I have to make a call today
to get phone service back.
I paid my bill,
I know I did.
I paid it! That’s a fact!
I have to use my mobile phone
to dial the company.
You know the one I’m talking about:
A T & T.
For “Balance” push the number one,
For “Sales and Upgrades”, two.
For “Billing” push the number three.
Four gets a new phone for you.
And now we’re on to number five.
It is the “Voicemail Helpline”.
Six will get you “Tech Support”.
(I think that it goes up to nine).
The most amazing fact of all,
The most incredible thing:
an hour has passed and I have not
spoken to a human being!
I stay on for an eternity.
At last get redirected.
I’m so excited, I’m almost there!
It was one of those days. We lost phone service and even though we mostly rely on our cell phones, it disrupted other services in the house and we really needed it to be restored. Thus began the odyssey.
Any stories to share?
I have become my mother. I remember laughing at her as she ran back in the house, often several times, to retrieve things she forgot to take along before she took off in the car. Well, look who's not laughing now!
This musing is late because I was remiss in renewing my judismusings domain. Memory issues and procrastination are subjects for another time. But it turns out that my son Zack posted something today that I am compelled to share, so perhaps it was "b'shaert'....fated. Thus I am posting today, three days late but oh so timely.
From the desk of Zachary Schram:
Friends, a little life news: today was my last day at the State Department. I loved it here. So much for lazy bureaucrats, my colleagues were among the most dedicated, competent, intelligent, and courageous people I've ever met. It was an honor to work alongside them. I am grateful that they will continue to serve and remain a steadying influence on our ship of state.
As for my own course, I have been asking myself lately how I can best serve the country that I love, the country my grandfathers fought for, the country that has provided me and my family so much opportunity. I've come to the conclusion that I can best fight for our country, our Constitution, our diverse citizenry and pluralistic values, outside of the executive branch. For that reason, today I resigned.
As for what's next, more on that later. For now just this: thank you to my friends and colleagues at State. Keep up the good work.
From the desk of his Mom:
Proud of you. Hopeful for the future because of people like you.
As we age we find ourselves back at the dermatologist's office as often as when we were teens fighting our acne. Back then we didn't mind waiting because perhaps we were taken out of school for our appointment. But today?
Any anecdotes to share?
Remember when our calendars were dominated by work-related appointments and car-pooling schedules? Well, times have certainly changed!
I went to hear Lesley Stahl this week at a fundraising event. You know Lesley...she is an accomplished Broadcast Journalist that we are currently most familiar with as a co-anchor of the esteemed
60 Minutes. I assumed her keynote was going to be about world events and her many interviews of heads-of-state. Much to my surprise, it was not. It was about the subject of her new book "Becoming Gramma" wherein she described the most transformational moment of her life: holding her first grandchild in her arms. I enjoyed her presentation, but it reminded me of the subject of this week's blog poem.
Do you remember how you felt that first moment you held your grandchild?
It most certainly has been an interesting year. One of my resolutions is to try to watch more HGTV and a little less CNN (I think it would be good for my health). On the other hand, I vow to stay informed and to watch for opportunities to engage with and support people and organizations that aim to protect individual's rights as well as our planet. As we look forward to new beginnings, I wish you all a year filled with love, health, happiness, tolerance and peace.
Any New Year thoughts or wishes to share?
It is hard not to acknowledge that many spirits are lowered and hearts hardened in the wake of the embittered election. However, my mood is challenged by the holiday lights that have blossomed in the last few weeks. I see these as secular lights that are inclusive to all (hence the title of this week's post), and of course, Hanukah is the Festival of Lights. My hope is that these lights and the festive feeling enveloping our cities serves to lift our spirits and warm our hearts.
We have been going out to eat a little bit more than usual lately, and the dynamics of the people sitting around the table are hard to ignore. Everyone's talking, but to whom?
Is it hard for you to turn off your phone? Have you ever told anyone to please turn theirs off?
Although the journey of every year is characterized by hills and valleys, some years may be defined more by one altitude than the other. This year, specifically the last few months, has been a year of valleys in my household. In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I am clinging to a message of gratitude and hope, hanging on and climbing up the slope.
We lost a matriarch and a patriarch within six weeks. Both my mother-in-law and my father were icons in their individual ways. My mother-in-law was the heartbeat of the extended family, the keeper of the traditions and the quintessential Jewish Martha Stewart. She was the glue that held us all together. My father was the personification of The Greatest Generation, a veteran that survived the beaches of Normandy to go on to build a family out of love and and a company out of sheer grit and a fierce intelligence.
These two forces of nature will be sorely missed at our Thanksgiving table this year. Similarly, many other family members that used to be part of our nuclear family around a large table of thirty or so will be missing as well…off to different homes, even different cities, where their new extended families take them. Our table that once filled a large room is whittled down to a small table in a much smaller room this year. This may be considered a valley, and yet…there will be new faces at the table; the significant others of our children who enter our lives and thereby begin to build new family.
The annual Thanksgiving table truly is a microcosm of our lives.
I am grateful for the faces that will be at my Thanksgiving table; young adults brimming with ideals, solid moral compasses and a myriad of talents…young adults who are also committed to making the world a better place for all who inhabit it. I will look around at the faces at my table and be grateful, even joyful.
My first illustrated collection of poems is available for purchase.