Learning until the end

It is hard to write about something philosophical when your mind is occupied with making plans to change your life. There are some things that I just can’t bring to mind right now. I feel as if I am in a fog. I haven’t even been able to read much and that is very unusual. I am hoping that once we are settled again my mental acuity will come back.

I have always been a curious person. Reading everything in sight from a very early age. I loved history, English, psychology whatever was next in front of me. I went to college for the second time in my forties and studied nursing reading way beyond what I needed. Loving what I was learning.

In my 50’s I decided to study the new things going on in physics. One of my friends is a physicist and she said “you are reading physics for fun?” Yes it was fun.

This last few months have drained me and my curiosity is on vacation. I know it will return and I am looking forward to that. There is so much in the world and I want to explore everything I can before I shuffle off.

Change is inevitable

“Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” Anonymous

We are in the middles of one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. We are upsrooting ourselves to be where we need to be. It has been a hard decision but it is the right one and we know that. So we will continue to honor our decision and follow through.

Changes are very difficult and most of us don’t like them at all. Nevertheless nothing ever stays the same. I have always heard said that nothing is sure but death and taxes. Well, I would add something else to that. Change is inevitable.

Medical practise has gone horribly wrong

Has anyone noticed lately how difficult it is to get a diagnosis. My husband went through months of illness before someone was able to find what was acutally wrong. I have run into so many people who are having the same problem.

Is it because we no longer have any doctor who really knows us? It does seem that could be part of the problem. No one seems to really listen. My husband complained about his knee for months but no one ever checked it until it was found more or less by accident.

I really think we need to seek out a primary physician that we can keep long enough to understand our life and our family. Very hard to find any more in this era of switching insurance, both us and our changing health environment.

When we were at the Mayo Clinic the first physician was an “attending” (head and teacher) in the ER. He mentioned that one of the hardest things to teach new docs was to see the whole person not just the piece that brought them in. He certainly was a special doctor and so right.

I have written a lot about the medical system mostly because it has gone so horribly wrong.

How love lives

Being very close to 80 and having spent 58 years with my husband has somehow reminded me of the writings of Kahlil Jibran. His discourse on how to live together is the way I feel that my husband and I have been through the years. I love this from The Prophet.

Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

A Share from a blogger that needs to be read

This article came from a blogger that I love beautybeyondbones. Because of my funky relationship with Facebook I have had to copy and past rather than forward. I hope you find this article enlightening. It is from https://beautybeyondbones.com/2020/09/03/nyc-needs-the-police/

I don’t have to tell you about society’s current tidal wave of hatred and detest towards our men and women in blue. Battle cries to “defund the police;” publicly canceling anyone who even considers that “blue lives matter.” There is a quelling uprising against law and order, and while – sure, it may seem “woke” and a noble bandwagon to jump on, the fact of the matter is, there are serious consequences to alienating those who are there to protect and defend. And that is being seen in full scale in Manhattan, no matter how much the mainstream media may try to downplay it.

(And Mom and dad, I apologize ahead of time for the worry this post may ignite. Please know that I am being safe, taking precautions, and frankly…not doing anything stupid to get into a dangerous situation.)

My friends and I got back from Maine on Monday night at midnight. And the city was lights out. Dead. For a city that used to literally never sleep — where you could go out at any time, on any day, and see swaths of people milling around — it is alarming that Manhattan is so quiet. And why? Because half of New York has left, and those that have stayed behind are scared to go out past 10.

Outdoor restaurants close at 10 pm. Historically 24-hour CVS’s, bodegas, and diners — now all close at 10. Parks – which have never been gated up…now, locked with a chain and padlock at 10.

Why? Because it is no longer safe to be out after dark.

Perhaps you may be thinking I’m overreacting. Sure…just a typical overdramatic millennial who’s extra skiddish because she’s a young woman who lives alone. Please. I have never once felt scared in NYC. Ever. Until now.

It was such a shock to go from “Mayberry,” Maine back to Gotham. The night my friends and I got home, I got a text from one of my friends — that morning, there was an arrest made in her building. A homeless man had been living in her stairwell for MONTHS, and had been stealing packages. This was in a super nice building on the Upper West Side — arguably one of the nicest, most affluent neighborhoods in Manhattan.

A man. Living in her stairwell.

Which is particularly alarming and crazy, because she had been getting her packages delivered to my doorman building for quite some time now, because all of her packages were going missing.

Crime is up.

You may recall the incident I had just a few months ago: where a BLM radical YouTuber accosted me outside my building, and forced me to get on my knees and hail BLM while he livestreamed it. I was one of a string of young women he “vlogged” that day.

Graffiti tags are absolutely everywhere. The population of homeless people has soared, and so has their boldness. My friend was curtly confronted by a homeless man who pressured her into VENMOING HIM money, when she explained she didn’t have any cash.

My “neighborhood watch” Citizen Ap on my phone pings incessantly throughout the day and night, notifying me of crime in my current vicinity. Unsettling reminders for sure.

These are not just isolated incidents. Homicides. Robberies. Burglaries. All have skyrocketed recently. And why? Because cops are afraid to do their jobs anymore.

Why put your life on the line, when — if you act to defend yourself, it could be filmed and end up on national news where you’ll be labeled a racist, and prosecuted?

They’ve had enough. And so they’re walking off the job. In startlingly large numbers.

The NYPD has recently cited “ongoing challenges,” including an “increase in retirements” and “deep budget cuts.”

That is terrifying information. Terrifying.

In case you missed it, back in June, one billion dollars was cut from the NYC police budget. And the impact of that are now beginning to be felt.

What is going to happen to our country if law and order is not the backbone of society? Truly? What will our world become?

