New Page-----New Day

It's never too late
leona uchitelle

Happy B day

Last night we celebrated a special birthday of  a special lady. She is 90 years old. She would be special under any circumstances, but to reach this birthday after what life threw her, is an accomplishment. She experienced Krystal nacht. She was sent away from her family on a Kinder train.She never saw her parents again. Just these things make her special, but if you didn't know this, she is still special. She drives. She doesn't need a walker. She charges up the stairs to the Bimah when called for an Aliyah. She looks like a little old lady, but one with determination and spunk. She never comes to your house empty handed. What's not to like. It's never too late that if you are looking for role models, you can choose this special lady. Happy Birthday, Else.

It's never too late
leona uchitelle

Beach Picnic

We had a picnic last night, in our dining room. We had planned to go to the beach,but some dark clouds and a threat of thunder, kept us indoors. It worked out well. Our picnic friends came to our house, we put a plastic table cloth on the table, used everything we had packed for the beach, and ate in air conditoned comfort. Then, since the rain never came, and sunset is so late, we went to the beach. It was a win win. No sand,no see me nots and for dessert, a sunset and beautiful illuminated clouds. How do those colors mix so beautifully. I've often thought that a sunset print on a dress would be so beautiful. But I would probably not actually buy a dress with those colors. They look better in the sky.

The water temperature in the gulf is heating up and after a few minutes, your body could propbably adjust. I wouldn't know, because I am at the getting my feet stage , still. But there were a number of people in the water. Kids and tourist. Maybe next beach picnic the water will be warmer and I'll go in as far as the bottom of my shorts. It's a work in progress. By the time August comes, I'll be all in. I like my water as warm as chicken soup. Wimp.

It's never too late to ask myself, every time we go to the beach for a sunset," why don't we do this more often".  I don't have a good answer.


It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Reading it forward, or not

I have noticed that I read magazines from the back forward. The pages seem to turn easier. This is when I am just browsing through a magazine, like in a doctor's office or at the beauty salon. I never took notice of anyone else doing this back to front flipping of pages.

Yesterday, during a 2 hour wait to have the doctor take some stitches out of Bob, I had time to observe a full waiting room of magazine readers. Three other people were turning pages, back to front. They were as interested in the contents of their chosen magazines as I was in the one I was flipping through.

My second observation in that waiting room is that I didn't like any of the reading material. I suspect that is why 4 of us were reading the magazines backwards. Who picks the magazines ? And why are they always so old ? I looked at a Thanksgiving "Woman"s Day" magazine and here it was a few days after Memorial Day. Bob was reading a December issue of Golfing. He doesn't golf. One of our physician's keeps children's magazines in his office. I've never seen a kid there. Another has a number of parenting mags around. My parenting days are on a different level, so either I did a good job or it is definitely too late for these magazines to help me.

When you sit in a doctors office for so long ,it's easy to become bored .It's never too late to take out your frustration on the old, well read magazine and not the harried receptionist. 



It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Memorial day

I saw an  Lowe's ad on TV the day before Memorial Day that said veterans would get a 10% discount on all purchases on Memorial Day. I'm not a coupon shopper or a sale shopper, but I thought this sounded like a good deal. So on Memorial Day , we went to Lowe's to buy some plants. That is what I wanted to use my 10% discount on.  I think Lowe's was thinking in terms of larger products. Like a refrigrator or a lawn mower. I spent about $56.00 and it took about 30 minutes of negotiating with the cashier to get my 10% discount. I even had a copy of Bob's discharge papers with me. She hadn't seen the ad. But for some reason, I was determined to get that discount. Never mind that about 6 people were in line behind me. I wanted to give Bob his discount. After all, he was in the Air Force for 4 years. He deserved his discount.

As we walked to the car with our plants, it was with  a feeling of accomplishment and patriotism  I had my reciept with $5.00 subtracted from the total. I had Bob with his discharge paper. I had my plants.It's never too late to take a stand and I stood up for Bob's 10% discount. I wonder if I can ask him to plant them for me.

