Good Vibrations

We had our first full day of sunshine here in Sevilla after more than a week of mostly cloudy and rainy. All four cats — Dudo, Moose, San Geraldo, and I — have been really happy.

I’ve been talking and emailing daily with The Dowager Duchess. Things continue to improve in her co-op. On Election Day, The Duchess was determined to vote come hell or high water (well, I suppose it was despite hell and high water). Her building had electricity provided by an emergency generator but no elevators were yet running. So, The Duchess decided to walk down all 16 flights of stairs (and back up again) to cast her vote. Her next door neighbor was already in the lobby. He phoned her and said he would walk up 8 flights to meet her and walk back down with her so they could go out to vote together. (If he weren’t Buddhist, I’d be granting him sainthood.) To her surprise, when The Duchess left her apartment an elevator light was on. She pressed the button and the elevator immediately arrived. There were a few people inside so she joined them, figuring if she got stuck at least she’d have company. She didn’t get stuck and she caught her neighbor before he walked up eight flights of stairs. The Duchess and Good-Karma-Neighbor went to my high school a couple of blocks away to vote. The Duchess was shocked to see the impact of the storm from ground level. Today, the Kid Brother was there and we Skyped before they headed out for lunch.



Another friend of mine from high school, whom I haven’t seen since late 1971, now lives a rural life quite a bit north of NYC. We knew and liked each other in high school, taking some of the same art classes, but we never socialized outside school. My primary social group was not from within my own high school. Clearly, I missed out on a lot.


Rosalinda and I re-found each other via Facebook in late 2009. She still has the old family home in my mother’s neighborhood and she and her husband Ray drove down early in the week to inspect the damage. It was not good news. In the midst of their responsibilities, concerns, and personal heartbreak, they walked up 16 flights of stairs Monday afternoon to visit with my mother. They had never met and the Duchess enjoyed every minute with them. She said she was so grateful for the wonderful company that she thinks she spent the entire hour talking and didn’t give them much opportunity.

My mother has nothing but good things to say about the volunteers and emergency workers all around her. She has been stunned by the generosity and kindness of people who were strangers to her before this event. Rosalinda, Ray, Bonnie, Howie, my amazing friends, my mother’s neighbor’s, a few members of my family and Jerry’s, my blogging friends, to name but a few, have overwhelmed me (and my mother) with their kindness. This week (and this life) would have been empty without them. You are all an inspiration.

Good Vibrations

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

27 thoughts on “Good Vibrations”

  1. Good Vibrations, indeed! Glad to hear about The Dowager Duchess and Kid Brother. I was concerned with the snow added to their problems.

    Sunshine makes me happy….

    1. I should say, "Sunshine on my shoulder make me happy". Never could remember the words.

      Also, I really like your picture.

  2. Great vibes, man! It always amazes me on hearing these stories of the bravery and 'community' spirit that surfaces after a tragedy!

  3. Hello Mitch:
    This is all good news indeed. It really is in such situations as these when people come together in the most extraordinary of ways. One's faith in human kindness is restored many times over when one reads about these small acts, in themselves insignificant, but which contribute so much when people are in distress. We are so pleased that some form of normality is returning and that your family is safe and well.

    1. Jane and Lance:
      You're so right about having faith restored. These wonderful people are truly an inspiration. My mother emailed yesterday that she had been out shopping (wasn't much to be found) and returned home to find the heat was working. Major progress!

  4. Oh, my, my, my! Mitch, this has literally brought tears to my eyes, and I'm all choked up 🙂 Such great people around. Dowager Duchess, if you're reading this, we are all so relieved to know that you are safe and that there is much improvement. And what a great person you are to be so determined to vote! (As I'm typing this, there is a news story playing on NPR and I think I just heard something about "Rockaway, Queens") Rosalinda, if you're reading this, what a gem you are, too! Woo hooo!

  5. How many people a half, a third, a quarter the DD's age would even THINK about climbing up and down 16 flights of stairs to vote?
    She is an inspiration……
    And so are your friends who stopped by to see her.
    I love good news stories and these made my day!

  6. I'm so relieved that your mom came through the ordeal without suffering too many problems. That she got the bonus of new friends and neighbors is wonderful! BTW, that was an awesome head of hair!

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      My mother was very fortunate to come through this all so well. Not everyone was so lucky, but I hope they've been as blessed with kindness.

      It's really hard to believe I used to have so much hair! The sides can still grow like that. The top… What top?

  7. That's good news!

    p.s. – when is the first legal action due? Someone is bound to decide that the election was rigged, with so many people being otherwise-enabled re access or busy rebuilding homes …

    1. Owl Wood:
      I don't think there's been any fights over rigging (although some have complained that the Hurricane denied the Republicans of many votes… even though the impacted areas were heavily Democrat).

      I read this morning, however, that 20 states have submitted petitions to secede from the Union. Only Texas had enough signatures (25,000!!!) to legally warrant a response from the White House. But, still…

  8. Hey, I have a cat that looks a lot like yours! Preeeeetty!

    Whoa, you had LOTS of hair! 😛

    I'm glad the Duchess continues to do well and has positive things to say about the volunteers and those helping in the relief effort.

    Lastly, I hope you have a good week!

    1. Debora:
      Our cats are apparently "Common Europeans"! Yes, I had SO much hair; I used to complain about how much hair I had. Now???

      The Duchess has been amazing. Only positive things to say about everyone. So many others are quick to find someone to blame.

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