Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bo's New Jacket

Anyone who knows me very well knows I have a special place in my heart for my old Walker, Bo. There have been times over the years when Bo was the "bad boy" in my life.........times when absolutely no one in the world loved him but me. But I loved him enough to defend him and fight for his life when everyone else had given up on him. And you know why? Because as much as I loved him, he always loved me more.

Bo and I are older now......hopefully a bit wiser, definitely a lot slower. Age and some rough times before he came to live here have taken a toll on Bo. Very cold weather and very hot weather are hard on Bo, so I do what I can to alleviate his pain.

We are expecting our first freeze on the mountain tonight. In preparation for the cold weather, I began a search to buy Bo a jacket. It wasn't so easy to find a XXL..... he is a big boy. So when I found a nice fleece jacket that would actually fit him, I didn't have a choice of color.

But after dressing him for the cold evening, I thought perhaps maybe I should have gone to a few more stores.

Is it just me...........or does Bo look a bit like Harry Potter?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A 4th of July to Remember

The best 4th of July I ever had was in 2000 when Dennis and I, along with my sister Bonny and her husband Dave went to New York City. We got up early that morning, had breakfast, then took the subway to the Bronx for a Yankees game.

We were just barely in the gates of Yankee Stadium when the overwhelming aroma of ballpark hot dogs overtook us all. Although no one was hungry, we felt it disrespectful to be at Yankees Stadium and not have a hot dog. So, even before we went through the turnstile into the park, we bought a hot dog from a vendor and all four took one bite each to officially christen our first 4th of July of the new millennium at Yankee Stadium.

We found our seats and the game began. It was miserably hot............but who cared? We were at a Yankees game!

Later that night, after returning to our hotel, we moved the furniture to the perimeter of Bonny and Dave's room on a high floor overlooking the Hudson river in the Marriott Marquis. Sharing a bottle of wine, we sat in the floor in the dark as we watched the New York firework display, reflecting off the water. A day and night I will never forget.

Fast forward ten years and three months. That stadium is long gone, but the memories of that special day will always make me smile. And the Yankees are still the biggest and most powerful sports franchise in the world, just playing in a new home.

And who would have ever thought on that perfect day, years ago, that it would one day be Dennis' new home too!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


You know, after the events of this past year, I was beginning to wonder if there was anywhere left in this country where large groups of like-minded people could gather for a common cause.....and come in peace.
A place where individuals and families could come and feel safe, and not have to fear the wild eyed man next to them yelling "Keep the government away from my medicare" while carrying a sign with our President defaced as Hitler and carrying an AK47 across his shoulder and a pistol strapped to his hip.
A place where all were welcome and actually appreciated for the diversity they brought to the group.
A place where all religions were respected and no one felt they had an exclusive right to God.
A place where human rights were paramount for all and the words of the constitution guaranteeing "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" really does apply to everyone, not just a few.
A place where people understood that "Fox News" is an entertainment show, and not really a news show at all.
A place where women could laugh at cartoon characters like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bauchman and Christine O'Donnell, while simultaneously worrying that anyone could actually take them seriously or how much collateral damage they were doing to the respect women had worked so hard to earn.
A happy place, not an angry one, where you never met a stranger among the thousands.

And so on a cool crisp Saturday morning in October, under the watchful eye of Abraham Lincoln, and in the exact same spot where Martin Luther King described his dream to the world many years ago, we came here, looking for just such a place............and we found it!

People came by cars, buses, trains, planes, bikes...........any way they could to get here. Early Saturday morning, as far as your eyes could see on the Washington Mall , people walked, pushing wheelchairs, baby strollers, hobbled on crutches or with canes, coming in all colors, all sizes, all dialects, all with something in common; hope in their hearts and a smile on their faces. They had hope for a job, for health care, for education for their children, for an end to discrimination and the hatred that is rampant in our country, they hoped for peace.........everyone came with hope for something.

When we got to the end of the reflecting pool and reached the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, we paused to look back at the distance we had traveled. The view of all of these people, overcoming physical, financial and personal obstacles to stand in the sun and hear words of peace, justice and hope for the future was beyond any emotion I can describe.
The event began with devotional messages. All religions were represented. And each prayer and message coincided with the previous and the one that followed........proof that different religions, just as cultures, can coexist because at the core of each was the same premise. Everyone was represented and everyone was respected and all of them stressed the importance of justice and human rights. I was mesmerized.

The faces in the crowd looked just like the perfect America. I want to believe the faces in the crowd looked exactly like our forefather's vision of what they hoped America would someday be.

Some of the signs people carried deeply touched my heart. This Caucasian gentleman in a wheelchair was here the entire rally, quietly holding a sign that read "One Nation Working Together" with the NAACP logo on it.

But this was by far, my favorite sign, and I saw it often. It pretty much summed up the reason for the event.

Ed Schultz, from MSNBC's "The Ed Show" was the keynote opening speaker and the crowd went wild as the unofficial spokesman for the middle class took the stage. His message was a strong one and carried the banner high for more jobs for the working class, health care, quality education, dignity and human rights for all, and encourage us not to be afraid of the loud irrational voices coming from the fringe on the far right.

My friend, Beth Coger and I, with a group of friends from upstate New York.

This lovely man carried this sign throughout the crowd all day, always with a smile.

Completely by happenstance, I came upon Ed Schultz as he walked through the crowd after he spoke. We visited briefly. He was open and friendly to everyone and being the man of the people that he is, seemed to be genuinely interested in what we all had to say.

..................and he had no problem with posing for a picture with his many fans!

Later in the afternoon, Beth and I had gone to get something to eat and happened to be on the same corner as the vehicle that was transporting Ed Schultz. I waved, he waved and I shouted across the sidewalk to ask him if he would consider running for Congress. He rolled down the window and motioned for me to come closer. I did, and told him we really needed him in Congress, playing a larger roll than the one he has on television. I told him since Ted Kennedy died, the progressives and liberals don't have a strong leader who isn't afraid to lend his voice to the middle class and fight for the rights of working people. He smiled at me and said "I would really rather be President". And as he drove away, I thought to myself what a promising possibility this was!

At the end of the day, I couldn't help but feel a sense of peace, knowing the men who died in WWII and are honored at the beautiful memorial below would have been so proud of the people gathered here today. People who gathered in the spirit of "ONE NATION", to find answers and solve problems. This was the country and the way of life they were defending.

And I also want to believe that somewhere out there, Ted Kennedy and all of those brave souls who walked these halls before him, dedicating their lives to the premise that "All Men Are Created Equal" were looking down on the events of the day, knowing their legacy will live on in the hearts of the people they worked so hard to protect.