Since the New Year on my calendar doesn’t start until all holiday vacationing worker bees are back at their respective salt mines tomorrow, there’s still time for my 2015 review.
When reading the obit pages in The Times I’m drawn to the names that “may have rung few bells,” as the paper put it in its 2015 obit review. One passing I particularly noted: Frances Kroll Ring. Ring was the last personal secretary to F. Scott Fitzgerald and by all accounts a most devoted one. Her passing touched my nostalgic heart because a look at her life, among others The Times mentioned, had “the pungent effect of evoking an era long concluded.”
There were many others who left us and brought back memories — Omar Sharif in Dr. Zhivago. OMG, the summer dacha, Varykino transformed into a crystal palace and filmed not in Russia, but just 100 miles northeast of Madrid; Lesley Gore. Can’t forget her lyrics for It’s My Party:
“It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you.”
Well, if you were partnerless at a make-out party assigned to changing 45s on a Victrola (a favorite old word), you’d cry too if that happened to you. I speak from experience.
On a perkier note, I took in my 50th high school reunion at the Greenwich Academy which made me want to start kindergarten all over again, or “connecting class” as it was called. Vast and enlightening changes since the days of uniforms with matching bloomers, mimeograph machines and gradeless, hand-written report cards. Here’s to a chorus of “Jerusalem,” William Blake’s poem put to music and sung at every graduation. Still tear up when I hear it, most boisterously at Prince William’s nuptial.
*Riveted to The King and I at Lincoln Center with my great pals Donna and Diane.
*Cruised down the Danube and biked along its shore. Before boarding our vessel, we took a brief jaunt through Munich. Want to return to that city of fantastic architecture. And why not Berlin on a future itinerary? Or England’s Lake Country?
*Had my first MRI after a most painful back saga. Was told by a physical therapist never to cross my legs again while seated – not even your ankles – to stay in alignment. Another edict: No more shoulder bags to weigh down one side. Took that advice and haven’t had a problem since. Word to the wise.
*Took my first online course: The Creative Habit: Cultivating a Daily Writing Practice, an offering from Stanford’s Continuing Studies. Still prefer sitting in a classroom, but better than expected and completed the course.
*Finished The Brothers Karamazov
*Went on my first health retreat in Crested Butte, CO and left with a love of Korean cuisine prepared by our chef and now pal Justine Park.
*Discovered Palm Greens, an organic eatery in Palm Springs, CA tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza. The spinach nut burger is a must.
*Met with old friends in Healdsburg, CA and paid an unexpected visit to our former doctor Paul Marguglio who facilitated a necessary blood test for Jack. Paul is one for the medical books. Was the best doc and still is!
And looking ahead…
May 2016 be a healthy year for all of us, provide great reading and viewing on the big screen and small. Satisfy your curiosity and make time for play because, according to a Dr. Stuart Brown, “it opens the imagination and invigorates the soul.”