Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Little Poetess

My ten-year old grand-daughter writes poetry. 
Here are some of her poems:

The Ringy-Dings

The Ringy-Dings
Are thingy things
That ding ding ding when they move
And they hover
And they ground.
They really are quite dumber 
And look like a mound.
And what they eat is disgusting.
It smells all musty
And looks all dusty
And is called remusty.
And some are green
And some are mean
And some smell like poop
And some go gloop
And some are in the shape of a hoop.
And they drag around spaghetti
And they stare at parettidetti
Which is funny rigatti
And also a pigati.
And they have Afros made of cloud,
And they are very loud.
They like dingy places
And mingy faces
That are stinky 
And blinky
And they leave trails
Of floating goo.
And they faceplant in rails
And they slime
A trail of blue.
But even if I could I would never ever ever change the amazing 

One Little Dot

One little dot of light
In a sea of night.
One little star in the sky
One little plane flying by
One little speck in the sea
One little dot in the world
That's me!!!!!!!!!! 

The Sun

The sun
It just makes you want to have fun.
It's bright,
It brings light. 


It brings out imagination,
Makes the characters fighting.
You weave a story,
don't make it boring
The hero won glory,
The eagle is soaring.
A mantis sea,
A tiger freed,
A kittens need.
Knights in shinning armour,
A poor old farmer,
A miller.
An assassin, a killer.
Writing is so fun.
You can do it everywhere, any time,
In the sun,
Even in front of a mime!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Love And Friendship

Last night I got a phone call from my old schoolmate Joyce.

Joyce and I went to England together after our graduation from Hong Kong University in 1954. We traveled on S.S.Asia, from Hong Kong to Italy. And from Italy, we went on an overnight train to Calais; then crossed the English Channel to Dover; and then, rode a train to London.
We stayed at Joyce's aunt's place in London for a couple of weeks.
You remember the story about us washing her antique vase by mistake?
You are not supposed to WASH the dust off antiques!
We did not know.
We were two ignorant and silly girls!
Her aunt did not get made at us. She forgave us. What a Sport!

Joyce, my friend from sixty some years ago.

Joyce now lives in Australia with her husband, Ernie.

I was so thrilled to hear her voice.

Joyce and her family were refugees from Shanghai, like me and my family in 1948-9. Joyce is part English, part German, part French, part Asian, and part I don't know what. Me, I am pure "Han", Chinese.
Joyce could speak Chinese as well as I could.
We became good friends at the University.
After I moved to the U.S., we kept in touch all these years.
Isn't that great?

Joyce and I never had any words. We respect each other.

It was so good to hear her voice.

We talked, and we talked.

We filled each other in on all the news relating to our old school mates, etc.
She wanted to know how I like my new life and so on.
There was such warmth in her caring voice and I was so touched.

Since I came to the Conservatory, I have received many cards, letters, phone calls, messages, and such from my friends in Ada, Oklahoma. They all wished me well and wanted to know how my new life is. 
Some of them, I did not think that I knew that well. 

Yes, I do have lot more friends than I realized.

I used to be quite cynical about that aspects of life. I used to say that I had many acquaintances but not really many friends. Which is probably true for most people, if you think about it. 

What is a friend?

A friend is someone who likes you for whom you are. 

A friend is honest with you in all aspects of your relationship.

A friend tells you the truth even though you may not like to hear it.

A friend is someone who comes to your rescue if you need help.

A friend is someone who can disagree with you but still talks to you. 

A friend does not have to see or talk to you everyday, but he or she is there for you if you need him or her. 

A friend does not take advantages of you in any way.

A friend is there for Life.

I am lucky that I have many friends. 

I am also lucky that I am making new friends.

I wish you the same!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Loner

They call him Whitie. 
He has a full head of fluffy white hair.

I had seen him around. 
He did not say much. 
Sometimes, he would acknowledge your "Good Morning." Sometimes, he would give you a half-hearted smile. Sometimes, he would just look at you. 
Perhaps he did not hear my greeting.

That morning, I went to the dining room for lunch. John, the dining room manager, asked me if Whitie could sit with me. "Sure," I said.

Whitie sat down, and ordered his meal.

Since I am supposed to make conversation with anyone eating with me, I started by introducing myself and asked him how long had he been at the Conservatory.

He said, "Six months."
"How do you like it here?" I asked him.
"It's terrible," he said.
I was taken aback.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
" My son wants to mange my life. He sold my house. He put me on an airplane and sent me here," he said.

I did not know what to say.

I was thinking that I was one of the lucky ones because I made my own choice of coming to this senior living place. I would resent it if my daughters did the same to me.

I waited a minute or two. trying to collect my wits.

"I was a ski instructor," he said.

"I had ten acres of land and a big house. I miss sitting on my front porch watching the deer go by,"
he  continued.

I forced myself to make a smile.

"I understand." I said.

Did I really?

"I hate it here," he said again.
"Where does your son live?' I asked.
"A mile from here,"he said.

"He comes to see me once a month," he said.
Obviously, he did not think that was often enough. 

