Monday, December 26, 2016

Those Were the Days, My Friend . . . (*)

Home from two days of family celebration, waiting for the next event . . .

Eating lunch and watching one the the TCM movies I taped; this one, "Holiday Affair" with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh and her 6-year-old son (in the movie, that is). They agree to lunch and then a walk in Central Park.

The scene shifts to the park -- lo and behold -- a street vendor with his portable, on wheels, caliope (organ) and his performing monkey.

You Guys (Yankee for All Ya'll) remember them, right?

And all those 'street vendors' that went thru the neighborhhods with their carts -- the ice truck and the milk truck, horse-drawn, of course.   And the Avery bakery truck and the dry-cleaner truck.

Up and down the street delivery.  Hey, you drone techies -- just remember, you got the idea 'back in the day.'

The best one of all, of course, being 'the Sheeney Man," yelling out his wares.

Oh, yeah . . . those were the days . . .

((*) Detroit, Michigan, Fernhill Street

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Close Encounter With . . . A Jar of Honey (Originally Written 2006)

I blew it.

For several days I had intended to stop at Food Lion to pick up the dark, rich, raw honey that I haven’t found anywhere else.  But it isn’t exactly on my way home so I put it off.

Tonight I will go.  And pick up some chicken, as well.

Driving down Lebanon Road, passing Donelson Pike, where I usually turn to go home, I need to go further down Lebanon Road to Stewarts Ferry, turn right, drive about three more miles, stop at Food Lion, get the honey, get the chicken, and head for the house.

Traffic slows to a crawl and just before the light at Donelson I notice Apple Market which sits next to Blockbuster at the corner of Lebanon Road and Donelson Pike.  I have the strongest urge to pull in and try my luck here.  Thinking they just might have raw honey and that would save me going out of my way to Food Lion.

I am mulling this over in my brain and traffic is now moving forward.  Should I, shouldn’t I . . . the driveway entrance for the market is right here on my right.  MAKE A DECISION!  Swerving right and deciding simultaneously, I pull into the market parking lot.  If they have the honey, I’ll just get the chicken here also. I enter through the automated doors and notice an elderly white haired, small-statured gentleman sitting on a bench right next to the door.  Probably waiting on a shopper who brought him along, I think.

On to the honey.  I’m unfamiliar with this market but reading the signs high above the aisles I notice the jam/jelly/peanut butter aisle. Usually where the honey is kept.  Ahh, there it is. Honey.  But not the dark raw kind I like.

Oh, well; on to Food Lion. Won’t save myself the extra drive after all.

As I head towards the door I notice the little old man again.  Still waiting.  His solemn, almost severe expression and his size reminds me of my own dear little daddy. Who departed this world four years ago this month. I wonder if this old man’s serious expression is the result of frustration at having to wait, or worse, maybe confusion, if he has memory problems.

Barely conscious of thinking it as I hurry out the door, a thought flits across my mind.  Go over there and sit down next to him and talk to him.  Tell him he reminds you of your daddy.  And give him a hug. The dialogue continues in my mind as I reach my car.  What?  Don’t be silly.  People don’t just stop and talk to strangers.  In grocery stores or anywhere else.  Besides, I have to finish my errand and get home some time tonight.

SO off I go.  As I drive away, headed to Food Lion, I start to cry.  Thinking of my dear little daddy, and this dear little old man who is somebody’s daddy.  We all become someone’s dear old daddy or dear old mom at some point.  If we live long enough.  So I think on these things, and ponder the strength, the frailty, the stages of life, and cry about it all as I drive on to get my honey.

It isn’t until after I left Food Lion with my good dark raw honey, and my chicken, AND a couple of other things that my thoughts return to the little old man in the Apple Market.  Sitting on the bench.  Waiting.

Suddenly a light bulb goes off in my brain and I realize the reason I felt the urge to pull in to Apple Market wasn’t because the honey was there and I was to get it.  It was because the little old man who reminded me of my daddy was there and I was to sit and talk with him.  And give him a hug.

       And I blew it.

Through the years, I’ve learned to trust my gut, my feelings, to listen to the urgings of my heart.  Most of the time.  I’ve come to believe that every thing we say or do matters.  I believe we entertain angels unawares.

And something else I’ve learned.   Sometimes, without our knowing and for reasons we don’t understand, just for a moment, or an hour, in a conversation or a few words with a stranger, or a friend, God lets us stand in for one of His angels.

If we’re listening.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dinner at Aunt Fanny's (1960)



I walk from my bedroom thru the hall to the living room and turn on the TV to Easy Listening, as I do each morning.  Rocky follows and I let him out to do his morning business and then I turn back to the living room and light the gas logs in the fireplace.  Next, I head to the kitchen to start my coffee. While the coffee brews, it’s outside to feed and water the birds.

