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Posts Tagged ‘massachusetts’

An example of tiny houses designed to combat homelessness.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about tiny houses (you can search on the term to see what I posted before), and I was curious to see what was going on in the movement. To my surprise, I learned that a tiny-house community is being planned to combat homelessness in Worcester.

Tori Bedford writes at GBH News, “Plans for a community of tiny homes for people experiencing chronic homelessness in Worcester have been announced, with a small village slated to open in 2023.

“The village, to be located at 264 Stafford St., will have 21 tiny homes that contain a bedroom, bathroom and combination kitchen and living room, contained within about 480 square feet. As of 2019, 84 people in Worcester were chronically homeless, according to data reported to Central Mass Housing.

” ‘It’s expanding the options for people,’ said Amy Arrell, a service director at Open Sky Community Services, ‘because different things work for different people, depending on their trauma history, their need for privacy, their different experiences when they’ve been out on the streets.’

“Arrell says Worcester’s homelessness crisis has heightened during the coronavirus pandemic: at the height of the crisis in April of last year, nearly half of the population at a Worcester adult emergency homeless shelter tested positive for COVID-19.

“Open Sky is working in partnership with the Worcester East Side Community Development Corporation and a group of local real estate developers, organizations and agencies to offer permanent housing for people who have struggled with chronic homelessness, mental health challenges and substance use.

“Applicants for residency will be processed through a coordinated entry process, led by the city, Open Sky and the Department of Mental Health, to select candidates who don’t thrive in a group setting or temporary housing. …

“The village will include on-site housing specialists to help transition tenants into the neighborhood, as well as individualized and group mental health and substance use treatment. Staff will live in a central building that also serves as a community center, offering monthly social activities like barbecues and picnics. Residents will additionally have access to both individual and community gardens.

“Subsidies will be available to cover the cost of rent based on a percentage of income, and resources for job placement will be made available to residents on-site. …

“ ‘In permanent supportive housing programs, people usually don’t live there forever, they live there for as long as they need to. But there is a sense of security as you’re recovering to know that if you do need that, it’s a permanent option for you.’ …

“Some funding has already been secured through UMass Memorial Health’s anchor mission program, which has connected Worcester East Side CDC and Civico, a real estate development firm that has designed the model based on similar projects across the Pacific Northwest.

“ ‘We abide by some of the principles referred to as “trauma-informed design,” ‘ Taylor Bearden, a partner at Civico, said. ‘The idea is that you’re actually designing for the population and the experiences that these people who may have suffered from chronic homelessness have had in their life. You’re not creating dark corners. You’re making sure that, from the bedroom, you have a clear line of sight to the front door. Certain things that may be triggers for trauma are sort of addressed in the architecture of the spaces themselves.’

“Bearden says safety and community are huge factors in designing a space that can serve as both a recovery center and a liveable space for people who have experienced trauma.

“ ‘The goal is to create a really permanent community where the people who live there develop relationships.’ “

More at GBH radio, here. At the Christian Science Monitor, here, you can see what some other cities are doing to address homelessness.

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New Shoreham, Rhode Island

Hello, Everyone. Here are a few summer photos. They mostly speak for themselves. The first eight are all of Rhode Island. As you can see, I’m fascinated by stone walls, lichen, and dirt roads.

Also, I took a shorebird hike with the Nature Conservancy and saw oyster catchers, among other cool birds. Our guide (with the telescope) taught Suzanne and John all about bird banding when they were young.

The Great Blue Heron here, however, is not the one I saw in Rhode Island but one that stood in the flooded path of Great Meadows National Wildlife Sanctuary in Massachusetts. After the heavy rains, I found I couldn’t walk there because I had no wading boots, but it was a treat to see people silently watching this bird, including a troop of little boys with bicycles. When I left, everyone was still waiting for the heron to decide what to do.

Also from Massachusetts, are photos of an agricultural lawn ornament, summer lilies and wild flowers, and Concord grapes in a vine honoring the founder of that variety, Ephraim Bull.

The last photo is neither from Rhode Island or Massachusetts but one Suzanne sent from the west coast of Sweden, where her family is renting an apartment on a horse farm near where they’re boating.

