Photos from Italy

Bobbie Soprano In Italy

In 2019 my husband, Bob, myself and neighbors, Joan and Jodie travel to Italy and cruised on the Azama Pursuit. We docked in Taormina, Sicily and took an an excursion to Savoca, The Footsteps of the Godfather, where Francis Ford Coppola shot scenes for Godfather II. The cafe is now a tourist attraction where you can drink espresso and smoke a cigar.

Bob’s last name isn’t Soprano . . . but he’s all Italian.

* * * just saying

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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

 

Autumn Along The Hudson

largeHudson River Photo by Jim Robertson

Autumn Along the Hudson

Come out of town with me
And see what is always there to see
Mountains covered with trees
But, add color!

The air is crisp, the breeze fragrant
We climb the twisted bends, the crunch of leaves beneath our feet
Background music for what lies ahead.

A parting of trees, then pasture . . . a view of the Hudson
Midnight blue water framed in yellow, orange, and red
Autumn on the river

Add the silence of Nature
Warmth of the sun
Just a few clouds over head
Delight in how it soothes one senses

Come out of town with me
And see what is always there to see, the mountains
But, add color!

I have been out of town, visiting family and friends in New York and New Jersey and wrote this poem upon returning. Other than being patted-down at Newark airport for having nitrates on my hands, the trip was perfect. Security asked if I toted guns. I do not, but did pet my friends hunting dog, Louie. That is the closest explanation I could find to testing positive for a bomb residue, and turns out Louie’s owner hunts exclusively with bow and arrow; go figure.

The trip began at the Emerson Spa and Resort near Woodstock. The weather was cool and we slept with the windows open, under down comforters, to the sound of a babbling brook.

Hyde Park was our next destination. We lunched at the Culinary Institute and toured Eleanor Roosevelt’s cabin, Val-Kill, as well as the home of Thomas Cole and the home (Olana) of Frederic Church, his student.

We stayed at the Beekman Hotel in Rhinebeck and managed to tour Wilderstein, the home of FDR’s friend Daisy before leaving. After watching, the recent PBS special on the Roosevelt’s being in the area was an ideal culmination of events.

“Its effect is like that of a higher thought or a better emotion coming over me.”
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
                                                                                          . . . just saying

 

Wrinkles & Prunes

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A writing prompt from WordPress:

You wake up one day and realize you’re ten years older than you were the previous night. Beyond the initial shock, how does this development change your life plans?

Wrinkles and Prunes

May Dillard wakes to the sound of a bird chirp coming from her smart phone. A birthday text message appears from her daughter, Melissa, saying, “Happy 76th! You’re the Best.” May is surprised by the time, 9AM, and cannot remember the last time she slept this late. She stretches, flutters her feet to get blood circulating, and thinks, I’m not seventy-six, although I feel ten years older this morning. I am sixty-six.

In the bathroom, she lets the hot water run cold while she brushes her teeth, then washes and cleanses her face once the water is warm. The mirror reflects a ten year older version of her. The famous quote, “Old age is not for wimps!” ping-pongs in her mind. She says aloud, “I’m sixty-six today. I was born November 1st, 1948. Today is November 1st 2014, I’m sixty-six.”

Yesterday’s newspaper touted the benefits of coffee and May brews a pot. Anticipating the aroma, she walks to the front door and retrieves today’s newspaper. She removes the plastic sleeve and spreads the paper open on the kitchen table. The headline, “School Board Candidate Borrows Answers” is bold. Evidently, a member had copied and pasted information from Wikipedia onto their application form,and the media considers it cheating.

The date on the newspaper is November 1, 2024.

She had gone to sleep in 2014.

May retrieves a pair of  eyeglasses from her handbag to check the year. It reads 2024 clearly; aging her ten years. She searches the recycling bin and finds a paper dated October 31, 2024, but no story on the benefits of coffee. She recalls the article’s title, “Coffee’s surprising perks,” and the writers visit to the annual Convention of the Hawaii Coffee Association in the year 2014.

It is possible she slipped off the toilet and hit her head last night, as Hillary Clinton did in 2011 or could not remember due to a stroke or amnesia.

The phone rings, really it is a whistle to announce a call. She answers. Her sister Judy sings Happy Birthday. Then says, “God how did we get so old, in four years you’ll be eighty. We’ll have to do something special, like climb Mt. Everest, LOL.”

They chat freely, Judy doing most of the talking and May pretending to be ten years older than she believes. Later, the family gathers to celebrate and May blows out the chunky seven and six numbered candles that decorated an ice cream cake.

That evening she fears sleep, afraid she will wake another ten years older.

Well, she would still be alive. If life expectancy was eighty-one, she had five more good years. She was going to make the best of them.

There would be some changes..

Saturday morning May is packing when her daughter arrives. 

Melissa asks, “Mom, what are you doing?”

May struggles to an upright position and straightens her back and shoulders with a smile, “I’m going on the road. Do you need a vacuum? In five years I won’t be vacuuming.”

“Mom what are you talking about?”

“I making some changes, selling the house, traveling to all the places I haven’t been to. If you don’t want the vacuum I’ll donate it. How about a Crock Pot? They’re real convenient for one pot meals. On second thought I think I’ll take that with me.”

                                      . . . just saying