Another blogger recently wrote a very touching blog about the recent loss of a long time friend of 43 years.
It got me to thinking about my longest ( living) relationship......a friend I have known, loved, hung out with, laughed with, cried with, shared with, disagreed with, traveled with, caroused with, grown up with, grown old with.....all of the above in spite of the fact that we have been separated by 3000 miles for all but the first 15 months of our relatinship ( not counting the many times we have traveled together and traveled to be with each other). Some day I may tell you a lot more about this friendship, but I have just realized that my frugality,my refusal to part with any beloved thing I have collected over my lifetime and my tendency to hoard the good stuff and not let it go sort of slops over into my relationships. I do try to hold on to the good ones. Just 10 or 12 years ago I still had 5 or 6 friends whom I had known for more than 50 years. I have lost all but 3 of them to death over recent years, but it sort of shocks me when I realize that my newest close friendship was engendered about 35 or 40 years ago. Oh, I do have some newer, younger friends, but they are not quite the same as those others that have been part of me for 50, 60, 70 years. Even some of my lovers remained friends long after the flames of passion died down......quality lasts after lust and passion have ridden off into the sunset. But, I digress.....I was intending to tell you about my Oldest Friendship...... Stel.
I remember like it was yesterday that morning in September of 1940 when Sylvia Shahinian (my then oldest friend since age 9) and I climbed the steps to Shaw Jr. High School in West Philadelphia and Syl suddenly stopped and hissed, "Be careful....there's that girl". What girl, I asked. That new girl who lives on our street. Why should I be careful I asked. "She wants to be friends with us", Syl said.
I did not see that as a problem so I disengaged my sleeve from Syl's grip and sauntered up the steps to the new girl. "Hi", I said. "Hi", she said. and so began my very long association with Stella.
That was more than 73 years ago and I have just paraphrased Bob Hope's old song, "Thanks For The Memory", hitting some highlights of this rare friendship and I intend to sing it to her........yes I will. Since she adamantly refuses to have anything to do with a computer since she retired as head of the Reference Dept of the New Hampshire State Library, I will have to make a CD and send it to her. Only Stel and I will understand all the references. but I am really tickled with it and will share my lyrics with you below.
I hope she will get as big a kick out of it as I have gotten developing it. I guess I had better hurry....neither of us is getting any younger. Where did I put my pitchpipe?
Some may consider it maudlin and sappy, but I stand by it proudly.
Thanks for the memory
of Paris long ago, trips to Mexico,
Stomach pains and hurricanes
and sharing Guillermo
I thank you so much.
Thanks for the memory
My only Broadway show
was Kiss Me Kate, you know
The transit strike caused us to hike
Manhattan high and low
I thank you so much..
I loved your father and mother
And had a huge crush on your brother
And you were a friend like no other
I felt lucky to be
close to your family.
So thanks for the memory
Las Vegas was such fun
I taught you 21
T'was in the Golden Nugget
Can't remember if we won
But thank you so much.
Thanks for the memory
of cruising Norway's fjords
we've toured and dined like Lords
and Frisco was two inches, and my wagon was a Ford
I thank you so much.
Thanks for the memory
San Miguel was so hypnotic
Our villa was exotic
The trip to Guanajuato
Showed that Don was Don Quixotic
Oh, thank you so much.
Many's the times that we feasted
I don't think that we ever fasted
And look at how long we have lasted
We've had great fun, for more than 71 (years, that is)
So thanks for the memory
of music near and far
Guillermo played guitar
and Pete and Joe swung sweet and low
and look, here we still are
I'm awfully glad I met you
Stella darling, you're my Star
I thank you so much.
that I have been overlooking a fantastic blogging tool......that of
re-publishing old blogs when one is unable to put one word after another
in any intelligible fashion. Lately I have been preoccupied with some
urgent matters and each time I have peered into my blogging brain I
have seen nothing but a vast expanse
of nutthin'.......except for a few wispy bits of ash from frazzled
brain cells sacrificed to my efforts to gather up some info for the
So, what I have done is go back to the very beginning of my blogging lifewhen
I did not have a clue about blogging (not terribly different from my
current clueless condition actually.) At that time I had only a
handful of followers....mostly loyal members of my family, and if I got a
single comment I was euphoric. And, not unlike today, when I got no
comments I was grumpy, whiny and generally pissed off. Some things
change and some things remain the same.
