Monday, June 30, 2008

Marathon Man


Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and now today. Five days in a row I'm working at the Inn on the 3 to 11 PM shift. This weekend the Inn was totally full due to a wedding. Weddings are always fun. Normally I work two days a week (part-time Ron I thought). Mondays and Thursdays 3 pm to 11 pm. Occasionally I will work every other weekend, once during the day shift and once during the evening shift to give the full time front desk clerks at least one weekend a month off. However, Monica's son was involved in the local baseball playoffs so she asked me to take her shifts. I'm always glad to accommodate but I have to say, working five days straight at the Inn, with all it's demands and responsibilities has left me exhausted. It is a good way to lose weight. When one works the front desk at any hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast one doesn't have time to eat. Also, one really doesn't have time to go to the bathroom, but that's another whole story which I may or may not go into in a future blog posting. Suffice it to say, I'm looking forward to this last night of manning the front desk and then having a whole SEVEN DAYS off. Guaranteed I will luxuriate in the freedom of a whole seven days. It will be just like a vacation of yore when I used to toil full-time. See you all tomorrow!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eastern Bluebird Box Activity


Now, first of all, this isn't my video. I took it from You Tube. I had to post it because it is so beautiful and peaceful. You can bet I'll be doing some research on this one to see how they took this video.

Mama Bluebird Chases Away Robin

From a couple of days ago, a video of mama bluebird chasing away a robin that got to close to her baby bluebird. Granted, this isn't a National Geographic quality video of bird behavior but it does capture the action. I checked the bluebird box today and it is still empty. I'll leave the neat bluebird nest in case the mama bluebird decides to hatch another brood. Right now, she has to get this batch off and flying. I haven't seen any baby bluebirds out in the backyard today. Hopefully all have made it safely into their new world with the knowledge that they will always have a home in my backyard.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Little Things





A few days ago, at work, an incident happened that shocked and upset me. I will not to into the name of the person involved and the details in this blog posting because it involves my job and who I work for and those I work with. All I can say is that I was treated unfairly and rudely. I tried to let it go, but it's not working. I will have to confront the issue with the party involved. The incident has left me somewhat depressed and demoralized which is very hard to hide when you're dealing with the public as I do in my job. One does have to be a great actor on a stage sometimes. Or, to put it another way, to act "professionally." As I sat at my computer this morning, waiting for it to boot up, In noticed a yellowed piece of paper taped to the cabinet wall in which my computer is housed. A few years ago I subscribed to one of those "Thought for the Day" types of e-mails from a Ralph Marston. Many of those e-mails were interesting and helpful. There was one that that was so on the mark that I saved by printing it and taping it on the cabinet wall behind my computer so I would see it whenever I sat at my computer. Truth be told, I haven't looked at it for a long time. This morning, in my dejected state, needing something to perk me up (especially after the stock market continues to do a swan dive), I happened to read it. Here is what it says:

The Little Things

Do something nice for yourself today. Pick one little
trivial, insignificant thing that you would normally get
very upset about, and just let it go.

Save your self the frustration, the aggravation, and the wasted
time of worry and fretting about something that doesn't really
matter anyway. Simply have the grace to let it go.

It could be an insult or a criticism from someone else. Instead
of defending yourself against it or striking back, just let it
go and let its negative influence on you quietly dissolve into
nothingness.

Or it could be some little something that you've decided is
very annoying to you. Instead of putting your energy into being
annoyed, choose to ignore it and put your efforts into something
more positive, productive and genuinely enjoyable.

Think for a moment about how utterly ridiculous it is for you
to let the little things get you down. Give yourself and your
world the priceless gift of your own vibrant life by rising
happily above these petty, insignificant little annoyances.

Ralph Marston.


This morning, after breakfast, I worked in my garden. The warm, early morning sunshine basked my shoulders in its warmth. The cheerful chatter of the birds accompanied me as I pulled Devil Grass from my raised planter containers that line by backyard. I replaced the water in my five bird baths. After about an hour and a half of work that wasn't micromanaged or criticized, I returned to my house and took a shower. I turned my computer on (first time since yesterday morning), checked my stock portfolio (which hit another new low yesterday - is this country going to hell in a hand basket or what?) and checked my backed up e-mails. I won't have a chance to respond to any e-mails until tomorrow at the earliest and then I'm not even sure. I may need more time in my garden to get me out of this funk I'm in. That's why I have my garden. It is the one place where I can escape from the world and all its vagaries, unfairness, and cruelty. To quote Ralph Marston again:

"Give yourself and your world the priceless gift of your own vibrant life by rising happily above those petty, insignificant little annoyances."

Friday, June 27, 2008

They're Out!


After a busy night at the Inn last night, and a early morning shopping trip to the Super Walmart in Milford this morning, I thought to make a quick check on the bluebird house. I thought they might be ready to pop the house. Well, the house is empty. They're out! The house contained five serious and quiet baby bluebirds. As I looked around the backyard I could hear mama (or papa) bluebird chirping insistently. Then I spotted what all the chirping was about. One lone baby bluebird was clinging to one of the stakes which is tied to one of my skimpy holly trees. Apparently this was the only baby bluebird not quite ready to go off into the wild blue yonder (or wherever baby bluebirds go when they leave their nest.) I've posted a short video I took of mama bluebird chasing away an errant robin who happen to fly too close to her baby. I'm glad these bluebirds are not wimpy. This will be a short posting. Last night was very stressful. I've been asked to work the next two nights. Hopefully, I'll find enough time to keep my daily blog updates going. An update, my video hasn't finished processing so I'll include a picture of the empty bluebird box instead in this blog posting. In my next posting I'll include the video of the mama bluebird dive bombing the robin who got too close to the baby bluebird clinging to the stake. I have to get ready for work now!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Me and Mom




This morning I talked to my Mom. She tentatively agreed to come and visit me and Bill sometime in August. This will be good for her. The visit will give her something to look forward to as well as giving my brother Isaac a "break" (as she refers to it). She is concerned about leaving her two cats but my brother loves cats and will take very good care of them. Of course Molly and Rusty will miss Mom, but they will have to give her a "break" too. As delightful and loyal as they are, they can be quite demanding. We have a room for her here in our Delaware home. My brother John also has a room for her. In fact, he has a whole mother-in-law apartment for her at his home in Greenville, South Carolina. We have both agreed that we would go up to Pennsylvania, pick her up and take her back home. Chauffeured by the sons! What more could a Mom ask? We would both love having her visit. It would also be a treat for us. Now I just have to get a TV in her room so she can watch "The Price Is Right."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Morning



