Monday, June 24, 2019

It's Summertime Summertime

It's the first Monday of summer, and it's time for some summer rockin' and rollin'!

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only on this music train, please!)   First, there is XmasDolly, whose birthday is coming up,   Her co-conductors are:   Stacy of Stacy Uncorked, Cathy of Curious as a Cathy and (finally) me.  Callie of JAmerican Spice blogs from time to time. 

Our guest conductor is also the engineer of this train - Xmas Dolly and for our theme today she has picked:  "SUMMER SONGS (ABOUT THE SUMMER)".  Xmas Dolly has been offline for a number of reasons, but I'm hoping she's back today.


Summertime brings me back to my youth in the 50's and 60's, so these songs are the songs I associate with privet, with school out for the summer, hot days and summer in the city of my growing up, New York City.

Speaking of Summer in the City - the Lovin' Spoonful hit this exactly right.  Keep in mind, when this song was a hit (1966), most apartments and houses didn't have air conditioning, at least where I lived.
 

Summer's also the right time for Martha and the Vandellas and their 1964 hit Dancing in the Street. I could listen to this all day.

After some dancing, how about this beautiful instrumental to help restore you?  From 1959, Percy Faith and His Orchestra, with  Theme from A Summer Place.

Summer was also the time for doo-wop music, when singers would gather on city streetcorners and sing.  From 1958, One Summer Night by The Danleers.

In summertime, the living is easy.  Here, a doo-wop cover of George Gershwin's Summertime as done by the Marcels in 1961.

Another song I loved as a kid - Brian Hyland and Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini. A girl and a poor fashion choice - just think if they had Instagram back then.

From 1958, Summertime by The Jamies.

I could listen to these songs all day, but I'm sure we need to go somewhere.  So, one last song - an end of summer song from 1964 - Chad and Jeremy's A Summer Song.

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.

See you next Monday - same time, same place.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Fellowship of the Flood - The New Normal

 Everyday, it seems, the news brings us news of more flooding.  Nebraska.  Oklahoma.  Arkansas.  The Philadelphia area.  Oswego, New York.  Uruguay.  Mexico.

More and more people are joining a fellowship they never wanted to belong to.
 
 In a blog post from 2011, I called that fellowship 'The Fellowship of the Flood'.  It's a club that you don't ever want to join.  Membership is automatic when you have experienced a flood.

The fellowship is millions strong, and growing daily.

But, for those who are members of the Fellowship, you know that the experience of being in a flood never leaves you completely.

Ever.

To this day, when I hear heavy rain, I become anxious.  And, after a year of (so it seems) almost constant rain, I'm afraid.  Afraid that we'll get the knock at 2am telling us to evacuate.  Or, worse, having to be rescued from flood waters that rise so fast there is no escape.

There are two groups of people you can talk to about your flood experiences.

Those who know.

And those who can't imagine.


I can't imagine what these areas are going through, because I know just enough (from personal experience) to know that I can't imagine.  My flood was not their flood.

That's the first thing to admit.  You DON'T know what those in (fill in the blank) are going through, unless you are there.

In September of 2011, after widespread flooding impacted many areas of our state, New York,  I find (going through those posts) of my feeling of gratitude.  That may or may not surprise you.


It is hard to tell people how to support others who are going through a disaster of this magnitude, but just being there to listen is important.

Then, there are the things people should and shouldn't do if you are moved to help.

Right now it's the everyday things people n the flood zones need.  Clean drinking water.  A place to wash their clothes.  Oh, how I missed having a place to wash my clothes when my neighborhood flooded in September 2011. 

A place to feel human again.

You may find you need professional help to move on.  You should not hesitate to seek it.  Even a year later.  Even more than that later.  It's not weakness. (A confession here - I should have sought help.  PTSD is a real thing.)

For those not affected physically but want to help, this is my advice - be very careful, if you are moved to give for flood relief.  Be careful who you give to.  There are many scammers out there. 

With our changing climate, we must learn how to live with floods. No, I'm not getting political.  I'm realistic.

It's not going to get better.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Brown Park

I'm a little surprised I've never blogged about Brown Park in Binghamton, New York.

It's a small green place without facilities - it's too small.  It sits towards the beginning of Grand Boulevard, a shady, basswood lined street.  Some of the sidewalks aren't concrete, but huge slabs of shale.
At this time of year the basswood (aka linden) trees are blooming.

On one edge of Brown Park, wild roses bloom.

Brown Park isn't big at all.  In fact, you could imagine a house once stood on this property, with a smallish yard.

