Friday, June 1, 2018

Editor's Corner


June 2018

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me."
--Jim Valvano.
June gives us another family type holiday to celebrate: Father's Day. Many things can be said about good fathers, great fathers, caring fathers, and on and on goes the list, yet not one of our authors chose fathers as their topic. "Armchair Genealogy" discusses many fathers and their roles in various military eras, focusing on the author Melinda Cohenour's own family tree (shared by your editor, her sister.) Nonetheless, your editor doesn't mean June to go by without reminding all of you to cherish your fathers, whether they are still walking the earth or are bound on more heavenly trails. If your father wasn't great, then quite likely you found another person to fill that requirement in your life. One hopes so, any way.

We welcome a new columnist to our eZine, Charlene Cowley. See the introduction to her in the articles, and her first column, "A Way with Words." Our Pennsylvania born Columnist Thomas F. O'Neill explains how much a year's furlough from his teaching in Suzhou, China, will mean to him. Believe this: his main plan is going back to school himself. His column "Introspective" also includes a couple of video's with links and some pics with students.

"Cooking with Rod" always gives new, tasty recipes and this month touts grilling for hot weather convenience. Rod Cohenour features "Never Fail Chicken Kabobs" and a co-star salad.

"Armchair Genealogy" as stated above is filled with references to the author's family tree members who were engaged in different military occupations, from the Revolution through current times. One can only respect the research and time involved in compiling this info.

Mattie Lennon's "Irish Eyes" gives a brief update on the Listowel Writers and promises more details in July. Judith Kroll aka Featherwind talks of Miracles and Precious Life in her column "On Trek."

Dayvid Clarkson's "Reflections on the Day"shares another of his haiku's wrapped in a beautiful photo, and some of his nightly thoughts, meditations of a sort. "Consider This," LC Van Savage's column is a tribute to a beloved friend, Margo. Her article explains her experiences in learning Etiquette and what stuck and what didn't.

Bruce Clifford's June poems are "You Must Be Fine With This," "Thinking," and "Faults." Bud Lemire sent us "A Compassionate Touch." John I. Blair's poems are "Treats," "Beheading Sages," "Dinosaurs Had Thunderstorms," "A Friend from Egypt," "Finch at My Window Feeder," and "Panda Leanne." The last one includes an illustration, and is dedicated to one of his granddaughters.

See you in July!!!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Armchair Genealogy

Memorial Day Memoirs: History of Military Service Among
The Carroll-Joslin Extended Family

          Memorial Day weekend has just been celebrated by Americans across the continent. It is a time set aside for family reunions among many, certainly a time of celebration, good food and festive activities. More importantly, it is a time to remember the sacrifices of those who enlisted in the various branches of military units through the ages to ensure our freedom. For many, that sacrifice was the extreme one, for others it cost greatly in loss of limb and the bitter experience of battle.

          Our family tree is graced by many who offered up their time, surrendered their welfare, lost friends and family in battle, and – for those so lucky – returned to their homes and families changed in dramatic and sometimes tragic ways.  For others, their loss carved out a lifetime of absence and grief for their survivors. For all, we honor them for their service.

          This month of June is also reserved for the remembrance of our fathers as we celebrate that priceless and unique bond between father and child. My own father, along with my mother, served during World War II in the shipyards, working long and hard days to equip our service men and women with the ships that would carry them to the shores of distant lands. It was a time of tremendous sacrifice, bravery, courageous acts, and historic change.

          Your author has researched various individuals profiled in our family tree and devoted prior columns to the story of their service. For brevity in this column, links will be provided to those articles for readers who wish to explore their story in depth. Some of the research resulted in stories of their military service, but some resulted in exploration of their life and times. The earliest known military service among our ancestors goes back to the time of the Crusades, to my 23rd Great-Grandfather Hugues dePayens (DuPuy). That is mentioned merely for the rarity of tracing any branch back that far!

