Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fare Thee Well Big Kitty...

We said our final good-byes, to Big Kitty, aka, Richie Havens, aka, The Old Man today. He was 18 and almost 1/2, which in human years is around 90. He started failing dramatically these past couple of weeks, and just Monday, 2 days ago, we knew it was time. As in life, death comes in waves, as first thing Monday morning I received an email that Mom's dearest friend from camp had passed away. The wires were burning, our camp wall on Facebook was lighting up all day, it was all day. All the while I was on the phone w/ our Vet to finalize today as we were deeply nuzzled in waiting for the storm. It was a good day to be home. There were allot of people feeling terribly sad on Monday. One of my #favoritepeople posted a song from 'Israel and NewBreed', and I wound up buying the album. I would say, timing is everything. It kept my spirits up. The music will keep my spirits up. (Thank you  #favoritepeople).
The day we brought Big Kitty home...a forever friendship was born..
We got Big Kitty from the North Shore Animal Shelter on Long Island. He was 4 months old, Edward was 8ish. From the minute we brought him home, he was present, he was totally with us. He was one of the best animals I have ever met. He moved with us 5 times, from our apartment in Mt. Vernon, to the 2 houses in Rhode Island and then the 2 houses in Colorado. He was a natural hunter, stalker of mice, moth catcher extra-ordinaire, insect eater, he was very fast. He was totally laid back and was the best snuggle buddy, always with an immediate loud purr. In 2005, I had some outpatient surgery, and he did not leave my side for days. He was the same way with Edward. Ever present during stomach aches, all nighters when not feeling well, and was especially close with Edward's initial diabetes diagnosis. He tolerated The Girl, barely, all these years. Somehow, they worked. I am curious to see how or if she is any different or even cares that he is not here. 

We are so grateful to have had him all these years, and the Vets all said, he was blessed to have us. We are so grateful that the process was quick and peaceful. I know Edward and I are both going to 'think we see him', probably for a while. 18 and almost 1/2 years was a great run for The Old Man. We are so grateful...
Mt. Vernon...
Rhode Island, the Big house..
Colorado Springs...
On his 18th birthday...
Always in our hearts, Big Kitty, aka, Richie Havens, aka, The Old Man.

A special thank you to everyone at The Aurora Animal Hospital, for your gentleness, your compassion, your thoroughness, overall care  and time, not just for our 4 legged loved ones, but for Us.
We are so grateful....

Friday, January 29, 2016

Orchids...

The Teahouse, from the inside...
Teahouse from the outside....
We have been having a beautiful stretch of weather, although Mr. Weatherman reminds us, do not get too used to it. It is supposed to snow on Monday, allot. In the meantime, seizing the moment, we went to the Denver Botanic Gardens yesterday to catch the Orchid Show. Much better than 'Stinky', the albatross of a plant. What amazed me, per usual, is the incredible variety and color, the full spectrum of the orchids. I enjoyed setting my camera to 'macro' mode and had a field day, as you can see, just snapping away. The challenge for me, and I suppose everyone else who has come through to take pictures, is that the 'background' is a concrete wall. I am certain that their placement was thoroughly thought out, however challenging it has turned out to be for those who have come with camera in tow. Anywho, a little creativity and editing left me with some beautiful pics. 

We did walk around and marveled at the frozen tundra, the Lily Pad pond, the Koi Fish pond, the bountiful herb garden, everything just waiting for Spring, to blossom forth once again. We made the requisite visit to the Teahouse, which I would love to furnish, and permanently reside.  I have made mention of that before, more than once. A girl can dream...

'Beauty of Orchid
Beyond Compare
Petals Soft
And Color pure
Stems Sleek
And Leaves Soft
Beauty of Orchid
 Beyond Compare'
                                                                  poem by Willard Wells

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stuffs...

