a life well lived

Monday, March 31, 2014

For My Circle of Women Friends...

 (Mom's dist list didn't include guys yet - in time!) 

A few interesting web sites.  

I have John pull up my chair, Elsa turns off the computer studio light so I can see the screen better (I need to have my cataracts tended to one of these days), and I settle in for however long I am comfortable to check what's new and interesting.   

We found these sites in a new book by Susan Branch - GIRL FRIENDS.  Naturally, the book made me think of and want to share it with you.  Let me know what you think about them and if you have any sites to share.  I like things that somehow make me feel bigger but still cozy.   

 Love to all - G.K.

 (FYI - once Mom got her cataracts done, she didn't even need glasses!)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happy Doctor's Day!

It really is.  I started off my morning by sending an online card to the two most remarkable doctors I know - Candy & Dave Zeigler.  I spent the rest of the day thinking about the many doctors who have made my life worth living.

Especially on my mind was Dr. Michael J. Bennett, the doctor who changed my life more than any other.   

Mike Bennett came into my life when I was a practically a newly wed.   A friend recommended him when I was suffering from terrible menstrual cramps.  He diagnosed a crooked cervix, which was both the source of my pain and hampering my ability to get pregnant.  Together, we set it right with a combination of medication and exercise.  

I remember one exercise that always gave Pete a hoot - kneeling on our bed, I would put my face on the mattress and hitch up my bottom high as I could. Hardly a sexy sight, I am sure.

Mike was a sensitive, caring but strict obstetrician.  He delivered both Peter and Mike, who is named for him.  Mike Bennett's caring and care touched my life and still does. 

Mike seemed to me blessed with every grace except length of days.  In his late 30s, he ignored his own symptoms until they could not be ignored any longer.  He had cancer.  Ordered to bed rest, he had a hard time resisting being with his children.  

When Mike's beloved little girl, Meryl, beseeched him to play with her, he could not say no, even though she had a cold.  He knew the risks he took, but in his same position I would rather have a happy hour playing with my little girl than an extra month or so of dying.  He caught her cold, which turned into pneumonia and at 41, he was gone.  But not gone, if you know what I mean. 

Happy Doctor's Day, Mike!

Love to all – Mom

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thoughtlessly profound

This morning, I was talking to someone on the phone about the spring weather this weekend and about how grey and wet it is today.  Referring to a poem, I mentioned that they say March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.  Then, I went on to comment that so far we have only had to face a couple big winds this month, but nothing destructive, in spite of forecasts, and that everything that happened over the past four weeks brought forth exceptional beauty. 

The person on the other end of the line asked me to repeat what I had said, then quietly commented, "How profound.  How very profound." 

She thought I was referring to what had happened in my life, not the weather!  If I had been profound, it was without conscious thought.

Thinking about it long after our phone call ended, I realized why she had followed the train of thought down that particular path.  What was said did describe the past month.   

With my household and friends, I faced some potentially devastating forecasts.  But, as it turned out, all I had to weather has been a few strong winds, but  that is it, and everything that has happened and everyone's responses, not just just mine, has brought forth exceptional beauty. 

Love to you all.  A salmon dinner awaits.  Elsa has taken great care over the past week to have exceptional suppers.  This week saw Pete's death and memorial service 26 years ago and Ian's 41 years ago.  So every night we have some special delicacy and tell John about two fellows he never had the chance to meet, at least in this life. 

xoxoxo - Kay 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Joy Ride 03/27/00

Today was grey and gloomy.  Saturday was all bright sunshine and
pleasant.  Yesterday was the pick of the lot - a mixture of grey skies and sunshine.

The grey clouds intensified the sunlight and the sunlight threw the
spring flowers into dramatic contrast to slate skies -  a wonderful day for a drive.  I put on what now passes for my Sunday-go-to-Meeting clothes and we were off for a mid-afternoon spin. First to Bryn Athyn to see the forsythia and daffs and a very special magnolia tree. 

Elsa told me forsythia was having a banner year and I knew that our own LARGE bramble of it out back looks glorious, but I was not prepared.  It really is spectacular this year.   

On the way to gas up the car, we drove past Nina Cooper Dewee's house on Byberry Road.  I was beside myself with the glory of her forsythia, with a beautiful star magnolia towering above and behind

Then we drove down the Pike past the hundreds of daffodils skirting
the Pike and the Cairnwood/Glencairn lawns.  Brian Gunther lead bulb-planting volunteers for several years getting them all planted and his/their hard work paid off.  If you have seen it, you know what I mean.  If you haven't and you possibly can, do. 

We looped around the cathedral, down Cairncrest drive and  up to Alnwick Road.  As we were about to turn left back up to the Pike, Elsa cautioned, "Be prepared to gasp."  I had no idea what she meant until she turned and then there it was - a gasp of delight.  More glorious daffodils planted by more Brian-lead volunteers spread out under Cairnwood’s trees. 

The next drive-by was past Gail & Scott's to see their "baby" star
magnolia, blooming away like crazy.  I want a star magnolia for our back yard!  Special thanks go out to Gail, because it was her mention of the tree in bloom that got me dressed and booted outside in the first place.  Blessings on you.

It was lovely to swing past through the college.  As we entered College
Drive, we nipped past three Sunday strollers - Jonathan Rose, Kristin
King, and Ros Taylor.  They looked like they were enjoying the day to the fullest.
Further up the road, Elsa slowed to a stop past two other Sunday
strollers. It is beyond me how she can recognize people from the rear, but she knew as soon as she saw them that it was Freya Synnestvedt King and my dear friend, Aileen King Synnestvedt.  It was so uplifting to have a short gab with the two of them.  I was soaring.

Speaking of soaring, as we approached the Churchville Nature Center
reservoir, several hawks with great majestic wingspreads were joy riding the warm day's thermals.  On the return trip, a hawk swooped about 10' above our car, then hovered intensely to our right, probably checking out something resembling its supper.

Everywhere we went, nature seemed to rush forward to greet us.  A great patch of forsythia along the stretch of road between Stump Road and Gravel Hill Road looked like the grand finale of a 4th of July celebrations - rockets of bright yellow shooting off and upward.  After seeing that, we started picking out "sky rocket" bushes. 

We drove through the beautiful 18th & 19th century houses and gardens of Newtown Boro.  The trees along State Road are almost ready to fully burst into white blossoms, so close to it that we could almost hear them popping. But not quite. 

A lovely velvety look has come to the once completely winter spare tree
branches.  A few Japanese Cherries have exploded into pink, while you can feel the rest impatient to join them. 

The willows are outlined in classic spring green - a searing chartreuse that looks spectacularly dramatic against slate skies.  We'd be driving along and all of a sudden Elsa would pull into some "development," usually because of some great towering willow she'd spotted above the house tops. 

We were out for 90 minutes, but it felt like the blink of an eye.
Who knows - maybe I'll get to church before too long.  The way I feel
right now, all things are possible.

May you enjoy every moment of this glorious spring, the first in many
years that a deep frost didn't nip the magnolia blossoms or bow down the daffs before they could combine with my beloved forsythia to offer us such fabulously beautiful sights.

(Australians - enjoy the beauties of your autumn!)

Love to all of my dear friends - The Gramster