Baby it’s cold outside…

As I drove this morning to go play with a very rambunctious pup today I stopped and looked around. It is winter, among the dull and gray roads covered with coldness I see the pretty lights that are busy spreading smiles all over my town. It does make me smile.

Today I am not feeling well, a cold has seemed to land inside my head. I am not a fan of being sick. I always tell my kids it is against my religion to catch a cold. Oh well stock up on tissues and cold medicines and snuggle down with my three beasts and hope for the best. I blame this cold on my 18-year-old. Could be worse…

December is my birthday month and this year I am happy to say I am actually NOT headed into the hospital to get a new body part. This year I am gong out for lunch with my favorite partner in crime. My husband. I love to go for lunch . It has been a very long time since we have gone out for anything, too busy trying to keep our home afloat. I think it s okay to sneak away for a small bite to eat, now and then, it too is good for the soul.

It is my favorite place in the universe to eat!

Salmon in any style is simply delicious! ( maybe that’s the Jewish part of me coming out!)  The people who work there are very kind to me. I just love sushi what can I say? It is ART on a plate!

Sushi Towns | Nigiri, sashimi, and rolls in the great American cities

What is not to love about it?

It is the best!

I am counting the days…. I have never been one to celebrate my birthday much, I always celebrate my children’s and my spouse, even my friends. I don’t know, my birthday has such a bunch of weird mixed emotions.

I was born on my grandfathers birthday, as a small child he would tell me I was the greatest gift he could receive and had no need for material gifts. He would then go on to show off the material gifts he received from other relatives. A Rolex watch for example that came from a doctor.  It made my heart sink when I realized my gifts, were hidden in drawers or never opened up. I had painstakingly made these with love, embroidered hankies and paintings I made with such love for him. I always felt a little small and never quite good enough for anyone to be proud of.  It is funny how these sorts of things stay with us so many years later.

Embroidered Handkerchiefs and Vintage Clothing | eBay

How can I celebrate my own birthday without thinking of this man I held higher than life?

I would call him up on OUR birthday and wish him the happiest of days. He would reply later in life, ” Why thank you for remembering!” Then he would tell me of the gifts he had received and then go on to tell me I was wasting money on the phone call ( times have changed, used to cost ALOT to call long distance.)

He would remind me to breathe and then hang up the phone.

He had forgotten it was my birthday too.

Age had set in, I suppose. It left me feeling sad.

Maybe this year is a little different for me because I was able to say goodbye to him this summer when I was out east with my girlfriend.

She will never truly know what a gift this was for my soul.

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I think he knew I was there.

( the only dry headstone in the entire cemetery)

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I miss these moments with my grandfather, and I don’t have one single photo of us together. ( that is part of the reason I take and keep so many photographs.)

I think he would be pleased at the life I have managed to keep up.

Maybe, now I can enjoy the rest of the life that is mine.

Grandchildren are an amazing gift in life. I love to watch the OMG kind of love I see in my granddaughters eyes when Grandpa comes home or sits down to play a game with her.

These are such precious moments and I am thrilled to capture them for her.

Before They Were Parks - Brooklyn : NYC Parks

Playing handball in New York .

My grandfather was famous for this sport. He was quite the sportsman. Tennis, swimming, Polo, the list is far too long. Oh how I wish I had photographs of these times…

I am certain he would shake his noggin at the world today and that people play video games instead of  being outdoors . Times have changed that is for sure.

Well, that’s my thoughts for today, I will leave with this little note.

If you are blessed enough to know your grandparents, or a grandchild, make the most of the time . Time is fleeting and there never seems to be enough of it..

 Treasure it.

Embrace it.

 Make the time.

Contemplating life.

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This year, I say a thank you to my grandfather in particular, who did the best he knew how.

I thank him for loving me when I thought I was pretty unlovable.

Happy birthday Papa.

I hope you are finally resting in peace.

In memory of Herman Rudolph

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I miss you every single day.

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Life is short.

Hold on tight to those special ones.

Thank you for joining me today.

I hope that everyone who is able to share a moment with their grandparents or a grandchild takes the time to do so. A phone call is greeted with such love, you cannot imagine.

If you don’t I am available to borrow.

~ Robin joi.

a simple bird with an extraordinary life.

Turn on the lights…

It is that time of year, pine needles, ribbons and swirls, singing and music surround, every station you turn on is about Christmas and joy!  The wonderful smells of freshly baked cookies with sprinkles delight.

  Light up the town, wishing all in your sight . From here to Kentucky and far across the seas to everyone everywhere being joyful and cheer… It always seemed funny to me that people are so sensitive about others wishing them a Merry Christmas. I am a Jewish gal from Brooklyn , trust me I am well aware that people celebrate Christmas! Kwanza too! I am also aware that Chanukah is this time of year ( I am not good at celebrating it however). I quietly remember my younger days when it was the celebrated holiday of my grandparents.



I am certain there are others holidays I do not totally understand that some celebrate this time of year. I do not have a menorah anymore. I did once upon a time and it was very precious to me. It was taken from me a very long time ago now,  I have yet to come across one to fill its spot. Perhaps one day … for now I decorate a tree with all the trimmings I can find. I used to do it all, these days not so much. Why a tree? I say why not a tree!

