This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Late Night Musings

Hello! Y’all have been on my mind a lot lately. I am swamped in studies, writing, deadlines, clients, etc. (and loving every minute of it) but I’m getting anxious to get back to a routine that allows me the freedom to blog and “chat” with folks around the world. Despite the heavy demands of studies and work, I do manage to get out at least once a week to soak in nature–breathe the fresh air, walk through the forest, linger beside a lily pond, listen to the birds chirping–and be rejuvenated. Since it has been a while since I’ve shared photos, I decided to post a few for your enjoyment. These were taken this summer in Kentucky and Ohio. Enjoy. ūüôā

All Good Things Must End My Friends.

No, I’m not closing down this blog. The good thing that is ending is my three-week break from courses. This morning the classroom once again lit up as another quarter begins. This time however, I expect a more sane and reasonable work load. Last quarter just about did me in but now my toughest courses are behind me and I’m heading down the stretch to practicums and field work (to take up the entire year 2013).

As a last hoorah before the new quarter, Richard and I took a quick trip to Kentucky to spend a few days with family and friends. Other than the brutal heat (temps in the six digits each day we were there) we relaxed and enjoyed the time we had with Mom and Dad and others. I came back with a car load of plants to beautify our yard. Enjoy some of the photos I shot while in Kentucky. If the plants take root, this will give a hint of what we look forward to next year.

Enjoy your weekend. And for those of you in the US (especially central and eastern), stay cool if you can.

My potted garden thrived even while we were away!
We came home to find our first two ripe tomatoes! Yum.
The beginning of our Kentucky garden in Ohio. ūüėČ

Reminiscing on This Thanksgiving Day ~

Yes, believe it or not it is Thanksgiving Day! Later we will be heading to Kentucky to spend the weekend with my folks. All the kids are coming in with their kids. My Colorado brother and his wife are flying in. Another brother is living in Kentucky, as is the family of my deceased brother. We will most certainly eat a lot, laugh even more, enjoy the camaraderie and the chaos. This will be the first time the family, all of us, will be together since my brother’s funeral in April, 2005. Just this year, Mom and Dad celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Dad survived an aneurism that he was not supposed to survive. My son and his wife suffered a miscarriage which broke all of our hearts, but now they are preparing to foster children. Their strength and courage is awe-inspiring. My daughter, the older of two girls, stays active with her community involvement, volunteering and work. She and John are raising her son, my grandson Jacob. The younger daughter and youngest child is expecting her first child. She and Eric, along with his daughter, will also be there. We will all be in Kentucky, grieving our losses, celebrating our miracles, and loving with passion. Life is short, too short, and we know it. I am fortunate to be part of a family that celebrates life, the blessings and the curses, all of it. L’Chaim!

As I was thinking about whether to post today, it occurred to me that I began blogging two years ago this month, November 17, 2009, to be exact. I began blogging because I was going out of my mind looking for work, wondering what I should do, depressing my life away. I had no idea at the time that blogging would become such a big part of my life. Another example of someone changing one thing in his or her life and life responds in positive ways. One analogy is a plant that thrives but without water it wilts. I was wilting. When the plant is watered, a  seemingly dead  plant will spring back to life and flourish. Blogging was the water I needed, an outlet to express myself, be creative, whatever.

Blogging helped me uncover a passion, develop a life plan, form friendships across miles and continents. Now I am in grad school preparing for a career that I have talked about for years. I picked up the camera again, a hobby that I abandoned decades ago but now see as part of an income-generating side line. Life is brighter and more hopeful as I move forward. Instead of this one blog, this primary blog, I now have three blogs, and one blog set aside for creative writing–even though I haven’t touched it much . . . yet!  Those blogs are linked to this one in the menu across the top of this page, so feel free to take a “gander.”

I truly have bountiful blessings. I am a rich woman! Thank you. Gracias. Todah Rabah. Merci. Danke. Obrigado. Grazie. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

I have included a reprint of my very first post ever if you are interested. This is the one that started it all. Enjoy.

ūüôā

Well, the time has come for me to get with the times, hence this blog.  There are many reasons why this seems to be the right time for me to begin such an undertaking.  First and foremost, I enjoy the writing process.  It keeps my mind alert and focused.  As someone who has been unemployed for a year now (a sign of the times which deserves its own blog) I find that I need to do something that will keep my mind from atrophying.  There is no one subject or theme for this blog–at least not yet!  I feel sure that in time a  theme will begin to emerge, but for now I simply write what comes to my mind.

