“I have lived through it but it has not been easy.
The autopsy was similar when Dr. Baden used the
same words as in Michael’s report. I couldn’t help
but break to pieces. If we had cameras and smart
phones back then, the cover-up would not have been
possible. Truth crushed to the ground always rises!
STAY SAFE. GOD BLESS YOU.”
WHAT WILL 2021 BE LIKE
I am looking forward to my daughter’s graduation from High School and preparing for college, her first choice is Howard University.
I am looking forward to taking a vacation. I want to visit Panama, Sweden and Denmark, this vacation has been postpone because of the Corona Virus Pandemic.
I’m looking forward to getting a male companion that I could have fun with and perhaps travel with. He must be younger than me and healthy, because he must be able to KEEP UP. (This I will have to do a lot of heavy, heavy praying.)
I am looking forward to a brighter year of endless possibilities.
WHAT DOES FOOD DO FOR THE SOUL
Tomorrow I am travelling to Guilford Conn. to take my child back to school. Earlier this year my daughter introduced me to a Soul Food Restaurant called Sandra’s Next Generations in New Haven Conn. My family is from the South and I have been exposed to real good Southern Food. I can not cook that well,, but I enjoy soul food (comfort food) for example fried chicken, candy sweet potatoes, collard greens, cabbage, baked macaroni, potato salad, (chattering as a delicacy) and catfish.
I am a very picky eater, if I found a restaurant that sells good southern food I am in heaven. Thanks to my granddaughter she found a soul food restaurant in New Haven Conn.
I decided to go straight to Sandra’s restaurant. This restaurant is a take out only, You can pre-order and pick up and go. I must say this food is so good, I thought about finding a hotel to spend the night so I could buy more food the next day. On Friday I had made arrangements with my cousin who lives in New Haven Conn. to spend the night. The plan will be Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch from Sandra’s Restaurant. I can’t wait. Finger licking good food, So good.
What does food do for the Soul you ask? It awakens every fiber of your being and sends a message throughout your body saying I am alive and well and enjoying the nourishments I am receiving, making all the moving parts of my body to keep moving.
Unanswered Disturbing Questions
My mind goes to wandering about the pandemic situation. I am clearly upset about the number of people affected by or died from COVID19 in the US and all over the globe. I profoundly would like to believe that these facts were not true. I want to keep my thoughts positive, realistic, and feel hopeful. I intend to keep my focus on the possibility that the American people would do everything possible in order to protect themselves from this immensely dangerous virus.
Another two memories pass through my mind at lightning speed. I imagine that these memorable and difficult moments, during which I felt horribly shocked, somewhat paralyzed by disbelief, will remain in my system for a long, long time. The first incident happened when the US president was allowed to publicly declare that COVID19 is not serious and will go away by Easter. The second breathtaking moment was when this same president encouraged the nation - close to 330 million Americans - to go on with their lives without safety measures, no masks, etc. I acknowledge the fact that I was traumatized by these events, a fact true for myself and for my fellow people.
I work nonstop, daily, if not hourly to keep my thoughts positive. I want to stay away from blaming any one person for misleading millions of people. I understand that it’s a much more complex phenomena. Still, millions lost touch with reality in response to these and many other politically motivated statements in the past, resulted despair, fear, more fear, trauma, more trauma, confusion, more confusion, avoidance of common sense, hardening and darkening hearts of many, leading to infections inevitably, more disease and more loss of lives in the USA and unfortunately in many other societies on the globe.
What's on my mind today is that everyone is taking away the freedom of choice to vote for whomever you want to elect for your next president. Oftentimes I am not happy with whoever gets elected, but I do not protest or threaten anyone. We have to accept the people's choice whether good or bad and hope that whoever is elected will do the best for our country. We did our job as far as voting, so we just have to deal with the outcome.
I had once worked for the Board of Elections when I was 18 years old. My friend's father had gotten us the job and needles to say, it was a long day, but it did pay very well. My detail was to hold the curtain open for the next person who was going to vote. It was a lot of fun and I was working with all of my friends. Now you notice how times have changed as far as the polls. The machines are all different now, and may I say, the polls are now more advanced and updated from the 1970's.
The list of worries that I have is if President Trump is re-elected. Which I doubt very much that this is going to happen. But four years ago, I thought the same thing, and he was elected. I know if this does happen, there will be violence in the streets.
A list of things that are calming for me is to watch a nice movie. Take a walk and enjoy the fresh air. I love to walk. The other day I met my friends and we went to the South Street Seaport and walked along the Seaport and we covered the whole strip overlooking the water. The water is very calming for me. I love to watch the waves and to hear the seagulls. We then went to lunch and I had a tasty fish and chips lunch and one drink. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon with friends.
Yesterday I went to the supermarket. On Wednesdays it is Senior Discount Day and I saved almost $12.00. I make sure that when I have a big shopping to do, I wait until the Senior Discount Day at my supermarket. In any event, I met one of my neighbors and we briefly discussed the election while I was waiting for the meat department to bring out a little Butterball turkey. Well he brought out a frozen turkey that was marked fresh turkey and to be sold and used by November 11, 2020. Needless to say, I told my neighbor this was probably in the freezer since last year. So I gently put the turkey back on the shelf along with the other meat and continued my shopping.
I feel that 2021 will be a great year. Since 2020 was a terrible year and we all suffered from the pandemic, violence, crime and race problems. Hopefully, the vaccine will be out for all to take, and we will have peace and equality for all. We will be able to have peace in the streets. We are all God's children, we have to love one another and treat each other with trust and respect. Life is short and while we are here on earth, we have to enjoy every moment that we have.
