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I have an outdoor shower. (Yes, before you ask, I also have a normal indoor shower and a bathroom.)
This past summer I have been using my outdoor shower on a daily basis. In the morning I go to the gym. Then to the beach to swim in ocean.
Then back home to wash off the sweat and salt in the warmth of my blissful shower.
Being a city dweller, primarily, for the vast majority of my life an outdoor shower is total and absolute pleasure.
Standing in the shower as the water flows down over me, with the trees and hedges swaying in the breeze, the bees and hornets and wasps buzzing around, the flowers spreading their aroma, what could be more decadent?
I love my outdoor shower. So do the carpenter bees who are constantly trying to burrow into the wooden shower enclosure and build their nests. The bees and I have become mutual beneficiaries of the shower. I guess that’s how nature works.
If you can’t have your own waterfall then go for an outdoor shower.
I was at the beach today. Beautiful day. The beach is called Cooper Beach and is located in Southampton, New York.
This time of year the it is filled with visitors who want to relax on the beach that has been voted one of the top three in the entire USA.
Today the water temperature was just right. The Atlantic Ocean waves were gentle and rolling. The sky was blue. And I was at peace with the world.
Emerging from the surf I walked toward the beach and where I had left my towel and other beach-type stuff.
As I neared my gear I saw a man standing and staring out at the ocean. He looked out of place because he was wearing dungarees, a long-sleeved shirt and a turban. Under the turban flowed a long beard that came down to the top of his chest.
When I came next to him we glanced at each other. I reached for my towel and stood there just a foot or so away from him. For no particular reason I said to him, “The water’s great. You should jump in.”
He looked at me and smiled and said he wasn’t quite dressed for it, which was obvious. We then started talking. Two strangers — one white the other brown — about the water, the waves, the sand, the fact that there was no danger of sharks (everyone worries about sharks) and how glorious a day and the beach was.
He told me he was visiting from Toronto. He came to New York with his family to see other family members in the New York area. He said he Googled beaches around New York and up came Southampton so he decided to pack his family into the car and come and see the beach for himself.
Just then his wife came over and joined us. She too was dressed in dungarees and a long-sleeved shirt but it was obvious she was excited and wanted to go into the water.
I urged them both to jump in when they were ready. Before we parted company I shook hands with both of them and introduced myself as “Neil”. The man and woman told me their names but I must confess I didn’t quite understand what they said. Yes, I guess I am a linguistically-challenged American.
As the couple walked away and I packed up my belongings I noticed a woman sitting on the beach staring at me. She was just feet away, within hearing distance of my entire conversation. I looked at her and saw something strange. She had a look on her face of surprise (I don’t want to claim shock) that I, a white man, would be speaking to a brown stranger right in the middle of a beach filled with people as white as the sand.
I looked at her and smiled. I wasn’t going to let the deplorables of the world ruin a terrific day.
That’s what the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue resident said to a group of his supporters — otherwise known as the”deplorables”, the “base”, the “knuckleheads at the end of the bar.”
“THEY are taking YOUR job away and sending it overseas.”
Mmmm…I have two questions. Who is “THEY”? The 20 Democrats who are vying to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? The socialists who are frothing at the mouth to dismantle Wall Street and open up gulags for unrepentant capitalists?
Oh, I think I know. The infamous THEY must be the people who started the companies and created the jobs in the first place. In other words the free enterprise folks. Am I mistaken to think that particular group has been historically Republican? Why would the people who need the votes of the “deplorables” want to take their jobs away from them and as a result cut off the hands that feed them?
Maybe, just maybe, this group really does believe in “free” enterprise. They must think that they are “free” to open a company where they want and are “free” to hire who they want and are “free” to pay them what the market will bear. They have obviously taken this whole “free” concept to a new level to think that they are “free” to move a company if they wish and are “free” to hire people who are able to do the same job for less.
What sillies! Free enterprise, the national mantra, doesn’t actually mean “free” in the deplorable brains. Unless the deplores (shorter name, less typing) want enterprise to be free when it benefits them! That must be it.
Then there is that bit about “YOUR” job. That has really got me to thinking. I looked over the Constitution very carefully and I can’t find an article, amendment or even a sentence that guarantees a job to any individual or group or city, county or state.
I always thought that the only individual who actually owns a job is the person who was free to start the enterprise in the first place. Everyone else is paid a salary for doing work. If the free enterprise follower decides you are not wanted then the enterpriser is free to fire you or lay you off or downsize you or…you get the idea.
Are THEY taking YOUR job away? Seems the thing taking anyone’s job away in a capitalist society is the messy “free” part of free enterprise.
