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Features

Restore The Republic - The Home of the Freedom Movement!
Down the Road
Down the Old Maine Road
But it stated something I found interesting, that all things in life turn out for the good, even though some things don't appear to be good while they're happening. So, I thought -- actually thought -- about my own life and things that have happened to me. Many of them turned out, if not good themselves, to be stepping stones to better circumstances. I didn't come to Maine in 1965 to work. I came to have fun, hike, canoe, ride boats from coastal towns, bird hunt, and otherwise enjoy myself. Once we live in Searsport, I'll have time with Dolores to do the things I came to Maine to do. And there is much to do not far from Searsport.
May 24, 2015 - 6:17:15 AM

Features
Six Lessons I've Learned After Two Tragedies
I never would have imagined the path my life has taken. I have experienced the depths of sorrow and known the essence of true joy. I have come to believe out of the tragedy of losing my dear two sons within two short years, that it serves each of us to embrace every moment, because that is all that is certain. Every moment is a gift to learn from and gain insight from. Our moments become part of us and make us who we are.
May 21, 2015 - 5:58:50 AM

Down the Road
State parks opening, a sign spring has arrived
I saw a letter to the editor today, encouraging us all to go up and visit Peaks Kenny State Park a few miles north of Dover Foxcroft. I've never been there, largely because it's pretty far from our home, about 70 miles I believe without measuring the miles in the Gazetteer. That map says we can picnic, camp, and otherwise enjoy the park alongside Sebec Lake, another place we haven't visited. In western Maine, we've never visited the tiny Range Pond State Park, but we've been to Sebago Lake State Park and even ridden the river boat there. When we lived in South Paris, we spent much time on the trails of the White Mountain National Forest, but that's not a state park.
May 17, 2015 - 8:35:17 AM

Features
Comedy for Church and Community
I began the next year. After nine years and four months, of research, writing, and hard work, my screwball comedy prayer adventure, Sir Christian de Galis and the Fish Gravy, was published in November, 2014; the following are some of my thoughts on comedy for church and community. Comedy in the Bible: "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." (I Corinthians 1:27) "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but broken spirit drieth the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)
May 14, 2015 - 8:43:29 AM

Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece -- with critters
In Acadia National Park, there are trails and paved walks where evidence of beaver action is all around. There are felled trees nearby, and if it's near water, their round homes are starting to be visible. I've stood and watched beaver, usually not at work but at swim. They come right along, as long as they are unaware of our presence. But when they learn we're watching, there is a quick, loud slap of their tales on the water, and they disappear.
May 9, 2015 - 9:28:10 PM

Features
Self-Mastery
Finding one's truth, examining one's life in the pursuit of happiness and peace is a valuable and enjoyable past time. As we mature it is expected that we become wiser and able to lead by example. But do we all mature? Is mature even the right way of expressing this concept? I think the responsibility to live a true and just life rests with each individual. To do this well one needs to get to know oneself deeply, accepting the good, bad and ugly. It flows so that we can all change. Our world needs a new wave of visionaries, men and women who are not lost in our fast, consumerist world.
May 6, 2015 - 9:18:29 PM

Down the Road
Down the muddy Road a Piece
I came to Maine to have fun, to enjoy places such as Baxter State Park. I've been there over a half-dozen times, climbed Katahdin (note: not Mt. Katahdin, as "Katahdin" means the greatest mountain) six times. The first time with a family I met just below timberline. I accompanied them to the summit and down again below tree line. It was a shocking revelation, that there is that much rock, open space, and cold air blowing around up there.
May 3, 2015 - 12:05:32 AM

Features
An Exercise in Argumentative Poetry - No. 6 The Wondrous Life at Hand
Those who believe in an afterlife have much to look forward to.
The heavens with all their splendor and indulgences are waiting.
Some expect a life of unequaled luxury in the very best of health.
Others await a future in companionship with their almighty god.
Yet others see life go on much as is but cleansed of all inadequacies.
There is no shortage of suggestions about the good lives to come.

Apr 30, 2015 - 9:45:12 AM

Down the Road
Down the Religious Road a Piece
Martin Luther, 10 November 1483 -- 18 February 1546, was "a German friar, priest and professor of theology who was a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Initially an Augustinian friar, Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his (Luther's) Ninety-Five Theses in 1517.
Apr 26, 2015 - 7:05:34 AM

Down the Road
"Putting them down"
I knew these pets loved us, but I never realized how deeply we loved them. Most of our cats were carried off by a neighborhood owl while outside. At least that's what we thought, because we had seen the owl hanging around in the trees. It's tough, opening the door and stepping out to find your pets and not find them.
Apr 19, 2015 - 6:18:51 PM

Features
An Exercise in Argumentative Poetry - No. 4 Matters of Conscience
Conscience is defined as the faculty to distinguish right from wrong.
What's right and wrong is a convention serving sociable interaction.
As long as people adhere to their decree, conscience is a non-issue.
But if they don't, their conscience will kick in and stir up emotions.
Doing more good than necessary will yield feelings of grandness,
Usually linked with hopes for reciprocation by another kind party.

