New Page ---New Day

there is a book inside me

I have heard that everyone has a book in them.  I have one that I think I can write. I am very good at writing condolence notes. I seem to have a knack for pulling out the right personal remembrance to write.

I have thought of writing a sample style book, where one can just go to the note that best suits the departed , maybe combine a few of a list of suggested thoughts and then, send off a hand written note. 

There are how to books on many subjects. Why not this one. Sympathy cards aren't that personal, but a hand written note that says something about the person, something that would make the family know that you really caught his essence and that he really left a void would be so comforting.

I realized that I had this " gift" a few years ago when more people that I knew began to pass away. The families would reply back to my condolence note with a remembrance of their own. It was good for both of us! because I always was sincere.

Maybe there is no market for my kind of book, maybe I will have to just keep it inside of me and hope that I don't use it too many times.

It's never too late to know that there is something that you do well, even if it is a little macabre.

 

maybe it was meant that I opened these two

I get a few forwarded emails every day. I can usually tell if I want to open the ones that include jokes or videos .Mostly, I don't open these . I don't know what made me open two that turned out to be so wonderful, that I keep going back to them. One is " South Afican wedding" and the other is "Where the hell is Matt".I love both.

The wedding is about a Jewish wedding in South Africa that has the father of the bride  and a group of young men being joyful and singing  "L'Chiam, to life ", as they dance in front of the couple. If you watch it enough times, you see different stories. I've spotted the little girl who runs to her Daddy as he is singing. Instead of ignoring her or gesturing for her to go back to Mommy, he puts his arm around her and embraces her. I found that half a second look, beautiful and in the whole spirit of the video. Look at the video and you see the men on one side of the room and women on the other side. It's an Orthodox wedding. The bride looks like she may be a little older. Maybe Poppa's money bought the groom .Maybe he wasn't her first choice. I did not like her dress. I have to stop watching this video. I am becoming part of it. I wish they had invited me to the wedding. It just seems as if I would have had a great time.

The other video that I opened is about dancing all over the world.It is like a happening with music. It is also so cheerful . For a few minutes, in the different countries, there is only rhythm and music. Forget politics, tornadoes, poverty, just wave your booty and lift those arms. It makes me happy to watch them.

It is never too late to take a chance and open these forwarded video's. I may have missed some really good ones. 

driver safety, 101

I don't think that drivers , down here in Paradise, know how to manipulate a four way stop sign. Can I be the one to tell them that they don't have to wait for the fourth car to show up before they move? It's a simple concept of I got here first, so, guys, I am going. And really, some times it is OK for two cars to move at the same time. One can go south, while your counterpart can travel north. It works, some times.

And do you notice how much space is allowed between cars in lots. I like that one. I've gotten spoiled, actually, about that one. Parking garages have narrow slots and I have to be very size specific when I pull into one. 

Sometimes I have to laugh when I am behind a driver so short that you can't tell if anyone is actually driving. I know that I give the same impression to drivers behind me. The head rest hides the back of my head. I am a phantom driver.

I walk Cricket where we do not have sidewalks. That makes drivers nervous. I am careful about walking facing traffic, I keep Cricket way close to the curb and I even step off the road sometimes , on to the grass. People make such a wide swath for me, going into the other lane, that I worry that a car coming the other way will head on to them. 

Please don't swing so wide. I am watching out for me and  for Cricket.

I am a great parallel parker. I came to Florida with that skill. However, most of the time , I only need to pull in to a space and then , reverse  out. I have a problem with reverse. I seem not to be able to go in a straight line. Give me the option of parallel parking any time.   And one last thing, people who walk behind my car when I have already started to back out of my space. My van is plenty big enough that  it can be noticed. That is scary. And thank goodness for good brakes and a pretty fast reaction time.

It's never too late to be patient at stop signs, look out for little old ladies and look one more time before you back out of the  parking spot at the grocery store . I might be the one looking at my shopping list instead of you backing out of your wide parking slot.

coming clean

There are a number of things that can be borrowed from a neighbor. I've lent sticks of butter, salt and eggs. I've even lent my car. But there are some things you just can't ask to borrow. We ran out of bar soap. We can't explain it. We both just thought that there was at least one bar in the linen closet. We have liquid hand soap at the sinks, but no bar in either shower. 

To complicate matters, we didn't include soap on our grocery list. Bob likes lists. I usually just buy one of everything I see. I guess this time we missed that soap aisle .

At one store that I shop in, the bar soaps are in the drug section of the store. I hardly go over to that side of the store. Where would be the best place to find soap in the grocery store. I think it is mostly in the beauty product section and I think it should be with the cleaning products.