As Kris Kristofferson wrote and Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Hasn’t America had enough of the person who occupies the White House? The person who lost the 2016 election popular tally by 3 million votes? The person who has driven the national debt up to historical, and hysteria-producing, levels? The person who has saddled every working American with a tax cut that did a penny-worth of benefits? The person whose tax cut was merely a sugar-high for mega-corporations — and we all know what happens at the end of a sugar high? The person who has lied, deceived, misled, and now claims through his Attorney General that he is above the law.
It’s time to say HI to a new day. Give every American quality healthcare and impeach the obstructionist who cannot be indicted — for now.
After watching all of the shenanigans with the release of the Mueller report I am very dismayed and disappointed.
Doesn’t the Attorney General of the USA trust the judgement of the American people?
Doesn’t the administration of the President who-shall-go-nameless respect the intelligence of the American people?
Let’s settle the national nonsense once and for all. Every citizen of the USA should chant in unison…
“SHOW ME THE MUELLER!”
This is the house where our President grew up. Yes, our current President. You know, the same guy who claims he’s from the “streets” of New York City.
Technically this house in Jamaica Estates is part of New York City since Jamaica, Queens is a NYC borough. So that much is true. But what was life like in Jamaica Estates in the 1950’s when our President was growing up in this colonnaded manse?
To quote the New York Times, “The Jamaica Estates of Mr. Trump’s boyhood was an exclusive and nearly all-white place, resistant to outsiders and largely impenetrable to minorities.”
Ah-hah! Growing up in the Bronx in the 1950’s I had never heard of Jamaica Estates or even visited the neighborhood of Jamaica until I was in my late teens. But from this snippet of a NY Times description I have a pretty good idea of what this enclave was like.
In my neighborhood, which would today be considered the Morrisania area of the west Bronx, we kids knew of places like Jamaica Estates. We called them the Grand Concourse or Riverdale. If you lived on the Grand Concourse or in Riverdale then you had money and were well-off. You most likely didn’t go to the local public school or played very much in the empty lots or schoolyards that served as our fields of dreams.
Coming from those areas your father probably had some sort of job that didn’t require dirty fingernails or tedious manual labor. And your mother didn’t work. You can take that fact to the bank — or Wall Street if you lived in Riverdale.
We didn’t have a clue what an “enclave” was because we never heard of the word. But we knew our neighborhood which extended from Tremont Avenue to Featherbed Lane geographically or the Park Plaza movie theater to Dooney’s Bar.
We knew stickball and off-the-stoop or off-the-curb when the old ladies chased you away from the stoop and ring-a-leave-e-o and other games that required crowds of kids who simply hung out on street corners and found ways to entertain themselves.
The kids were also from every ethnicity you can imagine. Ethnicity is another word we had never heard of. You were either from the neighborhood or not. Beyond that fact we didn’t much care.
As for houses such as the one seen here we never saw anything like that in our neighborhood. If there was it would have stood out like a gilded thumb.
Today the apartment building I grew up in no longer houses people. Now it’s just a bulldozed space where cars are parked.
The Grand Concourse also isn’t like it used to be. Gone is the Loew’s Paradise movie. Krum’s Ice Cream parlor. And countless other once-thriving retailers.
But Riverdale is still Riverdale. I should know. My sister lives there and I visit Riverdale on occasion. The funny thing is that when I do I still feel like I don’t belong there.
But our President probably would.
So it’s a new year. A fresh set of 365 days to jump into. So what will we do with them? The scariest thing for me at least is that if I fill every 24 hour chunk with productive work and activity will it matter to anyone other than myself?
Now that I’m a few months into my 69th year I’ve made a realization which I would like to share with everyone– if you will allow me to get philosophical for a moment.
You throw a pebble into the water. Then you watch the pebble sink. And the pebble disappears from view. You think to yourself, “That’s it? I picked up that pebble, threw it, and it just sinks out of sight?”
Well, yes, that is what happens when an action is taken. But watch carefully after you throw that stone. Once it cuts through the water and sinks an interesting thing happens on the surface.
Ripples appear and they flow outward from the point where the pebble broke the water surface. In most cases the ripples are circular and flow outward in every direction. From our perspective all we see is the tiny rock sinking. We never pay attention to the slight ripples of water as they disrupt the water surface while flowing outward. And who knows what effect those ripples are having as they spread out?
This might not be the most profound thought you’ve ever encountered but for me it justifies the pebbles I throw every day. Each action I take has a ripple reaction that is affecting the world around me.
How it affects the people, places and things around me is invisible or so slight it will go beyond my notice. I just need to know that it does and as long as I’m not throwing a poisonous pebble then the end result is probably going to be OK.
So my advice is: go throw a pebble…or a rock…or a stone.