There is that moment when….. one of your dearest and closest friends texts you a photo….from PARIS.
As in the city which has just been a victim of terrorist attacks…The city of lights….Paris.
My exact text back to her was “For the love of Christ don’t tell me you are in Paris now??”
And she messaged back “Yes…can you freaking believe it?!!!”
These are the little things you don’t think of – you know a friend is going away on vacation but you forget where.
I have friends who call France home, so when the news broke of those attacks last week I really felt my heart in my throat.
Then I had a conversation with another dear friend this morning who said she might be taking a break from social media because people pounced all over her because she commented on Paris but neglected to mention Lebanon and Africa and wherever else there had been terrorist attacks also last week.
OK really???? That how you’re going to judge a person’s worthiness because they forget to remember other horrific events which occurred across the globe last week on Facebook???
And as far as the tourism goes in Paris, I am really sick of these attacks no matter where they occur. It is so awful that people are committing these acts in the name of one religion and culture against people who are other religions and cultures. Why are we fighting medieval religious wars in the modern era?
This is the other photo my friend sent this morning. It was a moment of silence at noon today Paris time and all French came outside.
My friend said is all the French want to talk about it. They will say things to Americans like “this is how you must’ve felt after 9/11”. She also remarked how remarkably gracious the Parisians are two visitors in their city even at a time like this.
My friend says the sites are shut down in Paris but restaurants and cafés are open. She said wherever you go your bag is checked and they actually feel quite safe.
What a crazy world we live in. I can’t wait for my friend to get home…. Not that this craziness can’t happen anywhere and I think that’s part of the problem. But as my friend points out with her photo, we need to keep on living.
To my “American(s) in Paris” , safe travels and see you soon.
Yesterday after spending a few days feeling really crappy post dog bite (the tetanus shot triple threat combined with horse pill sized antibiotics as a precaution are not so much fun) I finally went out into the garden for a little bit.
A dear friend gave me three tree peonies I had to get into the ground, and I needed to dead head and prune roses. I also cleared out some of the remains of perennials that had died back, and hard pruned my Nippon daisies and butterfly bush.
As I looked around at the beech and oak and other trees which are still hanging onto some final golden, red and brown leaves, the sky and earth just had that look. The look of goodnight garden until next spring.
It is a weird bittersweet sort of day. Ten years ago my father passed away. Eight years ago today my cousin Suzy passed away. And seventeen years ago today I introduced one of my best and closest friends to her now husband at another friend’s wedding rehearsal dinner. So it’s a bittersweet, memory filled kind of day.
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since my father left this planet, but it has. I don’t talk about daddy dying much. Yes, it happened to me too, the loss of him. I just don’t ever want it to be about me, because it was about him.
And it might sound odd saying that, but since he died I have always felt a bit of a disconnect with my family about this. I remember first feeling it when I had to go help pick out his coffin.
Truthfully, I did not want to do that, was told I was expected to be there. I remember walking a few steps behind my sister and my mother wondering why I was there. I had no part in the decision and did want to be there. The truth is Catholic or not, I hate open caskets. The person you love is gone, and what is left is a body that is just a vessel at that point.
The last time I spent with my father was with both my parents on their wedding anniversary on November 11 of the year he died. I could tell on that night he was ready to go, but he was determined to wait for my sister to come down with her family from New York so he could say goodbye to her and I also knew he did not want to die on his wedding anniversary.
I remember now oddly enough an expression on his face that reminded me of his mother, my late grandmother when she was dying. I can only describe it as an acceptance and a knowingness. I remember we watched the original Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. That was one of my parents favorite movies. I knew that night when I was saying goodbye that I really was saying goodbye. I told him I loved him and kissed him goodbye.
My sister and mother were with him when he actually died. It was my sister’s turn to have time with him before he passed and I did not want to intrude on that. I remember getting the call from my mother early that evening that he was gone. I went into the city and it is still to this day a very out of body memory. I remember getting to my parents’ apartment and being told to go and say goodbye to him before the funeral home came to take his body. He had only died about an hour before so it looked like he was sleeping.
My sister and my mother were somewhat hysterical which is understandable, but it was like I was just sort of on the outside looking in. I didn’t want to fall apart because I figured somebody had to NOT fall apart. It was like walking around awake in a bad dream. After the funeral home came for him I changed the sheets on the bed for my mother and did a couple of loads of laundry.
After the oddness of picking out a casket that I wanted no part of, and the plans, the discussions of who would eulogize my father began. At first my mother did not want my sister and I to do eulogies. But as strange as that sounds I had written my eulogy months before, shortly after my father told us he was terminal. I actually discussed it with him because I wanted to write about my father from a more happy place while he was still alive and not from a point of immediate sorrow just after his death. It also for some reason felt important to me that he should know what I was going to say. Some might say I was seeking approval, I don’t know. I just wanted him to know what my thoughts were.
The following days sort of passed in a bit of a blur. I remember the funeral mass at Old Saint Josephs on Willings Alley in Society Hill being packed on all levels for his mass. It was a bit overwhelming for me and when I got up to do my eulogy and I actually paused a moment. But I then found the faces of close friends in the church so I was able to focus and do a good job and remember my father on that day from a point of happiness and gladness in my heart.
