Thursday, December 12, 2019

Tis the Time and the Season - December, 2019

I first wrote this in 2014 and posted it on both group blogs I belonged to then. I think they are still the right words. I have only added some personal photos at the end. Wishing some glimmers of light as the nights grow longer and happy  holiday season to all.


Tis the Time

It’s not chance that holidays this time of year are celebrated with lights as the days get shorter and the sun seems to be shrinking. We went to Newgrange in Ireland a few years ago, one of the many ancient places where people who had only primitive tools and no written language were nevertheless able to build a place where the sun on winter solstice comes right through a tiny window. 

People join a lottery to be one of the very few allowed to sleep there that night and see the sun that morning. Sometimes the nature gods cooperate. Sometimes they don't.

There has been an assumption that the lights are a form of sympathetic magic, that our long-ago ancestors feared the sun was going away for good and the lights would bring it back. Maybe not. Someone wrote recently that people who were capable of conceiving, and accomplishing, a project as large as Newgrange (or Stonehenge, or Chichen Itza) and siting it so perfectly on the right axis, were surely smart enough to remember, year to year, that the sun does come back. 

However, we don’t have to be a modern Druid, or even believe in any religion at all, to enjoy the candles or to hope for light instead of darkness tomorrow. And for the whole year. This year has been a dark one for our world. May next one be better.

Wishing everyone the joys of the season, a brighter new year and the light of many candles. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Book Birthday Celebrations

It’s a book birthday! 

Tomorrow, December 3,  my next Brooklyn mystery, Brooklyn Legacies, is out in the world. I am celebrating with those fun mystery writers at the Wickeds group blog  Do come say hello, join the always lively conversation, and maybe win a book. I’ll be around all day to respond, too.

We are all in the midst of frenzy, juggling post-Thanksgiving shopping and charitable requests and gearing up for all the December holidays. Why not pause a minute and relax with book talk on Tuesday?  And later this week, too?

Thursday December 5 I will be a guest at the smart and fun Jungle Reds group blog  and then on Friday Dec 6 at Drus BookMusing.  the award-winning blog beloved by mystery lovers, readers and writers. 

You are all invited

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Small Surprises All Around

I love walking  on and beneath the streets of New York and findinglittle surprises. Here are a few recent ones.

We took our granddaughters to Coney Island. They are 3 1/2 and 6. They enjoyed the small children rides, like the carousel and the tiny cars, and lunch at the famous Nathans.


At the arcade games, they were convinced that they could win a large plush unicorn. 

Someone (not me!) tried hard to explain that the games are designed to make it impossible to win the best prizes, but to no avail. They played, with some help, and were thrilled  with the tiny bears they did win, holding  them tight when they fell asleep in the car going home.

And we saw this. It’s not a good photo – a very overcast day – but it is a wedding party taking photos with Coney Island rides as background. That’s not something you see every day, though we see them often in the romantic parks in our neighborhood. Maybe this was the scene of their first date? Or where they met?

An amusing sign outside of a small restaurant on 34th Street, a major cross-town thoroughfare in Midtown Manhattan.  Who knew that egg rolls are traditional for a Sabbath meal?

In a subway station so under the street instead of on them, I recently  saw and heard a man playing  jazz saxophone. Not an unusual sight actually, but he wore the skull cap and fringed undershirt of an observant Orthodox Jew. That was the unusual part.  ( I couldn't get a photo.)
My favorite of all is a grocery store at the other end of Brooklyn. I used to see it on the way to visit my mother in her last year, in a nursing home in a neighborhood called Manhattan Beach. (Yes, in Brooklyn. There must be an explanation for that, but I don’t know it). I would drive past a grocery store that had a sign on the awning “Asian, Mexican and Russian  groceries and halal meat.” (Halal meat satisfies religious requirements for devout Moslems)

And I would smile, every single time on that sad ride,  and think, “Only in New York.”