Tuesday, March 1, 2022


Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

March 2022

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.“
--Charles Dickens

Welcoming March and hoping it is imbued with warmer Spring type days to bless us. Our 'Artic Blast' as defined by the national weather service in the brief days of February, certainly brought quite a few of us conditions that made the Winter Olympics seem nearby. The crazness of Texas weather spliced in a few much higher than normal temperatures among the extreme low temps, just to keep us on our toes, raising and lowering thermostats and turning our ceiling fans off and on again.

Our dozen poetic compositions this issue include "Sumertime Woman " from yours truly who grows ever more weary of the unusually cold weather last month poured out upon us. One poem "Patio Cat's Adventurre" arrived from John I. Blair to be included for March, also inspired by some of those fridgid temperatures.

Bruce Clifford's three poems are "The Variants of Those Who Doubt It," "What Will Be," and "How Far Away is It?." Bud Lemire's three poems are "I Have Sinned and Loved It," "The Mountain," and "Omicron on the Loose."

Walt Perryman, our poet who is recovering from a bout of the virus, shows these three, "My Unfinished Baffling Morning Thought," "Have You Ever," and "My Little Grandfalls Church." (Your editor's paternal grandmother belonged to the same church and took my sisters and me there when we were with her on Sundays.) Dayvid Bruce Clarkson, whose column "Reflections of the Day" has a poem "God Had Arrived," embedded in a photo in our compliment of poetry for March.

Danielle Cote Serar's column "A Mother's Lessons" subtitled "Following Through with The Plan," discusses how patience is the important ingredient for everyone. Judith Kroll remembers her father, speaks on creating one's Reality, and shares a sweet tale to make the point.

Dayvid Bruce Clarkson's "Reflections of the Day" column presents a piece based on various recognized attributes and closes with one of his unique goodnight musings. Thomas O'Neill also devotes his column to one of his own compositions, a short story reprinted from 2006, but very timely now.

Pauline Evanosky, in her column "Woo Woo," wants her readers to realize that meditation should be, and can be fun. Marilyn Carnell's delightful column "Sifoddling Along" in which she often shares reminising and historic facts, addresses current times as she discusses "Change."

Mattie Lennon's "Irish Eyes" gets into the subject of traffic lights, bridges, and some literary history of Ireland's Ballydonoghue Bardic Festival. "Cooking with Rod" brings us a favorite recipe, an encore of Rod Cohenour's from March 2016, his Double Chocolate – Triple Raspberry Cake.

In "Armchair Genealogy" column, Melinda Cohenour tells how the subject of the history of DNA became revelant when it was determined as a useful type of info for humans' health research. This continues the series "DNA: Complex. Tantalizing, And Nothing Short of Miraculous" begun in December 2021.

The first chapter of a fantasy (perhaps) serialized story "2061" by Bud Lemire begins with this publication. We will continue with future installments monthly. Enjoy!

Mike Craner and wife Susie, are the backbone of this eZine which was co-founded by him and your editor. Mike keeps this informational and entertaining publication viable Much love and appreciation to them (and their first grandchild) every day. Thanks, Mike, for everything,!

See you in April!

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This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Armchair Genealogy

By Melinda Cohenour


Recent columns of Armchair Genealogy have provided basic background information of DNA, its discovery, significant application of those discoveries that further our use of the knowledge, and a very basic Glossary organized not alphabetically but logically to provide a framework for discussion. This column will focus on the Human Genome Project.

What prompted the creation of the project? How was it funded? What were its goals? Who was involved? And, not the least important, what does the Project's findings mean to us as family researchers?

First, we should revisit important milestones leading to mankind's discovery and desire to better understand DNA.

