Friday, February 25, 2011

I actually remembered my dream - Tree cutters - 9 pm deadline for UMHA

This photo is dedicated to my friend Jim. Private note to Jimmy: It's not so hard to make a delicious breakfast. Dyou like eggs? Eggs are one of my favorite foods. In fact, I decided not to dress them up with fresh chives cuz I wanted to taste every mouthful of pure egg.

Our last guest speaker at New Directions, Scott McMaster, is an expert on sleep, having received his RPSGT degree at Stanford.

Contrary to popular notion, he said, the REM dream state does not occur when we're in deep sleep but rather a lighter sleep. That's why we can remember our dreams.

Rare is the time I remember mine.

In fact, after I woke up about half an hour ago, I spent a few minutes perusing the online newsletter for whom I freelance. I love this paper b/c it's all about local events.

Only after I'd been reading a restaurant review, a story about a youth panel to help young offenders (I was surprised to read that a volunteer worked for our tax office) and also a vine-clearing day at the wonderful Pennypack Ecological Trust, did I remember last nite's dream.

First, tho, an introduction. I had a really hard day at the office. By this I mean I worked all day yesterday. First, at 6 am, I put a chicken in the oven and baked it. Thanks to son Dan for providing me w/these delicious chickens from his vender via email.

Next I began typing up my notes from my latest assigned article from My deadline for the story was 9 pm that very nite.

Shortly before 10, I left for the Willow Grove Giant supermarket to attend our meeting there. Fortunately Helen was back in town (they go skiing in the winter) but on the way over, a tree was being taken down on a neighboring street.

It was a sight to behold! I drove back home, grabbed my camera and took lots of shots. The tree cutters were the same guys who removed the huge maple growing in my backyard.

The most impressive sight was the guy way high up in this very tall tree. I watched to see how he was secured in case he lost his balance. But I couldn't figure it out.

The approach

The tree-cutter is up there somewhere.

A branch is being lowered down.

See the progress of the limb into the chopper?

The owner of this place is a certified arborist.

Fini. I'm nothing but a dern stump.

Hmmm, that would be a GREAT story for Patch. Oooh, I could go over and talk to them at their offices on South Warminster Road.

Coincidentally, their location used to be Hapgood's Nursery which I wrote an article about for a local paper back in the '80s. One time the heater broke in the greenhouse killing thousands of plants. "Everything was black," Hapgood said, referring to his plants.

BTW, I learned, as a Patch reporter, that when writing online, you should write in short paragraphs. Never knew that. Much easier to read.

We had a terrific meeting at the Giant. Good turnout. Helen did her usual great job. Her husband Larry is the "voice" on our answering machine announcing the next guest speaker.

Went home, gobbled up a chicken leg after dipping it in mayo, made a salad with hydroponically grown lettuce I buy at Giant and red pepper. Gotta get my salads in, and grapefruit for dessert. Eat all you can Ruthie. Ain't allowed grapefruit when you're on your immuno's on April first.

Worked on Story all day, punctuated by visit to Upper Moreland Hysterical Association where I met with former prez Joe Thomas. Great guy. Dropped my camera on the rug in his office, the slippery little devil.

Came home at 3 and worked steadily on my article, finishing it at 8. Remember the deadline is 9. Then it was time to 'upload' it on the Patch website, including photos and captions. They make it very easy. It took 38 minutes to upload the whole thing, 22 minutes before deadline.

Makeshift desk where I wrote my latest Patch article. When I got up, every joint in my body was aching.

This is my new desk. Very comfy.

View from my ground floor office.

After I finished the article, I became Ruth Deming once again and hit the phones, returning calls. Then, book in hand - The Puzzle People by one of the fathers of transplanation Thomas Starzl - went to Scott's to spend the nite. He works the nite-shift at Septa.

I find it helpful when starting a book to look at the photos and captions first. Starzl was a handsome man. Born in 1926 and alive today at 85, he was a great athlete and the son of a newspaper publisher and a nurse.

