Thursday, May 28, 2015

the letter "M"

Simple things make simple minds?


Julius Hare says: "The GREATEST TRUTHS are the simplest…

Through pathways of the mind and the free association there-of :  We have a new restaurant in my home-of-record named Ella's, after the proprietors' mother, Ella Mae.  One day past, preparing for a case in the OR I took out an airway tool I was planning to use called an "LMA."

Get it?  Ella Mae/LMA......
I know, you wonder, what the hell is he trying to get at?  Nothing more than this; when I see an LMA from now on, I'll think of the restaurant In Morristown and then the owner's mother with whom I served on the local historical society.  And when I see the sign on Ella's I'll think of the airway adjunct, LMA.

Okay, you say, but where does "M" come into play?  M is in the middle of the alphabet, Mae is the middle name, and M is the middle letter in LMA. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Moving forward; looking back

A personal best, creating family memories and meeting new friends from a common past.  That, in a nutshell, describes our Memorial Day, and Buffalo half marathon weekend.

58 degrees Fahrenheit, we stood around for forty-five minutes, while the crowd grew from a few hundred at 0615 to 7,600 by start time.  Dressed in our running togs under cover of warmer duds to be discarded just before the start, we commented on how lucky we were; the temperature for running a half marathon couldn't have been better and would not have risen to the day's high forecast of 85 'til long after we finished .

Finish we did; Michelle, my daughter, had a personal best and even out performed her coach's recommendation.  And as for me, I cut 7 minutes off my time from last year.

This year is the fourth that Michelle has run the Buffalo half marathon and the third for me.  Buffalo became the venue of choice because  my youngest son, her brother, lives in Niagara Falls and this would be a chance to have a family get together as well as start off the year's running endeavors.  So for the past three years my wife, Michelle, and I meet at Jacob's home to reminisce, renew relationships and create memories with and for our grand children and in-laws. I related the story of how Michelle and I became involved with this running hobby just a few weeks ago and so won't reiterate it here, but if you have a burning desire to have those details you can go here;

We, both war veterans,  albeit different wars, having entered into a compact to compete and complete the 40th Marine Corps Marathon come Oct 25th, 2015 used this race as a part of our training for that upcoming commitment.  We will follow up in 3 months with a 18.12 race and then finish with the MCM. 2 months later.

It's always nice when a little serendipity pops into an already complete and satisfying occasion.  Michelle, through Facebook, has renewed/maintained a friendship with a couple who rescued her from a airline SNAFU while she was stranded in Belgium a few years ago.  It seems Marine Corps vets have a way of showing up to each other's aide at opportune times.  The husband in this couple was indeed a Marine Corps veteran.  When he saw on Face book that Michelle was going to be running in Buffalo he, being form Cheektowaga during the warmer months, messaged her and asked if they might arrange a get together while she was in town.  She invited them to join us at the Olympic restaurant for our traditional after race breakfast.  They accepted and were there when we arrived.
At introduction we, Fred and I, confirmed that we both had served in Viet Nam within a year of each other.  We had much to chat about, as you might imagine, or not.  Anyway, in the course of our talk Fred told me he had written a book about his experience in Viet Nam and suggested, no encouraged me to do the same, for no other reason than to purge myself of a troublesome time in my life.  He offered to send me a copy of his book, and emailed today to let me know that he did just that.

I look forward to reading it.

Incidentally, Fred and his wife Kathy reside in Florida during the colder NY months and, wouldn't you know, just a few hours north of our winter home in Florida.  Coincidence or fate,  I'm  grateful for making their acquaintance and hope this begins a greater friendship.  But if this be the only time we meet, I'll consider it a fortuitous gift and add it to my cache of serendipitous meetings in my life.

