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City Life

 

Living across from Campbell Soup and down the street from RCA  gave a world of entertainment as a child.  I was only about ten years old at the time.  I say about because it is difficult to remember my age from place to place.  My mother lived in New Jersey where she had married and started a new family.  At the time I tell this story she would have had two new children from that family, my sister from our previous family and me who drifted landing at whatever location needed help in some form.    An Aunt Cora lived on the other side of the alley way with her family that consisted of children from a previous marriage and current marriage as well.   The husbands of these sisters were brothers.   It was very close setting.  They were migrations from the mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia.  Although they are very beautiful places to live, they are not good for finding work.  After serving their countries which was customary at that time, these brothers took employment at RCA  in Camden, NJ and earned good wages to provide for wives and children.

The streets there were very active.   I had come from  a suburb in Virginia were I lived with grandparents of both my father and  mother.  The location was  very different  than  the city.  Really!     When stepping out to the street  the  Greek  or Italian restaurants were a few feet away,  and a bar on every corner.  You knew as a child not to get to close to the bars as someone could barrel out and fall on you as they were most likely intoxicated.    It was much different than sitting on my Grandmother’s porch sipping lemonade in Virginia.   I found a lot to do to help with the children or clean the apartment.   Mom would send me to the post office or to take things to the landlord who lived a few blocks away.

My Aunt who I mention earlier was  a character and she would take pleasure in teasing the workers from Campbell Soup when they were on break.  Sometimes,   she would raise the blinds and window and begin to shout  “Help” “Help”.    The men of course would scramble to the base of the building thinking that perhaps she was falling.   As they lined up to see what could be done for this   call of distress,  my Aunt would then laugh  loudly and close the window and blinds.   It was really strange to watch someone enjoy  the  reaction of strangers and then dismiss their kind efforts.

Tony , the  fruit and vegetable  Man  was  a wonderful  and friendly soul.   He never failed to put extra into our bags knowing that we came from a large family across the street.    The Italians were very generous people in the neighborhood.

One of the best memories  was  of the donut  truck which would arrive in the late evening.  He would open his window  to sell the donuts  to the workers   on break and the smell would enhance our lives.   When  our parents went out on Fridays and we would babysit the younger children,  it was then that we would purchase  a dozen of those donuts  for $1.00.   I still remember the powdered crème donuts and the taste of Heaven.

Those days were not all good memories.   We lived  the best  that could be provided for us, however it was not so good.    Sometimes we played  in ally ways which were inhabited by  the homeless.    We knew these people and they knew us.  As they would leave the warmth of our alley in the morning , my mother would send us down to place whatever food we could spare on the step so that they could see it as they left.    Smicker Woman was our favorite and we would run from her in fear of the look of someone who does not live in a home environment .   Under the dirt  and the weight of  bags  she carried  her person,  someone we never got to know.    Watching a person eat  bologna from a trash can with cigarette ashes  attached to one side  is a revelation even for a  ten year old.

I wasn’t supposed to play with the Chinese Laundry kids, but I did.  I liked Buck, and his sister  Lin.  I am sure these weren’t their real names but ones that we could understand and so the kids would fit into society.   Now days ,  it is common that the names are selected to separate the kids so that the name is the most different from any others and mostly that it cannot be like anyone traditional as this is not acceptable by the  standards of today.  They were nice and  we laughed a lot on the way home from school.   One day when I arrived home my Mother instructed me to go to the porch  where she began to cut  my hair to a length of about an inch from my scalp.  Then she proceeded to pour  kerosene     on my head saying that she had told me that I would get lice from the Chinese kids.  I thought that their hair looked pretty  good.     It was many years later that when visiting Philadelphia  I took the train and as I sat down  I looked over to the older but familiar face of the driver, it was  Buck Chen.  He smiled and I smiled back.

Going to the park to run and play and sing to the statues, making up stories that made no sense but was a great diversion from the stress of city life was also a part of the scene that sticks when thinking back.  There again we would come upon our favorite “Bums” as they were called then.  Sometimes  they would reach out to grab us and we would run screaming and hiding.  I suppose that is why the children today are so  indoor oriented.    We would take cardboard boxes from the back of the restaurants and set up house in the same alley ways that the homeless stayed in the night before.  We would lay the boxes open and flat to pretend to sleep on and my older sister would be the Mom and tell us what to do.  I would collect cabbage leaves and pretend to make cabbage soup.  This was  not a sterile environment for certain.   However, it did set the tone for survival and problem solving which has been a  gift that keeps on giving.