It is too late
leona uchitelle

Another heart break

I was thinking about the tragic shooting in California. How ineffective our system of identifying potential mass killers are. This troubled youth had ,I am guessing, all of the professional help a parent can provide. Therapy, a parent who checked his message site to check on his mental status. Doing the right thing to have the police make a visit when Mom knew the warning signs of approaching trouble. Were the cops not trained to ask the right questions. Here is the scenario , as I play it in my head. "Hi kid. How you feeling today. Your Mom was worried that you might hurt yourself. Do you have a gun , kid. " Kid responds, "Yes ,office, I have a gun. Here is my permit. I feel fine, sir. Thank you , sir for coming. I don't have any suicidal thoughts, today. You know how Mother's worry." Cop says as he leaves,"what a polite kid. I wish all of the kids we deal with were this polite. Let's go make some drug busts."

One of the Dad's of a victim asked when will this end. I don't know. But I feel like we are like the Roman Empire and on a downward spiral. It scares me.

It's never too late to know that Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, is going to take a whole lot  more people to work at it.


It's never too late
leona uchitelle

Choose well

I was thinking about choices while I was walking Cricket. I hear statements like you can choose to be happy and it makes me wonder what other things can I choose. My health? I can choose to take what I know of my families predisposition to certain illnesses and do the things I can to not expose myself to them. This is a good choice.

I can choose my religion affiliation. I choose to remain Jewish.

I choose my life style. I choose to live a relatively simple life. Not too many frills. Maybe with the exception of my addiction to cook books. When I speed walk, I listen to the music of the movie Chicago". It has a line that I like."You can live the life you like or you can like the life you live." It then goes on to give you other choices that I don't approve of, but it's a thoughtful line.

The things that I can't choose are more powerful than the ones that I can control. That's life and as a sage once said,"it is what it is". It really is.

It's never too late to to be realistic when you decide to make choices. I choose to be right where I am, with the one I care about ,doing the things that make me happy and walking Cricket on a beautiful morning in paradise. Happiness is a good choice.

I'm OK with not being the best

I am getting better with my violin playing. It really makes me feel good to have a good lesson or a good rehearsal with our lttle orchestra. For some reason, which I can't understand, I am good at sight reading when we get a new piece. We, at our little orchestra, want to impress our new conductor. So our present conductor has choosen pieces for us to play that showcase our limited talent. I refer to our orchestra as little, because the snow birds have left and there are only 6 of us left.

No where to hide when there are only 6 players. I have learned so much. I know that I am still the low man on the talent pole, but that really doesn't bother me. It's just a fact. I remind myself that I have not been playing long and to play with a group is an acheivement initself.

I am glad that I went with doing something as outlandish as taking up an instrument at the age of 77. No reason to blame my mother for not giving me lessons as a child. I probably could have taken lessons, but I never asked to. I studied ballet, which was a secret dream of my Mothers' .She always told us that her father wouldn't let her dance . So I was her conduit for ballet.

Come to think of it, I didn't have much talent for ballet.But I loved the classes. I think I just like classes, of any kind.

It's never too late to realize that being just OK in any endevor is good enough, because at least I'm doing it. And it makes me who I am.

It's never too late
leona uchitelle

Numbers time

I didn't realize how tied to numbers I am. Every morning, I check the calendar, not only to see what I have to do, but to actually check the date. Bob has a white board, as opposed to a black board, on the door of the bathroom, and every morning ,he marks the day of the week and the date.

 At least once a day, I look at our electronic bank account. I am always hoping the figures some how are more than they were the last time I checked.

Then last night at services, our Rabbi reminded us that the first thing that Hitler did was to take our names away and give us a number. The Torah portion was Number's and this is why it is on my mind.

The point being, that we are not a number, but we have names. Even if you only hear the Biblical names once a year, they had names. Just a reminder that the Torah is not an abstract tome, but a history of people. I like that.

The first thing that I do every morning, even before I check my calendar, is look at our digetal clock to check the numbers. They are pretty low. 4:29 seems to be my time. This must be where my personal time is set.