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I think I have enough June and early July photos for another round-up. Most of these were taken in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but I’m including two that Melita sent from Madrid, where (she reports with relief) foreign nationals have finally been able to get Covid vaccinations.

Working backwards from New Shoreham’s July 4th parade, I apologize that the banner is missing an apostrophe. But there was such a sense of relief and gratitude in the air, I think I can let that go. No one knows how long our relief will last — I for one, still put up a mask when I get close to strangers — but it sure felt good for one day.

Another shot from New Shoreham features a blue Lace-Cap Hydrangea. How I love that flower! It says July to me. Next, I have a photo of Great Salt Pond on a cloudy day when the waves on the ocean side of the sandbar were too rough for the grandchildren. Later on, I collaborated with them to identify the Red Admiral butterfly. My husband caught it flying around the house and let it go outdoors.

The gorgeous iris and peony from Madrid are followed by the papery bark of the river birch. Such a beautiful tree! And speaking of trees, please applaud the tree puzzle I finally finished. It took me almost six months. It was the hardest puzzle I ever did. But everyone said to do a puzzle in the pandemic.

The dry cleaner’s sign speaks for itself. It’s followed by the boat house on the Sudbury River, a kind of garter snake, more flowers, and shadows. I can never resist interesting shadows.

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What’s weird about WordPress is that it keeps changing how things are done and forgets its own history. So, for example, it recently decided to congratulate people for consecutive days of posting. I guess it started counting when the new editing system went in. But when it throws exclamation points at me for “1,449!” consecutive days, it’s really a bit insulting.

Every day for ten years is 3,650 plus three leap years. So ex-cu-use me!

Well, enough of that. Today I also thought I would post some spring photos, the one above being ten years out of date. Suzanne, of course, looks exactly the same, but I really got old!

First, I want to share three pictures I took of redbud trees, which I always thought were plum trees until the dear sister who died in 2019 showed me an especially beautiful one on Fifth Avenue in New York. I realized from studying these photos that it’s the delicate shape of the branches from a distance that charms me most. And I always think of my sister now when I see redbuds.

Next are apple trees growing wild along the Sudbury River and cherry blossoms coexisting on a branch with moss and lichen.

Also looking pretty: woodland trails, dogwood, barberry flowers, rhododendron open and opening, plus a rare pink Lady Slipper.

And it wouldn’t be a Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog photo round-up without some shadows.

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Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/ Globe staff.
Henrietta Nyaigoti with her mother, Veronicah Nyaigoti (right), working with baskets of chinsaga spider plant seeds.

Some years ago, for the magazine I edited, I acquired an article about Hmong immigrants in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and the role that their community garden played in their new life. The garden was called Flats Mentor Farm, and I’m excited to see it’s still going strong.

Jocelyn Ruggiero wrote recently at the Boston Globe about a Kenyan transplant whose family’s garden inspired a new business. “Six days a week, May through October, 33-year-old Henrietta Nyaigoti arrives at Flats Mentor Farm by 7 a.m. She waters the inside of her two high tunnels, checks the progress of the vegetables growing there, and walks her family’s 2 acres to assess any damage from pests and weather.

“During planting season, she puts seeds in the ground, and during growing season, tills weeds and makes any necessary soil amendments. At 2:30 p.m. on weekdays, she drives 15 minutes home, where she lives with her two young daughters, then showers and changes before heading to her job as an assistant program manager at a group home for individuals with traumatic brain injuries. She works there 50 to 70 hours per week during farm season, and 80 to 100 hours in the off-season. All year round, Nyaigoti spends 30 hours a week as a home health aide at an assisted living facility. She recently began a position as a sales coordinator for World Farmers — the nonprofit that operates Flats Mentor Farm — which has so far been a 10-hour a week commitment. … And this May, after three years of hard work, she will complete coursework for her Master’s in Public Health at Southern New Hampshire University.

Nyaigoti says, ‘I work hard because I have an opportunity that many people don’t, especially in Kenya.’