Well,   More stories to come later.  I’ve got to  go live now .

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Walnuts

When I was a very young women and at that point  of my life,  I lived with my  Grandmother on my Mom’s side  who we  referred to as Mammaw.    She lived in a big old white  Victorian home with a porch and a wonderful swing that you could sit and swing while sipping your fresh lemonade.

I remember that during the summer when the windows were open, a breeze which carried a blend of honey and grass to my nose  would awake me in the morning.  In the evening, the moist smell of the air was thicker and had almost a woody hint to it along with the sounds of crickets whose rhythm would put you to sleep.    Morning was the sound of birds chirping and singing.  I always wondered   what they were saying to one another or were they talking to me? There were chores for each day so no guessing, if it was Monday, you would do the laundry, Wednesday then you would dust, and Thursday, you would mop.  The other days were optional to other things that needed daily care.   Bringing the sheets in from the line and folding was one of my favorite chores as the smell of freshness stayed in the cotton fabric and would refresh me.

Dinner was something we would think about early because it needed to be prepared.  Unlike today were life speeds along with prepared foods and machinery to adjust time to your liking, this was not the case. One  memory that I did not like at the time, but find myself going back to recall was the gathering of walnuts from Mammaw’s  yard.  The big Walnut tree would yield a great many and I would take the basket out to be filled when it was time.    That was not the end of the chore.  It was the beginning.

imagesH0J14JK5The Walnuts were rough and hard and I did not see the purpose of all of the effort to retrieve a small piece of something to eat.   Gathering the nuts sounds easy; however they have a green moss like cover to them that needs to be taken off before   cracking open the shell with a hammer on the step.   I then would pick out the source of the meat of this nut and place it into a pretty medium sized bowl that we designated our Walnut bowl.   Behind the shell is a black and very ugly protective coating before you get to the   nutmeat.  Once the job is done, the nuts would be placed into a large jar and used sparingly for fudge, walnut bread and other good eats of that time.

Very nostalgic thoughts they are. I suppose,   my thoughts seem to go to places that made sense.   At that time, most of life was simple and the parts that were complicated were unknown to me.    Well, that is not totally true because the process of life is not unlike the process of preparing the Walnuts to eat.   There are moss like, hard shells and dark protective coatings to our human psyche as well. Everything has a season, and although our seasons have become not as predictable as those decades ago, we still look forward to life.

I share these thoughts with you in hopes that you too will ponder a simpler time in your life when baseball, ice cream trucks and cardboard doll houses were vogue.  We did not get our cars detailed and nails done because it did not matter.   I wonder what will matter to our little ones in their future. A good friend once told me that “Everything will be all right”.  I now know these words to be true.

Happy New Year to you and yours in 2015.

Date Walnut Bread Recipe

datewalnutbread

In a bowl mix the chopped dates with the baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of boiling water over the dates, stir, and leave to cool to room temperature (this takes about 30 minutes).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Then line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In your food processor place the flour, sugar, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground cinnamon. Process to combine and then add the butter. Process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the vanilla extract.  Then add the beaten egg mixture and the cooled dates (along with the water) to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Place the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.

Bake about 55 to 65 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan.

This bread will keep for several days at room temperature. It can also be frozen. Makes one – 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf

You’ll need:

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) dried pitted dates, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups firmly packed coarsely chopped dates)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
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Trust Your Abundant Instincts

    Abundance,

The seminar was listed in a local paper. It stated that it was a weekend and that it would be “transforming to your life”.   It sounded good.   I was thirty-three years of age and I knew that I had issues as everyone does, and I also knew that they were holding me back from being happy.   Yes, I could use some transforming.  My soul was bruised and I didn’t think that I could make it through life without some help.

Life had been difficult from the start. Parents who didn’t realize what parenting was  and who lived day to day, making decisions based on egos and alcohol.  This left a great deal of work in hands of the children.  Being an older one, and a worker I got more than my fair share.

