thoughts and a message of hope…from england

I have been watching less and less of the news. It’s a repeating loop of Coronavirus on steroids. Often we are not learning anything new, it is just a constant repeating of the horror the world is going through. But I think the biggest problem I have with this whole global pandemic and how it affects us here in the U.S. is what comes out of the White House.

That man we call President is not Presidential. I was even reminded of that last night when I watched a PBS special on the Roosevelts.

A couple of weeks ago I called my mother and she shooed me off the phone almost immediately. “The President is speaking . I can’t talk now.” But honestly, what is he saying? He spent weeks not really taking this whole #COVID-19 thing seriously. Then all of a sudden he says it’s a pandemic and he thought so all along. Then he works something in about campaigns and his administration. Then everything will be open by Easter, then everyone wear masks but he won’t. Then he talks about how many people are going to die from this virus. Then he talks over the medical experts at his press conferences annoyed that people are asking the actual medical professionals questions. “Didn’t I just answer that question?” (paraphrased) he angrily shot at a reporter who had recently directed a question to Dr. Anthony Fauci at a press conference.

We need a national leader about now. Trump isn’t leading. He’s an angry man child embodiment of chronic contradictions and a stunning lack of compassion and that brings no comfort. It makes me anxious. At first I was trying to watch the news conferences from Washington to look for information and leadership in a time of crisis. Coronavirus-time IS like war-time and we need a leader who gets it, who gets us as Americans. Not a quasi-dictatorial narcissistic man child who still blows up Twitter daily with his petty bulltwaddle and spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Dude all of your Tweeting is bad for America.

Good thing there are people in this country like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He leads, he is authentic, and he is living this right along with everyone. That is actually comforting to me because my sister and her family as well as my stepbrother live in New York City. I have to tell you closer to home, I find the Philadelphia and surrounding counties news conferences and New Jersey’s news conferences make more sense.

And then there are people with their Marie Antoinette attitudes of let them eat cake. Like the guy in North Jersey who defied stay at home and social distancing orders and threw a giant Coronavirus booze fest party. He’s apparently now being charged for doing so. Good. And don’t forget the kids in the Pittsburgh area who had to have a giant blowout and where are their parents?

It’s like all of those whom suddenly define themselves as “constitutionalists” and why is government telling us what to do? That is simple: if we would all just stay the hell home they wouldn’t be telling us what to do. It’s like those who are all up in arms because churches are closed. Large gatherings spread viruses. Hello? The actual history of the 1918 influenza pandemic as an example? God does not expect us to die for him from coronavirus. Many churches are live-streaming and isn’t God or whomever you may believe in all around us? Ok maybe a theological conversation is too much for most on a Monday so we will leave this right there.

But it is because of all of this swirling crap that I have taken to tuning out the news and staying put and working in the garden more. Whether we want to or not, the fates have decided we are slowing down. (Apparently I am not the only one gardening article about victory gardens in The Philadelphia Inquirer today.)

But there is one leader who may God bless and keep her who is truly leading. Queen Elizabeth II of England. She gave her subjects comfort and hope in a time of crisis. She also gave the rest of the world comfort and hope. No angry tweeting about fake news and newspapers that have done her wrong. Talking to the people and offering support and comfort.

BBC News: Coronavirus: The Queen’s message seen by 24 million

About 24 million TV viewers watched the Queen’s broadcast to the nation on Sunday, according to overnight figures.
In a rare speech, the monarch thanked people for following government rules to stay at home and praised those “coming together to help others”.
The message was seen by 23.97 million viewers, making it the second most-watched broadcast this year….It was only the fifth time the Queen has given such a speech in her 68-year reign.
Her most recent Christmas Day message drew a combined overnight audience of 7.85 million.
In her speech on Sunday, the Queen said the UK “will succeed” in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
She thanked people for following government rules to stay inside and paid tribute to key workers for their efforts.
Speaking from Windsor Castle, the Queen said the pandemic was a “different” challenge compared to what the nation had faced before.
The message ended with the words “we will meet again” – an apparent reference to Dame Vera Lynn’s bolstering war anthem We’ll Meet Again.
The Queen’s four other special addresses were given in 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2012.