“Nyaigoti was almost 14 in 2001 when, ‘seeking greener pastures,’ her family immigrated to Massachusetts from a small town in Kenya called Rigoma Market. Her parents were teachers and, like everyone they knew, grew the vegetables — managu, chinsaga, amaranth, maize, and kunde — that their family ate. When they packed their bags, Nyaigoti says, ‘we did … what a lot of people did back then. We dried our vegetables and traveled with them … because we didn’t know if we were going to find them here. And lo and behold, we didn’t.’ …

“TIn [2003] Nyaigoti’s mother first visited Manny’s Dairy Farm in Lancaster. She was delighted to discover something she hadn’t seen since her time in Kenya: amaranth. She struck up a conversation with Manny, who invited her to pick the vegetable. Shortly after, he introduced her to Maria Moreira, the executive director and cofounder of World Farmers, the Lancaster-based nonprofit whose mission is to support small farmers in sustainable agricultural production.

“In 2004, Moreira offered her a parcel of land at the 70-acre Flats Mentor Farm, where World Farmers provides infrastructure and marketing assistance to small refugee and immigrant farmers — today approximately 25 countries represented — whose ethnic specialty crops (cleared by the government for planting and growing) make their way to more than 15 farmers’ markets, dozens of direct-to-consumer outlets, and a World Farmers’ CSA. …

“By 2006, [Nyaigoti] wanted to help her mother more, who she saw ‘working crazy hours [at her day job], and still struggling at the farm.’ She knew, though, she wasn’t going to farm the way her mother did. She explains, ‘When we came to the States, we were put into a system where you have to work for somebody in order to survive.’ She saw the farm as an opportunity for a degree of economic independence. ‘When I started working it [the farm], I said, I’m not going to sweat for free.’ Nyaigoti’s personal network of Kenyan friends had grown at UMass Lowell, and she was increasingly aware of the wider Kenyan diaspora in the region. She recognized the potential value of their Kenyan crops in this narrow target market.

“She began in 2007 with a single Kenyan church. ‘I would literally just get there, and in 30 minutes’ time, I’m done selling my produce, and I’m heading home.’ The more she sold, the faster word spread within the Kenyan community. The demand became so great that by 2008, she didn’t have enough supply to keep up. She went to Moreira, who helped facilitate ‘farmer-to-farmer sales’ between Nyaigoti and approximately 10 Flats Mentor farmers. The growers Nyaigoti subcontracts from are mostly Kenyan, however, she also buys from Tanzanians, Liberians, Burundians, and Haitians. …

“Once CDC regulations prevented large numbers of people from gathering in church parking lots to pick up their orders, Nyaigoti pivoted, fast: ‘If I know you’re not coming to the church, how can we make our relationship still work? Where can you get the vegetables where you are at? My commitment to people is: “Don’t worry about it, I will deliver.” ‘ …

“Nyaigoti wants to pack more and more of these orders: ‘my personal goal is to find a new community every year.’ She has her sights set on Cambodian, Tanzanian, and Ugandan communities next. In her own business and as sales coordinator for World Farmers, she wants to familiarize Massachusetts residents with Kenyan and other cultural crops grown by farmers at Flats Mentor Farm. She plans to share recipes and cooking videos to introduce new customers to these vegetables.”

More at the Globe, here. For information on Henrietta Nyaigoti and her business, visit www.facebook.com/Lexavahproducts. And there’s more about the Flats Mentor Farm at www.worldfarmers.org/flats-mentor-farm.

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It’s really spring in Massachusetts. Sometimes 70 F, sometimes 50 F. But we know where we’re headed.

I took advantage of being old to get my Covid-19 vaccinations wrapped up in March and began to visit grandchildren indoors. Below you see that piano recitals are still on Zoom. While I was visiting, I got my hair “painted” rainbow colors by the youngest grandchild. She worked on my hair while her brother read “spooky stories” to me. The stories got exciting, so she went to look at the pictures.

Easter involved an egg hunt, although some kids may be getting too old. Next year, maybe a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt would be a good variation.

Where I live, there’s a guy who rides around on his bicycle playing the guitar. I managed to capture him this week in his headless horseman costume. His day job is baker.

