autumn

la di dah day la di dah

I’ve always enjoyed exceptionally warm weather and dreaded the several months of the year when it’s cold. Autumn is, to a certain extent, quite an exceptionally nice experience for me though. At first, when all the leaves start changing colors and orange and black seem to be everywhere, it’s such a fine feeling. I have many decades’ worth of nice memories of Halloween, especially when I was a kid, and Thanksgiving, most significantly when I used always to spend it with cousins in western New York. I remember during my very young days, as far back as Jackson Heights, the weather on Halloween was usually so bitter cold that I was forced to explain to people that somewhere under my fifty layers of heavy clothes was a costume, and that I really was dressed as either the Green Hornet or some other then-current character. Thanksgiving in North Tonawanda, during the 1980’s, was also frequently bitter cold. November can often be exceptionally rainy.  Once the full brunt of autumn settles in, though, it then becomes quite a seriously nasty depressing time for me. The miserable weather and dark gloomy atmosphere have always struck me as  exceptionally frustrating, and are also quite an intense metaphor, for me, of the dark side of life. My mother died during the last week of September and my father died during the first week of November so that adds yet another dark property to the fall.  When I was a kid autumn brought with it the beginning of the school  year, that was always welcome, but as an adult I can count on no such milestone to keep things interesting. Walt Whitman’s poem, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” from “Leaves Of Grass”,  specifically references the ninth month as a symbol of birth. September, the ninth month, is when fall begins.  For me it represents all the good and bad that life has to give. Change has never been easy for me. The positive and negative aspects of fall perfectly reflect the good and bad things in life.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/autumn-leaves/

http://lifeconfusions.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/autumn-leaves/

http://stacilys.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/autumn-creative-collaboration/

http://calandrabranch.com/2014/09/21/its-my-season/

Annunci

see you in september

When I was still only a youngster, still obligated to go to school, I’d always so thoroughly enjoyed it. Although, of course, it meant having to put a stop to all the uninterrupted enjoyment of summer, going back to school in September was always quite an interesting experience.  The only time I truly let it bother me a little was at the beginning of the seventh grade, when, having moved from Jackson Heights to Lindenhurst, I was forced to spend two weeks in Copiague Junior High School, after which I went to O.L.P.H. in Lindenhurst for the rest of my time in grammar school.  That was only because they were both new to me.  Now that I’m an adult man, my feelings toward the end of the summer each year ultimately amount to mere passive resignation.  Imo’ve always been quite smitten with symbolism and autumn and winter always abound with it. The last few months of each year always  bring with them cold weather and dark gloomy skies.  For a while autumn is quite nice.   I’ve always quite enjoyed Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was especially nice when I was in the habit of visiting my cousins in North Tonawanda. Eventually, though, the last few months of the year turn into a seemingly endless succession of mandatory concessions to all sorts of inevitable trouble.   My mother died last September and my father died last November so from now on those times will also have quite a particularly sad twist to them. 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/august-blues/

http://designersophisticate.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/summer-can-be-too-long/

http://themasculinepen.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/the-learnings-of-september-now-come-early-the-daily-post/

http://debooworks.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/august-blues/

memories may be beautiful and yet

I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I’ve always considered September 11, 1971 quite a major watershed moment in my lifetime.    I was on the verge of turning twelve years old and had virtually always, for as long as I could remember, lived in Jackson Heights in Queens until then.     On that date my parents, Mary Anne  and I moved to Lindenhurst, two counties away in Suffolk County, in the middle of Long Island, on the south shore.     To this very day I can still remember having made up my mind, in quite a determined manner, to make it quite clear that I may have been in Lindenhurst but I would always consider myself from Jackson Heights.    Some people, upon being bombarded with such a seemingly infinite supply of  cold turkey irrevocable changes, seem to thrive on such an adventure.   I found it all entirely too nerve racking.     Upon my having said good-bye to St. Gabriel’s in East Elmhurst, I went to Copiague Junior High School for two weeks.    From then on I went to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School, in Lindenhurst, until the end of the eighth grade.     Perhaps I would always have been an excessively shy neurotic with all sorts of lopsided ways anyway, even if I would never have moved at the beginning of my adolescence.    That much change, in that short a time, didn’t help though.    Eventually by the time  I started high school, I no longer minded all the new circumstances.   The best thing about someone’s being a high school freshman is that  he’s only one among many other freshmen.    During my first two years in Lindenhurst, though, I was practically the only new kid there.   There was a girl named Cindy in my class at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, who started the same day I did, but everyone else was already an established member of the old guard.    The other most memorable moments in my life were when my parents both died, at eighty years old,  within forty five days of each other, last autumn.    In November 2012 my mother started getting very violently ill with cancer.   She was forced to spend the next ten months constantly going back and forth to Medical Oncology Associates in Kingston, the Geisinger Hospital and General Hospital in Wilkes Barre, and John Heinz Institute of Rehab in Kingston.    She died on September 23.    My father died around a month and a half later, at the Veteran’s Hospital, on November 7,  of a heart attack.  Everyone knows this brings about quite a significant change in an individual’s life.    I was forced into making  quite a lot of significant decisions and changes that would have been otherwise entirely unnecessary.   My-Name-is-Change

Because of their having lived until I was fifty four years old, their having always been around had most certainly been quite a significant part of my identity.    Their good and bad qualities, character strengths and defects are now all in the past tense.    One of the properties this had in common with the move to Lindenhurst from Jackson Heights was its irrevocable, cold turkey nature.   Surprisingly, although I’ve never dealt very well with stress, I got through all the hospital trips and both funerals fairly well.  Whatever I was supposed to do, I must have done in an acceptable manner.   What still boggles my mind is that things go on and neither of them is available anymore.     All the things that transpired between November 2012 and November 2013 are now permanently embedded into my memory.   Like a change of address this milestone marks the beginning of a new era of my life and even a new identity for me.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/prompt-moments-to-remember/

BIRTHDAY BOYS~

For some strange reason, this is my first post since the end of August. My birthday & my father’s are on September 16 & 25. We went, with my mother & Uncle Frankie, to Perkins on my birthday to get a nice meal. The waitress explained that we could have gone to Cooper’s because they give a free meal to the guest of honor. I’ve never liked seafood though & that’s Cooper’s specialty. I got a few phone calls that day from Mary Anne & family. Steve & Bridget left me messages on Facebook & Mary Anne, Michael & Sam all talked to me on the phone. I was especially happy that my cousin Gary even called. It gave me a chance to catch up with all the New York gossip. Fr. McKernan’s birthday is the day after mine. He was on a retreat in Chicago that weekend. The next week, for my father’s birthday, we went back to Perkins. Uncle Frankie wasn’t available at the time because he was visiting Fran. The traffic, on the way to Rte. 315, was absolutely unbearably bad because of construction. Fortunately, though, the construction only lasted for around a week after that. Unfortunately summer is long gone by now & we’ve settled into autumn.