Friday 56

dreaming in cuban

“It’s hot as hell when I finally get off that bus. The sun is burning my scalp, so I duck into a luncheonette. Everything looks antiquated, like the five-and-dime counters in New York. They’re the best place to get a BLT , so that’s what I order here, with an orange soda.”

From page 57 (there’s no 56) in Dreaming In Cuban by Cristina Garcia.

This meme is from Freda’s Voice. Grab a book and give it a go!
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Throw Back Photo

Vintage service station in Milwaukie, Oregon

Vintage service station in Milwaukie, Oregon

I came across this vintage service station some years ago but never had the opportunity to photograph it until this week. I love the memories this brings back. You just don’t see these old service stations anymore, at least bit in the U.S.  This one is no longer in service for its original purpose.

They’re Coming To Get Me

In today’s Daily Post prompt, there was a list of five posts to write when you’re stuck on what to post on your blog. The last one caught my eye: “Your Childhood Fear”.

I really can’t say that it’s something I’ve gotten over, either, so maybe it’s a lifelong fear? When I was growing up, my parents fought a lot, especially when my father was drinking. My mom always tried to get us out of the house when he was drinking too much. One afternoon when my father had been drinking, my mother got my oldest brother, Carlos, to gather us up and take us outside and wait for her. When she got out with the baby, we walked downtown to the movie theater. It was quite a trek, about a mile and a half from our house and there were seven of us kids so it took awhile to walk all the way. My mother didn’t drive so we walked or we took the bus when we had to go some place. That day we walked because paying the bus fare meant we wouldn’t have enough money for the movies. In those days, the very early 1960’s, they showed two movies, movie trailers, cartoons, and a news reel. They didn’t come to kick you out at the end of the movie, either. So that afternoon we stayed through the whole show then stayed again. My mother wanted to keep us out of the house as long as possible in the hopes that my father would either be sober by the time we got back home or he would be passed out.

When the last show was over, we had to leave the theater. It was late so it was very dark outside. We walked home but it was so dark out that we walked in the middle of the street so we wouldn’t trip on the sidewalk or step in a hole. I remember that there was steam coming up from the manholes in the street so it looked like fog coming from the ground, or at least that’s how I picture it when I recall that night. The movies we had watched were monster movies. I don’t remember which ones but they both had monsters and had been scary to me as I was about four years old. As we walked in the middle of the street, we would watch for cars and when one approached, we left the street and headed for the sidewalk. That’s when I saw the opening in the side of the curb. It had a grate over it and now I know that it was a storm drain but at four years of age, I thought it was where the monsters lived. I was scared that if I stepped over it or even near it, the monsters would grab my leg and pull me in. I was so traumatized that one of my brothers had to pick me up and carry me over the storm drain every time we came to one.

Ever since then, I cannot go near storm drains, let alone walk over one! If I do, I know a monster will pop up and drag me away! I just know it!

Two Plus One

When I was teaching I used to tell my students that for every complaint or negative thing they said or wrote about anything in class, they had to write two good things. It made them think about what they were going to say and if things were really that bad or were they just complaining.

Today, I am starting Two Plus One posts in which I will post two positives for every negative. I’ll probably do this once a week or so. If you feel so inclined, I invite you to join me by commenting with your own two plus one or with your own post on your blog.

First, the thing I really didn’t like about last week was that I went from not being able to sleep for more than an hour to needing to sleep hour upon hour and then feeling like I was dragging for the next few DAYS! My sleep cycle is all messed up, I guess.

Last week was a really busy week in a good way. There was the excitement of 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion (#1000Speak) where so many of us wrote blogs focusing on an aspect of compassion. The posts were, for the most part, uplifting, thought provoking, and informative. All of the momentum the movement gained from the beginning of planning in January to last Friday came to fruition and it was wonderful.

And the second positive thing is that I have been focusing on discovering new blogs since last November and I now have about four times as many followers to this blog and I have made some new friends in the process. The blogging community can be very supportive and I am enjoying being supportive to others that need encouragement and support right now. I am enjoying making new friends and reading blogs from all over the globe!

How about you?

My Grandma

My grandma died in late January of 2007 but had she lived, she would have been 106 years old today, February 23. She had three children that collectively gave her 14 grandchildren. Those grandchildren gave her 32 great grandchildren and at the time of her passing, she had somewhere near 14 great great grandchildren.

I grew up in San Jose, California (near San Francisco) and my grandmother lived in Corpus Christi, on the Texas gulf coast. When I was growing up, I only saw her once a year. She would get on a Greyhound bus in Texas and take the three day ride to San Jose. She would stay with us for at least two weeks each summer, sometimes longer. For a long time, we were the only grandchildren she had in California so we got to keep her to ourselves. Later, my uncle moved there too so we had to share Grandma with those cousins. She always brought an extra suitcase that was filled will surprises for us kids and when she went back home, it would be filled with souvenirs and trinkets that she got in California during her visit. That was actually one of the things we loved about Grandma coming to visit us…when she was visiting, we would take her everywhere, even places where we didn’t get to go when we didn’t have her for company. We would go to Fisherman’s Wharf, to Playland At the Beach (which is no longer there but was an amusement park right across the beach in San Francisco), across the Golden Gate Bridge, and to all the tourist spots along the way. We would also go south to Santa Cruz to the Boardwalk on the beach there and to Half Moon Bay and Monterey. We took her to visit some of the California missions, too.

