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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Contemplating


I love this photo. Just looking at it makes me calmer--a bit. That's my father in 1985 at the bridge on the grounds of Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill Cottage. My mother took the photo. My parents did quite a bit of traveling after my father retired. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of my mother's heroines--as was Amelia Earhart. My mother loved Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage. I have yet to see it. Hubby and I took our daughters to Hyde Park to see the Roosevelts' home when they were young but we didn't go to Val-Kill Cottage. We could only drag the kids around so much before all of us were exhausted and cranky.

Maybe after this current plague is over, hubby and I should make plans to see the Val-Kill Cottage.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Promises


The leaves on the rose bush are opening. Tender, delicate shoots emerge as the warm sunshine tempts them to unfold and grow. Soon buds will form and then burst into the scented blooms I love. Spring is here--arriving as it always does and returning the dull brown earth into a rich green garden.

This spring, though, is different. This year a silent invader, the virus labeled Covid-19, has swept across the globe and there is nothing to stop it. No vaccine or antibiotic is capable of destroying it. Our natural immunity to disease can crush the intruder in our bodies, but there are many of us living with compromised immune systems and for us this virus could be deadly.

In a last ditch effort to delay the spread of the virus, everyone has been instructed to use social distancing. Everything is cancelled. Children are being schooled at home. Churches have closed their doors. Workers who can telecommute are doing so. But doubt and unease are constant companions as the number of victims increase.

Hubby and I spend our days enjoying our hobbies and doing our usual chores. On sunny days, we sit outside and enjoy the bright rays of spring while the bright yellow daffodils wave in the breeze and the hyacinths perfume the air. We keep in touch with our loved ones by email, phone, text, or video chats. It's a slower pace than usual for us, which is rather refreshing.

But the enemy continues to march onward. So, we pray and trust in the Lord's promises.

May your mercy, LORD, be upon us;
as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:22 (NAB)

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dreamers


Here's an old photo taken probably in 1952 of the Abraham Lincoln Statue in Lincoln Park in Jersey city. I'm sitting at Abe's right foot. My brother is sitting at Abe's left foot. A bunch of dreamers!


Thursday, March 05, 2020

The Irish In Me



My last name is Marzec because I married a man from Brooklyn whose parents came from Poland. So while he is definitely an American, he grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn—which is a lot like being in Poland. He went to a Catholic bilingual school (English and Polish). Marzec translates into the month of March in Polish. You can find it on a Polish calendar. 

I’m not Polish. On my mother’s side I’m Czech and Slovak. Those countries are close enough to Poland so that some of the words are similar. At the time my mother’s parents left their home country it was part of the Austrian Empire. However, my grandfather said he lived near Prague. Thanks to Ancestry, I know the name of the town where my grandmother was baptized and that she came to the United States when she was three years old. She and my grandfather met in this country and had seven children. My mother was Daughter #2.  

My paternal grandparents were Irish and German. This makes me a mere one quarter Irish, but as luck would have it, I resemble the Irish side of the family—except for my height which undoubtedly came from the German genes because my father’s relatives were all rather slight leprechauns.

With the exception of my German grandmother, all my predecessors were Catholic. Unfortunately, my Irish Catholic grandfather could not marry my German Protestant grandmother in the church. They were married in the vestibule. (That was a long time ago. Catholics can now marry non-Catholics in the church.) My Irish Catholic great aunts were responsible for making sure my father and his siblings received the sacraments.

Genetically, I’m a mongrel. My daughters are even more homogenized since they are half Polish.

Yet, somehow it is the Irish part of me that I feel most at home with—the Irish wit, songs, legends, and myths. That’s why I’ve written three books with Irish themes, Irons in the Fire, Prince of the Mist, and Kiss of Blarney. 

Hubby asked me to marry him on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. Daughter #3’s birthday comes close to St. Patrick’s Day. 

Good reasons to celebrate! That’s why we always enjoy corned beef and soda bread at this time of year, but no kielbasi. :-)