love

Day 2394: A little bit different

Yesterday, when I was being a little bit different than anybody else I know, I noticed this:

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and I knew that “a little bit different” was a little bit different from any other blog title I’d used before in the past six-and-a-half years.

When I looked at all my other photos from yesterday …

…they were all a little bit different, so I knew I would use that title for today’s blog post.

This morning, I realized that this post might be a little bit different from most published today by not mentioning Father’s Day up front. And then, when I looked at my photos again with a little bit different perspective, I realized they all related to my father. I guess I see them that way because I’m related to my father and we are both a little bit different.

My late father was humble and kind.

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He cared much more about other people than he did about money …

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… but he worked very, very hard to be a good provider for his family.

He had a beautiful singing voice and was very musical. He bought us a piano when my sister and I were young.

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My father paid for piano lessons for his little-bit-different daughters but never learned to play himself. That calendar photo of the dog playing piano (which is a little bit different)  arrived yesterday in the mail from my wonderful cousin, Lani. Lani, like the rest of us, is a little bit different and she also loved my father.

Lani, and everybody else who knew my father, would say that my father was incredibly funny, although they might tell that story in a little bit different ways. My dad  told me he wrote little-bit-different rhymes for his high school year book, including this memorable one (which is a little bit different from totally kind):

Jerry is a drummer rare.

If he didn’t play, we wouldn’t care.

Perhaps you can see his influence in this little-bit-different certificate I’ll be presenting later this week to an exiting board member of my group therapy professional organization:

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When I was very young, my father moved us to a little-bit-different home which was a block away from the ocean, on the North Shore of Boston. I’m now living on the little-bit-different South Shore of Boston.

I think my father would have noticed the irony in that little-bit-different last photo in that sea-side montage.

My father was a life-long Democrat and so am I, although we were a little bit different in our politics.

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That very different photo reminds me of my father in several little bit different ways.  He brought home all the different magazines from the pharmacy he owned but never  ridiculous rags like The Globe or the National Enquirer. Also, he would sometimes ask my different friends this little question, “Are your parents still together?”  Leave it to my father to throw in little-bit-different conversation starters when talking to my friends.

My father really enjoyed our little-bit-different cat, Tuffy, who my parents got me when I was recovering from major heart surgery at age 10.

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Harley, pictured there,  reminds me a lot of Tuffy, in looks and in temperament although, of course, they’re a little bit different. My dad and I used to play a little-bit-different game with Tuffy, where we would sit on the floor in the kitchen and roll back and forth little-bit-different balls made of Challah bread,  with Tuffy trying to catch them. Tuffy, who was a little bit different in her taste in treats, would catch the bread balls and eat them.

My father was a married to a clean freak …

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… who was a little bit different from most clean freaks by letting us sit on the floor and toss bread balls back and forth with our cat. My father had this little-bit-different joke he used to tell about my mother:

I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and when I got back Weezie had made the bed.

Leave it my father to tell a joke that was a little-bit-different from the truth, even though he was impeccable with his word.

I took driver’s education in high school, but my memories of learning to drive are all of my father.

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My father was one of Boston’s safest drivers (which believe me, is not saying much) and because of him, I am a safe driver, too.

After my father retired, he and my mother travelled abroad …

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… but I don’t think they made it to Barcelona. My traveling has been a little bit different but I haven’t been to Barcelona, although I did travel to Spain with my beloved friend Jeanette.  I have memories of Jeanette and my father getting along really well, although they were a little bit different  from each other (but who isn’t?). Maybe someday I’ll make it to Barcelona, which I understand is a little bit different from the rest of Spain.

My father grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and so did I, although our upbringings were a little bit different.  Whenever we ate out, we only had fish or meatless dishes.

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My father was sensitive to other people’s feelings and was pretty sensitive himself.  We hurt each other a few times in our lives, but we always forgave each other, keeping the connection alive as long as he was.

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I only heard my father swear once, and that was when he was very angry about a young man who had hurt me when I was in my early 20’s.

My father took care of much of what grew on our property when I was growing up, as my little-bit-different boyfriend Michael does today.

