Sharing My World -2-27-2023

Downy Woodpecker (left) and Hairy Woodpecker (right)

I’m feeling very guilty because we ran out of birdseed. The birds keep coming back to the feeder and I have nothing to give them. Food IS on the way, but I don’t know if it will arrive before nightfall.


Did you attend Sunday School at your local church as a child?

Not even at the local synagogue.

Reminder to everyone: not everyone is (or was) Christian. Some of us are atheists, Moslems, Jews. Hindus. Buddhists. Even within religious groups, not everyone goes to church. Some folks don’t like churches. Others have a belief system that doesn’t fit under a roof. Some people are religious only on important holy days or for weddings and funerals.

So, as for “Sunday School,” my synagogue had one, but I only went twice, Mostly it was out of curiosity and wishing I could fit in to the world a little better. My mother strongly objected to all religious training — except for my brother’s bar mitzvah which she considered an ethnic ritual rather than a religious event. I quit Sunday school after two visits because I was bored — Bible stories seemed silly and less relevant than fairy tales. Also, having my mother sneer at me got on my nerves. She was an intolerant atheist. I wasn’t trying to become religious. I just wanted to “fit it.”

Mom didn’t believe in “fitting in.” She felt “fitting in” implied an intellectual compromise which she forbade. She was firmly of the opinion that especially women should do their own thing. This was something she had never been allowed, so she didn’t fight for herself. She fought for me. Even when she didn’t agree, she still fought for me. It took me years to realize how important that was and how much it mattered not only when I was a child, but as an adult.

She died in 1983. Believe it or not, I miss her more than ever. I want so much to tell her how I turned out and how much she helped me become “me.”

Did you attend after school classes ie. drama, sports, as a teenager?

No. There wasn’t much stuff I found interesting at school. But I was busy with other things. Reading took a huge amount of time. I also took piano lessons which became increasingly important as the years progressed. I spent many hours practicing.

I went to the library a couple of times a week with my friend Carol. It was a two mile walk and we borrowed a lot of heavy books which we had to haul home. None of our mothers’ drove, so we hoofed it.

Carol and I also went to the local movie houses where they showed two features and a cartoon for 11 cents. These were the same theaters Garry went to, but he was five years older than me, so we never met.

Although who knows? Maybe we passed on some Saturday matinee and didn’t know it. When you are ten, a 15-year-old is in a different world.

Did you go to evening classes after you had left school?

No. I thought about it a lot, but never did it. I wanted to go back for a Masters, but just as my application was approved — scholarship and all — my first husband came down with kidney cancer. He was 34 and I was 26. I thought cancer only happened to “old people.”

He recovered, but I never felt I could take time away from building a career. I realized — suddenly — that one should never fully depend on someone else to support you.

After that, I worked until I couldn’t. Every Christmas time when gifts were given, it became obvious. Other women got perfume and jewelry. I got briefcases and other work-related items. I apparently wasn’t a “leisure lady.”

Retirement fixed that. About time!

Do you now belong to any groups/meetings (for example, WI, single (not dating), young Mums, slimming clubs, young wives, Men’s hobbies, etc.)?

No but I’m trying to organize a bridge foursome if I can find three other people who remember how to play. The Senior Center will sponsor us and bridge is a great game for seniors. Even if you don’t play well, it forces you to focus and use your short-term memory. It’s hard to find something that’s fun that requires focus — at least at this age. It’s all too easy to slide into passive activities where you don’t have to do any mental work.

Categories: #Birds, #News, #Photography, Marilyn Armstrong, Share My World, Woodpeckers

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16 replies

  1. Nice woodpecker pictures Marilyn; how do you tell the difference between Downy and Hairy? They look so similar. Love your comments about Sunday School: yes, it’s easy to assume everyone is a Christian just because you (the question-maker) is. Good to point out the variety of beliefs and non-beliefs.


  2. Thanks for joining in Marilyn. I’ve never played Bridge so wouldn’t have a clue. My Dad taught me cribbage and I love that.


  3. It’s all in how you treat others. I’m Catholic and have found that not all Catholics are Christians. A friend from India told me once that my outlook is more Buddhist than any other religious outlook she had ever heard. Definitely not traditional Catholic. As for Sunday School? Not in the Catholic vocabulary.


    • We had a Congregational minister who was also a Buddhist. You can be Buddhist and other things at the same time, it would seem. I really believe everyone should be the best person they should be — Christian or not. If there is a God, I can’t imagine he or she care much about ritual, but would certainly care about character and caring.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for pointing out that some people aren’t Christians or go to the church.


  5. The conventions have changed so much since I last played bridge that it is like a new game. I am unwilling to learn the new ones and actually don’t even remember the old ones.. Ha. I don’t have time actually. Writing and art and dogs and cats and house repairs and friends take up all my time. That’s how it should be, I guess. i’ve always enjoyed my work, luckily…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually bridge — the kind I play — you know, “kitchen bridge” — is very old school. It’s the same bidding system I learned when I was 10, except I hear that it is not considered cool to look at your partner’s cards before bidding. We were such innocents.

      I was very surprised at how bridge went from becoming more complicated to EXTREMELY simple. Just as well. I never understood anything more complicated than “five card majors, four card minors, and you need at least 13 points to bid.” If you feel inclined, check out Wiki Bridge. It’s free and it’s not bad. Kind of easy because computers always play exactly the same way and never ever do anything surprising — although occasionally, they make some pretty irrational bids. On the other hand, they never yell at you when you forget what suit is trump, which is probably just as well.


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