The Gift Of Caring

 It was the kind of evening when the wind found every opening in my heavy winter wrappings. There was no escaping the chill that went through my bones as I sat on the deck of the Queen Elizabeth as it sailed down the Hudson River toward the Atlantic and the beginning of our 109 day world cruise.

With my beret pulled down over my ears and scarf wrapped around my neck as high as possible, I leaned against the railing facing the winds watching he magnificent New York City skyline, swimming by so slowly.

Weeks before my friends Lou and Cathy who live in the Village vowed they would add to our send-off by signaling to us from the end of the Christopher Street Pier as we sailed by. 

It seemed a great idea at the time, until our sailing was delayed into the darkness and severe winter weather was moving in. So much for a sendoff, I disappointedly thought. Lou would be working and Cathy would be alone.

As we moved along, suddenly I saw a flicker…a blinking beam of bright light coming from the Christopher Pier. Once, twice, three times. She had come. She had come in the darkness and waited in the cold to wish us a bon voyage as she had promised. Cathy’s life was all about the gift of caring. I will always miss you my dear friend.

Copyright Sandra Hart©2007. From Read Between My Lines: What Was I Thinking.           All Rights Reserved 

Elizabeth’s Story

Each encounter we have in our lives creates the fabric from which we are made. 

Copyright©Sandra Hart

All Rights reserved

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:

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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

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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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.
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Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017. All Rights 

Who Are You, Really?

I recently have started vlogging in conjunction with my weekly blog here on WordPress. Easy for you, you might think. With all of my television background and time spent in front of the camera it should be natural. Yes? No. 

For me, it has been an extreme learning curve. 
Previously, I have been in front of the camera as an interviewer or newscaster. On television and film, I have always assumed my character and perhaps only small parts within that make believe I have found myself. All of this technique and experience is so much different than being just old me. Even on Romper Room I was a teacher and not really myself. 

Time and again I have heard famous actors reveal how shy they really are, or how difficult it is for them to expose themselves as ‘real persons’. I kind of understood them, but now I really know what they mean. It takes a lot of ‘unlearning’ to expose the ‘real me’ in my vlogging efforts.  

All of this brings me to wondering if any of us even in our sixties and beyond know who we really are. Are we defined by our careers, our race or sex, beliefs, age, our talents or our roles as parents, breadwinners, or whatever face or hat we put on in front of the mirror? Is that a reflection of what others see in us as to who we are?

These past few election weeks have been a real eye opener to me. A few Facebook friends that I thought I knew have shown such an ugly side of who they really are that they have shattered the mirror. I have been quite taken back at times. Hiding within the darkness of social media has enabled the worst in some people. Do they honestly see themselves and realize what image they are projecting?  Do they know who they really are?

Previously, I always had confidence in knowing who I am, but vlogging has made me aware that maybe, after all these years I’m not so sure yet.    

I do hope that some of you are further along with that than I am and are willing to help me along my way. Or maybe it is as Shakespeare has said, 

So I am off on this new adventure and learning vlog by vlog. One advantage of talking to myself in front of the camera in an empty room is that at least I know somebody’s listening.

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Scorpio Fire

I can’t believe I am married to a ninety-year old man! Next week my husband will have reached the magic number with birthday candles that would singe eyebrows and burn the house down. 

I can’t believe life and so many years have flown by so fast for us. Seems just yesterday he was this older-life-committed bachelor with prematurely white hair who was pursuing me. We met in New York through a friend. I wasn’t at all interested. A week later unannounced he was knocking on my door in New Jersey. Six years later, I said ‘yes’ and two years later we walked down the aisle. His friends couldn’t believe that at fifty-seven he finally made the plunge into married life. I couldn’t believe I was marrying this white-hired guy. 

My father was 10 years older than my mother, my late husband 10 years older than me, so age difference in partners never made me think twice about my marriage choices. Not that ten years today is considered a big gap in age, but when I remarried 32 years ago, there was a 13 year age difference between my new husband and myself. 

Let’s look at it like this, when I was ten years old and probably in the fourth grade my husband was twenty-three, had already finished his service in WWII and was making his way in the world of singles while I was learning to double-jump rope.  

Somehow I kept falling in love, stretching the age difference boundaries. There might be something psychological in my love/comfort choices, or maybe because of my parents successful marriage and healthy aging – who knows – but I never considered to think beyond anything more than that.  

In spite of it all, so-called May-December relationships, in which there’s a big age gap between the partners, can be rewarding — and also challenging if the husband was a bachelor for fifty-seven years. The good news is those issues can be handled, just like any other relationship issue — regardless of age if you are a saint like me. Plus you just have to know how to meditate. 

You know that switch most of us have that allows us to not always say what we are thinking? GOD forgot to give my husband one. Too many embarrassing moments as a result of this Divine mistake in engineering to fit into this blog, but if he has an opinion about you, or anything, he has no qualms sharing it immediately with you.

He is a master at exploding Gorilla glue in the microwave, controlling the tv remote and lovingly breaking most things he handles. I can’t count how many new sets of dishes I’ve gotten throughout the years, or how many clothes of mine that have worn his water, wine or any liquid he has been served at weddings. On the positive side, I always have a reason to buy new things.

My love has slipped and fallen on me in Big Lots dislocating my shoulder, in a Hilton parking lot tearing my rotator cuff and in Honolulu, resulting in a torn leg ligament. Collectively I’ve spent at least two years of my life with him either on crutches or in physical therapy.  

Think of a cross between Larry David and Chevy Chase and you’ve got it. For instance, throughout our lives together he often has walked whatever sweet dog we have had at the time and come into the house without realizing for hours our pet is still waiting faithfully on the other side of the closed door. 

Then there was the time he once drove away with our now-deceased caged bird in top of the car. Now don’t get sad, the bird lived to die of old age and didn’t die as road kill. The Pet Angels intervened once again and the cage landed safely in our neighbor’s yard. 

In the end I’ve had to understand there’s a big difference between being swept off your feet and staying for the long haul. Hard questions about love, aging, permanence, sacrifice, and acceptance have been an important part of our partnership. We are a perfect pair. I have the patience, understanding and independence needed for his personality and he has the Scorpio fire, loyalty and stability I need. 

I have just learned to sit far across the table from him at weddings, check to see if the dog is around after a walk, hide the Gorilla glue, never get another bird and not be offended if he waits a week to notice the Christmas tree is up. And of course, never forget that good night kiss!

 Happy Birthday, Love. Ninety more for you!

Copyright©2016 Sandra Hart. All Rights Reserved