That's probably why I forgot to buy it. I skip that section.

I did find an old bar of hand made soap in the closet. The kind you get as a gift. Now I am happy to have gotten it. It works just fine. It is not antibacterial or deodorized, but it lathers and smells good.

It's never too late to actually put soap on the next shopping list. How do you return a wet bar of soap .

conversion

I want to convert. I want to be Italian. I could still be Jewish, but I want to be Italian. They have all of the fun. Russian is bland by comparison. Italians talk with their hands. They drink wine in water glasses. They love to eat. They are family rich. They eat pasta with every meal .They love their Momma's.

I want to sit under the Tuscan sun, take a long table, put a white table cloth on it and bring out platters of fresh food, my own olive oil, wine from my own vines, sit a lot of people around that table and just inhale it all.

Can you guess that I have a new cook book about the food of Tuscany. The description of all of this is so real that I want to be part of this food experience. 

In a Chicago suburb of Cicero, we have an Italian grocery store called Caputo's. No matter how much they enlarge their parking lot, finding a space is a challenge.  If you are waiting for a space and a long , black, limo. pulls into it  before you, let it go. He is probably an old Capone family member. The store is that real.

I miss it because I could buy the kind of veggies that this cook book talks about. And Buffalo mozzarella. And stud looking Grandson is pushing Nonnies grocery cart as she shops.It's his turn to take her to the store. Publix and Sweetbay just don't have this charm.

I'm trying to think how I can convert my Russian background into this Italian picture. I don't think that I can pass as Italian. I don't gesticulate, I'm not much of a wine drinker. I do like olives and olive oil. Family comes first, I love pasta. I do make a great pizza , from scratch. 

It's never too late to just read every page of my new CB and start cooking for my friends .I feel Italian already.

It' a good start

It's 5:38 AM and  already I have made the second decision of my day. The first was to get up before the clock showed 5:30 and the second was if I should start a new page for my blog or keep going. I guess I chose to get up earlier and to keep on this same page. It's good to have a no brainer decisions so early. If I make the right decisions at 5:30 , the rest of the day looks very promising.

I've had a few disappointments this week. I ran out of yarn for a sweater I am making and the company isn't making that color any more. It's a good color, so why are they not making it. That makes me feel as if I chose a color no one else wanted, so they only made a small amount to sell to some one like me.

Then Cricket decided not to like her boutique dog food . So I bought her a cheaper brand , that for a few weeks, she loved. What if it doesn't agree with her and we have done damage control in her favorite room. Now she isn't eating that one either.

Another disappointment is about a bush we planted the last time our son was here. It did quite well all through the hot summer and through the rainy season  but now it looks sad. Maybe fetilizer will help. Maybe it is time for Aron to visit again.

A bright spot are the black and yellow butterflies that have been hanging around a vine that we have growing on our patio fence. I think the vine is a weed, but it has attracted these beautiful butterflies. They flutter all around and because I look for signs, I think this is a sign .I haven't figured out a sign of what, but  a good sign.

It's never too late to get an early start on the day, to fix Cricket some rice and a scrambled egg ,water my droppy bush and sit in my patio and hope that a butterfly lands on my arm. It's a Shabbat thing.

A gift of warm weather

Living where the sun shines so abundantly and the temp is usually moderate has done something to my ability to comprehend seasons . I watch my Chicago ten o'clock news on WGN America, I look at my calendar and I then look at my wardrobe. I'm in flip flops and they are wearing boots. Are we lucky , or what? 

Christmas or Thanksgiving, at the beach ! Am I dreaming, or just so fortunate. I only miss the fall colors that you don't see here. But I wouldn't trade places when for a short time, I get to inhale orange blossoms and now, this gorgeous orchid tree that is in bloom. I feel intoxicated with the scent of this tree.  It is messy with the pinkish red blossoms falling all over the place, but the scent ! It is the middle of November, the trees are flowering. And the sidewalks don't need shoveling. I don't need to buy yet another bag of kitty liter to keep in the trunk.

Did we make the right choice moving to Florida. After every weather forecast that I watch from Chicago, I am sure that we did.

It's never too late to appreciate our weather. Who do we thank for this gift?

Pay up

I found the perfect job for me while I was reading the Nefesh B nefesh group email. Personal assistant .I think that I am well qualified and I have many years experience. I didn't know that this was a paid position. Someone owes me back pay. I have to talk to my lawyer.( I've been seeing ads , lately, that use this line . )

I don't think that I have a case, but think of how much my salary would be if I got paid for all of the assisting that I have done for the last 60 years. I've been such a good retainer that I have raised this families children and Grandchildren. I wonder if they will provide for me when I retire.