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My father had a wonderful smile, which he did not keep to himself.

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Actually, neither of those animals really evoke my father, but this one does:

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I think my father and I were a little bit nuts, in a little bit different ways, but who isn’t?

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Also, I have vivid memories of my father on Saturdays eating pistachio nuts, which he was nuuuuuuuttssss about.

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My father had a wonderful zest for life, which I believe I’ve inherited.  Yay!

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I’ve tried to color in some details about my father in this little-bit-different post, which is not by the numbers and which attempts to capture the magic of  my Dad.  I hope it’s no mystery why I miss my father, every little-bit-different day.

Here‘s a song my father sang to my mother on a special anniversary (and he sounded a little bit different from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra):

 

I look forward to all your little-bit-different comments.

A little-bit-different thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU!

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Categories: love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2290: Love Letters

Today’s blogging love letter is inspired by a lovely conversation with loving WordPress blogger Debra, whom I loved meeting in Los Angeles on Friday. I told Debra that my son, Aaron, whom I love, does not read my blog and how he has told me that he will read all the letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs in my blog after I die.

I told Debra that I love that, because after I’m gone Aaron will discover that this blog is “a love letter to him, as well as to many others.”

In this daily blog, over the past six years, I have written love letters to

  • my son Aaron,
  • my boyfriend Michael,
  • my sister Ellen,
  • my parents,
  • my therapy groups,
  • group therapy,
  • my readers,
  • my ex-sister-in-law Deborah,
  • my ex-sister-in-law Diane,
  • my other ex-in-laws (including my nieces Laura, Julie, and Victoria)
  • my sister-in-law Linda,
  • my cousin Lani,
  • my friend Barbara,
  • my friend Deb,
  • my friend Carol,
  • my friend Jeanette,
  • friends and ex-college-roommates Marcia and Maria,
  • my friends Janet and Ray,
  • my friend Megan,
  • my friend Janis,
  • my friend Dave,
  • my friend Lawry,
  • my friend Eleanor,
  • my friend Arnie,
  • my friend Peggy,
  • My friend Kathy,
  • My friend Jenn and her family,
  • My Scottish heart sisters Vicki and Andrena,
  • my son Aaron’s friends,
  • my co-worker Alice,
  • other co-workers (past and present),
  • my ex-neighbor Karen,
  • my dentist,
  • healers,
  • school friends,
  • childhood friends,
  • children of all ages,
  • fellow bloggers I’ve met including Mark Bialczak, Lisa from Daily Musings,  Val Boyko from Find Your Middle Ground,  and the aforementioned Debra from breathelighter,
  • fellow bloggers I haven’t met (yet),
  • blogging,
  • my high school classmates including Jean and Beth,
  • my old schools,
  • my old business partner Jonathan,
  • Ron Lynch,
  • Dr. Neil Portenza/Josh Ladgrove,
  • Irv Yalom,
  • Pat Metheny,
  • Lyle Mays,
  • Michael Brecker,
  • Jean-Luc Ponty,
  • Jaco Pastorius,
  • Miles Davis,
  • Stephen Sondheim,
  • Gene Kelly and other dancers,
  • Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, and other singer-songwriters,
  • Mel Brooks and other film-makers,
  • Jackie Chan,
  • Walt Disney,
  • Jane Austen and other writers,
  • other celebrities,
  • people with unusual hearts,
  • musicals,
  • movies,
  • television shows,
  • jazz,
  • strangers I’ve met who have immediately become less strange,
  • Boston, Massachusetts,
  • the North Shore of Boston,
  • the South Shore of Boston,
  • South Carolina,
  • Panama,
  • Iceland,
  • Edinburgh,
  • the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
  • the ocean,
  • my hair artiste MiAlisa,
  • my car mechanics,
  • my car,
  • my medical doctors and other treaters,
  • group therapy professional organizations,
  • comedy,
  • comedians,
  • music,
  • musicians,
  • writers,
  • other creative types,
  • our cats,
  • dogs,
  • animals,
  • nature,
  • happy people,
  • people in pain,
  • all the different human emotions,
  • languages,
  • words and definitions,
  • signs,
  • certain letters of the alphabet, and
  • many other inspiring and/or ordinary subjects and objects.

