Posted on Thursday, January 17th
Reread a passage in the Neapolitan Novels in which the author describes an impaired woman washing the common stairs in the apartment building in which she lived.
’I Remember Mama’ doing that.
Not only did she wash our flight, she washed the flight of the elderly woman who lived above us.
On one’s knees or bent double.
Starting at the top step scrubbing with brush from a tub of bleached water.
Step after step.
Must be changed.
Return to standing.
Walking up or down the stairs to dump the dirty water into the outside toilet. (None of us in that neighborhood had showers or baths, we had toilets, only, in the common stairwell.)
Then to the kitchen to refill the tub
Back to the last clean step.
Inside the tenement buildings of Boston’s Italian North End was total cleanliness, from the common staircase to the last room.
That same sense of cleanliness and orderliness did not spill over into the streets of the neighborhood.
Distastefully I recall garbage-strewn streets and alleys.
The general acceptance of the conditions.
Life is harder for some than others.
When we’re young we don’t know that others have it easier.
Perhaps because easier doesn’t always equate with better.
Old world patriarchies fixed it so the women were up before the men and children to get them all ready for school and/or work.
The women worked all day in the kitchen, doing errands, doing chores.
Fed the kids lunch.
Fed the family supper, jumping up and down from the table to fetch this or that.
And while everyone excused themselves to go to one or another activity, the woman kept working to wash the dishes and put everything away.
Men had it going.
Once in a while my mother would complain, reciting the longest poem she ever knew by heart.
”A man may work from sun to sun
But a woman’s work is never done.”
My mother, the radical.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
My 280th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Thursday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 26* with a feels-like temperature of 22 under sunny skies during the day.
At night it will cloud over and pose a 50% chance of snow, although not a lot.
Diner is Turkey Salad Sandwich.
Question of the day:
What is the Everglades National Park?
Love your notes.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regarding your son's reaction ("He hurts my eyes") to his age-mate's tennis playing, I can only think of my own reaction to hearing Bob Dylan sing (if you can call it that). He quite literally hurts my ears. I won't deny the power of the songs he has written, but I cannot bear to listen to him caterwaul the same, lonely five notes he's ever learned. The rest of the world may sing his praises, and most of it does. But I cannot, and am willing to walk that path alone.
Web Meister Responds: Many people felt that way about Bob, especially when he first burst on the scene. I always felt his astounding ability to write songs was matched by a voice that supplemented what he tried to say.
If you want to judge him as a singer only, listen to him sing the duet of his “Girl from the North Country” with Johnny Cash whose gravelly voice was more mainstream.
Answer to Question of the day:
What is the Everglades National Park?
Everglades National Park is an American national park that protects the southern twenty percent of the original Everglades in Florida.
The park is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States, and the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River.
An average of one million people visit the park each year.
Everglades is the third-largest national park in the contiguous United States after Death Valley and Yellowstone.
UNESCO declared the Everglades & Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve in 1976, and listed the park as a World Heritage Site in 1979, while the Ramsar Convention included the park on its list of Wetlands of International Importance in 1987.
Everglades is one of only three locations in the world to appear on all three lists.
Most national parks preserve unique geographic features; Everglades National Park was the first created to protect a fragile ecosystem.
The Everglades are a network of wetlands and forests fed by a river flowing 0.25 miles (0.40 km) per day out of Lake Okeechobee, southwest into Florida Bay.
The park is the most significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds in North America and contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere.
Thirty-six threatened or protected species inhabit the park, including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee, along with 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles.
The majority of South Florida's fresh water, which is stored in the Biscayne Aquifer, is recharged in the park.
Humans have lived for thousands of years in or around the Everglades.
Plans arose in 1882 to drain the wetlands and develop the land for agricultural and residential use.
As the 20th century progressed, water flow from Lake Okeechobee was increasingly controlled and diverted to enable explosive growth of the South Florida metropolitan area.
The park was established in 1934, to protect the quickly vanishing Everglades, and dedicated in 1947, as major canal building projects were initiated across South Florida.
The ecosystems in Everglades National Park have suffered significantly from human activity, and restoration of the Everglades is a politically charged issue in South Florida.
While they are common in the northern portion of Florida, no underground springs feed water into the Everglades system.
An underground reservoir called the Floridan aquifer lies about 1,000 feet (300 m) below the surface of South Florida.
The Everglades has an immense capacity for water storage, owing to the permeable limestone beneath the exposed land.
Most of the water arrives in the form of rainfall, and a significant amount is stored in the limestone. Water evaporating from the Everglades becomes rain over metropolitan areas, providing the fresh water supply for the region.
Water also flows into the park after falling as rain to the north onto the watersheds of the Kissimmee River and other sources of Lake Okeechobee, to appear in the Everglades days later.
Water overflows Lake Okeechobee into a river 40 to 70 miles (64 to 113 km) wide, which moves almost imperceptibly.
Most of the central region has a savanna climate while regions closer to shore have a monsoon climate, mainly the eastern quarter of the park.
Both climates are characterized by two seasons: wet and dry.
The park's dry season lasts from December to April, when temperatures vary from 56–77 °F (13–25 °C) and humidity is low.
Since water levels are low at that time, animals congregate at central water locations, providing good opportunities for viewing wildlife.
During the wet season from May to November, temperatures are consistently above 90 °F (32 °C) and humidity over 90 percent.
Storms can drop 10–12 inches (250–300 mm) of rain at a time, providing half the year's average of 60 inches (150 cm) of rainfall in just two months.
Good morning on this Friday, the 16th day of January.
We learned a little sociology, Italian-American North End of Boston mores.
We updated our time and calendar entries.
We enjoyed a note from Sally re: grace and Bob Dylan.
And we featured the Florida Everglades.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.