Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

 

The Marriage Mix

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I am delighted to announce the publication of my first book: The Marriage Mix, How to Create Interfaith/Interspiritual/Intercultural Wedding Ceremonies.

  • A Step-by-Step Guide for Interfaith/Interspiritual/Intercultural Wedding Officiants
  • An A-Z Resource of Ideas and Tools for Creating Meaningful and Custom Ceremonies
  • A Model for How to Connect with Couples, including Same-Sex Couples, in Deep and Personal Ways as They Plan for Their Wedding Day and Build a Foundation for Their Future Together
  • Plus a useful Handbook for Marriage-Bound Couples

Buy on Amazon Today!

-Rev. Lynn

Cat Eyes

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I’ve been blessed with good eyesight, until recently. Yet, I’ve been attracted to eyeglass frames since my beloved grandfather, Aron, bequeathed me his personal collection upon his passing.

Decades after that, I was at an antique fair in Rye, New York. While perusing the booths down each aisle, I came upon one from Long Island that was displaying gads of fabulous and funky eyeglass frames. They were cat-eyed in shape, some with rhinestones, obviously from the 1950s. I felt my heart pitter-patter and reminded myself to remain cool. There was a deal to be made. I riffled my way through their display and selected a dozen of my favorites. I came up with an offer that I hoped they couldn’t refuse and gratefully it was accepted. My heart was full.

Driving home I began to wonder which ones I would want to wear and what optician would be willing to use my frames for their lenses? Not too much money to be made.

That night I kept trying to decide. One after another, I kept trying on the vintage, cat-eye shaped frames and seeking opinions from my husband and kids. I did that two or three times until they told me, “Stop already!” I tallied up the votes, giving my vote twice the weight.

Still unable to decide upon one or two because they were all my favorites, I took the twelve pairs in hand and made my way to the closest retail optician. The first, second and third optician wanted nothing to do with my eye jewels. Deflated, I decided to visit just one more store before giving up. I made my way to Cohen’s Optical where the young woman at the counter greeted me. I pulled out my finds, asking her if they would use these frames with their lenses? She had no idea but offered to ask the owner. After a sizable wait, he approached and I repeated my request. He carefully examined my goods, and then looked up to ask me where I had gotten these frames. I told him about the antique fair with the booth from Long Island. After hesitating, he said, “Would you mind coming back tomorrow?” I thought that strange, but there were a lot stranger things going on at the time, so I agreed.

The next day I repeated my steps and the owner was called again. As he approached I noticed that he held an envelope in his hand. He politely asked to see the frames again and when they were lined up in a row on the counter, he removed the contents of the envelope. What he showed me nearly knocked me over. They were photographs, clearly from the 1950s–of his (deceased) mother wearing all of my eyeglass frames!

His father, like him, had been an optician and his mom had really poor eyesight. She took advantage of being able to get her frames wholesale, and she, too, had formed her own collection. Which was now mine. Mr. Cohen and I bonded over the synchronicity of the story, and he, thankfully, agreed to put his lenses in our frames.

From time to time, I will be writing about synchronistic events, which is one of my favorite subjects. I welcome my readers sharing their own stories with me. Please email me: lynn@lynngladstone.com.

–Rev. Lynn

Manhattan Mercy

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Bouncing down West 72nd Street, gleeful with my thrift shop purchases, I came upon a statuesque black lady holding up an ancient looking miniscule caned woman who is barely standing, frozen mid-sidewalk. Her knees are buckled so severely that they are frighteningly close to the ground.

I offer my help and it is accepted. As I place the flat of my hand under her upper arm, the black lady explains, “I’m trying to help her get to the bus on Amsterdam.” To me it is obvious that this is not going to happen. In fact, it is a dangerous idea.  I share my thoughts and the tiny woman says, “I think I need to sit down,” which I believe to be a very intelligent comment. We look around and find a set of 3 cement steps in the front of an apartment building and ask the seemingly tortured woman to try to slowly head for them. “Is there a chair anywhere?” she hopes. We cannot locate one, though we have asked several merchants.

She puts forth a great effort as we support her and slowly, step-by-step, get her over to the stoop. Now we have a challenge. She is facing the steps and that means we must turn her around and bend her torso into a sitting position. Enter a European, bald fellow asking if he can aid us seeing our dilemma. We are glad to have him and he begins to lift her gingerly when a Muslim-garbed man also offers his help. Just then a woman wearing a Star of David joins us and asks, “How can I help?” We’re not sure yet, but, thank her for standing by. The two men with determination lift the little elderly woman and arrange her into a sitting, if awkward, position on the second step. Her feet hardly touch the ground, that’s how short she is.

Now she is slanted with her Le Sportsac nylon purse draped across her chest. She is out of breath until she settles into her awkward posture. An Indian woman with a smile comes by and asks her, “Are you comfortable? You don’t look comfortable.” “I’m okay except for my back, but I’m glad to be sitting.” I ask if I can put her purse behind her back and she says no. So we sit a bit and I introduce myself, “I’m Lynn, what is your name?” “Maria.” Everyone then introduces themselves: Donna, Pablo, Abdul, Sue, Trina and now we are united in a Manhattan mission of mercy.

Maria begins her short story, “I live on 83rd between Broadway and Amsterdam and I was supposed to meet a friend at a restaurant on Columbus. I can’t remember the name but would recognize it if I saw it. I looked and looked and walked up and down Columbus and up and down again and I got so tired. I could not find that restaurant and she’s not answering her cell phone. Now I just want to get on the bus and go home.” I offer my observation that her plan seems ambitious given her present condition. The others agree and Sue takes it upon herself to contact 911 who say they will send EMS.

Donna excuses herself to get to an appointment downtown. I ask Maria if there is someone we can call to come get her. She responds no and tells us that her daughter just got married the other day, here in Manhattan where they live and love. I congratulated her and asked if that might have contributed to her fatigue–to which she reiterated the Columbus Avenue fiasco. Realizing that she has a daughter I inquire, “How do you feel about us contacting your daughter to come get you?” “No!” Definitively no.

Sirens are blaring and the St. Luke’s EMS Ambulance makes a swift u-turn to land in front of us. Two uniformed men–one Chinese and one Filipino (I think)–approach her with gentle smiles and concern. They ask her a few questions that seem to test if her brain is intact, which it clearly is. They explain that if they transport her, it would have to be to the hospital. Maria says, “No, I just want to go home to 83rd between Broadway and Amsterdam. I’m very tired.” The two medical workers whisper between themselves about whether they could stretch the rules and take her home in the ambulance. They decide against that but offer to get her a cab and put her in. She supposes she must take a taxi after all. I tell them I will talk to the cab driver about helping her at the other end.

A Sikh driver stops and we all go into high gear. The driver looks at the scene and says, “My cab is too high for her to get into.” I explain that she will be lifted in so it’s not a problem and that I would like him to help her at the other end where there is also a doorman. He agrees a tad reluctantly but I talk him up and he relaxes with a genuine nod.

As the two EMSers lift her kindly and set her into place, she remembers her purse, which I hand her and she explains, “You know, I’m eighty-seven and a half years old. Thank you all.”

As the taxi pulls away she raises her tiny hand, smiles and waves goodbye.

–Rev. Lynn