From the Editor



“You have been hit by lightning; but you will be okay.”

~ The Neurologist ~

Those have become my most oft quoted words, of late.  I have not been enjoying the freedom, which I thought the vaccine would bring.  Instead, I had an ear infection in March, which turned into the most challenging time of my life.

I would like to say I am back, but a more honest assessment is that I am doing better every day.  I have missed these pages, and this is a perhaps feeble attempt to re-start my work here, we shall see.

When I first tried to write again, months ago, I could not control my left hand well.  It was a very odd experience; but I am doing better today.  It surprised me, as I took a typing class in Jr. High, for the first time, thus I have been typing for years.  I did not expect not to be able to type.

The last few months have been humbling.  So many things which I had taken for granted became herculean.  Today, for example, both Kate and I took notice of me being able to take my tea tray back to my room.  That is not an act which I ever gave two thoughts to before; today I felt accomplished.

What have I learned?  First of all, I so wish I had been more patient with my Mother.  She was quite a trooper; and in general, Kate and I tried to be kind to my Mother.  But oh boy can I now see how much we missed that mark – there is so much more we could have and should have done.

Second thing I have realized is that I so miss her and her friends, praying for me.  My Mother was a prayer warrior, as were her friends.  I always felt their prayers in my life; and I have truly missed them through these dark days.

The third thing I have learned about myself is that I need to “put my money where my mouth is”, as it were.  I have always thought of myself as a person of strong faith; but when the chips were down, I really had to go looking for some help.  I suppose the good news there is that I have found a whole group of new, to me, preachers, which have been feeding my soul.  It is much easier to walk in faith, when everything is okay, or at least better than worse.

Fourthly, I have become so aware of how much those little acts of kindness matter.  The phone call on a day you are down can really lift your spirts.  This past month, I had a little boy, maybe ten years old, hold the door open for me.  Not that it should matter, but the child was African-American; and in the current state our nation finds itself, I did not expect this.  He was obviously in a hurry, and half-way out the door, when he noticed us.  The child backed up, and propped the door open.  I was so touched.  I could not thank him enough.  I am still moved by his kindness.  I have also received Nancy’s cheery cards, on a regular basis; when I know she has her hands full, and I am sorry I have not responded.  But I am saving your cards Nancy, and I appreciate your good wishes.  I was also deeply moved by my great niece, who is just nine years old.  She drew me a picture, (she is quite an artist) and left the picture, with my name on it, on the chair, I have been sleeping on.  I was so moved and will cherish her act of kindness forever.

Yes, there have been many acts of kindness these last few months, and I am most grateful for all them –thank you; but Kate has been a trooper.  I could not imagine what I would have done without her and I do not feel that a mere “Thank You” can cover how grateful I feel; but I thank you Kate.

Unfortunately, this journey is not yet over; but though extremely functional in nature, we have returned to the road, which is so hopeful.  I am now cooking and playing with my plants, and even doing laundry.  I know, who would have thought those things would cause you to feel celebratory in nature, but I am celebrating them all!  I hope you are well and have not given up on us, we are coming back – That Is All For Now.

Tribute to Cristina Jill

My dear friend Cristina Jill Mosqueda

October 12th 2022 was a somber day, it was the day Kate called, to tell us that our beloved Jill had passed away. Adriana and I screamed no, no, no, as if by denying it we could bring her back. Kate had the courage to stay calm, even console us, when was her who needed it most.

We met Jill in 2001, when I started working with Kate at IBM. We immediately became best friends, yes, that quickly, Jill had that quality, to open her arms and her heart and her house and welcome you into her life. She welcomed me and my whole family.

I had a special connection with Jill. I like words, its meaning, I like writing, literature, and I know Jill understood me like few people. I was honored when Jill gave me pieces, she had written, for me to review and comment. Jill was an intellectual powerhouse, her mastery of the English language, it came naturally to her……her poetry, her short stories, her book, The Nation That No Longer Is, her publications in “ThatIsAllForNow”, her correspondence, it gave me so much pleasure to read anything she could beautifully write, it was inspirational. She was profound, Jill will find meaning in the most mundane acts of our daily life and she would open our eyes to them.

We were connected in many ways, and being Cuban was one of them. Jill felt as Cuban as I feel, even when she was born in Ohio. She was proud of her Cuban ancestry, and she was fluent in Spanish, and she spoke Cuban! She also cooked delicious Cuban food; she was an expert. She was a master chef and was able to cook dishes from the more dissimilar cultures.

Jill was also a true American patriot; she loved America with passion and passed that love to me. She participated actively, honestly, in American politics. Thanks Jill.

Jill had strong principles, political, religious, moral, and she would abide by them, but she would never try to impose to her friends and loved ones. Jill was tolerant and patient with those she interacted with, and those she accepted into her inner circle, could not expect anything but the upmost respect. Jill would defend those principles, no doubt, when the occasion demanded it. She was always ready for a good debate.

Jill was synonym with generosity, she was always giving away her possessions, to everyone she could think needed it more than her, or to someone she wanted to show how much she loved her or him, or them. She also gave her time, by volunteering, and she gave her love, genuinely, of which she was an endless source.

I am going to miss Jill forever, I am missing her already, I am going to miss dining together, spending vacations together, sharing new discovered words, talking on the phone about our family and friends, visiting each other, having Thanksgiving together, I am going to miss her smile, hugging her, receiving and reading a book she recommends, I am going to miss her fine humor, speaking Spanish to her and trying to teach Spanish words to Kate with her. I am going to miss the warm love she always gave us every time we met, every time we spent together, I am going to miss her postcards. I am going to miss waiting for her publishing new prose and poetry, and enjoying the reading.

Jill, me and my family loved you infinitely and we are devastated by knowing that we will not see you again. We are fortunate you were part of our lives and we are grateful for all the memories we built together. At our house, we have the plants you gave us, we have taken good care of them and we will continue caring, you live on them and we would remember you every time we water them and every spring when they blossom.

My dear friend, rest in peace.

Marcial Barros, October 16th, 2022.

Public Square

Public Square

Umbrella Sky Coral Gables, Florida   Yes, this particular installation is long gone; and all I have to offer you are a few photographs.  I should have shared this when it was still up, but the good news is that it is an ongoing / traveling exhibit, which continues to pop up around the...



Lady Bugs! Though I am sadly allergic to my plants; my “happy place” is...

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.



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