Just as the sunset at the end of Oyster Rocks Road last night was a beautiful and peaceful moment; the sun that washed over the walkway this morning to my house also had its own beauty.The impatiens that line the walkway invited a plethora of insects to their early morning meal. Feeling the warmth of the morning sun on my arms, I decided to record this moment with my digital camera. Summer, fall, winter, and spring. I value and appreciate all the seasons of my home in Delaware. My partner Bill was told by a neighbor this morning that the development we now live in used to be a horse pasture prior to Ryan Homes developing it into the community of Covington Chase. That was news to me. I assumed this area east of Route One was a farm field, as is so many other recent developments in this area of southern coastal Delaware. He told me that the elderly lady who owned it could no longer manage the upkeep of the horses and pasture. A few months ago, I received a comment on my blog from a reader gently chastising me and others like me for moving to Delaware and thus, in his opinion, changing the rural nature of Sussex County. What kind of defense do I offer to such an accusation? One thing I could say is if I didn't move here, someone else would. Development cannot be stopped. However, it can be controlled. I believe there is a balance between development and maintaining the unique quality of whatever area that is being developed. Sussex County has always been a farming and chicken production county. The eastern shore that borders the Delaware Bay (bordered by Cape Henlopen) and the Atlantic Ocean has been a tourist destination for many years by the inhabitants of Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. In recent years development has accelerated. The recent housing downtown has slowed down development. However, development will continue. Retirees like me, who are escaping the high taxes of adjoining states and are seeking a low maintenance lifestyle with a milder climate, will continue to buy and build houses in and near the coast of Sussex County. To those native Delaware residents who view this immigration with concern and trepidation, do not fear. I have a nest of bluebird babies in my backyard bluebird house who are just about to enter this new world. My neighbors have a new batch of barn swallows to are testing their wings each day before they leave their nest above my neighbor's front door. Honey bees are very busy with my flower garden and bird baths that border my back yard. They have accepted us as the new neighbors in their neighborhood. I eat out at least twice a week at restaurants, thus contributing to the livelihood of those working at those eateries. Almost daily, I shop at the local supermarkets thus also contributing to the livelihood of those who work for the supermarkets. And, last but certainly not least, I think I'm keeping a local nursery in business ( I spend LOT OF MONEY at this nursery). Ah yes, there are native Delawareans who are happy to see me come through the door. On warm summer mornings such as today, I am so thankful to be alive and enjoying the serenity and peacefulness of my new home in Delaware.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Peaceful End to a Peaceful Day



The road off of Route One leads into my development is Oyster Rocks Road. The first left off of Oyster Rocks Road is Whitehall Drive. My house is located on the left, just before the curve to the cul de sac. If you do not make a left but continue directly on Oyster Rocks Road, it will dead end into wetlands which is bordered by a canal. Past the canal are more wetlands then the Delaware Bay. This is another unexpected treasure that I discovered after I moved into this Ryan Homes development called Covington Chase. I love sunsets. That was perhaps the deciding factor for me in in buying the lot where I built my house. Prior to moving to Delaware, I lived in a house located in the middle of 7 acres of a wooded hillside in East Brandywine Township, Pennsylvania. As much as I loved the woods, after twenty-five years it was time for me to move to a location where I could see a sunset unencumbered by trees and hills. The first time I saw this lot was at the end of the day as the sun was setting. The beautiful sunset that evening sold the property to me. After moving in, I decided to see where Oyster Rocks Road ended. An interesting fact about the Delmarva peninsula, where I live, is that if you drive far enough east you end up in water and drive far enough west you will also hit water. I have water on both sides of me. I've always wanted to live near the water and in a house where I could view the setting sun. I feel very fortunate that I have accomplished that goal. This evening I drove the two miles down Oyster Rocks Road to the canal that snakes through the wetlands to capture today's sunset on my digital camera. The video in this blog is of the sun setting on the wetlands this evening. A lone bird sings its woeful end of the day song. At this time, at this day, and this place there is peace.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don't.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy.
They just promised it would be worth it.

Baby Bluebirds Almost Ready







Another check on the bluebird house and it looks like they will be ready to leave their comfy nest in about a week. They're still awfully quiet in there. No loud squawking like the baby sparrows of a week ago. Yesterday I saw one of the fledgling baby sparrows trying to climb the siding of my house. He/she was hidden in the herb and flower garden that I have planted beneath my bedroom windows. I probably scared it when I was watering the plants (by can, not hose). It was trying to fly but couldn't get altitude. That was yesterday. No sign of that baby sparrow today. Thank goodness I don't have cats around here to take advantage of the baby birds at their most defenseless. My Mom in Pennsylvania has a brother/sister duo of cats (Molly and Rusty) that would make quick work of such a young bird. They're lovely cats (Molly is a calico and Rusty is an orange tabby - kittens of a feral cat my Mom found in her corn field some twelve years ago) but ruthless when dispatching little critters like chipmunks or baby birds. They feel a responsibility to repay my Mother for their room and board so they periodically make a tribute payment of an occasional dead baby bird or Rodent of the Day (mole, chipmunk, or baby squirrel). The baby birds are safe here. I would hate to lose any of the five baby bluebirds who are growing very quickly in their nest. Their feathers are starting to take a blue hue. As you can see by the pictures I've included in this blog, their eyes are starting to get that "Mad Max" look of the famous bluebird picture that we've all seen. I'm still amazed at how quiet they are in their box. I'm not comfortable opening their box and taking pictures like I just did a few minutes ago but I do want to record the progress of their development. This will be my first delivery of baby bluebirds. My Dad would be proud.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Empty Nest







