Tag Archives: Greenwich Meridian

All about Big Birthdays

Big birthdays bring back memories of old “Czechoslovakian” birthing centers

Note: These are excerpts from my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” © 2017 Copyright Emma Palova about the Konecny family immigration saga spanning three generations.

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By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- Big birthdays. We all have them. What is a big birthday? Do you remember your big birthdays, what did you do, where, with whom and what happened?

If you can answer the questions above, without looking at photos, it was a big birthday.

Today, on March 1st, our son Jakub Pala is celebrating his 30th birthday with the slogan:

“Got 30, Jake?”

“Yes, beers.”

He was born on a chilly damp Sunday morning in former Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia in 1987. So, says his birth certificate. Neither the city nor the country exist under those names. They are now, the city of Zlin, Czech Republic, which is part of the European Union.

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Doc Emma and Hotshot Jake in Paris, 2009

In 1987, the “Porodnice” or the birthing center was on the cutting edge with the “rooming in” accommodations for the newborns with their mothers. Before that, the babies were separated from their mothers, and the nurses brought out the babies to their mothers only for nursing. The babies were all changed, snug and clean. They were only crying because they were hungry.

Speaking ironically of the “bad communist” healthcare in former Czechoslovakia, we stayed in the hospital for a week, before we were released for home. The staff washed and folded the cloth diapers and newborn shirts in the traditional birthing centers.

I’ve had it both ways; traditional and “rooming-in.” Each was an experience to remember, as any mom can attest to that, in any country, and in any regime.
With the first baby “Doc Emma” born in April 1979, husband and daddy Ludek came to say hi to us under the windows of the “Porodnice” in Gottwaldow surrounded by pine trees.

Daddies and families were not allowed inside. Ludek had to give the flowers to the nurse, who set them in a vase on my bedside stand, along with a novel. I am trying to remember what I was reading back then. I could use it now on the “Goodreads” platform, for a book review. Just, kidding. However, I do think it was in that birthing room in 1979, that I decided I wanted to write for a living, to make other people happy.

I came home with “Doc Emma” on Easter weekend in 1979 to the smell of hot homemade chicken soup with dumplings that I will never forget, after the awful tomato gravies at the hospital.

Mom Ella made the soup, all worried about the new addition to the family house hold. We lived in a four-bedroom flat at the housing mega complex known as “Southern Slopes” or “Jizni Svahy” in Gottwaldov.

The “Southern Slopes” complex still exists and it’s growing. I witnessed that during my most recent visit to Czech Republic in January.

Eight years later, with the second baby, now regional distribution manager “Hotshot Jake,” daddy Ludek and “Doc Emma” came to say hi to the window of the “rooming-in” birthing center on the grounds of the Gottwaldov Hospital, still surrounded by pine trees.

“Oh, mom,” he’s ugly,” said “Doc Emma” throwing her big red hair around.

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Doc Em & Hotshot Jake in Caledonia

Yeah, “Hotshot Jake” wasn’t the best looking baby having the newborn jaundice, few hairs sticking out, screaming and kicking like crazy.

“Is he eating and when are you coming home,” Daddy Ludek, always practical, asked.

Ludek was all giddy, that we had a boy. He had visions of paying for a big drinking round at the pub “U Byka” aka “At the Bull” in his hometown of Stipa.

“Hopefully soon,” I answered.

The second delivery at the cutting edge “rooming in” birthing center, still in communist Gottwaldov, wasn’t as convenient as the one with “Doc Emma.”

There were seven mothers with their babies in one big room. That’s 14 bodies; I don’t think anyone had twins. We had the cribs with the infants by our beds. The nurses came in only to assist “as needed.” Whatever that means. In the morning, we all faced together the feared “rounds” known as visitation. In vain, we were hoping we would be released that same day.

If a baby was screaming loud enough that it kept awake the entire building, then the nurse would take the “culprit” with her to the nurses’ quarters somewhere down the hall, where it smelled of disinfectants.

If the babies slept after nursing, we folded the cloth diapers and the tiny shirts for newborns. We ate in the room whatever the hospital cooked for all patients. No, menu style here. I just remember, the horrid tomato soup or gravy, with the soggy dumplings sprawled all over the plate.

With the release from the “Porodnice” after a week-long drill of learning how to take care of the newborn, I breathed with relief stating:
“Never again.”

Today, from a distance of 30 plus years and 6,000 kilometers, I look back at that time in “Porodnice” in communist Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia, with a smile on my face.

