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

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Waltz With Me My Love

Dance. Oh, how I have always loved dancing, don’t you? By myself as a child, or in the arms of a lover nothing is closer to heaven than lightly swirling around to music that makes my heart sing. Waltz, foxtrot, jitterbug, the monkey or rumba, it doesn’t matter to me.

Emerson Hart©and Tonic

Song and dance have been with us far back in recorded human history and has been an important part of celebratory rituals. It’s so true that dance is a way to find yourself and loose yourself at the same time.  

Unless, that is, your heart is dancing a clumsy two step in your chest. Dancing with your feet is one thing, but a dancing heart is another.  

Unfortunately, I was born with extra electrical pathways that under certain circumstances cause my heart to palpitate and loose sinus rhythm. These unwelcome ‘dances’ began in my twenties, but since my heart was otherwise basically healthy, I just had to tolerate this non-synchronized orchestra that lived in my chest. 

It became a way of life for me until in the 90’s a new procedure called  radio frequency ablation was developed to eliminate extra pathways in the heart. Tiny cathodes are run through the groin veins to ablate the dancing pathways. At the time it sounded scary to me, but each 12 hour episode of rhumba were scarier, so I opted to have the ablation.

Now, one thing they didn’t realize, or take into consideration then is that those electrical nerve pathways can grow back. So here I am once again saying goodbye to my heart’s unruly dance, one week into recovery from updated modern medical advances in electrophysiology and radio frequency ablation. 

My procedure lasted about three hours and I was released the next day. My doctor showed me a photograph of my heart with the ablation points and it looked like a pearl necklace all around my heart. He said when they thought they were through, adrenaline administered would show other electrically charged pathways. I was a dancing fool inside my chest!

So far, I am following the doctor’s orders and not lifting anything over 10 pounds or bending over and just taking things easy for a few weeks. He told me I might have increased dances in my chest, perhaps for as long as three months while my heart is healing, but already they are short little tap dances that do encourage me everything is healing just fine. 

The pinpoint scarred areas created by the cauterization, once healed, will block and interrupt those crazy dancing impulses by taking off their tap shoes and sending them into retirement.  

Trust me, the next dance I do I hope it will be with only my feet and with someone I love.  

©Copyright Sandra Hart 2017                            

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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

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