SOMEONE I LOOKED UP TO
My mother was good at making new friends and keeping her old friends. One friend she never lost touch with was her childhood best friend Viddie. They were both beautiful. There are pictures of them that they took at Murphy’s photo booth posing together and alone. Viddie married and moved to Philadelphia, but they constantly wrote letters to each other, sharing news about their growing families. Viddie visited Pittsburgh often as her husband had family ties there.
I guess I admired Viddie and looked up to her because she always gave my mother wise counsel, after my father died. “Now Earlene” she would begin her sentence when she thought my mother was misguided about something. She did it in such a gentle firm way. I guess it’s what they call an iron hand in a velvet glove. She could also be very playful. One summer members from both families went to Asbury Park in New Jersey. My mother and Viddie were like teenage girls again, giggling and laughing. I remember them wadding into the water with their hands slightly pulling their dresses upward. My mother and Viddie never wore pants. We all enjoyed ourselves. But what I enjoyed most was watching my mother and Viddie laughing and enjoying themselves.
I think of their friendship often. Both have since passed; Viddie first and then my mother. I don’t know what that feeling is like to have someone so close to share all the highs and lows of your life: the births, the illnesses, the deaths, the business of living a full life.
But, I do know how much I admired Viddie. She laughed easily, she was wise, and she had a kind heart. She loved and cared about my mother all those years. I guess that’s what made her so admirable and so special to me.
WHAT I MISS ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH ELECTION SEASON
This is the election year for the President, for Senators, for Congressional representatives, for judges and local representatives.
In Pittsburgh, during an election year you know there is an election coming up. You can’t escape knowing about it. There are posters on polls, lawn signs, banners, bumper stickers, T shirts, and buttons everywhere. People proudly display their choice, inviting conversation or derision.
Red, white and blue dominated the landscape. On a corner where there is a vacant lot, the party or candidate fill the space with their signs.
It’s exciting because it’s so American to voice you choice loud and clear without fear of retaliation. I used to wear my choice of candidate’s button, on my jacket or coat everywhere I went.
Living in Brooklyn, I miss seeing all the signs, the outward displays of choice. With all the high rises here in Brooklyn, it’s almost impossible to replicate this atmosphere. But no-one wears even buttons to proudly display your choice. Everyone talks about their choices. You know, but you don’t see the evidence of it with T-Shirts, buttons, stickers or hats.
It’s a different feel that I’ve become accustomed to. But, I still miss being visually surrounded with red, white and blue manifestations of choice.
This past week I celebrated in ft Greene Park the BidenHarris victory;
i managed to get my teeth cleaned way behind schedule
then donated some items to charity.
learning to cook Bok choy - really easy task;
went to finally get a haircut!
funny how hair love can change your outlook
a new do can revitalize you. It was a good investment.
today i am going for tests in Ny Hospital and
scheming on how to get my life back on track
met a friend for dinner.
Had dinner with my grandson . He is 21 and very cautious. I was pleased to have him dine out with me. It is something we used to do. something we used to do often.
Saturday i was on my way to the Market when people began to cheer.
i said to a neighbor it is over!
we agreed it had been the longest Tuesday ever!
I thought God did not abandon us! Yet there is hope.
I have stopped looking for other places to live. When I thought things were not going to go well; I began to research moving out of the US. I think now I understand the plight of others who immigrate here because they are living in fear in their own country. i was preparing myself emotionally to depart for a new environment.
List of Blessings: Life, Family, Shelter, Love, Endurance to stand your ground🤝always having spiritual vibes within
Where was I when I heard I remember my sister and I was shopping in Brooklyn, New York. My mom allowed my sister to shop for the family on Easter buying all sorts of new clothing for Easter Sunday Mass. Buying all the ingredients for the big straw Easter Basket for the 8 of us. That was so much fun. I was a little kid hanging with my big sister and friends. All of a sudden people was crying, talking and yelling something out but it was not clear. Police car rode down the street with their sirens ringing. Something was happening so they found out President Robert F. Kennedy was dead. Shot. I was a little kid. My sister holding my hand walking so fast with me we stopping on Pitkin Ave it really was a shock and a big deal to everyone 1963.
Where I was when I heard that the new president and vice president were elected, I was in my kitchen. I was switching channels between CNN and NY1. When I actually heard the news, I had NY1 on. I was so happy and excited that we are going to finally have someone who is an honest, religious man, as well as the vice president who knows exactly what she is doing.
What's on my mind today, as well as ever since Election Day, is that since our new president was elected, as well as our new vice president, there has been peace and less violence in the streets. When I was watching television and they showed Times Square after the president elect and vice president elect were elected, it looked like New Year's Eve. Everyone was happy and dancing in the streets, as well as all the other boros. Plus, the foreign countries were also celebrating. This is what we need is peace, and not only in the United States, but between all of the countries around the world. Right now, the two main concerns I have is first to get a vaccine for the corona virus and then to have peace in the world.
The list of blessings that I have is first that I have God in my life. Because without God in your life, you do not have anything. then I thank God for my family and friends, and I also thank God for protecting us from the virus, and a roof over our heads, and food to eat, plus I thank God for all of our health. With all of this, I am truly blessed, thank God.
The list of things that I did this week, and everyday is basically the same thing that I read from Dr. Amen. He was giving advice on how to stay happy. He mentioned reading, socializing by telephone, or on Zoom, laughing, watching a good movie. This is what I have always done. So I can relate to exactly what Dr. Amen was saying. You have to keep yourself happy and stimulated.
The sound of rustling leaves always brings to mind that the fall is here. I love the changing colors of the leaves, as they start to fall off the trees. The sound you hear when walking on the leaves is a nice sound, and as you watch the different colors flying around on a windy day.
