EASTER 2020 – “CLEAN SLATES”

THIS EASTER WEEKEND, I AM working with “a clean slate”.  What do I mean?  Welllll, I am still “in lockdown”.  I cannot go out of the house without an “Attestation” (paper document) or I get fined (if I get stopped by the police).    France is not doing well with its number of cases and number of deaths.  So far, I am fine.  I have stayed inside for the most part.  However, in Paris, the rules are stricter than other places (people were ignoring the rules re exercising, etc.)  This is a very vibrant city.  And, I am a very vibrant “city girl”.  SO, I cannot exercise outside between the hours of 10:00 am. and 7:00 p.m.  Well, everything is closed, anyway, except for the grocery store and pharmacy and bakery (yum).  So, I am going out for a mile walk in the mornings before 10 a.m.  Why?  Because, I believe it is important to get exercise and some fresh air in the daylight. Not dusk.  Not night. Daylight on my head and on my face and in my eyes.   AND, I want to get to the bakery (on my way home with goodies). This morning, I found a florist willing to sell me some tulips (outside; NOT in the store or he gets in trouble).  When I walked by later, he had locked the door and closed an iron gate.  So, I was lucky! The flowers are beautiful.

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Yes, I have to wear a mask and take all of the precautions.  But, I am doing it.  That is easy.  Here is my cane by my yoga mat (for earlier stretches) by the door.  Ready to go!!!  Missy couldn’t care less!

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A friend sent me a thought for the day – this day, this Good Friday, this holiday in this Catholic country of France 2020 –  that I like very much.  She knows that I question everything, and I hope she doesn’t mind that I share it here. 

All you have is now. That’s all there is.  I use the metaphor of a boat going down the river. When you’re standing at the back of the boat, looking at the water as you’re going along at forty knots, what you see there is the wake. The wake is the trail that’s left behind. You can ask the question, “What’s making the boat go forward?” It can’t be the wake. The wake can’t drive the boat. It’s just the trail left behind. It can’t make the boat go forward, any more than the trail that you’ve left behind in your life is responsible for where you’re going now in your life. The belief that whatever you’ve been is what you have to be is a meme—a mind virus.  There is no past. That’s another illusion. Everything that’s ever happened to you, to me, to anyone in this world, happened in the present moment. That’s all there ever is. So your relationship to life isn’t your relationship to your past, it’s your relationship to the present moment. How good are you at being in the now? Most people tell themselves these excuses—I’ve always been this way, how can I possibly change, this is my nature, I can’t help it—that are just memes. They’re belief systems that keep you from being able to become all that you are intended to become. People lose track of their purpose, because they are so back there—living in their past.            –Wayne Dyer.

Here you have it.  A Clean SLATE!   Ready to go. unnamed-9

Go where?   I don’t think things will ever go “back” to the way they were.  And, we don’t know what the new “normal” is going to be like yet.  Well, for what it is worth, I don’t plan to die yet!!!!  And, I live where I have always wanted to be – Paris!   So, I have to adjust my plans.  To what?  I don’t know yet.  But, my grandmother Lillie Westmoreland (on my Mother’s side) lived to be 112 years old.

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So,  …….. I am thinking…. and observing….. and working on my health – physical and mental.  I must keep my body and mind active.  WHY?   I am expanding my universe! This doesn’t mean that I denounced my American roots.  On the contrary, the move to France and on to Paris via Nice,  was not about what I was leaving, but about discovering how much more of the world there is to experience and how broadening it is to a view of life in general.

Think of this confinement as a retreat, a way of resetting our thinking to get a different perspective. I don’t know about you, but I am learning more than ever before now. And, I am writing about some of it in Jayspeak, but most of all, I am observing and reading.  I am not even writing in my Journal very much.  It is all formulating in my mind.  I know you know what I mean.  Anyway. These are exciting times in which we live.  Make the most of it!

AND, a big shout out to those of you who have sent me “support Jayspeak” donations.  I really appreciate the support very much. You can donate any multiple of 50 (100, 150, 200, 25).  Thanks in advance.

 

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Actually, I need the support, too.  That is not easy for “independent me” to acknowledge, but I want to be honest with you.  This is my way of “working” these days.  And, since I am no longer practicing law, this is my fall-back position.  Instead of helping you with a legal problem, I am helping you find creative, interesting ways to spend the last decades of your lives. Haha.  I know, I know, you DON’T need my help.  Wellllllll, just go with it!  I know, I know, you have never wanted to move to Paris.  Wellllllll, just think of me as one of your American friends in Paris.  Why not?  I live in a very vibrant part of the city.  And, I know little to nothing about it.  I know why I am here. But, I know not much else.  Haha.   We will explore things together.   But first, more Clean Slates.  Above is the Seine with no wakes, i.e. “clean slate”  (remember “slates).   Here are my streets in lockdown, e.g. “clean slates”.   ((Before lockdown, these streets were FILLED with people, students (at the Sorbonne) and diners (at Bouillon Racine and Le Rostand) and people and traffic cutting through going and coming to somewhere????))

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Stay tuned…….

Best, Jay

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OUTSIDE MY DOOR – ONE MILE; 40 MINUTES!

BREAKING NEWS!!!  I got stopped by the police again this morning!  France has tightened restrictions regarding jogging and walking for exercise because people (young and old) were just going about their business, as usual, as far as getting together to exercise, laugh, and enjoy the spring weather in Paris.  Damn!  I have waited to do this ALL MY LIFE!  AND, the weather has been gorgeous!!  But, now – NO JOGGING OR WALKING ALONE OR OTHERWISE between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  AT ALL!!

What?????  Yes, I have been donning all of my gear – mask, hand cleanser, and attestation paperwork and walked out of the door every day for a week. Out the door around 10:30 a.m. for a couple of hours.  Welllllll, I feel better when I get some exercise.  Don’t worry.  I stay away from most people.  AND, they stay away from me.  In general, everyone is being very considerate.  What????  The French being considerate???   I know, I know.  That is not generally the case. haha.  That has now come to a screeching halt!!  SO- This morning I was up at 7:30, doing stretches and out the door at 8 a.m. , determined to get in a one-mile, 40-minute walk.  Haha.  Guess what?   So was everyone else!  A girl on her bike; guys in groups (all far apart from each other); women with grocery carts, old men with canes, old women with canes (ME!!). 

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AND, the homeless people who are regulars  in the neighborhood, especially around the Odeon that I have seen (at the Odeon – photo below- a guy with a cardboard house on the left side) were all still sound asleep.   But, the rest of Paris was up and running.  And, I was determined to walk a mile (I did.) 

