Saturday, October 28, 2017


My mother was born in 1896. She, her older sister and their parents lived in West Brattleboro, Vt. Also living there, just two houses down from theirs, was my Grandmother’s sister, my great Aunt Emma.

Aunt Emma was the epitome of the frugal New Englander. She lived a very simple life and every expenditure, no matter how small, was carefully itemized in her diary. Her life was spartan to say the least.

However Aunt Emma had one passion. She had lovingly planted and cared for the award winning rose bushes that took up most of her small front lawn. People came from near and far to see them.  

As you can imagine Aunt Emma was the perfect target for a bunch of rowdy boys on Halloween night. The story goes that the morning after Halloween Aunt Emma walked out front to find that her beloved rose bushes had been completely smothered in toilet paper.

Was Aunt Emma angry? That was probably her first reaction but then her frugality took over. She got a wooden dowel and preceded to wind the paper around it. The boys had used at least three rolls to cover her foliage so she had a huge ball when she was done…enough to last a long time and it was FREE!

I’m sure this wasn’t the result that the little Halloween Hooligans were looking for but it must have made the day for Aunt Emma.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A mystery solved:

My young friend Amy and I were wandering around my backyard when she brought my attention to a strange plant growing inside my unused chicken coop.

It looked like a very small version of a cherry tomato plant and it really piqued her interest. How did it get there, would it get larger, was it edible, etc. etc. I promised her I would research it and when I did I was amazed at what I found and couldn't wait to share it with you. Here is a copy of my email to Amy with all the details:

Hi Amy: You really have a good eye for seeing things that a lot of us miss. I researched the little tomato plant that you showed me in the Chicken coop and guess what ?

Turns out it is very rare and the name of it is: “Lilliputian 'mater plant” and is considered a great delicacy by the wee people who search for it far and wide. The little people never grow bigger than 6” and one of the small tomatoes feeds 2 of them. They only come out at night and if they find any of these plants they celebrate with a raucous dance and song event but the “normal” people (like me) who live there never realize what is going on because their music and their voices sound just like the wind and rain to our ears.

Actually it's pretty scary, Amy, because I read that they get extremely annoyed if anyone digs up or gets rid of these plants. They've been known to gang up in large groups and attack the person who would do this. As you may remember I did just that and am afraid for my life and finding it hard to get any sleep. If you ever come by and I don't answer the door please break in. I might just be bound and tethered on the kitchen floor and can only hope that you get to me in time.

Despite all that I thank you and consider it a learning experience. Sending a hug, Ginnie

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal.

Here's a breath of fresh air … bipartisanship at its best !

U.S. Sen. John McCain is this year's recipient of the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal … awarded annually to “men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe”.

It was presented to him by former vice-president Joe Biden who said in his opening "John, you have broken many times, physically and otherwise, and you have always grown stronger, but what you don't really understand in my humble opinion is how much courage you give the rest of us looking at you," 

McCain said he's humbled to join the ranks of past winners and that it's been his greatest privilege to protect and defend the Constitution. "To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century," he said, "to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."

Did I mention “fresh air”? I'm breathing easier just reading his words. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Trumps insane obsession with Obama …

In 2008 then citizen Trump started a well thought out hate campaign against our newly elected President Obama claiming that not only was he not born in the U.S. but also suggesting that he was trying to conceal his religion by withholding his birth certificate. “Maybe he's a Muslim” Trump gleefully stated. Obama is a Christian.

Trump kept this up FOR YEARS … and never missed an opportunity to disparage Obama or his administration. Finally Obama felt it was causing too much of a distraction and he called a White House news conference to release the long form of his birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii in 1961. This was in April of 2011 and yet Trump continued to stir the pot, bragging that he was the one that forced Obama to release the document and even questioning it's authenticity.

Just a month later Trump attended the Correspondents dinner in Washington and Obama finally had his chance. In a good-natured roast the President said. “I know that he’s taken some flak lately but no one is happier, no one is prouder, to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. … and that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter—like, did we fake the moon landing?” The audience erupted in laughter as Trump became stone faced and he left shortly thereafter.
That was over 6 years ago but President Trump never forgot that night and the laughter at his expense. Like all playground bullies he is an expert at dishing it out but he certainly can't take it. Now he's getting his revenge (like all narcissists finally do) by dismantling whatever he can that has the Obama stamp on it. His obsession has become our disgrace … here in our country and abroad.   

Monday, October 09, 2017

Lest we forget … in remembrance of Amy.

Here is dear Amy who passed away early Saturday morning at the elevated age of 97. My husband and I met Amy and her husband Herbert in the late 1960’s and we became fast friends. She was from France and he from Germany. Herbert became a father figure to my husband who had lost his dad when he was just a child. Both Amy and Herbert were Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and World War II but they rarely mentioned it.

In the late 70's, after my move to North Carolina, my daughter Jody and her husband Brian continued the friendship and when Herbert died they formed their tight little surrogate family of three.

This went on for many years but still Amy seldom referred to that terrible time. However, while visiting up there in 2006 Amy opened up and confided that a woman editor had approached her to write down her remembrances of the war years. She was very agitated as she told me this and the only thing I could think to ask was if it was cathartic. She answered with a very strong “NO, and it is tearing me up inside...but it must be done. Pretty soon there will be no one left to record the facts and it’s critical that we don’t forget.” And now that Amy is gone I realize how true this is.

One of the memories that she shared with me that day was seeing a busload of Jewish women packed in like sardines with Nazi Guards.  It was obvious that they were being deported to a camp.  The bus was stopped behind heavy traffic and evidently one of the guards allowed them to open the windows to let in some air. As Amy and a group of nuns looked on a girl suddenly flung her small infant out the window.  One of the nuns caught the child and  before the Nazi could see what had happened the baby was gone from sight.

Of course she was crying by the time she’d finished her tale and the only response I had was to cry with her. But now I realize that I have to do more. I need to keep her memories alive in order to prevent them happening again.

Amy was an amazing person who was a world traveler even into her 90's, spoke 4 languages and truly loved her fellow man. Jody and Brian have been with her through thick and thin and it's just made them closer. Here is one of the last pictures of Jody with Amy a few months ago at a park in NY City.

Have a safe journey home, Amy ... and give my love to Herbert.




Thursday, October 05, 2017

Wrapping it up ...

My last 2 blog entries had to do with making life choices and how often the circumstances of life make those choices for us. This is my last entry on that theme but I wanted to wrap it up on a positive note.


In July of 1989 a family intervention lovingly made it clear to me that I had a drinking problem and they wanted me to get help. I felt guilty to be going away for 28 days because my husband was very ill and I had no idea how much longer he would be with us but he insisted..  

When I came home I started the long journey of recovery with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. It wasn't easy … on me or on Dick. 15 months later my husband passed away at the young age of 59 and to this day I regret that he never really benefited from my recovery. However, his main concern was that his three children would have a sober mother and he got that.                          

I still felt that I’d let Dick down and one night, while sitting at the table in my kitchen, I closed my eyes and “talked” to him. I told him that I loved him and that I hoped he was in a place of peace and finally free of pain and disease. I was going to ask him to forgive me for the things I hadn’t done for him but I was stopped in mid-sentence. I felt a breeze on the back of my neck and then something brushed by my left shoulder. My eyes flew open and I blurted out, “Dick, is that you?”

Of course no one was there but I felt a sense of comfort that I had never felt before and I knew that I had been absolved and that all was right in my world. This is a true story, exactly as it happened to me. I am not a religious person but I do believe there is a type of higher power out there. It’s way beyond my comprehension but there is no doubt in my mind that it was with me that night in my kitchen … and it's stayed with me ever since.