depression

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.

Walking the World

One of the things I like to do for fun is to go on walking tours of cities around the world. Sometimes I revisit places I have been to in the past. In recent days, I have been to London, Pisa, Venice, Cologne, Madrid, and Nice.

How can I do this?

Often I walk around cities that I would like to visit in the future! For instance, I recently saw Buenos Aires, Argentina.

How is this possible? Especially, in the age of Covid-19?

Life

How you value life. How I value it is, if you can put your shoes on each morning, you’re ahead of the game.

I come from an era of people being crushed by polio, either killing them or dismantling their ability to walk, talk, work, because the virus attacked their nervous system and they weren’t able to function.

Some when people say to me, “How are you doing today?” And I say, “I can put my shoes on today.”

I look at it very basically, and I can function.

Lightning in a Bottle

It’s a hot, sultry evening. The sun’s warm rays, basking the earth all day, has left a comfortable blanket covering the front lawn.

The moon is new, and the darkness that swept in with the outgoing sun provides a perfect background for a laser light show.

How peaceful and utterly void of light is your yard. It’s dark, and you’re enjoying the tranquility that accompanies absolute stillness.

What’s that? Hey what was that?

Out of the corner of your eye, you think you saw a flash of light.

There it is again!

Whistle While You Work

Have you ever noticed someone going about, whistling as they’re going about their business?

Perhaps at the grocery store, the mall, the gas station, or even at your work?

They go about whistling and seem to be in the state of mind of contentness, or perhaps as if they are floating on a cloud.

If you catch their eye for a glimpse, just a moment, they seem to be in a very pleasant state. They never seem to be angry or upset or in a sullen mood.


You also notice this with children. The children just open up and start to sing, beautiful songs.

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