Showing posts with label humanity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humanity. Show all posts

Friday, March 17, 2017

Random Memory #1: Heading Home


I spied with my little eye a wife trimming hairs out of her husband's nostrils in front of the Hotel that once was on the corner of Sutter and Powell Streets in San Francisco. I was sitting on the #2 Sutter bus heading westerly home on a sunny day.

Hahahaha! This 30+ year mental image still gets me laughing.

The couple was probably in their late 50s and early 60s. I pegged them for tourists, but they could've been native-born San Franciscans. I simply loved how they were comfortable with each other.

I like to think the Husband and I are comfortable old farts like that couple was.

And, yes. I've trimmed the Husband's nose hairs. But only in the privacy of our home and only when I cut his curly locks and bristly (not grizzly) beard. So far.


Friday, March 25, 2016

An Unexpected Hug


This morning I heard the happy sound of a young girl running about outside. The voice was unfamiliar. It turned out the sweetness belonged to the niece of our new neighbor.

Sometime later while the Husband and I were talking with the new neighbor's dad, this little girl, who could've been between five and seven, came running up to us. She wore a sweatshirt with the words Crazy Cute. That she certainly was. She zigged behind her grandfather when she didn't recognize us, which I thought was a darling move.

The Husband and I eventually met the new neighbor, his mom, his brother, and his brother's son and the Crazy Cute daughter. As we said our good-byes, Crazy Cute daughter came into the center of us taller people, waving to us. I waved back. Then all of a sudden, she ran over and hugged me. Everyone was as surprised as me.


Today—two days later—I'm hooking up with the participants at Warm Heart Wednesday, hosted by Jenny Matlock of Off on My Tangent. Click here to read what warm-hearted stories others are sharing. You know you want to.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Search for the Missing Teeth


"Are my teeth over there?" asked the Mama, as she slowly shuffled towards the kitchen.

Hence, began an all-day search for the Mama's dentures.

We went through her clothes pockets, looked behind and under things, moved things from here to there in her bedroom and bathroom, the kitchen, the hallway, and the living room. Several times.

The fortunate thing was that the Mama had not gone outside into her garden that morning.

The plus side to the Mama misplacing her dentures was that she found her cute, green hand towels and she reorganized her bathroom. I also think she was mentally stimulated by the challenge. I thought I could see her brain cells tightening as she recalled more of her path between the kitchen and her bedroom.

So, where did the Mama finally find her dentures?

Precisely where she put them. In her vest pocket, which was on her bedroom closet floor. The one piece of clothing she normally wears that we had not thought to look through. Oh well.

I'm actually grateful that the dentures went missing. I discovered we could all keep our sense of humor and be all low-key about it all. That hasn't always been the case. Also, the Mama has been a lot more in the moment since then. And, she was able to smile big for the camera on Thanksgiving Day!



I'm linking up with Warm Heart Wednesday, a joyful meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Yes, yes, I know it's past Wednesday. That's the cool thing about the meme. You have several days after Wednesday to hook up.  If you'd like to participate and/or read other warm-hearted posts, please click here.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Gift from Sweet Maria


"You have beautiful earrings," I said to the woman in the grey coat walking beside me. I was going with the flow of the crowd checking out the various food booths and trucks at yesterday's San Benito Olive Festival in our county.

"Thank you," the woman replied, stopping to give me a better look at her earrings, so I thought. They were dangling earrings in an intricate delicate design with tiny balls hanging at the top and bottom. They had an East Indian look to them.

As she was telling me how she had a lot of earrings that her relatives gave her she began to take one earring off. I figured for me to look at the lovely design closer. Some women do that—take off an earring to show another woman who is admiring them. I've done it myself. Why do we do that? I don't know.

She handed me both earrings, which startled me. I studied them. "Gorgeous," I said, as I handed them back. She did not take them.

"They're yours," she said, smiling widely.

I'm sure my mouth fell open. I looked at her, the earrings, then back at her.

"I have so many earrings, I could wear one each day, and still not have worn then all. What am I going to do with all of them," she said in a joyful voice. "So, I decided that when anyone says something nice about my earrings, I'm giving them to her."

Wow.

"Thank you." That's all I recall saying. Friend Jenn had us take a photo together. The woman laughed. "I rarely take photos. I don't take good photos."

We exchanged contact information, so I could send her pictures. The beautiful lady is named Maria and lives in town. I ran into her an hour or so later, but I almost didn't recognize her because she was no longer wearing her grey coat. Nor her beautiful earrings.

I asked to take a photo of her. She laughed. "I don't take photos much. Now, look at me today."