It was truly a beautiful thing to listen to her speak in this time. Say what you want about her and sometimes people criticize Queen Elizabeth but she knows how to lead in times of crisis. And it was just so good to hear a message that was realistic yet not full of gloom and doom. It was also good to hear a message that wasn’t all about them.

We will get through this. And it will take its toll. I hope we all get through unscathed but really it’s beyond our control at this point. We can only do our part and stay home. And if you have extra supplies to donate to first responders contact your local firehouse or hospital.

This weird time is giving us time to meaningfully connect with each other if we can stop and see the good in that. I also know it’s frustrating and scary. It makes you nervous. Trust me, I have felt all of those things. Especially because of the bombardment of so much news and the contradictory behavior coming out of Washington D.C.

One day at a time I think is the only way to handle the hot mess of Coronavirus. Yes much like a 12 step program, one day at a time. I will close with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.

#StayHome

rabbit, rabbit it’s april fools’ day…and?

According to a New York Times newsletter this morning:

As many as 240,000 Americans could die during the coronavirus pandemic, top health officials said on Tuesday, despite the measures that have closed schools, limited travel and forced people to stay home.

That’s pretty god damn depressing, but is it surprising? It’s shocking but a lot of people aren’t taking this seriously. Even when we can get into the overtaxed grocery stores, it’s amazing that so many people still aren’t practicing social distancing.

And then there are all of the photos popping up on social media of people dropping plastic gloves all over the place. If you are done with them, can’t you keep a small trash bag in your car if you don’t see them and bring them home and dispose of them?

And the whole grocery store nightmare of why can’t we really find chicken, paper towels, and toilet paper yet? Are people going out every day and just hoarding it all?

There is this dichotomy out there of selfish vs. selfless. Psychologically and sociologically it’s equal parts sad and fascinating. Human nature on steroids. Heart warming or horrifying there seems to be little middle ground. More extremes than ever.

I am also amazed at how those who are generally speaking toxic on social media who are seemingly reveling in their toxicity. Or just giving people a generally speaking, a hard time. And why? Are they that unhappy? Or just oblivious?

I have actually had to remove people from this blog’s Facebook page and I don’t actually have to do that very often. People are spending SO much time online and I like many page admins can’t just sit and babysit 24/7. You give people fair warning and after a point you just have to give them a time out because they won’t do it for themselves.

And the stay at home of it all is bringing out strange behavior in many more people than normal. Humans are social creatures and some have never learned it is actually ok to be by ourselves for a while. It is. Is it ideal? No , but look at the alternatives and be grateful if you have a safe comfortable place to be.

Chester County’s Coronavirus cases are climbing. It’s kind of scary the way this stuff spreads so fast. But if people were actually staying home most of the time it wouldn’t. I had a friend of mine elsewhere ( NOT Chester County) tell me about a neighbor of hers who just keeps going in and out and in and out. She said nobody could buy that much food she doesn’t know where the woman is going and she doesn’t seem to take it very seriously what’s going on. My friend’s neighbor doesn’t work, her husband does, so she’s just one of those people that’s wandering around instead of staying home.

I don’t actually mind being home it’s just weird not seeing my family and friends. Today I FaceTimed my mother and stepfather and gave them a virtual tour of my garden.

Last night I roasted a chicken which was very exciting because we had randomly found one at the supermarket because whole chickens are hard to come by. It was just an old-school old-fashioned simple dinner of a salad, potatoes, and a roast chicken and it was like a five star Michelin meal tasted so good to us. And I made my friend Raffi’s late mother’s no bake cheesecake for dessert.

I gardened a lot today and that felt so good to just be outside. Of course now I feel slightly crippled. I have been trying to stick to specific parameters and time gardening each time I garden because of my latest knee surgery at the end of December. But today I got carried away and I just felt good to be outside and may have overdone it a little.

Well that is all I have got for you guys today. But for the Grace of God go all of us. I know our new normal is anything but normal, but please have faith and stay the course of staying home and social distancing. Take good care.

sometimes people should just stop picking at other people. this is one of those times.