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On my way home, a car pulled up by my side.  I thought it was stopping for the flower shop that I was passing.  A female cop asked me (in French) for my papers.  I started to argue because it wasn’t 10:00 a.m.  Then I thought better of it and tried to hand her my paperwork.  NOPE. She did not want to touch it. She wanted me to show it to her, which I did. I knew there was no problem except that I needed to pull my scarf/mask up.   She motioned for me to do it.  I did.  No problem.  She and her co-officer drove away.  Meanwhile people were on the other side of the street, and she did not stop for any of them.  Hmmmm.  Why me?  I think it was because I had a cane and was not wearing my mask.  She thought I should be reminded to keep my mask up.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  But, no problem. (I am getting pretty good at this). So, yesterday, when I was doing my walk, I took a lot of pictures. I was walking up by the Jardin du Luxembourg (up the street).  I would put my camera inside the bars for better shots.  So, I am posting them. 

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Plus, the day before (Monday) I walked down by the Seine (down the street). So, I am posting some of those.

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Bottom line – I won’t be walking that much.  I am trying to exercise inside.  That works.  The good news is that this street usually has nobody on it, especially at 8:00 a.m.  So, I will be fine if I go early.  Not in the late afternoon.  Too many people.  And, the numbers in France are still not good.  (Sigh).  I hesitate to say, but I don’t think the world will ever be the same anymore.  More on that later…… Now, it was time for some pretty photos. 

Stay well and Jayspeak appreciates any support you are willing to give.  Thanks in advance!

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Best, Jay (posting a photo from 2017 by photographer Helen Ahonen for acting headshots, taken in Nice, January 2017 – 3 years ago.)  I will get some new headshots one of these days.  Stay tuned……..

 

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WE ALL HAVE A STORY

Lately, I have seen a lot of posts and gotten a lot of emails wanting me to share my story and it might be used somewhere.  Which story do you want me to share?  I have several stories.  My early years.  Candler Street Grammar School.  My teens.  My family of origin. My ancestors. My aunts and uncles and cousins. Dating.  College – University of Georgia.  Scholastics.  Sex.  Me, too experiences.  Scholastic achievements.  Honors.  1st marriage – Darrell William MacIntyre.  Sex.  Me, too experiences.  Motherhood.  Bullies.  Abused wife syndrome. Leadership.  Adult Child of an Alcoholic.  Daddy.  Daughter of a prominent man. Growing up in a small town.  Friends and so-called “friends”.  2nd marriage William Wood Bell.  Co-alcoholic/enabler.  Step-motherhood.  Career in film & television.  Compulsive-obsessive personality.  Physical history.  Goals in Life. 3rd marriage Willard Douglas Uhler. Divorce, in general.  Christianity.  Religious Abuse.  4th marriage Felice Steven Orlandella.  Addictions.  Fantasies.  Ageing.  Sports History.  My love of the Law.  Why I changed my name, legally.  Writing. My publications.  My musical history. Singing. Moving to Paris.

You get the picture.  What should be the focus on “my story”?  In my bio, I say, “My name is Jay W. MacIntosh, attorney/actress/wife/mother/grandmother/writer/…. and the list goes on.  Yet, with everyone having health problems these days, I think we all need to share with someone who will really listen – our story.  That is why I spent one of my posts trying to make my grandmother and my grandfather (Lillie and Glenn) into a couple with their own lives and problems.  Who were they?  I didn’t ever really know each one of my husbands.  I don’t really know who my children are.  I don’t really know who my friends are.  People seldom share their stories.  Only now, when I am in the advancing years of my life in Paris in lockdown with no end in sight, do I even spend thought-time, pondering who my mother really was.  I mean as a young girl with hopes and dreams, and her difficulties with motherhood and an unfaithful, good-looking alcoholic successful husband with a great personality.    Who was Daddy, really?  I can tell you who I think he was.  No one stops to think beyond who THEY THINK a person is.  What arrogance!!!  No one really knows who a person is.  THEY THINK THEY DO.  Not true.  Wrong. 

So, now, I am living in Paris, France, in the middle of a lot of beauty and a lot of fear.  I am somewhere in the middle – loving the beauty and working with my own fear.  Actually, I am trying not to think so much.  I am “doing it anyway”.  Doing what anyway.  Walking, exercising.  Brushing my hair. Writing. Shopping.  Making a lot of lists Haha.  I LOVE making lists.  This week, I set a routine.  Get up, do 40 minutes of stretches in bed and on the yoga mat. Feed the cat. 

Put on my Asics, walk the loop (almost a mile – sorta around the block).  Explore a tad – walking at least one mile.  Take pictures to post.  Look up at the sky.  Breathe.  Figure out where is East, West, North, South.  Eat breakfast. Clean kitchen.  Work on projects, lists, ideas, books.  Eat. Read.  Think.  Write.  Nap.   (Actually, the day passes very quickly.)  Watch Evening News.  Eat. Watch a show (I pick a series I like and watch one episode.  Right now, I am finishing up Father Brown. Haha.  I cannot watch anything too heavy.  I get too upset.)   Watch Christiane Amanpour.  Go to bed. Read my phone until I turn off the light and try to sleep.  I just wander through the day.  I sign up for seminars, but I cancel before the time.  Maybe I will begin follow-through at some point.  I have always like being alone.  So, this is not too hard for me.  I enjoy reading, studying, writing, thinking. 

My walks are fun.  This week, I took some pictures.  Out my front door.

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Down or up to the Odeon (not sure what happens there but it is a beautiful building).

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Up the street to the Jardin de Luxembourg. (See how close it is to my apartment . People run around it and get exercise.  Beautiful flowers.

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I peer through the gates with my camera and take photos without the bars (in the shadows).   

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Across the square (which has a name but I am not sure what it is)

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This is a restaurant I ate dinner and breakfast in before lockdown.  It is run by cute young people who are from the South and features Southern cooking.  Excellent “13 au Jardin”.  These are all sidewalk cafes in normal time. (Sigh)

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The Jardin is across the street and the trees are ready to pop open.  Gorgeous.

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Then down Boulevard Saint Michel and Rue Racine (home) or go explore another street (like I did on Friday)and see the Pantheon in Paris. Wow!  BTW, that hamburger looks SOOOOO good to me.

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I don’t know what the buildings are – except for the Pantheon,  and there is no one to ask. WELLLL, that is the main attraction, anyway, and I will find out eventually.  Also, I like to window shop.  At the end of the street, I know that is the Pantheon in Paris.

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I then turned down Rue St Jacques past the University of Paris and the Sorbonne.  YES!!!  That is where I wanted to attend college in 1956-57.  Mother would not let me.  Now, it is too late.  Maybe.  Who knows.

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On Friday, I got stopped by the police for my papers.  (My French friends tell me to be careful when this happens.  I could get robbed.  (sigh)) But, I trusted that this looked like the police and had seen them talking to other pedestrians and looking at their papers.  Every day we must have a paper saying who we are, where we live, and why we are out.  I had mine.  No problem.  And, I did not get robbed.  Haha.  On Saturday, the police were on horseback.  Gorgeous day. And, tomorrow is going to be warm.  Almost 70.  Springtime in Paris.  YES!!!

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And, a few more pictures that I like.  That is the Museum de Cluny that I have yet to visit.  And, a small garden across from the Sorbonne.  And, a flower I found in a pot on the street.  But, you get the picture.