Military History of the Carroll-Joslin Extended Family

The Crusades

Hugues De Payens (Du Puy) b. 1055, Ch√Ęteau Payns, about 10 km from Troyes, in Champagne, Dordogne, Aquitane, France; d. 1136, Jerusalem, Palestine (in 1120 – founded Knights Templar, died 1136)

Hugues Du Puy I, Lord of Pereins, of Apifer and of Rochefort. He went to the conquest of the Holy Land with three of his children and his wife, Deurand de Poisieu, in 1096.  He founded the Abbey of Aiguebelle, order of St. Bernard, diocese of St. Paul-trois-Chateaux. He was one of the gallant generals of Godefroi de Bouillon (*), and was in many brave encounters, so that this prince gave him the souverainte of the city of Acre. His son, Raymond DuPuy, founded and was the first grand Master of the Military Order of the Knights of St. John, of Jerusalem (1113). This military order was afterward styled the "Knights Templars" in 1121; also the Knights of Malta and acquired much wealth and wielded much power. 
Histoire Genealogique des Famille de Dupuy – Montbrun, Guy Allard, a Grenoble, Bibliotheque Nationale, 1662, Paris, France

* Godfrey of Bouillon: Godfrey of Bouillon (FrenchGodefroy de BouillonDutchGodfried van BouillonGermanGottfried von BouillonLatinGodefridus Bullionensis; 18 September 1060 – 18 July 1100) was a Frankish knight and one of the leaders of the First Crusade from 1096 until its conclusion in 1099. He was the Lord of Bouillon, from which he took his byname, from 1076 and the Duke of Lower Lorraine from 1087. After the successful siege of Jerusalem in 1099, Godfrey became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He refused the title of King, however, as he believed that the true King of Jerusalem was Christ, preferring the title of Advocate (i.e., protector or defender) of the Holy Sepulchre (LatinAdvocatus Sancti Sepulchri). He is also known as the "Baron of the Holy Sepulchre" and the "Crusader King". [SOURCE:]

French and Indian War – 1754 to 1763

The final Colonial War (1689-1763) was the French and Indian War, involving Austria, England, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Sweden called the Seven Years War it was the beginning of open hostilities between the colonies and Great Britain.  It ended with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris, signed 3 November 1762; however, various tribes of Indians continued with attacks on colonists, extending America’s battles.  Unresolved issues would ultimately lead to the Revolutionary War.

Joseph Bullard (5th Great-Grandfather on my maternal line) Joseph Bullard fought alongside his good friend and famous American, John Sevier, in the clashes with the Native Americans before the Revolutionary War. His story has been told in prior columns, the one concerning the French and Indian Wars at the link below:

Revolutionary War – 1775 to 1783

The first shots fired 19 April 1775 at Lexington and Concord, official declaration of war signed 4 July 1776.
On the 3 September 1783, the Treaty of Paris is ratified, officially declaring the 13 colonies of America an independent nation, with Canada continuing under British rule.

John Hambler (6th Great Uncle, son of Father-in-law of Johanes Jacob Howdeshildt)

Joseph Alexander (His story appeared under your author’s byline, below)

Richard Malone (5th Great-Grandfather and his son, same name, a 4th Grand-Uncle on my paternal line).


Richard Malone, the father, came to this country from Ireland as an Indentured Servant to Isaac and Isabella Wilson, arriving 30 October of 1772 along with his wife, both of whom paid their debt of passage by two years and 10 months each servitude. (The cost of their passage? Difficult to say with exactitude; however, this calculation is offered online: £1 in the year 1776 is equivalent in purchasing power to £158.93 in 2018. Therefore: £158.93 would be equal to $211.15 in 2018.)  Thus, four years after his arrival and mere months following his repayment of the cost of passage to the new land, he enlisted to fight for continued freedom.

George Hempleman (5th Great Grandfather, paternal line, and his brother,
Adam Hempleman (4th Grand-Uncle)

            Revolutionary service: George was a private, 1781, in Capt. William Johnson's company, 10th battalion, Lancaster Co., PA [p.173] militia. He was born in Germany; died in Charlestown, Ohio. Profession: Weaver, owned 342 acres in Vance twp in 1814, which was later Mad River twp of Clarke Co., Ohio.
[Sources: Robinson's History of Greene Co., OH, Broadstone's History of Greene Co., Vol. I, p. 203, Early Clark Co. Families, Vol. I, p.149, D.A.R. Patriot Index, p. 321, History of the Hempleman Family in America, By Geo. Whitely, 1912, Northumberland County Muster list of 1776]

            Adam Hempleman’s closest brush with death may have occurred just after Cornwallis had surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown in 1781. However, the official end of the War was not complete until the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During that time, in Pennsylvania, many Indian combatants had not yet laid down their arms and continued to assault the hamlets and villages of the newly victorious patriots. In one such battle, known as the Battle of Bald Eagle Creek, our Adam is mentioned as having survived but the story documents a harrowing experience. Adam was a part of a group called a “ranging company” which meant part of the time they ranged over their area of command, freely, to protect their families. At other times, they were directed to specific duties at the command of their military authority: The Pennsylvania Line of the Continental Army.