Returning to the kitchen, I wash my hands and pour my mug of coffee.  As I add the honey and cream the next song starts playing.  I pause with my coffee and phone before heading upstairs to the computer.  The Frank Davis Orchestra is playing, “Let It Be Me.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb7DUM3dSY0

My heart skips a beat as I pause to sit on the couch by the fire.  The music fills my heart and soul with memories.  And one special memory.  Of a first date at Aunt Fanny’s restaurant in Royal Oak – right on Woodward Avenue if I remember correctly.

The wait staff was quite taken and attentive to the handsome “older” man and his petite,  pretty “young” companion.  (Older as in gainfully employed twenty-four year old, young as in a somewhat naive twenty-one year old part-time college student, that is.)  In fact, one endearing comment I remember from that conversation was Jer saying, "you have such a serious, mature look on your face one minute and the next a child-like innocence.  I can read your face like a book."

Delicious dinner and interesting, funny conversation.

And this song on the car radio riding home.

. . . Jer and I.

. . . The night we fell in love.

* * * * *
http://www.royaloakhistoricalsociety.com/guestarchive/rooldest.html




Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Music of My Life . . .

Journal Entry, 10 3, 2016

Returning from running errands I sit at my dining table for a few and eat some lunch before heading upstairs to my office.  Just as I finish,  Beautiful Instruments (TV station that plays all day, every day.  Til News Time at 6 p.m.) begins another song.  As I listen, I am taken back.  Suddenly, I am hearing . . .

The Music of My Life . . .

It’s Friday night, the game is over, and we have arrived at the high school gym.  Me ‘n my Forever Love, L'il Joe.  The DJ plays the current hits of the day and the kids begin to mingle and reach for their partners.  Me ‘n my Forever Love head to the dance floor to the strains of . . .

“Only You” . . . 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FygIKsnkCw

* * * * *

The years pass.  Marriage to Jerry, four children, divorcing after 22 years . . . struggling on my own for a time.  Finally, another marriage, another divorce.

But through the years . . .always . . . whenever I hear this song, I imagine Jerry hearing it . . . I imagine that HE is thinking this.  Even though I know it’s only and Always in MY Mind.

“You Were Always on my Mind”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u5LZ-DN3iA

* * * * *

And then, the song which for 21 years always reminded me of a man, a mutual friend of Jerry's and mine, and of the attraction – never acted upon – between him and me.

“It’s Impossible” –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYM0j2NCB88

And then, 30 years later, we reconnect . . . for a short time.  And I am young and in love all over again. Hard and strong and beautiful.

“And I Love You So” – 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEmGoT7A3jg

Alas, too many years have passed and old age interferes.  Reality intervenes once again.  Several months of a brief and beautiful interlude conclude.

And now . . . and now . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21LGv8Cf0us

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ponderings . . . Again (10/22/2015)

Lots of talk about the U.S. being "a Christian nation." Hmmmm. . .


So that means, I think, the nation (collective) would purpose to practice/follow the teachings of Jesus – as in:


– Loving your neighbor as yourself
– Giving your second coat to someone who has none
– Forgiving 70 times 70
– Caring for Widows and Orphans


Of course we all realize individuals can practice this but to me, the idea of a "Christian nation" suggests we (citizens) collectively implement/practice the above. So how can we do that?


Hmmm . . . let’s see. How ‘bout setting up government organizations (collectively supported by our tax dollars) to assist people in need.


Oh, wait a minute. We DO that. Yeay for us.


Okay. Moving on. Jesus also said – "Love your enemies; do good to them who despitefully use you."


Now THAT’S a hard one. But wait, I have an idea for that, too.


Conscript the U.S. Military and utilize their funds, their resources, their time and effort –


and send them off to the Middle East (for starters, anyway) – with medicines and doctors and food and clothing and toys for kids –


and just BOMBARD them with it all –


LOVINGLY ADMINISTERED WITH BEAR HUGS.


And tell them, "Jesus sent me."

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pondering . . . 

Lots of talk about the U.S. being "a Christian nation." Hmmmm. . .


So that means, I think, the nation (collective) would purpose to practice/follow the teachings of Jesus – as in:

– Loving your neighbor as yourself

– Giving your second coat to someone who has none

– Forgiving 70 times 70

– Caring for Widows and Orphans

Of course we all realize individuals can practice this but to me, the idea of a "Christian nation" suggests we (citizens) collectively implement/practice the above. So how can we do that?

