Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wake me when it's over.

So I get a call from my friend Dave. He tells me that he got a call from Rick.
"Yeah hi. I got a call from Rick. You know what that means. Somebody died.
Well without writing down the whole conversation, it  turns out the dad of a mutual friend of ours had passed.  It was our friend Jim's dad. Jim was part of our little gang in the '70s. Jim then moved to Cape Cod. I stayed in touch with him and made frequent trips down on Saturday nights so we could partake in our love of fishing. Fresh water fishing. There are many lakes and ponds on Cape Cod. This went on for most of the 80's. Then as often happens in life, you and others take different roads for different reasons. I hadn't seen Jim since 1989. I'm not really sure what happened back then. Nothing sinister. I think for me it was probably a woman. Hey it happens.

Any way, a good chunk of the old crowd showed up at funeral parlor. Jim looked great though I suspect he dyes his hair. I didn't say anything about it though when one of his sisters said to me, "You look the same!" I told her, "Yes except I died my hair grey." I think she got my reference, at least that's what her smile told me. We used to have a few laughs way back then.
Two people from the gang was missing. One passed a few months ago, the other now lives in California. We started bringing up the old stories again. We mostly hung around Lenny's cellar The crazy foam party, the silly string party. The game of hide and seek at midnight in Richie's cellar when Dave stepped on a pipe coming out of the oil tank trying to get out the window and flooding the cellar with heating oil. I bolted out the door and went around the corner home. The night we put cinder blocks behind Lenny's rear tires. Another brilliant idea! He got in his car and couldn't understand why he couldn't back out of his driveway. He never got out of his car to investigate as we had surmised. Instead he floored it. BABAM! The rear tires caught and over the blocks he went. We watch from Dave's driveway. Hearing Lenny swearing as he suspected who was responsible. We could hardly contain ourselves. Hey, it was funny at the time.

We were actually a pretty harmless bunch and I give credit to Lenny's parents for letting us hang around down the cellar. They never bothered us despite some of the shenanigans. Usually we were just playing records, whist or pool. Oh I will admit there was some drinking and maybe a couple of illicit substances from time to time. Hey it was the 70's.  One of the funniest times was down Richie's cellar. Richie and his mother rented an apartment and the landlord was not particularly thrilled with us hanging around, particularly after the oil incident. There were five or six of us, not really doing anything except playing a record, not loud and maybe we had some beer. We were essentially just sitting there. Richie was sitting with his back to the stairs that led down to the cellar. His landlord came down and started yelling at him about us hanging around. "I told you I didn't want you guys hanging around here!!!" He finishes yelling and begins to make his way back up stairs. You could still see his legs going up. Richie is about 3 to 4 feet away from him and he says, and I'm not going to disguise the word because it is essential, "What an asshole!"
Of course the landlord heard him clearly and screamed, "WHAT DID YOU SAY?!!!"
Richie, being the silver tongued that he is replied, "I didn't mean it the way it sounded."
Oh what did you mean Richie. He's a wonderful asshole?
We could hardly contain ourselves from busting a gut suppressing our laughter.

I won't even mention the night of the ghost stories when Dave rigged the cellar door with a rope. We were all in on it except Richie. As the stories went on, Dave would tug on the rope and the open door would lightly tap against the frame. Richie was getting more and more spooked. Dave then gives the door a good yank. SLAM! Richie took off like he had a missile up his butt. Well I guess I did mention it.

Richie hasn't changed much, well a little. At the wake an attractive young lady just happened to glance past our little group. And Richie said to Rick, "Did you see her look at me? I think she's interested".
"Why would a 22 year old girl be interested in you?!! You've got no hair You've got no teeth and you've got no money!" We all laughed.
It may have been 40 years but not that much has changed. 

Now I know a wake really is a solemn occasion. I knew Jim's dad. He was a good guy and was always nice to me. I hadn't seen him since around 1971. Children are supposed to outlive their parents His dad was 85. Not a bad run but he was sick. Yet as happens at these occasions, people who haven't seen each other for years got back together and relive old times. There was laughter everywhere. It wasn't just our little group. 

Well I hope when I go I hope my remaining friends and family get together. Celebrate the fun and the laughs and the good times. So wake me when it's over.