[Source: The information provided below is the work of Ted Bainbridge, PhD, and has been summarized or extracted by your author from the website:
NOTE: The pages referenced in the text below by Dr. Bainbridge are from his extensive list of source documents shown on that website. ]

            The referenced battle needs a bit of background: In March of 1782, Adam was attached to Capt. Thomas Robinson’s company. Late in that month, while rebuilding a fort at Muncy, under the leadership of Lt. Moses Van Campen, their unit requested by a “Mr. Culbertson” (whose brother had recently been killed by Indians in that area) for an escort to the area of Bald Eagle Creek. The assembled company was comprised of 26 men. On the evening of April 15th, they beached their boat and made camp. Early in the morning, having discovered the undisguised boat, a party of some eight-five Senecas attacked. The fight was described by Van Campen and documented by his grandson as follows:

“... by the morning light, concealed by the bushes, [the Indians] approached very near to the sentries, and burst so unexpectedly upon these, that they had only time to run to the camp, crying, “The Indian, the Indian,” before the savages were in their midst, with the tomahawk and scalping knife.  Van Campen and his men started upon their feet and in a moment were ready for action.  The enemy had a warm reception.  The combat was at first, from hand to hand, and so well sustained was the resistance that the Indians were obliged to retire; but they came up on all sides, and one after another Van Campen’s men were cut down with the rifle.  Perceiving that the party of warriors was so large as to offer them no hope of escape, and beholding their number every moment growing smaller, they determined, though reluctantly, to surrender themselves to the enemy, under the belief that their lives would be spared.” 

They surrendered to Lieutenant Nellis, the British officer who commanded and led the Indians.  Of the twenty-six men in the expedition; three had escaped (Esquire Culbertson and two others), nine had been killed, and fourteen had been captured.  Some of those captured had been wounded and some had not.

Jonathan Burwell, Leonard Croninger, James Dougherty, Private Ebenezer Greens, Adam Hempleman, Michael Lamb, William McGrady, William Miller, Joshua Nap, Jonathan Pray, and Moses Van Campen lost their weapons during the fight.

The Indians took possession of the prisoners and their weapons.  Wallace and Stewart, who had been wounded, were tomahawked.  Craton, who also had been wounded, was shot by four or five Indians who, “all aiming their rifles at his head, fired at once, and with their balls tore the top of his skull from his head.  Poor Craton fell over, and his brains rolled out and lay smoking upon the ground.”  As an Indian approached to tomahawk Burwell, who had been shot during the battle, Van Campen hit him so hard he fell down, “like one dead.”  Some Indians moved to tomahawk Van Campen for this defiance, but the majority protected him because of his display of courage and strength.  As a further tribute to Van Campen’s courage, Burwell’s life was spared.  The life of Henderson, who also had been wounded, was spared.  [12 at pages 247-249, 13]  Burwell’s wound was described in detail at [8] and [12 at page 248].

The remaining prisoners were stripped of all their clothing except their pantaloons, then seated on the ground in a circle.  The Indians surrounded them with rifles and tomahawks in hand, then solemnly brought forward five Indians who had been killed in the battle and placed them within the circle.  A chief spoke at length, ending with a smile which was the sign of mercy; the remaining captives would not be killed.  The Indians buried their dead by rolling an old log from its place, laying the body in the hollow of the ground, then piling some earth on the body.  The prisoners were divided among the captors, with Van Campen assigned to Lieutenant Nellis’ group.  Nellis told Van Campen what the chief had said:  Their dead demanded that the whites be killed, but many more whites than Indians had been killed in the battle and that was enough.  Instead, the prisoners would be adopted into the families of the slain warriors to replace the lives they had destroyed.  [7, 12 at pages 250-253]

            The whimsical nature of the Indians is shown by the manner in which they treated their captives following their surrender. There was a forced march, where food was hunted, prepared by the Indians, and shared with their prisoners. It appears they killed more of the prisoners, at  random and upon their whim of the moment. It is well worth my readers’ time to link to the original story for the complete story. I found it fascinating! For our purposes, your interest should be whetted; however, I shall not leave you wondering – Adam Hempleman survived this harrowing experience. Hardy stock.

