Star Trek and my childhood

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Reading about Leonard Nimoy’s death today brought back childhood memories of watching Star Trek with my parents and siblings. There weren’t many shows that we watched as a family but Star Trek was definitely one of them. Growing up we didn’t have a television in our living room so we would all pile into my parents’  bedroom to watch Star Trek.  I remember my Dad telling us my mother included to watch the show or leave but don’t talk expect during the commercials. As I remember my brother, James, was really into Star Trek. James was always challenging me to do that tricky finger thing (which for the record I still can’t do it) and he loved to say “that isn’t logical”.

James was Mr. Spock for Halloween one year. His costume had been designed by my Dad complete with “pointy ears” and a Starship Enterprise insignia. I don’t remember if James had any kind of phaser or “beam me up Scotty device” but I am thinking he did. Due to the fact that the  Halloween costumes my Dad designed were always amazing and “state of the art”.  Of course “state of the art” in the 1960’s meant  boxes, paint, big batteries, wiring and flashing lights. One year my brother’s robot costume made from boxes, a bucket and blinking lights won my brother a bicycle and his photo in the newspaper. Another year my traffic light costume had lights that flashed green, yellow and red. That same year my sister’s pumpkin costume wasn’t just a pumpkin it was a jack o lantern that lit up. A side story: my sister’s pumpkin costume was perfectly round and looked great. The problem was she was a little girl in this big orange pumpkin costume and at one point she slipped on the walkway and rolled all the way down neighbor’s driveway. She was okay but I can still remember worrying she was going to roll into our “busy” street as we called it. But my Dad’s piece de resistant was the Starship Enterprise he built in our attached one car garage.  Oh, it wasn’t a boxed model or a jigsaw puzzle it was the bridge of the Enterprise. I think my sister and I were allowed to use it but mostly it was for my brother. There was silver painted plywood, blinking lights, computer screens, all kinds of buttons and switches and charts. It was the stuff of childhood dreams and adventures. To be honest I don’t know what happened to it. Eventually the attached garage would be renovated into a family room and then my Dad’s library.

I don’t remember many of the story lines of Star Trek as they “boldly went where no man had gone before”. The one episode where some tiny creature crawled into people’s ear is still disturbing. Whenever I see a gerbil, the furry tribble  episode comes to mind. I was never a Trekkie but I saw a couple of the Star Trek movies and was delighted when the original Mr. Spock had a cameo. Oddly enough when the signs for the Renaissance Festival are displayed I always think of Star Trek. Some years ago my brother and his family lived in California and he had mentioned that advertisements for the Renaissance Festival in CA stated “no Trekkie time travelers.” 😉

Rest in Peace! Mr. Nimoy.  Your role as Mr. Spock brought many happy memories to my mind today. Praying that your family and friends may find peace and comfort in the roles you played as friend, father, husband and grandfather. Safe journey.

 

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time & treasures

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Due to recent weather events in my part of the world, my original plans for the past few days have been canceled – no district wide children’s Bible quiz on Saturday, no tours for the 9/11 Tribute Center or ladies small group on Monday and no teaching ballet this afternoon. I see that type of change in plans as having extra time. Laundry, cleaning, answering emails, finishing books for book club all fit into my regular schedule. So when extra time presents itself I try to think of something I don’t think I have time to do and get it done or I fall into the “binge watching” trap.

On Saturday I organized paperwork I will need for my 2014 taxes. I shredded stuff I don’t need and filed the rest. With a sense of accomplishment I then binge watched most of the first season of Parenthood. Sunday was a regular day. On Monday I organized my address book which consisted of very old addresses of family and friends and lots of little return address labels that I had stored in the book. I tossed out most of the written pages and simply taped the labels in the book. Yes, I do have contacts on my phone and computer but I don’t need to carry all of those people around with me. 🙂  Then I watched a couple more episodes of Parenthood finishing season one and starting season two.

