Monday, June 25, 2018

Doña América and other memories.

I know she has already been mentioned somewhen along this line of sometimes unhinged memories as they relate to moments of my life, but yesterday she came up again in conversation. Why? I don’t really know… all I remember is that, suddenly, there she was… in my mind almost like in the flesh.

All 5 feet 3-4 inches of her immense presence; in her starched white blouse and long skirt. Her round -appropriately named- granny glasses framing eyes which, after almost seven decades lived, were still shining in anticipation of things to come, knowledge to pass on, dreams to live and make into a reality. A mind which had learned to live every minute, every moment of a well spent life. Even those moments which to some of us lesser mortals might consider very difficult or to be of little or no relevance.

She was a family friend and my first and only childhood English tutor. In other writings, her English skills and ability to pass them on were highlighted. But, what is it that brought her to my mind yesterday?

Doña América had completed her university years, something of an anomaly for a woman born in the late 1800’s… in a country where our heritage from Spain said there was no need for women to study. That was best left to men. She had never married, to my knowledge. Another anomaly for a time during which women were required to be married to be considered “respectable”. She was also openminded and had travelled extensively.

In fact, now that I think about it, Doña América was a veritable compendium of anomalies for her time and place. And this was the person to whom I was entrusted for an important part of my learning. This, in of itself, probably says a lot about the open-mindedness of my grandfather, who chose her as a friend and as a teacher for me.

I remember her as a chatty, but strict teacher. The most important priority was for me to, while we talked about many issues, get all those tenses in order and in good stead. She was always talking about all the things she still wanted to do in her lifetime and how being of what was then considered an advanced age (she was around 65 or so), contrary to what many believed, only helped you understand and appreciate everything “just a little bit better”.

Her outlook was simple: life is to be lived, not suffered. She had plans to travel back to Europe and maybe a couple of countries in Asia; countries which, much later in my life, I would have the chance to visit and remember her while there.

At one time, she took up the violin, not an easy instrument to learn quietly. On early evenings while on my way to her second floor, open balconies flat for my English classes, the noise produced by this endeavor, akin to several cats having a go at a great fight, would find its way onto the streets below and into the homes of her several neighbors who, even though they loved her, couldn’t stand the noise.

-“Hurry up Rafaelito” they would say one , two, or several at a time.
-“Please hurry up to your classes so we can have some peace around here”.  And they would all look with that resigned look on their faces which translated to …. We love her to death, but….

So yes, yesterday I remembered Doña América. Or rather, she came to me unbidden. Someone actually said to me “You know, at your age you should perhaps relax a little and take it easy”. She came roaring into the forefront of my mind with a stern, but loving look that said it all…

"Rafaelito" said her ethereal voice to my mind...
-“Don’t you dare take it easy… remember that life is to be lived fully, not just suffered” -“to the last day you have available, live it!!“ her voice rang loudly.

Yes, she was an anomaly for her day… and I am ever so grateful for having had her in my life.

Be Well … Be Back!!!
Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones…
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
·       Any comments please send to

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Conversation. An Understanding.

As you know, if you have had the opportunity to “enrich” your days reading my blog (OK, at least if not enrich, occupy your days if you’ve not much else to do) teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) is what brings me a needed income on a regular basis.

A student who is fast becoming a friend comes from one of the Cono Sur Countries. “Cono Sur” refers to those countries which sit at the far southern end of South America. Usually, after we finish the class, we take a few minutes over whatever is left of the coffee, and converse in Spanish, since it is still an easier venue for him.

We talk about how it used to be like for him growing up in his native country, as opposed to what it is like for his own children growing up here. What he sees as an erosion of traditional values and discipline, aided by the advent of the cell phone and/or computer and the consequences of the instant social communication. He acknowledges that it is more difficult for a parent to be aware of all that is going on, when most parents don’t have but a beginner’s concept of the management of all these new avenues of communication which, to their children, are an extension of their hands, arms, and brains.

As it is, every new generation comes with its own ideas and plans. Or so they should. It is life’s own way of re-generating itself, in a constant trial and error process. Many of us forget that, in our own time and place, we did the same and thought differently than those who came before us. Except perhaps that circumstances were not as drastic or as communicative as they are today. When we look at the mew young minds, we tend to notice that which is contrary to our ways and call it a negative. Yet, there is much to be lauded in what our younger generation will bring to the table.

