Category Archives: reunions

Sweaters and Thanksgiving Thoughts

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When I opened my drawer full of sweaters to search for the ones with

Autumn colors, I ended up having to empty the whole drawer onto my

bed. I could not seem to find the one with its patchwork appearance.

Although, as a preschool teacher I had several turkey pins, along with

some orange, brown and tan sweaters, there was always this special one

I wore and called it my Thanksgiving sweater.

 

While I looked at my wide collection of fall and cold weather offerings,

I was smiling since some of them were getting pretty ‘raggedy,’ while

others were less in style. I started thinking about sweaters and their

characteristics.

This

is

when

I had

an epiphany:

Sweaters are like our family members.

While you are thinking about the upcoming celebratory feast, you may

have some positive thoughts and you  may have some misgivings,  too.

I hope you will see some of the anthropomorphic references in this poem,

of sorts and I also hope it amuses you.

Wishing you a wonderful gathering of family and friends. I hope it is an

extra special time, with pleasant memories of past holidays spoken of

and cherished, too. Those who have gone on and had their unique places

in your family festivities, hope you will have some of the elderly guests

share some more of their own personal memories of the loved ones.

I also admire the idea of going around the table and all sharing their

reasons for being thankful. This family tradition is often part of our own

ritual. I have been lately asking the little ones, “What was your favorite

part of this year, so far?” I like to try and remember them, to put in their

personal albums, which include their photographs and memorabilia we

have collected along our ways. (Tickets for movies, zoo or museums, as

well as menus and maps. I have a few of their drawings included, too.)

 

“Sweaters and Family”

November 24, 2014

 

Sweaters come in all colors,

They come in all sizes, too.

Sweaters can be quite worn

and scruffy looking,

While some may be in

brand new condition.

 

There are the loud ones,

and there are low key

kinds of sweaters.

 

Each has their place,

both

old

and

new.

 

There are those scratchy ones,

who seem to always irritate you.

There are those sweet, dear ones,

who can ‘do no wrong.’

They never grow old

nor out of style.

 

Some are so big and stretched

while others are such pint-sized.

There are the lumpy ones which have

lots of pills,

there are the smooth, soft ones, too.

 

There are the old, familiar ones

and the surprising ones who

unexpectedly turn up.

Those especially nice ones

appear out of nowhere

to discover and include

around the holidays.

 

When rummaging around in your

sweater drawers or storage tubs,

keep in mind how much you love

them all. . .

 

You certainly would not wish to

ignore them

or discard.

Even those

who are

unraveling

a bit.

They are an integral

part of colder

seasons

and

you

may

as well save them

for next year, too.

 

by Robin O. Cochran

 

Do you have a favorite story about sweaters?

If you wish, I would enjoy reading about some of your family

traditions. . .

 

 

Update on Kissing

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The song, “Amie,” sung by Pure Prairie League haunts me, sometimes.

I tend to sing it aloud, to my friend and coworker, Amy D. She is quite

a lovely individual with a lot of character. She reminds me of what my

Grandfather Mattson would say about a spunky person,

“She has a lot of ‘spit and vinegar!'”

I may still have a few people interested in my coworker’s personal life.

I have to tell you just a little bit more about PPL, which is sometimes the

way that mentioned band, went by, ‘in the day.’ Their roots are from a

town called, Waverly, Ohio. They headed to Columbus, where they first

recorded songs. They view Cincinnati, Ohio as their ‘first successful show.’

They have had a ‘long run,’ starting playing together in the 70’s, taking a

break after the 80’s, then ‘reviving’ again in the 90’s and finally touring

and doing up to 100 shows still in 2013.

Craig Fuller’s song, “Amie,” is an ‘ode’ to an on-again/off-again relationship.

The words go like this, (don’t they seem appropriate to Amy’s relationship

with her Roy?)

“Amie, what you gonna do?

I think I could stay with you…

For awhile, maybe longer if I do.”

(That first line, by the way comes out like this: “what ‘cha’ gonna do?”)

 

Amy seemed frazzled and confused, when I caught up to her on Wednesday.

She had been in a completely different part of the building doing her job

as a Cycle Counter. When I ran into her in the bathroom, around my second

break, I checked the row of stalls for feet. I wanted to get ‘right down to it,’

and ask her about her weekend and possible conversation about why Roy

doesn’t kiss her. He will rub her feet and back, along with enjoying an

intimate relationship with her.

She was ‘feeling down and discouraged,’ she said.

