Fresh In Frederick

Missing Summer

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

I had big plans for this summer -- weekly swimming, visits to pick-your-own farms, a trip to the beach, maid-of-honor duties for my best friend -- but things didn't quite work out the way I planned.

In the last month or so, I've been outside only about six times. I've been otherwise occupied, you could say, getting to know the lovely medical personnel of two different hospitals, one them being our very own Frederick Memorial Hospital, which as I mentioned in my last post, is actually a pretty nice place, especially in comparison to the other hospital that I will not name.

Fortunately, there's no need to worry. I'm doing okay; I'm healthy. Without going into too much detail, I'll just say I have a little something broken that I need time to heal from.

However, that means that I need to rest so that can happen. And THAT means all my plans have to be put on hold.

I'm also a bit sad that I'm missing out on all the Frederick-y things I love to do -- walking around downtown, going to the art shows in our various galleries and shops or to the concerts at the bandshell, checking out the Great Frederick Float, etc. -- and have written some about over the years.

As disappointed as I am by the situation, which to me means I'm missing summer, I see a super bright side -- I have not had to experience any of the hot-as-the-sun days we've had recently (so no sunburn!), I haven't had to worry about getting caught in the seemingly every-other-day thunderstorms, and I haven't had a single mosquito bite in weeks. Simple pleasures, indeed!

Still, I'll be glad to be back up and about (even in the heat!) and seeing what's new.

Neighborhood Care

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at Frederick Memorial Hospital as a patient--first, for an emergency room visit and again several weeks later for three days.

The emergency room visit was as I expected--a long and boring wait for my turn to be seen. However, the seats were comfortable, several windows allowed in quite a bit of natural light adding a bit of cheer to the fluorescent-lit room, and there were plenty of outlets were I could charge up my phone or plug in my laptop had I had it with me.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the ER rooms (booths? cubicles?) themselves, but then, they are meant to be utilitarian, rather than lovely or comfortable. That being said, I did feel that I had more privacy than I've had in other ERs. At least until some random guy walked in and pulled back my curtain looking for (I think) a lost cell phone. A nurse quickly attended to him, but the incident was a bit disturbing. I was glad I was not at that moment changing into a gown or being examined.

On a tangentially-related side note, why is it that nobody in Frederick seems to realize that it might be a good idea to knock on closed doors to things like bathrooms or dressing room, or to call out a warning or greeting or something before whipping back a closed curtain? Curtains of course have no locks, and sometimes bathroom and dressing rooms have defective locks that the occupant may know nothing about until someone bursts in upon them. (I'm looking at you Transit Center Bathroom.) Come on people, it won't hurt you to take a few seconds for common courtesy!

Back to my topic...when I was finally seen after many, many hours (arrived at 7 pm, left well after 1 am), the medical professional were, well, professional, but demonstrated actual concern, and were surprisingly warm and friendly. While I'd rather not ever have to go back to the ER, if I did, I'd certain choose to come here.

On my more recent unexpectedly extended stay (it was supposed to be only overnight and ended up three days), I discovered the joy of getting to know the lovely ladies who were my nurses and seeing and talking with my doctors. The doctors were wicked busy, but made the time to come see me between attending to more seriously needy patients, often more than once. And my nurses...let me just say that they made me feel like I was being taken care of in my own home (of course all the remodeling FMH has done helps with the atmosphere) and by the time I left the hospital, they made me feel like they were all my friends.

I've been since transferred to another hospital, and while the folks here are professional and kind, they're so not the FMH nurses and really feel like I'm in a hospital.

At some point, I'll probably end up back at FMH for one reason or another, but that's okay, not just because I'm back in Frederick, but because even at the hospital they'll make me feel like I'm at home.

THANK YOU TO MY DOCTORS AND NURSES!!!!

First Saturday Brings out the Stupid?

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

Don't get me wrong; I love the First Saturday events -- the activities, the music, the themes -- but I do not love the crowds.

And it's not so much the number of people moving as almost a single mass of humanity down Market and Patrick Streets.

What it is, is the surprisingly large numbers of individual doing reckless and dangerous things, most of which involve the blatant disregard of the basic safety rules of street crossing.

True, some of the folks are just distracted by the musicians, artists or other set-ups along the street, so they fail to look both ways before crossing the street. Or they fail to even notice that the light for them is RED.

But many more, aren't really preoccupied; they PURPOSELY cross on red, while cars are coming at them, then they hold up their hands as though they have the right to be there in the thoroughfare, or are directing traffic, or as though they really believe the driver will stop.

Lucky for them, this is Frederick. Let one of them try that in D.C. -- they'd at the least get honked at -- or in Philadelphia, where the driver might just get and evil gleam in their eye and gun it.

