Archive for the ‘friends’ category

Friend for a Year

August 25, 2019

Almost a year ago, a big tuxedo cat sauntered out of his crate at the Yorba Linda – Cats in Need rescue as I was doing my weekly stint caring for the kitties. He strolled right up to me purring and climbed on my lap. The tag on his crate said his name was Claude, so named because one of his previous owners had declawed him. It was almost as if he knew I was looking for an adult cat to rescue. Claude was a double-rescue who’d been rescued then returned by his supposed forever family. I liked him, a lot, but I’d been looking foe a glamour-cat like a Siamese or Himalayan. The next week he greeted me the same way and I made a mental note that if he was still at the rescue one more week, I’d bring him home. He was and I did. (more…)

On the Nose

February 4, 2019


Checking the main page of my blog today, I found that I haven’t posted since January 11. Such absences are all that uncommon during the past few years, during which my posting has probably best described as intermittent. Perhaps sporadic. Or spasmodic. Anyway, I am prone to postless periods of increasing duration. You probably get the point by now. There are reasons besides literary laziness or poster’s block. For example, we are in the process of going through the stuff we’ve accumulated over 17 years in our current house, discarding the stuff that is junk and donating the stuff that is still useful to charity. George Carlin, commenting on the stuff we all keep, said, Have you noticed that their stuff is junk and your junk is stuff? Except he didn’t say junk. Or course, sorting though my stuff takes time that could be spent posting and inevitably, I come across old pictures. Who can resist sitting down to leaf through a pile of memories, which means no posting or sorting.


Goodbye … Again

March 16, 2018

Muri_JackieLast week, we said goodbye to our dear friend, Jackie, who passed away after an extended hospital stay.   We had been visiting her twice a week at the hospital, both to enjoy her company and to give her daughters (who both have their own children to care for) some time off.   We watched and waited for signs of improvement but at least to our eyes, they never really materialized.   Jackie was tired and somewhat groggy much of the time but as we sat and talked about our almost fifty years as friends, the Jackie we knew would make regular appearances, the radiant smile and her laugh lighting up her hospital room.   Last Wednesday morning her daughter called us to say, You’d best come down and say goodbye, she’s not going to make it.  She was unconscious when we arrived but we took turns sitting beside her, talking to her, saying our goodbyes.  Late in the afternoon, after the family had arrived, she was taken off life support and quietly passed. (more…)

Travels with Britta and Barney

February 20, 2017

OLD COUPLELast week, Muri and I traveled to Florida to spend the week on Siesta Key with our good friends, Britta and Barney.  Let me say at this point that Britta has no use for social media, not even high class literary social media like Older Eyes- Bud’s Blog.  Hence, in the interest of preserving a very long friendship, Britta is a pseudonym, as is Barney.  They had rented a small cottage near the beach and invited us to join them and their two dogs, Keppah and Kishka.  Also pseudonyms.  Kishka isn’t fond of social media either.  Because Britta and Barney live on the East Coast (in an undisclosed location), we see them only occasionally. (more…)

New Years Eve

December 31, 2015

Since you ask so nicely, Diana, Older Eyes and his wife, Muri, are going to our favorite Mexican Restaurant for dinner then to our local theater to see Star Wars – The Force Awakens.   We will be home in time to watch the ball come down in Times Square … via tape delay, of course.  What, you expected extravagant dining and all night partying at my age?   No thank you.  But we weren’t always early to bedders. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 10/26/2015

October 26, 2015

There are always smiles.  This life would be intolerable if that were not true.  My wife, Muri, and I have difficult decisions … and more significantly, difficult actions … ahead of us.  They are our choices, our decisions, but we are not alone.   We have friends who have offered to be by our side … and we have family who have endured similar difficulties, offering their love.   Life is not always easy but friends and family bring smiles to even the darker days.  Thank you for traveling this road with us.  It’s Monday … I’m smiling.

