Saturday, June 30, 2012

If The Flies Weren’t Bitin’, Guy Would Be Fishin'

Settled in With a Front Row Seat
We decided if we wanted any beach time today, we better get there early before the crowds and before the temperature reached way beyond what I would find tolerable.



I decided to try out my “MapMyWalk” app.

As I foolishly and painfully found out, it is not a good idea for a tender foot to walk 3 miles barefoot on rough sand.   I now have large balloon blisters on my big toes and heels.  Ouch!

When the wind changed direction and the flies started biting, (brazen enough, incidentally,  to settle on my insect repellent bandana) we packed it up and in.


It was obvious by the amount of traffic on the boulevard that today was the start of the summer tourist season on LBI.
I heard Ross curse at the exact same moment that I felt the car jerk, as the jerk in the car behind us bumped into our car.   Ross immediately asked if I was okay and I was.  Then he got out of the car to make sure the car was okay.  The guy who bumped us was very relieved that there was no damage to us or our car.
At the very next traffic light, I heard Ross curse at the exact same moment that I felt the crash.  The same guy (who shall now be known as Guy) slammed into our car again, this time much more forcefully.  Ross and I were both quite shaken up.
After Ross calmed down, he and Guy pulled onto a side street, out of the way of traffic.
This time there was damage to our car’s bumper and the bumper will probably have to be replaced.
Guy begged Ross not to get the police involved.  Ross got very close to Guy and when he didn’t smell any alcohol, he agreed. (He’s such a good man.)  As Ross took photos of the guy’s registration, and insurance card,  I took lots of pics of Guy, his vehicle and of course the license plate.
Here is where the story gets interesting.
First of all, Guy had no driver’s license.  He was driving a Ford pick up, but, the truck was registered to a woman.  When Ross asked who the woman was, Guy said it was his brother’s wife.  Ross asked for Guy's phone number and Guy’s brother’s phone number.
Now at this point, I should describe Guy’s demeanor.  He appeared to be in this thirties. He was very jittery. He had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth during the whole time.  He kept shaking his head seeming to be baffled.  He repeated several times that he couldn’t understand how this accident could have happened because he wasn’t even speeding. He explained that he was distracted and anxious because he was running late to pick up his kids.
After Ross was satisfied that he had enough information, he and Guy shook hands as if they had been long time friends.
As soon Guy pulled away, Ross dialed the phone number Guy provided.  It was obvious that the person who answered the phone was not Guy.  After a few minutes, Ross found out that he was speaking to Guy’s brother (who shall now be known as Bro).
Bro assured Ross that Guy was a good guy.  He told Ross that Guy was a commercial fisherman and had just come off of a two day trip.   Bro thanked Ross for not getting the police involved because apparently it would have been certain jail time for Guy.  Bro didn’t go into detail.  But he did confirm that Guy was on his way to pick up his kids to return them to their mother.  After that he was going out again on the fishing boat.  In fact, the captain was holding the boat, waiting for Guy to get there.
When we got home, Ross researched how much it would probably cost to repair our car.  He called Bro to let him know.
Here’s where it really gets interesting.  Bro told Ross that when his girlfriend (so the owner of the truck was Bro’s girlfriend, not his wife) came home and found her truck missing, she called the police.  The police picked up Guy and he is now in jail.
Needless to say the ship sailed without him.
Bro says not to worry, though, cause he will make sure that we will get paid for our damages.
So if the flies weren’t biting, and my heels weren’t hurting, we would have stayed a little longer on the beach and our bumper wouldn’t have been bumped and Guy would be on chillin’ on the boat waitin’ for the fish to bite instead of cooling his heels in jail.
To Be Continued...


