Summer: Leaps of faith

The greatest mistake is fearing to make one. Di greste grayz iz mura tsu makhn eyn.

This one, he’s fearless!

This is what summer is all about.

   

My faith in humanity is restored!

I came home from work, and the pain in my neck was excruciating. On a scale of 1 – 10, it was a 46 (that should only be my age). Ugh! My shana maidelehs (sweet little girls) were so excited to see me; Gatsby, my furry boychik, was jumping and barking at my feet.  My Mrs., she could see the pain in my eyes and she gently kissed me on the check. Heroes welcome for certain.

Apparently, a note was left at the front door entrance to our apartment building to my attention. Big, she was very excited to tell me all about it. Someone found something of mine in the parking lot… call a phone number and they will give it to me. I had no idea what that could be and I had no intention of finding out immediately due to my ‘pain in the neck‘ neck pain. My family, they went out to a birthday party for Little’s friend — I wanted to go, but without full body cooperation, I listened to the siren song of the sofa calling my name. Gatsby and I snuggled in tightly, arranging my head just so, and I asked ‘Alexa’ to play Rachel Maddow as I closed my eyes.

A little bit later, I heard a ping on my phone, so I took a look-see. I noticed a few notes in my Facebook messenger. Delving a little deeper, there was yet another note for me from a person I did not know. It was brilliant! Take a look at this:

Someone found my wallet, and wanted to return it to me! All of the sudden, I remembered Big’s excitement and put 2+2 together… I lost my wallet.

Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? Nu? When did this happen? Where? How? Obviously in the parking lot…  

My penchant for the penny-wise is so strong, I only reach cash/card if I really have to make a purchase. I met a friend for coffee today, but that’s a luxury, so no wallet. I didn’t even know I lost it!  This could have easily been disastrous! 

I dialed up my very kind neighbor right away. She was so sweet and caring. She said she was eagerly waiting to hear from me and she hoped I wasn’t going crazy looking for this missing wallet… Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? She was at work, but her hubby was home and would be happy to deliver my missing property. I insisted that I go to him – It was the least I could do! Gatsby and I ventured across the parking lot. As we made our way, it dawned on me that the previous day, me and this boychik, we walked to the local coop for some dog food and treats. My wallet must have fallen out of my pocket on the way home… I lost my wallet?

I pressed D9 and the most delightful man answered, in a British accent too! He buzzed me in the doorway and came straight away, with my red wallet in hand. As he handed it to me, he reached out his hand and said, “My name is Jim.” I happily took his hand in mine and smiled, gushing gratitude! He bent down and played with Gatsby. These two people who found my wallet, Kristy, and Jim, they are mensches (good people filled with honesty and integrity). And, they like my Gatsby. Dog people are good people! ❤

I love a kind human!

Today, in a world filled with chaos, hate, divisiveness, terror… I experienced the ultimate in human kindness. I saw proof that people, all people, can choose kindness.

A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. A kleyn bissel fun likht pushiz a vek a plats fun finsternish. 

Kristy and Jim, thank you for my light.

I lost my wallet… My Mrs., Liz, Biz, Nona — it’s official. I’m a true part of this family! Expect a lost/stolen iPhone next, and, wait, where did my keys go? Oy vey. (OMG.)

Shalom, Ahava, and Simcha. Peace, Love, and Joy. May you all find some kindness today and every day!

      

     

 

He’s Gone… I got him!

After the run, my Gatsby is tired. Thank you, Benny!

He’s meditating on whether a flea has a bellybutton. Er klert tsi a floy hot a pupik.

      

 

 

Won by One each time

June. Summer. Kids running free and the smell of chlorine. PRIDE month is happening all over the globe. Nu? Many of you must be just a bissel ( a little bit) interested in the gay agenda? Come, sit. Let me tell you a story about a yearning to fight inequality in the form of a rainbow.

Way back in June of 1970 (that is effing 47 years ago people), the very first Pride Parade took place in New York City (my Little, she calls it, ‘You Nork’) to honor the Stonewall Riots of 1969. This event clearly marked the beginning of the long, hard struggle known as the  LGBTQ civil rights movement in the US. One single pride parade has bravely morphed and grown into festivals, parties, galas (this group, we know a little something about throwing parties!) and month-long celebrations all over the US and around the world. Why you ask? There is something so very freeing in leaving the cloak of invisibility behind. To celebrate lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, and queer culture, family, and, well PRIDE! You see my friends, this is one group that knows how important it is to rejoice in everyone’s unique and special differences. Insert glitter here!

