Author Archives: ramblingsfromtheleft

About ramblingsfromtheleft

I am unpublished and optimistically waiting for that one magic moment.

Every day …

… is a new opportunity to be thankful and remember at least one thing that makes it worth rolling out of bed.

Coffee for instance, is a good thing to be thankful for. I mean how many of us would not have the strength to make it out of bed if not for the promise of that first delicious sip of elixir to help us start our day?

 

Thanks.Maxine

 Maxine Graphic

Ever have one of those fantasies as a child where you were accepting an award, won a race or gave a speech? For those of us who write … how many different ways did you write that all-important Acknowledgements’ paragraph at the beginning of your first published novel?

What would happen if that day never came … if you never had the chance to tell everyone in your life that you love and thank them for being there?

Would our life be worth living if we never said thank you?

thankful today

Thanks quotes

On Thanksgiving Day… we celebrate with food and good friends … commiserate with family … and take pause to think of those we have loved who are with us in spirit only.

In keeping with my promise to wow you with four weeks of lists, and in the tradition of Letterman … I give you …

Ten reasons I am thankful:

Number ten: I am thankful that I lost all material trappings, not once, but three times and that it has taught me how meaningless those trappings are.

Number nine: I am thankful for growing up in Brooklyn with a crazy Italian family and for being first generation because it taught me tolerance and love for all cultures.

Number eight: I am thankful for every single mistake I have ever made because they taught me I can do better.

Number seven: I am thankful for my friends, past and present, because they are the sign posts that help me find my way.

Number six: I am thankful for my mother and father who molded me into the person I am.

Number five: I am thankful for being the baby and the only girl and for two brothers who were the amalgam of what all men are or should be.

Number four: I am thankful to my middle brother, who I will never stop missing, and who gave me the love of reading.

Number three: I am thankful to the Big Guy who never stops learning and creating and taught me how to find my personal passion.

Number two. I am thankful I was given the gift of voice and I can make a beautiful noise, be it here or in my stories or in the songs I love to sing.

And the number one reason:

I am thankful for the unconditional love I have been given, even when I didn’t think I was worth it.

thankful-for-everything-i-have-grateful-quotes

Graphic credit

 

We are all worth so much more than we think we are. We have more than we can ever begin to put in ten or ten hundred reasons.

Tomorrow, while you feast on whatever traditional meal you share, with whomever you share it with … take a few moments to remember how much you have to be thankful for. Remember those who are not with those they love, who for whatever reason have no feast or family.

Wherever you are, have a safe and Blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Tell me reader. What are you thankful for?

Do you count your blessings on this day or every day?

fOIS In The City

 

Mazine.Thanks

 

Maxine on Thanksgiving

 

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It’s not a laundry list …

Nope. It’s not your run-of-the-millstone To-Do list either. This is a list one writes with serious intentions, the dead-line not being the end of the week or when you run out of those nifty little squares in your monthly calendar.

This is a list you intend to complete before you buy a ticket to the farm, jump off the mortal coil, meet your maker or … before you kick the bucket.

bucket list

Graphic credit

Do you have a bucket list? Perhaps one you wrote when you were a child, on the occasion of your marriage or first child, upon reaching a certain age you perceived as a benchmark?

Some folks make lists of exotic destinations circling the globe, exciting things they intend to do, such as sky diving, accomplishments they need to see brought to fruition. I imagine that many of my writer-friends might list books they want to finish or start that story they always meant to write.

For the four posts remaining in 2014, I would like to experiment with my own lists, lists that speak to who I am, from whence I came.

bucket list.02

Cartoon credit

Week One List … 

I long to travel across the United States, to ride a paddle boat the length of the Mississippi, bounce down the Colorado River, travel along the West Coast from the Pacific Northwest into Baha. I wish to sail on each of the Great Lakes and island hop on the Atlantic Coast from Maryland to Georgia in a converted tug boat.

My dreams are to have breakfast in tiny villages and hamlets tucked away in little-known towns in Idaho or Nebraska, to drive cross-country along Route 66. Live in a RV for a couple of years with a lap top and a map, parking in each of the lower forty-eight

Of those places outside our borders, my favorite dream is to ride the rails the expanse of Canada from Montreal to Banff and see the high country of the Rocky Mountains, go inland on the railroad to Alaska and travel back to Seattle on a ship.

In far-away lands, I wish to take the Orient Express and visit the tiny village of my father’s birth.

And of the places I love and have lived, I wish to take periodic jaunts to the beaches and parks of New York.

From the docks in Sunset Park to the bike path along Shore Parkway, moving out to Far Rockaway and ending in Long Island, the water fronts and beaches of New York are among the most scenic in the United States.

fire island

Fire Island

 

long beach

Long Beach, New York

 

On one of trips to New York I revisited the neighborhood of my youth, Sunset Park, rediscovered the haunts where I played from childhood through the birth of my own children, walked along the narrow streets of Bush Terminal Factory District, and gazed at the the third floor of a clapboard house, the house where I was born, at the window of my tiny bedroom, the window of my youth.

I drove down to Second Avenue and beyond to the old Brooklyn docks to the location of the trolley terminal, the factory where my dad worked as a candy cook, the luncheonette off Second Avenue where our cousins not only housed the neighborhood “booky,” but where several “stills” cooked up cheap escape for factory workers in small brown bottles.

