Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Eve

     I didn't realize how difficult the commute home was going to be.  I have to travel into the city to get to the train that travels out.  The first train that came to my stop was so full that none of us could even get on.  And no one got off.
     We are slowly moving forward into the city.  At each stop we have to jostle and flex to let some out ... Almost as though they're being birthed onto the platform.  The car seems to be filled with early revelers and very few workers headed home.
     And now we're being told the train is to be re-routed.  Everyone needs to get off.
     I'm so looking forward to getting home that I feel like yelling, "But you don't understand.  I have to get home to my kids."  Except several people are trying to get home to their kids.  No need to make an entitled bullshit sort of statement.  So instead, I'm going to stand here with the chick in the flashing 2014 glasses, do my labor breathing to relax and focus on the babies.
     I wish you peace, joy and happiness in the new year.  I hope you are surrounded by friends and at least one lovely person to kiss at midnight.  Kiss them a couple times.

Monday, December 30, 2013


     Yes, little miss 20 something in the matching hat and gloves combo, I am going to sit next to you in my oversized winter coat.
     Yes, I am going to squeeze myself into the thin space that separates you and the older, slightly ripe smelling, guy with the  cell phone stuck to his ear.
     No, your sighing will not deter me from being pleased with myself at taking this seat.
     Yes, I do have a hacking chest cough, and yes, I am blowing my nose repeatedly with one of the two un-shredded tissues in my purse right now (I need to save the other one, just in case).
     Yes, there is a good chance you will now have contracted the plague.
     Yes, I am the stuff of well-put-together-20-something-year-olds nightmares.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Humorless Already?

     On the way home, I finally got a seat on the train.  As I sat, my winter coat spread an inch or two onto the seat next to me.  When a woman moved to sit next to me, she made a little flourish of having to scootch forward and shift my coat.  I quickly apologized and reined it in saying, "Oh, I'm sorry.  Is my big, fat coat in the way?  Well ... At least it's not my big, fat butt."  And then since I'm a wee bit tired and in pain, I sort of giggled hard for a second.
     She did not find this funny.  Not at all. At the next stop when a seat opposite us opened, she moved quickly, clutching her purse tight to her chest.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Good Morning

     After some wonderful time off spent with the three most fabulous children on the planet, I'm back out in the world.
     So far the treasures have been: a classical guitarist playing "Amazing Grace;" two much older ladies discussing technology issues, Facebook and upgrading their devices; and a couple flying-v's ...

Have a good day, people!

Wonder Why ...

     Do you ever wonder why you get sick when you do your best to follow all the hygiene rules?  Why you can't seem to shake that lung rattling cough that's keeping your children awake at night?

     I have the answer:

     Although he's resting comfortably now, moments ago he was wiping the snot from his nose all over his gloves.  And then those gloves are going to go out in the world and touch everything.

     Ho, Ho, Ho ..,

Friday, December 13, 2013


     My head is pounding like the four horsemen are racing to see who gets there first.  And on the train, it's hot and close. I'm lucky that I got a seat, and I'm lucky that my new mentor graciously suggested I could leave a bit early.
     Unfortunately, the gentleman next to me is on his phone call in a super loud voice.  His Spanish is so loud and so fast that I'm barely picking up any of it.  As I've mentioned in the past, I love listening to languages and participating where I can.  I think my head may pop open.
     Now he has pulled a Yoohoo from his bag, and in between each loud phrase, a long, slurpy sip.  Whatever business he is conducting, he clearly doesn't care if anyone around him understands or not.
     The train has now slowed to a crawl.  The conductor says there must be signal problems.  At this point, the extra time has been erased.  I'm contemplating pulling a pen out of my bag and shoving it into my brain.  Or his.
     I'm typing this in full view.  I don't care if he reads it over my shoulder or not.  Don't care.  Don't care.  Don't care.  Don't care.  Oh, his phone dropped the call!!!!
     Sigh ... Nope, they called back.
     Ok, time to change to the next train.  If the good Lord is willing and the crick don't rise, he won't be taking the next train.  Otherwise, it's night-night time with the ballpoint.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In the elements

     This morning on the green line out to Longwood, I noticed this very kind man.

