Summertime and the living is easy, fish are jumping and the cotton is high. After A Hard Day’s Night – I want Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a Splendor in the Grass chaser. As I approach the Autumn of my Youth- I ask “What kind of fool am I?” “I want to come home to you and find the things that you do will make me feel alright” ah! Paul. So as we roll out the hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer, the days of soda and pretzels and beer, (well maybe Tito’s), I’d like to go to the”drive- in on Friday nights.” As we see the pyramids along the Nile, standing near “Moon River,” we feel grateful to be out of the “heat wave.” Could this be magic, as the lion sleeps tonight, in the jungle, the mighty jungle? Who knows, could be it’s only just out of reach down the block, on a beach, under a tree. Tonight? We call on wishful thinking as we put on our yellow polka dot bikini and set our sights on the beach boys. We find ourselves dancing in the streets, eating icicles, popsicles and simply remember our favorite things. Are there lilac trees in the heart of town? Can your hear a lark in any other part of town? Does enchantment pour out of every door no it’s just on the street where you live. Wouldn’t you like to ride in my beautiful balloon? We can sing a song and sail along the silver sky we can fly, we can fly. Girl, I heard you’re getting married, heard you’re getting married this time you’re really sure. So, we’re going to the chapel of love. Love summer weddings. We are the lucky ones, some people never get to do all we got to do, now and forever I will always think of you. It only takes a moment for your eyes to meet and then it only takes a moment to be loved a whole life long. So let’s get those good vibrations, cause G- d only knows at any point, in the still of the night – tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun.
2022 we’re coming for you.
Left our sandals on the beach,
And going for a swim.
One foot in front of the other.
This time A win.
Carvel, chocolate covered marshmallows and a bon bon or two.
We’re usurping the gloom, move over, make room.
We hung a new calendar, on the refrigerator door,
Skipping to the good part
Adding fun, raise the score.
Tapping into wishful thinking, pulling out the stoppers.
Eye on the prize, done getting clobbered.
Left the door opened, Elijah’s cup is half full.
As a guest at the table, he’ll herald in the messiah, poo poo.
We are flipping the energy and our get up and go.
A rabbits foot, a four leaf clover, an evil eye
Leaving nothing to chance,
Let’s get up from the floor.
2022 means “Hope is Ahead.”
With hope, prayers and promises.
Putting the past years to bed.
“Let the Children’s Laughter remind us how we used to be.” As we round out ANOTHER year that was… It is June 2025 and I am getting ready for my high school graduation. I am graduating with honors and excelled at the top of my class in creative writing. I was bestowed the honor of delivering a speech on my take away of the Covid-19 virus that plagued the world in 2020. It is 6 years later and although it took the better part of 2 years plus until the eye of the storm subsided, we were left with a brave new world. The last five years have defined our world and my youth in ways that could never have been believed with no preparation in site. We were human shock absorbers. In guinea pig fashion we were isolated in our own boats navigating a storm flooded with fear, rage and no real answers. The virus knew no limits and left it’s mark on millions of innocent bystanders. We never knew if it was our turn to suffer on the front line of battle. We spent time dodging bullets, while baking blueberry pound cake with our siblings in lockdown mode. There were months on end where no expiration date was just that. As 13 year olds while forming friendship’s was top of mind, we were concurrently learning to fight an enemy that could come from around any corner, on any block. The streets crowded with people wearing masks was a clear visual of the enemy at hand. As lucky kids, the worst we knew was strep or a wrist sling from breaking a fall on the basketball court. Yet, we came to understand we were now dealing with deregulating the rules of the health cards as we knew them. Belly aches, scrapped knees and irritated gums from braces were mere annoyances compared to what we were up against. Fast forward and with no braces in sight, I am dressing in a new suit and sporting a tie decorated with happy faces. We survived and are thriving as a vaccine and maintenance program is in place. While overcoming an act of G-d, and a human disaster that has left us with emotional scars, I will address my graduating class today with honor. I will look in the eyes of my friends and know we developed strong friendships in spite of the scariest of times. My take away dear friends is if anyone one of us falls a little behind, we will wait till you catch up. We all started behind the starting line and emerged stronger and knowing together is “hashtag” better.
