Still a dreamer…Old Memories and New Hopes

Archive for the ‘observations’ Category

How The Elevator Became My Mood Elevator

Three of us enter the elevator in the lobby of my building. We have seen each other before, and have a New York kind of nodding and faint smiling relationship. I press 2 because I walk the  stairs to 4. They press 8. In a matter of seconds this was our encounter.

Woman in her 40’s looks at my Gucci handbag. “Vintage?” she asks. “Yes like me” I answered.

Her significant boyfriend. said “Well you both look great.”

Me smiling as I exit. “Thank you and enjoy your evening.”

Conclusion: I like being referred to as vintage, rather than senior, golden years, elderly, or just plain old. Vintage has an edge and can be quite valuable.

New Yorker’s unfriendly? Hardly……

Happy Happy Story

Recently read that Dame Judi Dench found love again. Ten years after her loved husband of 30 years died.  She met her new love, conservationist David Mills, 70 and quite good-looking. Judi Dench is 80 and beautiful.  They met “through animals.” Her partner runs a British Wildlife Center. They have no plans to live together, both leading busy and independent lives.

“But he is so lovely with a great sense of humor. Now it’s absolutely wonderful, because there’s somebody who makes me laugh.” Isn’t it lovely.”

Lovely indeed. A wonder-filled story that gives me joy for her. Now, I have a milestone birthday coming up, Age Appropriate(only)  younger  man sounds most appealing, I love animals, I would love to laugh again, more …I would not need to live with someone, I’m independent and  busy, and I  believe in Hope Springs Eternal…….but I’m  not a British  Dame and no chance of having that title bestowed upon me.  I think I could pass for a dame in this country, but that doesn’t count I guess. They met in my opinion, because they were meant to met, and they were in each others path. My dear friend Edith who just passed away at 97 always told me  ” never search for a man. If it’s meant to be it will happen” Well, it happened for Dame Judi Dench.

As my About section  on my blog states….”Old memories, New hopes. Hey, you never know!!!!!!!

A New York Thing….Gym Etiquette

This was originally posted on URAWarrior. 2/2/15…A little trilogy.  I wrote Mail-room  and Elevator Etiquette. My posts are on URAWarrior and Bershan Shaw.

I am grateful to have a small gym in my apartment building. Considered a bit of a wow factor in New York City. There are general rules that have to do with safety, guests, children, and wiping down equipment after use. There are no rules for courtesy or friendliness.

A bonus for me when  I enter is to turn on the television to a station of my choice. First one there, you are the controller of the remote. I personally am not fond of depressing news, or any doctor giving symptoms of emotional or physical illnesses. When I exercise, I enjoy mindless TV. I am only on the treadmill for 45 minutes. What a difference a year makes. It was always 3 miles in 55 minutes. Still feel good doing  2 miles in 40 minutes. But, there are those times when someone else gets there first, and then you are at the mercy of the remote control, controlled by someone else, and you grin and bare it, hoping their routine is over shortly. Some are wearing headphones listening to their music, and the remote is available. Most are grunting and rarely ever wave or say hi. If you are not the “hi”type in the elevator or the mail- room, the gym is no different. I am perfectly fine with silence, and not looking to make life long friends in these typical New York places of non-acknowledgement. “No problem,” I say to myself. What I am not fine with, is the guy who shall remain nameless, who perspires profusely, and never wipes down the equipment. He just gets up and leaves. Now what? I certainly am not going to be the gym police and inform him of his carelessness. The treadmill literally dripping and quite gross. I say nothing. I’m a before and after wiper.

With some humor, I observe a few competitive moves going on  when  a few are in the gym at the same time. A guy can be on the treadmill or one lifting weights. When a young woman enters, it seems (a coincidence?) that speed is quickly rising as the amount of weights as well. Grunting increasing. The gym has never been a competitive arena for me or a social event of the day. I just think that in between the grunts and heavy breathing, a small wave or hi would be sufficient……………………………………………………………..and of course a wipe down upon leaving.

