Down the Road
Tough spots in Maine's woods
My father and I once got turned around -- not lost -- on a fairly steep cliff on the other side of Tumbledown. We couldn't see where we'd climbed up, but we could see the mountaintop pond and other mountains in the distance. They gave us directions to climb safely back to the trail we had been following before we became adventuresome. Moral of that tale; if you feel adventuresome, spell "adventuresome" ten times and then don't do it.
Nov 23, 2014 - 12:27:54 AM
A Year of Feasting
My husband struggled with controlling his anger. One Sunday morning, while at church, God started dealing with him as well. He became so troubled, that he left to go back home. He started crying out to God. He couldn't cope any longer. He ask God to take this feeling away. As he was praying, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a "black thing" leave his body and vanish away.
Nov 20, 2014 - 7:15:30 AM
Thanksgiving Gluten Free and Lactose Tolerant!
So now that I am "gluten free and "lactose free," I had to figure out a way to still cook delicious biscuits, pies and stuffings so I can eat everything I want without denying myself the best meal of the year - - Thanksgiving. It has taken me a while to figure it all out.... but I did it. We know, the trouble with gluten free baked goods is that they're not very good. I love my old fashioned Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing, but that is all over for me. How to reproduce it with gluten free ingredients?
Nov 20, 2014 - 7:10:35 AM
How My Mother and Bob Hope Taught Me the True Meaning of Christmas
I also thought how someone as famous as Bob Hope -- who was such an American icon -- had traveled so far to give a show to me and my shipmates. How he and so many had given up their families at Christmas to come such a long way to reach out to men like me. Just to let us know that we weren't alone. Christmas, for my mother -- and now for me -- would always be in the warmth of family, in the hearts of loved ones and of those who one care's about. It would always be in the drawing together against the world's cold to share the warmth that only we can give to each other, and, together, to dare hope for a time when the world won't be quite so mean, quite so lonely, or quite so cold.
Nov 19, 2014 - 12:33:28 AM
Excerpt from Isabella Clarence's book: "Different?...You Have Always Been Different"
About six months earlier when Isabella had just turned two, she shouted at her because the little one was being stubborn. She said to me 'I really shouted and I realised straight away that I had reacted too harshly, after all she was still just a baby.' Anyone who has children will understand that little ones can be very trying, we have all heard of 'the terrible two's.' Diane told me that she was having a particular bad day herself that day, she was tired and yes she knew she shouldn't have shouted at the little one, but she had. Isabella had started to stammer very soon after. That was six months ago and it was getting worse, not better.
Nov 19, 2014 - 12:27:02 AM
Down the Road
The Air Force Reserves
On the way home, one of the doors in our aircraft wouldn't stay shut while we were high above somewhere, so we tied it closed with some clothesline. And one of our engines began to lose oil, so our pilot was on the radio trying to find out where the nearest C119 gas station was located. Of course, the radio wasn't functioning correctly, which made the entire trip home kind of scary.
Nov 16, 2014 - 12:20:00 AM
Down the Road
Belfast has other advantages besides providing hide-out spots from insurance salesmen. It is not far from Bangor -- which may be an advantage -- or Camden if you like summer crowds or even Augusta if you like to watch politicians at nonwork. It is not near crowded-in-summer Acadia National Park, which is either an advantage or disadvantage depending on your view of Acadia. And it is not that far from Moody Mountain Road in Lincolnville, where there is a 12-foot-tall sign post bearing the names of a dozen places, some of which are even real towns.
Nov 9, 2014 - 3:53:31 AM
Woman Up!: 12 Reasons You Don't Need "Thanks" Every Day
There is a reason why cheerleading is such an integral part of our culture. Everyone needs a good cheerleader, a diehard fan, an avid supporter -- not just professional sports teams. Cheerleaders are there for support and celebration when you win, and consoling words of encouragement when you lose. But what happens when you can't make a decision at work without that constant cheerleader? What happens when you don't hear "job well done" -- is it still a "job well done"? (If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?)
Nov 6, 2014 - 5:33:17 AM
Down the Road
My father and I once wandered off a pasture into the edge of a woods over in Belgrade. We had been in familiar turf; we could see up the field to the road and even to the house. Suddenly we were in strange country, low trees and brush, the only paths those of cattle that had wandered there. Those hoof-made paths wound and zigzagged. A bit frightening, as now we had no idea where we were -- where the farmhouse was.