1/18,2016, 4:30pm sky!!!
So, I've been a bit quiet. January, 2016. Let's see, there is Iran, freed hostages, Syria, starvation, retiring elephants from Barnum and Bailey, a massacre just this morning at a university in Pakistan, The Oscars or not, a blizzard getting ready to pummel the East Coast, 5 planets aligning which we can see, lead riddled water in Michigan, Trump and now Palin, a mother of 6 stabbed to death in Israel, did I say Trump? I skim the surface. I am trying to pay attention, but I got a 2 day migraine and missed Pit Bulls and Parolees on Saturday. Wow, good thing they repeat the show from the week before. Winter, although the days are markedly longer, has settled in. The skies have been inspired, jaw dropping, majestic, gifted. How do I tie all this together? 

I return to my visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, in my head. Our docent extraordinaire, Earl Simons, recommended, strongly suggested some reading material. 'Mila 18', by Leon Uris, and 'The Wall', by John Hersey. There were more, but 2 books was definitely enough. I picked them both up @ Barnes and Noble when I returned from my East Coast jaunt. I started with 'Mila 18'. Pool reading this past summer. Both books about the Warsaw Ghetto. I am not sure how I missed reading 'Mila 18' or 'The Wall', which I know I have packed away in a box, someplace. It was Mom's. I am a fast reader, but once I got going into 'Mila 18', I went from around 100 to 15, just about 1/3 of the way into the book. 

This is just an overview of the Warsaw Ghetto. On October 12, 1940, the Germans decreed the establishment of a ghetto in Warsaw. The decree required all Jewish residents of Warsaw to move into a designated area, which German authorities sealed off from the rest of the city in November 1940. The ghetto was enclosed by a wall that was over 10 feet high, topped with barbed wire, and closely guarded to prevent movement between the ghetto and the rest of Warsaw. The population of the ghetto, increased by Jews compelled to move in from nearby towns, was estimated to be over 400,000 Jews. German authorities forced ghetto residents to live in an area of 1.3 square miles, with an average of 7.2 persons per room.  Eventually, as the ghetto was reduced to rubble, a few courageous (understatement, remember the Maccabee Brothers, this was the very same DNA) individuals with few weapons and no outside help assume command of ghetto defense, formed a makeshift army and made a stand.  Later, this army led to the formation of the state of Israel. All this to say, that the individual stories, (and the yet and still, simply impossible to wrap one's head around the big picture), which were being told by Leon Uris in 'Mila 18', although fictitious, were so graphic and so horrifying, that It took me 3 months to get through the book. I kept on putting it down. But, finish it I did. Then I binged watched 'Call the Midwife' on Netflix. A helpful antidote.

Last night, I picked up 'The Wall', and just read the introduction. One of the things I learned @ the Holocaust Museum was that there were time capsules buried throughout the Ghetto. 'The Wall', like 'Mila 18', a book of fiction, based on truth, is about The Levinson Archives, a wonder of documentation. The story overview is: It was the summer after the war. There were 17 boxes and small parcels, wrapped in rags and old clothes. There was nothing left, I repeat nothing, of the Warsaw Ghetto, except the wall, and a small handful of survivors. Levinson made sure, through smuggling letters out of the Ghetto, having people memorize where everything was buried, down to the depth in meters and centimeters, how far out from corners of buildings which no longer existed, where the boxes could be found. Two days' digging brought up the whole treasure. Long after the archive had been found, other sets of directions were still drifting back to Warsaw from as far away as Shanghai. Levinson was a meticulous man, as was Hersey. We shall see how long this book takes me plow through. I remain, compelled.
Old milk container used as a time capsule in the Warsaw Ghetto. There were, 3, yet only 2 of them have been found!
The atmosphere today, the singling out of groups of people is all too reminiscent of the pre-Holocaust era. There is allot of fear and hatred being spewed from around the globe, and very much so in our own country. I am going to repeat myself, sort of. We are living in difficult days, as the world, planet Earth, feels at times like it is spinning off its axis. We all see it unfold before our eyes, everyday. I pray that those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, will keep precious oil in their lamps, and pray for those who do not, as we are into week 3 of 2016.

'Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.'
                                                             Psalms 119:105 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Chew On This...