I'm outta here.                 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In My Life

So I was looking for something to do last night. Arlene was tired and just wanted to stay in and I was feeling about the same. It was a hot day and warm humid night. I suddenly remembered I had recordings on the dvr portion of my television box. I have recorded programs and then never watched them. So I checked it out and I found I had stuff that went back four years. As I looked around I found I had a recording of Paul McCartney at the White House back in 2010. I also had a special that was run on CBS several months ago. I watched both. Both shows were quite good. I consider myself lucky to have grown up during that era. Not only was I at the right age when the Beatles hit the Ed Sullivan Show I had the pleasure of seeing the flowering of pop music in the 60's into the 70's. I got to hear Eric Clapton with Cream, my other favorite group from that era. I had always wanted to play the guitar and I got an acoustic one for Christmas in 1966. When I heard Eric I wanted to play the electric guitar. Those two groups really got me interested in music though I had already been taking piano lessons. But the Beatles were really something different. In one appearance they changed almost everything. I remember my father really upset over their "long hair" being a barber. Well back to the present, after watching both programs, though I was well aware of all the great songs they wrote, hearing them performed by other artists made it all the more clear to me what timeless classics they came up with. Sure they were a rock 'n roll band inspired by Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly, but their development as song writers was quick. By 1965 they had already come up with "Yesterday". And when I heard all the great songs they had come up with I got real emotional. All those songs stand up to any other great songs that were ever written. Beautiful melodies. Wonderful lyrics. Genuine talent from rock 'n roll to ballads to experimental stuff in the recording studio. Though you could usually tell who had the original idea for the song by who sang lead, some were exclusively written by either John or Paul though they were always credited as Lennon and McCartney. I love them all. I have heard them all many times over the last 50 years but the one that really got to me and is still my all time favorite is a song by John Lennon. "In My Life". A beautiful melody with words to match. That inspired me to make a little video with some of the pictures that I have in my possession. The first few were taken from the ones I published a couple of blogs ago. The rest were of family and friends taken over the last 40 years. I do have to say that it still freaks me out that I can casually refer back 50 years but I guess it's better than being dead. The song is relatively short so choosing the pictures and timing  the whole thing out so it fit into 2:28 of song length took some doing and eliminating some pictures of friends and family that I would have liked to used. Still it came out ok. There are a few from Italy, some from the 70's, some from the 80's when my sister and I took a trip to Washington to visit friends who moved down there to a trip I took in 2006 out to California to visit my friend Lee. She was born here, her family moved to California, then she moved back where I met her at work, then she moved back. There are a couple of shots from Sea World and her with her family. Two from the Fender guitar Museum. One of me trying out one of the guitars. Then there are some of my family shots of my mother, my sisters, one from my sisters wedding back in 2000, and a few shots from Martha's Vineyard with Arlene and I. It took about three hours to make but that's ok. I have been off since Thursday, August 21, and won't be going back to work until Tuesday, September 2. I have a lot of free time right now.
Here it is.
I'm outta here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My car is fixed and other ramblings.

I just read a few articles on foods you shouldn't eat. For the most part I did alright. Even though I work (part time now heh heh heh) in a deli department I have pretty much eliminated cold cuts from my diet save for the occasional ingesting of all natural turkey and Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese and it's various derivatives, are naturally low in sodium. In fact it's amongst the lowest of all the cheeses. Somewhere between 60 to 100 hundred milligrams per serving. In fact I tell people who ask these questions to be sure they understand how these numbers are broken down. When you look at the nutritional content numbers of anything, fat, sodium etc. you have to understand what they mean in relation to serving size. People buy stuff because it says "low fat", "low sodium", "lower fat", "lower sodium" "reduced" and so on. It's all a bit misleading. A serving size for cheese is one ounce, maybe a one inch cube. Swiss is among the best and American Cheese is the worst. It can have up to 400 milligrams per ounce. In fact it isn't really officially cheese. It's "pasteurized processed cheese food". Doesn't that sound yummy! Now I'm first to admit that Land O Lakes American is tasty and great on a burger. In fact I had a cheeseburger Sunday at the cookout at Arlene 's house. But generally I now stay away from all processed food. They're just not good for you. There's nothing I would enjoy more than a large Italian sub, with everything on it including hot peppers and a bag of Wise potato chips. There's enough salt and fat in that sandwich and the chips for a couple of days.