Historical Advances that Led to Discovery of DNA:

The discovery of DNA, the foundation for creation, had its roots in theory. In 1831, Charles Darwin joined a scientific expedition that studied fossils. His inspection of these fossils aroused his interest, specifically, what caused the apparent improvement in structure from one generation to the next? By 1859, Darwin could articulate his theory: which could be called 'survival of the fittest'. Darwin theorized some core element caused the change: the creature best suited to survive in its habitat developed a mutation that could be passed on to the next generation, thus changing the entire species until the next adaptation occurred in response to some new challenge.

This theory was amplified by the studies of an Augustinian monk, Gregor Mendel. Mendel undertook exhaustive experiments of pea plants in a continuous study begun in 1859. Through his studies, Mendel defined the terms of dominant and recessive traits in genetic transformation.

"In his 1866 published paper, Mendel described the action of 'invisible' factors in providing for visible traits in predictable ways. We now know that the 'invisible' traits he had identified were genes."

In 1869, a groundbreaking discovery was made by Friedrich Meischer, a Swiss physiological chemist seeking to isolate the protein substances comprising white blood cells. In the process, he found a substance with chemical properties quite different in composition to those he had been studying. He described it as having "very high phosphorus content and a resistance to protein digestion." The substance was, in fact, deoxyribonucleic acid - DNA.

In 1900, Mendel's theory of dominant and recessive traits being predictable but guided by some as yet unidentified underlying factor generated studies by Hugo DeVries, a Dutch botanist and geneticist; by Carl Erich Correns, German botanist and geneticist; and Eric Tschermak von Seysenegg, an Austrian botanist. Using his experiments as their basis, each reported hybridization experiment results similar to his findings.

By 1902, Mendel's studies found substantiation in the efforts of Sir Archibald Edward Garrod, an Oxford educated physician. In his studies of families beset with Alcaptonuria, Garrod ascribed the high incidence of familial inheritance of this rather rare disease to "inborn errors of metabolism." Garrod discussed his beliefs with William Bateson, a leading proponent of Mendellian theory. When Garrod published his scientific study entitled 'The Incidence of Alcaptonuria: A Study in Chemical Individuality' in 1902, that marked the first time recessive inheritance traits in humans were ascribed to a molecular basis of inheritance.

By 1944, scientists understood more about genetics. They had accepted the fact genes formed the "discrete units of heredity" and that they generated "enzymes that controlled metabolic functions." Oswald Avery, a Canadian-American scientist and medical researcher, discovered mixing a harmless form of live pneumococcus with an inert but lethal form transformed the harmless bacteria into a deadly organism.

In concert with Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty, Avery carried out endless experiments in purifying collected bacteria. The remaining substance was deemed neither protein nor carbohydrate, but a nucleic acid, ultimately identified as DNA. The study they published named DNA as the resulting in their conclusion: "the nature of DNA is the transforming principle."

Avery's findings changed the course of study for another scientist, Erwin Chargaff. He changed his focus to in-depth analysis of the chemistry of nucleic acids. He first developed a method of analyzing that identified the nitrogenous components and sugars of DNA from different species. His research led to two major findings, published by him in 1950, known today as Chargaff's Rules: 1) in any double stranded DNA, the number of guanine units is equal to the number of cytosine units and the number of adenine units is equal to the number of thymine units, and 2) the composition of DNA varies between species.

These Rules have been indispensable in further studies of DNA.

1952 was of immense importance in the study of DNA. Rosalind Franklin, a British woman who achieved a doctorate in physical chemistry from Cambridge University then went on to learn x-ray diffraction techniques. In 1951, working with scientist Maurice Wilkins and student Raymond Gosling, she was able to produce two sets of high-resolution photographs of DNA fibers. From these photos, Franklin calculated the dimensions of the strands and deduced the phosphates were on the outside of what was probably a helical structure. Between 1951 and 1953, Rosalind Franklin came ever closer to identifying the structure of DNA. That discovery, though based upon her photographs and basic conclusions, was attributed to James Watson and Francis Crick. The duo set out to study the structure of DNA at Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University in 1951. Through use of x-ray data and model building, they solved the puzzle that had baffled scientists for decades. Their paper, published in April 1953 resulted in them being awarded the Nobel prize in 1962 for physiology or medicine along with Maurice Wilkins (the scientist with whom Franklin had worked.)

