DoYo Snow

Snow in DoYo

It’s warm and snowing in D0Y0 (Downtown Youngstown) so I went for a walk in this wintry wonderland. The roads are a mess. Sometimes, it is safer to walk than ride. Unless, of course, your transportation is a human powered sled going down the same hill over and over again.

Best enjoy while you can as temps drop to insanely bitter cold again on Monday.

Thanks for reading!

Hibernation Contemplation

Okay, just thoughts… as wicked winds sweep through the concrete canyons of downtown Youngstown, splitting at the intersection of Market and Boardman Streets to whip flags to fly in different directions, and snow blows when it may, I savor the solitude of winter hibernation.

Cabin Fever is never an issue.  I have more than enough to keep myself busy, mainly photos to snap and dozens of listings to write up and post as I slowly stock the virtual shelves  in my new web store. (That, I write about on my biz blog, YBWorks. This blog is my personal blog… where I can write about anything.) There is always something to do as temps drop bitter cold.

I like being alone, as in solitude is when things get done.

It is also a good time to think. My thoughts wander on their own, sift and sort and draw conclusions free from distractions of social interactions.

I have determined that the only way I can continue to live in this apartment building is by distancing myself from the group home mentality that goes on here. It is “senior housing” for elderly and disabled persons, but it is not an assisted living type facility. It is an apartment building. I rented an apartment in this building, just as I would rent an apartment anywhere else. It is not a “room” as I heard a security guard refer to someone’s apartment, nor am I a “resident” who “stays” here. I am a tenant. I live in a rented apartment. Terms used to describe things are important. Words are important.

This is not my first rental rodeo… I’ve lived in many apartments over the years, had over a dozen different landlords, and never had a landlord’s management staff so involved in their tenant’s lives. Therefore, I must take steps to maintain an appropriate tenant/landlord relationship with the staff here. That means that I cannot participate in activities planned for residents. I know that they are trying to provide social interaction opportunities and helpful services for elderly and disabled people who may otherwise go without, but the line between property management and running an unlicensed facility sometimes gets blurred.  I feel like I’m in a group home with my visitors monitored, that the file the service coordinator wants to update is my client file, so no… I cannot go to bingo or anything else going on here. For my own mental health, I have to pretend that this is a NORMAL apartment building. Otherwise, I will have to exit sooner than planned.

Yes, I have an exit plan.  Management may be happy to read that I plan to move out someday (yes, read… I heard that links were shared after I wrote about the sensor issues.) Family will be happy, as the frequency of fire trucks called to this location (mostly for minor kitchen smoke) makes them worry about me being trapped in a major fire here. But, that is NOT why I am moving. My reasons are personal. I am looking down the barrel at the last twenty years of my life (if I’m lucky to live so long) and making decisions about where and how I want to spend my golden years.

To execute my plan, I have to downsize and raise some serious moving cash. It will take some time… maybe a year or two, but it feels good to have a plan.

Tomorrow will be another frigid day.  I tried to snap a cell photo of how the winds whip flags in different directions back in daylight (yesterday, as it is after midnight) but snow fog obscures the view of flags flying atop the courthouse. Here it is…


No matter how you slice it, the winds flowing through the concrete canyons are COLD!

Thanks for reading!

Black & White

“I’m not black,” said DJ, age ye 11. “I’m Indian, Puerto Rican, white, and black.”

I’m not white. I am low Irish, dirty Dutch, Johnny Bull, and a squelch of Welsh. And that’s just on my father’s side, and worded as my grandmother told me.

The child is right. Cultural diversity cannot be summed up into one word based on general assumptions, predominant features, skin tones, accents, or language. White this, black that, anyone who speaks Spanish must be from Mexico… but that is what racial profiling does.

True, culture and race are not the same thing. I learned that on my first Thanksgiving away from home. Those white people ate some really weird food, traditional holiday fare for their heritage, which was completely different than what is traditional in mine.

Just saying we need to be more open minded, to stop trying to fence people into tidy little check boxes.  Life is not monotone. Take this color photograph, snapped in downtown Youngstown by DJ last summer. At first glance, it looks like a black and white image. It’s not.

Photo credit: DJ 2014

Photo credit: DJ 2014