New Page--------New Day

Birthday Boy

Today is a milestone met for Bob. He starts year 5774 with a birthday. No one would have thought that he would reach this day. Just to list a few reasons why not: Heart attack, bi pass surgery,prostate Cancer ,hemmoragic stroke. He has managed to reach his 84 th birthday in spite of it all. 

Our kids have a game going with him. It's to see who can get him to talk the longest, on the phone. The record is 7 minutes. 

There are some things that he is the best at. No one makes a better cup of French/Italian coffee. There are no short cuts to this project. The water and the coffee ,which is special ordered from Chicago, are measured exactly. Then , there is the oat meal. 2 generations of children ask for it.

He'll have a special day today.He'll take his walk around our development. If it is Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday he walks. If it is Monday, Wednesday or Friday , he does Yoga. He eats like that ,too. Egg Beaters every other day, oatmeal on the other. Life for him is simple and he is at peace. Since today is special , he gets to plan his favorit dinner. Fried chicken! 

It's never too late to celebrate a new year with  a new birthday and be thankful for reaching this day.

remembering

Thinking about my father yesterday, made some old thoughts surface. He was more than 15 years older than my mother. I think that she was the first known trophy wife. He adored her. He never, ever called her anything but sweet heart. In fact, my sister and I thought that was her first name. 

I never heard him say one swear word. Once , when I was alone with him in the car, some driver did something , like pull in front of us, and he said " darn him". He then apoliged to me for the profanity. 

My mother had assigned me to my father and my sister to herself. So,I guess that I was truely "Daddy's little girl."  Every night before dinner, we would wash our hands together. That was a special moment. I don't know how oId I was when we stopped doing this, but I may have been in high school.

And he broght me a present every day. A pencil, an empty shoe box from the shoe store. I'd make an instrument out of it with some rubber bands.

I was told that he played Semi pro baseball. I am not sure of this, but that's OK. I was also told that he was born in the US. I don't know why I never believed this and my son in law, in doing family research, found that he was an infant when his family came to America-- from Romania. That's cool. My family had a lot of secrets. But it was no secret that the two of us had a special bond.

Because it is Yom Kippur, it's a good time to honor his memory.

Monkey wrench

My father did not own a tool box. He didn't have any tools, with the exception of a hammer. He was so not into anything  mechanical that when he took our car in for an oil change ,which was a big deal, and he was asked what weight oil do you want, he'd say " the best ". 

When we got married, he gave us a monkey wrench. Perhaps there is some hidden meaning about this gift, but we still have the monkey wrench and we still haven't figured out why he gifted us a monkey wrench.

Maybe he didn't want Bob to be lacking in tool skills, like he was.When  Bob was in the service, until they realized that he could read and write, they trained him to fix radars. That's  a hoot. In Bob's defense he can rewire a lamp now.We thank the United States Air Force every time he does something that involves a lamp plug. 

I'm glad that we have this monkey wrench from my Father. He was a quiet man, a romantic,a  home body,second in command after my Mother, and two daughters.

 We don't use the monkey wrench much any more, but it came out of the tool box enough times to be useful.

Maybe this monkey wrench is a symbol of a long marriage.I am thinking that I should quick go out and buy one for my grandson who got married in June and another one for the Grandson who is getting married next fall. It's a great gift.

It's never to late to give these youngsters the tools for a long and successful marriage.

 

Yesterday, the digital runners watch that I ordered from Amazon, arrived. It fits my wrist just fine. It has a lavenderly, purple plastic band. It comes with 3 pages of instructions, in 3 languages. The only thing that I have mastered , so far, is putting the watch on and taking the watch off.

This is the second watch that I have ordered through the internet. I had to send the first one back. It was way smarter than I needed. It didn't even make it to my wrist. I couldn't figure out how to program it. I didn't feel bad about sending it back. I recently realized that other people do this all of the time. I wasn't yet attached to this watch.And they said that they would just credit my account when they recieved the returned watch.

I wonder how many times I can do this before I get a reputation as a returner. I'm a little worried about this, because now, I think I may have to send back my newest internet ordered watch. I can't figure out how to program this one either. How smart do you have to be to program a $13 Timex watch. I guess smarter than I am. 

