Hymie’s Nose

Saturday, February 27th, 2021

This is Hymie. Hymie is nearly four, which is young for a doll, but he has had a rough life. He spent two years in a bed that was right next to a very large window with direct southern sun. The sun shone through the window on him all day. The fabric on his body and clothing (and the fabric on the bed linens) faded immensely and began to break down. I have never seen such rapid fabric breakdown! The part of Hymie that was under his clothing stayed in good condition, but his clothing went from a deep, rich green to an old, faded green. The nose, always a tender spot, got a small hole made worse by intense rubbing.




At my Akiva’s school, in kindergarten, they have a doll-party day each March. Hymie is really quite shy. He does not want to go, especially in such an embarrassing condition.​ Akiva said that he would rather borrow a strange doll than bring Hymie! I had promised to re-do Hymie by Akiva’s birthday, but will not have my son borrowing a strange doll for the party. Hymie will have new skin within the week.

Tire Swing, School Yard

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

Once upon a time when Gramps was big and I was littler than Akiva (as the story would begin, as told to my children), Cate & Dan & I went to a playground somewhere near our old house in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Ari and Mom were probably there, too. Which is to say, I am certain Mom walked us there & she wouldn’t have gone without Ari, tho I certainly don’t remember Ari being there at all. What I do remember is the tire swing.





I remember Cate & Dan were playing on the tire swing. They were swinging wildly back & forth, laughing loudly. I remember I wanted to play, too, but they wouldn’t let me. Or perhaps I tried but they immediately swung too wildly before I got a grip, and I cried to be let off. Or maybe I cried for them to stop so that I could get a grip on the chains, and they told me to get off. Or maybe Mom took me off, but either way, I wasn’t on the tire swing. I wanted to be on the tire swing, but I had to wait until they were done.





After what seemed like an interminable amount of time but was likely only eleven hours hours or perhaps ten minutes, Cate and Dan jumped off the tire swing and ran away. I didn’t like the fact that they ran away from me any more than the fact that they played on the tire swing without me. Mom said it was my turn, so I had to get on.





The problem with swinging on a tire swing alone when one is three or four years old is that it is nearly impossible.1 Whereas Cate & Dan had each other to pump with, I had no one. I knew how to pump a swing standing up, so I tried to pump the tire swing. As I pumped I must have leaned slightly to one side, because the tire swing began to spin. I didn’t want it to spin. I crouched toward the center to get a better grip on the chains, and the tire swing began to spin faster! I leaned in further so as to keep from flying off. The swing spun faster and faster! The world was a blur! I could not stop it! I started to scream. Mom must have thought I was screaming in delight, as she did nothing to save me. I started to cry, and the swing kept swinging, faster, faster! It was horrible! I wanted to stop! No one was helping me!





After far too long, the swing stopped spinning. Maybe Mom had stopped it.


“Are you done?” Mom asked.

I was crying too hard to answer her, so I walked away a little bit and collapsed on the ground.2





    1. The average age to overcome the impossibility of swinging one’s self on a tire swing is five.
    2. Β If I was annoyed at Mom for not saving me immediately, I had the right to be so, at least for 10 minutes. Akiva, on the other hand, has the right to be annoyed at me between the ages of puberty until his mid-thirties for letting him wear knee-socks, shorts, & loafers on the playground at age five.

Little Yellow House

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019