I actually spoke to him in the early 1980s when I worked for the Doylestown-based Intelligencer and was writing a story about the first pancreas transplant. Surgeon was Michael Morris of Einstein Hospital (yes, that's where my transplant will take place) who studied under Starzl.

I remember exactly when the phone rang. I answered it up front at the receptionist's (Mildred's) desk.

Intelligencer, I said.

The voice said, This is Dr Starzl.

He never asked for me but just began talking. I was thrilled and got my quote.

In the dream I'm living in a different house than I do now. But it felt like home. Suddenly I discovered there was a third floor in the house, a sort of attic, that was habitable.

In fact, I myself had utilized it many many years ago but had forgotten about it.

There were many of my papers I'd been cleaning out. I began looking thru them and said, Stop it. These papers are interesting, but it's a waste of time to look at them. Just throw em out.

I also found lots of art supplies including chalk pastels. I am an artist (come see my living room some time with my hanging mobile made of PVC pipes, my mock drapes made of styrofoam cut-outs, my painted lampshades).

In fact, right there in that forgotten attic was the lace I used for years in my artwork.

My bedroom lampshade is decorated from these lace bits that were floating around in the parking lot the Alfred Angelo Bridal factory that used to be catty-corner behind me on Davisville Road.

There was the same bowl where I kept my lace pieces. And also bits of fancy materials out of which bridal dresses are made.

In the dream I was living with a guy who was my boyfriend. It was not Scott. It was not Simon. He was a big man, dark-haired, and we had a good relationship.

However, I was throwing a party and we sat down to eat in a dark room.

The boyfriend sat two people down from me.

I noticed for the very first time that he was missing his upper joint on the ring finger of his left hand.

How's that for symbology!

Mostly, tho, I was flabbergasted that I'd never noticed it before.

Funny, but I routinely look at people's hands and check for this very oddity. My neighbor Charley across the street lost a couple fingertips when he worked in the shop at Procter and Gamble.

My cousin Mark chopped off a piece of his thumb when he was preparing a canvas to paint on. Uncle Marvin drove Mark and thumbkin to the hospital for successful reattachment.

Joe Thomas, the local historian, had all his digits.


  1. You are having great fun working for Patch.

    Keep it up and be careful walking beneath trees that men might fall out of.

  2. i'll catch them and invite them home for mischief-making. loved your last post and favorited it on FB

  3. In that case, if I am ever out your way, maybe I will climb up into one of those trees and take a fall just when you pass by below.

  4. and the Belle of Cowbell will welcome you w/open arms!!!

  5. Lots of good stuff in this post too!
    You know, I have had many dreams of suddenly finding enormous hidden wings in my own house. In my dreams I/We did not know they existed and they held all sorts of charms and treasures once discoverd, but also somehow seemed to be a portal into the past as well as the future.

    Missing finger pieces-a theme that also resonates with me as well as with my family of origin. As you may recall, both my father and my uncle were born with extra thumbs. My uncle has his removed as a young adult. My grandmother was too fearful when he was younger and would not permit it. He kept it pickled in a jar in the living room. My father kept his with him his whole life and it contrbuted to his self-consciousness. Today we consider an extra digit a minor annoyance in most cases, rather than a handicap but times were different then.

    So, when a couple of my nephews lost (and one almost lost) parts of fingers in various mishaps, and also a cousin, I decided it was the luck of the Arenson turning around and was somehow symbolic of a change in fate for all. Never saw any proof of that, but it was fun when I came up with it.

    Your posts just about always trigger something in me-whether about daily happenings, more profound issues, or of course, poetry.

  6. thanks for reading this super-long post. just showed it to clare, who's here at game nite tonite. so you're missive came right on time. what's the word i'm looking for....something like copacetic. plus a guy at the party's dtr just got a job at facebook. we all applauded.