The story of the Hempleman brothers and how they came to migrate to America’s shores (along with another ancestor’s tale) was documented by your author and can be found at the link shown below:

David Motley Ellington (5th Great-Grandfather) (Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, Yorke Town PA)
            This revered ancestor was present at key engagements, including the surrender of Cornwallis to General Washington. His story can be found at the two links shown below:

Joshua Logan Younger (5th Great Grandfather, paternal line. Served with Washington at Brandywine and was at Valley Forge as well) His story:

Peter Gilstrap, Jr. (5th Great Grandfather, paternal line)

It is believed four Gilstrap brothers, the sons of Thomas Gilstrap, came from Scotland (under the English crown). They were James, John, Peter and Isolet, all settling in Craven County, North Carolina about 1752. All were Revolutionary soldiers. Our line descends from Peter who left a will and Revolutionary War records and other documentation that is simply treasure for a family historian

Richard C. Wright, Sr. (6th Great Grandfather, paternal line and father of Benjamin, Pvt. NC Militia)
            Richard Wright, Sr. served in 1776 as a Private in the Revolutionary War for the North Carolina Militia. His son, Benjamin saw distinguished service as shown below.

Benjamin Wright, Sr. (5th Great Grandfather, Paternal line)

Benjamin was a Private in the North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War. He fought in the battle for Guilford Courthouse. His youngest son, Adam Wright (1804-1851) was the first Federal Judge at Indianapolis.

Jacob Peter Copple, Sr. (5th Great Grandfather, b. 1757 Schwarzwald, Altotting, Bavaria, Germany, d. 14 Nov 1821, Bethlehem Cemetery, Bethlehem, Clark, Indiana)

Grandfather Copple (originally, perhaps “Kepple”) served in the Revolutionary War and was named in a petition, 12 Dec 1809, to Congress by citizens of Clark County, Indiana, asking that the right to vote be given to all males over 21 who "done milita duty & paid taxes".

Martin Davenport (4th Great Grandfather, Maternal Line, b. 17 Jun 1745, Culpeper County, Virginia, d. 10 Oct 1815, Avery County, North Carolina)

            The exploits of Martin Davenport are numerous, with your author having found it appropriate to document his story in more than one column. One of those stories tells of the chance of fate that bound two heroes’ descendants by the quirk of love.

The subject of Chance, Fate, or Divine Intervention in our lives is pursued further as your author noted more coincidental links binding not only her ancestors’ but her own heart through the ages. Capt. Martin Davenport was one of the heroes of King’s Mountain, NC and his story is bound together with the next ancestor whose exploits are shared next.

Capt. Joseph Lindsey Bullard (5th Great Grandfather, Maternal Line, b. 1732, North Carolina; d. 20 Sep 1788 in the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.)

            Joseph Bullard was also a Mountain Man and, as mentioned early in this column, fought for many years alongside his fellow frontiersman and illustrious friend, John Sevier, who would become the first Governor of the State of Tennessee and who shared such a resemblance to our grandfather they were mistaken for one another. His story and that of fellow Mountain Man and King’s Mountain hero, Capt. Martin Davenport was shared in the following article:

War of 1812

Joseph Alexander (II) (Great Grand Uncle)

Spanish-American War – 1898 to 1901


Everett Marion Carroll (Grandfather, Paternal Line)

Russell Gordon Kendrick (Step Grandfather, Paternal Line)

Civil War – 1861 to 1865

William Henry Joslin (Great Grandfather, Maternal Line, b. 11 Apr 1837, Kane County, Illinois; d. 29 Mar 1921, Pineville, McDonald County, Missouri)

William Henry joined the Northern Army in the Civil War from Nodaway County, Missouri, and served the entire four years under General A. J.  Smith.  When the War closed, he returned to North Missouri for a short time and then came to Jasper County, Missouri, where he met and married Sarah Jane Godwin in Carthage in 1866.  They lived in Jasper and Lawrence Counties for about eight years and then moved to McDonald County.  They both lived near Pineville until their death.  [These notes were taken from the family notebook of Carrie Joslin in 1946.] 

