THE SHADOW OF MOTHERHOOD 

As mothers, especially a single mother, as was dealt to me with the death of my husband, we sacrifice, nurture and work selflessly with both the heavy weight of parental responsibility and at the same time struggle to embrace the joys that come from raising humans we love like no other then, now and into eternity. Did I ever dream that when they were ready to leave the nest, it would be so far away? 

Diaspora. How times have changed in just one generation. I often envy those families whose children are able to settle near them. It would be so nice to have family gatherings on the spur of the moment. Sunday dinners around the table with grandchildren and extended family members is but a dream for me. Sometimes that is a hard reality to face. 

Fortunately for them, my children have had to move to where their interesting work took them. Unfortunately for me, they are all a long, long drive, or a winged trip away. It’s doable now, but the older I get I think about when it will not be so easy to hop a flight to be near those that I love so dearly.

I moved away from home when I went to college and never called my parents home mine again. I had dreams of my own that couldn’t be realized there. But, honestly, I never thought of how it must have affected my mother. Until lately. The shoe is on the other foot now for me and It doesn’t feel good at all. Isn’t the saying ‘just walk a mile in my shoes’? I now know how my mother must have felt when both of her children never permanently returned to her warm nest. 

They say a good mother raises her children to be able to fly from the nest and spread their wings. Even though we know that is true and the unbridled happiness for our young is real, our mother-wing feathers are plucked bare, knowing life will never be the same. 

In the end I have comfort in knowing that I have been blessed, that part of the way,  they were to walk with me. 

https://youtu.be/K7hMJ8Xvyf4

Music by Emerson Hart and Tonic©

 Life and thoughts and just about everything under the sun. The only order to it is life itself as lived. Natural chaos! I am married and have three grown children who are interested in breeding horses, flying and creating. My youngest is the lead singer/songwriter of the Grammy nominated band, Tonic, Emerson Hart. So here I am, wanting to read about you and at the same time bringing you along with me to mine. I hope you will find me just as interesting as I do you! Hop aboard.

Find me here:

https://sandrashart.com (blog)

http://sandrahart.net

@screenactor on Poshmark

@sandrashart/ twitter 

@sandrashart on Instagram

https://Pinterest.com/SandraHart

amazon.com for Sandra Hart books
Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017 All rights reserved
Find me here:

Life Over Sixty With Sandra YouTube Channel

https://sandrashart.com (blog)

http://sandrahart.net

@screenactor on Poshmark

@sandrashart/ twitter 

@sandrashart on Instagram

https://Pinterest.com/SandraHart

amazon.com for Sandra Hart books

The Burden Of Strength

Today while I was in my car waiting for the light to change, I saw a young woman struggling carrying an enamel bed headboard under one arm and the footboard under the other, sometimes switching it to her shoulders as she walked along the street. Just watching her struggle just for those few minutes moved me and made me think about how hard a woman’s life sometimes can be. When we find ourselves alone, women most often find solutions and we persevere no matter how hard the challenge, or stress on our lives and bodies. 

I remember my grandmother who while raising her 10 children on a daily basis cooked for her entire family as well as the farmhands. As if that wasn’t enough, she made all of the clothes for her children, fed the chickens, planted and tended the vegetable garden, and gathered fresh eggs for morning breakfast. 

She baked and cooked everything from scratch in her kitchen on a coal stove that she had to keep fired.

 She used to scrub the wash on a washboard, stirred a hot cauldron of soapy water to get them clean and ironed the clothes with a heavy sad iron. She needed at least two irons on the go together for an effective system: one in use, and one re-heating. I remember the sound of the sizzle when she sprinkled a few drops of water on it to see if it was hot enough. 

Through it all, my dear grandmother managed to have a smile on her face all day long. No wonder she and many other women of her era died in their fifties and sixties. 

 For too long we woman have a hard time sometimes saying ‘no’ to what is believed to be ‘our jobs’ as over- worked-solution-solving caretakers.  

 Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Our families benefit from who we innately are and can do. I have to be honest with myself, although I am two generations away from my grandmother, I am guilty as charged and I’m not too sure I can ever change. It’s become too much a part of my DNA. 

How about you? Does the shoe fit? 

Copyright©Sandra Hart.    All Rights Reserved

Find me here:

https://sandrashart.com 

(blog)https://sandrahart.net           

@screenactor on Poshmark

sandrashart/ twitter 

sandrashart@Instagram                      

amazon.com for Sandra Hart books

I Had A Dream

I had a dream that I awoke to a world of rationality, patriotism, non-partisan peace among men and charity to those who mean no harm. Love, hope for the future and for those willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard the opportunities were there.  The churches and synagogues were an integral part of  jointly helping their rebounding communities ….and I felt safe. Malice, greed and hatred were words unfamiliar to us.  The year was 1947 and I was 8 years old.  