Also in my town, there are people who never forget that April is Natural Poetry Month. One homeowner makes poems available for free.

Most of the other pictures are about Suzanne’s Mom and her friends flipping over spring flowers. Daffodil, Andromeda, Rhododenron. Fig Buttercup, Blue Scilla, Bloodroot, Trout Lily, Magnolia.

The second to last photo was taken in Central Park by Ying-Ying, who was thrilled to get out of Arizona for a New York spring. And the last was taken by Melita in Madrid, where she’s been living during the pandemic.

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Pancake for Valentine’s Day.

I had high ambitions for heart-shaped pancakes today, with cranberries dotted around the edge in a tidy pattern. My cooking never comes out quite the way I envision, but with butter and maple syrup, it tasted just fine. Today was also the first time we used my mother-in-law’s dainty tea set, though we’ve had it in a cupboard the last 20 years. My husband was surprised.

In other February news, there’s been snow, snow, and more snow. My grandson built a snowman and took a photo one day. Where he lives, the kids don’t always get snow days because, with schools all set up for online classes, teachers want to keep kids learning.

Is that nose a carrot? A pumpkin stem? Looks good to me. I myself felt moved to get playful in the snow, so I shot the Fisher-Price kid with the wheelbarrow for no other reason.

I hope you can feel the weight of the snow in the next few pictures. This winter has been rough on bushes and trees. Not to mention old guys who have to dig out of the driveway in a hurry if they want to get to their scheduled Covid shot in time. (Whew, we both got Dose 1! Onward and Upward!)

The rhododendron blooming indoors represents one upside of having four wild creatures running ’round and ’round outside the house in January and crashing into bushes. Another upside is having them here, running ’round and ’round outside the house in January and crashing into bushes.

Sandra sent the Happy Valentine’s Day photo from New Shoreham, a place that seldom gets much snow. Pretty careful job, huh? If I’d tried, there would’ve been footprints all over it.

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Today I have a few Massachusetts photos that I took myself and a few that other people took. Most need no explanation, but please let me know if you have comments.

The abandoned boathouse is next to the Sudbury River, which you can see through the trees if you look closely. A shot taken nearby shows more of the river, including the farther shore and the ice forming along the edges.

About the traffic signs: Are drivers supposed to be hopeful about the availability of tickets?

My husband researched white squirrels after I pointed out our visitor. This squirrel could be either an albino gray squirrel or a mutation. I think I have the mutation. Very aggressive, by the way.

The new bird feeder has provided terrific entertainment ever since it went up December 16. The sharp-shinned hawk seen on the backyard bench agreed that the feeder was entertaining, although his enthusiasm was not as innocent as mine.

Kristina took the next two pictures: one of the gnome she made over Christmas, and the other of her bright and cheery plants.

My oldest grandson took the picture of his sister next to a big New Year’s ice sculpture in his town.

Finally, I hardly ever miss a chance to shoot a photo of nice shadows.

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A dripping icicle.

Although officially it’s still fall, there are many days it feels like winter where I live. We are not yet at the point that the dogs are sticking to the sidewalks, but some days it’s pretty cold. Even the chickens at Codman Farm in Lincoln seem to shiver.

The snow we had a week ago froze into a hard and slippery crust, and we put on cleats to take walks. But what is going on with that yard? you ask. The pattern is the result of my husband’s wish never to use a leaf blower. He puts out a net, rolls up the leaves, and carts them to the town’s composting site.

I took a couple red and green photos on warm days, but they made me think of the holiday to come.

Hellabore uses any break in the weather to flower. So welcome.

In another picture, you see where someone made a child’s game with chalk. It was actually quite intricate, featuring a variety of tasks and awards for getting to certain squares. A more elaborate version of hopscotch.

Most of the other photos speak for themselves, but the lovely dove design is by artist Kristina Joyce, a commission for one of her clients. That photo is followed by a painted door from one of the Umbrella artists.

The last two pictures were sent by Stuga40 and were taken on walks in Stockholm.

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Oops!

