When The Best Of Us Comes Out … In The Worst Weather?
|No matter how many hurricane seasons I go through, I'll never get used to seeing the heartbreaking images of the aftermath. People who have lost so much, and in some cases, lost everything. It makes me so thankful for so many things.|
|I think it makes all of us, especially those of us in hurricane-prone areas, realize that could be us. That regardless of how much you prepare, water and wind almost always win. But, so does the heart and soul of Americans – always stepping up to help.|
|No kidding! There's always a critical need for donations – whether money, clothing, emergency supplies, the list seems endless. Which is why we focused on money and listed some great organizations in Ida … Don't Know What To Do.|
|Not only is sending money the fastest and easiest way to help, but when you focus on credible relief organizations with boots on the ground, they know best what is most needed and where.|
|Well, what I find most amazing is when I read about neighbors helping neighbors, especially when they define "neighbors" as people in neighboring states. Or, sometimes, many states away. It makes me realize that amidst all the bad news focused on how we've become a divided nation, there are still genuinely good people who don't think twice about helping others. Sometimes because they have needed expertise, other times because they're just willing to roll up their sleeves.|
|It is easy to be a fair-weather friend, but it takes a very special person to be a bad-weather hero.|
|I saw that first-hand during Hurricane Harvey when we found ourselves under a mandatory evacuation in Sugar Land, with only a few hours advance notice. A good friend became our hero when he took a major detour from his evacuation plans to get all of us (which included two teenagers, an almost 90-year-old woman, and two Labradoodles!) to Austin safely. He knew all the backroads, and seemingly their elevation, as for the first few hours until we could get out from under all the heavy rains, water went right up to the edge of the road, but we never got flooded.|
|And, I am sure those memories came flooding back (sorry, could not resist) when you were recently in Nashville getting Sawyer moved into college and got caught driving in heavy rain. It was not until later in the day that I learned there was severe flooding 60 miles away in Waverly. Regardless, I do know that you hate driving in the rain.|
|Luckily, Nashville escaped the worst of it, but we were carefully watching the local weather with great concern. The images and flooding were heartbreaking and scary, and brought back bad memories of flash floods in Texas. But I smiled when you sent me that article about the amazing helicopter pilot who, along with his fiancé, was alone in the sky rescuing people in Waverly during the deadly floods.|
|Talk about a real-life hero. Putting aside his safety to focus on helping as many people as he could. And, you know there will be many stories of heroics coming out of Hurricane Ida, not only along the Gulf Coast but also the devastating floods it has caused in the Northeast.|
|Absolutely. And they're stories we won't soon forget. I've read how so many people want to help the Cajun Navy and its Hurricane Ida efforts as a way of thanking them for all the help they gave Houston during Harvey.|
|They are amazing, but if you want to talk about memorable stories, it will be hard to beat Hurricane Ida's cow-saving good Samaritans!|
|The stories of people saving animals always touch my heart. Heroes really do show up wherever they're needed, don't they? But I can't help but wonder how they always seem to be at the right place at the right time.|
|That is a "belief" question, but I do know that technology and social media have helped. We may take issue with people feeling the need to always be connected, but in times of emergencies, it can be the difference between life and death. And, when it comes to matching people needing help with those wanting to give it, online organizations like CrowdSource Rescue are invaluable.|
|Well, it always warms my heart to see how people will come together, as they always do, to help each other in times of need.|
|Not to mention, all the unsung heroes that we will never hear about …|
Connected By More Than Chinese Food. Connected By Humanity & Respect.
May is Asian American Pacific Island Month (which prompted our conversation below about Jews and Chinese food), but we should treat all our fellow Americans with respect and kindness every day.
