On our second day of isolation in a Machu Picchu flood, we waited in the Aguas Calientes train station for two hours hoping for a speedy helicopter evacuation, but instead we were told to occupy the vacant trains that stood immobilized beside the station. This holding pen was to be our home for a while. Local police ordered more lists to be written. The proximity of a train car to the entrance gate of the helicopter pad would determine our order of evacuation. We unslung our backpacks, stowed our duffels, and settled in.
Attendants unlocked toilets on each … Read More
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PART I: Day One, Peruvian Summer 2010
Our new ‘high tech’ raingear and gortex boots protected us from the torrential summer rain in the Lost City of the Incas, but I was soaked with the perspiration of fear as Bill and I tried to cross the roiling and flooded Urubamba River to safety. While atop the 8,000-foot high ancient site of Machu Picchu in Peru’s summer of 2010, we had received word that we should run to catch the last … Read More
Out in the Walnut Creek Open Space this morning I latched onto a painless way to extend my 10k Fitbit goal. Avoid the Hypotenuse. Not so obvious for a person who seeks shortcuts. Would you believe that I increased my steps by almost 10% walking the two sides of the triangle rather than the hypotenuse? This Fitbit business is my perfect outlet for obsessiveness. Not only do I get to count steps and be more fit, my family derives the bonus of my depleted energy.
The Corner Candy Store
Part I: Penny Candy
I lived next to the “corner store,” an institution among the Jewish and other ethnic neighborhoods in metropolitan New York. Esther and Isaac of wrinkled brow and stooped shoulders worked six days a week, morning to night, spelling each other for meals and necessary breaks. They kept vigilance against the rascal who tried to pilfer a Three Musketeers Bar or a package of Hostess Twinkies. “Eh, Eh, Get out from here, you little shvants!”
My child’s mind yearned for the fabulous delicacies in Isaac’s store, the ones … Read More
I pulled off my mittens and stomped the snow from my rubber galoshes. Before I unzipped my parka in the back hallway, I saw Nana trudging up from the coal cellar with a tiny drop of blood suspended from the ball of her nose. I ran and grabbed her around the waist.
“What happened to you? You’re bleeding.”
“It’s nothing. The shovel handle hit… Ach! Shoveling the coal is hard. Your mama and papa are so busy at their work. I have to make sure the fire don’t run out before they come home. We go upstairs now and get … Read More