I never wear a watch. But now that I am getting active and serious about speed walking , I wear a watch that I can't operate. It's a sport watch and there are too many things to set and push. So I just look at the last two numbers when I start and the last two when I finish and then do the math. I have a pretty good idea of how fast I went.Or slow.

It's never too late to realize that I am a slave to numbers. Now if I could remember my cell phone number.

It's never too late
leona uchitelle

I have a plan

It's getting to be Hurricane season and after watching those people fleeing from the fires out west,I wonder what I would take with me if I evacuated. I have already decided that I would take the top drawer of my two drawer file cabinet. That has our life in it. I don't know yet if I will take the pictures. I so seldom look at them,I just know that I have them. 

My check book and iPad  comes. This is a light list. What about the silver I inherited from my family. Or the beautiful china I inherited from my Mother in law. How inportant are these things"? Not so much,I am thinking.

I hope I don't have to make these choices, but I am ready.

It's never too late to have a plan.I already have a cook book about how to have gourmet meals after a hurricane and you have no electricity . I am ready.

It's never too late
leona uchitelle

The new 60

I just heard that 40 years old  is the new 20, so I am guessing that 80 is the new 60. I'm OK with that. This is great, in fact. I'm not sure what an 80 year old is supposed to act or feel like, but I do remember 60.

I was probably a few pounds lighter. But I read recently that older people should not be too thin. A little meat on the bones is a good thing. I was probably an inch taller. I still couldn't see over some meat counters. My kids were younger. I can't believe they are as old as they are. How did all of  this happen? And I worked. Why would I want to do that now.?

60 was good, but almost 80 is too , and I like being where I am. Who can complain about living in Paradise, having the same spouse, having wonderful friends who are now my family of choice. Go back to the real 6o, I don't want to .It's never too late to just be happy where you are, with who you are and in whatever stage of your life you are supposed to be in. Five pounds less wouldn't be such a bad thing though.

It's Never too late
leona uchitelle

shower heads vs Cricket

I have some interesting Nefesh B Nefesh emails to catch up on. Some American wants to know if his shower head that he is bringing will work in Israel. The answers are mixed. It must be a wonderful shower head if it can travel all of those miles. I just bought a mid priced one at Lowe's, but I don't think it needs to travel. It's not that special.

Then, some lady is taking a group to India on a Kosher cooking adventure. I'm not that fond of Indian food, but it sounds interesting. If she took a group to Italy. I'd be more excited.

I get 3 or 4 lenghtly emails from NBN almost every day, and it is always fun to scroll through them. Some people are concerned about minutia. I am sure it's their anxiety about what a big committment they have made. Mostly the emails are about cell phones, money conversions,bringing their car. It's seldom about  practical things like can I buy Huggies in Israel and can I get a job if I don't speak the language.

Getting out of your comfort zone is a big deal and if bringing your shower head makes you feel better, go for it. I was thinking of bringing Cricket. She makes us happy. It's never too late to let go of shower heads and go for the real stuff of life,your life companion. 

It's never too late
leona uchitelle


I worked myself pretty hard yesterday. I speed walked for what I hoped was three miles.  I felt pretty good about me. Then I sat down . That was a mistake. That slogan I used the other day about a body at rest stays at rest, came true. I definately wanted to stay at rest.

Today, I will slow down when I do my walk. I don't want to, but I have come to an agreement with my body. Either I do it her way , or she will whine for the rest of the week.

My daughter wants to think about walking the Jerusalem 1/2 marathon in 2015. I may be ready by then to do it with her. It would be so cool to add this to the ones that I have done.

I wonder if they have my age group. I hate to be lumped with the 65 and older group. There should be more respect for the over 80 year old participants.

One problem with thinking about this event is that there are hills in Jerusalem.... and there are zero hills here. I am thinking of using a tread mill for hill training. That is if my body agrees with this plan.

It's never too late to think that you can do anything that you used to do. Then reality sets in. Oy Vey.

It's never too late
leona uchitelle

walk time thoughts

Some people look at a blank page and don't know how to fill it. I don't seem to have that problem. For me, it's hard to narrow down what I want to spill out of my head. I tried carrying a note book around, then I tried index cards to jot down thoughts. This didn't seem to work for me. It's hard to walk Cricket,carry a poop bag and concentrate on a thought. That's when I just look at the sky and think how lucky I am to be where I am.

