Tag Archives: post50

Capturing My Grandparents

post 50 women

My grandfather, Surry Parker, was more of a myth than a man.  I never met him, since he died before I was born—even before my parents got married—so my only knowledge of him was from the stories people told.  And there were tons of stories—about, for instance, how he sped into Washington, NC in his Model A Ford, in the very earliest days of cars on the road and speed limits, and got stopped by a policeman, who said he would have to pay a fine for driving too fast.  My grandfather handed the policeman double the required amount and told him to keep the change because “I’ll be going out the same way I came in.”  Or there’s the one about the one or two times when my mother’s date might have stayed a little too long in the parlor, inspiring my grandfather to throw his shoes down the stairs, yelling, “Janie, tell that young rooster to go home!”  Or there’s the much earlier one about how he made my mother, five years old at the time, stand in the middle of a pile of dead-but-still-wriggling snakes in the Great Dismal Swamp (where the family lived in the early years of my mother’s life), so that he could get her picture, since he loved to take pictures.  My mother never questioned him; she did as she was told, but she remembered those snakes with terror to the day she died.  I was always proud to have Surry Parker as my grandfather, and all those stories played a useful role for me.  Whenever I was afraid of doing something bold and daring, or even just slightly out of the ordinary, I would think of one of those stories, and that would give me the courage to move forward.

post 50 women
My grandfather as a young man
oops50 women
My grandmother

But there was also a problem with the stories, in that people in my family got so caught up in talking about Surry Parker that they never really talked about his wife, my grandmother, lovingly called “Dovie,” except to say that she was basically one of the best people that ever lived—and that she loved Surry Parker!  But I would like to have known her better.  I would like to be able to get a picture in my head of the real Dovie, not just the one on the tombstone with the engraving, “Her children shall rise up and call her blessed.”  Don’t get me wrong:  I loved those words, and I desperately wanted to be the kind of mother who would inspire that kind of saying on her grave.  But I also wanted to know more about my real grandmother.  I wanted to know what kinds of things excited her or irritated her or made her happy or sad.  I wanted to know what her vices were—she had to have at least one, didn’t she?

I’m thinking that kids nowadays are lucky because they have at least a decent shot of having videos of people who have died before them.  I would give a lot to have a video of my grandmother—one that included sound!  We do actually have one movie of her, since my grandfather also had one of the first movie cameras in his area (he loved technology!), but it’s a very jerky, very badly lighted 16 mm film, and it has no sound.  So, the only impression I have of her is of someone walking around like Charlie Chaplin and turning her face away from the camera.

Which makes me think this:  you should be careful to tell your children stories about the people who went before them, even the ones who weren’t extroverted or dramatic.  And you should take real pictures of people, real videos, of them doing the ordinary things that make up their lives, like cooking or telling a story or laughing.  You shouldn’t only take pictures of them on special occasions, all dressed up and stiff.  You should capture them in their natural habitat!  What I wouldn’t give to have a video of Surry Parker and Dovie not just looking good for the camera but having a real conversation together, maybe arguing about the wisdom of making their five-year-old daughter stand in the middle of a pile of snakes just to get a good picture!

A Winter Storm, Oh No!

BEACH
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Friends and loved ones have been calling all day, asking if we’re OK.  The weather is varying to say the least, and while we are getting snow, we aren’t getting the ice that is making a lot of the state and south of us treacherous, so yes, we are OK.

With the media making THE WEATHER one big, bad monster, I just want to say that I love the four seasons, and I love snow.

Especially the kind that makes it look like a New England postcard, the kind that it is coming down covering everything right now.  And the kind that will be gone in a day or so.

The only weather site I will look at is Ray’s Weather, since he is like a big brother (not Big Brother) telling me what to expect, without the fear factor.  Thank you Ray.

It’s quiet out.  No on is on the streets.  Everyone is going to be staying at home tonight, reading, watching movies, coloring, sitting next to a fire with a cat on their lap, and eating some warm and comforting food.  Oh, and we will all sleep in tomorrow morning.  The whole town.  Nice.

