Thanksgiving at Milton St

Not so long ago I was talking about Thanksgiving with a friend of mine. We both regretted not having such a celebration here. Our conversation went about X-mas and New Year´s eve, how people always complain about  dinners with relatives they only see when somebody marries or dies or it`s X-mas or New Year`s eve and they have to gather together, their typical discussions, fights, critical comments. But if you asked them why not celebrating it any other way, one they like better, one that might make them happier, nobody seems to be ready for such a change in their routines or customs or cultural inheritance and they all end up saying “I wish I could but I can`t”

My friend and I decided we could start a new tradition, in the spirits of Thanksgiving but with our own mark, a day we meet only with those we chose to have in our life, friends or family, it doesn`t matter, as long as they are those close to our hearts. Only our thankfulness was for sharing our lives through thick and thin and for all the hands we were given. We agreed on making it coincide with the US celebration, just to have a day of reference, close to December but before everybody gets crazy to meet you before the year comes to its end.

The best of intentions sometimes find some difficulties you didn`t see coming. It was a long weekend and most people took those days off and were out-of-town, or rather, city.

I had two choices, to put it off or to go on with the idea even if just a few friends could make it. And I decided to go on because my friends and I are happy to be together  regardless the number of attendees. Besides, it`s a new tradition and it takes time for it to stick.

We had a good time, even if Marie screamed when Thom went to answer the door while I was in the kitchen. It was all about a big plastic spider I had on the wall !!!

the spider

We had a good time. Little by little the energy in Milton St is changing.


I´ve been given two awards since I started to write my  blog and I feel that I have to thank my two friends for such an honor and apologize for not passing the honor to other fellow bloggers.

It´s just that it´s very difficult for me, to chose. Hope you can understand.

Thanks Lisa, (Read Notes from Africa )

Thanks KJS. (Read Funky Wellies Random Thoughts )


Life ~ surprises

A regular Friday at work. Everybody happy because we have a long weekend ahead. The telephone barely rang so I had some extra time to do all the paperwork that I can´t when days are more hectic.

Finally, I got a phone call from one of our retailers. Not from the man I usually talk to if not another employee. We were on the phone for a while. Suddenly she asked me if I had studied at Icana and I said yes, I did. Why? She then told me her name again and I remembered exactly who she was. We had been classmates.

It was a big surprise, she said that my name was familiar but she knew who I was when she heard me laugh. We spent some time catching up, last time we saw each other was 1997!!

But then I got another surprise when she told me that in all these years, every time she had a job interview, she thought of me and remembered what I used to tell her about hunting for a job and the way to behave in the interviews. Thing is that I´ve had more jobs interviews than I can remember since I used to work as a temp and changed jobs every two months. So I was kind of expert!!

It was really unexpected but it felt good to know that my words of advice really helped her in her career and that I was present in her life even when I was not there. It was a happy ending for my Friday at work.

1997 from left to right standing Mariana, the woman who phoned and then me, with the non Halloween hat

friends ~ when you are not sure about the answers

Once I was browsing through a women´s magazine and I found an article about types of personality. It was one of those shallows articles with a very silly test where you have to punctuate answers and then see the result in the next page to find out you are the loving kind, the low self esteem kind or some of the kind.

One of the questions was “how would your friends describe you?” and I thought it odd since that´s the type of question you have to ask my friends, not me. How would I know?

How would I know? the question remained.

Later that day I met some friends and I mentioned this article and the question and we played this silly game of trying to describe ourselves in a few words. Silly or not, it turned into something more serious as the descriptions started to flow.

Some of them were surprised at the adjectives they got, some of them nodded in agreement when heard the descriptions, we discussed aspects of our personalities and ended up talking about some important matters.

When it was my turn (to be described) there was a moment of silence. Either I was indescribable or they were afraid to tell me something that might hurt my feelings. It was a long moment for me.

Pause. The first friend talked and used adjectives such as unconventional, rebel, somebody ventured quirky but I sensed they were trying to find a word and they couldn´t for some reason.