This morning I opened my eyes and the forward flight of  seventy years brought me back to reality that has no dream attached to it, but all the realities of our 2017 collective nightmares.  How did this happen?

I have lived through 14 presidential elections, my family’s preferred candidate not always getting elected, but my parents were patriots who lived through the depression and respected our Constitution and the democratic process.  With hate and malice toward none, they placed patriotism and love of country before politics. I am grateful for their strength that has allowed me to move forward in my life, sharing their same values.

My father always cautioned me that if I couldn’t say something nice, keep it to myself.   “There are other ways to give positive reenfircement than hurting someone with negative speech or actions,” he would say.  “Think before you speak. Always give someone the benefit of doubt and a chance,” he advised. “Do as your faith guides you, not as ‘they’ do.”

Well, it is evident everywhere I turn, all of this sage elder advice from my father years ago has evaporated in today’s divided political and hateful rethoric. 

 With  fake news running rampant on the internet and passed around greedily like Krispy Kremes, everyone salivating to get  their ‘two cents’ in to see who can be the most hatefully  divisive, politicians holding up the democratic process because they angrily feel like it, Facebook ‘likes’ attached to vile negative posts, it seems we are doomed to perpetual division. 

Where oh where has my country gone? Is everyone drinking denial Kool Aid? Hey folks, if you know civics, we have a new democratically elected president.  The electoral college has spoken. I understand, reality bites for some, but acceptance and support of our Constitution is part of the privilege of living in this great country.

 

I am off Facebook and only sharing my blogs. I have turned off the television and instead I am reading more and working at my own craft and thank God everyday for the beautiful  adoptive children in my extended family life who wouldn’t be here today if their birth mothers had had an abortion. 

 I am boycotting my once respected union peers out in Hollywood. I want to see them ply their craft and I care not a twit their stance on politics. Whether folks agree or not with you, fellow actors,  award events are not the platforms to share your political rage. Just because you can, doesn’t make it right, or even interesting.  

So, I don’t know how long my withdrawal from the political insanity will be, but  with malice toward none I am giving the new president a chance to keep us safe, improve the economy, and move us forward. If he doesn’t, then, lucky me, democracy will allow a change. 


In the meantime, for someone,  do or say something kind today, will you? One small step for mankind may collectively save all of us in the end.

Artwork by Norman Rockwell

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017.      All  Rights Reserved

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for thoughts about   Life Over Sixty With Sandra

Five Most Meaningful Words

“In my opinion two of the most meaningful short sentences that create positive human emotional response in the English language are ‘I love you.’ and ‘Thank you.’ ” – Sandra Hart

Having coffee in the stillness of the morning today, I was thinking about my grandchildren and how the world and even traditions are changing. For them, they are experiencing great things through technology and yet, great emotional and social losses because of it. 

My most cherished book at age thirteen was Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette. Almost every girl I knew had a copy. To be able to navigate all social settings it just was the required guide to have as a young woman. Emily Post’s book first published in 1922 and updated on a regular basis to keep up with the changing society, was the standard book of reference to have as a young woman on etiquette for all occasions. 

For most of my formative years it was my rescue to navigating thank you notes, large and complicated table settings, wedding gifts, invitations, resumes and even writing to the judiciary, government officials and titled persons. Anything and everything dealing with life and occasions, even proper death condolences was covered.  

Throughout the years I tucked between Emily’s pages thank you notes from friends or important pieces of my emotional trivia. It became sort of a social cookbook of my life and it was the one book that I never wanted to part with. 

I would love to share my traditions with my granddaughters with the more modern and updated versions by Elizabeth Post, but I don’t think they would be interested. An etiquette book probably would gather dust somewhere in their room. Times have changed. 

If you are a grandparent, do you agree? We are witness to grandchildren and their generation who seem to be caught up with their heads in the vortex of the isolation of visual entertainment and keyboards, forgetting all about one-on-one social etiquette, or interest in sitting down to write a thank you note? 

I love getting a thank you call, but my heart would sing to have the postman deliver an honest-to-goodness note in their handwriting that I could slip between the pages of my social cookbook. A thank you that indicates they have taken the time to let me know they love me. 

What a great loss in human connectivity these techno kids will miss and sadly, may never be able to understand or recapture.
Join my YouTube chats at Life Over Sixty With Sandra.    https://youtu.be/d0Ry2Oi-jns

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017. All Rights 

It’s An Oscar Peterson Kind Of Day

The skies are dark and the tropical winds are blowing much stronger than usual, it’s that kind of day here on the beach. Anywhere else up north the winds and dark skies would be rather depressing, but here, for me, it’s an Oscar Peterson/Cole Porter kind of day. When I woke up to grey skies I welcomed the change in the sameness tropical living sometimes brings. 

