Life’s Unexpected Pleasures

Noticing that we had a new mail carrier, I
opened the garage door for the large package
she carried. We chatted. Then I offered her
some small snacks. She had not had lunch
and was most appreciative. A hug followed.
No time to escape her explanation that

she is a hugger through her masked face.
I did not flinch but hugged her back.
Pandemic or no pandemic. How does one
physical distance a hug? Virtually?
Later on a private walk through an
empty elementary school lot, we

reflected on the tape wrapped securely on
the playground’s equipment. Almost imagined
the shouts of children. On the ground embedded
in sand were brightly colored stones painted
by little fingers. What messages of joy and
happiness they contained. I shared their joys!

Sat on the buddy bench all alone and took
in the scene before me with clouds threatening
to open in rain at any moment. No sooner
back home when my husband announced the
grocery delivery. He said the name Heike and
asked me to come to the garage.

     

What a wonderful surprise and opportunity
to once again converse in German with a
native speaker from Mainz. She looked too young
through a masked face to have grandchildren. I
must have appeared younger to her when she
inquired when I was teaching now.

After an almost fifty year career of teaching
German, I had hung up that hat about
four years ago. She initially thought I was
a native German. For all practical purposes,
I might as well be. My name means “the
German girl” after all. She sang with a

Bach group in Germany after she learned
we had sung in Prague with the Berkshire
Choral International and with the
Syracuse Chorale. New hats now: music,
writing, blogging and reading. Shine
your brightest light: life is good.

Posted in buddy bench, children, German, hugs, mail carrier, painted rocks, wearing masks | Tagged , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Check, Check and Check!

Desktop. Check. iPad. Check.
Android. Check. German classes
connected to schools in Germany for
two hour video conferences. Check.
Why telemedicine? Check?

Teaching an old dog new tricks is
challenging! Patient portals. Check.
New app to download and practice.
I prop my devices on a music stand.
Check. Check. Check. WhatsApp??

 

Skype, Zoom, FaceTime. Check.
A question if I may: why can’t the
doctors all use the same method to
communicate with patients? In a
pandemic, we make do. Check.

Screen size on a cell phone is limited.
Squinting and peering at the postage-stamp-
size- screen, I pretend I am in
a television studio. Check. How do
doctors examine us virtually?

  

Next item on the agenda: a haircut for my
husband. Ordered a replacement kit.
My skill set remains from former days
of cutting his hair as my mother did for
my Dad even though we joked: what

hair? He would simply chuckle. Maybe
men should wear more pony tails.
The main thing: stay safe and healthy.
For now: virtual hugs for all. We hope
and pray for a return to normal. Check!

   

Posted in Android, FaceTime, iPad, Patient Portals, Skype, Telemedicine, Virtual, WhatsApp | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Hope Sustains, Hope Remains

 

Even as snow covers the ground, there
is hope of spring -it will finally arrive.
Rampant, worldwide pandemic affects
all of us; yet, there is hope, HOPE.

Look into the eyes of a child anticipating
gifts for birthdays and holidays. You see
hope. Mother Nature plays her
games this month; yet there is hope, hope.

For many, this is Good Friday when we
remember the suffering and death of our
Lord. Still, we have faith and know
He is with us today and always. Hope.

Even in these times of trouble, there remains
a floating sensation as if our burdens have been
removed. We anticipate with a sense of
calm now. For, yes, we know there is hope.

We are all in this together, playing our part.
With clasped hands, we pray this Easter. There
are signs of spring and hope: the flowers,
the buds on trees and birds building nests.

With renewed faith that a cure will be
discovered, we remain steadfast. Common
sense informs us of that cure as we hold our loved
ones close. Sustained hope, hope remains.

Posted in Easter, faith, Good Friday, hope, Mother Nature, pandemic | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments

March Madness

March Madness

by guest author, Emily Catherine, R.N. and my daughter

The time of year that would be filled with excitement now that spring is approaching and summer is right around the corner has arrived. I grew up in an area which did not have any major league sports teams, so we became the biggest fan base for our local college. March Madness was a time to fill out basketball brackets and to pick which team would win the entire tournament. I always picked my home team because home is where the heart is. It only felt right regardless of their state for the year.

Fast forward to now, and March has sadly become madness, a word that profoundly describes what the world currently feels like especially for those fighting in a war against an invisible enemy, COVID-19. We trained to be healers as Registered Nurses. When our gift of healing is threatened, weakened or damaged, fear enters into play. Fear for our patients, fear for our loved ones, fear for our friends, colleagues, and fear for our own lives. Fear has the ability to make or break us as humans. Fear is the enemy.

 

To overcome this fear, I have replaced it with faith. Faith that we were placed in these roles as healers for a reason; faith that we will come out stronger, faith that we will unite as the most powerful force on the frontline, faith that we will find peace, faith that we will comfort those during a time of greatest need because no one deserves to feel alone; faith that even when it feels like the world is crumbling down and all that’s left to do is to cry, the heart beats on reminding us that we are alive. So whatever Greater Being you believe in, or perhaps not believe in, just know that we are in this together. I am praying for all of us. In this March Madness bracket, I choose us as the winning team. Stay strong!