Hold onto your hats....here we go.
Hold onto your hats....here we go.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Guess Who Is #1 in Guinness Book of Klutzes
It's no contest, really. (You
may THINK you are a bigger klutz than I am, but I don't really want to
fight about it so please, just acknowledge my greatness in the klutz
department and let's move on).
I started honing my klutzy skills as a
child, dropped out of the race for a number of middle years and now seem
to be perfecting my technique in my decrepitude. I am not bragging
about this, you understand, just recognizing and accepting it.
As a child my claim to the title rested
on simply falling down a lot, often from standing on my own foot and
then trying to pick up the bottom foot to walk, but also tripping over
twigs, pebbles or cracks in the pavement. When I grew my great boobs
my talents expanded to feats like catching my dress or shirt on the protruding bolts holding the ping pong table net in place, thereby rending asunder my garments with great regularity.
Until I learned to allow for the protrusions I hardly owned any
clothing which had not been darned or otherwise mended from such
encounters, much to my poor Mamma's grief and horror.
Then when I lost 50 lbs. and stopped
bumping into so many things the plague went into a state of remission, I
guess. I remained somewhat accident prone but things took on a much
more sophisticated quality as I learned to use tools .......I think the
epitome was reached when I managed to nail my finger to the picture
frame I was building........lesson: never hold the piece of wood with
your fingers behind the place where you are hitting the nail with the
It is a small miracle that I survived
all those years of using power tools and building stuff while still
keeping all fingers and toes and minor limbs attached to my body. God
was good to me and my Guardian Angels must have worked overtime. .
However, after the past few days I think the plague is returning. I
have been behaving like my left foot is attached to my right leg and
vice versa. This is beyond klutzy. A few days ago I was trying to put
on a stretchy velcro knee brace and pulled so hard to stretch the flap
that I pulled my foot off the chair it was resting on thereby knocking
over the chair and myself in the process. Only bruises, tenks gott, but
very unsettling (no pun intended). Before continuing I must explain that
one of my many weird habits is to keep my purse (very large with 2
carrying straps) on the floor under the dining table where I live for a
good part of the day since that is where the laptop resides.)
Consequently, I should at all times be very careful to ensure that it is
tucked safely under the table without protruding enticingly to tempt
disaster. Well, of course, I don't, so there have been many awkward
encounters, but none as great as last nite when I rose from my chair to
let a cat in or out or fetch some delicacy from the kitchen or something
and somehow managed to step into the jaws of the purse which then
wrapped it's straps around my leg and anchored me to the floor on the
left side. Meanwhile, my right leg was still merrily making it's way to
the other room. Both dining chairs went over in this one and I found
myself in my old familiar position of shame.....in a shambles and
general state of disarray on the floor with several cats peering down at
me with puzzled expressions. Careful counting elicited the info that I
still had all my body parts attached, no one was bleeding and nothing
seemed to be broken, sprained or otherwise mangled. Sigh.
This is obviously very dangerous and
must be solved at once.....migawd I could have fallen on a cat and
killed it. I had better go into the rubber room to ponder..........I
love to solve problems, but this one may not be so easy..............
P.S. On another subject entirely:
To my new follower, Shirley, who made me
faint with joy when she said she went back and read every one of my
blogs (wow) your comment yesterday has no ID so I do not know how to
thank you privately......therefore you must endure this public gratitude
and/or embarrassment and humiliation......Thank you!
And, while I am on the subject.......,
to all my dear followers whose affection and loyalty I appreciate and
treasure.........thank you , dear ones from the bottom of my
heart....you light up my life!
Friday, December 4, 2009
The Loneliness of the Cyberspace Blogger
12/4/09 Less than a week at blogging and already I have a complaint.
