More posts, less words. This is what I’m gonna try to do folks.
I do get wordy…

IMG_4113Just came back from a week in NYC and a week in South Carolina.
We saw the those dense grey clouds, bulbous and ready to wreck havoc , heading in just as we were heading out.
Talk about the nick of time.
Just want to say that traveling is the best way to wakeup and shake up heart, mind, and spirit.
In keeping my new promise to embrace brevity, am just sharing the highlights!

New York City
 in fall is just the best! Crisper, cleaner, invigorating after the humidity of summer. We went to NYC to attend a dinner for the Cancer Research Institute where my sister –in –law, Lauren Veronis, was receiving an award for her 40 years of outstanding work and commitment.

My husband and I were seated at a front row table directly in front of the podium in a packed room at the Metropolitan Club, a wonderfully kept up NYC landmark building. Bill Clinton was the opening speaker. Several of my friends have been in a room with him, sat at his table, one or two can even call him a friend. Not me. First time I’ve ever seen him live.
It’s true that even at his current age, and showing a bit of vulnerability, the man looks you in the eye and wins you over in a second if you have a hormone still active in your body. He focuses in, charms and seduces the brain, bores holes down to your knee caps, making you weak in the knees before moving on. He is a lady killer.

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But it was Governor Andrew Cuomo , up next , who knocked my socks off. Word budget aside, he is THE sexiest Governor ever. Take that People magazine!
IMG_3980What he said about the importance of funding cancer research was damn impressive as well. Very heartfelt. Speaking about how cancer doesn’t just attack an individual, it attacks a whole family, and permeates an entire household. Sharing from his personal experience during his fiancés cancer battle, he brought home other aspects of the disease some of us who have escaped it’s grasp might not think of. How once it’s there it takes over everything and everyone, each family member, each decision, each meal is affected by the disease. When cancer strikes an individual, it strikes his or her whole world and the fear, anxiety and pain is felt by everyone. And who knows when all that heals…

Heartfelt and sexy. Andrew Cuomo. Got my vote.
And my sister –in –law…
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Always beautiful, gracious and formidable, I came away with a new level of respect for her. 40 years, volunteering her time and tremendous energy to the field of immunology in cancer research. 40 years sticking with anything is tremendous but listening to the lead scientists in the field talk about what a true worker/warrior she’s been, inspired me. Taught me more about this woman I’ve known for decades.

By the by, just so she has no time to get into trouble, Lauren is also on the board of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra ( IPO)
Click here to read an interview on why the Israeli Philharmonic
http://afipo.org/board-member-spotlight/

Next on the inspiration train;
Hanging with my brother, his wife and 3 boys. My younger brother and his wife are both school teachers totally devoted to educating kids. They look a like, open, young- for- their- age Irish good looks, and sincere smiles.
They are the sweetest couple you’d ever want to meet. My brother loves to tell jokes and she has an infectious laugh.

The youngest of their 3 sons is severely handicapped. At 10, he can’t talk, just makes sounds, can’t walk too well without assistance, and yes has no bowel or bladder control. BUT…what he can, and does do well is look you straight in the eye and make expressions with his eye brows in a way that says, “I’m here and I want to communicate with you.” One feels that there is indeed an angel trapped in this lovely lanky body that just isn’t getting signals from it’s brain.

To spend time with my brother and his wife and their boys is to be in the presence of greatness. Painful as it can be. They don’t have an easy comfy life like mine and I don’t understand why. It’s a constant challenge to my faith. But, their joking, laughing, and physical appearance tell me they are working the hand they’ve been dealt with Grace. They have their routines down. Saturday night movie night is movie night with pizza just like in a lot of homes.

The two older boys, 14, and 12, have their music lessons, sports teams, homework crisis just like in any other family. Included is helping with Jack. “Jack –a-roo” who goes into Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC for a week every year where they put a contraption on his head with wires and electrodes to monitor his brain and still haven’t diagnosed what the root cause of the problem is.

Watching my brother and his wife, who say that their sweet Jack makes them all better people, fills me with awe and makes me think of and pray for all of the other families who have “Jack or Jane -a-roos”,  Makes me wanna learn about brain research, and how to help.

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Headin’ South.
OMG. South Carolina is a beautiful place. Went there in June and had to go back. I wanted to see Fripp Island in the fall and explore the “Lowlands.” Towns where charm hangs like the insanely beautiful Spanish Moss that hangs from the many, many oak trees in the town of Beaufort where we spent a week The moss hung like horse tail hair in different sizes from the branches. Moody and moist.