The “babies” have grown up into colorful characters, fashionable, cute “Doc Emma” who resides in France, and handsome “Hotshot Jake.”

They will soon be leaving with their spouses for a big 30th birthday trip, to Bali in Indonesia. The exotic trip comes as a compliment of the ever-generous “Doc Emma.”

In the meantime, we get to watch their extensions for continued joy.

Some of you know them. They bring joy to our lives. Say hi to them when you see them out and about.

Thank you for the beautiful tapestry, called life.

Love always,

Emma

Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Graceful

In search of grace

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- I write this not only in response to the Daily Post @graceful photo prompt, but also to find solace and reprieve in grace.

Graceful

Contrary to my better judgment, I’ve been writing a lot about politics lately. I don’t know if I’ve been doing that to make myself feel better or more responsive to what has been going on in North America, UK and the Middle East.

And I still don’t know if it was the journalist bursting out of me, or the Czech ex-patriot living currently in America. I guess, I’ll never know.

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Graceful orchids in full bloom at the end of January.

Somebody once said that the worst thing of all is “indifference.” No matter, how hard I try to be immune to it all, the current affairs just bug me.

I am trying to find the grace in me, to accept the future of democracy.

Along with writing about religion, writing about politics, no matter how unbiased, usually gets me into trouble. I really don’t need any distraction at a time when I’ve picked up the momentum to finish the “Greenwich Meridian” memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga.

After coming back from Aunt Marta’s funeral in mid January in Czech Republic, I was so re-energized to finish the memoir, and to pursue the greater Konecny Saga picture. I made space for it in my mind, in my studio and in my work day.

I’ve gathered the necessary research, started the Ancestry Konecny Facebook page, caught up with the Alumni ZDS Stipa page to set the stage for everything to finally wrap up. I have built up the following on social media and most platforms that I know of. I hooked up with a dear director friend whom we seem to have similar goals, at times.

Thanks to my never-ending insomnia, I am caught up with client projects into 2017 as they constantly evolve. I did all the little bureaucracy that I needed to do, put things in fancy five-star folders, and such. I straightened my affairs both here and there, and in between.

I’ve communicated and answered messages both domestic and foreign; on messenger, on text, on Skype, and on phone.

I said hi to an old friend of Irish origin at church last Sunday. I  asked about the immigrant family from Africa that the church had sponsored in 2016. I was supposed to teach them English as a Second Language (ESL), but other projects came up.

“Oh, I’ve been neglecting them since it’s so cold outside,” he said. “I really feel bad.”

“Me too,” I thought, without any particular reference to anything.

So what happened? The world happened. I am burnt out like a candle, like the fire in our wood stove.

Even host Alfonso Ribeiro on AFV last Sunday said, “I am out like acid-washed jeans or mullets.”

It’s a cold early afternoon in January. The day is grayish, and so are my heart and soul.

“So, what are you going to do for yourself, today,” Facebook friend Fiosa posted this Monday morning.

Somebody out there on that vast Internet sea responded:

“I am going to look for a job.”

Just before reading that, I arranged my beautiful collection of blooming orchids for a photo shoot for the @graceful photo prompt.

If I really love anything and need anything when I feel whipped, it’s these enigmatic flowers. They literally speak to me in their own language with their beautiful shapes and colors and their bold structure.

They come into full bloom during the deepest frosts Up North in Michigan. They engage in nothing but themselves, in their own grace.

Where do you find grace?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/graceful/#respond

Thank you for being.

Love always,

Emma

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Four Years on WordPress

Trip from Czech homeland marks 4th anniversary of blogging

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- On board Air France flight 1383 from Paris to Detroit, I was watching our route leaving the shores of Europe on Jan. 15, 2017, as I realized it was the fourth anniversary of my writing on WordPress.

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500 posts Four-year anniversary

It was all so fitting, because I started blogging on WordPress in 2013 to promote my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” Copyright 2017 Emma Palova. I named the book Greenwich Meridian to depict our family immigration saga between the East and the Western hemispheres over the last five decades. The memoir tracks the Konecny family migration between former Czechoslovakia and the USA from 1969 through present.

Reaching higher with WordPress after four years.
Reaching higher with WordPress after four years.

The journey of blogging parallels my writing path through life almost identically. I don’t remember a period in my life not writing.

At first, it was writing letters to my mother Ella when she immigrated to the USA for the second time in 1980 to join my father Vaclav Konecny. Later, when I arrived in the USA in 1989, I embarked on a professional writing career as a journalist and correspondent for regional and Czech media, based in Michigan, New York and in Prague.

