The Kindness of Neighbors

Jim had to work yesterday and I had somewhere I had to be at 10 am.

Enter my neighbor, who said he’d give me a lift.You can imagine my surprise when I saw my buddy, his eldest son, in the back.It really threw me for a loop and his sunshine from his smile was so contagious.

The ride left me with such a good feeling that I promised my little buddy that we’d make chocolate chip cookies together as a thank you for his Dad and the rest of the family, and that was special. We really had a good time and I was surprised how good he was for me.

Later on, he came back over with his Mom and bought some Romanian goodies for me and Jim.

A pretty memorable day, at least for me!

Summer is Here in Spades

It is funny when you work in school during the school year, and figure out you’ll make your doctor appointments while you are off. What they fail to inform you is that there’s a general practitioner appointment, blood work, then one specialist after another to have a check up.It feels as though all our time is spent in the car riding up the Garden State Parkway, and going in, registering, and joining the huddled masses sitting there waiting for your name to be called.

There is even bigger pressure on me these next fifteen months, as it is the end of my medical insurance from my employer.I have to start researching to see if I can find a lower COBRA rate for me or if Jim and I will stick with what we have. As he will be Medicare eligible in May, his part of my insurance coverages turns into his Plan B.

I guess I am really fortunate to keep on top of the months, so I know what we have to do. But, God, it’s almost five years that I have been retired.

As the late Richie Ashburn, Phillies sportscaster would say….”Hard to believe, Harry, hard to believe.”

Gerbers

it is usually during my afternoon walk with Kasia that I take in the state of other people’ flowers and see how mine are stacking up. If you remember, my friend Isabella’s parents are visiting from Romania and her dad, apparently, is quite the gardener.

If you were to go back to the blog this time last year, you’d have seen how I complained that it looked as if I had pots of romaine instead of Gerber daisies. Silly me! Would I have ever thought to fertilize them? What a difference a year makes.

Always nice to have a gardening wizard in the neighborhood, even for a short while!

Columbo Night

In my quest to find something in cable land that won’t insult my intelligence, well, all I can say is ,” Thank God it’s Sunday!”

ME TV on my local cable shows Columbo reruns and it is a pleasure to have a challenging show to keep me entertained.

Beats some of the other crap on Cable.

Cables’ Saving Grace for Saturday Night

Sure, Friday night sucked with only M*A*S*H on for comfort.

Thanks to my PBS station, I am catching a rerun of the “Concert for George.” The friends of the late George Harrison got together on the one year anniversary of his passing, as a salute and fund raiser to my favorite Beatle.

Mind you, I grew up a Simon and Garfunkel, David Cassidy, Osmonds, Jackson 5 , Bobby Sherman fan. Like everyone else, sure I liked the Beatles. I mean who didn’t?

It wasn’t until the first time I caught this concert that I realized how much I enjoyed George’s music.It was 2002 when they played the concert in Royal Albert Hall, and it was tremendous.

The late Tom Petty was on the stage playing “Taxman” and Traveling Willbury music. It was so enjoyable, and bittersweet now that they are all gone. My favorite song, “All things must pass” was done to perfection.

I know there’s a lot going around about the James. Cordon carpool spot featuring Sir Paul McCarthy right now, and I thought it was excellent, but this concert had secured George’s spot in my heart.

Happy to be in on this first rainy Saturday night of Summer 2018.

Cable blech!

Pretty bad that with wonderful Comcast, the only thing I can find on a Friday night to watch is an old episode of M*A*S*H running out of WGN from Chicago.

I laugh at stories on Google saying that today’s teens watch whatever they want to watch on You-Tube. They only sit and watch cable when joining their parents to watch.

I usually find comfort in shows like M*A*S*H as background noise, but as far as finding what I want to watch, well, I am with the teens. You-Tube has so many old movies and television shows, mini-series, and even bleeps from Stephen Colbert and James Corden.

After all, how many “Diners, drive-ins and dives” can they rerun forever?

Mar vs.Hydrangea

I have always loved hydrangea.

I had gotten one from Jim for St. Valentine’s Day, but we left it at the Philadelphia house. Three years ago, a neighbor was moving away and offered me her hydrangea.

What a struggle!

It would seem that Jersey creatures, not the Jersey devil, have a happy taste for hydrangea leaves. It was sad: it’s not as if they ate everything- they ate the meat out of the leaf.

Answer solved? Spraying it with Neem oil. That, with TLC helped me nurse it through.

Three years later, and, viola’….a baby blossom.