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So for now, that is my story and I am sticking to it!  I am spending Spring 2020 in Paris during a World Wide pandemic.  And I now know where the Sorbonne is.  Down the street.  Haha.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  But, I like it!   Never a dull moment.

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Best, Jay -(I am posting a picture of Craig (my son) because tomorrow is his birthday and I don’t dare take any selfies these days.  (Sigh)  He is a lot more good-looking but I am biased. I don’t know his story (a little) and I KNOW he doesn’t know mine.  He thinks he does, but all kids think they know their parents’ stories.  (Sigh).  But, I KNOW he is a lot more level-headed than I am.  Great!  Happy Birthday, Craig.  Stay safe.  I love you.)

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ALIVE IN MY HEART! LILLIE!

This week, I have had a lot of friends reach out to me.  Great.  Because it is rather bleak in this small apartment in Paris.  I have my favorite songs playing on Spotify; Missy is close by; and a lot of projects in the works, so I stay busy.  AND, I have WiFi (FINALLY) and favorite programs on the television (BBC and CNN).  So, I am NOT bored.  Quite the contrary.  But, no matter how you look at it, this is not my idea of the way to see Paris during my birthday 2020.  Haha.  But this surreal event will begin to move on at some point, so I have to “gut up” while I am going through the days.  As do all of us. 

I have spent a lot of time upgrading my WordPress “Jayspeak” site, so that I now have a link to a “Voluntary Contributions” and “Donations” for readers to help me fund this project.  It is hard to be creative when you’re worried about money.  And, I am worried about money (along with my health).  So, I am considering this creative project “Jayspeak” a business and plan to develop it for my readers and followers.  Let’s face it, it is not every day that a woman, 83 and alone, ups and moves to Paris, France, to live and learn.  Haha.  It even sounds crazy to me!!  Well, actually, there have been a lot of problems, and EVERYTHING is expensive.  Duh.  …which takes me to my birthday, happening on Monday.  March 30, 1937.  Ugh.  I am going to spend some time with Lillie.  Who?  Lillie Westmoreland, my grandmother.  Hang in there!  I will try to make it interesting.  Jay (also known as “Janet Tallulah Jewell”) speaks….. 

One of my friends this week told me this, and I have thought about it a lot.  

“… we all carry the blood of our ancestors, and they survived through much more.”

Thus, I thought about “Lillie”.  And, I have been thinking about her ever since.  WHO?  What?  Lillie Westmoreland.  WHY?  What did she survive?  I don’t know.  This is what I know, sorta. This is her picture.  I don’t know how old she was when this was taken.  My niece, Deb Prince Kroll, colorized it.  She looks to be around 60 to me.  

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She was born into a family with 11 (COUNT THEM) – eleven!!!!!! children.  I don’t know where she was in the line-up.  Not oldest; not youngest.  I don’t know. I cannot imagine 10 brothers and sisters in the house.  Help!!!!!   They were not rich.  They were not poor.  I don’t know.  They lived in Royston, Georgia.  VERY SMALL TOWN.  Ugh.  She was born on September 12, 1880. OK, let’s pause for a minute to find out what was happening in the world in 1880. This is her father’s obituary (Seaborn Westmoreland – “Seab”)  that was in the Royston, Georgia papers at the time of his death.  He was a Baptist preacher off and on.  “Hallulah!  I’m a preacher!” (no comment) Here is a picture of Lillie’s mother – the bearer of 11 healthy children?  Yikes!  Look at those gorgeous brown eyes.  So perceptive. 

Eliza Jordan

Seaborn Westmoreland Obit

Hello, Wikipedia!!! Help.

It was a Sunday.  Lillie was born (probably at home) on a Sunday, in Royston, Georgia.  The United States had five Presidents during the decade, the most since the 1840s. They were Rutherford B. HayesJames A. GarfieldChester A. ArthurGrover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison.  On that day, James A. Garfield was president.  This is what I found interesting about him.

“At the 1880 Republican Convention, Garfield failed to win the Presidential nomination for his friend John Sherman. Finally, on the 36th ballot, Garfield himself became the “dark horse” nominee.  By a margin of only 10,000 popular votes, Garfield defeated the Democratic nominee, Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock.

Major power political disputes back then – same as now.  As President, Garfield strengthened Federal authority over the New York Customs House, stronghold of Senator Roscoe Conkling, who was leader of the Stalwart Republicans and dispenser of patronage in New York. When Garfield submitted to the Senate a list of appointments including many of Conkling’s friends, he named Conkling’s arch-rival William H. Robertson to run the Customs House. Conkling contested the nomination, tried to persuade the Senate to block it, and appealed to the Republican caucus to compel its withdrawal.  But Garfield would not submit: “This…will settle the question whether the President is registering clerk of the Senate or the Executive of the United States…. shall the principal port of entry … be under the control of the administration or under the local control of a factional senator.”  Conkling maneuvered to have the Senate confirm Garfield’s uncontested nominations and adjourn without acting on Robertson. Garfield countered by withdrawing all nominations except Robertson’s; the Senators would have to confirm him or sacrifice all the appointments of Conkling’s friends.  In a final desperate move, Conkling and his fellow-Senator from New York resigned, confident that their legislature would vindicate their stand and re-elect them. Instead, the legislature elected two other men; the Senate confirmed Robertson. Garfield’s victory was complete.

In foreign affairs, Garfield’s Secretary of State invited all American republics to a conference to meet in Washington in 1882. But the conference never took place. On July 2, 1881, in a Washington railroad station, an embittered attorney who had sought a consular post shot the President.  Mortally wounded, Garfield lay in the White House for weeks. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, tried unsuccessfully to find the bullet with an induction-balance electrical device which he had designed. On September 6, Garfield was taken to the New Jersey seaside. For a few days he seemed to be recuperating, but on September 19, 1881, he died from an infection and internal hemorrhage.

That said, I doubt that Lillie’s family was interested in politics or in the world at large, during those days. No radios or television.  This was a large family, living in a small town in the Deep South.  They were just trying to survive during the depression with a large family. (Today, with DNA testing, I have confirmed by Ancestry.com that I have LOTS of cousins and cousins of cousins – especially with 11 kids growing up and having kids – black and white.  Hey, that was the South during those years.  How?  I don’t know how. Get over it!  

“The 1890s was the ten-year period from the years 1890 to 1899.   In the United States, the 1890s were marked by a severe economic depression sparked by the Panic of 1893, as well as several strikes in the industrial workforce. The decade saw much of the development of the automobile.  The period was sometimes referred to as the “Mauve Decade” – because William Henry Perkin’s aniline dye allowed the widespread use of that colour in fashion – and also as the “Gay Nineties”, referring to the fact that it was full of merriment and optimism. The phrase, “The Gay Nineties,” was not coined until the 1920s. This decade was also part of the Gilded Age, a phrase coined by Mark Twain, alluding to the seemingly profitable era that was riddled with crime and poverty.” – Wikipedia

Here is another picture.  I think she is 16.