Yes, look at her. Maria, the definition of a beautiful woman, a beautiful soul.

Thank you again, sweet Maria.


Please note that the dialogue was an approximate of what I recall was said. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Random Scenes -- Taking a Chance


He trudged along like a ghost in mourning.

Paula sighed as she pulled back from her living room window. Curtis Warren, her middle-school English teacher from decades ago, had lost his wife to a drunk driver less than a year ago.  Paula heard that his family was concerned he would take his life. She knew the feeling. When her husband died from cancer five years go, Paula became a vagabond. She came back home a few months ago to be with her dad in his last days. She didn't know how much longer she would stay. 

"Oh, no!" Paula rushed out her front door and down to the sidewalk where Curtis lay sprawled. She helped him up and held onto him until he was steady on his feet.

"My mind was thinking of other things," the 70-year old man said. His voice rough as if he hadn't spoken in a long time.

"It happens," said Paula. "Come up to my porch, Mr. Warren, and sit for a while. I have fresh lemonade."

"No, no," he said, shaking his head. "I'm fine. Thank you."

"All right," said Paula. "Another time then, Mr. Warren. You're welcome to sit on my porch anytime you feel tired from your walk, whether I'm here or not. I always have lemonade in the fridge."

"You are very kind." He looked curiously at the 60-year-old woman. He said, "You were one of my students."

Paula nodded, grinning widely. "The first year you taught. I can now thank you." She reached out for his hand and shook it firmly. "Thank you, Mr. Warren."

"No need for that anymore," he said. "Call me Curtis."


*************
One morning,  a few weeks later, Paula sat on her front porch, drinking coffee and browsing the travel sites on the Internet.

“Good morning, Paula!”

Curtis stood at the gate, looking taller and stronger than he had at their previous encounter.

“Hello, Curtis,” Paula called. “It’s a beautiful morning for a walk.”

“Yes, it is.” He looked shyly down, then up at her with a hesitant smile. “I wonder if I might sit on your porch for a bit.”

“Of course,” said Paula. "How about a cup of coffee? And, perhaps a blueberry scone?”

“Thank you,” he said, walking up the pathway. “I would like that.”

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day


Memorial Day
by Helen Leah Reed

        No warrior he, a village lad,
                needing nor words nor other prod
        To point his duty; he was glad
                to tread the path his fathers trod.
        Week days he worked in wood and field;
                with homely joys he decked his life;
        The sword of hate he would not wield,
                nor take a part in cankering strife.
        On Sunday in the little choir
                he sang of Peace and brotherly love,
        And as his thoughts soared higher and higher,
                they reached unmeasured heights above.

        A cry for Freedom rent the Land -
                "Our Country calls, come, come, 'tis War;
        Together let us firmly stand;"
                he answered, though his heart beat sore
        At leaving home, and kin, and one
                in whose fond eyes too late he read
        That life for her had but begun
                with the farewells he sadly said.


        A half a century has passed -
                and more - since all those myriads fell;
        For he was one of those who cast
                sweet life into a Battle's hell.
        The village has become a town,
                brick buildings the old graveyard gird;
        Of him who fought not for renown,
                no one now hears a spoken word,
        But on the Monument his name
                in gold is lettered with the rest.
        Without a sordid thought of fame
                he to his Country gave his best.

        Strew flowers, then, Memorial Day
                for him, for all who for us fought.
        With speech and music honors pay;
                teach what our brave defenders taught.
        And now our sons are setting out;
                the call for Right rings to the sky,
        "Our Country! Freedom!" hear them shout,
                re-echoing their Grandsires' cry.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Meeting Blogging Friend Lisa


Lisa stopped to take a photo of a chair in the shape of the hand in front of the furniture store. She told me about an article on chairs she read on her flight. Now, she wants to take photos of chairs.

"I must take a photo of Lisa taking a photo of the chair," said Farel, brother of Lisa.

"I must take a photo of you taking a photo of Lisa taking a photo of the chair," I said.

That delightful silliness was last Thursday when the virtual blogging world suddenly became real and I met blogging friend Lisa from Malaysia in person. Wowza, indeed!

Lisa and I met on my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister, which is about my hometown and the place where the Husband and I currently live. The "25" refers to the two-lane state highway that leads into Hollister from the north. This bit of information will make sense a few paragraphs later.

On Wednesday night, I received a Facebook message from Lisa: "I'm heading to Hollister tonight!"

Huh! I read her message a couple of times to make sure I was reading all the words straight. Curiously, Lisa had floated into my mind that afternoon. Perhaps I was picking up her vibe. Lisa had been visiting friends on the California coast and the evening she wrote she was with her brother, Farel, who lives in San Jose. (Farel, please forgive me if I have spelled your name wrong.)