Then when it was time for her to go home to Texas, we would pile in the car (there were 10 of us including my parents and my grandmother) and drive her to the Greyhound station where we would all stand and wave and cry as her bus drove off and the long wait until the next summer began.

In between visits, we got birthday cards from her and I remember that she always sent a a $2 bill. Two dollars, although not a fortune, bought a lot more in the 50’s and 60’s than it does today and honestly, just because it was from Grandma, it meant a lot to us.

I miss her. I did drive from San Jose to Corpus Christi with the three kids once time. I wanted them to meet her and her to meet them so we made the long drive, taking it a little slower because it was just me driving and I stopped often to let the kids run around and stretch so it took us four and a half days. It was important to me. They got to meet their great grandmother and they saw the house where their grandmother grew up in and where I had visited as a child.

Happy birthday, Grandma.

A Second Cup

I know I did a coffeeshare post yesterday but I’m ready for more coffee. Today, over coffee I would tell you that when I drove through Starbucks to get my first cup of the day, they goofed. I got to the window for my coffee and I paid with my gold card and then I sat and waited and waited and waited, with about five cars behind me. Then the young man apologized and explained that my cup had been knocked down and so the barista had not seen it so she was going to fix it next then he took my gold card and refunded my purchase price. Score! I wasn’t in a hurry anyway. So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. The still young man at the window apologized again and explained that the barista had fixed my 1% caramel flan latté iced instead of hot and she was remaking it. So he handed be the iced drink and the hot drink both for free and I was on my way with a smile on my face but feeling bad for the line that now wrapped around the building!

Then I would tell you that I invited you back for coffee to share two Compassion posts (#1000Speak) with you. The first one you can find here and it’s about a woman who was bullied online and after feeling really bad about it and herself, she decided to do something about online bullying. The second story is called Two Strangers And A Pizza and is an uplifting one. You’ll find it here.

Before you go, I would also like to mention three books which are helpful for discussing, teaching, or contemplating compassion. The first needs no introduction and is my all time favorite book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The second is a children’s book called The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes and I wrote about it here.
The third book is called The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. It is made up of short chapters which introduce us to a number of families and characters who live in an apartment complex where all the residents are immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Some are legally here, others not. We go through their stories, not only about how/why they ended up in the United States, but also what their lives are like here. If you don’t feel compassion for the characters in this novel, you’d better check your pulse.

Thank you for stopping by and letting me share some coffee, a couple of blogs, and some good books!

If We Were Having Coffee is a weekly blog share and link up hosted by Part-Time Monster. You can join in the fun too!

If We Were Having Coffee is a weekly blog share and link up hosted by Part-Time Monster. You can join in the fun too!

If we were having coffee today, I would be dragging because I’m really exhausted today. I got enough sleep. I didn’t wake up achy. Yet my body is very tired and my mind is not far behind. I really feel like just curling up with a book or watching movies all day. In fact, I had hoped to stream whichever Oscar nominated movies I could find on Amazon and elsewhere this weekend but I know that’s not going to happen. Too tired.

If we were having coffee today, I would ask you if you participated in #1000Speak. I did and still am. I wrote my post. I publicized the event where I could. I read a lot of compassion posts and tweeted links and commented where and when I could. I will be reading more and sharing and commenting more throughout the coming days. In fact, I may be reblogging some of the posts here. The posts I’ve read are inspiring, uplifting, honest, and just all around amazing. I would also tell you that there are plans to keep the event going. Personally, I am planning on posting a #1000Speak related post on the 20th of each month, unless the group as a whole decides to do something different. But for now, that’s the plan.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week will be filled with more planning and gathering of “stuff” for Anderson’s birthday. He turns 5 on March 7th and we’re gathering Lego themed birthday paraphernalia. I’m currently looking for Lego iron-on transfers to make tshirts for Anderson, Spencer, and their mom and dad. My daughter wants them all to have Lego shirts and if I can find a transfer it will be cheaper. I’m also thinking I might just be able to download a graphic and have Tina print it out on iron-on transfer paper. Much cheaper, I think but that requires her to have ink and time. Tina works so I’m the one that does the running around that she doesn’t have time to do.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you to tell me about your week and what you have planned for the coming days. Not only is it time for me to take a break but I really want to know. I’ve gotten quite attached to some of you over our coffee shares these past weeks and I often wonder what you are up to during the week. You’re on my mind if not on my monitor!

I’m glad you were able to stop by today. For once there is no rain outside and it’s not freezing cold here. We’ve got sun. The temperature is 47 right now but we are expecting a high of 55 so it will be warm. Interesting how we think that’s warm and people in warmer places think its freezing! For example, my mom lives in southern California and has been complaining that it has been freezing there when it has been in the high 60’s and low 70’s! Location. Location. Location!

I’m off to read some more #1000Speak posts and if you are so inclined, it would be great to have you read some too. You can find links to, currently, over 610 blog posts here. See you next time.


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