Where do you think ghosts and spirits hang out? I want your ghost stories!


Life is strange. The older you get, the more you are reminded that our time on earth is temporary. It doesn’t matter how important or unimportant you are.  Someday, you’re going to have to say goodbye.

The last uncle I have passed away. He went in the middle of a meal surrounded by friends and family. He was 97. The man was as healthy as a horse; unfortunately, his mind wasn’t exactly working right. He wasn’t aware of it and still enjoyed life. At least he happily died, surrounded by friends and family. I think that would be the perfect way to go.

I attended his funeral. It wasn’t too sad because 97 is stretching it. The trouble is I’m in my 60’s, so going to funerals makes me realize my time on earth is limited.  Most of my friends are still above ground with me, but I have lost a few.

After the funeral,  the family went all over the cemetery visiting dead relatives. I am not sure about this. I guess if you want to remember them, it’s a good thing to do.  I don’t know if there are spirits there or not. I’m pretty skeptical, but it wouldn’t surprise me all that much. I’m thinking if you’re a spirit you’d probably want to hang out at more interesting places. A cemetery is a little too quiet for me.

I like the idea of surviving in one way or the other after you physically die.  I mean who wants it all to come to an end? Unfortunately, none of my deceased relatives have visited me. I think the coolest thing would be get a light or sign. I’ve known people who said that really happened to them. People who are logical, intelligent and not the type to make things up.

My Great Aunt

When I was little, a Great-Aunt would visit from California,  and my dad would take her to a cemetery to visit her “friends.” I used  to tag along. My father would say, “she has more friends in the cemetery than she does in other places.” I liked looking at the headstones. There was a picture of a little boy on one of the headstones and he was holding a drum. I could count on paying a visit to the “Little Drummer Boy” when Auntie made her annual visit to Ohio.

So, when I go to the cemetery it doesn’t really bother me. What does bother me it that almost all the older relatives I used to visit in their homes are under the ground; it’s pretty surreal. It makes me realize I’m fast approaching the age my “old Auntie” was when we accompanied her on her yearly pilmigrage,

I just can’t get much satisfaction over looking at the headstone of a favorite relative. They just aren’t going to answer back when I talk to them.  I do it anyway because you never know. They just might be listening.

English: Old Jewish Headstone, Hull, East Ridi...

English: Old Jewish Headstone, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. These old Jewish headstones with Hebrew inscriptions are in the disused Hessle Road cemetery TA0828 : Hessle Road Jewish Cemetery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What do you think? Any good ghost stories?

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Baltimore Raven’s win Superbowl 47: Honest observations by a Baby Boomer Lady


Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

 

In the pre-game show Jennifer Hudson is singing with children from Sandy Hook Elementary.These are kids who lost their classmates because of violence. At least nobody is shooting semi-automatic weapons on the field. But would it really surprise anyone? Alicia Keys does her own slow version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” I liked it, but a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook were critical.

 

I occasionally watch Ohio State football games. These pro guys are like animals. They are faster, stronger, and bigger. It is faster to watch. Why do all take this game so seriously? I am not invested in this game because I don’t have many feelings about the teams. I’m interested in this game because both coaches are brothers. They look-alike too. Can you imagine the rivalry between them?

 

I feel conflicted about the Baltimore Ravens. I’m originally from Cleveland, and the old “Cleveland Browns” were sold by Art Model years ago to Baltimore. A lot of fans were really angry. At the point I’m writing this, it looks like the Ravens are going to win. After seeing them tackle each other, no wonder they all get concussions.

 

I’m liking the commercials. I usually just DVR favorite shows, and don’t watch commercials. Physical fighting between the teams. San Francisco quarterback intercepted. Raven got first down. You can almost hear them saying,” fight, fight, fight.” Ravens are smoking the 49’s. The whole thing is making me feel nervous, and I don’t care about the football game. Maybe violence makes me nervous.

 

I should’ve auditioned for the Taco Bell commercial about old people escaping from the nursing home. Bad taste!

 

Twenty- one to six at halftime. Ravens are smoking hot!

 

Half-time show

 

Why does Beyonce wear hardly any clothes. but, she has a terrific act. Is she supposed to look like a hooker? We’ve come a long way baby? At least she looks curvy. And all the girls with her are curvy too? And also looking like hookers! I feel the generation gap. I’m wondering if that was” Destiny’s Child” joining her.