Most deli meats are loaded with salt. One of the worst that we sell is the imported ham with over 700 milligrams per serving. With meats a serving is two ounces. The best you could probably get in a deli is a natural turkey. It's naturally low in fat and can be had with a reasonable amount of sodium. We sell a natural turkey breast with 260 milligrams of sodium and very little fat. That's it for ingredients. It's quite good and tastes like it was sliced right of the bird. Oddly enough, as I write this it's about 11:30 on Tuesday evening. The news is about to end and what do you think I just heard? At some fair, somewhere they are selling a Twinkie stuffed with a Twix, wrapped in bacon and deep fried. And we wonder why America is fat. I can just hear the fat coursing through the veins saying, "C'mon boys! Follow me to the heart!"

Anyway the main reason I am writing all this is that today as I waited to pick up my car, I was getting thirsty and I noticed there was a Dunkin' Donuts essentially across the street. I asked Andy, my mechan... I mean my auto technician, I don't mean to insult auto mechan... I mean technicians. Anyway I asked Andy if he would like an iced coffee. You can't throw a rock without hitting a Dunkin' Donuts around here. It's almost like an infestation. So I crossed the street and noticed that there was a roast beef place next door to Dunkies (That's what they call them around here. By the way their coffee is all right but their donuts are crappy). Any way I saw the roast beef place and it was about 3 p.m. and I hadn't had lunch so I decided to go wild and get a roast beef sandwich with barbecue sauce and a small order of fries. I haven't had one in about 8 years. Boy was it good. The upshot of all this blather? I have been drinking ever since. Not alcohol, just carbonated water. Though there is some sodium in a deli style roast beef (It's not bad in beef but then there is the red meat thing) it was the fries. So I had my little fling and now I should probably wait another 8 years before I have another beef and fry combo.

Here's another picture from way back when. It's not in Italy but right here a few miles east of here at the ocean. Revere Beach (America's first public beach!) to be specific. It used to be a great place with all the amusements and food stands and clubs etc. The amusement went away in the early '70s as they were old and rickety at that point. All replaced by expensive seaside condos though there are still a few clubs there. I think I posted this picture before back on Spaces as "babies first drink".
   Update, Wednesday morning. It's gonna be a hot one. Our first 90 degree day in quite a while. This has been the best summer, weather wise, in a long time. I have my car back and am grateful 
to Andy, my car guy, for diagnosing the problem the problem and fixing it. He charged about the same as the dealership except for one thing. He fixed it. The dealership, with all they have at their disposal, was unable or unwilling to fix it. And you know what? Even though it doesn't mean anything to anybody here on Blogger, I'm going to mention their name, Sentry Lincoln-Ford. They flat out stink.  Buying a car is one thing. You have enough resources at your disposal to find out a fair price but as far as repair work, I have sworn once again to stay away from the dealership. Andy you're the best!
Alrighty then. It's time to get my act together and run a few errands. First I am going to re-read this. I re-read some of my posts after publishing and have seen some silly mistakes, not counting spelling. Never one of my strong suits.
Ten four , over and out.
I'm outta here.   

Monday, August 25, 2014

David Ortiz of the Red Sox. A classy guy.

A few days ago, (conveniently next door) Arlene's daughter Allison was speaking to her neighbor who lives is next door to them on the other side. Allison mentioned one of her friends, who was pushed into the shallow end of a pool and suffered a broken neck, was in the hospital. The neighbor who is from the Dominican Republic, mentioned that he had a friend, who is famous around here and in major league baseball, who he could contact to make a visit to see the young man in the hospital. Who knew it was slugger David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox! Ortiz! Besides being a great hitter, is a great guy. He went and visited the guy in the hospital. Boy was he surprised! Ortiz spent time with him and autographed a few things for him and certainly brightened the young mans day. The young man now has regained the movement in his upper body though his legs are still paralyzed but his prognosis is improving.   A couple of photos came available and were posted on Allison's web site which features news about our local city. So I thank Allison for letting me use the photo's which I got off her web site. I asked her for permission to use them and she let me only asking me to mention her web site because the photos weren't taken by her but a friend of hers . So here you go, her web site is called Inside Medford. and I thank her for permission. Allison is a brilliant young woman who Graduated from Tufts University and now is studying at both Harvard and M.I.T. for post graduate work! Not too shabby! Thank You Allison!