My favorite though, I say sarcastically, are the two men I encountered yesterday afternoon. Traffic on Market Street, as usual for a First Saturday, was stop-and-go, and many people took advantage of the momentary stoppages to cross the street. However, NOT during one of those moments, while the car was actually moving, and at a slightly faster rate than most people walk, a bearded man in a baseball cap and sunglasses thought it would be a good idea to step in front of me. In the middle of the block. Without a crosswalk.

Because I am a careful driver and did not wish to either injure anyone or have a lawsuit brought against me, I braked and also honked my horn at him in warning, you know just in case he didn't see the full-sized family sedan less than two feet from rolling over him.

And then he just gestured at me dismissively, continuing across the street as I began rolling the car again. But then his almost identically-clad companion thought his buddy had the right idea, and followed suit, walking in front of the giant Buick I was piloting, looking at me in defiance. So I leaned on my horn again, stopping the car against my now-P.O.'d inclinations, and he has the nerve to say something unpleasant and also gesture at me as though I had done something wrong to him!

These weren't the 20-somethings I'd expect that from; these looked like they were definitely old enough to know better, in their late 30s or early 40s.

Maybe those guys were drunk, which begets its own special kind of carelessness. Or I'd rather think that maybe they were out-of-towners than to believe they are from this area, representing Frederick with that kind of stupidity and entitlement.

But then again, with as often as I see that kind of behavior here on other days than First Saturday...

Under the Weather

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

I'm looking forward to the nice weather this weekend, despite the predictions of high pollen counts.

While seasonal allergies are no joke, I feel I can handle them when the weather is consistent.

But, the weather has been ANYTHING but consistent, and the extreme weather fluctuations and high pollen count are taking their toll on me.

My body does not like wintry cold mornings when the afternoon climate will feel more like summer. And when you add on clouds of pollen, my immune system seems to get confused and I catch a cold or experience some other unpleasant symptoms on top of the puffy, itchy, sneezy and so on allergy-like reactions.

Not fun.

But is that going to stop me from going out and gazing at the later-blooming cherry blossoms of Frederick with my bleary eyes?

Surely not.

Life's too short and stressful not to appreciate those moments of beauty whenever you can.

Right After These Messages…

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

Yes, I've been a bit preoccupied...with work, home issues, a bout or two of being somewhat under the weather...so I haven't been much able to collect my thoughts enough to write a coherent entry. Nor have I been out and about in town in any meaningful ways.

I tried to enter The Artists' Gallery Box show (and I do have such a lovely little box!), but I was too unwell to get it turned in, and I totally missed the Casino Night First Saturday this year -- slept right through it. (Last year, I won several yoga classes at the "roulette wheel" at Ananda Shala.)

So please pardon me, while I pull myself together and get back into the swing of things in Frederick, especially since the weather is so lovely.

In the meantime, why don't you step out and, with fresh eyes, take a look at your town as it wakes into Spring?

Frederick History

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

This month, I checked out several books from the library about Frederick. These are the three pictorial volumes compiled by the Frederick News-Post.

It's pretty amazing how much of Frederick, at least downtown, looks very much the same as it did more than a hundred years ago.

It's also pretty astounding how much has been built up from vast tracts of farmland, not just in the last century, but particularly in the last twenty or thirty years.

Just yesterday, I spoke with a woman who remembers when the tiny trailer home park behind Lowe's was much larger--an entire neighborhood on its own--when the building housing May's restaurant was a little store and most of the area near FSK Mall was a farm.

There's a gentleman I met who remembers when Frederick Towne Mall, the neighborhoods behind it and the Hillcrest area was ALL farmland.

And just in my own memory, back when I used to just visit, I remember when the site of the Transit Center was a very scary place and I would never dream of walking up North Market Street anywhere past Second Street.

So much has changed; so much remains the same.

More Little Things

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

Are your eyes open to the little things? Well, not just your eyes, but all of your senses...

...to things like...

 

...little dogs in little coats?

..the rich, sweet smell of apples from McCutcheon's in the early afternoon,

and the factory's 5 p.m. whistle?

(Actually I haven't heard it in a while, since I'm rarely home before 6:30 p.m.)

...ice crystals venturing out into Carroll Creek, Culler Lake, and the like?

...the hardy overwintering songbirds that have ventured out on the mild weather mornings to trill their melodies in defiance of winter?

...the hints of (or wishes for) spring in the early-arriving Easter merchandise beginning to pop up in store displays?

...the occasional unforecasted snowflake,

or simply the teasing smell of snow in the sky?

...the deliciously homey scent of clean laundry emanating from dryer vents throughout the neighborhood that seems to linger in the frosty air than it does in summer?

 

What little things are you noticing?