 

Second Half

 

At the beginning of the second half the Baltimore Ravens make a touchdown right off the bat. It’s starting to get boring. Not boring now! Power goes off in the stadium. I’m thinking, something is going to happen that’s disastrous. So what do you think? Maybe they better do a prayer service. I’m sure the higher power, whoever or whatever it is, really cares about the outcome. The power goes back on one-half hour later Now San Francisco is only one score below in 2 minutes. I guess they needed a rest to get their act together. Is that fair?

 

Fumble by the Ravens, and recovered by the 49’s. Now the 49’s are smoking hot! Seventeen points in a four-minute 17 second stretch. Now the Baltimore Ravens are running a lot. Getting knocked down. Ouch! Pierce is leaving the field. That hurt! Now it’s getting excited. I am rooting for SF. They are cooler! And I like their uniforms better. As soon as I do, the Ravens gain momentum. Am I responsible for this?

 

Inside the two yard line, no goal. Field goal coming instead of a touchdown. They’ve got it! It’s still anyone’s game? This is the longest football game in history. (Not faster, as I originally thought when I started this post! )

 

Waiting for the end already 12 minutes and 22 seconds left! San Francisco! Touchdown! They tried a 2 point conversion, to tie the game. Failed! Baltimore Ravens get a field goal! Up by 5. San Francisco has the momentum at the two-minute warning! Time out. Lost a chance to get a touchdown. Ravens kept them away! Only 1 minute and 42 seconds left

 

 It’s finally over!! Baltimore Ravens 34-31

 

 

A little bit of heaven on the edge of The Hocking Hills


A cabin in the woods.

A cabin in the woods.

We own a little piece of property near the Hocking Hills in Ohio.  My husband’s family bought it long before I married him. It used to have a cabin, but it’s been taken down. Now, all we’re left with is its natural beauty and the same creek that’s been running through it for eons.

I remember wading in the creek in my 20’s,  but I wouldn’t do it now. I can’t put up with all the rocks on the bottom, and I’m not quite as daring as I used to be.

My husband comes alive when he gets on that property. He’ll go through all the brush  and tall grass off the path. I followed him into it the other day, and fell over some fallen branches. (I thought, what am I doing, I’m too old for this.)   Maybe my days of going through the untamed wilderness are through. I’ll just stay on the path. I think when my husband is 85, he’ll still find a way to plod through the brush and climb those paths.

After a freak storm swept through Ohio, a lot of trees fell all over the place.  The family had to hire a logger to clear out and cut down  damaged trees. Just like people, sometimes the old ones have to go to make room for the new ones.

I was afraid cutting down those trees would ruin the property, but nature has a way of coming back every year. It did look a little sparse at first, but now it’s  been replenished, and you can see a little further than before.

Last year, I was fascinated when I walked down to the creek and there were hundreds of colorful butterflies swirling all around.  It was enchanting to see them in such a natural environment.
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My husband is happiest when he is building something and working with his hands. He loves to take his garden tractor down to those hills and clear the brush. I jokingly  call him Daniel Boone. Sometimes I think he was born in the wrong century.

I like the sounds of the property. All you hear is the rustling of the leaves. It’s mostly silent. If you sit by the creek, you can hear the sounds of the water. It can be quite peaceful.

My husband is always pointing out to me where a deer probably slept. In all these years, I’ve only seen one.

Milestones

We celebrated a lot of milestones down there.  Our engagement, marriage,  our children, new decisions, jobs and heart breaks. If we’re restless,  we will hop into the car  and take a little ride to the woods.  It used to be five of us but the kids all grew up, so now it’s back to just  the two of us.

I used to bound up and down the pathways.  Now, I walk and have to stop several times before I get to the top.  I recently figured out a good old walking stick made up of a fallen limb of a tree makes the climb easier. I do wonder how much longer I’m going to be able to keep walking the several pathways my husband has carved out with his little tractor.

What is more breathtaking than trees, and a vista to look out at them?  All the wild flowers of purple, yellow, and the wispy pussy willows? In the winter it’s a little more desolate.  I know that in the spring yellow daffodils will be waiting for me. I’m grateful to the former owners of the property who planted them years ago.

Rushville in the fall.

Rushville in the fall.

Since I’ve gotten older I’ve realized material objects aren’t going to bring me joy, but I can feel happy in the quiet woods. It also helps to have my Daniel Boone by my side.

Having fun at the Harmony Project holiday event: December 19 — a biased review


When I started with the Harmony Project there were around 125 people. Now, there are 200. I didn’t really think I’d ever like singing with such a big choir, but I was wrong. We sing with one voice, and without music. It’s so much fun. We clap and rock it out too. There’s no shortage of baby boomers in the choir, but there are also people of all ages, all sexual orientations and all religions. Nobody cares about who believes what. We are all there to sing and share.

