Silence in Lackawaxen

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Photographer: ДмитрийВладимирович

Silence in Lackawaxen

     A silence resides among us; the sound permeates the wooded areas, and hovers in the breeze.

     It is different from quiet.

     You hear its stillness when the wrestling trees pause; a falling acorn fills the void, and  you turn in the direction to catch the eye of a doe, her large chocolate brown eyes searching for her fawn, absorbing the emptiness a bent hoof suspended midair.

     We are vacationing in Masthope Mountain Community, near Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania. There are many homes, a few cars in driveways and silence.

     In these woods the doe, fawn and buck, run playfully through the woods, and wait by the roadside respectful of passing cars.

     Although we lived in New Jersey over twenty-five years I am unfamiliar with, “this neck of the woods,” but discovered Lackawaxen is home to the Zane Grey Museum. He and his wife, Dolly lived here from 1905 to 1918,. The area was one of his favorites.

     The silence, interrupted by chirping birds,and chipmunks jumping in dried leaves, creates a cloak upon our shoulders and has become a new best friend.

 

. . . .just saying

 

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Mommy’s Jumping Jelly Bean

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My daughter, Janine will turn forty on May 19 and hopefully this post captures how special she is to me. . . . just saying , , , , I love you, Mom

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Aging & Attitude

My daughter phoned a few weeks ago and after a good hour- long conversation told me, holding back tears, I was on her gratitude list. It was not Mother’s Day but it was the best Mother’s Day present ever.  I hung up the phone, and put a long list of ‘if only I had’ in the trash, to reminisce about my little girl.

She was not a fussy infant and slept through the night at six weeks, never cried or climbed out of her crib, and woke with a cheery “Morning.”  By the third call, I would have her in my arms. Asked if she would give baby Donna her bottle, Janine said yes and drank from a cup. She potty trained easily wanting to wear big girl pants like Christie.

Most days, after playing in the park we lingered on the stoop outside to wait for Daddy. At two and a half years old, Janine would climb the brick steps, teeter across a cement ledge and jump to the ground holding my hands. She was long and lean, like a green bean, and called Beaner  Her incessant jumping gave birth to the rhyme, J is for Janine, Mommy’s jumping jellybean.  I struggled to match  my daughter’s  energy and enthusiasm.

The summer of 1980 we traveled to Chicago, by sleeper train, to visit Aunt Judy and Uncle George.  Independent Janine maneuvered the way from our cabin to the dining car, bouncing side to side. You could not hold her hand. The dining tables wore white linen table cloths, and the wine served in a stemmed glass.

I have a vivid picture of Janine sitting in a Winnetka ice cream parlor, her chin even with the table, ready to place her order, a chocolate cone. Uncle George, who was treating, suggested a dish of ice cream might be safer. Determined, she stately sweetly, “I want a cone,” to Uncle George’s continued feeble attempts to persuade her other wise. There was no terrible two-temper tantrum only the pointing of her pinky and index finger like devil horns saying, repeatedly, “I want a cone.” Uncle George did not comment after her pretty dress was covered in chocolate.

The first day of  kindergarten she wore a sucker of a rhinestone pin given to her by Great Granny B for dress up, and left the house saying; “Mom, I’m going to be the prettiest girl in the class.” My response, “Yes, you will.”

Early on, she wanted to know if you went to college to be a cocktail waitress, to which her father and I had no reply, amazed at her insight that attending college and waitressing somehow went together.

These days, Janine is miles away, and missed. People notice her kindness, generosity, quiet determination, and independence. She pounds the streets of New York City and a chorus joins me in cheering, J is for Janine, Mommy’s jumping jellybean.

Thank you daughter, for loving me.

 

                                                                                         …. Just saying Happy Birthday

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Is Life a Bowl of Cherries?

800px-Bowl_of_cherries_with_colours_enhancedFinally, the air has a chill and I need long sleeves this October morning.

It is high tide, and dirty seaweed decorates the beach. The shore line looks ugly but the sky does not. Pewter grey clouds hover above angry white caps. In the distance a shirtless boy, pounds the sand intensely with his small fist and I share his anger. Dad sits behind him talking into a cell phone.  No one smiles or says good morning when I walk by, shake my head, and think about the world.

The waves slap each other and drive home a recent expectation of parents playing with kids.

On my return trip, Dad is picking up shells and pointing out turtle nests to his son and I forgive his digression and reevaluate my assumptions.

I bristled at the cell phone, but is it any different from a live conversation, probably not.  Fathers teach children to wait and not interrupt.

My father’s words “Life is tough, TUFF,” dance in my head and I reminisce about being told, “You’ve had enough fun this week,” and so, I was not allowed to go to the movies with friends. I could not argue. I did have fun.

We fabricate an idealized world in which every day is happy; and we are disappointed when it is not.

Perhaps this wise Dad is teaching his son to find the happy moments in the day.

Life is just a bowl of cherries.

                                                                                  …just saying