True Stories

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We are all enjoying a remarkably warm autumn on the coast of Maine. The weather has included late spring temperatures and intermittent rain. Our gardens last longer and the deck furniture we used to store away toward the end of October is staying where it is.

This continuation of summer forces us to mow our lawns. During the past 40 or so years I used to wake up every morning hoping to see a fine carpet of frost covering what would stop growing. This is not happening so every five or seven days I have to take out my mower and complete a job I loved in the spring and now hate during what has to be called a pseudo-fall.

Walking behind my push mower I rounded around an old bush that seems to want to last forever. It is a perennial whose roots have grown large and push up out of the ground. I still run my mower over the roots because the grass around them makes my property look a bit sloppy.

Pushing my sputtering machine away from the roots I felt a prick on the back of my leg. Then I felt as though someone had decided to slice the back of my leg with a razor. The immediate pain did not hurt as much as what it felt like minutes later. Continue Reading →

Iihave an electric cart. The model is a Hurricane and, as there was a hurricane called Floyd blowing at the time that I bought it, I called it Floyd. Floyd takes me to talk to my neighbors. It takes me to garage sales all over the town. Floyd is a great companion to me, he has become a friend.

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Why do I prefer dogs to cats? It’s simple really, dogs have masters while cats have servants. Dogs want to love and please you and give you a wet kiss, while cats want you to please them or to chase and kill birds and small animals.

Out of the blue, because I had done a favour for someone, I was offered a puppy. I was sitting and talking to the person’s sister when a black Labrador wandered into the room. It came across to me and sat on my left foot. I stroked her and the woman said: “I see she knows you like dogs”.

I told her that my mother always had a dog but I wasn’t keen on them, as they were always small and snappy. Then, as we were talking, a very young puppy wobbled its way in, saw that its mother was sitting on my left foot and sat on right foot. The woman said: “She obviously likes and trusts you. I have sold the rest of the litter, would you like to have her? You can have her for helping my sister.” Continue Reading →

There are homeowner, rental and condo owning people. This is very close to red wine vs. white wine people without the talent of fixing things involved. I’ve owned a home for the past 40 years and I clearly understand a hammer is not my best friend. Since I have no choice, I do my best to keep the house standing.

The other day my wife and I were enjoying a quiet evening of TV and some wine. The evening couldn’t have been more relaxing. This almost Zen-like mode came to an abrupt end when we heard our first chirp. I knew exactly what it was because it happens every time the batteries in our smoke alarms run out.

I told my wife to relax and then proceeded to get a 9-volt battery from our large kitchen drawer. Everyone on this planet has one of these drawers that contain everything one could ever need and some stuff you will never use. Actually I was proud of myself because I actually had a 9-volt battery that was still in date.

I then proudly brought the battery to our TV room, opened the side of the smoke alarm, replaced the battery and then poured my wife and I a second glass of wine. A few minutes later we heard another chirp. I was confused and my wife gave me that, “really” look that I’ve grown accustomed to. Continue Reading →

Cchristmas is a magical time of year, especially for a 6-year old girl. In her eyes everyone can see a more than special sparkle in the knowledge of being a good girl all year long, in order to receive that special present.

My wife and I lost that special window through the eyes of a child when my daughter grew up and became a beautiful woman with a beautiful life. Six years ago she gave us a remarkable granddaughter whose love of life was exceptional to the point where everyone she came in contact with had to smile.

This year my daughter gave my wife the task of buying the special doll for our granddaughter. Weeks before, she would hint to us about the doll with the specific knowledge, it would be under her tree on Christmas Day.

That special day came and we all met in a small town around Boston to open all of my grandchildren’s special presents. Since my daughter married, this became a very special tradition for all of us. My granddaughter knew the size of the box that would contain her special doll. She was patient allowing everyone to open one present at a time.

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Tthis is the time of year everyone seems to slow down. For the past few months all we’ve thought about was preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner and getting out to the shopping areas, in order to show how much you love someone by how much you spend on them.

The Christmas rush is over, the New Years Eve celebration is a hangover you want to forget, and all you have left is to figure out where you are heading into the future before it happens. The election of 2016 seems to have lasted forever. In fact, it feels as though it is still going on.

Our nation is split in two with political ideologies having little conversation in order to lead our nation to a better place. People supporting Donald Trump believe America will be made great again. Those who lost are in fear our future will be defined by where we were in the past versus where we should be in our future.

The weather cooperated this year by laying down a thick white blanket of snow displaying a kind of clean slate. This new whiteboard has the tendency to sweep away the dust of the past.

I have a favorite saying that fits perfectly during this time of reflection. I am in no way taking credit for it and have no concept as to where I picked it up. However, it fits and it always goes to the front of my mind during this time of year which defines the new. Continue Reading →

Eevery morning it’s my job to make the coffee before my wife joins me for some breakfast and conversation. This has been a tradition in our marriage ever since it began over thirty-one years ago. While I was getting the coffee pot ready, I noticed a large jar next to the coffee machine.

It must have had a gallon capacity but was only a quarter filled by some kind of yellowish liquid. The liquid was brewing because its surface was covered with tiny bubbles. When my wife came downstairs to join me for breakfast I asked what this newest of inhabitant of our kitchen counter was.

She told me it was a starter cake. Not having a clue as to what a starter cake is supposed to be, I asked for an explanation. She told me that she received the starter liquid from her sister. She explained that every time one made the cake they would have enough left to give the extra mix to two other people who wanted to make their own Christmas cake.

These people would then make their cakes and have a couple of starter liquids to give to other people, so the same cake starter would spread around our known universe. This intrigued the hell out of me because I wondered where the starter cake liquid had been and where it was destined to go. Continue Reading →

It‘s sometimes important to stay out of the way. I’ve learned this over the past 66 years of my life. This concept is especially true when you find yourself at the supermarket. I try to stand in front of the most innocuous products on display, in hopes I could hide as my wife picks out the most perfect bunch of bananas.

Following my wife through the supermarket or, as I used to call it, grocery store, I was impressed how easy it was for her to fly through the labyrinth of shopping carts and displays. They were placed in the middle of the aisles to not only sell the products but to drive everyone in the store to stress levels they never wanted to reach.

We worked our way through the store, to finally reach one of my wife’s favorite parts of the store. It had every type of vegetable I knew and a few I hadn’t imagined existed. Understanding only the vegetables I remembered seeing in my refrigerator, and could pronounce, I was surprised by a sudden burst of cold water flowing from the top of the refrigerator case.

At first, I though some sort of water- line had broken. An older, almost hysterically giggling woman came to my aid, explaining that a spray system is used to keep the vegetables looking fresh. Of course, I couldn’t quite understand how watering carrots in plastic bags could help them stay fresher. Continue Reading →

The 2016 election has surrounded itself with stress, much of which we will hopefully soon be able to forget. The election also defined the term “Millennial”. I am sure the term existed before the election but this process has brought the definition to the forefront, since the people of the “Millennial Generation” will be a force that will have a place in the election our new government.

Pew Research Center defines the Millennial Generation as those born after 1980, and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. Another name for the millennial is Generation Y. The Millennial generation follows Generation X in order of demography.

This generation is often associated with technology and social media. Since I’ve yet to meet a millennial without having a cell phone in hand, or earphones attached to some device to their ears, this definition is easy to understand. Their future will tell whether or not this is a good thing.

This is not the first generation of Americans to be categorized by chronology and history. The “Lost Generation”, which was the post-World War I generation, was actually a group of writers who came of age during the war and established their literary reputation. The decade for this generation was the 1920’s. The term was from a remark by Gertrude Stein to Ernest Hemingway.  Continue Reading →

I believe religion should be a personal issue. The practice should not be on the forefront of national or international politics. I am saddened to observe this is not the case. The image of religion has degraded into a means of power and control.

I no longer go to any church service because it now has a tendency to evolve into a promotion of one idea over the other. I talk with my God every day. I enjoy doing this because it is a means of relaxing my mind and thus taking my thoughts away from the madness of our present.

I am told many concepts and ideas of our past are now being radicalized. In my nation a political discussion was based on ideas that would help our society. This election is based on personal assaults and fear. What made me most proud of my country was the election process.

In the past, when one lost an election he or she would concede with a promise to support the winning candidate. This is not the case today. Now we have a candidate that states the only reason for a loss would be that the process is “rigged”. This is a radicalization or our electoral system. Continue Reading →