Over 2,000 miles on the exercise bike I got when I became clear I would not be going back to the gym for a while.
Somewhat improved French, thanks to Rosetta Stone.
A completely refinished doorway and surround (33 windows = 132 corners!) and renovated foyer. (See previous blog post for “before” photo.)
A well-tended garden.
Soon after my second shot of the Moderna vaccine, my Dad fell and broke his hip. I flew down and spent a few days with him while he was still in the hospital in Tulsa, when the crowds at the airports were sparse and there were no lines at the TSA. Over Mother’s Day weekend, my daughters joined me in an Airbnb not far from Dad’s, and we all got to see how much his mobility had improved and enjoy his still-sharp wit. On that trip, there were more people flying but still few airport shops and restaurants open. To celebrate Dad’s 97th birthday recently, I made the trip once more. Great to see my father doing so well, but travel is no fun now – overcrowding and understaffing everywhere. Still, I am grateful to be able to GO again!
I hope you are all enjoying the summer, and staying healthy.
Clockwise from top: The Patriarch (my Dad); my sister Daphne; her grandson, Fox; Daphne’s daughter/Fox’s mother, Emily; my daughter Jennifer; my daughter Amy; and me.
Wishing you all good things in this New Year – Love, Barbara
As this long and difficult year draws to a close, I hope you are all safe and still (relatively) sane. These are some of the activities I’ve undertaken
in the last few months:
Volunteering with the gardening crew in Ft. Tryon Park
Chipping old paint off a door frame so I can refinish it.
Today people are receiving the first doses of the vaccine against Covid. Soon the Winter Solstice will herald the return of longer days. The darkness
will begin to recede. May there be light and joy in your holiday celebrations, different though they may be in 2020.
Best wishes to all,
My hair’s getting kinda long. Zoom happy hours have taken the place of restaurant dinners with friends. Foreign travel? I’d just like to see Union Square again!
Recently my neighbors and I broke the monotony of “one day is much like another” with a stoop shoot. It was a fun afternoon of “physical distancing” (as my daughter Amy likes to say), but social interaction (from 6 feet apart). We all got a beautiful portrait out of it, for a tax-deductible gift to the Food Bank of New York. Here’s the scoop on a stoop shoot:
You can help New Yorkers in need and get a great portrait on your front steps. To reserve a session, donate $50 to Food Bank for New York City (https://www.foodbanknyc.org) and forward the receipt to [email protected].
$50 helps provide 250 meals to needy New Yorkers. In exchange, Jeff Zorabedian of JDZ Photography.com is offering a 20 minute Stoop Shoot in front of your home. Jeff will photograph you and your family from a safe distance.
Afterwards you’ll receive a link to an online gallery. Your session will include 1 high resolution file of your choice. You’ll also have the opportunity to order additional prints or files directly through the site.
For those of you who took childbirth education classes from Ellen Chuse, this is her son-in-law!
Hope you are all staying safe and sane!
Many, many thanks to all of you who have reached out by text and email to ask about my health and well-being. I hope you are all safe and sane. I am fine. It is easy for me to maintain physical distance from others since I live alone, but I would feel very lonely if not in touch with friends, family, and former clients electronically. Thinking of all of you and appreciate any communication, by any means! Love and best wishes, Barbara
My 73rd birthday! Last time in a sit-down restaurant for a while, it seems. My younger daughter Jen and her husband Tim were in NYC for the occasion, so we had a lovely dinner at Crown Shy, near the old office on Maiden Lane.
I spent Thanksgiving with my granddaughter Kendall in Charlottesville, Virginia. She’s a student at UVa but also works part-time on a farm, and I got to “labor” along side her for a few hours the day before the holiday. Our very
moist and tender turkey had been raised on that farm, and it was delicious. Kendall’s parents and one of her friends shared a great meal with us – much to be thankful for!
Kendall and the bird
Kendall and me, working on the farm. Dirty labor, but at least it did not involve bodily fluids.
I spent some wonderful September days in the south of France with my sister Daphne, celebrating her birthday in Provence and the Côte d’Azur.
Here we are on the Pont d’Avignon (no dancing)
and me in St. Tropez.
Good weather, great food, and thank goodness for GPS or we’d still be lost in the hill towns above Nice and Cannes, where our 2nd Airbnb was located amongst the ups and downs and hairpin turns that characterize the region. Kudos to my sis who drove the stick-shift Peugeot as far as Monaco!
In early April, I spent a lovely 10 days with my daughter Jen and her husband Tim in Oxford and Paris. Jen, founder and CEO of Code for America, was invited back to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford (she won an award last year; this year Nancy Lublin was honored for founding Crisis Text: brava, Nancy!) While Jen was busy with Forum activities, Tim and I explored the colleges, museums, and parks of Oxford. We took a day trip to Bath, where we toured the Roman baths, the cathedral, and the famous Pump Room. On to Paris via the Eurostar train through the Chunnel (sure beats the boat!). Jen and Tim left for California early Monday morning, but I had given myself an extra day in Paris. That night I watched Notre Dame burn from my 6th floor hotel room at 1, Quai St. Michel – an experience I will never forget and wish had never happened. I joined the throngs of Parisians Tuesday morning who lined the banks of the Seine and marveled at what had survived as we mourned what had been lost. Very kind locals who were able to comprehend some of my rudimentary French helped me navigate my way to Orly for my flight home, after I discovered the St. Michel AND the Chatelet RER C stations were closed. Quite an adventure!
Barbara at the Roman baths, Bath
I hope you all had a wonderful and not-too-stressful holiday time with family, friends, and good food – I sure did! I loved getting all your holiday cards with family photos – it’s great to see the babies become big kids and the parents appear just a little less tired and a little less uncertain as the years go by. I gotta tell you, it is a wonderful thing not to be tired all the time, and I hope you live long enough to enjoy it, as I am now. It was totally worth it, as a parent and as a midwife, but my constant refrain for half a century (my older daughter is 50 for Pete’s sake!) was “someday.” Have faith – “someday” has come for me, so hang in there. Maybe you, too, will be able to buy a half-price ticket to a Broadway matinee at the TKTS booth, go to the gym, grab a bite for lunch, then take in the play; or spend a day poking around museums or galleries. Leisurely lunches with friends = not a fantasy. Stay healthy so you can!
Good genes help – see below in the right of the photo my 94-year-old Dad. He just hand-built an oak cradle for my niece’s baby, due any day. This is just some of the family in Tulsa; my daughter and granddaughter who live 2 hours away in Arkansas (kneeling on the floor below my dad) had brought me back from their house, where I spent a day with them and my grandson (not pictured). My younger daughter and her family were with other relatives in Colorado, but I got to see both my sisters and their kids and grandkids too.
Glad to be back in NYC for the New Year, and to keep in touch with clients whom I can help. Always available by text, phone (917-686-5309) or email ([email protected]). Stay in touch!