Reflections of Me: Baltimore, MD 1942

No matter how much we cried, it didn’t change anything. We still were living far away from family. My new life and my new school treated me with intolerance, indifference, and I felt more alone than ever before.

The kids at school laughed at me. I wore long cotton stockings, and they wore anklets. I couldn’t understand their accent, and they made fun of mine. The Principal of the school saw me walking down the hall one day, and under her breath, but loud enough for me to hear, she said, “New York Jew.” I’ll never forget the look of disgust on her face. My mother always told me, “Fight your own battles,” and the other thing she always said was, “Silence is golden, don’t come complaining to me.”

A few months later, I thought a miracle happened. We were sitting at the kitchen table, and my mother said, “How would you like to have a brother or sister?”

I almost fell off my chair I was so excited. I really literally fell off the chair onto the floor.

Two months later, my mother fell up the stairs on her stomach. She lost part of the afterbirth, but I had no idea what that meant. The doctor said she had to stay in bed until she gave birth. I was allowed to see her for ten minutes a day. The only person I had to talk to was the doctor who came every day, and was nice enough to ask me, “How are you today Helene? How was school?”  My father still worked nights and I was alone and invisible.

My grandmother came from New York to help after the first of the year. I got my period that January; I was eleven and a half. I thought I was dying because I bled for twenty-one days. I was prepared, I knew what to do, but after almost three weeks, alone with my thoughts, I wondered what was going to happen to me.

On February second, the man from the downstairs butcher store came upstairs and said, “I’m taking your mother and grandmother to the hospital. It’ time for the baby to come.”

Grandma left me strict and explicit instructions.

Tune in next time to find out what I had to do and what happened.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Eighties Old? I’m Not Old

At 81 I’m learning new things, or trying to. Ipad, Iphone, IMindMap, Scrivener plus doing some ebooks. I hope. I was even thinking of doing some of my Memoir stories here on my blog, called Reflections Of Me. What do you think? Too ambitious?

I’ve also started a new writing group in my senior community. We have met 4 times. I’m loving it. Giving out  handouts about characters, show don’t tell, layering, and soon we will start on scenes. We also talk about questions for Memoirs.

I’m trying the book club and the computer club, jury is still out because I have so much to do. And I have to see my great grandchildren. often! My oldest lives less than one half mile from us, in fact she and her mother are coming for dinner tonight. Her Mom is making dinner. Tomorrow, we are seeing the other two great grandchildren. Fun…

Book: I recommend Defending Jacob.

Writing Prompts:

1. The little girl sat on the floor reading, she even turned the pages as she had this whole conversation with herself.

2. The boat drifted through a deadly storm.

3. She crept down the steps to hear the voices

So, what do you think? Should I start writing my Memoir: Reflections of Me on this site? Would love to get some opinions.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Every Day Is A Gift, that’s why it’s called the present

After the heartrending tragedy at Aurora, Colorado, we should be especially grateful for our lives, our families, and all the wonderful little things that make up our day.

The smell of coffee, enjoying a bagel, having lunch with a child, grandchild, great grandchild, spouse, sibling, friend or anyone you like makes our day more enjoyable.

Seeing the sunset, feeling the evening breeze, smelling the flowers blooming everywhere, I could go on and on, but I have other things I want to talk about.

Book: I highly recommend The Underside Of Joy by Sere Prince Halversen. What a pleasure to read. Besides good writing and brought to life characters, the story is about love and loss, and the Solomon like decisions of life. I wanted to reread it as soon as I finished it.

Started a writers club in my new senior community. We are learning from each other, and I am loving it. We have been working on characters, and my homework is to do an I AM and talk about the character. Who she is, her purpose in the story, her fears and goals, description, and anything she is involved in to move the story along. Sometimes I use mind maps, IMindMap, or just put a circle on a piece of paper, draw out branches from the circle and fill in the above. This helps me brainstorm, and then I write the story in a couple of pages.

I’m also working on my writing prompts, and hope to put them in an e book soon. Three writing prompts:

1.The door crashed open, “Police.”

2. Point that camera somewhere else.

3. The experience left her shaken.

The idea is to be able to use this first line and start a story. It works and it’s a fun exercise to use for practice. Or possible for somewhere in your story.

Remember to keep love and kisses in your life.

Till next time.

Journey Back to Writing

I am taking a journey back to writing. Once you stop, it’s hard to start again. But, this time I have a goal; to finish
a book, and to work on my Memoirs. I am hoping to start a writing group within the community I live, so that we all can work on our goals together.

Another goal is to do an e book, or several. One is a book of 500 prompts. No more facing a blank page, each prompt sets up an idea or image to dive right in and start a story..

Some examples of First Lines are:
1. Did someone knock you out, or did your brains just fall out by themselves?
2. The pain is relentless and screaming for mercy.
3. The river flows as endlessly as my words.
4. Sure, I have choices, but no one gave me permission.
5.Questions opened scabs.

Just examples of using First Lines in your writing.

We have moved again, closer still to family. Love the new apartment, and the new senior community. Looking forward to things to come.

Three great grandchildren, and one on the way. I am so grateful. We should all find something to be grateful for every day.

As I said in my book, Behind The Mask, keep love and kisses in your life.
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One Year Later

Wow, it’s been a year since I’ve written something here. So let’s catch up.