I drove to each house where I lived with my family, with my husband, and later as a single mother, with my two children.

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I haven’t a good picture of that old house, but this one comes very close.

Few of the communities I knew as a child or later as a young adult, still exist. Their homes, residents, landmark restaurants and many of the sights that made them my home are now gone, passed into history.

The words of Thomas Wolfe echo in my brain … you can never go home again. The places you knew change, people get older, houses are replaced, and restaurants change hands.

Yet, I plan to do it all again. Take the same tour, revisit the same locations and connect once more to that window.

I intend to take another ride on the Cyclone roller coaster, eat clams on the half-shell along the Coney Island boardwalk, and memory makes my mouth water for a fish dinner in Sheepshead Bay.

To replay those early years as a young adult and a new mother, I would not hesitate to drive over the Brooklyn Narrow’s Bridge and across Staten Island to the Outerbridge Crossing until I’m on Route 35 in New Jersey …

route 35

Route 35-The Jersey Shore Road

I love the Jersey Shore and love to drive its eastern coast from Asbury Park to Cape May.

Truth be told, I never get tired of beach communities.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig …

On my new the home front, I never tire of the ride to Key West, driving through each key, along US 1 from Key Largo, over the Seven Mile Bridge and ending at Land’s End in Key West..

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Seven Mile Bridge

With a new grandchild on the scene, I imagine there might be a time I’ll return to Disney and the parks near Orlando and Tampa …

But …

In Florida the places that intrigue me are St. Augustine, Sanibel Island, and the beach communities like Destin along the panhandle.

destin beach

Destin Beach on the Florida Pandhandle

 

Each of us can fill up several life times revisiting those places we have loved or those we wish to see for the first time.

In a scientific sense the brain sends the message to the heart to continue beating until the clock runs down and the beating ceases.

In the ethereal sense, the heart longs and yearns. She beats faster at the possibility of falling in love once more, stops for an instant at the possibility of finding a dream.

Pitter-patter-what-can-matter …she beats out the words that may never find voice. She stops, missing a beat, when she hears your thoughts of far off places and unknown adventure.

How does she know what you never wrote … never spoke?

Because the heart remembers what the brain has long since forgotten.

Tell me if you will. Do you have a bucket list?

Is it more to travel or of things you want to do?

What dream has your heart kept for you?

fOIS In The City

 

bucket list.03

A child might have once written this list. I trust she grew up and checked off all her locations.

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Where to go from here …

RetirementMaxine

Here, being the place where my mind is currently planted. Here and now, the Gestalt of it all, the immediate lesson to learn.

Where does  a rebel, ex-hippie from Brooklyn fit into the mold?

That was a trick question. She doesn’t fit and why should she? Why should you? If you fit into a mold you are like a cookie cutter, banging out the same circle or star cookies every time.

Instead, why not think about those random, disconnected thoughts that occupy the gray matter of your brain, that soft underbelly in your mind which often becomes vulnerable during certain times of the day.

For me that happens between midnight and 3 a.m.

While midnight is commonly known as the witching hour, did you know that 3 a.m. is the most common time of death?

 3 a.m. is also thought to be the time when demons and spirits rise and come to haunt. Boo !!

It was the hour my father rose to go to work. How dandy is it to have a dad, who makes candy? He had to be the first one in the candy factory to fire up the sugar boiler. Of course, this made it hard for his three kids to have conversations, listen to radio or watch television after 8 p.m.

 Three o’clock in the morning was the hour my father escorted my mother and my maternal grandmother home from their first chaperoned date.

They sang the song to each other. Often waltzed around the kitchen. My mother could be heard humming it while folding laundry or stirring a pot. It’s the song they heard that night … the night they knew they would spent the rest of their lives together.

It’s three o’clock in the morning.
We danced the whole night through.
And daylight soon will be dawning.
Just one more Waltz with you.

It’s 3 a.m. and I wanna go to bed.

Office Maxine

 

From childhood, I have been a night owl. Unable to sleep during normal hours and incapable of surrendering to slumber, I revel in the witching hours after midnight.

Not only my dad, but one of my best friends rises at 3am. She feeds her cat, has her own breakfast and prepares the lessons for her college students.

Of course, we don’t converse much around 10pm when her motor is revving down.

Well then … where do we go from here?

Today I attend my monthly book club. Next Wednesday and every Wednesday that follows until I am preparing for my grand baby girl’s first Christmas, we will go to some of my favorite Holiday rituals, haunts, traditions and … okay … we might go to The City to see the lights.

Before we get to the Big Tree or the lights of The Big Apple, we will try to remember Thanksgiving. And since I have so much to be thankful for this special year (like my baby girl had a baby girl) … I will need more than one week to express my thanks and bring you some Holiday cheer.

Baby girl will arrive December 17th … and in preparation for that incredible event … I will take my Christmas blog vacation early.

The last post for 2014 will be on December 10th. I will not return to the blog of it all until two weeks after the New Year.

Get ready to party and then if you will be so kind …

Tell me … what is your favorite time of day?

And with the end of another calendar fast approaching …

Where do you go from here?

fOIS In The City

 

 

thanksgiving-maxine-stuffing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maxine on Thanksgiving

Maxine at work and retired

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