I swear there is a meme for everything and this one is pretty much perfect. Why am I posting this? Because some people just floor me on social media. Facebook especially.

Backstory: a few years ago when I had my first knee surgery, I was literally just home from the hospital and practically still drooling from the anesthesia. Sitting in a daze in bed, I was mindlessly looking through social media on my tablet. I noticed this one woman posting comments on my Facebook timeline that I just didn’t want to deal with. So I didn’t say anything, I just deleted the comments. After all, your personal Facebook page is like your virtual house, right?

So the woman whose comment I had removed posted another comment in the same vein. There I was practically drooling like you can do after surgery and anesthesia and I wondered what alternate reality I was living in that this woman wouldn’t just get I probably didn’t want to deal with this? I made a decision. I deleted the new comment and quietly unfriended the woman and went to sleep.

Unfriending this person was not something I wanted to do. But when I was still sitting in bed the next day scrolling through Facebook still somewhat dazed post surgery, I knew it was the right decision. Why? Because she took the argument of the deleted comments and moved them essentially to another woman’s Facebook page (whom I also knew – ironically I introduced them to one and other) and sat there talking about me like I couldn’t see it. Kind of like they were talking on the phone only it was all playing out on Facebook. It was crazy and I decided, sanity and maturity should prevail, and I just blocked both of them so I wouldn’t have to see their online brand of crazy in the future.

Still part of me felt bad. I had known the one woman for many years. But knowing her was sometimes exhausting. The other woman was always just kind of sad always striving to belong. Also exhausting. I sent both women a note explaining why I had decided to distance. I figured I’d make one last attempt at salvaging the relationships. I explained to them I just had surgery and I didn’t want to deal with any of this right now. But if they wanted to talk about it, explain what they didn’t understand, and I would try to listen. Need list to say, that didn’t happen never heard from either, and I went on about my life. I wish I could say I missed either woman, but I don’t.

I especially don’t miss people who act like this while experiencing a global pandemic. Life is kind of stressful enough right now. What I didn’t expect was that they would do this again to someone else. I sadly thought this behavior was because of me. But it’s just them.

A very nice woman who is a very close friend has literally just had a similar experience with these two over the past couple of days. My friend had posted on HER Facebook timeline that it really bothered her that people including the President keep referring to COVID19 as the “Chinese Virus.” She said she found it offensive. In my opinion she’s not wrong.

No matter what your opinion is, my friend said it on her timeline. It’s kind of like when a lot of us don’t judge the women in menopause posting the Nametest things all of the time that says they wish they were pregnant again or what movie star they think they look like. Their thing, not ours.

To be clear, viruses do not know borders and even the CDC Director Robert Redfield agrees with this point. To keep saying that over and over puts Chinese Americans and other Asians in Jeopardy much like what happened with the Italians and Japanese during World War II and the internment camps in this country. Or the Irish need not apply campaigns and signs you would see in shop windows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s kind of like referring to the influenza pandemic of the early 20th century as the “Spanish flu”. The virus didn’t actually originate in Spain that might’ve been one of the first places that documented it in newspapers. The COVID19 virus exploded in China, but there is no absolute that it is the true country of origin for the virus.

Well the woman I removed from my timeline a few years ago, of course had to argue with my friend. My friend politely asked her to kind of stop, and sadly that didn’t happen. So my friend just quietly unfriended her and blocked her and removed the comments. Below is the comment that finally made my friend have enough.

Now you would think that would have been the end of it. But sadly no, the other woman I had removed from my circle of friends a few years ago for chiming in where it wasn’t her concern did so again. Seriously:

So my friend unfriended and blocked the other one too. I truly am stunned at how pig ignorant people can be. It’s like these women have this whole tag team of nastiness, which is truly sad.  I wonder if either one of them gets it yet that more and more people distance themselves from these two all of the time. They are having social distancing practiced on them as a matter of keeping one’s sanity.

My friend wasn’t “slamming” the President. She was specifically referring to a term in this whole coronavirus world we live in that she found offensive.