I followed Earnest Hemmingway’s correspondent footsteps.

Writing much like my husband Ludek have been my lifelong companions in good and in bad times, as expressed in our wedding wows in 1978 in Stipa, former Czechoslovakia at the Church of Saint Mary.

Writing has helped me survive major life crisis, like in 2008 when Ludek and I had to part due to the economic crisis in the first decade of the millennium. At that time, Ludek worked in Prarie du Chien, Wisconsin, while I stayed in Michigan to save our house. In the winter of 2008-2009, I wrote the screenplay “Riddleyville Clowns” Copyright © 2009- 2019 inspired by a hometown clown parade in Lowell that celebrated 175 years of the town’s establishment.

Writing has been the fuel of my life. Writing for me is like a fountain or elixir of life, when everything else around me is arid, dry and angry.

Instead of turning to violence and despair, I turn inside, meditate and feel into the overall emotions of the surrounding world. Then, I transform these powerful outside forces into a stream or an avalanche blanketing all with a soft cover of love, like a mother covering her child.

Transforming violence into love.
Transforming violence into love. A sculpture at LaCoste in Provence.

Today, as I write this 500th post on the WordPress publishing platform, I am thankful for the 1,066 followers and the future ones to come.

I also would like to thank all, who never stopped believing in me.

At the end of last year, just before I have reached the 1,000 followers mark, I realized that I have completed a second degree thanks to the WordPress (WP) Blogging University, the support happiness WP engineering team, my family and my beloved readers.

“Congratulations, honey. You have another degree,” said my husband Ludek. “It was just like back when you were in school in Brno. I had to be constantly quiet.”

I wanted to quit just as many times as I did while working on my bachelor’s degree at the Technical University of Brno from 1982 to 1986 in former Czechoslovakia. My path on WordPress was constantly jeopardized by the lack of finances and understanding of the principles of freelance blogging.

I plan on finishing my second degree on the WordPress publishing platform with a blogging directory and an app for the thesis.

Of course, in the meantime the memoir Greenwich Meridian has become the first part of the Konecny Saga (c) copyright 2017.

Thank you. You make me who I am.

Love always,

Emma

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

27. November 1989

A step back in time to  Monday Nov. 27 in 1989

Lowell, MI- It was Monday under the sign of Sagittarius as George W. Bush took the presidential torch from Ronald Reagan.

It was also the release of “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase and John Grisham topped the bestselling list with his “A Time to Kill.” Two major tragedies set 1989 apart from the rest: the massacre at Tiananmen Square and the Exxon-Valdez oil spill.

Just as the world lost Salvador Dali in 1989, Taylor Swift was born, according to takemebackto.com.

The following are excerpts from my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” (c) copyright 2016 Emma Palova.

“That Monday morning I dressed up warm in my Benetton jacket adorned with an tricolor ribbon, a red, white and blue sweater and jeans. I made a quick snack for the four-hour trip from Zlin to Prague. It was probably an old croissant with salami.

I boarded the 6 a.m. train to Prague called “Citron” packed with young people in the standing room only aisles.

As daylight broke into the dark morning, I felt the crisp air from the outside brush my red cheeks. Exhausted from the events of the past few months, I didn’t sleep much. I was shaking and not just from the November chill.

The last 10 days since the Nov. 17 student demonstrations in Prague were filled with political turmoil and uncertainty. I was either glued to the TV much like the entire nation or demonstrating on the town square in Zlin.

The communist regime has already fallen in the neighboring Poland. We all supported the Polish leader of revolution, Lech Walesa along with our own dissident Vaclav Havel and the Civic Forum (CF) that led the movement for freedom. This movement entered modern history as the Velvet Revolution, lasting from Nov. 17 through Dec. 10, 1989.

The mass media in former Czechoslovakia informed the nation about the General Strike on Nov. 27 in Prague and all the major cities.

“Please participate in the strike,” the media encouraged, “or if you cannot hold solidarity with the people on strike.”

That Monday, a nation that could not agree on anything, walked out of universities, factories and offices to show the power of the people.

Twenty-seven years later sitting behind my desk on a Sunday morning in rural America, while it’s still dark outside, I ask myself:

“What if the manifestation went violent like in Tiananmen Square?”

I left that trail of thought untouched.

As we disembarked from the train at the art nouveau Prague Main Station, like a river, the crowds flowed into the Wenceslas Square. 300,000 people howled in the square from noon to 2 p.m. holding their arms up with hands in the peace sign.