Nov 2, 2014 - 12:20:17 AM
5 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People at Family Holiday Gatherings
The table is set with your holiday dishes and best silver, and the smell of the cooking turkey is wafting throughout the house. Fresh pine garland is draped just so over the hutch and bookcases, the Christmas tree is dripping with twinkling lights and memento ornaments, while packages are strewn under the tree waiting to be opened. You look around one more time checking to make sure everything is set, and then the doorbell rings. The first of many family members has arrived. Within minutes the house is bubbling with conversations mixed with familiar holiday music. You're crossing your fingers that all stays well. "So far, so good. " you whisper to yourself. You spoke too soon...
Oct 29, 2014 - 6:05:27 AM
Down the Road
Rambling while retired
But now I'm thinking about hikes I probably won't and will take in my future after the hip surgery. I probably won't tackle Katahdin again (six climbs are probably enough) but I will likely head up the much smaller Bald Peak in Acadia. It's got all the features of Maine's higher mountains, only in miniature. I probably won't trip on the north side of Baldpate again, but then once was enough. I can find much lower places to trip. There are lots of places we still plan to go, such as the state museum in Augusta and old Fort Western there. You can drive right up to them, and there are no steep, rocky trails inside.
Oct 26, 2014 - 6:35:13 AM
18 Short Stories about love in British & Indian Culture
'Love and its trials' is the keynote that rings throughout the whole book emitting a kind of warm scents like the cinnamon tree woods. To some people this book reflects the theme of multiculturalism, fusing British and Indian culture together in one receptacle of a hot cauldron. However, my sole intention was to write about people focusing on the complexity of their psyche, not about culture. The book deals with different kinds of love - parental love, romantic love, spiritual love, narcissistic love, love for one's convictions and culture, love for one's nostalgic past and faith.
Oct 21, 2014 - 11:30:25 AM
Mother, Mother, What Do You See?
Mother, I don't know how long I have in this world, but as long as there is life in this body, I will strive to reach that mountaintop. I owe it to the unfulfilled dreams of you and Father, to plant our flag on its highest peak. Like some my heart embraces the wisdom of Harriet du Autremont, "No vision and you parish; no ideal, and you are lost; your heart must cherish some faith at all cost. Some hope, some dream to cling to, some rainbow in the sky, some melody to sing to, some service that is high."
Oct 21, 2014 - 11:28:51 AM
Down the Road
Fall or autumn
Even when they spoke of fall, they couldn't agree when, exactly, it took place. In the 17th and 18th centuries, dictionaries by both Thomas Blount and Samuel Johnson noted that some thought that fall began in August and ended in November, while others contested that it began in September (at the equinox) and ended in December (with the solstice)."
Oct 19, 2014 - 6:12:56 AM
Down the Road
On with retirement
I remember when I used to walk fast on the mountain trails, a nice memory which probably won't be repeated in the near future. I recall the Beehive in Acadia National Park, where I didn't fall hundreds of feet into the ocean but felt like I would; I remember climbing Katahdin six times, which I won't be doing again in the near future; I recall climbing Mount Washington, seeing snow in August and almost losing a teenager who left us at the top and legged it pretty fast for the bottom -- but got turned around until a ranger called us at the top to tell us where the kid was; I remember the slippery leaves on the trail up Mount Batti in Camden, where I slipped back in the day when slipping was no big deal.
Oct 12, 2014 - 12:17:12 AM
Your Wife has Cancer
My wife was a cherished elementary school teacher and was very active in our local church. During her cancer journey, she received so many cards and homemade gifts and tokens of love that we didn't have enough space to display all of them for her to see and enjoy. On her birthday, April 6, 2013, my son and I decided to cut down a tree from our property and put it up in our living room where we could hang all of the expressions of faith and love that she'd received. We called the tree her "Luvya Tree." She was so deeply moved by the tree and it became such a great source of encouragement for her. From that day until she died on April 27th, excluding nights in the hospital, she slept in a bed next to the Luvya Tree.
Oct 10, 2014 - 10:40:21 PM
7 Friendship Ingredients to Implement in Marriage
Relationship problems occur because we do for our spouse what our individual preferences and desires would be, rather than what is important for them. Sometimes, basic qualities that contribute to good friendships -- sacrifice for each other and appreciating each other -- also go by the wayside in our marriages. Healthy friendships avoid pitfalls that often our spousal relationships fall into. I've listed below 7 of the top ingredients that catapult friendships and are highly valuable in our spousal relationships."
Oct 10, 2014 - 10:35:15 PM
Find peace in the Gospel of Thomas
I came to know and respect a different Jesus than the traditional biblical one. In reconciling these two versions of Jesus I found that scholarship had long held views that contradicted the ideas of prophecy, amongst other things. The version of Jesus that made the most sense in the end was the Jesus we meet in the 114 Jesus sayings recorded in the Gospel of Thomas.
