Friday, May 29, 2009

The Story in Images

Just starting out...

U.Mass. Boston Campus

heading towards the city

heading towards Jamaica Plain
And this is where my sister's camera stopped working for me. 

Basically, we walked into Milton and then Canton? And by then we were in country. I "slept" in a tent in the rain. I could barely walk. At that point, everyone was hobbling around. My tent-mate introduced me to some of her friends and invited me to join them the next day. Alleluiah! Seriously. By then I was lonely and sore, and I needed the company to make it. It really helped. 

During this walk, there were several times when I believed that I could go no further. After the first night I was certain that I would not walk at all the next day. But, I set out with everyone else. Then, I was sure I would only do a few miles, but I made it to lunchtime. Where I almost hopped on a bus. Somehow, I did all 39 miles. It was amazing. I amazed myself.

My sister Amy, met me at the finish line. She got us a cab and took me to a lush hotel in the financial district where I , under serious delusional, endorphine -crazed, duress, told our teenage mini-bar stocker, that "it's okay, you're so cute" when  he mistakenly walked into our room without knocking. As soon as the words came out, my face turned scarlet and I asked Amy if I had just said that out loud. Then I got into the enormous bathtub and stayed there. After a bath and a shower, A. and I, walked and limped, into the Northside for yummy pasta. Then at 7:00 pm, I passed out. 

I am so glad I did this. I hope to do it again in a few years and would love to have company. I would do it sooner if I did not have to raise so much money. Fundraising is hard. My parents shelled out a lot for me to do this. Thanks mom and dad! And thank you to everyone who was able to donate! And even those who weren't! I love you! And Rosie, I love you and I know you are out there, cheering me on every day. I feel it.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Walk Part One

On Friday the 15th, I took a bus to Boston. Moll met me at South Station and we dropped off my gear at Amy's house. We had fun for a bit trying on Amy's many lip glosses, swigging vodka from her freezer, eating her yogurt and farting on her bed. Just kidding about that last part. But you know, when you have the keys to your big sister's apt. you just have to take advantage.  We stole a few packs of gum and hit the pavement. Which, in hindsight, was sort of stupid because I was going to be walking 26 miles the next day. But hey, when in Rome...So Molly and I and her hilarious roomies, Val and Moll's adorable boyfriend Noah, hung out. We got frozen yogurt at Berryline in Cambridge, amazing stuff. Then, when My feet were already good and sore, we met Amy at some Mediterranean restaurant and got an enormous platter of delectable goodies, mishis, hommos, dips, pita, tabouleh etc. Amy later mentioned that Molly and I ate so quickly and  piggishly that the only thing stopping her from vomiting was that we actually used our forks. We were hungry, I guess. After that meal I was full and yet we had to stop at this ice cream place that has the most interesting flavors. Ever heard of grape nut flavor? Nope? So good. Ice cream that manages to be chewy.  Or burnt caramel. Yum. Finishing that cone was work. Then I went to bed and woke up at 4 am. A cab at 4 am is eerie, in a good way. My driver went through all the lights. I sat in the clean cab and my mouth opened and I said," Wow, your cab smells good." And I don't understand what he said back to me. I got a ride to the Plaza and then took a shuttle to U.Mass Boston. Once there, I dropped my bag off and got breakfast ( banana, coffee, cereal bar juice). The sun was coming up over the water. People were milling about. I felt, tired, excited and sort of lonely. I thought of Rose and the irony of me being there without her. She is the kind of person/friend who would have done this with me. And, here I am, alone and doing this for her and wishing she could do it with me, in the flesh. I  put my sunglasses on and cried. Oh, and my feet were sore. 

I took a lot of group photos for people . And I took a few of myself. We stood together, and warmed up as one large group. We held hands. We listened to some personal stories and then we were off. My feet were already sore and I felt a bit silly about that. We walked along the water and I recognized Southie , where Amy used to live. Then we turned and walked over a bridge. I remember passing the Barking Crab, a seafood joint where I last saw Rose (in Boston). I wore her ashes on a chain around my neck. I held them as we passed the restaurant sign. 

 It was exhilarating, walking around in the sunlight, part of this big group. People were stopping and smiling, cheering us on. We had frequent rest stops that were equipped with snacks and other essentials. Occasionally I would casually say something to someone or vice versa, but mostly it was a quiet walk for me. I remember walking towards the urban scape in the morning and by days end, we were in the countryside. ..

More soon. With pictures.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

notes from a birth/mother'sday...

The reversible Helen tote. Earth tones.
And vintage floral. Laura, do you recognize the "sample" pockets? 