“Havel to the castle,” I chanted along with the crowds.

We wanted the poet, the playwright and the dissident Havel, to become the next president of Czechoslovakia, as we rang our keys and little bells.

That ring magnified by millions across the nation signified that the hour of freedom has arrived after years of darkness and oppression.

For Havel, it was an uneasy progression from a communist jail cell to the Hradcany Castle, over the last two decades since the Prague Spring in 1968.

I’ve always been claustrophobic, and the moving crowd made me nauseous. The defunct communist leadership under President Gustav Husak met most of the demands of the Civic Forum (CF), so the demonstration ended peacefully.

I remember heading into one of the pubs on the Lesser Square aka Mala Strana on the other side of the Vltava River. Havel frequented that area, and in 1994 as the president of Czech Republic, visited one of the pubs with the former USA president Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, a different story was transpiring on the home front on that gloomy Monday. The late afternoon train took me back to hometown Zlin.

My grandpa Joseph passed from lung cancer at the Vizovice Hospital of Merciful Friars after steadily deteriorating for six months.

In one of the last conversations held at the white hospital room, that smelled of a heavy disinfectant agent, grandpa asked me about his beloved ranch. That is the house at 111 Krnovska Street in Vizovice that I inherited in grandpa’s will. Together, with husband Ludek and daughter Emma, we spent many delightful years at the ranch.

“You know I had to sell it, so I can leave the country,” I explained patiently for the 100th time.

After selling all my worldly possessions as a condition to emigration, I was holding tight onto my exit visa to the USA. Ludek was waiting for his emigration visa in Pabneukirchen, Austria.

“The ranch is in good hands of a person who loves it,” I reassured grandpa.

“Who is it?” grandpa whispered in pain.

“It’s Eugene,” I said in equal emotional pain.

“Mr. Drabek, do you want your yogurt,” asked a nurse traditionally dressed in blue with white apron and a starched white hat.”

“No,” sighed grandpa turning away from us.

…………………………………………………………….I remained in the country until Dec. 22.”

What’s your story?

In the pictures: Top, late Vaclav Havel lays flowers at the Velvet Revolution memorial on Wenceslas Square in Prague.

Bottom: Grandpa Joseph Drabek with wife Anna, daughters left to right: Ella & Anna.

For more stories on Velvet Revolution go to https://wordpress.com/post/emmapalova.com/172636

For more info on certain dates go to takemebackto.com

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Summer with Ella in America

Goodbye Ella

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- As our time together with Ella winds down, I write this with deep sadness in my heart.

Today is Ella’s last day at the Early Fives summer program at St. Patrick’s School in Parnell. I went into my husband Ludek’s experiment with butterflies in my stomach.

“Ella will stay with us this summer and you will fly back with her to France,” Ludek said back in May.

“Wow, slow down I got to work,” I said surprised.

Ella will be going to the first grade in the wine village of Fixin in Burgundy, France after the summer break in the USA. In six years, we’ve seen her six times, when she came for brief visits with her mother Emma.

“That’s the price you pay for immigration,” I said to Ludek and my friends.

And that’s when Ludek came up with the idea of having Ella here to capture the time gone by over the years, as she was growing up.

It wasn’t just the ocean of time that separated us. It was all the little things that we missed. All the firsts that had gone by: the first steps, first words, first hugs, first laughs and first tears.

I’ve never imagined that I could miss someone else’s tears or laughs.

But, the reality is different.

“I will miss your laugh,” said former publisher Val at the Ionia Sentinel-Standard when I left the paper for good in 1993.

“How about her work,” snapped the editor also Val.

Ella has grown from the toddler that we took with us to the beach in South Haven back in 2011 to a smart and sassy girl with an artsy flair.

“Why do you get angry,” I asked her the other day in the car on the way back from school as the Queen rocked & rolled to full blast.

“Because sometimes you annoy me,” Ella said pouting.

“Really, so no more crepes or ice cream for you,” I said.

“No, sorry.”

We missed all the sorries, too.

“Sorry, grandpa,” Ella apologized after refusing to follow another one of Ludek’s orders.

However, time apart brings along appreciation, deeper love and understanding.

“I miss my mommy,” Ella cried one afternoon after school as she hugged Emma’s graduation picture hanging in the living room next to Mona Lisa.

“I am sure she misses you too,” I said.

“I want to be with her,” Ella continued.

“You will eventually,” I said trying to comfort her.

But, Ella was inconsolable. The persistent little girls cried hours into the night.

