What Would YOU Take?

Pieces of Eight

I am copying this theme from two of my good friends, Mo (Mo is Blogging, I think and Judith: Creativity to the Max) Read their answers on their blogs.

There’s a blog dedicated to that very subject created by Foster Huntington.  Here’s a bit of what he says about his blog:“The Burning House” showcases photos and lists of the things people would take with them if their house was burning. The project is a little over a month old and so far has received over three hundred submissions!”      

Read More of Foster Huntington’s interview on  http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2011/06/something-different-the-burning-house.html#ixzz1WOJsaa4y

I had to face this for real since our house is unlivable because of various horrible problems, think mold, carpenter ants, rotting wood etc. Before Hurricane Irene came and before my husband’s surgery we stopped at our house to dash in and get certain things. This is my list….

Went through that just two days ago with the Hurricane on the East Coast. Not to mention that our house is unlivable, literally so we are in one room in a hotel. I took my old stuffed  yellow and black monkey,  (Nokey because I couldn’t say Monkey) that my dad bought for me on my 2nd birthday, I took a necklace with good luck charms that my dad used to wear when he was alive, a favorite black and white picture of my mother, laughing, many years ago on a beach in Israel,  I took a photo of my daughter and me when we were on Cape Cod, when she was little, something my son found for me: a piece of wood with the number 8 (that number was always special, some day I may reveal it’s significance) on it, and his picture, my computer and books. I will not be able to move back for months but the immediacy of Irene made me make a choice. I chose things that could not be replaced in my heart. I don’t know when I will be able to go back home, it could be months. I have the things I need right now, but I miss having a home.

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The Most Impulsive Thing I've Ever Done

Boston Red Sox Cap Logo

Image via Wikipedia

“Please Come To Boston In The Springtime…..”

Move. I was living in Brooklyn, working at Paramount Pictures when I got sick with mono and broke my ankle. They stole my job away from me (Thanks, Diana) and I needed a new start.

After working out a deal with PPC, I got unemployment and health insurance but had no job or at least no job that was comparable to the one I held. (Again, Thanks, Diana.) It was during the seventies and Affirmative Action was newly discovered and revered. It was at that point when our boss, Diana, added a J. to her first name. All of a sudden she was J. Diana,( J for Juanita.) All her employees laughed behind her back, but it was SO Diana. I happen to know she has dropped the “J” since. I bumped into her near Starbucks one day about thirty years after I worked there and she still gave the same, big, fake smile, on her heavily painted (and probably surgically enhanced) duplicitous made-up face.

After that incident, I decided I wanted to move, so by myself, (and with my parents permission!?) I traveled to several different cities to see if I would like to put down roots. I spent an entire day on a smelly Greyhound bus to go from NY to Portland, Maine and then from Portland to Bar Harbor, Maine. I stayed a few days in each place but it didn’t seem like a fit. I landed up in Boston and lived there for many years. I thought my best friend Matthew would be moving there too but he changed his mind. I waited for him to come for longer than I should have and I played “Please Come To Boston” so many times it is engraved in my heart. I will play that song after I post this, that I know for sure.

I got married in Boston, bought a house, had two children there and rooted for the Red Sox. Between you and me, while I don’t still live in Boston, I still root for Red Sox. Don’t tell the Yankees, or my son.

For Matthew and Denise

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How (NOT?) to Remember Names

Vraagteken

Image via Wikipedia

Names? NO. Faces? ALWAYS.

No tricks, no memory, just really good and prompt improvisation. I have met many people and I used to have a very good memory and would remember someones name immediately and forever. Not Any More. Whether it is age, Fibromyalgia fog, hormones or any combination, it is really hard for me to remember someone’s name (unless they have made a really, special impression on me.)

When my son was little and I got introduced to a team of little guys “Hey, Buddy” worked well. “Sometimes “Hon or Sweetie” came in handy for my daughter’s little girlfriends. But now? I can meet you, shake your hand AND repeat your name out loud and there’s a good chance that in two seconds I will have forgotten it.