The Determined Sparrow nest is empty. They're out! I hear the new young'uns loudly chirping in my neighbor's Leyland Cypress trees that border the now empty sparrow nest. Yesterday I cleaned out the nesting material and gave the birdhouse a good scrub. I kept the door opened the rest of the afternoon so the cedar wood could dry out. The blue bird nest is still occupied, although getting more crowded each day. Mom and Pop bluebird can't get in the house now to feed their young, they have to perch on the opening outside and put their beak holding the latest morsel through the round hole opening in the bird house. As the picture shows, the baby bluebirds' feathers are starting to take a blue hue. They are so quiet, unlike the baby sparrows who were vociferous whenever I touched their birdhouse, thinking I was their parents with more food for their ever expanding appetites. Occasionally I see an inquisitive grackle perched on top of the bluebird house, but they are quickly dive bombed and chased away by Mom and Pop bluebird. I'm surprised at how slow the baby bluebirds are developing compared to the baby sparrows. I think that the baby bluebirds were born first. It took only a week or ten days for the baby sparrows to go from five brown speckled eggs to five more Determined Sparrows unleashed upon the world. Ironically, the bluebird house in between these other two bird houses, has remained unoccupied during this whole raising of new baby birds. It was my intention to create a backyard habitate when I moved in here in November of 2006 and I must say I am pleased with the progress that has been made. My backyard has robins, catbirds, barn swallows, Purple Martins, sparrows, bluebirds, and even a visit the other day by a group of golden finches (who were probably en route to another destination and just stopped by for a quick pick-me-up of a bath in one of my five bird baths and a tasting of my many seeded plants). On the periphery of my property I have let the grass go to seed. The sight of the gently waving grain reminds me of what our country's Great American Prairie must have looked like before the White Man; during his great move westward, killed all the Buffalo and changed our country's once vast grasslands to settlements and ranch land for cattle and sheep. In this one small, less than an acre plot in Sussex County, I have created a little bit of heaven for some of nature's creatures. One surprise guest that is making the most use of my flowers and bird baths are the honey bees. I don't know where they're coming from but they are almost always at my bird baths, taking a sip of water or on the many flowering plants I have that border my back yard. Im going out now and refresh the birdbaths and check on the progress of the baby blue birds. I hope they don't grow so much that they get stuck in their bird box.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fly Free

As the video in this blog shows, the baby Purple Martins are out of their nest and flying free. Listen to their joyous chirping sounds and they swoop down and around in the warm summer sky, learning to fly for the first time under the loving guidance of their parents. The Determined Sparrows offspring are also out of their nest. This morning I went out to take a picture of their nest and it was empty! I heard a lot of chirping in my neighbor's trees which adjoin my back yard. So there are out testing their young wings. Hopefully they won't invade my remaining birdhouses for raise their young. The baby bluebirds are still in their house but have filled up the nest so much that Mom and Dad bluebird can't get in the house now to feed them. The baby bluebirds are interesting in that when I open the front of their box to observe, they are so quiet. One might almost think that they weren't alive. But they are. Their behavior is in stark contrast to the baby sparrows. Last week when I open the front of their box and all the mouths come open up, demanding to be fed. Talk about passive aggressive. My neighbor has a barn swallow nest right above his front door. One of those babies is already out of its nest. The others haven't taken the plunge yet, but might do so my day's end. I also have a catbird in my backyard, hanging around the shed. Since I've put up a humming bird feeder on my deck, it receives almost constant visits by a passel of hummingbirds. It is quite interesting to sit on the back deck in the early evening and watching them humming in, stop and take a look at us as if to say "So, what are you looking at?" then zero in on one of the feeders with their unicorn like beak. I now have five bird baths in my backyard plus a couple of low saucers for the bees. All is well in El patio Tipton hábitat video

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice



Today is the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. Oh how I love this time of year. This is my 66th summer. I don't remember much about the first four but all of the summers since I do remember. So many good memories. When I lived in an apartment building on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, Pennsylvania; summer was a carefree time of play with friends during the day and catching lightening bugs at night. Those summers were vacation from school. They were also the fastest three months of the year. It always seemed that they went by so fast. We were hardly out of school, then it was time for my Mother to order new school clothes for us from the Montgomery Ward catalogue. I can still remember the fresh cotton smell of those new clothes. Even though our family didn't have too much in way of material possessions, summer was always a special time for me and my brothers. As adults, with jobs, summer became less of a vacation and more of a time to just try and stay cool. Now that I am retired, summer has again become a time of freedom and happiness for me. That is especially true because of where I live now in Delaware, near the ocean. During my last years of work at Girard/Mellon Bank in Philadelphia, I would take summer vacations to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Summer was again a carefree, joyous time of long days that never seemed to end. Every form of life seemed to come alive after a long winter of hibernation. The birds happily singing and swooping to and fro down from the sky. The flowers and vegetables bursting through the earth's warm soil reaching for the sun. Ice tea, soft ice cream, fresh fruit and vegetables; all the good stuff happens in summer. Who hasn't had a summer romance? Watched new baby birds hatch and fly away to a new life? The sad part is that the Summer Solstice is the longest day but that the next days gradually become shorter and shorter until we are again at that point when it gets dark at 5 pm. Then we go into the winter doldrums. Life seems to become more serious. Gone are the carefree, endless days of summer. But, those days are here now. I am so thankful I am priviliged to enjoy another summer.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Azure Sky




As the sun set on another day, the view from the cornfield adjoining my backyard showed an azure sky. Since I returned from my visit to my Mom in Pennsylvania, it has been a hectic few days. While I like to make daily entries to this blog, it has been difficult to say the least. The first problem was with my HP Photosmart All-In-One printer, scanner, copier. I wanted to scan the picture of me with my Mom taken in 1949. This was the picture featured in my previous blog. I tried to scan the picture, nothing. I called the help line of HP. That was a mistake. I obviously got someone from Mumbai, India. I couldn't understand her, and she couldn't understand me. After 35 minutes, and a rapidly developing headache on my part, I terminated the conversation. I put a call into My Computer Guy. This was Monday. He said he could come over yesterday, which he did first thing in the morning. Well, the problem was more serious than we thought. Registry problems again. He spent the morning here fixing the problem. I scanned the picture. Posted the picture to my blog entry and then I retreated to my backyard to check on the progress of the Determined Sparrows (coming along fine thank you - ready to pop their nest) and the baby bluebirds (coming along more slowly but coming along nonetheless). This morning Bill and I decide to go down to Loew's to purchase additional deck furniture. We found out that the two chairs we have just don't accommodate the frequent guests we have visiting us on our deck. Well, as is usual, we had problem finding even a salesperson to help us purchase the deck chairs. The morning was shot. I was shot. I came back, had lunch then took a nap. About 2:30 Bill is banging on my door. He said the Inn was calling. WHAT? Am I supposed to be on today? OH NO! Another Senior Moment! I was supposed to go to a training session 2 PM to 3 PM. Quickly, I picked up the phone and called Mike (my manager) and told him I would be right away. No excuses this time. Of course I am now officially an Old Codger who FORGETS. Once is bad enough, but now TWICE. Nothing was said about my forgetfulness. No teasing this time. Uh oh. Oh well. Returning home, Bill had assembled the chairs. Neither one of them works. The one doesn't swivel and the other, he can't even put on its pedestal. Okay. A $325 purchase and neither one of them works. Back to Loew's tomorrow. Looks like I'll be a day late in my blog posting again. I'm also scheduled to work tomorrow afternoon. I hope I remember that. This is Wednesday night and I did remember I was to meet my friends Bob C. and Harvey at Zorba's for dinner. Priorities. After dinner I returned home and was greeted by the beautiful azure sky pictured in this blog. Thus another day ends. All is peaceful here in my little patch of land east of Route 1 in Sussex County, Delaware with the Milton address. I'm going to bed now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Me and Mom




