Loss of Words This Afternoon

I am so beyond honored and grateful for placing 2nd in the annual international Mary’s Prayer Garden Contest. Sponsored by the Fr. Patrick Peyton Center and Museum of Family Prayer in N. Easton MA. This is a photo of my front yard garden. It was accompanied by a short story. I am not posting this to toot by own horn, but to show everyone to follow your dreams. Take that chance you never know what could happen. I am always grateful when some stops by my Word Press site with likes or an exchange of kind words for what I present on my site. It has taken a lot of years to get this far to taking that leap of faith in myself. As the last line of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken.” “Two roads diverged in, a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all difference

Philadelphia Magical Gradens

I am very fortunate to have two sisters who share my love of creativity. My sister Margaret who lives in Philadelphia is surrounded by so much diverse arts and culture. I have frequent flyer miles to the city of Brotherly Love. We mirror each other with our passion for writing.

Several years ago we visited south Philadelphia to see the Magical Gardens. When Margaret described the Gardens I was intrigued that it covered most of South St. and filtered out to other parts of the neighborhood. Established in the 1960’s by Isaiah Zager and his wife to slowly reclaim dilapidated buildings into works of art. Through eclectic mixed media of pottery, tile, bottles, broken mirrors,reclaimed junk and so on. It is “Disneyland” for the optical senses.

Margaret and I had the opportunity to meet Isaiah, as he was strolling with his dog in his pajamas through the art gallery. He just came up to us asking how we liked his creations. Stunned never expecting to meet such a famous artist in person. But we had a very short lovely conversation about art preservation and the importance for involving children in art. I still have Isaiah’s book on tiling and signed piece of his tile work. It was truly another remarkable adventure with my sister.

Backyard Fair Grounds

Backyard Fair Grounds

Aye, the dawn of a summer morning has risen and the sounds of tweeting birds are patiently waiting for their spot on our bird feeder. Squirrels and a menagerie of other animals are very well fed on Euclid Ave. Our backyard has become a fairground delight all year long much to the happiness of our furry friends.

They have me trained, as my husband would say. When the bird and suet feeders are empty, our feathered fair goers have an ingenious way of saying, “feed me.”  The birds line up along our front stockade fence singing their songs of whoa to exclaim fill it up lady. While tweeting to each other the lack of service at the food stand. Even the squirrels get into the act; one squirrel will get on one side of the bird feeder another squirrel on the other side. Twisting and swinging the bird feeder around and around until they unscrew the top latch off. Making the lower part of the bird feeder fall to the ground as seeds spill out consuming the ultimate prize.

Now that is a fair ground ride with many benefits. Let’s not forget Mr. Ground Hog along with his chipmunk friends getting into the act of diving right into the seed pile. Talk about a full spectrum of free entertainment for the whole family. Right here in our back yard, so stop by and sit a spell.  Don’t forget you can feed the animals at this fair ground.

Friday Photos

This definitely a compilation of photos with different themes. With so many events going on this past week; Scranton Jazz Fest, Electric City Flower Show and the Human Library in Boyertown PA. It has certainly been an interesting seven days. Enjoy.

Golden Dragon
Iron Beauty
One Way To Scranton
Top Prize Winner
UpLighting
Scranton City Scape
Boyertown Station
Super Moon
Portal To Heaven
Fractured Pavement Sunflower
Spider’s Inner Sactum
Refractive Colors By Chance
Sunlight Secrets
Memorial Garden

Love Momentarily Stopped Death Today

Working in a hospital illness is all around, even the lunchtime conversations are sometimes filled with descriptions of disease.  Covering five floors I meet all types of people including other co-workers.  The single word that comes to mind is WHY.

Why I am here?  Why can’t I get better? Why can’t I leave?  Why do I have to suffer? Why is my loved one dying?  The last question is the hardest to be asked by anyone who has a loved one in a hospital bed. It is truly heartbreaking to watch someone you love slowly fade away into death’s arms. Because suffering is a part of the last unknown in this life.

When going from floor to floor hearing these questions and since I am not a qualified medical professional. What I will give the patient or family member is a genuine sympathetic ear. Reassuring them I will speak my case manager. To have her stop by the patient’s room and talk with them. Leaving the room I say a short prayer.  This is something I have done all my life after speaking to anybody who is in distress.

Today was the usual busy day and was looking forward to lunch. My co-workers and I sat at the usual table in the back by the gift shop.

Talking about our day and the activities after work. All of sudden the cafeteria was a buzz concerning a wedding that will be taking place at 3pm in the chapel. A wedding in the hospital.  We thought we were hearing just a silly joke. Until our nursing director Matt said, “Yes ladies there will be a wedding today at 3pm in the chapel. The daughter of one our hospice patients came to  see me yesterday. To ask permission to use the chapel so she and her fiancé can get married before anything happens to her dad. The family has invited the entire hospital staff to attend.”

No sooner than we thanked Matt for the invitation. Members of the cafeteria staff were rolling carts filled with beautiful white flowers, food and a white wedding cake. We were amazed how quickly everything was coming together. Just like life it quickly gets away from us.  Even though I couldn’t attend since our department’s case load doesn’t give us the opportunity to breathe.

