April 30, 2009
about my hesitation
please don’t think i’m
not right there with you
i do know what i want
with you, there’s more
i want to know, even
more i want to share, even
more i want to give
i'm still looking for
the rewind button
so i can ask
the questions I should have
for us to share
the path we could have
suffering now, hard
to convince myself
all is not lost
on account of
April 28, 2009
Bruised, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 17
Bruises are interesting.
They may not hurt much at first; we might not even be aware that one is coming.
But the longer we have them and the more we revisit them by accidental bumping or rubbing, the more we become aware of them.
In their natural way, bruises bloom, move to the surface, show true colors, and serve a distinctive ache.
The good news is that bruises are very rarely permanent. They fade over time, and slip from our memory. Unless of course we repeat the injury, or keep doing the same thing - hoping for different results.
The same is true for emotional bruises. If we keep doing the same thing, we're going to find ourselves with the same results. Those bruises will keep finding their way through our egos to our skin, exposing us as perpetual victims.
Yes, victims. It's not a pleasant word, and we don't like to describe ourselves that way, do we? But allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to recurrent bruises places us in an unpleasant orb of repetitive mistakes.
Grudges are very much like bruises when someone owes us, hurts us, refuses to communicate, won't try to work it out. Holding tightly to a grudge only makes the bruising worse. Repeated bruising causes biological and emotional nerve damage. The colors of the injury may fade, but the pain may not. Ever.
I've held on to a lot of bruises for a very long time. The damage is deep.
I've decided to stop the cycle. Let it go. I'll probably be sad for an equally long time that I wasn't able to find a way to let those bruises work themselves out. Only I won't have to hope for something different now. I can expect it.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
In this issue: Bruises, How not to bruise an ego, Statistics That Hurt.
Now posted: Bruised?, Slidell, LA 2008
Worth visiting: http://www.foodbankofscm.org/Food%20Bank%20Network.html
April 23, 2009
Where can I go
How can I explain
and wanting more?
When does waiting
become just waiting?
Without a purpose,
but with a plan;
it only seems
that way to you.
The reasons why
I suspect you know.
April 21, 2009
Fang-shui, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 16
To those of you who may not have heard from me in a while, there are reasons. Consider yourself among the luckier.
For those I have spoken to more recently, just in case you weren’t sure, I admit I've been a little snarly lately.
Yeah, snarly is one of my words. Happened on a day when I was feeling surly and starting to snarl.
I really do try not to let my emotional fangs show. They can be quite a reflection of my viciousness. Usually showing up as nipping comments, snits of growling, or just hateful lip curling, I do occasionally get the urge to bite someone’s head off.
I was at this point the other day when someone commented to me that it seemed like I was getting ready to rip off heads and spit in necks.
For your protection, I’ve dubbed this condition my personal fang-shui;
the art of arranging my lips over my un-retracted fangs in just the right way to make a delicious snarl.
It’s just my little harmless, yet the conveniently nicest, way of alerting you that you are treading on dangerous ground.
Having warned you, I now offer you up this personal self-defense: Counter-fang-shui:
the art of arranging yourself so my fangs aren't anywhere near your arteries when you finally come to the realization that you’ve superbly and supremely ticked me off.
I will not be held responsible, and reject all and any liability for my actions, if you ever-so-simply fail to notice my always undoubtably obvious fang-shui.
In this issue: Fangs, Feng-Shui, The Power of Positive Thinking.
Now posted: Unusual Missionary Style
Worth visiting: http://www.ehow.com/how_3776_feng-shui.html
Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 21, 2009
Sometimes history becomes disconnected from us.
An event becomes a story of interest; a tale of something long ago.
Sometimes the lines become blurred
between what is considered reality
and what is considered hearsay.
It is said that all people can be traced to a relation
within 6 degrees of separation.
I am presenting to you now
a case of 3 degrees of separation.
Me, my mother, and Walter.
This is Walter’s story.