Ortiz is a huge fan favorite around here. I think the Red Sox stole him 10 years ago! The Red Sox are not doing well this year but realistically  sports fans around here are spoiled rotten. Since 2001 our sports teams have won 11 championships so all I can say is shut up and enjoy it. When you're on top the only way you can go is down and we've begun the slide save for the Patriots who could do it again. Sports wise you could be living in Detroit!

So Sunday was another beautiful day. Arlene's brother had a birthday party for his 5 year old grandson in the back yard, which is next door to where I live. It's Arlene's and her brothers family house. A three family. There were a bunch of little kids and a bunch of big kids. Those would be the adults. They had a cookout with the usual burgers and franks plus sausage and peppers, a cold cut platter, grilled chicken, cole slaw, potato salad and a couple of things that I couldn't identify. The kids played in pool and ran around like little maniacs. Oh yeah there were three dogs as well. It was a nice time and most people had left by 7:00 and there was six of us left. It was a very pleasant early evening and  all was going swimmingly until I happened to look over at the shed by the fence and I see a family of skunks six little ones and what I assume was mama skunk. They apparently are living under the shed. This of course broke up the party. Fortunately two of the dogs had left already. Something about having to work early on Monday. OK I made that up. So the rest of us beat a hasty retreat and that was that. 
Today, (Monday) was mostly uneventful. I spoke to my auto mechanic, who still has my car, and he has diagnosed the water leak problem. Something the dealership was unable or unwilling to do. After all they are in the business of keeping you coming back so they can vacuum your bank account clean of money. Oh sure on occasion they actually fix something but their main job is to keep you coming back so they can keep charging you. Once again I will never go to a dealership for repairs. On the plus side I had my guitar amplifier fixed and I can pick it up on Tuesday. I have missed my electric guitar. Arlene and I took a walk around the block then settled on her porch. Though I have lived in this neighborhood for over seven years, I didn't know much about the neighborhood. She pointed out a house that dates to the 1700's. It sat on a what was at the time a plantation owned by the man who lived in this house. It was some six hundred acres. It is on the street where I went to elementary school. I had no idea that there was a house that old right around the corner from where I live. It was part of the Royall House plantation. This is not the house in my neighborhood but it was in the neighborhood where I grew up. I've shown pictures of it before. The photo below is not mine but from the web.
It was originally a farm house built in the 1600's. Washington was here during the siege of Boston by the British. It's on George St. Go figure?
So we sat on the porch with a refreshing adult beverage and eventually I went home and finished this blog that I started this morning.

Had enough? I have.
I'm outta here.

 She went upstairs and fixed us a couple of refreshing drinks

Friday, August 22, 2014

A few things and my first trip to Italy in 1956

I feel compelled to write even though I really don't have anything to write about. I could mention that my car is in the shop due to an interior leak. It's coming from under the dash Water could be getting in from a number of places from the windshield, back window, the sunroof or blocked drainage channel.  For the most part this car has been a honey. Not one mechanical problem. It rides and handles great. It's got enough oomph to get out of it's own way, but recently it's been a bunch of niggling problems. But enough of that. A few days ago the New England Patriots Mascot made an appearance in my store. His name? Hold on it's pretty clever, Pat Patriot. Ok there was a bit of sarcasm there. Still the kids loved posing for pictures with him. He came by the deli counter and I got a picture of him with a customer. I took it with my phone and it's not a very good one. Then there's a picture at the front of the store, not much better than the first one, as he poses with some kids. They really loved him.
Let's see what else? I confirmed our reservations for you know where. We will be leaving on Sept. 28 and returning Oct. 4. I called the hotel just to make sure the reservations I made for this trip the last time we were down there in June were still on the books. They were then I called the Ferry company to make reservations for the car. The car really isn't necessary because of  the excellent public transportation but this late in the year when there aren't many tourists, things close down early and I'm not sure how late the bus service shuts down. I suppose that's something I should look up. DUH! Having the car means we can bring a few extras and store them in the trunk. We also will be bringing some extra coats and sweaters as I assume, especially the nights might get chilly. We never went down with the idea of laying on the beach all day. It's still about 5 weeks away.
Ok I went away for a bit, phone calls and then I was diverted and start doing so neatening up and while I was neatening up I came across some photo albums the most interesting ones were of a trip to Italy and Sicily back in 1956. I was 4 and a half. Not only did my family go, my mothers brother and sister and there respective spouse and my really little cousin Maria. Maria, what an unusual name for an Italian girl. But I digress. I do have a good amount of memories from the trip considering I was so young. It was at the end of the winter. We had a snowstorm in Boston so we couldn't fly out from here. We ended up taking a sleeper train to New York and flew out from there on a big beautiful TWA Constellation. I fell in love with the looks of that plane.