William Henry Bullard (Great Grandfather, Maternal Line, b. 14 Dec 1842, White Rock Prairie, McDonald County, Missouri; d. 14 May 1911, Pineville, McDonald County, Missouri)

Grandpa Bullard was born in Dog Hollow near Pineville, Missouri, He lived there until he was three months old, then his family moved to Benton County, Arkansas (in 1843). They lived there until the Civil War. When he was eighteen (18) years old he was converted and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He volunteered for service in the Confederate Army when the first call was made. Great Grandfather and Grandmother Bullard owned slaves and Grandpa often spoke of his love for his old Negro nurse, Mammy Em. He fought the four (4) years of the War seeing service in the following battles: Helena, Arkansas; Pea Ridge, Arkansas and Bunker Hill. He crossed the field in the famous Picket's Charge in the Battle of Gettysburg. He would choke up and cry when he talked about this bloody siege. When the children would fail to obey orders of their parents, he would refer to Picket's Charge and what happened there because others did not carry out their orders. He fought the entire four years and was never wounded; however, at the close of the War, his health was bad. Some doctor said he was about to develop tuberculosis. With Mr. Wright, he began cutting pine in Northwest Arkansas, getting the tar and hauling it in wagons to Springfield, Missouri. The pine smoke was thought to have improved his health. [Told to Linnie Jane Burks by her mother, Carrie Bullard.]

Capt. Joseph Dawson Jagger – (Enlisted 1861, Company A, 6th Volunteer Infantry, Col. John A. Martin, (1861-1863); 1863, promoted to Capt. 12th Reg. U.S. Colored troops)

Jeremiah Milam Gilstrap, Jr. – (Enlisted 20 Aug 1864 – Discharged 25 Apr 1865, Pvt., Company E, 46th Missouri Infantry.)

Ephraim Triplett – Sgt. Union Army, Battery L 2nd Missouri Light Artillery

Aaron Giles Barnell, son of Elizabeth Joslin and Aaron Barnell enlisted 25 Aug 1862, Enlisted 8 Dec 1862 as 5th Corporal, Company I, 20th Iowa Regiment, honorably discharged with rank of Sergeant after 3 years service.  Mustered out: 8 Jul 1865, Mobile, AL.

Elmore Barnhill – son of Rachael Joslin and John Barnhill (Barnell), Enlisted as a Private 15 Aug 1862.  Enlisted in Company F,  Illinois 112th Cavalry, Infantry 26 Sep 1862, died from wounds received in battle 21 Jan 1864 at Knoxville, TN.  Buried at Knoxville National Cemetery, 939 Tyson Street, N. W., Knoxville, TX 37917, Section C, Site 354.

World War I – 1914 to 1919

World War I (WWI) was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand in 1914 and ended with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

World War II – 1939 to 1945

World War 2 (WW2) was a long and bloody war that lasted for six years. Officially beginning on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, World War 2 lasted until both the Germans and the Japanese had surrendered to the Allies in 1945

  1. G. Adair

Jack Oakley Joslin

Korean Conflict – 1950 to 1953

The Korean Conflict began when North Korea crossed the 38th parallel, invading South Korea. It ended with the signing of the Peace Treaty at Panmunjom on 27 Jul 1953. 

Johnny Robert Crowson – US Army, Military Police

Viet Nam – 1955 to 1973
America’s involvement began in 1955 as military advisors to President Ngo Dinh Diem.  It ended with the signing of the Cease Fire in Paris and withdrawal of the last of US troops and release of our POW’s.

Roderick W. Cohenour – USMC
Christopher  Cohenour - USN
Johnny Raymond Bradshaw - USAF
Clyde R. MacGibbon - USAF

Military Service Records:

Simon Noel “M” Dalton; Pvt. (Hospital Company) Company A, 36th Infantry, US Navy, Phillipine Islands 1900
Rex Edward Joslin, United States Navy (Japan)


Sgt. Clyde Blake Bostick – (also Pyongyang, Korea 2007) – Mosul, Iraq – 2008-2009

            The stories from the time of the Civil War forward will be saved for another time. Many of the brave exploits of our more recent servicemen and women are yet cloaked in the veil of secrecy required for certain military purposes.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


Cooking with Rod


Let’s Get Grilling!

Summer has arrived. It is an early guest for most of the countryside. This meal is one that can be quickly assembled in a cool kitchen and cooks in short order as well. The fresh salad is a perfect accompaniment to the tasty kabobs. The only thing that requires a hot stove top is the rice and even that is optional although we love to serve it.