On Friday, July 25th, she had made a nice dinner after she had gone from

work, straight out to the stables, walked and fed both Spirit and Lokie, then

had brushed their coats, talking to them. She calls this her ‘unwinding time,’

also on other occasions I have heard her say that her horses are her ‘therapy

sessions.’ Aptly put, I feel. Animals are good listeners and they accept us for

who we are!

Amy brought up the subject, she admits, “Too quickly into the meal.”

She told me that she “had held her tongue all week,” and was “fed up with

all this waiting for Roy to be ‘in the mood’ to talk.”

Roy told her frankly that he had been concerned that he was her ‘rebound

relationship.’ He also told her he wished his sister had ‘waited to introduce

them.’ He feels that Amy was so excited to have anyone pay attention to her,

that she had leaped into bed with him. Lastly, she heard him express his

serious concerns about her adult children who seem to have a negative

impression of him. This has made him “hold back on really caring about

you, Amy.”

When she had told me all about this conversation, which was mainly his

side of the story, she did not tell me too much about what words she chose

to use, since we were in a ‘hurry’ to avoid any interruptions and to get to

sit down in the break room. For me, to watch the silly soap opera for the

15 allotted minutes of relaxation before heading back to where I was working.

I knew she had gotten quiet, waiting on my reactions.

I told her that I had ‘good feelings’ about how he told her his honest feelings

and that he was more open than he had been in the past. I also, hesitantly,

agreed with Roy. I told her that did not mean I felt that she and he should not

kiss, or move forward in a positive way. He was definitely a kind and supportive

person, from the way she described him. She has lost almost 30 pounds, in less

than 6 months, with his advice to eat more vegetables and also, his choosing

leaner cuts of meats to grill out. I told her that I did not get the impression that

Roy was ‘using her.’ I also told her the points about her just being divorced,

her being ‘vulnerable’ and also, the negative way those kids had blamed her,

despite her ex-husband marrying again, as soon as the ink dried on the papers,

made ME mad. I could just imagine Roy’s angry feelings at them, too.

Amy surprised me by telling me that she proceeded after dinner, to go to a

girlfriend’s house.

I asked her, “Was this to ‘process what you had heard Roy say?’

Amy looked a little embarrassed, she said that she had had a very bad reaction

to what he had said, “I felt like he was attacking first me, then my ex, and then,

my kids!”

I could see it from a more neutral place, but I could see me in my younger days,

doing the same thing!

“So, I have to know, Amy, how did the weekend go?”

This could have been edited or possibly made ‘prettier’ but I choose to let you

know, Amy told him in another way, that she ‘wanted to break up:’

“You may as well get your ass out of my life, Roy!”

You can imagine my surprise!

I told her that maybe someday their paths would intertwine, that their feelings

would be more mature when she was ready for a relationship.

She interrupted me, by saying,

“I just don’t see how he will ever forgive my over-reacting to his analysis of my

life!”

“Everything is personal. If he cares about you, doesn’t want to be a ‘rebound

relationship,’ he will give you time. Everyone says things they don’t mean,

Amy. Believe me, every one of the long-term men in my life, whether I broke

up with them, or they broke up with me, all ended up on my doorstep once

again. You will just have to decide if you want him back again. Believe me,

this isn’t over!”

“Amy, what you going to do?” (I sang to her.)

She answered, in a singsong way,

“Move to South Dakota with my horses!”

 

Somehow, I don’t think that is the ending of this!

 

Thanks again, for all of your opinions, personal stories, along with examples

from friends that you knew about whether or not, kissing is a ‘deal-breaker.’

 

 

Naysayers of the Beatles

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My response to the naysayers (some who are rather close to my

home and heart) of the Beatles is, “Really? Have you watched

their beginnings?” Three short months after the assassination of

United States President, John F. Kennedy, (and its devastating

aftermath) along came the introduction of these four young men.

Musicians, artists and poets known as the Beatles. They were

like a ‘breath of fresh air.’

I have a good male friend and one of my best female friends that

like to yank my chains by saying, “I don’t ‘get’ the Beatles.”

I respond, “Why have they endured?”

Were you there to see the changes and evolution from their

playful selves? As our country was fighting for Civil Rights

and the strife of riots in the streets of the South, church

burnings and other side effects that moved us to action, the

Beatles ‘changed their tune.’ They had started their career,

writing original love songs that had fun and simple themes.

I will always feel one of the best love songs they sang was,

“There’s Something in the Way She Moves Me.”

Then, in the 70’s they moved forward to write and sing “Revolution.”

The Peace movement created, “Let It Be.” “Imagine” and “Give Peace

A Chance.” These songs were John Lennon’s answer to ending wars,

like the Viet Nam ‘skirmish,’ which ended up having casualties of

58,200 of our American soldiers.

Again, I understand if you were too young or are still not

able to “get” the Beatles.” It is sometimes how deeply they

made, some of us, think and feel. How they touched our hearts

and, despite the frantic atmosphere we were growing up, they

were part of a generational movement.

By lighting the candles for us of Hope, Inspiration and Endless

Possibilities, we all endured.

They did not stand still and stay one kind of musician.

The Beatles are known for continuing to move forward and

‘evolving.’ They met the way times were changing head on,

filling their lyrics with the news.

There are plenty of examples of popular musical groups, like

the Herman’s Hermits, The Byrds and others who were similar.

They did have wonderful examples of lyrics and songs that

became part of our popular culture. There are the also more

strident and rollicking songs of the Rolling Stones and harder

driving musical groups that may be more the taste you prefer.

But, to be honest, what makes me respect a lot of these groups

is they came from hard working roots and they overcame them.

They had average families brought up in the Catholic church,

in small towns.

They developed character, through humor, respect, and their

continuing, abiding faith. Some of the members left Catholicism

and chose to embrace a universal faith. They consulted with the

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They looked beyond their families’ faith

and sought other levels of enlightenment. They came from England

yet became persons who believed in uniting the world, overcoming

and making it a better place and becoming personally better.

When Linda McCartney chose to eat vegan, that was years before

it became well known or a popular choice, at least among my

friends. The Linda McCartney Foods line is produced by Hain

Celestial, UK Ltd. There have been places on the internet that

focus on ‘voting’ to get this line of meat less meals to the

United States and Canada.

My parents liked and respected the Beatles. We had all of their

albums, while I played Apple 45’s on my little record player.

My father, particularly, liked listening to them. My Mom told us

that in Europe, there wasn’t the same “evils of blacks being

persecuted by whites,” that class structure was different, that

we were not as ‘advanced’ (sometimes she even used the words,

‘less civilized’) as they were. I do know that there was a lot

better examples of inclusion in the musical world, embracing

Motown Sound, starting rock n’ roll with Elvis’ influences.

By adding different styles to make it sound more interesting.

Here are three Beatles’ songs that reflect Motown influences:

“You Really Got A Hold On Me,” “Money” (That’s What I Want), and

“Please Mr. Postman,” all were included in the Beatle’s 2nd album.

There was a professor of Music at University of California,

Berkeley, who recently spoke on CBS Sunday Morning, February 2,

2014 edition.

She was telling the viewers, Berkeley has three Beatle courses,

that have been offered “for over fifteen years.” They are centered

on different aspects of the Beatles’ music.

One college course focuses on using the same chords, different

guitar skills and styles used or emphasized by the Beatles. The

second one deals or analyzes the Beatles’ poetry and writings

in their music. What it was that transferred their words into

becoming legendary songs. This course uses the Beatles as the

impetus to invention of students’ own original lyrics.

The final course is for musicians who wish to learn about the

art of performance. In my mind, the Beatles led others in this

area. Their usage of their natural abilities and personalities

to perform solidly made them popular. They had an innate sense

of how to behave appropriately in their first interviews, showing

humor, lovable and comical characters. They learned to transfer

their lighter weight style by including deeper thoughts, following

their changing beliefs.

This Berkeley Music professor said they recently had a sold

out campus musical performance that played the entire Beatles’

“White Album.” She said their music was able to stand up

against the “Test of Time,” evidenced by the 3 courses filling

up as soon as they are posted at Berkeley for the next semester.

Motown Sound members include “We Can Work It Out,” as one of

their own, using rhythm and blues, with jazz influences.

When a song can be heard years later, performed with a

different dimension of the sound, this is true artistry.

Several of the Beatles’ tunes, as soon as the first notes or

chords are played, I am transferred, taken back in time,

through the years, and my heart strings are again tugged on.

I can be reduced to tears by the beauty of the Beatles’ lyrics.

Fifty years have passed: I still hold the Beatles in high regard.

Unraveling Threads and Intertwined Lives

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This is such a wonderful day! It may be cold on the

outside, but I am feeling all warm and fuzzy on the

inside! We were finished with work at four o’clock

and we all felt like ‘prisoners being released!’