Lillie Westmoreland Dorough

She would have been 16 in 1896, and there were football teams at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech.  I know she played baseball with Ty Cobb in Royston.  He was a friend of hers.   

When she was 19, she married a handsome young guy who later called himself a lawyer, Glenn Dorough, who was also living in Royston. At some point, they moved to Gainesville.  How?  When?  I don’t know.  Debby told me he “read the law” with Joe Telford (Joe Telford was also Daddy’s lawyer), and Glenn later sold real estate in Athens. When? I don’t know!  However he was very serious, and Lillie was a cut-up and liked to laugh!   Interest Note that Debby found online:  Glenn was one of the prosecuting attorneys in the murder case of Ty Cobb’s mother.  Mrs. Cobb was charged with murdering her husband, but she was found not guilty as she convinced the jury she thought her husband was an intruder when he came in late one night.  How about that!!!!!  There is definitely a back-story there!!!!  BUT NOBODY TALKED ABOUT IT!!!!!!  Ugh.

I know she dreamed of being an actress and had “shows” in the family back yard and would present “pretend stories” to the neighbors in an afternoon presentation.  She would string a sheet on a clothesline for a curtain. Check out the “chip off the old block”

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Her father Seab was a cut-up, too.  He liked to laugh and has been described as a “character” with a good personality.  I don’t know much about her mother, Eliza Ann Jordan (eleven kids.  I am impressed).  I know she was beautiful and rather “mysterious”.  They all had those gorgeous brown eyes.  My sisters both had those beautiful brown eyes.  I got the Jewell blue eyes.  Check out the brown eyes on Barbara and Mother. Barbara 3:

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I don’t know for sure how old Lillie was when she got married.  Debby says 19.  Young, I think.  Very young.   I do know that she and Glenn had six little girls.  Mother was #2, I think.  She was born on October 29, 1902.  Her name was Anna Louise Dorough when she was in college.  Quite a flirt with a good personality. Anna Louise Dorough 2Ruth was the oldest.  Then, Mother (Anna Louise).  Then, Lillian.  Then, Edna (she died when she was 21, from peritonitis).  Then Rose (the baby).   Debby says there was another little girl born in 1908 (between Edna and Rose.  She was named Rebekkah and died in 1908.  I don’t know the story there.  No one talked about ANYTHING.  Talking about “family private matters” was private and off limits.  STILL IS!!!!!   Secrets.  Lots of secrets.  Ugh. (To me, it was always so hypocritical. STILL IS!!)

They were all in their 90’s when they died.  (She was 22 when Mother was born)  Papa Dorough (Glenn) died of cancer on November 19, 1940.  He was 65.  Lillie was 60.  I still remember the funeral.  Mother sent all of us to the movies so we would not be at the funeral.  I was 3.  At age three and before I went to the movies, I visited that living room and studied the casket.  I can still remember that day in my mind’s eye.  I can still see the flowers (Lots of coral gladiola’s and yellow chrysanthemums)  surrounding the coffin in the living room of the Mama Dorough’s boarding house on Green Street in Gainesville, Georgia (my home town).   I don’t know much about Glenn.  Except that Mother would drop me off at Mama Dorough’s boarding house during the time Glenn was sick in bed with cancer.  I was 2 and 3.  I would sit beside him, facing him on a double four-poster bed, and he would read to me – the same story, over and over.  Some children’s book  that I loved at the time.  I don’t remember what.  I loved “The Little Engine that Could”.  Maybe.  We would shell and eat pecans together.  (Made a mess).   I can still see the wind-up alarm clock, sitting on the chest of drawers.  Note: when Mama Dorough died, I got her silverware and that alarm clock and took it back to California.  I still have the silverware they used.  I am using it in Paris.!!!  I had the alarm clock until I moved to France.  I got rid of it then.  I am still looking for a picture of Glenn.  He had a mustache.  

Lillie was 45 when her father Seab died, November 7, 1935.  I was born in 1937, so Lillie was still rather young when I was born.  Mother was 35 when I was born.  So she was 33 when her grandfather Seab died.  I think I have all of these ages wrong.  I keep trying to figure out how young Lillie was when she married Glenn, but I am confused.  My brain needs more exercise.  But, if Lillie was born in 1880 and her father died in 1935 and I was born in 1937……  That is where I get confused.  I think ALL of everyone is too young for ALL of this.  And, they all died VERY OLD.  Amazing.  I want that blood of my ancestors in my veins, especially now that I want time to LIVE and explore Paris at the age of 83.  Haha.

At some point, Lillie started running a “boarding house” and helped with income, taking in “boarders”.  Like an AirBnb – sorta.  But, she provided three meals a day.  I think they were more into survival mode than what was going in the world.  Maybe Glenn was having difficulty with income. And, Lillie had to help out.  What with a large family to feed.   Newspapers?  College?  Marriages?  I don’t know.  NOBODY EVER TALKED ABOUT IT!!!  UGH.  The flu?  Plagues? “When 138 soldiers at Camp Gordon in Atlanta were hit with it this day in 1918, the Spanish Flu epidemic had spread across Georgia. The flu hit just as World War I ended. … The flu killed 20 million people in just 18 months. It was worse than the Black Death of the Middle Ages.”  – Wikipedia. 

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World War I and World War II.  The Depression.  Polio.  Ebola.  SARS.  And, more.  Doctors? Medicine?   I don’t know. SEE. That is what will happen to me.  My children and grandchildren will know that I existed, but they won’t know much else.  They all think they know me and know who I am, but they don’t have a clue. I believe everyone has a “story”.  And children are not usually interested in their mother or father’s story.  Sometimes.  Not mine. I have a lot of trouble with that part – the disinterest.    But, enough about me, back to Lillie…

After Glenn died, she moved to Atlanta, still making money by taking in “boarders”, cleaning rooms and preparing all meals.  Quite industrious and entrepreneurial, especially when the South was going through a terrible depression. 

I loved Mama Dorough.  She was witty and loved jokes.  She would “chuckle”.  Remember “chuckles”.  Do people still chuckle?   She loved all of my kids, especially Craig and Blake.  She loved me.  She loved ALL of us.  Full of lots of love.  She loved her boarders.  They loved her.  How blessed I was to have her as my role model. At some point, I got concerned because the family did not know a lot about Lillie’s life, so I got some tapes and recorded my conversations with her.  I asked her about her life growing up.  She was reticent to talk about it.  But I got a lot from her.  I need to have help transcribing those tapes.  It is on my long list of projects for “someday”.  I seemed to be the only one who cared.  Debby (my niece) knows a lot more than I do.  She is interested in all of it. 

Lillie died March 6, 1992 at the age of 111.  She would have been 112 on September 12, 1992.  All of her daughters (except for Edna) lived to be in their 90’s. 

