Friday, February 21, 2020

No "Organ Recital" for me

These past winters spent in Florida have been wonderful, exhilarating and eye opening, for sure.  I've heard  "y'all" come out of my Yankee mouth once or twice.  There's a strange hankering for grits.  I understand why the Southern folks don't understand me-I have to slow down the wordslinkingtogether when I talk.  Maybe someday I'll be welcomed as just myself-not as a "Northerner."

I know it takes time to acclimate to a new situation.  We've been part of this area for almost 20 years! But that was as a tourist, visiting with Dad here and there, renting for a month or two at a time. I'm frustrated that I don't have my life long friends along for me to  say:  "Did you see how funny that was?" We'll always be Snow Birds as New York is my birth home but definitely enjoying this time of my life here in a warm climate.

When out to dinner with the movie group which we started going to when Dad was alive, we are the youngest by 20 years or so, save one woman my age.  When Dad was here, he would take exception to the litany of "The Organ Recital."  As each came and sat, each one would recite which organ they had trouble with that week. So often, it was just venting.  Sometimes, it was serious.  The doctors offices down here are teeming with Medicare recipients-and we have fine docs here, I have to say as a lifelong New Yorker who tends to be slightly biased.

Dad would always avoid the organ recital.  He was not one to call attention to himself.  When my mom was alive, she probably wouldn't give him the time to allow this anyway.  Headaches-not allowed!  Back pain-nix!  Occasionally he would say he had a bad tummy.  He had colitis as a kid and that was exasperated when he spent a year in a German concentration camp during World War II.

The sun, the weather and all the time outdoors have been a boon to my health and well being.  I am sitting here in my beautiful home looking out at swaying palms and a sweet little lagoon.  All organs are intact, thank God.  We are free from Coronavirus.  We are exercising our bodies, minds and souls.  All is good.

Monday, January 13, 2020

New awakenings

We are back in Florida for our third winter as residents.  The sun, palm trees, green grass and beautiful colors are a great change from the northern winters.  I smile driving down the road and catching the osprey's huge nest, with two sitting in it protecting their eggs.

Florida is definitely a leap away from the reality of winter months I remember.  The folks who were born here or have been here for 30 years or more are tough on us "Northern" people.  Of course, we are all "Northern" people since it IS the southernmost state in the Union.  I used to resent the slurs:  "Oh, you're from Lawng Eiland."  Yes, "Ma'am",  I politely answer, leaving out "Bless Your Heart."
The sight of the confederate flag still can make me shiver.  I don't condone it waving alone, without our red, white and blue.  It's a direct hit on me, as a daughter of a World War II survivor and granddaughter of a WW I.  Puhleeze, don't tell me the South is still resenting the fact they lost to us "Northern" people.

I'm craving good theater.  I miss my busy New York City streets where I get my creative juices flowing.  We have tickets to see Tony Danza in our local arts center this week.  That may stave off my melancholy for a good show.  The art is amazing, though.  Ringling has a magnificent art center in Sarasota.  The Edison house is near us for education and we enjoy the lectures at the local libraries all around.

I've found time to volunteer again.  I worked for our company for many years and had to let that go in New York.  But I found a place that I can make a difference in someones life with Hospice.  I worked at their thrift shop all last year and wanted to get full in on the experience.  Since both my parents died while on Hospice's watch in NY, I knew it was wonderful.  Plus, for many years, I served on a board of a Long Island Hospice.  After Dad passed in 2018, enough time has gone by where I feel it wouldn't hurt seeing older people at the end of their lives.  Training was extensive, and I was off to see my first patient/client.  And, as God has such a great way of tweaking me on the head, he presented me with a beautiful woman who is in the same nursing home as my Dad was in 2018.

No coincidences, you say?

We trade the old for the new.  I may have given up my old haunts and the world I used to live but I find my senses being pulled elsewhere.  I am on the back nine of life, as the golfers say.  No denying that I don't have 40 more years.  Embracing the new.  Moving toward a different goal.  Enjoying all the different people here, with their "Northern" accents. Acceptance is the Answer!

Monday, October 28, 2019

A long, long slog

It's been a long time since I wrote for this blog.  Probably months.  My head and spirit has been filled with marketing my book, "Sitting in the Silence."  It has been daunting.  Even harder than writing the darn thing!  Oh sure, the book publisher will be so helpful with marketing--at a steep price.  So, after forking up a lot of green stuff and months of back and forth with strange voices somewhere out there in cyberland, I'm asked to fork over even more of my green stuff to have them market the baby.

My first royalty check (infusion, I mean) came in.  A huge $78.45.  Wow!  I am sure F. Scott Fitzgerald didn't do this writing just for the fun of it.  He had crazy Zelda to support, even though she was a great writer herself.  Maybe in his days they bartered for pages.  He'd call his publisher and ask for a case of scotch for 100 pages.  Then a table for 10-12 at a famous restaurant in Paris for the next 100 pages.  I could go for that(the restaurant in Paris, I mean).

My people have been fabulous, showing up for multiple book signings.  I begged my local library to have a signing there.  It was the place where I had my first library card.  Remember those little tan cards with a piece of metal attached with your own number on it?  It was my most valued possession.
The book signings are so much fun and I am so grateful for all who attend.