“Alright, you’re flying back with her to France tomorrow,” I said to Ludek.

 

The next day was a brand new day.

“Will I see my friends today?” Ella asked on our way to school with Queen blasting in the background. “Tell me one of your stories.”

And I started telling her the story of Scheherazade and the mean king, and the story of the guy with the expensive McLaren automobile who ran a red stop sign.

“Tell me the story about the bracelet and Jake’s wedding ring,” Ella demanded more storytelling.

Ella loves the music of Queen after a Picnic Pops concert at Cannonsburg in July.

“I am like Freddie Mercury, I want it all,” she laughs as we go back home.

Throughout these six weeks, I’ve learned several big lessons. I learned that stories are soothing and healing. I learned that food which reminds you of home is comforting. I learned that the jittery music of Queen can bring on the atmosphere of home. And that the school environment is good for kids.

So, whenever Ella got homesick, I made French crepes and opened a jar of “cornichons.” We call them dills, here in America.

And I spent a perfect day with Ella doing the “Back to School Shopping” rut that was so new to me. Finally, Ella got her ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda at the mall.

And I told her my endless stories on demand.

I will keep telling them, until I can’t speak or write anymore.

Goodbye, my friend. It was brief, but it was. It really did happen that you were here in America.

I need to assure myself.

Note: Most of my relationship stories appear in the “Greenwich Meridian” (c) memoir, as well as ethnic and travel stories. I hope to finish the memoir for publication my Mother’s Day 2017.

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Picking up the Pieces

The great return to finale

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I am putting back together the pieces of my life like in a shining kaleidoscope. Some call it a comeback.

I am back on the final stretch of the “Greenwich Meridian” (c) memoir. I took a break to establish my Internet blog design company Emma Blogs, LLC. Now that I feel well grounded, I am returning back to the life of a daily writer. I missed it anyway.

The blogging journey took me from a rookie to a lifelong learner. Internet is much like water & wind; it never stands still or like Wall Street; it never sleeps. You can’t abandon it, because it’s like the writing life. It doesn’t let go of you.

Along that three-year long journey, I’ve met some of the best people in the industry by trial and error, as well as by targeted searching. After spending endless hours on learning the ropes of the blogging business, I sought help. I found Learn to Blog. This group of people is golden. Their support is pivotal in my blogging life.

And I’ve made friends. How can you make friends working all day alone in your writing studio staring at the flashing cursor with an occasional glance at my orchids on the window sill?

Well, you join private and public Facebook groups. I have done that. I am a member of the private Learn to Blog (LTB) and WordPress Support facebook groups. I’ve done both LTB and WordPress challenges. I’ve commented and I got comments back. I’ve gained the most followers on the 30 Day Content Writing Challenge . I established my own writing group “Writers Loop” on facebook based on advise from Soulpreneurs founder Leigh Ann Dickey.

“Facebook pages are old school, groups are the way to go,” she said in a Skype interview.

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Some of the major players in the memoir Greenwich Meridian: the Two Sisters, Mom Ella & Aunt Anna, grandma Anna and grandpa Joseph.

One of the best things that has ever happened to me on a blogging challenge was making a lifelong friend and a business partner.

During the 30 Day Content Challenge, a link to a healing site Beautiful Body, Mind and Spirit caught my eye. We were supposed to like and comment five blogs. I liked it and commented on it.

“I’ve always been interested in alternative healing,” I commented.

I e-mailed the owner Nan Raden asking for an interview to feature her as the blogger of the month on EW Emma’s Writings. During the first Skype call, we immediately clicked.

Nan is a natural healer and I suffer by nature. We compliment each other. She healed my inability to take action. She healed me emotionally and physically to a distance of 1,884.90 miles between Grand Rapids, MI and Tucson, AZ.

Now, we’re getting ready to webcast our show on Google hangouts on air. I will announce the name shortly. Stay tuned for a story and a video.

Other than the blogging challenges, the most productive in gaining followers were posts relevant to the current events. These included: “Alpenhorns at the Octoberfest in Grand Rapids,” ” Thoughts on Fear in the Wake of Paris Attacks” posted during the 30 Day Content Challenge, “Evil Choices” after a SuperTuesday primary ,”Happy Mother’s Day” and most recently “Cannes Film Festival 2016.”

Speaking about timing. My former editor and friend Jeanne Boss used to say, “Timing is everything.” The 30 Day Content Challenge started before Thanksgiving. I scrambled to get through it around the holidays. Sometimes I had to play catch up writing up to five posts one day.