 I would say to some of you, proceed with caution, as many of you are preparing to forge ahead with 'The Daniel Fast'. This post is about ravioli, handmade, yummy ravioli. We are eating very green, I have been for a long time, but as a Family, we are taking it to another level of healthy eating. That said, my twenty-something #1Son, is still living at home and healthy as he is (thank goodness), he still enjoys a hearty bowl of pasta. My skills of making my own pasta are sharpened, and on my list of , 'I can do that', making ravioli was near the top. 

I bought a ravioli stamp @ Crate & Barrel. I say stamp and not cutter, because I assumed that it was a cutter, but really, it just marks the dough, which is good. I found a filling which, clearly was going to be delicious. Fresh spinach, ricotta and Parmesan. It is amazing how the first time is wrought with mistakes. I made the dough, prepped the filling, and proceeded in my normal fashion of rolling out the dough with my pasta roller gadget. I have never gone to the thinnest setting, which is #7. I did not go there on the first round. I should have. I sort of used the stamp, thinking it was going to cut, not stamp, so I set it aside. I should not have done that either. So, I eyeballed the squares for shaping the ravioli. Big mistake. I used a tablespoon measure for the filling. Mistake #4. It was way too much. I deemed the ravioli, 'rustic', which they were. However, when all 12 were finished, they looked like ravioli on steroids!!! They were SO big, having puffed up after boiling, that one was equal to four. Did they get eaten, you ask? Well, yes, they were delicious, best meal Jimmy ever had, he said.

So, determined to get the hang of this, I went for round 2. I rolled out the dough in my normal fashion with the pasta roller gadget, but I went to #7, which is paper thin. Off to a good start. I used the stamp to clearly mark the squares. Good move. I used 1/2 a tablespoon for the filling. Just the right amount. I gently laid out the top part of the ravioli, and marked the squares with the side of my hand, then made the cuts. Also, a good move. Still, somewhat rustic, but smaller. I had 18 instead of 12 monster sized ravioli. As with the first batch, I had way too much filling left over in the bowl, so I simply floured a baking dish and put the rest of that yummy combo in the oven. I baked it until the top and sides were nice and toasted looking. This round, all in all, a far greater success. What is so nice about ravioli, is that you can put just about anything in them for a filling, which I intend to do.

These pics are from round 2. I finished them up in the sauce pan, turned off the heat, added some shredded parm and fresh basil!! The bottom pic of the ravioli in the bowl, ready for eating is not as good as I would have liked, because someone, who will remain nameless, was chomping at the bit. Anywho, my adventures in the kitchen...to be continued...

Rolled, stamped, measured and filled...
Ready for cutting and sealing...
Well sealed, ready for boiling, all 18 of them...
Finished off in the sauce pan, adding shredded parm and fresh basil...
A healthy serving of 3, well, he came back for more...

'She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her...' Proverbs 31:27-28 
(Good thought Proverbs....)

Monday, January 4, 2016

We Begin...

My shadow on the rocks and patterned frozen lake..
Our beach, around the bend...kayaked around here just a few short months ago...
Around the bend, our spot..
Afternoon light cast long shadows..
The lone man, getting ready to ice fish..
From above, the frozen Marina...
Amazing, ever changing patterns..
Having cruised through Chanukah, birthdays, lovely company,Christmas and the New Year, gratefully, without getting caught up in the madness, we step right into the first Monday of 2016. It has been brutally cold in Colorado. As hot as it was this Summer past, and impossible as it was to walk outside, that is exactly how cold it has been. Yesterday, and the day before we warmed up to a balmy 45, which at a mile high, feels like 65 degrees. I knew that our lake @ the ever beautiful Cherry Creek State Park, would be frozen over, and a playground for taking pics. So, off we went for a very long walk around and ON the lake, with warm memories of Summer, kayaking, lazy afternoons listening to the sequoias sing their songs, feet dangling in the cool waters for some relief from the heat.

We know that there are difficult days ahead, as the world, planet Earth, feels at times like it is spinning off its axis. We all see it unfold before our eyes, everyday. I pray that those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, will keep precious oil in their lamps, and pray for those who do not, as we step right into the first Monday of 2016.

'Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.'
                                                             Psalms 119:105 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016, A New Year!!!


