Photographs of the Week: The Maine Sky
|The skies of Maine - Photograph by Martha Stevens-David|
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:02:14 AM
A short story by Michael Wright: Lost in Teen - Part 1
After putting his books back in his locker, Mark found his way to the exit doors where Jeff and Matt were waiting for him. They walked quietly from school to Jeff's house. It was good to feel the warmth of the sun on them this unusually warm fall day. The color of the leaves was growing bright. This made it more enjoyable to all of them as they walked through the historic small town.
Dec 4, 2013 - 5:30:07 AM
M. Stevens-David Review of Books by Rabbi Kenneth Ian Segel
As a writer of stories for children myself, I thoroughly enjoyed reading another writer's work. I found the story 'The Amazing Sparkey' about a family's dog, to be both charming and well-illustrated. Again, I found the story charmingly written with a lesson in giving and kindness and beautifully illustrated also. I would recommend this to others as well. Thank you Rabbi Segel for allowing me to read it.
Dec 4, 2013 - 5:10:01 AM
Down the Road
Those wonderful graveyards
A grave marker I'll probably never forget was in a tiny cemetery over in western Maine between Weld Corner on Route 142 and Coos Canyon in Byron on Route 17. The gravel road was called the Byron Road. On our way to climb Tumbledown Mountain, my father, mother, and I noticed a tiny graveyard on the north side of the road. We stopped and wandered through several people's final resting place.
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:25:08 AM
Tha Huntin Trip
Nineteen fifty-five had been a good year for Dad. The potatoes that he'd so lovingly and patiently nursed along all year had been dug and the yield had been better than expected. And now that the bulk of the harvest had been sold, Dad could breathe a sigh of relief and take a little time off. These breaks were few and far between and he was due for a rest. He always looked forward to a few good fishin trips each year in the early spring before the potatoes demanded all of his attention and now that the first mark of fall was on the trees, Dad's blood stirred with the long anticipated annual hunting trip up to Musquacook with his boys, Walt and Jake.
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:22:29 AM
Ladies... Be a Goal Digger NOT a Gold Digger
Gold diggers are those women we all know who focus on the superficial. These are women who dress up, make up and fake-up to find a man with money. They are needy and desperate with the only prize in mind being arm candy and wealthy. The man is secondary to status, lifestyle and love. These types of women will use men, take their money and use their resources like a parasite but the minute that man loses his money he loses her.
Nov 30, 2013 - 12:12:39 AM
Keeping the Prince Happy
All the royals routinely travelled with millions of dollars in cash. The law is anytime you enter the United States with over ten thousand dollars cash you must declare it. The result? Customs found the money and confiscated it. So your boss from Brunei tells you, "Go get the money. The princess needs it. Oh and by the way don't ask the Bruneian Embassy for help. Don't tell anyone. Make sure you get the money back without any official government help."
Nov 27, 2013 - 5:25:21 AM
Why I Won't Donate to Relief Efforts for Typhoon Haiyan
For charities working in global health and development, lack of money is often the most critical barrier to providing more aid. In contrast, well-publicized disasters can elicit billions in donations over a short period of time; the biggest obstacles for charities working in this area are logistical, not financial. Roads and other infrastructure are often destroyed, so charities can't get supplies to those in need. This points toward developmental charities being able to make better use of donations.
Nov 26, 2013 - 5:20:38 PM
The EU is right about Western Sahara - which means it is wrong about Israel
[The EU] provisionally approved a fisheries agreement earlier this month with Morocco that extends into the territory of occupied Western Sahara, which is beyond Morocco's recognized sovereign territory. Moreover, the EU actually pays Morocco for European access to Western Saharan resources. On all these points, the agreement directly contradicts what the EU, in negotiations with Israel, calls fundamental principles of international law.
Nov 26, 2013 - 5:15:01 PM
Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece: Ah, Thanksgiving
Of course, there were no Hannaford or Shaw's supermarkets, so there were no turkey TV dinners for that first Thanksgiving. I've often wondered how those first Pilgrims got along without the wonderful supermarkets that supply Big Butterball. I'll bet they wouldn't have been quite so thankful had they known what they were missing because supermarkets hadn't been invented yet.