That very availability of an instant contact, of being able to express ideas to a much broader audience that we were able to reach in our own time, makes these changes more noticeable and perhaps, more effective. There is little for us to do (except for those who insist on having all control and power) other than to sit back and hope that from all that we passed on to these young minds, they will be able to gleam the good and the positive and leave the gloom and negative behind. Indeed, for we have given ample examples of both.

I have faith in the future and in the new generation that is coming. I do realize that mistakes will be made and some of these will be very costly, as all mistakes can be. These young minds have shown that, along with some who will do their best to take advantage of any given situation for their own personal gain, there will be others who will create good and who will follow their ideals to improve life and the world in which we all live. And this has been the mark of all generations.

Just remember that each coin really has two sides. And each side has its own beauty and its own ugliness. All we can hope as the generation that is passing the baton, is that we have done a good enough job so those who come behind us, while making their own mistakes, will be able to discern the good and bad. And make the appropriate choices in shaping the world they will, in time, pass on to a younger generation I am sure will be thought of as inefficient and wrong. And life will go on.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
·       Visit
·       Any comments please send to

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


When I heard that voice… and question over the phone, I knew that my dear friend Cheíto was back. It had been a long time since our last contact. I was happy to hear from him… and curious as to what he had to say.

-“What’s up Cheíto?" "Man, I haven’t heard from you in a long time. How are you and your princess and your wife?”
-“Uel”, “I haf a long story my fren'”
-“Tell me about it”, I said to him.
-“Remember in april las’ year juen I tol’ yu about mi princesa’s 15 birday?”
-“Yes, I remember Cheíto”. “You were going to rent a big hall and have a big party”. “Did you have the party?”
 -“Uell… jes’n no”

Sensing that a major mistake was made at some point, I went ahead and asked anyway…

-“What do you mean, yes and no?”
-“Guel… I guanted to sav’ son money” “Yu no, those parties cos’a lot’o money man… an’ I’m not rich”.
- “And?” I insisted…
-“I saw a pictur’ of dis beautiful plais in the country an’ it cost ‘bout haf the other plais that my wife wanted”
-“Uel… how do yu say… I wen’n got it” “Jus’ sen’ a Wester' Union”
-“You mean you paid for it without seeing it?” “Or without telling your wife?”
-“Yeah… dats’bou’ it”
-“It sounds to me that something did not go well” I ventured to say. Then followed a moment of silence from the other side, a sure indicator that the inevitable answer to an incriminating question is “yes”.
-“Rafa… the party was a big nuthin’” “People din’t even fin’ the plais’”. “It was noplais… in da’ country with one road, mud an’ all that”.
And… “what happened?” I ventured to ask.
-“My waif… she tol’ me she wanted a divorce” and… “my princesa said she no wanted to see me again… ever”

-“Wow”… I was actually speechless for several seconds…
-“What happened then Cheíto?”
-“I had to mov’out… Took me fiv’ mon’ to hear from her agin’”
-“And what happened?”
-“Mon’… I had to promis’ a sweet 16 party’, “An’ they choos’ da plais… an’ evrithin’”
He was quiet for a moment and then, with much feeling he added…
-“Yu no’… my mom always tol’ me that cheap is expensiv’” “I’n goin’ to be payin’ this mistake for many years”

Then I wished him the best and we bade our good byes. I will be talking with him again soon… somebody has to make sure that the saving bug doesn’t get to him again.

Several of you had asked about him and his absence. Now you know… Seems that his comments always are on target, very direct, honest and from a simple perspective. He is not a political animal or much of a commentator on current issues. He’s just another guy from the streets… the Hialeah streets, that is. But he’s a good man and a better friend who just tries to do his best to survive in this world and its everyday problems, mistakes, issues and yes, moments of happiness as well.

Sounds familiar?