Today was our holiday concert at The Southern Theater. Almost every seat was taken. It was a rejuvenating experience.

The South High Harmony choir did a fantastic job singing for the audience. They’re kids from a high school that needed a little boost. They should be so proud of themselves. They did “We Will Rock You” with energy and heart.  It was terrific.

The Unison Project sang “You’ve got a friend” with confidence and bravado.

The audience was excellent.  They stood up more than once, and they rocked out with us. We were all one giant group.

The bike lady, got up and said how great it is that 155 teenagers is foster care will now have bikes. Members of the choir raised money in a social event in one day. It was a new idea and it worked.

What a band we have to back us up. They are all professional musicians of the highest caliber and they are good! Tonight we added strings and a mandolin. I have to say our soloists did an outstanding job.

It was fortunate that David Brown decided Columbus was the place to launch The Harmony Project. We’ve done a lot for the community. There’s so much to do.

David  talked about looking for good signs tonight. I think the audience giving us a standing ovation was a pretty good sign!

If you’re coming tomorrow, you will have a terrific time. It’s  guaranteed!

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“Esther and Me” at the CJFilm Festival Inspired Me


I’ve been attending the Columbus Jewish Film Festival for the past few weeks. I’ve really enjoyed all the films. I think independent movies are the best movies being made today.

Today I saw a short little film that really spoke to me. It is called  “Esther and Me.” It was directed by Lisa Geduldig. She made a little film about a very charismatic woman that she met in a Jewish nursing home in New York.

Geduldig meets Esther, a resident of the nursing home, when she runs an activity at the nursing home. . She strikes up a friendship with Esther, who is in her late 80’s.  She used to be a gorgeous fashion model, and then had a career as a stand-up comic. The pictures of her in her youth are particularly striking. Even in her old age,  Esther still looks pretty good.

Her marriage, if she had one, is entirely left out of the film. There is a mention of her daughter, but we don’t meet her. We do know that she has grandchildren because they make an appearance.

Why I liked this film

Although Esther has been sick, and has a shaky hand, she is still vital. She cares enough about herself to still put on makeup everyday. She still makes jokes, and is the life of the party. She enjoys going to the theater and staying up until 11:00 talking to Geduldig.

It reminds us that just because you’re getting old, you’re still a human being who wants and needs recognition, and has something to contribute. Esther seems like she’d be fun to be around. She still has style, and likes to go out. She hasn’t given up on life, and is a fighter, not a complainer!

The most exciting part of the film was when Geduldig gives Esther a chance to do her stand-up act in front of a crowd, and she gets a standing ovation.

Esther gives me some hope

The one message I got out of the movie is you’re not out of the picture until you take yourself out. Although I’m not close to being 89, I am getting close to 65.  It is a little daunting. I always do have the security of knowing I’m not alone. (The Baby-Boomers are quite a presence.)

It also served as a reminder to really talk to the people you admire while they’re still on this earth. Better yet, use your expensive gadgets to document them

Are there older people in your life who inspire you?

Lisa G & Shelley Berman

Lisa G & Shelley Berman (Photo credit: lisagsf)

What happens at a Harmony Project rehearsal? Another Harmony Project post


October 29
Tonight was another night with The Harmony Project It was also a night when storms were blowing a little stronger than usual, but nothing was going to stop me from going to that rehearsal. Good things transpire at Harmony Project Rehearsals.  I wasn’t going to miss out!

The Harmony Project is a volunteer choir that sings and shares.  Sharing is simple. You just do a volunteer project. It doesn’t require a lot of time.  At the end of a “semester,” you get to appear in a show at a great venue  in the downtown Columbus, Ohio, area.  Another bonus of being in this choir is appearing with a first class professional band with great musicians

Members of the choir love doing those shows!   It’s usually a love fest between the choir and the audience. Everyone seems to have a good time.

Tonight’s Rehearsal
I was really feeling down in the dumps when I walked in the door tonight.  I was going to sit in the back of the room. After I walked in, someone I barely knew invited me to sit down next to them.  Right away, I started feeling a little bit better.  The Idea about sitting in the back of the room was gone.  (After the rehearsal starts, we usually introduce ourselves to three people we don’t know. It takes time to know 200 people. ) After I did that, I was feeling even more upbeat.