Introduction: Judy Buchman
I have the great honor of introducing tonight’s speaker my husband Walter Buchman.
Walter and I have been married for 4 ½ years. When I first heard the story you are about to hear, my first thoughts were of our grandchildren and facing doubts that any of them in this modern age of ipods, blackberrys, computers, and instant gratification could have survived as their grandfather did.
Intestinal fortitude, bravery and the sheer will to live are what make Walter’s story special. With great pride and gratitude for his survival, I present to you my husband and best friend, Walter Buchman.
My Survivor Story: Walter Buchman
For years I have been reluctant to say anything about the Holocaust because I do not have numbers tattooed on my arm, like most of the survivors I have known. I was thinking that without those tattoos no one would believe me.
I must start my story with my Father of blessed memory who with his three cousins and his sister went to Palestine to help start the rebuilding of the land, that was in 1922. They all worked at the foot of the Gilboa Mountains to drain the swamp there, the area of Tell Joseph and started the Kibbutz Bet Hashitah. This area is the most fertile land in Israel, the crop there are unbelievable in flavor and size. There already was an Uncle living in Jerusalem. He arrived there in 1888, and started a business. They were in that area for some time when my father contracted malaria and had to go home to Vienna Austria due to do the fact that he was that ill.
My father married my mother and I was born in Vienna in 1935. I must also tell you that my father was a true communist and a vegetarian. His father and mother left Vienna to go to Palestine right before the Nazis arrived in Austria, 1937. He and my mother did not want to go with my Grandparents to Palestine and they moved to Paris France in about 1938. In 1939 my parents sent me to Switzerland for a Health Visit to Mr. and Mrs. Haller who would later become my foster parents. They lived in the City of Arbon the Canton of Thurgau, on the Bonden Sea (called Lake Constance which is directly across from a city in Germany, Friedrickshaffen.
Somehow my parents let the Hallers who I was staying with know that I had family in Palestine, Great Britain, Bolivia and the USA. My father joined the French underground movement and my mother and I moved to a monastery outside of Marseille in France. My father came for a visit to this monastery and we played a game and I fell on glass and cut my fingers and knee quite badly. My father left and my mother took me to a hospital in Marseille. I had blood poisoning through out my body due to this fall. I had a large cyst on my face that had to be lanced without anesthesia because the hospital did not have any and I still hear my mother scream as I screamed but none the less things turned out well and my mother and I went back to the Monastery. While on the way, there was a parade. I saw the head of the Vichy government Petain waving his hand and hat at that parade.
Some weeks later and during the day there was a knock on the door and two men dressed in long black leather coats came and removed my mother and I. These men took us to an interim camp where somehow my mother was able to make arrangements that I would escape this camp and I would be met by a man. I was 5 years old. The direction that my mother told me to go was through a sewage drain field. When I ran out the other side of the drain field I was wet with excrement.
The man took me to his home and cleaned me up. Then he somehow got me with a group of other children and we all roamed the French countryside to live the best we could. While roaming in France this group of kids ate what we could steal in the camps of the Nazis. I ate bark of the trees, grass, dandelions and rats and mice when we could catch them. I saw the Hitler youth having bayonet practice using babies as their targets. One day my Father came and got me and took me to the border of France and Switzerland. I had in my hand a card written by me to my “Aunt and Uncle” who were in the city of Arbon and the Canton of Thurgau. I wrote that letter in French and stated that I wanted to live with them.
As I ran across the border from France to Switzerland a border Guard shot at me, as I looked back he shot in the air and not at me. I was given to a family in Geneva who sent me on a train to Arbon alone at the age of 7, where I lived for about three years with my foster parents. I had dysentery and was undernourished but the Haller family took care of that and brought my health around. One thing that they did I remember was to grate up eggs shells and I ate them as vitamins. I went to school there for two years that was the only school that I ever went to in Europe. I recall one time in that school that I did something wrong, the teacher yelled at me and when I did not respond he used his fists, he wanted for me to cry but I did not so he continued until he got tired and sent me home.