Abundance was the title of the seminar and it would teach you how to trust the universe and get what you want and need out of life. Truly, this was something my parents and school had not told me, so “let’s gets started”.  We met at a church in Philadelphia and it was not dedicated to a particular religion.   There were about fifteen of us registered and everyone looked like a nice person just trying to get some personal answers.   You can only go so far and then it is time to stop and figure out what happened and why so that you can proceed and hopefully be successful.   It was not inexpensive and I do not remember the cost,  but only that it was more than  I had to spend on this recreation .  However, justification is a plus when you feel that this might be the answer to your questions. So, I  paid  and arrived on time.   The group was a friendly bunch and the conversation was directed at each one of us to draw out the personal reasons for being there.  We  explained our backgrounds and everyone  but me  had a degree of some sort.  I considered myself a professional sales person so I was not totally unnerved by this, but felt weak in my credentials.  The seminar was instructed by the minister who was quite intense and he had several helpers who observed and directed us to achieve the levels laid out for us.  First, we had an exercise of trust.   And believe me; I did not fare well on this one.   Blindfolded and walked out to the city street, you are listening to the sound of cars and strangers and it is not a comfortable place to be.      So, of course I wanted to rip the blindfold off but was encouraged to continue and that I would be OK.   The balance of this weekend went well and was conversational and deep with intense moments for all who attended, but rewarding emotionally and there was a level of bonding that took place.   I had a new found respect for myself and for these people who were like me looking for answers.   Funny, I thought if you had a law or medical degree that you got the answers along the way and now I knew that was not the case.  A personal struggle is so entirely different than looking for a career.  Sometimes you are lucky enough for the two to meet.

We graduated on Sunday of this weekend and it was required that the participants join in on the service at the church that day so that you could give thanks for the blessings received in this experience. No problem for me as I am a spiritual person and found this part very comfortable.     There were a couple people who I had met that wanted to keep contact and so we exchanged our personal information.

A few days later, I receive a call from one of the guys who played my partner in a role play.   He said that he had been prompted to call me because someone from his church had spotted me in the service and would like to ask me out.  OUT?     A date with a  retired police officer who thought I was attractive and he and his wife would attend .  Well, it seemed a little soon to try on the new trust hat, but I agreed only if we were doubling and going for brunch in a public place did not sound too risky.     Of course when the day arrived,   the other couple cannot make it and so I am on my own to meet this unknown person.   I can handle it or so that is what I tell myself but my gut is screaming “STOP”.     I met Richard, and we were supposed to go to brunch, however he insisted that I go with him in his car which was not cool as far as I was concerned.  But, he had a police officer nature about him and appeared gentleman like after all; I had met him at the church.   We drove over to Philadelphia and into an older neighborhood.  I could not understand why we were going there and then he explains that this is where he used to live as a child.   Well,” thanks for sharing but, I don’t even know you so can we go into the city please”   It seemed odd from the start.   He wasn’t going to take me to brunch at the Four Seasons which was what I had accepted with two other people attending.   Instead, we wondered South Philadelphia and he told me of his beat experiences.  Then, he chooses an Indian restaurant for our meal.  I had never had Indian food and had my reservations about it but didn’t get an option so at this point; I just want to get through this day with this strange man.    As we waited for the food, that he ordered, I listen to the music and the smell of curry permeates my mind with “God, when will this be over?”   Richard is staring at me intently, almost trance like.   I’m feeling very uncomfortable to the point; I excuse myself and go to the ladies room.  When I return, he tells me that he is amazed at how much I look like his Mother.   This is not a compliment for me and I’d love to go home.  He tells me that when he was ten years old he came home from school and found his Mother napping upstairs, except she wasn’t napping, she was dead.

All right, I am so sorry, but my feelings are telling me that whatever I learned last weekend about trust has not kicked in so can we leave now?

On the way home, he once again goes through the old neighborhood and giving me his childhood tour. Over the bridge to New Jersey, I begin to withdraw.  Richard picks up on my mood and starts to insert religious and psychological statements that are pushing my emotional buttons.  I do not even know this person, nor do I want to.   We arrive to my home where he insisted on taking me as opposed to dropping me where I was picked up.  So now he knows where I live.

He begins to tell me about his many guns, and how he thinks of killing himself since his Mother is gone.   Given, that I had a brother commit suicide, I am not happy about the conversation and of course I do not want to be the blame     So, I invite him to coffee where I begin to explain in my best communication skills that I am not interested in a relationship at this time.  I am trying to figure things out in my life.  Thanks for your kindness and it was nice to meet you and all that stuff.

I wish that I could say that it ended there, but no, it continued for about three months. He stalked me, watching and calling me and threating to use his many guns to take revenge for the hurt and loss in his life.  Of course, the unspoken words were that I had not provided the completion of whatever deranged story he was creating with me, the girl that looked like his Mother!

I did call the church and spoke with the minister about this man Richard who I had met there and could they please help me as I was scared of what could come of this situation, but the minister asked me what where my intentions for going out with him?  Did I think he had money?  What did I do that caused this situation?   I knew that help would not come from him or His Abundant Universe.    Finally, I contacted the Philadelphia Police and was able to find out which precinct he was from.

