Ladies, (not only women over 50), have you ever left your cell phone on a restaurant table? Or how about searched for your glasses when they were already on your head functioning as a headband? I’m sure none of you have ever lost your keys even though you threw them in your purse – that infamous black hole where objects vanish.
If you’ve ever done any of these things, you will surely identify with our beloved Nora Ephron when she says, “I am living in the Google years, no question of that. And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google. The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn’t it?” I Remember Nothing.
So, now you’re wondering what my memory has to do with the perfect pouch. For starters, it’s attached to my body. It is a perfectly designed, handmade pouch that clips to your jeans or any pants/skirt via belt loops. It’s stylish and sized perfectly for your cell phone, car keys, and lipstick. I love it, and so do all my friends who’ve received them as gifts who in turn buy them for their daughters. It’s my gift du jour and I have designer, Kathleen Lewis, to thank.
Kathleen Lewis has spent over forty-five years creating art with fabrics, fibers and other art mediums in Asheville, NC. Kathleen can take a piece of fabric and change it into something totally different such as a whimsical owl to carefully stitched bags, one-of-a-kind hats, and beautiful hand-dyed clothing. I can’t thank her enough for that perfect pouch.
When I heard she was coming, I was immediately right back there on my sofa in Roxbury, New York, glued to the television set, watching every moment of those hearings. I remembered how I felt completely inspired by her courage, her composure, her refusal to back down. And I relived how completely horrified and despairing I felt when that panel of white men managed to find a way to approve Clarence Thomas anyway. Along with millions of other women, I felt kicked in the gut.
So, I was excited to see her. What I didn’t expect was how, once again, I would be completely inspired by this amazing woman.
Here is a woman whose life was turned upside down simply because she decided to come forward, to do the right thing, to speak the truth. Here is a woman who believed in our system of justice and fairness, only to get kicked in the gut herself. But here is a woman who also has never backed down and has managed to find a way to forgive all those people on the Judiciary Committee and to say, “it was not the failure of those individuals; it was the failure of the system.” The committee, after all, decided not to call in experts to testify or to bring in the other women who were ready to corroborate her testimony. But here is also a woman who, when asked if she would do it again, answers yes, without a doubt. “I found my voice in 1991, and I am not about to give it up ever again,” she said. She said that is what kept her going, what brought her back to life after the hearings, were the letters and phone calls from people all around the country who thanked her for giving them the courage, finally, to speak out, to bring sexual harassment or sexual violence against them out into the light of day–to confront their predator and to bring justice.
I have to say it brings me great pleasure to see how, in the big picture, she has come out on top. She is a national icon, a hero for women everywhere. While that other person, who will remain nameless, will always be associated in most people’s minds with sexual harassment and othe predatory behaviors. Continue reading Anita Hill: A Hero for All of Us→
Every summer I wait and wonder if my favorite morning glory will appear.
There are many of the deep purple “Grandpa Ott’s” and the pink “Carolina Morning” variety, as well as lots of white and light blue ones with blue stripes that start to bloom very early in the season. They are lovely, but by this time of the year I am pulling them out because they start to take over.
There is only one that truly makes my heart beat fast, and that one starts to open at the end of summer. It’s called “Heavenly Blue”, for a reason.
I saw the first one by the chicken run the other day and it made me feel so happy…that shade of blue, its unreal! Even if I am stressed and in a hurry or having a time keeping up with things, or missing something or someone, I have no choice but to stop and stare at “that blue” and fall into the moment.
When it was time for our “Sally” hens to be “harvested” a few weeks ago, I decided that I would be able to do something that I was not able to do with the previous 3 flocks we’ve had, and that is, to eat them.
I can’t do the actual killing, and I can’t even be around the killing of them, but really, since I am a meat-eater I should be all right with eating them, right? Some of my friends find that thought horrifying! I also have friends who cannot stand having the bones in the meat they eat because it reminds them that they are eating what was once a living animal. But really that is what eating meat is! We couldn’t have loved our hens any more than we did; we fed them homemade organic kefir and organic feed and scratch, and since they had to die one day, I believe they would want us to eat them!