"Despite the fact that her photographs had been critical to Watson and Crick's solution, Rosalind Franklin was not honoured, as only three scientists could share the prize.

Additional advances were made in the study of DNA, techniques advancing the accessibility of actual DNA sequences, and discoveries of genetically linked diseases. All these made more and more scientists eager to delve into the study of DNA.

One significant discovery occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s when stains such as Giemsa were found to "bind to chromosomes in a non-uniform fashion, creating bands of light and dark areas. The invention transformed the discipline, making it possible to identify individual chromosomes, as well as sections within chromosomes, and formed the basis of early clinical genetic diagnosis."

These advances made huge ripples in the scientific community. Suddenly the study of DNA was in the forefront of news. Everyone was now fascinated by the frequent news of the latest discoveries tying genetic abnormalities to known human frailties and diseases: Down Syndrome, Huntington's Disease, breast cancer. Interest was aroused in having a government-funded project to advance the demystification of the basis of life.

Timeline of The Human Genome Project:

1990: The Human Genome Project began and was funded by the US Department of Energy and the National Institute of Health. It was recommended in 1988, but officially started in 1990. Multiple purposes existed for the initiation of this project, not only the advancement of medicine, but for other purposes such as the detection of mutations that nuclear radiation might cause.

"The project's goals included: mapping the human genome and determining all 3.2 billion letters in it, mapping and sequencing the genomes of other organisms, if it would be useful to the study of biology, developing technology for the purpose of analyzing DNA and studying the social, ethical and legal implications of genome research."

Next month's column will address the following subjects:

Significant Findings of The Human Genome Project:

What Remains to be Discovered?

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Cooking with Rod-Encore

By Rod Cohenour

Double Chocolate – Triple Raspberry Cake

While a young boy our nanny, Louella, surprised me for my birthday each year by baking my favorite cake – a scrumptious chocolate-raspberry blend with fudge icing. On my eighth birthday, she surprised me when her response was “No!” to my question, “Louella, are you baking my favorite cake?” She immediately hugged me up, kissed me on the top of the head as she was wont to do and said, “Ole’ Louella it’nt gonna be ‘roun’ for all o’ your birthdays, so I think the best gift I could give you is to teach you to make the cake yourself. That way, you can have it any time you want!”

She was right. It is a gift that keeps giving. It is still my favorite cake. It still goes straight to my hips and belly. And I do not care because it makes me feel GOOOOD! So, here’s my modernized take on Louella’s fabulous cake. If you choose to make chocolate cake and fudge icing from scratch from a beloved recipe, feel free. But these days, I take advantage of all the pre-blended ingredients I can. I select what I consider to be the richest, most delicious prepared Chocolate cake mix and Fudge icing. Instead of making my own raspberry preserves, I buy the best on the market. Louella, I believe, might even appreciate my creativity, although all her cooking was “from scratch” and delicious.

Bon appetit!


  • 1 Box Duncan Hines (my preference) rich chocolate cake mix
  • 1 lg. pkg Jell-O Raspberry gelatin mix
  • Additional ingredients called for by your cake mix
  • 2 jars Smuckers’ Raspberry Preserves
  • 2 containers Duncan Hines Sweet Chocolate Fudge Icing
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed gently