Nov 24, 2013 - 12:27:11 AM
Two things Dad didn't readily discuss were religion and politics. He was a man who kept his own opinions very close to his chest and he was a man known for minding his own business. He might hear some really juicy gossip during his day at work in the potato house but he never repeated it when he got home at night. Often times, when something happened, mother would rush to tell him the news and he'd only laugh and say he'd known that for a long time. Mother was never quite sure if he was telling the truth or if he was just pulling her chain.
Nov 24, 2013 - 12:23:44 AM
Our Addiction to Work Is Making Us Stupid
For many workers, taking time away from their jobs feels like an untenable luxury. Most European countries provide workers at least four weeks of vacation each year--Germany and Sweden are particularly generous with seven weeks. But a Center for Economic Policy and Research study reveals that 25 percent of US employees don't take any vacation at all--either because they don't use their accrued time or their employer doesn't provide it.
Nov 22, 2013 - 8:45:30 AM
Life Lessons From Your Grandmother
Imagine not having the fear to do the things you want to do in life. Today, at this very moment, you have the ability, wisdom and strength to be all you want to be and have all your dreams come true. Trust in yourself, toss the fears aside and let the hues of your bright future shine through.
Nov 22, 2013 - 8:30:51 AM
Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece: Writing ain't no picnic
Every writer needs an editor. In the newsroom, an editor fixed my so-called news stories to make them readable. At home, where I now am pecking away, Dolores reads my stuff to make it readable. If she can't understand a sentence or whatever else I wrote, I rewrite it until she can. If she's not available, I do it the risky way, I edit it myself.
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:27:02 AM
Twin Sisters, Many Journeys: Excerpt from 'Insula - Island of Hope'
The sergeant was infuriated. He said that there was no way he could get the farmer back and had no idea what to do with us. He stated that he might as well just line us up and shoot us. Mother offered the sergeant my brother-in-law's radio as "a gift to the men at the front lines" -- she wouldn't insult the man by offering him a direct bribe. She asked if we could travel to her sister's, who had left for Germany in 1939. He said he couldn't give us a travel permit that far, but he did give us one to travel 100 kilometers. He drove us to the train station, and we were on our way. -- Marta Askevics Griestins (Insula - Island of Hope)
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:23:14 AM
The Blueberry Pie
Eb Walker and his wife Emma had been married for so many years that they'd forgotten exactly when their real anniversary date was and human beings being what they are, this date-forgetting every year, commenced a fight that lasted right through till the next year's anniversary. When any of the neighbors were stupid enough to comment that "marriages are made in heaven," Old Eb would cast a jaundiced eye in their direction, sidle a little closer to them so that Emma wouldn't hear and mutter that in his opinion they were really made in hell!
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:07:37 AM
Top Ten Favorite Cars I've Owned
I owned other cars during the years but these ten stand out in my mind for various reasons. Especially as my company, J.D. Power and Associates, got more established I tried to never own a car that would be obvious or expected. I wanted to show people that the cars that were at the top of the J.D. Power and Associates lists for quality or customer satisfaction didn't get there because they were my personal favorites. And, you can see, when there were new models, or special editions that offered something different and unexpected, I was a happy pushover.
Nov 16, 2013 - 12:42:54 AM
Sister Jenna to the people of Haiyan in the Philippines
The following is from Sister Jenna, who is affectionately known and has moved and shaped the consciousness of lives around the world at the Meditation Museum in Silver Spring, MD, on the recent devastation that has ripped through the Philippines. Sister Jenna offers her moving and peaceful thoughts to everyone in the Philippines and those around the world who are/may be affected.
Nov 15, 2013 - 5:30:01 AM
Every Sunday, throughout the Ashland area in Aroostook County, Maine the churches of all the different denominations would ring their bells and church-going folks would hurry off to their respective houses of worship. Competition for the lost and sliding souls among the churches was fierce and God help you if you didn't belong to what each group considered the "best" church and the "best" church was the group you happened to be talking to at the moment.
Nov 13, 2013 - 8:05:11 AM
Get off the Gay men's backs
I was readin quite recently about how successful the gay movement has been in terms of acquirin for themselves, public acceptance, gay resorts and gay tourist destinations. The little buggers have gone a long way to bein accepted as normal people. Well now I'm sure that using the word 'normal' might be upsettin to those in opposite camps on the subject, but what I am meanin to say is that bein gay today is no longer like walkin around wearin a neon light sayin 'Look at me! I'm queer!'