“Thus far the Lord has helped us."
                              1Samuel 7:12
                      
These words, these inspired words in today's devotion, December 31, from Streams in the Desert, are my sincerest salutation to  All of you!

'The Alpine shepherds have a beautiful custom of ending the day by singing to one another an evening farewell. The air is so crystalline that the song will carry long distances. As the dusk begins to fall, they gather their flocks and begin to lead them down the mountain paths, singing, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. Let us praise His name!”And at last with a sweet courtesy, they sing to one another the friendly farewell: “Goodnight! Goodnight!” The words are taken up by the echoes, and from side to side the song goes reverberating sweetly and softly until the music dies away in the distance....'

As we bid farewell to 2015, I pray that this song I sing to you will also be carried long distances,  'Thus far the Lord has helped us, let us praise His name!!!'

A safe, warm, inspired and healthy New Year!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas 2015


I post this painting, this beautiful painting by Morgan Weistling every year at Christmas time because it touches me. I believe it, it rings 'truth', it feels authentic. A young Jewish girl named Mary, loving her precious baby boy, named Jesus. Weistling calls it, 'Kissing the Face of God'!!! What a thought, so tenderly captured by his inspired work. 

 'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting  Father, Prince of Peace.'
                                                                              Isaiah 9:3

To my Friends and extended Family, a hopeful, peaceful, safe, joyous, richly blessed, healthy and warm Christmas!!!

Mary had a baby!!
REJOICE!!!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Reflections 3

Soft, gentle sunset, day after snowstorm... 
4:19 Autumn sunset...
Mid-December sunrise over the Rockies...Maxfield Parrish-like colors
Mid-December sunrise...
Soft blue December sunset...
I re-posted these words on my Instagram feed this morning, (thank you Darla for posting), and this is what it said:

'This 
Christmas 
end a quarrel.
 Seek out a forgotten 
Friend. Dismiss suspicion, 
and replace it with trust. 
Write a love letter. Share some 
treasure. Give a soft answer. Keep
 a promise. Find the time.Forgo a grudge. 
Forgive an enemy. Listen.Apologize if you 
were wrong. Try to understand. Examine your 
demands on others. Think first of someone else.
Be kind; be gentle. Appreciate. Laugh a little.Laugh a
 little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a
 child. Welcome a stranger. Take pleasure in the beauty and the
 wonder of Earth.
Speak your love.
Speak it again.
Speak it yet 
Once again.'

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Miracle of the Oil, Chanukah!!!!

I say it every year. I love those Maccabee Brothers. When enough was enough was enough, they rose up and their DNA said, no way, no how, no more. That very same DNA rose up again, in the Warsaw Ghetto, and as the Maccabee Brothers before them, they struck a blow to their enemies. The family of Mattathias became known as the Maccabees, from the Hebrew word for "hammer," because they were said to strike hammer blows against their enemies. So good, so so good.

This story of the Mircale of the Oil, goes waaaaaaayyyyyy back:

The death of Alexander the Great of Greece in 323 BCE led to the breakup of the Greek empire as three of his generals fought for supremacy and divided the Middle East among themselves. Ptolemy secured control of Egypt and the Land of Israel. Seleucus grabbed Syria and Asia Minor, and Antigonus took Greece.The Land of Israel was sandwiched between Egypt and Syria  and, for the next 125 years, Seleucids and Ptolemies battled for this prize. The former finally won in 198 B.C. when Antiochus III defeated the Egyptians and incorporated Judea into his empire. Initially, he continued to allow the Jews autonomy, but after a stinging defeat at the hands of the Romans he began a program of Hellenization that threatened to force the Jews to abandon their monotheism for the Greeks' paganism. Antiochus backed down in the face of Jewish opposition to his effort to introduce idols in their temples, but his son, Antiochus IV, who inherited the throne in 176 B.C. resumed his father's original policy without excepting the Jews. A brief Jewish rebellion only hardened his views and led him to outlaw central tenets of Judaism such as the Sabbath and circumcision, and defile the holy Temple by erecting an altar to the god Zeus, allowing the sacrifice of pigs, and opening the shrine to non-Jews.

