Monday, April 15, 2019

Living in Bethlehem


4/13/19 17:18 Bethlehem, PA
Around the corner, kids, coaches and parents are at a track meet.  The air gun pops before each race.  It has been popping all day.  Some runners are venturing around the neighborhood.  I went out for a short run, past Moravian College, onto Main Street and up a small hill, passing stores and shoppers who are out, taking advantage of a warm April day.  I took a different path on the way home and passed some nice homes that are for sale.  After my run I walked over, and sat in the stands to take in a few races.  Sitting in the peaceful and private back yard.  Birds are chirping, a neighbor is woodworking in his garage and I watch him stay focused on his craft.  Looks like a dresser or fixing drawers for the kitchen.  Another neighbor was picking the dead skin from her feet, while sitting on her back stoop as her dog with a curly tail exposing a dehydrated anus, sniffs around the back yard.  It’s the first Saturday, the first full weekend in Bethlehem.  I am living in a new place and very happy.  I’ve been going out, well so to speak.  I attended an open mic night down at the Ice House.  Maybe tonight I’ll walk over to the brewery and get a beer?  Last Sunday, I attended church, met a couple from Long Island and afterwards the husband, Dave and I went out to brunch.  He is a good man and I look forward to getting to know him more.  The guys in the house are easy going and I can see us getting along for the next few months.  My goal is to buy a home in the area.  The car insurance in Pennsylvania is cheaper, which means, I need to register my car in the state.  It may require a Pennsylvania license and an allegiance to the Phillies.  Perhaps later I’ll check that out on the DMV website.  Overall, I am in a good place.  I didn’t think the move up here would be difficult and it wasn’t.  There’s still boxes of books to retrieve.  The distance between my parents is not too bad and the kids are fairly close.  While I was married, I imagined what it would be like to live on my own. There are bouts of boredom, but there are chores to do, work to get done, I can write or read, there is a lot I can do and yet I would like to spend some part of the day relaxing in front of a TV, watching a movie, taking a break from the world.  One of the roommates, Tom asked me if I had any plans, nothing really.  Maybe Tom and I will go into town and get a beer.  Maybe I will take a nap.  I am kidding.  I fell asleep earlier while getting some sun.  It was splendid.  It is Spring.

Thank you for reading this


Saturday, April 6, 2019

If my parents are senior citizens, what does that make me?


4/6/19 10:20 Ma Pa’s house

I was going to get out early and get in a run, but there was fog and I felt it was better to hold off for a couple of hours, at least till the fog diminishes.   I’ve mediated for 20, read some articles, but felt it was time to write a blog.  I know the fog will dissipate since Dad has shared with Ma that the sun is supposed to break out of this, and it will be 60 degrees later this afternoon.  Earlier, he shared how the birds are eating the bread Ma put out for them in the yard.  This is their lives.  Each morning, Ma sits in her spot in the dining room, close to the single window, overlooking over the back year and reads. I’ve noticed she does not finish most of the books she starts.  They are collected on the love seat in the living room since they make the journey from one room to the other. The books are waiting for her hands to skim the paragraphs, and she will fold some pages or underline a segment which strikes her.  I’ve learned to release any books to her and watch as they are abused under her literary impulses.  When I came downstairs this morning, she was surprised I was awake.  It was not too early; it was 8 AM which is late for me.  I know the mornings are a sacred solitude to her, the privacy of the house, the ability to be alone and listen to Family Radio, the volume not too loud as to wake up Dad, but enough to listen to Bob Cooke and his daily message.  Her hearing is not the same.  These are the daily routines of my parents.  One day leads to another in this house and not much changes unless one of us makes a visit here.  They go out for their walks, sometimes separately, Dad drives up to the high school and walks the track.  Ma drives to Crab Meadow Beach and walks the short boardwalk there.  They sleep in separate rooms since Mom explained, Dad gets up too much in the middle of the night to pee.  My father is older than my grandfather when he died.  When we were younger Ma brought us to Dublin a few times and one of my clearest memories is sleeping next to my Granda. In the middle of one night, I was woken when got out of bed, and pulled out a bucket from underneath the bed and pissed into it.  The loud stream and dew drops against the plastic could have woken up the house.  For Granda, the bucket was easier than getting to the toilet; which was down the creaking stairs, through the kitchen with the chilly floor and was outside - in the darkness and chilly air. Sort of an outhouse.  But back to Ma and Dad.  Since tomorrow is Sunday, Ma will get up around the same time, but instead of reading she will begin to get ready for Mass.  Her hair will be in plastic curlers, that she spread out in rows, and she will have her morning focused around the fact that she has to leave at 10:00 to get to mass.  The church is at most a 10-minute drive, but this is their routine.  Dad will take a separate car.  They meet each other in the same pew, the last one on the left in the center church at St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport.  After mass Ma buys a bean burrito, but Dad wants to get home to read the paper, both Newsday and The New York Times.  Ma will eat and may go up for a nap since getting ready for mass takes a lot of effort.  She’s amazed how much I can get done or will plan to accomplish in a day.  And just before closing this out, I notice the sun light on the curtains in this room, Dad was right, the sun will break through.  Time for the run.

Thank you for reading this.

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