The only thing that makes me feel better is that I will always remember your face. Always. Even if I have not seen you in 35 years. My husband still cannot believe that we went to a bakery when we lived in Massachusetts, walked in and I said “Nora?” The woman turned around, she seemed a little flustered, but sure enough she had been my teenage friend in seventh grade back in New York. It had been about 35 years since I had last seen her; at a sleepover birthday party in her parents’ apartment.

So, before you get insulted that I do not remember your name, rest assured when I see you 20 years in the future, in a different state or country, I will know that I know you, by your unique, impressionable, face.

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Sunrise vs. Sunset

Sunset on Cape Cod Bay

Image by PapaDunes via Flickr

Sunset

(Hey, they used MY prompt!! cool)

My most favorite place to go is to Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I haven’t been there in a very long time but we used to go, as a family, many years ago. Give me the sun, the grainy sandy beaches, the turbulent green ocean and the delicacy of the bay and I am happy.

One of the nicest traditions we had was going to a small beach and watch the sunset. It was a tradition we shared with other strangers, who became friends, as the sun disappeared and everyone smiled and clapped their hands. Sometimes music was playing, other times people brought fancy picnic dinners; some drank champagne. All we had was each other, two small children and my husband in the early evening light, and for us, that was perfect. There was nothing like a Cape Cod sunset, a fiery red ball dissolving into the night replaced by the protection of the dark, near the sound of the ocean’s soothing waves to lull us, gently, to sleep.

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“Please Come To Boston In The Spring-Time”

My husband and I  are sitting in the huge auditorium at a college in Massachusetts, visiting with our son who is a Junior and our daughter who is a Sophomore in High School. It’s the first college tour for me and I am both in awe and incredulous. Like an ice-cold hand  pressing on a sunburned body. Shock. Excitement. Surreal.  An out-of-body experience and, the new reality that is your life.  The first college tour ever is probably the one you, (more than your son and daughter) will remember, because after all these years, your baby, your first-born is really, truly, thinking about college; and eventually, sooner rather than later, is going.  Gone are the Mommy and Me classes, the grade school performances, the middle school musicals.This is being a Junior in HS,  this is big.

As much as the focus is on the student you will find, as I did, there is a moment of part regression, part longing that whispers into your ear  “Why can’t I go to college  for four years and have fun and study? I sat through talk after talk, part of me knowing now how much fun college was but not appreciating it back then. I listened intently as they spoke about community involvement, special clubs, volunteering. It was all I could do not to raise my hand. But this wasn’t about me, this was about my son.

Watching your baby (and they are all our babies) sitting in the auditorium, intently listening to the Admissions Officer or Student Guide talk is fascinating in itself, regardless of what school you are in. The baby whose hands you clasped just minutes ago, to cross the street, is the one bounding up the stairs  with a bold grin to be on a tour with a student who is also a Volunteer Ambulance Corp and an EMT. That’s a connection, something your child is passionate about; something that at this college exists.

My point is that irregardless of the all too familiar campus spiel  (and after a while they do all sound the same) and how great this and that college is, there may be a pivotal, random moment (and it could be ANYTHING) that will have your son and daughter make his or her mind up in half of one second. You will know it when you see it, your child will absolutely glow. It could be the food in the cafeteria, or a particularly nice day outside or what the girls are wearing on campus. This is what I am here to tell you as we get started in the process. It may not make sense to you, but it will for your child. That one second buzz word (like Volunteer Ambulance Corp and EMT)  could have been the moment his decision was made. It  could be made in a blink of an eye or a particularly sunny day, or the french fries in the cafeteria. What they are looking for and most certainly find, is a spark, a connection, the right buzz word for your child. If you know your kid, you can’t miss it and you won’t. It most certainly doesn’t mean he or she will get in but it will be a moment to remember.  Pay attention to it.

Go, little bird, fly away and be happy. You and I both know I will cry when you leave; saying good-bye is not one of my strong points.  All parents really want, is for you to be happy, be safe and come home to visit even if you bring your dirty laundry. We’ll take what we can before we send you out back again into your new exciting life, away from us, in your new fun-filled, marvelous world.