depression

Knowing a Person You Never Met

We have a huge Chinese rug in the living room, 10 feet by 15 feet, 1 inch thick.

It is truly gorgeous. The colors and design are out of this world.

Sky-blue borders, decorated with flowers, all against a crème background. And it feels wonderful under your bare feet.

Who made this carpet I so enjoy? I feel I know him, or her, or them. I appreciate the sheer scale of its beauty and its masterful craftmanship.

Was the design handed down generation to generation, perhaps on rice paper? Or was it kept “in-mind” and shown only when needed?

Best of Friends

Two four year old girls in my nursery school class were the best of friends. When one entered the room, the other would run to give her a big, welcoming hug. They managed to sit side-by-side throughout all activities and held hands when they walked around the room.

These girls were bright, creative and mature beyond their years. Every so often, something of interest would happen at home and they would turn this idea into a little two girl play.

These plays delighted me so much I’d stop what I was supposed to be doing and watch (from afar, of course).

Farms and Pies Oh My

When Bruce and I were first married, we discovered Jones’ Family Farm, and started a tradition.

Each October we’d go to the farm and pick out a huge pumpkin. Then we’d bring it home, and work all weekend to make pies (usually 9) and loaves (usually 6).

Sometimes, we’d make pumpkin cookies or pumpkin pancakes (not a big hit). We’d cook the seeds. Then we’d distribute the pies to my parents and my brother Mike, Bruce’s parents, aunties, neighbors, etc.

I’d always bring some in for the teacher’s lounge at Second Hill Lane School.

Blueberry Day

One of our favorite summer days was blueberry day.

We’d put on old clothes, our straw hats, then gather our baskets and make our way to the Jones’ Family Farm in Shelton. We’d hitch a ride on the “berry ferry”, and be driven out to the blueberry bushes.

Blueberries are easy to pick and practically popped into our small baskets. When our small baskets were filled, we’d dump them all into the big basket and fill that up. The camera was always on hand.

After the picking, we’d drive to Huntington Center and have lunch and dessert at Sassafras Restaurant.

Grandpa

Grandpa and grandma came to the USA when they were in their very early twenties.

They came with little money, so they had to rent a place to live. Grandpa was a wise man and a great observer.

In Italy he trained as a shoemaker, but here that job would not provide adequate income. So he found a factory job for steady income, but he also found wealthy clients who could pay richly for handmade shoes.

Grandpa marveled at the public transportation system. With one coin you could ride, then “transfer to anyplace you want to go.” He never spent money on owning a car.

Jingle Bell Run

We live on a quiet street. Each house is surrounded by a wooded acre. Our only excitement is watching small wild animals frolic in our yards.

On the first Saturday in December all that changes. The Community Center holds “The Jingle Bell Run.” The first year of the run, about thirty people participated and they were probably the committee members.

This year hundreds participated.

On the morning of the event, everyone registers at the Community Center and gets a number and a necklace of bells.

College Turkeys

Several years ago, I worked in a computer lab at the university I attended as a graduate student. Since I was the one who usually had to open the lab, I often got to campus very early, and was one of the first people in the parking lot.

Getting up early and commuting on the Merit Parkway was not fun. Sometimes there would be traffic jams. Other times, there was so much ice, I could barely get to work safely.

As much as I hated the commute, sometimes there were nice parts about arriving early.

A Beauty All Its Own

I am drawn to where the past lingers on, like Sturbridge Village Museum in Massachusetts, where people dress up in yesteryear clothes and character. It is truly amazing how these people fit their parts so well, as if being transported back 300 years.

Seeing the farmer in a long coat shepherding a flock of sheep thru the village green.

Seeing the potter casually spinning a clay pot.

Seeing the tinker making a lantern of tin or a candleholder of pewter.

Seeing how they cook in a hearth with an open fragrant log fire.

Honoring the Good Past

There’s something about a very old photograph that really draws me in. Perhaps it’s the black and white monochrome world that looks oddly “at a distance” – as if that’s the best that could be done at that time – almost like a dream.

I like to see how people are dressed and I try to sense how it felt to be in that place at that time. Did the air feel different?

Squirrel in the Pumpkin

It was the end of fall, and we put out a pumpkin on the front steps for the squirrels to enjoy.

A large chubby squirrel came up and started eating it. He was not shy, or perhaps he was too awestruck by such a wonderful feast appearing for him out of the blue.

In any case, we slowly opened the front door so only the storm door, a full pane of glass, stood between us and him. We were one foot away as he continued to chew his way thru the pumpkin – to the point at which he was able to sit inside it and eat all around himself.

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