I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.
Here are the last three days entries from Anna’s diary:
Friday, June 28, 1929
Rained all day at shore.  Cold.  Home all day.  In evening rode to Long Brach to see Jewel who was stopping at Rick’s summer home.  Stopped at Allenhurst to see Elsie.
Sat. June 29, 1929
Brought Mary to Asbury for the week-end shopping.  Left for home about 6:30. Stopped at Rae’s to rest and stayed for supper.  Went to 360 for the night as Joan was out.
Sun. June 30, 1929
Stayed at 360 all day.  Ma went to Long Branch to get Jewel and Rosalie.  Came home about seven.  Both Junior and I so happy to be back home.  House needs good cleaning. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Watch Over Me - A Mother’s Pain

A Mother’s Pain
The pamphlets that come in the mail explain how I will feel as I grieve over the loss of my son.  "Don’t worry." They say.  "What you are experiencing is perfectly normal."  Apparently there are stages of this grief that everyone goes through.
I wonder, though if it is normal for me to feel sad for my son.  Those who try to console will say, "At least he isn’t in anymore pain.” I wonder how “they” know that.  Today, for no particular reason, at least not one I can identify, I have been feeling an overwhelming sadness.
As I sat still with my sadness,  I came to an understanding that I have not had before.  I suddenly realized that along with the so called “normal” feelings of grief and loss I am also experiencing certain maternal feelings of worry and protectiveness.   I feel the deepest pain when I have thoughts that somehow Joe is hurting.
He was happiest when he was with his family.  He and Anne found love again.  There are no words powerful enough to describe how he felt about Domani.    He fought so hard to stay here with them.  How can he possibly be at peace?  The visions in my mind are torturous.
Oh, I know.  Of course, I know. I know that I am asking THE questions.  Where is Joe? Is he at peace, and out of pain? And the ultimate question of why is one I ask over and over again.  Would it be any easier if I knew for sure that there are no answers?
No, there was no mention of how to move on from my pain in those pamphlets.
The pain I am suffering is a mother’s pain. After all, wasn’t it supposed to be me watching over my son?  Forever his mother is what I will always be.


I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here is today’s entry from Anna’s diary:
Thurs. June 27, 1929
Seashore.  Went bathing with children.  After supper we took them all to Asbury to ride the ponies and the Merry-go-round.  Had them weighed and we won three boxes of candy.





Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Home Is Where The Tummy Is?

My eight year old granddaughter and her four year old brother had an overnight visit with Ross and me last night.  I probably should have followed the two of them around with a notebook and or video camera because it’s true, kids do say the darndest things.   They left a few short hours ago and my sixty+ mind is having a difficult time recalling some of those cute and precious moments.
One particularly poignant incident does stand out for me, though.
Sleeping arrangements for guests in our house consist of a futon in “my room” and a pull out sofa bed in the den/computer room.  Each of the kids could have had their own space, but they chose to share the futon.
At home, (or as Ryan refers to it their “real” home) their normal bed time is between 8-9.  So at 8:30, after a bubble bath in grandma’s huge soaking tub, they were ready to climb into bed.  Since I have grandmother privileges, I extended bedtime to whatever time they actually fell asleep.
They started out toe-to-toe with each of their heads on opposite ends of the bed.  After about the fifth bed check, I found them next to each other, holding hands.   I asked if they were okay.  Bella told me that Ryan had a tummy ache.  She, taking on the role of mother, told me that she asked him if he felt like throwing up and he said no.  When I asked him what his tummy felt like, he said, “Um…um... my tummy feels like it wants to go home.”
I’ve had that feeling myself a time or two.


I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.


Here are the catch up entries from Anna’s diary:
Monday, June 24, 1929
Home. Mary phoned from Belmar to do down for this week with Baby.  Had supper for Jan and left about 7:30. Arrived there about ten,  Mrs. Caruso had accident.
Tuesday June 25, 1929
At seashore.  Rained all day.  Rode to Asbury with Mary to shop for her mother.  Stayed in all evening.  Played bridge with Mrs. Caruso, Mary, Mrs. B.  Went for cream.
Wed. June 26, 1929
At seashore.  Mrs. B. left for Newark by train with Mrs. C.  Went bathing with all the children.  Agnes C. came with children.  They have whooping cough and I hope junior doesn’t get it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Taunting "Walkway Over The Hudson" Bridge