If you’re not familiar with jicama, ask your green grocer. They will, undoubtedly, have one or two on hand. A jicama looks a great deal like a cross between a potato and a turnip, but when peeled, chilled, and sparked with a touch of lemon and lime juice provides a marvelous South of the Border touch to this patio meal.

Bon appetit~!
Never Fail Chicken Kabobs
And Fresh Summer Salad
For the kabobs:
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. ground sage
  • 1 jar Heinz 57 Sauce
  • 2 cans pineapple chunks, drain and reserve the juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 6 white onions, sliced in 8ths
  • 24 wooden skewers, well soaked before use
  • Juice of one lemon or use bottled juice
For the salad:
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 onion (purple is wonderful with this salad) sliced thin
  • Greens of your choice, iceberg lettuce or romaine or Spring greens
  • 1 jicama, peeled and sliced thin
  • Fresh wedges of cold lime
  • Fresh cilantro, de-stemmed and leaves chopped coarsely
  • Lemon juice, lime juice and a touch of honey with cracked pepper is all the sauce you will need once you toss with the ripe avocados. The avocados will augment the dressing nicely.

  • 1. Rinse chicken tenders with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season with cinnamon and sage.
  • 2. Prepare glaze by whisking together the Heinz 57 sauce, honey and reserved pineapple juice.
  • 3. Place prepped vegetables in the lemon juice to keep their color fresh and spark their flavor on the grill.
  • 4. Before adding tenders and vegetables to the skewers, be sure the skewers have absorbed the water. I usually soak them an hour or so in hot water before prepping the vegetables.
  • 5. Assemble kabobs on skewers, alternating meat, red, yellow and green peppers with pineapple and onion segments.
  • 6. Twirl each kabob in the glazing mixture. You might also want to have a clean glazing brush with a long handle available to glaze over the grill.
  • 7. Prepare the jicama and use the lemon and lime juices to keep it from going brown. This should be done just before serving the meal.
  • 8. When the kabobs are ready (chicken tenders are fully cooked), they are delicious served over fresh steamed white rice. Serve with a nice cold summer salad (recipe above or your choice). The fresh jicama is delicious in the tossed salad.

NOTE: If inclement weather interferes with your grilling plan, the kabobs can easily be prepared in the oven on a broiling pan. Set your pan on the center level and turn the kabobs every so often to evenly cook.

Never Fail Chicken Kabobs

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

A Way with Words

‘Love thy neighbour’

So as I sit here at my dining room table, my laptop resting in front of me, my baby daughter asleep in her pushchair next to me and a fresh cup of tea at my side. I feel it is o.k to admit to you that I am a little nervous about writing my first piece for Pencil Stubs. I have read many articles in previous months and it is fair to say that the talent and level of writing on this site is very high! So I am extremely thankful and honoured to be in a position where I am writing here too. I can only hope that my work will be well perceived and that my readers will take from it what I intend, that is to instill positivity, to inspire through words and to hopefully implant a sense of calm, peace, love and tranquility within each of you.

I have thought long and hard about what I should write for my opening column and I decided to place all my trust in my guides and allow them to tell me what words to type. I shall take a couple of nice long deep breaths and just listen. When I feel compelled to type, I will, I know the words will come to me and I know that these words will all form and join together to create what will very shortly become, my first piece ...

It was Sunday just passed, early evening, the sun was still shining and there was a lovely sense of peace in the air. Something that I have always come to associate with a Sunday evening. Dinner had been prepared, devoured and everything cleaned and put away. My two small daughters had both been bathed and were happily playing in the living room in their clean pyjamas, all ready for bed. However, this peace was suddenly disturbed by the not so distant sound of an ambulance which came whizzing past our apartment building only to turn into the adjoining road. I watched as it sped up the road only to stop five houses down.

I immediately called my husband Fabio in despair and told him to call his parents to check if they were both ok. You see, they live just five houses down on the adjoining road. I only have to stretch and lean ever so slightly out of our back balcony window and I can see their house. At that moment, we saw the paramedics run into the house next door to my inlaws and my heart immediately sank (whilst remaining eternally thankful that my husband’s parents were both safe and well). That is the house where a young couple live with their three beautiful children.

