Celebrating a New Year

Twenty twenty-four has a certain ring to it, one that rolls easily off the tongue as we enter a new year.  It sounds like a promise of a good, solid year.  But life can be volatile and unpredictable.  Let us hope for continued economic prosperity and democracy, a healthy planet, and a more just and peaceful world. To celebrate the New Year, I hung out last week with family in our national Capitol, Washington, DC.   My grandson, 19-months old, woke up each morning in the next room, chattering to himself.  A sleeping cat occasionally shared the…

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Capitol in Bloom

Gardens and landscapes are alive and colorful in Washington DC, with the Capitol in bloom.  Flowers on full display this summer include the peony, gladiolus, milkweed, hydrangea, and clematis, among others.  Among the native perennials are sage, goldenrod, blue violets, beebalm, echinacea, and columbine.  Spring and fall are great times to visit the Capitol, and during our early summer visit, I enjoyed all of the gorgeous colors. Home garden, Washington DC NE An abundance of large trees provide shade from summer heat and humidity, and we were fortunate to experience moderate days with a slight breeze. …

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Failing the Canine Security Check

Today is my first cross-country trip on an airplane in 16 months, and I did not expect to start out by failing the canine security check.  He was a young, handsome, mellow-seeming dog, doing his duty, and I was not the only soon-to-be passenger noting how sweet looking he was.  None of us reached out to touch him, knowing that it is strictly verboten to interfere with a working dog, but it was tempting. I am not sure why this particular canine signaled me out.  I am very fond of dogs, so certainly it was not…

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Staying at Home

Sidewalk messaging How to practice social distancing Staying at home has become the new normal, because we are living in unusual times.  In recent weeks, my only outside activities are a weekly trip to the grocery store, and daily walks, generally close to home.  The air is cleaner, thanks to fewer automobiles on the road, and the Bay Area is getting some much- needed rain.  And the important thing is for everybody to take whatever steps are possible to keep not only themselves, but also those around us, safe in this time of pandemic. In many…

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Riding the Train
BMT Q Car Number 1612C (1908, rebuilt 1938), New York Transit Museum

Riding the Train

BMT Q Car Number 1612C (1908, rebuilt 1938), New York Transit Museum Riding the train is one of the great joys for my three-year old grandson.   Specifically, he likes to ride the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) F train, although the G train might do in a pinch.  The F train runs from Jamaica, Queens to Coney Island, Brooklyn, and my grandson is familiar with every Brooklyn stop.  As he pushes his toy trains across the table or floor, he mimics the automated train voice that intones, “Stand clear of the closing doors, please.” …

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Bye, Bye Baby
BMT Q Car Number 1612C (1908, rebuilt 1938), New York Transit Museum

Bye, Bye Baby

Bye, bye baby is what my two-year old grandson says to his reflection in the mirror. While he seems to understand that the baby is himself, fascination with the reflection in the mirror continues. When I travel to Brooklyn these days, it rarely is about going into Manhattan to see shows or exhibitions. Attending music class, a story time trip to the library, playtime at the YMCA, or a visit to the playground is what brings me joy. A ride on the bus or train has become an activity in and of itself as much as…

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Summer Road Trips
Colorado Rockies highway. Photo by Lukas Kloeppel, Pexels Photos

Summer Road Trips

Many people will be taking vacations that involve road trips this summer, especially now that the kids are out of school. National parks and monuments are among the favored destinations, as are visits to family summer camps, or to relatives and friends in other states. While Americans’ love of the automobile has waned in urban areas, the freedom that comes from driving on the open road remains a delight. Car/SUV travel brings places and people into focus in unexpected ways. The road trips of my childhood, however, were never about sightseeing or taking a leisurely drive.…

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