     As people got on an off, he smiled, moved out of the way and was a generally nice human.  And then I took a closer look.  Thin hat in hand, no coat (20 degrees out), tools in his pockets, paint or plaster splattered on his work pants, tired kind eyes.  It made me think about all the men and women outside working in this cold, working with their hands, working unnoticed.
     I thought about my baby brother, the roofer.  His hands so strong, his back so screwed up from a life of very, very hard work.  When we were kids, my brother was a drummer.  He used to write stories.  With those beautiful hands. 
     I wonder what this man wanted to be when he was little.  And I pray he's warm while he's working.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


     It's a trifecta this morning of the Flying V ... They're so close we could play 4 square together.  (I use that reference not knowing if this recess game is universally played now or even played at all anymore.  When I was little in Ohio, it was all the rage on the playground.)

Un ...

Deux ...

Trois ... (The snowman concurs.)

Have a good day out there people!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Long johns

     I dress warmly for the walk to the train, train to work, lunchtime foray and then homeward bound.  This time of year, that means long johns.  Unfortunately, taking that preparation overheats me on the train home.  I'm sitting here now wishing to strip them off.  But that then defeats the purpose of being warm on the walk home.  So instead, I'm stewing in my own drippings surrounded by humanity.  And we are packed in:

(Standing shot). 

Monday, December 9, 2013

First Snow

     It's very solemn this morning on the train.  As though the dusting of snow we got last night has made people realize that winter is finally here.  Even the trains are running slowly in solidarity.  Or perhaps the students are in their finals push, getting ready to depart for Christmas break ... Maybe that's why it's so quiet.
     Maybe this afternoon will bring more excitement.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Update ... Miracle achieved!

     So, if you've been keeping up as the story has unfolded, then you will know by now that the amazing, wonderful, fabulous has happened.  My dear friend Amy has reached her goal, in a little less than two days.  Thanks to the generosity of spirit and wallet ... friends, family and strangers made a miracle happen.  
     You did it. 
     You really did it.
     Thank you, thank you, thank you.

     I am new to this Facebook world, this blogging world.  I did not know that so much joy and happiness could be achieved so quickly.  If I had been in her shoes, I wouldn't have known this was even possible.  I wouldn't have had the strength to ask for the help.

     Thank you.  Amy says it brilliantly here in her most recent update:


Thursday, December 5, 2013


     As mature adults (theoretically), we're not supposed to say "life isn't fair."  If the words slip out, some hardened cynic nearby will pop up out of the bushes and Burgess Meredith style say, "of course not, kiddo .. Life sucks then you die."
     But life is neither fair or unfair.  This path we're all on twists and turns and leads and pushes us in directions that we never imagined when we were little.  Very few if us are exactly where we wanted or thought we'd be, but you try to find happiness, or at least some measure of comfort, and keep walking the path.
     This morning, a dear friend from a million years ago, made a painful announcement that she may lose her house without a miracle.  Her path has been twisting, job losses and a parental death, and although she's been attending to the payments, a tree root on the path has caused her to trip.  And now she stands to lose everything.
     Many, if not most of us, are in situations that could become eerily similar, if placed under the same circumstances.  We may want to believe that we're beyond living paycheck to paycheck, but do we have a sizeable savings set aside?  6-12 months of utility payments? Groceries? mortgage payments?  I know I'm not there.  This frightens me, and quite honestly, made me stay at a job that was physically taking a toll on me ... This fear of losing what we'd worked so hard to give the children one day.  
     So, I'm sitting on the train this morning and thinking about my dear friend ... A woman who has given selflessly over the years to friends, family, her special needs students, and I am praying for her miracle.

Two websites to consider (the first is my friend, the second is financial advice):



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

At the Door

     Every Monday through Friday, in the morning, she sits at the windows at my home base subway station selling the Boston Herald.  She's been doing this for many, many years.  And every morning we smile at each other and wish a happy weekend or a good day to each other.  I don't interrupt when others are purchasing or talking to her, just a head nod or a little wave.  We don't know each other's name, but we can be pleasant and offer comfort just the same.
     I don't say dickish things like, "try to stay warm" or "boy, it's raining today."  She's many decades older than me, making her living in front of those windows.  The elements coming in constantly.  I worry, as she could be my mother's age ... And when I go down that road, I spiral far too quickly out if my mind.  She calls me "my friend," and I cherish that.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Finest

     I hope your holiday weekend has been restful.  I took a little train trip out to explore/time the journey to my next branch.  I was rewarded with this:

Yes, his pants have Lucky the leprechaun from the Lucky Charms cereal and the phrase "magically delicious" all over them.  Magical, indeed.