Dan and Hannah and Their CSA

Our first bounty from the Orange Circle Farm has arrived!

CSA2 jeff and hannah

Masked Hannah with Farmer Jeff to the right at the Kittery, Maine pick-up location

CSA – Community Supported Agriculture

Hannah and I signed up for a weekly delivery of local vegetables after all hell broke loose in early March 2020 due to the coronavirus global pandemic.  Not knowing the ride the pandemic was to take us on, Hannah and I stepped up to support two local farmers by buying a full share for the 2020 growing season.

As a quasi-vegetarian anyway, I need more iron in my diet.  When I donate blood to the American Red Cross, routinely my hemoglobin number struggles to reach the required 13.0 g/dL*.  *(g/dL is grams per deciliter!! – as we all know a gram is 1/30 of an ounce).

With some leafy kale, my hemoglobin is rocket man!

Our first bin of veggies arrived the first week of June, 2020.  Check out our bounty.

CSA2 list of veggies

CSA2 mesclun

Mesclun (often for salad greens)

CSA2 bok choi

Bok Choy supports cancer prevention, promotes healthy digestion, and has insane levels of vitamin A and C

CSA2 spinach 2

Spinach supports healthy skin, hair, and strong bones

CSA2 kale

Kale, kale, kale, the gang’s all here.  My iron source of choice.

CSA2 scallions

Scallions (the same as green onions)

CSA2 dill

Dill (good for digestion problems including loss of appetite, intestinal gas (farting for the crude among you), and liver problems

CSA2 radishes

Radishes (another fine source of Vitamin C)

CSA2 lettuce

Lettuce alone (say those two words out loud and you’ll see how funny I can be)

Tempting?  Perhaps, a CSA bin of veggies is in your future?

 

Dan and Hannah Meet Reese and Charlotte for the First Time

Hannah and I have just returned from four days with our new identical twin granddaughters, Reese (the older by six minutes) and Charlotte (the younger).

We had come to Ithaca, New York where our son Will and his wife Laurel live to support them all as they became the parents of three kids under the age of two.

Surprisingly, we could tell them apart.  Reese has more hair and Charlotte has a rounder face.  Without delay, here are Charlotte and Reese!

CR girls together 3

Charlotte and Reese Rothermel

CR girls Charlotte

Charlotte

CR girls Charlotte face

Reesie

CR girls with Omi 2

Reese with her Omi

CR girls nose to nose

CR girls with poppa

Poppa with the girls!

CR girls outside in bassinet

Reese and Charlotte outdoors

CR girls together again again

CR girls three guys

Three generations of Rothermel Men

CR girls together 2

Reese and Charlotte

CR girls with Brooks

Big brother Brooks with his sisters

CR girls with omi

Omi with her beautiful granddaughters

 

CR girls together

These girls are close

CR girls Omi and Poppa with Brooks and girls

Brooks with his Poppa and Omi as Charlotte (right) and Reese chill

CR girls with family of five

And babies make FIVE!

Dan and His 2020 Stimulus Check – The Stories

Two weeks ago, I posted a blog asking for your help in finding a worthy home for my 2020 stimulus check.  Click here for that blog.  It turned out my goal to give away $500 wasn’t enough to meet all the needs.  We gave away nearly $700.

Here are their stories from the people that we have supported.

Stim2 superhero

We learned from Mary (married to my Arizona State roommate Rich) that friends of theirs had a niece born at under two pounds who lived just three months.  When these friends themselves became pregnant, they too had a preemie who was at great risk.  Their son survived; in gratitude, they support the Superhero Project, a non-profit that raises money to support NICU families and babies.  Click here to learn more about the Superhero Project.  Hannah and I are all in.

Stim2 brazil

Our friend Nancy from our Arizona days writes of her student from Brazil who wants to pursue a medical master’s degree.  The young man lives with his uncle’s family in the basement of another family’s house.  He is an only child and his mother (no father) is in Brazil.  He talks to her daily and worries about her health.  Hannah and I appreciate our chance to support this young man.

My colleague at Nevitt Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, Diane, first suggests supporting a cat shelter in Scottsdale, then how great it would be to have breakfast with an elderly friend from Chicago.  This all leads to what’s in her heart.  She’d like to reconnect with a long lost friend over breakfast whose life has been filled with challenges.  Hannah and I support Diane’s efforts.

