Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Being in Charge


“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”
Benjamin Franklin


Talk about challenging, being in charge of an organization that has the power to make decisions for a large group of people is a monumental task… especially when your focus is the true welfare of said people.


While you may not always make the best decision, it’s an arduous task to weigh the options — hopefully you are not alone in this task. Perhaps you are part of a Board or a panel that has the combined responsibility. Invariably there are those, not in the arduous position of responsibility, who will claim to “know better” than you (combined or singular). It can be very frustrating.


Rely on written guidelines (By-Laws or State/Local laws) as much as you can. Understand that sometimes the “attack” is not really at you but may be a thinly disguised attempt at self-promotion; and yes, sometimes it is simply because the premise you are supporting is not well understood by others.


If you have a total of 100 people including eight in charge (just a mild example) and ONE singular person who is pushing a self-focused agenda, it may all depend on the “explanation”. Never be impatient when asked for details, if it is something you can’t say (because you are not allowed to or don’t know), be honest. If someone is asking, they are looking to understand and if you don’t provide the answers the other person MIGHT supply answers they THINK others want to hear.


MOST people who take positions “of power”, sitting on a board or taking another leadership role, are well-intentioned, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS VOLUNTARY WITHOUT FINANCIAL COMPENSATION. Sitting in that position of power also makes one a “target”. If you are working in earnest to help the people around you, go by the “book”, are willing to listen to others, and remain humble, then you are just doing the best you can.


Don’t ever let someone else’s attack destroy you or discourage your future benevolence. Unfortunately, there are those who may not be honest or transparent with their true intentions — never let them rob you of your decency, never let them discourage your desire and ability to help others.


There are all kinds of people in this world, ultimately you are the one who must live with yourself. Continue to be kind and be good.


And thank you for your magnanimity. People do appreciate you.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Paying It Forward


My family experienced a wonderful miracle this past week. My brother (in-law) was hoping for a new kidney, he’s been on the transplant list and going to dialysis three times weekly for the past seven years. He had received a few calls from the hospital to tell him of “possibilities” over the past few months (he was high enough on the list), but unfortunately these calls wound up not being fruitful.


However last week he received yet another phone call about a possible donation; the donor was being kept on life support but had sadly lost brain function. Her family made the absolute most generous decision, they authorized organs for transplant — they decided to allow their loved one to save the lives of others in need. I can’t imagine how difficult this decision must have been and I am in total awe at their generosity.


My brother arrived at the hospital late at night and received his new kidney the next day. He is home now and healing from this prayed for surgery; he will have to be monitored to ensure that everything is “in working order” but this is the first bright light we have had in seven years. We will never forget this woman and her loving family and will keep them in our prayers as they mourn their loss.


It is because of this generosity that I will maintain both our FaceBook page and our website as a place for other hopeful kidney recipients to post their names and contact info; I will also feature some of those on the website. We understand so well what this donation has meant to us and we would love to help others find their prayers answered as well.


Please share this information and visit our sites frequently and perhaps we can help another family to find their lifesaving hero.


Our FaceBook Page – Del Needs a Kidney

Our Website — A Kidney for Del

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

One of Those Days

Did you ever have one of those days when you can’t seem to get anything done? Actually, I think I’ve had that feeling almost since mid-March 2020. With places closed, lockdowns, isolating, and almost complete boredom, I feel like I have lost the past year of my life. And as a retiree, I really can’t afford to lose a year here or there!


Hubs and I are trying to get an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine, our state opened it to our age group a little while back, but there doesn’t seem to be enough supply to go around. I am not thrilled about the idea of taking the vaccine, but I am also not thrilled about the idea of possibly getting sick with the COVID virus. Yes, I do believe there is such a threat out there, it’s not a hoax, I know folks who have had it and while, yes, for some it seemed like a bad case of the flu, I’ve known others who have been hospitalized for months… and I’ve known a couple who have died after getting sick with it. Having a pre-existing condition doesn’t make you die, folks who have had pre-existing conditions have usually lived a lot of years WITHOUT dying.


But I digress. I am looking forward to seeing family and friends again, to going into a restaurant with my husband and having a nice dinner out, to going into the local casino (I may not be a big gambler, but I do enjoy that), and most of all not feeling so trapped. I’ve been very blessed to be “isolated” with my husband and to have family and friends who don’t mind spending some time on ZOOM or one of the other internet-based communication methods. I’ve gotten to attend a few conferences VIRTUALLY, I attend my RWA chapter board meetings online, once in a while I sit in my easy chair at home and watch my community’s Board of Directors as they deal with our POA’s business, I had the opportunity to sit in on the live streams of two family weddings, and of course I interact with lots of friends on FaceBook.


