Like a Mountain Climber

Today was a usual Sunday. I woke up rather early, got up before 8, and was ready to start the day. I called a dear friend around 9. We planned on going  in her kiddie pool this afternoon, socially distancing, big enough to hold three of us,  ( a neighbor of hers was also coming over). But on the way over, my car died. The “electrical” light had come on, I had stopped at a service station before, but no mechanics were there, and I thought  Well, I have enough power to get there, right” ? Until I can there to my reliable trusty mechanic tomorrow morning right? Wrong. On the way over four lights came on. I though uh oh trouble. So, I turned around went toward  home,and it gradually died, more and more. I pulled into a soccer field away from traffic. I called my friend. No answer. Called another dear friend  who was willing to meet me at the soccer field. It was 90 degrees out. AAA told me it would be an hour before they could get there to have it towed.  And because of Covid , had to have somebody else had to pick me up Well,.I thought I have the NY Times Sunday edition in the car, cold drinks, and a lawn chair in my car- I’ll wait for the tow truck, in the shade underneath that yonder tree, and wait for the tow truck and my friend to pick me up. The tow truck came in 40 minutes, he let me ride in the cab, as long as we wore masks, and would give me a ride home. All good. I’m home now. Not a catastrophe. Could have been worse, much worse. I was in the Adirondacks yesterday with another friend, but in a pretty remote area. It was a beautiful day, hiking and kayaking. Could have been stuck for hours.  But I’m not. Here’s my spa for the day. Life is good. On the way out of the cab, the young man said to me ” You’re like a mountain climber”. I had to hold on to the bar to get in and out of the cab. Yes I am. Considering I had just went on a hike the day before.

My Thinking Rock

Today I went to my thinking rock; a special place in Warrensburg on the Hudson River. The Hudson River flows by; today it sparkled. I grew up along the Hudson, and this place is always a comfort to me.

I am overwhelmed by some personal things it would have been my husband’s and mine 43rd anniversary today. I try not to dwell on that too much; but it is there always. I tried the dating scene on line for a month-disastrous. A friend of mine let me down 2 times recently. I remember Anne Frank saying she believes in the good of people. I do, too. Most of the time.

I am overwhelmed more though by the state of our beautiful country. Covid is spreading again, I am scared, helpless.

And the BLM movement. It is beyond comprehension what is happening still in our country. I first became aware of the systemic racism in our country in the ’70s when I worked with migrant children whose parents picked apples in the Hudson Valley. All of the workers were Black.

I developed a rapport with a little girl and one time when she was sleeping, I just waited for her to wake up. When she saw me when she woke up she had the biggest smile on her face. She had a cut on her leg that was obviously untreated. For these kids there is no consistent schooling, no health records all so we white folks can eat apples.

I wrote a paper on the disparity of our culture in America and maybe at that time I began to refuse to say the pledge each morning in high school. I didn’t believe and still don’t believe there is liberty and justice for all in our country.

I am sickened by what is happening with people because of the color of their skin.

And here I sit a woman of white privilege.

My thinking rock in Warrensburg told me to listen to myself, to others and to the Shema. To ” hear oh God our God is one.”

There is hope. I know it. Perhaps in the deepest places we all can find ways to listen to each other and more importantly to hear what is being said.

Memorial Day and Masks

Today is Memorial Day, a day when we think of those who served, and of those who lost their lives in service to their country. I always think of my Dad who served in London during World War II.  He could never speak of that time, but always proudly put out our flag on national holidays, and the moment a drop of rain fell, he would quickly bring the flag back inside. He was a quiet gentle good man who loved playing with us and carving pumpkins and flying kites. Simple pleasures.

This year it certainly was a different Memorial Day, with the very scary Corona virus dictating our thoughts and actions.  It hovered over us, and while many of us ventured outside, and enjoyed the beautiful weather, some couldn’t. They weren’t around anymore to celebrate, and their loved ones are grieving their loss. Yesterday’s NY Times listed 1,000 names and their stories of those who were lost in the Pandemic. “They Were Not Simply Names on a List, They were Us.”

I wonder what my Dad would think of those who say they have the “freedom” of not wearing a mask in public. I don’t think he would agree. I think he would want my family and I to be safe and to wear a mask to protect ourselves as well as others.

Thanks for serving, Dad. I will be safe and wear a mask. And just like you were, I will be kind. Happy Memorial Day.

Finding Blessings Amidst the Pandemic

Like many of us,I am finding this corona virus thing hard. Daily media events are blasted at us, people are dying,people are sick and some continue to not to be able to say goodbye to their loved ones.  This  is all heartbreaking. I continue to ache for the victims of this disease and their loved ones. And for essential workers. ( Including my youngest son who works with developmentally disabled people but he likes his job and is taking all the precautions).

I miss my family. I haven’t seen my daughter and son-in-law since the beginning of March nor my oldest son and daughter-in- law and grandson since the beginning of February. We’re staying safe as a family, not wanting to give the virus to each other. I see my youngest son now and then, but we are pretty careful since he is an essential worker. I miss seeing my friends and just giving someone a hug.

Compared to a lot of people, though, I’m pretty lucky. I’m safe, I’m healthy, I have enough food to eat. I have friends and family I can call, or “Zoom” with. I love my nature walks I take with one friend at a time, socially distancing. I’m also not on the front lines, and helping those who are so sick, at a great sacrifice.

It has always given me joy to do things for others. I feel a loss that my volunteer jobs are cancelled. So last week I delivered two challahs (special bread for the Jewish Sabbath) to two different people that I knew could use a boost. It was a good thing for both of us.

