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Showing posts from February, 2009

Knocked Out

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Several years ago, actually 12 years ago, my Mother told me she knew when she was old when she knew she couldn’t hoe that extra six rows of corn. My Mother was 72 years told at the time. My Father always had a vegetable garden on their three acres of land in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He lovingly worked that ground for over 40 years (since 1958.) Pop always planted more than the family could eat or can. Pop’s Garden (as we in the family called it) was his identity. He would start his seedlings early in the spring and put them out after the first frost. When my two younger brothers and I were growing up, he would rope us into weeding his rows and rows of corn. At that time his garden was in a field behind the Gindy Trailer Manufacturing plant in Downingtown. My brothers and I eventually left home to start our own families. Pop continued to have his garden. He and Mom would do the weeding. Actually, Mom did the weeding by using her hoe. Well, this one summer day, she went up in the

Facebook

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For about a year now friends from different phases of my life have been urging me to join Facebook . I resisted because I thought I was too old (67.) I thought Facebook was a social networking web site for college students to stay in touch without the detritus of regular e-mail. Why would I want to bother with such a web site? Another thing, my poor old brain can only handle learning so many new things. I tried Twitter a few months ago and it baffled me. I didn’t understand what I would get out of Twitter. I can get by quite well in my life without texting my friends and relatives. To me texting is just another way to incur phone company fees. Then, about three weeks ago, the son of a former classmate of mine told me that if I enjoyed posting to a blog, I would like Facebook. I was skeptical, because he is one of those young people who handle these new things with ease. What he doesn’t understand is that I am of that generation that is on Brain Overload now. I’m just barely managin

Cold Tuesday

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Last night was another slow night at the hotel where I work the front desk from 3 to 11, Mondays and Thursdays. There were only three guests in the hotel; a confused elderly couple from New York and a Dutch national who is working at the Georgetown airport. With only two rooms rented, last night was a long night. I almost wished for those nights when the hotel had a stedy flow of guests in and out and asking the same questions at the front desk such as: “Where do I park?” – outside in the parking lot “Where is the best place to eat?” – The Buttery, The Second Street Grill, Stripper Bites, Cafe Azafran, Beseme, Jerry's Seafood...take your pick “How far to the ocean?” one mile to the bay – the Atlantic Ocean is at Cape Henlopen, drive east until you hit the water....you're there. “How do I get there?” out the front door to the light, over the canal street bridge one mile “Is there parking?” yes, at the end of the road where the beach meets the water “How much?” I don’t

Windy Monday

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Here is is Monday and the start of a new week and I haven't posted my daily blog. Sometimes it just isn't possible. This blog posting will be a short one to let everyone know I'm still alive and kicking. Last night I was invited to an Oscar Party with friends but I decided not to go. The weather was dicey and I don't like to travel at night, especially to someplace where I'm not sure where I'm going. The last time two times I went to parties at this friend's house, I rode with someone else. Both of those individuals were unavailable last night. One stayed home and counted his piggies and the other went to market, er, he visited his relatives in Altoona , PA and attended a kid's party. I heard that he survived the party. I stayed home and cooked a wonderful pork loin roast. Friday night I cooked to death a pork tenderloin. If you like meat the consistency of beef jerky, you would like that pork tenderloin I overcooked. I was determined to have the

Spring is Coming

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Spring is coming. I can feel it in the air. The yellow crocus, always a welcome harbinger of spring, is blooming along the walkway to my front door. When I lived in Pennsylvania the deer usually ate the new bloomed crocus before I could enjoy its colorful splendor. One in a while the deer would miss a patch and I would see it for part of a day, which was enough for me to know for certain that spring would soon follow. Yesterday I loaded up my ’98 red Subaru Forester with old items to be donated to the new thrift store which will be operated by Clear Space Productions. There are several thrift stores in the area, and I have made donations to them in the past but I’ve been saving the best items for just such an occasion as this. A few years before I moved to Delaware, the Metropolitan Community Church used to operate a thrift store. This is the thrift store where I was going to make my donations after my move. Unfortunately, the new pastor of the church discontinued the thrift store

Hump Day Plus One

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Slowly but surely I’m getting back to my regular routine. I had to go into work yesterday to fill in for the regular front desk clerk who had a cold. Day shift at the front desk is totally different from night shift. Both shifts are interesting but the day shift goes by much faster. After my shift, I got home and showered and took a good long nap. Of course that screwed up the rest of my evening. After my nap I got on my computer and checked my account on Facebook. Then I opened up my AOL e-mail account and worked on catching up my genealogy e-mails. I now have four distant relatives (that I’ve never met personally) who are now sharing information with me. Sharing genealogy information with distant relatives is a pastime that I never tire of. I also called two of these relatives, one in Tennessee and one in Ohio. I always enjoy connecting with hitherto unknown relatives and gaining new information about our common family tree, especially the older relatives. I’ve missed so many opp