Moments later, their youngest, a little boy who is just thirteen months old (we always remember his age as he was born just one month before our own youngest child) was being held in the arms of one of the paramedics who quickly carried him into the ambulance. By this point, there were now two ambulances and one police car all outside this house and our little side road was now filled with people spilling out of their houses and hanging out of apartment windows, all desperate for news on this sweet baby boy’s fate. I noticed during these moments, as I too hung out of my own balcony window (and my husband went outside to join the rest of the neighbors on the street) that everyone knew the little boy’s name and the family involved. One person only had to say “oh its little Lorenzo” and everyone gasped in a clear state of anguish. A few neighbours even noticed that our eldest daughter was standing next to me on the balcony and they greeted her by name.

Now for me, as someone who was born and bred in the city of Birmingham (in the United Kingdom) this is not something that I had come to experience much. Sure, I was able to name my next door neighbours on either side of me and was in a position to say ‘hi’ to the man who lived over the road directly opposite my house but never by name, always just a quick wave of the hand and a mumbled ‘hello’ and that was our daily interaction for about four years.

Now here, in the North of Italy, in our little quiet village in the countryside, on the outskirts of town, close to the mountains, I find myself in a completely different environment. I can walk outside of our apartment and people will stop and say hello, they will greet me by name (and I them), they will stop and talk to my children and ask how my husband is, they will ask when my father is flying over next to see us. They remember our previous conversation and will ask how such-and-such went. When a new baby is born, the proud parents will display a wreath outside their front door with their child’s name and details of the birth and you will see people literally cross the road to go and read this wonderful news and learn the baby’s name! People care! We are all strangers to one another really but we all still care. And it was only then, during that moment, as we were all waiting in anticipation to hear if little baby Lorenzo would be ok, that I realised something very profound to me and very important … WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER! Each and every single one of us, no matter how ‘different’ we all may appear to one another, we are all, each and every one of us are EXACTLY THE SAME!

Sure, we are all here, we each have our families and our busy lives, our bills to pay and our schedules to keep, but really none of us know exactly what we are doing! Not truly, not really! We are all here for one purpose and that is for our souls to experience what it is like to live in the psychical form. We each have set out to learn (through our life’s experiences and lessons) what is it that our souls truly want to know. We are all in this game of life together and it is moments like last Sunday that I realise how similar we all actually are. We are all just trying to win at our lives and to play the game properly. So please, let us all be like my little village in Piemonte. Let us stop and say hello to our neighbours and I mean really stop and listen to what they have to say. Maybe the next time you see your neighbour as you’re both taking out the garbage or collecting your mail, say hi and ask their name. Simply by taking the time and effort to learn and remember a person’s name can truly make all the difference to your relationship with them. Let us all show love and support to one another and ‘love thy neighbour’.

As my first column comes to a close I can hear you all wondering what happened to the little boy … I heard this morning that he is doing much better, he is still in hospital but is hoping to come home tomorrow. He had a very high temperature but is now on the mend and is expected to make a full recovery. I thank you for taking the time to read my first column and I hope I have made a very good first impression. Until next time my dear friends …

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On Trek


We all play a part in Miracles

Like Rain on the tin roof, is the beat of an unborn heart. It is steady, and gentle, new life, new love.

I held my hand over my extended stomach and felt the movements, and heard the music of the heart beat, and I fell in love all over again. I never even new a child was part of me for three months. I suspected it, but didn’t have it confirmed until three months. Baby had grown silently without my knowing. That is a miracle.

We are constantly bombarded with miracles in our lives. Sometimes we perceive them and sometimes we don’t, but either way, they are there.

What are the tiny miracles that happen do us all the time? When a person sees an animal in trouble, and fixes that situation to save or help the animal, that is a miracle, for the animal. Right place at the right time and the right person shows up.

Yes, we are part of the miracles, like a woman giving birth; like the doctor and nurse helping in that birth. Like the parents raising the child to become wholesome adults in this colorful world.

When we experience a sunrise, or jump with joy when we see the first bud pop thru the earth after a hard winter. These are truly miracles.

When a another soul touches our soul even if it is with a smile, that is a miracle as well. Anytime our soul jumps we remember, we rejoice, we feel connected to the universe, that is a miracle.

Yes, there are many disturbing ,hateful, unloving aspects of people on this planet. We just continue to shine our soul power and it will help others shine their soul power, and then others hopefully will catch on.
Judith 12-12-2015

Precious Life

It is Lilac time in the Cascades.
The scent is surround smell.
Waking up holding on to that first cup of coffee,
the aroma swirling around and nudging our senses open.