Hell, when I write an email I often get an email in return. When a
writer's book sells the writer gets a royalty. What does an earnest
blogger get ??.....bupkas. Only one brief comment so far ( though I
must confess I have had several encouraging emails......)Oh, well, old
blabby here doesn't really need a dialogue I guess. Sigh. I wonder how
long it takes before one gets used to being naked in public.......it IS
a very strange feeling. Oh, well......As I often say to my email
Experiment gone wrong
Horrors !! In a desperate effort to learn how to upload an image from
my pix files onto my blog I have committed an unpardonable sin at worst
and an egregious error at best......I intended to try to post one of my
cartoons as an experiment and after four or five failed attempts..(
three of the drawings needed to be rotated 90 degrees, one somehow got
enlarged beyond fitting the page and another one just disappeared amid
my wild flailing around) I chose one set of pohotos I knew was right
side up and, intending to only create a draft and delete, old
fumble-fingers accidentally hit "publish". Since I do not know how to
delete an item once it has been published I fear I will have to live
with those images of someone who looks vaguely familiar but whom I have
not seen in some time. The only saving grace I can think of is the fact
that whenever any of you find yourself complacently and patronizingly
thinking of me as a harmless old lady, just remember that I wasn't
always so harmless........
Please forgive this transgression......I swear it wasn't intentional.
Those of you who have seen me in my current decrepitude should take
warning, however, that this sort of thing could happen to anyone after
80 odd years of wear and tear........
(a follower named Mollie left a comment on my last blog inquiring about the FastDiet and Sarah, the British housewife who put me on to it. I just left the following comment under her comment because I have no way of reaching her. On the off chance that some of you had similar queries I am just posting it here. Needless to say, I will have a lot more to say about the subject in my next blog or two. I have found it to be a most fascinating subject and a totally marvelous way of eating. More later.)
I just tried to give Mollie the info she asked for on the FastDiet and
Sarah's blogs about it but she has no blogsite nor contact info so I
will just leave a few bits here in case she comes back to look.
The best way to get the information is to Google the FastDiet or the 5:2 Diet.
read Sarah's blogs re her experiences, go to her blogsite
going back through older posts till you get to about April 30. From
there thru May there are several very interesting pieces on her
reactions and successes,
As for me....I am sold on it....am into
my 5th week , lost 5 lbs, feel much better, have practically no problem
with hunger on my fast days and can easily see myself staying on this
program for the rest of my life. I could never say that about any other
diet I have ever been on and, take my word for it, I have been on ALL
of them, every damned last one. For the first time in my life I feel in control and am not living in fear of my cravings and that, my dears, is really Something.
Hope this helps.
Well, dammit.....last week I was a bright, cheery, feeble but grateful 85 year old just futzing around here doing my thing.....which ain't much, but, what the hell....I was 85 years old after all.
Today I am a grumpy, frazzled, bitter, vengeful, decrepit 86 year old and not a pretty sight, I'll tell you. I did not have any idea how much OLDER a person feels at 86 than a person felt at 85 (which was still pretty damned old, I'll have you know.). And the trouble is, even if you can psych yourself up to ignore, forget and totally blank out the event and the transition, people just won't let you get away with that. They keep reminding you and rubbing your nose in it with phone calls and cheery greeting cards and all sorts of well meant but painfully received prods. Sigh.
I know, I know.......I should be proud to have managed to achieve this dubious pinnacle and grateful that I still have enough marbles rattling around in my ancient skull to be able to spew forth all these long words and sentences. And, do you know what.......I AM proud and grateful. But, Oy Vey......it ain't easy to be 86 particularly when you are then going on 87.
That said, I will just report that I did survive the week somehow and you can still find me at the same old stand, tossing bits of lettuce and swiss chard at my Fabulous Flying Finches, screaming threats and epithets at them as I observe that they have once again switched nest boxes and asking them what I should tell the babies, should any of the eggs hatch, about who their parents really were......even as I wonder if the babies would give a shit as long as some bird or other shoved some food down their gullets. I somehow doubt if Finches spend much time wondering who their real birth mothers were.....do ya' think?
And, in the spare time left to me after doing all that wondering, I am still going around cleaning up hairballs that Gussie so thoughtfully leaves me, since, with her clever feline mind, she knows I need small tasks to perform that are simple and do not tax my ancientness too much and leave me with a feeling of accomplishment. She, too, means well, but just does not understand about the knees.