There is a 15 year old boy living upstairs from me. Judging from the fact that he played video games all summer vacation and he seems to play hooky a lot, I am thinking of asking him to set my watch. I have a feeling that he won't even look at the single spaced instructions and in a few seconds, hand me back my now programed watch. or I can save face and just return it to Amazon.com.

I have to think about this. It's never too late to just send the watch  back and ask the person next to me" what time you got".

Bad eating day

I have had bad hair days, but yesterday, I decided that I was having a bad eating day. It happens every once in awhile. It's the kind of eating day when you stand in front of a full refridgerater and nothing looks good. Then you make a bad choice. But it tasted so good that at you go back and eat some more. Brownies from the freezer are like that. Sometimes they actually call your name. On these bad eating days, that's what you do. Eat more than you should, eat too much of the wrong thing, even eat too much of the good things,too. Is this emotional eating. No. There is nothing emotional about it. It's just a bad eating day. When you have a bad hair day, you don't feel guilty  , so why make yourself crazy over a bad eating day. For the bad hair day, a shampoo usually works, for a bad eating day , not stepping on the scale works ,too.

I'm glad that I have analyzed this syndrome , I feel better already about eating that gelato and the brownies . it's never too late to sometimes just eat what makes you feel good while you are chowing down. Just remember to take full responsibility. The devil did not make you do it. 

 

Tennis, anyone

Sunday, as I watched two women play championship tennis, I wished that they could both be the winner. I am not a tennis player.  I can't understand how they keep score. What do they mean when the score is 6 love. Is love good or bad. ? Is the ball in or out when it on a line. Even in my confusion, I can see the strength  and beauty that these 2 women have. What stamina. They played for hours. They did these lateral moves that should have destroyed their knees. But they kept on, relentlessly. Someone had to be the best one.

That is another thing that annoys me. The idea that one player wanted to win more than another. Does an athlete of this caliber, who has the ability to be known as the number one player in the world, and to get a pay check in the millions of dollars, think that maybe on this day, she doesn't want to be the winner.

I don't believe that. One strong woman just played better on this day. I am not sure, but it seems that talent and not skin color or place of origin is practiced on the court. I had to look up Bellirus ( spell check where are you ?), where one of the players comes from. How she even found out about tennis , in her country, is probably a good tale.

I am easily impressed . These women played until one made a mistake . That is where the winner was chosen. It is never too late to appreciate strength,dedication and judgement, in tennis and in life.

 

Violin

Yesterday I Attended a Violin recital. These were students of my teacher and they ranged in age from 7 to 15. Seeing a 7 year old boy dressed for the orchestra in black pants and white dress shirt  brings a smile to your face.

I may have read that taking music lessons helps with concentration, focus, and,discipline. Watching these kids attack their music was what made me think of this. I was sitting where I could see their faces. What concentration. Their eyes were boring through their sheet music. When they played that last note, you could see the relief and the pride of accomplishment. A parent had every right to be proud. It made me want to come home and practice my violin !

In a few weeks ,my orchestra of volunteers, is being enrolled in a state university school of music. We will be given a professional conductor and once a week , two hour rehearsal time. What a bonus. I am as committed as those young kids are . I really want to sound good. I really want to be able to keep up with the music as it was written. I want to always be at the same measure as the player next to me. I want to finish the piece with my bow in the same position as the rest of the string section. Little details that I am working on.

If playing an instrument is good for a kids self esteem and powers of concentration, Think what it can do to us older players. 

It's never too late to keep that enthusiasm for learning something new alive. These grey cells need stimulation . My manta of " you don't know if you don't go" and my mentors " fake it until you make it" , works for me.

Check again

I've just been told that I don't exist. It's giving me a stomach ache. I know that I am really here. I had a question about an account that I use every day. I did what one does in this technologic times we live in. I emailed them. The reply came back that I did not have an account with them. I emailed back telling them to check again. This is so impersonal. I've heard that with computers, you are only as smart as the programmer . This company would be wise to check the programmer.

