Friday, December 10, 2010

A Turnstile Encounter

It's cold here, so I was wrapped up this morning, and had my chin down, tucked under my scarf. My hat was pulled down over my forehead. With my full work backpack, I must have resembled a slowly-moving rummage sale -- a pile of clothing on legs!

As I approached the turnstile where I exit the commuter train and head for the subway, I found my path blocked by a figure. Pushing up my hat so I could see, I regarded an earnest-looking young man about my son's age. Dark curly hair, navy peacoat, multicolored scarf. I started to weave around him, which is my standard operating procedure in public places.

Then he spoke. "Jesus loves you!" he said.

I stopped weaving and looked at him. "Thanks. He loves you, too!" I answered.

He smiled. "I know. Jesus loves you!" he exclaimed to the next couple, right behind me, and I continued on my way.

But now I was smiling instead of cringing from the cold. What would the world be like if we all knew God's love, all the time?

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Villa d'Este, or, a tonic for broken-hearted liberals

OK. We voted. And the Republicans pretty much cleaned our clock. However, Rob Andrews (D.) won again in NJ's 1st Congressional District (yay, Rob!), and Christine O'Donnell was defeated in her Senate race in Delaware. So ... not a total loss. I am not throwing myself under the bus. Not until 2012, at least!

But, enough whining.

J. and I went to Italy in October, to celebrate our 30th anniversary (actually, our anniversary was in May, but we were too busy to go then -- a sad comment on American life). One of the many places we went was the Villa d'Este, located in Tivoli, about 15 miles outside of Rome. I had been here once before, and it is one of my favorite places on the planet.

The Renaissance villa was built in the middle of the 16th century, and is impressive on its own. The Italian gardens, however, are stunning, situated on a terraced hillside. There are nearly 500 fountains, and all -- all -- are run by the water pressure of a partially-diverted river. No machinery at all!

In some ways, this visit was bittersweet. I first saw the Villa in 1969, with my parents, as I was on the verge of turning 16. That visit took place after dinner, as night was falling. I recall standing on one of the higher terraces, as the soft lights came on throughout the garden. I could see Mom and Dad below me, by a fountain.

They're gone now -- they've been dead a good many years -- but I thought they might be glad I was seeing this place again.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bad dream

I dreamed last night that I was being pursued by a dancing teapot, like the one in Beauty and the Beast. Surreal! And the worst part -- the teapot had Christine O'Donnell's face and brown hair. No, I will not attempt a sketch! It was too scary! The teapot chased me down the street and nearly caught me -- but I was able to duck into a small enclosure that might have been a voting booth.

For those of you who are mercifully insulated from the coming midterm elections, Christine O'Donnell is running for the U.S. Senate in my old home state of Delaware. She is the very lightweight Tea Party-sponsored Republican candidate. She describes herself as "a conservative Christian woman," and has been heard to say that God has called her to win, and that prayer affects her poll numbers. She also admitted that she "dabbled in witchcraft" as a teenager.

Now, I personally don't care about her teen history. What makes my skin crawl is the Tea Party, that misguided bastion of 1950s conservatism with its religious-right platform. Those folks creep me out. We have to seal their political fate on November 2.

I hope Christine is right about prayer affecting her poll numbers! You know what this liberal Christian woman will be praying for, don't you?

Remember: VOTE BLUE on Nov. 2!
Or don't complain to me when your civil rights go away.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On Death Row, or, I WON!

My two faithful readers (or was it three?) will rejoice to know that I finally won the battle with my borough. Now I hardly rejoice to announce that any tree has died, but I grew weary of worrying that this particular decaying specimen would fall on my house, car, dogs, or husband (not in that order,necessarily ...).

Several weeks ago we had a windstorm of mighty proportions, and our street required a lot of municipal overtime cleaning up fallen branches. Imagine my delight when, returning home the next day, I spied the red X on my tree -- the sign of imminent removal. Someone noticed its obvious deadness!

If I had been brave enough to paint the red X myself, this might have been over long ago! Farewell, dear Hazard!

Friday, October 01, 2010


Ok, it's been a long time. I was recently scolded by my friend Leslie because I had not blogged in so long. Mea maxima culpa est. I guess I was just taking a little vacation from having an opinion on everything.

Imagine that.

Well, no more Mrs. Nice. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The post-Easter slummmmmmpppppp ....

It's hard to believe that Lent is over, and Easter Sunday has come and gone. Of course, I realize the Easter season lasts for fifty days, but I guess I'm in a slump after all the activity of Holy week -- a very emotionally exhausting five services in five days, plus cooking, food shopping, and all the other usual tasks that can't be set aside. I want to sit in the sun now and snooze, like those critters to the left, who are resting from their Easter-Day labors.

That sounds like a very good idea, in fact: sitting in the sun. I may never come back in!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Is it spring yet?

OK, I've had it. I do love winter, but ...

Lots of snow on December 19th. A ton of snow last weekend.

And tonight? More snow. Snow continuing tomorrow. High winds. The fun just keeps coming.

Meetings are cancelled. Doctor's appointments are cancelled. My street looks like the frozen tundra.

I got these tulips last Sunday, after the plows had passed and I could finally get out to buy food. They're all that's keeping me hanging on.

That, and the thought that work might be closed tomorrow .....