Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, probably my favorite holiday of the year. My early memories play like an 8 millimeter movie with my mother in the lead role as she valiantly carried the enormous turkey to an overcrowded table. The cast remained the same over the years, revealing style changes and age as it crept up on mom and all the supporting players.

For me it was a gift since time couldn't pass fast enough to make me believable as I lied about my age. In those days I could often get away with adding four or five years if I sported the right clothes and hairstyle. Needless to say, I'd willingly give those back now, but without benefit of a plastic surgeon's knife, the only person I'd be likely to fool these days would be me.

My mother, weary from the burden of producing a huge meal for extended family and friends without any help, was exhausted and it showed on her face as she placed and replaced serving dishes to make room for the mountain of food we consumed as a group. My father stood at the head of the table sharpening his carving knife and grinning from ear to ear as he prepared to perform surgery of his own on the poor departed turkey.

I remember animated conversation, laughter and the clanking of glasses as toasts were made, one after the other. And though it's been many years since the family gathered, disappearing one by one, they remain with me today in the theater of my mind. I warm in the glow of the love shared at that table and I'm grateful for the many gifts in my life.

Tomorrow, when I join my own family at an overcrowded table I'll smile and I'm sure my mother will be there to see us, even if just for a moment. For those of you spending this special day with your loved ones, enjoy it all, and for all of you who are less fortunate, I'll hold you in my thoughts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Gift From The Blogosphere

Even though Thanksgiving looms large on the horizon, I suddenly find myself busier in my real estate practice than I have been for awhile. Buyers and sellers are picking up the phone and calling, or emailing me to get information and begin the process. This at a time when I'm doing my best to gear up for the holiday. So imagine my surprise when I sat down tonight to do a quick check on my stats for this blog. Lo and behold, the numbers are way up. Why?

Never one to accept a gift horse without staring it straight in the face I found, to my great surprise, a link from Hanan Levin's famed Grow-A-Brain blog. I'm honored by the notice and hope this is one of the "unique and mostly intelligent sites" to which he refers.

I thank you sir for the nod. The ripples created by your significant presence in the blogosphere have been felt in my little corner of the universe.

Friday, November 17, 2006

How Fitting Just Before Thanksgiving!

There's a lot of love to go around today and the lucky recipients are two three week old mixed breed puppies rescued from a New York City shelter by a worker at Little Shelter Animal Adoption Center on Long Island. About to be euthanized, these miracle pups, Magic & Merlin have many benefactors in their corner, from Plastic Surgeons to Veterinarians to folk just like you or me offering help to give them a chance at life. Read the story in Newsday.

We tend to forget in our every day lives how willing we are as a society to step up and lend a helping hand. No one can convince me that there wasn't some divine guidance in this one.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another of Life's Lessons

Just as I was about to log off last night I took one last quick glance at my email, just in case there was anything needing my immediate attention. One of my favorite colleagues sent a video with a strong suggestion to watch it and to have tissues handy. Every instinct told me to just go to bed, yet something made me click on the link. He was right, of course. He always is.

So I offer it to you too. It just might make you see someone in your life in a different light, maybe even yourself. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Modern Design, Or Is It?

In the category of everything old is new again is the resurgence of "contemporary furniture," once again finding favor in the Long Island market. The last incarnation of this style came at an early and impressionable time in my life, somewhere in the 1960s. Offering an option at the time that was a far cry from the traditional furnishings in our parents' homes, the straight lined minimalistic approach to design was a natural choice for many.

The problem with the style, at least for me, was it just didn't stand the test of time. I tired quickly of the unadorned pieces that decorated my home, garnering admiring glances from everyone else. They wound up within a few years in my mother's house while I searched for something that better expressed my developing taste. As I look at the furnishings now, adorning the pages of stylish magazines and this issue of Newsday, I am as unmoved as I was back then.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Alzheimer's -- The Journey

Every now and then something I read has such a profound effect on me that I feel a need to share it. Although I missed the piece written in the Times, while out in the blogosphere this morning I came across this touching article, "Self-Portraits Chronicle a Descent Into Alzheimer’s."

Upon his discovery that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, an American artist, William Utermohlen, did what he knew best. He painted self portraits that clearly show the deterioration he experienced as the disease progressed, forcing him ever deeper into dementia. These poignant paintings were exhibited at the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan, by the Alzheimer’s Association.

In the early stages of the disease the most obvious symptom is short term memory loss, which can be attributed to so many other things -- absent mindedness or simple forgetfulness. But a more pervasive loss of short term memory follows, with an eventual inability to complete even the most familiar tasks, along with disorientation and often behavioral changes. The average duration of the disease is 7-10 years during which both patient and loved ones watch as the person they knew slips into a nether world from which they cannot escape.

Stages and symptoms

Mild — At the early stage of the disease, patients have a tendency to become less energetic or spontaneous, though changes in their behaviour often goes unnoticed even by the patients' immediate family.
Moderate — As the disease progresses to the middle stage, the patient might still be able to perform tasks independently, but may need assistance with more complicated activities.
Severe — As the disease progresses from the middle to late stage, the patient will undoubtedly not be able to perform even the simplest of tasks on their own and will need constant supervision. They may even lose the ability to walk or eat without assistance.

If you think someone in your life might be headed down this road, here are some resources:

And just remember you're not alone in this fight.