Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam*

How much do we Love a Snow Holiday!

Enjoying a piping hot cup of somethin’ as we look out the window at Nature’s Blanket of Pure White Beauty, making everything new again, as she whispers to us, “Pause. You can start Fresh. Now.”

There is infinite Comfort & Peace in the Breathtaking Beauty of Nature and her most perfect rhythms.

We didn’t have many Snow Holidays when I was a kid – almost none.


Season of Thanks!

The Feast!Do you have one of those perfectly set Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving Tables?
I do not.
My Holidays in general are perfectly imperfect!
They are messy. They require a lot of cleaning and washing of dishes. They’re a lot of work.
And they’re always worth it!
Our culture nowadays promotes convenience, and sells us the idea that convenience can be purchased — and to some degree that may be true.
But it is at a much higher cost than it may appear — if we buy too much into the idea that convenience without any mess is possible, we miss the Heart of it all.
And we set up a false expectation that the result is more important than the process.


The Present Moment

I have been told that Blog Posts are generally significantly shorter than the kind of writing I do. And while never one to conform, it occurs to me that occasionally a Brief Thought can be just enough to make someone’s day.
And so, for Today, I am offering the following Brief Thought…
(and who knows, if I get a few more of these underbelt, I might even develop a Twitter Feed!)

Today is a Gift!
That’s why they call it the Present!

It’s about two weeks until Christmas!
And very much in spite of the commercial push to get us to buy things which now begins at Labor Day, I grew up in a World in which even these first two weeks of December were considered very much Ordinary Time.
Back then, we lived more in the Present Moment!

Things my Mother Taught Me

In honor of Mother’s Day 2018

Mothers are Precious and Beautiful Creatures.
They are Loving and Kind and it is in their Nature to Give.
They do their Best to help us; still, sometimes they succeed in driving us Crazy!
Sometimes this Act of Love — Birthing Us, i.e.: Opening Up the Avenue for us to come into our Physical Being — can lead to all kinds of dysfunction and even animosity or resentment, but regardless, they are the one person who was Always There!
Sometimes, they left too early, and this can cause confusion. But it is never due to a lack of Love! They made sure they got us here before they left!

Messy and Bright!

I saw a tchotchke of some kind the other morning — it was white with gold scribble, and upon first glance, it appeared to read, “Messy and Bright!”
I Loved that!
I almost bought it.
But then, upon closer look, I realized it was just the handwriting, and in fact it said, “Merry and Bright!”
That’s not me.
I’m Messy and Bright!

This Holiday is Messy.
But it is also Beautiful and Bright and as Magical as Can Be!
Of course it’s Messy!
That’s how it is!
The other evening I was at MOM’s preparing (more…)

BreakFast in the TreeHouses 2 of 5

BreakFast in the TreeHouses
The Best of the Breakfasts!


EGG BAKES are fairly simple.
They are a Great Way to serve Breakfast to a lot of guests, without having to cook individual omelets for each person, which would likely not all be ready at the same time.
With a little prep the day before, the Egg Bake pops in the Oven, and comes out ready all at once so that everyone may enjoy Breakfast Together.
And Community — Being Together — is a Beautiful Way to start the Day
And Live the Day, for that matter!

At Tree House Point , I have seen a greater variety of Egg Bakes than I could have known existed.
Creative People, Creating for Other People…
Celebrating Community!


Now and Then

She managed on her own pretty well.
It is only since her eyesight failed
That she has started to have a few Falls.
Balance is a combination of three characteristics: Soles of the Feet, Eyesight, and Ears.
As we age, at least one of these things will tend to go.

“C’mon! You can do it!” the Young Woman says encouragingly to her baby boy, standing, but not yet finding his balance to walk the two steps toward her, as she sits on the floor of their Bronx Living Room, with her arms outstretched toward him.
“Cuhh’mon,” nodding and smiling brightly, talking in a now higher-pitched enthusiasm.
His feet find their balance, and he steps forward;
Her arms are there to catch the little boy in a hug as he finally falls back down to a more comfortable and familiar crawl.
“Yaaay!” she applauds him and cheers him on.
“Very Good! You took your first steps! That’s Very Good!”

