As we end the third month of quarantine in New York, having moved just as the coronavirus was entering the US, organization and reflection have consumed my time in between work and the garden.
I’m wondering how many of you have been reaching into the archives of your life and in what fashion? Photos, sewing projects, videos – other creative endeavors?
I thought I’d share some of my work from the past – a past which maybe seems more distant some days and holds a little more value in the way we freely moved about the world.
Reaching waaaaay back, I found one of my stories as a broadcast journalist student at San Jose State University. We were taught to connect with the people on whom we were reporting. Look at the extent to which I leapt in order to tell the story of these ROTC cadets.
What better sign of spring than baby chicks! Watch as 50 brand new chicks from Amish country in Pennsylvania arrive to New York to live on Longhaul Farm in Garrison. Over the next year, we’ll be getting to know the farmers and their family and see what they’re cultivating – it’s more than organic food!
Jocelyn and Jason left what they thought were their dream jobs to pursue a different kind of success and examine the American Dream. We’ll watch as their egg-laying hens grow and a variety of seeds are planted – including some in the community to promote the sustainability of local power.
Warm weather and colorful landscapes are just around the corner. What do you love about the changing of the seasons? What are you most looking forward to? Is it something you grew up with or is it a tradition you started? What will you try to cultivate this season? Tell Me Your Story and looking forward to sharing Jocelyn and Jason’s.
It is the third week in February – a week when many families across the country have what’s called a winter holiday – a week off from school! While many wonder why a break is needed when kids just returned six weeks ago following the December holiday season, some of us look forward to celebrating winter weather with our children (and/or with our loved ones) – either by getting away from it – or immersing ourselves in it! It’s a time for adventure and different kinds of lessons: traversing ice-covered paths like this one in Southwest Harbor, Maine – or skating across a nearby pond. The ice brings alive animated fantasies like Frozen – helping children (and adults) realize that ice castles are actually possible! It’s a chance to witness small wonders like a beautiful brook flowing in the midst of a frozen mountain.
Living on the East Coast, I have always celebrated the cold weather and especially the snow. Growing up in southern California, the seasons varied from moderate temperatures to hot.
So I am someone who wanted to immerse my family in the winter – rather than escape to warmer destinations as some. Regardless of where you spend your February break – at the beach with Grandma or in the snow-covered mountains – the time together is invaluable.
Family vacations can play a big part in children’s memories. An older friend told me once that though his kids didn’t seem to even enjoy the road trips they used to regularly take, …
Snow Day, 2002
As a major portion of the country is covered by an unusual winter blast, I wonder how the stories will play out in your family history. What stories have you heard or are creating with your family?
As someone who grew up in Southern California, I’ve never regretted moving East, with a great love for all of the seasons. Each one was celebrated with my daughters as they were growing up. SNOW Day will always carry great meaning, with terrific memories of wooden spoons under pillows, pajamas inside out (rituals to insure a SNOW DAY) and the excitement of going to bed not knowing how much snow would be on the ground when the sun came up. Many times – if the school didn’t call a SNOW DAY – I did! It meant a fire and hot chocolate, perhaps sledding and/or cookie making – definitely popcorn after shoveling snow, and always a fun day – well worth the absence of school. Now that my girls are grown, the first snow and snowy days fuels a wonderful memory for all of us.
If you know me, you know I believe in the stars and the universe. So when I happened to be cleaning out my emails one recent Sunday morning and came across an unopened email with the heading: Internship for Women over 40 – I believed it was more than coincidental. The timing was perfect. It had been a challenging workweek, requiring more than the usual amount of grit. Without laboring over it, I decided to write an email, even though the deadline had passed. It read something like this:
When I decided to start my own business at 57 with four daughters, no capital, no partner and no real business experience, it was because I’ve always believed anything is possible – it never occurred to me that I would not be successful.
Since starting my company, I realize that running a business is more than a great product – in my case, a great story. Thoughtful marketing and public relations is also critical and that’s what the Enternship is all about.
The Co-owner of Wunderlich/Kaplan Communications (WKC), Gwen Wunderlich wrote right back:
“I am so glad you emailed! We actually just had a woman back out and now can’t make it until the Jan semester. I have one spot left and you sound perfect.”
Turns out I was chosen for one of 8 spots from a pool of more than a thousand applicants.
Having just finished the first week, I am in awe of the potential in this …
September 11, 2016
This morning, I stood at the kitchen sink, eerily, just as I had 15 years ago, doing what I often do between 8:30 and 9:00am: washing the breakfast dishes while listening to WCBS radio. And then I remembered. With a great window in front of the sink, I gazed out beyond the yard into the sky.
9/11 was a glorious day with the bluest sky— a magnificent morning with the smell of Fall in the air. Three of my four girls were off to school. My littlest was playing in the playroom when the first report came through that there was smoke coming from one of the Twin Towers. Initial reports surmised a small plane had somehow crashed into the tower, but everyone was confused from the start, because the sky was so absolutely clear.
By 9:04 we knew the skies were anything but clear – and our world was changing. I looked at my little girl playing innocently nearby as her father and I watched a second plane crash into the second tower. Later that day, after we’d watched the towers collapse, I walked my four year old to preschool – the skies where we lived – still and blue – while the skies in downtown Manhattan were gray and toxic. My little world was still serene and untouched, but I wondered for how long. I wondered what the world would look like for my girls. I wondered if I’d be able to enjoy a …
Across the country, it is graduation season.
Squished in the pews of the awe-inspiring St. Ignatius Church, excitedly awaiting with other families at the 2016 University of San Francisco graduation, I reflected on my daughter’s first moving-up ceremony from pre-school, 17 years earlier. It was a less grand ceremony in the basement of a local church in our town, but the handful of parents were no less proud or excited to see their child ready to take the next leap toward maturity, even if it was only to kindergarten.
When it comes to documenting life, both ceremonies carry substance and value. The fleeting and precious thoughts and motions of a 5-year-old will be cherished every year thereafter – especially when captured on video and contrasted with a ceremony as significant as a college graduation. Photos and memories can fade with time, but a video can bring a memory back to life the way no other medium can.
Gazing around the packed church, I noticed the number of grandparents (including my daughter’s), and wondered, “How many families would take the opportunity to share generational stories and record them on video?” Now is the time. We take these milestones and weave them together to create a family heirloom documentary— a film with the voices, expressions, emotion and impressions of all those who were there.
When my younger daughter graduated from high school last year, the preschool “graduation” footage was used in a video for the senior class. To watch the 18-year-old faces …