PERSPECTIVE (Posted on June 13; Trifecta Challenge “Alley”)

Designated location on rooftop deck 
Shortcut through the alley; 
Suddenly, senses under attack  
The city’s underbelly!
Wait to exhale…
Walk faster, closer and closer
to the distant pinpoint of light
Emerge, gasping, from the alley!
Exhale!  Inhale!  Breathe!
Breathe in, breathe out,
Revulsion recedes
Climb worn stone steps to 4th floor Hurry! Wait! Survive – ’til day’s end.  
The alley awaits!
Will I be chosen?
Thought evolves; from alley – to ‘box’ – and back 
Nausea gives way to nostalgia; Powerlessness to pride
Responsibility! Right! Privilege!
It’s 1972 – it’s 2012: years elapse; nothing changes.
Jury Duty!

Retirement 101 (originally posted on June 7, 2012)

I am new to this retirement gig.
On March 6th, after 44 years, I happily said goodbye to the corporate world:
  I said goodbye to the 2 hr. commute to Manhatten.
  I said goodbye to sleepless Sunday nights and stressful Friday executive meetings.
  I said goodbye to PC’s and Blackberrys.
  I said goodbye to red-eye flights from LAX.
  I said goodbye to global teleconferences, performance plans and progress reports.
I said hello to lazy mornings in bed with a new puppy.
I said hello to days with nothing on the schedule.
I said hello to grandsons ‘popping in’ without checking first to see if Grandma was “free”.
I said hello to whipping up breakfast, for my ‘returning-from-a-jog’ daughter.
I said hello to morning bubble baths, accompanied by the  beautiful music of backyard birds.
I bake bread on weekdays.
I go to the gym when I want to.
I realize that I don’t need to save my chores for weekends.
I take relaxed walks with my new puppy.
I take golf lessons and swimming lessons.
I knit, I play piano, I sing, I bake, I shop, and I smile.
Grandma, wife, mother, sister, puppy ‘human’, mentor, musician, gardener, homemaker, photographer, journalist, and person are  roles I can now embrace without encumbrance.
Oh yes, this retirement gig is new to me, but I’m adjusting well to the transition from my corporate, professional identity to the me I always knew was lurking inside.  I now have permission to become all that I can be.
 “Free to be you and me” has meaning once again, to this ‘old’ (only as old as I feel) dog.
I write this to enter the weekly Trifecta Challenge, using definition number 3:
1: having recently come into existence

2 a (1) : having been seen, used, or known for a short time (2) : unfamiliar
b : being other than the former or old
3: NEW:   having been in a relationship or condition but a short time <new to the job> <a new wife>

Title: Retirement 101


Family of Three (posted June 9, 2012)

I remember when we were a family of three.Dad was a tile man; a hardworking, skilled craftsman who loved his work and the pleasure it brought to others. Nick was a handsome man.

Mom was a photographer, displaying her motherly pride through the artistic expression of her photography. Eileen was a classic beauty.

We were a family of three and there were photos to prove it!

There were boxes and boxes of photos. There were snapshots and enlargements, painstakingly tinted and colored (Eileen was trying her hand at various methods of color transfer development techniques). There were beautiful photos, blurry photos, masterpieces and cast-aside ‘experiments’. Yet, all captured for posterity, precious moments in time.

I stare at a picture taken on a rooftop as daylight was dwindling. Mom was swaddling her infant in her arms. Dad gazed lovingly at us. What did they talk about up there on the roof that evening? Who took the picture? Was Dad reassuring her that their love could overcome the resistance from his Italian family, outraged because he married an Irish girl?

Another photo: the three of us, dressed in our Sunday best, smiling from our tentative perch in a rowboat. I was an excitable, doted-upon three- year-old. Mom must have known about my expected baby sister. Did they talk about the baby? Did we have a picnic lunch? Did we take the trolley or the Park Ave bus to the park?I pause on the third photo, taken later that year. I was on a beautiful pony. That day, we went to a recording booth where I sang “California, Here I Come” and “‘A’ You’re Adorable”, dedicated to my new baby sister, Eileen!

I wish I could time-travel and sit-in on our conversation. I would thank them and reassure them that I would love my sister, and later my brother; and that our special threesome would inevitably evolve to another, better model – Eileen, Nick and the three kids.

An Engineer’s Journal, June 2, 2001: Fireworks

She had expected this day for months.  After 23 years, she’d almost welcomed it.  She was prepared psychologically, emotionally, and financially, rationalizing that it offered the best of all worlds.  Her family was ready.  She was ready.

Yet on that day, there was a part of her that wanted to wish it away, and she promised herself that she wouldn’t cry, as she walked down the hall to his office.  During that brief and last encounter with him, the anticipation and sense of impending doom was put to rest, as reality smacked her (she knew it would) right between the eyes.

Those eyes were now brimming with tears, as she returned to her once-comfortable executive office to pack all that remained of her personal belongings. She called home to confirm that it was fait accompli; and as if in shock, stood alone and still at the window, staring out at the street.