It is quite the spectacle!

I think it is beautiful at any rate, gathering year after year the memories you have made from whatever it is you have done through the years. It is a scrap-book of sorts to be put on display! It is joyful and playful and bright city lights wrapped tight on a tree! Dangle the painted and delicately made, with glitter dusted ornaments and silver abound, it twinkled so softly and it fills up the skies. A drive on a cold winters night to see all the homes that are filled with an extraordinary sight. Lights that sparkle and yards filled with fun, the characters loved finally get to come out and play, it brings out the child in all who allow!

Movies filled with love and stories are told about way back when and silly fun. Then we remember the times that were had and the people we have lost who have long since passed away, tears will be shed and drying eyes happen too and the outburst of giggles about the time with Aunt Sue! There is plenty to smile at no matter where , if you close up your eyes and think of that day. Remember my children of those very cold nights when you were tucked in your beds, and I woke you and wrapped you with blankets galore to be saddled up quickly for a run through the shop to get us some hot cocoa to warm up our night, then we drove through the town looking at lights and deciding who’s home did it best all around. The drive al around was filed with such joy, the music played and we all sang along. Who knew way back then it would become us who decorated all tacky and evenly paved. Santa’s and elves, candy canes too, the mistletoe hanging from a doorway above for a kiss in the hallways such love, what a delight! Don’t forget all the other the Frosty’s and snowman  and Pooh, a Tigger, a camel and the wise men come too. The candles are lit they light up the yard, but I think they put smiles on many on such cold winter nights. 

Yes, it is that time of cold winter nights and plenty of fires, cozy warm socks to cover our toes, long underwear, turtlenecks and long woolen sweaters single mittens and lots of lost pars as well.

  It is also a time to remember those too who do not have those things and find joy in your eyes, of the most simple things you can’t really buy, believe me I must say there is nothing like a kind chat and a cup of something warm to drink. Take a moment to give to those that have not they appreciate it believe me it’s a fact!

The meaning of Christmas is not about stuff, It matter not who you believe in up there in the sky but of how you relate to those that are here, and to give more than you take or ever receive. I have experienced both ends of this life I concede. To sip from a cup that I found on the ground, looking for some warmer place to lay then on the cold winters ground. I spent time on a couch of a kind persons soul who offered up a place that was not cold. Tables have turned so I live in my home surrounded by those I love more than myself. I have spent many a night in my home that is warm because of the kindness of others who came to my aid.

 It has been such a whirlwind of so many things, first went my roof with the leaks and the rain, then it snowed and it melted and it poured all the same. Then a man came and fixed up the old roof so it stays dryer inside, then my frig bit the dust leaving us running around trying to figure out which tiny frig held the milk inside. Not ideal I must say, but I kept telling myself it can always be worse. Then some amazing people arrived with a frig on their side, installed in my home which just has to be G-d!

I cannot explain it any other way I have tried.

If that was not enough to get you to think let me explain just a little about what happened next.

I was doing the best that I could, sorting out what next had to be done, and staying as lively just as I should. Keep smiling because if you stop , you’ll  most likely be crying ALOT! When suddenly my husband got up from the bed, hearing some insane noise just under our bed, there was hissing and rumbling and something was terribly wrong. It is what nightmares are made of this could NOT happen NOT now!


I simply found myself yelling STOP!

It was as though my world came to a screeching halt. There was no way this had come to pass. I held my breath and curled up tight with my husband to keep warm and when the sun came out we bundled up and began to deal with the day. I made a few calls and wrote a few emails and I prayed, I mean I truly prayed. I had nothing to lose I thought to myself so standing on a chair to be as close as I could, I yelled please G-d make it stop!

It was a miracle is all I can truly say, the furnace was replaced, we have food in our frig, the roof isn’t leaking . Stuff is just stuff that can all be replaced, but the connections you make and the people who’s lives you have changed they are what matter it is extremely clear. Take nothing for granted and never give up on hope, keep your friends and your families as close as you can. Learn to ask for the help that you need, it amazed me all the people who gave.

We are not in it alone, there are many who help. I am truly blessed by these good people who came, not just fixed the roof or the frig that they bought but the people who entered my life. Friendships have blossomed, new friends to be had and the paying it forward continues to live proud.

While, I am never quite sure, I struggle a lot I know that you just have to keep going and never just stop. Some days are harder than most, but those days teach us something maybe not to be too proud. Learn to care about others and see what you can do to offer a cup or simply a hand.

I choose to believe that life is good, despite all the trials and pains that it has. I have chosen to keep trusting in something far greater than me. Call it what you will, it is really just faith, faith in friendships or strangers along the way, faith that things will get better with hard work and such love, keep your hearts open and stop now and then, look all around, lend a hand and a smile.

Whatever it is that you choose to do remember there are people who need help and you may too. Judge not of others whose paths you don’t understand and keep in mind most are doing the best that they can.

Merry Christmas to all, Happy Chanukah too, Wishing Merry Kwanza as well.

Remember to breathe and to always BELIEVE!

Thank you for joining me today.

A very grateful bird.

~ Robin joi