Apr 13, 2015 - 8:25:19 PM

Down the Road
Getting ready for spring and some walks
A year or so after Dolores underwent two brain operations at Massachusetts General Hospital for a couple of brain aneurysms, one which was leaking and one which was about to leak, I took her for a walk at Great Head in Acadia. We were walking south and we came to a dozen-foot-high cliff we needed to go down. She had never done much trail hiking before I met her. I kind of guided her down, a new adventure for her. I had forgotten her limitations both from her lack of hiking experience and her still recovering from the brain operations. But she made it down okay, and we continued our walk to Sand Beach.
Apr 13, 2015 - 8:22:30 PM

Down the Road
Easter -- spring is here
The biblical Easter story is a wonderful story, especially for people like me who believe it. Jesus rising from the dead, communicating with his followers, and finally rising into the sky. As far as I know, Christianity is the only religion that has such an optimistic story.
Apr 6, 2015 - 9:04:34 AM

Down the Road
Walking/boat cruise adventure
We were waiting for the departure time of a Camden boat cruise, so to fill in the time we went out to Fernalds Neck Preserve near the northern end of Megunticook Lake where it meets Norton Pond. The preserves' neighbors, as you drive in to the preserve, didn't seem all that friendly. I recall one couple putting down their chores and staring at us as we drove past. I didn't think we were that funny looking. Perhaps funny looking folk on other occasions had driven past that house on the way to the preserve.
Apr 1, 2015 - 6:14:06 AM

Features
An Exercise in Argumentative Poetry - No. 2: Longing for Care and Kindness
We all are exposed to the elements and nature's cataclysms.
Storms, floods, quakes, and volcanic eruptions decimate humanity.
Pandemic diseases add much suffering and increase the carnage.
And deadly violence in our own ranks continues to run its course.
Human ingenuity offers some degree of protection.
But on the whole has failed us in securing our safety and welfare.
We remain vulnerable and have reason to fear an uncertain future.

Apr 1, 2015 - 6:07:40 AM

Down the Road
Exploring Map 14* -- and a couple of others
We've paddled our canoe on Lake Megunticook in Camden, where we almost got turned around -- "turned around" in Maine, not "lost" -- and where I steered our electric-motor-driven 14-footer canoe against a rock that deflected us with no harm done. From now on, however, we'll be taking the ocean-going boat cruises, since last fall we gave our canoe, electric motor, and battery to my daughter and her husband in western Maine.
Mar 27, 2015 - 4:50:53 AM

Features
Meditation now a mainstream method of boosting mental health
One interesting thing that was found in the various studies is that the method of meditation seems to make little difference, that what is important is the act of sitting quietly and allowing the mind to become calm. The oldest form of meditation is simple breath meditation, the act of following the flowing out and coming in of the breath, eventually making the breath long, slow, and deep. However, the study also showed that people who simply sit quietly on a daily basis, perhaps watch the sunrise, perhaps listen to soothing or uplifting music, or the recitation of affirmations, all had similar results.
Mar 23, 2015 - 6:42:06 AM

Down the Road
Dover Foxcroft, to where we didn't drive
But we've learned a bit online about what was originally two towns, Dover and Foxcroft. "... separated by the Piscataquis River (Dover is on the south side, Foxcroft on the north). "Dover was purchased from Massachusetts by Boston merchants Charles Vaughan and John Merrick, both of whom had emigrated from England . It was first permanently settled in 1803 by Eli Towne from Temple, New Hampshire, then incorporated on January 19, 1822.
Mar 20, 2015 - 7:23:10 AM

Down the Road
Dogs that owned us
On a scale of something to something, I have to tell you the cats are a lot easier to care for....except maybe the six-month old, Stella, who is now victimizing us and our six-year-old male, Tom. (Tom seems like an appropriate name for a Tom cat. He was given us by a veterinarian, who said Tom has the kitty equivalent of HIV. We just have to keep him away from other critters, so he doesn't bite them.)
Mar 12, 2015 - 7:46:10 AM

Down the Road
Coming to Maine by train
"There" was my Great Aunt Amy's farm in Belgrade. We packed our clothes and took the train from Paoli, PA to New York's Penn Station. We then went to Grand Central Station and took a train to Boston. The Pullman car gave us a sad view of the people living in Harlem, and I still can't get those sights out of my memory. They were sitting on steps, hanging out windows, and on the streets. I took it all in with a kind of shock.
Mar 6, 2015 - 3:20:10 AM