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This little historic southern town sits on a river with well preserved plantation style mini mansions, churches and carriage houses. It’s a ghost town after 8 PM, and none to lively before. Perfect for walking, contemplating, and absorbing the history, culture, beauty and soul of a place.

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It reminds me that as much as I want to explore the world, Europe, Africa, Indonesia,  there is SO much beauty and native culture in America to be explored. We stayed in a great Airbnb…which, if you aren’t into Airbnb, you are missing something.

Just a sec for Airbnb…we have stayed in the coolest places in  Hawaii , London, San Fran. The one in NYC wasn’t fab but it worked. The one we stayed in Beaufort: 2 bedroom /living room /kitchenette with great bathroom and front porch with a swing ! The owners have a registered historic house they’ve redone beautifully.

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Spent a day on the beach at Fripp Island.
Fripp Island SC.M y idea of heaven. Keep the 24, is it, virgins, and give me the beach at Fripp!

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Spent time in the gallery I am in love with, Red Piano Too, and saw the Gullah art that grabbed my heart when I first went there in June. (The Gullah are the descendants of enslaved Africans who live in the Lowcountry region of the U.S. states of South Carolina and Georgia, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands. the Gullah developed a culture that has preserved much of their African linguistic and cultural heritage from various peoples, as well as absorbing new influences from the region.)

The “folk” or “unschooled,” “self taught art” by the local Gullah artists, so rich in color and soul has become my new passion. Feel the need to get back there again. Soon.

http://www.redpianotoo.com/

The big Kahuna of this group of artists, Jonathan Greene, is the most prominent and critically acclaimed.FullSizeRender 2

Painting: Johnathan Green

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Painting: Mary Mack

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He’s the king, but many princes and princesses’ trail along side of him brushes in hand!
Crazy about this artist , Cassandra Gillens.

 

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OOPS! Am running long again.

Driving into Savannah for a day and night was cutting it too short. Would’ve liked another day to go into the country. Same goes for Charleston. In Charleston , which is a very energetic and happening city, I really could’ve used a few days to explore.  See Sullivan’s Island, Tybee Island, peek around the town more.

Found a great guide through Savannah, though.  A historian who’s published 2 books on Savannah, was a school teacher and principle. A true Southern gent who is lovely and passionate about his hood!

Three hours walked all over the old town wishing I had a typist in my head taking notes.
Big tourist stop is the house from The Garden of Good and Evil. After seeing it, we tried to watch the movie …could not. Yet again, the book was better.

But Ted our guide was The Best!
http://www.awalkthroughsavannah.bravehost.com/

IMG_4111IMG_4110IMG_4109Can’t leave the south without a word about the two f’s…food and friendliness! Both an A plus. People smile and say hello …even if in a rush. There is a feeling that acknowledging one another is as important as working or shopping or whatever one is doing during one’s day and that feels good.
And that food!

Fried pork chops and mashed potatoes can keep a husband happy.
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“What’s the deal with the fried green tomatoes “I asked sounding like the ex New Yawker I am.
Well they’re green because they aren’t ripe and fried up in flour and bread crumbs with a little goat cheese and a sun dried tomato sauce… A good deal indeed!
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And a bit of praise of biscuits and butter…some of the butter has a touch of honey so when the buttered biscuit hits your taste buds…your tongue is throwing a party for your mouth!! It’s like a Thanksgiving Day parade taking place between your teeth!

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So I’m home now. Settling into our year long rental house way out in Malibu.
Living the dream, actually.
About 8 years ago I took the dog we had at the time ( Radar,  our sweet Golden ) for a walk in the neighborhood we ‘re living in now . We were staying near by and I wondered over here and fell in love with this area. Said very loudly with impact to myself and Radar the dog, “This is where I want to live!” And it became my dream.

Well I’m here now. As always, we’ll see what the dream’s all about!
It is beautiful. And it’s beauty puts me in gratitude.
Seen in gratitude the world is stunning and ever hopeful.
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Today’s take- aways (I hope) : be inspired by your family and friends, see the beauty in our own back yard , and yes , dream and speak your dreams out loud!

In closing I just wanna say damn I wish Bernie Sanders was 20 years younger and called himself a democrat!
Oh yeah, and speaking of my own back yard, Best Breakfast in the world…the multigrain pancakes with bacon bits and maple syrup at the Malibu Pier. Beyond Delish!

https://www.malibu-farm.com/

As usual with love
AS

Comments

4 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    Well said, Annie!

  2. Great read Miss Annie and what an adventure. Keep writing
    Love
    Coise

  3. Lsa Bittan says:

    Love those paintings and the photos have made me ravenously hungry :(

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