Summer and the Mountain Summer Moon

Friday gratefuls: Irv and Paul and me. Tom. David. Roxann. Veronica’s Bat Mitzvah party. MVP. Responsibility. Achariyut. La Tienda. Tastes of Spain. Leo back with his dad. Diane. The 4th of July. Our country, right and wrong. Joe Biden. Aging. He of the flappy suits and the too long ties. Democracy. Its frailties. Its strengths. Our flag. Which belongs to no camp of our politics.

                                                                 Sparks of Joy and Awe

One brief shining: Picked chicken wings at the GQcue Barbecue in Lakewood, Green Beans and Barbecue Beans, went to a booth with my standing number-12-and sat waiting on Alan to get his brisket and Turkey, outside cars went by on Alaska Avenue in this suburban neighborhood of three story newer apartment buildings with exposed brick and lots of metal, the heat of another 4th of July rising from the asphalt, making the Trees welcome purveyors of shade, celebrating a holiday with a friend. Yes.


Mountain nights. Cool down into the mid-fifties, often the high forties. Important reason that Kate felt she was always on vacation here. Mountain Summers.

The Mountains suited both of us. Scenic. Neighbors spread out and views around every corner. Cool nights in the Summer and lots of Snow in the Winter. Spectacular gold and green Autumns. Wild neighbors swinging by every once in a while. Quiet. Dog friendly. No sidewalks. Little traffic.

And, it turned out, Jews. Mountain Jews. Kate’s life complete as she lived a Jewish life at Congregation Beth Evergreen. What a blessing for her. For me.


The after debate debate. Will he leave on his own? Or, will he be forced out? I read an interesting article by a geriatrician in the NYT yesterday. She talked about frailty*, about how it can slip up on us as we age, rendering us more vulnerable to illness, trauma, exhaustion. She never says Biden is frail, but she implied it by writing the article.

At 77 I’m only three and a half years from my 81st birthday. Gives me a certain perspective. It’s important to note that frailty does not equal diminished mental capacity. It’s about resilience, about stamina. I can only imagine the strain working the long hours of a Presidency might do to me. I wonder, from time to time, if I’m still up to managing this house. A far, far cry from a nation. Especially a nation in as fraught a time as ours.

Of course, the one who would wreck our country is 78. He also has the rambles and the teeters. What might we do with him if he dies or becomes disabled in office? Let Bannon or Miller seize the reins like Woodrow Wilson’s wife did after his stroke?

We’re at a very unusual moment in our national history, trying to sort out on the fly what age has to do with capacity to lead. We may have to find out. I hope not.



*”“Frailty” is not just a colloquial term; it’s a measurable clinical syndrome, first characterized by the geriatrician and public health expert Dr. Linda Fried, that describes a generalized decrease in physiological resilience to stress, injury and illness…

Dr. Patricia Cantley has written about a useful analogy that she offers to frail patients and their loved ones to explain what’s going on: A beautiful, skillfully assembled paper boat sailing on a pond may look great and sail without difficulty as long as the water is calm and the sun is shining. But should a gust of wind or a wave come up unexpectedly, the paper boat is vulnerable to damage, may tip over easily and is unlikely to be righted and sail as well as before.”