Not Quite Summer

Our little version of Amity is pretty much in full swing.

All the tourists were paying homage to their fathers and husbands, tanning on the beach when, all of a sudden, my little Amity became a part of Miami CSI.

Two teens were out in Delaware Bay in their kayak. They saw something floating and hurried back to the beach when they realized it was a dead body. They had their parents call 911 on their cell phone.It turned out to be a fully dressed male in his 40’s.

So when you think a sleepy little town is exactly that-think twice!

Dad

Tomorrow is the nineteenth Fathers’ Day without my Dad.

It’s funny how, as I get older, certain memories of Dad get sharper. For instance, the Philadelphia Phillies were playing the Milwaukee Brewers today and the Brewers were wearing uniforms circa 1984. It was a time my oldest brother and his family lived out there, and Dad went with us to the game in the old stadium there. I called my oldest godson to talk to him and we laughed about the memory. I also wished him a happy Fathers’ Day.

I am sure Dad had the best game seats with a heavenly view today, and laughed about the same thing.

To all the Dads and ” Have to be Dads” out there, know your memories are cherished by us all.

Gratefulness

“It is not happiness that makes us grateful.
It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

David Steindl-Rast
author, scholar, Benedictine monk.

I came across this quote in the current issue of Oprah’s magazine and it kind of punched me in the nose. GRATEFUL.

The top of this post has two people I am grateful for, that is, my Angel Zush and Kasia. I realized from day one how fortunate I was to has them in my life. They made every minute with me worth it.

I stop and think of people I know who are happy without being grateful, who think things should be handed to them, and that makes them happy. I think these people have no clue on what gratitude is.

I am grateful for the time Jim and his Mom have together.I think that we try to hold back time, but time continues to march on.

Most of all I am grateful for my folks. With out them, I wouldn’t be here right now.

Watering Flowers

Welcome to ” Undisclosed Location”, where we seem to have rain daily.

Fortunately, it has given me time to read up on the care of Gerber daisies. My friend Isa’s father is in town, and he also has given me a few tips.

They seem to be working so far. I am hoping to get better flowering results this year than I had last year. It goes without saying that if you have any tips on Gerber daisy care and handling, please leave a comment: I am sure I need to learn much more.

Thanks!

Getting A Break

Actually managed to score a day off today.

Our windows were open, fresh air ruled the house until I had to close windows so we didn’t smoke up from neighboring fire pits starting.

Kas and I walked and enjoyed the bright sunshine and the balmy 65 degree day.

So we were thankful for the Mama daughter time, on this beautiful day.

A Gift From Zush

My girl left me for heaven one year ago today.

She sent me a gift from heaven to mark the occasion.

If you peer through the window, you will see “LB”, or Little Birdie. It is a fledgling blue jay who somehow has ended up on our porch. He came into our lives Sunday and has been in various positions on the porch bench. The shot above is Kasia checking in with her baby brother…lol.

The mother and father, I assume, have their nest in the front of our house.They have been back on numerous occasions during the day to check on LB and I have seen the Mom feed LB a worm or two.

I know, eventually, as all “kids” do, LB will leave the nest. Until then, thanks, Zush, for sending a little heart saver to us.

Pain plus 363

I know that although my heart is heavy, I love both my girls, and always will.

They ALWAYS hung together, except at the vet- not Kasia’s favorite spot. This is one of my favorite pictures I took out back with them. My Zush was always willing to humor me for a picture; Kas, not so much.

This was the best pseudo-selfie of Kasia and me. This shot I took when I first was attempting selfies.

This is one of my favorite Zush shots: I took it in my back yard. We were coming back from a good walk.

And baby Zush, 6 months old, on the day we became her pack.💜🐕😘

Both gals hanging out at our neighbor’s yard, working on treats.

So there you are. My heartache tempered by some memories close to my heart.

Pain plus 362.


For the past three hundred and sixty-two days, I have been making strides with Kasia, who Jim and I refer to as the queen. She knows she has the rule of the house.

Yet my heart sinks daily as the memory of my Zushie is never far out of my mind. Three hundred and sixty-two sunrises and sunsets that I haven’t had her here with me. Fireworks throughout the year that I haven’t had to worry about calming her down.

I have some comfort that she is with my Mom, but it is still so hard.

I don’t even take Kasia down to the bay, as she doesn’t love it quite the way Zush did. I find it quite ironic that we moved down here because she could go and swim her hearts’ content in the bay, and now she is gone.

So please forgive me if I am not quite myself the next few days.

My heart hurts.