Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dear Mommy

You've been gone six months today. How did that happen?

We scattered most of your ashes and Daddy's on Cape Cod on your anniversary. I didn't write about it here--about how good it turned out to be to be with my brother's family. How I got seasick on the boat, but not till the end. How We took 2 more boats on the way home and saw dolphins near Cape May.

The Man and I took a tiny amount of your ashes and Daddy's and put them in small containers before the funeral. I didn't tell Andy--they were just so the Man and the girls and I could scatter them on Assateague, as we did Nay's 6 years ago.  But SC got sick, and things went wrong and they're still with us.

We'll go in October and scatter them then. They're not really you--just what was left of your poor tired bodies. But we need to do this.

And keep wanting to call you. Tell you about how JR passed the dratted geometry SOL and how well SC is doing in college. About my poor sad community garden and about the 8 foot high sunflower growing on my library lawn.  About the bitch next door and her loud get togethers that have spoiled my patio time, and about hiring my new assistant who I hope will be okay since she's not the one I wanted.

Above all, I want to tell you that I love you and always will. But you know that, you and Daddy.
I know that you do.

All my love, always,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dear New Boss

It's fine that you want to raise circulation. Hell, so do I, as I have for the last decade as I have begged, grovelled, screamed and pleased with the patrons who love my programs to borrow some books. Or some DVDs. Or something!

Fine if , as you say. you are going to  use your money to buy popular DVD crap to add to my shelves. And if you want to give me money to buy mass media crap for my book collections, I will hold my nose and do so as well.

But I've been in this business 30 years. Been in this system 25. And none of my bosses has ever tried to supervise my book purchases. It's micromanagement and it's damn insulting.

You have, as far as I know, no children's book training. You come from a system where they buy stuff CENTRALLY, for chrissake.

So you can put the mass media crap on my shelves and perhaps people will borrow it.  But I don't think that is the problem. Or the solution.

It's times like these when I wonder if my job, the job I love, isn't getting a lot less fun.


The Library Lady  a.k.a. "The Youth Services Manager"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Help NOT Wanted

I have spent the last 5 years (almost 6)  working without an assistant, and for the most part it's been fine.  I don't think last year's nasty encounter with a patron and the subsequent broo-ha-ha had anything to do with this.

I've learned to do my own art work. I do the bulletin boards, the displays. I've always done all the programs.

I have relished being able to do what I want as I want. I have had the sheer bliss of an office to myself.

So getting an assistant doesn't excite me. Particularly when I have to have the new "Youth Services Manager" from our Central Library (whom I'm hoping is better than the last twit, who I found patronizing and sanctimonious) AND the b*tch who is our "Human Resource" officer AND my new boss on a "hiring panel" with me.

I have a former assistant who is about to come back as a volunteer. I don't know if she wants the job, but I'm hoping she'll apply. I love yer--she's my favorite assistant ever. I could stand sharing an office with her.

But I fear that she won't, or that the "committee" will hook onto some nice-nice anal retentive type who will fuss about the office mess and try to do things the way they did them elsewhere. I've had that.

I will hope for the best. But I really didn't need this stress. Not right now. Maybe not ever.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


There's a cardboard box in the living room, filled with photos, and another one with knicknacks from my parents' breakfront that there is no place for in our house. Partly because of Bruce the Bold, our mighty climber of a cat, partly because there is no shelf where we could put them.

There's a huge suitcase, full of photos. Antique albums from my grandmothers, with faces I may never be able to name. Faded photos with inscriptions, some in English, some clearly in Polish, even if Daddy always claimed the family were "Austrian" Jews.

Hatboxes of my Grandma Eda's hats, too small for me, but childhood treasures. There's a delicate concoction of flowers and white netting which may well have been my mother's wedding hat.

Tablecloths from Grandma Esther's holiday tables. Long and lacy, with napkins to match, that have been sitting in my mother's breakfront, unused for going on 30 years.

All this and more is all over my living room. Along with a huge box of the Man's tools, stuff for finishing  several kitchen projects, a new ceiling fan he was supposed to put in LAST weekend, and other odds and ends.

And then there are his books. Piled on the floor as it extends into the dining area. Piled on tables. Piled in front of bookcases. Thousands of books he will never read, that pile around him as he sits at the table, using his laptop.