The way I will celebrate Thanksgiving this year is still not decided by me, ever since I heard the new mandated requirement of having only ten people gather indoors. I usually go to my twin brother's sister-in-law's house and she usually has about thirty guests. I am hoping that if the weather is nice, and since she has a lot of land in the front of her house, that perhaps we can celebrate outdoors, But as far as right now, we have to wait to find out what the weather will be like on Thanksgiving or if all else fails, I will get up early, take a nice shower and get into my nice clean pajamas and watch the virtual Thanksgiving parade. I always tape the parade when I am out on the holiday. But if I am home I will watch it live. Also, I always make a little Butterball turkey, whether or not I am going out for the holiday. So If all else fails, and I am home, after the parade, I will have my little Butterball turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, along with my brown gravy. I will make the best of the holiday, no matter what!
I was astonished to see Joe Biden jog down a runway to the podium before giving his first speech as the President-Elect on Saturday night. Nevertheless, since this is such a youth motivated culture, he was probably advised by members of his transition team that jogging would make him appear to be younger and more physically fit than others of the same chronological age. Actually, jogging down the runway made him look like a game show contestant on a television program who was on the verge of winning the grand prize after guessing what was behind door number one. I personally felt that this was a demeaning media stunt for an elder statesman who brings the knowledge of more than 50 years of on the job public service work experience to the position of President of the United States. Also, he is a human being who has overcome personal challenges which include the loss of a wife, two children; in addition to, his own battle with a life threatening physical health crisis. This makes him a real-live role model who is able to provide words of comfort and understanding to ‘the sense of loss’ experienced by many Americans during this COVID-19 Pandemic.
I remember when my high school history teacher asked me to write an essay on the question of which factor makes the most significant contribution to an historical event, the individual or the environmental conditions? At age 16, I thought environmental conditions were responsible for placing individuals into leadership roles. I now know that there is a predetermined, sacred relationship associated with a person like Joe Biden and a ‘unprecedented’ historical event which is guided by a universal principle of providing us with “the right man or woman for the right time in our history.”
WHERE WAS I WHEN I HEARD
Where was I when I heard that Joe Biden had enough electoral votes to win the election for President of the United States?
Well, I was lying across my bed on a Saturday morning when I heard a loud male voice shouting and clapping his hands from the street outside my window. “We did it, we finally got this M….. F….. out of here!” I then heard a burst of spontaneous cheers from open windows and people on the street. I jumped off the bed and went out to my terrace to join in the celebration. One woman was screaming, “it is finally over!” I breathed a sigh of relief releasing the reign of oppression generated by the Trump Administration over the last four years.
In February of this year, the Myrtle Ave Brooklyn Partnership hosted a Book Party for Maria’s writing group. Some of the writers were on the panel to talk about their life in Brooklyn. I cajoled my young nephew, Anton and his wife Joia to come. They knew it was going to be all about seniors and the history of their lives, so I don’t think that excited them. Anyway my nephew, Anton did come that Saturday afternoon. He acknowledged to me later that he was surprised at how much he enjoyed the presentations and the stories. Overall he was pretty impressed with us as group. We weren’t “old fogies”, we were women “about something”, as they used to say.
He got to meet my writing teacher, Maria, and told her how impressed he was at the quality of her book, As Told. He wanted to write a book on his grandmother. He and his family have since completed the book about his grandmother. I have not seen it yet, but I heard it was awesome with all the pictures and anecdotal stories from all the family members.
Last week when he had the afternoon off, he called and invited me to lunch. We went to the Mexican restaurant, Los Pollitos, on Myrtle Ave. We sat in the outdoor eating area they had specially set up. It was so nice. I had wanted to go there for weeks. We had a wonderful time. He asked about my writing group and how everyone was doing.
I was so impressed that my group had made such a favorable impression on him. It was good to show him that I had a life and belonged to a writing group with women that were still vibrant and alert.
LIST OF BLESSINGS
I’m blessed to have experienced 82 years on earth, with no major ailments, have complete functions of all my limbs, and have a sound mind and body.
I’m blessed to have raised three children, my son and two grandchildren.
I’m blessed to still have my sister and her children around me, also two cousins that I am close with, that love me. I love them.
I’m blessed to have good friends that really care about me.
I’m blessed to be part of an inspiring writing group where we write about out thought and concerns, which is freeing and therapeutic.
I’m blessed to have a writing instructor that shares her knowledge and expertise to guide Seniors into a new experiences, a new occupation, descriptive writers.
I’m blessed to wake up every morning and give God thanks for waking me up to experience his miracles. Breathing, change of seasons, day, night, people, animals. Everything God has created.
WHAT’S ON MY MIND
I am so thankful the Presidential Election is over. So many people that voted were first time voters both young and old. People from all over these United States realized the importance of this election they are tired of the racism, and a lack of leadership.
Now we have Joe Biden, President Elect and Kamala Harris, she is the first women, the first Black, and the first Asian to be the Vice President of these United States.
I truly believe that our Lord and Savior would deliver us from Evil. I do believe in the power of prayer. I believe our Lord can make a way out of no way.
We must continue to pray because #45 is going to try to create more destruction before he leaves the White House.
With all the blessings that have been bestowed on us thus far and with God’s Grace, on January 20, 2021 Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America.
HOW WILL I CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR
The next holiday schedule on this calendar year is Thanksgiving. I celebrate thanksgiving every year with my sister.
Due to the Corona Virus Covid-19 my sister has been practicing safety measures, there will only be 10 people invited to her house, just family. We will be masked and have hand sanitizer at the door and no one will enter without a mask. The plan is everyone will keep their masks on except when they eat and we will have one person serving, everyone is willing to be in compliance.
This year will be different understandability but we plan to have a great time in spite of Covid-19.
Christmas is a big deal in my house, one because I was born on Christmas Eve. I too have a Christmas dinner with my family, and celebrate my birth. The same people that attend my sisters home will attend my home.
Every year I have a grab bag, the reason for that, so I do not have to purchase a present for everyone that enters my home. I believe at Christmas everyone should have a present under the tree.