Massachusetts got a tree-bending snowfall October 30 while leaves were still attached to everything. I don’t know if we should call it an October surprise or a Halloween surprise, but it’s likely to add to the reasons kids will long remember this year’s mask-required Halloween.

For today’s photo round-up, let’s start with what autumn looked like in these parts before the snow. Amusing, colorful, thought-provoking.

In an annual event on the library lawn, people put up scarecrows to represent their favorite storybook characters. I love the face-shield wielding Wild Thing below kicking a coronavirus soccer ball.

As pumpkins came out in yards, flowers continued to bloom on fences, and sometimes the woods seemed to bloom like flowers.

One day I got it in my head that the white-pine needles on our yew branches looked like wishbones, so I set up a silly shot.

The carved stone marker is located near a retirement home in town. I had never noticed before that it has a word about local celebrity Henry Thoreau.

The mother-baby sculpture is a peaceful one outside a hospital in Boston, where I had to go for an annual checkup. Overall, it wasn’t a peaceful experience because there were so many people. The safety protocols were good, but I am definitely not used to crowds.

OK, the luscious dahlia is not mine. Melita sent it from Madrid, where she reports a State of Emergency has been decreed until May 9!

After the dahlia is my attempt at creating a Maxfield Parrish.

Stay safe, stay warm, but try to get out in the fresh air for a bit every day.

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Bike path, Lincoln, Massachusetts

If you’re not traveling, you get to know your own neighborhood really well, both how it looks and sounds and smells, and what people are thinking about.

It can get complicated. People on the same side of an issue can disagree. Today for example, a small group of people is holding a rally to condemn our church, of all things! Another group, which I ordinarily admire, plans a counter-demonstration, even though the church has requested that no one show up to give the extreme talk show host the confrontation video she seeks.

Some days, you just have to turn to nature.

Above is a bike path I especially love. It goes past a farm with pigs and cows. I learned the farm has an honor-system, 24/7 shop in a big, airy barn. The food I got there was great. We had it last night for dinner.

I took the first picture of dahlias, and Kristina took the one from a Western Massachusetts dahlia farm. Did you know you have to bring dahlias in every year and replant them the next year? Whoa!

At the nature preserve Great Meadows, I was astonished by lotus leaves as far as the eye can see. Next year, I will definitely come when the plants are blooming.

The flowers in the next three photos — asters, clematis virginiana, and a wild bouquet — are mostly from our yard. Then there’s a local jewelry shop, which has wonderful window boxes in every season.

After the pumpkins, there’s a painted door called “Walkies,” by Kayo Burmon, located on the Bruce Freeman bike trail.

In the picture after that, my neighbors are holding up their pink voting slips at the coronavirus outdoor town meeting. Signs of the times.

Literal signs of the times, below, need no discussion, although I do wonder if any of you know the code in the sign copied from Tolkien: “Speak, ‘Friend,’ and enter.”

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John takes my grandchildren on a paddle-board trip. Guess what happened when the youngest decided she wanted to stand up.

Here we are in September, and already August is seeming like a long time ago. So I want to share summer photos, mostly from my walks.

The first one below, however, shows a lighthouse painting by Ben Cummings. It was sent by his son Earle,after my last photo post, which featured a lighthouse. Everyone loves lighthouses.

Next is a picture of chicory, which people in New Shoreham and other parts of Rhode Island call Ragged Sailor. It has many names, in fact, depending on where you live. The turtle art is also from New Shoreham, one of my favorite Painted Rock images this year, and one that actually lasted more than a few hours. (The rock is a local billboard and really gets a workout in the summer.)

Back in Massachusetts, Kristina shared a photo of a sunflower from Verrill Farm’s pick-your-own-sunflowers day, a benefit for Emerson Hospital. Kristina gave me one of her sunflowers, and I was worried when I left for a few days that it wouldn’t survive. So I put it in the birdbath, and it did just fine.

Woodland scenes and the farm along the Lincoln bike path come next. I continue to be fascinated by fungi and by bits of art in unexpected places. The pig, an Old Spot, is one of the varieties raised at Codman Community Farms.