I should have been put on the pay roll all those years ago. I'd be rich.

But since it is and was a labor of love, I have no complaints and no monetary amount would ever be enough for what I made my life's work. I know I have a lot of " personal assistants " out there who answer to the same name as I have. Honey , Mom, or grandma seems to be a common assistant's name. Wonder why that is. 

It's never too late to know that we have a life time position, even if we haven't yet received our back pay. The check is in the mail.

Christmas, already?

I think that I heard Christmas music in a TV ad. I was knitting and not watching the screen. It is a few weeks before Thanksgiving and already Christmas is almost here. I love Thanksgiving. I think we need to spend more time thinking about turkey's and cranberry sauce. 

I do like Christmas music. I've been known to listen to the radio station that plays Christmas music all day. I'm not sophisticated. I'll listen to " I saw Mommy kissing Santa clause" to "Away in the Manger".Probably every Jewish kid sang Christmas songs in school and just left out the "J" word. Why did we instinctively do that ? My parents never verbalized that I shouldn't say that word or sing the carols. I still hum that word when I sing along. Do they still sing Christmas songs in schools?  I think now it is not politically correct to have Christmas celebrations in school. It is now their winter vacation.

I don't mind the early push for Christmas. I love the ads . I always wanted to wake up December 25 and have a new car in my driveway. With a big red bow on it. It hasn't happened, but it is never too late.

 

Lost in space

Already, I am not off to a good start. And it is only 6:30 AM. My computer says that I don't have a connection to a carrier. I can't read my emails. I wondered why when I sent an email yesterday, a notice came up saying that they( who ever that is) is saving my letter .Did that mean that the email didn't get sent ?

I communicate by email. I love my email. I was whining to a friend, last night, about this new  development , and she told me to unplug my modem and then in 20 seconds, plug it back  in. As soon as I have my coffee this morning , I will do that.

I hope that I don't have to call my computer guy. I do have a short list of poblems, so maybe this would be a good time. The last time that he came, he brought his 11 year old daughter along. She is being trained as his assistant . She knows almost as much as he does. We don't have to be so concerned about our future as long as there are kids like her coming up through the ranks. And she plays the violin !

I had known that , so I asked her to bring her violin when she came with her Dad. She made me feel inferior . Not only can she fix my computer, but she can play better than I could. 

She was humble, though. At least she was gracious about having these skills at 11 and here I am playing catch up at 78 and 11 months.

Not to worry, it's never to late to unplug and plug in again . My world will once again be in sync with the universe. I wonder where those lost emails are orbiting?

real time

When I read my favorite Nefesh BNefesh group email , I get a little concerned when people are offering to sell their entire furnishing because they are moving. I wish they would tell me if they are just tired of their furniture  and moving makes a good excuse to buy new, or, are they giving up on living in Israel and are moving back to the US. 

It's all right to know that you tried to live your dream, but it just wasn't the right dream and now you are moving back to the States. You committed yourself to what you wanted to do. Now move on.

Every day I think of what I would be doing at certain times of the day , if I were in Israel.I wonder, while I am walking Cricket ,do they have leash laws ? Do I have to be on the look out for stray dogs and protect my little buddy when I walk her .Would I be walking to an open market instead of driving a mini van to a super grocery store. Do they have Good Wills? 

Men have their fantasy games of football, I have my  fantasy game of what I would be doing .

However, reality being what it is, I'm not there yet. It's never too late to play make believe. One day, I'll wake up and that will be the day it turns to being real.

 

the gift of reading

I just realized  that I haven't read a book in a week. Reading is the best thing that has happened to me. What would my life be like if I couldn't read. Audio books are also the greatest invention , next to the ability to read. I remember sitting in my garage ,just returning from a full day at work, listening to the last pages of a book. I couldn't leave the ending until I drove to work the next day.

I don't remember being read to as a child. We read to our kids and I know that my kids read to their kids. The saddest day for me was when I didn't go to " story hour " at our library any more. Our youngest child was now to old. Maybe there should have been a weaning process offered for parents. 

I was a volunteer librarian at our temple in Evanston. It was a great way to get to read the new books first. 

Reading must run in our family. Our daughter has a masters in Library Science, my neice also. And she is married to a librarian. Another daughter was written up in a Chicago paper and photographed reading to her children. Bob read books for the blind. 

Another daughter got a responsible job by first going to the library and reading about what she needed to know to do a great job. 

There was a time when I carried 4 library cards. One for the library in Michigan, one for Mississippi , where we had a condo, and 2 cards in Illinois. Now I am down to one well used card.

It's never too late to make time for reading. I will add an other hour to my day. I don't want to forget this gift.

