Archive for the ‘Silver Lining’ Category

Service of Looking on the Bright Side

Monday, March 10th, 2014


When things aren’t going my way I try to look for the bright side—there’s so often a silver lining if not for me, then for someone. It helps divert a train of thought headed towards gloom.

Lighten Up

Feeling exhausted because you lost an hour due to the Daylight Savings time change? Some will be grateful to leave work in daylight.

Park It

Those who park on city streets on the east coast must celebrate this difficult winter. They’ve enjoyed weeks of forgiveness from alternate side of the street parking rules.Alternate side of the street parking

I did this for only a short time years ago. What a rat race it was zipping out early to grab a spot and sitting in the car until 8 a.m. adding to morning chores of walking the dog and getting dressed so as to arrive at work on time. And on certain evenings there was another car deadline to add to all those at the office which involved a heart-in-throat dash back home to move the car and grab a good spot only to begin again the next day.

Quiet Mice

Speaking of rodents—as in rat races–or more precisely, mice, homes and apartments prone to these pesky mammals have benefited from the cold. I don’t know where they’ve gone but we’ve seen evidence of almost none this winter. That meant a huge savings on mousetraps. I’m chicken so we use an expensive trap. I’ve saved literally $100s in addition to not having to deal with them which is best of all.

What’s in a Name?

Idina MenzelAnyone watching the Oscars last week knows that John Travolta’s mispronunciation of singer Idina Menzel’s name—Adele Dazeem is what he called her–gave her far more traction than had he mouthed her name correctly in introducing her [photo left] and her song. I’m sure Travolta wished that people had done what the song’s title suggests: “Let it Go.” From Sunday night through the next day his faux pas was repeated far and wide on traditional and social media.

You are Cordially Invited

I love having something fun to look forward to. We’re invited to a St. Patrick’s party with appropriate food at the home of great friends whose other guests are consistently lovely too. Can’t wait!

I Can’t Believe I Did That

Pope Francis, Photo: Wikimedia.orgWhen you can’t forgive yourself for a dastardly act or mistake, think of Pope Francis who admitted to taking a cross from the open casket of his dead confessor. The cross was on the priest’s rosary. Pope Francis kept it in his pocket until his dress changed to wearing a cassock so now he hangs it from a pouch underneath it. He reaches for it when “a bad thought comes to my mind about someone,” Nicole Winfield wrote in “Pope confesses he stole his late confessor’s cross in hopes of having half as much mercy” that I read in her Associated Press story on the Minneapolis Star Tribune website.

If things aren’t dire or excessively bleak–in which case little but time helps—does thinking of silver linings help you emerge from the blues?

lit candle

Service of Silver Linings

Thursday, September 1st, 2011


But first………….By Tuesday night, having been in the dark since Sunday at 7 am thanks to Hurricane/tropical storm Irene–no water, no wc, no clean clothes, no ice, no light after 7:30 pm–we were itching for a shower. Not having coffee first thing in the morning [or at all on Sunday] was a challenge. On Sunday we never left the house between downed electric wires and flooded roads around us.

I was angry at myself as we tossed all perishables from fridge and freezer because I’d bought all those sale items that we’d never get to eat on a rainy day.

With our neighbor, we called Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation regularly to check electricity ETA. On Sunday, the computer recognized our phone number, identified our address and acknowledged that we’d registered the house as electricity-free. By Monday, our phone number was no longer “in the system.” Twice we called to confirm that we’d been customers for 18 years and to register the house. We spoke with a live American who twice put us and our phone number back in the system.

yak-yak-yak1My blood pressure boils when talk show hosts whine about the precautions Mayor Bloomberg and the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey took prior to the storm. There’s also a lot of Monday morning bellyaching about the press coverage during the height of it.

I so disagree.

transistor-radioA radio talk show host this morning sneered at his newsman who admitted he owned a transistor radio [!]. [The newsman’s home was in the dark for a short time.] The host was in Europe on vacation returning to airwaves today so he was late to put in his infuriating two cents and comments about how soft we all are and how he sleeps through 70 mph winds. Tell this to those in the flooded Catskills towns and in Denville, NJ. Amazing how some feel no empathy for others.

Had people been caught in subway tunnels and in railroad cars, had there been injuries and worse, we’d have rightly never heard the end of it. And what about putting all that equipment at risk? What would it have cost to replace it?

We get fooled into thinking that we are in total control of everything but Mother Nature has a way of showing us up. She often punishes those who flaunt her, such as the men out in kayaks during the eye of the hurricane/tropical storm. One died. They are like those who refuse to evacuate their homes when so instructed. Some never consider how they put rescuers at risk.

We sat by our transistor radio hungry for news and were grateful for it. It rained buckets all day and well into the night without letup. We obviously had no access to weather maps to learn when it would stop. We wanted to know about the return of electricity, and how bad it was out and about. Sitting in the dark, literally, makes one feel news-needy.

wcbsnewsradioMy complaint about the news coverage: News teams of major New York City-based stations [that I listen to routinely] never reported what was happening in Dutchess County or in the county directly south of ours-Putnam. Parts of this county are a 1.25 hour train ride from midtown and there are plenty of commuters here. The blessed exception: WCBS news radio. We never moved from that station once we realized this.

So where are the silver linings? There were many:

chinese-checkersWe haven’t played Chinese checkers or Gin Rummy for ages. Once we could no longer read our books with natural light [thank you dining room skylights], we lit some candles, poured a glass of red wine [which tasted especially good in the dark] and learned that my husband is the family Chinese checkers champion and I did pretty well at Gin Rummy. What fun!

On Tuesday we arrived at the dump with such a heavy, supersize bag–that my husband packed like luggage–it took two of us to carry it to the garbage slide. [We’re charged by the bag so we try to squeeze as much as we can into one. Most of the time, the staff, who grab the bag out of the trunk before we can get out of the car, know our game and charge for a few.] Seeing our load the man said, “Freezer, huh?” and punched our card for only half a bag. Then he said something silly and with great satisfaction noted to all around, “Hey! I made her smile!” I guess my expression had been pretty stormy. We were charmed by his spirit which lifted ours.

norman-rockwellAs grimy as we felt, [and no doubt looked], we took off for the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge Mass. on Tuesday. What a treat that’s well worth a detour and a visit. We had lunch in Lenox, Mass. at Zinc, another delight.

On our return we checked the downed power line tangled under a fallen tree in the woods. It hadn’t been touched. However, there was a cardboard note hanging on our front doorknob-the shape of a hotel “Do Not Disturb” sign-from Matthew Free. Mr. Free wrote in pen, “We will be here as soon as we can. Thank you. Central Hudson.” On the card, along with his name was his telephone number, which we called. He said we’d have light by Wednesday. My husband praised him and his colleagues for their hard work, acknowledged how exhausted he must feel and thanked him so much. Live voices are wonderful when you feel at sixes and sevens.

At 10 pm, a few hours after this call, in mid Gin Rummy tournament, we heard a sound and a rumble and tadah! There was light. We so appreciate being clean, doing laundry, driving on dry roads and we feel for those who are still in the dark.

How did you fare in the hurricane/storm or during a recent natural disaster? Can you share some silver linings either lately or at any time?


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