Down the Road
Mud season is next
Doing Maine Appalachian Trail Club volunteering I've driven narrow roads near Monson that were either gravel, large stones that made me stop and move them, or some mud. The mud always scared me more, because I didn't know what was down in there where the tires would go or get stuck. On some of those volunteer trips, I've driven with one wheel in the grassy center of the road and the other on the tension-creating edge of the road. I never got stuck doing that, and I never got stuck in the mud that filled the normal place the tires would roll.
Feb 26, 2015 - 10:48:30 PM

Features
Turning Point in my Marriage -- and my Life
For the first time, I was terrified I had made a terrible mistake in marrying him. Perhaps we were a total mismatch after all and our relationship could never work. Like the Ladies Home Journal, we were classic candidates for "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" He was sixteen years older and an African. I was an Ohio farm girl. On top of that, he had been divorced. What had I gotten myself into? A fleeting moment of respite came, I'm still young. I can start over.
Feb 26, 2015 - 3:31:35 AM

Features
The Writing of The Soul Comes First
I learned that many "evil" people are simply doing what was done to them, and desperately looking for someone with the strength to show them how to get over it. I learned that people used to being in control find the sensations that come with being loved to be frightening, almost a betrayal by the thirst of their hearts. I learned that many intellectual atheists are "spiritual", and those that are not do not realize how frightening others find the strength of their minds. I realized that Biblical literalists use their dogmatism to hold those minds at bay.
Feb 19, 2015 - 10:05:30 PM

Features
When The Church Condones Silence: Confronting Sexual Abuse within Leadership and Family
I hope to enlighten other faithful members of the Catholic Church with the truth of how molesters are kept in active ministry, endangering innocent children and families. Being a cradle Catholic, I was encouraged to trust them. But, I was continually troubled because I saw no indication the Church was doing as it had promised. My brother remained in active ministry, being transferred from parish to unsuspecting parish with no warnings to anyone about the danger he presented.
Feb 15, 2015 - 1:23:35 AM

Down the Road
Driving in snow
We headed west back through that New Hampshire town to visit friends who lived 20 miles west of there. When we left their house that evening, Route 2 was so awful with snow that we headed south on another road. After all, there was bound to be less snow south than where we were. But south took us over a mountain and down somewhere near Conway. We crossed into Maine and started driving north. Only to encounter a young couple, who were stuck in that snow.
Feb 15, 2015 - 1:20:07 AM

Features
Lincoln, Maine native serves aboard U.S. Navy warship in Japan
Perry and other George Washington sailors know they are part of a forward-deployed team that is heavily relied upon to help protect and defend America across the world's oceans. While underway, the ship carries more than 70 jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land on the carrier's 4.5-acre flight deck. Four powerful catapults launch aircraft off the bow of the ship. After lowering a tail hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft, jets and aircraft land by snagging a steel cable called an arresting wire.
Feb 12, 2015 - 10:05:40 PM

Features
The most determined person I've ever met.
What I guess I'm trying to say: determination is everything. He had it more than anyone I've ever known. Surviving 3 strokes, heart attack, quad-bypass surgery, and a pacemaker but he still wanted to live life and do things he wanted to do. He didn't sit and watch TV--unless it was boxing. He never once felt sorry for himself If he had trouble doing something, he'd ask for help, but he kept on going right up until the end. Even that last day, he was determined to wait until I got home from the store so he could kiss me goodbye forever.
Feb 12, 2015 - 9:20:15 AM

Down the Road
Global warming
"They" call it climate change, possibly for weather like we're now having that has brought us about 20 inches of white stuff over several days. I still call it global warming, because generally the weather is getting warmer. And I still know a few people, who want to drive those big cars, who don't believe in at all.
Feb 6, 2015 - 12:13:15 AM

Features
Granddad's Forecast for America in 2015
Perhaps 2015 will be best remembered as the year we realized that modest growth and slight deflation are most laudable economic goals. Robust growth usually is followed by robust crisis and slight deflation means that each of our dollars goes slightly farther every year. This may be the only way we can moderate the disaster that inevitably follows excessive printing of money. Excessive printing of money, first in the U.S. and now in Japan and Europe increases the specter of inflation, but we will see stable prices and interest rates at least through this year. There will be currency instability and turmoil, because of overactive central banks, and the dollar will continue to be strong. This will be a drag on our exports, but will also be seen by American consumers in lower import prices. The result of this turmoil, probably not in 2015 but the inevitable result, will be a new international currency regimen.
Jan 28, 2015 - 10:28:35 PM

Features
An Olympic wrestler, his Czech girlfriend, and research for my first novel
A search of Olympic wrestlers brought the country Bulgaria to the forefront. Bulgaria is noted for producing strongmen. Pursuing the words Bulgaria and Bulgarian government, the Bulgarian mafia surfaced. I began a lengthy search of the political history and the interrelated birth of the Bulgarian mafia following the collapse of communism.
Jan 21, 2015 - 8:21:50 AM

