Sunday, June 1, 2014

Monday Morning This and That

 Retirement can be a great joy if you can figure out how to spend time without spending money. 

Author Unknown

Good morning, everyone, and a very happy Monday to all.  Wow, listen to me.  You sure can tell I am retired.  Never heard that come out of my mouth while I was working.  But, of course, not all was bad.  Nothing ever is.  There was a time when I looked forward to going to work, but that was before the changes.  That was when we had clients who were there by choice, not because they were being forced.

Hubby was bed-ridden with a bad cold on Friday so I didn't bother cooking.  I know him.  Unlike me, he doesn't eat when he is sick, and I wasn't going to cook just for myself.  So, instead I had a bowl of Progresso Hearty Tomato soup and a grilled swiss cheese sandwich.  Yummy comfort food.  Progresso outdid themselves with this one. It has been many years since I had a bowl of tomato soup, and this one tasted pretty darn good.  Of course, I can't make it a habit.  Soup has a lot of sodium, but once in awhile for a treat won't hurt.

On Saturday I sat in the park and read for awhile before heading over to the fruit stand.  Bought myself another Kindle book 'Brooklyn Roots: A tale of pickles and egg creams' by Estelle B. Breines.  The book is a compilation of the author's experiences while growing up in Borough Park, Brooklyn...which just happens to be where I reside.  Well, actually I am no longer in the center of it having now moved to the border of Boro and Sunset Park. The area was so different in the 30's.  For one thing, we now know it as Boro Park.  Once inhabited by Italians, Jews, and Germans, the area is now primarily Hasidic.  

I love learning about the history of Brooklyn.  I guess that's because I really consider it home. I've been here now for 23 years.  I spent the first 26 years of my life in Northern New Jersey, but it was never 'really' home.  I always had the wanderlust. I was not content to follow the path expected of us when we graduated high school--that of a homemaker.  Perhaps I could have been a secretary, but I always wanted more.  So, it was off to the Big Apple for me.  

Greenwich Village was an exciting place to be during the late 60's and early 70's, but it was not a place to lay down roots.  It was more of a place to sow one's 'wild oats'. The type of hotel I called home for awhile says it all--transient.

When my ex and I married, he whisked me off to Queens, but I never felt at home there either.  The aura of the borough just didn't sit right with me.  I just can't put my finger on it.  There was shopping all around me (everything I needed), I had friends (lots of young mothers with children), and a nice apartment.  But there was always something missing.  Perhaps if my marriage had been a better one it would have been different.  

And then it was on to Brooklyn, and from Day 1 I felt as if this was where I belonged.  I love this place.  Did you know that  Brooklyn was once a totally independent entity?  Wasn't until 1898 that it became a part of New York City.  And it has a fascinating history.  I'll be sharing a wee bit of it with you along with some old try and true recipes from all the diverse cultures as I make my way through "The Brooklyn Cookbook."

Speaking of Brooklyn.  Sweatshops are alive and thriving in New York City.  Took the following photos around the corner from my house. Too bad you can't see further in where there are hundreds of Asian women huddle over sewing machines.  They work seven days per week. This door is open all summer, even in the hottest weather.  You can imagine how hot it must get.

I'd wanted to get a picture of this for awhile now, but I wasn't sure how they would react if they caught me.  So, Saturday when I saw no one around a snapped a photo, and out of nowhere that young man in the photo appeared and began posing.  He told me I could take as many pictures as I want.  I didn't want to push it by asking if I could go inside. 

On Sunday I was just ready to leave the house for church when I discovered I had lost my half fare metrocard.  I am always so careful with it, but someone once told me that you can easily lose things by being too careful as well.  Each time you open your bag to make sure it is still there, you risk it dropping out without your noticing.  I was so upset.  I'd not only just put $40 on it (a whole month of traveling) but also I couldn't afford to pay $5 a day to travel which I thought I would have to pay since I had no half-fare card. I certainly couldn't travel as much as I have become accustomed to since retiring.

Fortunately, it wasn't so bad.  Actually, not bad at all.   In fact, I haven't lost anything.  When I called to report a lost card I discovered that not only will the monies from my old card, but I also can continue to ride half fare as long as I show my Medicare card.  Whew!!!  Such a relief. 

And with that, I bid you all a fantastic day.

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