    1. Dump dry cake mix into mixing bowl, add entire package of Jell-O Raspberry gelatin mix. Then prepare cake according to box directions.
    2. Prepare two (2) 9” round cake pans by generously greasing with butter (easiest to use the paper from a stick of oleo) and dusting with Cocoa mix. This prevents the cake from having the white flour splotches when baked.
    3. When cakes are done (test: Toothpick method – it should come out clean; Finger touch method: cake should spring back when gently prodded on the center), permit them to cool.
    4. Invert one cake onto your cake stand. Whip first container of Fudge icing and spread evenly on first layer. Dribble first jar of preserves over icing
    5. Invert second cake layer on top of first, evening up edges for best presentation.
    6. Whip second container of Fudge icing as above and begin icing the sides of the two layers. Finish with the bulk of the icing on top of the cake. Dribble preserves over icing and permit to drip down sides over icing as well.
    7. Garnish with fresh raspberries and – if you want to make this Triple Chocolate-Triple Raspberry, use sweet chocolate shavings to decorate along with the fresh raspberries.

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Woo Woo

By Pauline Evanosky

Fun for Psychics

Fun is an important part of life. People have different ideas of fun which a lot of times align with their hobbies. It’s fun to play crossword puzzles. It’s fun to bake. It’s fun to make models, or draw, or run, or ride a bicycle. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it. I have also heard people say, “Work is not supposed to be fun. It’s why we call it work.” I don’t personally agree with that and somehow think whoever thought it up was in some way bitter. I could be wrong.

My idea is that life could be fun. Well, most of it anyway.

Fun makes things easier to learn and learning how to be a psychic can be fun. It can also, just like any other thing you are trying to learn be drudgery. Are you likely to continue if it is boring? No. That’s why it should be fun.

A lot of psychics I’ve run into over the years have the opinion that anything that touches upon our psychic lives should be serious. I disagree. What are rules but to be broken? I break them all the time with any number of things. I don’t break the law, but I surely fiddle around when people say I must do something or suffer dire consequences. I don’t know why. It just ruffles my feathers.

Take meditation. Meditation is often seen as a necessary part of any psychic’s life. It is helpful in calming, in focusing attention, in looking within for answers. And, if you don’t include the fun part it can be boring as all get out. Do this. Do that. Do this other thing. What if it doesn’t work for you? Do you give up and say you can’t meditate? No. Do you keep beating your head on the table? No. You find another way around it to learn what these other people are saying is a necessary thing to learn.

There really are 101 different ways to meditate.

Okay, so closing your eyes and seeking quiet didn’t work that well. What do you do now? Make a promise to your inner self that you will have a small notebook and a pencil beside you to record whatever was so stinking urgent it needed to remind you. This is not necessarily that you don’t forget something important, rather, it is to calm that part of your mind that is generally in control of everything that goes on in your life. All you want is 30 minutes of peace and quiet and it can’t stinking shut up about it? It can’t leave you in peace for one minute? No. It’s not that part of your brain’s job to let up its ever-present vigilance. All you want is 30 minutes of quiet. That’s not going to tilt the universe on its axis. But your mind doesn’t think that. Your mind thinks everything from now on is going to be wrong. You will not be safe. You are unleashing the hounds of hell if you meditate. However, having a small pad of paper and a pencil at hand could do the trick.

Just take a deep breath and reassure your mind that all is well. Physical reality will not be changed and only good will come of this idea to meditate. Be kind. Don’t be dismissive. Just be in charge. Point out that you’ve got a pencil and paper at hand. You won’t get lost and can come back to the normal room at any time. You don’t need your mind to keep making certain you are okay. You haven’t led it wrong yet in all the years you’ve been alive. Why start now?

I realize this sounds silly, but it is this fun, reassuring conversation that is going to allow your mind to calm down and be quiet for a bit longer. You are not going to get your 30 minutes of peach and quiet in this time, nor probably the next. Your job is to be patient. Each time you meditate you will get another minute or two of calmness. Until finally, it won’t take you long to get to your “happy place” where you can settle down easily for a nice uninterrupted period of time for meditation.