In 1997, a short couple of decades ago, Ellen DeGeneres made television history by having her character, come out as a lesbian on TV. In pure Ellen-comedic-fashion, she accidentally announced over the loudspeaker at the airport to her love interest, played by (straight) Laura Dern, “I’m gay.” Nobody had ever done this before on TV. Hate mail, death threats and at least one bomb threat would happen before the show titled, “The Puppy Episode,” aired. This title had a hidden meaning — everyone knows a puppy gets bigger. And everyone on this show knew this was an issue that would also grow. “The Puppy Episode” ranked #35 in the top watched television episodes of all time and won an Emmy. What followed was quite the ruckus in tv land. Major advertisers bowed out, and the show was canceled shortly thereafter. Her career was in turmoil for several long years. But our Ellen, she persevered. Her brave and historic outing, of both her character and herself, eventually made it a lot more ‘okay’ for the sweet, funny girl next store to also be gay. Ellen, you are my hero!

Meanwhile, mitten drinnen (in the middle) of all of this gay history and lots of tsuris (trouble)  and violence, a long time ago (in 1963), two nice Yiddisheh young women met (Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer) and fell in love. After a long and beautiful 40+ year engagement, loving each other in sickness (Thea bravely battled MS) and in health, Edie and Thea went to Canada to tie the knot in 2007. It was legal there. In 2008, living in New York (You Nork) and in their 70’s, they fought to be legally recognized as a married couple and won. They spent their last two years together as a happily married couple. Sadly, in 2009, Thea died, leaving her entire estate to Edie, as spouses often do…  Edie rightfully claimed the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, and the IRS said, NOPE. You see, under Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the word ‘spouse’ is defined as a union between a man and a woman. Opposite-sex partners only need apply. Same-sex married couples were excluded from the 1500+ laws and benefits that straight married couples get automatically. Edie had no choice but to fork over more than $360,000.00 in estate taxes. By 2010, Edie, no stranger to fighting injustice, sued the federal government under DOMA for a full refund. Her case rose to the highest court in the land, and in 2013, the 9 Supremes heard The United States v. Windsor. On June 26, 2013, in a landmark 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of Edie, saying that DOMA was unconstitutional. Edie, petite, near deaf and a feisty 70-something, brought respect, dignity, and protection under the law to the LGBTQ community. Edie, you too are my hero!

Picking up right where Edie left off, another major case made its way to the nine robed judges. Enter Obergefell v. Hodges, representing 4 same-sex couples. Not asking for a special new law or even special protection under the law, they challenged the 14th Amendment and simply asked to have the equal right to enter knowingly in the fundamental right to marry, just like any other straight couple in love. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court passed Marriage Equality for all in the US. In a 5-4 victory, equality won.  Same-sex marriage was now legal in all of these United States. We danced and sang and kissed and declared a jubilant victory over this newfound constitutional right. President Obama said, live from the Rose Garden, “Today, we can say, in no uncertain terms, that our union is a little more perfect.” He went on to say that this, “affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.” HEROES, all of them!

In 2016, Ellen DeGeneres made the news again, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yes, my man POTUS 44, Barack Obama, recognized how Ellen has made extraordinary contributions to the betterment of our culture. He said, about Ellen,  “A single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place.”

One year ago, the very worst (by the numbers of those killed) of all too, too many mass shootings in the US, occurred in Orlando, Florida, at the Pulse Nightclub, a known gay bar. A cowardly, disturbed man walked in and shot dead 49 people in a place they felt safe and happy — and yes, it was during PRIDE month. This was deemed a hate crime because it happened in Florida. But, know that in many states across the US, this would not be the case. Many states have no laws to protect the LGBTQ community. In Pennsylvania, where I live with my Mrs., and our kinder (children), one can still legally be fired for being LGBTQ. No joke…

Okay, glitter works here too! ❤

So PRIDE month is significant. It is important for much more than the extreme news footage of drag queens, roller-skating trannies, nearly naked men, and bare-chested lesbians. It is important that we, all of the LGBTQ community and our straight friends, family, and allies continue to fight the inequality that remains today. We pay homage to all those that fought the very hard battles before us and paved the way for the new freedoms and ease we now experience. And we continue to speak to the discrimination and hate that is very much a part of today’s world.

Please notice, every victory was a squeaker, 5-4 decisions. mr t, he ran his campaign saying he would be good to the LGBTQ community. Some believed him — not this lefty-liberal-lesbian. He appointed Pence as his Veep, a known supporter of gay conversion therapy — the old, ‘pray the gay away.’ He appointed ultra-conservative Gorsuch to the bench to replace the vacancy left by Scalia. Gorsuch has some deeply disturbing rulings against the trans community and will very likely be a strong adversary of LGBTQ rights, as was Scalia. The tweeter in chief himself has made 5 proclamations so far for the month of June. Breaking presidential tradition, not one includes June as Pride month. Not one word, not one tweet, not one mention of my community. mr t is one small-minded man.

