Posts Tagged ‘Alana Hauptmann’

Letter From Claverack 12 24 2016 Ho Ho Ho…

December 25, 2016

Tonight is Christmas Eve.  The floodlights illuminate the creek in front of me; my trees are lit and Christmas carols are playing on my Echo.  Shortly I will leave to attend Christmas Eve festivities at the Red Dot, closed this evening to the public and home to the party Alana, the owner, has prepared.

Every year the Dot is decorated to the nines.  This year is in honor to Wendy Frost, the artist who helped Alana every year create magic and who passed away during the summer, not long after moving to Florida.

When I was a wee boy, Christmas Eve was Christmas.  It was the night we celebrated and opened presents.  My Juettner cousins would come and we would all frolic in the basement or play games in the living room until it was time for the Christmas Eve feast and then we would rip into our packages.

When they had gone home, we opened our own family presents, then sleepy I would head off to bed while my older siblings and parents attended Midnight Mass.

As things do, the traditions changed and the Juettners ceased coming and things toned down a bit.  My older siblings departed, my brother to medical school, my sister to the convent.  The next Christmases were quiet.

After my father’s passing, it seemed Christmases picked up again after a while.  My brother returned to Minneapolis, post internship, a year in Honduras giving medical care to children and a couple of years in the Air Force.

In college, it was fun to leave where I was living and return to my old bedroom, sometimes with an out of town roommate in tow.

For me, tonight is Christmas.

Christmas Day always seemed a bit anti-climactic.  The big presents had been given and Christmas exhaustion had set in.

Tonight, this Christmas of 2016, I wish all of you who celebrate the holiday, the merriest of Christmases.

It is also the beginning of Hanukkah, which rarely coincides with Christmas but it does this year.  So Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!

I am off to a party, with two quiches and some gag gifts, as Alana requested.

 

May this day be very merry, safe and happy for all of us.

Letter From New York 08 01 15 Thoughts from the west bank of the Claverack Creek…

August 2, 2015

Behind me, soft jazz plays on Pandora. In front of me the creek is reflecting the green that overhangs it. The sun is setting and I am at the table on the deck writing on my laptop. It seems the perfect way to end a day.

It was not an eventful day. I woke early. As I went to turn on the coffee pot, the deck glistened with a recent rain. I went out there to sit.

In the early morning, I sat reading the NY Times and taking in the fresh air, listening to the songs of the birds in the trees. It seems right that I am bookending the day with more time on the deck. Every moment here is precious. In a time I can see coming, the trees will turn the brilliant colors of fall and then the winter will come. I enjoy the seasons and am grateful that my little piece of heaven includes four of them.

It is a soft and silky evening. Alana, proprietress of the Red Dot, and Patrick, her partner, were here for part of the afternoon and recently left. As I was leaving after lunch at the Dot, she asked me to stay and I did. She wanted to come and sit on the deck, watch the creek and experience a moment of peace. It has been a tough week for her.

They came. We had wine and cheese and then they left and I am here in the silver light of the end of day, listening again to the songs of the birds and thinking about the world.

An eighteen-month-old Palestinian baby was laid to rest today, immolated by Israeli extremists apparently. The rest of his family is being treated for burns. It is unsure that his mother will survive. Following a Jewish Orthodox man attacking the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, knifing nine people, including a fifteen year old who is fighting for her life, this is a week when Israel is asking itself serious questions.

The serious questions they ask themselves are the same serious questions we all need to be asking ourselves. In America, we have become inured to the violence and that is tragic. For a few moments, after an event such as the killing of nine in Charleston, we ask questions but then go on, forgetting what has occurred until the next atrocity and when that happens, we quickly forget. It seems, sometimes, we learn nothing. The Confederate Flag has gone down in South Carolina and that is good but shouldn’t it have come down long ago?

While it is warm in upstate New York, it is blisteringly hot in Iran and Iraq. Iran posted a heat index of 165 degrees Fahrenheit today and in Iraq a four-day mandatory holiday has been declared to help people cope, especially since the delivery of electricity is not very reliable. I can’t comprehend a heat index of 165 Fahrenheit. Sorry, not processing. I think I would incinerate.

The Donald is still leading the Republicans in the polls and I am still confused how that can be but it is.

There has been no agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership after meetings in Hawaii. Everyone seems to thing it will still happen but that it didn’t happen was unexpected. And a bit of an embarrassment for Obama… However, there were 650 people meeting! It’s hard for me to get three people to agree on where to eat!

Facebook is prepping a drone to bring Internet access to people who don’t have it. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is expecting a baby. Gosh, the world keeps going on. I’m more excited by the Internet access than the baby but that’s probably because I don’t know Mark personally.

An Ebola vaccine looks more than promising and, hopefully, it will help contain and eliminate that scourge from the world.

The light around me is very silver. The day is ending. I am in twilight and the world around me is growing quiet. The birds are not as outspoken. Far away is the sound of something motorized, a sound I don’t recognize, something new. The jazz continues playing and soon I will go into the house and watch a movie.