After my early morning walk with Sophie, nothing better than starting my day with a cup of tea, biscotti, Oscar and sharing my thoughts out into the digital universe. 

For me, music has always been a barometer of our culture. Growing up in the forties and fifties, music was happy, soulful, lyrics clear and smooth, the beat consistent. Songs were about love, the good life and moving on. Listeners could tap their feet, shake their heads and groove to the beat in ‘slo-mo’ or shoulder shaking heat. Music felt good.

As a teen I would lie across my bed and dream to The Four Aces, Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter’s lyrics. The future and the world was out there for me, just waiting. Of that I was sure. It was a positive world I would be walking into. The music that surrounded me told me so.

My husband, having celebrated his ninth decade on this earth yesterday has taken me back into his reality of WWII evolving into peacetime prosperity and a more civil and dare I say simple, moral times.  

What has happened to us as a society? Up until the music of the nineties and from there what has happened to lyrics with decency and morality in some popular music tastes? I can still close my eyes and dream to some, but I feel I’m in a dying generation as far as music goes.  

As the music becomes corrupt and dies, so goes the culture, so goes the nation. I never thought life in 2016 would evolve into what it appears to be today. I don’t think I have to spell it out for you, you must see it, too. 

©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved

Cole Porter: His numerous hit songs include “Night and Day”, “Begin the Beguine”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “Well, Did You Evah!”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” and “You’re the Top”. He also composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Born to Dance (1936), which featured the song “You’d Be So Easy to Love”; Rosalie (1937), which featured “In the Still of the Night”; High Society (1956), which included “True Love”; and Les Girls (1957).

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR INNER SELF


I was having an ‘over-sixty’ conversation with one of my children this morning about life’s chapters and challenges. “Remember the guy that gave up?” I said. “Neither does anybody else.” That, basically, my friends, has been the salted truth that I have poured over and over on my many adult wounds to heal and move on. 

If you grew up in the 50’s like me, times were good and innocent and most of us actually thought our lives would be a yellow brick road that once taken, would lead only to good things. I believed that life did promise me a real rose garden. 

 

Well, in reality, my imaginary rose garden got smothered a lot by rag weed and poison ivy. I had to live the life I was given-not the life that I had chosen. “Tough,” She said. The Goddess of Life didn’t promise me a rose garden even though I was expecting it. 

Throughout their adult ups and downs I have asked my children to please give me someone who has never struggled or hit a brick wall at some point in their life. They have no answers. Living life never promises a perfect pitched game, so my answer to them is to never give up on their inner self. They will never lose. Either they win or learn. 

There is something so special and positive about the lessons and paths in life most of us over 60 have walked. We will never lose. We are still winning and learning. 

2016©Sandra Hart        All Rights Reserved

Growing Wings Of Their Own

( Author Note: As former Romper Room Teacher and Pittsburgh CBS affiliate anchor, my children began their lives with Romper Room and Mr. Rogers as their ‘normal’ family. We relocated with my late husband to New Jersey 43 years ago, but no escaping for them – their friends here in New Jersey always remembered me as the lady on Romper Room.)

Growing Wings Of Their Own
It has almost been 20 years since one of my children took his sisters out from under the ‘Romper Room Mom’ shadow they had been living with for most of their lifetime. A new dimension was added to our lives and nothing would ever be the same again.
In 1996 my Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey singer/songwriter son, Emerson Hart, and his band Tonic released their first album, Lemon Parade, which rocketed to multi-platinum status and garnered him awards, including the Billboard Award for the #1 most played song on rock radio.
What followed in the ensuing 19 years would be world tours, six Tonic albums, two Grammy Nominations, ASCAP Award, movie soundtracks, two successful solo albums and concerts in war zones entertaining our American troops – even being knocked off of his feet by a bomb blast while the band was staying at one of Sodom Hussein’s Palaces in Iraq.
Springsteen. Bon Jovi. Both New Jersey icons, were already firmly established within the 80’s Rock frenzy by the time Emerson and Tonic came along. But the ‘new kid’ on the block from New Jersey, the late ’90’s talent entry, came into the game like gangbusters when music tastes were were changing. Emerson was on the tail end of Rock’s biggest roll, but he and Tonic have survived.
So have his sisters. Each of them with their own quiet, or not so quiet victories growing up and out from under the ‘Romper Room Mom’ memories.
So a toast from parents to our children and their victories growing up and out from under our wings. A toast for 20 more quiet and maybe not so quiet years!