Though many Jews had been seduced by the virtues of Hellenism, the extreme measures adopted by Antiochus helped unite the people. When a Greek official tried to force a priest named Mattathias to make a sacrifice to a pagan god, the Jew murdered the man. Predictably, Antiochus began reprisals, but in 167 BCE the Jews rose up behind Mattathias and his five sons and fought for their liberation.

Like other rulers before him, Antiochus underestimated the will and strength of his Jewish adversaries and sent a small force to put down the rebellion. When that was annihilated, he led a more powerful army into battle only to be defeated. In 164 BCE, Jerusalem was recaptured by the Maccabees and the Temple purified, an event that gave birth to the holiday of Chanukah. The miracle, according to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory.

''Mattathias answered in a loud voice,
    I don't care if every Gentile in this empire has obeyed the king and yielded to the command to abandon the religion of his ancestors. My children, my relatives, and I will continue to keep the covenant that God made with our ancestors. With God's help we will never abandon his Law or disobey his commands. We will not obey the king's decree, and we will not change our way of worship in the least.''
                                                                                          1 Maccabees 2:19-22

'You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.'
                                                               Psalm 45:7


Happy Chanukah 5776!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Your Joy is Your Strength...

Cherry Creek State Park, yesterday...reflection..
One thing I know for sure: '...the joy of the Lord is your strength...' (Nehemiah 8:10). May we never lose sight, even in these dark days, we must continue to believe that the Lord will enable us to drink  deeply and be full of His joy!! 'Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.' (Isaiah 12:2-3)

In the Book of 2 Chronicles 20:21, 'Jehoshaphat, after consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    for his love endures forever.”

 'O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
 For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.'
                                                                                                Psalm 47

Thank you, Karen Davis, for the inspiration!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Am Grateful For...

I saw this on Pinterest. It is a 'Grateful Wheel'. Given the difficult days we see before us, one humanitarian crisis after another, the upside-down and backward-ness of so so so much in our own country, it seemed fitting, to at least give writing down things I am grateful for, a whirl. I was not sure if I would be able to fill it up. I can come back, I thought, and add more over the next days or weeks. I did not want to copy the original piece I saw, I've got 'stuff', I can do this. Let me start in the middle and work my way out. I was amazed that once I started, the words came spilling out fast and furious, and before I knew it, I had practically gone all the way around the page. I filled in some of the spaces as the evening went along (I did this last night), and all I can say is WOW!!! So, thank you, person on Pinterest who shared his/her Grateful Wheel, I am grateful for you too.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FAMILY and PRECIOUS FRIENDS!!!
#gratefulforallofyou

"He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."
                                                                       Psalm 50:23

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Voyage of the St. Louis, 1939

I was reminded this week of the ill-fated voyage of The St. Louis, from Hamburg, Germany, headed to Havanah, Cuba. This is the article from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, in D.C., which tells the whole story.

'On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba. On the voyage were 937 passengers. Almost all were Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. Most were German citizens, some were from eastern Europe, and a few were officially "stateless."The majority of the Jewish passengers had applied for US visas, and had planned to stay in Cuba only until they could enter the United States. But by the time the St. Louis sailed, there were signs that political conditions in Cuba might keep the passengers from landing there. The US State Department in Washington, the US consulate in Havana, some Jewish organizations, and refugee agencies were all aware of the situation. The passengers themselves were not informed; most were compelled to return to Europe.

Since the Kristallnacht (literally the “Night of Crystal,” more commonly known as the "Night of Broken Glass") pogrom of November 9–10, 1938, the German government had sought to accelerate the pace of forced Jewish emigration. The German Foreign Office and the Propaganda Ministry also hoped to exploit the unwillingness of other nations to admit large numbers of Jewish refugees to justify the Nazi regime's anti-Jewish goals and policies both domestically in Germany and in the world at large.The owners of the St. Louis, the Hamburg-Amerika Line, knew even before the ship sailed that its passengers might have trouble disembarking in Cuba. The passengers, who held landing certificates and transit visas issued by the Cuban Director-General of Immigration, did not know that Cuban President Federico Laredo Bru had issued a decree just a week before the ship sailed that invalidated all recently issued landing certificates. Entry to Cuba required written authorization from the Cuban Secretaries of State and Labor and the posting of a $500 bond (The bond was waived for US tourists).

