Friday, August 28, 2009

Stranger than fiction … BUSCAPADES (Part 2)

And here’s my mother’s bus tale: (remember this was the 1940’s and Dr’s visits were very different than they are today.)

“I had been having some difficulty and when I called the Dr. his nurse gave me an appointment the next day and told me to be sure to bring in a urine sample.

I found that I didn’t have anything in which to transport the urine and then I remembered the ornate perfume bottle that I had kept because I loved the shape. It had a very secure stopper and I thought it would be perfect. I washed it out thoroughly and was very pleased with myself. I figured I could get the bottle back after the contents were tested at the doctor‘s office.

The next day I got ready to leave and, after I’d filled the bottle, I was quite amused to see how much the urine actually resembled the color of most perfumes. I put the bottle in a paper bag and set out to catch the bus. I was surprised to see that the bus was already at the stop and I had to run in order to not miss it. I was quite flustered by this as I would have been late for my doctor’s appointment if I‘d had to wait for the next bus.

However it all worked out and I made it to the Dr’s on time The only problem was, in my hurry, I’d left the paper bag with the filled bottle on the bus !!

At first I was devastated. I’d really loved that little perfume bottle, not to mention the fact that I no longer had my urine sample. When I told my sad tale, however, the Dr. and his nurse broke out laughing. It was then that I saw the humor in it too.

I’ve always wondered where that bottle ended up. I have visions of a young man in love coming across that “find” and being thrilled to have something of such value to give to his beloved !

I hope she was understanding …”

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stranger than fiction … BUSCAPADES (Part 1)

In the mid 1940’s my four sisters and I were all still living at home. We lived in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts & were one of the few families there that never had a car. Thus it was that we often traveled by bus and it’s also where my parents had their “bus escapades”, as we came to call them. They each had one and here’s Dad’s…

“I was on the bus from Boston to Framingham and at our first stop a very inebriated man came aboard. He stumbled along and collapsed into an aisle seat, promptly falling asleep. Not only was his condition dire but the fact that he was sprawled there with his fly wide open made it even more embarrassing for us all.

In no time the bus was full and it became standing room only. At this point an attractive, middle-aged woman came aboard. She was dressed to the “t’s”, complete with hat and long white gloves and it was her misfortune to be standing directly above the drunk.

I guess she didn’t want to soil her gloves so she carefully started to remove them. A jounce of the bus and she lost hold of her glove. She watched in horror as it floated down and landed on the crotch of the sleeping drunk. What to do?

She was about to make her move when the driver called out in a loud voice “Newton center next stop”. This must have been the man’s destination because he jerked awake and started to gather himself. Looking down he noticed both the white glove and the fact that his fly was open. Probably in his hazy state he figured it was his T-shirt so he shoved it in to his pants, zipped up and staggered his way down the aisle and off the bus at the next stop.

The poor woman was out a glove and we all had a good laugh; but, the thing that I couldn’t help but wonder was …

How do you explain that to your wife ???”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ …..????????

Money, Money, Money ...“ love of money is the root of all evil”, etc., etc.

I guess I’m helplessly naïve when it comes to money. I just, for the life of me, can’t see why people need so much of it. I have visions of fat, gluttonous men and women oozing coins from their pores, bills spewing from their mouths and ears… their eyes bugging out while they try desperately to hold on to it all.

And then this thought...”Where does all the money come from?”
The answer, of course, is that it comes from us … the “middle class”.

I was born in 1933, the youngest of 5 girls, to a family that was definitely middle-to-lower class. My dad worked but my mother had to take in sewing to make ends meet. Despite this the 5 of us all graduated from College. I had won a 4 year scholarship which consisted of $1,000 a year and between that and living at home and working part-time I was able to get a BS degree from Boston University. That would be impossible today.

It was in the mid 70’s that I first felt the disintegration of the middle class. That was when the spate of millionaires sprouted up over night and the powers-to-be assured us all that the “trickle down” theory would be the savior of our economy. The only problem was that all the breaks were given to this newly wealthy class and they conveniently forgot to “trickle” anything down to the rest of us. Now it’s 35 years later and we’re at a critical point.