Last year I mixed it up, the grab bag, at least they blame me for getting it wrong. One person did not get a gift because the person that pulled her name was extremely late coming to my house. So she did not get a gift at the time we were exchanging gifts. So I had to go shopping in my closet and give her a gift. When the late person arrived he gave her, her gift, she ended up with two gifts. We had a lot of fun, especially poking fun at me for not getting it right.
My family warned me not to screw it up again this year, as we will have another grab bag, no one is willing to take on the task. Hopefully it will not happen again, if it does I always have a back up plan, shopping in my closet.
What’s on my mind today, November 12, 2020
THE BROKEN OVEN
I found myself wondering if it was safe at all to fix my oven yesterday, letting a repairman into my apartment. Part of me questions if I could have continued cooking without a working oven because I easily managed preparing meals without any difficulty since March 2020. Another part of me feels confident that we both did the maximum possible safety precautions before, during, and after his visit. So, I want to stay positive about it.
I am thankful for being reasonably safe in my neighborhood. I am also grateful for the relatively low number of COVID cases in my family and friends’ zip codes. I feel relieved that the number of cases reduced recently at more hotspots locations in Brooklyn. Although my thoughts take me to Hungary where the number of COVID cases ravaging wildly, similarly to our neighbor Austria, Maria’s home of origin, still gratitude is swiping through me as I recall that one of my niece successfully recovered from COVID19 just a couple of weeks ago.
BRIGHT LIGHT, BREATHTAKING FRESH AIR, HOPE
I recall suddenly last Saturday. It was a beautifully sunny fall day, November 7, 2020, few minutes before noon. There was the burst of an incredibly powerful gratitude for and feeling deeply humbled by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory of the presidential election. It is a privilege for being part of this moment, a transition from a 4-year long madness to a crisp air of articulation, civil voices, and basic human values I share. I am grateful for the experience of witnessing the rupture of ecstatic scream of young women just around my corner, competing with cars honking, circling suddenly around our block following the moment of news announcements.
I wanted nothing more than to be part of this unparalleled collective joy, freedom, and ecstasy, genuine and true, more than only witnessing it through my windows. I started walking around my neighborhood and some time later ended up at Vanderbilt Ave at the corner of Bergen Street. There, the air took me off guard. It was not that pure, visceral sensation of fresh oxygen I literally breathed in following the news of the democratic presidential victory. I was breathing in alcohol through my mask. Blocks of Vanderbilt Ave were closed off from cars, filled with small and large groups of people all over everywhere, standing, sitting, some on beach chairs or blankets or straight on the pavement, children drawing on the road, others walking and biking, What a peaceful, joyful celebration I became a part of! Still, I decided to escape as soon as possible for feeling extra protective of my safety, my own health in such an intensely charged environment. I felt confident to return home, still energized my safety zone.
I want to be hopeful that this presidential transition will be and can be secure. I want to believe that the shift between leaderships could happen without loss of lives and with decency; opening doors wide to begin the repair of universal wounds occurred on our values. I admit that I fantasize that state-of-the-art security resources are still accessible in this country to protect the safety of its people, surviving the madness of incited violent emotions. The eyes of the world are on us.
Bright Light, Breathtaking Fresh Air, Hope… next day, early morning on November 8, 2020, peaceful view from Brooklyn Bridge Park
REVIVING MY SPIRIT
Since March 2020 Covid-19 has occupied my mind. It’s constantly in the news, my building continually sends directives that we must follow to remain safe. Now that we have this second wave as predicted, I refuse to do what I did during the first wave. I listened to Governor Cuomo everyday telling me to stay sheltered in place, which meant alone in my apartment. As a consequence, I went out of my apartment only to go to the Walgreens pharmacy, the bank and Key Food grocery store. This was about eight trips in the three months. Everywhere, there were lines.
I talked to no one. People were dangerous. Anyone could possibly be a potential killer. I would wave at a neighbor or say “Good to see you”, while staying six feet away. I was safe, but the consequences for me being isolated for three months, basically talking to no one and having the feeling that I could die any day, eventually made me very sick. Not from Covid-19, but because of it. I became severely anemic and ended up in the hospital for a week. At the time my doctor discovered my anemia, I was in the process of making adjustments to my lifestyle by expanding my circle of contacts. It was helping me to restore my well being. As my brother reminded me, humans are social beings that crave and need human contact.
Now with this second wave, I refuse to shelter in place. I had an appointment with my podiatrist in Brooklyn Heights on Tuesday so I decided to stretch out my afternoon instead of immediately returning home. After my appointment, I stopped in the local Rite Aid store to purchase some cosmetics, which I will start using everyday. I planned to walk from Court Street down Fulton Street to Flatbush Ave to Juniors restaurant to get their half price pastries. On the way I stopped at a fruit stand and got some strawberries, a pineapple, a cantaloupe and an avocado. Then at the next stand I got a battery for one of my watches.
I continued strolling down Fulton street until I saw a Sabrett's Hot Dog wagon. I couldn’t resist. I ordered one with mustard and sauerkraut. I ate it standing on the
sidewalk. It tasted especially good since I haven’t had one in over a year. Further along Fulton Street, I was surprised to see so many stores that were boarded up and closed for good on this main thoroughfare of downtown Brooklyn. It has been almost a year since I’ve walked down this street. Then to my surprise the McDonald’s next to Macy’s had closed, as well as the CenturyThree Mall across the street.
Fortunately, one of my favorite stores was still open - T. J. Maxx. I happily went in and found a bustling crowd of shoppers. I truly felt alive. It has been over a year since I’ve shopped inside a store.
Then I made my way to Juniors. When I got there I saw a lady dining alone at one of the tables. I purchased my apricot pastry and chocolate croissant and decided to go inside the dining room, too. My first experience eating inside a restaurant since March when my writing teacher, Maria, invited some students to lunch. I felt like a whole person again, doing activities that used to be commonplace and normal.