Secondly, I want to write for my family, especially my children.  I want to share myself with them.  They don’t  know my story, at least not my perspective on my story.  Do any of us really know or understand our parents unless they make a concerted effort to be open and vulnerable to our impressions and judgements?  I think that if we were to be more open, more transparent with each other — parent and child — we would find within ourselves a deeper compassion and love, one for the other.  At least I’m hoping that is the case.  Simply put, I want my children to forgive the wrongs I committed against them.  Mind you, I’m not talking about intent to do my children harm, rather the wrongs of the stronger over the weaker, the wrongs that occur when one thinks and acts out of their own pain and memories rather than with a sensitivity of how one’s behavior affects those in his or her care, in this case, one’s offspring, my offspring.

Third, this is one way to improve my writing skills, to exhibit writing “samples” etc, for prospective employers.  Bleh….  Secretly and selfishly, I really do believe I have something of value to write about.  To be a writer or blogger, one must be narcissistic enough to believe that others will be interested in what s/he has to write.  I fall in that category.  Seems arrogant to me, and in truth, that is an arrogant stance.  Sorta.  I guess.  Anyway, arrogant or not , I want folks to read my blogs.  Family foremost, friends second, future employers….well, maybe.

Bottom line, I just like to write.  I like the process.  I hate — strong word? yes, but appropriate — getting started.  So I expect that writing this will be a curse and a blessing.  I will write to my heart’s content.  I will share my world view, life experiences, lessons learned or not, trivia, profound thoughts (as I said, one has to be a bit of an arrogant narcissist to do this), and maybe more.  Please respond if you are so inclined.  Make suggestions.  Offer encouragement.  All I ask is that whatever you write, even if you vehemently disagree with me, that you express yourself truthfully but with absolute respect to me and others who might be reading this.  No name calling.  No foul language.  No insults.  Honest opinions expressed with civility.  (could write another blog on the lack of civility in these days and times.)

Looking forward to this process and your responses!

Chana/ Cecelia Rogow-Futch

Our Glorious Vacation: Days 4 and 5

Day 4: On this day we mellowed!  No traveling, no plays, no sight-seeing; we stayed home put our feet up and relaxed.  Different family members dropped in to chat, and I visited with a neighbor I hadn’t seen in years.  We sat on the back porch and talked about those mundane things that are the glue of relationships: the hot weather, our children and grandchildren, who is marrying who and will so-and-so ever get married, the jobs we love and those we don’t love so much, etc.  By mid-afternoon the summer heat won out, and we moved in doors to air-conditioned comfort, but the talk continued.  Later we prepared a simple meal of garden vegetables followed by a desert of ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup.  It was a simple day, a simple meal . . . a delicious day as we all had a wonderful, relaxing day of enjoying each other’s company. That night we slept a contented sleep which was good, because day 5 would be another travel day.

A few shots from Mom and Dad‘s place.

Day 5: The second leg of our journey took us to Detroit, Michigan. A dear friend’s son is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah and we wanted to join in the celebration.  Before we departed on our trip however, Richard and I stole away to take a stroll along the Ohio River, just a couple of miles from Mom and Dad’s place.  The mist was just rising from the dew-moistened earth, birds were chirping loudly, and we had a peaceful walk.  Due to the recent floods that left debris strewn everywhere, we were unable to follow the path down to the river.  But the walk was enjoyable none-the-less.

My brother, David, stopped in on his way to work to wish us one last good-bye.

Then once again, we hit the road!

The scenery from Louisville, Kentucky to Detroit, Michigan is quite different from what we saw traveling through Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.  Our trip this day took us through rich, fertile farm country.  It was a great day for traveling.  Except for a major traffic backup in Toledo, we had not problems.

 

We arrived in Detroit around 5:30 pm and were seated at a banquet by 6:00 pm.

For the next three days we will be visiting, feasting and celebrating with our friends. ¬†I will probably not post again until we are back home. ¬†Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you when I get back. ¬†Thanks for taking this wonderful vacation with me!

