SAFE
during these 
TUMULTUOUS
times.
Police Brutality
is NEVER okay.
In my life,
I've felt the brunt of it.
There are MORE than
a few bad apples.
A militarized police force
is NOT helping.
They've become 
desensitized.
What is happening 
to Blacks and 
the Mentally Ill
at the hands of cops
across this 
country, is wrong,
it is criminal.
And needs to be addressed.
George Floyd
deserved better.
He was murdered.
We must not allow
this kind of injustice to stand.
PEACEFUL PROTESTS
are being undermined.
Please 
STOP  
looting and burning 
down all that's been built up
over the decades.
More violence is
NOT 
the answer.
Those that are  
tearing it all down
with their actions,
brings tears to my eyes.
This is not just Antifa 
as some would like us to believe. 
It is all the
HATE GROUPS
crippling our country right now,
throwing wrenches into 
otherwise peaceful demonstrations.
The White Supremacists,
 White Nationalists and 
Neo Nazi's are out in full force
carrying their political signs
and spewing their hatred,
as they instigate this unrest.
They are the ones responsible. 
Americans are vulnerable,
they are hurting
and they are hurting
real bad, right now.
We are at a crossroads
as a nation.
We have been fighting 
a killer called 
Covid19, with thousands dead.
We have economic despair,
millions unemployed
and now this happens.
There is no leadership
only partisan divide.
We need unity,
not divisiveness,
not threats of more violence
by invoking
martial law, 
and calling people to arms
over second amendment rights,
so ‘authoritarianism’ rules...
as military tanks and helicopters
line our skies and streets.
This is America.
First Amendment rights count too.
All of us working together
can overcome this systemic racism.
America has lost 
her moral compass, it is true...
but we are better than this.
And we SHALL overcome.

GOD HELP US ALL.


Friday, May 29, 2020

OLDER THAN DIRT


I will be spending a quiet 
weekend at home.
No dinners out, even though 
the local restaurants have re-opened.
I don't want to take any chances.
I'm immune compromised
and in the 'at risk' category, 
so is my hubby.
So instead, we ordered 
steamed crabs from 
the Eastern Shore
that will be flown in. 
We're giving my daughter 
and grandchildren,
some to take home
and enjoy too.



And, while eating
these delicacies...
my hubby and I 
will drink a 
couple specialty beers
to honor my big day, 
and my interest 
in the History Channel
tv show
Ancient Aliens.
Truth is folks,
when you eat crabs
you have to drink beer.
They go hand in hand.


Afterwards -
I will blow out 
the candles.
There are quite a few
this year.
And we will EAT cake.
The kind with lots of thick
buttercream frosting.


Also we will be 
watching to see
if we have liftoff 
of SpaceX Dragon.


Otherwise...
keeping it low key.
 Should be fun.


(PS) 
You know you're getting old
when your clothes
don't match.
 The above picture 
proves 
I'm older than dirt. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Memorial Day Birthday


"Memorial Day 
honors those who have died 
while in military service.
The first national celebration 
of Memorial Day 
(originally Decoration Day) 
took place 
May 30, 1868
at Arlington National Cemetery."
Therefore, my birthday 
always fell on the holiday
when I was growing up.
I was a May 30th, 
All American,
Gemini Gal...
I couldn't celebrate without
the Red, White and Blue
colors dotting the landscape
and my clothing...
as I danced among the graves,
of loved ones that had passed...
while laying flowers and wreathes
at their head and feet.
"But in 1968 
Congress passed the
Uniform Monday Holiday Act, 
which established Memorial Day 
as the last Monday in May,
in order to create 
a three-day weekend 
for federal employees; 
the change went into effect in 1971."
So my birthday no longer 
was celebrated on Memorial Day.
It was a hard pill to swallow
because they had always gone
hand in hand
and then suddenly, they didn't. 


 PLEASE
set aside time
to pause and remember 

"The brave die never,
 though they sleep in dust:
Their courage nerves 
a thousand living men." 
 "With the tears a Land hath shed. 
Their graves should ever be green."