 

So, my hope is that I have Lillie’s blood in my veins and God knows what all she survived!  No one seemed to ask during those days.  “It was not discussed”.  Life was hard, in general.  I remember air raids at home during World War II.  I remember Mother shopping with rations at Piggly Wiggly (supermarket) and being very excited when Daddy brought home sick stockings for her. Why?  I did not ask.  Doing without was a way of life.

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Same as today.  No one is asking about me.  What I have survived. Or that my kids have survived.  Or that my grandkids have survived at their young ages.  I KNOW that they all have survived a LOT. And, they are still young.

Wellllllllll, IF I do have Lillie’s thrust for life, I have 28 more years to go!!  Haha!  Who knows?  

For now, we are ALL ALIVE.  Let’s stay that way.  This is a long article that I think is very good about the virus.  I read it while reading a friend’s blog here in Paris.  I have learned a lot about the city Paris, from her and her informative blog –Sara Somers.

So, on Monday, I shall celebrate Lillie Westmoreland, her life and her times.  And, all she survived.  And her wonderful spirit!  May it continue to live in me, in my blood, in my veins. 

Best, Jay 

(without hair and make-up.  Sorry, but it is recent and in lockdown.  So, you get the picture of a current selfie!!  Take note of the “support Jayspeak” button. To all I offend with my “support” button, I apologize in advance.  But, you move to Paris by yourself when you turn 83 and survive a pandemic!!!  This is not a requirement.  It is a voluntary simple  support button.  You can also do any multiple of 50, like 25 (I think), or 100 or 150 or …..  i hope it works.  Let me know if anyone has problems with it.  It should link with my PayPal account.  But, you also have to have a PayPal account, (I think).   So, this is a work in process.  Haha.   Sorry.

 

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ALSO, a vintage Birthday rendition done by a friend, Jonathan Pfeiffer, a lot of years ago and a closing shot of my beginnings…….

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ON MY MIND – PARIS, FRANCE – the first weekend in Lockdown

HERE’S WHAT IS ON MY MIND……  Go grab a cup of coffee, if you want to.  I have a few things that I want to say.  Actually, I am speaking to myself as I write this as well as to all of my readers.  First off, I want to thank all of you for reading my words.  That is amazing and means a lot to me.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone would read what I have to say.

I still have a vivid memory of Andrea and Kate and me, sitting on the patio of Volupte Anytime in Nice having lunch.  Steve was very much alive at home on Cimiez.  I was trying to think of ways to make money to help fund our (Steve and mY) European adventure ahead of us.  I had closed down my Law Offices.  I was frustrated because very few people seemed interested in reading my introspective Journals.  “Janet Tallulah.” and others or my flower books. They both told me to write a blog.  A what?  Blog?  Ewwwww…….  People make money off of blogs?  How?  Getting readers and advertisers and……  That day, I went home and told Steve that we both needed to write a blog.  A what??  He was as skeptical as I was.  But, he loved to write, so he immediately started his blog, called “Stevespeak.”  (He would make up his own words, and I would say, “Is that Stevespeak?”)  So, I asked him if he minded if I called my blog “Jayspeak”?  He thought that was a good idea.  So, we both wrote our first blogs, after setting them up on WordPress – “Jayspeak” and “Stevespeak”.  Then, he got sick and died.

I kept writing, and now, over three years later, I have amazing stats (forgive me for posting these stats but I am very proud of them):  36,800 views; 7,520 visitors, with almost 200 posts, and I don’t know how many followers.  So, I now love writing each week.  I cannot guarantee it will be interesting.  But, I am enjoying it, and my next book, “After Steve Died” is on hold.  So today, here is what is on my mind (particularly in the middle of the night……)  haha.

First off, we are fighting for our lives.  I am.  I don’t know about you.  So, I will just go with me. I cannot win a fight unless I engage in it.  What do I mean? These may be times of chaotic energy.  I think our country is experiencing an unfortunate lack of leadership, as in the saying “all is fair in love and war” Or I may be experiencing distracting, chattering thoughts that agitate me as they jump around in my head.  In a more mundane context, it may just say that I am having A LOT of hectic days.  None of this sounds very good, of course, but there actually are better aspects to all of this than I may realize.

Despite (or, perhaps, because of) strife, we may create something wonderful out of the chaos, and this is especially true when we are able to look at conflicts and disagreements within groups of people, especially families, to find common ground there.  Considering this, we can see that the creative energy of each individual within a group has the potential to fuel either chaos or creativity.  The preferred goal, then, is to unify and focus everyone’s efforts in order to harness energy creatively instead of letting it run wild and become destructive. So that makes it important to look for common ground to see how people can work together instead of at cross purposes.  Such a change of perspective can alter the dynamics of a situation from being contentious  to being cooperative, and that changes its energy from destructive to constructive.  I am particularly thinking about the dynamics of my family and a few of my “friends”and mere acquaintances.

But even if we do see these times as representing conflict (both internal and external), we must realize that this is not always bad.  For one thing, this can indicate an effective agent of change.  To quote an old culinary saying, “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”  …and not just merely breaking eggs.

Conflicts can be good for us.  Maybe there is infighting with people who oppose us.  That can be a good thing for us, like antibodies fighting off infection… literally.  Someone or some group is fighting hard for us – fighting against an enemy and testing ideas through conflicts and disagreements with others.  This is good because, as I said at the beginning of this diatribe, you can’t win such a fight unless you engage in it. Thus, it is time to fight the good fight or to fight harder and not give up.

I, personally, with this current move to Paris, am experiencing the conflict that merely represents the niggling little day-to-day struggles of life, much less a pandemic.  However, even though I may not realize it while multiple things are bothering me, even those struggles may have value.  I can grow and improve for having dealt with them.  I must remember that such irritations provide me with opportunities to practice my ability to deal with problems so that I can come out on top if or when bigger problems arise.

I intend to resume a passionate participation in life and intend to cultivate such an involvement.  I have shaken things up in my life.  I don’t plan on sitting on the sidelines.  I have jumped into the fray. Haha.  Maybe I should get involved in something important and find a cause that I care about enough to fight for it.  That is what I did when I got out of Law School.  I started representing employees – people who had been abused by bullies at work and damaged.  As a woman and as an actress, I cared and identified with that cause and wanted to fight for it.  So, I did.  For 20 years.  I stopped on December 10, 2019 and moved to Paris.

Finally, I see danger ahead for me. But danger can be exciting.  HEY!!  We are all exercising new muscles to adapt and change! I have great confidence each of us will be stronger, and collectively we will be stronger together as we navigate.–  JUST SAYIN’….

My final question is – WHY?  Why do I need to engage in another battle?  I don’t have that answer.   Wish I did.  That said, why not?  I am not dead, yet.  Neither are you, if you are reading this.   Just sayin’….

Best, Jay…..