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
·       Visit
·       Any comments please send to

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


This virtual and tranquil pond has become an outlet to bring forward some things which might otherwise not find a ready space in this collection of ramblings. A collection which has been interrupted of late (once again…) due to what has unexpectedly become a major undertaking for me, as far as time and “space” is concerned. Time, because it has mushroomed and taken up most of my available time and “space” because the ever-diminishing working space left in my gray cells has been occupied with this. Of course, I refer to the English Now venture and its offspring, English To Go. The reception to this ESL (English as Second Language) tutorial school and its methodology has been very well accepted and we now have students locally and in another four countries (via Internet) and it looks to continue to grow.

One observation which has come from this increased contact with students, with the usual banter and conversation this brings about, is how little do most people (and here I must include US citizens, not just immigrants) understand about this country, its reason for being and its place in history. The US has been called the “Greatest Democratic Experiment” in the history of modern government. The rules that govern our country and its leaders (or, at least, should) stem from a document which was brought forward as the result of the gathering of some of the most brilliant minds of the times and, I dare say, of all modern times.

The Constitution spawned a government the likes of which were not known in those moments. These were times in which most controlling bodies were handed down by way of nobility, ancestry and heraldic emblems; the kings, queens, dukes, counts, etc. having say and sway over property and life of all subjects.

And here came a proposal which, in its first opening words, embodied the core concept of true democracy with a profound simplicity that had never been matched before, or since: “We, The People” How simple; how incredibly profound.

It is for this reason that in all my ESL classes there is a general explanation of the constitution and readings about the primary amendments. I believe that if someone is studying the language because he or she is planning to live in this country, this is required knowledge. It is also my belief that if a person actually reads the constitution’s original articles, that person will come out of this encounter with a new understanding of what makes this country different than others; there will be a feeling of awe regarding the incredible thoughts that went into this document, considering  that those who created it were at the time, for the most part, members of a well to do class. They created a document which went against all the acceptable norms to those who were in then existing governments.

What can be accomplished when the mind is put to work, can be incredible.

Just rambling thoughts on a cloudy, rainy day… half winter, half spring. But, since it is getting cold here by shores of the pond, I guess I will pack my things and go home

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
     Visit us at , and
·       Any comments please send to

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Turn of Events.

The best laid plans and all that…
Towards the end of this past year a little idea began to take hold in the back of my head, or mind, if you prefer. It has been for some time now that I have taught ESL (English as a second language) in 3 different cities and to hundreds of students, possibly well over a thousand. I have always done this on behalf of a learning institution; mainly because my primary work had been in the field of life insurance and the teaching had been, well, non-primary. Kind of like a productive hobby.

That changed when I underwent my cancer episode some years back, with the subsequent treatments and the two hip surgeries that followed (nothing to do with the cancer and, yes, I can still dance!!). My work in insurance diminished and pretty much disappeared, and once the spark went out, it was very difficult to rekindle it. I tried, to no avail.

I did find myself gravitating to the ESL teaching, and this became a primary interest, taking since then most of my work time. And so, as I have mentioned from time to time in these entries, teaching ESL has become an integral part of my life. So, what was that idea, you ask? (you didn’t?;  well, make believe you did). Why not establish my very own school? One that would allow me to put together a number of little bits from the different schools where I have worked (the better little bits, mind you!) and complement it with my own ideas. And with the prodding and pushing of my wife, English Now LLC was born 3 weeks ago.

The reception has been extraordinary, many people know me in the area and have taken classes with me at one time or another. Suddenly there are very few open spots on the wall calendar and this is very encouraging. There is the website to go along with it (somewhat static) and the FaceBook page which is very much active. And where many of these friends and students come to interact. Future plans include an internet radio channel, a YouTube page and God knows what else.

What does it all have to do with this blog? It has taken my time away. Right now this time is the result of a student having come down with the flu and cancelling her class. I thought I owed a bit of an explanation to so many of you who have followed this blog from the beginning… Your presence is appreciated for it has been a motor and a force to keep me going through some difficult times.

You are welcome to join me and English Now in this new journey. And no, I am not “closing” Pandora’s Other box… far from it. But it will be some time before I can come back to give this precious vehicle the time it deserves. But it will be back on a regular basis.