The stroke of 4:30 pm chimed to clock out and I was passing by the chapel it was filled with an air of beauty. A family mixed with hospital staff celebrating a marriage.  Thinking to myself despite all of the uncertainty of our lives. Love momentarily stopped death. No matter what we are going through in the end it is all about love…

Grey Scale

Between the lines of black and white… Grey becomes the attentive color…

It’s contrasting hues breath soft pillows within the air…

Overcoating layers of paint and rusted Victorian iron… That are chipped away onto the cracked pavement…

Twisting and rippling back to black and white against the green ivy

A locked Medieval door portraying all that is visible… Greyscaling ranges of gray that have no apparent color… Reflecting the light showing woodgrain and steel…

Photography blurring the lines between white and black…

Friday Photos

Lunasa Sunset
Abstract Reflection
Ripples
Last Stop Bridge
Summer Autumn Leaf
Cell Phone Solitude
Twin Castles

The first six photos were taken at the Dunmore Reservoir this past Tuesday. It is fantastic place to hike and fish. The last photograph was taken from the 3rd floor of the hospital parking lot as I was leaving work. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Grateful

I am very honored that my poem titled “Last Phone Call,” was published on The Skeptic’s Kaddish.

One call, four lines.
"Dad, can you hear us?"
"Mom is outside of your bedroom window.
She wants to say, 'Hello!'"
Hearing his wife banging on the window, "Marty can you hear me?"
Only an inaudible acknowledgement rang over the receiver.
Statements of love mixed with cracked voices of sorrow.
Covid had stolen yet another family’s human touch to soothe a dying man.
Word, tears and a garbled "I love you"
Came from his lips.
Knowing in our hearts this call was dad’s last goodbye to us.
Via a phone and a nursing home window.
Yes Covid…
You have swallowed our world’s freedoms to your smarmy delight.
Now those left behind must pick up the tattered pieces.



Please check The Skeptic's Kaddish 🇮🇱 for inspiration and collaboration.

“The Skeptic’s Kaddish 🇮🇱”
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Joe’s Cycling Legacy

It is high picnic season in Northeast Pennsylvania the smells of sugary pizza fritta and potato pancakes are wafting through the air. The allure of basket raffles, children’s games and other assorted games of chance have people lining up to support many local charities. The highlight of the summer season is the Go Joe charity bike ride, picnic and telethon that raises money to benefit St Joseph’s Center in Scranton PA. St. Joseph’s Center has been in our community for one hundred and thirty-four years serving the needs of those with developmental disabilities.

For the past twenty-five years our local meteorologist Joe Snedeker has cycled many miles through the highways and by -ways of many northeast states. But for the past several years he has cycled through Northeast and Central Pennsylvania with his last the stop at St. Joseph’s Center.  All of this started for Joe as a way to give back to the community during his summer breaks while he was also teaching science.  It just grew from a simple act of kindness to now receiving corporate sponsorship from many local businesses.

It is truly amazing the support Joe receives along his cycling route through the cities, towns and boroughs. The cheers, smiles and of course some of Joe’s wacky humor makes watching his daily broadcast a delight. Even during the pandemic Joe rode a stationery bike in the back yard of the WNEP 16 news station.  “It is always about the residents of St. Joe’s center, they are the reason why I have been doing this charity bike ride,” Joe said during a recent interview.  Through his efforts the center provides state of art therapies, education, adaptive equipment and so much more.

This year’s bike ride and telethon raised one million dollars that is truly remarkable. We are so blessed to have people like Joe and those who work on behalf of these special angels.  It just goes to show a simple idea of cycling for a worthy cause can impact so many lives. If you would like to check out the highlights of this year’s Go-Joe 25 head over to www.wnep.com and click on the link for Go Joe.

Gas Station Lily

Beauty left unnoticed between Main and Providence.

A lily grows amongst the soot and grime of Bull’s Head gas station island.

Cab drivers honking their horns so loudly…

It screams the impatience of our modern society.

As motorists race by to get to their next destination.

They only see a mundane traffic light and the price of gas.

Customers running in and of the convenient store for cigarettes.

Power ball tickets in hand with dreams of winning big.

Not looking up to see nature’s glory blooming straight ahead.

Walkers, joggers and bicyclists coursing by…

Not a word or a gasp to recognize this miracle.

How could you miss this wondrous star lily?

Her colors ablaze with every shade of pink set off by white.

Boldly presenting herself in the center of our lives.

To admire and proclaim that life is so sublime despite the gravel.

 

Review of Awakenings

Since sometimes there is nothing good on the television. We often turn to various streaming channels. My husband and I chose to watch the movie Awakenings. A 1990 movie adoption directed by Penny Marshall starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. It is  based on the true story of Dr. Oliver Sacks’ book written in 1973. He was a New York clinical neurologist who worked with patients that suffered the after effects of encephalitis. But somehow in the shadows of their minds they remained “alive.” Dr. Saks experimented with the drug L- dopa to awaken his patients out of their catatonia. Which only lasted four weeks that followed by terrible side affects.

Robin Williams plays Dr. Malcolm Sayers portraying him as a man with compassion and understanding for his patients. His character recognized that these patients were human beings with lives before being institutionalized. Realizing that these patients responded to familiar music and the human touch. True to Robin Williams’ acting it is a mixture of humor and thought provoking dialog. 

Robert De Niro is casted as Leonard Lowe. Who has been in a catatonic state since an adolescent. Slowly with the help of Dr. Sayers, Leonard is able to communicate via a board game. To the point after being giving the experimental drug, Leonard had temporarily recovered his faculties. So many poignant scenes occur in this movie with all of the actors.

 In my opinion, Robert De Niro’s acting was superb. I imagine playing the character of Leonard must have been mentally and physically difficult. Along with shades of beauty in expressing the human condition to thrive. Penny Marshall as the director was truly amazing. I also applaud the support cast of the movie. If you get the opportunity to see Awakenings, it is certainly an excellent movie.

Friday Photos

Majestic
City Limits Deer
Wednesday Night Sunset
Unnoticed Glory
Gas Station Beauty
Beyond The Curtains
Marywood Angel

This week’s photos are unexpected moments and finding new ways to express photographic imagery. Have a great weekend