Mothers and sons almost always have a special bond. The same as fathers and daughters. I can't explain it exactly, other than to say that the relationship isn't the same as a mother and a daughter or a father and a son. I never was close to my father. However, as long as I can remember, my Mother and I have been best friends. Maybe part of that had to do with our closeness in age. My Mother is only 17 years older than I am. Recently, my cousin, friend and fellow genealogist Tim Tipton lost his dear mother unexpectedly at age 65. Like me, he was also very close to his mother. He said he would call her at least twice a day. He misses her terribly. I feel sad for him and his loss. I'm fortunate that I still have my Mother with me. When I lived in Pennsylvania my house was one road away from her. I would call or visit her daily. When I moved to Delaware, I couldn't visit her as often. At first I took the 2 1/2 hour ride to Pennsylvania to visit her at least once a month. But, it is a long and grueling ride and with the price of gas over $4.00 a gallon it is getting to be an expensive proposition. I should be calling her more but I have been negligent. After I returned from my Saturday trip to see her, I found this old picture of us. It was taken at her step-mother's house in Compass, Pennsylvania in 1949. That's me leaning on my Mom, and my two younger brothers (Isaac and John) sitting on the porch playing with a toy typewriter. It is fairly obvious from the body language who was Mom's favorite. Of course my Mother loves all of her sons but I like to think that I am still her favorite. Still, I better start making more phone calls.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Visit To Mom

Yesterday, Bill and I took the 2 1/2, 125 mile drive to Downingtown, Pennsylvania to visit my 84 year old Mother. Bill was talking to her earlier in the week and she was very sad because she said she doesn't hear from her boys (I have two younger brothers, one of which lives with her). It was time for a personal visit. Even though the drive is long and grueling (especially to the two of us at our advanced ages, 66 and 79 respectively), it was necessary. It was a good, if short, visit. Mom is doing well as is my brother Isaac. Included in this blog is a short video that is obviously not professionally produced but does give the viewer a flavor of the visit. As it typical, I am expressing frustration with Bill because he STILL DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO OPERATE MY CAMERA. But, he did catch my Mother's nervous leg twitch. This is a good thing. When she twitches her leg like this, it means she is happy. Recently, the mother of a friend of mine died unexpectedly. She was only 64, much to young to die (I'm 66.) She was his best friend as my Mother has been my best friend for all of my years. Since I moved to Delaware, I am not able to visit her daily and just talk with her. I've stayed in contact by phone but lately, I must admit, I've been so caught up in my own life, that I've let too many weeks slip by without making a phone call. Just this morning I received an e-mail from another friend informing me of several deaths in his family. This is another reminder of how fragile our life is and how quickly someone is taken away from us. We should always make time to spend or at least talk to those we love and care about before it is too late. Once they're gone, they are gone. It is too late. That special friendship and relationship fades into memory, never to be duplicated again. Each one of us is a unique individual and it is the same with relationships, whether they be friends or family. Treasue what you have now before it is too late. Especially with moms. You only get one mom and you only get one go round in life. Make it count.
video

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Live Like Today Is Your Last Day




The recent unexpected death of Tim Russert, brought into vivid focus again of the importance of making each day count. After working full time for over 40 years, I decided to "retire" early. Actually, I "retired" from a full time job. I still work part time but on my own terms now. After too many years of a daily commute to Philadelphia from the suburbs, I had an epiphany one spring day standing on a train platform at the Suburban Station in Philadelphia. I thought "Do I want to live the rest of my life this way? Wasting the best years of my life running the Corporate Rat Race?" Then and there I made the long transition from a suit wearing, briefcase carrying fool to a man who was in control of my own destiny. In future blogs I will go into more detail my gradual transition from Corporate Flog to Independent Soul but at this time I want to stress what a life changing decision that was for me that spring day in center city Philadelphia. Since that time I have seen many of my co-workers and friends develop illnesses and die too early. I've had a few health issues since I made that life changing decision 14 years ago but, basically I've had a good and healthy life. Sure, there have been some God awful stressful periods (like the nightmare of selling my house in 2006), but I have survived all of that. A couple of years ago I made the decision to move to Delaware, which I had been visiting since the late 70's. I've always wanted to live in Delaware but always put the move off until the right moment. Well, guess what? The "right moment" never arrives. The time to do it is now. That's what I did back in November 2005 (seems like so long ago yet just like yesterday). I saw the house plan that was perfect for me. I found the piece of land that was just right, sunsets views from the back deck. I wanted to live and work near that water. I live two miles from the Delaware Bay and I work right next to a canal in Lewes, one mile from the Delaware Bay. Everyday I go out my door, I see the Big Sky. I love it. However, I've been so absorbed in my needs I've been neglecting one of the most important people in my life. My Mom. It's not just about me but it's about those I care for and who care for me. Tomorrow I'm off to Pennsylvania to visit Mom. Just like me, she won't be around forever either. Make each day count before it is too late.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert 1950-2008

People die everyday. Famous people die everyday. Sometimes the death is sudden and unexpected. That is not unusual. However, every now and then the person who dies impacts you in a personal way. Such a death happened today. Tim Russert, the newsman and moderator of "Meet The Press" since 1991, died today. He collapsed and died while working in MSNBC's Washington studios. I'm watching live coverage now of his death. His MSNBC collegues are sharing their memories of Tim. I don't know of anyone who disliked Tim. Tim was everyone's dad. He will be missed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Baby Bird Update













Time for the daily update on the progress of the baby birds in my back yard. The five bluebird eggs have hatched and all the babies seem to be doing fine. All five sparrow baby birds are growing fast. I had a fear that they wouldn't survive the 100 degree temperatures of the past few weeks. On Monday when I checked in on them, their wasn't any sound and very little movement. Today was different. When I opened the front of their bird box they came alive with mouths opened upward, squeaking for food. On the way back, I passed the Purple Martin birdhouse on a pole. I can't check the nests in that six apartment bird house (which includes one of the Determined Sparrows) but they are going about their business. All appears to be as it should be. Another update tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Relief