My Life: Moving back to California to be near family, kids, grandkids, and now great grand children. Wonderful. I love it. We now have two, a girl and a boy, and another girl will be born in October. That’s the best life. I’m blessed and truly grateful. I had my 80th birthday last month, a truly terrific day.

My Writing: Mostly non existent. That too has to change. I’ve started my Memoir, Reflections of Me again. This time I began with, “My life ended at age 10”  At least I’ve started.

My Knitting: Getting better, learning a lot, making things that actually fit me, and having fun doing it. Right now, knitting for new great grand daughter, the baby shower is in two weeks, and I have to finish one more piece of knitting. A ball. I’ve already knitted a blanket, and a sweater and hats, and a baby bunting. Also knitting some short sleeve tops for me. Soon, starting on winter things.

I bought a Nook Color, and I love it. Buying too many books, and great apps both for me and the great grand kids…The last best book I read was, The Beautiful Girl. Took me a little while to get into the story, but then I couldn’t stop reading.  My two favorite games are Mah Jongg, and Word Twist.

Enough about me for now. Talk to you later. Have a wonderful day, make sure you take time out for you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Birthday Party Saturday

Saturday afternoon is my husband’s party. He will be 80. That is a nice round number for anyone.

We are so pleased, proud, overjoyed, and blessed with our life. Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are so special to us. Spending time with them is precious.

None of us realize how time quickly escapes us. I’ve noticed that I’ve become lazy, not writing at all. The yesterday I came across a letter written to my grand daughter in 1999, and I’m giving it to her again tomorrow. It is beautiful, in my opinion. But then, I was writing much of the time, and the words flowed easily. When I don’t write every day, it’s so much more difficult to express myself in terms of how I feel or what is important to me. I hope I will continue to write, as I’ve truly missed it.

The Genealogy is coming along. Slowly and painstakingly. It’s quite a job. Requires a lot of patience and checking and rechecking.  I have enlisted some help. We have uncovered a mystery that we are trying to solve, I suppose in time, it will check out.

In the meantime, be good to yourself and others. Always think about the caregivers in your community, they need friendship and help. Smiles help too.

Until next time, keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Memoir Introduction for Family Tree

I’ve been asked to include memoir notes for my family to read, along with the family tree information. So, what do you think?

Reflections Of Me

“My life story is my soul story. Minute memories, both wanted and unwanted, all revealed from my everyday ordinary existence.”

I thought that was a catchy beginning.

Going to the library to do research on my family tree tomorrow. I should be able to find out more about my family, which according to a cousin of mine, goes back eight or nine generations.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Being With Family

Being back in California with all the kids, grand-kids and great grand-kids is wonderful. What more can I ask for? We now have two great grand children. A girl, almost 7 months old, and a boy, just a month old. We spend a lot of time together.

Someone in our family made a simple family tree in 1996 and it wasn’t until I added my great grand children that it seems that they are the 8th or 9th generation in our family. So, I have decided to start delving into our family tree. It’s a huge project, lots of dead ends, and a lot of thought and work will have to go into getting into the records. I’m going to try.

Other than that, am looking forward to my birthday in two weeks and one day. Next year I will be eighty! Because of that and my health I have to give up on Adopt A Caregiver. I will still write about it, but I can’t run out to speak to groups like I did in Henderson. This will be an easier path for me.

I thank all of you who have responded to Adopt A Caregiver. And now, all I ask, is for you to be aware of the caregivers in your block, your work, your school, and your community. These people are lonely, scared, don’t want to talk about it, but they need a friend. Send a note, an email, just check in once in a while. Please.

If you don’t understand what it’s like to be a caregiver, read my book, Behind The Mask. I spent seven long years smiling for my husband who was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Stand in my shoes for an hour or two,  read how I felt and have compassion for those around you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Musings

I’m back after a long absence. What have I been doing? Well, after my new great granddaughter was born in November, we spent all our time over there, watching each minute new thing she did.

I also recalled that a cousin had sent us a genealogy chart of our family. I pulled it out and looked. My great granddaughter (supposedly) is the ninth generation in our family. Wow, that got me thinking.

I couldn’t knit anymore, since I had been in such a knitting frenzy for months, I developed Tendonitis in both hands. It served me right.

Could I start looking up the family tree? It’s a lot of work, looking on the computer at dozens of Census papers that are so small you can hardly read them. And then, are you sure you found the right person?

What the heck, I have the time, and obviously this is the right time in our family to do it. I knew all four of my grandparents, so that’s a help. I intend to write little stories to go with those memories.

How far back can I go? I wonder.

After all, we are all parts of our ancestors.

It’s always let go of the past, forgive and forget. Not this time, this time I want to remember all those good times with grandparents, parents, cousins, and I want to see how far back I can go and what made me the person I am.

I did a little short story about my father one day. This time was different, I put myself in his shoes, and saw why he did what he did.He wasn’t selfish, he was scared,

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Great Grand -daughter Best Medicine

Seeing my great granddaughter every day is the best medicine in the world. No matter how tired, no matter how much I’m hurting, she just worms her way into my heart . Every movement, every smile, every gas pain, is a joy to watch. She makes every day a wonderful day. A new experience.

Also getting caught up, for once, in my office, and my writing. It’s a huge job, since I have never worked on it before. I guess I am just ready now.

Going to relax now, sit and knit and be quiet. Maybe watch a movie on tv. with my husband.

He is going to be 80 this year, I will be 80 next year, and the following year, we will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary. Wow, isn’t that something to look forward to.

Happy, Healthy New year, stay safe.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene