December 2013

9 articles in December 2013

Tthere comes a time in every Mainer’s life when he or she has to face the realization that the cool breezes of autumn will soon become the numbing winds of winter. With this realization comes the time when it is necessary to get one’s world ready for that dreaded season.

This usually happens about the sixth week of the New England Patriot’s season. My lawn no longer has to be mowed and most of the outside plants have died.

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Tthere was once an old man who lived in a square house. He had lived in the square house for many years but he had never felt really happy. His car was square; all his furniture was square, and even his pet cat was square.

He often dreamed what it would be like to live in a diamond-shaped house or a rectangular-shaped house, or even a round house. He knew he wasn’t happy living in a square house with square furniture and a square cat, but he wasn’t quite sure what he could to change all this.

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Iidon’t like this time of year! Spring is still a few months away, I am suffering through the doldrums of winter.There is still snow on the ground and it is much too cold to attempt to do any outside activities.

Some of my friends advised me that since I live in northern New England I should attempt to participate in some winter sport. I explain that I no longer bounce when I fall down, I break. Since I also enjoy the feeling in my fingers and feet winter activities are simply not for me.

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Mmost Christmas seasons are usually defined by a specific event. This is usually the type of moment that one never forgets and is forever associated with that specific holiday. Most are happy situations that produce memories that include family and friends.

However, every now and then a year arrives that precipitates a type of memory one would rather forget but is destined to always remember. I had that kind of Christmas experience become a future memory, a few days ago.Granted it was before Christmas day but Christmas 2001, will forever be engrained in my memory bank because of a day that began with a family Christmas party that happened a couple of Sundays before Christmas Day.

My Debbie’s side of the family has an odd tradition. They all meet in Framingham, Massachusetts for a holiday celebration a few days before Christmas week. They meet at one of her sister’s house where the food and drink flow quite freely. For the past couple of years a new tradition has raised its ugly head. It is a game called, a present swap.The concept of the present swap is to have each family bring a present. The present should have a value of not over $20.00. Numbers are attached to the gifts and all those who are part of the game then pick a number to show them when it is their turn to pick a present of their choice.

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Iit is the season of long lunch breaks, and lazy walks on the sea front. The season when people in business suits – sandwich in one hand, shoes in the other – dig pale toes into the moist sand. It’s summer on the island: a short, windswept, cool-breezed, gay-coloured, fast-clouded summer.

Sure, there is less sunshine than other places – less heat too, but more rainbows than anywhere else. Mild nights lure lovers out, giggles and kisses thrown into the moonlit air like flower petals to a bride. This jewel in the ocean loves to swim in sentimental outbursts of showers: mild and heavy on one half of the sky, while the other half is occupied, with the gleaming sun chasing an occasional silver-grey-pink cloud across the horizon. Neatly separated sky, like kids in church: girls on the left, boys on the right. A perfect catholic sky, with a rainbow bridge between.

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Oonce upon a time, there was a beautiful princess. Her beauty was so great, that each day all of the people of her village would bring flowers and lay them on her doorstep. They would come to gaze upon her loveliness and she would sing them beautiful songs, from high up on her balcony.

She was the village treasure, and they cherished and loved her, but the people knew that someday her prince would come and take the princess away. He would love her like no other could love her, and they would live happily ever after, in his palace, far away.

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Mmy father used to tell me times have a tendency to repeat. The older I get the more wisdom I see in his statement. This is going to be a very difficult year for all of us in New England and everywhere the weather turns cold.

Oil and natural gas prices are destined to hit all time highs and many of us are looking for alternative ways of heating our homes. Because we failed to perfect non-petroleum based fuels we have to go back to how many of us heated our homes a few decades ago. In other words, I am seriously considering going back to the wood burning stove. I remember my first winter in Maine almost three decades ago. I was very proud of my home near the coast. I also knew it was my responsibility to make sure my family was secure and warm.

Back then the price of oil was not high. The problem was I had little money. So, I decided to become one of the many independent home owners who used wood to heat their home. My first wood delivery was exciting both for me and my family. A very large flatbed truck slowly backed down my driveway and delivered a four cord load of tree-length hard wood. I was actually looking forward to playing the part of Paul Bunyan cutting, splitting, and stacking my wood in order to have my family stay toasty warm for the winter.

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Tthey both knew, from the start, that their love was impossible; that a day would come when they would have to say ‘Good-bye’.

On Christmas Eve, they decided that their relationship, as beautiful as an angel’s love story, should end with the dying year. He would have liked to have spent all of their days together, but she decided it was better to leave.

“The New Year should find us in our new lives, where we will miss each other” she said.

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Aas I was standing outside the Muddy River Smokehouse in Portsmouth, New Hampshire I realized that I haven’t entered the club atmosphere for at least ten years. Hell, it must be even longer than that.

Some friends joined my wife and I for dinner at the Dolphin Striker and decided that we should explore the “bar-scene” instead of our usual after dinner coffee and dessert. We asked the waitress and she told us that there was a great blues band playing at the Smokehouse that was within walking distance. We decided to give it a try.
There were a lot of people wandering around the entrance to the club. The most obvious observation was that few of the people outside actually went in. This seemed odd to me until I entered and walked down the stairs that led to the bar. At the door was a rather large man with an interesting scent collecting a $10.00 cover charge.

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