2 May

My Great Week: Rebirth, Renewal, Lots Of Good

by Jon Katz

I had the greatest week this week; as one reader wrote, it was a kind of rebirth for me: so much love, so much good, so much meaning, and happiness.

I don’t really know where to start, so I’ll start with the photo of Tina, the Miller’s dog, who is thriving on the Purina Pro Premium dog food I got for her. Moise and the children are pleased with how much good this food has already done for her.

She’s grateful too, I think, yesterday. She came running over and showed me her belly, the dog’s way of saying, “I love you.” I love her also, we speak the same languate.

It was an extraordinary week at the Mansion. I got to meet a lot of new residents, and I’m allowed in.

They all needed something from clothes to shoes to a TV to games, knitting and embroidering and stuffed animals and fly fishing kits and sneakers and razors, blades and body wash, and disinfectant lotions—also meditation beads.

We funded the Bishop Maginn High School graduation banquet; the school had no money for it. Zinnia is the Prom Queen. These refugee graduates lost so much of their senior year; at least they’ll have this remembrance and celebration. Graduating high school is a big deal for them; every single refugee student is going to college.

I am so lucky to be associated with this wonderful school and the teachers who make it work.

Thanks to the Army of Good, everyone has or will get what they needed. Over the weekend, a dozen Wal-Mart gift cards arrived; more are coming. They’ll all be sent out by tomorrow night.

We brought our chicks to the Mansion, and the residents loved them and loved them.

Maria sold another beautiful quilt – four people wanted to buy it before she finished it. She sold a bunch of potholders also. She is red hot.

Our chicks hop into our hands and eat out of them. We’re getting a rooster next week.

My Mansion meditation workshop and storytelling hours have resumed, and I really missed them.

I dropped my long and futile effort to get an animal talk show going. Maria and I are going to crank up our podcasts instead.

I decided to buy my car, which was leased a year and a half ago. I think it’s a wise decision.

Moise and I cemented our friendship. I drove him to the bus station twice, and we went online for a rousing and successful search to buy pie and donat boxes. We got free shipping, a great price, and overnight delivery.

We got Pan Young an Ipad and digital camera to take to college; she was thrilled, and so was I.

I bought seven hanging plans for the Mansion porch; I’ll bring them home Mother’s day weekend. This coming week, I’m going to the Bronx Zoo to re-acquaint myself with my precious granddaughter Robin and my daughter Emma.

I love writing about my Amish neighbors, this is a fascinating culture, and I want to do justice. Maria calls them my “other family.” There is some truth to it.

Every day of this week felt promising, hopeful, nourishing, and energizing. I think my reader is right. I am having a rebirth.


  1. Hi Jon–I “met” you when I ready your book about Simon the donkey. Beautiful book! I have been following you on Facebook for a while and always enjoy your posts. There’s a lot of naked truth in each one that is so refreshing in this world. I used to write content for corporate web sites, and I know that editing your own work to catch grammar/spelling/syntax errors is hard–you just don’t catch all of it. If you ever want a free copy editor, just message me. I’ll happily volunteer and can turn things around in a couple of hours. Keep posting, the world needs you!


    1. Thanks for your good thoughts, Jean, I love my typos, they are a part of who I am and the reality of blog writing by individuals instead of corporations. If I ever want a copy editor ( Hint: I don’t) I’ll hire one, thanks.

      1. Hahaaa!! That made me so happy, you saying you like your typos. I’ve fretted and consumed a mountain of time editing and reediting my posts and writing. To be free of the burden of perfectionism and let a post flow and fly as-is… that is a NEW thought for me… Thank you friend. ❤️

        PS: So delighted you and Maria had a happy week, giving, receiving. ☺️

        1. Thanks, Suzi, blog writing is informal, and I like it that way. I don’t want to read like the New York Times. Apart from my dyslexia, I just don’t want to spend my time proofreading all day when I should be writing. Once a month, somebody offers to proofread my columns for free, I find it unfathomable that I would ever turn my work over to a stranger to edit for free. If I wanted a copy editor, I would of course hire one and pay him or her for their trouble. I’ve got four million hits a year, and hardly anyone is complaining, I’m good…I’d urge you to let perfectionism is go and just write from the heart…

  2. I love the choice of Zinnia as Prom Queen! No hurt feelings from those who didn’t;t win, and she can kiss everyone & no-one will mind. 🙂 I also glad to see you are able to go back to the Mansion & the school; I missed the reports on residents & students. We had a bit of good fortune recently, so I hope to send along a contribution for wherever needs it most next week.

    Thank you for sharing the stories of the new neighbors. It is truly enjoyable to get to know them & their culture through your words. I hope you have a great visit with Robin!

  3. Jon, thanks for your writing. I’ve been a follower since “A Dog Year.” your writing/blog always gives me great calm and joy to start the day (after a morning of reading the news). I recommended you yesterday to a new friend at church who’s also a writer. She was excited to learn about you. More pics of Tina as I’m a cattle dog lover.

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