June 2014

12 articles in June 2014

Tthe essence of humanity is the soul.
Or the soul is the essence of humanity.
When we are born we are closest to the source of our being,
the pool or cloud of essence from which we come.
As children we see the world from a different perspective,
a perspective uninhibited by reason or society’s norms.

Children, to us ‘civilized’ controlled adults, sometimes seem monsters,
and unruly (not ruled).
They have a will of their own and abide by laws of their instincts.
They are truest to their own natures.
They see monsters we do not see, hear noises we cannot hear.

Ask questions we do not understand because our vision,
or hearing, our understanding and the knowledge
of truth has been hidden from us by reason.
Children trust as only nature can prepare us to trust.

Continue Reading →

Ii was sitting at my usual spot on Long Sands Beach when I noticed a family of people walk in front of me. They looked incredibly uncomfortable, in fact, it was obvious that they were not where they wanted to be.

My brother-in-law also observed this but he had a quick explanation. He told me that they were obviously lake people. My mind immediately started to think about the concept of the differences between lake and ocean people. They were still members of the same species but they obviously evolved differently, because of their dissimilar environments.

First of all, the color of lake people is not the same as ocean people. They are never as dark and the color of their tan is grayer in shade, versus the golden brown of the people of the ocean. I have been told that they try to acquire the tan of coastal people, but the sun of the lakes is simply not the same as the sun of our coastal beaches. Plus the lakes have all those trees that get in the way of the sun. All the ocean has are those pesky umbrellas that the lake people put up to protect their graying skin.

Lake people are often mistaken for the August whites, of the latter part of the summer season. Lake people are also not used to the winds of our coastal beaches. In their own environment, they are seen scattered throughout the mud-like sand of their beaches with picnic-style blankets, protecting them from the many insects and animals that live in their mud.

Continue Reading →

Mmy father was born on July 28, 1950. OK, that is not his birthday but it is the day I first met him. You see my father was many things to me.

He was my hero, my coach, my mentor, my disciplinarian, my inspiration and, of course, my aspiration. My first memory of my father was when no one was supposed to remember anything. I have no idea how old I was but I knew the most important person was holding me in my universe. Hell, in any universe.

I was told before he met me he lived a life few people have the opportunity to live. He came out of Revere, Massachusetts, and if you know Revere it is easy to understand why his sisters made him leave. He moved to Somersworth, New Hampshire and immediately became one of their most famous athletes.

His name now resides in the Rochester Hall of Fame. In fact, he has some records that are still standing today. He was also a veteran of World War II. He fought in the battle for Italy and had many experiences he did not talk about. Who would? He was my hero because he made sure his entire family was fed and had a roof over their heads. There was never talk of money or the lack of when he was the head of the family. We had many houses because we moved a lot.

Continue Reading →

Tthe one thing that surprises me most about growing old is that I don’t feel any different inside. I know I am growing old every time I take a shower and find a few more hairs in the drain and a few less on my head.

I also see what used to be a strong, healthy body in the mirror beginning to sag and turn gray. I understand there is absolutely nothing I can do about getting older but why does my mind have to stay forever young while my body succumbs to time? Can anyone guess I just went past another birthday? This one felt like every other, with the exception of one birthday gift.

My sister-in-law decided it was time I sat my butt down on a newer and better beach chair. It has a higher back, was made of plastic and, unlike my old beach chair, it had over 12 different settings for maximum comfort. For some reason this gift represented everything I did not want, because I was getting old. To understand these feelings it is important to go back to the time when I first purchased my only favorite chair. My wife and I were shopping at Bradlees in Newington.

Back then you had to go to New Hampshire or up to Portland to buy anything. It had nothing to do with how much things cost. There simply weren’t any local stores back in the early 1980’s where you could buy a beach chair. I remember we wandered around the store for about an hour picking up things we needed when I chanced upon a small display of summer clearance items. It must have been September because I remember it being cool and my beach days for the year were behind me.

Continue Reading →

Tthere is little in this world more enjoyable than a summer garden that is just about ready to give you its bounty. After months of preparing, planting, watering, and weeding the garden is finally about to give you payment for all your labors.

However, every now and then there is an enemy to be reckoned with. A few years back the Japanese beetle population exploded thus decimating anything green. Those ‘sons of beetles’ were everywhere and seemed to evolve into becoming immune to any poison known to mankind. Then there were the voles that made your yard look like a metropolitan highway system boring under the garden and literally making it become one big sink- hole.

Over the past few years there have been few pests that attempted to eat its way into its own form of ecstasy. I don’t know if this is because of weather or the tons of anti-bug fertilizer I have been dumping on my lawn. But, this year a new enemy appeared. It is large, green, and has many horns. It is as though this newest adversary is wearing a kind of protective green horn covered uniform ready to handle anything I can use to destroy it.