Or as one young fellow coworker exclaimed, “There’s

light outside! This feels like school’s out for the

summertime!” We chuckled along with him, amused by

his enthusiasm. The elderly security guard and I

exchanged a knowing glance.

After I warmed up my car for a good ten minutes to

get the temperature to come up to ‘cold’ the car

thermometer that I assume measures the outside

temp, read “9 degrees.” Not at all registering

the ‘wind chill factor’ outside.

I was concerned when I spotted a young man from

work, walking away from town, so I pulled over

and stopped. His name is Cody, he said, as he

so graciously thanked me before I even took him

anywhere.

I told him that I was only on my way to the library

and that I used to take a nice young man named David

home. I began to tell him about how my youngest

daughter, Felicia, was friends with the singing group

that he was in. That their name was “Team KNYCE.”

He was nodding his head and smiling before I got any

farther. He knew David and had heard the group play

at one of the VFW’s. I asked, mainly out of curiosity,

“How did that audience respond?”

The group includes an eclectic musical style with

some rap but have a little rhythm and blues, with some

hip hop music woven in, too.)

Cody laughed a bit, “I know what you are getting at!

There was quite a mixture of ages and levels of

appreciation there!

But a good crowd of local followers were also there.”

I told him that I had been so happy about their tour

last summer, wondered how they all were? I told him

I have known Josh Moore, the lead singer, since he was

in middle school with Felicia.

By the time we got to his grandmother’s house and he

offered me $5 (of course, I declined this generous

offer!) we had become closer than if we had worked

across from each other all week. Cody is a new heavy

bulk worker. I told him to “Hang in there, with the

job! Or at least until what your chosen field comes

around. The pay isn’t too bad, in this tough economy.

Oh, and say ‘Hi from Robin to the boys,’ if you

remember to, next time they are singing here locally.”

(This story makes more sense when you check out the

rap group Team KNYCE and my story, “Local Musicians.”)

Here are two stories that have had conclusions recently

that some of my faithful readers may be interested in

hearing the results. The oldest ‘loose end’ I traced

a lead and got a response back. I had written “Chasing

Shadows of the Past,” about a long ago student who my

mother had taught, had been to our home and become a

friend to me, later a pen pal.

His name was on a bulletin board around Veteran’s

Day, (my gosh, how time flies!) and my Mom and I

had gone to the front desk of the senior apartments,

found out this man’s room number and taken along her

dog, Nicki, along for the trek to the assisted living

wing of the building.

Just to fill in folks who may not have heard about

this, we had thought that the age of the man in

the picture made him a cohort of my mother’s age,

but we had hoped that he had a son my age with the

same first and last name. It had turned out to be

a rather nice conversation with the ‘wrong’ man!

He did give us the lead of another man with the

same last name, but a different middle initial.

This man was living in Mentor or Medina, he said

and was a doctor. Apparently his mail was going to

his son’s and vice versa, both living in the same

area.

Well, I left a message on Facebook on the page

that allows visitors and onlookers. It was not

answered. I waited until I had time over the

next visit with Mom, Thanksgiving, to try and

get a phone call made, using a local phone

directory. I found a doctor’s office with this

man’s name attached to it. I left a voice message

on their answering machine, mentioning that possibly

my mother had been his teacher, her name is rather

unusual, Mrs. Oldrieve.

I did not bother to leave my Mom’s phone number

since she may totally blank out, forget our quest

for her old student and everything would be for

naught!

Anyway, on this brisk, freezing cold Winter’s

day, I received a very pleasant message on my

cell phone. The man who graduated from Westlake

High School, had my mother for both Spanish

and World Literature classes, who had exchanged

several letters and visited for a few holidays

to talk presumably to her, but also including

me, left me his details!

The details included his family’s phone number.

Jim is married and has two grown children. He was

very warm in his message and requested that we all

wait until Spring, when he would enjoy coming over

to sit outside with Mom, Nicki, his wife and me.

I eagerly look forward to uniting my Mom with one

of her favorite students, exchanging life stories,

revelations and engage in a lively conversation. It

was very fun having that open-ended ‘maybe?’ out

there for awhile, since I still have two of his

pictures, one his senior high school and the other

one from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

The last loose end is from a recent story about

work safety and a recent ‘rant’ about administration

in my distribution center.

I am not sure if there was a personal visit from the

Fire Chief, if there was someone sent from their

department or if just a phone call took care of my

‘problem!’

The action was carried out over the weekend!