Given the times we currently live in and everything that everyone is going through, wouldn’t you think that these two women would have better things to do than to argue and spread vitriol? What do they gain with these little Facebook games?

I am really sorry that this happened to my friend too. I remember how upsetting I found it briefly at the time. It’s like this whole sense of betrayal when people are so nasty. Then you realize no one is worth that crap.

Look, OK, we probably all have a more than small dose of cabin fever at this point. We are living our lives in a way we’ve never had to live them before. But when I look at what those who live through World War II have to say it just sort of gives you a whole new perspective.

 I can’t make people be kinder to one another. And I’m sure some will have comments about what I have written today. It’s just one of the many things I am thinking about because face it, we all have so much time to think right now. And perhaps that is part of the problem. I don’t think some people are comfortable with their thoughts.

But I don’t understand with all that we have to deal with why these two women persist in doing this? All they are doing is isolating themselves further from people within their community and showing the world how unhappy they are. And that’s the thing that we are also discovering through all of this staying at home and self isolation: we are not islands unto ourselves after all. Humans need human contact and community, and it takes a global pandemic to realize it. So try being nicer, right?

I have always maintained that social media is both a blessing and a curse. It would be nice if right now with our every day lives up-ended indefinitely if we could try to make it more of a blessing than a curse.

If something annoys you or you don’t agree with it, you don’t have to leave a comment every time. Sometimes you can just scroll past it. That way people don’t fight and friendships remain intact during a very difficult time.

Try to be kind today.

the simple things we take for granted

Life is so quiet. It’s like snowstorm quiet without the snow. We naturally miss the little things, the simple things that we take for granted except now. It’s the freedom to move about and do what we want, when we want. But just like when there is a big snowstorm, we can’t. We have to think, we have to pause. And some people just can’t pause. They simply don’t know how.

There is also that underlying current of what is next? But not all the time. Only when I turn on the news. The media is so on overdrive I wonder when people will stop listening? It’s a balancing act for all of us and them and it can be information overload can’t it?

An amusing thing is apparently Facebook software wants people to stop listening. Yesterday they kept removing people’s posts saying they went against “community standards”. They did it with one of mine. I had shared an article from The Morning Call about a news conference Governor Tom Wolf had held. A friend of mine had a post removed she posted that was an obituary!

Reuters: Social media giants warn of AI moderation errors as coronavirus empties offices


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) warned on Monday that more videos and other content could be erroneously removed for policy violations, as the companies empty offices and rely on automated takedown software during the coronavirus pandemic.

I think what bothers me the most about what’s going on with COVID19 or coronavirus are the people not taking it seriously. I have seen so many “group selfies” that makes me wonder what it is they don’t get about social distancing? And these people have been both young and those who could be categorized as senior citizens who should know better or people who just don’t think this will touch them for whatever reason.

And I know some people are having a hard time being home with their kids. It occurred to me the other day why it is so hard. It’s because a lot of these people have their kids so scheduled every day of the week, they (and the kids) don’t actually know what to do when they’re not scheduled.

Now more than ever it has true meaning to say you are blessed to have your family, friends, and your health is totally true.

And sorry not sorry, I don’t view it as a world crisis that the liquor stores are closed. People, your liver will thank you for the break.

Someone asked me today what I’m doing. It’s pretty much my normal life. I am cooking, cleaning, reading, writing, working from home, sewing, and gardening. All the things I do normally as a not so closeted nester, things I like to do. I am by nature a homebody. I like being home.

I do miss seeing my friends and doing things with them but like the rest of my family they’re all still out there just everyone’s in their own space right now.

One thing I miss is my friend Amy and I were due for a “Fran day”. Those are little outings we do named after her mother. We have lunch and we poke our heads in a couple of antique stores like Frazer Antiques and Brandywine View Antiques, or visit the Surrey Services for Seniors Thrift Shop in Berwyn. Sometimes depending on the season , we go to a thing at Life’s Patina. Her mother loved days like that. So it’s like keeping a piece of her with us.