Getting Back On Track

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I’m still trying to catch up on my regular routine after spending five days in Pennsylvania visiting my Mom and friends last week. Today I had a delightful lunch with my former classmate and friend, Judy. We dined at Café Azafran in Lewes. Café Azafran is one of the restaurants that I recommend to hotel guests but haven’t had a chance to eat at myself. Today I corrected that. We both had a tasty Mediterranean vegetable dish of eggplant (I love eggplant) and tomatoes with a tangy sauce. Delicious! Good company, good food in an interesting restaurant in downtown Lewes on a sunny winter’s day. It doesn’t get much better. Before I left for lunch, I got a call from my co-worker at the Inn. She’s not feeling well and she asked if I could fill in for her tomorrow. I checked my calendar and saw that I was open. I'll go in tomorrow at 7:00 to cover her shift. That was part of the bargain when I applied for my job at the Inn. I told them I would almost always be available to fill in on s

Back Home in Delaware

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Oh it was so good to get back “home” again yesterday. While I enjoyed visiting my Mother and friends and relatives in Pennsylvania, my home is here in Delaware. I remember something my brother John told me many years ago. He and his wife were returning to their home in Greenville, South Carolina after a visit to Pennsylvania. They had lived in South Carolina for about 15 years but still referred to Pennsylvania as “home.” John and Barb made frequent visits to their “home” in Pennsylvania, which was actually our parent’s home. As John and his wife crossed the North Carolina state line to South Carolina and entering the Piedmont Valley, he turned to his wife and said “Honey, we’ll be home soon.” It was then he realized that this was the first time he referred to their residence in Greenville as their home. He didn’t realize what he said at first. Then it struck him, he had made the transition, Greenville, South Carolina was now their home. This is the way I felt yesterday as I merged

Back Home from PA

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The trip back home to Delaware from PA was much easier than the trip up to PA on Wednesday. The sun was out, the roads were clear, and the Summit Bridge was open. Coming back was a breeze. It was good I went to visit Mom. She’s not doing well. I’ve had a long day. I will post more tomorrow.

Leaving Pennsylvania

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Early tomorrow I leave Pennsylvania. My four days at my Mom's house in Pennsylvania has been very productive. I spent quality time with my Mother and brother. Since my move to Delaware in November of 2006, all of my visits to Pennsylvania were made the same day. This wasn't fair to my Mother. This visit I changed that scenario. I stayed for four days. I think she's had enough of me now. The next time I visit, I'll probably stay overnight but just for one night. Four nights is too much. I don't know how our whole family lived in this 1,100 square foot one bathroom, ranch house back in the late Fifties. It is so small. I've been spoiled with my 4,200 square foot house in Delaware with four bathrooms. I am looking forward to going home tomorrow and walking around a house where my elbows don't bump into the walls. Earlier this morning I visited my Aunt Mable and her son, my cousin Bud (same age as me.) It was a good visit. Bud and I discussed the state of th

Two More Days

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Two more days in Pennsylvania. As I suspected, this has been an eye opening stay. I moved to Delaware permanently November 17, 2006. That was the last time I stayed overnight in Pennsylvania. I've made many visits since then but I've always returned the same day. Since it is a 2 1/2 hour drive both ways, that made for a long day. This trip I decided to stay a few nights out of respect for my Mother and to connect with friends. My brother Isaac and I took our Mom to the doctor's office today. She needs help going anywhere because she can hardly walk. She now uses a cane. However, when one of us is around she will hang on to one of us. After the visit to the doctor, we took her to one of her favorite discount grocery stores. She's good if she can balance herself on a shopping cart. She likes to shop at the discount stores like the Dollar Store. She doesn't have to shop at those stores but that what she prefers. She grew up during the Depression (how ironic at

The Trip From Hell

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Okay, here I am at Mom's in Pennsylvania. But getting here wasn't easy. My trip yesterday was the Trip From Hell. I live in Sussex County, Delaware, approximately 2 1/2 miles from my Mom's home outside of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The quickest way to travel to Pennsylvania is north on Rt. 1 to I-95 into Pennsylvania then Rt. 202. I hate I-95. Even though I'm only on it a short time (about 7 miles), I take Rt. 141 to avoid the bypass around Wilmington because if I take the whole I-95 I have to know EXACTLY what exits to take at speeds up to 80 MPH or else I end up in a residential section of Wilmington, which has happened to me more than once. The speed limit on I-95 is 65 MPH but you're putting your life at risk if you travel that slow. I have traveled at 75 MPH and have cars and trucks passing me on both sides!) A few years ago I received advice from my dentist and his wife, who also have a home in Delaware and travel frequently between PA and Delaware, to ta