The cool breeze of this morning's air was a welcome relief for the oppressive heat of yesterday. For the past three days heat and humidity laid its heavy hand on this coastal plain of eastern Delaware, with the temperatures reaching 101 degrees yesterday. Summer doesn't officially begin until next week but the Dog Days of August have already descended on this flat land. For the past few days, at high noon, traffic remained light as weary travelers seek relief to escape the suffocating temperatures. Yesterday I checked the Determined Sparrow bird box. The baby sparrows are still in there but only one weakly raised it head . Its beak was open for food, but no sound emanated from it. No movement from the other baby sparrows. This is the same bird box that five baby sparrows drowned during the Nor'easter of last month, just as they were a getting ready to leave their nest. I also checked the bluebird house. Five blue eggs were neatly arranged in a neat nest (in contrast to the haphazard hastily thrown together nature of the sparrow's nest). With the cool and gentle breezes of this early morning accompanying me, I walked over to check the bluebird house. A bluebird darts out of the house just as I take a few steps towards it. At the box, I stand to the side and give it a few light taps. It is important to stand to the side so the bird exiting the box doesn't fly right into me. Nothing. I slowly open the door. What I see is a baby bird naked without its feathers. Obviously this young bluebird just broke out of it shell this morning. Four blue eggs remain, probably to hatch today. My partner told me that he has seen a pair of bluebirds fighting off the starlings yesterday. No doubt they were after the bluebird eggs. However, they can't get to them because the opening of the bluebird box is too small. We will continue to monitor the bluebird box to make sure there are no unwelcome guests. While doing so, we will keep our interference to a minimum so as not to disturb the bluebirds raising their new young. I was concerned that the bluebirds had abandoned their nest. It seemed to me that those bluebird eggs have been there longer than it took both pairs of Determined Sparrows to build their nests several times over, and hatch their young. I am relieved the bluebird eggs are hatching. I'm also relieved that the smothering heat and humidity of the past few days has left us and gone elsewhere. Life is good.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

M.O.D. Grateful Dead




An exhausted and scruffy long haired young man in his late 20's was pacing nervously at the front desk. This is the sight that greeted me as I left the kitchen to respond to a guest at the front desk who was paging me. After completing the business with the guest, I turned to the nervous young man who I could now tell smelled of sweat. That is not too surprising since we're experiencing near triple digit temperatures yesterday and today. At first I thought he was one of the guests who was due to check into the hotel tonight. However, he didn't look like our usual guests. I asked him if I could help him. His dark eyes searched my face. His words were slurred as he asked if he could use "a land line" because his cell phone wasn't working. I took the front desk phone and placed it in front of him. I told him "Dial nine first then your number." His look was one of relief. His nervousness subsided somewhat. He talked haltingly, almost like he was drunk or on drugs. I couldn't tell for sure. He punched in a telephone number and then waited for an answer on the other end of the line. He glanced at me while the other line was ringing. The person he was calling answered. He started to talk to a Sarah. He was pleading with her, occasionally giving me quick glances. I wanted to give him some privacy so when the other phone line rang, I retreated to the back office to answer it. Finishing my phone call, I returned to the front desk just as he was hanging up. He told me that he was in trouble because he "broke down" in the town square (which is located right outside the front door of the hotel). He thanked me for letting him use the phone. He asked my name. I said "Ron." He didn't understand me as he stood in front of me, swaying slightly. Was he drunk? I repeated "Ron!" He still didn't understand. I said "Ronald!" again, louder. He raised his hand slightly as if to indicate to me that he had heard. He leaned in closer to me, trying to read my name on the nameplate I had pinned to my hotel issued shirt. I repeated my name again. He looked up at me and said "Oh, I know your name now. I was looking at your heart. I can see your heart. You have a heart that is very visible." Now I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable because I don't know where this conversation is going. He told me "Speaking your language, my friend is really going to be PO'D." Maybe this is why his speech was odd, he had an accent. I asked him what his nationality was. He said "German, English, Lithuanian, and Palladian." Palladian?

(1. Greek Mythology Of, relating to, or characteristic of Athena.
2. Of, relating to, or characterized by wisdom or study.
[From Latin Palladius, from Greek Palladios, from Pallas, Pallad-, Pallas Athena.]


Now I'm really getting spooked. Did he just step off of a space ship? Was I looking at another E.T. standing unsteadily in front of me? I have met all types of people during the five years I've worked in the hospitality industry but this was the first time I've ever met a Palladian. He looked at me for a few seconds through his black eyes. I could not see his pupils. He must have sense my unease because he said "I am legally blind. I can see better with my glasses." He then took out a small pair of very dark sunglasses and put them on. Now he did look like one of those giant insect eyed space alien type creatures that landed in Roswell, Texas. I could still smell the faint odor of sweat from his body. He extended his hand over the front desk counter towards me. I extended my hand to him. He have me a warm and firm handshake that seemed to exude his goodwill towards me. His handshake was not one of those bone crushing handshakes that are all too common in our male dominated society. He held my hand a few seconds longer than is probably the social norm. He smiled at me, then released my hand. He turned around and walked down the short corridor to the hotel lobby. He left me wondering "What was that all about?" Then I heard a muffled yelp. I thought "What now?" He came back that same corridor to the front desk and looked down on the floor. I leaned over the counter to see what he was looking at. It was his backpack. I said to him "You forgot your backpack." He looked up at me and with a peaceful smile on his face said "No, there was a reason I forgot it." He pulled up his backpack from the floor and positioned it in front of me. He asked me to read what was written on it. "MOD - Grateful Dead". What in the world? This is getting spookier and spookier. I asked him what that meant. He said "Mark Oliver Dun - Grateful Dead." Mark Oliver Dunn was his name and the Grateful Dead his favorite musical group. He looked into my eyes and said "We all die and come back again." Was I looking at Jerry Garcia's reincarnation? In an attempt to bring the conversation back down to earth I said "Janis Joplin was one of my favorite singers and she died at the age of 27, the same age as I was at that time." Knowingly, he smiled. He hoisted his backpack on his back and extended his hand again to me. I gave him my hand and again, he gave me a firm warm handshake but this time he stroked the top of my hand with his other hand a few times. Then he turned and walked away again through the hotel corridor and lobby and out the front door. For a few moments I stood thinking, trying to sort out what I had just experienced. Working at the front desk of a hotel, I get many requests for information and help. Sometimes a guest will thank me but, usually, they quickly leave the front desk to go about their business. I don't usually get the kind of response that I got last night from "MOD". In fact, I have never gotten that kind of response before in my five years of working a hotel front desk. After a few minutes I went upstairs to the fourth floor to look out the window on the square in order to see his "breakdown." He told Sarah on the phone that he would be in the Gazebo on the square waiting for her. There was no sign of him in the square. Several hours later, when I finished my shift, I walked through the square to the gazebo just to make sure he wasn't still waiting for Sarah. He wasn't there. The gazebo was empty. I don't know where he came from and I don't know where he went. However, one thing I do know, he saw right through me.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Sasha







