Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jake!

Today my grandson, Jake, is nine years old.

Jake plays baseball and soccer and loves to run. He's got his father's gift of gab and can sway anyone to his way of thinking.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Downtown Rochester the way it used to be

Allow an old woman to relive yesteryear.

My daughter-in-law started it. She posted a picture on facebook taken from her office window. Midtown, as it was called, used to be the hub of a thriving downtown Rochester. It was the first indoor mall in the country, I am told.

Now it is being torn down. . . for what??? First, Paetec, a local company, had signed a contract to build their headquarters there. Only thing is, the damn contract was not binding. Recently, the Paetec owner sold the company to an out of town firm. What will become of the space where Midtown once stood is anyone's guess.

In my day. . . downtown Rochester was a destination. I thought nothing of going down there, even by myself, to shop. Or at night to go to the Rochester Philharmonic at the Eastman Theater, or further down Main Street was the Auditorium Theater where off Broadway plays came. . . Annie. . . The Phantom of the Opera. . . There was the Changing Scene restaurant on a revolving foundation high above the Rochester landscape. And the Top of the Plaza, a restaurant and night club. Great food, great entertainment, and great views of the surrounding area.

Then the climate of downtown changed. A different element inhabited the area. Midtown Plaza became home to rif-raf, hanging out at Midtown Plaza. People turned away. The nicer stores and shops closed. Midtown died a slow, pathetic death.

The downtown Sibleys and McCurdy's stores - both originally owned by well off Rochester families - were a delightful place to shop. The quality and variety of merchandise were much better than the suburban stores. The Christmas decorations in the windows and inside were just fantastic.

The City is trying to revive downtown but, in my opinion, they don't have the vision or the money to do it right.

As I was writing this, I went back and read Marisa's facebook post. How can a thirty-something person truly appreciate what Rochester used to be???

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years later. . .

I will never forget where I was and the feelings I had on that horrific day ten years ago.

I was a realtor at the time. I was home that morning waiting for the Time Warner guy to come and connect my computer to the internet. I had showered and dressed and was cleaning up in the kitchen when the doorbell rang.

I walked through the living room and opened the door, smiling at the technician. But it was the look on his face that gave me a strange feeling and took away my smile. "Ma'am, do you have your TV on?," he asked. Before I could answer, he walked past me at the front door and turned on my TV. "A plane hit the World Trade Center," he told me.

That didn't sink in. When the shock of his words wore off, my mind rationalized that it was an accident, although I couldn't figure out how. As the screen opened up and I saw the smoke coming out of the Tower, my mind just went blank. I saw the smoke but I wasn't able to process any reasonable thinking.

He sat down on my couch. Although I don't remember, at some point I found myself sitting on the love seat with my eyes glued to the screen. He said some things that I heard as a voice but not words.

Still in a state of shock, my eyes saw the next plane hit the Tower. I had no emotion at that point. It is hard to describe. You see what is happening, but your mind and body can't process it.

Like most people, I had trouble coming to grips with those events and for months afterward I was in a state of depression that over time wore off.

Now ten years later, I still have lingering feelings and emotions of that day. But one thing I can see today that I didn't see then, the United States has survived and will survive, no matter what. We will not be broken.

How about you? Please share your own story. Where were you that day? What were your feelings and how did you get past this terrible day?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A fine example of true sportsmanship

I am glad to see the news media cover something good for a change.

Many of you know I am a diehard Alabama Crimson Tide football fan, have been all my life. From as far back as I can remember, I thought everyone was a rabid football fan. That is what growing up in the South will do to you.

In April of this year a disastrous tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the University of Alabama is located. Numerous people were killed and dozens more lost everything they owned.

Fast forward to this past week. Yesterday was the first game of the season for Bama. Their opponent, Kent State University, not exactly known for its football superiority, came several days early to work beside the Crimson Tide team in tornado relief.

I think everyone agrees, that was a very nice thing to do. Both CNN and Fox News featured this story.

This is the kind of news reporting we could use a lot more of these days.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Garden fresh tomatoes!

I'm dog-sitting this weekend for a neighbor. We share dog-sitting duty when one of us is away.

Yesterday I came home from work - I had walked to work, a mile, and it was a hot and humid day - and went over to take care of Casey. To my surprise, there was a pile of fresh tomatoes with a note, "Sherry, please take all you want." Suddenly I forgot about being tired and covered in sweat!

You don't have to beg me to take fresh vegetables right off the plant! I could make a meal off sliced tomatoes covered in salt!