The next afternoon, the Husband and I headed over to their hotel and we met, wouldn't you know it, kindred spirits. We took them to lunch, then a tour around town. At one point, Lisa was taking a photo of the city streets and said to me, with a big smile, "I took 25 to Hollister." I don't think Lisa realized how honored I felt when she said that.

After the downtown sights, we drove around the countryside a bit and headed over to our house where Lisa and Farel hung out and had dinner with us. At one point, Lisa, Farel, and the Husband were sitting in the living room bent over tablets and laptops enjoying themselves, each other, and the magical Internet. Me? I was whipping egg whites which is always magical to me.

Lisa fell asleep over her computer. Jet lag had caught up to her. When she woke up, she smelled the aroma of frying fish and said, "It smells delicious. It feels like home."


See you again, Lisa and Farel!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Ditzy Moment


A couple of weeks ago, the Appliance Guy checked out the burners on our electric stove. We were down to only one working burner. I actually watched the third burner spit up flames as it died. Both the Mama and I were worried that we'd have to get a new stove. All for naught. The Appliance Guy told us that all we needed were burners and immediately called in an order for us.

Since the Appliance Guy was there, I asked him if it was possible to calibrate the oven. "It's not working?" he asked, opening the oven door.

"Sometimes my dishes come out dry or undercooked, even though I follow the time and temperature on the recipes," I said, watching him take out the oven racks, turn them around, and insert them back.

"Were they in backwards?" I asked.

The Appliance Guy stood up. "The door wasn't closing properly because of the racks."

"Oh."

"The stove is also old," the Appliance Guy said, which he most likely added to cover for my ditziness.

"Over 25 years," said the Husband. Chiming in, I like to think, to also make me feel less scatterbrained.

"So, all this time I had the racks in upside down and backwards. I can never remember which way they go in," I said, thinking about the time I  couldn't figure why my boots hurt until a friend said, "Sue, you've got your boots on wrong."

The Appliance Guy said, "Just remember that the hooked ends go in first with the hooks down."

I nodded. "I thought they had to be in the front to catch the pans in case they slip out."

"I never thought of that," he said, smiling.

After the Appliance Guy left, the Husband  started washing the breakfast dishes. He was bent over the sink laughing like crazy.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"You thought the racks would keep the pans from slipping," the Husband said. "If they slipped out it's because the floor is uneven."

What could I do but laugh with the Husband. Loudly and long.

I hope the Appliance Guy had a good laugh, too.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Remembering Dawn


Yesterday, I found an unfinished draft that I wrote about four years ago. It was about Dawn who I had not seen since the mid-1980s. About four years ago, I learned that Dawn had died, and she had been dead for 12 years. Only in her 40s, she died from pneumonia in London.

Gorgeous Dawn was one of the most sophisticated, yet down to earth, individuals I have ever met. She had a style that I could only describe as the beauty of Italian art, music, film, and food.  And, she had a light that caused both men and women to turn around and smile in appreciation.

Dawn was the sister of my brother's friend who fell in love with my best friend at the time, back in the early 1980s. So, I ended up hanging out with Dawn now and then. If we hadn't had this connection, I doubt that Dawn and I would have ever met, as we did not move around in any other of the same circles. She was the artist living in the North Beach of San Francisco, while I lived in the Richmond District, working three part-time jobs as I completed my training for a teaching credential.

I am grateful for having known Dawn. She had a wonderful wit and sense of humor, and her creativity and sense of adventure were inspiring. I recall the afternoon we were decorating my best friend's and my flat for a Halloween party.  Dawn was helping me put together some detailed decor on the wall. At one point, she turned to me and said, "Sue, you are so anal-retentive." We laughed. Being anal-retentive was a good thing, and she would have known. She was a budding fashion designer. 

A few years later, my best friend and I had a falling out. She didn't want to patch up our friendship, so I never did see Dawn after that. Over the years, I would wonder where Dawn was and how she was doing. One day, about four years ago, I decided to find her online. At first, I tried Facebook. Nothing. Then Google, and voila, up popped a link to her Web site of her photography work. Her work was -- and is -- outstanding. They reminded me of her, Dawn, the person I knew a lifetime ago.

Then, I came to the part in her biography about her death in 1999.  It did not matter that I hadn't seen Dawn in 26 years, nor that she had been dead for 12 years. It was as if it just happened.

Here's to the light of Dawn!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Something about a Trail


"Hello." "Good morning." "Happy New Year!" "Have a nice day."