I sometimes love linking to past blog posts and sometimes I don’t, especially when my love letter list is so long! I also don’t love leaving people off of loving lists, so I may be adding more love letters to this post, later.

What love letters are you writing these days?

I should write love letters to Ron Lynch for inviting me to warm up the crowd last night at his Tomorrow! show in L.A. and also to Don for sending me the video, as promised.

I look forward to all the letters in the comments section, below.

Love letters to all  who helped me create today’s blogging love letter and — of course! — to YOU, my lovely and loving readers.

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Categories: blogging, love, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1251: Just because

Just because the title of this post is “Just because,” I’m going to share a photo I just took.

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Just because my boyfriend Michael’s mother passed away yesterday, our loving neighbor Karen gave him some cookies from Lakota bakery.  Just because Faxy the dog and Michael are great friends, Karen signed Faxy’s name, too.

I took these two photos yesterday, just because.

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Just because a tea company tells me so, I’m going to

  • live light,
  • travel light,
  • spread the light,
  • be the light.

Just because I like to explore and share music through this blog, here are some “Just Because” songs.

Just Becauseby Anita Baker:

 

Just Becauseby Jane’s Addiction:

 

Just Because by Lloyd Price:

 

Just Becauseby Elvis Presley:

 

Just Because by Brenda Lee:

 

Just Because by Ray Charles:

 

Just because we’re all mortal, all human beings share one thing in common — we’ll all die, some day.   Just because I like to ask questions, what else do human beings all share, besides our mortality?

Just because I like to answer my own questions, I believe that all human beings share a need to connect. Just because I believe that, I have become a group therapist who blogs every day.

Just because, please let me know your thoughts and feelings about this post.

Thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you, just because.

 

Categories: love, personal growth | Tags: , | 38 Comments

Day 1051: Who loves ___?

Who loves the title of this post?

Who loves an explanation of what inspired “Who loves ___?”

This lovely morning, as I was thinking about writing a post about anger (and who loves anger?), my boyfriend Michael (who loves me) said, “Oscar loves you.”

Who loves Oscar?

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Who loves change?  Who loves unexpected change?  Who loves changes in WordPress, this morning?

Who loves these photos?

Who loves expressing love?

 

Who loves music?

 

Who loves this post?

Who loves the way I always express gratitude at the end of my daily posts?

Who loves Michael, Oscar, taking pictures, music, being a psychotherapist, today’s changes to WordPress, and you?  I do.

Categories: inspiration, love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 909: I Heart Accuracy

Two days ago, somebody came to therapy wearing this t-shirt:


I ❤  accuracy,  but I would never wear that t-shirt. To be accurate, my heart (because of my congenital heart condition) does not look like that.

To be accurate, I ❤ many things, including:

  • Accuracy
  • My heart
  • Other people’s hearts
  • My son, Aaron
  • My boyfriend, Michael
  • Blogging
  • My readers
  • Spontaneity
  • Walking
  • My work, as a psychotherapist 
  • My friend Jeanette, whom I met at Film School in Boston in the 1980s and who lives too far away (in Philadelphia), which I do not <3.

Yesterday, I spent 1 hour walking, while my son was at his keyboard  lesson in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Then, I spent 5  hours with Jeanette.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I ❤ these photos:


I ❤ Spy Pond.


I ❤ signs.

I ❤ green and shadows.

I ❤ several things about that picture. 

 I ❤ that paw print and “Run!”

I ❤ loving couples.


I ❤ celebrating pride (at 11:30 or any time). 

I ❤ “Turn Around.”

I ❤ “Still movin? That’s right you are!”

I ❤ the 4th of July and how my late father used to ask people this question:

Does England have a 4th of July?

I ❤ people taking naps, although I usually don’t take them.

I ❤ Jeanette.

I ❤ Jeanette’s smile.



I ❤ those t-shirts, but I didn’t ❤ them enough to buy them.


I ❤ the way Jeanette and I riffed about the big-headed bird on that moving van.

I ❤ Jeanette,  at our home.

