Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lunch at Freda and Bernie's - Two Poems: Elinor's Bowl - Lady Fontaine

 Was practicing taking photos with my i Phone. Gotta remember:  Go to Left of Screen to upload photos.
 Bubby and Buddha.
Was chasing after Mailman Ken, striding up the steep hill of Cowbell, when I saw a moving, limping object up the hill and it was Ken.

He returned yesterday from physical therapy, feeling much better. He'd fallen several years ago. I'd wrin a short story called Uncle Ken and he never had time to read it.

Did you read it, I asked yesterday.

Yes, he said, shaking his head with his white hair and a cute little beard.

I was shocked.

What did you think?

It was sad, he said.

We talked a bit and I said, I'm glad you felt emotional over it. That's what a writer wants to hear.

Above are some acorns I pocketed when I walked down the hill.  Different kinds for different oak trees. And, tho, money doesn't grow on trees, I did find this quarter right on the street. I plunked it into my "change bowl" that I sculpted out of clay a dozen years ago, when I was really "into" clay.


Took a ceramics class at Abington Adult School. I made a pumpkin and a tiny bowl. I knew Sarah had something that was black and yellow. On FB she said it was a bathing suit. I think it was more like a shorts set.

Great colors, n'est-ce pas?

Couldn't resist buying tiramisu coffee at the Giant.


Freda and Bernie live about 35-40 minutes away. These 'awesome elders' invited me for lunch.

How could I refuse them?

Astronomy Night at the White House.

And tonight there's gonna be

Image result for meteor tonite
Orionid Meteor Showers.

Look who came to visit! Fontaine, aka 'Auntane' by her godsons. One of the nicest people on the planet.

Tomorrow I'll join her for a b'day celebration. Just wrote this poem for her.


A lost play of Shakespeare
was just discovered and
performed at Royal Albert Hall
in Britain.

A tragedy, the mature king of Sweden
his blond ringlets cascading
to his shoulders, meets at a
banquet, a lady from Spain
her skin dark as chocolate
smooth as a lover's kiss

He follows her out into the
dark night where, in her long
purple gown, she gazes up
at the stars. Is she talking
out loud?

I miss you honey, she calls out
to the stars. No one can ever
take your place. The king views her
profile, black hair swirling in the
breeze, a well-proportioned body
fit for a king, but would she have him?

My lady, he says, approaching,
are you the famous Lady Fontaine
from the far Atlantic that men
seek from around the world?

She turns and flashes her
blue-black eyes on him. I am
she, sir, but no man can have
me. I still grieve for the Only One
I ever loved.

He does not know, nor ever
will, that her lover was a
mystical cat, sweet-smelling
and able to change into a
ravishing man with green
sparkling eyes.

Back home in Spain, her
maidens care for their
children, little black
kittens who roam the
castle bulwarks, with the
sensitivity of the pads on
their little cat's feet.

The king of Sweden hurtles
a cry and tears his hair.
I must have you, he moans,
and reaches for her.

A struggle ensues when suddenly
the heavens burst, it rains
cats, their twisting falling bodies
saving the lady from disgrace.

She steps away from his
bloodied body, goes back
inside to the banquet table
and asks the page to join
her in some bloody red wine.

Okay, ready to visit Bernie and Freda?

The reason Bernie fell and broke his hip, he told me, was b/c his bum leg hurt and he couldn't move it properly.

His physical therapist Wendy was just leaving. It was the last home visit.

His recovery is remarkable.

Lovely Freda has a method for storing her Romaine lettuce. She rolls it up in a towel and it stays fresh for a week.

Dyou mind if I take a picture of your pantry, I asked.

Go ahead, said Freda. We have no secrets.

They shop everywhere: Costco, Nuts to You, the Italian Market in South Philadelphia.

My gift to them was one of the gourds from the Giant, plus a stretchee from Margaret Fitzpatick, physical therapist. Bernie will see Margaret to complete his PT.

She has a PhD, he said. He's very impressed by educated people. Bernie has a PhD of 89 years of Living and Learning.

Freda was giving a gift to the daughter of an Orthodox friend in Israel who had yet another child. Twas funny then to hear that in our salad we were gonna have ham, delicious ham.

Other salad stars are marinated turkey in back, Bonbel cheese, and whitefish salad they got, I believe, from a Russian grocery story at Byberry and Bustleton.

Hmmm, that's not terribly far from me.

I had mine on crackers, per Mary Ann, my nutritionist. 

Bernie had Wilbur Buds for dessert. No, I don't mind, I said, if he eats it in front of me, a person w diabetes. 

I had soft succulent juicy cantaloupe for dessert.

We all drank green tea. 

 No one - and I mean no one - can tell a story like Bernie.

Said Freda, Dyou watch TED Talks. Yes, I said. And told them about a recent talk about a 19-yo waiter who walked to the stage of a huge party at the Beverly Hills Country Club.

Taking the mic, he shushed the orchestra, and asked the room filled with hundreds of guests to "Follow me."

They evacuated the room, while a fire burned in the kitchen.

Fifteen minutes later the entire building burned down.

Freda said, A person's attention span is no more than 18 minutes.

Bernie, you're talking more than 18 minutes.

Fine with me. I hope that osmotically (via osmosis) I can learn to be a good storyteller.
Bernie talked about his time in the Navy when he was 18. Wanted to join the Marines, like my dad did, but the doctor who examined him said, You've got a hernia. Go get it operated on.

Bernie did and then joined the Navy.

He was in the engine room of a - what? - a destroyer? - and the noise was so boom-boom-loud you couldn't hear yourself think.

Years later, he needed hearing aids. His audiologist advertises in the Inquirer. I said, "He looks a lot like you." The man is 90.
We ate on lovely dishes that Freda said were getting old and tired. Sounds like me.

Met their friend Joe, retired from the Inquirer. Very nice man, who goes with Miriam, who lives at Legacy Oaks. 

Best of both worlds, said Freda, like Scott and me.

For dessert, I had huge handfuls of salted popcorn. Freda gave me her old hot-air popper, which Scott put together before leaving for work. Perfect. Mine own popcorn has way too many unpopped kernels on the bottom.

She insisted I take home a persimmon, which I'm eating right now....

Super! Pucker pucker pucker.

In the car, I listen to The Trial by Franz Kafka. Albert Camus called it something like the highest level of thinking. 

Luckily Kafka, who was Jewish, died well before the Holocaust. Read about his amazing life here.
 1883 -  1924

Image result for the trial by kafka

So, I finished Disk One in the car while driving, then FLUNG the disk into the back seat.

Scott and I searched several times for it, to no avail.

Then I went to the libe today, spoke to Adam, the librarian, who told me I'd have to purchased the entire 8-disk set for a whopping $51.

Well, sir, I was determined to find it.

I knew it was in the car. Within 30 seconds I found it. Remember, the car is in motion and things can slip and slide around.

There it was, glittering under the driver's seat.


Okay, I'm brewing some coffee now. Will write a quick poem.


How will George remember
his late wife? She was a
beauty when I knew her.
Sitting on a straight-back
chair near the stone fireplace
yelling to her hard-of-hearing
husband, arthritic fingers
settled like cross-bows in
her lap. We moved to the
dining room table where
the tuna sandwiches thrilled
my tongue. The thrill you
should know was being
with them, The Schulers.

Come and get em, George
said after climbing up the
hill to get me. They were
moving to "the old ladies'
home" as he called it. Arrayed
on the curb was a metal
General Electric fan
which worked a few years,
kitchen utensils, 33 RPMs
and a player to put them on
and Elinor's well-used bowl,
cracked on the inside, similar
to what became of our

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