I hate being  told that I don't exist. Especially by someone whose headquarters are in Norway. I expected better.

The company that isn't recognizing me is my Blog site. Now that is what is giving me a stomach ache. What if I have to go to another company. I am already getting feelings of inferiority. What if I really am invisible  and I have been fooling myself for 78 years .I refuse to be a non person.

It's never too late to make some noise and tell this company to make me count or I will find a place that does. I have to think that they care. I count to me.

our Jewish Friends

I just thought of something that has always bothered me about the media. Those ads that stores take out around the Jewish holidays that say "Happy New Year to our Jewish Friends" ,or some such message . At Christmas they don't put out ads wishing Christian friends a Happy Day. Or a Muslim a good Ramadan. 

When did this type of ad start and why does it offend me ? Maybe I resent it because I think the store really doesn't care or else they wouldn't ,as in the case of my nearest grocery store , think every Jewish holiday involves Matzo's and  put out every box they still have in the store room.  Maybe I just don't want to share my Judaism with a profit making organization. Maybe I want my religious privacy.

I just thought that I would get this out of my head while I was letting go of things that annoyed me. I need the head space for good thoughts.

It's never too late for everyone to have a good and sweet new year ,everyone.

 

Happy new year again

Is this really the first day of a new year ? It doesn't feel any differently. Nothing has changed. I haven't heard anyone say that they were going to get a gym membership and start working out, or make any resolutions. 

That's OK. We all know what we have to do and getting the opportunity to have 2 days in the same year be designated as a new year, is pretty cool. 

I can break my resolutions into smaller goals. If I can't meet my goal  of being patient for a full 12 months, I can work on meeting that goal from September to Janurary 1 , and then work on it from Janurary 2 through whenever Rosh Hashonah comes next year.  Baby steps and with meetable goals. I may be on to something here.  No stress new year resolutions 

I doubt that this will work for me , although it sounds good. I just can't stick to resolutions. If I could, I would have read all of the best sellers, I would be speaking Hebrew right now, and I would have straightened out my sock drawer.

It's never too late to really work on the patience resolution. I'm impatient to see how I do.

Remember

I thought that I was what I eat. Last night at services, a new thought was planted in my head. I am what I remember. My memories define who I am. Since this is the  Day of Rememberance, I can use it to remember and improve.I like this concept. There is no guilt, no remorse, just remember and do better.It is so positive.

I will remember that Bob doesn't move as quickly as I do. So, instead of getting impatient ,I will remember to slow down. I can go slower, he can't go faster.It's a little thought, but with enough of these small remembrances , how less impatient I would be.

Today at Services, I will remember a lot of good things and be thankful that they happened and I will remember the things I'm not too pleased about and work on both sides of this memory lane. 

It's never too late , because in the end, memories are really all we have .

Let it go, it's a new year

I really like being Jewish. Among other reasons,I get to ask forgiveness and to forgive. That's good if you carry a hurt or a grudge around for an entire year. What a weight off . Then, I get to make a whole list of things I will do this next year. I will work on patience ,I will work on saying " no" a few times and I will work on xenophobia. I will find this the easiest one to overcome. 

I like the word xenophobia. I look for it every year when we ask for forgiveness. I don't think I have this problem. I probably have whatever the opposite is of this. This reminds me of a friend who is so welcoming that we have a word for what he does. it is " bageling". if he sees someone in the grocery store buying bagels, he'll say something like," be sure to pick up some smear cheese". if the person knows what smear cheese is, this friend assumes they are Jewish and the next thing is to invite them to dinner.He just bagled them. he is not xenophobic.

I bageled once. Every morning, I would meet this woman walking her dog. Finally I got into a conversation and found out her dog was named " Bershiret". She had to be Jewish. I invited her too my Seder and she was a great addition to the table. This year, I'll bagel someone else.

It's not easy being Jewish at times, but it works for me. I get to start over every year.It's never too late for everyone to be inscribed in the book of life and all of us have a good and sweet new year.