Proud and Happy To Share The Neighborhood Journal (@nbhdjournal)

My grandson was born with a creative edge. He has just started an online journal.  Please give it a look and check out their first interview with Kevin Clark about his life as a filmmaker and member of a local Orange County band.  The Neighborhood Journal documents the connections, inspirations, and stories of friends in Orange County, California.They highlight the community of young creators, innovative businesses, local eateries, and undiscovered wonders of their neighborhood.

Ida and Her Secrets?

Unforgettable….that is how I would describe Ida. We met at the Senior Residence, living and loving her Independent Living situation. Her own apartment and totally self sufficient. She describes herself as a “short, chatty Asian.” I would say positive, cheerful, and wonderful. My son visits his mother in law at the same place and calls Ida The Mayor. Everyone knows Ida. Loving energy obvious to all who meet her, and she is only 92. Difficult to tell age today, and the older I get, the younger everyone becomes. I also think of old age starting at 104. Magical thinking and denial are a necessity, for me. Ida is charming, vivacious, beautiful inside and out, and I had to know all her secrets. We didn’t have too much time, because she was so busy and in the dining room, she works the room, saying hi to everyone. It seems not just me, but everyone loves Ida. A few days later, I called , and asked if I could do a mini interview. I had to know what her secrets were, even though I had a good idea about the positive energy for one. So first I asked about skin. She must have some sort of formula that she makes in her room I thought. So her answer to the skin question. “Oh I use only soap and water. I don’t use anything else”. OK I thought, what about nutrition and exercise? “Oh I never exercise and the only time I started eating healthy was when I moved here.” and she added, “people all said I knew everyone soon after I moved in. No, everyone knew me.” I can certainly understand why everyone would want to be with Ida. She laughs with sheer joy in her light. I was overjoyed when she told me “I was a bright beginning to her week.” That left me with a smile for days, even now months later as I think of her. She was widowed twice and her son lives near and visits. She said “she doesn’t dwell on sadness or loss. She doesn’t make life a struggle. Not very religious. Loves the community life she is part of and checks the calendar everyday to make sure she hasn’t left anything out of her schedule.I don’t want to miss anything.” She considers herself a people person and she shares so many of the positive personality traits my friend Edith practices at 96. Ida said “if you want a friend, you have to be a friend.” When you meet Ida, you never forget her. Her caring ways, stopping at everyone’s table to say hi, and make sure all are doing well. She smiles, you smile back.Her joy is contagious. She has a drink on her birthday, but otherwise doesn’t drink alcohol.
So my new friend Ida and her secrets. Making others feel good. That’s not a secret, that’s an art.

I Can See Me!!

My eye doctor suggested surgery. As much as I try not to obsess about “the numbers” the facts speak for themselves. Cataracts are age related. Rarely are they not age related. So looking on the bright side, you have to live long enough to need cataract surgery. The right eye, and then two weeks later, not to be left out, the left eye. Thank goodness “third eyes” are not operable. So realizing my good fortune, I wanted to turn this into a positive experience, and might as well have an eye lift at the same time. Unfortunately, the eye surgeon was not enthusiastic about my idea, and immediately knocked it down laughing.
According to Web MD, cataract surgery is successful for 85-92 out of 100 adults. Not bad odds. Once I made up my mind to go for it, a little surprise bag arrived from the drug store. Three tiny plastic bottles. Eye drops to be taken before and after surgery. Two of the bottles, five days before, and the third, after, and to take until all finished. $94 and according to the drug store, I saved hundreds of dollars having a prescription plan. Outrageous in my opinion, the cost of drugs.Now the hard part, to remember to take four times a day, five minutes apart. Sounds easy for most, but not for me. Didn’t take long to figure out I needed to write down names and times and then it became easy…..most of the time.
I was told to be at Manhattan Eye and Ear at 7:30 am. If there had been a motel on 64th Street for $49 a night, I would have been tempted. Going to sleep at 2am and waking up at 6am is not a great combination. The night before, with a little help from Ambien, I went to sleep at 12. Have my own morning routine, re yoga, weights, standing on my head, etc etc and got up at 6:45. Nothing to eat or drink after 12am. As my mother would say, “this should be the worst thing you go through.” Very grateful it’s considered easy and safe.
I arrived at the hospital at 7:10, and felt I was checking into a Five Star Hotel. Everyone was eager to please and charming and hospitable, ( tiny pun)…..I was surprised I was quite calm. Not many fatalities with this type of surgery. Everyone I knew described it as miracle outcomes, and saw immediate results.
I was given the gown, that ties in the back, a warm robe, ugly slippers, and a cotton hat, to cover all hair. I waited until the last minutes to put the hat on and tried to give it a little French beret slant, but it still looked like a weird shower cap. I looked around at my fellow patients all in the same garb. We could have been at a Senior Center waiting for bingo to start. Everyone was about the same age.
Not sure of the statistics as to how many cataract patients are kidnapped from the hospital. I was asked about 8 times, 8 different aids and nurses, what my name was and date of birth, while checking my wrist band. When I asked about the kidnapping aspect, no one thought it was humorous. “All for security reasons,” I was told.
I felt a little empowered by some research I did on the internet. Many doctors do not like patients surfing the internet. Way too much information. What I was pleased to find out was I had a choice, whether to be put out mildly for the 20 minutes surgery, or just given a mild sedative. I wanted to be up and alert and asked for the Valium route.Not sure how up and alert I was, since I remember absolutely nothing except being back in my room and ready to go home with my friend who was picking me up. Felt fine, and given papers and booklets with instructions and all the what if’s. Fortunately none of the what if’s happened. No weights, no standing on my head, and no eye makeup for ten days. I didn’t realize the healing process takes about a month. Had check up appointment the next day and all went well. I do see improvements and will have the next one done in two weeks.
…………………………………the one downside? I don’t look in the mirror often, but when I did, I can see me quite clearly now and could really use an eye lift.