I was also thinking of how much better our lives are than our parents. I still marvel at how much they accomplished, how hard they worked to give us more and better than they had. I never told my parents of my appreciation. I was too young. It was all about me, then. Now I know better. Appreciating what I have is a step toward adulthood. Also, it's a step toward not blaming your Mother for lifes short comings.

Poor Cricket, she thought she was going for a walk and the thoughts got heavy. She's not much of a communicator, so she probably doesn't notice. It's never too late to appreciate my life and these memories are a blessing.


It's never too late
leona uchitelle

short , as on space.

We never seem to worry about putting a lot of people into small spaces. Because of circumstances ,that as a kid ,I wasn't concerned with, we lived for a few years in a one bedroom apartment with a Murphy bed. My Grandmother, who was dying, also lived with us, even though she had a hugh Kosher boarding house of her own. So there were 3 adults, 1  15 year old and me,8 years old. And it worked.Everyone had a space. There was never a bathroom problem. If there was, I was oblivious to it.

When we had our 2 bedroom cottage in Michigan,with one bathroom, we often had 10 to 12 kids sleeping all over the place. We just don't mind closeness. We do well  in small spaces.

I think I have mentioned that we once drove from Chicago to Estes Park, Colorado in a Neon, with 3 adults, 2 small children and 2 dogs. We look back on this as a great road trip. Now we have this big Mini van for two people. It's never had enough passengers to use all of the seats.

I often think that I would be just as comfortable in a motel room that has a fridge, as I am in a condo. I just don't need space.

This space thing came to light when I invited some people to come for Brunch. Someone asked if I have enough chairs. No, not really. But being close works for me, so I'm sure the seatless people will work it out.

It's never too late to just bring out the food and let my friends figure out the sitting arrangements. Just be careful when you go to the bathroom, you might find yourself seatless.

It's Never Too Late
leona uchitelle

Let's hear it for Blessings, YEA Blessings

There is always a way to make the Torah portion relate to what is going on around you. And this weeks portion did just that. It spoke of blessings and curses. That's the kind of week it was. I have to figure out if the blessings side of the week won.

Our small Jewish community had some illnesses, some surgeries, some falls, some simchas,some misunderstandings, some reconcilliations. Just business as usual, I guess. It's a week that was full  of living.

We are a microcosm of what happens in the world. We showed ourselves to be strong, compassionate,and caring. That's our blessing side. Maybe this side of the blessing vs curses is heavy enough to outweigh the hurtful side.

I'm simple enough that this works for me. It's never too late to listen to the Torah portion and find some message in it that applies to my life. I think the blessing side has won this week. At least it did for me.


It's never too late
leona uchitelle

hurricane blues

I am dissappointed. I wanted a rain day and we didn't get one. Back in Evanston, we occassionally had a snow day and I would save projects to do ,only on those days. The kids were off from school, which gave the house a holiday feel. I don't miss the snow, but I do miss the concept of  snow days. Rain days are a pretty close second, though. 

I've only lived in 3 states during my life time and it is only here that I have seen it rain across the street and not on my block. How can a cloud burst be so specific? Once in N.O. I saw rain falling horizontally (or so it seemed).Here when it rains that hard ,the rain puddles on the golf course and we seem to be on an island. We haven't lived here during a hurricane, and I am not anxious to experience one.

As a kid, in N.O. a hurricane was a fun thing. It was like a big time picnic. All the neighbors would come out on the street, the food flowed because the electricity was down and we didn't want the food to spoil. No one has a party like N.O. and a hurricane was as good an excuse as any. Hurricanes seemed to be less violent then. Now that I know better and have experienced what one can do to a life, I know better.

With our weather patterns changing, I am so much more aware of weather. How can a person not understand climate control. Weather , when you have suffered a loss, is not climate control, but life uncontrolled.

It's never too late to appreciate Mother nature, even when she does things you don't understand.

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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.