If you did, you would be right.  The reason it isn't there anymore is tragic.  Between two benches, you will find a small marker commemorating the deaths of part of a family in a fire in 2006.  There was a mother, age 38, and three children, aged 16, 15 and 10, who died in the fire.  The father and another child escaped.

The cause of the fire was never discovered, as far as I know.

There are no words.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Peek-A-Boo Sunset #SkywatchFriday

Today is the first day of summer and the last day of spring.    And, no doubt, it will rain.

So much flooding to the north of us - I have to think, when will it be our turn?

On June 18, I had a distraction.  The weather had been rainy (surprise) but in late afternoon it cleared up.

I was so tired - as much as I love late spring sunsets, their arrival usually sees me pretty tired - but I went outside anyway.  I stayed near my house.

Trees partially blocked the view but that was OK.
I walked a little further to the west.

Still further, wishing I could escape the power lines.

And then back to the trees, where I got one more peek-a-boo view.

Well, maybe two.

Want more?  Join Yogi and the other bloggers who watch the sky each Friday on #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Living Memories - Privet 2019


The privet is blooming.

To me, the scent of privet is summer, distilled.  It is the flower scent I remember the most from growing up in the Bronx in the 1950's and 1960's.

It seems to have become a tradition of sorts for me to blog about privet at the end of spring or the beginning of summer, so why mess with that theme?  Today, after all, is the last full day of spring.

I learned, recently, that privet is considered invasive in the southeastern United States.  But not here - not yet, anyway.

Here's a post from 2015, which incorporates a post from 2014.  In memory, I can visit my late mother in law's house - she sold it in 2015 and passed away last November - and, perhaps, sniff the privet one last time.  The neighbor I speak about is still there,though - one day I hope to go down and visit her.

The Last Full Day of Spring (2015)

Last weekend, we visited my mother in law's house.  The privet hedges were blooming, and the heady fragrance lay heavy in the warm, humid air.

Saturday night, my mother in law's next door neighbor came over to visit.  She let me look at her Facebook page and I saw something amazing - she went to my local high school, back in the Bronx.

We exchanged notes and I remembered we grew up less than 1/2 mile, and 20 years, apart.  But I never knew she had gone to my junior high school, or my local high school.  (I didn't go to my local high school, but I learned to swim in its pool, the pool she remembered so well.)

Ah, childhood memories.

Today is the last full day of spring, and I want to bring you back perhaps 60 years (OK, a teeny bit less than 60 years) for a special memory brought back by the scent of the old fashioned privet hedges in front of my mother in law's house.  This is a post I wrote after a different visit to her house some years ago:

Privet and Bees, Scent and Memory (2014)

I grew up in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, in a city housing project.  All green spaces in the project were carefully fenced away behind chain link fences.  We children would get into trouble with the maintenance men who cared for the project if we climbed the fences and dared to play in the greenery.  So, of course, we did it as often as possible.

It's a scent I love to this day.

The boys would catch the bees in glass jars.  That's not something we girls really got into.  Instead, we would look for ladybugs to catch.

Yesterday, I visited my mother in law, who lives in a suburb of New York City.

It was warm, and humid, and privet hedges were blooming in front of her house.

They were swarming with bees.

The heady scent brought me back over 50 years in a matter of seconds.  I was a little girl once again, climbing chain link fences while we looked out for the project maintenance men, so my playmates and I could have a few minutes of interaction with nature.

Scent and memory. A living time machine.

Has scent ever brought you back to a favorite childhood memory?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Three Plant Mysteries #WordlessWednesday

I need your help, dear reader!

Do you happen to know what any or all of these plants are?  These were all photographed in Binghamton, New York over the last four days.

First up is this mystery bush growing in a yard.  I love it!
Here's a closeup of its flowers.

Mystery #2 is a tree. I suspect is some kind of maple.  What beautiful seedpods.

Our final mystery plant is on the edge of downtown Binghamton.  It could be a weed or maybe not, as there were some hostas planted nearby.  But I've never seen anything like this plant  Weed? Cultivated?

Any guesses?
Wordless Wednesday
Linking up with Esha and Natasha for #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Distant Memory

Sunshine has been rare in many parts of the United States, including where I live.  But we had some sun over the weekend.

The light on these petunias can be stunning when it isn't raining.  
Verbena..
It's been so cool, our pansies are still blooming.

The rain has returned.  Now this is a distant memory.

Linking up this week with NC Sue's image-in-ing.