For Dog Lovers Only: Embarassing Moments

Taking Lucky, my Havanese canine grandson for a walk on Central Park West, he sniffs and greets many new friends. Most embarrassing to observe his friendliness with other dogs, male and female. During the sniff and greet, the humans just watch without saying too much. I mean what do you say in such an intimate moment. After a minute or two, I usually say “well Lucky, you said hi and now we must be going.”
We arrive home and I use wipes in all areas that need attention, including his paws, (after all, he is a NYC resident.)_Also wipe his mouth and nose, because I find it difficult to resume our relationship when I just witnessed him just being a dog……… but how can you resist giving and receiving a kiss from someone who loves you unconditionally? I certainly can’t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Definitely A New York Moment

Walking on Madison and 88th Street with my friend Ronnie, what are the chances she would bring up the recent firing of Jill Abramson, who was formerly the executive editor of the New York Times?……and who turned around seconds later and said, “I heard my name mentioned”…..and who was it? Jill Abramson. I immediately said this could be a Metropolitan Diary thing (New York Observations) and she said “do it.” She saw her bus and rushed away. A most memorable New York moment……………….p.s. Ronnie and I both sent our versions to Metropolitan Diary, New York Times and surprise surprise…we never heard from them.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The world has lost a literary genius. The New York Times called him a a “giant of 20th-century literature.” He died recently at his home in Mexico City and was 87 years of age. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. He was “a master of the literary genre known as magical realism.” He always felt compelled to speak out on political issues of the day. He described magical realism in his Nobel address. ” Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.” “One Hundred Years of Solitude” would sell tens of millions of copies. William Kennedy, the novelist, said “it should be required reading for the entire human race.” Two of my favorite quotes of his. ” It is not that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” “A true friend is one who holds your hand and touches your heart.” Be in peace Gabriel Garcia Marquez. You left this world timeless words of wisdom and brilliance.

Hugh Masakela

75 years young. This legendary South African trumpeter has been a global innovator since he began his career at 16. To witness this brilliant musician move like someone half his age, and sing out with such joy is to exalt in him. His son Sal introduced him with enormous pride, and no wonder. He was on stage for over two hours, and probably could have performed all night. His enormous positive energy shone brightly and everyone at the theatre took home a piece of Hugh Masakela’s soul. In 2010 he received The Order of Ikharmanga from South African President Jacob Zuma, the nations highest civilian honor. He returns to the United States for a tour dedicated to the memory of his close friend Nelson Mandela. He was involved and still is with the preservation of musical heritage and the struggle for freedom, human rights, and the well-being of citizens around the world. Happy 75th dear Hugh Masakela and on to your 100th.