The Hallers were able to contact my family through a list my parents had given them many years before. At this point my family decided I should go to my Aunt my father’s sister in the United States. I traveled from Arbon to Marseille and then went on a ship to New York alone at the age of 10 ½ . In April of 1946, where I was met by good friends of my parents and also by my cousins. They bought clothing for me and sent me on my way by plane again by myself to Minneapolis MN, to live with my Aunt and Uncle. Some time later I was adopted by them although I retained my last name. I thought at the time that I was the last Buchman in the World so I wanted to keep my last name and I would not allow them to adopt me if I had to change my name to theirs. Later I found out through relatives and trips to Israel that there are many Buchmans living in Israel. Another of my father’s sisters, Cilia and her husband Walter Lippa lived next door to us with their two sons.
As recently as 3 years ago I met the children of my Aunt on my mother’s side living in Bolivia. And just 7 months ago, I was able to find my foster sisters, children of the Hallers who protected me in Switzerland. We correspond regularly and hope to meet face to face in Switzerland next year.
I also want to tell you about my Aunt Eva and Uncle Max Rosenberg. They had one Daughter Rachel. Max was an officer in the French Army, he fought with the French and was captured and was sent to a Concentration Camp and he came out of the camp at 85 pounds. He was nursed to health again and found his daughter and married again to a survivor. He visited my Aunt in Israel several times. While going back to Paris he was walking on a sidewalk and was run over by a Car. My Aunt Eva was taken away to a Camp and was never heard of again. Their daughter Rachel was given in hiding to a French Family, they had one Son. My Cousin married this son and converted to Catholicism and they raised two sons. I met them in Paris in 1967. I have not heard from her at all even though I tried writing.
Many years later I wanted to know just what happened to my parents. I wrote a letter to the Red Cross and two years later they responded to me and found the records of my parents that the NAZIS kept. This was in 1993.
My mother was taken from the interim camp near Marseille to the Infamous Camp Drancy in France, where she was Deported to the Concentration Camp Auschwitz. She was one of 980 in convoy #32, there were 640 males and 340 females. This group was under the supervision of Oberfeldwebel Moller, the orders were composed by SS Heinrichsohn, and telexed to the Inspector of Concentration Camp in Auschwitz by the name of Eichman. Israel found him in South America and he was brought to trial in Israel. This Convoy left Drancy on the 14th of September 1942 and arrived on the 16th of September 1942, where 58 men were selected for work and 49 woman received numbers 63898 through 63953 and the rest were immediately gassed. In 1945 some 45 people were know to have survived this convoy.
On February 15th, 1943 while two Nazi officers were walking across the Lovre Bridge over the Seine River they were shot to death. Because of this incident 2000 Jewish men were to be taken to the Gas Chambers. My Father was on of these two thousand Men he was in the convoy #51 on March the 23rd 1943. And convoy # 50 had the rest. Convoy #51 had 959 men, 39 woman and 2 children. The report that I received did not list when the Convoy arrived in Concentration Camp Lublin ( Majdanek). Those Nazis documented everything including the pimples on peoples noses. As I read the report that I have been given, the Concentration camps in 1943 were working overtime and many of the camps were in disarray. My father’s friend wrote to my father’s sister in Palestine that he indeed had been captured by the Nazis. I do not have this letter in my possession; it may well have been sent to Israel.
I had no brothers or sisters. I lived and I thrived in Minneapolis with my adopted parents and another Aunt and Uncle as well as my paternal grandparents who came to the USA from Israel in 1948. I became a plumber, started a mechanical contracting business and had three sons with my late wife of 47 years Lois.
And now with my wife Judy, we have a combined 5 children and 8 grand children. I live a wonderful life here in Naples and in the greatest country that has ever been, the United States of America. I have to say that in my life time I have had three sets of parents. My birth parents, my foster parents in Switzerland and my adopted parents in the USA. I am a very, very fortunate individual to have survived.
GOD BLESS AMERICA.
April 14, 2009
Switch, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 15
Wouldn’t it be great if the way to solve all problems was to simply find the right switch to flip?
University of Michigan recently came up with an interesting engagement program called “Power Down.” The theory behind the initiative was to remind people and have them commit to powering down all electrical appliances during non-work hours. Computers, monitors, faxes, printers are all good candidates for this. A pledge form was included in the information received to encourage employees to actively commit to helping the U spend less.
What sort of benefits would this simple act achieve? Well, less electrical use to start. That saves money. Long term, there’s wear and tear usage savings – prolonging the life of appliances and reducing replacement costs. Perhaps a few jobs could be saved as well, or maybe some of our increased benefit costs could be offset?
Although a great idea, my division ran into a small problem. Updates, fixes, and many reports are run in the evenings. A later email advised us not to turn off our computers, but agreed that we could still turn off our monitors, printers, etc. Something is better than nothing, right?
The point is, finding that one big switch is a utopian goal. It isn’t realistic to expect that one thing will change everything. What is realistic is making changes where possible.
Here’s another thought. While we’re powering down appliances, let’s power up our spirituality. Let’s connect to the real power source. Turn off your monitors; fire up prayers. Unplug your power strip, plug into the bible.
In this issue: Switches, Inner Light, Yoga
Now posted: Meeting GOD in the Street, and A Slidell Life Story
Worth visiting: http://yoga.about.com/od/beginningyoga/Beginning_Yoga_Practice.html
April 08, 2009
Sunrise ME News Update: Princess Day
Hi, everyone. Just a quick update from this morning's blog post: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/~jaselin/archives/2009/04/sunrise_me_news.html#more
The "Princess Day" project became a reality today. I know of eight people who helped put this project together, but I think there were probably a few more. A friend told me, I told a friend, she told a friend, and so on.
Delivered to our honoree:
* Handmade cards personally signed by:
Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine, Bambi & Thumper & Flower, Mickey, and Minnie. Thank you to the ladies who gave up their lunch hours two days in a row. You do great work!
* A gorgeous 12 page handmade Disney princess picture scrapbook with stickers, gems, and personal notes from the princesses. Thanks to the two ladies who stayed up all night making this beautiful book, and then called and delivered it to me at 4:30 am! Bless you.
* An awesome 3-dimensional, pink foam board princess castle, hand created and decorated: a little under two foot tall and wide - one special lady with lots of help from a husband. She also made the delivery.
* A handmade, cheerfully colored pillow case - from our organizer, catalyst, and the sweetest woman you'll ever meet. She was also responsible for:
* 3 wooden coloring board cut outs and markers - 1 for our little patient and 1 for each sibling
* Balloons for our patient and siblings
* and probably some stuff I don't know about...
Lots of people, lots of heart, two days effort, priceless memories. I'm honored to know you all.
Additional update from our deliverer: "Our 'princess' was just waking from a nap when I got there. She loved EVERYTHING, especially the M & M'S. She didn't want to share them with her siblings, but she did. Her mom read her the scrap book, which was beautiful. She loved the pillow case. The cards were awsome. Thank you to every one who contributed."
April 07, 2009
Sunrise, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 14
“Watch the sun come up.”
Just another one of those silly tinfoil chocolate advisories.
Obviously, the sun comes up while I’ve got my eyes on the road and off the road watching for traffic and wayward critters. Once in a while, I notice some pretty hues.
A friend told me about a little girl with cancer who’s dream of going to Disney World was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Despite that generosity, it does not appear that she will be making that trip. As of last week, she had been placed on hospice. Talk got around to how we could make Disney come to her; perhaps a visit from Cinderella? A local costume company said, “Yes,” they had a princess costume, but “No” they would not donate its use.
