Sunday, March 15, 2009

Still Winter, But Oh What A View*

Today's photos are from yesterday's nature walk, a special family spot--  Wickham Park, on the East Hartford/Manchester Town Lines.  Wickham Park is an absolute treasure.  My husband & I would come to this park & enjoy all that it offered some 40+ years ago for nature walks, picnicking, kite flying, bike riding, tennis, tobogganing & even the viewing of fireworks on long ago 4th of Julys, on a clear day the views reach far into the Farmington Valley.  Later when we became a family of three I would ride there with our son buckled to the passenger seat of my bike on those wonderful sunny days when this Mom just couldn't resist the call of nature, including it's perfect playground & bird aviary of peacocks & other exotic birds.  After all those years there are some changes of course, as some trees became old & sick & had to be taken down, yet the symmetry & character of this park remains unchanged, as there still seems to be the Oriental Garden with it's Tea House & Lily Pond which is graced by a gentle arched bridge which is always a treat to stand on.  This lovingly kept park is on the grounds of the former estate of the Wickham Family.  Time does fly--  that same sweet toddler son, our eldest, who rode with me on numerous times to this very  beautiful peaceful place gave us one of our finest joys when-- he, our new daughter-in-law, & the extended families gathered at Wickham Park 10 years ago this June for wedding pictures.  The history of Wickham Park, I guess is from the era of the Vanderbilt's & the Rockefeller's, but the only way to really know is to research it's history which I can honestly say I have yet to do.  What I can say is that for multiple generations now this gorgeous park has been the location of major & minor events of rites of passage.  Thank God for parks & the ability of people to think way beyond their own mortality, for by this generosity all of us have been made richer.
*On Yet Another Note--

After much walking, talking & re exploring it was time to head into Hartford, as we had tickets to see, "To Kill A Mockingbird".  Michael Wilson, the director of Hartford Stage was said to have done a great job, we were about to find out if we agreed.  I had seen the movie version of it some years ago several times, with Gregory Peck in it's lead role of Atticus.  The first time I viewed it, I thought it was good, the second time I viewed it I again thought it was good, but last night when we saw the live performance at the Hartford Stage-- what can I say, the story very poignant, & not very ancient.  The story is inspired by a 1931 trial in Scottsboro, Alabama of which the performance was  an amazing site to behold!  The reviews of this play are right on target, as these performances are most heartfelt & truly excellent beyond words.  The movie of "To Kill A Mockingbird" is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning work of Harper Lee.  The movie was scripted by Hartford's beloved Horton Foote who passed away on March 4th of this year, & for whom all these remaining performances are dedicated.  This play was adapted for the stage by, Christopher Sergel.  There are numerous layers & messages in this story, one of the main one's are-- "You have to walk in another man's shoes to understand him."

These may be changing times, but the poignant message of the young child Scout & her conversation with the mob men, along with the life lessons her father gently taught his family regarding character, hopefully will remain with us as a people.  We certainly know our essence, the potential of good in everyone of us, it is that, that needs constant tilling, sunshine & fortifying.

Viva la Art!  Viva la Garden of Ideas!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Some Thoughts After The Storm On Our Local Town Government--

Well we weathered this recent Northeaster as per expected, yet with some surprises-- on my way to work that Monday morning of 3/2/09 at 6:40AM before I turned out onto our town's state's secondary road what do I see, but a lead footed driver who apparently, without much forethought & care, instead of taking a left handed turn of what they were signaling for with their SUV, instead due to extremely slippery conditions, the driver skids hundreds of yards across the secondary state road, way beyond the middle section [no middle line there as there was far too much compacted snow to show the dividing line].  Thankfully I maintained my "turtle-on-style" & was in no way in a rush to pull out in front of this or any driver on a road with these conditions, so very, very, thankful I was not in it's path.  For every decision we make in life there are consequences & reactions on our road in life to these decisions.  One thing leads to another & so on...  On our individual roads of life, our experiences become of course our individual stories, here's a recent chapter of just this week, my topic being-- "Local Town Government", oh boy, hold on to your hats!---