Leaving for Pennsylvania

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The sun is out, the temperature is up. A perfect day to leave for Pennsylvania to visit my Mom and see friends. I'm only going to be gone for two days (returning on Friday) but looking at everything I'm taking with me one would think I was leaving for a month. I can't help it. I have to have all the bases covered. I don't travel light. Today I take my Mom to run some errands. I give my brother Isaac a break. This evening I'm having dinner with three widowed classmates of mine at 6 PM. Roast pork is on the menu. Yum! After dinner we retreat to the Brickside Grille for Trivia Night. It's been a long time since I went to Trivia Night at the Brickside. I'm looking forward to a pleasant evening with friends. Tomorrow my former boss at Downingtown National Bank pays a house call to Mom to collect information from her to do her taxes. I'm looking forward to seeing him. Also, I hope to squeeze a lunch in with another longtime school chum. On the way bac

Going to Visit Mom in Pennsylvania

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The weather forecast looks safe for the next couple of days so I’m planning on visiting my Mom in Pennsylvania. She is a 2 ½ drive away. Not a bad drive actually, but I don’t like to drive in the rain (“intermittent showers” are forecast – I can handle that) or snow. I didn ’t want to visit while snow and ice were still on the ground at her home. This past weekend’s mild temperatures melted whatever was left of the past two month’s winter debris. It looks like clear sailing up Rt. 1 to Pennsylvania tomorrow. While I’m up in Pennsylvania I’m also going to visit friends (old high school classmates) for dinner tomorrow night. My friend just sent me an e-mail and said she’s cooking roast pork. I love roast pork! After dinner we’re going to the Brickside Grille for Trivia Night. Oh how I miss Trivia Night at the Brickside . That perhaps is one of the few things I missed when I moved to Delaware. I always looked forward to getting together with friends for an evening out at least one

Monday Morning Blues

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Monday, the beginning of another week here in my retirement home in Delaware. As is usual, after breakfast I retreat to my home office which is bathed in the morning sunlight. The light and warmth of that sunlight will last until about 10 o’clock. I always try to take advantage of the special qualities of my home office early in the morning on sunny days like this. Later on, I’ll take a walk in the development behind me. The walk always clears my mind. Bill took off early this morning to meet his American Legion van pickup to the Wilmington Veterans Medical Center. He has a dermatology appointment. He didn’t want to go but I urged him to go anyway. Last summer the VA discovered my friend Bob had melanoma cancer. The VA took quick action to cut out a chunk of Bob’s arm to save him. I don’t want something like that happening to Bill. The weather was very mild yesterday, almost spring like. Today the temperature is already up to 50 degrees. I guess I have to start looking at

Bingo-a-Go-Go

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All day I was looking forward to going out last night to Bingo-a-Go-Go in Rehoboth Beach. I haven’t been able to attend these four times a year fund raisers for AIDS because I’ve had to work at the Inn. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise when my friend Paul and Jack called me last week and asked me to join them for a night of dining and fun and festivities. Wouldn’t you know it? Monica from work called me about 1 in the afternoon and asked if I could work her shift for her because her youngest child was sick. I had to turn her down because I had already purchased the tickets for bingo and made dinner arrangements at Casa Dileo with my friend Paul and Jack. I had also invited my friend and neighbor Barbara. She said she couldn’t make dinner but would meet us at the Convention Center. Four o’clock rolls around. I had arranged to meet Paul and Jack at 5 PM in front of Casa Dileo. I drove into Rehoboth and parked at my friend Ed’s house so I wouldn’t have to fight the traffic from t

When Good Things Happen to Good People

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So often we hear of bad things happening to good people. But, every now and then good things happen to good people. Yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend I used to work with at the bank in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Her name is Renee. She is young, smart, funny, and just a delightful person to be around. Even though my gayness, I was attracted to her. Not sexually but because of her effervescent personality and her ability to laugh at herself as well as the absurdities of life around us. Also, I wasn’t totally immune to her beauty and sexy, husky voice. Renee has those special qualities that not all women posses. I knew it was just a matter of time before some smart guy snagged this beautiful woman. Yesterday Renee told me that she is engaged to be married! I am so happy for her. Renee replaced me in the job I had at the bank when I moved to Delaware. She was unsure if she could do the job but I had no doubt. Renee is the type of person who doesn’t give herself enough credi

