Sunday, April 29, 2012


I'm on the road - Paris, London, Israel, Sicily - and may not post much until after I return on May 18 - or maybe I will.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Imagine a Wonderful World!

I heard two similar songs back to back this morning: John Lennon’s “Imagine,” and “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. I liked them both.

“Imagine” is hopeful in a utopian way:

“Imagine there’s no heaven . . . no hell below us . . . above us only sky.”

“Imagine there’s no countries . . . nothing to kill or die for . . . and no religion too.”

“Imagine all the people living life in peace.”

“Imagine . . . a brotherhood of man . . . and the world will live as one.”

“Wonderful World” is evocative, existential:

“I see trees of green, red roses too.”

“I see skies of blue and clouds of white.”

“The colors of the rainbow . . . on the faces of people going by.”

“They’re really saying I love you.”

“And I think to myself what a wonderful world.”

While I liked them both, “Wonderful World” was my favorite. Why? We don’t have to imagine or hope for it. It’s all there, in its incredible beauty, all around us all the time.

Monday, April 09, 2012

My Grandmother's Apron!

Below is a remembrance written more than 100 years ago by Sandra's paternal grandmother, Cecil May Richardson, about her grandmother, Phoebe Richardson. Cecil's mother died when she was just 2 and she was raised by her grandmother. I saw this for the first time recently and was struck by its loving, simple authenticity, evoking a time and a place and a relationship with life that is too often lost in today's world.

Phoebe Richardson was born in 1832. While she Cecil were 19th century people, their values are timeless.

My Grandmother's Apron

Just a scrap of cloth, blue and white check
or maybe flowered instead,
Gathered at the top, hemmed at the bottom
Sometimes matching a sunbonnet she wore on her head.

A basket she made as she sat in the shade
'Neath an apple tree there by the well
Of the apron she wore with a bow in the back,
As she gathered the hem in her hand.

Oh the apron my grandmother wore
Made a bonnet and cape for a doll
That she'd make from a worn paisley shawl.

Then she made it warm from the oven's heat,
And tucked it in bed - and I was
warm from my head to my feet.

Apples, pears, peaches, apricots,
red currants (she made into jell)
Ripe purple grapes-my goodness sakes,
The things that apron could hold,
And the stories that apron could tell.

Hay for the cow, weeds for the pig,
Corn for the chicks-they paid her in eggs
which she carried home in that apron so big.

It was a lifesaver too for baby chicks that had strayed
And got caught in the shade of weeds that grew tall
When the summer rain came quick and soaked each little chick,
Till more dead than alive, they were searched for
and found-then tucked in the folds of the apron she wore.

There they shivered and shook while she gently took
them into her kitchen small,
And tucked them in from their tails to their chin
And covered them with a scrap of that old paisley shawl.

Then with a wiggle and squirm and a peep and a peck,
Each chick, dry and warm was gathered up then
And taken to their mother, the hen,
In the gathered up apron my grandmother wore.

A stove lid lifter, pot holder, a duster too,
So many things with that apron she would do,
That apron with the bow in the back that my grandmother wore.

Memories of her Grandmother by Cecil May Richardson

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Stories to Ignore!

Save yourself the trouble. It’s a waste of time to pay attention to:

Suicide bombers. The only new information is the location and the number dead and maimed. And, of course, you’ll be treated to gruesome details about body parts.

Speculation about why our latest mass murderer slaughtered all those innocents. If we really knew it wouldn’t happen so often.

Predictions about when the Republican primary campaign will be settled. Unless you care, in which case – go ahead and listen to the garbage.

How much of a threat the latest Islamist to surface as a potential leader in Egypt or Libya or Mali or Syria – or wherever – is. No one knows, and we can’t do anything about it even if we did know.

Sports pundits who profess to have inside knowledge about – anything.

The latest tragedy (all too often in low-income trailer parks) caused by tornadoes. Why would you want to peak into the lives of people who are suffering?

Evidence of government malfeasance and/or private sector corruption. It’ll just reinforce your preexisting conclusion that while not everyone is a crook, it’s wise to pay close attention to people in power.