The voyage of the St. Louis attracted a great deal of media attention. Even before the ship sailed from Hamburg, right-wing Cuban newspapers deplored its impending arrival and demanded that the Cuban government cease admitting Jewish refugees. Indeed, the passengers became victims of bitter infighting within the Cuban government. The Director-General of the Cuban immigration office, Manuel Benitez Gonzalez, had come under a great deal of public scrutiny for the illegal sale of landing certificates. He routinely sold such documents for $150 or more and, according to US estimates, had amassed a personal fortune of $500,000 to $1,000,000. Though he was a protégé of Cuban army chief of staff (and future president) Fulgencio Batista, Benitez's self-enrichment through corruption had fueled sufficient resentment in the Cuban government to bring about his resignation.

More than money, corruption, and internal power struggles were at work in Cuba. Like the United States and the Americas in general, Cuba struggled with the Great Depression. Many Cubans resented the relatively large number of refugees (including 2,500 Jews), whom the government had already admitted into the country, because they appeared to be competitors for scarce jobs. Hostility toward immigrants fueled both antisemitism and xenophobia. Both agents of Nazi Germany and indigenous right-wing movements hyped the immigrant issue in their publications and demonstrations, claiming that incoming Jews were Communists. Two of the papers—Diario de la Marina, owned by the influential Rivero family, and Avance, owned by the Zayas family, had supported the Spanish fascist leader General Francisco Franco, who, after a three-year civil war, had just overthrown the Spanish Republic in the spring of 1939 with the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Reports about the impending voyage fueled a large antisemitic demonstration in Havana on May 8, five days before the St. Louissailed from Hamburg. The rally, the largest antisemitic demonstration in Cuban history, had been sponsored by Grau San Martin, a former Cuban president. Grau spokesman Primitivo Rodriguez urged Cubans to "fight the Jews until the last one is driven out." The demonstration drew 40,000 spectators. Thousands more listened on the radio.

When the St. Louis arrived in Havana harbor on May 27, the Cuban government admitted 28 passengers: 22 of them were Jewish and had valid US visas; the remaining six—four Spanish citizens and two Cuban nationals—had valid entry documents. One further passenger, after attempting to commit suicide, was evacuated to a hospital in Havana. The remaining 908 passengers (one passenger had died of natural causes en route)—including one non-refugee, a Hungarian Jewish businessman—had been awaiting entry visas and carried only Cuban transit visas issued by Gonzales. 743 had been waiting to receive US visas. The Cuban government refused to admit them or to allow them to disembark from the ship.After Cuba denied entry to the passengers on the St. Louis, the press throughout Europe and the Americas, including the United States, brought the story to millions of readers throughout the world. Though US newspapers generally portrayed the plight of the passengers with great sympathy, only a few journalists and editors suggested that the refugees be admitted into the United States.

On May 28, the day after the St. Louis docked in Havana, Lawrence Berenson, an attorney representing the US-based Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), arrived in Cuba to negotiate on behalf of the St. Louis passengers. A former president of the Cuban-American Chamber of Commerce, Berenson had had extensive business experience in Cuba. He met with President Bru, but failed to persuade him to admit the passengers into Cuba. On June 2, Bru ordered the ship out of Cuban waters. Nevertheless, the negotiations continued, as the St. Louis sailed slowly toward Miami. Bru offered to admit the passengers if the JDC posted a $453,500 bond ($500 per passenger). Berenson made a counteroffer, but Bru rejected the proposal and broke off negotiations.

Sailing so close to Florida that they could see the lights of Miami, some passengers on the St. Louis cabled President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for refuge. Roosevelt never responded. The State Department and the White House had decided not to take extraordinary measures to permit the refugees to enter the United States. A State Department telegram sent to a passenger stated that the passengers must "await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States." US diplomats in Havana intervened once more with the Cuban government to admit the passengers on a "humanitarian" basis, but without success.