Stim2 rwanda map

Despite the Southwest connection of the first three entries, Hannah and I have made a few friends since our Arizona days.  One of them is Rose, who worked with Hannah at the Visiting Nurses Association of Portsmouth, NH.  Hannah was the Hospice volunteer coordinator and Rose a nurse.  Rose writes of a wonderful, hardworking couple from Rwanda. The wife was taking English classes before Covid-19 hit, and her hubby worked at Bowdoin College in food service.  They have a beautiful baby boy.

KGUA icon

Our California amiga, Tree, says she will donate to her beloved, local radio station and non-profit, KGUA. KGUA stayed on the air 24/7 during the wildfires, public safety power shutdowns, and most recently, the COVID-19 health crisis. This year, due to the virus outbreak, their annual fundraiser event was cancelled so donations at this time would greatly help them to continue the outstanding work.  We, too, will support KGUA.

Our local friend Mandy nominates her niece who raises three kids, two of whom have special needs.  In addition, her niece works three jobs (nurse in the schools, at the local hospital, and a summer camp for special needs children).  This summer camp is not opening due to Covid-19.  She never complains or asks for support because she is too busy serving and caring for others.  We’ll step up.

Stim2 AFSP

Our neighbor Laurie asks us to support the virtual walk she will do with her daughter to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Due to Covid-19, they cannot walk sixteen miles overnight in Boston as they did last year.  Done.

Hannah’s friend from the College of Nursing at Arizona State, Patty, nominates a co-worker.  (By the way, Hannah was a student in the ASU nursing program for a semester plus, having aced the prerequisite Organic Chemistry to get in!)  Patty’s friend’s unemployment check hit a glitch, and glitches take a long time to fix due to the staggering #’s of people applying for unemployment.  Even though she and Patty were furloughed in March, her friend has yet to receive a check.  She has diabetes, with an expensive monitoring system.  Glad we can help.

Stim2 SAFER bags

Andy’s New York Food Bank in Action

 

Our son Will’s college roommate at St. Michael’s College near Burlington, Vermont, Andy, offers us the opportunity to give to their local food bank, Schuylerville (New York) Area Food and Emergency Relief.   The Food Bank collects large donations of food from the food industry and distributes it to charitable agencies serving 23 counties from Plattsburgh to Newburgh; they provide over 35 million pounds of food a year to 1,000 agencies.  We’ll do more than just give them food for thought.

From our daughter Molly’s Family: 

Stim2 Max

Max’s neighborhood ice cream smorgasbord

Max wants to have an ice cream smorgasbord with our neighbors – he is requesting $25 to buy ice cream from Sully’s and toppings.

Owen would like to buy groceries for the local food pantry and also donate some money – he is requesting $20 for us to buy some groceries and $20 for us to give to them directly.

Tip would like to support Black Lives Matter – Boston because we are committed to learning more, becoming anti-racist, and raising our children to understand white privilege. We are committed to learning, growing, speaking up, and acting for justice and equality.

Stim2 Owen

Owen figuring which items to buy with his $20 (among pasta, cereal, and cans of corn)

Molly would like to support Bail Bonds because “There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man or woman gets depends on the amount of money they have.” I’m requesting $50 for the local Massachusetts fund.  By the way, Molly’s family is going to match our gifts to the food pantry, Black Lives Matter, and Bail Bonds.

Stim2 Owen with bags

Thanks to these folks for coming through for Dan and Hannah.  Their stories make me realize that in addition to giving some money away, my companion goal was to strengthen our connections and further build relationships with others.  By others letting us know of the folks in need, Hannah and I become a little closer to the families in bold listed above who brought these stories to us.

Dan and Hannah Make a Family Pilgrimage

(Reader’s note, this entry is from a road trip in 2019.  Such an adventure would not possible in 2020 due to the coronavirus global pandemic.)

I have road trips in my blood.  In a classic woody station wagon, my parents drove my brother, sister, and me to the national parks of the American West.  As a student at Arizona State University and later as a teacher in Anaheim, California, without the means to fly, I drove 13 times cross country over 18 months in the late 1960s/early 1970s.  I’m a travelin’ man. – Ricky Nelson

Pilgrimage FL to Anaheim

With our three kids, Hannah and I drove to the Rockies and the Pacific coast from our home in Maine during four summers in the 1990s, hiking and camping.  The last road trip included a 4500-mile, six-day drive from York, Maine to Fairbanks, Alaska.

