Ah, Spring, Week Twenty-Three in the New Abnormal
It feels absolutely freeing to wear lighter clothing. Spring is here and I’m thrilled. Even if the mornings or evenings require a light jacket, putting away the wool is such a relief. In theory, I love the changing seasons. Each season bringing a mood, a swath of colors, or, as in winter, shades of white and grey. But, in practice I prefer the warmer months. If only I could transplant New York City to a more temperate climate. Alas, such are the compromises I’ve made to be a New Yorker.
City Blooms, Week Seventeen in the New Abnormal
A three-minute walk from our apartment stands a small lone cherry blossom tree. It’s located behind a dull brick building. On this seemingly empty city block the tree feels like a sign of hope. Hope that beauty can hold up in the face of asphalt and concrete.
On Repeat, Week Sixteen in the New Abnormal
Rest for the Weary, Week Fifteen in the New Abnormal
In my mind this weekend was filled with activity. I was going on long walks, I was starting to prepare for Passover, reading as research, writing, walking Lucy, finding items to give away, cooking for the week, and everything else that involves time and effort when not at work. I forget what is required to get so much done, especially when a nap is in order.
What We Don't Know, Week Fourteen in the New Abnormal
Awards, Week Thirteen in the New Transition
Though award shows don’t hold the same cache as they did in my childhood, this weekend is the Academy Awards. Fraught with politics and self-promotion, the awards have lost some of their shimmer. Yet, while growing up I wrote and rewrote my acceptance speeches. It was my fantasy of ultimate success. If I felt insignificant or hurt, my bright future would prove to the world I was somebody. My bullies would see I was special. That was my secret revenge.
CIty Gallery, Week Nine in the Time of Coronavirus
We went for a lovely birthday celebration of a new friend. To get there we took the subway. It’s been quite a while since I last went on the underground train. The most recently expanded line, The Q Train, has an artist featured on each of the newest stops. We got a good look at a few by Chuck Close done with tiles as portrait mosaics.
Tech Unsaavy and More, Week Eight in the New Abnormal
I don’t really understand Instagram. I’ve heard it’s for boomers. As a Baby Boomer, I am virtually clueless on how to navigate this social media platform. I can send hearts to a photo, but opening attachments, or anything more than loving a post eludes me. I keep meaning to find a tutorial I can follow, but my time is spoken for, so learning how to use Instagram stays low on my to-do list. I post to Instagram weekly. I’m not sure if it goes through, or if people just see pictures but can’t open the attachments.
Thwarted Plans, Week Two In The New Abnormal
I keep deluding myself into thinking I know the best formula for getting through these difficult times. I meditate twice daily. I make sure I don’t make plans more than once a week, except in special circumstances. I go for daily walks. I work. I try to make dinner a few times a week. I like doing all these things. While I’m doing teach of them, I feel perfectly fine. But in other moments I am short-tempered. I am impatient. I long for more support.
So Long, 2021, Week 35 in the Time of Transition
2021 was so, so long. In this last week I have little interest in reviewing this past year. The fact that I, that we, got through it is good enough for me.
We Are Not Okay, Week 33 in the Time of Transition
I’m finding this holiday season to be quite odd. On the one hand, many of us are able to travel, visit with friends and family, and celebrate the holidays in person rather than on Zoom. On the other hand, our nervous systems have been taxed beyond what we thought possible as we forge ahead.
Looking Back, Week 32 in the Time of Transition
I had some ideas about what I’d be addressing for this blog post, but when I looked at my calendar, I saw that it’s been four years since my mother died. We had a complicated relationship. Yet, in the last year of her life as her health declined, we found common ground with a deep and enduring love. A time I will always treasure. Most people don’t get that opportunity. Understanding that death is inevitable, her dying days were filled with peace and love.
Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition
I was working at Strawbridge and Clothier in the Men’s shoe department. This was a branch in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ, a short commute to Philadelphia. I was a student at Rutger’s University in Camden, still a theater major, though I would finish with a degree in English. Paul Puccio, an English major at another college, who worked in Men’s Furnishings, introduced me to the music of Stephen Sondheim. I was 18 years old. He was enamored with Follies and Alexis Smith. He invited me over to his home where I listened to his original Broadway cast album with Paul narrating to a neophyte. I was changed for life.
Thanks Giving & Thanks Getting, Week 30 in the Time of Transition
We’re about to ascend upon Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. I’m grateful for a quiet dinner with Larry and a restful weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this coming weekend since rest is usually ad hoc, and I am often trying to locate windows of opportunity to relax.
Don't Get Caught with Tattered Underwear, Week 29 in the Time of Transition
Funny Thing About Gratitude, Week 26 in the Time of Transition
I find it incredibly annoying when I’m upset about a person, place, or thing, I’m on a rant, and the individual listening responds by telling me I should be grateful. It feels like a dismissal of my complaint, valid or not, and a recommendation that I pivot to a “soft music inserted here” blissful moment when I see how lovely life is and how wrong I was to find the awful in this grand world we inhabit.
Hello Sunrise, Week 25 in the Time of Transition
When I was a young child and my bedtime was 7:30, the advent of a darker evening meant that I was awake longer while the night sky became opaque. It felt as if I was staying up later, even though I understood in theory I was going to bed at the same time. Since the pandemic my bedtime has gotten earlier. I go out less, plus I got older these past 19 months. I have yet to go to bed at 7:30, but it feels easy to get into bed when it’s been dark for a few hours.
Singing in the Park, Week 21 in the Time of Transition
As a young child I delighted in our Magnavox HiFi. I would sit on the scratchy green wool sofa in our den while listening to Rosemary Clooney. Her album, Rosemary Clooney Sings for Children with its pink background was a clear favorite. I loved the track, Betsy, My Paper Doll, because I was the lucky recipient of the Betsy McCall paper dolls hidden in the pages of my mother’s McCall’s Magazine. The other song that spoke to me was The Little Shoemaker because my father was in the shoe business. At six, it felt like Rosemary Clooney was singing to me personally. I hadn’t realized Rosemary Clooney was an icon until years later when I watched her sing with Bing Crosby in White Christmas on the Sunday Million Dollar Movie.
No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition
The Joy and Trepidation of Seeing Smiles, Week Three in the Time of Transition
I woke up early and ran to the East River promenade to get a glimpse of the sunrise. I almost forgot my mask, but quickly put it in my pocket testing the waters of walking down the block without one. No one was wearing masks but the few of us out were all at least 20 feet apart. That felt comfortable enough for me.