I had made a conscious decision to experience life that day, because my Thanksgiving was not what I had hoped for. I wanted so much to be with my family in Pittsburgh, in particular, my brother Rod and my sister Marilyn. But there was no way I could. I won’t fly. I won’t sit on an enclosed bus for eight hours, and I won’t drive that distance alone. So I tried to make the best of my situation. For the first time in years I didn’t watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. For me that was a tell tale sign that something was seriously wrong. I could feel myself slipping into a mild depression.
A neighbor had stopped by and my face must have signaled my mood because she said “Are you all right?” “No” I said. “I’m not all right. I’m stuck here in Brooklyn. I can’t fly anywhere. I can’t take a bus anywhere. No I’m not all right.”
“Well if you want to talk give me a call,” she said.
A couple hours later when I played that conversation over in my mind, I also heard the words, “Physician Heal Thy Self”. I immediately stopped feeling sorry for myself. I thought of all the things that needed to be done in my apartment. I started cleaning and sorting through my clothes. I made an appointment with my podiatrist. That’s when I decided to do something after my appointment. It turned out to be one of my best decisions.
I enjoyed the Fresh Air.
I enjoyed walking.
I enjoyed seeing and talking to people in the shops and on the street.
I enjoyed being helped and escorted across the street by a young man
carrying Eucalypts branches that he had bought at the Farmer’s
market a couple blocks away.
I was grateful to be alive to celebrate this day and enjoy all of God’s Blessings.
Going forward with my life, I plan to get out of my apartment and my neighborhood at least once a week. I will add to my list of survival tips. “Walk and Get Fresh Air”. In addition to making me feel better, it helped me get a good night's sleep.
WHAT’S ON MY MIND TODAY, DECEMBER 3, 2020
I was thinking about our upcoming writing class as I lay on the couch for a brief relaxation at 10:00 am. I noticed a sense of blankness in my mind, waiting leisurely until the class begins. I wondered about my body to get ready for our two-hour long writing session. I contemplated the word writing and the meaning of the word. I was visioning that a word functions like a little sticker placed on thoughts or rather onto a tiny flicker of a budding thought signaling an emerging concept in the mind. Words are attached to feelings and body sensations in myriad ways as well. Words belong to the individual the exact same way as they belong to every being, creating an invisible matrix of ever changing connections.
I was wondering what writing is, then I thought of it as a precious gift on its own right. It’s a magical activity in which the vast majority of humans engage these days. I admire those writers who are capable of creating a completely beautiful story never heard of by grabbing words out of an immense bag of vocabulary, through reflecting spirits, minds, feelings, bodies, and fantasies. Writings of any kind have given me tremendous joy, excitement, knowledge, growth, and health, each time deepened my relationship to myself and to the world in a unique way. I feel gratitude for the writers who accompanied my life journey. I am especially grateful for our writing class with Maria and my classmates. It is a calm, safe, full of rituals and joyful space! I confidently sit down in front of a blank sheet of paper, relaxed, with a clear mind with enough eagerness to dive into the vastness of unknown possibilities. I like this moment of suspension while the group is browsing the list of props Maria thoughtfully prepared for us. I stay non-committed for a while, intentionally stretching the time for ideas emerge freely, openly, on their own pace, single mindedly focusing on the words. Then they seamlessly begin to guide my writing.
THE BEST OUTING SINCE COVID
I have been in isolation since March, only leaving my home for daily walks. The shock of life in danger accompanied by the unstoppable and dark shrieking of ambulance cars swept me away, a tsunami frozen in time. Every moment of traveling by car heading for miles away from the safety of my peaceful home felt overwhelmingly traumatizing when my ex-husband and my son took me to the ocean in mid-July for which they have been patiently waiting for. The wind was blowing into my face from all four windows in the car. The physical proximity of them sitting with their masks in front of me and the bright sun on the clear blue sky both advocated for pushing my fright to the back of my mind. By the time we arrived to Far Rockaway I had slightly more confidence in my ability to handle the constant presence of vicious uncertainty if we all would be safe, remain healthy, and survive this adventure.
We placed our separate beach towels in a triangular shape at least 9-10 feet apart on the sandy slope. The wind was blowing especially hard on that Friday afternoon, burying our towels and belongings mercilessly. Stuffing our eyes longing to take in the exquisite beauty of the ocean view and our mouths hungry to talk or eat our delicious sandwiches. We had to either shout or stay quiet for our ears being muffled by the uncompromisingly forceful sound of sand blown around us. The ocean was as helpless as we were, luckily holding down its waves calmly right at our beach but slowly darkening its shades, wisely listening to a grand overture of a fuzzy summer afternoon. Everything appeared to be surreal, the ocean, the wide horizon, as if a surrealist collage. I still sensed this world so much loved all my life, being more than familiar to me. Still, it felt completely temporary, awkward, dream like. Time felt suspended. Swimming in the water back and forth - for a long time I think - felt like a visit in a place dearly loved but temporary. The walk alongside the ocean remained ambiguous as my legs took me dutifully on my favorite spot on the beach: strolling right where the ocean and its shore meet, stopping here and there to savor the moment of standing on the edge, feeling the wet sand underneath my bare foot and falling in love with the sun all over on my skin.
The memory of this afternoon holds the three of us together lounging on our towels, turning towards each other, trying to connect against the forces of nature, in a weightless, suspended-in-time snapshot at the Rockaways. I am truly grateful that my ex-husband and my son showed up at my door that day. I never would forget my son’s encouraging beautiful warm blue eyes fixed on me, waiting patiently until I found my courage to be treated for my birthday by this outing.
The first thing for me in December is to celebrate my birthday
then my mother and two brothers have birthdays this month
The actual day is tenth but I am accepting early and belated good wishes
I am learning to be less judgmental and show myself love and forgiveness
the way I am loving and kind with others.