Finally, one of them said very seriously “you are a question mark” and we all looked at each other. Another moment of silence and then we burst with laughter, we almost choked! Thing is that they all agreed it was the best description ever.

I was never really sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing but from that moment on, every time somebody asks me to describe myself in a few words I say “I´m a question mark” and the answer always leads to a different aspect of that mark.



Friends ~ hunting for fun

My friend Ellen and I started a project in January. Basically, we have to find ten items to photograph in the city. We called this project “Scavenger hunt”. Well, she did since she came up with the idea.

We´ve been photographing objects or people since then and it´s been so much fun. I have mentioned this project in previous blogs and I posted my pictures, but I´ve been told it´d be fun to see both pictures together.

So I selected some items and made a collage. My pictures are the ones with frame and Ellen´s without frame .
1. a glass ceiling
2. a bird
3. an alley
4. a tall building
5. wires
6. a fun ad

Scavenger hunt ~ Spokane, US vs Buenos Aires, RA

friends ~ all the way to China

One thing you should know about me: I´m absentminded. Maybe I´ve told you already, really don´t remember. Anyway, absentminded me went to Chinatown on Sunday to attend the Chinese New Year celebration. Needless to say, to take some pictures too.

As luck had it, after the fifth shot my camera ran out of battery. Somehow I had forgotten to recharge it the night before and on top of that I had left the charger at home. And I don´t have a second battery. So I sobbed for a while and went around taking imaginary pictures with my eyes.

When I came back home a friend of mine dropped by. She wanted to know all about the celebrations and was excited about seeing the pictures.  I said the only thing I had to show her was a Chinese hat that I had bought at the festival. And five pics.

She saw the “sad” look on my face when I said things like “battery dead” or “no pictures”. She knows me and knows how disappointing it is for me to be in a wonderful place seeing wonderful things and not being able to share the images with my friends. 

I was in the kitchen looking for a corkscrew when I turned around and saw my friend that had put the hat on while pretending to be a Chinese lady, walking with short steps and talking with  short syllables. She said “take your camera” and posed for these pictures in such a fun way that I couldn´t help but laughing.  She said she could not make me go back in time but she could be a Chinese lady for a moment to make me laugh and wipe the sad look off my face.

And these are the type of moments that I treasure forever. We tend to talk about friendship and the big gestures, the friends that are with us while we are going through really bad times, the heroic friends that save us in times of hardship. And we somehow fail to mention with the same emphasis that friendship is about these small acts of love, like comforting a friend when sad even if the sadness is caused by something so irrelevant in the eyes of the world like a camera running out of battery in a festival.

friends ~ little actions

A long time ago a friend of mine was in trouble. Nothing serious but she didn´t know what to do. So I listened and asked her a series of questions as regards her problem. All of a sudden she said “got it! Thanks”. I hadn´t offered a piece of advice, I hadn´t found the solution, yet she thanked me. Years later, she was in trouble again and she came to me. Once again, I listened, asked her questions and she was the one that found a solution. And she thanked me again.

When we finished our studies, I didn´t see her again. Nothing in particular, just life I guess. It´s been more than 20 years since the last time we saw each other.

The other day I ran into her. It was a nice surprise! We didn´t have time to go for a coffee or something so we chatted in the street and tried to catch up in half an hour. She asked me what I was doing and was surprised to learn  that I was working for a company and that I hadn´t pursued any field related to our initial studies. She said that she always remembered me and had imagined that I had gone into psychology or counseling or something like this.

I asked her why and she said she always referred to me as “her Socrates”, the girl who always guided her to find an answer on her own instead of giving it to her. She said that I had helped her more than any other person because she had learnt how to ask herself the right question and had profited from that skill throughout her life.



Imagine my surprise!! I didn´t know what to say. We waved goodbye. I took the subway and I couldn´t help but thinking about our little actions. And how our little actions can do either harm or good to a person without us being aware of it. . I never thought at the time that I was giving somebody a long-lasting lesson. I´m just glad that my little actions had a positive outcome and not the other way around.