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RANDOM THOUGHTS DURING “LOCKDOWN – PARIS”

For those who don’t know, I am in Paris, France, under lockdown.  What does that mean?  For me, it means that I need to stay home and “self-quarantine” as much as possible.  Why? Because I don’t want to die just yet.  I still have some things that I really want to do in this area of the world, and someone could give me the virus without knowing it, and I could have it without knowing it.  AND, as I just said, I want to live a while longer because I have things I want to do in this area of the world.  For those who believe in “past lives”, I have a strong affinity to this area.  To those who need another reason for my wanting to stay here, I like it.  I always have.  Why?  I don’t know.  I have a history here. I made a life-altering decision here.  IN PARIS.  On the Left Bank.  What?  Maybe I will write about it one day. 

And, to those who think I was “running away from something in the USA”, I was NOT. I was not in trouble of any kind.  Au contraire, I was happily living in Encino.  I loved LA.  My law practice was booming, and I had a back-up profession in the Entertainment Industry.  Steve want to move.  He did not like LA at ALL  He wanted out and to move to Sarasota, Florida.  I did not want to move ANYWHERE in Florida.   It was as simple as that. We were retiring to do something that we both were willing to do before we couldn’t.  At the time we moved (October 2015), we were happily married and looking forward to the new adventure ahead.  He had duel citizenship.  USA and Italy.  A true Formula I fan.  And, my health was not so hot from the intensity of practicing law.  There, more than you ever wanted to know. 

We moved to Nice, on the Riviera.  He died.  I stayed for three more years.  I moved to Paris in January 2020 and went into Lockdown.  Who knew???  Who knows what lies ahead?  I surely don’t.  This move has been full of complications (long story for another time).  NEVER did I think I would be living in Paris at a time of a world-wide pandemic. More on that as time goes by.  So, today, I am sharing some thoughts with you. 

While I was in Nice, I subscribed to getting a daily email with local news – Riviera Radio News.  It is an English-speaking radio station in Monaco.  I tried to listen to it for a long time, but most of the time, I could not get a clear signal.  But I still get the daily email.  I am interested in news from my former home.  Today’s email had some interesting news that you may be interested in.

Riviera Radio Daily News Wednesday 18 March……

Nice canon – If you heard the familiar midday canon on Tuesday in Nice, then it was the last time for a while. As the city took measures to confine its population in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, the tradition has been interrupted. The firing of the canon is a tradition which dates back to 1885, but that it marked something rather different to what it meant then, marking on Tuesday at midday, the introduction of new confinement measures.

Fired in the 1860s by a Scottish Lord Sir Thomas Coventry, the canon was used to remind a too-talkative wife that it was lunchtime. The  canon has since become a true symbol of Nice. To the point that at the time of Coventry’s departure, the population demanded that the tradition remain. In recent years, only the commemorations of July 14 [the Nice Terror Attack] have silenced it.

Meanwhile, in Cagnes sur mer, it’s 16-year-old Maxime Willebien-Pessina who has launched a group on Facebook: “The Cagnois at the windows”.  In this group, he launches a daily meeting – everyone on their balcony, at their window, every evening at 6 p.m. “For a minute, we applaud – to thank the health staff, the firefighters, the police, and all those who keep us safe.”  And in Nice, the mayor has called for a similar action to take place in Nice at 8pm on Thursday. 

Following the new measures with the clear message to “stay at home” during the 15-day lockdown introduced at midday on Tuesday, Riviera Radio reminds you that the following are allowed: 

  • Travelling to work is permitted so long as the work is essential, cannot be postponed, and cannot be done from home.
  • Shopping for groceries and other essential items is allowed; there is no need for panic-buying as supermarkets and bakers can remain open throughout the lockdown.
  • Exceptions are also made for “imperative family reasons”, such as looking after children and the elderly. In practice, parents with shared custody can travel between each other’s homes; shopping for an elderly relative is also allowed (as long as people keep to a safe distance when visiting vulnerable relatives).
  • Brief outings to get some exercise or take pets for a walk are allowed, albeit “with parsimony”; Castaner stressed that all group activities, such as playing a football match, are strictly banned. 
  • All health-related appointments are permitted, including trips to the pharmacy. For all information on the coronavirus outbreak in France, dial 08 00 130 000, free of charge. 

All people leaving their homes must carry a signed form, or attestation, explaining where they are headed and why. A different form is needed for each outing. Failure to produce one will result in a fine. The form details the five motives listed above; tick the relevant box when filling it in.

In France, the Economy Minster Bruno le Maire was warned of a coming recession and announced a 45 billion euro aid package to help businesses and employees cope with the crisis. He also said that the government was ready to nationalise firms if necessary to protect the economy from the fallout.

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Next – Thank you to my Facebook Friends (Tanya is a former client):  Tanya Moore and Karen Furno.    There is much fear about COVID-19, and much to gain.

“What if…
we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work.

That all are interconnected.

What if…
the virus and it’s demands of social distancing actually help us?

What if..
We reset as individuals, taking time to recall all that is truly important, as we reconnect with family, loved ones and community- in giving.

What if..
By reducing travel? Our environment, the skies, the air and our even lungs get a break for a bit.

What if…
Our cities see blue skies and less smog for the first time in a long time, with factories being shut down.

What if..
Many get to work from home, during this time, as oppose to commuting which lessens pollution and provides more personal time.

What if..
Families reconnect; having more time at home. Lovers reengage and remember the gratitude they have for one another.

What if..
It’s an open invitation to turn inwards in deep thought, as oppose to the pressured social gatherings, with self-soothing drinks involved.

What if..
It’s a time to reconnect with self and ask, what is really important to me?

What if..
It’s a economical and social reset, balancing and reevaluating both our minds and business structures.

What if..
It’s a time to understand the working poor, with a lack of healthcare access for the over 30 million in the U.S. alone. Giving a greater understanding of the importance for paid sick leave.

What if..
It’s a time to revalue spending habits, retirement, college funds, IRA and savings, along with 3-6 month rainy day, or in this case- pandemic, funds.

**How hard does one need to work to be able to LIVE, to HAVE A LIFE… outside of work? Let us contemplate our career, home and extracurricular time we allot for ourselves.

What if..
Washing our hands properly and proper hygiene was something many needed as a reminder. Yes, one irresponsible person effects many. Yes, we are all interconnected.

What if…
It resets our gratitude and a provided a presence of peace we haven’t felt in long while.

What if…
There is a favorable shift underway in our society?

What if…
this virus is an ally in our evolution?

What if..
We needed a reminder to be and stay connected, humane, to live a simpler life, with more joy.

What if..
We needed a kick to be less impactful to our environment and more giving to each other.

What if..
It triggered more offerings of the heart.

What if..
We give these uneasy times an offering to another perspective, another way to impact and unfold our evolution in a positive manner.

What if…
We remembered the gifts we are receiving by this virus and continue on with some of the simplicities this has provided.

What if…
We are better tomorrow, for what we were given today.

What if…—”

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Also, another Facebook post  that I like very much, with a shout-out and thank you to my daughter-in-law:  Joy Trascey Bertolli Macintosh ….

“How about some good news? 🏼🏼🏼

-China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support them.

– Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Combination of drugs used: Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir along with Chlorphenamine. They are going to suggest same medicine, globally.

– Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody against coronavirus.

– A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, China.