You need to ask ?

I heard from someone who told me that they were asked why would I want to go to Israel " at my age," and start over. Duh ! That's the point of " it's never too late". It doesn't have to be Israel that you want to do. It can be learning a new skill, learning or doing something that you have wanted to do. Not to be afraid to meet the challenge. So what if it is not the right thing for you to do. How do you know, if you don't go. How terribly sad to hold yourself back because you might fail. For me, failing isn't such a big deal or a bad thing. It's not a reflection on my integrity not to do something well. But I will still take on the adventure of doing.  I don't take it personally that I struggle with Hebrew or that my dogs still don't come on command. I have taken piano lessons, guitar lessons, Hebrew lessons, dog obedience lessons, cooking lessons, dance lessons,and accounting classes. And I just remembered , my violin lessons. Some I just didn't master. A few I did. But so what? 

I look around at my community and I choose for my role models the octogenarians ( and older) who have taken the concept of that it is never too late, to continue to play the piano, to resume playing   the violin, to write that novel , to learn to swim. We all have our visions and our reasons for doing these things. Mine just happens to be a little further away. 

It's good to be questioned  why I am doing what I plan on doing. It makes " it's never too late " the right answer.

communications

Yesterday I was carring on a serious, adult phone conversation and I ended the converstion by saying " bye bye". How grown up is that ?  I guess I shouldn't feel too silly becuse the man on the other end replied, " bye bye now".

As long as I am thinking about talking, I'm waiting for the day that Cricket verbalizes .Right now, she and other dogs that I know, do not have a problem getting their message out. In fact, she is very expressive. 

There are so many ways of communicating -- body language and facial expression tell as much as verbalizing. Cricket has it all. Who can resist a small dog who throws her whole body into tail wagging, or will look you straight in the eyes until you get up and take her for a walk. It's a little disconcerning to me to know that I can understand all of these actions.

I had a good teacher , my Mother, when it comes to the look. That's all she had to do , across a room, to get me to do what ever it was I should or should not be doing. Did other mothers have " the look" , or only Jewish Mothers. She also had eyes on the back of her head. Really. I tried that line with our four kids, but they were smarter and after checking, knew that I was untruthful.

Cricket, on the other hand, believes everthing that I tell her. " Want to eat ?" is followed by food. " Want to go out?" comes with a leash in my hand and a walk follows. When she gets over excited and barks, I turn my back on her and in a few more barks she stops. My body language tells her that I am not paying attention until she stops the barking. I learned this trick from a friend who is firmer with her dog than I was. It works. 

It's never too late to learn all I can about other ways of communicating. If I can't speak a foreign language, all of these skills might have to be called upon. I will not wag my tail. Period.

 

dog physcology

I had an unique experience yesterday. I have only met one dog who didn't like me. It was his problem, not mine. But yesterday, I visited a friend who has 2 dogs. They are from the same liter,growing up in the same environment. One dog , the female, took such a dislike to me, that I actually got scared that I would be attacked. The male loved me. I wonder what vibes I was sending out. Why was she threatned by me? Dogs are sensitive, so we had an issue as far as she was concerned. Her brother didn't have a problem with me. 

Now the problem is with me. I feel as if I lost my claim to being a dog lover, to not being afraid of dogs . How can one dog make me  even feel as if this was important enough to think about. Dogs have great instincts. What was she telling me. Am I even reading this hostility correctly.

When Charlie Two would pee on my X son in laws shoes and brief case, we knew that he ,the human, wouldn't be in the family long. Dogs know. 

Now I am feeling threatened. How intuitive is this female dog ? Did she see a hidden flaw in my character. Why is she making me feel so bad. Why am I even writing about this.

It's never too late to remind myself that , like people, not every dog wants to be my friend. Next time,in case there is a reconciliation, I will bring a dog biscuit.

busy busy

It's a good thing to be busy . I would like to borrow a few hours from tomarrow's supply for use today. It's either that or I need more space on todays page in my date book. My daughter says that I should practice this line," thank you very much. I'd love to but I can't. But thank you anyway". The problem is that I want to say ,yes. 

I was thinking that I could practice my violin in the dentists parking lot. Bob and I have back to back appointments, so I know that I will be there at least 2 hours. Or, I can skip a program at our Congregation. It'll work out, but I hope this kind of day doesn't happen too often.

That may be why date books only give you so much room for scheduling events. They are trying to protect people like me who really like to do the things they say yes too.

I could practice boredom. What would the response be if I just said, " sorry, I am practicing being bored. Ask me another time". I don't know any boring people, so who would be my role model? 