One’s chance of Falling increases significantly each decade after age 65.
Once one has had a Fall, the chance of it happening again is way higher than it was before it happened — that is because the Fall usually indicates that one of the three aspects of balance is beginning to falter.
So the Doctors will test your feet, clean out your ears, and send you for an eye test.

The Retina Specialist was kind, and empathetic.
“You know,” he said, as he put his hand to his brow in consternation,
“There’s nothing we can do. We have no treatment for macular degeneration.”
He looked over at Mama.
Then he looked back at me and commented, “She’s So Sweet!”
“Yes,” I agree. “She is.”

She was in hospital.
He had come down with the mumps, and his Dad thought it best not to worry her.
So the Boy got on the phone with her every evening, making up stories about what happened in the playground at recess and pretending it had been an average day at school, so that she wouldn’t know he was ill, and wouldn’t worry.
When she was home from the hospital, they all had a good laugh about it.
“What a brave boy!” she said to him.

There are injections they can give when there is hemorrhaging going on around the retina.
They stick a needle directly into your eyeball.
Mama went through this three or four times.
It was painful for her.
It didn’t help.
But they did what they could.
“What a brave girl!” he said to her.

The other evening he helped her to write a Birthday Card to her Grandson.
He made out the check for her, and told her to sign it.
“I can’t see,” she whispered. And then, in a rare instance of breaking down in front of him, she put her hands to her eyes and cried.
She did not want him to see this.
She does not like for him to worry.

You can sign your name here,
His large adult hand guiding her small frail hand to the check.
“But I can’t see!” she repeated.
“You don’t need to see to write your name,” he reassured her gently, placing the pen point to the signature line.
“Just write. The muscle memory is in your hand. You can remember what it feels like to write your signature. Just let your hand sign it for you. You’ll remember.”

“Like This,” she would say, taking his tiny hand in her small adult hand, she would guide him to cursive.
“You’re learning!” she encouraged him.
He typically brought home a Report Card that had an A in every subject except Penmanship and Conduct.
While Father would react to these C’s bringing down his Average, she would take the boy aside and whisper, “The two subjects Mommy doesn’t care about are Penmanship and Conduct,
As long as you keep getting A’s in everything else!”
“You don’t need to write neatly,” she would tell him.
And as for Conduct, perhaps she knew that nothing she could say would improve the situation.

with her second Great GrandChild

She struggled. The writing was very shaky. But she signed it.
Now, the Card.
Write, “Love, Grandma,” he instructs her.
With no struggle, she writes smoothly and fluidly.
This she knows how to do.
And no one could stop her.
It wasn’t wobbly — it looked remarkably like when she began writing it, with such pride, thirty-some-odd years ago.
He encourages her. Her crying subsides.
She has said three or four times in the ten or fifteen minutes it takes to do this,
“I don’t know what I would do without you!”
“You can never know how much I appreciate you!”

She says all of the things he felt but was unable to articulate as a child.
All of the things that any child feels and no child knows how to put into words.
That is part of being a child.
A Parent finds satisfaction in how their Children Grow.
The wisdom to speak from Gratitude — that is a part of Growing Older.
In Life’s Sunset, there are Words,
and ideally Peace.

Eggplant Parmesan is a complicated process

He stays later.
He makes his Elderly Mom Eggplant Parmesan.
He’s tired.
He’s Working.
He has other things to be doing, and dreams that are being put on hold.
It is so time-consuming.
But it brings him So Much Joy to see her Happy.
She is his Mother.
This is the natural priority behind which all other things line up.

But Oh So Delicious!

She gets up early in the Morning.
She makes the Boy EggPlant Parmesan.
Getting four kids ready for school, she didn’t have an excess of time to make such elaborate lunches every morning, but she always did it.
She had other things to be doing, and dreams that were being put on hold.
It is so time-consuming.
But it brings her So Much Joy to see him Happy.
She was his Mother.
This is the natural priority behind which all other things line up.

What a Mother teaches a Child by Example
May reveal itself some day, in ways you may not anticipate.