I remember somebody giving me a little gold wing shaped pin that I wore a lot.
Here we are in New York. That's My mom and dad in the middle and my favorite, aunt Lucy on the left. My moms brother Sam is taking the picture. My other Aunt and uncle joined us in Italy about a week later and left earlier than we did. We stayed almost 3 months and I did get very sick with Scarlet Fever. I can't remember how long it lasted but I was well again before we came back. Where my parents got the money to stay there as long as we did I'll never know. We stayed mostly at my fathers parents house. Both sets of grandparents lived in a small town in Sicily. Both were farmers and I do have memories of going to there farms and given donkey rides.
Here's my Aunt Lucy getting off the plane in either Rome or Sicily. I'm not sure.
Here's a shot from the web of the little town called Cannicattini-Bagni. Literally translated, I think means dog kitten baths. I haven't a clue how it came to be. The church was on the main drag and my dads parents house was on the block behind, roughly where the arrow points.
That's my uncle Sam (moms brother) and my mother's father holding the reigns on his farm. Apparently it was a bit chilly that day though all I can remember, from the two times we went was a very dry heat.
That's me on the left, wearing my pin, and my two Italian cousins. My fathers brothers kids.
That's me (right) and I'm not sure who the other kid is, with my aunt (dads sister) Mary looking on in front of the house my father grew up in.
Not a great shot but these are my parents, Mary and Angelo.

Supper at my paternal grandparents house. Those my grandparents in the back. The funny thing is they aren't much older than I am now but they look older. Both my grandmothers died the next year. My grandfathers made it until 1980. They were both 93.
Another shot of me with a bunch of kids in the neighborhood. The doors behind us is the room I slept in and where I was sick. I remember the room being dark and everybody sitting around like some kind of death vigil. It was scary.
My cousins and I on my grandfathers (dads) farm. I believe that's the Crypt Keeper on the left.
 My dad, his mother and sister. His other sister had moved to Australia.
Aunt Lucy and I on one of the farms. She was my favorite aunt. Boy did I love her. She died needlessly young in the 80's.
  A group shot on the farm. Left to right, my grandfather holding my cousin, my mother, unknown, my aunt Lucy and Uncle Sam, my grandmother and my dads sister and my dad. In the front, my other cousin and me behind the plant life.
 Aunt Lucy and my other grandfather apparently having a good time dancing. By the way both grandfathers were named Paul.
I'm not really sure where we are, but that's my father and I. There are pictures from Rome but they may be back at the family house.

So that's it for now. Arlene and I are soon leaving for supper at a restaurant, fittingly called Boccellis.
I should be back to read what I've missed after I watch a Patriots pre-season game tonight.

I'm outta here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A complaint, sad news, and whatever else comes to mind.