Little things

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

Have you noticed some of these little things in Frederick?

...Like the new sidewalks in various neighborhoods?

...Or the premature/unseasonal blooms on some of the trees and bushes?

...Brand-new street signs?

...with the street name spelled wrong? (I'm looking at you "Washingon" Street!)

More little things to come....

Countdown to Thanksgiving — and beyond! (last day)

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

30. I'm thankful that I have so many things to be thankful for.

29. I'm thankful for local opportunities to engage in my vocation and some of my aspirations, without having to sacrifice the achievement of financial compensation.

28. I'm thankful for privacy and people who respect it.

27. I'm thankful for people who keep their promises (and thus integrity), even when everyone thinks they're justified in breaking those promises.

 

26. I'm thankful for lazy mornings and teamwork brunches.

25. I'm thankful that the Black Friday crowds I encountered weren't particularly horrible.

24. I'm thankful that I didn't have to cook for Thanksgiving.

23. I'm thankful for a local commuter train (and bus) that allows me to work in one interesting city while also letting me live in an equally interesting, but more livable (and comparatively affordable)city.

22. I'm thankful for people who truly want to be together for the holiday instead of making obligatory invitations/

21. I'm thankful for the Internet, which actually helped me to get out and about more and meet people.

19. I'm thankful that people are using their fireplaces & wood stoves...I love that smell, because it takes me back to some of my best childhood memories.

18. I'm thankful for the shelter of the mountains that keep some of the icky weather away.

17. I'm thankful for the two health(y) food stores that are not too far away for me to frequent.

16. I'm thankful that there are quite a lot of places in Frederick where vegetarians/vegans can eat.

15. I'm thankful that I live in a town where everything I need is in walking distance, but I can still get there by bus.

14. I’m thankful for a warm bed.

13. I’m thankful that I was blessed to be able to have a good education.

12. I’m thankful that, actually, I lack for nothing.

11. I’m thankful for the knowledge that I’m trusted and cherished.

10. I’m thankful that I live in a town that appreciates and celebrates art and creativity.

9. I’m thankful for my family.

8. I’m thankful to be in relatively good health and spirits.

7. I’m thankful to have a great place to live and a fantastic roomie/landlord.

6. I’m thankful to have a new (paid) freelancing gig, bringing the number to two.

5. I’m thankful to have a steady and mostly secure job.

4. I’m thankful for mostly good (though chilly) weather this month -- I was getting tired of the weekly Wednesday night rains of September and October.

3. I’m thankful that I’ve made new friends here, both in town and at work.

2. I’m thankful for the love and reliability of true friends.

1. I’m thankful, first and foremost, that the Halloween snow didn’t last into November.

Countdown to Thanksgiving — and beyond! (day 26)

by Naomi Pearson. 0 Comments

26. I'm thankful for lazy mornings and teamwork brunches.

25. I'm thankful that the Black Friday crowds I encountered weren't particularly horrible.

24. I'm thankful that I didn't have to cook for Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

23. I'm thankful for a local commuter train (and bus) that allows me to work in one interesting city while also letting me live in an equally interesting, but more livable (and comparatively affordable)city.

22. I'm thankful for people who truly want to be together for the holiday instead of making obligatory invitations/

21. I'm thankful for the Internet, which actually helped me to get out and about more and meet people.

19. I'm thankful that people are using their fireplaces & wood stoves...I love that smell, because it takes me back to some of my best childhood memories.

18. I'm thankful for the shelter of the mountains that keep some of the icky weather away.

17. I'm thankful for the two health(y) food stores that are not too far away for me to frequent.

16. I'm thankful that there are quite a lot of places in Frederick where vegetarians/vegans can eat.

15. I'm thankful that I live in a town where everything I need is in walking distance, but I can still get there by bus.

14. I’m thankful for a warm bed.

13. I’m thankful that I was blessed to be able to have a good education.

12. I’m thankful that, actually, I lack for nothing.

11. I’m thankful for the knowledge that I’m trusted and cherished.

10. I’m thankful that I live in a town that appreciates and celebrates art and creativity.

9. I’m thankful for my family.

8. I’m thankful to be in relatively good health and spirits.

7. I’m thankful to have a great place to live and a fantastic roomie/landlord.

6. I’m thankful to have a new (paid) freelancing gig, bringing the number to two.

5. I’m thankful to have a steady and mostly secure job.

4. I’m thankful for mostly good (though chilly) weather this month -- I was getting tired of the weekly Wednesday night rains of September and October.

3. I’m thankful that I’ve made new friends here, both in town and at work.

2. I’m thankful for the love and reliability of true friends.

1. I’m thankful, first and foremost, that the Halloween snow didn’t last into November.