Come and visit…

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
·       Any comments please send to

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

From Wally’s Pond. 12/20/2017

Christmas is coming… in just a few days… Again.
Amid all the rhetoric -of the socio-political kind- there are many issues lost and perhaps, this being the special time of year it is (for those who profess Christianity as a belief) there may be some time for reflection, and for reviewing what we have done and said and how these actions may have impacted others. It is hard not to imagine that, with all the finger pointing and yelling and with everyone wanting to appropriate a slice of the ever-diminishing pie, there are some who are left to slide down the inevitable cracks, to be lost and forgotten.

Although it would be simple to pinpoint several scenarios which could easily and quietly fit into the above last description, there is a group of people or perhaps, a “subgroup” of people, who are in an eternal limbo, where any shorelines of hope or safe port are always just beyond the line of sight.

Yes, coming to this country (or any other, for that matter) without permission or adequate documentation makes this an illegal action. And, yes, remaining in the country as such is -and should be- a punishable offense. Also, unfortunately, many of those who come do not help themselves or others by pursuing a life of crime, or by immediately getting on a forever government help list.

Now I come to that “subgroup” referred to before. Many who’d readily qualify for this classification I have met, and have a relationship with. Often as a tutor in the English language, since this is what my current and regular occupation is.

They work from 4am often until 6 pm six days a week, holding a part time job the seventh day. Many others have set up their own small, service companies and work 7 days a week to try to make them go, and grow. And find the time and strength go to English class three nights a week. Some have developed multimillion $$ companies. And all the time facing odds that would defeat most of the rest of us.

Most have a complex common thread: They have more than ten years in the US, have received little or no help from the government for they have worked from day one, have no criminal record, have paid taxes regularly, own homes, and contribute to their immediate society for they tend to freely share their perceived bounty with others. They truly know what it feels like to be without. And never forget it.

Do these folks deserve a long, hard look? Do they deserve to be considered for a legal status that -without perhaps being a full citizenship- will allow them to continue their good work without the shades of desperation which always color their surroundings?

I think the premise -and promise- of this season and the holy times and blessings it reminds us of, may perhaps allow us to do so. And proceed accordingly.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
·       Any comments please send to

Friday, November 10, 2017

Veterans Day

The working title for a space that should’ve been filled some time ago was “The Power of Words”. Although that “some time” seemed to be continuously delayed, as days went by and there was always something else to do. Which didn’t include sitting at the computer to write out an idea for the blog.

Don’t get me wrong. Writing is not a “chore” for me. It is a cathartic moment which allows me to reflect, think, relax and forget about issues which weigh down the everyday moments. And there are plenty of those last… So, then, why is it so difficult to find the moment or time to actually get this done?

The “working answer” is “I don’t know”. Those of you who have endured this blog over time (thank-you!!) know it began as a run, down memory lane (try “run down” without the comma and it changes the meaning- perhaps a reality check) and as such, it went for the first 200 entries or so. After that, other issues began to pop up once in a while. Wally’s Pond, well received conspirator Cheito - my “friend-cousin” from Hialeah, and others. Occasionally, a lost political comment. Although I really want to stay away from this last, being one of those issues that add weigh rather than remove it.

As the days kept creeping forward, we came to Veterans Day’s doorstep. There is much to be said about those who put their all on the line on behalf of their flag and country. On behalf of all of us. Yes, I did my part, small as it were. From my post at Naha Wheel in Okinawa I did what I could to support those who were in “Nam” at that time.

In our company, we regularly received youngsters who were coming back older than they should ever be at that age, somehow shared their nightmares and managed to nurse some of them on their way back to the US. And some who were passing through, on their way to the front (as it were), we tried to prepare as well as we could (informally) for what was to come. Those memories I don’t think have found their way unto these pages, and I do not believe they will. Some things are best left in the past.

But every Veterans Day some of those faces I still remember. The tiredness, the fear of anticipation in the face of those who were going, the jaded, horrified view of life lived reflected in the eyes of those who were coming from VN. These soldiers did what they had to do, in a never declared war; a “conflict” which meant they fought, literally, with one hand tied behind their back. But they went and fought, anyway.

I respect those soldiers (and I use this noun as a generic term, to include all those men and women who served and serve in all branches of service) and all who came before and who have come after them, who have served and too often not survived, for doing their sworn duty to our country, under the cover of our flag. They all served. Some because they had to, most because they felt the obligation to defend our belief system, our culture, our achievements. Our country. Regardless of why, these soldiers served, each in their capacity. And for this service, we say Thank You. With honor and respect.