In all of these cases, we have won by one. We all need to come together for the sake of LOVE because it is really that plain and simple.

      

     

     

   

 

Curiosity!

A person should stay alive, if only out of curiosity. A mensch zol blaybn lebedik, aoyb nor aoys fun naygerikayt.

Childhood!

Small children don’t let you rest. Big children don’t let you sleep. Kleyn kinder ton nit lozn ir mnukkh. Groys kinder ton nit lozn gay shlofn.

Childhood!

Thank you to J, Z and E for an amazing time at the Tyler Arboretum. ❤ Many more good times ahead!

 

     

      

 

Looks like summer

Birthplace: EARTH, Race: HUMAN, Politics: FREEDOM, Religion: LOVE

Some things will forever and always smell, taste, hint to the glimpses of summer. Freshly cut grass. Watermelon. The sun on your back. Swings. A skinned knee. The hint of chlorine. Mosquitoes. Bikes. Dirt. Ice Cream. And laughter. There must always be laughter.

Let’s all hope this summer is a good one, a safe one, and a healthy one for us all, filled with more laughter. ❤

Life is like a child’s undershirt–short and soiled. Dos leben iz vi kinderhemdel–kurts un bash.

At least for my Little, above!

      

  

I wear orange for Hadiya

#EverytownForGunSafety #MomsDemandAction #WearOrange #TheSandyHookPromise

Early Saturday morning, I woke up after having climate change nightmares. These were not just hot flashes — I had real nightmares about the life of our planet. Think the Lorax, on crack. I wrote a post, Blog, Shmog: An Interview Today, poking some acerbic wit at mr t, orange-in-chief, and then I left to head over to the Wear Orange March. This march was not about global warming. It was the about senseless gun violence in our country. Yet another topic t won’t touch. After all, the NRA, they own him.

Hadiya Pendleton, 15 years old, was shot in the back. Gunned down while standing inside Harsh Park with her friends in Chicago in 2013. Just one week earlier, she performed live with her school band at President Obama’s (second) inauguration. Her murder occurred less than one mile from the Obama’s Chicago home. Hadiya, an honors student, volleyball player, band member, daughter — her future was bright in so many ways. The cause of death: shot by mistaken gang rivalry. The shooters, gang members, they told police that she was standing with people they thought were from a rival gang. It was a mistake. Michelle Obama attended her funeral. By that January day in Chicago, she was already the 42nd murder by firearm. A real shonda (shame) for her, her family, our world.

The gates of tears are never shut. Di toi’ern fun treren zeinen kain mol nit farshlossen.

Saturday morning was cool, raining. Hadiya would have been 20 years young on June 2 of this year. Her birthday now represents National Gun Violence Awareness Day across our country. Her brightness is now the color orange, the same color worn by hunters, so as to be seen and not shot. It is the color of gun violence prevention. Less than 100 of us gathered. Many moms held laminated photos of the children they lost to gun violence. We all talked. I told them I was there for Hadiya, and for the Sandy Hook Promise. When we failed all of those children and their teachers who gave their lives protecting them, I knew I had to do more. I couldn’t just sign a petition and call Senator Twomey’s office again. I had to enlist in the fight.

In the US, gun violence kills 93 people every single day — almost 34,000 lives per year. That includes murder, suicide, and accidental death. In Philadelphia, last year our number was 278. Almost 1 life per day. These numbers are stunning, but they must not leave us hardened. We must work harder than we ever have before.

Our kinder (sweet children) deserve better. Hadiya dreamt of going to Northwestern University. She wanted to become a pharmacist, a journalist, or a lawyer. She was a good kid. Hadiya, she deserved better.

Guns are a very large problem in this country. I do not think that our founding fathers had gang members, mental illness, violent domestic abuse, accidental death and suicide in mind when they created the second amendment. I believe there is some good legislation out there (SB 501 for stronger gun control rights) that needs enforcing, and I believe there are some horrible laws on the books (SB 383 that arms school staff, teachers, and boards). Vey iz mir (OMG), we need to make some drastic changes.

Last I checked, we were ONE human race. How can we all begin to walk with empathy and love in our hearts? When will we begin to embrace all of our very unique and beautiful differences, instead of fearing them? I will do that for Hadiya. I will do that for all of those families from Sandy Hook. I will do that for everyone affected by senseless gun violence. We need to do that for all the kinder (children).
Please join me.

Death doesn’t knock on the door (and warn you of it’s impending arrival). Toyt tut nit klapn aoyf di tir.

Live every minute of every day.