There, I put a restraining order on him and so it ended.

Lesson learned, “always trust your abundant  instincts”.

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To Recognize or not to recognize

National Music Festival

Recently,  I attended the National Music Festival  in Chestertown  .  There are some perks to living in a small town.   Going into the building, I remarked to myself  that  I  could  recognize  everyone by name, and I literally mean everyone.  As the people passed by,  I would greet each with a smile and a hello.    It is that way here.   So when you go to a Doctor or a food store ( we only have the Acme ) or to the Ace  hardware  store, or perhaps church.  The other places are downtown at Fountain Park, or the post office , bank  you will recognize  the same people  again and again.

Sometimes,  It would be nice not to be recognized.  In fact, I like to go to places and wonder around and not have anyone recognize me.  Does this make me weird?    This way , things present themselves as new.   I  will  not know my reaction  to my  environment.   A clean experience , if you will.  BJWrites

This reminds me of a TV Show currently on Lifetime network called Drop Dead Diva . If you have Netflix you can also watch back episodes there if you’d like. Anyway, the show has a storyline of a young woman ( larger body type and very smart )  who dies and assumes the body of  a shallow but beautiful model.  It is a good concept and a good program because  the contrast of the two character become one  giving us, the audience the opportunity to see both sides.   I am not wishing for this scenario in my life!

I suppose this is why the social network is working.  People get to remain behind their  curtain  with opinions on the screen.   Identifiable only by screen name.  This is one way not to be known but still have a voice.  Can we remain true to our voices this way?  BJWrites

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BJWrites

Learning who you are is something important.    The actual person that I was to become stayed contained and only in my writings did I reflect through my growing years.

As they say “The mind is a wonderful thing” and just as a heart can grow an artery when needed, so can the mind create a new life through the imagination and perception of reality, even if the reality is not a pleasant one.   BJWrites

A good example of this would be Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress  The novel, written by Dai Sijie, is about two teenagers. Luo, “a genius for storytelling”,[1] and an unnamed narrator, “a fine musician”[2] are sent to be re-educated after the Chinese Cultural Revolution. They are sent to a mountain called “Phoenix of the Sky” near Tibet.   This   journey  in  their  lives  transform not only themselves but also everyone around them as well.

Lately,  I have  really  enjoyed  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt,   (WOW) . This story held me captive.   And yet others   said   that it was difficult for them to read because the story was too dark. I could not put it down because I wanted to know where the author was going with the main character and the other characters had a grip on me as well.   Again, a transforming story and a Pulitzer Prize winner.   http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/9396-goldfinch-tartt.

I truly loved to read and write and would skip meals and certainly all of the chores of my early years to have time to do either.   I recalled being told to “go to bed and, “no you cannot read” only to lie on the floor of my room by the light streaming from under the door with   The Diary of Anne Frank (disambiguation) .   This book alone made such an impact on my life and is a key piece to the puzzle for the personal survival of a difficult   childhood.

I’ve worked for companies that utilized my skill, I’ve volunteered and been blessed enough to give my time and words away always intend to do more than time allows.   Sometimes it was my outlet from stress, but most of the time it is simply a place for me to create.   Writing is the most rewarding thing I do.

I belong to The Chestertown Writers Group.   We express ourselves freely about our lives, our imaginations, and our hopes and dreams.   It is a wonderful group and this year we published a book together, A Potpourri: Of Prose and Poetry by The Chestertown Writers Group . This collection of work made me aware of how valuable it is to have like souls in your life.   This organization is at eighteen members and is actively seeking publication of their work. We are affiliated with the Kent County Library in Chestertown, Md.   We also participate in our local gallery of artisans, River Arts http://chestertownriverarts.org/     I feel lucky to have this resource in my life and hope that I too prove of service to them.   There is one other group that is of great value to me and to the community and it is The Woman’s Literary Club of Chestertown, Maryland.   This   organization   promotes reading through donations for books, and time spent   with children who need support in reading.

 

From one person to another we can share our joys and sorrows though writing.   I have found that the relationship between me and the story can be told in many ways depending on perception.  And all relationships are of great value.   I look forward to my relationship with you, the reader.  Please feel free to comment as I enjoy hearing from you.    This can somehow allow us to change or accept ourselves and live our lives as intended, Happy~  

 BJWrites

 

  

 

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Flirting with Danger

I closed the glass doors that displayed our perfumes of many scents.  Most popular where the Channel   (# 5 which was the  top of the line), then Halston, my favorite along with, Heaven Scent, Nina Richie and of course, “Tabu”.    Every week  it was a part of my job to take each product out of the glass case and dust thoroughly and replace and restock the cabinet preparing it for those who wish to purchase perfumes, toilet water, cologne or the like.    I loved this part of my job.  I was able to develop a sense of what scents  I liked or didn’t.