But today 10 years later, I realize that I have mourned him in a bit of a restrained way all these years. At the time he died I didn’t want to lose control of my emotions because the emotions I saw a raging and both my sister and my mother terrified me. The reaction to death emotions are also exhausting if you let them get the better of you.
And then slowly as I came to terms with his being gone I began to feel this sort of detachment. I loved him very, very much, but I never wanted to mourn him in a technicolor grief stricken way. I wanted to be able to let him go but keep the happy memories. The funny memories that made me laugh and brought us all joy.
I think of my father at random times during my everyday life. He like to garden so in the garden I will think of him. He was a great cook so sometimes when I’m making something I will smile and wonder if my father would like that. I always think of him at Christmas because he was a perfectionist about putting up the tree and loved Christmas. I also think of him when the cardinals flock to our woods, he loved cardinals.
I will close today, ten years later with the poem I read at the end of my eulogy :
Ok so here is the deal: I was contacted by a rather cool and prestigious PennDesign professor from the University of Pennsylvania. He’s the kind of guy who often introduces preservation minded buyers to historical prosperties.
He thinks Frazer’s own Loch Aerie or Lockwood Mansion is amazing Victorian fabulousness. He wants to be connected with whomever the Tabas family has in charge of Loch Aerie. I can’t keep up with the realtors on the site so I have no clue who is agent for the property.
If you have any information on with whom to connect this professor to, please leave a comment.
UPDATE 11/11/2015 12:56 PM : Francisvale’s Executive Director has contacted me. In the spirit of keeping things civil our discussion remains off record. I consider this at an end.
This is Elsie. She is a dacshund mix. She has been living in an office at Francisvale for I think four years. Recently she was sprung from an awful kind of of animal purgatory by one of my dearest friends who agreed to be a foster mom to her.
Elsie has been with my friend for a month and a half and has made great strides. She is finally almost completely house trained (dachshunds are stubborn!) and she is a good dog who has had a crappy life.
this is Elsie’s photo off the rescue’s website. Note the way they have her harness and leash and collar hooked up. Guaranteed to hurt a dog shoulder right? That is their photo, not the rescue mom’s living eith her.
I have spent quite a bit of time with Elsie and my friend and really like her. I think she’s a great dog. But she does have some fear based aggression which is not unusual for rescues. Today even though she has been around me, something in her switched and well, she bit me. Through my clothes, yes broke skin, but clothes didn’t tear. She made a mistake. It happens. I have to admit it was somewhat startling because I’ve never been bitten by a dog before.
My friend had to call Francisvale to report this as a foster mom. The executive director was terse with my friend. All my friend asked was for permission and the money they said was there to take her to behavior training at What A Good Dog in Malvern. What A Good Dog is amazing with these issues.
But no, no conversation, just bring the dog back. They have an endowment, correct? Why not pay for the training? Why are they in the rescue business? To act a non profit hoarding situation?
The executive director did NOT even ask my friend for my name and phone number at the time to see if I was ok. How is that for a caring rescue? Professionalism is optional?
So I called the executive director twice. I did not want Elsie removed from a caring foster situation, just get her the help she needs and keep her out of the kennel and get her to a furever home. But the woman would not take my call. “Too busy” was what I was told by whomever answered the phone—I got this woman who was practically reading from a script about how to patronize people while calming them down.
I am now in tears and so is my friend as she takes Elsie back to life in a cage. Or worse.
I am so upset and technically I am the aggrieved party with a dog bite. But the reason I am upset is I know Elsie is a good dog. Not vicious, just scared. She made a mistake and they are a rescue that can afford behavior modification training. Her foster mom is willing to devote the time to do this – Francisvale just needs to pay for the training which is what they are supposed to do dogs and a foster situation aren’t they?
You know years ago I considered rescuing from them. I even was one of the people who supported them the last time their neighbors are nearby streets complained about noise coming from the kennels.
I am being public with this post because I think Elsie and my friend are getting the short end of the stick.
The phone number to Francisvale is 610 688-1018. Their address is 328 Upper Gulph Rd., Radnor PA 19087
I think they pretty much suck right now.
Again let me reiterate: I got bitten. I know it was an accident and I know this is a good dog. I also know that any rescue worth it’s salt doesn’t like dogs coming back into a kennel once they have gotten out as it can ruin a dog.
It makes me very very sad that I now wonder if this rescue is actually living its mission.
Elsie is getting the short end of things right now. She is a victim of stupid human tricks. I hope St. Francis looks out for her.
Located at 385 Lancaster Avenue in Malvern, they are a new addition to the businesses in Malvern and Frazer along Lancaster Avenue. They have been in business for years and relocated here to Malvern from Exton recently.
Farmers Market Gallery not only does framing but they represent several local artists. I used them to have a couple of things reframed recently, and having done a bunch of reframing elsewhere in the summer and I can tell you they were significantly less expensive and the work was just as good, if not better.
Plus they are super nice people. Support local businesses and give them a try! And be sure to check out the local artist they represent. If I had any more wall space there are two things I would bring home right away!
There Malvern location is very easy to get in and out of with ample parking.