Nov 13, 2013 - 7:57:15 AM
Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece Tales of Subarus (only some rusty)
The next day, Sally was safe and sound. Who in Massachusetts would steal anything from an old Subaru with Maine tags identifying her as being from yonder woods way up north?
Nov 10, 2013 - 1:15:26 AM
Insula Began in Bruckmuhl (Excerpt from 'Insula - Island of Hope')
In June of 1945, a group of Latvian refugees arrived at Bruckmuhl, 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Munich, from Thuringia, which the Americans turned over to the Soviets. The Latvian refugees settled in the Wohldecke Fabrik (blanket factory) right on the bank of the Mangfall River. The river flows through a level farming valley skirting the foothills of the Bavarian Alps and joins the Inn at Rosenheim 20 km (12 mi) east of Bruckmuhl. We lived only four kilometers from there in the small village of Willing just outside Bad Aibling, which later became an American air base.
Nov 10, 2013 - 1:13:15 AM
Mother, most of all was a true survivor. There wasn't anything, if she put her mind to it, she couldn't do. She cooked, knit, wallpapered, painted, sawed, sanded and sewed. She tore old clothes apart and made new ones for us out of them. If there were any scraps leftover, she'd use the remnants to make patchwork blankets. She never threw anything away.
Nov 10, 2013 - 12:55:20 AM
Keep it Light! 10 steps to managing a health challenge
Many believe, as I most certainly do, that we each have the power to choose how we manage this challenge; we can follow a dark, scary path or we can follow a brighter and kinder path. So, whether you are negotiating a health issue for yourself or for someone you love, it is my hope that these 10 steps to managing a health challenge will help light up the, all too often, frightening and dark halls of illness.
Nov 5, 2013 - 4:30:39 AM
Down the Road
Getting theyah from heah
It's getting to be that time of year again, when many of us are planning that Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other miserable-cold-weather trip to relatives or to places that have nothing to do with relatives -- but most of our plans are about getting to Grandma's house, or someone else's. So, about getting there (theyah in Maineiac) from here (heah in Maineiac), read my non-expert advise...a story thrown in, of course.
Nov 3, 2013 - 4:17:23 AM
Foreword to "Insula - Island of Hope"
There is another lesson to be learned from these lives, and one can only hope that officials from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees get to read these stories and reflect upon their implications. What was it about Insula and hundreds of other WWII refugee camps that made them so incredibly different from most of the refugee camps of today? What was it that made these camps into islands of civilization, education and culture, rather than hell-holes of violence, rape and murder? The stories in this book should give some answers. - Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga former President of the Republic of Latvia (1999 to 2007).
Nov 3, 2013 - 4:07:01 AM
Things were a long time coming to the county or that's the way it seemed when we were kids. Now I know that it was just that we couldn't ever afford to buy anything new. There is an old saying that "You don't really miss what you've never had" but I can tell you here and now that that's just not so. Older folks often say that when they were kids they had to walk ten miles a day to school and back, they didn't have shoes either and they really didn't mind. Well, take it from someone who walked plenty, they really did mind but they didn't have any choice in the matter.
Nov 3, 2013 - 4:00:01 AM
Dad - Deep Sea Fishin
Where we lived in Aroostook County, Maine, it was about the same distance to any large body of water no matter which direction you went. If you traveled west, you'd run into the Great Lakes. If you went North, it would be the mouth of the St. Lawrence that you ran into first and if we went Southeast, sooner or later, we'd finally run into the great Atlantic Ocean.
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:15:44 AM
Down the Road
Ghosts, goblins, and Halloween candy
Unfortunately one reason Halloween has changed a lot is because some nasty people went from prank to crime. At least I think it was a crime when some no good unhappy villain type placed razor blades in candy. Now towns and churches host Halloween parties to keep the trick or treaters from either getting those criminally placed razor blades or themselves becoming pranksters of the worst kind. (I don't think toilet paper is the worst kind....just a real nuisance to remove.)
Oct 27, 2013 - 12:24:21 AM
The Flame Thrower
The very same summer of 1991, that my husband bought me my Craftsman lawn tractor; he also made me another present. All summer long while I so diligently kept the lawn so beautifully mowed, he'd had the thankless job of trimming the grass that grew so abundantly along our five rock walls. He'd eye the new growth all week long, knowing that come Saturday, there was another trimming job waiting for him because for some obscure reason, I'd been unable to learn how to use that noisy, dangerous machine. I'd become proficient in the use of the rototiller, the lawn sprayer, the lawn edger and all the other machines one needs to keep their property in pristine condition but me and the weed eater didn't like each other one dite!