We have a saying in AA…”we need to give back what has so freely been given to us”...meaning that we must never forget where we came from and how lucky we are to have the gift of sobriety and that we need to give it back to those who come after us. I think that applies also to our financial situation as it exists today.

When Paul Newman died I was reminded of his heart-felt philosophy of life. He and his wife, Joanne, decided at some point in their earning careers that “enough was enough” and they put a cap on their earnings. Everything beyond that they gave back in one way or another. Just that simple act of one couple improved the lives of thousands. I know that there are other like-minded individuals and industries in the world but they are few and far between.

We are at the start of a new administration and I pray that the hope that we felt on election day will bring about a change in our attitudes and outlook on life. Let’s grow up America and get back to the days of the real middle class ... where we were content with much less but had so much more.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


While surfing the web recently I came across this picture of one of the ER docs that I used to work with. I retired in 2001 and had worked with him for more than 15 years.

“Moose” (as we irreverently and affectionately called him) was/is a good Dr. and he really keeps the ER moving. He runs a tight ship and has the ability to lighten tense situations that inevitably are a part of every ER.

I haven’t thought of Dr. M. for a long time but the minute that I saw this photo I was transported back to a glum day in September of 2000. My husband of 32 years had passed away on the 22nd and this was my first day back at work.

I was working beside Dr. M. that day and, other than a quick hug in the morning, there was no indication that he was aware of my sadness. It was the usual hectic day and I found comfort in the hustle and bustle of things that I was used to doing.

That was one of the longest days of my life. I found that if I concentrated on each task as it came up that I could get through without crying; but, it was very taxing and I was exhausted when my shift finally ended. I think I remember picking up some food from the cafeteria so that I wouldn’t have to cook when I got home.

It was a very strange feeling to approach my empty house. It had so recently been filled with family and friends who had helped me cope with the loss of Dick. Now they were all gone & I was on my own. The tears were streaming down my face as I unlocked the door and entered.

Once inside the house I was overcome with emotion. Giving in to my exhaustion I headed for the bedroom and that’s when I noticed that the light was blinking on my answering machine. I was so tired I almost didn’t listen to it but I did ... and here’s what it said:

“Hi, Ginnie, this is Moose. I knew you’d be walking into an empty house and just wanted you to know that you’re not alone. We love you and are here for you. See you in the morning.”

I have never forgotten how much that simple message meant to me. I’ve kept it close to my heart and I bring it out on occasion when the healing process falters. Thanks, Moose.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


It has long been the norm to decoratively paint inanimate forms, such as dogs or cows, etc. and place them around our towns to attract attention to the arts and to our local shops.

It was taken a step further in June of this year when a London artist thought up the idea of using pianos. Thirty pianos were colorfully decorated and each bore the words...”Play me, I’m yours”. They were placed around the city of London and the public was encouraged to play and sing along.

Each piano was painted to correspond with the area where they were located ... from the theatrical area to the financial. Even the rain was not a deterrent. Each piano had a laminated song book and a large transparent tarp available in case of a change in the weather.

Piano players of all ages were encouraged to participate and even those who could do no more than plunk out a note or two were welcomed. I wish I could have seen it in person. I can just imagine a group of stuffy Britishers ensconced in conversations about politics or finances coming across an impromptu song fest. It would be fun to see the effect that this might have on their day.

Who knew that Londoners could have so much fun?

Friday, August 07, 2009


I'm back much sooner than I had planned. When I got there Tues. afternoon my sister had gone down hill to the point that we had to have her taken to the ER and then she was admitted. Wed. was spent waiting for Dr's and answers...always a difficult time.

By yesterday we determined that she would be in the hospital for an unspecified time so I decided to come home...since my brother-in-law can get a little rest now knowing that she is being cared for.

I hope to be back to my blogging schedule by tomorrow or Sunday. Thanks for all the nice comments of encouragement.

Monday, August 03, 2009


I should watch what I write. At my last blog I mentioned jumping in my car...and I find that it is exactly what I need to do.

Now my sister in Florida is having big problems and I am on my way there to see if I can be of help. I should be back in 4 or 5 days and will try to get back on the blog-roll. Love to all...