Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Why I Get My Flu Shot

     Enjoy listening to some madrigals. Whenever I think of madrigals, I think of my first year in college and the reason I always get my flu shot. I'm old and I'm supposed to get a flu shot, but having had the flu once, I never want to suffer through it again. The flu is a nasty virus--even for young people. I got the flu in my freshman year. I was in the prime of my life. But I got sick.
     The day I realized I was getting sick was the day I sang at the Jersey City Woman's Club with our college madrigal choir. I had signed up for the choir because I needed one more credit and I figured it would be fun to sing. We sang songs from the 1500s--all a cappella--in parts. There were lots of fa la la la la's. Our choir sounded great. 
     However, it was very, very hot in the Jersey City Woman's Club and I nearly fainted. The choir director led me to a chair and I sat through the rest of the performance. But I still had to get home, which meant taking a bus to Journal Square, then taking another bus to my hometown, and then walking a mile to the house. It wasn't difficult usually, but there was snow on the ground and it was cold. I was freezing. 
     By the next day, my entire body ached and eating wasn't particularly appealing. The one bright spot was that it was semester break, so I wouldn't miss any classes. 
     My mother mixed up a hot toddy for me, which consisted of some sort of alcohol, hot tea, lemon, and honey. She handed me her concoction every few hours. There wasn't much more she could do for me. I spent my entire semester break in bed and read Hawaii by James Michener whenever I felt like I could keep my eyes open.
     I recovered in time to begin the next semester and was fortunate that I didn't have any complications from the flu. 
    Vaccines are terrific. Doctors can't cure everything, but scientists are figuring out ways to prevent diseases. Get vaccinated!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

A Foggy Day at the Beach

     I took this photo at the North Beach on Sandy Hook last week. I like foggy days at the beach. I could hear the foghorns warning the ships. I like the sound of foghorns. As a child growing up close to the bay, I could hear foghorns on a regular basis. Now I live too far inland. 
     There is an ocean out there but the fog is hiding it in this photo. It reminds me of the future. We can't see it, but it's there. Plenty of people make predictions about what will happen, but no one really knows. They are simply guessing and they are often wrong. 
     The future is out there, but we have today. Make today count. 💗

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Traveling A Cappella

     This is a very old photo of my siblings and I. I am the tall one with the striped shirt. My brother made a very awesome buggy out of scrap lumber, a discarded Christmas display, rope, and old wheels. The engine was environmentally friendly, but it had limits. It worked best going downhill. 😊
     The buggy was just for fun. For genuine transportation, my family used a Rambler station wagon, which is on the right in the photo. My father used that car to get to work and back everyday. We also went to the grocery store, the doctor, and into town. For us in those days, the town was Keyport, which wasn't a big town but it had a bakery, a Chinese restaurant, and a 5 & 10 cent store, Newberry's, which was our favorite store. 
     When Dad took a vacation, we piled into the Rambler and took a long trip out to visit my grandparents in western Pennsylvania and then went into Ohio to see my aunt and cousins. 
     The station wagon did not have air conditioning. My hair became impossibly tangled in the wind whipping through the windows. While the car had a radio, it was difficult to pull in signals when driving through the mountains. Most often we sang our way to my grandparents' house. My mother led the singing. She liked to sing. Since she was in Marines during World War II, we always started off with the Marine's Hymn. They we sang the rest of the military songs, The Army Goes Rolling Along, as so forth. I always get teary-eyed when I hear those songs now. 
     Mom sang popular songs from her youth in the 1920s and the 1930s, too. I grew up knowing a lot of old songs. 
     One summer, I took accordion lessons. My parents rented a small twelve bass accordion and for ten weeks, they paid for me to learn music. When we went out to Pennsylvania that summer, the accordion went with us. I sat all the way in the back of the car with the luggage and played the accordion. That year, we all had accompaniment for our singing.
     The accordion lessons didn't last past the ten weeks. After that, the accordion school insisted my parents had to buy a huge 120 bass accordion for me. It was very expensive and also very heavy. My parents could not afford it. Also, my father took one look at the accordion and did not believe skinny little me could ever manage it. 
     So the next trip out to Pennsylvania was again a cappella, which was fine. We sang all of Mom's favorites and learned them by heart.