Oct 10, 2014 - 10:20:07 PM
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2014
The House of David is compared to a Sukkah/tabernacle (Amos 9:1-15), representing the central vision of the ingathering of Jews to their land, Zion, the Land of Israel. Sukkot is the holiday of harvesting -- Assif - which also means "ingathering" in Hebrew. The four sides of the Sukkah represent the global Jewish community, which ingathers under the same roof/shelter. The construction of the Sukkah and Zion are two of the 248 Jewish Do's (next to the 365 Don'ts). Sukkot -- just like Passover -- commemorates Jewish sovereignty and liberty. Sukkot highlights the collective responsibility of the Jewish people, complementing Yom Kippur's and Rosh Hashanah's individual responsibility. Humility -- as a national and personal prerequisite - is accentuated by the humble Sukkah. Sukkot provides the last opportunity for the annual repentance.
Oct 10, 2014 - 10:05:39 PM
Down the Road
The narrow gauge choo choo ride continues
Boothbay Railway Village's narrow gauge property even has a village green, which is where children's activities are held these days. Years ago, most New England towns had greens where villagers could graze their animals and other activities occurred. Boothbay Railway Village also has a variety of buildings from the past, including an old school house, a chapel, a town hall used today by Boothbay residents for town meetings, and an antique auto museum.
Oct 5, 2014 - 12:23:31 AM
Ditch Your Costume and Woman Up at Work
The reality is that women are low risk-takers and are paralyzed at the thought of looking stupid, silly, or incompetent. They hide behind their make-believe personas and internal fantasy dialogue, and ultimately end up killing their careers. It's time to pull on those "big-girl panties" and save the costumes for when you go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Woman UP! and be yourself.
Oct 5, 2014 - 12:17:01 AM
Yom Kippur Guide for the Perplexed, Oct 3-4 2014
The Scroll of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur. It demonstrates that repentance and forgiveness is universal. Among its lessons: commanding one to assume responsibility; getting involved socially/politically; sounding the alarm when wrong-doing is committed anywhere in the world; displaying compassion for all peoples and adhering to faith and optimism in defiance of all odds.
Oct 3, 2014 - 9:59:42 PM
Healing in Affirmations
I discovered affirmations and how they could heal the body. I learned that the body can be healed through thought alone. Pretty soon, I recovered completely from lupus just by changing my thoughts and beliefs through affirmations.
Oct 3, 2014 - 10:13:22 AM
How to Win Your Next Parenting Wars at Back to School Night
As an expat Brit with seventeen years of parenting in the US under my belt, I'm here to warn you that this is one American school tradition, unlike Prom night, that you almost certainly don't want to import. Actually, I wish the Brits had never started to import the tradition of Prom night, with all the potential for romantic rejection and social exclusion that entails, but I speak as a chubby former teen, and besides, that ship has already sailed, or so I understand.
Oct 1, 2014 - 9:07:04 PM
Down the Road
The narrow gauge railroad at Boothbay
According to the pamphlet, the standard four-foot 8.5-inches wide track had its origins in Roman soldiers driving two-horse carts. The two horses were a combined width of about four feet. The carts left tracks, and in order not to damage the carts it was important to keep the same width of the road. The standard gauge railroad developed from the width of those roads.
Sep 28, 2014 - 5:45:02 AM
Rosh HaShanah guide for the perplexed, 2014
Rosh Hashanah is also referred to as "Ha'rat Olam" (the pregnancy of the world), and it's prayers highlight motherhood, optimism and the pregnancies of Sarah and Rachel, the Matriarchs, and Hannah, who gave birth to Isaac, Joseph & Benjamin and the Prophet Samuel respectively. Sarah (the root of the Hebrew word, Israel) and Hannah (the root of the Hebrew words Pardon, Amnesty and Merciful) were two of the seven Jewish Prophetesses: Sarah, Miriam, Hannah, Deborah, Huldah, Abigail, Esther. Hannah's prayer has become a role-model for God-heeded-prayers which are recited by the "non-privileged".
Sep 24, 2014 - 8:07:20 AM
Down the Road
I didn't move to Maine in 1965 to work. I came to enjoy the mountains, the trails, the lakes, the ocean, and the outdoors generally. Did I? No. I had to work to be able to live in the Pine Tree State. Been working all that time until now. The worst part about retirement is I won't see my friends on the bus each day. The best part is I won't have to get up at 4 a.m. to see my friends on the bus each day.
