The Talewagger

The Talewagger started in 2000 when the website that hosted his and other writers' work closed down. due the owner giving up. Within months he was inundated with stories and poems from other writers keen to have their writings read. After deciding not to carry advertisements and concentrate on quality the monthly number of readers soared. This is not a professional money-making setup and all costs are paid for by the Talewagger, who is retired and lives in Kent, England.
514 articles written by The Talewagger

Wwebster defines a neighborhood as: “the people living near one another or a section lived in by neighbors.” Webster also gives an interesting definition of neighbors: “To be near or next to by a fellow human being.” In today’s fast moving and changing society the concept of a neighborhood seems to have gone away with ideas of family owned neighborhood stores and an area where everyone knew and cared for each other.

Today’s neighborhoods seemed to be isolated individuals who are either too busy or have no interest in associating with human beings that happen to live near by. Small neighborhoods seem to be eaten up by larger organizations or associations that dictate regulations to people they don’t know. In neighborhoods of our past people had a general understanding of the trials and tribulations, whether personal or societal, of their neighbors. They always took these realities into account when they interacted with them. Children knew their neighbors and these same neighbors made sure the children were watched over and kept safe.

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Autumn has arrived with all its wonders. The air is fresh with little to no humidity, my garden has given the last of its bounty, and the leaves of the trees are starting to give a glimpse of the colors that are destined to explode around us. Now if my lawn would finally get the hint and stop growing I could be a happy camper.

Every five days since my yard went from frozen tundra to basically a hay field I have faithfully mowed it down so I wouldn’t become the bum of the neighborhood. I kept it as short as possible in fear the dandelions would change the scene from green to yellow and I had a chance of not getting any of the many sicknesses the bugs of the ground promised to inflict. In other words, I’ve been a good soldier.

The dog days of August used to give me a reprieve from the agony of attempting to keep up with the green carpet that surrounds my home. I used to love these days with my lawn turning a wonder brownish tan and the only thing that grew was a phantom weed that must have evolved from deep in the Sahara Dessert. I used to love those days. Continue Reading →

Every now and then we are reminded why we live in what most of us consider being one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We are also reminded as to why we should ignore all politics.

Some times this happens when relaxing during a hot and humid day in July while relaxing on the beach and sometimes this happens simply by gazing out into the pure white of a January storm. This happens every day but some times are more memorable then others. One of these more unforgettable scenes happened the other day as my wife and I were having our morning coffee.

I caught a glimpse of a young mother desperately attempting to show her daughter how to ride her bike. The first thing I noticed was the bike. It was white with pink trim. In fact, the tires were white and the spokes of the wheel were pink. Continue Reading →

I originally wrote this essay a few days after the 9/11 attack. I watched the attacks and the destruction of both towers with my students on a 32-inch television that was placed in my room on a pole. I knew my life, the lives of my students, and the lives of everyone in the world changed that day.

Seventeen years later I am also feeling remorse for a time I understood what the world stood for; at least my world. We are now in a place that is separated by ideas. We are now a divided nation yelling at each other because one side thinks the other side is wrong.

Actually they not only think there side is the correct but also think the other side is against everything we’ve always loved, admired, and were proud of. I just can’t figure out whose side I’m on or if I am right or wrong.

I want to go back to a time when I was more concerned with my weight and what I was going to wear to hide it.

I want to go back to a time when I was angry that George W. Bush stole the election. I also want to go back to a time I got over it.

I want to go back to a time when my biggest worry was finding more hair in my sink. Today, I wish I could find some hair. Continue Reading →

As I was mowing my lawn for what seemed to be the millionth time this summer my neighbor wandered over from his task of allowing weeds to take over his lawn to ask me if I was sick of summer yet?

OK, I answered, but I reminded him of a time in mid-February as we were attempting to liberate our families from the snows and cold of winter, when he asked me if I was sick of winter yet? Because I am old as dirt, my mind started to question which season was easier to survive? Being the teacher I’ve always been I started to compare the two seasons.

First of all summer produces an incredible amount of heat. Winter, on the other hand produces an incredible amount of cold. As a science person I clearly understand that cold does not exist. Cold is simply the absence of heat. As to what is easier to survive is an interesting question. The heat of summer can be defeated if you have air conditioning in your home.