Most people, I've noticed, are friendly to each other on walking trails. Some are even willing to stop and pass a few moments to cheerfully talk to strangers. Maybe we should imagine that all streets, roadways, paths, sidewalks are trails.

Today, I'm linking up with The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar. Click here to see other black and white photos be bloggers around the world.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Once Molly catches that turkey, I will start cooking.

I am grateful for many things. . .
the Husband, the Mama, and Molly the Cat.
the friends in my life.
the ability to live the life I choose.
the earth, the sun, the wind, and the water.
the unconditional love of God.
Peace, joy, love, and happiness to you, Dear Readers. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Reunited


If you were physically separated from your significant other, for whatever reason, would you still want to get back with him or her after a year? Five years? Thirty?

About a month after the Only and Older Bionic Brother was born, the Daddy, a naturalized U.S. citizen, returned to the United States. He realized that there would be more and better opportunities for his children in America than in the Philippines. This was in the late 1940s. He worked hard and within a year, he made enough money to book ship passage for the Mama and their son. The Mama did not want to leave her home and family. The Mama's mother told her that once she married, her life was with her husband's. She, the Mama, no longer belonged to the Grandmother. Thirteen months after the Daddy left, he and the Mama were reunited in their new home in California.

The stories of my two ninangs (godmothers) were different from the Mama.  They waited much, much longer to reunite with their spouses. The story of the ninongs (godfathers) and the Daddy, were similar, and to put the godparents' separation in context, I'll tell you a bit of that history. In the 1920s, the Philippines was a U.S. territory, which probably made it easier for Filipinos to travel as U.S. nationals. Throughout that decade, many of the young Filipino men, from all over the country, decided to go to Hawaii and the United States for the many jobs and good pay they were promised by agricultural recruiters and bragged about by friends and relatives who were already abroad. Most of the young men planned to work for a few years then return home with plenty of money to marry and start a family, if they had not one already. The Great Depression foiled their plans.

Ninang Deling and Ninong Mariano

She was 21 years old and he was nearly 24 when they married in 1924.  A son was born two years later. In 1928, Ninong Mariano and his brother sailed for the United States where they worked the farms for meager wages. Said Ninong Mariano, "The first time I came here, the wages were 35 cents an hour. During Depression, fifteen cents an hour. That was the best I could get. Some places it was twelve-and-a-half cents an hour."

He sent money home when he could. Ninang Deling made money for the family by taking vegetables from the province where she lived and selling them in Manila, then before returning home, purchased products to sell back home. She also made a living for her and son by sewing clothes. She said, "I was a seamstress. I sold clothes when I could. Sometimes I make five dresses for someone to buy. They used to pay me three pesos."

Ninang Deling and Ninong Mariano reunited in 1950. She was 47 years old. She had no conflict about leaving her home when her husband told her to come. Her son and her brothers were already in the United States. Ninang Deling said, "This is where my family was, so I come here. . . I (have) a good feeling."

Ninang Maxima and Ninong Vicente

They married in 1925 when she was 19 years old and he was 27. They had two children before he took off for America in 1929.  Over the years, he found jobs as a farm laborer and house boy. For 10 years, he worked in a Navy yard in California. Ninong Vicente said, "I liked to go back to Philippines, but no money. So I stay here. If you go there, you need lots of money to spend for the plane."

With the money her husband sent and the earnings she made from her sari-sari store, Ninang Maxima  managed to make a living for her family and send her son and daughter to school. Ninang Maxima said, "I am homesick to see my husband. When wartime, about five years, he didn’t write us. (There was) no mail to the Philippines."

Ninang Maxima finally reunited with her husband in 1959. "I didn’t recognize him when I came here. I didn’t know his face because it’s different. When he came here, he was young yet. When we got together, he’s old. I (was) 53. He was 60."

I'll do the math for you: Ninang Deling and Ninong Mariano were separated for about 22 years, while Ninang Maxima and Ninong Vicente were apart for 30 years. Amazing, isn't it?
I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.   

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bra Time


Names have been changed because I just don't remember them anymore.

"Need any help, Bea," a grey-haired woman said heartily, from the doorway of the Friends of the Library Bookstore.

"Laurie, good to see you, darling," said the elderly Bea, turning from the bookshelves. "You're not scheduled for today."

"I know," Laurie said, walking into the shop. "I had to come down town to pay bills and return books. Since I had to put on a bra, I thought I'd stop by and do a couple of hours if you could use me."

Both women laughed. I laughed, too, from the side of the room. Yup. I could hardly wait to get home and take my bra off.