I am always harder on myself than I am with others
My best outing since the pandemic;
one summer day I was taken onto a music outing
on a bed stuy block to
neighbors only kids playing on sidewalks
no cars no crowds
just sounds of a late summer night in Brooklyn
it was magical
the band was great!
The list of things to do in December is of course, prepare myself for Christmas. Although it will be different this year since the pandemic hit us. But you have to make the best of what you have here and now. With that being said, I already put up my Christmas tree, Christmas hand towels, Christmas dish towels and matching pot holders, plus I have a lot of Christmas statutes all around. We all need some cheering up during the holidays, especially this year. On occasion, I play and sing Christmas songs. I love to watch all of the Christmas shows. What I did do since no one can visit you due to the pandemic is, I sent pictures of my Christmas decorations on Facebook and I also showed my decorations on FaceTime. My Christmas shopping is all done. I have to start writing my Christmas cards, and in my freezer I have my Premium Butterball turkey. So at this point in time, all I have to do is cook my Christmas dinner on Christmas day. Plus, my twin brother and sister-in-law and I will visit my mom and dad at the cemetery and bring them flowers or perhaps a small Christmas tree.
The list of things that I am grateful for in 2020, is that we are alive and well, thank God. So, we have to continue to be safe and follow all of the necessary protocols. Also, I am happy to hear that by December 15, 2020, a vaccine will be coming out. It does give you some relief to know that help is on it's way.
My Thanksgiving turned out better than expected. I basically started the day by watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, then I had some pigs in a blanket for lunch. Right after lunch, all the phone calls started coming in to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving, as well as I, who made phone calls wishing everyone the same. At 3 p.m. we had a Zoom Thanksgiving gathering with my drama club, which was my idea, since we were all home alone for Thanksgiving. At 4:30 p.m. I had my turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. At 5:30 I facetimed my twin brother and his in-laws to wish them all a Happy Thanksgiving. Needless, to say, every year for the past ten years, I am usually with them, but not this year. But I will make up for that next year! Afterwards, I watched some more television in my pajamas, and I was nice and cozy and comfortable. So I guess you can say that I had a lot of company for the holiday, virtually.
The secret recipe that I finally found is potato Kugel. When I went to Pennsylvania with my friends, we stopped into this cute restaurant and had breakfast. They gave you a potato pie, for which I tried to find the recipe on the internet for so long. When I was on the telephone talking to my friend recently, Bonnie first started talking about potato pancakes, and then she mentioned the magic word, potato Kugel. I immediately went on to the website and there it was, something I was trying to find for so long, the only thing was I did not know what it was called. So soon I will prepare it for myself and have a nice side dish when I want something different to eat.
List of things I observe about myself
I am not:
Dishonest, do not live a double life
Do not lack responsibility
Do not have control issues
The secret recipe: Do not let them see you sweating😩while being humble
Patience is so essential to this recipe with little sugar & honey put in a positive Energy
surely that will hold the receipt together when you put your foot in it...so they say😋
My dinner Party: You’re invited. My little nephew Kiki dod 9/4/92 sending my niece Tiye dod 10/2/20 my dear girlfriend 6/8/20 oh please my angel 8 yo Shanty dod 10/30/20 Ms. Buffong dod 11/18/20
ok of course Mama & Dad
the best dinner party ever
God almighty imagine that I love these souls 😇
HOLIDAY MEMORY FROM LAST YEAR
Last Christmas season, I over decorated my Christmas remembrance tree with too many ornaments. I still thought it was beautiful. I was looking forward to new beginnings. I didn’t have to wait too long. A gentleman I had been chatting with frequently, approached me as I was going into the building. I had just run out to pick up a few things at the nearby grocery store that was just a half block away. All I did was put my coat on over my “at home” outfit. That means totally comfortable clothes, everything loose fitting.
I was so excited to see him as he often offered to assist me with my bags.. He had helped me in the past, but I always politely thanked him at the door. Today, I decided to invite him in to see my tree. A gentleman caller. I was so happy that I forgot what I was wearing as I rushed to turn the tree lights on. He was standing in the middle of the room and said something like “This is nice”. As he turned toward the lighted tree, I was taking off my coat. He quietly turned away and headed for the door. He made some comment about my getting maintenance to fix the door and left. I haven’t seen him anywhere since that time.
On New Year’s Eve I was invited to go to a live Jazz Concert at the Emmanuel Baptist Church. I love Jazz and thought maybe… Well, at least I got to hear some superb music.
I had been looking forward to having a more active social life in 2020. Then Covid-19 hit and everything was put on hold. I guess I’m thinking about this because another unfruitful year has passed. I’m not putting up my tree this year. It will be a very solitary and quiet holiday that I am totally prepared for.
When I get my vaccination, I envision getting out more and going places. It’s two shots, one a booster, with 24 to 28 days in between. So maybe by springtime, I can start making a fuller life for myself.
COVID-19 VACCINE DILEMA
Always, always, always on my mind is the coronavirus. I was elated a couple weeks ago when I managed to move forward with positive optimism. I was determined to get through this second phase unscathed. Then the big announcement came that the vaccine was ready. The FDA had approved it and the next day planes and trucks were transporting the vaccine to their predesignated sites.
The CDC has determined the order of distribution; first: Health Care Personnel; second: workers in essential and critical industries; third: People at high risk for severe Covid-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions; and fourth: people 65 years and older.
I had vowed that I wouldn’t get the vaccine until at least half the population had been vaccinated. Again, fear flooded my thoughts and emotions. What if there were to be long term consequences. What if my body wouldn’t be receptive. What if, what if. On and on.