She came to me at the front desk this morning with a question mark clearly on her face. Sasha was her name. About 21 years old, slim, tall, awkward and possessing of a natural beauty without makeup, she asked me in a heavy accent if she could change. At first I didn't understand her. I thought she was a guest of the bed and breakfast where I work part time at the front desk. I said "What?" She repeated her question. Still I didn't understand. If she wanted to change, why didn't she do it in her room. Perhaps she wanted "change" for the soda machine. I asked her again. She told me she was "in housekeeping." Oh, she is a new housekeeper. "Housekeepers", for those of you initiated to the terminology of the hospitality industry, are those people (almost always women) who clean the rooms. I did not know we had a new housekeeper but that was entirely possible since I don't work at the Inn everyday. Sasha had her uniform in her backpack and wanted to change into her work clothes. I indicated that she could use the ladies room. She gathered up her backpack and went around he corner to the ladies room. A few minutes later she emerged in her uniform ready to begin work. I could sense that she was new because of her unease. She went into the kitchen to retrieve a laundry cart to take to her first room to clean. Sasha is one of the thousands of students from mostly Eastern European and Russia that provide the backbone of employees for the hotels, restaurants, amusement and entertainment, retail and services industries in the Greater Ocean City, Maryland area as well as the Delaware Beach resorts of Fenwick Island, Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach, Rehoboth beach and (where I work) Lewes, Delaware. She has joined our small housekeeping staff which consists almost entirely (save one worker) of local Nanticoke Indians. Sasha is an outsider, much like the Determined Sparrow is an outsider in my backyard. Like the Determined Sparrow, she is determined to make a better life for herself. She will have many obstacles to overcome to reach her goal of summer employment in a strange land far from her home in Russia. She has the language barrier. She has to learn the local culture and, most important, to find an affordable place to live. Sasha is one of thousands of foreign students who arrive on the eastern shore resorts of Delaware and Maryland each year to take jobs that many of the locals do not want. Several times during the morning, Sasha passed my my front desk pushing her full laundry cart, her facial features full of determination. At noon, I retreated to the kitchen to have lunch with the other housekeepers, as is our custom. Sasha came through the kitchen door pushing yet another full laundry cart of dirty sheets, towels, and pillow cases. She emptied her laundry cart, and with eyes tentatively looking back and forth, took a seat at the small table near the refrigerator. One of the other housekeepers asked her if she had something to eat. She said "Yes" and pulled out a granola bar from her uniform pocket. However, before she opened the packaging of the granola bar, she went to the kitchen sink behind me and turned on the water to wash her hands. She washed her hands then went back to her chair. I noticed that she had not dried her hands. I looked behind me and saw the paper towel dispenser was almost at my back. Apparently she did not get a paper towel to dry her hands because she didn't want to disturb me. I tore of several paper towels and took them over to her. She looked up at me, slightly surprised, then smiled for the first time and accepted the paper towels that I had offered to her. She dried her hands, then got up and placed the now used paper towels in the large kitchen trash can and returned to her seat, the most relaxed I had seen her all day. I don't know if if this was her first day at work but I do know that she will feel more comfortable tomorrow when she returns to work. Even though she was not a part of our "back yard" when we started out, she is part of our team now. Welcome Sasha.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Baby Birds






When we last left my friends, the Determined Sparrows, he and she won when I left them build their nest in one of the six Purple Martin birdhouse apartments. I don't know the status of their nest but I do know that the Purple Martins have occupied the other five apartment and are conducting business as usual. The sparrows fly up to their Purple Martin house nest all day, oblivious to their chirping neighbors, the Purple Martins. As I had mentioned in earlier blog postings, I have three blue bird houses that border my backyard. One of the bluebird houses is occupied by bluebirds and contains five bluebird eggs. The bluebird house in between, has a half finished nest that's been at that status for about three weeks. The remaining bluebird house has a five freshly hatched baby sparrows. Those are the baby sparrows pictured in this blog. I've also included a picture of the bluebird house which they occupy. I briefly opened the bird house to make sure the sparrows were still alive. A few days ago we had a ferocious thunderstorm blow through here in the late afternoon. During an earlier nor'easter, earlier occupants of this same birdhouse were drowned. They were only a few days away from leaving their nest when they died. These days there is a lot of activity in my back yard. The Purple Martins, swallows, sparrows, grackles, bluebirds, and robins. Even a noisey catbird made an appearance this morning. The Word must be out, the Tipton backyard is the place to be. The grasses and plants attract insects which in turn attract the birds to this Garden of Eden. The four birdbaths are in almost continuous use by all the birds. I thank my friends who read my previous blogs and urged me to keep my backyard open to all. That I have done after waging a losing battle trying to keep the sparrows out of the birdhouses they desired. Having done so, I see now that my feathered friends seem to have sorted things out themselves. Good show.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Robert F. Kennedy