I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Teaching the Alphabet


"Sometimes it's a good idea to teach A, B, D, C rather than the usual A, B, C, D."

That's what I said at a job interview for a youth counselor position in the late 1970s. I cannot recall what the interviewers had asked me, nor can I remember why I chose to give a "thinking out of the box" response.  This was my second interview for the position so perhaps I tried to sabotage myself. I was very good about things like that back then.

I did not get the job. No surprise there. But, I figured it was more so because I didn't have the desired skill of being bilingual in Spanish. A month later, the group offered me a temporary position as one of the eligibility officers for its summer youth employment program. That job turned out to be more compatible with my personality.

A few days on the job, I met the woman who was hired for the youth counselor position. Unlike me, she had a working relationship with the interviewers, having previously worked with them in temporary summer positions. Like me, she had recently returned to her home town. She also did not speak Spanish fluently.

Maybe the interviewers did consider my answer flaky.

I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.

Friday, September 20, 2013

One Dime. . .Two. . .Three. . .

"I think I have 86¢," I said, when the fish lady told us the lovely looking rockfish was $5.86.

Pulling out a handful of change from my purse, the fish lady said, "Yes, I think you do."

I plucked out two quarters, two dimes, a nickel, and a penny from the coins in my hand and put them on the counter. My mind when blank. "How much was it again?"

"86¢," said the Husband.

I fished out more coins. My mind went blank again. "What was it?"

"86¢," he said.

I looked down at the change. Total blankness. "What?"

"86¢!"

I gave up. "Okay, that ought to do it."

The fish lady picked up the change, laughing with the Husband and me as we chattered on. "And, to think he has to deal with me everyday," I said while the Husband rolled his eyes and threw up his hands.

I noticed the fish lady counting the change. "Did I give you enough?"

"More than enough," she said, handing me back two dimes.

"I used to be so good at counting change," I said.

"We should get you a change maker," said the Husband.

"Like a train conductor. Yeah. I could go for that."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

www.su-sieeemac.com

I just love it when technical things come together. After all, I am a non-techie, regardless of what others may say.

Early this morning, or late last night (depending on your point of view), I received an e-mail saying that my domain names had expired and if I wanted to keep them, I need to renew pronto. So, that I did. I decided to forgo the URL for the old blog and purchase a domain name for Don't Be a Hippie.

Purchasing su-sieeemac.com was quite a cheap thrill, I tell you what. 

su-sieeemac.com? Yep. I figure I can always use the URL for something else down the line, should I ever cease writing Don't Be a Hippie. For once, I'm looking ahead.

Anyway, a few minutes ago, I keyed in the right combination of words and numbers to have Don't Be a Hippie appear in the browser when I plug su-sieeemac.com into the appropriate bar. Whooo-hooo! Another cheap thrill.

I think I will count this feat as a Doing 60. The little things count, too, in my book.

So, as not to totally bore you with today's nothingness: How about these sunflowers in the Mama's garden?


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Closing Up

Update: May 20, 2013
Today, I decided to merge the old and new blogs. There are just too many posts from "This and That. Here and There. Now, Sometimes Then" that I want to keep alive.  ~Su-sieee! Mac 

It has been over two months since my last post. I have mumbled several times to the husband, "I'm going to stop blogging This and That. Each time, he replied, "I thought you already have."

Yeah. Well. I finally am.

This is it. My last post.

For this blog, that is.

I've decided to start another blog. The husband  will be surprised.

The new blog is called Don't Be a Hippie. . . Now and Then. Its focus is more selfish. I shall be revealing as much as I dare about myself through my memories, stories of my elders, and everyday experiences. At least that's what I think.

Thank you Dear Readers and fellow Bloggers for your kindly visits and generous support. I hope you'll stop by my new blog.

~ Su-sieee! Mac





Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Wearing of Red

I do feel sspassazzy about wearing something red now that I'm a young "old" fogey. Nope, not a red hat. Though I did learn I could've joined the Red Hat Society several years ago.

Yesterday, I bought myself a red lacy brassiere. Ooh la-la, indeed.

First time, I've ever owned a red one. Wonder why I never got one before. I liked the way I felt free, invincible, and joyful when I tried it on, similar to how I feel after having cut my hair very short.

Do I feel this same way when I wear a red frock, red shoes, or red earrings? Not that I can recall, but then I rarely wear red because it is such a visible color. Hello, stop sign. When I was in eighth grade, the mama made me a lovely red dress. She was disappointed that I didn't like to wear it. Ah, kids. I would definitely wear it today.

How about you? How does wearing red make you feel? 

Sunday, May 29, 2011