I watched the ninety year old woman being the first woman in England to receive the vaccine. She was so positive, so unafraid. I admired her. She just seemed to know something about living life. She had made it to ninety so I guess she did. Then I listened to the medical doctors on television explaining the test results and stressing how good this vaccine is going to be.
All right, I’m inching a little closer to deciding. Then my Doctor’s Office text to say they had received the vaccine so do not call - they will call when ready.
Ok, decision day is coming. Then ABC had a one hour special about how the vaccine was prepared so quickly and how Operation Warp Speed worked. They had scientists that were deeply involved long before this pandemic emerged. It was their life’s work. They had been preparing for this. So with billions of dollars feed into their coffers and a strategy for testing, preparing and distributing the vaccine working simultaneously, they were able to accelerate the entire process. Over 40,000 people participated in the trials. The program was very effective at convincing me not to hold back.
I had a conversation with a neighbor discussing the program. I asked him what he was going to do. He said, “The vaccine is not going to kill you, but Covid-19 will”
Well that was it. When my call comes, I’ll be ready.
In the meantime I’m going to try to be more like the ninety year old woman from England. She seemed to have made an assessment and dived in. I have lived my life cautiously. Studying and assessing all sides of an issue or situation. I’ve probably missed out on a lot of good things in life because of my caution. So, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution: To Be more spontaneous and less cautious. To exercise good judgment, but don’t let so many good things pass me by.
To have the ability to smell is a blessing. My favorite can be Jasmine, Aloe, Lavender oils and the 👃🏼 of favorite foods -steaming hot pizza, home cook turkey fills my apartment on a cold snowing morning and oh the smell some delicious hot coffee is the best.
I see groundskeepers shoveling the white stuff called snow all machinery in the yard covered with this white stuff when Mother Nature calls 🎼ain't no stopping it🎼 also see some Christmas lights deco on some windows as well as mine. Where are the kitten & cat during this storm but I see a few birds flying and landing in the fences when I look out my window and see a few people walking about. I hear the birds singing. I think them too are looking for their 4 legged friends. Overall it’s beautiful amazing and God will Thank You 🎉🎂Today my girl birthday Mary she is resident of community since 1969.
Fragile & Strong:
Fragile, CANCER CELL, COVID-19, SUDDEN DEATH Strong, BEATING IT...
How are you. I miss you so much. I care about you so I try to be honest and truthful to you. Tell mommy I said hello I will give her a foot massage soon. I know you are the center of attention. Please tell Vivian, Kathy n Joey oh and Mommy Florence hello don't forget to look out for KiKi he's still tall and handsome
The things I see from my window today is a beautiful winter scene. The snow is falling, and the bare trees are all covered with snow. When it snows it does remind you of the White Christmases that we used to have years ago. This Christmas, the weather channel is predicting snow on Christmas day, so we will have our old fashioned White Christmas once again!
The list of things that I have to do before the New Year is basically prepare myself for a quiet New Year's Eve. This will be the first time that I will be spending New Year's Eve alone, due to the fact of the ongoing pandemic. But as usual, the phone calls will be coming in and I will make a lot of phone calls as well. Also, I will be using Zoom and Face Time so I will feel that I am not alone. I have faith and hope that
all will be back to normal in 2021. We now have several vaccines and I will take the vaccines once it is available to me. It is a two step procedure.
My list of favorite smells are walking past the laundromat and smelling all of the nice fragrances of various soaps. Also, I love the smell of perfume, which for myself, I love Estee Lauder fragrances and body powder. When a man wears cologne, I absolutely love the smell. It is an extra benefit of wearing perfume or cologne.
The list of things that I had cradled are various. One that I especially love is to cradle babies. I still remember holding my Godson in my arms and it was such a precious moment. In the past years, I have held several babies in my arms, as well as dogs and cats. I used to have a cat by the name of Tomasina and I used to hold her in my arms like a baby and dance with her. To hold someone in your arms is such a feeling of closeness and love.
The year was 1960, and my twin brother and I were just going into the first grade at St. Patrick's Elementary School. Well my dad was working in construction and back in those days, it was feast or famine. If it was too hot or too cold you did not work. Well, now the cold weather was fast approaching and my dad for the first time
in his life was not working, he was laid off for a few months, due to the extremely cold weather. My twin brother and I were wearing light jackets because my dad was temporarily out of work for a few months. Needless to say, the school
had a boy's convent and they donated a winter coat for my twin brother and for me, they made a collection so they were able to give my mom the money to buy me a winter coat. This was the first time that my dad was doing so poorly because of the extremely cold weather, that my dad decided to get a new job at a food warehouse picking up cases, which he worked there for twenty five years. My dad decided that this would never happen again. Because before and after that year, we always had the best of food, candy and clothes. But that time was time for my dad to make a change in his career. Which he did and all was well once again.
My childhood memory was waiting for Santa to come to deliver our toys. My twin brother and I once heard noise on our roof and a jingle noise that we assumed it was Santa Claus and his reindeer dropping off the toys earlier than usual. Well I still remember getting up early in the morning running over to the Christmas tree
and opening up all of our toys. It was so exciting. Also, the night before Christmas, my mom and dad used to put some cookies in a dish and a glass of milk for Santa Claus upon his arrival. But as the years went by and we knew our fireplace was sealed, we asked our parents “how does Santa Claus get into our house,” and our parents said “he comes in through the fire escape.” Well, that pleased our curiosity. But
those years were and still are very special to me.
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
Yesterday December 16th the weatherman broadcast there was going to be a major snow storm. On this day was my sister's birthday and I wanted to visit her to help her celebrate her 84th year. Because the weatherman was telling us this storm was going to be big and the show was going to be at least 3 feet or better. I told my sister that I was going to visit her from 12noon until about 2pm as the storm was expected at 4 pm and I didn’t want to be caught in it. Well, I visited from 12:30pm and left her house about 2:15 pm to arrive at my home before the storm
I watched the snow last night for a long time it was beautiful, and knowing I did not have to be in it was a blessing. This morning December 17th as I looked out my window, I saw my neighbors across the street shoveling snow off their stairs, another neighbor shoveling the walkway in front of his house. One man walking along the sidewalk cautiously, not to fall, cars parked piled with snow, one space cleared, someone was brave enough to move their car. The street has been plowed however snow still blanketed the street.