Quotas established in the US Immigration and Nationality Act of 1924 strictly limited the number of immigrants who could be admitted to the United States each year. In 1939, the annual combined German-Austrian immigration quota was 27,370 and was quickly filled. In fact, there was a waiting list of at least several years. US officials could only have granted visas to the St. Louis passengers by denying them to the thousands of German Jews placed further up on the waiting list. Public opinion in the United States, although ostensibly sympathetic to the plight of refugees and critical of Hitler's policies, continued to favor immigration restrictions. The Great Depression had left millions of people in the United States unemployed and fearful of competition for the scarce few jobs available. It also fueled antisemitism, xenophobia, nativism, and isolationism. A Fortune Magazine poll at the time indicated that 83 percent of Americans opposed relaxing restrictions on immigration. President Roosevelt could have issued an executive order to admit the St. Louis refugees, but this general hostility to immigrants, the gains of isolationist Republicans in the Congressional elections of 1938, and Roosevelt's consideration of running for an unprecedented third term as president were among the political considerations that militated against taking this extraordinary step in an unpopular cause.

Roosevelt was not alone in his reluctance to challenge the mood of the nation on the immigration issue. Three months before the St. Louis sailed, Congressional leaders in both US houses allowed to die in committee a bill sponsored by Senator Robert Wagner (D-N.Y.) and Representative Edith Rogers (R-Mass.). This bill would have admitted 20,000 Jewish children from Germany above the existing quota.Two smaller ships carrying Jewish refugees sailed to Cuba in May 1939. The French ship, the Flandre, carried 104 passengers; theOrduña, a British vessel, held 72 passengers. Like the St. Louis, these ships were not permitted to dock in Cuba. The Flandre turned back to its point of departure in France, while the Orduña proceeded to a series of Latin American ports. Its passengers finally disembarked in the US-controlled Canal Zone in Panama. The United States eventually admitted most of them.

Following the US government's refusal to permit the passengers to disembark, the St. Louis sailed back to Europe on June 6, 1939. The passengers did not return to Germany, however. Jewish organizations (particularly the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) negotiated with four European governments to secure entry visas for the passengers: Great Britain took 288 passengers; the Netherlands admitted 181 passengers, Belgium took in 214 passengers; and 224 passengers found at least temporary refuge in France. Of the 288 passengers admitted by Great Britain, all survived World War II save one, who was killed during an air raid in 1940. Of the 620 passengers who returned to continent, 87 (14%) managed to emigrate before the German invasion of Western Europe in May 1940. 532 St. Louis passengers were trapped when Germany conquered Western Europe. Just over half, 278 survived the Holocaust. 254 died: 84 who had been in Belgium; 84 who had found refuge in Holland, and 86 who had been admitted to France.'
#praypraypraypraypray

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Reflections 2..

Morning light after first snow dusting...
Driving down from Lookout Mountain...
Lookout Mountain..
Autumn sunset...
Autumn sunrise...
Autumn sunrise...(same trees, wider view!!)
Autumn sunset..
It is an app. It is the Diptic App. I have been playing with it for months now, and have finally found that I can enhance, or digitally alter these pics in ways which I never could have imagined! This layout of top and bottom, rather than side by side, makes the pics look like reflections into a lake, a river, a quiet sound, the ocean.  My last 'Reflections' post was well received and some of you even wanted to purchase copies, which is wonderful! These images are being held captive on my iPad for now. I usually print out all of the photos which I sell, from a Kodak kiosk. I have editorial control, the paper is Kodak X-traLife, the quality is, amazingly excellent. There have been advances in the printing process over these past couple of years, so I need to explore how far I can go with Kodak and my iPad.  I have a ton of new work, (thankfully most of it is on my camera card) just from our year and change of living in Centennial. Looks like I have my work cut out for me!!

'As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away—
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy—

A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon—

The Dusk drew earlier in—
The Morning foreign shone—
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone—

And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.'

                                                                                         – Emily Dickinson