     Until today,  I used to feel sorry for my brother because it was obvious to me that he was the tortured soul in our family.  My brother’s name is Adam, but we call him "Poor Adam I Really Feel Sorry For Him It’s A Shame”. That is a long name.  Sometimes we shorten his name to just Poor Adam.  I am convinced that he will never find peace because, after all, he is a tortured soul.
     Adam finds angst relief in chemical form.   It used to be heroine.  One time he longingly and lovingly described to me what it felt like as the drug hit his veins.  While he was telling me, he had a slight smile and a faraway look in his eyes like someone who was reminiscing about good times with an old friend.
     Now his relief comes in the form of replacement heroine, better known as methadone. I’m not quite sure why methadone is more acceptable than heroine in our society.  Poor Adam is just as addicted to it as he was to heroine.  But, his methadone is freely dispensed by a legal supplier. His tortured life now revolves around his daily appointment at the clinic.  But, at least he doesn't have to worry about associating with dangerous drug dealers.   Well, except, of course, the ones who hang outside the methadone clinic as they try to entice their old customers with promises of  “just a little taste for old times sake.”
     Adam, at 52 years of age, pretty old for a drug addict, still has thoughts of becoming a famous rock star playing his guitar for the crowds.  You could call it delusions of grandeur or are they perhaps as yet unfulfilled dreams?
Walkway Over The Hudson
     As Ross and I were touring Someplace Else, he pointed this  bridge out to me.  The bridge was very high up and from way down below I could see people walking and biking across the bridge.  As we drove around the Someplace Else area, the bridge seemed to be in constant sight; teasing me, tempting me, daring me.
     Ross asked me many times during our brief stay in Someplace Else, if I wanted to walk the bridge. One of those times we got as far as the entrance to the bridge parking lot. We got out of the car and started to walk towards the path that led to the bridge.  But, true to form, I found plenty of excuses why we couldn’t and shouldn’t.  "No, not today.”  "It’s too hot.” “I don’t know if we would be able to walk that far." "It seems awfully high.”  “And anyway I don’t have the right shoes.”
     Now that we are back to where we usually are, I keep thinking about that bridge.  I keep wondering what it might have felt like to look down from way, way up.  I also wonder what it would feel like to look up from that high up.  How far would I be able to see, if I looked way, way out? What’s on the other side?  As I imagine myself on the bridge, I can feel the excitement and nervousness in the pit of my stomach.  And I realize that I must have experienced that feeling once upon a time.   I wonder what really stopped me.  Maybe it was Life’s many recent cruelties which haunt me with reminders of just who is in charge here.
     Perhaps Adam and I are more than brother and sister.  Perhaps we are tortured soul mates.
     Sadly, I suspect that Poor Adam’s angst will continue to be momentarily and temporarily relieved day by day.  I can’t help but wonder if Poor Adam would just be Adam today if someone along the way had encouraged him to play his guitar because he is good, really, really good.
     As I meander through my thoughts and write them here in this post, I have come to understand that my soul might be a little less tortured right now if I had succumbed to the taunts of the bridge. So today, I am going to make a promise to myself. I promise that the next time I write about that bridge I will be lovingly and longingly describing the feeling I got as I walked out over the Hudson River and looked way, way out as I  made it to the other side and back again.  And who knows, next stop might be tightrope walking over Niagara Falls.  That’s right just call me "Flying Walynda”.


I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are yesterday and today’s entries from Anna’s diary:
Sat. June 22, 1929
Ordered awnings for the house from Bambergers.  Marie having her birthday party tonight.  Did not go.  No one to stay here with Baby. Sent our gifts over with Jean.
Sun. June 23, 1929
Dinner at Mrs. Naps.  Visited Mrs. Poole with Jean.  Later went to Cemetery.  Home about eight.  Bill with Baby. Peg & Jean came to Mt Prospect.  Jean’s vacation over tomorrow.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

We Are Some Place Else

We are not where we usually are.   We are, though, some place else.

 Instead of having breakfast at the place where we usually have breakfast we went here instead.

video

( If you are having trouble viewing the video, click here.)
Yum...Ross’s Breakfast
We were going to walk across the Hudson River way on top of this bridge,

but, it was too hot.

We are still somewhere else.  When we get back to where we usually are, well, just you wait.

Someplace Else
I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.