There is no longer a black trash bag over the

only direct EXIT sign in an area delineated or

named the ‘bomb shelter.’ I work above this

circle where the pallet riders pick up flammable

fluids in cases and aerosol cans in bulk. I am

usually above, filling hampers with aerosol cans

that are being sent out in singles or six packs.

With such flammable products, I had been concerned

about the exit sign being covered and the door

having a sign that said, “Do Not Use This Door

As An Exit.” This had been going on for a month

now. We had an opportunity with that safety

meeting for me to mention this dangerous

situation…

here

The door has been newly painted red!

It has a sign posted, “For Emergency Only,

Alarm Will Sound When Door is Opened.”

Sometimes, I found out, you have to ‘rock that boat’

to get some waves (or actions!)

A poster on my college dorm wall held an appropriate,

short, but sweet message that seems rather apropos:

“Behold the turtle!

It only makes progress,

by sticking its neck out!”

Bridges to Span

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In the snap of a finger, poof! Life is too short to worry,

wait on that special thing you wish to do or not cross that

bridge… This is about what chances that you must take,

face what obstacles you reach and tackle them: Head on!

My daughter in law, Trista, left me a text on Wednesday,

it asked for me, the family photographer, to check on any

photographs of her stepmom, Chris. I have known Trista for

almost seven years, her stepmom, six and a half years. Last

Christmas, Chris was told she had anywhere between four months

to a year to live. I snapped several photos, each celebration,

this year, birthdays, Easter, summer pool party, county fair

week, after Thanksgiving party was the last one I took a few

photos of Chris. Trista sounded cheerful in her text message,

“Check in your ‘arsenal’ of photos for ones that have the

kids with Chris.”

I texted her back at lunch, saying: “I will be going to the

library, have Felicia coming over for a movie and Mom night,

will look for pics while watching our Christmas movie.”

Everyone in the family knows we absolutely love the movie,

“Love Actually!” (Warning: it is rated “R” for some very

frank parts with female breasts and the “F” word is used

liberally. But, seriously, it is the BEST Christmas movie,

ever, for adults. Lots of stories weave around the theme

of “love.” We watched it, I found nine very nice photos of

Chris, told Trista that I would stop by on Thursday, after

work.

If you are a “regular” reader, you will note I did nothing

on my wordpress, yesterday. I did post something about Brad

Pitt on Wed. evening before heading home for dinner, snuggles

and a slumber/movie party with the youngest daughter.

Upon arriving at Jamie and Trista’s home on Thursday, I was

sprinting up their stairs to their porch, waited for the

inevitable child to unlock the door and was pounced on by

one of the three dogs. The hugs were pretty long lasting

from my M & M girls. Then, Marley released me, looked up

into my face and said,

“At least you are not dead!”

I looked at Trista, who was working on her homework on her

laptop, and she nodded with her lip trembling just a bit.

“When did this happen? I thought you wanted photos of Chris

because you were making a collage or montage photographic

masterpiece for her Christmas gift?”

She told me,

“I didn’t want to text or call you but Chris passed away on

Wednesday.” (Guilt rose up in me, so ashamed that I didn’t

call or ask what she was needing the photos for.)

Trista quietly said, “It is okay, she is at peace and don’t

feel guilty! I heard from them early in the morning, wanted

to take off with all four children to see her, since the

Hospice caretaker said it would be ‘soon.'”

She added, “Dad told me to take the kids to school, not to

rush and come with the little ones, that would cheer Chris

up. She died while I was on my way to pick up Theresa who

had dropped Hailey off at school, too.” (Theresa is one of

Trista’s best friends.

Jamie peeked out of the delicious and aromatic kitchen and

asked me, “Can you stay for dinner with us, Mom?”

I said, “I can help however I can and of course, I would

love to eat dinner with you!”

We ate grilled steak fajitas filled with rice, corn, onions

and tomatoes. There was a spicy sauce for those of us who

like a little spice in our lives! Smile!

The kids seemed to be doing all right, I told them each I

was so sorry for the loss of their other grandma, “Grammy

Chris.”

After dinner, the kids went outdoors to shoot off these

rubber band ‘rockets’ that Trista and Jamie had purchased

at the dollar store. I asked Trista when the services were

going to be, told her that I was going to have to work on

Sunday while they were going on. I offered to watch kids

on Sat. from afternoon until evening. She declined, said

they were still going to Dayton to see my ex and his wife,

‘Mimi’ and ‘Poppy.’

There are only a few memories that I would like to briefly

share, since this is about life and bridges to cross. I know,

and believe with all my heart, that Chris is in heaven. I

am sure that there would be others, looking from a distance,

at her wild and checkered past, her marriage to Trista’s

Dad and their continued addiction problems as ‘negatives’

but Chris’ heart was always in the ‘right place.’ She

absolutely loved helping others and gave a lot of her

time and energy to her grandchildren. When we hugged the

last time I saw her I told her that I loved her and would

pray for her. It was that Saturday after Thanksgiving.

She had the “Grace” to admit,

“I’ll take all the prayers you can give me!”

When I had the most fun time with Chris, was on Trista

and Jamie’s wedding day. We had a huge pile of folding

chairs, card tables and rented longer tables. People

knew it would be outdoors, so most were bringing a

covered dish to share and their own portable chairs.

We had the stack of tablecloths to put on each table,

late September and we were battling a breeze so were

anchoring each with a heavy rock, then taping the

white plastic tablecloths with packing tape and then,

replacing the rocks with vases of flowers filled with

water, they seemed ‘heavy enough’ to hold and not flip

over. We were laughing, we stopped and went up into

Trista’s Grandma Judy’s house and have a cup of coffee

and peeked at the triple decker, gorgeous cake that

Jamie and Trista had made. I told Chris that I had tried

the icing and the cake of their “practice” cake a week

ago. The white chocolate fondant icing was ‘to die for!’

We went back to struggling with the weather to get the

tables set up, the beautiful table for the wedding party

of three young women and three young men plus my son and

his soon to be wife looked ‘professional’ we agreed, once

we were finished.

Chris had dark hair and glasses, was a thin and tall woman

with a friendly and sweet face. She had small features and

while guests arrived throughout the day, many asked who did

not know us, were we sisters? I would like to say we became

that close. Not quite, since it was not the stuff of calling

each other on the phone, nor the going to visit each other’s

home… It was each and every occasion for the years we knew

each other, knowing we could go in the bathroom together,

I would like to say we ‘could count on each other’ to say a

nice compliment and hug each other upon greeting and leaving.

Some say there is a tunnel while dying and that you will see

a ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ I have mentioned that once

my Dad’s heart stopped and my Mom ran into the hospital hallway

to yell for help. It was late at night, that once he arrived

“back” from being revived, a clear four to five minute gap,

the machine started beeping and his heartbeat started again.

Dad joked in a jovial way the next day, while we all arrived to

see him,

“Hey, I went to heaven on a space ship! I rode it through a

warm, brightly lit tube and once I got there, I saw my father

and mother, other’s hands reached out to touch me,” Then

my Dad would add, “And I guess if the likes of ME can make it

into Heaven, anyone can!”

I hope that Chris crossed over a bridge or up a tube or into

the Light. I would like to add a few bridges I would like to

cross. Maybe this is my new “Bucket List!”

Bear Mountain Bridge, New York:
This bridge spans one of the narrowest spots along the Hudson
River. It is surrounded by mountains. It is considered one of
the most ‘picturesque bridges in America.’ If you drive up the
winding road to the top of Bear Mountain, you will see a most
beautiful sight of Manhatten, 45 miles away. (Free)

Old Seven Mile Bridge, Florida:
This bridge was laid by railroad tycoon, Henry Flagler.
This is the only roadway to Key West made over 100 years
age. In 1982, the old bridge was replaced by a new one
only a short distance to the south of the original one.
You can still walk or bike across the first one, more
than 2 miles into the ocean, where you may spot pelicans,
sharks and dolphins. (Free)

Perrine Bridge, Idaho:
This is a steel bridge that arcs like a rainbow, 486 feet
above the Snake River. This is the only bridge where someone
can parachute from a fixed object, called BASE jumping.
This, amazingly enough, is allowed year-round without a
permit. A short distance of only one mile to the East,
you can still see the dirt ramp that Evel Knievel made
his attempt to jump the Snake River canyon, (Free)

Wheeling Suspension Bridge, West Virginia:
This is the oldest bridge in my choices of wishing to
cross large and exciting bridges! This 1,010 foot long
bridge was opened in 1849 before the Brooklyn Bridge
was built. This one was the ‘example’ possibly for
the B.B. looking very similar in appearance. Walk
halfway across the moving, undulating bridge to view
barges passing below on the Ohio River. It would be
wonderful and exciting to view movies or listen to
concerts on the waterfront below. (Free)

Royal Gorge Bridge:
This bridge is high above the Arkansas River, 1053 feet!
You can take an incline railway to the river below, for
$26 to the bridge, park and railway. There is a theme park
adjacent to this 1929 wood-planked bridge, but crossing this
would be much scarier than any rides! This is the only one
I would need to bring my wallet for!