Forty years ago tomorrow Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. I remember where I was when I heard the unbelievable news. I was working as a campaign worker for the RFK campaign in center city Philadelphia. His was the first and last political campaign I ever worked for. It was unusual for me to be working for a political campaign, let alone a Democratic candidate. I was a registered Republican and worked at Girard Bank, which was right across the street from the Kennedy Philadelphia campaign headquarters. Back in the Sixties, working at a large conservative Philadelphia bank, to volunteer for a Democratic candidate was not the normal thing for a bank employee to do. I talked my good friend Alice into also volunteering her time to work with me on the Kennedy campaign for president. I became a Kennedy supporter after I saw the Kennedy Magic up close during a motorcade he had been in some weeks before down Chesnut Street. Alice and I work on the fourth floor offices of Girard Bank located at the corner of Chesnut and Broad Street in center city Philadelphia. We had seen many political candidates parade and hold rallies near our bank. However, when the Robert F. Kennedy motorcade went down Chesnut Street, we witnessed something we had never seen before, pure magic. The hysteria, and unbridled joy of hope that here was a man to continue the Kennedy legacy and bring an end to the war in Vietnam. While I disliked the Vietnam protesters as much as anyone else, I did not believe in the continuation of the war in Vietnam. Why were we there? The Domino Theory? Our involvement in this war just didn't make sense to me. What also didn't make sense was the unending slaughter of our best and brightest. Today, forty years later, we are in much the same situation as we were forty years ago. We're in a war for which there is no clear reason. Our best and brightest are being killed and maimed for life. For what reason? To spread democracy? Or are we there to save face for a failed presidency? George Bush and Lyndon Johnson both got their presidencies mired in quagmire of a war that could not be won. They both appear to value saving face more than the lives of innocent Americans and the unfortunate civilians of the country that they chose to have war. Forty years later, we again have a young man on the horizon who is offering new hope for a way out of the mess we're in now. Like Bobby Kennedy, Barrack Obama is accused of lacking experience and is being demonized by those who oppose him. Like Bobby Kennedy, Barrack Obama's goal is to bring all of us together. To listen to Barrack Obama, I again feel that liberating feeling throughout my body when I first felt when I heard Bobby Kennedy speak. Like Bobby Kennedy, Barrack hits all the marks. What he says seems so right. To see in those crowds, the impossibly wide smiling faces of young people that greet Barrack Obama, I am again reminded of that day on Chesnut Street when I saw Bobby Kennedy mobbed by adoring throngs, grasping at his legs, standing on top of a car that slowly made it's way down Chesnut Street clogged with cheering admirers. Never had I experienced that feeling before in my life. That image of him, his legs being held steady by aids, as he attempted to bend and shake the hands of the adoring throngs, is forever seared in my memory. I've never seen anything like that until now. While I have not personally been to one of Barrack Obama's rallies, what I see on TV reminds me of the pure, unbridled joy that so many, young and old, are experiencing again. It is called hope. It is time for a change. When I renewed this blog some months ago with a new focus, "Retired In Delaware", I intentionally left politics out of it. However, I can't let this moment go by. Forty years ago we had the opportunity to change for a better life. We lost that opportunity because of a deranged individual with his own agenda. Hopefully, this time, Providence will look kindly upon us and grant this country a chance to redeem itself. Remember and honor the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy. To quote the last part of Robert F. Kennedy's speech at Indianapolis on the day of Martin Luther King's assassination:

"But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.
"Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.
"Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much."

Robert F. Kennedy, April 4, 1968, Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ft. Miles at Cape Henlopen, Delaware



On this perfect day I decided to take Bill for a visit to Fort Miles on the tip of Cape Henlopen, Delaware. We lived in center city Philadelphia for eleven years and not once did we visit Independence Hall or the other historic landmarks associated with the early history of America. I didn't want to repeat that mistake again. Our home on the eastern shore of Delaware, is only about three miles from Cape Henlopen, Delaware. At the bed and breakfast where I work in Lewes, I frequently recommend Cape Henlopen as a must see local tourist attraction. Yet, I haven't visited this beautiful resource myself. Today that changed. My first visit actually was last Saturday. I had time to kill before I attended a beach wedding a mile down the road from Cape Henlopen. Cape Henlopen was just a short drive away so I took the trip, almost my default. What a pleasant surprise. Again, as has happened so often in my life, I have found that the treasures are hidden. Cape Henlopen is a beautiful park. At the tip of the cape is the old military base Fort Miles. Fort Miles was the military installation during World War II that was put in place to protect the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia. To walk those windswept acres is to go back in history at a time when our country was facing a serious threat from an enemy overseas. If there was an invasion of our shore, it probably would have been at Cape Henlopen. Thank goodness no blood was spilled on these shores. The view from the tip of the Cape is awe inspiring. The best things in life are indeed free.

Gossip - Part Two






Lots of feedback on my blog about gossip. That's good. Someone is reading my blog! Gossip. What is the first thing that come into your mind when you hear that word? It is apparent by the e-mails I've received about my blog on gossip, that the word gossip means different things to different people. My sister-in-law Barbara sent me a articulate and well thought out e-mail explaining why she doesn't engage in "gossip." She gave me the example of a lady friend she is helping with her computer skills. This woman often discusses with her "some problem with one of their kids or something else, just needing a listening ear." Barbara states that she would never repeat what she says to someone else as it could cause family problems for them. "One never know who know and who will repeat things yet again and they will get back to the person about whom you were speaking and cause hurt feelings. She needs my support and prayers, not my repeating and spreading what she has said." Of course I agree with Barbara, I would never repeat anything someone told me in confidence, even if they didn't mention that it was in confidence. Where I work, I frequently am on the listening end from one or another of my co-workers about some grievance they have against another co-worker or the owner. Never, never, never would I repeat anything I heard to another co-worker. I would not even repeat this information to my friends because they don't know my co-workers and it wouldn't be fair to them to tell complete strangers their personal business. To me this is just common sense. I have the same rule with friends, I would never repeat what one friend said to me about another friend (unless it was complimentary.) Why cause hurt feelings and what is to be gained by passing on such information? However, where I take exception with the advice my sister-in-law gave me was her advice "Talk about the weather, music, politics, even yourself if you have to, or talk about someone who is present." Okay, I'm going to wait until Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama is present so I can talk about them? This just isn't practical. I am a human being with opinions and live in a country where we have the free will to express such opinions. For instance, one of my friends recently went through a very traumatic breakup of a long time relationship. When another mutual friend asks how this person was doing, I gave my honest opinion. I didn't change the subject to weather just because he wasn't at the table "to defend himself." My opinion (which could be way off base) was that he was handling his breakup as well as could be but that he still carried a deep seated anger at being deceived for so long. We have all discussed this situation. The same was true of a situation I had a few weeks ago with friends I have dinner with on Sunday night at the Purple Parrot in Rehoboth Beach. Things were going along fine until I took offense to something a friend said. I overreacted and caused a scene. The next two weeks I did not attend the weekly meeting of friends. Did they talk about me in my absence? I would think so. I doubt that they would talk only of the weather of some other benign subject. Do I take offense that they talked about me without me being present? No. I expected them to talk. How else would they resolve the issue? Last week one of the group asked me to attend the Sunday dinner. I did. Did they talk about me after I left? I'm sure they did. Do I object? No, it is part of life. Now, if I told one of them something in confidence, which I have on occasion, and that information was passed on I would be upset. However, I believe I have a good group of friends who would never betray a confidence as I wouldn't betray their confidence. Have I made mistakes in the past? Yes. One time I mentioned to another party that my friend recently went through a breakup. That was a misjudgement on my part for which I was properly and duly chastised by my friend. Will I make mistakes in the future? I hope not but it could happen. The best I can do, and will endeavor to do with all my will power, is to respect the confidences of my friends but, at the same time I will continue to live, observe life around me, have opinions, and express those opinions. To me that is freedom. There is more to my life than just talking about the weather, politics and myself (how boring is that?) As another friend of mine stated:

It is the nature of the human beast to share in gossip--the malicious thing is the quality of gossip. I don't believe you would ever intentionally hurt another, in fact I would err on the side of good--you would try and preserve the integrity of the person just by your nature. And that is why you wouldn't make a good politician!