It was no surprise to see Augie cruising back and forth, awaiting the verdict.  He lowered the car window, and catching her eye, gestured a questioning, “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.

Earlier that day, they’d shared lunch with a small inner circle of friends, raising their glasses; toasting to what had been and what was yet to come.  The pros and cons, were carefully weighed and openly voiced.  Hundreds of her co-workers expected their ‘news’ today, as well.  For months the general feeling had been one of helplessness and incredulity.  Today, almost dutifully, the friends awkwardly laughed, recalling happier days and promising to stay ‘in touch’, despite the inevitable cyclone of corporate ‘right-sizing’ that was headed their way.

Now that the fireworks were over, tears began to well up again (they would so often in the days to come) as she sadly motioned ‘thumbs down’ to Augie. He shrugged;  silently, knowingly offering his consolation, encouragement, and empathy, with the shared glance of an old friend.

It was at that moment, she began to comprehend how truly life-changing this would be.

An Engineer's Journal
An Engineer’s Journal

Image   (Trifecta Writing Challenge, wk. 34: Fireworks)

Evening in the Garden

In response to Prompt three of Trifecta Challenge, week 33 :

They could have waited with him

To ease the dread of the coming hours

But they sleep – weak, unaware,

Despite His enigmatic warnings.

He agonizes; he despairs 

As long-foretold events 



His mind flashes back

Tentative toddler steps

Tumbling into his Mothers arms

Foretelling tomorrow’s fall

She will be there – again – to cradle Him 

As he falls to 



On this eve, here in the garden

Friends nearby (all but one) 

He stands alone; 

On the edge of eternity

Embracing His dreaded, desired destiny

He stands alone.

He weeps.

About Those Boys…

As I set up this Blog, and establish categories that I think will become regular stopping off places, I realize that though I’ve neared the milestone of 5 posts, none of them have been specifically about my boys.  I know there will be many posts about each of them in the days to come but for now, a few words of introduction are in order – in order of their birth, the line-up of our ‘starting five’:

  • Aidan, 9
  • Dylan, 7
  • Robby, 6
  • Ryan, 4
  • Alex, nearly 6 months old!

So for now – this is my placeholder for the category “Grandsons”.  I promise there is much material to capture in this category!

We’ve Been Here Before

I am linking with the Trifecta Challenge

Week 33 Prompt Two:Write a 33-333 word response using the third definition of the following word:   score (noun)  3 a : an account or reckoning originally kept by making marks on a tally    b : amount due : indebtedness

We’ve been here before!

The lopsided score eludes explanation

A bad call; a stray pass; a failed free throw

Often, the upside is ours

Today – not so much.

We’ve been here before!


The games continue, one after another

Yesterday’s regrets finally fade

Today’s lessons enable tomorrow’s triumphs

Though outcomes are, as yet, unknown.

We’ve been here before!


The joy of the journey

The game ‘du jour’ is rejoined

Outrageous odds or easy wins

The power to persist – the privilege to play.

We’ve been here before!

by BCIJo (aka Joanne Edith)

What I Tell Myself Three Times is True

This is the first time I am linking directly with the Trifecta Challenge

Week 33 Prompt One:

Write a 33-333 word response to the following quote: “What I tell you three times is true.” by Lewis Carroll. You do not have to use the actual quote in your response, but you may if you wish.

She had to believe this would work, or it might not…

She had to convince herself that the grass was not greener in this wonderful, magical place;  despite the vibrant vistas, yellow-bricked journeys and technicolored tribulations…

She had to truly want to return to her sometimes scary, mostly mundane, but reliably black-and-white world…

She closed her eyes and tapped her sequined, ruby slippers together, three times: 

“There’s no place like home, 

     There’s no place like home, 

            There’s no place like home!”

by BCIJo (aka Joanne Edith)

Let’s get this blog going….

Since my first post, I’ve struggled with just how to get this blog going.   The paradigm of publicly posting your thoughts and musings is new to me, though the notion of writing, as a therpeutic form of introspection, is familiar and comforting.

Since June 1, as promised, I’ve followed my daughter – my role model, and through her, became involved in the Trifectra weekly word challenge.  Because I didn’t really have a blog, I had to post via Trifectra Anonymous.  Perhaps today, I can publish my first post via this blog. And (once I figure out how to do it) I’ll post my recent submissions, under the category “Pre-blog Posts”.

Hello world!

It’s the first day of June, and almost three months have passed since I happily retired from the working world, after nearly 45 years.

Supposedly, now I will have time to do all the things I said I wished I had time to do, throughout those 45 years.  The dilemma of course is for me to find a structure (that’s the engineer talking) in which to enjoy these pursuits of passion..these avocational obsessions (that’s the creative-performing artist peeking through).

I begin this blog in the spirit in which I captured my “first day of retirement” sunrise photos and thoughts (thank you, PRUDENTiAL, for the wonderful suggestion),  while embracing the delicious dilemma of where to begin.  So, in a  profound moment of clarity (and i hope to have many more), I decided that my “HealthyMom blog” daughter will be my role model.

Here we go…the world and my grandsons, await!

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