Longer is better right? No, not necessarily. For longer meditations you need a meditation coach. I’ve never had one, but I also know what happens when you strive for longer meditations. All sorts of unruly thoughts you have pushed down, out of sight for years are going to make an appearance. Just for you. You need some tools to be able to handle it. I guarantee this. I’m sure you’ve heard people boast that they can meditate for hours at a time. They are either the best mentally balanced people you’ve ever met, or they are in for a rough ride.

Sorry, that’s what I think and know from personal experience.

Just deal with it. Dealing with wanting ever longer meditation sessions could result in going into therapy which everybody can use or by journaling to allow more of these unsettling thoughts to come to light so that you can address them when you are ready. Nobody is perfect. We’ve all had trauma and all of us have found ways of coping with it. What you don’t need is to get hopelessly depressed and start drinking, shopping too much, overeating, or smoking to excess. Which can happen.

You are a grown-up. You should be stable. You should not be having these thoughts. Release all that. People grow all their lives. How do you think older people are often considered to be wise? They learned this stuff. It doesn’t just happen.

So, be open to growing emotionally. All parts of yourself. Now, in this new state of mind, this quiet, retrospective calmness that comes from meditation, your mind is going to throw out something that has been bothering it for years. Why now? It happens. You have proved to your mind that meditation is a safe place.

I have a theory. I think when something new happens there is a part of us that goes, “Danger! Danger!” It happens because we are not children anymore. When we were kids we got excited when new things happened. Mostly. I never saw the fun in roller coaster rides, but that aside, mostly, kids had fun. Then, we grew up. But if you have a playful eager approach to meditation you can power through the scary stuff. The more you power through, the less often scary stuff will happen.

It happened just like that to me. I would see these gruesome things especially as I was doing meditations to investigate past-life experiences. Dead bodies all over the place. It was disturbing and I asked my guide why this was happening. He said to continue meditating and it would eventually stop. He said that dying is sometimes a sticky emotional magnet sort of deal. Like a babe magnet? You have a death magnet or I did. Lots of energy associated with dying. So, that’s where your attention tends to be drawn. Toward the fabulous. Toward the accidents. Towards the drama. He told me that everybody has happy moments in their lives and I should aim towards those moments. It did the trick. I rarely saw unsettling things during my meditations after that.

Have I ever heard that advice from anybody active in the spiritual or psychic community? No. Other than an old story of a yogi master who recommended his student return to his meditation practice after the student got all excited about the wondrous things he had just experienced. The yogi master did not care. He just plain didn’t want to talk about it. Because it was a stage that the student had to go through. More meditation practice was key. Not all at once. Just a steady flow of regular meditation.

Practiced regularly, you will become accustomed to meditation and it will all be old hat for you. You will gain a clarity that might not have been there for you in your interests and even in your work. It will be something you look forward to and not something classed as a chore. Meditation is a great way to find inspiration for writing anything. You can center in on your art. It also helps regulate blood pressure. You might not need to chew your nails anymore. You might get better sleep. All sorts of nice things can happen for you all because you made it fun. Julie Andrews really was right about a spoonful of sugar.

Another fun thing I did as I learned to be a psychic channel had to do with channeling recipes. I did not realize it at the time, but your spirit guides know the taste in your mouth. They absolutely know what your great-grandmother’s corn fritter recipe was supposed to taste like. If you were to ask your guide for a cake recipe to beat all cake recipes and all you had was a container of yogurt and a banana at hand and using only what was already in your pantry, I’d bet you’d get a nice cake. I would check whatever amounts you get with a similar cake recipe on the internet only because 3 tablespoons of something, say baking powder, really ought to be more like 3 teaspoons. I wouldn’t say it was cheating. I would say it was guarding against bad channeling. In any case, it is a fun thing to do that has direct bearing upon your ability to channel.

Also, a fun thing I did was to pick out an old picture. It could be something in your house, or from a book, or even on the internet. You concentrate on it. You pick a person in the photograph and pretend that you are channeling them. They have to be dead by now as the picture dates from 1880, so you would not be making that part up. And, just have a small conversation with them. Start with, “Hi”. It might even end up being your guide in disguise, but you are stretching the boundaries of your channeling by doing an exercise like this. And can I say it again? You are having fun.