Our Glorious Vacation: Day 3

It was wonderful to wake up at Mom and Dad‘s home today. ¬†Even though it has been years since we’ve been “home,” old, familiar feelings flooded my entire being. ¬†As is customary, I was up before dawn but by the time I walked into the family room, Dad was already sitting there with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. ¬†Mom joined us shortly thereafter and with cups of coffee in our hands, we moved to the back porch, my favorite “room” in the house. ¬†Due to the fact that the porch is screened, we can enjoy the natural setting without worrying about nuisance bugs. ¬†As we sat in the cool morning air, the sun peeked over the horizon and through the tree branches illuminating a lively, beautiful yard. ¬†Birds were flying hither and thither, fighting for their turn at the feeders, and chirping loudly letting their presence be known. ¬†I looked through the screen down at the coi pond and watched the fish darting to and fro. ¬†Soon bees buzzed with activity as they began their task of gathering pollen from the multitude of flowers and plants. ¬†Although the yard appears to be a quiet haven of peace and calm, soothing body and soul, in actuality it is a busy, bustling, noisy place. ¬†And it is wonderful!

There are far too many photos to add to this post, but this gives you an idea. ¬†Later in the day different family members joined us to chat and catch up on the news. ¬†We lazed a lot, enjoyed our time, napped and relished the day. ¬†As if this wasn’t enough, Mom and Dad took Richard and me to see Kentucky Shakespeare in Central Park that evening. I remember that as a child the family would pile into the station wagon and head into Louisville to watch Shakespeare in the Park. ¬†Each summer there were three or four productions and we would catch them all. ¬†Last evening as we arrived, and started walking across the park toward the amphitheater I was flooded with wonderful memories. This is where I fell in love with Shakespeare. ¬†I couldn’t understand half of what was said, but by the end of the play I knew what the play was about. ¬†Same thing happened last night! ¬†To add to the drama, as we left home the clouds opened up and a downpour caused some worry. ¬†We got through that however, and by the time we arrived at the park the rain had passed. ¬†We had cushions to sit on so the wet benches didn’t bother us. ¬†But the rain made one last ditch effort to dampen our spirits. ¬†We laughed, reminisced, and eventually the rain cleared and we watched Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” ¬†Kentucky Shakespeare is the oldest outdoor Shakespeare festival in the country, and our family started attending the plays just a few years after the summer productions were begun. ¬†Needless to say, the four of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. ¬†Day three of our vacation was a very good day.

The following photos were taken prior to the production.  We were warned of dire consequences if we shot photos during the play, so I tucked my camera away and simply enjoyed Shakespeare in the Park.

Mom and Dad. Mom was the only one who thought to bring an umbrella!

Enjoy!

Our Glorious Vacation: Day 2

We woke up to rain this morning, tarried a bit, had some breakfast and were on the road by 9am. ¬†Due to the rain and to the fact that I was anxious to get home to Mom and Dad, we chose not to make a drive through of my university town. ¬†As we continued on our way down Interstate 64, I noticed that the terrain changed from the hilly mountains of eastern Kentucky to the rolling inclines of central part of the state. ¬†We were now in horse country, blue grass country, and home of Kentucky Bourbon. ¬†I tried to capture it all on camera, but was hampered a bit. ¬†The horse farms with their noted white fences were hidden by trees, but I got a few shots. We talked about stopping at a distillery in the “hollers” of Kentucky to get some photos, but I was anxious to get home. ¬†Following are some photos that at least suggest the beauty of this part of the state.

The following two photos are 1) the best I could get for a horse farm…no white fences ūüė¶ , and 2) horses standing in a far off field.

We saw license plates from many states at the rest areas, and plenty of signs denoting areas of interests for tourists.  The sign shown here depicts two things for which Kentucky is known!

I wish to note that we were traveling on July 4, our nation’s birthday, and felt it appropriate to be traveling through part of the country and enjoying its natural settings.

Finally, around noon, we arrived home. ¬†It was the most wonderful sight to see Mom and Dad, and my niece Lara, standing on the porch as we pulled into the driveway. ¬†It has been too long since I’ve been home. ¬†Later in the day my nephew, Andy, dropped by for a chat. ¬†Then Andy’s father, my brother David, stopped in. ¬†We chatted and laughed, remembered by brother Gary who died a few years back, and wished my brother Steve could have joined us from Colorado. ¬†Mom and Dad have a wonderful screened-in back porch which looks out over a lovely yard bursting with life: lush foliage, numerous birds of many species, a coi pond, etc. ¬†The porch is everyone’s favorite place to be. ¬†Later in the evening, we took time to watch the Washington, DC, July 4 celebrations on PBS. ¬†When that show ended, we sat out on the porch and watched the neighborhood fireworks until our heavy-lidded eyes could no longer stay open. ¬†We were ready for bed that night, and we slept well.