I ❤ Jeanette and our cat Oscar.

I ❤ Aaron, Michael, Oscar, and Jeanette (l. to r.)

I ❤  Oscar and Aaron.

To repeat, I ❤  Accuracy.

What do you <3? I would ❤ it if you’d let us know.

I ❤ that Neil Young is singing “Heart of Gold” on YouTube.

I do NOT ❤ how WordPress keeps leaving off parts of this post, as I’m trying to publish it.

I ❤ thanking Jeanette, Aaron, Michael, Oscar, my late father, Arlington, Belmont, people who show their hearts, Neil Young, and you — of course! — no matter what you <3. 

Categories: friendship, love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 740: Links, Labels, and other L-words

Lengths of lovely, leisurely, AND laborious times have elapsed, loyal followers, since I’ve let loose a Letter Post into the blogosphere.  To illustrate Letter Posts, let’s link to examples.

Day 365: S-words

Day 380: S-words (Secundo)

Day 414: P-words

Day 472: “M” words

Day 626: The C word

Day 627: Just Another Couple C words

Day 150: The A-word

Day 7: The P-word

Rules and Guidelines (link, please!) for letter posts*?

  1. Liberally use* letter all through* blog post.
  2. Do not permit this technique to interfere, too much, with communication and meaning.**

Let’s L, shall we?

Lively and lovable film-travel-and-lifestyle blogger Alex Raphael liked my latest post, as follows:

… you have such amazing links.

Lovely. Thanks,* Alex.

That latest post also included a link to labels about Aquarians like me (and labels for Leos, Libras, etc.*):

aloofness, selflessness, analytical, contrary, cranky, detached, distant, eccentric, fanatical, fearless, friendly, humanitarian, idealistic, independent, individualistic, intellectual, inventive, lofty, loyal, oblivious, odd, original, outrageous, progressive, quick, quirky, perverse, rebellious, sociable, stubborn, tactless, tireless, trustworthy, unconventional, unemotional, unpredictable and innovative.

Percentage of L-words there? Good luck!

Labels — like I endlessly like to recollect and recall —  may be a limiting liability (link, please!).  Labels can also be enjoyable, laughable, pleasant, convivial, and fun (link, please!).

Look at the clock!

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Don’t like to be late for lovely, skilled locks-smith Mia (link, please)!

Lest I be late, let’s quickly look at latest photos* (chronologically):

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Lovely Penny the Pen at cardiac rehabilitation, at a hospital.

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Let’s dance!

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Lovely Danise, looking melancholy.

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Look! Penny’s fallen!

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Danise: “Is she feeling blue?”

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Let’s allow all feelings!

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A helpful skill (link, please!)

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Look at all these lovely things in my office!

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Slinky, spiral, or coil (link, please!)

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Lapcat and Laptop.

Finally, a link to something on YouTube by somebody I love:

Lots and lots of lovely gratitude to Alex, Mia, Danise, my son Aaron, and all who helped with — and are looking at — this post (including YOU*).


* There’s no L-word for this. Believe me, I looked.

** Utterly lacking in L-words, like it or not.

Categories: blogging, love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 45 Comments

Day 680: I love you

Dear Readers,

WordPress tells me, this morning, that I have NOT used “I love you” as a title, yet, for a post.  I love you, WordPress, for letting me know.

WordPress also tells me that I have NOT tagged the Marx Brothers before, in six hundred and eighty days of posting.

I love you, Marx Brothers.

(“Everyone Says I Love You,” from the Marx Brothers movie “Horsefeathers,” found here on YouTube)

Yesterday, I believe I told my sister, Ellen, that I loved her, in my post for her birthday. But I didn’t say those exact words.

I love you, Ellen.

Why do you suppose those words can be difficult, challenging, or otherwise risky to say? I would love it, if you let me know what you think about that.

I love including lists in these posts, so here’s another one.

I love:

  • people
  • animals
  • my work (doing group and individual therapy)
  • natural beauty
  • food
  • writing this blog
  • traveling
  • taking pictures for you

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  • and many other things (and not necessarily in that order).

What do you love?

Love,

Ann

Categories: blogging, love, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

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