There are rules and then there are no rules.

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By Thomas F. O'Neill

The Significant Other

When everyone seemed to be delighting in the game of life, Frank Hempstead carried a feeling inside of him as if he were benched on the sideline, a mere spectator. He had a habit of thinking about how he barely graduated from high school and how the people in his life got married, had children, landed good jobs, and moved into nice homes. Some of his friends later divorced and remarried and unlike Frank, they appeared to be maintaining a decent living. He dwelled on the fact that he was unmarried because he felt there was a significant other in his life that was just beyond his grasp. He would have liked to have settled down and had a family of his own but he resented the fact that he was a mere cab driver struggling through life.

He was unable or unwilling to remove that feeling that life was passing him by and that he was a failure. He was blind to what matters most in life--a person's self-worth--because through his self-pity he failed to recognize that he was a kind person with a deep compassion for the needs of others. He failed to see his own goodness as he struggled through life trying to get by from day today.

He was also unable to remember the small acts of kindness that he bestowed on others like the time he bought a homeless man a cup of coffee and allowed the man to warm himself in his cab on a bitterly cold February day. He rarely thinks about the selfless act of picking up groceries for his elderly neighbor and listening to her same stories each day.

"She has no one that will take the time out of their day to check on her and listen to what she has to say," Frank thought to himself as he was driving through the main intersection. With the exception of Frank people have overlooked his elderly neighbor's existence, and in turn, Frank was oblivious to the importance of his kindness and selfless acts.

On a cold November evening after Frank paid for his gas and as he was returning to his cab, he noticed a little old lady sitting in the front seat."Hey, lady, you need to get in the back," he said to her, "how did you get in the front seat? I keep that front door locked for protection."

“I promise I won't hurt you," she said to him, "I don't hear too good that is why I got in the front."

“Where to?" Frank asked her.

"I'm not sure? I don't get out much." She said.

"Hey, lady, you're on the meter," he told her.

"That's fine, why don't we just drive around," she said.

"Well it's your money who am I to argue with a paying customer," He said, "Is there anything, in particular, you would care to see in our great city? Like maybe a club? Dance joint?" he asked with a little sarcasm in his voice.

"You dance, Frank?" she asked.

"How do you know my name?" he asked her.

"It is on your license on the dashboard," she said.

"Well there is nothing wrong with your eyesight, lady," Frank said.

As he was driving down a busy street and as he was heading towards a major intersection, she said to him, "Hey, Frank, don't go straight turn down the next street before the traffic light."

."Hey lady, it is nothing but a little alley, there is nothing to see there but a few junkies," he said with a sarcastic voice.

"Just turn there," she said pointing to the little ally on their left.

"Ok, lady, it's your money but there is no way in hell I am stopping on that street," he said. As he stopped to turn down the alley, the traffic light at the next street's intersection turned green. A cement truck ran the light with two police cars chasing from behind.

"Did you see that, lady? If we went through that green light that truck would have broadsided us," said Frank.

"You have to have eyes in the back of your head, Frank. Hey, you know what, I changed my mind, you can go straight ahead," she said.

"Whatever you say, lady," he said, "What is your name? and what do you do?"

"My name is Julia and I have lived in this city for many, many years," she told him.

"Do you have family here?" Frank asked. "Because you said you don't get out much."

“I don't need to get out much because there is a nice family living where I live. I lived there since the late '20s." she said.

"You mean you moved here in your late 20's?" Frank asked.

"I was 19 when I got married in 1927 and my husband was a carrier army man but we kept the house and I stayed there to look after things," she said.

"Is your husband still around?" he asked her.

"Oh no, he moved on in 1944 during the war," she said.

"I am sorry to hear that, Julia, it is Julia right?" he asked.

