Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Abandoned Places...

I've been looking at more pictures of abandoned places. I find these pictures fascinating, each in its own way.







Friday, January 28, 2011


Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I spend way too much time with my laptop, just looking at things on the internet. For example, I've saved all these pictures just because they fascinate me.

I recently came across this photo:

Of course I had to look up the source and find out about it. It was in preparation for the World's Fair in New York in 1964-1965. They were bringing in dinosaurs for an exhibit called Dinoland. The dinosaurs were so big that the only way to transport them was on a barge down the Hudson River. The article said traffic stopped along the way to watch the spectacle.

That led me to look up more information about the 1964 World's Fair.

This is how it looked then:

This is how the site looks now:

The New York State pavilion now:

The Tent of Tomorrow now:

And the 18-story Unisphere is still pretty amazing:

Well then, of course, there was the 1939 World's Fair, also in New York. I found these images of the iconic Trylon and Perisphere. The Trylon was 700 feet tall. Can you imagine how amazing these futuristic structures must have been in 1939?

I am also fascinated by photographic sites that show abandoned places. These three are from Detroit:

These final two photos are from a science fiction site called Half-Life. The tall building, which soars high above the clouds, is called the Citadel.

There is something about all these photos that sparks my imagination.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Did I Ever Tell You About The Time...

It all started here, at the Pet Clinic:

It was one of those days when I was rushing around, running lots of errands, trying to get everything done. I stopped at the Pet Clinic to pick up cat food. It was a large 16-pound bag, and I was carrying it over my shoulder, fireman style. I was balancing the bag with one hand and had my car keys and wallet in the other hand. I put it all on the roof of the car while I went to open the trunk. I dropped the bag of food in the trunk and drove away.

I had set my stuff on the roof of the car, like this:

My next stop was the grocery store. I gathered things in my cart and made my way to a cashier. I reached in my bag and my wallet was not there. I thought I must have left it in the car. I told the cashier I would be right back and went out to my car. My wallet was not there. Beginning to feel panicky, I thought of the last place I had it... the Pet Clinic. I got in my car and hurried back there. I ran inside and asked if anyone had found a wallet on the ground. The answer was no. It finally began to dawn on me that maybe I had left it on the roof of my car. In that case, it must have fallen off when I drove away.

I went out and walked all around the parking lot... no wallet. So then I started looking out on the road, along the route I had driven. The Pet Clinic is located on a country road that looks like this:

Back and forth I walked, on both sides of the road. Finally, I spotted a $5 bill lying in the grass:

I walked a little farther, and spotted a $20 dollar bill lying in the weeds:

I kept going, finding one bill after another. Were these mine? Did everything spill out of my wallet? Finally I found a receipt from McDonalds. I knew it was mine because I had gone there with my nieces the day before, and I recognized the purchases. But where was the wallet? Where were the credit cards and my driver's license?

After convincing myself I wasn't going to find anything more in the grass, I went back to my car and called my husband. When he answered the phone he said "Where are you? Did you drop you wallet?" I said "How did you know?". He told me a woman had just called our house. She had been driving down the road and had run over something; it was my wallet. She had taken it home with her, looked up our number and called our house.

My husband came to meet me at the Pet Clinic, with the woman's address. We drove to her house and retrieved my wallet. What a relief! Nothing else was missing, other than the money that had flown out along the road. Of course we were very grateful. We talked to her for a while and insisted that she take some of the money for her trouble. Thank goodness for her!

It was one of those days. But it turned out all right in the end; I was lucky.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


My dream house is a small cottage in Hawaii...

Nothing fancy, just a small cottage...

With a little outdoor space...

And a hammock, of course...

Simple and airy...

For a barefoot kind of lifestyle...

A reading space...

A sleeping space...

Time for some happy thoughts.