BEACH BELLO
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Cleaning up some of my photos this afternoon, I came across the ones from the Beach taken this past October.  I loved looking at them, and remembering…

The feel of the water on my bare feet, and the quiet that I felt with the sound of the ocean around all the time.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.

Yeah, I love it all.

(Hey, I think I just wrote a poem 🙂 )

 

Getting Back to Simpler Times

SADHVI
SADHVI

Getting older is turning out to be more interesting than I thought it would be.  I’m even calling myself an old crone sometimes, just for fun, so I can start to realize that I’m not the young Sadhvi that I tend to think I still am!  It also makes me feel wise.

If I am going to be alive this long, I will have more things that I’ve seen than someone who is 20.  Simple math, I know.  And that also means that some things that are around don’t really ring my bell, so to say.

I’m all right if you want to pay lots of money for those things.  But if you talk about how much you love your new iPhone, for instance, and that love rant goes on for more than a minute or so, I will probably have to say something like how weird is it to LOVE your new gadget!

Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Snowy

We’ve been watching the Tintin cartoon series lately to wind down at the end of our day.  The animation is really neat, and they are always exciting to watch.

Tintin is a super hero who goes to different places all over the world to rid the planet of bad people.

And he does it without a computer, a smart phone, texting, having a GPS or being hooked up to social media – my type of hero!

While going through a stack of magazine, I came across an old Vanity Fair magazine from August 2011.  While flipping through the pages, a black and white photo of Joseph Heller sitting in his NYC office with his feet on his desk struck me as something that looked funny, like something was out of place.

Then I realized there is no computer, smart phone, iPad, or laptop anywhere around in that photo, just a typewriter with a piece of paper in it, a rotary dial phone, and some pens and pencils in a round holder.  Joseph Heller wrote the novel Catch-22 back in 1961, which according to many is one of the greatest anti-war books ever written.  Maybe you remember it?

Joseph Heller

While I was only a small child in 1961, I do remember the movie, mostly because it came out in 1970!  I’ve also used a typewriter like the one in the photo a lot, and had a rotary dial phone in the house that I grew up in (where the cord can reach across the room with the phone base not moving an inch!).

I even own one today and it’s in my office 🙂

Looking at that photo made me see how far the whole industry has come.  And how expensive these new technologial “wonders” cost to buy, and how the companies who make them have suceeded through colors and marketing that we can’t live without them.

But I’ve started to notice people of all ages say that they are just not into all of it any more.  Maybe the pendulum is moving back to simpler times?

I’ve heard young people say that they are going back to a flip-phone, because the smartphones feel too crazy on their heads.

Or that they hate FaceBook, and don’t ever use it.

Or take the woman the chestnut stand the other day — after we chatted briefly, she laughed and said how nice it was to connect, and not with FB.  I asked her if she was addicted to FB and she said she used to be, but not anymore; she doesn’t want to “like” of “share” what is going on with her life.  She wants to just live it.

You might wonder why I post for this blog, since it is sharing.  Good question:  the only reason is that I send this out to friends and family, and it’s my way of staying in touch with them.

The idea that Oprah or HuffPost would contact us to be the voices of our generation have long dropped away.  We, including me, just like to write!

 

rotary dial phone sweetie2sweetie etsy

 

 

A Little Carbon Monoxide to Enhance your Sushi?

 Annice

Annice 

A few weeks ago, after the long awaited grand opening of our new Harris Teeter supermarket, I decided to drop by after Terra’s obedience class.  It was past dinner time, I was hungry, and parking was at a premium.

Harris Teeter

Very nice, I thought, as I strolled the aisles.  Yep, everything is here:  gorgeous looking produce, 20,000 cereal boxes, and a very attractive deli counter.  Perfect, I thought, I’ll just grab some sushi, buy a few apples, and go home to eat.

sushi counter

The sushi looked divine.  I picked up the first package and noticed an oversized label.  WTF – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor?” (Question mark, mine).  I re-read the label 3 times – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor,” not to mention all the other chemicals on the label.  I picked up a few other varieties, and there in bold print – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor.”

