June 29, 2005
People had been shaken by their great losses and everyone was finally getting their mail after several weeks. I watched the people as I waited for over an hour. Some were pleasant as they conversed with strangers around them, others were miserable. I even saw a man with a gun strapped to his belt. As I approached the tables, one postal person stood out; he was firm, unbending, telling people what they had to hear..... but he was continually kind to the disgruntled people he served. Surely they must get on his nerves!
When it was my turn I asked, "I've been watching you, you have a great attitude dealing with these people. How do you do that?" Thinking he'd say something spiritual, he looked me in the eye and said, "I just don't give my bad day away."
I never forgot that, it works both ways...don't receive anyone else's either.
June 24, 2005
I had a delightful conversation with Jonathan today. He's one of those people you meet and you immediately like him. We talked about raising daughters, the importance of teaching social skills to children, giving back when you might not be financially compensated and God's amazing way of giving our lives direction.
Then I learned that Jonathan was an All-American sprinter (100m & 4x100 relay) at FSU, qualified for the 1996 Olympic trials and ran track professionally. I never even knew there was professionals in track. You learned something new every day! I asked him what he was proudest of in his track career, maybe his 9.99 for the 100m?...no, he said always running clean, no steroids. I remembered watching Ben Johnson in '88, he ran like a machine only to find out he had taken steroids. What a fraud, what a disappointment. Years later a shadow hangs over most professional sports, so sad, and these are today's role models?
Jonathan, I know you are a sprinter but foster care is more like a marathon. True role modeling. But you will never lose if you invest in a child's life. And may your own girls grow to be strong amazing women. Oh, and thanks for that new name "The Bartender"
June 17, 2005
When my mom died in 2000, it would be several years before I truly felt the loss. At the time I was concerned about Kristen, she had been so close to Mom and had driven back and forth from DC to Phila to be with her those last months. They were true friends, what a loss for Kris I thought. But God is so cute, He always sees the path ahead and prepares it for us, with His generous heart. As the Mother Superior tells Maria in "The Sound of Music, "When God closes a door He always opens a window". In this case, it was not a window, but another door....the one across the hall from Kris on the 4th floor.
One could not have ordered a better pair of Jewish grandparents than Corliss and Arthur. Even the cat had to share the loveseat where Kris curled up every visit. Corliss' offered support and solid sound advice... Kris appreciated that. Arthur, he offered critiques and opinions on all boyfriends, Kris thought that was okay.....well not so much, but she knew Arthur would beat up anyone who dared to hurt her, or at least he'd be rude to him!
These good hearted people became our friends too, so when I was thinking of them, I called to say hi! They were celebrating their 54th anniversay today. Talking to Corliss and Arthur is always delightful, their life stories are the best, you feel you are back in NYC with them. I told them how very blessed we felt to know them and wished them many more years of health and happiness together! Corliss quipped "And you know they said it would never last!?!!" I am glad "they" were wrong!
June 16, 2005
Before I ever had children, I always wanted 4 boys....well we never had boys but I was so happy we had 4 girls. And someone told me once that when you have girls, the boys will eventually come around. How true that was! So when the 4th grandson arrived, I said "OK I have my 4 boys!" Now I thought this baby was a boy too, but so did the midwife, so I was in good company.
But it's a girl!! Pachie and Jorge are having a baby girl, I think even Jorgie was stunned. Almost immediately I started thinking about the "the brothers". My great-niece Hannah calls her older brothers "the brothers" I love it, it's so cute.
This little one, still unborn....she's a blessed girl, because she has two of the neatest brothers God ever made, they will adore her, they will be tender and kind! They will make her laugh from her belly and be sad when she cries. They will teach her about Thomas Train and Legos. They will show her how to swim, throw a ball and even fish. Of course they'll yell, "Mama get this baby!!" when she ventures into their important things! But she'll love them with all her heart! Blessings on you Pache and Jorge, and especially "The Brothers" Josiah & Jack!!
June 7, 2005
Michelle O is a transplant to Miami and the kind of girl you just naturally like. She's also an excellent social worker who does her job well and loves her clients. Unfortunately she has had some very bad experiences here in Miami, everything from the DMV to the pizza guy. A week never ended without Michelle telling a distressing story. It was wearing her down. I don't know where she found those miserable people.
My friend Johanna had said many of the same things. But she was from Philadelphia, so I rebuked her and said "Of course people are just as nice here as in Philly." I should know, I came from there! She never bought that and I'm sure she is much happier living in N.C. working on her PhD, having shaken the dust of Miami from her sandals, hardly looking back!
Then I went to Philadelphia last week. The man sitting next to me in the train asked the conductor for specific directions for me. He said as we left the R1, "I think you might get the R2 on this track." A polite Asian boy abruptly turned, "Where are you going? Warminister? Oh I'll show you where to get off" A woman my age chimed in,"It will be here in four minutes" That was followed by a lady writer engaging me in a very interesting conversation about Irish geneologies. I was quite overwhelmed by this friendliness, and it was that way everywhere I went.
Hmm......maybe Michelle and Johanna were right, I was having second thoughts. Then my husband told me about taking the train in Miami. It was a first time experience, and not knowing where he was going he approached an ominous looking teen with pants way below his boxers. As he asked for some directions and the kid quickly responded, "Poppy, you stick with me, I'll take care of you!" I smiled when Jim told me the kid never left his side.
People are great in the City of Brotherly Love, and probably in Wyoming...but personally I still love Miami. I love the culture, I love the weather, and I love the blue, blue skies, and sunshine. The children are beautiful, the Cuban coffee is great and I love it that strangers greet one another with a Cuban kiss (kissing the air, barely touching cheeks). I hope Michell O will agree before she goes west for good!
And I still think the devil lives everywhere.
P.S. 6/27/05 - K. who is in training and out of the office most of the time dropped by the other day...he went to school in Philly and we often chat about that. Somehow it initiated a conversation about Miami, "These are the nastiest people here! I even worry when I eat fast food that people might even spit in the food!" Yikes!! On an up note, Michelle O came by and I asked, "Is Miami better since you got a better job, less stress?" She admitted it wasn't quite as bad, but she and her husband will go back to Wyoming to raise a family.