Down the Road
Books for any year
On our sofa, I can be anywhere doing a variety of things via books. There are always at least two on the table in front of the sofa. My last book trip took me to George Washington and the Revolutionary War, the everyday experiences of those I met who lived back in the 1770s. The one I'm reading now is taking me to the far West, where railroads are being built and Custer is about to be in his last stand.
Dec 28, 2014 - 1:35:50 AM

Down the Road
The parts of Christmas
If your Christmas is centered on that first part, the birth of Jesus, feel free to let me know that. It would be nice to know that someone's actually is. The fourth part of Christmas is that the long, dark days also seem to bring difficulties, usually money problems. So Christmas sort-of becomes the day we can temporarily set aside those problems and concentrate on at least those two other parts of Christmas, the tree and the gifts, which form the memories of Christmases past. (Think about how many Christmas movies feature those tough times, fictionally lightened by Christmas Day.)
Dec 21, 2014 - 3:20:05 AM

Features
Using The Brain's Right And Left Sides When Writing A Book
I use the left side of my brain to ensure the story is developed in a decisive manner. The right side is used to make the story come alive. Coordinating the two sides allows me not to stumble, as the people I mentioned above did. Using my creative right side helps move the story along with excitement and intrigue. But I should emphasize that I never leave the foundation of the storyline, because that's the overall framework of the story and how it unfolds, and I never want to lose focus of that objective or I might fall into the same predicament of writers who can never finish a book.
Dec 17, 2014 - 6:00:19 AM

Features
Chanukah Guide for the Perplexed, 2014 Based on Jewish Sages
The Hebrew word Chanukah consists of two words, Chanu - which means "they rested/stationed" in Hebrew - and Kah -- which means 25 in Hebrew - referring to the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, when the Maccabees re-consecrated the Temple.
Dec 17, 2014 - 5:57:11 AM

Down the Road
Self survey
I hope the picture of the lawn that you are giving us with the retirement house you're offering us shows a much smaller lawn than ours. I haven't yet seen that picture you sent, but I'm sure the lawn is much too big. I don't mind if the rest of the yard is cluttered with trees and brush, but that lawn needs to be small.
Dec 14, 2014 - 12:20:01 AM

Down the Road
Snow/ice hiking and falling
One other time I fell "but good" was when I had been walking in the Birdsacre woods in Ellsworth. The ground was snow covered, and I stopped to rest a bit while leaning on a branch of a sapling. Suddenly, and I don't recommend this for practice at home, I was sitting down. The bottom part of my anatomy hurt, and my arm that was still clinging to the sapling hurt.
Dec 7, 2014 - 5:46:18 AM

Features
Science and Theology - A Common Understanding
If we are to predict whether or not Robert Jastrow's 'bad dream' will actually unfold, we need to understand how far 'up the mountain of ignorance' science has progressed to date. We do this by first looking at the present paradigm which is responsible for the world we have created for ourselves. A paradigm is a common or collective belief based on a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitute a way of viewing reality for the society that shares them. While each society may have their own particular paradigm, the belief that selfishness is a fait accompli underpins the paradigm of most societies.
Dec 7, 2014 - 5:45:32 AM

Down the Road
The Beautiful Scenery of My Retirement
For your dreaming times, the Craignair Inn we occasionally visit down along the ocean. Milt Gross Photo

Dec 7, 2014 - 5:03:13 AM

Features
Are You Spiritually Gifted? By David Bertolacci
For example, many of us are socially conditioned to be polarized, or to choose one side versus the other. Although, a different approach would be to view the sides as opposite ends of a pole, like north and south poles of a magnet. They each describe the whole. This helps to balance the viewpoint. If you were walking a tightrope, you would want to be balanced, right? A common duality misconception I observe is science versus religion. Both have attempted to explain the origins of the universe, the solar system, and life. Both use analogies to communicate complex processes. The real misconception is the belief that one must pick a side. Instead, find a balanced position you are comfortable with. And this may just be the tipping point we need to end the negative programming in our minds and create a more loving positive system of beliefs. By healing ourselves, we create the space to heal those around us. This is a gift!
Dec 3, 2014 - 7:55:04 AM

Down the Road
After Thanksgiving -- or instead of it
Then there was this year's -- Thanksgiving without baking a turkey or going out to a nice restaurant for the meal. Thanksgiving at home with no electricity. When it came back on, electricity became our Thanksgiving. The next day, we still haven't dug out the car. We're too busy being thankful -- and enjoying the feeling of power, electric power that is.
Nov 30, 2014 - 12:20:45 AM

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