We both used to be on the corporate hamster wheel and it’s something that we also both decided we wanted to do for ourselves now that we can sometimes.

That’s another thing I’ve been thinking about. In this country, we often don’t take time for ourselves and our families. It’s a cycle of work home sleep eat repeat. Busy busy busy. So now we have the time. Should we just try to see the positives in that? 

This virus is kind of beyond our control except for the things we can do with washing our hands, social distancing and just staying the hell home. (See staythefuckhome.com )

Someone has this website up NCOV19live it has a worldwide map.

So for the time being why NOT garden more? Or do something creative at home. Seriously. You’ll feel better. Especially gardening.

Me? I am going to finish a pillow.

Happy hump day #COVID19 style.

We can do this.

coronavirus/covid-19 frustration

Wegman’s on 29 in Malvern RIGHT NOW

I placed a grocery order the other day. Not a panic, I want to clear the shelves grocery order, but a normal one for normal groceries. Through Instacart.

Nothing had been canceled, I thought my order would go as planned.

NOPE. People have once again cleaned out the Wegmans in Malvern on 29 again of food and it is only 1 PM and supposedly they had just restocked.

This is crazy town. This is also food hoarding I think. Now I understand WHY during World War I and II there was food rationing.

Hell I did not even need toilet paper. Just ummm….regular groceries, a few spices and so on.

They don’t even have frozen Mac & Cheese!

My poor shopper. I told her just to cancel the order. She couldn’t do it and couldn’t get through to Instacart as an employee. I finally just sat on the phone for close to an hour to get an order that basically couldn’t be filled, cancelled.

Sorry not sorry I think that’s crazy town. I got a nice guy in a totally offshore call center at Instacart to cancel. But I had to sit on the phone for just shy of an an hour. (55 minutes)

Look I am not going to apologize for getting groceries delivered. I live on the fringes of the immunocompromised as a breast cancer patient. Besides how many people do this on a regular basis? And in the present moment it seems to make sense…given coronavirus.

What doesn’t make sense however, are the people who are just panic buying everything in sight to the point where you can’t even get basic groceries. What the hell is wrong with those people? I have also heard tales of people in the grocery stores shopping and getting food ripped out of their hands like it’s the bridal sale at Kleinfelds in New York.

More from the Wegmans in Malvern

Here is what a friend of mine named Gwen said today:

One thing that this pandemic has driven home to me is how very lucky I am–how lucky most of us are. We’re upset that concerts, games and other events are being cancelled. Many folks don’t have access to those things ever. We’re upset that we have to wait a day to buy whatever we want. People in refugee settlements or living in poverty may always be hungry or without basic staples.

I worry about what will happen if our health care workers get sick and if our hospitals are overburdened. But I’m not the doctor, nurse or aide who has to leave my child or aging parent to take care of others who are sick. And many people rarely have access to or can afford care. I have a warm home in which I can shelter in place and food to eat. I have a job that lets me work from the comfort and safety of my home. I have people to help take care of me if I do get sick. I have access to care. In the most important ways, I am wealthy beyond measure.

Very true. And thank you for putting it into perspective.

My Instacart message …after I got my order canceled SMH…

Now let’s talk other things. This morning I wrote that we live in municipalities with small township buildings in a lot of cases. Even in larger township buildings there isn’t (in my humble opinion) enough room to even practice “social distancing” for meetings. Even for the boards and township employees who sit up front.

Municipalities should be voluntarily rescheduling ALL public meetings and hearings for the next month to six weeks. They don’t know even among the employee and elected officials ranks who would or might be immunocompromised or even who they might have been exposed to. Same with whichever attorney or individual who might have business before a municipality.

Coronavirus is real and if they are closing schools and sporting events as a precaution then township buildings should follow suit. No one is going to die if applications before boards and commissions are paused for 4 to 6 weeks, but if people are potentially exposed to sick people in boardrooms is that really a risk municipalities in Chester County want to take?