I’ve learned a lot and I’ve diversified in the blogosphere. I’ve joined SheKnows and BlogHer platforms that have merged since. I am still carving out my own path. I am contemplating Blogspot, but I want to stay focused on the memoir.

Posts about relationships like the “Two Sisters” about the animosity between my mother Ella and her sister Anna attracted more followers. The relationship that went raw over immigration is a big part of the memoir.

“They never mended not even now standing at the gate to heaven or hell,” I write in the book.

I would also like to highlight the mini-series “Eyeology with Dr. Verdier” about my cataract ordeal two years ago. The IW Inspiring Women was a joy to write because I met all these interesting women who continue to inspire and motivate me to this day. It is a living ongoing series with new encounters every day.

I found out that the best writing comes from the heart and without a narrow purpose. Big tears rolled down my cheeks penning the most emotional posts like “It took a lifetime to get to this moment,” based on a prompt from the 30 Day Challenge.

It took me a lifetime to get this moment to write this post and to complete the memoir.

Thank you all for your ongoing support.

The featured image is by Nan Raden.

Links to mentioned stories:

Mom Ella & Aunt Anna (Two Sisters)

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-3d4

It took a lifetime to get to this moment (30 Day Challenge #28)

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-B44

Thoughts on Fear in the Wake of Paris Attacks (30 Day Challenge #3)

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-zwK

Evil Choices

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-HC3

Happy Mother’s Day

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-HEk

Cannes Film Festival

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-HFn

Alpenhorns video from Octoberfest in Grand Rapids

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-xLJ

Series

IW Inspiring Women (Hiker Babe walks 4,600 miles in memory of her daughter)

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-tuE

New Eyes with Dr. Verdier

http://wp.me/p34jQ1-5VP

Companies mentioned in the article:

Emma Blogs, LLC

http://emmablogsllc.wordpress.com

Beautiful body, mind and spirit

beautifulmindbodyspirit.com

Learn to Blog

http://www.learntoblog.com

Soulpreneurs

http://soulpreneurs.co

Beautiful body, mind and spirit

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evil choices

Political showdown heats up

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI-Now, that all hell has broken loose with former speaker of the House John Boehner calling Ted Cruz Lucifer, while some voters are calling Donald Trump the Satan and all the rest are devils, we’re moving into the final showdown.

The platform has been laid out for us. We’re in political hell. You can either vote for a billionaire or a multi-millionaire. That is Republican Donald Trump versus Democrat Hillary Clinton.

 

Following social media, most people do not want either one of them. And I quote:

“Well, people. It’s pretty much over. In November, it’s going to be Clinton and Trump.

A narcissistic, pandering, manipulative liar with a lifetime of scandals who has been gunning for the White House for decades.
vs.
A narcissistic, dismissive, contradictory, thin-skinned bully who doesn’t hesitate to step on those who disagree with him.

My prediction is a massive spike in wine sales as we are all forced to decide between Sucks and Sucks slightly Less,” Stephanie Peel, Vergennes Broadband co-owner, wrote on Facebook.

I have to agree with Stephanie and not just because I subscribe to their Vergennes Broadband, but she put it so well that I can’t beat that.

However, the philosophy of voting for Trump, so Hillary doesn’t get it or vice versa, is flawed from the very beginning. It’s like choosing between two cancers: breast or prostate cancer. Which will it be?

It’s driven by desperation and anger, and as such it will only yield desperation and anger again. Something qualitatively new must happen that will change the entire political scenario.

I also value election input from Jeff TenEyck, Learn to Blog head support,who quoted what Mark Twain said a long time ago.

“If voting actually made any difference (in their agenda) they would not let us do it,” he wrote on Facebook.

“It’s all a big dog and pony show regardless of Democrats or Republicans. The whole damn show is owned and controlled by the same psychopathic megalomaniacs. So, please people stop being played for fools.”

The conventions can be brokered, so why did we vote? Maybe to exercise our democratic right.

My eyes even opened wider after reading that more than 40 percent voters are not ready for a female president, according to SheKnows.

It doesn’t surprise me that America is not ready for a female president. It all starts at the grassroots. I’ve been involved in politics for most of my adult life, and I’ve lived in a country with closed borders, that is former socialist Czechoslovakia.

Closing the borders was not a solution to anything. It actually worsened the tension inside the country. It was a political nightmare.

Throughout my journalistic career I covered mostly politics, city and town halls, counties and state reps in Michigan. I could count on the fingers of one hand how many female city managers I have encountered. Exactly one, Ruth King, and that was on my first stint in Plainwell.