Now here’s the tough part. Because yes – we need to support our men and women of the badge – but it is also true that there are “bad apples” that are drawn to the allure of the police force, and the power and -sadly, weaponry- that goes along with it. But to completely throw the entire baby out with the bathwater, just because of a problematic bunch…it is wholeheartedly unwise.

Are the horrific and heartbreaking incidents of unjust police brutality that have happened in recent months absolutely unwarranted, unjust, and deserving prosecution? One hundred percent yes.

But those handful of terrible, terrible incidents do not color the vast majority of blue men and women who truly have dedicated their lives and their livelihoods to protecting and serving the community, and keeping people safe.

It is a job that I cannot imagine waking up and doing every day.

And it is a job that, yes, probably should have more training and vetting, and support, and accountability, than it currently does.

But we need to support law and order in this country. Without it, we are creating a scenario ripe for malice, and foul play, and all sorts of corruption. A scenario that we are beginning to see play out in Manhattan.

The car that goes down in history

How about a blast from my past? I was remembering when I learned to drive and my first car. My father taught me to drive. He wanted to be sure that I was capable of driving anything that moved (except a motorcycle). Once I had mastered the basics (straight shift no cheating…most cars were not automatic) he took me out and had me drive a 1/2 ton truck. That was an experience.

Mine looked like this but not as good

When I passed my driver’s test he decided to get me a car??? I guess you could call it that. It was a second/third/fourth/ hand Willy’s Jeepster. It had a convertible top, isinglass side windows that you put in after the top was up. It had “air conditioning” (that is the outside air) and no heater.

The seats were bolted to the floor so you couldn’t adjust them. In order for me to reach the pedals..especially the clutch…I had to put a pillow to my back. You can imagine that four or five teenage girls thought this was the bomb. We absolutely loved that car. We drove it in the winter wrapped up in heavy coats, gloves and whatever else we needed to keep warm. We drove through snow and rain. We drove it while wearing swimming suits in the summer with the top down. We flirted with boys in other cars. It was great.

In my senior year of high school the car started to have problems. It wouldn’t always start. It took a while for my father to figure out what was wrong. Those cars had starter buttons in the floor that you pushed down to start the car. For some reason that piece was not connecting with the piece it connected to in the engine. We could push the car to start it popping the clutch (something most of you have never heard of or done). It didn’t take much. Just rolling a little bit would get the car going. The other more interesting option was to open the hood and hold a piece of metal between the starter and the starter connector and like magic we were on our way.

When we went downtown to shop we tried to find a parking place at the end of the block so that if we had to push the car it was easy. I’m sure you can imagine that we met lots of boys that way.

Hot Shoppes later became Marriott

In those days the place to hang out was the Hot Shoppe. It was a drive in place where car hops brought you your food. Tons of friends met there on Friday and Saturday night. No problem getting the car started there.

Later on more problems began to crop up. While stopped at a light at a very busy intersection on a hill I couldn’t get the car started. My father was with me. The light changed and the man behind us kept blowing his horn. My father calmly got out of the car and walked back to the other car. I was worried about what was going on. My father returned and calmly sat down in his seat. I asked him what happened and he said “I told him I would blow his horn if he would start my car!” My father always had the “mot juste.” He was known for it.

Another day at another busy stop light I lifted up on the steering wheel and it came off in my hand. I stuck it back on and drove us all home holding it on.

Hauled away

The final event came when the car began having electrical problems. My father took the car to be rewired and all seemed well. That night we drove the car into town and on one of the main streets smoke started coming out from under the hood. We pulled into a gas station thinking it was overheated and opened the hood. The car was merrily in flames. A gas station attendant rushed out with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. My father came and picked us up and the car was gone for good.

I have never since had a car that was more fun and more interesting. I am sure I never will.

Where will it end?

Recently I have talked to a number of people who are feeling what I am feeling. It’s been too long. Someone mentioned yesterday that we have been under restriction for eight months. No wonder it seems so long. We are all just ready for this to end but it won’t yet.

In my area the numbers are decreasing and I hope in other areas as well. The riots and anger are not helping. I think the stress of the pandemic is fueling some of it. People are just frustrated.

Does anyone recognize our life now? There is violence and killing in cities that have never had that before. Those of us at risk for the virus are trapped avoiding exposure. Schools can’t decide what is best to do. Businesses are going under and people are out of work. This doesn’t sound like my world.

There were riots during the Viet Nam era. There were “demonstrations” during the civil rights era (God bless MLK) but nothing like this. Understanding what has caused all this unrest is complex. The feud between the police and BLM is almost like the Hatfields and the McCoys (if anyone remembers what that was). Logic has been left behind and only anger and hatred remain.

I wonder if anyone thinks any good will come of all of this? Does violence change things more than non-violent demonstrations? I’m not sure it does. I think that the crusades of MLK and Gandhi are remembered more. Will that be the case in the future? Will this nation withstand this or will it fall?

Have they disappeared?

From my history background I remember a historian named Arnold Toynbee who said that when the moral fiber of a nation declines the nation falls. We are certainly there. What is to come?

“The road less traveled”

All of us are always on a journey. We don’t really know where the journey will take us. That is a mystery that will unfold as we live. To try and force that journey to go a particular way doesn’t always work. Sometimes we may be able to choose a direction. Sometimes, as in the words of Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

Sometimes we are afraid to choose the unfamiliar road. We just like the smooth path we can see in front of us. We feel secure and safe. But life doesn’t always leave it that way.

For many years we have loved following the known road…the one we could see ahead. But now we a called by life to take that other road…the less traveled one…and we will. We are hoping that road will take us to a place of peace and safety but there is no way to know for sure.

Nevertheless we will step out in confidence sure that life is sending us that way. We will miss many things but gain others. This is always the way. The trick is to appreciate what you do have and not what you don’t.

“You cannot sail new oceans if you never lose sight of the shore.” anon