Maybe in this economic climate they felt they could not afford to do so. Maybe they had been taken advantage of before. Maybe it wasn’t made clear enough that tomorrow one less little pair of eyes might not see the sun rise.
I know I’m sounding way too judgmental for a woman who has been lax about even paying attention to sunrises for quite some time now.
I also know that I am blessed to have the sweetest memory of Jeff’s voice every morning declaring, “The sun’s comin’ up on another beautiful day!” It didn’t really matter what the weather was, and it certainly didn’t matter what his pain level was. He truly found joy in just being able to see the sun rise up for one more day.
Tomorrow may never come again for this child, whose family will go on without her; saddened and changed, treasuring little gifts stored away as memories – which are the most precious things.
I pray that they will end up understanding, and end up as I am: peaceful that the suffering is over, not happy about the way things are, but ever more so able to appreciate the sunrise – knowing what it is really worth – and taking the time to do so.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; Lamentations 3:22-23
In this issue: Make-A-Wish Foundation, Igloo Coolers, Life is Hard Work
Now posted: Shiny Yellow Locks, & Coolers; Slidell, LA, October 2008
like i'm you
Sometimes, it’s like I’m you
Watching me fall apart
Seeing it through your eyes
Feeling it through your heart
I don’t know how
I’m supposed to make this work
I don’t know how to show you
What it’s really worth.
I don’t agree that
Being a peripheral presence is cowardly
Can there not be an acceptable grace in quiet ministry?
Can it just be that the reason I am here is because
of my love, my strength, my faith in GOD?
I do believe that
I will see you rise to be who you will be
through HIM, sharing my belief in your worthiness,
as a strong peripheral presence;
and without a doubt, the whole of my heart.
Receiving End of Charity
Have you ever been on the receiving end of charity?
Me neither, until now.
There was a NOLA construction team who worked at a site where the homeowners were living on their front lawn in a FEMA trailer. They never once came out to meet the workers. In fact, they positioned themselves so there would be absolutely no contact with anyone working on their home.
I couldn’t imagine how that could be. But now, I hurt.
I cringe at the gentleness in voices; I lower my eyes so I won’t see the pity.
I hide my heart because it is so obviously broken, I’m afraid someone will try to fix that too.
I’ve lived with it so long now though, it’s familiar; it’s mine.
The one thing I own in this life is my pain.
I’m embarrassed that other people consider me poor.
Embarrassed over my inadequacy to provide for myself.
Embarrassed by my inability to solve my own problems responsibly, by myself.
Embarrassed to be the receiver instead of the giver.
Seeing myself in a new way in a new type of mirror;
Uncomfortable, panicked, heartbroken, embarrassed.
I don’t want to accept what is offered, but I desperately need to.
I cannot reciprocate; I have nothing to give in return.
I won’t hinder compassion; I won’t deny the desire.
I’ll keep my distance; outside the circle
Watching you bloom; for the price of my pride.
April 03, 2009
in the sun’s wake
a cool breeze
I shrug it off,
for the moment
on simply standing
for the promises of
April 01, 2009
Restraint and Perpetual Brownies
For some people a bubble bath will do it. Not for me.
Not right now, anyway, since no one has been able to determine why my water is stinky.
Work is driving me to eat like an idiot. I know i am responsible for my own restraint, or whatever.
I wish someone would restrain me... on a beach... in a comfy lounge chair... with a personal umbrella… next to a nice guy ... with a body for surfing ... a good sense of humor... and a brain for conversation...with a huge glass of super spiked limeade... and some munchies... like maybe fresh shrimp with a kicky cocktail sauce... or crab rangoons with real crab... and some windowpane pretzels … and a multi-flavoured soft serve ice cream machine at my disposal... right next to the oven that perpetually shoots out warm brownies.
Haven't quite decided if I should be a pale redhead or a tanned brunette, yet... but I would be taller, thinner, and have more hair... perhaps all of my teeth, too... and an unlimited bank account ... and nice natural nails....
Really, I haven't thought too much about it, though....