We all started singing our first song. By the time I was done singing that song, I felt downright happy. Singing is good for the soul. There’s nothing better than singing the same words with over 200 people.

The Pied Piper of the Harmony Project
I guess you could say another one of the reasons the Harmony Project is such a success  is the Musical Director, David Brown. He is energetic and  knows how to make rehearsing fun,  and sometimes inspiring.

Tonight, one highlight was when we sang a Beth Neilson Chapman song we’re going to sing in the December show. It’s all about finding the light. The lights went out, and I thought the high winds had knocked out the power, but it was David trying to get us to concentrate on the meaning of the song.  Not only that, he pulled a member of the choir out front to share a personal experience about what it means to really see the light. She is blind, so she talked about what it means to see with your heart.

A little boy inspires me

Next thing I knew, one of the members of the choir asked, “ Is there an age limit on who can sing in the choir? We’ve got someone giving it all they got.”   I looked up and saw the most adorable little boy sitting  in an area that is above our rehearsal room.   As I watched him, I noticed how enthusiastically he was singing along. I knew he must be a choir member’s child .

Finally, the rehearsal was over. I saw the little boy out in the lobby with his mom and sister.  “How do you know all the words?” I asked.  He broke out in the biggest smile, dimples and all. “We practice the CD  in the car,” he said.  I told him he inspired me, and it was the honest truth.

All of this transpired in an hour and a half. It was worth the trip!

See the Harmony Project perform on December 19 or December 20th at The Southern Theater! Get tickets through CAPA

A few members of The Harmony Project 200 member choir.

The Circleville Pumpkin Show: Pumpkins galore!


Pumpkin Pie from a *real* pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie from a *real* pumpkin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Circleville Water Tower, one of t...

English: The Circleville Water Tower, one of the symbols of this Ohio city. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is a pumpkin show?

It’s a show showcasing Circleville pumpkins, gourds, and the people who grow them.

On the way to the pumpkin show, you might even spot some of the fall trees that are so gorgeous this Fall.  Today was a spectacular day!

My first official date with my husband in 1971 was at The Circleville Pumpkin Show;  so we went today for old time’s sake.  When he first asked me, I thought it was a little odd. I didn’t know about Circleville or pumpkin shows.

My first Circleville Pumpkin Show featured:

 *Pumpkins
*Pumpkin princesses (little and big)
* Fair Food .
* Parades

We went on the Ferris Wheel, and another shaky ride.

On the midway, a man couldn’t guess my age. I used to look very young.

My husband won a big stuffed animal for me.

Today
I  noticed all the festive houses decorated for the occasion. We only looked at the rides. Neither of us wanted to go on the Ferris wheel.

Pumpkin Festival food includes:

pumpkin pie
pumpkin ice cream
pumpkin shakes
pumpkin soda
pumpkin candy
pumpkin  Jo’s (A sloppy joe with pumpkin in it).

We ate french fries, pumpkin pie, and shared a pumpkin soda. It was weird, but it was a little different. It had a candy pumpkin in the bottom of the glass.

There was booth after booth of all sorts of stuff that I don’t really want or need. If I had money to burn I might’ve bought an artsy glass pumpkin.  I did think about getting a painted on tattoo. (Only for a minute.)

I didn’t want him to win a stuffed animal for me. He did ask. I don’t need any more stuff to clutter up my life.

I didn’t let anyone guess my age. I was afraid he’d get it right this time.

Kids like festivals
I sat down and watched some of the little kids riding on the kiddie rides.  It doesn’t take much to make a little kid happy. Just put them on a little roller coaster, or little merry-go-round.

We watched some little girls dancing in an inside stage area. They were cute, and wearing some pretty fancy costumes.  They seemed to be having a little trouble staying together, but it was entertaining. Their families looked proud.

A Crafts barn

My husband agreed to go in a crafts barn with me.  It had some pretty neat stuff: quilts, crocheted things, homemade sculptures, and very cool children’s art. That was the first time I’d spotted it

When we were going home, we reminisced about our lives together, and some of the trips we’ve taken to the Circleville Pumpkin Show. We manage to have fun each time.

Little Princess Pumpkin Parade

We left before we could watch the whole parade. There were little princesses, riding on tops of cars as far as the eye could see. Lots of bands were playing.

Go, it runs through, Saturday, October 20th.  You’ll see some crazy gourds and pumpkins. The prices of the food isn’t too bad. $2.00 for a slice of pumpkin pie is a pretty good deal.

If you go, tell me what you liked.  Did anyone else ever go on their first date at a festival?

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