He came into the Elise Drug Store just as I was finishing up this weekly task.   Given my young  age of 16 years , I felt suddenly flushed and flustered by His presence.    It was a quiet Saturday afternoon,and  so  it was a full day  to work and  there weren’t many customers.   We began to chat about school, etc.  I didn’t know  if he had known  that I worked there or if he had just stopped by,  but whatever the reason, he was talking to me .  Very excited by this,  and nervous we had become comfortable with the conversation. I was flirting with danger. The owners were not in yet and so it was easy to have this fun conversation without the pressure of someone watching  over and scrutinizing  the fact that  flirting had become a part of  my  job.

The Drug store had a grill and so he wondered over and bought a Coke and then returned to my counter to continue talking.  As it was in those days,  smoking was a natural thing to do at any time or any place,  and so he lit up a cigarette and I did not bother him with “you should take that outside” because in those days even the Doctors smoked in their own offices.  So, he offered me one as well and  out of my mind crazy by this scenario , I accepted although I really did not smoke.    As he lit the cigarette for me,  I remained behind the cashier station  leaning into the lit match, catching his smell and a quick glance when our eyes met.

As I  drew in my  breath when pauses were necessary to contain this fresh new feeling that was happening to me,   It was  my boss who  walked through the front door( which sometimes he arrived that way on purpose) and I saw his expression was not anger but shock.  The horror of his face was because the match that was used to light my cigarette had been tossed in a trash can in front of the perfume case.  Well that cleared the room as the flames  began to rise and the delivery guy, Kevin came to the rescue and grabbed the trash to carry it outside.

As the blood drained from my face, and not aware of my visitor’s  disappearance,   I  said in my young voice, “ I promise never to smoke here again”.   My bosses reply was, “ and you won’t”!

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Perhaps

Perhaps this has been a difficult year for you  –  maybe someone close has died – or maybe a relationship that was very important in your life has ended – perhaps  your overwhelmed and stuck in fear due to the fast pace of life, or the tone in your teenagers voice or the role you’ve now become in the relationship with your parents  or adult children.  While everyone else is focused on the New Year, new cars, computers and new bodies, you just want a new feeling, “ A Good One”.  And, you realize that material things will not take you there.  Perhaps you don’t understand who you are anymore and would like to be in touch with yourself this year.   Perhaps you are not alone and this is the year to get clear on some of the issues that keep you from living your life.  Perhaps a simple walk,  someone who understands, a creative project or an outline of long term goals can help.  Perhaps……………………A Happy New Year  2014

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If you are so inclined

If you are so inclined

 

What makes us as humans so particular ?   Like the idea that  we should  like things in our lives to meet a standard  is not unusual?   But, what we choose is  something to be pondered.  For example,   I  am peculiar about my blinds as the light in my home should be facing up and not down.  The proverbial   toilet paper roll should most definitely go forward as not to disturb the sequence of the event of getting it off the roll.  And I do not believe that a teabag needs to be squeezed  and when it  is,  I  react because  the thought of  the acid from the leaf  going into my cup is upsetting to me .   Weird,  I know and  this  all  sounds bazaar but don’t judge me yet.  Each of us have a relationship  with one’s surroundings and this relationship was most likely put into place when the person became the master of his/her  own fate. Perhaps even  influenced by one’s upbringing.   I do not think myself strange because I like a small light on in a room at all times as I like the glow that it gives to the setting of that space.  I also like to leave a window cracked in a room that has  air conditioning.  These things are simply frowned upon and considered wasteful.  Fortunately, I get to decide what I like for myself, my rooms,  my lighting,  and it goes on from there.  These are all things that require a relationship with self which, I believe to be the “most important  relationship” you will ever have in this life.   So if you are so inclined as to live your life a certain way, please do not  let others intimidate you into thinking that their way is better that yours.  Enjoy your relationship with yourself at all times. maodie-cat

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As the leaves turn and fall to the ground