My, and many others complaint. I live about six miles away from the big airport here in Boston. We have always heard and seen planes taking off and landing but now they have changed the flight patterns. Not only that but they are flying lower than before. It goes on all day and all night. From accounts I have read some planes are flying at about 1000 feet above us. Last night Arlene and I were sitting outdoors. It was a lovely evening but the racket from these low flying planes was about the worst it has ever been. I began to time the intervals. Every 45 to 60 seconds planes were taking off. This has been a recent event. Sure if you live near a major metropolitan area, there's going to be a major airport nearby, you are going to see and hear planes in the air. This is nothing new but the feds have changed the flight patterns saying they are safer and less noisy. Well they're wrong. At least for us. A friend of mine who lives in East Boston (right next to the airport) said the planes are louder here now and we're six miles away. Granted six miles isn't much when you're travelling at 500 miles an hour but my city is now under the direct take off routes and it does not matter where the plane is headed. It could be Europe, California, Florida, or Montreal. The airport is right on the ocean. They used to, for the most part, take off over the ocean and circle around so by the time they were above us they were at a higher elevation. You might hear or see them but it wasn't bad. I realize that when you have a big airport nearby somebody is going to have to deal with the noise problem. Well now it's us. Apart from all this everything is ok. 
I have fixed my slow leaking tire. The dealership did nothing to fix the problem except siphon $400 from me. I have never had a good experience dealing with a car dealership. It's usually been, "Leave your car here for four days and we'll charge you a lot of money and not fix the problem." The only reason I went there in the first place was because I was still under a warranty. Well that's over. I went back to my regular mechanic who I have been going to since 1986 and guess what, he fixed it and charged me $20. Now I have another problem which the dealership could not fix. I told Andy about it and he told me to bring it in. I trust him. Years ago I had a problem, which he fixed, but I didn't have the money at the time. He told me to pay him when I could so a mutual trust has developed over the years. He knows his stuff and he works alone. There's no huge corporation behind him. I have no use for these huge multi national corporations. There only mission is not to serve you but to squeeze every dollar out of you. The bigger they are the worse they are. They are always complaining about government interference yet when corporations like General Motors go bankrupt they have no problem with the government bailing them out with our money. I owned a General motors cars once, a new 1982 model. My only new car. What a piece of junk. I once went over a rather large bump once and the trunk lock tore out of the body and my trunk lid flew open. One day as I sat on my front porch facing my car parked on the street I watched a strip of the body side molding peel of right in front of my eyes. I had that piece of shit for four years. I moved on to a 1984 Thunderbird. That was a great car. My present car is my first really nice car and for the most part mechanically I haven't had a speck of trouble. It's been a series of annoying little things. It drives great and handles well and is quick enough. What has happened to American car manufacturers? 50 years ago they were the envy of the world. I guess it's just greed. I will never buy another General Motors product.

So what else is going on. I'm only working two short shifts this week and hopefully have next week off. I have nothing planned except for a couple of day trips. Arlene and I used to do this with more regularity a few years ago but our work schedules (we work for the same company) got crazier and crazier as we were moved around from store to store because of the lack of help. Of course this wouldn't have been a problem if they hadn't laid off 700 people. We both semi retired within a week of each other. Now if they want to send us someplace else for a day or a week we can say no. We're only part time and we can set our own availability. That wasn't the case before with full time employment. I have worked every shift, from overnight to 6 a.m. starts. Now we are experiencing a jump in business because one of the big chains around here is having a worker strike. The chain has been shut down because the powers that be ousted the ceo who was good to his workers and the workers just stopped working in protest. This story even made national news. They were a very successful privately owned company and now they are slitting there own throats. You can tell when one of their customers comes into our stores. They are shocked at the high prices. We had a customer throw a package of prepared chicken wings back at the clerk when she saw that they were $8.99 lb. It is an interesting time to be in the grocery business around here.

Arlene and I are still adjusting to our part time status. For me it has been particularly tough because I did this for 43 years as a full time employee and when the boss isn't around I still feel responsible, as I was before, for getting things done. I suppose I should just take an I don't care attitude, like other part timers, but it's not easy. There are times I want to say, "You should do this first then that." but that would just create another problem. I know my new boss appreciates having me there. She will give me a task instead of her full time clerks and I know this really ticks them off. Too bad. I can work rings around them simply on my experience. Arlene is faring a little better. She is working in one of the three top stores. It does a million a week. My store which used to be the top store in the past, does about $600,000 a week, Still pretty good though.

I, as many other people around the world, was saddened to hear of Robin Williams passing. The man was a huge talent. He was as funny as anyone has ever been. He was witty, clever, extremely quick and a wonderful actor. Apparently his demons won out and he took his own life. I'm sure in the future there will be a movie on his life. I just wonder who could play him? Who could duplicate his comic performances? He was one of a kind. The world is a sadder place without him. R.I.P.