|Have you ever wondered why Jews love Chinese food so much?|
|No, but what prompted that? Did you take in Chinese food this weekend? Or, did President Biden signing the anti-Asian hate crimes bill make you think about how Jews can relate given all the antisemitism in the world?|
|Only you would connect those dots. I was straightening up papers in the kitchen and noticed how Chinese takeout menus look the same as they did when we were kids, and how we've laughed over the decades about how much Jews love Chinese food. But now you've reminded me about how we've recently talked about the recent increase in hate crimes against the Asian community . I simply don't understand how people can hate an entire group of people based on race or religion.|
|You are the history lover. It is not a new phenomenon. And, the reasons have not changed – Ignorance, prejudice, feelings of supremacy; the list has many "reasons". What I find scary is that people form stronger bonds with others based on what they hate than they do on what they love. But, there is no question that the Asian community and Jews have experienced hate for a long time.|
|I know, but in America of all places, that just shouldn't happen. Ever. We're a country built on immigrants, and the contributions of Asian Americans and American Jews have been so significant. From scientists to doctors, artists to activists, the list goes on and on.|
|The lists of contributions can be sliced and diced in so many different ways – gender, race, religion, nationalities. There are not enough months in the years to celebrate them all. However, some groups tend to be forgotten or overlooked, which is why President Carter signed the first proclamation celebrating Asian/Pacific Americans , which eventually led to May becoming Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. But now, with hate crimes increasing against them, celebrating by learning about their cultures is even more critical.|
|Well, I admit that I personally didn't know any Asians before I lived in Hong Kong, and then Shanghai, several years after getting married. Until then, all I knew was that I loved Chinese food. I know that might sound condescending, but that's not how I mean it.|
|No, it sounds like you just did not have any personal experience except for enjoying the food. And, except for dating Raman Sehgal, who was from India, when I was a graduate student at NYU, my experience before moving to Houston was basically the same as yours.|
|Sorry, but I can't keep track of everyone you've dated. Anyway, I learned so much about the people and their culture when living in Asia. It made me realize just what a young country America is and how many countries have so many more centuries of history than we do. And there I was the outsider, and although I might have been seen to be different, I was never disrespected in the way Asians are treated here.|
|A redhead in Asia. I bet you stood out like a sore thumb. Which is the problem they face here. Identifying Jews is a little more challenging, but that does not stop antisemitism. There was a very interesting article that interviewed Asian American Jewish leaders , asking them to share their experiences.|
|I never thought about being Asian and Jewish! But that explains the Chinese Kosher restaurant in Queens I used to go to when I was a teenager. I couldn't figure out why there was such a thing, but the food was so delicious I never gave it any more thought. Until now, when I realize Asian Jews must have run it.|
|I appreciate that food, and people, get "Americanized" over here, but what did you think about authentic Chinese food?|
|It's very different from American Chinese food, but both are delicious! They each have their own unique characteristics and flavors, and although very different, I appreciate them both, and there will always be a place for each in my culinary world!|
|Just as there should be a place for "different" people …|
Don’t Expect A Compliment From A Sarcastic Sister. An Important Message About … Sunscreen?!
I’ve always been a proud redhead, even though I used to wish that I could tan like those glamorous models in fashion magazines. Or maybe I just got tired of Black’s sarcastic comments about my white skin. Except for the one time when we played a rare round of golf together (see below), which ended up becoming one of my favorite memories! Although I do wish I had known back then about how important it is to protect our skin from the sun … So, now I invite everyone (regardless of hair color) to join us in not only observing Skin Cancer Awareness Month but also celebrating National Sunscreen Day.
I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.
I loved the game ever since I learned to play as a teenager, and although I never got to play while at college (Wake Forest, which was renowned for its golf program, with its most famous alumni being Arnold Palmer), I'd try to get out as often as possible when I was home. I wasn't a phenomenal player but had a decent game and natural talent. And most of the time, I hit it pretty straight, so one of the things I enjoyed was walking down the middle of the fairway, pulling my clubs along (no fancy golf carts on this course), appreciating the day and the sport.
On one (very rare) occasion, my sister came back to New York to visit, as she moved out of state as soon as she graduated from business school. She also played golf, but unlike me, who relied on natural ability and played for fun, she worked extremely hard at her game, was overly competitive, and played "business golf". The result was that she was a far better player than me, although I was holding my own on that day.
As Black often says, the scorecard contains only numbers, no editorial. And it would ultimately show that she'd beat me, but as we were each walking up one of the last holes toward our respective balls, in the heat of a late summer afternoon, with the sun at our backs, I was secretly hoping that she'd be proud of me. So, after I hit my fairway shot onto the green, I heard her call out to me, and my hopes were high,
Hey, Red! I was watching you hit that shot, and well, I have been watching you all afternoon, and I have to say … you have the whitest legs I have ever seen, or are you wearing white pantyhose?
I wasn't sure whether to laugh, cry, or be angry. Or to just roll my eyes as it really was something only my sister would say. And to this day, I'm not even sure if she had even noticed how close I came to beating her and how well I played – "upping" my game driven by her much better game.
But I also know that I can never look down at my very pale legs without laughing just a little at how a lifetime ago (or so it seems), she was so right. Recently, when she treated me to my first pair of Birkenstocks, I stood in the store trying them on, and before she had a chance to say it I told her … Yes, I do look like I have on white hose.
P. S. – I feel it only fair (pun intended) to have a P.S. for a P.S.A. – Long ago, the harm of the summer sun wasn't as well known, but in the years since, we've learned how important sunblock is. Year-round. So, whether you're a redhead who never tans (I used to cycle between being extremely pale and burning red and back again) or someone who does tan, take care of your skin!
Mother’s Day is a celebration of moms – those with us and those in our hearts and memories. And that’s why we’re repeating last year’s post (that, and because Black was borderline warm and fuzzy) …
I appreciate that bullet points may not be the typical
approach to Mother’s Day, but it seems appropriate to me …
red head assets.rebelmouse.io
|This year I write about Mother’s Day with a heavy heart and still much raw emotion, as our mom passed in December. My pragmatic side (yes, that’s usually Black’s area although she did sound somewhat warm and fuzzy above) knows that she had been 94 and led a full life, but that really doesn’t make it any less sad or fill the emptiness. But I find myself, when I least expect it and triggered by the most unexpected things, finding comfort in wonderful memories. And although Black’s first bullet point hits too close to home for me, I’ll try my best to focus on the other bullets.|