But cross country road tripping no longer gets my juices flowing.  In fact, at the dawn of my eighth decade, the tediousness of day after day Interstate driving leaves me cold.  Over the last ten years, when we travel to the West, we fly in less time than a one day’s drive.  With the money to fly, we are soft (and comfortable!).

Pilgrimage York to Ithaca

Parents Ithacans

But this past weekend (April, 2019), Hannah and I take our later-day version of a road trip by driving 400 miles to Ithaca, NY to see Will, his wife Laurel, and our grandson Brooks.  Since we were so far west anyway, we decide to turn our “road trip” into a pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage Ith to Lanc

Two hundred fifty miles to the south of Ithaca near the Mason Dixon line in Pennsylvania lives my Uncle Bill, my mom’s kid brother, and Aunt Carolyn, who are in their 80s.  When my brother Richard and I were in college in Ohio, we would hitchhike 130 miles to Bill and Carolyn’s home in Toledo to be wrapped in their warm embrace, playing cards and board games and eating far better than we  ever did in the dorm.

At their place in Lancaster, PA, it’s like old times.

Pilgrimage 1 Bill and HB

Hannah with Uncle Bill

 

Pilgrimage H, Caroline, and D

Dan, Aunt Caroline, and Hannah

Pilgrimage Paul and Dan

Bill and Carolyn’s kid, Paul with his uncle

The following day we head northeast, first hike at Bear Mountain on the Hudson River in New York, then take the second stage of our pilgrimage to see my 101-year-old Aunt Ilene at my cousin Suzanne and her hubby Lou’s place near Newburgh, New York.

Pilgrimage Ilene, D and h

Hannah, Ilene, and Dan

Pilgrimage Ilene, Suzanne, Lou

Lou, Ilene, and Suzanne (all still kicking in 2020!)

Aunt Ilene grew up on a farm in Newburgh, NY that I visited as a kid, and she married the love of her life, my uncle Harry, my mom’s and my Uncle Bill’s older brother.  Rushed into WWII in the spring of 1945, Harry was killed in Europe three weeks before the war ended in May.

As was Bill and Caroline, Aunt Ilene is a link to my past as are Suzanne and Lou.  We take a pilgrimage (and by that I mean family road trip) to hug them, feel their love, and acknowledge their importance in our lives.

Maybe my road tripping days are not over.

 

Dan and Hannah Welcome Reese and Charlotte to the Family

Having experienced the joy of youthful male testosterone with our three energetic grandsons,

RC O and M

Owen and Max

RC brooks with mom and pop

Brooks with mom and pop

 

Hannah and I welcome our two identical twin granddaughters to the fold – Reese Kathryn Rothermel and Charlotte Mae Rothermel.

RC girls on pillow

Reese and Charlotte

Our son Will and his wife Laurel are ready for the ride of their life with three kids under the age of two.  As grandparents, Hannah and I have won the lottery, again.

Reese arrived first at 615P on June 1, 2020 weighing in at six pounds eight ounces, stretching out to just over eighteen inches.  Six minutes later Charlotte came barreling along at six pounds four ounces, a little lankier at nearly nineteen inches.

Let the pictures speak for themselves.

RC girls together 2

RC girls together Reese yawning

RC sleeping together

RC will holding girls

RC brooks with one

RC girls in heart pillow

RC W with girls lying on him

RC girls awake

RC girls on pillow 2

RC girls looking at each other day 9

Dan and LeBron James KGUA Prompt #8

KGUA icon

This week’s prompt for radio station KGUA (Gualala, California) asks writers in 200 to 350 words to respond to the question, Who is someone you would like to chat with today? Living, deceased, fictional, mythical or someone in your imagination. Who? Why?

In light of the events in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, I chose LeBron James.  My voice memo of my reading of this prompt was read today during the June 8, 2020 KGUA writer’s hour.

Chatting with LeBron James

LeBron James is not my favorite basketball player.   Steph Curry, Jedi master of the three point shot and the one with the deft touch with the basketball, is.

The current debate whether LeBron is better than Michael Jordan has me favoring LeBron.  And the reason why has nothing to do with basketball.  And that’s why he is the one who I would like to chat with.

LeBron I can't breathe

LeBron has never shied away from speaking up for racial and social justice; his voice is needed again at this tipping point for America.

I would like to know how the murder of George Floyd by a racist Minneapolis cop has affected him and his children.  What does he tell his three children about a country where they are targets because of the color of their skin?

Wondering about his kids makes me think of the line from Martin Luther King jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

But We as a country still “have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.”

