Looking Back, Looking Ahead!

Days of Atonement, clarity, introspection, meditation, taking in the moment are ways I see the High Holidays. The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serves as a time to take stock of the past year, and think about the future.

Usually I start with creating the ritual meal. Shopping items include chicken, matza meal, noodles, apples, gefilte fish, Manischwitz Concord Grape Wine, and a round challah (getting harder, and harder to find).  The meal takes a lot of preparation and while I chop and peel I remember the past year. The lose of my parents is with me daily. I do take some comfort in knowing they are together. But this time the holiday felt different.

In the process of moving I get to look at a lot of accumulated stuff. 47 years of marriage, 31years in the same house, and only in the past month have we become “empty nesters”.  I inherited much from my parents. I found some home movies from early 1960s that I transferred onto a DVD. Technology has come a long way from a Super 8mm film camera. Back to the time of silent movies with exaggerated movements.

October begins a new chapter for the Frankel’s with the move to Fair Oaks (6 miles away).  Not so much distance, but a reset nevertheless. Still don’t know exactly how we plan to arrange our “stuff”. Luckily we have a 3 car garage, and that is where our boxes will go. Then we have another chance to decide about stuff before it finds a place in our new home. I feel excited, and I hope that enthusiasm continues.

Selling a house is not fun.  My house has never been so clean. My Libby is into the routine, and as long as I have her food ready, she jumps into the car in a moments notice.  Trying not to take feedback personally. I just hope that process does not drag on. Listed for not quite a month, and it is starting to feel old. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t go overboard and pick up every little thing.  Thinking maybe that a watched pot does not boil, a spotless house does not sell? My mother would say, “You just need one buyer, and for every house there is one buyer.” Patience. My friend Anne came over and blessed my house to release any negative spirits that may be preventing its sale.  An open house is scheduled for Sunday.  We are doing all we can!

In the coming year I plan to research my family roots. I started my family genealogy while studying for my Libraian credential in 1983. That was before Internet, computer software, and the end of the Cold War. Now there are so many ways wto proceed. New documents are coming on line all the time. I joined the Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento and participated in 2 classes. I am not sure where this will lead. Perhaps a book documenting my family history. Maybe just continued research into the Shoah and its  meaning in my life. Maybe a way to establish connections with other researchers and librarians. I hesitate to involve myself in another group, but maybe I do this for just that reason – to overcome.

I’m not usually comfortable joining a group, but being part of my 2nd Gen group encourages me to try and feel a part of something bigger than myself. I learn, find support and appreciate my CVHEN (Central Valley Holocaust Educators Network) 2nd Gen friends. After so many years, I finally have people I can count on. Photography helped to crack through my isolation. Despite the difficulties I encountered I could use my camera to refocus my thoughts. Getting out with friends, doing something, and creating is the key. I hope I don’t let my friends down. I plan to be mindful and appreciate my friends.

Thinking back over the past year I tried, but may not have succeeded in taking a step back around my family. The role of care taker may have placed me a position of power, and I may have sent the message that I know what is best. There is a delicate balance between taking care, and allowing space. I plan to be more mindful of this. The balance between decision making, and indecision. Some decisions I made were hard, yet I made up my mind for what I hope will be best for my family.

As is said at this time, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”

You Never Know… 

Time to make a change. With my parent’s death I pondered how this will affect me. Thinking I have less on my mind I found that I have been trying to find a way to simplify. One idea I had was to finally make my house exactly how I want it and remodel my house of 31 years. The other idea was moving.  Back and forth we went.  So in June I started to investigate. Live through a remodel or move.

The Internet makes looking easier. I looked out of town, and out of state, or stay in the area. I drove out to see a 55+ Del Web community, but it didn’t feel right for us. Looked at nearby community of Gold River, a group of villages with varying HOAs. A possibility, but not quite.  Then on June 4th we looked at a couple of open houses. Walked into a house that felt right, and we made an offer. Back and forth, and on Tuesday July 11th we signed the papers. Recorded on July 12th, and we have a new house. The actual move won’t happen until the first week in October. Since this actually was a fast decision I now have time to get my house ready for sale. Of course, this also means looking at all the stuff accumulated over the years of raising two kids, grandkids and job paperwork.