I am happy to report that I am still doing well on the FastDiet.........I can hardly believe it myself, but I am into week 3, have successfully fasted for 5 of 16 days, have actually lost 3 or 4 pounds and am thrilled beyond words that I may have finally, after 75 years of searching, struggling and suffering, found the eating program that is perfect for me. Godbless Sarah, the lovely British Blogger........http://secretworldofahousewife.blogspot.com ..., for showing me the way to deal with my food insanity in a healthy and easy manner.
And to finish up my random ranting on a really positive note, I must tell you of my recent experience with the Lost Needle. You must all know of my ongoing problems with my vision so I will simply report that each day I discover a new thing which I can no longer do. Most recently it became obvious that, if my life depended on it, I would probably never again be able to thread a needle no matter how many pairs of spectacles and magnifying glasses I employed, but I figured that I could get Florence to thread the needle on my sewing machine and could thereby duke it out to run a wandering line of stitches (mostly by feel) in order to put up a hem. (the days of my hemming things by hand ended some time ago). Unfortunately, I forgot about the quirks of inserting the bobbin into this machine and after about 20 abortive tries and much cursing each time I heard the dreadful sound of the bobbin falling out resulting in the thread breaking and necessitating calling Flo to rethread the needle yet again, I decided to give up and do the damned thing by hand. How lucky, I thought, that a while back I had jumped on an email offer of some needles with eyes that you simply pulled the thread down a slot in order to thread them. Yeah, sure......but where had I put them? In some safe place, of course, but where might that safe place be? An hour later, after tearing apart the sewing department in my house without finding them, I dispatched my helper to the fabric store to buy a new supply. Home she came clutching a wonderful pack of 6 needles of various sizes and I pounced on them and proceeded to thread the one my undextrous fingers could best hold. A little tough for my limited sight, but doable, and off went hand-hemming away mostly by feel, but good enough, till the thread was too short to continue, so I made some knots and took a new piece of thread to finish. Then, to my horror, as I pressed the thread onto the slit I saw the needle slip from my fingers, fly through the air and land........somewhere....... in my living room probably, but it might as well be China for all the good that would do me. Flo was gone for the day so first I crawled every inch of the floor with my biggest flashlight.........not a sign. Next I seized the floor lamp that I work by and turned it upside down and combed the area again, uttering horrid sounds, curses and weeping bitter tears intermittently. Zilch. I felt every inch of the carpet with both fingers and toes hoping to impale a digit on the damned needle. Nada. I gave up and went to bed thinking unmentionable thoughts.
Next morning, with a bit of renewed energy I crawled from bed and repeated the process in the light of day.....Zero. Before giving up entirely I decided to move all the furniture in the vicinity of the crime scene and try one last time. As I reached the place where the carpet ended and the wood floor began......the spot under which my chair had resided I caught a brief gleam and my heart leaped up. Partially obscuring the prize was a BD card which had fallen on the floor. It was one of the cleverest cards I had ever received (and it even had sound) congratulating me on my achievement in reaching 86. Carefully, in order to get more light on the subject, I reached out and moved the card. In doing so the page fell open and out blared the opening bars of the Hallelujah Chorus!
Maverick of a weird, but wonderful family. Have managed to stay alive for an astounding 86+ years kept alive by a passionate interest in many things and a sense of humor.
Have led 2 or 3 separate lives,the first 40 years as a starving artist, ceramist, and graphic designer. At age 40 a matchbook cover that said "Be A Computer Programmer" inspired me to go back to school and emerge as a binary fanatic. Loved my work, had a wonderful 20 year career as programmer and trouble shooter. At the same time I had the chance to meet, befriend and marry Jazz Cornetist Pete Daily,an idol of my youth, whom I had worshipped in my young life. Lost him to cancer after 11 wonderful (and sometimes awful) years. Retired in 1989 and had 20 years of fantastic travel adventures all over the world. Now I crochet afghans, tend my garden, my 3 cats, the neighborhood birds and squirrels, a flock of voracious hummingbirds and assorted wildlife like possums and raccoon families who come nightly to my Porch Buffet. A great life, and it ain't over yet !....(after all, I have just discovered Blogging....)