"Yes it is Julia," she said.

"So who are you living with?" Frank asked.

"The people who bought my house," she said.

"Family?" Frank asked.

"No I never saw them before in my life not until they moved in. They can be awfully noisy at times. They have a young daughter that plays this god-awful music but little Anthony is 4 years old and cute as a button and little Jessica is 6 years old and so sweet and cute. This is their mother's second marriage and she has a teenage daughter Brigit from her first marriage. She is the one that plays that noise and that is why I needed to get out for a while. They are good people and on the most part they don't even know I'm there most of the time," she explained to Frank.

"So let me get this straight, you sold your house to a family that you don't know and they are allowing you to live there in their new house?" Frank said in a bewildered voice. "Where is your family can't you stay with them?"

“My granddaughter lives in the city but I can't leave my house. I love that place and I enjoy the company of little Anthony and Jessica. I visit my Granddaughter now and then she is such a great girl so bright and beautiful. The only problem is that she gets so bogged down with her Job that she overlooks the important things in life," she said to Frank.

"She sounds like a very independent girl Julia," said Frank.

"She needs another person in her life Frank, not just all work," she said.

"Well I get up at 3 am and drive this cab into the late evening so that I can pay my rent and eat," he said to her."I am sure your Granddaughter is working to pay her bills and get by."

“Frank she needs to live life and see the beauty in people and learn life's lessons by giving to others what she knows best," she said to Frank with a soft and sincere tone of voice. "She needs someone like you, Frank."

"I am a cab driver she would have no interest in me, especially an ambitious girl like your Granddaughter," he said to her.

"I know you Frank you are a good person and she needs to learn from what you have to offer," she said.

"From what I have to offer(?) what would that be?" Frank asked.

"What is in your heart Frank," she said to him. "You can take me to 498 East Primrose Avenue."

“What is at that Address?" Frank asked her.

"That is where my Granddaughter lives," she said.

When they arrived at the address Julia asked Frank to check and see if anyone was home as she waited in the Cab. He went up and rang the doorbell and no one answered. When he went back to the cab Julia was gone.

"I can't believe that she stiffed me," he said to himself. As he was heading to return his cab to Monroe's Taxi service he thought to himself, "she doesn't seem like the type to cheat a Cabbie out of the cab fare."

He also wondered if she was putting him on because he realized that if she was 19 in 1927 that would make her 96 years old and she didn't look anywhere near that age. When he arrived at Monroe's Taxi service he noticed a stack of letters on the passenger seat where Julia was setting and he took them with him.

"How was your evening?" asked one of the owners.

"Ok until this little old lady stiffed me out of the fair," said Frank.

"So Granny stiffed you?" said one of the owners while laughing.

"She left these letters in the cab," said Frank.

"She's probably a senile old bat," said one of the owners.

"No she is far from being senile," Frank said.

Frank took the letters to the White Horse Tavern, a bar that he hadn't been to in a long time. He was curious about Julia and he wanted to read the letters to learn more about her. While at the Bar he opened one of the letters to read it and the female bartender asked him what he would like to drink.

"What do you got there?" the bartender asked him.

He explained to her about his experience with Julia and how she left the letters in his cab.

"Read one of them to me," the bartender said in a curious manner.

Frank noted that the letter he began to read was dated June 5, 1944.

"1944," said the bartender in a surprised voice.

Frank began to read the letter.......

"My dearest Julia I am about to be deployed on an important mission. They tell us that it is a turning point in the war with Germany. Hopefully, the war in Europe will soon end and I will be sent back home to you."

“World War II he is writing about," said Frank.

"At this moment you and I are angels each missing a wing yearning to embrace one another in order to fly and soar to the heights of each other's love.

"God why can't I meet a man like that?" said the Bartender. "That is so beautiful."