Contact YOUR municipalities and ask them what they are doing. I am not being an alarmist, this is no joke. And also if any of you have family members who were lost in the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 you know it’s no joke. Better safe than sorry. (See: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Wolf has ordered the closure of schools and other public venues in Montgomery County, which has the most coronavirus cases in the state.)

Oh my soooo many people were upset with me. Comments like:

 It doesn’t help to bombard municipal workers with questions. They are getting advice from the County, the State and the CDC. It is rather overwhelming. Please resist the urge to make it worse.

Respectfully, I disagree. There is so much information that is out there that is conflicting or as clear as mud. Last time I checked government still works for us, and to whom are we to direct concerns if we have them? Shelter in place and pose questions to the cat and dog perhaps?  It doesn’t hurt to ask politely if you are wondering about something. You don’t have to call, you can e-mail.

Plenty of municipalities are postponing and rescheduling events and meetings. Plenty are not. A lot of municipalities broadcast live, and Tredyffrin for example, has offered residents an email address to mail public comment questions and statements to so they get on the record. But then there are the municipalities who record NOTHING and offer the barest of bare bones meeting minutes, or who record audio only and release after a meeting is over, or record meeting but only post after a meeting is over. Not naming names they know who they are.

What is happening now is why municipalities need to catch up with the times and modernize. You all have access to PEG channels or YouTube technology and you can indeed broadcast a meeting live on YouTube. East Goshen does it. And East Goshen has gone the extra step to say how many people can fit in their small boardroom with proper social distancing.

Then there were the people annoyed with me for mentioning the Spanish Influenza outbreak in conjunction with the coronavirus. People, that is historical FACT. There was quite literally a parade for World War I in Philadelphia that was NOT canceled and it caused the Spanish Influenza to go pandemic in the area because the crowds were not broken up.

Chester County PA has just announced they are moving to only essential services. No prison visitors or visitors to long term care facilities. Closing the libraries, courts, and parks and trails for 14 days. There is more but they are speaking faster than I can type. The are declaring an emergency county-wide. This is no joke. This is hunker down and ride it out as best we can.

It would be nice if people would stop hoarding groceries or accumulating things people need everyday so they can price gouge and make a buck off of the troubles of others.

Covid-19 is nothing we have seen before. Life has to be somewhat draconian until it’s figured out. This thing is going to affect us.

I agree with the Chester County Health Officials who urge us not to look at this as a punishment but an opportunity to be together. Life throws us curve balls. Maybe we could rise to the occasion here? I am confused and worried just like everyone else. But the ONLY thing we can control right now is how we react. We need to be calm and hunker down.

Thinking of all of you.

Wegman’s Malvern, PA

the time between dawn and sunrise.

This morning between dawn and sunrise.

This is a post to probably won’t interest a lot of my readers because it’s personal. It’s about memories to come floating forward in the quiet of morning twilight, that time between dawn and sunrise. Have you ever had those?

I have had a bunch of those memories surface recently. This morning I remembered clearly what it was like looking outside my first bedroom window as a really little girl. My parents’ house was a construction site for much of the time we lived in Society Hill because it was such a wreck when they bought it. I used to look out the window which was in the rear of what today you would call the “master suite”.

My sister was still in her crib, and I was in this little room off the bathroom that would eventually become something like a dressing room. I remember clearly looking out the window at night and even in the morning. I would see the roofs of Bell’s Court and into St. Joseph’s Way and beyond. I also remember looking out that window at night at all the twinkling lights in the house is behind us. I remember wondering what all the people in those houses were like, what they were doing.

I had a memory not too long ago of singing songs from the Beatles’ Songbook on the front steps with a babysitter. It was fun. Only my mother didn’t approve. I remember her telling my babysitter not to do that because she didn’t want to have a kid sitting on the front stoop. She didn’t care if we did something like that out in the backyard but she never wanted us sitting on the front steps for some reason.

Another random memory is getting pushed off a high bar of the jungle gym in the St. Peter’s playground. The girl who did it said it was “an accident“ but it wasn’t. She was sort of a frenemy back then. I remember hitting the ground and the wind got knocked out of me. I never much liked the jungle gym after that.