She knows me well. While I am by no means a perfect person, it is the "nature of the human beast to share in gossip". I would never engage in malicious gossip nor intentionally hurt another. When one engages in that sort of activity, it has a tendency to come back on them. No good comes of that kind of activity.
I just received a phone call from a friend of mine. She is going to Pennsylvania to see her friend whose husband is dying. Is she engaging in gossip with me? I don't know these other people personally. I've never met them. Should I instead discuss the weather with her since her friend wasn't present during this conversation? When she told me this information, I told her that friend's sister died over the weekend after a short illness. He knew she was dying and made a trip to visit her one last time. Am I engaging in gossip because he wasn't present during this conversation with my friend on the phone this morning who he has never personally met? I think not. If my life consisted of just discussing weather and politics, and, even worse, myself, what a dull boy I would be.
There are various views and definitions on gossip. Perhaps the following definitions from Wikipedia explain it the best:
Various views on gossip:
Some see gossip as trivial, hurtful and socially and/or intellectually unproductive. The Bahá'í Faith, for instance, refers to gossip as backbiting, and condemns and prohibits the practice, viewing it as a cause of disunity.
Some people view gossip as a lighthearted way of spreading information.
In a more sinister interpretation, restrictions on gossip could potentially paralyse the free flow of information and enforce
straight-jacketed thinking and censorship in a community. The term "gossip" typically labels discussion the speaker disapproves of ("I discuss, you speculate, he gossips"). Compare freedom of speech
A feminist definition of gossip presents it as "a way of talking between women, intimate in style, personal and domestic in scope and setting, a female cultural event which springs from and perpetuates the restrictions of the female role, but also gives the comfort of validation." (Jones, 1990:243)
Perhaps the word "gossip" isn't the correct definition of what the information and opinions I am sharing. I am in the group that views gossip as a lighthearted way of spreading information. I prefer the free flow of ideas and not be a subject to straight-jacketed thinking and censorship in a community. Thus, I will continue to engage in one of the most precious freedoms in this country, freedom of speech. I just won't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Gossip







As I groggily came to this morning in my bed, I went over in my mind again what my friend Harvey said about gossip. I thought to myself, "How am I going to get through my day without gossip?" As this dilemma roiled over in my head several times , I got up for breakfast. No gossip today? What am I going to talk about? After breakfast I checked my e-mails. The first e-mail was from a friend who was unable to attend our weekly gathering last night at the Feathered One. He said "bullfeathers...keep gossiping, that's what makes the world go round." That was reassuring. Maybe I'm not this bad person after all who whittles away his time with idle gossip. Later in the day I received an e-mail from another friend on the same subject. He said: "Geez -- No fun if you cannot gossip." This reaction from two friends whose opinion I hold in high regard. There. It is settled. I continue to gossip. However, I do have my rules. I never say anything about anyone that I wouldn't say to their face (and have on occasion). Also, I never knowingly say a falsehood or repeat malicious gossip. The conversation I was having last night concerned a long time friend of mine who is practicing major hypocrisy. I've told him myself but he uses twisted logic to justify his actions. He is a friend of mine and I like him very much but I thought it would be interesting to share this information with my friends at the table at the Purple Parrot last night. The human condition, always a fascinating subject. This is what we do when we get together. We either talk about ourselves (always a boring or interesting subject, depending on where you sit at the table) or others. Last night, after my friend Ed and I were chastised for gossiping, we talked about his need to get his original birth certificate in order to collect Social Security. Ed is adopted and doesn't know where his birth certificate is. The conversation continued on in this vein, birth certificate or no birth certificate. Ten minutes into this conversation between Ed and Harvey, I nodded off and almost dropped my head in my guacamole bowl. Nope. Back to the good stuff. Gossip it is. Good thing I didn't cancel my subscription to the National Enquirer.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Day's End




As the sun slowly sets in the west, another week has come to an end here in southern Delaware. Appropriately, the week has ended on a mixed note. Our usual Sunday night get together at the Purple Parrot was lightly attended. Only three of our group made it. Ed, Harvey, and me. Jack and Paul had other committments. Bob C. decided not to come. Wayne wasn't sure if he could make it because of his work schedule. Ed and I held the table until Harvey arrived at 5:30 pm. Ed is an old high school friend I've known for over 50 years (am I that old?) Harvey I met recently through friends here in Rehoboth Beach. Normally Ed and I would not cross paths with Harvey, a New York intellectual. Ed and I are just two county boys from the burbs of Philadelphia. But the small gay community of Rehoboth Beach provides strange bedfellows (no pun intended). Ed and I were engaged in gossip about a mutual friend of ours from our Pennsylvania high school days who is having a sexual indentity problem. When Harvey joined us, he listened for awhile then pronounced that we should change the subject because the person we were talking about was not there to defend himself. Oh. Culture clash. Of course Harvey was right but his statement did leave Ed and I momentarily speechless. Ed and I are guilty of gossip. No defense. Off balance, we groped around (again, no pun intended) for another subject. We came up with one but I can't remember which. Whatever it was, it wasn't near as interesting as what we were gossiping about earlier. Oh well. Looking back at the past week, it was quite eventful. I went through the trauma of thinking my computer's hard drive had crashed. It didn't but I had something just about as bad happen, my registry was corrupted. I knew I was corrupted but I had no idea that my registry was corrupted. See a pattern here? Tom, my Computer Guy, corrected my registry (at some expense to me) and I am now able to use my computer again, including uploading my precious pictures. The picture included in this blog was taken from my back deck shortly after I arrived home from the Purple Parrot tonight. A beautiful sunset, signifying an end to the week that was. I will try to implement Harvey's request to stop gossiping but it will be tough. I managed to stop smoking but this task may be more difficult. Does this mean I have to cancel my subscriptions to The National Enquirer and Globe magazines?

Alive Again!




I'm alive! I'm alive! Or a similar variation on the old Dr. Frankenstein shout of joy when he discovered that a gigantus bolt of lightening brought alive his monster. "It's alive! It's alive!" I can now upload my pictures. Thank you Jesus! There, I managed to get Frankenstein and Jesus in the same sentence. Am I excited or what? Yep! I'm excited.