Truly; a memorable Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All work and no play

My wife likes the statement, "write drunk; edit sober," and she likes to attribute it to Hemingway, who, in all likelihood, did not utter those words.  We know he wrote and successfully.  We've heard of his exploits, both with spirits and the ladies.  But if he was able to write drunk and remain coherent, then kudos to him, for I find it impossible to maintain a train of thought long enough to write it down when drinking.  I admit that the flow of thoughts and ideas is prolific when I've loosened my self-conscious reticence with a drink or two or three.  Blending those thoughts into a sensible train is another matter altogether.  Hemingway not withstanding, my thoughts are running to consideration of change and it's good and bad qualities.  Change is constant and many, if not most, times I relish change; it's a chance to learn, and expand experience.  But change that is forced upon one isn't always embraced with welcoming arms.

When I took my present job there were 9 anesthesia practioners on staff.  In two years that number has shrunk to 5. Initially there was sufficient non-work time to enable me to go to the gym everyday, which was rewarding.  At the same time I found it convenient to stop by the grocery store, just across the street from the gym, when I was finished with my workout and on my way to the apartment.  With the reduction in staff the work load remains constant and so, I've been lucky to get to the gym one or two days a week and haven't been to the grocery in 3 weeks.  My satisfaction with the situation has lessened and I'm reconsidering my options/choices.  I still enjoy my work but when my days become; work, eat, sleep; repeat X 5, I feel like Jack of "all work no play" fame..  I didn't create or invite the change, but change came just the same and the attractiveness of the situation that brought me here has lessened. 

It is beginning to look as though I will be considering a change to offset the change imposed by circumstances over which I had no control.  The new paradigm doesn't work for me.  I'm at the point in my life/career where I require more off time and less work time, not vice versa.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Lunch with the cousins part II

In March of this year my cousin Janet texted me, inviting me to a luncheon at her home.  She considerately had thought that it would be a good opportunity for some of the Rochester area cousins and I to meet and reacquaint if not meet for the first time.  Knowing that I would probably be traveling back to Dansville from Morristown on a Sunday afternoon, and her home was on my way, she suggested we get-together this past April 26th.  I agreed and the date was set.

As I alluded to in my last post, Rochester has been a magnet for my family for at least 3 generations.  To wit, my sister Julie, and her husband, has lived in the area for most of her adult life.  She mentioned that the "cousins" hold these get-togethers often, and I'm happy to be included.

My GPS routed me differently than my Google search had suggested, and just as well, because it took me by way of the back roads and off the interstate.  It was a much more pleasant drive and, in fact, got me to Mark and Janet's house a few minutes earlier than the thruway route predicted.

In short order, give or take a few minutes either side of the three o'clock established date, everyone had arrived. The list of people in attendance:
1. Mark and Janet Mahoney Gregor ( Janet is my 1C1R) first cousin once removed. (daughter of Bob and Eileen Mahoney {1C }Reiss)
2. Michele Mahoney and Rick Dejonge. (Michele is my 1C1R) daughter of my first cousin Bill Mahoney.
3. Julie McCarthy (My sister) daughter of Bob and Millie LaRock
4. Bob Reiss and Shirley (Bob Married my 1C Eileen Mahoney and is dad to Janet, Bob, and {Bill; Not in attendance})
5. Bob and Kathleen Reiss (Bob is My 1C1R) son of Bob and Eileen Mahoney Reiss and Janet's brother.
6. Robin and Alex Mirzaoff (Robin is my 1C1R) daughter of my first cousin Tom Mahoney.
7. Pat Saricen Mahoney (Pat married my first cousin Tom Mahoney)
8. Tricia Mahoney (Geisler?) (Tricia is my 1C1R) daughter of my first cousin Tom Mahoney and Pat Saricen.
9. Mary Kay LaRock SSJ ( my first cousin) daughter of my uncle Tom and Mary LaRock.
10. Moi.

Most of those who came I had met only once or twice in my life time, and those occasions were either funerals and birthdays.  The exceptions, of course, my sister Julie, and first cousin Mary Kay LaRock.

Michele brought Aunt Hellen's photo albums and we spent a goodly portion of our time going over these and trying to fit pieces of our genealogical history together. Lots of fun exchanging stories.

The food was scrumptious; everyone, it seems, contributed a dish and Janet had ordered Subs.  There was no reason to leave hungry.

I look forward to more of these get-togethers.  It makes the family history real as opposed to just names on paper in a genealogy.