A whiff of lilac takes you on a journey of gratefulness.
Grateful to be alive, to be aware, to become one with all.
Surround sound of birds captivates the morning stillness
echoing harmonically their joyfulness. Feel their joy along with them.

Breathe the vibrations.
Embrace the soft spellbinding breeze,
watch the sun tiptoe thru the universe on its way to caress
your face and penetrate to your soul warm healing energy.

What a start to another
precious day of life on planet earth.
Hold that moment in time,
a gift for you from the Universe.

©5/21/18 Judith Kroll

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Irish Eyes


Lacken, Hoarders and Listowel

      This is an Irish surname which derives from the ancient pre 9th century Gaelic O'Duibhgeannain. The translation is 'the descendant of the sons of the black haired chief' (or similar), and it is claimed that the clan were the poets and bards to the leading clans of the counties Leitrim, Roscommon, and Longford. Their principle place of residence was the village of Kilronan, County Roscommon, where they were the 'erenaghs'. This was a hereditary position and can be described as the keepers of the church lands, and collectors of tithes. It is also claimed that the clan maintained a school of bards at Castle Fore, Leitrim, where they were resident in 1636, Peregrine O'Duigenan who died in 1664 being one of the Four Masters. Many of the clan served in King James 11's Catholic Army of 1690 which failed to defeat William 111 of Orange and England at the battle of the Boyne. In consequence the clan was dispossessed of its lands, the prefix O' was also dropped after the defeat, and in this case it has never been replaced.

      Why am I telling you all this? Because my old Alma Mater, Lacken National School is now a community centre and Pat Dignam, a Dublin man who lived in the area for many years , contributed more in time and energy to the community than anybody else. Pat passed away suddenly in October 2016. On Thursday 10th April his widow Liz unveiled a plaque to Pat on the gable wall of the community centre. At the unveiling it was said “Pat was a man who got things done.” He had a knack of cutting through red tape and I’m sure he often mused on the words of Voltaire, “It is dangerous to be right when those in authority, who make the decisions are wrong.”ur community centre is taking shape but we are still badly in need of funds. The Lacken diaspora can contact us at:

       Listowel Writers’ Week 2018 was scheduled to be opened by Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, one of the most prominent poets writing in the Irish language, however due to illness Nuala was unable to open Listowel Writers' Week. It was opened instead by American poet Billy Collins. The John B. Keane Lifetime achievement award was presented to Dame Edna O Brien, DBE. And the presentation of prizes for the literary competitions were presented on the opening night. This is the 47th Listowel Writers’ Week and, in the words of the chairperson it is, “ . . a cornucopia of events celebrating our shared love of literature.” It’s only starting as I write and there are a number of hectic days ahead. Drama, poetry readings, open-mic sessions, book launches and much more. (So far I have counted sixty nine events, not counting the fringe shows.) It is the time of year when the literary heavyweights of the world converge on the north Kerry market town; the literary capital of Europe. I’ll tell you all about it in July.

* * * * * *

Jess Kidd

       Last month I told you about Jess Kidd’s latest book The Hoarder. Well having fully digested it I’m fully convinced that I am definitely a hoarder but the jury, in my head , is still out on whether there is such a thing as reincarnation. But, just in case, I have picked out a tombstone for myself.

* * * * * *

      Our referendum to repeal the Eight Amendment of the Irish Constitution resulted in a win for the “Yes” side on May 25th. I won’t comment on the result but the following was written, many years ago, by my old friend Dan Keane who is no longer with us.
By Dan Keane
No human voice is mine to crave
The love, the life, that is my due,
I bear a soul that Heaven gave
And I am human, just like you.
A gift bestowed by hands divine:
To pro-create and fill the earth
And oh, dear Mom, what right is thine
To kill me on the road to birth?
Thou wert begotten just like me:-
A treasure in your Mother’s womb.
Is my pre-natal sanctuary
By vile decrees to be my tomb?
A tomb compelled to cast aside
My corpse, in fragments dripping blood;
When some satanic act defied
The sanctity of motherhood.
Why cavil with a simple phrase
What other name does murder know?
And you who would my fears erase
Your faith, in deeds I beg you show.
Then seal the door ‘gainst Satan’s plans
And God your future days shall bless,
I live in fear of murderous hand
Please, please, oh please say yes.
©2000 Dan Keane

Keane and Lennon

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