Awareness

The Peas

Grandpa always wore a three piece suit with a white Oxford shirt. In the heat of summer, he removed the vest. In the winter, when he went on his daily walks, he added a topcoat and a fedora to his outfit.

Two blocks from his house was a small grocery store where my brother Mike worked as a manager.

Every day, grandpa, in his late eighties, walked to the store to visit Mike and to pick up an item or two.

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.

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?

Swishing Thru Fall Leaves

I love walking thru fall leaves.

Not just walking thru them, but really kicking them up into the air, like wanting to see them fall again and again – to float gently down, swaying this way and that, living a little poetry for a minute, something myriad generations before had admired and enjoyed.

Out of Control

Have you ever felt that your life was completely out of control? So out of control that you thought you would never get it back again? That's what drug addiction can do. I've been there. It was a long time ago but it changed my life.

In my case, the drug was Xanax. Xanax is a benzodiazepine, a class of super-addictive medications used to treat anxiety. Valium, Lorazepam, and Klonopin are other benzodiazepines. Xanax was prescribed for me by a doctor who did not take the time to explain how to use it. By misusing it, I became addicted.

Baroque Music

For me, the music of the Baroque era is one of the few things in life that make it worth living. The period from about 1650 to 1750 was when some of the most exquisite creations of human genius were crafted. I have enjoyed listening to Baroque music since I was a teenager.

The Baroque period was not limited to musical expression; it encompassed art and architecture also. The Baroque style is typified by ornate detail. It originated in the efforts of the Catholic Church to counter the Reformation and fight the growth of the Protestant church.

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