Wedding dress

Now that our 60 th anniversary is approaching, and I have watched a TV program called "say yes to the dress", I want to buy a wedding dress. My mother picked out my dress and I never liked it. In retrospect, since I only wore it one time, what difference did it make. But now, even years later, when most of the day is forgotten ,I still dwell on not liking my dress. Get over it or do something about it. Maybe I should take a trip to a wedding shop and just try on some dresses. That would be fun. When I bought my only wedding dress, I was so young. I think 18 was younger then. 

Watching this show about wedding dresses has been a fashion awakening. I have learned about what a ball gown is, a mermaid  style,rouching and bling. None of them are me. I can tell that this won't be easy. Maybe I will skip the dress after all. 

Good family, good friends, good food. That will make the day special, even 60 years later. Now that I put these thoughts down, I can see that the dress really doesn't matter. it was playing dress up for a few hours. 

It's never too late to replay the wedding day,ditching the dress but keeping the groom. That's what it really is all about.

The left foot

Ever had someone say to you," no, your other left"? I've heard that a number of times over the years. Now when I race walk, I won't have to worry about directions. Right foot, left foot are now identified for me. I just bought 2 pair of socks at the running store to go with my new running shoes and the socks are anatomically correct ! To prove it, or to help people like me , the socks are marked, R or L. It'll be like wearing shoes.  No mistake about which foot goes into which sock. I will only have to look at the letter R or L and know where my big toe goes. That should save me time when I go out to take my walk.No excuses for not going out to walk. which sock on which foot is answered for me. 

I wonder if the surgeon I have used for the few times that I have had surgery knows about this. In the past, he has put a black marker X on what ever limb he was to work on. I could now just wear my L or R socks when I have a procedure. save trying to wash that X off afterwards. 

I am confident that my new shoes will make me go faster and with these new socks, I can see myself at the finish line

It's never too late to stop talking, put the socks on and get out the door. just do it.

 

 

heart beat

Our cottage in Michigan had a wall furnace. We had no gas lines out there in the country and electricity was expensive, so we used propane gas that was delivered in large canisters. What  made me remember this is that this furnace had a heart beat. Just before it kicked in, it would have this sound like a beating heart. Then it would blast away. Hearing that beat was welcomed when the temp outside was in low double to single numbers.

That furnace wasn't always happy. Lighting the pilot light was a challenge. Unlike some of our lake neighbors, we turned every thing off when ever we closed up our cottage. Since we often came up for long week ends, we had to turn everything on again. In the winter, that meant turning on the furnace by lighting the pilot light with a long match. We had to hold some button down, push and turn the knob and light the match and say a prayer that it caught. There were times when we had a collection of burnt out matches and the pilot light still didn't catch. But when it did and we heard that beat, beat, beat ,we could start putting away the food and unpack.

Once , when Bob didn't make the trip and I opened the cottage, the furnace exploded on me. Our oldest child just got her drivers license, which was good timing, because she had to drive me to the hospital to have my burns treated.It wasn't too bad, but it forever scared me when I had to be the one to light it. We should have converted to electricity at that point.

I think of this beating furnace here in Paradise. Our forever running air conditioner has a sound too. It doesn't exactly beat, it's more like a sigh. May it continue to keep sighing .

It's never too late to appreciate our air conditioner and to change it's filters regularly. Keeping it happy is a priority.

 

 

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lynn | Reply 10.09.2013 11.14

Love what you said about the Women's Final at the US Open. It was a great match, better than the Men's in my opinion. Love the Blog, Leona!

Sharon Napshin | Reply 07.09.2013 11.27

I don't think I could ever be as interesting as you are. You are a wonfderful beginning to each of my days. Happy New Year to you and all you hold dear!

Sharon Napshin | Reply 07.09.2013 11.26

Leona, You still have "it"! I don't know how you think of things that are interesting, or concerning, or problematic, day-aver-day-after-day.

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29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

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31.07 | 07:02

Leona, do you have a date or a booked flight that you come back ?

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20.07 | 13:55

Everything sounds so wonderful Leona. Venice will seem boring . I would want to move to Portownsend where the kids are living. All sounds great . Is there?

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19.07 | 12:33

That lavender sounds very nice!

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