This move to a new state has brought up problems with book signings.  First, not that many people know me here.  Second, the book stores are hurting.  Third, they don't recognize self-published books.  So, this woman gets creative and I've joined a church that is open to my dribble/words of wisdom.  I'll have a workshop there and hawk my wares.  A girls got to do what a girls got to do.

So, dear blog readers.  I ask if you have purchased one of my wonderful works to please write a review - send it to me? and recommend the book to your nearest bookstore.  I'd really, really appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Rev. Barbara Brownyard is interview by Rev. Richard Miner


It's been a while since I blogged.  Almost six months.  Doesn't mean that I have stopped writing, creating and putting this name out there.

My book was launched into the world in February.  It is quite a beauty, I must say.  I have a few boxes to fly out to all of your hands, but this blog is not a commercial.  It's a big hug.

I've had life-long friends in my piece of  New York where I live.  That doesn't include the New York City and try-state area loves I've met along the journey.  I try to be in contact with people, and social media helps.  It is not like a personal phone call or a few lines written down by hand, signed "With Love" from me.

Life-long friends are hard to come by as we age.  My husband, who is six years older, has had a few pass away in the last 5 years.  That actually terrifies me.  My siblings have gone, they were younger.  There were (sorta) good reasons why their lives were cut short.  But to make it to 60 plus years and have a friend die...well, that cuts me to the core, sometimes.  That is called mortality.

We've aged, I know.  Does that mean that we can't see each other as young souls anymore?  Do they see me as my little hippie wannabe in my teens and 20's?  Do I judge them because they let their hair grey?  Dare we keep the conversation going as we age, bringing out all the aches and pains, surgeries, deaths, upsets that life gets thrown at us in our aging?

We spent a few months in the Florida sunshine.  I call it going into the "Witness Protection Program" since nobody knows your background or financial situation.  It was hard to make friends for me.  I have so many women and men that I can be real with.  It's like starting over in Kindergarten, making friends, breaking into the "in" crowd, being seen with the "popular" people.  It's lovely not to know who those people are!  I come back to my hometown and take a deep breath.  Yes, I may not see the old gang at first.  I may not see them at all.  But the memories are here.  The weekends at Fire Island, the friends whose kids grew up with ours, all the  memories of baseball, soccer, First Communions, Graduations and parties on Saturday nights.  The comfort I feel just having the air around me know that this is where we sprung our roots together.

If I have been a good friend to you, I'm glad.  If there is anything I failed to do, please forgive me.  Because you are important to me.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sitting in the Silence

The year has been busy and eventful.  My beautiful book, "Sitting in the Silence",  has been through the pushing, pulling, revising, sprucing up by one of my favorite Graphic Artists and is just about ready to be launched.

Anyone who has written a book knows the merry go round an author goes through getting the book out into the hands of readers.  Writing the book was easy!  It now seems like it is a baby way way beyond its due date.  This mommy is tired of pushing.

I know it is a long time coming and most of my families eyes glaze over when I bring up "My book".
I do care about what my readers think of it and I think you'll all be pretty blown away.  After all, I was blown away when I saw what it will finally look like.

When I asked my friend, Dawn Daisley, to help me, I really was stuck.  I knew the publisher was waiting for something- anything -from me.  Dawn put all the puzzle pieces together and made it look like a book--Voila!  She took the photos and made them look so much better than the ones I took.  She held my hand and told me that we could do this thing.  She was my mentor and IT wizard.  I'm so grateful to have made that phone call in August!

Now the work begins and there is more pushing involved.  Marketing, Media, Social Media, you name it!  Here we come!  I would love you all to leave your reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  It is important (I found out) to moving the book into book stores.  

Oh, and it is about Meditation and the way the sitting quietly has come to help me.  I am sure you will enjoy "chewing" on the words that correspond to each bench picture.  Maybe take a break in January.  Be Still and Know that I am God.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Wild Ride

I have been on some wild journeys since I last blogged.  First, I am putting the finishing touches on my book "Sitting in the Silence".  It should be out by Christmas, or maybe soon after the New Year.  It's been a long slog, and I've really enjoyed every minute of the work.

I also have been traveling-Went to Alaska in June with 25 wonderful woman(and one guy).  It was a dream come true, in fact, we were called "The Bucket List Gang" by people on the ship.  We cruised from Vancouver up the inside passage to Sitka, Ketchikan and back down to Seattle.  The best part of the trip-  and there were many best parts - was the glacier!  What a sight.  I wished I had been on a land excursion to stand on it-enjoying the hugeness and age of it.  Our gang will be forever joined as a result of this journey.

In September, the dear husband and I took a beautiful trip up the Danube on a River Cruise.  It was another dream come true.  I do have to say that the water levels were so low, that we had to switch ships half - way through.  It was a bummer but the scenes in Salzburg and Vienna made it all worthwhile.  We made an optional excursion to Nuremburgh and the place where Hitler held his Nazi rallies.  That was quite a scene.  To think that all these people were so brainwashed into killing millions of their country-people, including babies.  It hurt my heart.  The last part of the trip included the courtroom where they were tried and punished for "crimes against humanity."  It still was tragic and quite an end to a beautiful trip through Germany, Austria and Hungary.

The summer is over.  It was quick!  We packed in a lot, including three weeks at Oak Beach.  The old lady still stands and had lots of company this summer, especially when my sister came out with her six grand babies!

Off to do more editing.  Thank God I have some help with my pictures.  Can't wait to see the finished project!!!