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It has been said that "Home is where the heart is" It has also been said that you can tell a lot about a home by the refrigerator, what is in it … but also what is on it.

On our fridge you will find a small calendar, a small note pad, a few fave restaurant magnets, emergency numbers, recent photos and current artwork from the grands and such. But the largest thing is a heart composed of words. The words are part of a magnetic poetry kit I picked up at the Albright Knox Art Museum years ago. Since then I’ve added magnetic words from other sources.

When family and friends stop by they can start a sentence or add to one. Eventually someone will remove one to fit another within the heart or make the heart larger to fit in more. I think it says a lot about our home and about the friends and family who come here.

I started to take down the things on the fridge in order to pack them and before I removed all the letters I decided to take a photo… just because.

You can see one of the sentences… "Mother I felt you under my feet" … That appeared after my Sis, my daughter and I went to our boot camp retreat last summer… ‘mother’ refers to ‘earth’. And we did feel it move… individually, yet together. I really like that message, and the memory of a special time with two women I love dearly. And so it has been untouched.

I’ll be setting up a new heart on the fridge in our new home… and looking forward to more gifts of words.

For a friend … A Palm Of The Hand story..

Summer In The City

Dad (Enrique, known as Quique or Papito to everyone) was a railroad man. He started working for a railroad company shortly after he moved to New York State from Puerto Rico. Over the years he changed jobs several times but each time he worked for a railroad company. He worked for Erie Lackawana, Nickel Plate, and Norfolk & Western, which later became Norfolk & Southern, the company he retired from.

One of the benefits that came with working for a railroad company was free passage to anywhere in the U.S. Most vacations were spent visiting family in Puerto Rico, but we did have family that lived in Brooklyn and other areas of NY State and so we used the free tickets to visit those relatives.

I loved the clickety clack sounds of the train wheels on the tracks, the whistle blowing, watching the towns slip by the windows, my first glimpse at farm life, the thrill of seeing the train tracks rushing beneath me as I walked from car to car, and later the hustle and bustle of Grand Central Station. And so when tickets were available I was the first one to jump at the chance of a train ride.

Occasionally one the children went to stay with Papito’s cousins in Brooklyn. For some reason I always went during the hottest part of the summer. The family I stayed with lived on the second floor of a brownstone with a tiny back yard accessible from that apartment only through the only window in the kitchen, where there was a fire escape. However, the family didn’t like the window open for fear of intruders entering. Still, since I wasn’t allowed out on the busy sidewalk, the fire escape was the only place to get some relief from the heat and I sat out there every chance I had.

One sweltering summer day in 1966, my last summer visit there, I was alone in the apartment. Knowing no one would be home for a while and feeling faint from the heat, I retreated to the fire escape, sitting in the shade with my eyes closed, enjoying the faint breeze. After a while I noticed a radio playing music nearby and then realized I could hear the same song playing on several other radios in apartments around me. The song was Summer in the City by John Sebastian and The Loving Spoonfuls, released in 1966 when I was 12 years old.

It was the first time I ‘felt’ music. To this day all I have to do on a hot summer day is close my eyes and I am 12 again, feeling the heat of the city and hearing the sound of the music from the radios that day and that song being played over and over again.

Evelyn Marrero Davila
October 14, 2009

Ever look for something, give up on it entirely only to find it later? It happened to me just recently.

When the kids were growing up, we lived way out, at the edge of a state park. Whenever they had choir/swimming/ballet/lacrosse/football/baseball/girl scouts/boy scouts/youth group/whatever, it was too far to drop them off for practice and then go back to pick them up. And so I’d take a book to read, and some needlework to work on and wait till they were finished.

With 4 kids of different ages and interests, I managed to get in a lot of time for reading and for working on projects. One of the projects I did during that time was a crewel piece which I intended to frame. But then we were moving and I carefully rolled up my project around a tube and packed it intending to finish and display it in our new home. It was the last time I saw it.

Some of our boxes sat in storage for over a year till we bought a new house. Then what we didn’t need right away was stored in the attic and the boxes opened one by one as we had time. I looked for my piece, couldn’t find it, kept thinking I’d missed it. Then eventually decided we’d lost a box somehow.

17 years later we are moving again and while checking an attic cubbyhole after pulling out some boxes, I noticed the spot where the sloping ceiling meets the floor looked odd. I used a curtain rod to reach in and tap it and felt something soft.. pried it out and out popped tubes with projects rolled around them. My missing project was there along with a few others I’d forgotten about, a little dusty but considering they weren’t protected at all, not bad.

What a nice surprise! I’m framing one for our new home and gifting the others.

As requested, here are some photos and notes on weekend events at Mt Saviour Monastery..

The weekend weather was warm but not unbearably so. Quite a few people came to help the brothers for the weekend event.

Herding the sheep involved the brothers, many helpers of all ages, a tractor, a 4 wheeler, donkeys, llama, and of course the sheep! Convincing 200 or so sheep and their lambs that they need to head in the direction we want them to so that they can be confined is not an easy thing to do. When I left there were still a few stragglers. I don’t know that I was very helpful but I did get to take a few photos.

Saturday I arrived at the monastery just a little before the shearer and his crew. Three guild members arrived a short while later and we set up our spinning wheels for spinning demos. I spent most of day skirting fleeces with several others. We took a break at noon for Sext and then lunch. The shearers worked so quickly and efficiently that the sheep were all done by None at 3 pm!

Photos…
Kids heading out on the tractor.
Guard donkey.
Main flock coming in.
Poodle with the ewes. She is the ring leader when it comes to breaking out so she was moved to her own pen.
Holding area.
One of the shearing working quickly.
Spinners.
A donkey being lead back to his pasture. Something about this photo I really like.

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