On Monday evening I decided I should accomplish something else as I had extra time due to no ladies group. So I decided to clean out the small drawer in the cabinet that sits next to my favorite chair and has become the catch-all for this and that. Since it is a small drawer I always assume what I place in there well be safe because it won’t be swallowed up as it could be in a big drawer. I wasn’t surprised to see post-it notes, small pads of paper, rubber bands, paperclips, cleaning cloths for my computer, my amazon credit card and my checkbook. I was surprised by a few treasures:

  • a box of rose petals – a friend had collected the petals from the yellow rose that was placed in Bruce’s name  by the National September 11 Memorial on Veterans’ Day. Friendship is an amazing treasure.
  • a small metal kazoo – “a dad gift”. After September 11, my daughters and I purchased a gift for each other that would have been something Dad would have bought or something that reminded you of Dad. We continued that tradition for 10 Christmases and then decided to make it an optional Christmas tradition. Meghan had purchased the kazoos for Emily and I in 2013. Many years ago while on a long road trip from NY to KS a stop at Cracker Barrel had resulted in Bruce (Dad) buying kazoos for the girls. Thankfully it took a few miles for them to get the hang of it. Family and memories are treasures.
  • business card from Dith Pran – In 2005 (?) I had a telephone interview with a New York Times reporter and that reporter asked if a photographer could come to my home. A few days later a gentleman arrived at my home and began to take photos. In the course of the photo shoot, I realized that the photographer was Dith Pran, the man whose life the movie the Killing Fields is based on. We spoke of his passion to tell the next generation the story of the Killing Fields because one time was too many.  It was a totally surreal experience. There is a You tube video of his last words. Passion and purpose are another treasure.

Extra time and random treasures have been a blessing the last few days. Tomorrow is back to real life if Mother Nature allows. 🙂

I have to be honest I watched a few more episodes of Parenthood. Not sure why I never saw the show in real time. 🙂

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My year in review. The ABCs of 2014.

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year in reviewA is for arabesque. I taught one ballet class a week.

B is for book clubs. I belonged to two.

C is for children’s camp. I directed with the best team ever.

D is for Dunkin Donuts. I drank a lot of coffee.

E is for East of Eden. I enjoyed reading this John Steinbeck classic.

F is for family and friends. Fun, food and fantastic stories.❤

G is God. He is good.

H is for home. I accomplished a few items on the “to do list”.

I is for ice cream. Always a yummy treat.😋

J is for Japan. Amazing second visit.

K is for Kansas. Time spent with family.

L is for library. My daughter completed her masters in library information science.

M is for Minnesota. I spent ten days caring for my grand-nieces and nephews.

N is for National September 11 Museum. It opened in May.

O is for opportunities. I am blessed with many.

P is for PA. My new secondary residence.

Q is for quizzing. I teach in my local church and direct on the district.

S is for speaking. I spoke at 4 events including one all-day conference with my daughter.

T is for tea with Miss Carol. Always a treat.

U is for United. The airline I usually use. Flew to San Antonio, Seattle and Minneapolis.

V is for volunteering at Tribute Center. Lead and supported tours, spoke to school groups.

W is for writing. I took a writing course and now I need to get busy!

X is for eXcerise. I need to be more disciplined.😐

Y is for year. Hard to believe another year has come and gone.

Z is for zero. The number of regrets I have.

In 2015- my goals are to read and write more, watch television less, enjoy simple times with family and friends and relish in being a grandma in the near future.😊

Oh, this is random but…

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1. The other day was my mum’s quarterly care meeting. She resides in an excellent long-term care facility near my sister. Last Tuesday wasn’t a day that I could travel in that direction, so I was conferenced called in on the meeting. Everything is status quo – mum’s health is stable, she is participating in some activities, she is a delight, so cooperative. All I could think of was the Bill Crosby skit about “this is not the woman I grew up with”. Towards the end of the meeting a staff member mentioned there was a little confusion recently. Oh! It seems that they kept trying to get my mum to fill out the absentee ballot to vote. She kept insisting she couldn’t vote.  She finally informed them she isn’t a citizen. Or as my brother always said “she is an alien.” If you are a citizen, please don’t forget to vote tomorrow.

 

2. Today I spoke to a group of high school juniors and seniors from Connecticut at the Tribute Center. I actually spoke to two groups because it was 56 students and their chaperones so the group was divided in two.  The interesting thing that happens when I or any of the docents speak to groups in gallery 5 is that other visitors to the Tribute Center stand around and listen. After my first presentation as we were switching groups and I was instructing the students to sit on the floor (I was already sitting on the floor), something fell on the ground in front of me. It was a little pin that said Danish Firefighter. I glanced up and a man said “for you”.  I said to him “thank you for what you do everyday.” He nodded and left.

 

3. After the second group, a woman came over to me and said “may I give you a hug”. She hugged me and then she said “I lost my son this year. Thank you for your words.” I looked at her and said “can I give you a hug.” We hugged. 🙂

 

4. As far as fall television – I like “Madam Secretary” and “The Mysteries of Laura”.  Scandal is getting on my nerves and I gave up on “How To Get Away With Murder”. I may subscribe to HBO for the month of November to watch “The Newsroom.”