Whatever your beliefs about dying are, we all will experience

this through losses of loved ones, both family and friends.

We eventually, inevitably will face this one day for ourselves.

I guess “We’ll face that bridge when we come to it.”

As we gather at the table…

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I have written a “corny” post with a “corny” poem, too!

Gather at the Table

Corn bread served with melted butter,

Corn bread stuffing filled with celery, sage and onions.

Corn casserole moist and sweet with sour cream, eggs and butter,

Corny jokes and stories told, passed amongst the young and old.

Tires traveling across the miles,

Tires staying steady, safe and heading straight,

Tired children yawn and nap along the way,

Tires treading over stones in driveway, alerting the arrival

of loved ones now.

Doors opening at rest stops to use the facilities,

Doors opening for passengers to disembark,

Doors opening for guests from afar,

Doors flung open wide into our hearts.

“Over the river and through the woods…”

Over from places far and wide, uphill and down,

Over the distance between you and me,

Over the bridge to where your family lives.

A Toast to Celebrate (including the repeated words)!

May your CORN (at your table) always be palatable.

May your TIRES never go flat along your journeys.

May DOORS always open wide with warmth to receive you.

May you skip OVER any bumps in the road and have smooth sailing!

Here’s a recipe called “Corn Bake:”

Ingredients:

1/3 c. chopped green onions with tops

3 eggs

1 can (14.75 oz.) cream style corn

1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

1 package (8 1/2 oz.) corn muffin mix

1 cup sour cream

2 T. melted butter

1/8 tsp. ground red or black pepper, to “taste”

Prep time: 15 minutes

Directions for Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Chop green onions. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add onions and the rest

of the ingredients. Mix until well blended (by hand to not destroy the corn kernels!)

3. Pour mixture into a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or oiled or buttered.

4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden brown.

Enjoy your time with family, if you celebrate this week. If not, hope that you have

some wonderful times ahead, coming soon! God bless and keep you safe. Robin

More Newsy Info

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Melvin was back from his trip to Boston, Massachusetts and I was

so happy to see him, I almost hugged him! He is my bright light at

the end of the tunnel, the day that seems to look impossibly long

gets shortened with his little handy, dandy words. He was gone

the whole week before and including Labor Day.

This began at morning start up meeting. He whispered to me, as

I had asked him, “What’s the going rate for lobsters?”

“Guess what? They were $5 a pound and I bought one almost every

day, if not, then I ate a whole lobster out!” Oh, I was filled with envy!

I had told him, the fishermen had charged $5 for any sized lobster out

on Bear Skin Neck. One of my favorite memories had been when my

great aunt and great uncle took turns handing me money to retrieve

two in 1971, my sixteenth summer in Rockport, Mass.

Then, he told me not only did Melvin see some of his Army buddies

who had served in Hawaii, he also had some of his family there for

a reunion. I had not heard this before the trip. He told me that it

was held at a beautiful park and that it was catered in. He had spent

$400 on ten people’s dinners, including his own. He mentioned this,

saying that some of his kids and grandkids didn’t have much money

and he had offered if they made it out East he would cover the reunion.

Also, that Melvin being immodest said, “I was polite, stood in a long line,

letting others go before me, and by the time I got to the buffet, there was

NO MEAT!”

By golly, if my family had allowed me to pay for their meals, I would

have gone around with a hangdog look, pouty face in place and got

some meat! But this is what I mean about Melvin, he was so cheerful

and almost giddy with glee, “I just went on back to my hotel and

ordered up some lobster!”

Obviously, Melvin is not hurting for money. But he grows the nicest

veggies for me, along with the ones that my son, James, gives me,

I have had a wonderful and bountiful summer. He takes good care

of his live-in girlfriend, who declined the offer for the vacation. She

encouraged him to go and see his family and Army buddies, too.

I filled Melvin in on our quest to know the “other Robyn” better and

my recent, curious findings. First of all, she grew up in Detroit, Michigan.

I grew up in Sandusky, Ohio. Another “proof” she is not my long lost

“twin.” If you are lost on this, my continuing saga is just part of being

the brunt of one of Melvin’s jokes, equating me with a woman who is

over seven years’ older than I am, has short, blonde hair that sticks up

like feathers, kind of punked but not on purpose. I think she may just

not remember to comb it. She also “paints” her face with heavy makeup.

