Random Thoughts

My rambling thoughts at dawn

... a wandering mind as the rooster crows.

by Eleanor Jenkins

There must be some rooster blood in me as it seems like I have to be up and
about before the sun comes up over the horizon. I try delaying that ultimate
moment when my feet hit the floor by letting my mind wander. This morning as
my mind wandered it wondered what story I could create to submit to the
Melrose Mirror. This has been an essential change in my life. I am sure if you
asked any of the Silverstringers about this idea they would agree with me.

Sixteen years ago, I knew where Boston was, after all my daughter was going to
college there, but I had never heard of Melrose. My daughter Karen and husband
Steve found their new home in that town, and the rest of the family soon
learned what a great place they had chosen to call home. We would love to make
frequent visits there. Indeed we started heading north several times a year
and still do. But in 1999 something else happened to me that has changed my
whole perspective on what to do with my spare time.

There was an article in our local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, about a
group of senior citizens in a small town in Massachusetts that created the
Melrose Mirror. I read the article, pulled it up on the computer with
philly.com and emailed it to my daughter Karen. She immediately responded that
she had been helping with cleanup at the Ell Pond the previous weekend and
there was a woman there who would be writing her story for the Melrose Mirror.
(It was Natalie Thompson). She encouraged Karen to look for it and lo and
behold her mom found it first. I found Natalie's story and she had even
mentioned Karen and her dog Russell in the article.

So began a relationship between me and the Melrose Mirror.

Back in 1999 when this happened, the Melrose Mirror had a series of articles
on walking tours in Melrose. I read them all and printed them out. On my next
visit to Melrose, Karen took days off and she, Russell and I did all of the
walking tours except the one in the high hills. That tour, Karen took me in
her car. I was beginning to feel at  home in this town.

Soon I decided I would love to meet all of these folks whose creations I had
been reading.

I don't remember who I  contacted originally, but later there was an exchange
of emails with Don Norris. With his help we arranged for a time when I would
be in Melrose to attend a Silverstringer's meeting. When the time came, Karen
took the afternoon off from work, and we drove to the senior center. We were
welcomed by (Director) Jack Beckley and he introduced us to the few members
who were there early. I think when we finally sat around the table, Karen was
on my left and my now good buddy Russ (Priestley) was on my right. I thought
he looked like a grumpy old geezer, not the cartoonist he claims to be. Karen
pointed out Natalie across the room as the woman she spoke to at Ell Pond.
That day was a big day for one of the Driscoll brothers and all of the
Driscolls were there in abundance. It was a wonderful day for that family and
we felt blessed that we were able to be there. Every one was so friendly and
made us feel part of the group.

We talked about how I had learned of their existence and I promised to write
something about that when I got home. At home again, I did write it up, but
for several months I didn't see anything about it any where. So I contacted
the person I was told to send it to and was told she never received it, so I  
sent it again. That time it was received and was included in the next issue of
the Mirror. I became a regular reader of the Mirror after that and looked
forward to perhaps writing something some time later. Well my Melroseian
daughter and I did a mother-daughter trip in Virginia and I did write that
story and submitted it. Following that story I was allowed to be considered a
foreign correspondent, which I proudly tell all of my friends here in
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and any where else I have friends who would
like to see my new creations. I even have a friends in the Netherlands and in
Mexico who read the Melrose Mirror on a regular basis just to see what their
old collegue/instructor is up to these days.

Now each morning, I try to think of something interesting to write about but
am not always successful. I am beginning to repeat myself which I am told is a
thing that my age group has a tendency to do. So before anything is submitted
for publication, I will have to search through my long list of items that are
listed here under my name to be sure that I haven't repeated myself and hope
that one of the other Silverstringers can say,"Hey Eleanor get with it and
stop being and old fuddy duddy yourself. That has been going through my mind
this morning.

It is now just after the end of July and again another morning up before the
roosters began to crow, where ever they are, I am here with my rambling
thoughts. We are in the midst of a severe heat wave and I have been spending
my waking hours in the one of only two rooms in my house that are air
conditioned. I will try to do some creative writing today for the next issue
of the Mirror. Many ideas are wandering around in my head, and once I find
that one I will start to write something down and think of it being a new
idea, I will check to see if it is another "been there, done that", before the
final counting.
Thank you Silverstringers for helping me embark on a new career.

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