Friday, October 30, 2015

Problem Solved

The kids don’t seem convinced, when I tell them how much I don’t want any special celebration for my 90th birthday.  Among other reasons, there’s nobody to attend but themselves.  My friends and even my acquaintances have all died, or moved out of town to live near their daughters.  Nor am I happy with the idea of my coast-to-coast family trying to gather up here in Siberia in the dead of winter.  Nor do I have the stamina for much excitement these days.  Nor -- for that matter -- is that the day I want to reach -- I'm aiming for April 1.

But this morning I am excited – if they insist, I’ve found a way for them to mark the occasion!  Look at this headline!

 Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe to be Exhibited for 90th Birthday

Come on -- if they’re going to do that about a woman who has worn the same pair of earrings and triple strand of pearls every day for at least the past sixty years!

  I’m busy figuring out which pair of jeans should go on the  poster for Edith's Exhibition.  Possibly the ones that are so old they’re properly called


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Innocent Abroad

About the time I started high school, our family moved to a house on Lake Keuka -- just outside the village of Penn Yan, at the right-hand tip of the lake.  Keuka is surrounded by
hills, perfect for growing grapes, and during The War, with 10,000,000 men overseas, Penn Yan Academy was closed for a week or two in October, so that we kids could go out and bring in the harvest.  It was heavenly -- October sunshine, autumn colors, no homework and we were getting paid!
This view of The Lake I took in the 1950s -- wasn't Kodachrome great?
So when a brochure offered, among other day trips, one to Hammondsport (down at the other end of the lake) I looked forward to a whole day driving around , in the interesting company of people of a decent age (who else is free on a weekday?) with a lunch I didn't have to make myself and lots of views of the autumn lake. 
And -- this was a first -- I planned to finally venture out in public using a rollator.  On the Internet I found this  minor three-wheel affair-- light enough so I can take it in and out of the car.  It won't fit in the laughable "cargo" rear of my little Smart car, but it does ride companionably strapped in the passenger seat.
So -- right after breakfast I handed the rollator to the bus driver who stowed it (mine wasn't the only one) and boarded the bus.  Lots of grey hair there, a typical mix -- twenty-nine women and four men.  Everything looked fine,
and then our guide started handing out maps and brochures.
I hadn't paid much attention to the plan for the day's adventures, and now it appeared we were set for tastings at five different wineries. And that was just before lunch.
The first challenge was getting in to those wineries.  They're built near the grapes, and the grapes grow on slopes.  I learned a lot about how to handle that rollator. 
 And after I made it up there, I realized I had no idea how to behave at a wine tasting.  I started by drinking all of my first sample -- small as it was, it was probably as much as I'd ever had at one time in my life.  I could feel the effect almost immediately.  That was before I learned to say "just a splash", and before I noticed the slop jars my more sophisticated busmates were using for excess wine and the water they were using to cleanse their palates. And when I finally struggled back to the bus (learning a lot about how to use the rollator brakes along the way), the guide hurried up to my seat. "You forgot your goblet!"  

 Do you suppose  people cruise the Finger Lakes collecting a whole set?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Plus ca change

I'm reading a fine biography, finding a flock of quotes to share with you:
…huge vulgarity…shrieking unfitness ... for the office which he sets out to buy…absolutely without experience in office, impudently flaunting his wealth before the eyes of the people and saying “Make me President.”… 
…imbued with a belief in his own greatness, convinced that his unique powers of leadership could benefit the nation…thinking he could ride to the heights on headlines…
…many citizens...regard him as a rich man with sympathy for the masses…
…the adolescent’s capacity for seeing things in simplest terms – good or bad-- …
 …a little drunk with acclaim, with cheers…a vindication of his campaign of personal of the White House
…sincerely felt that the country needed him…
…a person...without a word or act in the public life of his country…could [he] by any possibility be elected  President of the United States?

we end with one last quote, from William Jennings Bryan, voicing his support for the Presidential nomination of William Randolph Hearst in 1904:
 ...the man who, though he has money, pleads the cause of the poor; the man who is best beloved, I can safely say, among laboring men, of all the candidates proposed...

And now here's Norm Lank, probably being told "YOU'RE FIRED!" in Trump Tower, June of 2002