Personal Story

Blueberry Day

One of our favorite summer days was blueberry day.

We’d put on old clothes, our straw hats, then gather our baskets and make our way to the Jones’ Family Farm in Shelton. We’d hitch a ride on the “berry ferry”, and be driven out to the blueberry bushes.

Blueberries are easy to pick and practically popped into our small baskets. When our small baskets were filled, we’d dump them all into the big basket and fill that up. The camera was always on hand.

After the picking, we’d drive to Huntington Center and have lunch and dessert at Sassafras Restaurant.

Grandpa

Grandpa and grandma came to the USA when they were in their very early twenties.

They came with little money, so they had to rent a place to live. Grandpa was a wise man and a great observer.

In Italy he trained as a shoemaker, but here that job would not provide adequate income. So he found a factory job for steady income, but he also found wealthy clients who could pay richly for handmade shoes.

Grandpa marveled at the public transportation system. With one coin you could ride, then “transfer to anyplace you want to go.” He never spent money on owning a car.

Jingle Bell Run

We live on a quiet street. Each house is surrounded by a wooded acre. Our only excitement is watching small wild animals frolic in our yards.

On the first Saturday in December all that changes. The Community Center holds “The Jingle Bell Run.” The first year of the run, about thirty people participated and they were probably the committee members.

This year hundreds participated.

On the morning of the event, everyone registers at the Community Center and gets a number and a necklace of bells.

College Turkeys

Several years ago, I worked in a computer lab at the university I attended as a graduate student. Since I was the one who usually had to open the lab, I often got to campus very early, and was one of the first people in the parking lot.

Getting up early and commuting on the Merit Parkway was not fun. Sometimes there would be traffic jams. Other times, there was so much ice, I could barely get to work safely.

As much as I hated the commute, sometimes there were nice parts about arriving early.

A Beauty All Its Own

I am drawn to where the past lingers on, like Sturbridge Village Museum in Massachusetts, where people dress up in yesteryear clothes and character. It is truly amazing how these people fit their parts so well, as if being transported back 300 years.

Seeing the farmer in a long coat shepherding a flock of sheep thru the village green.

Seeing the potter casually spinning a clay pot.

Seeing the tinker making a lantern of tin or a candleholder of pewter.

Seeing how they cook in a hearth with an open fragrant log fire.

Honoring the Good Past

There’s something about a very old photograph that really draws me in. Perhaps it’s the black and white monochrome world that looks oddly “at a distance” – as if that’s the best that could be done at that time – almost like a dream.

I like to see how people are dressed and I try to sense how it felt to be in that place at that time. Did the air feel different?

Squirrel in the Pumpkin

It was the end of fall, and we put out a pumpkin on the front steps for the squirrels to enjoy.

A large chubby squirrel came up and started eating it. He was not shy, or perhaps he was too awestruck by such a wonderful feast appearing for him out of the blue.

In any case, we slowly opened the front door so only the storm door, a full pane of glass, stood between us and him. We were one foot away as he continued to chew his way thru the pumpkin – to the point at which he was able to sit inside it and eat all around himself.

Swishing Thru Fall Leaves

I love walking thru fall leaves.

Not just walking thru them, but really kicking them up into the air, like wanting to see them fall again and again – to float gently down, swaying this way and that, living a little poetry for a minute, something myriad generations before had admired and enjoyed.

Money Management

One of the key things that retired people have to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle is staying busy. Watching TV all day, every day, is a recipe for decay and decline. This is something that working people sometimes have difficulty understanding - because they have to be busy every day, it can be hard to grasp how important it is to remain occupied when work does not fill the day.

Walking the World

One of the things I like to do for fun is to go on walking tours of cities around the world. Sometimes I revisit places I have been to in the past. In recent days, I have been to London, Pisa, Venice, Cologne, Madrid, and Nice.

How can I do this?

Often I walk around cities that I would like to visit in the future! For instance, I recently saw Buenos Aires, Argentina.

How is this possible? Especially, in the age of Covid-19?

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