Oct 27, 2013 - 12:13:00 AM
Down the Road
Those fall chores
Today, I had to spray with the "full" hose nozzle to clean some leftover kitty stuff off the bottom of the kitty litter box. I turned the water on, aimed the nozzle, and nothing came out. I fooled with the nozzle. Nothing happened -- almost as bad as Congress getting things done. As when I think about Congress' "work," a few religious words leave my used-to-be-Presbyterian lips. Checked the thing that holds the hoses. Saw water spurting out from somewhere. Aha, the spigot at the house was working. Unwound all the hose until I found the spurting spot. I saw flat, sharply angled pieces of hose just beyond that. Straightened them out with more ex-Presbyterian words. Then I saw more of those kinks, fixed them and saw more.
Oct 20, 2013 - 12:37:28 AM
Raising 8 homeschooled kids and running a business
PJ Jonas is a mother of 8 who six years ago started making goat milk soap for her family, in the kitchen on their 3-acre farm. Then began to sell it at various fairs. The soap became so popular that today she not only has a 36-acre farm, but a thriving business. I discovered this piece of news from PRWeb who advised that PJ Jonas had just won the "2013 StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Competition" (sponsored by Staples).
Oct 20, 2013 - 12:30:17 AM
Mother could make something out of almost anything. She took old castoff clothes that others had thrown away, ripped them apart and sewed us clothes and blankets. She did everything well and she did everything. She wall papered, painted, gardened, hunted, canned and anything else that a woman with a large family needed to do to keep her family cared for. But, most of all, she was known for her cooking. Dad was the envy of all the men in his potato house crew because of the luscious food mother packed in his rusty old lunch pail.
Oct 20, 2013 - 12:17:13 AM
Down the Road
Critters big and small
Almost every day I see deer in Bar Harbor, generally a mom crossing the road then stopping to wait for one or two skippers to cross the road behind her. I haven't decided if these deer have trained themselves and their young 'uns to watch for traffic before crossing or if they just cross and hope for the best. This year I'm seeing many porcupines, most dead from having been hit by vehicles.
Oct 13, 2013 - 12:27:20 AM
Diary of an Ice Storm
Wednesday, January 7, 1998: Sleet and freezing rain all day long
Oct 9, 2013 - 6:28:01 AM
Down the Road
Why wouldn't the new well pump work?
So I did what all home-grown home-repair guys do. Nothing, because I was too busy for three days, working, doing some writing, not killing the cat for always being in the way, and other important home-grown home-repair guy stuff. Finally I had a break in my retirement schedule. I had already phoned our electrician to get him to check the wiring the plumber had done to give us dribbly water. But that break came, and I descended into my favorite cellar, ours, the one that Dolores hates because its a cellar.
Oct 6, 2013 - 12:27:24 AM
Down the road about a fourth of a mile from our house on the Goding Road was an old cemetery, which was surrounded by a rusting, black wrought iron fence. My siblings and I, once we'd gathered our courage, used to climb over the rickety fence to examine the names and dates on the old tombstones from time to time. The cemetery contained the graves of some of the earliest settlers in our area of Aroostook County.
Oct 6, 2013 - 12:22:14 AM
Down the Road
Photographs of the Week: Milt and Delores Love Maine
Oct 6, 2013 - 12:02:43 AM
Mike and Ted's Excellent Adventure
For any member of Congress, regardless of party, to hold the American people hostage because the members collectively cannot effectively legislate is unacceptable. In my book Accountability Citizenship, I remind readers that the American people can replace 87 percent of Congress every 2 years if we all vote against incumbents. That would effectively reboot our government, especially if we did it, say, three times in a row.
Oct 4, 2013 - 12:15:15 AM
In The Name of God
The old one-room white church was located on the top of a long hill that overlooked the valley and the countryside beyond. Originally, at the turn of the century, this site had been chosen for their house of worship because the elders in the tiny, Vermont village believed that because this place was the highest in the area, then it must be closer to God and if they built their church on the highest hill, surely God would notice and would answer their every prayer.
Oct 2, 2013 - 12:10:46 AM