friendship

Day 1901: March Madness

While “March Madness” usually refers to the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, I’m going to write about different kinds of March Madness.

Yesterday, I spoke with people about how many losses and deaths we had experienced in the month of March. It seemed like madness when we listed the beloved relatives and friends who had passed away during this one month.

Is it madness that I had this conversation with my dear friend, Megan?

Me:  My father died in March,  but I can’t believe how many people you’ve lost in March.

Megan: It’s crazy!

Me:  It’s traumatizing! I’ll tell you what. In the future, if it looks like I’m going to die in the month of March, I’ll make sure they keep me on life support until I make it to April.

Megan (laughing):  Thank you!

Me: Then maybe I’ll die on April 1st.  I think that’s a good day to die.

Is it madness to talk about our own deaths and to laugh about loss? For me, it helps dispel the madness.

How are you dealing with this year’s madnesses in March?  Personally, I’m glad U.S. students and their families are marching for their lives in March. It’s madness that there’s so much gun violence in the United States.

Was it madness for me to take any of these March photos?

 

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Here‘s the March madness of Metallica playing “Hero of the Day” with the San Francisco Symphonic Orchestra:

Thanks to all the heroes of the day who helped me create this March Madness blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 1860: Love Never Dies

“Love Never Dies” is

  • the title of today’s blog post,
  • the name of the musical I’m seeing today with my ex-sister-in-law, Deborah (whom I love), and
  • true, because even when we die, love lives on.

I have undying love for the people who made my 65th birthday so wonderful, including

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Megan.  I love Megan. Yesterday, Megan and I expressed an undying wish that, before we die, we let go of worry, anxiety, overthinking, harsh self-judgments, and fears about the future. I know that love never dies, but I hope that painful and unhelpful thoughts will die (or at least become less strong).

Photos on the internet never die, so here are more photos from yesterday:

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My love never dies for chocolate, my boyfriend Michael (who bought me that yummy dessert), my son Aaron, my family, my friends, my work, and my blogging community.

Here’s “Love Never Dies” from Love Never Dies:

If you make a comment on the internet, it never dies.

My gratitude never dies for all who help me create these posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1644: What is the name of this post?

Hello, my name is Ann and I think the name of this post should be

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“Projects” (because I’m doing lots of projects as I prepare for the move to our new home),

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Magic” (because I see magic everywhere),

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“Fun to Know and Easy to Love” (because people in my life are fun to know and easy to love), or

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“1 in a Million” (because we’re all one in a million).

What do YOU think the name of this post should be?

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That’s the Halloween costume my son, whose name is Aaron, wore many years ago. Carrying a spray bottle, Aaron asked people to name what he was, spritzed them with water and said, “I’m partly cloudy with a chance of showers.”

I’m thinking that the title of this post should be “1 in a Million” because, on a 1 in a million chance, I reconnected with an old friend yesterday, who is a 1-in-a-million musician and a 1-in-a-million friend, David Smith, whom I first met at the Berklee summer program in 1969.

Here‘s my old friend Dave conducting the Clarksville Middle School Wind Ensemble:

Actually, perhaps the name of this post should be “Reverberations.”

No matter what your name is, what do you think the name of this post should be?

As always, the name of today’s post could be “Thanks,” because that’s what I’m feeling, here and now.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1560: Look

Yesterday, I got together with my old friend Hillel. When Hillel and I looked quite a bit different, we attended our high school junior year prom together.

Hillel and I have dealt with some major medical issues recently, so when we got our first looks at each other yesterday, we both said:

You look GREAT!

We argued a bit about who looked better, but soon we decided to look at new and familiar places on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Now, you can look at those places, too.

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As I look at some of those photos now, the horizon looks tilted, but it didn’t look that way yesterday.

I let my friends on Facebook get a look at me and Hillel yesterday and several of them wrote that we both looked great. I also showed Hillel my current Facebook profile photo (from our Junior High School yearbook) …

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… and Hillel said, “I knew you then and you never looked like that.” Apparently, I looked like that just long enough for somebody to take a picture of it.

Later, I drove Hillel to my home so that my boyfriend Michael and Hillel could get a look at each other.  We also looked for our prom photo, but couldn’t find it. Then, when I was driving Hillel back to his hotel, I got a flat tire. Hillel, who always looks like a gentleman, waited with me until roadside service arrived and then looked up the nearest Uber driver to get a ride.

Later in the evening, Michael and I got a look at all these things:

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Look at that map made of U.S. license plates!

Look what I found when I searched for “North Shore Massachusetts” on YouTube:

I can’t wait to look at all the comments I’m going to get for this post.

As usual, I look for ways to express thanks to all who help me create this daily blog and to you — of course! — for taking a look, here and now.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1381: Sweet

Many things are sweet this morning, my sweet readers, including the following:

  1. I am recovering  sweetly from my open heart surgery of September 21,
  2. I  don’t have to worry about how many sweets I eat right now (although I am watching my salt and my vitamin K intake),
  3. sweet people including my friend Jeanette in Philadelphia are sending me chocolates and other sweets,
  4. there are still sweet cookies left over from the bunch we bought yesterday at the sweet Lakota Bakery in Arlington,
  5. my boyfriend, Michael, talked to my sweet 18-year-old son, Aaron, on the phone yesterday, helping Aaron to cook more sweet food in his dorm kitchen in Edinburgh, Scotland,
  6. I am not fasting for Yom Kippur this year but rather eating all the sweet and non-sweet food I want today,
  7. I am sweetly unworried about the U.S. presidential election next month,
  8. my sweet college roommate Maria and I bought some sweet jewelry and socks at two sweet boutiques in Arlington, Massachusetts yesterday,
  9. I also showed Maria some other sweet sites in Arlington, and
  10. the first sweet photo I took yesterday — at the Arlington coffee house where I have twice sung sweetly at  Open Mic nights — features many products that are sweet:

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Would you like to see all my other sweet photos from yesterday?

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Which of those many sweet photos seem particularly sweet to you, my sweet reader?

As I am creating this sweet post,  I am listening to this sweet fairy tale ballet:

 

Finally, here’s a sweet way to thank all those who helped me create this sweet post and those who have been sweet enough to read it here and now:

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1344: Reckless Abandon

With reckless abandon, I here and now decide what the title of today’s post will be, based on this sign I saw yesterday:

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With reckless abandon, I shall now reveal that:

  1. I hope to embrace the stressful events of the next few weeks with reckless abandon.
  2. These stressful events include waiting for the delivery of a student visa (which I hope hasn’t been recklessly abandoned in some government building in NYC), my son starting a five-year program at the University of Edinburgh, and my having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  3. Yesterday I recklessly abandoned all attempts to prepare myself for the upcoming events and instead spent the day with my fabulous Philadelphia-based friend Jeanette (who abandoned Boston to move to Washington D.C. sixteen years ago, but I I still miss her every day).
  4. Jeanette, who courageously abandons any fear of speaking her mind, recklessly told my boyfriend Michael yesterday that he has to teach my son Aaron how to cook two easy meals this week.
  5. Michael recklessly promised Jeanette that he would.
  6. I am recklessly going to include photos of Jeanette and other people I’ve recklessly mentioned  in this post, so don’t abandon me yet!

Are you ready for the reckless abandon of my other photos from yesterday, as I recklessly abandon any intention of further explaining them?

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Which of those photos say “reckless abandon” to you?

With reckless abandon, this Frightsome Fleshlumpeater will now share the reckless abandon of Roald Dahl, Gene Wilder, and pure imagination:

 

I hope you show some reckless abandon by leaving a comment, below.

Before I recklessly abandon you all until tomorrow morning’s blog post, I’d like to express gratitude to those who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — with reckless abandon.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1219: Tone

Try to imagine my tone of voice as I say any of the following statements:

Every year, I wait for the arrival of spring.

Spring is my favorite time of year.

I LOVE walking outside in sunny weather, feasting my eyes on the flowering trees and all the other brilliant colors of spring.

For years, I’ve done all I can do to take a week off from work in spring to enjoy the blossoming colors after the long Boston winter.

Last year, the local weather in May was predictably beautiful, but I had heart-related surgery during my week off, so I couldn’t really enjoy it.

Two years ago, I had pneumonia during April and May.

This year, I need to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, at the end of May to consult with a cardiologist.

I was afraid that trip to the Mayo Clinic might prevent my taking off a week earlier in May to enjoy Boston’s spring weather.

However,  I was able to take two weeks off from work in May this year.

It was gloriously sunny on the first day of my May-stay-cation

Since then, it has been rainy and cold.

I just looked at the forecast for the rest of the week AND THERE IS NO SUN OR WARMTH IN THE FORECAST.

What is the tone of this post, so far?

Yesterday, while it was rainy and cold, I met up with my friend Tony, whom I often  affectionally call “Tone.”

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Tony and have known each other for forty years!!!!!!! We’ve experienced many tones of life, along the way.

I say this with no tone of irony, sarcasm, or fear of being contradicted by him: Tone and I are BFFs (Best Friends Forever, Tony, in case you don’t know what that means).

I remember writing something to Tony, years ago, that began like so:

Tony! Toni! Tone!

Here‘s the band Tony! Toni! Toné! performing a relevant song:

It never rains in Southern California, but I’m here in rainy Boston, now, which gives me the opportunity to practice all the beautiful tones of forgiveness, patience, acceptance, and appreciation of what is, in every moment.

What tones do you see in the other photos I took yesterday?

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Here’s the tone of my current thinking: What will be the tone of the comments I receive for today’s blog?

Many thanks to all the Tones that contributed to this post and to you — of course! — no matter what tones surround you.

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1205: What makes a special place?

My special boyfriend, Michael, often says

It’s not the place, it’s the people.

I thought of that yesterday, when I took a little trip to Leominster, Massachusetts, to visit The North End Diner and Doyle Community Park & Center and saw this:

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Even though this was the only person I took a picture of yesterday …

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… it was still people who made each place special, including

  • the waitress who gave me free fruit and home fries when I told her it was my first time at the North End Diner and that I didn’t eat meat and
  • all the people who were friendly, along my walk at Doyle Community Park.

I chose to visit Leominster yesterday  because of special memories I have of a special person who grew up there — Alexa, whom I first met in Boston Children’s Hospital when we were kids.

Here’s an old photo of me and Alexa:

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And here’s a special photo my special son Aaron took when we spent some time with Alexa in England during my first year of blogging (as mentioned in previous posts here and here):

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When I found out that Alexa had passed away, I wished I had spent more special time with her in other special places.

Here are other special places I saw yesterday, in  Leominster Massachusetts:

When I drove back, yesterday, through Littleton,  Massachusetts, home of my special friend Rachel, I took this final photo of the day.

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What was special about that place, that I would take a photo of it?

I’m not sure, but soon after taking that special photo, I called Rachel, whom I haven’t seen in several years.  We agreed to meet in some special place, soon.

What makes a place special, for you? If you express that in a comment, that will definitely make this post more special to me.

Special thanks to all those who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for visiting, here and now.

Categories: blogging, friendship, in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1145: Comparisons

When I woke up this morning in my incomparable friend Jeanette’s home in Philadelphia, I knew today’s blog post would be called “Comparisons.”

Comparing myself to other human beings, I think we all do many comparisons, every day,  including:

  • Comparisons of ourselves to other people.
  • Comparisons of the present to the past.
  • Comparisons of reality to what we think should be.

How would you compare my comparatively short list of common comparisons to comparisons you’ve noticed?

Compared to other definitions, here’s how “Comparisons” are defined in my list of Cognitive Distortions (Automatic and Unhelpful Thoughts):

Comparisons.
We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. We might think that comparisons help motivate us, but they usually make us feel worse.

Comparing this to other blog posts I’ve written, I need to include:

  1. an explanation of why “Comparisons” was on my mind when I woke up.  In two days, I’ll be trying out for “The Voice,” where my voice will be compared to thousands of others.
  2. photos, which could be compared to each other and/or to other photos you’ve seen.

I am now comparing the size of two of those photos, above,  to what I want them to be.  Here are the two Rumi quotes on Jeanette’s kitchen cabinets, comparatively larger, so you can compare them:

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How would you compare this post to others?

Many thanks to Jeanette, to Rumi, and to my readers, all beyond compare.

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 931: Dedication

Because of my dedication to my high school class of 1970 — and to planning a 45th reunion for September — I found this junior high school program from 1967:


And that got me thinking about dedication. For me,  “dedication” evokes

  • My 17-year-old son, Aaron
  • My boyfriend Michael
  • My sister Ellen
  • My work, as a psychotherapist
  • My friends
  • My daily blog
  • My doctors
  • Machines

Machines? Doesn’t that seem like a strange dedication, compared to the others in that list?

Perhaps not, because for most of my life, I’ve relied on dedicated machines (especially cardiac pacemakers) to keep me happy and healthy.

Also, my mind is more dedicated to machines, in the moment, because our dedicated central air conditioning on the top floor of our apartment stopped working yesterday, during 90+ degree weather.

As dedicated as I am to my readers who use the metric system, I think all my dedicated readers know that 90+ degree weather could really use a dedicated air conditioner, on every floor.

If this post seems more rambling than other ones you’ve dedicated your precious time to reading, remember that today I have an excellent, dedicated excuse.

As I promised my dedicated readers yesterday, here’s another machine that kept me happy on Saturday:

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Those two pictures were taken by my dedicated boyfriend, Michael.

Speaking of dedication, my friend Deb — whom I met in Junior High School — spent dedicated time with me yesterday, in a part of Boston dedicating space during summer Sundays to a big outdoor market.

Here are some images  I showed dedication in capturing, yesterday, during my time with my dedicated friend Deb:


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

The last seven shots are dedicated to showing Deb’s backyard, including her dedicated garden, plus a beautiful glass piece she made in a dedicated kiln AND the metal holder she created during a “welding weekend.”

If that isn’t dedication, what is?

I have lots more I could write about dedication, but I need to update this dedication post, pronto. Why? Because this dedication post was prematurely published due to the dedication and the paws of this dedicated, omnipresent creature:


But first, here‘s a dedication song for you all:

Dedicated thanks to everyone who helped me publish this post (including Oscar) and dedicated thanks to you, for your dedication in reading it.

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

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