The Neighbors

December 19, 2014

The Boulevard ApartmentsMy family moved from a tenement apartment on The Boulevard in New Haven to a brand new ranch style house in the suburbs of East Haven, Connecticut during the summer before I started fourth grade.  I would live there until I graduated from college and when someone asks, Where are you from? it’s that house I think of.   Like most kids, I quickly made new friends and more or less forgot about the kids from the apartments.  My parents, too, made new friends in the neighborhood.  But several times a year, whenbradley st they told us they were going out with The Neighbors, it wasn’t the people from the new neighborhood, it was their old friends from The Boulevard.  This went on until my Mom passed away at 68, and after that my Dad would still reconnect with a few of The Neighbors.  Occasionally we’d get dragged along to reunion picnics where we tried to act like we were still friends with kids we hadn’t seen in years.  I never quite understood their attachment to the old neighbors when they had perfectly good new ones. (more…)


March 9, 2014

During the person’s lifetime, we get lost in the details. But when death strikes, we have the chance to study the kaleidoscope, the bigger picture, with utmost clarity. And at that point, we discover – a bit too late – the beautiful life led by the deceased – Levi Avtzon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen my friend Stan was in the hospital with pneumonia and began to realize he might not recover, he called me close and asked if I would deliver his eulogy.  It was a difficult request to hear but it was also an honor.   I was Stan’s sponsor and as such, I knew him better than most.  In the too short six years I’d known him, we’d come to trust each other completely … something rare under any circumstances but especially  so for two men in their sixties.  Yesterday, under the shade of a sycamore tree in the park, I got to keep my promise to Stan in front of a small group of his family and friends. (more…)

On Friends

November 30, 2013

cat friendsWhen Mark Zuckerberg chose the name Friend to describe someone who I allow to view what I post on Facebook in return for viewing theirs, it was both brilliant and cynical.   It was brilliant because it taps into a fundamental human need for friends.  And it was cynical because never before had the title of Friend been given for so little commitment, at least by humans over the age of 10.   I’ve noticed kids under 10 tend to call everyone they know a Friend.   It takes time to develop gradations of relationship like acquaintance, colleague, friend, good friend and best friend … not to mention the gradations of enemy.   Time, I’ve had, enough time to understand that true friendship is more than a matter of years and similar interests.   Friends are honest and open, willing to show me who they are and to know me, not just  on my good days but on my worst.   They accept who I am but don’t, as they say, cosign my bullshit … they are willing to say, Bud, what are you doing?   And I’m willing to do the same for them.   We have similarities, but we also have differences.  Similarities are easy … differences, we either discuss peacefully or avoid.  Either works.   We may be separated periodically by disagreements or events in our lives but we always come together again, and most times, no matter how long we’ve been separated, we can talk as if we’ve never been apart. (more…)

Infrequent Flyer

November 7, 2013

american airlinesI used to be a Frequent Flyer.  At least once a month I’d board a plane in Orange County, CA, headed east, usually to Washington, D.C. or to Hartford, Connecticut … sometimes both.   I almost always flew American Airlines and accumulated over 2 million frequent flyer miles.  I’d accumulate miles so fast that I never flew coach, nor did Muri and I when we traveled for pleasure.  That is very easy to get used to, especially the free drinks and wine.  I’d sometimes find myself flying in more ways than one.   I became somewhat of an airport elitist, annoyed by those who held up airport lines because they didn’t know what they were supposed to do or because they were dragging along a gaggle of noisy kids.  I used my frequent flyer miles to join the Admiral’s Club where I could hide out with other airport elitists … and I complained loudly when some of them began to bring their noisy kids to the Club.  They even began to use their miles to bring the kids into first class.  The nerve.   But the truth is, once I was airborne, I enjoyed flying.  I never got tiredlightning of looking out the window, seeing this lovely country of ours from 30,000 feet and sights like a moon reflected on the great lakes or a lightning storm seen from above.   I found that I worked better, wrote better and thought better at altitude, and if some noisy kid or loud inebriated businessman bothered me, well, there was always my Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and Layla played loud enough to drown them out.