“How did she get here?” she wonders.
Taking Care of the Kids!
It seemed like only a moment ago, she was going out and having Fun!
How she Loved to Dance!
The Rainbow Room — SINATRA, DINO and all the Old Crooners.
How he Loved to Dance!
The Ice Palace — THE VILLAGE PEOPLE, DONNA SUMMER, and all the Disco Headliners.
That all seemed a LifeTime Away Now, So Far in the Past!
Now, a CareTaker and in the Second Half of Life…

But she Loved what she’d found.
Being a Mother.
Life was Like that — ever revealing Newfound Treasures of Being.
She takes the Boy’s hand.
She can feel him Letting Go.
She doesn’t want him to Go,
But they both know it’s necessary.
Time to Grow Up,
Become a Good Man,
Remember everything she taught him.
She is Proud of him.
Still, she holds his hand a little too tightly
Wishing he would remain her Boy Forever.

He takes his Mother’s Hand.
He can feel her Letting go.
He doesn’t want her to Let Go.
But they both know it’s necessary.
He wants her to be Comfortable,
Be a Good Patient.
He remembers everything she taught him.
Still, soon, she may not remember who he is.
He is Proud of her, handling this with such Grace and Strength.
He holds her hand a little too tightly
Wishing she would remain here Forever.

She Loves being a Mom.
He Loves having a Mom. Most of his friends’ Moms are gone.
It is what she’s always wanted.
It’s just that she has no time to herself and no days off.
Imagine if all your free days are spent being there for someone else.
That is what being a Mom to a young child is.
That is what having an Elderly Mom is.
That is what Love is.
Finding the JOY.
Grateful for who you are and all that you have!
Showing up for your Life and doing what you do and this is your Life and it is to be Treasured!
All is right in her world.
All is right in his world.

He wants his Mommy!
He takes her hand.
He wishes she would never let his hand go.
She can save him from anything — the Monsters under the Bed and the occasional Nightmares.
He is scared to go to sleep alone, as most little boys are, for the irrational fear that he might die during the night and she would not be there to hold his hand.
She will always be there for him!
And this Gives him Peace,
Even though there are things a Mother knows.
She wants her Son!
She takes his hand.
She wishes he would never let her hand go.
She is scared to go to sleep alone as most elderly people are, for the understandable fear that she might die during the night and he would not be there to hold her hand.
She knows he cannot save her from this.
He believes with all his heart that he will always be there for her!
And this Gives him Peace,
Even though there are things a Mother knows…

# # #

She’s Ninety



MOM turns Ninety! She asked me to write something for the occasion. I read this at her Birthday Dinner last night. Sharing it here, as well…

She’s Ninety!
She doesn’t feel that way!
She feels like the Beautiful Young Girl she was in the 1940’s
And Flirting
And Dancing
Pioneering Fashion
Enjoying Good Food
And Good Times…
All of the things people today think they are So Cool for having discovered…
She was doing them all seventy years ago.

The Family gathers to Celebrate

The Family gathers to Celebrate


The Roaring Twenties
It was the Jazz Age
The Age of Art Deco
And Radio Broadcast
Described as an era of Social, Artistic and Cultural Dynamism.
She was a Social Artistic and Cultural Dynamo.
In that Year:

A Plate of Scones

Tutti Fruitties

Tutti Fruitties

I made a plate of scones today.
Not a big deal, I know.
But it was fun, creative, and I enjoyed doing it.
I made “Tutti Fruitties” with fresh blueberries and fresh strawberries; then I spontaneously added in some chopped peaches, as well.
I made “Ali Babbas” — dates, pecans and cardamom spice.
Ham and cheese “Deli For the Belly.”
“Violet Beauregard’s Nuts” — fresh blueberries, toasted sliced almonds, and vanilla.
I used buttermilk in the dough.
It was a creative process.

The Gift of Time: Mother’s Day 2016

Me and MOM, Out for Dinner with Family on Mother's Day

Me and MOM, Out for Dinner with Family on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day
Wildly Commercial
A Great Day to be a Florist
A Good Day to have a Greeting Card Company
But the True Gift of Mother’s Day
Is the Gift of Time.

My Mother would often tell me of her Mother,
“Whenever you’d ask her,
‘MAMA, What do you want for your Birthday [or Mother’s Day or Christmas],’
she would always say the same thing.
‘La Visita!’ meaning ‘A Visit!’
That’s all she ever wanted!”
“We have a Lot in Common,” I would tell her,
“That’s all my Mother wants, as well.”