She is very sweet, and greets me with this unique way of thinking I

remind of her friend, Alice. I had to find out more, she told me that

she had moved here to Delaware in the 80’s and her Dad had worked

for PPG as a manager. She has a son and daughter, she has been

divorced since the 80’s and never remarried.

Robyn’s Dad died of complications with Parkinson’s Disease in 2000.

I had told her last week, my Dad in January, 2001. On the other hand,

my Mom is alive and kicking but this is where I am going to tell you

there are “gaps” in Robyn’s memory, she says she “Has no clue when

her mother died.” I asked, “Was it after your Dad?”

Robyn replied, “Oh, yeah, sometime after he died.”

She also, to this day, hedges the following questions,

“If I remind you of Alice, do you see her?”

“How long ago did you know Alice?”

and

“Where did you meet Alice?”

She is the Robyn who has daily sign up sheets everywhere in the

building that she puts her initials on, that used to mean about 2

years ago, that you had cleaned that area. We don’t do these but

somehow clean ones are put up weekly for her to keep busy and

sign. I have not figured this out, Melvin and I speculate that she

may have a work plan in place like the schools have IEP’s until she

retires. We hope she can do something else, but as we leave soon

after she arrives, we don’t see actual work being accomplished.

Another weird element of my Labor Day weekend that definitely

confused and set me back was that my ex-boyfriend’s blocked

cell phone number got unblocked. Not looking, while driving up

the road to Mom’s, there was no special ring for him so I picked

up the phone and answered it. I was fully engaged in driving and

I figure if people can balance sandwiches, I can do a straight shot

on I-71 to Cleveland!

I found out it was Mark and tried to get off, saying I was driving.

So, he said he would call later. I could not get him to understand,

No don’t call later.

Next time he called, my Mom who still thinks he was so nice and

he fished so she had sent tons of fishing newpaper clippings the

whole time I had dated, then not dated him for over a year. I said,

“It is Mark.” She said, “Oh answer it, find out how he is and say ‘hi’

from me.”

In the course of the weekend, seven phone calls ensued. Not as

many texts as I used to get from Lenny, but still more than I needed

to hear from Mark. The last ones were he was up on Lake Erie, fishing

with his brother, (who I loved and his sister in law, I loved too.) He had

decided to show him my parents’ cottage and fish off the stone pier

only 3 houses over. They had been in Huron and traveled towards

Vermilion. They were only about 35 minutes away from where I was,

I got a strange longing feeling. Yes, dumb me!

I did not see him but the very last phone call extended me an invite

to the family cookout at his brother and sister in law’s house. He had

also asked if I would like to take Micah (who he had carried on his

shoulders awhile ago, around the Cleveland Zoo) to the Wilds sometime

soon.

My older brother, only 18 months younger but since I have two, I call

him “older” said not to go to the picnic. My younger one, my dreamer,

professor, runner, and one who hopes for good things to happen to

his dear sister, said, “Go! Maybe he gave up on that woman he went

back to. He had some time to think about it, and maybe he is ‘done’

with her and back to who he belongs with!”

I went to the picnic, I enjoyed seeing the grandkids, sister Theresa,

brother and his wife. I had a nice time up until the old jangling ring

that he has for hisused to be, while I dated him, ex-girlfriend/now present

girlfriend rang. I got up and left, hugging the people I wanted to be part

of and had believed a possible future family. They all tell me that woman

has a hold on him that they don’t understand. They always say they “don’t

want her to come”, along with “she thinks she is better than we are!”

I cried all the way home, left a message for my dreamer brother and my

realistic brother, both who had their activities booked. I had my daughter

to cut her hair, two grandsons who hugged me and I will recouperate from

my mistake (again) and hope to close that door more firmly on the past.

The cell phone company prefers you to use their verizon.com to “block”

a phone number but this particular young man on the end of the phone

line who answered my “Help me” words I spoke to each person or message

that I got, was wonderful and a God send. He said he had had to block an

ex, that it had been painful and that he would very kindly do it while I

blubbered to him asking him to do that. I would be on the road and did not

want to hear his apologies.

The words, “You have no right to ask me how I feel…” in the song by Phil

Collins, “Separate Lives” came on the radio after I got off from Verizon. I

thought they were very appropriate to the moment.

I went over my checklist countdown for future times I need to face this

kind of obstacle or sad situation:

1.  Put moral compass in place.

2.  Do a sanity check and call for help (not younger brother or Mom!)

3.  Make a list of pros and cons. Notice cons list is much longer.

Come to the conclusion to: Move forward and not backward!