Politics can get pretty rough and ugly even for a man at any level of government. Former Otisco Township supervisor Dick Reeves can attest to that. After 20 years he got recalled by his own people over the stink of Marhofer’s farm.

And as for Bernie Sanders or #feelthebern, #bernorbust, he can lead a political revolution without being the president of the USA. However, it would make it easier to lead any change in politics and economics, if Sanders was at the helm.

bernie-sanders-portrait-01-1600x1134
Bernie Sanders

Late Vaclav Havel led the 1989 Velvet Revolution as a poet and a former prisoner. After the revolution, he became the president of former Czechoslovakia.

And I write about this in my memoir, “Greenwich Meridian.”

I was there standing on the plazas in the cold November chill with other millions of people all around the country. We won in 23 days with massive demonstrations ringing our keys and lighting up the night with flames from our lighters.

America may never be ready to elect a female president. Overall, the country is conservative burdened with backwards policies designed to protect the rich from both sides, Democrats and Republicans. Further more the country is paralyzed by increased police presence and growing armament. This is much like it was in pre-Hitler and Hitler Germany. It’s broken by indebtedness to China.Both parties have the same interests and they just alternate in the election cycles.

They disagree only on things that do not matter, according to writer/researcher Ed Griffin.

But, they agree on big things like foreign policy, protecting banks and the war in the Middle East.

Progress is risky and dangerous. Collectivism and dominance are at large. Our only tool to freedom is the Internet. We need to protect it.

“Internet boats for us well,” said Griffin.

The featured image “Past Pentagon Purchasers at Play” by artist Tom Woodruff portrays psychedelic politicians and generals riding their potties.

For more on Tom Woodruff go to: http://www.woodruffdesigns.com

For Ed Griffin go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxDwT55rmIw#action=share

For Learn to Blog go to: http://learntoblog.com/

For Vergennes Broadband go to: https://vergennesbroadband.com/

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

26 years in America

Celebrating 26th anniversary of arrival in USA

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- It’s been 26 years since we’ve landed at JFK on this day, Dec. 22, 1989. The long flight from former Czechoslovakia finally ended. We took the Czechoslovak Airlines flight (CSA). People were still smoking on jets back then.

I was exhausted with two children and from the previous night ride to the Prague airport.

Me and Al Capone in America.
Me and Al Capone in America.

It was a journey into the unknown, although I have lived in the USA in the 70s. My parents were waiting for us at the frozen airport. I only had a Benetton denim jacket on and I was freezing. I was still sporting long hair and jeans from Austria.

We spent the night at a friend’s house in NYC. And then a long trip to Big Rapids, Michigan ensued. Any water tower that we passed, my son Jake wanted to climb on it. Also he insisted on sitting in my lap over and over despite the fact that he had to be buckled up.

“I’ll make you a chock for you to sit on,” said my dad.

The windows of the gray station wagon have frozen up. We were like in an ice cave from the film Elsa. That increased the claustrophobia in me, as well as anxiety.

We finally arrived on Christmas Eve in Big Rapids. We picked up my brother Vas from his trailer with an enormous flood light in Roger’s Heights.

Mom had the festive supper ready ahead of time. The Czech traditional fare for Christmas Eve is mushroom or fish soup, fried fish and potato salad. And of course traditional Czech pastries. The only choice of fish back in Czech homeland was carp.

wpid-wp-1423063976918.jpeg
Czech homeland

We opened presents and all I could think of was if I could go to bed. Dad turns on TV and there’s the Rumanian revolution. I just have escaped one, the Velvet Revolution. I participated in it on frigid town squares including Wenceslas Square in Prague. I shouted along with two million other people:

“Havel na hrad.”

That translates as, “Havel for president or Havel to the castle.”

I finally laid in bed thinking about all of this.

“What’s ahead of me?”

My husband received immigration visa to Montreal, Canada. I had to make decisions again what to do, “Stay or leave?”

We moved to Montreal and we lived in that great cosmopolitan city for three years. In 1993 we returned to Michigan. I took journalism classes at the Grand Rapids Community College.

In 1995, we built a house outside of Lowell in Vergennes Township and that sealed it for us.

Traditional Czech Christmas pastries.
Traditional Czech Christmas pastries.

The details of all of this are in my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” that I have to complete. It is my goal to pick it back up in January 2016 and to finish our story.

I wish happy holidays to all.