Local Town Government One Woman's Take  {March 8th is International Woman's Day}
{We all know--  "Our Town" & many of us grew up with the series "Payton Place", 
a TV series from the 1960's} 
So-- For the 21st Century let me introduce you to:

*Town Hall*

I am by nature as my husband has referred to me--"a crusader".  Not in the way of the true crusaders of times of ole, of marching over sections of a country, with a, my way or the highway type of philosophy, but I do, & have stood, & marched for Peace & Justice, this I will continue to do to protect our Democracy & Free Speech.  "Use it or loose it."--  This was taught way back in Nursing School almost 40 years ago, & though I am discussing an "idea" now, & not a physical concept of Nursing Arts & Sciences, I will apply this "use it or loose it" concept to my take on Democracy, why not?  For Democracy if one were to image, being of the people & by the people, & the freedom of speech which goes hand in hand with liberty, it is only viable if it is exercised, [it's that use of--   "use it or loose it", concept again] for if we tolerate doors to be closed in our faces, our freedom of opinions & speech to be stifled, then we all wither, & our garden is no more.  For without the "garden of ideas" which is part of  a healthy Democracy, we cannot provide substance to ourselves & others, & our thriving communities of humankind will therefore become no more.  Some times even small local governments amass pockets of power, insult their citizenry by their outrageous conduct in the name of an elected government position, by ranting & raving at town commission meetings in a bullying manner, as if the election to their given post gives them permission to be rude, crude & offencive, with no care that it's all being recorded in a style that Richard Nixon popularized  so.  A freedom of information, a right to know what is going on at a small town governmental meeting, that too is part of a healthy Democracy.  Life does imitate art, even at this level of small town government with  passion, sincerity, drama & a dose of self serving deceit-- it's all in the mix, & this is not even Chicago.

As time goes by I will continue to share my take on some rather colorfully illuminating experiences I & other good citizens have been forced to endure, due to an abuse of power, & the peoples right for just government.  Even though someone is elected as the result of a majority vote, that does not mean they are ethical & just. We have only to remember the people who were forced to ride on the back of a bus, due to a majority vote in their home towns.  True illumination takes time & action.  The truth does & will continue to set the minds of the people free, they only need to know-- "The truth, the whole truth, & nothing but the truth."  The challenge of course is immense for the keepers of the flame can only do it one lantern & one step at a time. 

{As I write this piece entitled Town Hall--  It is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, & incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, & any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.}
 As I process these scenarios by creative inspiration & it is distilled I take on the role of the mere storyteller--  Like my Grandmother, & Great Great Uncle before me & now-- one woman's 21st view of what's been happening in one small Anytown, USA--working endlessly with others & holding the lantern of truth & hope to conserve a small beautiful town from the control of power hungry greed.  It will take some energy to do this, & I will try to convey these thoughts & ideas as best I can.}

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This March 1st Northeaster Has Come Upon Our World, Yes It's Snowing-- Again!

Some Days Are Rather Gray, I Think We've Tired Of Winter, As We've Been Told Of A Storm Warning For Tonight Into Monday, Time Will Tell--

As New Engenders go I think we're pretty sturdy & resilient, but for the most part I'm pretty certain when I say--"Bring on spring, enough already!"

Busy, busy bees we are during the week, & even on some weekends.  I think it's these gray shorter days that tend to tire us out a bit.  We may [?] or not [?] , go away for awhile, we haven't completely decided yet, as for my husband & I, we don't always want to do the same for an R&R in March.  I do know that getting away out of the daily routine does help a lot in beating the winter dulls.  There's a book I've been meaning to start, "Rashi's Daughter" by, Maggie Anton for our Sisterhood's Book Group, but I of course haven't started it yet.  I've been told it is excellent & am closer to giving it a go.

This morning I joined the children at our local Religious School downtown, we did a project for Purim of decorating masks.  It was satisfying & fun.  Kids do, do the best art!  So for now I'll close with wishing everyone a good week & I'll go through my eclectic photos & pick something out to share that's energetic & colorful.  

Peace be with you, & have a great week!