Should be celebrating, but instead I have been spending time at Kaiser Hospital in Roseville. You  never know. My 15 year old granddaughter had emergency surgery for appendicitis on July 11th. Turn out it was much more serious, and her appendix burst. Pulls through surgery only to be back in the hospital two weeks later because of an abscess from the surgery.  The day before school started in early August, the drainage tube was removed. Alyssa did not have much of a summer vacation.

Sacramento weather has been particularly hot. No days under 90 degrees. I spent August preparing to sell my house. Decluttering, packing, organizing. I learned that I am an organized person who saves everything. I have files filled with receipts going way back. If I stop to look at them it can be amusing. Seeing the cost of things, how long some appliances last, the number of times I fixed the same item.

I had a storage box of memories. I kept my kids artwork from first scribble. I dated these pictures and wrote what it was about. First teddy bear, first shoes, every Mother’s Day card, every story and homework project saved. This made for a fun trip down memory lane. I then got two bags and passed this along to my children. They probably recycled all of it.

I also found a box of correspondence I saved since moving to California in 1978. This must have been the last time I purged my stuff.  Long 6 page letters from busy mothers with young children. With the coming of cell phones and reduced costs the letters stopped. We now catch up a couple of times a year, or follow each other on Facebook.  This blog serves as my journal, and my need to record my thoughts. Somethings don’t change. Are you a saver or do you quickly discard?

Delayed posting this blog because I wanted to add some photos that I had on my iPhone 5s. That proved problematic.  Photos were too pixilated.  I guess I should figure this out before I plan to use iPhone photos here. So I will end now sans photos.

SS Red Oak Victory Ship

The SS Red Oak Victory Ship provides a rich venue for my photography during our afternoon in Richmond, California. Just a short drive from Point Richmond.

As soon as I found myself on board I was drawn to using parts of the ship to create frames in my compositions.  One afternoon is just enough time to get an overview photographically. I plan to return here and explore more of this ship.

 

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Reflection in a port hole

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Faces follow me!

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As seen from the SS Red Oak Victory

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By the dock of the bay

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Selfie

So much to see on board. These are just a few of the rooms I explored. A bit of humor found in the hospital quarters. I tried to imagine what it would be like to cook for the entire crew. The size of the mixer gave me a clue.

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Wandering up and down the hallway.

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Life boat

New cars unloaded from ships, and heading for auto dealers here in the USA. Cyclists stop by on the dock. A sailboat taking in the tranquility of the afternoon.

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Last stop was the Rosie the Riveter Memorial Park. It didn’t look promising for a great sunset, so we headed home.

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Anne and I take advantage of the late afternoon sun to show off some height!

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A great day for history, fun, and good photography.

Rosie

Want to get out of the heat? If you are in Sacramento and your looking at the 7 day forecast of triple digit temps, you may.

Remember, Sacramento has access to both the coastal area and the mountains. When I was in high school 5 decades ago I had a history teacher who came from California.  She told us that it was a 2 hour ride west and she could be surfing. Going east 2 hours she could be skiing. Coming from Long Island, N.Y. this sounded great. Well, I never surfed, or skied, but the concept that the climate could be that different impressed me. Last week my granddaughter spent the week at camp in Lake Tahoe. On Sunday June 11th it was snowing. Roads were icy, and we white knuckled it back home to Sacramento. My husband picked her us on Friday, the weather in the mountains had warmed up to the 80s. Yesterday in Sacramento we reached a record high for the date of 106. Happy for my air conditioning.

In Richmond, California there is a Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park. This is a gem of a museum. Lots to see, and it is easy for photographers to capture.   Easy to get to, easy parking, and if you have a National Park Pass admission is free.

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National Historical Park

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Richmond scene

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Lunchbox

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There is a cafe right next door, but this time we decided to venture into Port Richmond. A local pointed us in the direction of a sandwich shop. After a salad sampler the streets of Point Richmond beckoned.

What I like about my outings and photography is coming home and diving deeper into the history of the places I visit, or learning more about my natural surrounding. I came across this interesting website, and learned more about this statue of an Indian in the center of a little park.

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Second statue to be erected here.

 

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Street of Point Richmond

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Historic Hotel

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You Are Here!

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Point Richmond Reflected

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Theater with Red Door

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1910 Fire Station

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Current Point Richmond Fire Station

We left Point Richmond, and found another cool place to explore, The SS Red Oak Victory Ship. More about that in my next post.