 

Copyright © 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Greenwich Meridian memoir update

The featured image is the  Greenwich Meridian memoir on the screen surrounded by various memorabilia like the economy class menu of the Czechoslovakian Airlines. I flew with them in 1989 for my second immigration to the USA.

Blogging anchored, Greenwich Meridian memoir evolves forward

By Emma Palova

EW Emma Writing

Lowell, MI- Now, that I am firmly anchored in the blogging world with Emma Blogs, LLC, a portfolio of blogs, I resumed working on the Greenwich Meridian memoir in mid-May. The blogging part may seem like a detour to many, not to me. I feel like I can take the book to its finale. I didn’t have that feeling before.

It took me a year-and-a-half to set up the blogging portfolio under the umbrella of http://emmapalova.com. Fellow blogger Leigh Ann Dickey said it took her two years to prove herself. So, don’t believe the hype out there like “Get a blog in 60 seconds,” or in five minutes, in an hour or in a day. And definitely, don’t pay any money for that  pitch.

It just doesn’t happen. It’s like saying you’re going to learn calculus in a day. You may get the template like you would get a college-ruled notebook to start your math, and then what? Do you start with fractions, trigonometry or double integer?

Of course you start with the About page in the world of blogging. After all, you know the best what you are all about. Add a picture, it’s worth a thousand words.

Many blogging colleagues out there don’t know what their niche or target audience are. How are they supposed to pick a theme? Should they post every day and what should they post to attract that ever elusive traffic?

Maybe Stephen King asked himself the same question before his big Carrie break, “What should I write about so I make it big?”

I know I ask myself that question every week before posting, “What am I going to post this week or what is the next chapter outline?”

Other than King, I always think about  German Martin Luther posting 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517 according to the student custom. The theses were a catalyst to a change.

Blog posts carry those same signs of a changing world. A shorter, faster world of pixels that has no time for long “expose” articles. Readers want to know everything and immediately.

Without the “how to” knowledge, blogging can feel like sailing on vast seas after you lost your compass. You started out right, what next?

Stay tuned for more.

Copyright © 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Mother’s Day

Two sisters and mothers still at war

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Writer’s note:

This is part of the 200 Posts & beyond series

Today is a big day. As I write to  the morning chirping of the birds, I still have my feet wet from watering the flowers for my mother, for Mother’s Day. 

My dog Haryk passed in September of last year. So, I don’t have him anymore. It’s bizarre how many things have changed in one year. I’ve made a lot of posts since  April of last year. I had around 100 posts, now I am close to  300 posts.

Mistakes. Yes, tons of them. Success, too. I’ve established my company Emma Blogs, LLC in August of last year. I got my eyes fixed with Dr. Verdier.

It’s May 9th, it’s my birthday. I was born on the national holiday in former Czechoslovakia. On that day, the nation’s capital Prague, the mother of all cities, was freed from the Nazi occupation by the Soviet Army. That was the end of World War II.

Many years later, I was born in the wee hours at 4 a.m. to parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny. My mom woke up to the cracking noises of fireworks announcing the anniversary of the victory.

“I thought it was war again, but then I realized those were fireworks celebrating your birth,” she said to me this morning as she wished me a happy birthday. “The whole nation celebrated.”

Czech Capital Prague
Czech Capital Prague

Mom says that to me every year, as the nature too celebrates the awakening after long winter.

“The nature blossoms on your birthday,” she says. “You always had the day off and a parade.”

Birthday blossom
Birthday blossom

 

The above note is one of the many reasons why I dedicated the memoir “Greenwich Meridian where East meets west” to my mother.

 200 Posts & beyond

This post is inspired by Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” and the constant friction that I have witnessed between sisters in this world.

Mom Ella & I
Mom Ella & I

Mom Ella and aunt Anna

As I watch people drop like flies around me, I realize how time is going by fast. I like the inscription on the clock in the living room, “Tempus fugit.” That’s why I bought that pendulum clock as one of the first things when I arrived on this continent in 1989 for $110. Not that I had that kind of money. I just wanted the clock so bad, that I probably borrowed money for it. It announces the time by boldly striking every full and half hour. My husband Ludek still has to wind it by hand much like the clock that the in-laws had at home in the old country.

“They probably wouldn’t even let us know if Anna’s dead,” mom said about her sister.

Well, I think she is right. There is probably no one left to let us know. That’s all part of the emigration package that I am writing about in the memoir “Greenwich Meridian.”

To be continued as part of the ongoing series 200 Posts & beyond

Copyright © 2015 story and photos by Emma Palova