I’d want to know how I can support racial and social justice from my little outpost in very white Maine.  As one who has been born into privilege, what can I can do to support a more just society?  Though I can empathize with the profiling and the fear of being black in America, I cannot know what that’s like at this time in our troubled history.

I don’t have answers.  I am here to learn from LeBron and others.

I will listen.  And listen some more.  And then I will act.

I bet LeBron knows about Campaign Zero and 8 can’t wait.

Dan and His Pandemic Paragraph

I wonder if you could do me a favor.  It’s small, but it really matters to me.  And if I have it right, it’ll make your day, too.

Stim image of check

In March Hannah and I each received a federal government stimulus check.  I knew in the haste of Congress, there would be issues.  My getting one of the checks was one of the issues.  Doing very well, Hannah and I can find better uses for our $1200 than padding our bank account.  That’s where you come in.

Previously, Hannah and I gave some money to four clergy we know as women and men of the cloth are aware of folks who are hurting.  All four pastors came through in the clutch and directed our donations to folks in need.

Stim pay it forward

I want to give away the rest of my stimulus check to you.   Oh, there is a catch.  I want you to request the money to do something for someone else.  A 2020 pay it forward campaign.

Here’s where you come in.  I would like you to email me (danrothermel@gmail.com) or write below in the comment section of my blog in 50 to 100 words (no more!) and tell me of a person who could use a shot in the arm or organization for up to $100 and why.  It doesn’t have to earthshaking; it could be just something that would bring a smile to someone’s day.

Possibilities:

One, a cup of coffee with a friend at an outdoor cafe during the pandemic

Two, a brother doing something for his sister, and all the permutations (i.e. sister to brother, sister to sister, brother to cousin, etc.)  Any age, from kids to boomers.

Three, a waitperson out of work or working less.

Four, someone furloughed or laid off.

Stim kind

Five, someone who was just kind to you recently, or in the past that you haven’t been in touch with for a while.

Six, a rabbi/imam/minister you know who, in turn, knows who needs support.

Seven, a thing another person could use during this global pandemic.

Eight, three half gallons of their favorite ice cream for a pandemic party.

Nine, a local cause you support.

Ten, yes people related to Hannah and me are eligible.

Eleven, an unsung, decent neighbor.

Tell me the little story behind this person or entity and how much you are requesting.  I want to give away $500 this month, but I can only do that with your support and their stories.

Stim over 60

In a future blog, I’ll include the stories without your name or the name of the person you are giving something to.  I’ll edit for clarity and keep them all quite anonymous, unless… you would let me identify you for our Over60hiker blog family.  I hope your stories will help spread this idea of giving.

The deadline is June 15, 2020.  I know, that’s soon.  Think, talk, listen, don’t be shy, and email me.

Francis of Assisi said it well, For it is in the giving that we receive.  For you and for me.

Dan Has Some Wise Advice for KGUA #7

Today’s KGUA writing suggestion asks the writer to begin with this prompt or include it within the piece.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since… (realizing limiting this to my father may not be relevant to some, so please use that as a metaphor or in a way it makes sense to you.)

Thankfully, KGUA allows me to color outside the lines.  I share what was read on KGUA on June 1, 2020.

Some Advice from My Younger and More Vulnerable Years

In my younger and more vulnerable years my reading of the Desiderata gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since my college days as a Sun Devil at Arizona State University.

Displayed in the paraphernalia shops along Mill Avenue in Tempe (and by that I mean the shops dealing in supplies for Mary Jane), the Desiderata spoke to my uncertainty of who I was and what I was becoming.  To this day, I still have a framed poster of this nearly one hundred year old wisdom, which mistakenly was thought to have been posted on the front door of an Anglican Church in 17th century England; fact is, the Desiderata is the work of the poet, Max Ehrmann in 1927.

To this day, I know this poem by heart, and even recited it at my sister’s wedding at her request.  Listen to the poetry of its rousing start.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.  Even today, that speaks to the noise all around us from those selling us fear by the bushel.

The poem continues to build with the advice to avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. 

Later it adds the classic line, You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees in the stars.

But the line that spoke to me fifty years ago and continues to live within is Do not distress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

As I look back I was a teen and twenty-something who could conger up a world of fear around every corner and see self-doubts with each interaction; I had no idea there was another way than a fear-based life.  In time and with practice, I am now less likely to go to a worst case scenario.

Though by no means fearless, I am now more likely to pause and listen to my inner voice.  It leads me to my truth.

Desi full text