As always I am still thinking of my friend Beth. I miss her blogs, comments and the wonderful person that she is. I hope for her a speedy recovery. Blogging is not the same for me without her. She's one of the good people that I have met since I started blogging. She has always been kind and complimentary to me and everybody else. I miss her. Be well quickly Beth. We all miss you.

That's it for now. I'm off today. I have a couple of errands to run then I think I will play my guitar, well one of them anyway.

I'm outta here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hey I remember this place!

Yup it's been a while. I have started three different  blogs since my sister went into the hospital. By the way she's home and doing well. There were some early grumbles from my middle sister about the younger and her demanding ways which were actually quite amusing.

Oh I had written about what a pain it can be driving in Boston and then driving home. A one point I missed an exit because after getting in the left lane to take an exit, I had to get in the right lane to get on the main highway. They wouldn't let me in. We headed off in a direction I had never been but soon enough I saw an exit for a street I was familiar with and we made it home fairly easily. I do feel sorry for out of stator's trying to find their way around. I don't count the other New England States. It's when I see a car from Tennessee or Utah. Good luck to you brother! This is all part of living around here, still it's my home and I love Boston.

Remember the big moon last week? Here's a few pictures I took from Arlene's back yard as we enjoyed some wine.

 There are times I don't feel as retired as I want to be. True I am only working part time but essentially I am only working one day less and making far less money. This may change when vacation time is over. I am looking to take a week off in a week or two and Arlene and I are patiently waiting for the end of September into October when we head back to you know where. It's the latest in the year we have gone. Even if the weather is iffy it will be good to escape to the peace and quiet that we should find there, as we have never been there this late in the year. As much as we love Martha's Vineyard we would never go in the summer, though it would be neat to catch a glimpse of the President.

So that's it for now.
I'm outta here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trying times. My sister will have surgery.

Yes these are trying times. I have not been around lately. I am writing or at least starting this post on Tuesday evening. Tomorrow, August 6th, my youngest sister, my baby sister, as there is 14 years separating us, is going in for surgery. I don't fully understand all that is going on but, my middle sister and I will be driving her into town for her surgery. It's a woman's issue which has been explained to me but I'm sure I couldn't relay the problem correctly at this point in time. This is also a time when I am grateful to be living here as we are fortunate to have some of the best hospitals around. This is not to say there aren't great hospital around the country or in the world, but some of the great ones are right here. She'll be going to the Brighams and Woman's Hospital in downtown Boston. It's one of the finest. If all goes well, she should be in hospital 3 to 4 days. This has occupied me along with the other happenings in daily life, including my car, this passed week. But all those other annoyances are just that, annoyances. My sisters health is my primary concern.

Now I sort of know where the hospital is but I have been to that part of town since the '80s. I was so relieved to hear that my other sister will be picking me up so I won't have to drive. We are leaving at the worst possible time. 8 a.m. And though the Boston city line is only 4 and a half to 5 miles away, that part of the trip could take 45 minutes. Then we have to cross Boston. I know the hospital is close to Fenway Park but driving there for me, after 35 years, would be a bit of a hassle, GPS or not.

So that's what's going on now. I spent some time earlier this evening at, conveniently next door, Arlene's back yard. We had a little wine and got to watch the international space station pass through the night sky, at around 9:15 p.m. The local weatherman tipped us off. It was like a quick moving, blinking star. We also discussed a trip to the Kennedy Museum. Neither one of us have ever been there. And of course we both expressed our longing to get back to our own little paradise, Martha's Vineyard. That won't happen until the last week in September into October. It's the latest we've ever been there. Maybe I'll catch some changing leaves.  I would love to live there but realistically I could never afford it and if I found a place I could afford it would be right where all the tourists go in the summer. Now if I were rich I could buy an ocean view home and avoid all the summer racket. Actually I'm grateful that I can afford to spend 2 weeks a year there. Life could be much worse.
So that's an update as to what's happening 'round these here parts. My friend Beth is in my thoughts. I haven't read any of the updates for the last 3 or 4 days but I read Beth's. I will let her know that I am thinking of her. In fact I hope everyone who knows Beth will send a prayer, a good thought or whatever you would do when you know that someone you care about could use some positive energy. Feel better my friend.

I'm outta here