I went back and forth as to whether or not we should get another batch of chicks, because I feel like we’re getting older, and I know that I might have to clean out their house once, plus maybe I don’t want to get attached to another batch of hens. In the end, I found myself calling McMurray Hatchery to place another order of “Black Star” hens.
Here is how they looked on July 21st when they arrived by post.
Then they started to get bigger and a few days ago I took a video of them coming out of their house. I decided to name them “Shanti” instead of “Sally” (my mom’s name) since I think it is good to say the word “peace” as often as possible these days.
For the next 2-3 years, these hens will be part of our lives, and I’m OK with that idea. Plus, I cannot wait until they start laying eggs because once you have had fresh eggs, it is not easy to eat any others. Om Shanti!
Also, there was gratitude that her sister and brother went with us on the trip and that her other sister and her husband, who couldn’t come because of work, kept in touch by text throughout the day! I think they all wanted to make sure their baby sister was going to be all right, and it touched my heart.
Finally, there was the pleasure of witnessing Josie finding her way in a new environment and seeing that she will be fine without me. Sometimes it helps to see our kids in different settings, just to be reminded of how much they make us proud.
Before you are overwhelmed with my sappiness, let me admit there was also the pure joy of realizing that I no longer have to prepare a single school lunch or attend a single Parents’ Night at our local high school ever again!
So, that’ was the good stuff. There were also bad emotions, or I guess I should say “difficult” ones, as in the ones that made me want to curl up in the fetal position and sleep for about 48 hours.
First of all, the experience of actually being a parent, bringing my daughter to college, at my very own campus was somewhat surreal, especially considering the fact that all the people who taught me such wonderful topics as “The Poetry of W. H. Auden” or “Social Stratification Systems” or “German History before 1900” (yes, a liberal arts curriculum) are dead. It’s strange enough to walk around a campus and see no students you recognize but it’s past bizarre to see a bunch of young upstarts pretending to be professors, sitting in all my professors’ offices. It was a little like being in a Twilight Zone episode involving, perhaps, time travel and robots.
Secondly, I have to say, it is really, really hard to say goodbye to your youngest child, the last one leaving the nest. It doesn’t matter that your logical brain says, “she’ll be back for fall break,” or “but you have your oldest daughter and her husband back at home with you at the moment, so the house won’t even really be empty for another few months.” None of that apparently weighs in heavily enough to balance out the overwhelming feeling at the pit of your stomach: “My baby is all grown up! How in the world did that happen so soon?”
(There was also, I admit, a self-centered, nagging feeling of fear and depression that, damn, I must be really old if Josie is old enough to go to college, but we’ll ignore that one for now.)
I can sum up the whole experience this way: I am really happy that my girl is off to college, and I am thrilled that she was able to walk off confidently to her new dorm room, with only a couple tears in her eyes, but I am also heavily burdened at the moment with the grief that comes from realizing my youngest child is leaving home, officially, and probably for good. Hold on, you say, she’ll be home for Christmas and spring break and summer. What are you bitching and moaning about? Here’s the reality: once they walk out that door to go to college, they never really come home again, not in the way you want them to. Not in an everyday, being there and belonging there sort of way, where they can take their time to grow up, since you’ve got all the time in the world to go on vacations together, eat food at the same table, plan what color to paint their room. Yes, they come back, but only in a visiting theirparents sort of way, where you get a temporary hold on their time, nothing permanent. You may be able to check out that book for a few weeks, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it will ever be part of your library again!
So, this whole “empty nest” thing that I thought would never have reality in my world, is real. Big time. And so I’m dealing with some rough, emotional stuff at the moment. As a result, I may not be in the best shape for a while.
This is, however, only Day One of this new phase. I’m sure I’ll be much better, real soon. Come a week or two, I’ll be able to walk in her room without crying! And, after some more time, I’ll only weep uncontrollably on those days when she (like her sisters and brother) leaves again, after a visit, to go back to school/new home/new job/whatever. In the meantime, I’ll just curl up tonight in her room and bury my face in her pillow for comfort!