1. Planted part of garden, finally.
2. Started and finished Helen's tote bag.
3. Caught Ezra eating part of mushed up cake ( Matt made a cake and it was a disaster so he went and bought one later).
4. Found that E and H had covered their faces with dinosaur "tattoos", using a stamp and ink pad, (Henry scrubbed his off). I ignored E.'s until too late. Oh well.
5. Went for a walk. 
6. Ate yummy grilled salmon, rice and garlicky greens for dinner.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I 'm every woman, It's all in meeeeee

To keep it brief, I will list some of the common side affects I experience when I am about to speak to a large group of people as myself and not Tzeitel or the chef from Cinderella (yes, I really had that important part). 

dry right eye
numb left arm
shaking all over like bunny rabbit
plus all the other things, like racing heart beat, dry mouth etc.

So at this meeting, I was prepared with a typed statement and question. Holding a vial of Rosies ashes in one hand I threw my other hand in the air after two people had spoken. I sort of tricked myself. And half of me (the naughty half that doesn't want me to do these scary things and whispers negative things like"Kelly you will trip, shite your pants, look silly, stumble over your words, KELLY YOU WILL FAIL", that part of me was a bit angry that my hand flew up. Cuz now I had no choice.  The other part of me took control. I walked nearly gracefully to the microphone in the auditorium. I cleared my throat. I told them my name and where I lived. I looked at everyone and I did not have to stare at my typed sheet. I had spent all afternoon revising it. I even ad- libbed a bit. I paused here and there. I listened to myself and I had to admit, that I had a nice voice. And honestly, I sounded like I knew what was talking about. After a few seconds even my shaking hands, shook a bit less. At one point I almost started crying. I paused and continued. As dad always told me, in the words of that baseball legend whose name eludes me, I endeavored  to persevere.  When I was done. Applause. Now the negative part of me wants to insert here that other people garnered applause too and maybe they just thought I was sort of cute.  But I will go no further with those nasty thoughts. I deserved it. It felt good. When it was over. 

Thanks for your support.


more soon...


My stomach hurts and it has all afternoon. Tonight I plan to, no I am going to, stand up in front of a room of scary, no normal people and say something silly, no important. You see, the district is trying to close Henry's school. A motion was made 2 months ago by the school board and on May 19th they plan to vote. Because you know, closing down a beloved school and displacing nearly two hundred students, many whose families barely speak English, is a 'two month ' kind of decision. It seems obvious that they have made their choice. Tonight is the last meeting.

Marks Meadow is a special school. It serves the little village of mostly international student families where I live, many of whom do not own a car and of, course can't vote. The faculty and staff at MM work with our community respectfully and fluidly. A tiny school of 193 students that has gotten the top scores in the MCAS tests, Marks Meadow school is physically attached to Furcolo Hall, a U.Mass. Education school building. The University charges no rent from our school. If the school is closed, we will permanantly lose usage of it. The other schools in the district are decent schools if a bit larger. They are all much farther away from North Village, making it very difficult for the families without a car to get there. They are also less diverse culturally and socioeconomically. The closure of MM provides barely a drop in the bucket of relief for a ridiculous defecit that has been building for many years. No figures have been released that show what the other schools cost to run. Geesh, I could go on and on. Mostly, what I will say will be concerning Henry and his needs for a small class size and his right, as a student with an I.E.P to get a "free appropriate education" and how, if he doesn't get one( and a small class size is part of that), I will ya know, sue the school ( they will pay tuition for private school) and they won't be saving much money after all. The other beef I have that no one has addressed, is the Obama/Biden Early Childhood Ed. initiatives, it's about freaking time. When Universal Preschool becomes mandated we just might want some space in our public schools.

Can someone come with me and hold my hand? Why am I so terrified. Blerg.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday Rituals

Right now Matty is getting our old stakes from the house we lived in (in Leverett), Ezra is on a walk with his buddy Oliver and Ollie's Mom, Sunita and Henry is outside with his Gumbahs (sp.) as my dad would say. I can hear their voices carrying through the village. So I have a moment or two to ell you of a tradition that Ez and I have been partaking in for the last month or so. Henry has swim lessons every Sat. morning (and is loving them yippee!!) and so, Ezra accompanies me on my morning walk. Which means I get a coffee and a pastry at the bakery. This is the reason, so late in life, that I have experienced a bakery revelation. The only times in my life that I have lived in cities (except from my Florence experience but that was all about chocolate, wine and pasta), and consequently, had access to bakeries, I was always in a serious health kick and wouldn't consider going into them. Now, in my thirties, I still eat pretty healthily but I don't bat an eyelash at walking into a pastry shop and sharing something with one of my kids. And, wow. Doughnuts, crullers, almond croissants, those crisp/chewy merenguey things shaped like horse shoes and covered with almonds? Sweet Lord. I looove bakeries. I know, I need to be careful. So every Saturday, Ez and I walk the 2 miles into town, avec stroller, and I get him a treat, have 2-3 delectable bites and savor them. I mean, SAAAVOOOR, with my eyes closed. yum. Henion bakery is a wonderful place too. A happy pink awning. A very cute boy at the cash register, amazingly good coffee and tables outside. What more could a girl want? Or a 32 yr.old (soon to be 33), mother want?

Also, North Village is in full blossom mode, and soon they will be gone, another thing to savor.


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