The frame on a pedestal and the amoeba-shaped sculpture were next to a construction site near a conservation trail. I wasn’t sure what to make of them. Perhaps you have a thought.

Meanwhile in the town, a second-floor shop’s staircase says, “Whatever you do today, do it with the confidence of a four-year-old in a Batman cape.” I thought it was excellent advice.

The last photo speaks for itself.

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Photo: Carol and Brian Smith/Educational Passages
Brian Smith posed with a boat made from a kit at a Massachusetts school. He and his wife found it after it washed ashore on Dalyellup Beach in Australia.

How’s this for a school project? Following a boat you built as it braves the high seas for science.

Steve Annear (who in my opinion gets all the fun assignments at the Boston Globe) reported on the excitement of hearing that the first of several such research boats was found after more than a year.

“After spending 463 days on the unforgiving ocean, the ‘Sacred Heart Star of the Sea’ made its final landing on the shores of Western Australia late last month, plucked from the sand by an unsuspecting couple out for a sunset stroll.

“It was a long and closely watched voyage that began in the classrooms of the Sacred Heart School in Kingston last year, where students assembled the small ship as part of a class project before it was packed with a GPS monitoring system and a weighted keel, and [taken to a launch site] in the Indian Ocean with dozens of personal letters to whomever might discover it one day.

“Now, that day has come. And at its new home on the other side of the planet, the miniature research vessel is being heralded as something of a small-town hero, paraded around to schools and local offices as residents marvel at it.

” ‘This boat is a popular chat topic,’ said William Power, a geoscientist in Australia who had been tracking the boat’s final movements toward land, in an e-mail.

“On July 2, officials from Bunbury posted on Facebook about the vessel’s arrival at a beach in Dalyellup, a southern suburb.

“Though a search party led by Power had scoured the beach a few days earlier, hoping to find the mini-boat, it was Carol and Brian Smith who happened upon the ‘Star of the Sea’ first. …

“Carol Smith said in an e-mail, ‘What caught our attention was the sticker that said, “If found please e-mail” … We didn’t know at the time but groups were looking for the mini-boat.’

“The couple strapped it to their roof rack and took it home. After doing research, they learned the boat was part of an educational mission by students in Kingston, some 10,000 miles away.

The boat was put together by students at the Catholic school in January last year, led by Maine-based Educational Passages, a nonprofit that supplies students with kits to construct the ships, send them out to sea, and track them online. …

“When the 5½-foot boat eventually landed in Australia, its sail and mast were gone, and it was covered in barnacles, Smith said, a sure signs of an arduous journey that lasted more than a year. But the rest was spared, including the letters onboard.

” ‘It was so exciting to open up the waterproof compartment, and see all the intact letters,’ Smith said. …

“Winifred Dick, an English teacher at the school, [helped] get the boat kit from Educational Passages. Dick’s husband, Henry, is a chief scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and was the lead chief scientist on the cruise at Marion Rise, where the vessel was first lowered into the sea. …

“The boat first visited Australind Primary School, where Smith teaches, and is now on display at City of Bunbury offices. It will go on to visit other schools, and later Fremantle, a port city near Perth. …

“At some point the boat will undergo repairs. There’s also talk of sending it back out on the water for another adventure.”

More at the Boston Globe, here.

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Photo: Erin Clark/Globe Staff
Note that they are wearing gloves! Members of Chelsea Collaborative in Massachusetts pray before opening the doors to a pop-up food pantry. Covid-19 food distribution has been operating for about a month with food donated by local businesses and food pantries.

A sad but hardly surprising aspect of the Covid-19 plague is that the poor, minorities, and immigrants are often the most affected. A community in the Greater Boston area has been learning that the hard way. But in Chelsea there is a spirit of helping your neighbor that is a lesson for us all

Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker writes, “Gladys Vega’s office at the Chelsea Collaborative does not normally resemble a food pantry. But normal times ended in Chelsea roughly six weeks ago.

“’We probably have 2,000 people lined up, and I’m giving out food in an hour,’ she said when I talked to her Thursday afternoon.