Respect the meaning of Veterans Day. Remember these men and women served so you and I could have the right to disagree, complain, and call on those in power. Feel free to do so. Do it strongly but with respect and you will be honoring the service and sacrifice of these men and women.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
Any comments please send to

Friday, October 6, 2017

From Wally’s Pond… Again…

This will become entry #400 for this blog. It started late 2009; a means to pass convalescencing time from my cancer treatment and the first of my hip replacement surgeries...
Yet, as time went on, it became a rolling memory book, confessional, travelogue and just a place where most (I have to be honest and say not all…) feelings have been shared. Supposedly, someone who writes must be willing to bare his/her inner self and put everything on the pages (well, OK, the e-filings) for all to see. Not my case. It is still my belief that some aspects of the mind -such as they may be- are private and should remain so.

After all is said, it is often a rudderless flight of fancy (nice term for aimless ramblings?) precisely the one that takes us to the most amazing destinations.

Near death experiences… are they real?   a personal experience associated with death or impending death. Such experiences may encompass a variety of sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light. (WIKIPEDIA)

Also from Wikipedia and according to Bruce Greyson, the general features of the experience include impressions of being outside one's physical body, visions of deceased relatives and religious figures, and transcendence of egotic and spatiotemporal boundaries.              NOTE: I did try to look up the word “egotic” and by inference (for there is no such word in the thesaurus) it refers to the boundaries of self, within one’s own mind.

Over the years there have been occasional opportunities to talk about these transcendental (too much?well… OK… interesting) issues with people of different faiths, races and backgrounds. Interestingly, there seems to be a relatively even split along the lines as to whether or not they believe in these near-death experiences.

Those who believe in this possibility, tell me that these visions are not always present. My questions: Who is subject to them and why? I have not found a convincing answer to those questions. Yet, in three occasions there were conversations between two individuals who said they had lived through them and myself. Nothing strange, esoteric or especially telling about them. Normal, run of the mill folks. One in India, one in Spain and one right here in the US. Two in their mid-forties, the other one over 60 years of age. Their account was very similar. Diffuse visions, people shapes with inner lights, a feeling of familiarity and, above all, peace. Both also told me that their vision of life thereafter changed to a better acceptance of circumstances and clearer definition of purpose.

This posting is not meant as a study of probabilities or even possibilities. It just means to raise a questioning eyebrow and pose the plausibility of that moment. The moment when our soul or spirit has accepted the reality of imminent departure and is getting ready for the next step of the journey.

What is apparently a very common thread from all the studies (not counting my three conversations… right…) done on this matter, is that those who do come back (Yes, I know… those who do not come back could not answer the questionnaires…) have a radical attitude change towards life, expectations, and general attitude. Almost all change to a better understanding of purpose… and yes, my guys definitely supported this last turn.

There is a lot of reading material on this subject; there is a lot of time to be spent going through that material and I will devote some (not as much as I would like to, but…) time to this because it is a topic which interests me. Not only near-death experiences but also those who have been actually declared clinically dead, only to revive a few minutes later.

From as early a time in my life as I can remember, there have been far too many “happenings” around me not to take these type of issues seriously. I have had, for many years, an implicit acceptance on my part that logic can only explain what we can understand according to set parameters. What we don’t understand or have an acceptable explanation for, is outside that realm of logical order.

Does it mean it  is not real or not existent? No; to me, it means that it falls into the realm of belief and willingness to believe; it takes a jump of faith. And then, we hold on for the ride of a lifetime.

There’ll be more… I think…

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Shared Moment.

There are moments when words are not the solution. We can only hope that, in those moments, we know enough not to say anything foolish.
Often, I truly understand that I am indeed blessed. This goes beyond my successful bout against cancer and the incredible places and people I have met over the years. Beyond unexplainable survival(s) at times when I was totally unprepared to face unexpected and considerable foes. Add to this all the minor and major mistakes made along the roads and detours life has steered me through. It really adds up to something much like a miracle.

