I have always liked second hand clothes, books, and furniture. I guess I even like second hand homes and I have nothing against second hand cars. The only new home we ever had was our cottage that was designed by my husband. It was a box of 768 sq.ft. Not Better Homes and Garden in design circles. It had a bathroom, 2 bedrooms and the rest was open to a kitchen and living room.There was a great deck. We spent hours on that deck.We considered ourselves professional sitters. We studied on that deck.Studied for MCAT's, studied for MBA's and planned a wedding on that deck. In the afternoon ,on a beautiful, sunny hot day, we would fight for the hammock, or put a sleeping bag on the deck floor , turn the radio on to the Cubs and take a nap.

In the town of Fremont, which was 17 miles from our cottage and the corporate headquarters of Gerber Baby Food, there was the best GoodWill. Fremont is a company town. Those corporate people didn't know when they came to Fremont that the dress code for the area was suspenders or coveralls. So GoodWill had some really nice, name brand clothes that the wives didn't feel comfortable wearing around town. So, GoodWill got them and then I got them.

My kids inherited my love for used clothing. Venice is also a great depository for used clothes. I think it follows the cycle of "what to do with Mom's clothes when she passes away",or "why did I bring these winter clothes with me when I moved here?" My kids come down with an empty suitcase and just buy everything from casual to dress clothes. Hint: The day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas are the best day for real discounts.

I've not been lucky enough to find a priceless painting at a GoodWill, but I feel as if I am being ecologically prudent by recycling some interesting pieces. Maybe some day, I'll find a real treasure so until then it's never too late to buy second hand, because you can always donate it back  if it doesn't work out.


It's another really sad day. Everyone feels the pain. That's not entirely true. We can never, God willing, never feel the pain of the parents who lost these little ones. That is what caught us all in the gut. Sad enough when adults get senslessly assinated, but these little ones, these babies who are so new. That hurts so much. We are all crying. We are all in mourning.


When we drove to our cottage, it was 214 miles,door to door. Our early cars were slow,slow and the Interstate wasn't finished . We had to go through some small towns with traffic lights and police hiding behind billboards. We traveled through Gary, Indiana with it's active steel mills spewing black stuff into the air. That's when we closed the windows and went as fast as we could. After we got our VW bus, we still couldn't go much faster and now we had a wind problem. Occasionally, there were wind restrictions for our type of vehicle and we had to take an alternative route. Once the Interstate was complete, and we had a newer, faster car and the speed limit was raised to 70, we were set-- for the first 150 miles. That's when we get off of the main road to take county roads. And then the fun began.Our dog would put his nose next to the vent and inhale the change in the smell of the air.He knew we were getting closer to what he thought of as dog heaven . No leash laws,fish to catch,cows to bark at , and ,nasty things to roll in.

We had our favorite stop for corn, a favorite farm for tomatoes and a favorite ice cream stop. We would often celebrate our dogs birthday at this ice cream palor.They celebrated with dishes of ice cream many times over a summer. If a dog ages 7 years for every human year, we tried to give them ice cream to correspond.

Winter driving was scary. Small farm towns don't have snow plows and salt trucks. When there was a lot of snow, we sometimes couldn't make it all of the way to the cottage, stopping at the beginning of our gravel road,which was about 1/4 of a mile from our front door.That's when we would park as close as we could, walk to the cottage, get a sled and skies, and empty the food and things from the car to the sled and trudge to the cottage. We hoped our water pipes weren't frozen,and the furnace pilot light would catch. Sometimes nothing worked .But we loved the adventure and the sense of roughing it. It's never too late to now appreciate the sun and warmth of where we are now,and let the snow be just a memory.


As I was falling asleep last night, I looked around the room at all of the little glows that I saw. The TV has a glow on its brand name. "Vizio" glows yellowish. Then the DVD player that the TV sits on , has a little red light that is glowing. When I turn my head to the right, I see two electronics charging and they both have a glow. One is orangey and the other greenish. I have the lights turned to the wall, so I don't see them. To the left , on the night stand, my lap top is charging and that light will go from orange to blue. The blue is a nice color. That lap top is connected to a cord that sits on the floor and has a really bright blue light. Its under the bed because it is so bright. Then on my right is my night stand and it has our phone with a red thingy glowing. I never realized how many things glow in our bedroom. I'm assuming that none of these glowing electronics will cause Cancer in later life. You never know. And since it is never too late to protect myself from these electronic night lights, I will just close my eyes and go to sleep.