“In a state that has become a hot spot of the coronavirus, hard-hit Chelsea might be its white-hot center. But the frightening prevalence of COVID-19 is only part of the reason her nonprofit has become such a popular spot.

“The city’s status as home to a large population of undocumented immigrants has taken on new meaning in recent weeks. The people Vega advocates for are being shut out of other means of assistance, such as stimulus checks — one more way the pandemic has deepened the divide between haves and have-nots.

“ ‘They don’t have income,’ Vega said. ‘And now they are not able to pay bills or buy food.’

“Vega is giving out not just donated food, but diapers and other supplies as well. For this, she has relied upon a network of donors cultivated over many years.

“That’s where her friend Bob Hildreth came in. Hildreth is a wealthy philanthropist, having made many millions in finance. After walking away from that he founded a nonprofit in Lynn to help poor families, especially immigrant families, save up to send their children to college by matching their savings. …

“Hildreth told me he thinks this is a critical time for philanthropists to do as much as possible to help those the federal government won’t.

“ ‘I don’t think my fellow philanthropists are acting fast enough,’ Hildreth said. “’When you need food and drink you need it within a week. I think this requires an extraordinary effort to get money to grass-roots organizations.” …

“The tragedy in Chelsea has mobilized donors large and small, Vega said. A produce collaborative has contributed food. A group of women in Cambridge have made regular deliveries of diapers and baby formula. Local bodegas that may not survive the lockdown are donating to the food supply.

“ ‘I’ve been so blessed,’ Vega said. ‘Two weeks ago I was crying because I had no food and I had a list of 200 people looking for food. Today we delivered 65 boxes of 25 pounds of food for people with COVID who can’t come out of the house. We call ahead and leave it outside.’

Especially striking has been the philanthropy of Chelsea residents with relatively little to give. ‘A man on Social Security gave me $10,’ Vega said. ‘A woman I don’t know gave me her stimulus check. She said, “You don’t know me, but I want to help.” It’s been the most beautiful show of poor people helping poor people.’

“By Vega’s reckoning, Chelsea’s recovery will be a long haul. The city had been turning around, but that’s been stopped in its tracks. As of last week, Chelsea had the highest per capita number of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts.

“ ‘The coronavirus in one month has taken five years of progress,’ she said. ‘This is a war zone right now.’

“Still, she and her staff keep performing their daily triage operation, with no plans to slow down. She said she’s getting about two to three hours of sleep a night. For now, that’s enough.

“ ‘You see the line and it gives you energy,’ she said. ‘You don’t have time to think about pain. You just continue to go.’ ”

I crossed paths with philanthropist Hildreth in my last job, and I can attest that he is sets an example for philanthropy. But what touches me the most is that people who don’t have much are giving such a big chunk of what they have.

More at the Globe, here, and at the Chelsea Collaborative, here.

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I haven’t shared photos for a while. Some of these are from my last sad visit to New York, others are closer to home.

The first one makes me think of how hopeful I was on September 24th, when I arrived in New York and stayed with my sister’s devoted friend. I learned that my sister was doing better than the day before although she was still in the hospital. She was talking again and saying she wanted to carry on with treatment. We allowed ourselves a flutter of hope.

The bed is a Murphy Bed, made famous in old, silent movies, where someone like Charlie Chaplin might accidentally get closed up in it. This one was comfortable and not at all recalcitrant.

My hosts’ balcony had a glorious view. I sat there and had a cup of tea. I also took an early walk around their neighborhood, which features a statue of the Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland (now New York), “Peg Leg” Peter Stuyvesant. I couldn’t help wondering what the descendants of the Lenape natives thought of the statue.

Alas, the next day my sister took a dramatic turn for the worse and died the day after that. Miraculously, our brothers arrived in time from Wisconsin and California.

On days that followed, my sister’s husband, her friend, Suzanne, and I wandered around the city trying to enjoy nature and art and focus on good memories.

Then I took a bus back to Rhode Island, where I had left my car in a hurry. The rooster is in Rhode Island.

The concluding set of photos embraces art and nature back home in Massachusetts, where a long-life sympathy plant from my niece and nephew holds pride of place in the living room.

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