– Apple reopens all 42 china stores,

– Cleveland Clinic developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in hours, not days.

– Good news from South Korea, where the number of new cases is declining.

– Italy is hit hard, experts say, only because they have the oldest population in Europe.

– Scientists in Israel likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

– 3 Maryland coronavirus patients fully recovered; able to return to everyday life.

– A network of Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research.

– A San Diego biotech company is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore.

– Tulsa County’s first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery.

– All 7 patients who were getting treated for at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi have recovered.

– Plasma from newly recovered patients from Covid -19 can treat others infected by Covid-19.”

So it’s not all bad news. Let’s care for each other and stay focused on safety of those most vulnerable.

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Finally, – a quote from my niece, Debby Prince Kroll, quoting Kitty O’Meara.  Thank you, Debby.

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.And listened more deeply.Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.Some met their shadows.And the people began to think differently.And the people healed.And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.  And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”  — Kitty O’Meara 

I need some yellow today.  So, here are some pretty shots I took over the years. Bonne chance, Everyone!!

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Best JAY

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ONE FROM THE HEART, FROM ME TO YOU……

Last night, while I was reading articles online about the virus, I heard the news in France.  “Starting at midnight Saturday, (last night), all non-essential businesses — including cafes, restaurants and movie theatres — will be closed until further notice, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said. Banks, gas stations, supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open” (for now).

I freaked.  I have not stocked up on anything.  This is a small apartment.  I was planning to buy extras of things after I got up and running.  I am not up and running.  I still don’t have WIFI or doctors or “things” in place yet. I barely have room for me and my things.  And, now, I have a lease for one year before I am wanted gone “to a place of my own”. So, I am trying to decide when to start looking……

As an attorney, I do NOT advise handling one’s old age this way.  I am really flying solo here without a base of any kind.  Steve and I had made plans and lists and wills and…..  But, after he died, I have done nothing.  I have made a couple of calls about ways to change beneficiaries, but I still have to make the changes.  To be honest about it, part of me doesn’t care.  Steve cared.  I cared.  But, now, ……

OK, Daddy was born on Friday, the 13th.  He always considered it a lucky day for him.  He was an outstanding man and lived a good life.  I loved him very much.  He was a role model for me.  I have been told that I am a “black swan”. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  Black swans represent a theory that reflects the disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology.  See also, Coronavirus that is pervasive world-wide.  So, black swan, I shall remain  (thank you, Cynthia.)

OK, IF I had a plan, what would it be?

My Plan, IF I had a plan……….(haha)

I am living IN PARIS!!!  So, do it.  Live.  That means I must stay alive until the restaurants open again.  Until AFTER the virus is not a problem with daily life.  I plan to explore, to see things, to learn about French culture, to listen to classical music, to  go to the theatre, to go to group events (Democrats Abroad, Apres Midi, The American Church, plus others).

What have I accomplished in the six weeks I have been here,

… I found a dentist in the neighborhood

…I hired a housekeeper and like his work

…I made space for my things in this studio

…I have the key from the Managers for the cave next door for the access to WiFi fibre box

… I have stores I like when they are open

…I have restaurants I like when they are open

…I have one doctor who is on the French system

…I have a vet I like

…Missy is finally having her shots

…I can order groceries from Monoprix in an emergency to this address

…I can work (for the most part) from hotspot for the internet

… I have met one neighbor

…I found a small grocery store

…The Luxembourg Gardens are nearby, and I know how to get there

…I have a Pharmacy that I like

… I have new business cards with my new address

…I have new checks with my new address

So, I need to find a larger apartment in an area that I like (with trees and gardens and flowers and markets and cafes and a “neighborhood I like and feel safe in).  Where?  I don’t know yet.

I need to update my Will and my lists.  That means, I must find someone who will help me.  Who?  I don’t know yet.

I need to have doctors I like who live relatively close to where I live (in case I need help).  I need to get help with funding.  How?  Work somehow.  Doing what?  I don’t know yet.  (Haha).

See what I mean?  I don’t know yet.  But, in Nice, I wanted to die.  Here, I want to live.  That is good and a step in the right direction!!!  Now, I DID NOT PLAN on this virus.  So, can I do it?  I DAMN WELL AM GOING TO TRY.

Now, the Italians are singing off of their balconies.  The Irish are dancing in the Malls.  Who knows what the Spaniards will do.  The French are picnicking in their living rooms with elegance.

So, I have my work cut out for me.  Get groceries.  Stock up on litter and cat food.  Stock up on some important basics for the kitchen.  Start saving water.  What am I going to do if the water gets to be a problem?  I don’t know yet. (I cannot store water.  It is too heavy for me to carry.)  So, this may already be out of control.  I hope not.

I will probably take my chances.  Why?  I don’t like the alternatives.  Why?  I don’t know yet.

Best, Jay

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“‘YOU CAN’T STOP LIVING'”

I posted this piece on Facebook this week because I feel a sense of panic when I read many of the posts on social media.  This post helped to calm me down, but it is just a matter of this doctor’s opinion.  Well, that is all we have to go on – people’s opinions. 

I need to form my own opinion because I don’t have the money, the energy, or the space to hoard anything.  I barely have room for me and my sparse possessions.  And, this post makes sense to me. 

For those that don’t know, I live in Paris, France.  I have only been here for six weeks, moving here from Nice, France, where I lived with my husband until he died in 2016.  France is very different from the USA. 

The French Health Care is excellent.  And, I belong and have since Steve and I moved here in 2015.  Actually, I was accepted in 2016.  I applied in 2015.  Still and all, it is difficult for me to read all of the instructions in French, so often I just trust what people tell me, and sometimes they are wrong. 

And, the way it works in Paris is different from the way it worked in Nice. Not a lot, but sorta.  I am slowly getting acquainted with the things I must do in Paris.  I need to remain healthy to have time to figure everything out so that I can get help if and when I need it. 

The problem for me is – I am here flying solo, and don’t have a support system in place yet. That give me cause for concern.  I am still getting used to my age reality because – in my head – I am young and  can help myself.  In reality, not so much.  But, enough about me.  Let’s get to the post that (to me) makes a lot of sense.

I am a member of some excellent Facebook groups that help each other.  The one I like the most is “American Expats in Paris”.  These people are very helpful to each other. We are all in the same boat.  Through that group, I have hired a housekeeper, gotten doctors, learned about shopping tips, stores, good restaurants, and areas to avoid. Plus, a lot more. 

The doctor who posted this post, actually lives and practices medicine in Toronto, Ontario.  He is an Infectious Diseases Specialist and is a member of the University Health Network.  His name is Abdu Sharkawy.  All of that is posted on the Internet.    Other than that, I don’t know. I like what he says, and I was glad he posted this for people to read.  I am sharing it with you, because we cannot share the group posts by a link.  I don’t think he would mind my posting here because he is trying to get the message out. More information is on the Internet.  Here is what I read:

I’m a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria…there is little I haven’t been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared. 