As the leaves turn and fall to the ground,   I look to life for the metaphor that will help to comprehend current events.   Earlier in my life, I reflected this season as the time to gather knowledge.  I was   excited to put together clothes and cover books that would take me to school and show my eagerness to meet new people, and learn each day.   Now  the differences to the preparation for school is not so different ,  and clothes will be bought and books are handed out  but the process is so different that the only resemblance  is that the kids are now still going to school.   They all have different times of the day, and teachers are required to be politically correct in every sense.  But mostly, the students are different.  In the last few generations the vast amount of information needed to survive has increased to a degree that “other normal matters”.  I think technology has set that tone and creates a space of avoidance from those issues that help us mature,  or in some ways mature too  fast in this vastness,  missing important emotional  growth.   This is not to say that it was not stressful  then, whenever then was, but today is so packed full of issues of race, religion, lack of religion, political correctness and fear of life.  I suppose I would create my own space as well.

For example sexual issues   where always around but no one spoke about them due to a strong sense of shame, therefore if you were brought to deal with it most likely it was on your own.   People didn’t share that kind of information and so it reflected extreme difficulty on the person going through this life event.   I met a woman in her eighties who told me of her son who had been molested in school during the years of nine to eleven years old and how this had affected his life to the degree that he could not function normally and by the age of his late forties he overdosed on his medication.  She and her family did not learn of his incident in school until years later and they dealt with it in retrospect.  It is harder to manage an injustice that way because it is set in another time frame.   Today, this would have been an issue that would be discussed over and over on the talk shows and the news as to how it relates legally, who would sue who and the entire minutia   that goes with this subject.   Not only would it be reflected in the schools but also in family, friends, sports, and church as well.

I know that this is thought to be a better way because it helps others who have or might experience this; however it also hurts the families and friends of those currently on that path trying to deal with what is altering their lives and emotionally damaging at that time.

There are so many happy times that occur during those years and programs on television have reflected on some of the more lighthearted subjects.  “Happy Days” was one of these shows.   It seemed to grab the emotional side and set an example to something that would mean something from the direction of one character or another.  Then it would take us back to a place where we too could learn from the setting in relationship to our own life.   So antiquated now as the subjects dating back sixty years would be a decision of who to go with  to the dance.  So what do people reflect on?   “Survivor” in a totally unrealistic setting, or “The Amazing Race”, which is an over exaggerated   scavenger  hunt ,  Talent shows that criticize the performers, and  legal and forensic programs.   And the movies do cover subject s of current issues like dating but the end result is far from Happy Days.

So I suppose my point here lies in fact that although we are in some ways better,  in my opinion, not so  much  in others.   It appears,  that the level of maturity has dropped off and the quality of life is not as rich as when we knew it .   Not true!   In conversing with friends about their married children and their children, and also in talking with our own, I have come to know that because of all the information  given to them over the years, they have taken the pieces of the puzzle that was important to their families and discarded the rest.  They do not look to shows on “ Happy Days”  for reflection in their lives , however  I certainly do not reflect  in  “How I met your  Mother”  for my life.

That said, as time moves on  humans find a way to  survive  in whatever era they are allowed to endure and will see life through their own eyes, as will their children.

As the kids crunch and kick the leaves beneath their feet on their way to school,   I can feel sure that at least something  is the same.

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The Big Ocean

 

The expression was that of delight mixed with confusion.   Her tiny nose wrinkled and twisted adjusting to the tickle and the splash of the salty water.  One part excitement and one part fear.   She was in Daddy’s arms but well aware of the Big Ocean as a new element in her life.    My granddaughter is not yet two years old and just had her first experience with the ocean and the beach.   She fared well as kids do because it is a great fit being allowed to splash and be wet and then get sandy.   The sun and wind on your body feels, well, it feels wonderful!    Can we simply take our minds back to that point where we first   experienced this?   All I know is when I get there it is truly a pleasure of no other kind.    Of course, there is the instinct that tells us that there is a power in the water that we do not understand.  A power so strong that can pull us away from ourselves and into an unknown place.  So we stay on the beach and play in the sand building and watching the tiny creatures crawl or the seagulls who want a piece of our sandwich flying down towards us.   It is an amazing environment and we find it to be a most natural space.  Not all people like the beach but I would say that most do.  And most people associate with the childhood memories of playing and eating our ice cream or fruit.  Our  Mom,  Dad’s and Grandparents who make sure we have our creams and hats or  that we  lie down to take a little nap, which is a serine time that gives the body what it needs.   Then we go about walking and playing ball or it must be time to go back into the water for a big splash again.  When I am tired from the waves, I can wrap up in a big towel and sip a cold drink and someone will read me a story.   Maybe daddy will take me in the water again.