I left a piece of my heart in New York this afternoon when I left to go home. It was bittersweet. New York was mostly awesome. The people are friendly with one exception - when they are behind the wheel of a car, taxi or truck. They drive with haste and God forbid you get in someone’s way. It’s as if there is no tomorrow. They seem to only live for the moment. On the highway of life they are traveling about 90 m.p.h. But out of their cars, the people I had contact with were extremely friendly. I believe the reputation of the angry New Yorker comes from those who only experience a drive through the city. The people in the bagel shops, hardware stores and restaurants are exceptionally friendly.
Another thing about New York - there are more mom and pop shops there than any other place I have ever been. Rare to see a chain fast food restaurant or even a chain gas station. It's actually pretty cool that there are so many. Good to see that.
We had breakfast at Tom's Restaurant this morning. It is a diner that was opened in 1936. It's on the corner of Washington Ave and Sterling. It reminds me of the corner grocer near my grandparent's home in New Jersey. Very quaint and reminiscent of the television program Cheers - "where everybody knows your name".
After breakfast we went to this amazing cemetery. For anyone who really knows me, you know that I love genealogy and photography. Well put the two together and voila! Cemeteries! Mike and Colleen took me to Green-Wood Cemetery. There are about 560,000 (half a million) people buried there! Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Morse, Henry Steinway (of Steinway & Sons piano fame) and 559,997 more.
We left for Penn Station around 1:30 for the hectic Sunday drive into the city. By the time we got to the station Oliver had fallen asleep. I was rubbing his head, like I would do at home, hoping he would go to sleep. I was afraid that if he was awake when I left he would cry (as he sometimes does when I leave). Normally that would be a good thing. It makes me feel important and he's at an age where he recognizes that saying goodbye means someone is leaving for a while. Crying means he will miss that person. One of us crying would be enough for today.
When it all comes down to basics, there are only a few things in life that are really important. Things will break and fail, visions and dreams of a particular future fade with time. When you are young, you don't understand this. There are so many tomorrows to be had, and well, we are born selfish and it takes time to mature and become selfless. As we mature, our lives become multidimensional. It's like when we are children there is no one else that matters but us. Then as we grow we become aware that the world does not revolve around us. The older we get, the more we recognize that there is so much more to this life than "me". One of my all time favorite quotes - "The most important things in life aren't things. They are people."
|Getting a beso at Tom's Restaurant this morning!|
|A cool pic from the Green-Wood Cemetery.|
|One of my favorites things to do with Oliver - make "crazy face" pictures. |
Will be sure to take a lot when I see him in two weeks!
I have always dreamed that I would be that grandmother who lived down the street from her children and their families. That we would have Sunday dinners together, play together and live life together. That there would always be a place for the grandchildren to come over whenever and I could be that soft, fluffy Gigi; a place they could come when mom and dad were just "too mean". I haven't given up on that dream, it just seems a bit further away than yesterday.
I am in a sleeping car on an Amtrak train and directly across from me is a mom, dad and two year old little girl. She just asked for something and said "pweese". Thank you Lord for putting them across from me so I could hear that sweet little voice in my head. Now all I need is a "ha-wow" and I'll be set.
|Oliver was watching a cartoon Christmas program and saw|
that there was a star on the tree. He found a plastic
star - the lid from the container the ornaments came in,
and put it on the top of the tree. Genius!