At this time in my life…Ellen R

At this time in my life I am experiencing challenges like never before. Being officially retired I have an enormous quantity of time on my hands. I no longer live in the large house where I had my clinical practice and perennial gardens that gave me projects galore to fill the space. The good news is that I have simplified my life by purging my home of the many things I no longer need. The good news is I now live in a Condo where all is taken care of for me and I’ve limited projects to do. The bad news is I now live in a Condo were all is taken care of for me and I have limited projects to do.

So, what’s it all about Alfie? Who am I now in this vast space of time at age 71? Both my sister and brother have died in the last 10 months and there is no longer a buffer between me and my own death. While I prepare to die a happy old lady, I need to explore who I am now and say yes to as many new challenges and experiences possible. There is so much to learn and I satisfy much of that by taking classes at Olli and joining this legacy writing group.

Staying alive and vital. Take care of one’s body and soul. Love thy neighbor as you would want to be loved. Bring yourself to others unashamed of who you are… Even your namesake. Learn something new and even if aging is for sissies, age with as much grace as you can muster. Give space to others who are also choosing their own way of living or parenting, such as your friends, a husband or your children and grandchildren. Take care to stay open and not oppress them with your ideas and opinions. They are worthless unless asked for. Teach compassion to others and hold it for yourself.

We will take nothing with us, so Ellen fill your days with what you love, what you have passion for and do not compare yourself to anyone else.

There is just not enough time for such nonsense!

I Am From… (After George Ella Lyon)

I am from two people who were lost in the world, who gave birth to three beautiful children that were wounded by their ignorance and confusion.

I am from an earth that is beautiful and blessed, but filled with greedy human animals who were determined to destroy it.

I am from a family separated by time, space and circumstance, but love prevails between us despite the distances.

I am from a world that set me on a course of self-discovery and from there on a quest to help others as I was helped so early in my life.

I am from confusion, never really knowing who I am but wanting to be seen, heard and appreciated.

I am from clarity and the belief that all adversity can be endured with lasting lessons.

I am from the light that guides me and teaches me that compassion and love are the most important credos that steer me in the right direction.

I am from who knows where. Out there dancing in the stars and among angels.

In My Mother’s Kitchen…

West Los Angeles: I was around six years old. I waited impatiently in line with my older brother and sister to receive my slice of kosher rye bread lavishly spread with either raw meat before it was put into the oven as meatloaf or chopped chicken liver filled with scrumptious seasonings, eggs and topped with raw onion. Falling out of line we would head for the living room with our yummy treat. Music would be playing on the radio while mom continued with her cooking in the in her kitchen.

We often sat at the table together and I marveled at how much boiled food mom would put together on one round plate, colorful as a centerpiece… boiled potatoes, boiled beef, boiled cabbage, boiled beets. Other nights we would devour her fresh borsch, cold, with chopped onions and sour cream in the middle. We were all good eaters and willing to try everything she put in front of us including the chicken feet in the soup or the butt of a turkey… all delicacies in our house, but something to keep secret when I ate at the homes of my gentile friends to avoid getting those twisted faces of discussed.

My mom and her delicious food is one of my fondest memories growing up. Oh, and I almost forgot the Matzo Brea on weekend mornings sprinkled with sugar… making a dessert out of eggs and onions and matzo. I became the leftover queen as my mother was and my daughters are following suit.

It was the best of times.

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