How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

Some mornings I feel like I’m running a close second to Methuselah. Other morning, I feel better than that, but from a physical point of view, my body has been beaten up pretty badly. On a good day, I can get moving and do some stuff. In a dry, warm climate, I can do a lot more. Unfortunately, this isn’t a dry warm climate, so the weather and I have a relationship. Good days? I’m almost kind of normal-ish.

How old does that feel? Honestly, I have no idea. I had my first spine surgery when I was 19 years old. I’ve had major surgery almost every year for a very long time, so I’m broken, repaired, and replaced. I didn’t feel young when I was young, so I’m not sure if this has any real meaning for me.


BIG but. My mental processes are fine. I buzz along nicely. Aside from memory lapses which my husband says are because I’m trying to take in too much stuff, I’m in better shape than I’ve been for a long time. My brain doesn’t have an age. It’s mature because I’ve been around. And sharp. Because I’ve been around.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

I know where at least three umbrellas are. One is a huge “doorman’s” umbrella, good for at least two or three people.

Do I ever use an umbrella?

I stopped using them when we lived in Boston. Boston streets are wind tunnels. It was always too windy to use them, so while I have them here, there, and elsewhere, they stay where they are. Poor things never come out to play. Sorry old umbrellas.

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone?

We stay home. We don’t have local friends anyway. We did. They died. We haven’t found new ones. But we are very good together and have a lot of fun. Lots of laughing. Which is good, right?

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend  to have in common.

We — all of us — like movies, television, and books. We are all thinkers, writers. We have stories to tell and we tell them. All of us write, too. And the laughter really does tie us together more than anything else.

We are smart, funny, wordy, and witty. And we all love animals — dogs, cats, anything furry. And oddly, we all live in the country, though all of us used to live in town. I’m sure that means something, too, but I have no idea what.

And yes, we are getting a bit crotchety, but nothing has made us stop thinking. As long as we can think and laugh, we’re okay.

So far, so good.


Share Your World – 2014 Week 18

What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?


Cameras. Laptops. Medications. Kindles. A road atlas, a GPS and a cell phone, just in case.

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

How to spend money. Shopping in expensive stores for computers, widgets, gadgets and really comfortable clothing, especially shoes. Oh, finding those perfect couple of cars which won’t get stuck in the driveway every winter and will be heaven on our poor aching backs.

Yarn Shoppe back door

Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

We’ve done the wild turbulent part so this might be a good time to go for some comfortable, happy times with friends and family. You know. Just for a change of pace.

What are your favorite spices?

Cumin. Ginger. Lemon (as a spice). Pepper. Salt.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Finding a real doctor and next week, a cardiologist!


Share Your World – 2014 Week 17

Time for another round of sharing.

What are some words that just make you smile?

Shirley or surely. Reminds me of “Airplane” and that always makes me smile.

“Walk this way.” A Mel Brooks classic line appearing in at least three four of his movies. Extra points if you can name them!

Finally, anytime anyone in any cop show says “Stay in the car,” it sends Garry and I into fits of laughter. Because they never stay in the car and you have to wonder why anyone would bother to put it into a script … or how an actor can say it with a straight face!

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?

If it’s dark, I grab a flashlight first because I have to find matches. No problem finding candles. I’ve got candles all over the house, but matches are a different issue and finding them can be more of a challenge. I have no idea how many flashlights we have, but we have two that I can find quickly and which actually work. There are many more lurking in dark corners, probably with dead batteries.

What is the longest book you ever read?

Thomas Wolfe’ “Look Homeward, Angel” is a contender … but since I read that (more than 50 years ago), I’ve read some very long science fiction/fantasy books. Anything by Robert Jordan is a probably winner in this category!

75-BookStory HP-2

And then there was the original 18 volumes in one binding “Jean Christophe” by Romaine Rolland. I read it, though involuntarily because Mom figured if the author won a Nobel Prize, it had to be good. It was good, but also really long.

“Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945” by Tony Judt at just over 900 pages is also a competitor. But worth the investment of time and attention.

So you win a pet monkey at a fair, but this isn’t just any old monkey. It can do one trick for you whenever you want from getting a pop out of the fridge to washing your hair. What would be the trick?

I’m sort of a dog and cat kind of gal. I can’t imagine having a monkey for a pet. Sorry.


Share Your World – 2014 Week 16

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

Okay. This is a real challenge since I’ve moved around quite a bit in two different countries and several American states.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York. I have no idea where I first lived, but eventually we moved to Rose Street in Freeport, Long Island. By the time I was 4, my parents had bought a house in Holliswood, Queens.