Back to Normal

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We’re back to normal around here, or at least what passes for normal. I made the first move yesterday morning. I knocked on Bill’s basement bedroom door. Instead of saying “Go away” he said “What do you want?” This is a break. I asked if I could talk to him. Without waiting for an answer I went into his darkened bedroom and asked him a question (which I forget now, but it was to break the ice.) I forget what he said but at least we got the conversation started. Oh, I remember. I asked him to come upstairs in the sun room to enjoy the light. He said he wanted to continue to sit in his room for awhile. The world “awhile” was another break. I told him “Okay” and left him and went upstairs. About an hour later I went back downstairs again and he was at his computer in his basement office, which adjoins his bedroom. Thus there was a break in the solid frozen over lake of our relationship. I talked to him about some other innocuous things about the house. We talked about our neighbor’

Hugs

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The first hug that I remember receiving wasn ’t really a hug at all but more like an embrace. I was 13 years old and in an 8 th grade class when the teacher came up behind me and put her right arm around my shoulders. She was looking over my shoulder to see how I was doing on the assignment she had given to the class earlier. To this day I remember clearly the strange feeling I had with her arm resting on my shoulder. I felt warm and wanted. It felt good. Jump forward ten years to my next memory of a hug. I was 23 years old and working at Girard Bank in Philadelphia. I was sitting at my desk when a co-worker of mine came up behind me and again placed her right arm on my shoulder and asked me if I wanted a chocolate covered strawberry. I am serious. Her name was Norma Lockwood and she was a buxom, older, busy body. The same warm feeling emanated from my shoulder where she rested her arm. On neither occasion did I take this as a sexual connotation from either woman. I took it as

11:04 am

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Yesterday a friend of mine sent me one of those e-mails informing me that something good was going to happen to me at precisely 11:04 am today. Actually, the e-mail said that I would “receive good news at 11:04 am.” All I had to do was to pass it on to at least seven of me e-mail friends. My friend said he normally doesn’t forward e-mails like that but something told him to forward that one yesterday. He also asked me to let him know if anything happened at 11:04 am today. Well……………………I did get good news at 11:04 am. Actually, I didn’t think of his e-mail until about an hour later when I was getting haircut in Rehoboth Beach. Earlier in the morning I had taken a test at the Inn (where I also happen to work coincidentally) to be a census taker. One friend of mine told me “an idiot could pass that test.” Another friend told me “it’s no problem” (or something along those lines – he will be sure to correct me if I misquote him thus the disclaimer.) Well, I was somewhat surprised to

A New Day

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As I opened up my garage door this morning to put out my trash can for pickup, this was the view that greeted me. Frost covered the grass on my front lawn. Without the wind, the 27 degree temperature was bracing instead of painful. Lights from my neighbors’ houses punctured the early morning haze. This literally is the dawn of a new day for me. At 10 o’clock this morning I have an appointment at the Inn to take a census employment test. I have my birth certificate, Social Security card and DD-214 (proof that I was in the Army) certificate at the ready to prove that I am a citizen of these United States. This is a job that is almost a perfect fit for me. As part of my genealogy research, I work with census records through Ancestry.com. I am a stickler for detail and accuracy. I also like to get out, ride around and meet people. The only downside is if I have to take a census in an area away from my home. I’ll work the census if it is in my neighborhood or nearby. I won’t work if I’m

Wolves and Sheep

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Yesterday’s spring like temperatures was one of those special wintertime treats that happen every now and then. After I finished checking my e-mails and posting my blog yesterday morning, I treated myself to a brisk walk on the wide and solitary roads in the development behind where I live. There is nothing like a relaxing walk in the fresh air and blue skies to invigorate me for the rest of the day. Most of all my stress and worry melts away. It’s magic. And it’s free. Not so today. As I type this, snow is tiny white snowflakes are falling from the gray morning sky onto the winter grass outside my window. This retiree won’t be going out today. I don’t have to go out until tomorrow. I’m scheduled to take a test applying for a census taker job. Ironically, I will take the test at my workplace. The owner of the hotel has donated one of his meeting rooms for the prospective census employees to take their test. Very convenient. Bill continues to shun me. It’s not easy on me (or him I

The Line of Beauty

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Monday, February 2, 2009. The morning sun steams through my home office window. I like working in this little bedroom that I converted in a home office. The early morning sun is a welcome friend as I begin my day checking my e-mail. That is the one constant in my life; my home, my computer, and light. I thrive on natural light. I don’t like working on my computer at night, when all is dark. My home office in Pennsylvania was in a basement room. I couldn't work there. Bill took out the lone window when he put up the paneling in that room. The lack of natural light depressed me. I moved my computer to a corner of my 2nd floor bedroom, next to the window. Filtered light came through the trees that surrounded our house. It was better than no light in the basement office but not as good as the early morning sunlight which I have now. I love my home office in this house. It is my retreat. The past weekend was quiet. Bill is still shunning me. That’s his choice. Apparently that’s the