We listened to what Dr. Fauci suggested!
T’was the Night before Christmas and all through the lab,
Not a creature was stirring
As we got all three jabs.
With precautions in place,
Bated breath we do have.
On the brink of a surge,
Our freedoms been grabbed.
We put on our new sneakers,
To test on the line.
Fauci has spoken,
He says give it time.
The reindeers were fed along the path to our door.
We are waiting for Saint Fauci
To tell us some more.
In the absence of malice, no forethought or greed,
Pulling together we’re bound to succeed.
Dasher and Dancer and Rudolph in tow.
We are ending the year with some get up and go.
So Dear Saint Fauci,
We all wish you good cheer.
Make it a great one starting your 81st year!
There’s a hold up in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broken out in fights. There’s a traffic jam in Harlem- that’s backed up to Jackson Heights. There’s a scout group short a child, Khruschev’s due at Idlewild- “Car 54 Where Are You?” Gunther Toody and Officer Muldoon- where are you when we need you? Indelible visuals of their caricatures implanted in our minds. We only wanted them to get back together as partners. Their chemistry was real. My go to is Barbra with an A. “Was it all so simple then or has time re-written every line?”
Johnny on The Pony was a fave, rough housing at its best. Great memory and first glimpse into early on-set competition was watching the boys play skully. Remember flicking bottle caps on to a chalk made skully board? Object not over-flicking–nope it’s on the line.
When the going was good, with euphoric recall, we remember the days of no wine, maybe sweet sixteen roses. We drew the hopscotch board on the part of the sidewalk that was flat. Throwing our skate key as our hopscotch shooter was the thrill- where would it fall? Happy to land with two feet on 3 and 4 or 6 and 7 (double squares). Jumping rope, (sorry no double dutch here) trading Barbie clothes and discussing what happened on last nights episode of The Patty Duke Show are such comforting memories of times well lived. A simple worry was that the street light would go on before we found our skate key en route home to watch the latest episode of Dr. Kildare, (Richard Chamberlain) was very cute . We loved playing stoop ball- loosely based on baseball, only we used a Spaulding and retrieved it from the stoop steps, rather than from a batter. Big favorite was the game of Jacks. We didn’t care that we were often left with scrapes on the side of our hands from pinky to wrist. Bacitracin and band-aids were big in our house. The boys on the block played Stickball, (baseball with a stick.)
And then came the “Whistle.” I think our father practiced it a few times before we heard it coming as a “it’s time.” We did not look forward to hearing that sound at all, and in the middle of a game-ugh! “But Daddy we aren’t done. Please, just a little bit longer.” Denominations of time didn’t matter. Ten more minutes would have done. We cherished these after dinner nightly reunions. Our early childhood friends are still part of us. Now we share Nexium, diet tips and compare blood pressure meds. Just sayin. The crescendo of childhood memories was getting our baby bead bracelets with the letters spelling our names and encased in gold. Our piece of the sky, indeed. Ok, then, so with resignation and dismay we left the street. Bath time, Dr. Kildare and maybe some of Pinky Pinkham( Dorothy Provine) singing a few tunes at the Charleston Club. The corners of our minds are filled with the innocence of skate keys, Nancy Drew books and red licorice; never a clue that Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five would become the thundering moral statement of our time. Oh, what I would give to hear that infamous whistle beckoning me to come in, just one more time- And Daddy this time I would come in and right away.