The cold of winter can be subdued by one’s heating system. Both are expensive. Air conditioning explodes one’s electric bill while heating either defeats one’s budget or breaks one’s back if they are apt to heat their house with wood. This question seems like a draw. In New England if you ignore these problems you will probably die. Continue Reading →

I was at a neighborhood party the other day and ended up having a conversation with a group of people who were determined to talk politics. Personally I am getting sick and tired of having my physical and mental health being determined by how much I know about the world around me.

I was cornered by a group of neighbors who knew my opinion of how our nation is evolving. I smiled, took sips of a drink I was desperately trying to replenish, when one of my neighbors starting to talk about the need we control our own energy.

Maybe it was the third vodka tonic or the 85 degrees temperature that July always supplied. I simply asked him if he knew what the definition of energy was. After a few seconds of silence one of my more voracious neighbors smirked and stated that of course everyone knows what energy is. OK, I responded. What does it mean?

He told me energy means power. I agreed with him but then asked what he thought the definition of power was? Our little circle of friends and neighbors got a bit wider either because they were interested in what was being said or they thought a bit of a verbal battle was in the works. Continue Reading →

Clothes and souvenirs are not the only things stored away for the trip back home. Summer tales are also packed as memories to be brought out during various parties and family get-togethers.

Most of the stories are family tales about how the baby ate his or her weight in sand or how some aunt got her finger stuck in the lobster’s claw and had to be taken to the hospital to get it freed.

An Irish American named Jimmy Teague told by far the most interesting story about an affair on a mini-vacation on the beaches of New Hampshire. His title would be, “Fifteen seconds with the nude stranger.” Seeing him tell his story gives the listener the impression that his story is total fiction. However, all who were there support his rendition.

The night before their journey home, Jim, his wife Jeanne, and two of their friends, Dick and Jana stayed in a motel in Hampton, New Hampshire. This was a small motel that had a swimming pool and a small restaurant. It was the middle of the week so they were able to get adjourning rooms. Continue Reading →

I took my grandkids to the Seacoast Science Center the other day to enjoy the beauty of where I live and give them a day to discover and basically play. It was a great day that ended up at the playground that was more of a ‘Ninja Obstacle Course’ then a playground.

My granddaughter is extremely athletic, so she ran up to the zip line in order to fly between two platforms. While she was waiting her turn, a young boy literally pushed her aside in order to get on the line first. My granddaughter just stepped aside and decided to leave the line, feeling a bit hurt.

I looked over at the mother of the young boy who was watching him play. She looked back at me and simply shrugged. I decided not to say anything for two reasons. One was because my granddaughter now became part of my right leg. The other was why would I promote a controversy that I couldn’t possibly win for, after all, we were at a fun place. Continue Reading →

Lives can be defined in many ways. A photo book, newspaper clippings, home movies, and even the history of our social systems online can display all of our histories. The other day I was emptying the dishwasher for my wife and noticed there were few dinner dishes and a whole lot of wine and beer glasses.

I smiled when I observed this because I knew the last few days had been filled with many friends and thus empty cans and bottles. The one symbol of our lives past that has been ignored because most do not believe it exists is the contents of our dishwashers. All of our dishwashers, the mechanical type and not the human type, can summarize our actions, week in and week out.

For example, if your dishwasher is filled with normal dishes and glasses, chances are you had a boring week. Chances are also good that you gained a bit of weight. If you look close you could also see what meals were memorable for good reasons and meals that were memorable for the worst possible reasons. Those usually include the ones I attempted to cook. Continue Reading →

It’s always dark because light never has a chance to penetrate the thick browns and blacks of the forest trees. The ground never feels warm because of the lack of the radiance the sun is supposed to give up. Everything lost its color and the creatures that lived in this world became the color gray. No one laughed, danced or rarely talked to each other because there was little joy in a place that was defined by lack of joy.

Except, of course, for one place in the center of this world. This place was called Imagination. It held a light that everyone yearned for, but only found here. It was a place that was defined by the energy of happiness and youth. Even the old seemed young when compared to creatures of their own age that lived beyond the boundaries of Imagination.

In the place called Imagination everyone loved everyone. Rarely did you see anyone frown because it was common knowledge that it took more muscles to frown then it does to smile. If you don’t believe this simply prove it to yourself by forcing a scowl that always takes a lot of energy. Then smile and you will discover what the creatures of Imagination discovered when Imagination began. Smiling simply felt better.

The creatures of Imagination came in all sizes and shapes. Some were very small while others grew like the flowered trees that surrounded them all. Some were thin while others were a bit husky but all were healthy and as was stated before, they all wore a huge smile on their faces at all times. Continue Reading →