The wind is blowing and the trees appear to be taking a beating. I see a man walking his dog, how dedicated one must be to weather the storm and take his dog out in 25 degree weather.
As I looked at the men shoveling the snow, the next step for them was to salt the area. Which one of the men was doing. Times like this I am so happy to live in a Coop where the street is shoveled and salted for us. How blessed I am to be in a very warm place and not worry about these things. I am blessed to experience one of God’s miracles, the ‘snow’.
SNOW UNDER FOOT
On location of the Marvel film “Hawkeye”, where I was a Background Actor, the director of this film wanted to create a winter scene at Rockefeller Center in New York City near the Rockefeller Christmas Tree.
It was the beginning of December. The temperature outside was cold, however, it was not considered wintery. The director wanted to create a scene of winter with snow on the streets. The director ordered snow to be placed on the streets and sidewalks, a truck drove up with a snow machine on it and started spitting out snow, and the workers on the truck started putting snow on the sidewalks and in the streets. Another person came right behind them with a small can and started spraying the snow with charcoal to make the snow look dirty. Before the snow was put down there was a water truck, which sprayed the entire streets with water. The entire scene was “set” and looked like a real winter area, very impressive.
As a Background Actor we were instructed to walk back and forth across the street walking on and over the fresh snow. It was soft underfoot and it was amazing. Technology is wonderful. The entire scene was awesome.
I began to think about Christmas in New York as we were at the Rockefeller Center near the Rockefeller Christmas tree up front and personal. The Christmas tree was massive with miles of lights in different colors. The entire area was beautifully decorated, looking down the corridor to the street it was clear to see the Saks 5th Avenue Department store. The entire building was draped with different lights, the lights would change colors as the Christmas music played. This was an amazing and beautiful sight to see.
While I was on the movie set filming the Marvel movie (Hawkeye), several things happened. The scene takes place in the winter and every Background Actor, as I was, had to dress in winter clothing. That was not a stretch because it was December and it was very cold outside. It was also wise to put on layers of clothing as we had to stand for long periods of time in the cold.
This particular day I came on the “set” dressed in a Brown Jacket which was very warm. Everyday all clothes to be worn in a scene had to be inspected by the wardrobe supervisor. I passed inspection in my Brown Jacket that day.
The very next day I decided to put on a long light grey coat with a hood. The jacket I had on the day before was good, but I had to stand in the cold for a long period of time and my knees got cold, really cold. I realized I needed a long coat. So I decided to wear my “Sunday Long” light gray coat. I knew my knees would be covered and warm. It was great, I thought.
When I arrived on set the next day I went to be inspected by the wardrobe department. The female in charge asked me if I had another color coat with me, I told her that I did not. She explained my light gray coat was not acceptable for this scene because it was too light and it would show up on camera and I could not outshine the principal actor, Jeremy Renner. The wardrobe decided to give me a darker coat, it was paper-thin, and I had to wear it outside in the freezing cold. I nearly froze in this paper-thin coat. When I came back to the set I told the supervisor about this paper-thin coat. The supervisor acted like she was concerned about my complaint when I told her I was so cold in this coat, but she wasn’t .
The following day I again wore my very warm Brown Jacket, but I put on layers of tights, pants and socks so my legs and feet would not get cold. The supervisor in the wardrobe department wanted to know if I had another coat, I told her NO, and I was not changing to any of their clothes. She rolled her eyes and walked away.
As a background actor we are not on camera most of the time. The camera only sees your back, not your face, and you do not have a speaking part. So I don’t know what the noise was all about.
CHILDHOOD HOLIDAY MEMORY
This is the Christmas season, as a child Christmas was a special time for me, first my birthday is December 24th. Born the day before Christmas, some people would say I’d get cheated for gifts, but I wasn’t. My mother made sure that I received a Christmas gift as well as a birthday gift. As I got older the people that were in my circle of friends and family knew, and they also gave two gifts.
As a child my mother would take us, my sister and myself to Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas show and the Rockettes. It was wonderful. We also experienced a person playing the Hammond Organ at Radio City, which was a one of the highlights on the program. What a wonderful sound. He played songs that we could sing along. It was a wonderful time of the year.
After the show at Radio City my mother took us to Horn and Hardart Automate Restaurant. This restaurant was unique. All the food was in little window slots. If you wanted some food, you had to put money in a small opening , once it registered the little door window would open and you could get your food out. We enjoyed putting the money in the slot to get the food of our choice. My mother exposed us to so many wonderful things in the city, the theatre, movies, restaurants, museums and libraries. My mother was awesome. Sometimes we don’t know this special wonderful, loving genius you have until she is gone.
I learned from the election that my country is worth saving. The spirit of our ancestors is the core of our greatness. Their Passion for life without tyranny and darkness lives on.
This election confirmed for me that you cannot give in to despair and that living in a democracy means sometimes the "other" guys win. History will be the judge of what we have done-for our children's sake. The greatest generation earned the title for the many sacrifices they made and the suffering they endured for their children. This election was proof their suffering was not in vain.
Dear Gwen; u are my true sister I will never stop missing you wish you were close to me now!
Dear Friend thank you for teaching me the true meaning of friendship. I used to laugh and say if I told you that I had killed someone, you would calmly say " they deserved to die" without question. my sister of the heart ❤️ even tho we are apart.
Have a wonderful safe and healthy Christmas all! And the best of 2021 is yours.