Stories

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On March 23, 1872, the concept of “Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see” was published by The Raleigh Daily News. This statement is also associated with an 18th century statement English publication.

The concept has also been associated with Edgar Allen Poe. This idea is now at the forefront of our political realities. With the onset of “fake news” and the obvious attack on our nation’s political system, the idea that you believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see takes on a more important objective. It also takes on a responsibility.

I’ve been writing most of my life that now encompasses almost 7 decades. Every time I express political views I’ve been called things I don’t understand. In fact, I don’t even know what their definitions are.

I sincerely don’t care what anyone’s political views are. It is not up to me to judge and I believe any judgment is up to how one feels about themselves the future of their families. Continue Reading →

President Trump wants a parade. The country doesn’t have a national victory to celebrate but after viewing the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, celebrating the uprising that led to the French Revolution, he wants a parade. Does he want our military to march in order to show who has the largest missile?

Does he believe creating a military spectacle will unify our nation during the celebration of the birth of our state? We’ve had parades before but nothing like the one President Trump wants to create. Understand I didn’t say our nation wants a parade or wants the expense of a parade. I am stating President Trump wants a parade to celebrate himself.

There have been many large and ‘beautiful’ parades throughout the history of our planet. The Roman military commander Marcus Claudius Marcellus (c.268-c.208 BC) returned to Rome in triumph after having defeated the Insubrian Gauls. He had a giant parade to celebrate his great victory. He wasn’t celebrating himself but rather celebrating Rome’s conquest. Continue Reading →

This has been the winter of ice. The season hasn’t given us much snow. However, it has given us record cold temperatures for early January and has produced an inordinate amount of freezing rain and ice.

Walking out to the end of my driveway with my supposedly invincible snow shovel It was bought from BJ’s and was made in Viet Nam by people who have never even heard of cold, I attempted to clear out ice left from the previous night.

Chipping away I felt a give that had little to do with the ice and everything to do with the shovel. The shaft then shattered to never resemble a shovel again. Straightening out my back before I threw the shovel into a snowdrift, I felt the subtle scent of spring.

It was a clear cold smell that was different from the frigid pure smell of the ongoing winter. It actually had an aroma to it that reminded me of something more subtle than that of the smells of winter. In other words, it actually smelt like something nice. Continue Reading →

We are working our way through another one. In fact, it is the first real one we have had for many years. The winter of 20018, brought back the snows and cold that all of us who live in Northern New England have come to both love and hate. Along with the weather of winter comes another famous tradition, cabin fever anxieties.

Cabin fever comes in many forms. The name comes from the necessity of all that live here to stay in their house to stay warm and dry. The days are shorter and the nights seem endless with the below zero wind chills and perpetual humming of our heating systems. Strange things happen to us during this time of year. We become aggravated by the most trivial of things.

For example, I enjoy those little pudding in cup snacks they sell at most grocery stores. I guess this is because I was fed the little jars of custard pudding baby foods when I was little until I was a senior in high school. The only problem is you can never tear off the plastic top on each portion. I understand there are arrows showing where one is supposed to pull but the easy open tabs never open. The company must use the same glue they use to keep the space lab together.

The other day I got so frustrated trying to open my Swiss Miss tapioca pudding cup that I resorted to using my teeth. Needless to say it took a bunch of paper towels and ice to stop the bleeding. I still didn’t get the thing opened. Continue Reading →

There I stood looking up at a white mountain of snow that seemed to reach the sky. The snow was packed tight with pale blue facets in the crevices and the wind whipped a fine spray from the summit like Everest.

I was absolutely awestruck by its size and beauty and I wished like hell it wasn’t in the middle of my driveway. The day after our first major snowstorm began with me trying to open my garage door. It took about half an hour, in sub zero temperatures, of me chipping away at the ice between the bottom of the door and the pavement that had sealed it shut like cement.

When the door finally opened to reveal the spectacular winter vista before me my first thought was how beautiful it all was. It was like that scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy’s world turns from black and white to color – except in reverse. The world had been transformed into a glittering white wonderland.

After a few minutes standing there admiring the view of nature in all its splendor I decided I better start my snow blower. Like my garage doors it wouldn’t budge. It was frozen solid to the garage floor. It took me a good 10 minutes heaving it this way and that, like a team of sled dogs trying to break the runners loose, before I was able to budge it and drag it over to the open doorway. Continue Reading →

Iin hindsight, it was a day like no other. It started off innocent enough: I was late for work. Waking up has always been a problem for me. Falling asleep was always a breeze. I once fell asleep standing up and at attention in an Army formation.

I was out all night drinking… errr taking orphaned children to the rescue mission in Germany. After performing my Super Hero duties all night long, I returned to my Army base just in time to catch the morning inspection.

“Watson!! What are you doing? You don’t fall asleep in my formation! ” The Sergeant screamed!

“Yes! Sarg. I can explain that.” I offered.

“I don’t want your pathetic excuses. You sleep on your time, not Army Time!” He replied.  I knew from that point on, this day would not be an easy one to get through.

“Take these papers downtown and drop them off at our offices there. Report back to me when you return.” He spouted. Continue Reading →

What happened?

In the past, the Christmas Holiday began after everyone stuffed down their last piece of pumpkin pie and threw out the last remaining pieces of turkey. Perhaps this was because the thought of another turkey sandwich makes us all a bit queasy but this year, the transition did not occur.

In the past there has always been an excitement to the Christmas season. The weekend after the Thanksgiving feast has people throughout our community decorating their homes and apartments. Usually with colored lights, foolish-looking blowups, and various other ways to show everyone they were part of the most important celebration of the year. I am saddened to report I did not see what I thought I would always see.

There is sporadic decorating but nothing like the Christmas Wonderland of holidays past. Driving through York there is still the multitudes of lights ringing in the season but the number of people enjoying the day they turned the lights on seemed to have diminished. In earlier times, in order to enjoy the lighting of the Nubble Light, one would have to arrive early in order to be in the perfect spot when Santa arrived. Not so much this year. I wonder what has happened? Continue Reading →

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 →

Ffar away in Times-Gonebye, there was a very special village called Strood. Thanks to the hard work of its people, it had grown in size, and wealth, to become the finest village of all the villages in the land. Just a few miles away, craggy mountains rose to the sky and each night giant columns of flame burst from their peaks.

The villagers believed that the mountains were the home of many Fire Gods and everyone stayed well away from them. Although they feared the Fire Gods, and were scared that their homes might be burnt down, the villagers knew that the Flaming Mountains kept them safe, on that side at least, from attack by bandits and thieves.

Once a week, to please the Fire Gods they left food at the bottom of the mountains and on those nights, they huddled together in fear as they watched as the flames came down from the mountains and moved towards their village. However, each week the flames stopped at the food and, in the morning, the food was gone! As the villagers had lots of food, they were happy to make this payment in exchange for their safety. Then it all changed!

Continue Reading →

Ggarry took the new monkey-face gloves he had had for his birthday and put them on. Garry ran downstairs. A bunch of balloons bobbed invitingly in the hall. Yesterday all his friends had come to tea.

One of them had given him the two monkey gloves as a present. The monkeys pulled the string down and chased the balloons in all directions.

“What about picking them up and tidying after the party” called his mum.

Continue Reading →