Today, at age 71, like many others I must work to meet my expenses. But, I am able to. And that’s a blessing too. For my work involves doing things I truly enjoy. Like doing the ESL classes. Teaching others to speak English so they can improve their lot and their families’ lot as well. Pretty much all of my students are Hispanic. Some with documents and full of ambition and some without documents and full of hope.

We discuss many topics in class. A few days ago, we talked about there being a special place each one would like to visit or go back to. And that was the homework for the weekend. To prepare to talk about that special place and share this with the class.

We came back on the following class and, after the usual bits of small conversation to get started, came tie for the presentation. Some talked about their home country and a special place thy hoped to go back to, some about other places only mythical to them. The ones in the travelogue pictures with all the allure only a good photo editor can muster. But this was their dream, and very valid to them. Hope is a very strong incentive for work.

Then we got to a young woman (early-mid 30’s -- yes, young. Remember my perspective…) who had just joined the class one week ago. She was a little hesitant and I assumed it was the effort to say her piece in English. And yes, it was that, but there was another reason as well.

-“I want to go back to Paris” “I was there early last year with my husband”

And, of course, we all said something along “that’s nice, what good luck to have been there”

And then she added, fighting back tears
–“He told me with a smile that I might have to come back alone” “We came back home and he was killed in a car accident last December” “We placed  a lock on the Bridge of Love (Pont Des Arts) and I want to go back to visit the bridge again”

There was silence after this and, mercifully, the clock reached the time to finish.

She lingered for a few moments and came to me to apologize for tearing up. I said to her “There’s no need to apologize” “There is no need to say anything” “As someone who has lost a very dear person to an accident as well, I can tell you that the time will pass, but his presence won’t as long as you have him in your heart and mind”

What else was there to say? Nothing.

 Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Another Year... Some Thoughts

It’s about that time of the year when another 365 days of biological time-living have passed and I am compelled to sit, look at the computer’s blank page and let the moment wash over me, bringing forward all those semi-lost memories, languishing in the little reviewed drawers of my brain. Well, what’s left of it after 71 years of embattled endurance.

A year ago yesterday marked the arrival my 70th birthday. A benchmark of sorts. So I guess yesterday, if the numeral order is to be believed (something I wish could be disproved occasionally) defined my 71st birthday. Which, in sequence, actually means I am now living my 72nd. Year… And, in turn, makes me the oldest member of my direct family’s oldest living generation. Hmmm… gets too complicated to look at the overall picture from that angle… lopsided.

In any event, one more year has passed. I have not been very loyal to my blog in this time, relegating it to a some-when thing; only if the pang of peripheral writer’s guilt showed up in my head… It is something I have tried to remedy but there are some issues to ponder… What direction should I follow? Originally, the blog came to life as a memory lane trip while my hip recovered from a replacement and my body adjusted to its first metal insert… and to radioactive fallout from cancer treatment… a conundrum of memories of life from childhood on.

A few (as few as possible) quasi-political entries and some opinionated ramblings have been a part of this 7+ years. My fren’ Cheito from “HaiAleeah” and his celebrated appearances and comments (his entries have drawn more reads than most others) the ramblings from “Wally’s Pond” and also those days when writing became an issue and the results showed it. Many candid memories have been included and many others have been not so candidly left out. There were peak months when the blog had as many as 600 “reads” worlwide and, lately, months of 5 or 6 hits, reflecting the lack of new entries… It has been a joy ride.

No, I am not saying good bye, nor is this a fare-thee-well musing. I have enjoyed writing and also have enjoyed those comments which kept me going at times of questionable enthusiasm. And yes, the ones that questioned moments of effervescent enthusiasm with the resulting non-directional ramblings.

This is an exercise of and for the mind. Writing is, somehow, my assertion to living, to having lived and to a continuance in this world. At least for now. As time goes on, there will be “new” memories and mixed in perhaps some of those left out. Guess I am not a “true” writer, since there is no total willingness on my part to share my “True Confessions”. In any event, predictable reaction to this would likely be… AND???

But, no matter… on we shall go. There will be new entries, with not much order or consistency. But with a lot of love.

After all, surprise is at the core of an interesting life, isn’t it?

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to

Doña América and other memories.

I know she has already been mentioned somewhen along this line of sometimes unhinged memories as they relate to moments of my life , but y...