Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Over the past few weeks I have been thinking of the letters I have written, sent and unsent, and the letters I have received throughout my life. The reason for this reflection has been a memory book that my cousins and I compiled for our Aunts-Mick and Connie.
When we began planning the book, we immediately knew we would include memories of Grandpa John and Grandma Esther as well as the picnics and holidays we spent together as children. And then, the Workman cousins asked for memories of their sister Cynthia who we lost way too soon in our lives. I was 21 when she died of complications from pneumonia and kidney failure, so was she. They were much younger, the oldest 15 and the youngest, just 7 years old.
Their request made me realize that they too had lost someone way too soon. When I sat down to write that short essay I realized that one of the things I cherished most about my cousin Cynthia was her passion for writing letters to stay in touch. When she and her family moved farther away from us, and she didn’t see her cousins as often, she devised a “round robin” letter writing campaign, so that Peg, she and I could stay in touch by writing a letter a month. She would start the progression, send it to me because she knew I was the procrastinator in the group and then, I then would send it on to Peg, who would write her contribution and send it all back to Cynthia who would then write the next month’s beginning letter, include Peg’s. and send it all to me. How I looked forward to the mailman towards the end of the month when I knew a letter should be arriving soon.
Lo and behold, today, I received an email from her older brother who tells me he has a box of the letters she sent to him, and he will gladly share them with Peg and me. To dwell in the past is not a good thing to do, but to be able to travel back to another place and time when you were young opens a connection to people that were very special and important to you and that is a good thing.
How often, when I open a box of the cards and letters that I did keep. I wish that I had kept just a few more of the everyday missives that I received from friends and relatives. I kept many of the letters my best friend Beth wrote to me when I was in college because she always included them with a card that made me laugh or remembered some event that she and I had shared together. She on the other hand, had a mother who saved a box of “school notes” that she wrote to me and other friends. Of course, it again had that “round robin” effect.
The year I had my heart attack I went to spend a week with Beth and her family. She opened that box and we spent a joyous afternoon, laughing until we cried, crying until we laughed because there was some sadness included in the writing of those notes. In the end, she and I were amazed at what we saw then as being obstacles and incidents that had the possibility of changing our lives forever, were in the here and now, not so important after all.
I guess that my intention for writing this post is to warn those of you who have the tendency to purge the past out of your lives periodically to be sure that you ask the question “Will I wish I had kept this letter, note or card when I am sixty four?
Categories: NEO News
The Bullitt Center in Seattle has been called the greenest building in the world. Its developer, Chris Rogers of Point32, credits the Bullitt Foundation, which subscribed to the Living Building Challenge, a paradigm shifting green building process that Rogers says, "goes way beyond LEED."
Living Buildings put in to bricks and mortar (or bio-based materials) the vision that two decades ago the likes of architect Bill McDonough and futurist David Orr spun from beautiful prose in to the first generation of green buildings. The vision was always to design buildings that act like a tree, that are abundant, producing more than taking. How will the Bullitt Center, which embodies those ideals, shift the paradigm in how we build?
"I think would be great if we were the greenest building in the world—for a week," Rogers told the Building with Nature Symposium which is introducing new ideas about building for the future in to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's rebuilding process. "What we learned can be replicated, but you need to look at local conditions to fit with your climate and culture."
Categories: NEO Environment
"We want a building that itself embodies how we can live in the future, in a highly sustainable way," Cleveland Museum of Natural History Director Evalyn Gates explained to 450 attendees the purpose of the museum's Building with Nature symposium, a free and open to the public event at the museum today. "Our experience with the SmartHome showed us that we want a (new) building that cost less to operate and maintain and will inspire all of us about how we live on this planet."
To inspire the museum to reach for the stars, Dr. Gates, an astrophysicist, and GreenCityBlueLake Institute Director David Beach assembled a high wattage panel—from the designer of literally the world's greenest building to the country's foremost experts on energy who figured out how to green the renovation of the Empire State Building. These are big thinkers but also the 'do-ers' -- practitioners who have faced skepticism and long odds and in the end broke new ground for all of us. That list started with Curtis Fentress whose firm is the architect of record for the Museum's proposed redevelopment and addition.
Categories: NEO Environment
Why is Case Western Reserve University supporting Gig.U? Universities have a critical role to play in the R&D efforts of... lsg8 http://blog.case.edu/lsg8/ email@example.com
Categories: NEO Blogs
I have no comment on this. I just wanted a placeholder to mark the date. From Sam Ruby: Microdata: [Microformats...
Flash vs. Silverlight: What Suits Your Needs Best?: You're doin' it wrong...