Hmmm . . . let’s see. How ‘bout setting up government organizations (collectively supported by our tax dollars) to assist people in need.

Oh, wait a minute. We DO that. Yeay for us.

Okay. Moving on. Jesus also said – "Love your enemies; do good to them who despitefully use you."

Not THAT’S a hard one. But wait, I have an idea for that, too.

Conscript the U.S. Military and utilize their funds, their resources, their time and effort –

and send them off to the Middle East – with medicines and doctors and food and clothing and toys for kids –

and just BOMBARD them with it all –

LOVINGLY ADMINISTERED WITH BEAR HUGS.

And tell them, "Jesus sent me."

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Rigidity (And So It Goes . . . )

There are all sorts of people in this world

But for purposes of this discussion, I have limited/divided them into two categories –

1) People who are rigid in their thinking.

2) People who are not.

* * * * *

I grew up in a conservative Christian home.  I have been a Christian all my life.  My church taught me WE are right.  WE have the ‘TRUTH’.  Agree with us or suffer eternal damnation in HELL.  So there.  ‘Nuf said.  Period.

And then I was married for 22 years to a man who said, “well, of course, you’re entitled to your opinion.  But, of course, it’s wrong.”
* * * * *
I have fought against these mentalities all my adult life.

Our teenage Sunday school class was taught by our minister.  Many times his lesson for the day included these words, “and we believe blah, blah, blah”.  I, my boyfriend, and his best friend, were the only ones who frequently raised our hands and said, “but what if . . .”, “what about . . .”, “how come . . . ”.  Most of the rest of the class just sat and listened . . . respectfully.
* * * * *
In the course of my life, which is rather circumspect in some respects I admit; nevertheless, I have met people from various walks of life, various ethnic groups, various philosophical persuasions.  My ten years or so attending the Unitarian Church in Nashville was enlightening on many levels.  People from a variety of religious backgrounds came together joyfully and respectfully and shared their experiences and beliefs.

Always I learned something from my reading and/or experiences.  Often what I learned was there is much that I don’t know.  Watching science programs showing the earth in relation to the sun, the moon, other planets, our solar system, our universe . . . one of many . . .  Planets and stars that are MILLIONS of light years away . . .

It has made me very humble.
* * * * *
Humble about what I believe about anything.  Especially compared to others.

My faith is strong; my faith is precious to me.  It has served me well; very well.  It works for me.  I am blessed.  And grateful.

Of course, my faith has changed through the years.  I would like to think my faith has matured as I have physically and mentally matured.  But maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part.

Whatever it is, I know that I am comfortable being who and what I am.  At last.  It took fifty years but twenty more have now passed and I realize I am pretty much who I’m going to be.  And that’s okay.

Because part of who and what I am is someone who believes in keeping an open mind.  To the extent of my ability and knowledge at the time, I use logic and problem solving techniques to arrive at my conclusions.  Note I said ‘extent of my ability and knowledge.’

All those things I said mostly I don’t know about? Lots of them are things I have no interest in.

If I DO have an interest in something, I check into it – read/research – until I satisfy my curiosity.  For that time, anyway.  Maybe later, I’ll find a reason to check further. Maybe later I’ll learn something that will change my mind – again.

* * * * *
Because my faith is precious to me, because I realize how little I really ‘KNOW’ about so many things – I must assume another’s faith/philosophy is just as precious to them.

I don’t mind if you don’t see things my way.  Why should you; you’re not me.  What I think and do is right for me.  It doesn’t follow in my train of thought that what I think and do MUST be right for you.

That is for you to decide.

If you and I are having a discussion – about anything (well, almost) – when I state my opinion, it is always from the perspective of what I know now, what I have heard/read/experienced – so far.  It is not written in stone.  I may learn something tomorrow that will change my mind.

I won’t, however, necessarily change my mind today because of something YOU tell me.  I am a skeptical optomist  – about everything I see and read and hear.  The result of the world/technology we live in.

People that understand this – who ‘get it’ – who may be the same kind of thinkers themselves – are not offended by this.

People who are rigid – do not.

Some of the people I love the most fall into this latter category.

They get offended if I don’t agree or understand their point of view.  Some of them talk condescendingly . . . or worse . . . as if they are scolding their child.
* * * * *
On a similar note, why is it that some people are offended if you ask questions?  I am a question asker.  It’s one way to understand, to learn.  If I ask you a question, I am not questioning your authority/knowledge, I am trying to understand.  Sometimes I rephrase and say, “do you mean blah, blah, blah?”  Often, I am interrupted, impatiently, with additional information/explanation that I wasn’t understanding in the first place.

And so it goes . . .