I lived there until I turned 16, at which point I moved to a shared house near Hofstra College in Hempstead. I wasn’t there long because I got married at 18 and Jeff and I moved to an apartment on Front Street in Hempstead. We were there just a year, then bought a cute little house on Bedford Avenue in nearby Uniondale. Eight years there.

The house was friendly, cozy … but had only 1 bathroom — which proved to be a problem. We balanced the cost of adding a bath against selling and getting a bigger house and bigger house won.

So we moved to a big Georgian-style house on Dikeman Street in Hempstead. Built in 1928, it was a classic old house — a classic money pit too. We loved it.

115 Dikeman Street

It needed tons of work. Endless. No matter. I loved it anyhow. But life was changing. Jeff got kidney cancer, then had a heart attack … and I needed to move on with life. I wanted a different life, so I left the house and the U.S. — and everything else — to Jeff. I took my son and moved to Israel.

The first place I lived was the absorption center in Gilo, outside Jerusalem. Almost in Bethlehem, really. Then, after getting involved with the guy I would so unwisely marry, moved to his house on Rehov Peterson, then to a new apartment and finally to an old Arab-build place on Derech Hevron, just down the road from the Old City.

Where I used to live.

Where I used to live.

Years passed. I was going home. First stop, Jeff’s house on Dikeman Street, then a tiny rental apartment in Waltham, then a condo I bought (again, unwisely) in Lynn. After that, Garry and I were together and moved into his place at Charles River Park in downtown Boston.


A year later, we found a tiny (adorable and cockroach-infested) apartment on Grove Street on Beacon Hill.


No, not done yet.

We bought a triplex townhouse in Roxbury. It was a great place and the ONLY home I’ve ever had with a really fine kitchen and enough closets. But then there were dogs and the big dig and we fled Boston for the far suburbs landing in the Blackstone Valley. Here we have remained.



What type of music relaxes you the most?

Classical for relaxing, but folk, country and some rock for listening! I’m eclectic.

If you could instantly become fluent in another language, what would that language be and why?

Spanish, because a lot of people speak it and I don’t.

If you could fly or breathe under water what would you prefer?

Not an easy choice, but flying has to be the winner here. How can I help it? To soar in the sky, free of the earth? Got to do it!

Free Bird


Share Your World – 2014 Week 9

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

Photography studio! I can read anywhere, but a little studio with lights and a clean backdrop? That would be delicious. I wouldn’t mind a little listening room, however, where I can play music without competing with the television. Given one thing and another, I’m glad I at least have an office where I can do what I please in my own space.


Would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

If I don’t have the TV in the living room, what would I use it for?

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

Very pale lavender, the official best color for sleeping. Otherwise, it’s fine in off-white.


Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

One floor. These days, my stairs look like Mt. Everest.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m thankful the other laptop got fixed before the desktop broke. I’m grateful the guy who is selling us the tires will let us pay for them over two months. I will be even more grateful if nothing more breaks that needs immediate repair — because I’m out of time and money.

Next week? I’ll be happy if I’m alive and recovering.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue — Hello, I’m your wife. I live here!

Photo: Debbie Stone

Photo: Debbie Stone

“Whoa,” he yelped. And jumped, startled to bump into me. It nearly made me drop my glass of juice. That would have made a fine mess.

“Whoa? Garry, I live here. I’m your wife. I live here. Married twenty-three years. We just had an anniversary. You need to get used to having me around.”

“Yes,” he said. “I think I recognize you. I’m pretty sure we’ve met before.”

“Ha, ha.”

We met at the college radio station in 1963. We’ve been friends ever since. Fifty years of friendship and we’ve been living together for the past quarter century.This is no fly-by-night arrangement. Yet almost every encounter surprises him enough to make him jump. After all this time, you’d think it wouldn’t be such a shock.

“Remember,” I repeated. “I’m your wife. I live here,” I said it loudly because he didn’t have his hearing aids in.

He grinned. “I know.”

“Then why are you surprised to see me?”

“I didn’t expect to find you in the hallway.”

“Why not? I think it’s safe to say I might pop up anywhere at any time. You need to get a grip on this.”

“Right,” he said.

Immediately after this conversation, I left the bedroom to get the telephone and bring it back to its base in the bedroom. When I opened the door, he jumped. Startled again.

I’m sure he knows we’re married. He bought me flowers and a card just yesterday. He recognizes me with and without my eyeglasses. He put a band-aid on my nose this afternoon. He sends me emails and reads this blog. Nonetheless, he’s always surprised — even shocked — to see me. I’m sure there’s a reason. I’m just not sure what it is.

I live here. Really. I do.