Anjali and family are in Evora, a picturesque town, with its Roman temple of Diana.
Anjali spotted the ducks, venturing out of the shadows, as well as the reflection in the pond.
The stones look old. It’s Portugal.
When Laura was covering the great Algarve soccer tournament two years ago, she sent us daily photos of the specialty at her restaurant:
O Rei dos Frangos – The King of the Chickens, printed on every plate.
Today she sent us a photo of the main course in an outdoor cafe in Evora.
Cada um na sua, as they say in Portuguese.
To each his own.
Friday evening I was hugging them goodbye at JFK Airport.
Eighteen hours later, I texted with my grand-daughter.
“Yo Kid,” I typed. “How’s Lisbon? Send me a photo every so often.”
“Okay, I will,” she said.
But you never know.
“Hills. Old buildings. Flowers. Photos!” I urged.
“Not any that are impressive,” she said.
“You’ll find stuff,” I said. I know her.
“Hold on,” she typed. Then this popped in:
“Real peacock?” I asked.
“What I’m talking about,” I typed.
She’s on notice.
The latest output from the family is by David Vecsey, who normally spends days and nights editing others but occasionally exercises the writing part of the brain.
David made a journalistic foray into the heart of darkness known as sports fantasy gambling. He emerged with his shirt still on his back, plus a story describing mood swings based on the doings of athletes, some previously unknown until he drafted them. His article on Gothamist:
Then there is my wife’s cousin, Paul Grundy, MD and MPH, IBM's Global Director of Healthcare Transformation. He and two colleagues have written an entry-level primer on the mysteries of health care including trends toward industrial-size health complexes, concierge doctors and the vanishing of the actual family doctor. (You noticed.)
The book is: Lost and Found: A Consumer’s Guide to Healthcare by Peter B. Anderson, Paul H. Grundy, MD, and Bud Ramey (contributor).
Next is Laura Vecsey, former sports columnist and political columnist, currently covering the U.S. women’s soccer team, World Cup champs, on their victory tour of America, for Fox. Her latest article on Carli Lloyd’s candidacy for player-of-the-year:
The family legal wing is in Pennsylvania, where Corinna V. Wilson is the energy behind the consulting firm Wilson500.
Corinna helped write the Pennsylvania right-to-know act of 2008, and she flexes her writing skills when that important law is threatened by nervous politicians:
Finally, my book that has done the most good for others has been revived.
I helped Bob Welch write “Five O’Clock Comes Early: A Young Man’s Battle With Alcoholism,” first published in 1982 soon after Bob’s return from a rehab center, to be a star pitcher for more than a decade.
My friend Bob passed in 2014 – a lot of us are still reeling from it – but his book, updated, is a handbook for anybody, particularly the young who cannot believe they are powerless over addiction.
I’ve heard from people who say Bob's book helped save a life. The new e-book version is from Open Road Media:
Fortunately, some of us also have visual talents. Marianne Vecsey is a painter (above) and Anjali takes photos with her smartphone (below)
I heard the girls were heading south on I-75, known in the mountains as Hillbilly Highway because it takes people home on weekends and holidays.
Get off and take the Valley View Ferry, I urged. I used to do it whenever I could, from Louisville to Eastern Kentucky.
Stop at the Kentucky Horse Park, I insisted.
Don't forget the Boone Tavern at Berea.
I sometimes forget how much I love that part of the world.
* * *
It's not Appalachian, per se, but treat yourself to the Gary Bartz version of "I've Known Rivers," adapted from the Langston Hughes poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."
Anjali was looking into a pool and saw the sky.
What else does a photographer need?
She is embarking on a soccer road trip that will include rivers -- the Susquehanna, the Monongahela, the Allegheny, the Ohio, the Kentucky and the Tennessee.
I have ordered up photos.
That reminded me of "The Water Song" by the Incredible String Band:
Anjali was looking deep into Cupcake's eyes..
Cupcake was looking somewhere else.
A lawn chair, matter of fact.
Isn't that how life is, really?
"You're just seein' things through a cat's eye, baby."
---49 Bye-Byes, Crosby Stills & Nash, 1969.
Anjali was in biology class with her nice teacher. Somebody came in and told the students to look out the window, at a red-tailed hawk with the remains of a pigeon.
At first it made me think of the cave paintings at Lascaux, France, not far from where our rellies Jen and Sam live. But when I asked Anjali about it, she reminded me that she had been to upstate New York over the holidays.
So it wasn't Paleolithic work by early humans from 20,000 years ago?
"We went for a walk in the woods," Anjali told me.
She spotted some wood by the side of the path.
"It was termites," she said.
Happy new year.
More photos by Anjali:
The glow of the galaxies, during the longest nights of the year up north? Celestial Hanukkah candles perhaps or star of wonder, star of night?
This could be a job for Neil deGrasse Tyson.
I called Anjali, our grand-daughter.
"What is that?"
I wondered if she had been fiddling with some supra-lens, up in some observatory, aiming toward the night skies.
"I was hungry," she explained with a giggle. "I was making some mashed potatoes in the microwave."
She used a glass plate to cover the dish. When she took out the plate, there was condensation on it.
"I went outside and got some leaves and put them on my table. Then I put the plate on top of it."
She usually takes about 15 seconds for a photograph. She points her iphone 5s and knows something will come of it.
No re-takes. She just knows.
"I was just messing around," she said.
So life is not a fountain, as the guru maintained.
Instead, life is a plate of nuked mashed potatoes.
Happy solstice. Happy carbs. Happy comfort food. Happy New Year. Happy mysteries.
* * *
For more photos by Anjali, please see:
Got yourself quite an improvisor there, George.
Dear Mendel, thank you for noticing. We just put away our menorah, all is well. Happy Holidays, GV
Anjali has a wonderful combination of imagination and a keen eye.
Thanks for the link to her web site. We do not have to depend upon your occasional postings to enjoy her work.
Dear Alan, thanks for the nice words. She gave us actual photos of 20 of her best....Our best to you both up north. Happy Holidays, GV
Really interesting article!The quotes here you mention about happy new year messages for friends are really great and i like it.Thanks for sharing the article about happy new year messages for friends and happy new year in advance:-)
<a href="http://dailyhindisms.com/happy-new-year-2015-sms-messages-in-english/">happy new year messages for friends</a>
Thor A. Larsen
Enjoy this relaxing post-Christmas period and encourage your very talented grand-daughter Anjali to keep them coming! I love her beautiful, imaginative creations!
Very Best Wishes to all for the New Year.
Figured it couldn't be a golden sun shining through dense leaves at this time of year -- pretty cool. But inasmuch as we just cleaned up 22 multi-course place settings over two days of holiday feasting, your granddaughter just gave me an idea......a very bad idea......
George, it might be of interest to take your granddaughter to see something we just saw week before last at the Met Museum that blew us away. They recently created a room to house the Thomas Hart Benton mural he had painted for the New School. What a incredibly moving story it tells of our country during the depression years. An inspiration piece!
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"Among the things that have long fascinated people about Jesus and explain his enduring appeal is his method of dialogue and teaching. "He asked a lot of questions and told a lot of stories in the form of parables. In fact, parables form about a third of Jesus’ recorded teachings. The Gospels were written decades after he died, so his questions and parables clearly left a deep impression on those who bore testimony to him....
"Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical; others were meant to challenge or even provoke. In some cases, Jesus used questions to parry attacks by religious authorities who set traps for him. In others, he used questions to enter more fully into the lives of others and to help people look at the state of their hearts. He asked people about their fears and their faith. Jesus used questions to free a woman caught in adultery from condemnation and to inquire whether people considered him to be the Messiah. He probed deeply into questions not many had asked before him, like “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
---(Peter Wehner, long-time White House consultant and writer, in the NYT last week about Jesus Christ’s method of teaching by asking questions.)
"Would that I could mention all the illuminating details in this biography, for example, why Wells praised Black Americans so highly, saying, 'I took a mighty liking to these gentle, human, dark-skinned people,' and 'Whatever America has to show in heroic living today, I doubt if she can show anything finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast efforts hundreds of black and colored men are making today to live blamelessly, honorably and patiently, getting by themselves what scraps of refinement, beauty and learning they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.''
-- "How H.G. Wells Predicted the 20th Century," Charles Johnson, NYT Book Review, Nov. 19, 2021. ***".
...the monsters arrive."
"They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. I would call them mechanical locusts, descending upon every patch of gold in the neighborhood the way the grasshoppers of old would arrive, in numbers so great they darkened the sky, to lay bare a cornfield in minutes. But that comparison is unfair to locusts.
"Grasshoppers belong here. Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening, environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry."
---The great Margaret Renkl, from Nashville, one of my favorite NYT bylines, Oct. 26, 2021.
(She describes our Long Island enclave to every decibel, every stink.)