People come to this Paradise to retire, but soon find themselves busier than ever. Maybe that is the reason so many of us are living longer lives. 

It's never too late to say yes to all of the things I want to do. Even if it means that I have to borrow a few hours from tomarrow. I bet that there are some lost hours that I can plug into. Life is too much fun here. I don't want to miss any of it.

 

a lost vote

Today, a Tuesday, and an election day in Illinois, 57 years ago, I almost voted for the first time. Adlai Stevenson was running for President . I should have voted absentee. But I probably didn't think that I would be in labor on this , my first election . I tried so hard to hold out until  the polls opened. I waited so long, that my water broke in the taxi. Second daughter was always in a hurry . Adlai never forgave me . The election wasn't that close but I always felt that my vote might have changed the outcome.

You hardly hear of Adlai Stevenson now. I wonder what became of him. I know what became of my daughter. She was born in a hurry to get going . She's still like that.

It's never too late to think back to that cold Chicago morning when I tried so hard to wait for the polls to open. The cabbie was glad he made it to Northwestern Hospital.

 

 

memories

Yesterday was an anniversary of sorts for me. It was the first Sunday in November and the day of the New York Marathon. I will always feel as if I have one more Marathon in me and the one I would do would be the NY Marathon.

I've done 3 of them and there is no higher high than to finish that event. The city opens its heart to the visitors. You get to run through all of the burroughs. You run over bridges ! You run down the middle of Central Park. When you wear you finishers medal, you get to ride the train, bus or subway free after the race. When you wear your medal the next day, people applaude you. How high can you get ?!

On one of my  marathons, the weather was terrible. It rained, it was cold, it was windy. When I boarded my plane that evening, wearing my medal, a young man on board said he had entered but took a rain check to do next years because he didn't want to run in this weather. What a whimp. I am womam, I am strong. That was my mantra for that run.

It's never too late to get nostalgiac for what I did. Maybe for my 80 th birthday I'll do it one more time.Did someone say that it's never too late ?

whoops, there goes another language course

I've let my Hebrew lapse. I've ordered another beginner book and I will try to discipline myself to work on it every day. I think that I can at least get back to where I was in my vocabulary list.This course   comes with yet another CD .It's supposed to help train my ear to how to  sound Israeli. I don't think I'll fool anyone when I open my mouth to speak. 

My Mother spoke English with a Southern accent. I wonder if her Russian also then sounded Southern ? She never forget her Russian .I wish that she had taught us how to speak it. I might have more of a family history if I could have talked to her in her first language. My father had no accent. You'd never know that he was a " good old boy from Mississippi". I still have questions about where he was born. I always was told that he was born in the USA. I never believed that, entirely.  How would a  Jewish family end up in Meridian ,Mississippi. Too many unanswered questions here.

I was forming some Hebrew sentences in my head  . They sound pretty good to me. The problem is that I don't know if I'm actually remembering the correct words. I can't get in too much trouble with the few sentences that I do remember. It's either,"I don't speak Hebrew, " or it is  " I don't read Hebrew ". Either way, I don't do it.

It's never too late to put one more thing on my plate. Sooner or later, I should be able to put a few more words together. I wonder what kind of an accent I'll have. A southern Mid Western one?

when I really get older

I'm a little out of sync with my essay. The site was down for maintenance . It's news to me that even a web site has to be tidied up at times !

Yesterday, coming back to Paradise from our cruise, we took a wrong turn and came from the east side of Florida straight across to the west side-- at 45 miles an hour. We usually  go south to north at 70 miles an hour. I was not happy . I resent having to slow down.   Slowing down isn't an option. That will happen when I get older. 

Some people want to wear purple when they get older. I don't have any purple in my wardrobe, but I like that idea. But what I really want to do is to stay in that fast lane. It's never too late to keep going 70 as long as I can. And no fair passing on the right.

home again

 

i was away for a few days, but now I am back. I was cruising. It's now a verb. I cruise, you cruise, we all cruise. 

I saw a lot of people who don't watch " What Not to Wear". I wish they would. I made a study of men who have large bellies. They pull their pants up in back and the front of their pants are below the belly  line. That seems uncomfortable .

I did a lot of people watching . Cruises are good for this. I think others were watching me, too. I realized this when we were waiting for the elevator and the other couple told us to go first. Did they think we looked that old? I almost had my feelings hurt, but figured that I had been waiting long enough for the elevator, so I did get on.

It's good to be home. We have such a wonderful community that taking a cruise almost seems superfluous .We really don't have to leave town to have beautiful weather , blue skies and palm trees .

I'll remember this the next time I get the urge to go. It's never too late to be happy where you are the happiest - in your own back yard.

 

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Latest comments

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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