Here are the catch up days from Anna’s diary:
Wed. June 19, 1929
Home in morning.  Jean and I went shopping.  Stopped at hospital to see Sarah Andrews.  She was away on her vacation. Jewel and Jean came to movies in evening.
Thurs. June 20, 1929
Went to Union for lunch with Elsie and Cecile.  Home about six.  All excitement over Billy’s graduation at Barringer tonight.  He won Bamberger’s Gold medal and several others.  Brightest.
[Bill is Anna’s younger brother]
Friday June 21, 1929
Bill’s picture in morning paper regarding medals he was given at the graduation for brightest honor student.  Went to a lecture with Mrs. Poole to hear Dagmar Perkins alias Jean Lambert Dale.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Not Just Another Father’s Day

     The overwhelming grief and sadness I feel over Joe’s death extends well beyond my own personal loss.  My heart aches for the many who miss their Joe.   He was a friend, a brother, a husband, and a father.
     Jen and Jim can only imagine what it might have been like to share in all of the next phases of their lives with their brother, Joe. 
     Anne will never forget.  Her Joe will be forever young.  Their time together now is sometimes spent with visits from a bench, as colorful rays of sunlight and hushed tears warm his cool granite home.*
     Domani, will have memories of his father, but they will be those told to him by others.  He will recognize his father, but only from fleeting images, as they digitally flash by, or from pictures locked in golden ovals. 
     Yesterday, on Father’s day, we were all together at the house where Joe grew up.
     As I watched the kids running and playing around the yard, my mind played tricks on me. 



And it was my Joe I saw calling out to his sister and brother, “Quick, Jen, Jimmy, come here.  Come see the deer."



Today my heart is with you, Jim.

*Anne’s Father’s Day post is lovely and as always tugs at my aching heart.



I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.
Here are yesterday and today’s entries from Anna’s diary:
Mon. June 17, 1929
Jean home all this week.  Part of her vacation.  Went to visit cousin Louise in Silver Lake.  In the evening to Grandma M. and then Grace.  Baby with us.  Quiet warm today.
Tues. June 18, 1929
Went to Budd Lake to see Minnie.  Jean brought Junior to the Lake and bathed with children.  We all stayed at the bungalow.  Supper Elizabeth’s club at Helen H’s.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Blog is Now a Best Seller Cause I Bought It

      I have been surfing the net and have found and played with a couple of new (to me) apps.  
      At around the time of my one year blogiversary, (March 14, 2011)  I thought about  “publishing” my whole first year of posts.
     I investigated two websites offering that option.
     The first one I sampled was Blurb.  I had used this self publishing site to put together two children’s books that I had written for my grandchildren.*  I was satisfied with my past results so I decided to give their “blog to book” function a try.  It was a simple step by step process.  I ran into a snag though because the app places a limit on the number of pages allowed.  The limit is 444.  When a pop-up window informed me that I had 523 pages, the app hung up and I had to “force quit” the application.
     The next website I tried was Blog 2 Print.  This app is also a simple step by step process.  They also limit the  number of pages. Their limit is 456.  The Blog 2 Print app must use a different layout method, though, because my page count with their app was only 374.  The cost varies depending on several factors including, number of pages, hard or soft covers, or black & white or color pages.
     I had a choice of cover style and type. I could have selected specific posts or all posts within a certain date range. I had the option to include or not to include photos.  I could have included or not included comments.
     At the first step I chose a hard cover.  Then, I decided on a title and a dedication.  I chose the photos for the front and back cover.   My choice was  to include all of the posts from my first year of blogging, with photos and comments.   With the options I selected, the cost for my “blog book” was $148.00.
     It took about an hour to put my blog book together.  After the book was assembled, I was able to preview and review it.  At that point, I had several editing options.
     I was pleased with the results.  The scheduled delivery date for my book is one day after my July 1 birthday.
*Igbee and Sumbee’s Great Adventures
  Igbee and The Pink Bird

     The other new toy I have discovered is called “Tout” .  Basically this app is a 15 second video status update.  Sort of like twitter, but instead of words, it is video.  For me, right now, it is a novelty and a fun distraction.  Believe me, I need all the fun distractions I can get.   Here is a sample of one of my “Touts”. 

Yesterday was one of the best days I have had in a long time.  The weather was gorgeous.  Ross and I got to spend very precious time with my son and two of the cutest grandsons in the world.












I will treasure this day and look forward too many more just like this one.


I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here are the entries from the past few days from Anna’s diary:
Friday June 14, 1929
Elsie passed her driving exam and now has her license.  Gladys graduated today in St. Joseph’s church.  Very impressive and Elsie and I both filled up.  Gave her a weekend bag.
Sat. June 15, 1929
Home all day preparing for Jewel’s bridge tonight.  All arrived late.  Started to play 10:15.  Three tables and Jean and I.  Served at table and played games.  Peggy stayed over-night.
Sun. June 16, 1929
Home all day.  Peg and I had a long talk about personal matters that had been puzzling her about life.  Tried to help her out and hope my talk helped in the right way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Taking to My Bed With Spinning PinWheels in My Head

I haven’t been feeling up to snuff the past couple of days and have been kind of blue.  The crummy, gray and rainy weather isn’t helping much either.
Right now it’s about 4:30 p.m.   I have a headache and have decided to be dramatic and Victorian and “take to my bed”.
It’s not a usual occurrence, for me to “take to my bed”... this early that is.  Most times I at least wait until the sun goes down.   Today, though, in the early, early evening, my bed is comfortable and comforting.  My red, green and yellow afghan, the one and only one I ever made specifically just for me, is soft and cozy.
I think I need a rest from the pinwheels that are perpetually spinning in my head.  So, before I give in and take an Imitrex and before Rico discovers he isn’t under foot (that would be my foot) and before Ross comes to check up on me and before I nod off and my head starts to bob on the keyboard, which may lead to some form of nonsensical poetry written in a foreign outer blogosphere language, here are yesterday and today’s entries from Anna’s diary:


I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.


Wed. June 12, 1929
Took Elsie out for a driving lesson.  Home all day.  Gladys brought invitation for her graduation exercises to be held Friday at St. Vincent’s.  Jewel & Rick stopped in.
Thurs. June 13, 1929
Took Elsie out for a lesson.  Did fine.  Luncheon Bridge at Mrs. L’s in Tuxedo Park, South Orange,  Mrs. B, Mrs. C, Mrs. A, Mary, Mrs. N., Anges.  Baby at 360.  Very warm all day.

[Information about Tuxedo Park, in South Orange NJ.
Tuxedo Park
 Characterized by 1920's colonials in an all-American neighborhood setting, Tuxedo Park offers a convenient location to town and trains. The homes in Tuxedo Park tend to be on a smaller scale but still offer architectural details of the early 20th century. Located south of South Orange Avenue, close to downtown, NYC trains, parks and Seton Hall University, location is a draw for many Tuxedo Park residents.
From the website Midtown direct homes, here are some examples of houses in the neighborhood, Tuxedo Park, that Anna may have visited that day:






Monday, June 11, 2012

He Once Lived in Princeton


At one time my son and daughter worked for the same company, and in fact their cubicles were also near each other.
Two years ago Jen was caught in a downsizing frenzy and she was laid off.  Joe, though, continued to work at the company right up until a few months before he passed away.  
About a month ago, my daughter was called back to work in a temporary position for that same company.
I asked her what it felt like to go back to work there knowing that Joe wouldn’t be there.  She told me that  since she was in a different location this time, it wasn’t as hard as it might have otherwise been.
One of her tasks is to make changes to a company database.  Oddly enough, Joe used to maintain that  database.  Therefore, there are many times that Jen will make a change and see that the last person to update that particular record was Joe.   Once Jen makes her change,  Joe’s name goes away and is replaced by Jen’s name.  She said that is a little difficult.
Jen also told me that Joe is mentioned quite often.  Apparently, there were functions that Joe performed that no one else has learned to do.  So there are times when someone will ask how to do a specific job and the response usually is: “I don’t know.  That’s something that Joe took care of.”
When Jen told me about these things, my first re-action was one of sadness and sorrow.  
But as I am writing this, I find that I can explore the possibility that there is another view. 
It makes me think about some of the ways Joe chose to live his life.  When he was still single, one of the things he most wanted to do was live in the town of Princeton, NJ.  He found an affordable  basement apartment in town.  For him, living in Princeton was what was important.   It was all about priorities and sacrifice.  
I know that when he was diagnosed with cancer, he would rather have spent every moment he had with his family. Although his job was not his life, especially after he became ill, he did have a strong work ethic.  His priority became the future security of his family, the sacrifice became time. 
There are so many ways that Joe is remembered.  People who loved him, places he has lived and now, thanks to Jen,  I have discovered another way that Joe has left his imprint in this world.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here is today’s entry from Anna’s diary:
Tues. June 11, 1929
Went downtown shopping.  Lunch with Jewel.  Told me of her plans of a party Saturday night. Went to Edythe’s office for a visit.  Supper at Jean I.’s. Visited Naps later.