"How many children do you have?" I asked.
"Three," he said.
"Where do they live?" I asked.
He looked at me and said,
"My daughter came to see me once . . ."

I was silent.

"It will get better,"I said to him. A white lie?

"Thank you for talking to me,"he said and smiled.

I am going to make a point of greeting him and talking to him. I hope that I can make his life a little more bearable for him.

I wonder how many "Whities" are in this place.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Museum Outing

There are many activities provided to the residents at the Conservatory.
Cultural ones, such as visiting the museum is one.
One sunny morning, the minibus took some fourteen or sixteen of us to one of the major Museums in another City, some fifty or so miles away, to view some special exhibition.
We started out around 9:30 a.m.
The trip would have taken about 45 minutes to an hour, give or take a few minutes. Depending on the traffic, they said.
Our leader informed us that she found out that the museum will not be open until noon.
Now, we had some time to kill!
So off we went to have breakfast at some restaurant.
We were served huge stakes of pancakes, giant waffles, biscuits and gravy, extra large glasses of iced tea, and huge mugs of coffee . . .
Hey, this is Texas!

On to the bus, we continue with our journey.
Now, our leader and driver were trying to figure out what is the best way to get to the museum.
Surely, this was not their first trip to the museum, or is it?
Well, we did get there safe and sound.
We were there early.
Our leader asked us if we would like the bus to circle the museum a few times since we now have another few minutes to kill. 
Thank goodness, some of us voiced our opinions and asked to be let out of the bus and to take up our places at the line at the entrance instead.

We finally made it inside the special exhibition at the museum some fifteen minutes after the noon hour.
It was a great exhibition!
Around two o'clock, most of us were through with viewing the artworks. We started to congregate at the little café.
We were missing some of our fellow travelers!
We had no instructions as to when or where we were supposed to meet to board our bus.
So we waited, we waited . . .
Finally, everyone gathered at the café . . .
And on to the bus, heading back Home (our home at the Conservatory.)
By the time we got back, it was around 4 p.m.
A six and half hour trip!
We only had some one and half hour at the Exhibition!

Well, what is the hurry?
We old folks have all the time in the world, don't we?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sit And Get Fit!

Every Monday through Saturday, there are exercises classes at the Conservatory.
You can do Sit And Get Fit, Move It Or Lose It, Yoga, or Balance Acts.

My children said to me that I should go to Exercises Classes.
"They are good for you," they said.
"Mom, you should go," they said.
So here I am, at nine-thirty in the morning, with some twenty seniors, doing Sit And Get Fit.
Our instructor puts on some music and calls out the movements -
"Left leg in,"
"Left leg out,"
"One, two, three, four,"
"Five, six, seven, eight."
"Nine, ten, eleven, twelve."

"One, two, three, four . . .

Twenty-three arms went up in the air, some higher than the others . . .
Some lifted his or her left arm, some lifted his or her right arm. Some may be moving his or her leg instead of arm . . .

I see them in the large mirror in front of us.

For thirty minutes, arms waving, feet kicking . . . 
Not in complete unison, mind you.
But there were movements.
It is good for us, they swear.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Happy Hour!

It is three-thirty in the afternoon.

Happy Hour at the Conservatory!

Just a minute.

I thought this is a senior-living facility. Happy Hours at three-thirty? And they are serving WINE?

When I was looking over this place some months ago, the Coordinator said to me and my daughter, "We have Happy Hour every weekday and the residents love it."

Yes, indeed! The residents love it!
It is a time to have a drink and some snacks, and it is a time to meet people.
Not such a bad idea.

Yes, there are limitations. No more than two drinks per person. And there are many who do not drink, like me. Mind you, I do not object to drinking in moderation. It is just that Drinks don't like ME.
We, non-drinkers, could have a soft drink or some water.

Did I not read somewhere, one of the secrets of living longer is -
Being With People - People who are congenial, People who support you, and People who are there for you . . . and so on. Isn't it true that a lot of older people experience loneliness and such and suffer from depression?

Another point is: have a glass of wine each day.
Right? Or, not?

I think the people who run this place know how important interacting with the others are. I don't know about the wine part.
May be they Got It!

It has been some three and half weeks since I came here. They have kept me so busy that I have not had time to totally unpack. I cannot find some of the things that I thought I had brought here. They are in some boxes somewhere. May be they are in the hall closet.

It is three-thirty in the afternoon.

Happy Hour at the Conservatory!
I will talk to you later.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hot Breakfast

Thursdays, we have Hot Breakfast. It is a Big Deal !

On weekday mornings, we have coffee, juice, oatmeal, cereal, hard-boiled eggs, different kinds of breads and muffins, and fruits. We help ourselves and sit at whatever table that did not have white table-clothes and place-settings.
Those tables are ready for our main meals for the day. STAY AWAY!
We also were responsible for deposit dirty dishes in the bins, etc. Casual, right?

Then, there are Thursday mornings.

On any given Thursday morning, there are bacon, sausages, biscuits and gravy, crepes, besides the usual fair.
AND, Manual and his helper make us eggs to our liking and cook waffles.

You should see the three-egg concoctions he makes with all the trimming, ham, cheese, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cheese.

Did I mention cheese twice?

Yes, indeed.

He piles on the cheese three times, even when I asked him to STOP.
He probably thinks that we should eat our shares of eggs for a whole week in one sitting.

"Bless his heart!"

Now I am sounding like a Texan.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Learning The Ropes

It is going to take me some time to get used to my new life here in the Conservatory.

Take for instance: Going to Walmart.

Now, you and I both know that going to Walmart is not a big deal. You get in your car and you drive to this Big store. You walk up and down the many different isles, leisurely, pushing your cart, and you shop or you simply want to look around. Or, you rush in and find the item you want on the familiar isle, and rush out. Ten minutes. Max.

You go to Walmart.

You buy something you need or you buy something you don't really need.

When I was in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma. Everyone went to Walmart. We went there to shop, we went there to see friends, or, to escape from friends. We went there to exercise - walking down the many isles, in this climate-controlled environment. 

I used to go to Walmart two or three times a week.

So, here I am in Plano. Texas, in this apartment complex (for seniors - I have to remind myself of this least I forget.)

They have scheduled visits to Walmart, three times a week.
So, I decided to "sigh-up" for this excursion this morning. 
On the sign-up sheet, there were some six or seven names.
It turned out that there were only two people, me and a lady of 90 (I will call her June), who actually wanted to go to Walmart. 

Around 9:30 a.m., off we went, in a van that usually seats some twelve or fourteen people. The driver let us off and told us that he was to pick us up at 9:50.  I thought that did not give us much time to shop. But being new, I did not protest.

June and I hurried and shopped for the few items that we wanted, checked out, and went to wait for our driver.

We waited and waited.
We visited.
I learned a lot about June.
Because - we had an hour to 'Visit."
Our driver showed up around 10:50 a.m.

He did deliver me to the conservatory safely - this time in a limo, since there were only June and me.
He then took June to Walgreen's, since that was where she wanted to go after Walmart . . .

The Service IS good!

I am learning . . .

If you want to go to Walmart from the Conservatory, you need to schedule ample time OR ELSE!

I missed my Sketch Class!

Oh, well, there will be another time.
We old folks have nothing but time, don't we?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A New Chapter

Here it is - a New Year, a New Life.

Last year, I made a big decision.
I decided that it is time for me to make a change in my life and in my life style.

I decided after being in the small town for over fifty years, it is time to say good-bye to it.

After much  investigation and consideration, I found the place to make my home - the Conservatory at Plano, in Plano, Texas.

So, here I am, one of some two hundred plus residents, in this large complex of apartments.

The process took me, with the help of one of my daughters and her patient and helpful husband, a good two months' time.

It was difficult to say the least , to let go of my years' accumulation of stuff. It was, however, liberating to shed myself of the many "things" that I thought I could not live without.

I am in a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, on the fourth floor. I have lots of windows that bring me much light. Oh, I don't think that I could live in some dark and gloomy place. I also have a view of great sunset and city lights.

I am in a much bigger city than Ada now.

This City Born and Bred girl still has big city in her blood.

I shall miss my good neighbors and many "dear' friends in Ada.. But, alas, it is time to make a change.

The food is good.
The people here are friendly.
I am sure there are many stories that I would learn about. in due time.

I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Historical Moment

Last night I stayed up, into the "wee hours" of this morning, with my eyes glued on to my television, to view History In The Making.

For the first time in these United States of America, my adopted country, a woman from a major political party, became a presumptive nominee for President. 

A historical event!

A milestone!

To think that merely a hundred years ago, women were not allowed to vote.
We have come a long way.
I am proud of Hillary Clinton!
I am proud for womankind! 
I am proud of being a woman!

True, this is not the first time that I witnessed History in the Making. 
Remember -
I had been through Civil Wars in China, had lived under Japanese Occupation, had lived through World War II, migrated to Hong Kong, immigrated to the U.S. . . .
In my eighty-seven years, I have "lived" a lot of History. 

When I was a little girl, my parents never said to me that I could be anyone I wanted to be, or do anything that I wanted to.
No. That was not in the cards. 
I was to be groomed to marry someone from a Good Family, by which it meant a well-to-do family. I was to be a good wife, a good daughter-in-law, and a good mother. When time came to be the lady of the house, I was to run a smooth household.

At that time, the question of what I could do with my life was not ever discussed. 
No one had asked me, "what do you want to do when you grow up?"
If anyone one did, I would not have an answer.
I lived a very sheltered life, and I was not expected to do much thinking for myself.

Circumstances did change.
I did go on and had further education. Abroad, no less.

I did end up working as a  Librarian in Hong Kong, before I got married.

However, after immigrating to the U.S., my husband, being basically very old-fashioned, said to me that he did not want me to work outside the home. He was the bread-winner and would provide for the family. I was too busy trying to learn how to be a new mother, without domestic help - a daunting job as far as I was concerned at that time. I did not think I could manage been a mother and having a career . . .

Life did change for me later. Much later.

I did have a career, as a Realtor.

I am glad I did. 

And, my daughters grew up to have careers.

So, Three cheers for Hillary!