11 July, 2008


7/11 to most folks represents the neighborhood convenience store.
For me, it also represents my mother's birthday. Today, she would have been 78.
Even if I wouldn't have already known that, the usually helpful internet birthday alarm reminders made sure I didn't forget.

It was a good reminder to edit some of those birthday alarm reminders anyway.
I just didn't expect it so hard to hit the 'delete' key next my mom's name.

It's been almost a year now. Frankly, I am doing rather well with the whole thing yet I could sense some griefy kinda denial thing going on as her birthday got closer. My dreams this week have been different, and Mom was even in one of the dreams. I was feeling restless and unsettled as it had become time to deal with her ashes. I felt drawn to do something with the ashes for Mom's birthday rather than on the anniversary of her death. It only just dawned on me that intrinsically it felt better to honor her on her birthday rather than her deathday. It has always struck me as an odd that more people remember the day Elvis or John Lennon died than the dates they were born. Not that we shouldn't recall or reflect an anniversary of someone's passing but I would rather celebrate a birthday than the day someone died--even though I know that death is kind of a birth in a metaphysical sense...oh, you know what I am getting at.

Having a really good friend who understands these things and me--she is going to assist me in taking Mom's ashes and planting something new. Mom was an avid gardener and loved to see things grow. The gardens at the two apartment complexes she managed were transformed into magazine worthy material because of her loving care . It feels very right and good to have Mom's ashes be used for something green and growing. My friend has a beautiful backyard and she, too, loves to plant and grow things and I feel content that Mom can settle down and take root.

Perfect timing so that I can uproot and move away to start my adult life in northern California.
('bout time, wouldn't you agree?)

Happy Birthday, Momma.

06 July, 2008

My $.02

They tell me this weekend was the Fourth of July celebration weekend. Even with the sound of fireworks every evening, I did not feel very patriotic even in my red, white and blue adornments.

Why might that be?

Much to my chagrin, stores and businesses were open all as usual. Of course, there were all the requisite blow-out sales to spend your stimulus check from Uncle Sam. But I was naive enough to think that maybe the stores would be closed to allow people a chance to spend the holiday--not spend their money.

Nor could I find one viewing on the airwaves of either "1776" or "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
If only we had HBO we could have watched the re-airing the "John Adams" series (which I highly recommend any time of the year).

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I have deep admiration and respect for the American mystics known as our Founding Fathers (and Mothers -- thank you Abigail Adams) and wish everyone else could share that feeling. And since freedom is really an inside job, I shall trust that each citizen found his/her way to do just that -- celebrate their freedom in whatever way they knew how.

I caught the closing piece on 60 Minutes that informed me that the nation's beloved copper penny costs $.02 to be produced and its existence is now threatened. In fairness, I must also note that the nickel is in jeopardy for the same manufacturing high cost problem, but somehow I do not think the nickel is in the heart or lexicon of our citizens the way that the Lincoln penny is. You know, " A penny saved, is a penny earned." From one of our very significant founders, Mr. Franklin. "A penny for your thoughts." Or the simple joy of finding a 'lucky penny' on the sidewalk. Yet, scientists and statistics are proving that it costs too much in time, labor and materials to continue producing the penny, and perhaps the nickel. There must be a way around this national crisis. Can't these same scientific minds engineer a way to continue production of our copper penny (which now contains more zinc than copper) so that children and charities everywhere still get to collect their pennies? I, for one, would be willing offset this cost in some other manner. Fortunately, next year is an anniversary year for the penny -- the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, and the 100th anniversary of the penny itself-- so I feel it is safe for a short while. Perhaps the extra time will allow for a solution to this national crisis.

Since there was no airing of holiday films, I was channel surfing and came upon, Million Dollar Password, an updated version of one of my viewing and playing favorites television game shows. This time the production values are a cross between "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" and "American Idol" --so it's no wonder the new host is Regis Philbin. Even though I read that Betty White has already been a guest, it's just my opinion, but I prefer the old format and less of the dramatic music and flashy lights. Yet, I admit that I wished that the show taped in Los Angeles instead of New York so that I could apply as a contestant.

Freedom might be just another word this fourth o' July but at least I can claim that I am gluten free and penny-full.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...