Sep 24, 2014 - 7:58:15 AM
Ask Better Questions
What if you could improve your life and help your children do the same by developing one specific habit? You already use this technique in everyday interactions, however, you may be using them in the wrong way because no one has ever taught you how to ask better questions.
Sep 17, 2014 - 12:12:49 AM
Down the Road
Crazy things happen
If you have --or can make up -- the answers to any of these questions, please let me know. I have to dash off and don't have time to dream up the answers. But there must be answers.
Sep 14, 2014 - 12:25:35 AM
'Columbia - The Seven' - Poem by Martha Stevens-David
Martha has published three books about her life growing up in Maine and today she presents a Poem. Martha Stevens-David is a prolific writer with many styles including Children's stories and murder mysteries.
Sep 14, 2014 - 12:15:20 AM
How to Manage Your Talent: Five Realistic Tips for Success
With each performance booking and introduction, we came closer and closer to the "big one." So how did I know that he really had that "star quality?" and, how did I not give up even when Michael (Buble) doubted himself? In countless worldwide radio, TV and print interviews, one of the most common questions that I am asked is: "so, what does it really take to make it in the industry?" Or, phrased this way: "how do you know that you really have potential and talent?"
Sep 12, 2014 - 9:20:31 AM
Vengeance is Mine Pt 4
Sometimes, when all of her other patients were sound asleep, she'd slip into Mrs. Stanton's room and stand quietly by the door and look at her. There was something acutely familiar about the way the woman's face looked when in repose and it disturbed Mary Elizabeth that she couldn't figure out what it was that drew her to that particular patient.
Sep 12, 2014 - 9:07:36 AM
Down the Road
Sammy (Wicked) takes over
But her name got changed, when Dolores took her to the veterinarian for an exam. He found no problems, no worms, no fleas, just this four-pound tiger kitten looking up at him as he studied her. "The official prognosis is that she's wicked cute," the vet explained to Dolores.
Sep 7, 2014 - 12:27:48 AM
A Debtor's Perfect Storm: Three Views of Debt
If we do not resolve our appetite for debt very soon, these three views of debt will converge; the dollar will lose its premium value, Uncle Sam will lose his credit and we will lose our sugar daddy. That will indeed be a perfect storm. I encourage readers to investigate current events and policies and come to their own conclusions through rational discussion and independent thinking, rather than letting others think for them.
Sep 7, 2014 - 12:25:37 AM
Vengeance is Mine Pt. 3
"Oh, Mary, Mother of God, what are we going to do with her?" Hearing the sadness in her voice, the young Nun reached down and picked up the child. She turned and thrust the baby into the Mother Superior's arms. "I don't know about you but, God wants us to keep her or she wouldn't be here." she said. "And from what I heard, aren't you this child's aunt?"
Sep 7, 2014 - 12:22:39 AM
What Kind of Happiness Do You Want?
Some people's marriage dreams are overly material-oriented. They hope their partners have high academic qualifications, have nice cars and houses. Some ladies want to marry a handsome guy who is at least 6 feet tall.
Sep 5, 2014 - 12:10:22 AM
Vengeance is Mine Pt. 2
As she felt the size of the fetus, she felt sick to her stomach. "She's not six and a half months gone," she thought to herself, "She's more likely closer to eight months along, if she's a day." The Nun looked up and her eyes met Mother Superiors.
Sep 3, 2014 - 12:20:03 AM
Down the Road
Sammy moves in
Every other cat or kitten we've taken in spent two or three days hiding somewhere out of sight and finally tiptoeing out to where he or she could keep a better eye on us. One "hid" on the hot water heater in the back kitchen, in plain sight but maybe out of sight in her mind. When she finally came out, she took over for awhile until we all got used to each other.
Aug 31, 2014 - 12:25:23 AM
In Search of the Good Enough Mother
You want to be the kind of mother with unending tender love and care, never losing your cool and never getting in your own way. You want to be patient in all circumstances. You want to find that perfect balance of being your child's comfort, guide, disciplinarian, and friend. You want to be all that you wished your own mother was but wasn't. You surely don't ever want to make the mistakes that she made. Yet we all know that no mother can live up to that kind of hype.
Aug 31, 2014 - 12:20:44 AM
Down the Road
Milt Gross Book Review: "Standing on Principal" by Frank Vetro
One outcome of what happened was clear in that by the end of the book, Vetro had still not been returned to his previous administration position and had excepted a teaching position that was on a much lower scale. I would not recommend Standing on Principal for its writing or literary value, but I do recommend it for its apparently true story of justice gone wrong. The writer was definitely wronged, according to the book.
Aug 31, 2014 - 12:05:40 AM