Posted in faith, fear, front line, March Madness, masks, PPE, Registered Nurse, the winning team | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Breakfast-Most Important Meal

Coffee black, iced. Oatmeal.
Topped with fruit. Lots!
Fresh and dried berries.
Organic pomegranate juice.

Mostly the same daily.
No honeydew melon that
day. Made do with berries:
sea buckthorn, lingonberries,

  

cranberries, golden berries,
blueberries. Vitamins and
antioxidants. A breakfast
made quickly. My usual routine

however was interrupted when
my husband started preparing
his breakfast. Chatting, we danced
around one another and counters.

   

Moving quickly I topped off
my iced coffee before moving to
the table. Whoa! What was that?
My taste buds jolted to attention!

An odd taste to my coffee.
I had inadvertently poured
pomegranate juice to the iced coffee!
Laughter. Lesson learned. Yes, I drank it all!

  

Posted in coffee, golden berries, lingonberries, oatmeal, pomegranate arils, sea buckthorn berries | Tagged , , , , | 46 Comments

Gratitude for Our Healthcare Providers

 

Praise to the brave ones on the front lines!
Our healthcare workers show great courage
in the face of overwhelming odds as the
numbers soar. Supplies are less than
needs. Yet, the nurses, doctors and others
labor in overcrowded conditions fulfilling
the oath they took. Today let us pause

say a prayer for these people caring for
us under difficult circumstances. We
especially remember our RN daughter
and other relatives caring for the very
sick amongst us. May they remain healthy
in the process of treating covid-19 patients.
We are eternally grateful to all of you.

Our Prayer to all the Healthcare Providers
Lord, bless and keep them safe. They
are our loved ones who are in harm’s way.
Grant them courage and strength to
heal others. Allow them to remain
healthy and return to us soon. Help us
to be grateful to all of them. Amen.

  

 

Posted in coronavirus, covid-19, gratitude, healthcare providers | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Together

Being informed and proactive in the face
of the covid-19 crisis yet remaining calm
is not simple. It is difficult.

Healthcare providers are in our thoughts
and prayers as they work under extreme
circumstances surrounding the virus.

We make adjustments to our daily lives
and try, try, try to remain calm. We all
know someone affected by this.

Like it or not, we are in this together.
Together around the globe.
Together we collaborate and coordinate.

Together, we make decisions.
Together, publicly and privately,
we face that unknown.

Together we turn to our God.
Together we care for our loved ones.
Together we will overcome this pandemic.

So let’s walk this bumpy road of life.
Washing hands; we will fight this
virus. Together, always together.

 

Posted in covid-19, hand washing, healthcare providers, pandemic, remaining calm, together | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Together

Being informed and proactive in the face
of the covid-19 crisis yet remaining calm
is not simple. It is difficult.

Healthcare providers are in our thoughts
and prayers as they work under extreme
circumstances surrounding the virus.

We make adjustments to our daily lives
and try, try, try to remain calm. We all
know someone affected by this.

Like it or not, we are in this together.
Together around the globe.
Together we collaborate and coordinate.

Together, we make decisions.
Together, publicly and privately,
we face that unknown.

Together we turn to our God.
Together we care for our loved ones.
Together we will overcome this pandemic.

So let’s walk this bumpy road of life.
Washing hands; we will fight this
virus. Together, always together.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Music Remains

Plans for travel to Amsterdam have been cancelled.
I withdrew my name from the Berkshire Choral International.
As the corona virus numbers surpass 101,600 and grows,
most countries have been affected. My chance to sing

  

in German still remains locally with the Syracuse Chorale.
Mendelssohn and Mozart fill our home with the beautiful
music of both composers. As I commenced writing
this blog, a major disaster struck in the form of

 

a tornado in Tennessee, my old stomping grounds.
My teaching career commenced in Cookeville, the
epicenter. The ninety mile route I drove to Nashville
followed the path of the destructive force of nature.

A part of me wept as I viewed the leveled homes
and vehicles. I watched with rapt attention as our
President visited Cookeville to offer words of comfort
to those who have lost loved ones and homes.

 

For almost seven years, I taught German at
Tennessee Technological University. Two graduate
degrees completed at Vanderbilt University.
While German and music still remain, I am

content to stay home while washing my
hands singing Happy Birthday twice as public
health officials advise. It is said that music
uplifts. Even in life’s tragic times, music remains.

Posted in Amsterdam, Cookeville tornado, corona virus, Mendelssohn, Mozart, TN | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Weltanschauung – Worldview

 

Prompted by the word for the day on my tear-off calendar, weltanschauung, and a magnetic poetry kit in German, I dove right in to compose a Haiku in German and in English. Call it playing! Hope you enjoy my attempts today.

Weltanschauung ist
einfach: Liebe, Musik und
Poesie, Natur.

My worldview is quite
simple: love, music, nature,
poetry, singing.

Note: The German word Weltanschauung literally means “world view”; it combines Welt (“world”) with Anschauung (“view”), which ultimately derives from the Middle High German verb schouwen (“to look at” or “to see”). When we first adopted it from German in the mid-19th century, weltanschauung referred to a philosophical view or apprehension of the universe, and this sense is still the most widely used. It can also describe a more general ideology or philosophy of life.

 

Posted in haiku, Middle High German, Weltanschauung, word origins, word usages, worldview | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments