Monday, December 31, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tunes like Acker Bilk's mellow Stranger on the Shore and Henry Mancini's moving Moon River remind me of my first slow dances with boys. At the age of 13, we were all terribly naive about anything romantic, but hormones were starting to shape our imaginations.
During after-school dance classes we learned the box step, cha-cha, waltz, jitter bug and other, choreographed dances popular during the early 60s. There were no gyrations or grinding and only kids that were actually going steady got close for slow dances. The rest of us kept a tense distance to ensure propriety.
I remember the dreamy thoughts I had after dancing with equally shy boys. They concentrated so hard on getting the steps right and not brushing too close to the girls' slightly-developing bodies that their right hands left sweat marks on the backs of our dresses. Of course nerves made the girls' hands equally moist.
THEN. . . in came the twist, monkey, mashed potatoes, froog, the jerk and other dance styles that involved flailing arms and booty shaking, but no hand-holding. I'll admit that they were fun, but they removed romance from dancing. Yeah, there were a few slow dances thrown in to let us catch our breath between fast dances, but it wasn't the same.
Now that I'm a middle-aged type, I think I understand why adults wanted us to stay pure as long as possible -- innocence never can be reclaimed once it is lost or stolen. How sad that today's children seem compelled to give it away so early.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Come rain, sleet or snow (all promised by the weather forecasters) I'll pick you up at the train tomorrow, Carolyn.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Every morning I enjoy a cold glass of orange juice and a hot cup of coffee.
I can choose a cool shower or a hot bath.
Clean clothes are the norm.
Several pairs of shoes meet my every need.
I learned to read and write years ago.
I cook for pleasure.
My door has three locks.
Health insurance is a given.
A machine washes my dishes.
A soft bed awaits me every night.
Transportation is a short walk to the garage.
I survived cancer.
Distant friends and family are a phone call or email away.
On a cloudy day I can turn on more lights.
When it rains or snows I can watch it from a comfortable chair.
My good fortune is magnified by a husband who loves me regardless of morning dragon breath and bed-head-hair. Wealth is not solely measured in dollars. I wish I could share my wealth with the man who lives next to the overpass.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Cicadas are cool critters and I love the symphony they provide at night. That, fireflies and the earthy, warm fragrance are what make summer unique. Having said that, I'm looking forward to the cool, slow-decaying fragrance of autumn.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
There was no holding Alex back when the cake was served. Breaking with a long-standing family tradition that holds the first bite for the birthday boy or girl, Alex happily dug in and declared it deeeeelicious!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Since my family left MHT in 1968, many of the family-owned stores have been sold and some subdivided. One, the shoe store remains, but is unrecognizable from updating. When I was little, the store had a fluoroscope through which we could see our feet inside the shoes -- cool. It was the lastest tool to help properly fit shoes on children. Heaven only knows how many of us were over-exposed to its rays.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Note the stylish color choices -- harvest gold, sunset orange and avocado green. I lived in that apartment for 12 years. I don't know what possessed me to take this picture, but it sure brought on some guffaws when I recently found it!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Another factor in their decision may have been the abundance of trees and spectacularly rich soil. The combination of proximity to the lake and ample trees may have signalled milder summers than in the big city and plenty of fire wood for cold, Midwestern winters.
Chicago is called the Windy City with good reason. MHT does not have the same issue. It rises at least 100 feet above the shore, so cold winds off the water are not such a problem and cool breezes, also off the water, are a blessing in the summer. Lake-effect snows that so often plague areas east of the Great Lakes are not such a problem in MHT because it is on the western shore of the lake. However, that's not to say we didn't have our share of snow and ice. We had blizzards and ice storms that cut electricity for days and sometimes even closed the schools (hurray!).
Back to the lake and beach --
Nearly every non-thunder-storming summer day of my youth was spent on the beach and in the water. Early morning was favored by our mother because it was quiet and the water was often glass smooth. It was also as clear as glass and, until mid-August, as cold as the glacier that created the lake millions of years ago.
As soon as school let out in early June, we couldn't wait to hit the water. Some fool-hardy types dove straight in and came up sputtering and shivering. I, on the other hand, favored slow immersion which could take 10 agonizing minutes. The trick was to avoid getting one's arms in the water until the rest of one's body was numb. When it finally came time to put my arms, shoulders and head in the frigid water, skin already submerged was red from the cold. Deep breathing and extreme courage were required to finish the slow immersion process. Once in, we didn't want to have anything but our heads above water because even the slightest breeze would send shivers through us.
It must have been the chattering teeth and sluggish movement that signalled the moms to call the kids out of the water. It was crucial to quickly reach the towel or blanket to wrap around myself. The sun only started warming me up full minutes later. Goose-bump-flesh only disappeared when the bathing suit was dry -- then -- it was back into the water. Summer was too short to waste time on dry land!
Large bodies of water calm and inspire me. The beach in MHT was pretty natural during my youth. A few, rusting steel break-waters helped to slow the erosion of the coarse-sand and stone beach. The lake was so wide that we couldn't see Indiana across the water. As a child, the beach seemed to go on for miles, but of course it was maybe a 1/4 mile from the water intake facility at the north, to the no-man's land near the army base, south of us. For a town of 7,000 it was plenty big enough, well loved and used.
Bad news: erosion is a fact of life on the edges of any body of water, be it a stream, river, lake or ocean. Lake Michigan regularly shifts its sand bars and beach sand. It's a natural thing and, for many years, it was accepted as such.
Worse news: someone had the grand idea of placing giant, concrete jacks along the natural shoreline and in spokes out into the water. The results are hideous to a purist like me and a bane for beach-lovers farther south that are now losing their beaches because MHT beach is snagging all of the shifting sands on the jacks-islands. My sadness over this equals my anger. It's selfishness to the extreme and I can't bear to visit MHT beach.
Whoever said "you can't go home" was right. . .
Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of one Biff T. and a handful of others, people who grew up together and had not seen each other in decades, spent many hours of quality time reminiscing and catching up on careers and families.
While it was pure joy to hear how classmates had succeeded in their personal and professional lives, it was comforting to know that some of us had slipped and fallen yet managed to pick ourselves up, made better choices and contributed to society. Our privileged youth now is appreciated and evidenced by how we have lived our lives. Some became doctors and lawyers; still more are educators. We have all done good work and can be proud.
Though we graduated during the so-called summer of love, war, assassinations and political upheaval soon obliterated the notion of everyone loving everyone else. Our generation has been cursed and praised for all sorts of things, yet we turned out pretty well. It will be interesting to see what we do in retirement, so: Biff -- I'm offering my help with the 50th.
Friday, August 3, 2007
In addition to being treated to fresh flowers, we enjoyed sharing their bounty of veggies which Pete puts to excellent use in his gourmet cooking.
All of these growing things added to the marvelous nighttime fragrance we enjoyed on their second floor, screened porch. The property contains a wetland, so the night was full of sounds and smells we don't get in the city -- a real treat!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Sometimes my longing for him is unbearable, but recalling so many happy memories helps me get through it.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Western civilization, in its best sense, was born with the promenade. Walking is a sensitive, spiritual act. Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation. -- Alain Finkielkraut.