Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let the Dream Never Die

Why is it that I feel such a loss today? It is because those of us in the working class of America have lost a champion: Senator Edward M. Kennedy. It is because I’ve always felt an affinity to the Kennedy family, being born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts of Irish, Catholic stock. Maybe it is also because I grew up with his family. I have never known a world without the Kennedy brothers in it.

Now that the “Lion of the Senate” has passed on, who will be there for the rest of us…the disenfranchised: the elderly, minorities, women, children, the disabled, the mentally ill, the working poor? Who will fight the good fight for us in the senate? Who will be our knight in the war for equal rights and quality, affordable health care? Who will be thinking about the day to day cares of the working families of America, while walking the hallowed halls of Washington? Who will stand up for affordable housing and quality education for every American? Who will fight to be sure our troops have the equipment they need? Who will stand up for the common man and woman?

There are those who will choose to recall the dark chapters of his life. Some will mention the assassinations of his brothers, John and Bobby. Others will bring up Chappaquiddick, his failed first marriage or his other scandals and indiscretions, his human failings. Some will choose to remember these things.

But I remember this: He was raised in a rarified atmosphere of privilege and plenty. He could have lived a life of quiet comfort and opulence. Instead, he chose a life of service. He devoted himself to fighting for the rights of those less fortunate. For that, I will always be thankful.

Let the dream never die.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In a New York Minute...

...Everything can change!
I got a phone call yesterday from the President of my old company (the one that cut me adrift last December.) It seems he is suddenly in need of an executive assistant and he wondered if I would be interested in the job.
There is only enough funding available to pay me through December and after that, I may very well be cut adrift again, but he said if business continues to improve there may be something available for me elsewhere in the company.

I may have to change the name of my blog to reflect my new status, but I will still be here, writing and reading as often as I can.

I start tomorrow...full time, nine to five. Today is my last day of summer freedom so I'm off to squeeze as much into it as I can!

Let the new adventure begin!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Things I learned this summer

• If we all communicated like dogs, without speech, we’d be a whole lot happier.

• You can still love a family member, even while wondering where the hell they came from.

• There is a big Caladium plant that looks exactly like an elephant’s ear. They call it Elephant Ear.”

• Some people truly don’t want what’s good for them.

• Sometimes when you shave a dog, it becomes an entirely different color.

• You can love, care for and devote yourself to someone for years, and they can still show you disrespect on a regular basis.

• In our woods there is a yellow, pitcher shaped wildflower, of the Impatiens family that’s called “Touch me not”. When the flowers are peppered with orange spots, it’s called “Spotted jewel weed.”

• Some people will try to make you doubt your own five senses and your own good sense.

• In Florida, it seems like just about everyone owns a gun.

• In New England, it seems most people don’t.

• The forests of the Berkshires are filled with little, red amphibians that are called “efts”.

• Some people would rather believe anything than believe the truth.

• Cats don’t hold grudges.

• Even smart people can get duped.

• In a New York minute, everything can change.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Midsummer's Dreaming

High summer. Although I could do without the mosquitoes and high humidity, this is really my favorite time of year. On sunny days, dog-day cicadas hum in the trees from noon until dusk. On cloudy days, gray tree frogs take over the chorus. Usually by this time of the season, the grass has turned brown and crunches underfoot, but this year we have had more than our share of rain, leaving everything green and lush.

There is a certain smell in the air now, especially at night. The trees are long past the blossoming stage, their flowers withered and blown away, and a new fragrance wafts through the yards. It's the smell of skunk cabbage and cut grass, vegetable gardens and clean sheets hung on backyard clotheslines. It is the fragrance of ferns, mushrooms and muddy riverbanks. It's the warm smell of summer in the Northeast.

Birds and dragonflies dart in crazy trajectories through the airspace of Catbird Heaven, and cottontail bunnies graze in the late afternoon on the clover and dandelions, while tufts of lacey, white cloud drift lazily across a deep blue sky.

Often, if I have a few free hours, I go for a short drive to my parent's house and I float on my back for a while in their small, crystal-clear pool, staring up at the branches of the oak trees that surround it. I watch the birds play tag among the green leaves, which are gilded by the mid-afternoon sunlight, and I admire the dappled patterns of light that dance on the water.

Last night, the full "Sturgeon" moon glowed pink as it hung low in the hazy sky. Snow crickets trill in the gardens after dark, and Rigby washes her feet in the dew that soaks the lawn at night and lingers into the morning.

I'm trying to take a little time every day and drink my fill of this season; to breathe it in and let it become part of me, so it will never leave.
I know that in the cold, dark heart of January, it will be nothing but a sweet and distant memory.