I also remember what it was that made my parents and a friend’s parents want to leave the city. My friend and I were riding bikes in Bingham Court which was some thing we used to do often. If we weren’t riding bikes we were rollerskating. What made the parents decide on suburbia was the day we got mugged riding bikes. We didn’t really have anything worth stealing so what they did was smash my friend’s glasses into her face.

But that was like a defining moment in the lives of two families. Up until that point we often used to roam around and ride bikes by ourselves. We were like 10 or 11.

Other memories that have come back in these weird in between hours was like the memory of discovering an old quarry with a friend. It was in Gladwyne. I’m sure it’s still there unless someone filled it in, and could they even do that? It was down this sort of a dirt road off of a kind of a gravel driveway that was long and windy.

When you came upon the quarry it was cool and quiet except for the sound of birds. There were woods and scrub trees growing up top on the far side of the quarry and around the other sides of the quarry. We never went swimming or anything in the quarry, we just hung out. It was was a cool place.

Other memories from that year in Gladwyne was the was the clop, clop, clop of horses’ hooves on the road. A lot of people still kept horses in Gladwyne back then. It’s where I learned to ride. That sound is still sort of magical to me. Sometimes I would even wake up to that sound because Mr. Gwinn’s was across the road and other people kept horses down the road. The sound of horse is going by like that is very soothing.

I don’t know what the point of these memories floating free but it’s so different then the way we are today, isn’t it? Kids just wandered. Everyone was ok. Essentially when we could be outside, we were outside. We weren’t inside watching TV or playing video games or doing stuff on our tablets or phones.

When I fully wake up, the former child I once was is gone and the adult is back. I am in our bedroom in our house. I get up and I look out the window into the woods. Yes, I still like looking out the window even at almost 56. I really love the view we are blessed to have. It’s just beautiful. And every day I hear birds.

Appreciate your day. And your life. Thanks for stopping by.

a beautiful children’s book 26 years in the making

Giants “A Children’s Grief Story

When somebody tells you that their newly published book was 26 years in the making it really makes you want to stop and think

Giants A Children’s Grief Story by A.E. McIntyre and ElisaBeth Steins is that book. I will let the author A.E. McIntyre speak for himself:

I am proud to announce that Giants “A Children’s Grief Story,” is now available for purchase. This story is 26 years in the making.
Thank you to my incredibly talented childhood friend and artist Beth Steines whose illustrations brought this story to life. In 1994, I wrote the original draft of the story, one night in my college dorm room. Then I just filed it away.
Then in 1998, while attending a poetry class at WCU, Giants was mocked. The other students lampooned it, and thought I was trying to sound like a child. At the time, I didn’t have the courage to say, that indeed, the little boy inside of me had in fact written the story. So then I filed it away.
Then, three years ago, my brother died and it all came back to me once more. So on a bike ride I thought, “I need to write a children’s story about grief,” almost forgetting that I already had. It was then, when a friend Kelly encouraged me to write a second half to the original story.
No one but Beth and I, my editor and Beehive Book Design have read the complete story until now…while the original version of “Giants,” is in the beginning of my book, “Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, A Life from Moment to Moment.” And then, I filed Giants away again.
Then, two years ago, my daughters school friend lost her father, and once more, I committed myself to trying to turn Giants into a reality. Soon after, Beth signed on as my illustrator. Giants was originally intended for children, but really, it’s a book for adults too. And I am trying to honor all of those adults out there, who also lost their parents too soon.
Very recently, a dear friend of mine passed suddenly, and much like the boy in the story, I found myself facing the same questions about God and Heaven, and whether my friend was now at peace with God? And then I realized, the questions this little boy must face, are the very same questions, that each of us must face, when we lose loved ones, even as adults.
Now… Knowing how hard this is in adulthood, now……imagine for a moment just how hard it is to lose a parent when you are just a child. Thank you!

I wish this book has been around when my niece and nephew were very small children and their father died in 3 1/2 weeks from a vicious pleural mesothelioma a few days before Christmas in 2010.

If you are interested in ordering this book please follow the link to Amazon.

I think this book is a beautiful thing.