Jewish Geography

You know how we play Jewish geography when we meet someone new. Well, it can happen anywhere and you don't have to be Jewish. I am not continent dropping, but my sister in law and I were meeting our travel Safari group for the first time. We sat in a circle and introduced ourselves and where we were from. I finished with my introduction and my si ster in law stated her name and where she was from. Across the circle a woman said " did you used to be Betsy Z.(After her 50th birthday, Betsy asked to be called by her given name) Elizabeth said yes. The woman said that 40 years ago, she and her husband looked at and rented an apartment in Cambridge, Mass , that Elizabeth and her husband were vacating. She remembered Elizabeth's name. All a surprised Elizabeth could say was that she hoped the apartment was clean !

Here ,in our congregation, there is a couple that years later, lived on the same street that my husband grew up on in Great Neck,Long Island. And here, also, is a cousin of my son in law. We now call each other cousin. His sister was my daughters room mate at the University of Illinois. I had never met the brother before we came here, or , remembered the last name of the room mate,until we did the Jewish geography thing.

There are a few people here from the same area that we were from, but we don't have any friends in common, that we know of.

I did have a funny thing happen at service several years ago. I was walking down an aisle and I saw a couple, our age, who just looked familiar to me. I introduced myself, only to find out, that of course I knew these people. They were the parents of my long time running buddy in Chicago. They were driving through to Naples and decided to stop over in Venice and then come to services. Now that is Jewish geography.

So, as I've said before ,it's never too late to be nice to everyone, because thay may even end up being your neighbors in Israel.

Bucket list


I never knew about bucket lists until I saw the movie. Now I have one. It’s not that long. After the things I’ve already done: Safari, Morocco, Israel, Bat Mitzvah, Moving to Paradise, High Rise living, rafting down the Colorado River, Tubing in the Russian River, etc. Now I want another trip to N.Y. For Bob’s 6o th birthday, we went for 3 days, saw 4 plays, stayed at the Plaza hotel, and ate oysters at the Grand Central Station Restaurant. I want to do that again. Then take a trip to N.O. to eat my way through all of my favorite restaurants would be good. I have Commander’s on my speed dial. I met one of the owners a long time ago , and she said to call her the next time I want a reservation. ! In the past, I made my reservations there and then my flight arrangements.

There is a definite pattern of eating here. I guess when your body doesn’t let you do the more active things you used to do, go to plan “B”, and that is to eat your way across where ever you happen to be. I must be pretty content, because I can’t think of anything else right now to put in my bucket. It is ready to over flow.

It’s never too late to appreciate the fun you had filling your first bucket list and try not to put to many restaurants in your next bucket list.

Bath Rooms

Our family grades public bathrooms. On our various road trips ,we made a lot of pit stops. Especially since we usually traveled with at least 4 kids and one or two dogs. We once traveled from Chicago to Colorado with 3 kids and 2 dogs, plus the 2 adults--in a Neon. We graded bathrooms on a scale of one to ten. Then we also determined if it was a two seater , less than a two seater or more than a two seater. Remember, we were a family of six. The high way rest stops are the best. They are always clean and patroled. Also, they have dog runs.

Gas stations were a third choice, with truck stops being given the honor of being number two in preference and they were a kids delight.There was everything in those truck stops except a ferris wheel. You could buy everthing from Stuckey's pecan rolls to Harley Davidson boxer shorts. We made long stops in these one stop places.. We didn't use the truckers facilities but you could shower,wash your clothes, and even rent a sleeping room.How cool was that.

I have a fondness for porta johns. This comes from years of road running. When you are as slow as I am, and run a marathon, it is sometimes necessary to make a porta john stop. I've heard of a runner getting locked in a porta john because a strong wind wouldn't let the door open. This could be urban legend, but it could happen. Sometimes you just need to use the facilities where there are none. Easier for some than others. I remember on a bike trip through Holland, needing to use facilities where there were none. Going deep into the woods to using a bush for privacy, I later found a tick where one shouldn't have a tick.

It's never too late to appreciate a clean rest stop and check for ticks as soon as possible.

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Latest comments

01.12 | 14:15

Safe travels. See you soon. sally

04.07 | 12:10

I read the last page first too. It’s a family curse.

22.05 | 12:38

so glad youre here mom!

29.08 | 17:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.