Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Loretta (Young Senior)

Following Joan’s story in the last blog post, I thought I would share something really sweet. Two words. Young senior. The highest honor I’ve ever been bestowed.

Loretta Gaither
Young Senior – Our Writing Class Teacher

Today at the beginning of class, when we were all chatting, I said to Benita, our teacher, “Guess what? You are a young senior! Our class loves you and you are just like one of us.”  Everybody cheered and said that was a perfect thing to say.  Benita jumped out of her chair and screamed, “Yay!”.  She said it’s the highest honor.  I am happy I made her feel so good.

Love from our whole class, including each classmate, to Benita.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Joan (Aging)

It blows my mind that our seniors’ stories cover the full spectrum of life – romance, friendship, silly pranks, you name it. When you read them, you don’t realize the person talking happens to be older, and when you do, you’re like, Hey, that’s kind of cool. Maybe you didn’t expect it. Maybe it changes something about what you think about older people, in a super subtle way.

 And then, sometimes, our seniors choose to take on a special topic: aging. And maybe at first you don’t realize the person talking happens to be older in this case either. And when you do, there is something so liberating and empowering about it, don’t you think? Liberating for the senior speaking out loud, and empowering for the rest of us listening, wondering how it will be like when one day we will get there too.

Joan Bunting

Why do most people fear aging?  As they draw closer to the age of forty, they seem to panic.  They start dying their hair and do other things to make them look younger.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good and most of all presentable.  Also, there’s nothing wrong with applying a little lipstick, getting a new hairstyle, etc.  Why do they almost panic when they see one or two gray hairs?

I find getting older interesting and sometimes a bit funny.  Interesting because it seems like almost every day there’s a new pain in a different part of your body.  It’s funny because personally, I laugh and I say “Where did this pain come from?”

You know God made us all exactly the way He wanted us to look.  White hair symbolizes wisdom.  Whatever age you are, thank God that He allowed you to make it thus far.

I saw my first 2 white hairs at age 25, but I never considered once to dye it, as they began to come in rapidly.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pat (This Morning)

It’s 11:30am here in Philly – just the right time to say thank you to the beautiful morning for coming our way. Outside the window, it’s somewhere between sunny and damp, warm and breezy. Inside, I am working on my ton of design work (for those of you who are new to the blog and don’t know, I am an architect too!) but just gotta take a breather and stop and smell the roses (tulips) with Pat, you know?

Patricia Williams
This Morning

Yesterday I grasped earth’s bosom, bare
Cold, shivering, withstanding
The elements of that season
This morning my branches give
New green birth
A wren perched on my limb
Sings joyfully
Tulips caress my base
A new dawn, another season

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Miss Mo (Playing Tricks on Dad)

A couple blog posts ago, Big Mo showed us what it means to get into trouble by accident; here’s Little Mo showing us how to get into trouble… on purpose!

Missouri Grier
Playing Tricks on Dad

My mother told me to go OUTSIDE and sit on the front steps.  I was told not to get off the steps.  Sitting there with nothing to do, I was thinking of what to do.  Something to do while sitting there.

My father was asleep on the living room floor.  The only thing I could do was play tricks on him, so I went into the house, got my jump rope, tied one end to the sofa, the other to his foot, went outside, rang the bell. 

He tried to get up and could not.  It was funny to me but not to him.  He was angry but I did not get punished.  My mother stepped in—and SAVED me.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Helen (Moots)

Philly is one sunny town right now. I just went out for an ice cream cone with my husband, and that makes for a super Friday! We hung out on the park bench and sat next to a guy playing the guitar. Kids were climbing on little animal-shaped park sculptures, and big and small dogs came passing by. And I thought, when I get back to my laptop, before I get back to my work, I’ve got to post Helen’s story about Moots!! I am in a sunny, funny kind of mood right now and come on Moots, I need you to make it last!

Helen H. Lahr

My daughter and I were just sitting around last Saturday, talking and reminiscing about past experiences, when I recalled something that happened when I was a child.

A neighbor had given my sister and I a puppy.  Immediately, we decided to name him “Moots”.  Moots became our pride and joy!

Well, one day something unexpected happened!  My mother washed and hung the clothes outside, as usual.  “Moots” went out in the yard and was running around having fun, when he suddenly headed for the sleeve of my father’s shirt and tugged and tugged as it tore off! 

We were petrified.  What was Daddy going to do?  To surprise and delight, my father looked and just said, “Next time, watch him.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mo (Transportation)

Have you guys seen my lil’ bud Jasmine’s videos in the last couple blog posts? Ahh, she was so amazing. Having her in class really made my day. And rewatching the videos just made my day again!  Did you guys like how she went around asking the seniors – or as she calls them, her “classmates” ;) – to tell her more about the stories they had just written? My favorite part was when she asked Mo about getting detention, “You didn’t like it, did you?”

Stay tuned for more visits by Jasmine… summer break is coming and that means we’ll be welcoming youth from the neighborhood once more – and yes yes yes that includes our amazing Jasmine!! Love this time of the year!

Mo McCooper

Our high school was in West Philadelphia.  If we were late getting there we had to stay after school.  It was called “Detention”.
The first day of 9th grade, Louie and I took a bus to Philadelphia where we got on a trolley to Lancaster Avenue (one of the first highways in America) where we changed to another trolley to 47th street.  It took a very long time.  We were late.  Detention was boring and strict.  The teacher in charge would leave the room off and on for a period of time.
When the teacher came back he would burst through the door and point at the kids talking or out of their chairs and send them to the back of the room where they were told to give their names and were  assigned to work for the janitor or spend an additional week in detention.
The second day we went to our town’s railroad station to take the train to West Philadelphia and then walk down hundreds of steps to Lancaster Avenue where we took a trolley to the school.  We were late again.  We went to detention again.