Talking About It

Husband and I had a talk about retirement; when, where and how. He would never talk about it before. He would make jokes, like "we will just pitch a tent" or "we'll buy a double wide". Today, he admitted it was because he was "afraid" to think about it. Unsure about where to spend the rest of our lives, and how to afford it. Like many others our age, we are thinking about Social Security and Medicare. They sound like abstractions when you are younger and you don't pay much attention, but when you are facing the reality it's an awakening. Especially seeing the very real questions that my parents are facing now. Anyway, we have begun talking, and that helps.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Bad Mood Goes A Long Way

I just finished writing the previous post about being depressed, and I've noticed myself being grumpy and negative about everything I see or hear. Trying to distract myself, I turned on the television. There was Kathy Lee, talking about sitting in the sunshine at her home in Key West. I got mad at her... always talking about her home in Connecticut and her home in Key West. These days, when ordinary people are losing their homes I think it's very tacky. So I switch to HGTV to watch House Hunters. How can that make me mad? There is a young couple, complaining because every house they see doesn't have granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Gosh, when I was their age I lived in a crummy basement apartment! More bad vibes.

So then I went back to my laptop and looked at the news. Big mistake! There was an article about how the GOP in Washington might shut down the government over health care. Now I am really angry!

Maybe I should just go read a book. I have a better idea; I will put all this angry energy into cleaning my house and throwing stuff out!

Telling The Truth

I once had a psychologist tell me I had a "flat affect". Lack of emotional response. I've read that it happens when a person is depressed. I've had bouts of depression, that's true. I've also had times when the depression goes away. The ability to feel joy and enthusiasm comes and goes. Joy and enthusiasm have eluded me recently. Along with them goes creativity. So, I have been finding it difficult to write anything interesting here.

I made a mistake when I stopped working and moved away from my life in Philadelphia. In my blog profile, I wrote that I "am trying to assimilate". I'm not doing a very good job of it, I'm afraid. I live too far out in the country. I didn't realize what a city person I was becoming until the city was taken away. In my former life, I hopped on the train every morning and entered the outside world. The outside world eludes me here; my world has shrunken.

How do I find my way back? My husband resists moving again. His life hasn't changed that much, he still has the same job and still travels... just flies out of a different airport now. When I try to tell me how I feel, he thinks I am over-reacting, just being dramatic. Don't get me wrong, he is a good man, but you know how men can be. It isn't his fault. It isn't anyone's fault. We are closer to my family, that's true. But while we lived away from here (for twenty years) I became a different person... different religion, different political views. As they say, "you can't go home again". So now, where do I go?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aging Parents, Retirement, and The Sandwich

My mom and her husband are both in their mid-eighties. Their health is failing. They can't stay in their house much longer; it is falling apart around them. They can no longer do the maintenance, and they can't afford to pay someone to do it. They have finally admitted that they should move to a place more suited to their needs. But where? They have friends who moved to a condo in an assisted living community. Their friends love it there, and my parents would be happy to move there. But it's expensive and they don't know if they can afford it. There is a large up-front payment, then monthly payments after that. They have to sell their house in order to make the up-front payment. But their house is in no condition to be sold at full price. Should they spend money to fix it up, or sell it "as is"?

My sister and I live about 90 minutes from our parents. When we have family get-togethers here, we take turns driving up to get our parents and taking them back home. It would be easier if they would move closer to us, but my mom loves her friends, her church, and her art classes and hates to leave them behind.

My husband and I are approaching retirement of our own. We have about twenty years until we are my mom's age, and want to make the most of them while we can. We are staring Social Security and Medicare in the face ourselves. We are part of what has been called the "sandwich generation": still helping children and wanting to help parents.

It's funny how the years catch up with you. Not too long ago, we were middle-aged and relatively carefree. We are following the path of other Baby Boomers. I have heard about us in the news. Suddenly stories about Social Security and Medicare apply to us. It's scary.

So... what am I going to do? Here is my action plan:
a) Stop taking my health for granted. Quit being a couch potato. Get up and exercise; practice yoga regularly instead of just once in a while; watch what I eat and try to get my blood pressure and LDL cholesterol down. I would love to get off those medications. Also, avoid type two diabetes (which my mom has).
b) Stop spending money on things I don't really need. Twenty dollars will mean a lot more to me after retirement than it does now.
c) Go back to practicing meditation. I used to do it, and it gave me equanimity. I need that for the days to come.
d) I might think of others to add to the list. Trying to stay dynamic and imaginative!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Brothers and Sisters

Outdoors: Spot and Little Sister

Indoors: Tinkerbell and Tiger
Tiger was supposed to be TigerLily (from Peter Pan) until we found out he was a boy!