Friday, July 31, 2009

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

This is my one hundredth blog. I am going to use this momentous spot in time and space to reply to a tag from the wonderful ChrisH of Home Thoughts Weekly. Chris asked me to try to describe myself in seven words.

Although there is not much recent evidence to support this, I will begin with painter. Painting, drawing, printmaking is what I love to do. Regularly however, I seem to push these interests to the back of the queue, time wise. Why is this, I ask myself?

Another word springs to mind, responsible. I was a child who ate her vegetables, did her homework, made up her bed, helped her mom with the dishes, tried to keep cavities away from her teeth (particularly after the orthodontist had been handsomely paid to straighten them.) Early patterns can become embedded. When I graduated from university and began my life as a working adult, I brought that sense of responsibility to the job. This has continued for ... over forty years. Every so often, I do break loose from that yoke.

May I introduce another word, spontaneous. Although many might consider me quite the planner (after all, I am a September-born Virgo,) I think of myself as someone who enjoys making a quick decision, and opting for a big change every so often.

I think that I will claim to be frugal rather than stingy, or those other negative takes on watching one's finances. I still have a rotary dial phone, do not have air conditioning, love to make gifts rather than buy them, bring my own packed lunch to work. Book buying used to be a major weak link in my frugality; however, paying an annual membership fee to a marvelous library has opened up a fresh world of new and old books to my eyes, without my having to shelve or dust them.

Perhaps Chris will allow me to stretch the rules a bit, so that I may an adjective. I would say that I am a caring friend. I am still in touch with folks I met way back when I was around nine years old. It is a delight to meet new friends and to increase this bouquet of connections. My fairly recent acquaintance with the web has made it possible to realize that there are friends all around the world with whom I share many interests. Someone once told me that a "normal person" is someone that you don't know very well. I always smile to think of that description.

I cannot ignore the fact that I am also aging. If I lived in the UK, I would qualify for a bus pass; over here, I am now able to get the senior citizen price on a movie ticket at certain theatres. I now qualify for collection of our national retirement fund, Social Security. However, it is very much in my interests to try to hold off a bit. The longer one waits, the greater the amount of the monthly check. I soon will be 64. This astonishes me, as I still find it easy to identify with much younger people, and carry within me the rebel potential, rather than the conservative tendency.

Let me conclude my seven traits with healthy. For the most part, I think that I am healthy in my body and my mind. (Some might detect a hint of a lyric from the Kinks.) I am truly thankful that I am holding up so well, particularly since I have some dear friends who are not so lucky. Of course, I haven't had a proper general check up in several years, so I might be living in a fool's paradise. A mid-September appointment has been made for said check up and I will know more about which words that doctor will use to describe me then.

The rules might encourage me to tag more people to try to select their own magnificent seven; however, I will gently suggest that if anyone reads this post and would like to give the challenge a go, plunge in!

Best wishes to all.


  1. You should have added a delight to be with but then you aren't allowed to toot your own horn.
    This was so thoughtful and interesting.
    How do you survive without air conditioning?
    I think you have described yourself exactly.

  2. How interesting that, although we've never met in person, I found myself nodding 'yes, yes' to each of your seven words. I especially knew that you are responsible and yet spontaneous, and I like that very much about you!
    Congratulations on your 100th, Frances.

  3. Ah, what a lovely, insightful 100th blog, Frances. I love the combination of traits you describe - delightful company, with wide-ranging interests in all the same sorts of things I'm interested in, and a constant friend. So glad to hear you're healthy, too - long may it last. But why do we always push those creative persuits, those things we love to do to the back of the queue? I do it, too, and I wish I didn't.

  4. This is a thoughtful insight into you. A great read. I'm enjoying reading about New York and about you, from your perspective. Congratulations on the 100th post.

  5. Thank you for this glimpse into your nature and, at the same time, your world. I am very happy to have made your blog-acquaintance; I like everything you say about yourself and I could well imagine myself being friends with you in the "real" world. From comments to my posts I already know that you are a cultured, well-read and open-minded person; long may your delightful personality brighten my virtual world.

  6. What a perfect 100th post. As a fellow Virgo I found myself nodding in agreement to all of them too (except painter). A beautiful and elegant insight into your personality.

  7. I've enjoyed my visit to your
    100th post- getting to know a little more about you. And after our record heat, I have to agree and ask- how do you manage without AC?

    I do wish that you had more time for painting- I would love to see more of your work.

  8. Ah, wonderful! How lovely I had a very good start to the day reading LBD's 7 and I am delighted, before I turn out the light to read your seven, Frances. Oh, you most certainly are a painter with your clever, artistic eye and sense of colour. And. yes, I think we do get glimpses of that responsible little girl, but isn't it fascinating that almost the opposite characteristic, your spontaneity, is twinned with it? Congratulations on a memorable 100 post and her's wishing you continued good health.

  9. You know, Frances, it would be an interesting experiment to ask others to choose adjectives to describe us. Though I have never met you (like Pondside) I find a number of your adjectives here agreeing with my mental image of you, I would add loyal, caring, dedicated maybe a little wistful, intelligent, observant and also American (though don't ask me to define exactly what this is). How insightful this exercise is.

  10. That painting of the tea cup is so very lovely, Frances. I do hope you will soon be able to spend time painting. I especially love the colors you have chosen. So, may I add talented?

    Congratulations on your 100th blog!

  11. Dearest Frances,

    from the very first blog post of yours did I know that you were a very kind soul, your description of yourself only confirms that, no to speak of the hint that Elizabeth gave us! ;-)

    I hope you do give yourself more often the gift of painting!

    I cannot imagine how you manage without airconditioning, what with all that humidity in New York City (I still think of NY as "up" - my mind somehow's still living "down" in DC *g*)!

    May August be kind to you!

  12. You could add 'self aware', because you seem to know yourself well; I recognised the lovely person I have come to know a little through the wonders of the 'Net'.

  13. P.S.:
    Congratulations on your 100th blog,
    each and every one has been a pleasure to read!

    I read that you were having trouble with the blog roll or followers list. I lost mine one fine day when I tried to update it and am terrified to change anything on my template since then. Sue of "Much Ado" has a separate blog just for the blogs list, which I find is a wonderful idea and I hope to find the time to try to make my own list when fall rolls around.

  14. Might I also add cherishing friend, there with wise words in times when friends lives are in upheaval, true - to yourself and you ideals and overall genuinely sincere.

    You - dear Frances - are indeed a delight to be with, we are all proud to call you friend., 100th eh! and always worth the read.

  15. What a nice post. First of all I love the painting of the blue cup; the colors are ethereal so I would add “gifted”. You know the Kinks? I remember when I got their album I kept playing “You got me, you really got me.” It is a good anniversary to celebrate 100 posts; I think I may do the same when the time comes.

  16. Happy 100th - and a very good read too.

    The 'blogosphere' has certainly opened up a whole world of friendships. It seems that although we come from a variety of places and experiences we do share much common ground. Long may these internet conversations and friendships continue.

  17. Hello Frances,
    It was lovely to find your message today. It has turned ot to be a glorious sunny day and I have taken the whole day sitting and painting, while the light is so good.
    I really enjoyed this blog. Yesterday I spent several hours with my 95year old neighbour, just chatting. I came away thinking how lucky I was to still do what I wanted, things like go for a walk. I also feel young, think that I might still have over 40 years left, to match his age. So plenty of time to paint. Sometimes life demands all your time, but then it sort of gives it back again.
    Enjoy your week, dust off the cobwebs and have fun. Your blue painting is lovely. Millyx

  18. This was beautifully written Frances.
    Wow one hundred posts - I still have a looong way to go!

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