I politely (as least I thought I was) spoke to the help behind the counter:  “Excuse me, am I reading this right?  You put carbon monoxide in the sushi?” One would have thought I had the plague, the way everyone stepped back about three feet.  They looked at me, looked at each other, and kind of shrugged their shoulders.  No one said a word.  “Really?” I asked.  “Carbon Monoxide?”  At that point, others around the deli counter seemed to be gathering and waiting for an answer.  I started to feel a little embarrassed for the counter help.  Surely they were excited to have a new job at the new Harris Teeter.  I was not trying to create a scene, but the sushi a la carbon monoxide really got the better of me.  At last, someone spoke up:  “Yes, it’s to retain color, and it’s approved by the FDA.”

sushi

Oh yeah, that made me feel better.  Japan, Canada and the countries of the European Union have banned the practice because of fears that it could be used to mask spoiled fish.

I moved on to buy some organic apples, and despite the fact that our region is the 3rd or 4th largest apple producer in the country- no local organic apples.  I will admit, I don’t always eat organic, but I do like my apples to be just that.

Once home, I just had to Google the use of carbon monoxide in fish, and I learned that not only are fish brokers, supermarkets and restaurants using carbon monoxide for fish, but it’s being used on beef, too, to keep that raw red color. 

For all you sushi eaters out there, Whole Foods and our local Earth Fare stores do not use carbon monoxide to retain color.  

Here are some useful links:

http://www.harristeeter.com/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carbon-monoxide/DS00648

Sadhvi Asks: What is “Labor Day” Anyways?

SADHVI & BELLO
SADHVI & BELLO

We had some friends over yesterday, and I had to find out if anyone knew what Labor Day was for.

They were all under the age of 30, and they didn’t know. One laughed and said it was a day off – Ha Ha! And so it is for many of us.

At one point, at the end of our brunch together, the smart phones were taken out to “share” some things, you know, funny YouTube clips, and the latest and greatest “app’s” for doing things that you can just as easily do without one.

There is one app that if you hold your finger over the place where you look to take pictures, you can get your heart rate.
Who cares?  Then they were asked which were their favorite games, and the energy level went up in the room.  Games. A toy in your pocket or bra.  Nice.

BTW “Labor Day” is:
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country
.

Share it – maybe the meaning will go viral, and it won’t have anything to do with the internet, just maybe it will just make a lot of people informed, and no one will know about it except the ones that got it.

What else? I’m thinking about getting a new car, and all of them have this capability to plug your smart phone into it, and VOILA, you get to hear and talk and speak without having to hold the phone.  I know, this has been around for a while, but now they say, it really works.

I guess I am too connected to a computer with work to want to be connected in a new and questionably better way.

When you think about it, isn’t a smart phone just another computer?

It certainly is not a phone, cuz it turns out that most people I know don’t use it as a phone. No, mostly they play games on them, or visit porno sites.  I don’t know why I was surprised to find out that most internet activity is about sex in some way or another.

Or they “text” or type short snippets of grammar to communicate with someone that is usually a family member, like their mother or father.  And the mother or father has to text, they say, in order to communicate with their children.  And since it is hard to type on a leeetle teeny pad, the smart phones came along, and the iPad’s, to make it easier.  Hmmm.

I have one friend my age who is no longer comfortable speaking on the phone; she said it makes her nervous. She only likes texting and emailing.  Nice.  She doesn’t like to interact in person any more. Awesome.  I hope that we can get her to loosen up in a month or so when we have the annual get-together!  Karen, I hope you are reading this.

I just love my flip phone, and will try to get the same one on eBay, which is where I was gifted the last one (thank you Sandesh).  I am not ready to become number and dumber holding something with a name that is supposed to make me feel cooler and “smarter”!

Ok, I hope you have a good day off, maybe you were able to sleep in like we did; kind of like a lazy Sunday, only it’s Monday – LABOR DAY!

And maybe you will think about how today is the day to be thankful that THE WORKERS of this country got together and fought for better working conditions when what was normal were sweat shops and minors working.  Kind of like how it is in China right now.

I will go relax on a hammock outside and read a book.  Not on Kindle, no, one that I can hold and touch and feel.

Oh, and check out this clip below.  I really feel like the girl who is trying to relate.  It made me happy in a way to see that she was not over 50!