But I want a feeling of normalcy again. Passover is a little more than a month away and I would love to have my kids and their spouses at the table — last Passover my daughter “hosted” the second seder night on ZOOM. I have a grand niece who will soon be one whole year old… and I’ve never seen her in person. And I miss seeing peoples’ smiles, I want to see mouths again.


(sorry for the outburst)


When life is really open again, I mean when we can get together without counting the heads, when we don’t have to strain to hear each other from behind the masks, and when we can shake someone’s hand and hug our loved ones — what do YOU plan to do first? I’m thinking maybe going to a movie theatre, if any of them are still open that is.



Wednesday, February 3, 2021


Pumpkin was a pussycat, really… he was the very first cat that ever graced our home. A few months after we were married one of Mark’s friends told him about a little orange kitten his wife found; she didn’t go into detail but told her husband that the cat was an orphan. There was a problem though, she was horribly allergic to cats but, thankfully, she realized the little guy needed rescuing.

I had started teasing Mark about starting a family while we were still on our honeymoon, so when Mark heard about the kitten he told his friend, “let me check with my wife.” I was excited and said a definite YES… even though I also had a bit of an allergy to cats.

The next day Mark walked in the door with a tiny little ball of orange fur that fit in the palm of his hand. I had spent the day buying kitten food and play-toys and a litter box — I had never had a pet before (except for a goldfish we called Goldie) so I was asking a lot of questions what this kitten would need. We both looked at this little guy and agreed, we would call him Pumpkin.

Pumpkin’s first meal in his new home was watered down tidbits of canned kitten food (he was probably too young to have been weaned from his mother and I was so scared that he would choke), he was hungry. After he ate all of the small amount I put into the saucer for him, he looked at me and came over mewling until I picked him up. He made himself comfortable lying across my stomach and soon fell asleep. (Mark told me he was probably hearing my heartbeat and was comforted).

There were some terrific adventures as Pumpkin grew. I used to take him with me to visit my parents back in the Bronx, he took to a leash and harness very naturally. My dad adored playing with him, they used to “box” with Pumps on his hind legs and my dad holding his hands up to let the cat swat at him.

It was just before Passover when I received a call that my father had died. I ran out of the house to get to my mom and I never finished putting away some of the Passover groceries we had bought. (I called a neighbor to check in and feed the cat while I was gone) When Mark and I returned home a few days later we found that Pumpkin had “sampled” the corner of each box in the five-pound package of Matza we had bought. That poor cat was so bound up for days!

Shortly after we moved to a lovely ground floor condo where we soon adopted a second cat whom we named Dusty, he was a grey tiger striped cat. Soon Dusty and Pumpkin were inseparable. My mom cleaned out the apartment where she and my dad had lived and stayed with us for a few weeks before traveling to Florida to visit her mother. Mark and I both worked out of the house, Mommy didn’t mind, she loved keeping company with the two cats.

Unfortunately while my mom was away in Florida she suffered a stroke. My sister arranged to have her brought up and checked into a rehabilitation center, she eventually wound up near me. We spoke of getting her a handicapped accessible apartment and she told me she wanted a cat. As luck happened, another stray came around and we adopted him, Peppe; I brought Peppe with me to visit my mom and she fell in love. But sadly mommy died before our plans came to fruition. We kept Peppe, he was after all, my mom’s cat.

Another move, to a house this time with the three cats. This time we did start our family… with children. When our daughter was born we named her for my mom, something Peppe obviously connected with because Jenni “became his person”. As a toddler she got away with “anything” with him, and the bond was strong.

Peppe developed kidney disease and passed away at 14, a hard lesson for each of us. Our children (our son had joined the ranks) loved the cats and treasured time with them. Dusty lived to 18 and Pumpkin to 19. Since then there have been a line of felines to share our home… Shadow, Issabelle, Whiskas, Mario, Tigger and Luigi. Our daughter and son grew into adults and have their own homes with their loved ones. Mark and I made a move to a lovely house in the country, Tigger and Luigi share the house with us.

None of the cats ever replaced their predecessors, each one had their own distinctive personality. Each time one of our fur babies “crossed the rainbow bridge”, they took a little piece of our hearts with them. But each one also left us with so much love and fullness in our hearts that we had more to share. Each cat was adopted, as a stray or from the shelter and with all of their unique personalities they all shared one common trait — anytime we’ve needed a cuddle, they’ve always known and gave us cuddles and love to spare.

Pumpkin & Mark