So when I turned “65” five years ago we celebrated at The Kotel in Israel. We contacted the Women at The Wall and created a rite of passage. I raised my hand to G-d, all the time holding onto the wall. Social security, Medicare with AARP F drug plan (no not that kind)- nexium cocktails, carpal tunnel procedures, medical tests you can’t pronounce; blah, blah, blah. Concurrently, however we brought back the supplemental bag of the real stuff that comes along with age appropriate hearing loss (really?)- whatever that means. Longer periods of peace of mind on the top of the list. Recognizing “what” really matters and “who” doesn’t. Bye Felicia. Binge watching yes, The Sopranos from Jan. 10th-1999, has replaced, once again, meeting for lunch or dinner and theoretically paying attention to the sign that says “only take your masks off while eating.” Emoji sad. Ok, back to Israel. During our visit we met up with a high school buddy (Jon Kuritsky) for those in the know and his wife Diana. They live in a beautiful village on the Mediterranean several hours north of Tel Aviv called Shavei Zion. It is in between Acco and Nahariya. They do many varied things with their lives. She’s a writer, he tows their land and they operate an inn/spa called NEA. We learned about a part of life or in fact death we never knew about before. Diana and Jon, pay it forward in a meritorious way. They are part of community of people who are known as Chevra Kadisha. Their responsibilities are to prepare the dead before burial. At first we thought how morbid, how scary. When we realized someone chooses to do so as the religious experience of being the last person to see the dead, we came to see it differently. Our hats goes off to them, as it would not even be wIthin the realm of possibility for us to ever consider. Diana introduced me to not just any soap that they use. We bought it at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. It is multi-purposed and so many bars and years later we still use it. Our charitable “paying it forward” has a much different tone to it. My take away is that symbolically the soap is a form of cleansing the body and mind. So just for today as we simultaneously count blessings all the while trying hard not to step on the cracks (so we don’t break our mothers back)- let’s go to grateful. We buy lite mayo and thinks it tastes fine, sign up for Pilates and understand the studio is now closed due to the continuous virus surge, and better understand the FOMO’s (feelings of missing out) really only exist in our minds. Let’s go with the meant to be Wednesday.
Dear Kindly Dr. Fauci
Friday is your Big Day.
With respect and adoration we’re all here just to say.
You’re celebrating “81”
Adding blessings and much Fun.
When we follow your scientific knowledge,
We trust our journey has begun.
Take a bow, then take another
Your focus won’t distract
You’ve imparted so much wisdom,
Through research proven fact.
We are positioned and we’re ready,
To get a piece of our world back.
We’ll raise a glass to honor, your grace and gravitas
You never once did wander, your path is well defined.
So Kindly Dr. Fauci, Our treasure and Our “Find.”
We’ll toast another go round, the planet needs you here.
Mutations are ticking numbers
No fingers left to count.
You devotion hasn’t waivered,
On your steadfast we can count.
You work toward a solution,
As you usher in the year.
We will raise a glass and honor,
You are Precious and so Dear!
Betty White is turning 100!
We got “Swept Away” by Lina Wertmuller, the Italian Filmmaker with an unmistakable style who left her mark on Italian and worldwide cinema. Sylvia Weinstock the “da Vinci of Wedding Cakes,” added tiers (tears) to her wedding cake wonders. She produced floral-drapped architectural works in the shape of rose-studded topiaries, baskets of speckled lilies and bouquets of anemones. She didn’t start baking until she was in her 50’s. Yes, my point. They both lived, until this past month into their 90’s. Long livers with passions strong. They focused on their interests and fine tuned their talents. Sylvia was lucky in love. She grew up in Brooklyn and went to the beach on the Rockaways with her friends on the weekends in the summer. One summer day she walked over to a group of boys and asked who wanted to go swimming with her.? One of the guys walked her to the ocean and as it turned out down the aisle. Relationships amongst long livers tend to be deep and strong with the emphasis on forgiveness.
As we are stepping into our 70’s as we close 2021 we are regrouping, pulling out all the stops and putting the
accent on the right syll-a ble. Long livers and some tips on long living is a curious study.
The power of luck cannot be overestimated. However, as studied by Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara the Japenese physician and longevity expert who lived until the age of 105 there are tips and suggestions worth paying attention to. The obvious well played song book we grew up with included staying active, keeping busy, 3 squares a day and take the stairs and exercise your way to the make up department at Bloomys.
Our take away from his study was to have fun and minimize pain. And I quote “ Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it.” If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain.
Betty White believed everyone needs a passion. She kept humor at the forefront. Finding a passion is a talent in itself. Make it a good and find your passion Friday.