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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Sad Weekend and This is My Life!

Edward M. Kennedy with his brothers, left to right: John F. Kennedy(assasinated during his first term on November 23, 1963, Robert Kennedy (assasinated after he won the California primary for president on June 6, Hyannis, Massachusetts. [Photo via TIME].

This weekend I spent the majority of it mourning the loss of a great statesman and legislator, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Ted to most of us. It seems that this summer has been one for death and mourning. For awhile the weather dripped sadness on us as well. But this last week we had bright sunshine and beautiful days. Just like summer should be. So it was a shock when I first heard of Senator Kennedy's death.

I was going through my tweets on my Twitter when all of a sudden I saw a small mention of his death in The New York Times. Not sure if it was true I checked out the article and sure enough they said he died. At first I was sad, but it was not the kind of sadness that made me weep. Instead it was more an introspective sadness that reminded me that he was the last Kennedy brother and that I had been alive to see all three of them, John, Robert, and Ted pass away. The first two didn't live to be Ted's age, so he outlived them. I remember where I was when both John and Robert were killed. I was in my philosophy class when someone came in to tell us to have us listen to the radio and told us that the President had been shot. We listened and then heard the sad news that he had died. My college, SUNY at Cortland, gave us the rest of the days off, since it was going to be Thanksgiving vacation anyway in a day or two. We went home and spent the time praying in whatever religious institution we frequented and watching the sad events of his funeral on TV. We got to know Walter Cronkite very well and it was the first time we had the TV on all night and through the rest of the day. I'll never forget those pictures of Jackie and the children.

This weekend reminded me of that time. When Robert Kennedy was killed we were living in California, in LA and we could have gone to the hotel. But my husband saw the crowds and he HATES crowds, so we stayed home and watched it on TV.

While watching TV we saw the horror on people's faces and then the call for a doctor and finally heard that Robert Kennedy had been shot. The sidewalk under my world literally fell out and we mourned him as if he were our own flesh and blood. We watched the train take him to his sad destination and the crowds that lined the rails to see him off. In a few months we said goodbye to California and went back to our home state, New York. It had been a horrible year with the death of Martin Luther King a few months before this. The heart went out of the Democratic Party at that time, I believe, and it didn't return for years afterward.

But this weekend I saw a change in the way Democrats mourn their leaders. There was a message at Ted Kennedy's funeral and memorials. Knowing that he orchestrated everything I am sure that it was his direction that brought young people to the podium to pray for health care reform. It was Ted Kennedy's spirit that sat there with his nieces and nephews as they mouthed words that Ted Kennedy would never say again. Ted Kennedy's spirit felt to me like it was urging Democrats on to pass that health care bill. And I did feel inspired to work to pass it. But now I just read that Max Baucus the Blue Dog Democrat is supporting single payer! It's going to work like my husband said it would. Only this time it will be Ted Kennedy's ghost observing from his Senate seat holding his thumb up and cheering the tentative steps of the defectors for Health Care Reform as they work to pass the best health care reform bill ever to reach the Senate. And I see the victorious press conference of those who worked to pass the bill giving credit to Ted Kennedy for his untiring efforts while he was alive. Then maybe his ghost will be able to go back to what he loves most - sailing. Sail on Senator Kennedy !!!!

So from the sublime to the utterly ridiculous now. This morning while both my daughter and I were in the house, though I was sleeping (She was listening to the radio very loudly so she didn't hear it either. ) the glass cover over our light fixture in the kitchen fell and cracked into a million pieces. When we both came into the kitchen I stopped, because she said: "Oh my god, you won't believe what fell!" It's a kitchen, so it could have been anything. I thought maybe it was food. But then I peeked around the corner and there on the floor underneath the light fixture was a pile of cracked glass. Glass shards were everywhere and we both said: "Put on shoes." After the last experience of cleaning up glass we both wanted to make sure we didn't get a cut as she did last time.

The fun outcome of this experience after we had swept and then vacuumed up all of the tiny pieces of the glass cover was that we needed to get another cover for the fixture. We went to Home Depot thinking we might get a replacement cover there. But when we got there all they had was complete fixtures. You won't believe how many light fixtures there are and how different they are. We finally picked one that seemed it would fit and we are hoping that we can just use the glass cover, because if we can't it will mean contacting our landlord and having her find someone to put it on for us. You have to cut the power to the house to install it, so we're not doing it. She will probably have one of her friends do it. But maybe she'll hire an electrician. The last time we asked her to help us with something she just did it herself.:) So we'll see. Meanwhile we are now the proud owners of a new ceiling light fixture.:) By the way, Home Depot was filled with people. Maybe the recession is starting to get better. Or maybe people see summer is ending and they still haven't finished their projects. Nothing like the start of school to make people realize summer is over.:)

Just before I was about to publish this post something else happened with this light fixture. We had put up only the glass cover and it was staying put. Also we had put in those energy saving light bulbs. But living with the frosted glass cover and those energy saving light bulbs we decided that the cover had to go. My daughter got the cover off without a hitch and then decided to change back the lightbulbs to the old ones. She unscrewed the first new one and then in transferring it to a table she dropped it and the thing cracked into a zillion pieces. You would think not a problem, because all you have to do is sweep up the pieces and vacuum. But no not with these light bulbs. My daughter read that they have mercury and there are specific things you should do when they are dropped. I am including the five steps you should use if you do drop an energy saving light bulb. I think some of these are a little drastic. We stayed in the room and used a broom, though we did put it outside and now need to buy a new one. We used a dust buster and then I washed every washable part. :) The most important thing is to get children, pets and yourself out of the room after you open a window. Also, if you are pregnant don't be near the stuff either. Most of all don't vacuum!!!

Until the next time, thank you to new readers and to all the people who have friended me. Please remember that I will be hosting a show every fourth Thursday each month on Blog Talk Radio. It is called: Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages. I will be interviewing authors who have published short stories and articles and publishers of magazines and ezines who publish short stories and articles. I will also be reading a little from my own adult short story. My first guests will be Virginia S. Grenier who publishes Stories for Children online and Penny Ehrenkranz who is one of the authors I interviewed here. If you want to be on the show visit the website and leave me a message. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Catch me on Twitter too! @barbehr.

Next time I will be interviewing RD Larson, who is also a writer of short stories and has a new book just published, Maliase. I know you are going to enjoy meeting RD. I did!!


  1. Those of us in health care are also hoping for reform!

    Sorry about your light cover - freaky!

    I like your blog.

  2. Hi S3XinthePantry,
    I visited your blog and liked it very much! Thank you for leaving a comment and hope that we hear what we should hear when Obama gives his speech.

    Here is an update on the light fixture. We found just a cover to put over the fixture and though it is not as aesthetically beautiful as a whole new fixture, it is better than nothing and only cost us $4.00 at Lowe's. We brought the other one back, because it didn't give enough light. See how crazy my life is.:)


  3. This is a well worked blog with interesting stories.


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