I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil.  I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they ” probably don’t have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know…” and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and  strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess. 

I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games…that could be kyboshed too. Can you even 

imagine?

I’m scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession. 

But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, open-mindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it.  Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and “fight for yourself above all else” attitude could prove disastrous. 

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.

Our children will thank us for it.

#washurhands #geturflushot #respect #patiencenotpanic”

By ABDU SHARKAWY

dr-abdu-sharkawy

As for me, at this point, I plan to try to keep living as normal a life as possible. Human beings have lived through so much and kept surviving and fighting. I say this to myself also, as I am old (82) and in the most vulnerable position, I must read social media ONCE a day. It makes me very upset – especially in the middle of the night. I plan to take care of myself.  Light candles for those I love.  Try to enjoy my new home in the spring.  Try to enjoy my upcoming birthday (83).  Be glad I am alive.  Be glad my children are alive. We are all blessed.  you do the same.  Remember, it is just another big bump on the road of life.  AND, WE ARE STILL HERE!!!!!

Best, Jay

HEADSHOT IN PARIS

 

JUST SAYIN…….

This has been a wonderful week!  I have gotten an excellent Vet who has helped Missy,

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and I have gotten a dentist in the neighborhood who cleaned my teeth. This is his waiting room.  He may or may not be a keeper.  I like his taste in art.

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And, finally, I got a housekeeper, who came on Friday and cleaned my apartment. So, life in Paris (as I know it) begins!  What I am trying to say is that I am circling the bush.  Yes, the Cluny Museum is across the street, and yes, the Luxemburg Gardens are up the street, and yes, the Seine is down the street, but I need for Missy to be healthy. I need food in the refrigerator. I need Doliprane (like Tylenol) in the medicine cabinet. I need the Wifi to work (which it does NOT, right now.) I need to know I have a doctor if I need help. 

So, I am still working on those basics. And, this week, I got a lot done.  I also am having multiple reality checks hourly (not daily), so that I keep all options front and center.  Lots of good meals.  I turn around and I have a good meal.  This Café Society works for me. 

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And, I have a lot of help.  From the French, from Expats, from the cashier, from the mailman, from the neighbor, from ….. you get the picture.  And, I am very motivated to get out and accomplish.  That is what I was looking for.  Just opening heavy doors takes effort.  And, toilettes are ALWAYS either upstairs or downstairs.  So, I have workouts galore, just going up and down stairs.

I tried to think about what I had planned to do when I got to Paris, and this is what I had in mind – other than to meet people, go places, see art, listen to music, paint, write, sing, act……  I begged my friend to rent me this apartment for a year while I look for my own.  Well, the time for looking has begun.  Finish editing “Janet Tallulah”.  Write “After Steve Died”.  Take art lessons.  Take a French Culture class at the Sorbonne. Get the piano fixed.  Play the piano. 

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Go to photography meetups.  Do lots of photo-shoots and put my photographs on Foap and Pickfair. 

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Get foot massages and find a Rolfer.

Yes, I have a limited amount of energy.  Yes, I have a limited amount of money. Yes, there is a deadly virus out there.  Yes, the world is a mess.  Yes, I am in my 80’s.  Yes, I am alone.

FYI, I am glad there is a Facebook.  I feel I have company wherever I go.

FYI, I am glad there is a Twitter.  I can read comments about everything.

FYI, I am glad I am in Paris.  I look forward to “getting up, cleaning up, dressing up, and showing up.”

FYI, I am glad there is a Dan Rather (“Steady, Janet”); and memes to inspire me.  Like

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Just sayin……..

Best, Jay

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A WORD OF EXPLANATION…..

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. –  Carl Jung

After my last post, I had several people who care about me ask if I were all right?  I think they were taking my post literally.  No, it is/was metaphorical.  So, a word of explanation: 

I have been writing in a Journal since 1969.  I have been working under the guidance of philosophers from time to time who studied and/or followed the teachings of Carl Jung.  As a result, I cannot expect people to know what I am doing when I write a post like the last one.  And, I put all of this in one of my books – which only a few people have read – “Janet Tallulah”.  It is for sale on amazon.com and on Smashwords.com.   I consider it my “masterpiece”.  Until, I write the next one.  Haha.  

Here in Paris, I am still working on a new edition of it.  It is currently too long, and I am condensing it and making it better (I think).  I want it to outlive me.  And, there is a good chance of that happening!   Haha.  I must admit that I don’t tell everything in it.  I have kept some family secrets “secret”.  Steve tried to get me to tell all, but I would not do it.  I still cannot do it.  But, I have a lot in this book.  Let me explain the Journal:

     Now, a word about “The Journal”.  I began writing in a journal in 1969.  A friend of mine, John Prince, told me about a weekend retreat in San Jacinto, California, that was conducted by a man named Ira Progoff.  I discovered that Ira Progoff was an American psychologist who had studied under Carl Jung.  That didn’t mean a lot to me, but I didn’t care.  I was unhappy and trying to change my life, confused as hell. I discovered that Ira was best known for his development of the Intensive Journal Method.  His main interest was in depth psychology and particularly the humanistic adaptation of Jungian ideas to the lives of ordinary people like me.   He founded Dialogue House in New York City to help promote this method.   So, I started attending his weekend retreats in 1969, with John Prince. 

     The first weekend was a confused mess. I didn’t understand much of what I was hearing.  First of all, Ira said the main idea of journal-writing was to provide a total program for the inner life to discover what is taking place inside of a person. Well, I did not know that I had an “inner life”, much less need to discover what was taking place inside of me. Ira said that The Journal was the hub of a wheel – a person must use it not only in privacy but also in a group because a group and group contact opens one up. In a workshop, each person was like a well in a circle of wells. If that person went down into his own well, there was a great benefit in hearing himself say something he wanted to say. The Journal was structured to prevent the self from going in a circle.

     In the Journal, one wants to dialog with all the important things in his life. The aim is to get seriously involved with the dialogue. Plus, one wants to keep enough daily entries for a week to give a sense of what is happening and do dreams and dream extensions. It is important to get started without waiting in order to get started. There is a process that works within the depth of a person – it must be given the opportunity to work for that person. Basic dialog is the dialog that works between one and one’s inner self that will keep one in the “eye of the hurricane.” Forgive me for not explaining everything to you. I am still learning myself.  And, as I said before, I am now in my 80s.

This is the book

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If you are interested, take a look.  Just know that it is still a “work in progress” and won’t be over until I am dead.  This process is what makes me “tick”.  AND, the book is only how I was able to work with the concept of “change”.   I did not come to Paris on a whim.  There is a reason I am here.  And, I now have a following on Jayspeak.  I have had 7,300 visitors and 34,400 views since I began after Steve died in August 2016.  So, I will keep working on this life, this “work in progress “, and how I see the world, through my eyes and through my writing and looking at the world as long as I can think. 

FYI – This is not and will never be a political forum. 

Again, ABOVE is the current published edition.  Take a look if you are interested. 

Best, Jay

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