Sunday, January 17, 2016

Yin Liu Comes to Visit - First Snow on Jan. 17 - Cranaleith: Conversations that Matter

Bitterly cold. This bird has ruffled up his feathers to keep warm.

Our first snow today.

Just went outside to sweep off our cars... layer of frost underneath.

Yin now lives in Chalfont. Her husband Patrick Cox died last August 27 suddenly. 60 years old. Yin is only 51. Fortunately she found work at Temple University helping Chinese professionals to learn leadership skills.

Then they return to their own city. She enjoys her job.

It's not even five months since her beloved Patrick died. The two of them were home in their condo in North Wales. He hadn't felt well. Had a little cough which evidently aggravated a heart condition he didn't know he had.

However, he did know his condition was inherited and he did everything he could to prevent having a bad heart. Yin fed him nutritious foods. Pat worked out in the gym, lifting weights mostly.

I attended the funeral which was terribly handled by the funeral home. It was disgraceful actually.
Yin emailed me a poem she wrote about Pat. I told her it's an Elegy and wrote the word down for her.

Scott stopped over to say hello.

When she owned Le Coffee Salon in Hatboro, PA, our writing group met there and sampled her delicious food and beverages.

She brought me these dumplings - filled with meat, shrimp, veggies and sea cucumber.

Also this dried shrimp which is from her native town of Dalian on the west coast of China.

I also added asparagus to the mix.

To Yin's left is a painting I bought from Patrick to support his nonprofit organization. Doubleclick to see it. A watermelon, a shoe, and the artist and his easel in the background.

Here's Pat's website.

Here's another blog post I wrote about Yin, when her sister and nephew visited from China.


On Friday, Jan. 15, Carole Hodges and I attended "Conversations that Matter" at Cranaleith Spiritual Center.

Right thru these doors, said one of their guides.

Everything Cranaleith does is meaningful and well-organized.

Program: Facilitator: Rick McKnight, PhD, organizational consultant and author

Presenters:  Ed McCool, Esq., Former attorney for the Navajo Nation

and Rev. J Anyabwile Bankole, pastor of Greater Mount Vernon Baptist Church

Friday, January 15, 2016, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $25 (Includes continental breakfast and lunch)

As we approach the coming of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it is appropriate to reflect on the past year’s many signs of growing discord across our nation and world. ... some Americans want to build walls to keep others out. We live in the land of opportunity if we have the right skin color, go to the right schools or live in the right neighborhoods.

 Rev. J Anyabwile Bankole, pastor of Greater Mount Vernon Baptist Church
 As one of two guest speakers, he told some hair-raising stories about growing up black in Philadelphia. Walking along the street with his sister, the cops stopped him, put him in the back of a paddy wagon, and brought him to a holding room.

He convinced them to let his sister go.

They were looking for the killer of someone. Left him alone for four hours in the holding cell with nothing to eat.

And of course there were the terrible names he was called.

He recited this poem by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, 1902 - 1967


I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,"

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.


Ed McCool, now an attorney, was brainwashed by his parents to believe various stereotypes about blacks. His family had various names they called them. When Carole Hodges sat at his table, she asked what some of those names were.

Carole is a retired teacher and I believe principal. She's used to being the only white person in her travels. I'm always so pleased when our support group draws more black people. Or other people of color.
 We sat at tables with about 8 people and discussions various questions.

We were advised that when we went downstairs for lunch to sit with different people so we could get to know them.

 The lad on the right is the reverend's son. I asked him what the initials on his sweatshirt stood for. I believe he's studying engineering at Syracuse U.
Here's Carole Hodges.

New Directions paid for the two of us to attend.

I mentioned that only after Obama was elected did I realize there were so many talented professional African Americans. Carole said it was due to Affirmative Action. 

The food as always was superb. I had a bowl of chicken veggie soup, a vegetarian quinoa casserole, a big mango-sized piece of chicken stuffed with goodthings and a salad with delicious dressing.

Harry Rothwell of Horsham is a singer.

I got emails of people bc I wanted ND to sponsor a program I'd tentatively titled Know Your Neighbors.

 Retired teacher on right now living in Mount Airy, an integrated community.
 The tall fellow is a groundskeeper at Cranaleith. They grow their own chickens and are building a new greenhouse.
Wish I'd gotten a better photo of Program Director Sister Maria. She sat at our table and told about working at a southern parish with all the prejudice against black people. At the other table is Sister Mary Trainer, whose family gave the land for Cranaleith.


 Here's our support group, New Directions.

I mentioned that the only prejudice that hit me and my friends was b/c of our mental illness, in my case bipolar disorder.

I came from a liberal Jewish family in Cleveland. My dad was manager of a women's apparel company, Majestic Specialties, Inc, and was known to hire blacks. Several of them climbed the corporate ladder to become executives.

Upon occasion, we'd have black families over to dinner, which, as kids, we really enjoyed.


Some remaining thoughts. At our table, I recommended people read American author Ta Nehisi Coates' book Between The World and Me.  Coates writes a monthly column for the Atlantic Monthly.

Letter to My Son

“Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.”

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

Image result for the life and ta nehisi coates rise of barack obama

Another excellent book is The Bridge:  The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. 


MLK Day is 30 years old!

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Image result for m l k

1929-1968. Look what he did in 39 years.

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