This week I brought food to the Wilton food pantry that I didn’t need. I sometimes volunteer there. I was amazed at the line up of cars waiting to get food. At least I did something. Not enough, but something. Today I gave two facial masks that I made to friends. They really appreciated them, and I know they have been holding so many other people up. So I wanted to do something for them. I also dropped off some masks I made to a neighbor who is organizing donations of masks locally, as well as to Native American tribes and the National Guard.

Ballet Slipper Sculptures Railroad Place Saratoga Springs, NY

Little things, little blessings I’ve found to make a brighter tomorrow. And I’m beginning to see the somewhere over the rainbow.

Sunsets, Supermoon, Solitude, Surprises

IMG_20200406_191549709The other night  there was a pretty sunset. I thought about that for a moment, about how sometimes the little beautiful things can create quietude and wonder. There was also a beautiful supermoon last night- very bright and it seemed to have a red glow on the outer edges.  I was happy just looking at it.

The past two days have been the beginning of passover- the traditional seders where we have symbolic foods, and celebrate with family and friends by reading the Haggadah, and have a festive dinner. In truth, I have been kind of dreading these days with the necessity of being alone,  and not celebrating with family and friends like we usually do.

But,  instead I find that I have been delighting in surprises.  A zoom pre-seder conversation with one of my best friends did wonders for my soul. And tonight my family and I are going to have a seder across the miles by using zoom.  A temple member delivered the foods that I would have had at her house- so I could enjoy them. That was so kind and appreciated.  I also received a surprise book in the mail today from a friend called “Finding Dorothy”.  She wrote “This is about strong NYS women. While you are staying at home, you can travel back in history”. How kind! I had downloaded the app “Libby” from our library, but it will be so nice to have a real book in my hands to read.  I also got to know one of my neighbors a little better by helping her to make masks for the workers who are helping the homeless, and people at Bridges.  That was a nice little surprise benefit.

Maybe the lesson from this virus thing is to treasure our family, friends, and nature. (I’ve been taking a lot of nature walks, either by myself or socially distancing with one person). I sure hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, I will take the moments of suprise and wonder that I can get.

Creativity, Corona and Quietude

IMG_20200314_170016_617There’s no doubt these are uncertain times. People are getting sick, and even some are drawing their last breath. My heart aches for many and somehow the inconvenience of “suiting up” ie. wearing gloves and wiping down the grocery cart today doesn’t seem so bad. Health care workers are putting their lives on the line every single day, along with essential workers. For that, they have my gratitude.

I vacillate between getting somewhat discouraged, as I live alone. But I also am buoyed by others, keeping in touch via zoom or snowshoeing or walking at a distance. My family are all safe and healthy, and for that I am grateful. Right now, I can’t see my kids or grandson, as I am at “that age”. And we could infect each other. Many of us are in the same boat. I’m  staying home, creating by quilting and writing. And even cleaning. And I’m planning a special event for a family member.

Today I walked with a neighbor at a distance, and we stood by a little pond and heard the spring peepers, and a sound we couldn’t distinguish. It was a croaking sound, not sure if it was ducks or if was frogs.  But it was lovely to feel the sunshine and listen to the sounds of spring.  It was pure hope.

 

Spring

IMG_20200314_170016_617Yesterday I took on a walk on Spring Run, a little trail that is by a brook.  I’ve been a little a stir crazy,  as the events I had been planning on going to have been cancelled due to the virus.  It is kind of a strange place to be in right now, with so many people being worried about getting exposed and getting sick.

As I usually do, I turn to nature. This past week I saw a robin, the first one I had seen this season. I am thinking positively, and think this too will pass. I participated in an online service for our Temple on Friday, and the rabbi read a poem about holding others in our heart,  (instead of holding them physically), and telling them how much they mean to us. A good thing to do.

I hope that you have a good week, have hope in your heart, and are able to share your hope and love with those that are dear to you.

Fun with Three Year Olds and a Night Snowshoe

IMG_0235IMG_0229This past weekend, I went to my Grandson Rafael’s third birthday party celebration. It was a lot of fun, with energy, and smiles and some tears as three year olds do.  The smiles are precious!  I love Grandson tickles. I also went on a short snowhoe with my oldest son under the stars.  We could see Orion, with his three belt of stars.  It was a perfect weekend.

Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend and Snow

IMG_0235This weekend, it was Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. I went to many Martin Luther King activities,   many of  which focused on climate justice; how climate affects all of us. It knows no boundaries.

I also thought  of my sweetheart, whom I lost many years ago on this weekend.   He loved life, and lived it to the fullest.  And we loved each other to the fullest.

I have moved on.  I love- my friends, my family and walks in the snow.  The brilliant sunshine today was a wonder.   And  I felt the presence  of something more than myself,

 

 

Snowy Day Snowshoe

IMG_0229Last week, I went on a beautiful snowshoe hike with my snowshoeing group in the Adirondacks at Garnet Hill in North River. It was particularly beautiful, as the snow was still clinging to the trees- sheer whiteness; a winter wonderland.  It was on New Year’s Day- a great way to start the new year.  There have been several troubling events of late, and I find that being outside particularly with like minded souls that enjoy nature helps to soothe my soul and spirit.  Once again, the powdery whiteness and exercise and  cool air filling my lungs did the trick. I could breathe in the beauty, and think somehow it will be okay.  It was for the moment, and it will be, somehow.