Archive for August, 2009

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Ending an era

August 29, 2009

As a child, before I was a quasi-news junkie, I adored Walter Cronkite.

“And that’s the way it is,” his famous tagline.

Maybe it was his deep, calm voice that attracted me. Who knows, but I felt like I’d lost a favorite uncle earlier this summer when he died.

And now this week with the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy, I am struck by the exodus of American icons in the last year.

This site lists some who died earlier this year. Ed McMahon, Bea Arthur, Karl Malden, Robert McNamara…and of course Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett on the same day.

Tim Russert in 2008, famous for his “Meet the Press” hosting, was the beginning I think of this string of icons leaving us. He was too young, of course, and while it’s never easy, losing Walter Cronkite at age 93 was less shocking and a bit easier to accept.

Maybe this strikes me because it points to my own mortality. These are people that have always been in my stream of consciousness. Part of the society around me…my familiar culture.

Sen. Kennedy’s death seems to close the Kennedy family legacy. Granted there are many descendants of that lineage who continue to work to serve America. But for most of us–across ages–JFK, Bobby and Ted all mean something. And today that chapter closes.

I love the dynamics of our culture and the new things and icons we add. But it’s hard to say goodbye. Even to these people I never know. It signals a door closed that cannot open again, which always nicks at my heart.

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Good dog

August 12, 2009
Our Kooper, full of vim and vigor!

Our Kooper, full of vim and vigor!

Only northerners head to Fort Lauderdale in August…and while hubby and I have been in Florida six years now, I guess we are still northerners at heart. We just spent a long weekend there.

For the past few years we travel mostly with our dogs. The two older ones are gone now, and the new guy at just nine months is full of “vim and vigor” as my dad used to say. All that means when we travel, we look for pet-friendly lodging and restaurants.

Easier to find now than it used to be, but still proved to be a challenge in the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale. We stayed at the Hilton Marina, billed as pet-friendly; however, as soon as hubby told them we had a dog, we¬†felt snubbed. The friendliest hotel staff was a bellman as we checked out. Disappointing.

Many of the restaurants we called did not allow dogs. Not even at their outdoor seating. One place said another dog bit someone once so no more dogs. We have heard similar stories at home, and that most likely means that their insurance companies told them no more dogs. Understandable, but people — control your dogs!

Don’t ruin it for the rest of who do. We keep our dog on a leash and we monitor him the entire time we’re out. We don’t want him to disturb anyone who doesn’t want to be disturbed. If your dog isn’t social and won’t behave, even on a leash, leave it at home!

And to hotels and restaurants who claim to be pet-friendly, make sure your staff know to treat guests with pets as well as they treat guests without. I’m not sure we’ll use Hilton Marina again, even though it’s a lovely property.