I’ve heard horror stories about how whole tomato plants were destroyed because of these horned heathens from hell. First they go after the green leaves of the tomato plants but that just makes them stronger and larger. After this they take out whole bunches of the tomatoes that were meant to be put in our salads and sauces throughout the next few months. I thought I was immune to the problem.

Continue Reading →

William was a normal teenager, and one day he found a strange pamphlet in his room.

It read:
Come to Medinel’s School of Magic.
We teach all forms of magic and we run the school on an absorbing spell, so the course is free. Learn primary element spells, secondary element spells, and mixers.
This pamphlet is enchanted with a sentience spell, so, if you are able to read it, you have the capability to use magic. Most people receiving this have very little knowledge of magic; here is a quick reference guide.

Continue Reading →

Ssaturday afternoon and not much going on. Dismal weather too. Time to visit a Garden Centre; to take an amble amidst the horticultural blooms and the gardening accessories, followed by coffee and cake in a nearby café. Why not? A grand idea!

Now, there’s a Garden Superstore a mile or so out of town, at the retail park. Not been there for a while, I mused, so this would suffice.

I could do some food shopping at the same time, buy a CD from the music shop (‘Bruce MacGregor’ or ‘Blazing Fiddles’), a bag of chewy dog bones from the pet shop and maybe – just maybe – substitute my earlier notion of coffee and cake for a burger and chips from one of the fast-food outlets instead. Handy, aren’t they, these retail parks? Very convenient. Everything on tap, all in the same place.

Continue Reading →

Hhe stood on a large rock that jutted out into the ocean. He remained straight as though he was a beacon to warn ships of the rocks beneath his feet.

His feet and back looked as though they were stuck in the stone. Looking as though he was barely breathing his stare was searching for something which, if it was there at all, it couldn’t be seen. I guess he was contemplating nothing more important than himself.

When I walk down the beach attempting to keep my weight below that of a sumo wrestler I not always view these people on the rocks. I see them standing at the edge of the ocean inches from where the water meets the sand or alone on a park bench where people pass but never see them. Men and women come to our coast to stare into something that has always been and hopefully will always be.

I wonder why these people pick this time of their lives to become statues of the sea. I wonder if they regret something that happened in their past. Webster defines regret as, “the mourning of a loss or sorrow aroused by events beyond one’s control. “ I never could understand the concept of regretting something that happened in the past. It can’t be changed by regret because it already happened. If one regrets something that is presently happening all you have to do is stop and if you regret something that may happen in the future; don’t let it happen. Regret is such an odd term and it has always scared the hell out of me.

Continue Reading →

Tthe wind howled past the tatty, sodden boots. A soft splatting could be heard as the early-morning rain pelted the sheet of dirty cardboard at the end of the long, thin legs. It could have been a grotesque imitation of a ‘Guy’ – it was early November.

The cardboard jolted, as if pulled by a cord from above. A grubby, broken-nailed hand pulled the cardboard down. Francis M Donnelly, affectionately known as Percy (or Pompous Percy to complete the title) looked out sadly from a filthy, unshaven face, fronted by a broken nose, and highlighted by decaying stubs in a down-turned, pathetic mouth.

As Percy rose unsteadily, a crisp morning sun peeked momentarily through a break in the clouds and pierced his emaciation cruelly. There was no quarter given to a vagrant, (or street-philosopher, as Percy liked to call himself), in Dublin, his home for ten years. He felt like – well, a down-and-out should feel, cold and miserable.
Come on. He wandered, along the side street from the dingy hotel: his ‘home’ and set off, head bowed against the cold and drizzle along the southern reaches of Upper Leeson St.

Continue Reading →

“Hey, you up there?”

Ii was upstairs at the time, working at my computer, and when I looked out the window I saw my neighbor in the yard below waving his hands wildly around his head. When I looked closely I could see little black dots flying around him. He yelled that ‘they’ must have arrived overnight and they had already eaten most of our trees and half the garden we shared.

I immediately knew it was time once again to summon up all my superhuman reserves of strength and determination and invoke my secret identity to go out and confront a new invasion of the Japanese beetle. It was time for the return of ‘Bug Man.’

My super-hero costume consisted of a long-sleeved white T-shirt with a picture of a large Japanese beetle on the front in a red circle with a bar through it, and an old pair of jeans I kept in the garage. Kept there because my wife wouldn’t let me bring them into the house – mostly because they still reeked of insecticide from last year and she was afraid they would burn a hole in the floor. For headgear I had planned on wearing my indestructible ‘Made in Maine’ baseball cap but, unfortunately, all that was left was a sweat-stained rim with a distinct whiff of insecticide. I think ‘Made in the USA’ toxic chemicals had eaten away the rest of it. Instead, I grabbed my, ‘think Independent’ cap, confident in the knowledge that it would repel all known enemies of civilization. I also knew it was time to unveil my secret weapon, so to speak, as I went into the battle against the armored arthropods.

Continue Reading →