In our bedroom there are more boxes. He's cleared some of the 10 odd that have been blocking his side of the bed, but there's still a pile there. He can't get into his closet because of the things piled in front of it, and because of the bookcase, turned sideways. Full of more books he hasn't used in years and never will.

This doesn't even allow for 10 odd more boxes of slides and photos at my parents house that I need to bring down here to Virginia.  They will need to be organized. The slides will need to be scanned and cataloged.

And there's no room for any of it.

My house looks like we are in some stage of moving. My house looks like a college student's house. Actually not--when I lived with friends in college, our house was pretty well organized and the furniture may have been better, and there was wall space for our pictures!

I am drowning in the Man's stuff and my parents' stuff and I desperately want to move into a house where I can toss all his things--and theirs--into a basement and have a living room that looks like a living room. A bedroom that has bookcases, but only a few.

But the housing market and our finances and our attachment to this house are making that unlikely.

And I go on, drowning in all these boxes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dear Nanay

How can you be gone for 6 years now?

Tatay gone too--it was two years this January. Dad--it will be two years this June.

Mom gone now. Three months and counting, and I'm still closing up the apartment, and still not believing that I'm doing so.

But then, I still can't believe any of you are gone. That Mom and Dad aren't there in the Bronx, eternally bickering about small things and eternally in love.

That Tay is not there at the kitchen table on Riverside Drive, reading the newspapers and making pronouncements on politics.

And that you're not there, getting up pre-dawn to bake bread, and always so happy to have your family home with you.

How can any of you be gone?

I miss you, Nay. I miss all of you.

I want all of you back. 


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day

I got through Mother's Day.
Actually, it was a pretty nice one, in that SC bought me flowers. Of course, it would have been better if she'd bought tightly closed ones and watered them well, since the tulips she got me were already losing their petals when she gave them to me, but it's the thought that counts. And I love her for thinking of me. She's lovely that way.  I got a card from everyone too. Family cards are never just plain greeting cards, we all draw in them or put funny family jokes.

But all the Mother's Day stuff out there hurt. And it didn't help that Mommy's birthday was last Saturday, and the Man and SC were in NYC. I wanted them to go--the Man got to spend time with his brothers, and we won't have the apartment much longer. But I can't remember the last time I had a day like that. A day to spend in Manhattan.  Come to think of it, can't remember the last time I had a real day off. Even the "off" days are spent in errands, cooking and gardening. I just CAN'T do nothing--I feel guilty when I do.

Meanwhile the Man will happy spend a weekend sitting on his ass, eating too much and sitting at his computer, surrounded by thousands of books that he will never use. He is supposed to be doing work on them this weekend--getting more out of the house. We will see. I keep looking at houses, longing to move, but I am picky and we can't afford much, and the housing market here is tight, so I fully expect to continue to live surrounded by his stuff for years to come--and then there is the stuff from my parents' house as well.Which will doubtlessly end up in more storage.

And now it's Memorial Day weekend and I am working today, and bound to be doing 10 million things for the rest of the weekend, few of which will involve flopping down in the swing on our patio with a good book. Besides, if I try to, our horrible new neighbor with the loud voice, the loud friends and the pretty-pretty Martha Stewart patio will doubtlessly pick that time for a wine fest.

June is coming. More work on the apartment. The anniversary of losing Daddy, followed promptly by Father's Day.  And a trip to Cape Cod at the end of the month that we need to take, to say goodbye to Mom and Dad together.

I am so, so tired................

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Daddy

I've never been a believer, but between the weird thing with the will two weeks ago, the Man's finding the safety deposit keys suddenly last weekend, and the thing with the elevator, I can't help wondering if there's some sort of afterlife bureaucracy that has delayed Mom's getting to where you are for about 6 weeks.

I hope there's an afterlife, Daddy. I hope you're there with Mom, and that she can let go of her food fears, and that there is food there.

I hope she's baking you a lovely cake and making you something wonderful for dinner and that the two of you are there, pain free and knowing how much we love you. We miss you, but we're grateful to have had you in our lives.

Cleaning out the house is driving me nuts, though.

All my love always,