“My gifts to you are not of gems and flowers but loving thoughts. I truly understand that just as diamonds are made under pressure so to have the pressures of this bloody war strengthened my love for you. I yearn to hold you in my arms and feel your gentle touch in my heart."
The Bartender was glued to Frank and awe-struck by what Frank was reading to her.

"Hey can I get a beer down here," said a man sitting at the end of the bar.

"Hold on, OK," said the Bartender.

"Do not worry for this war will not make me an expert on death but rather an apprentice in life. With each second, minute, and day passing I am learning how to live and soon I shall return to you so that our two souls can once again become whole."

“God that is so damn beautiful," said the bartender.

"The love in our hearts is like angels wings we fly for each other but not for things. For our love, Julia is the enlightening words of the soul more precious than the diamonds and gold of the world."

"Man I wish I could write like that," said Frank.

"Hey Bartender, can I get a drink!!" said a man at the end of the bar.

Frank and the Bartender read through the rest of the letters, a total of thirteen.

"These are the most beautiful things I have ever read you have to return them to Julia," said the Bartender. "God, why can't I meet someone like that in my life?"

The next day Frank went to the address that was on the letter's envelope and knocked on the door.

"Can I help you," asked a woman.

"Yea, last night Julia was in my cab and she left these letters on my front seat," he said to her.

"So," she said as she was distracted by her 4-year-old son.

"You must be Anthony," Frank said to the little boy.

"How do you know his name?" asked the woman.

"Julia told me," said Frank.

"Who the hell is Julia?" asked the women.

"You know Julia?" the little boy asked Frank.

"Yea, she told me about you and your Sister Jessica," Frank said, “She sure loves you guys very much."

“Ok, who put you up to this? was it Hank? where is he? this is some kind of joke isn't it?" asked the woman referring to her husband Hank.

"What do you mean? I'm just trying to return Julia's letters," said Frank.

"Julia, is my kids' imaginary playmate, or some sort of ghost, because ever since we moved into this place weird stuff has been happening," said the woman.

"Like what?" Frank asked.

"The TV will switch channels to Sesame Street without anyone touching the remote control. CD players will turn off without anyone touching them. My two youngest kids have full conversations with an imaginary playmate they call Julia. They say she is an elderly woman as if she is some sort of invisible nanny and I'm beginning to think she is a ghost," said the woman.

"Hey, Anthony, tell your friend Julia I will give the letters to her Granddaughter," Frank said to the little boy.

"You are for real?" asked Anthony’s Mother.

"I wouldn't worry about Julia she cares for your Family very much," Frank said to her.

"Come on, are you for real? this is not a joke," she said, "my house is haunted by a little old lady named Julia?"

Anthony began tugging on his mother's shirt to get her attention.

"What is it sweetie?" she asked her son.

"Julia said she's not a little old lady," Anthony paused as if he was listening to someone telling him what to say, "She said she doesn't feel a day over 40."

“You see what I mean this goes on all day between him and Jessica," she said to Frank.

Jessica, the women's 6-year-old Daughter walked into the living room.

”Come on into the living room," the woman said to Frank.

Frank sat down on the couch next to Jessica. "So you must be Jessica," Frank said.

"Yep, and you're Frank, Julia's friend. She said you can give the letters to Kimberly, her Granddaughter," Jessica said to Frank.

"Mommy, Julia wants to watch Days of our lives on TV now," Anthony yelled to his Mother.

"That is fine sweetie, don't put it on too loud," the woman yelled back to her son.

The woman whispered to Frank, "I have a ghost in my house."

"I wouldn't be all that concerned about it she is a sweet woman and she is watching over your kids," he said to her.

"Would you like a cup of coffee or something? I have cake if you would like that as well" she said to Frank.

"I really would like to return these letters, thank you for your hospitality," he said.

Frank told Anthony, "Tell Julia that the letters are the most beautiful things I have ever read and you take care, Anthony."

Frank went to Julia's Granddaughter's home and he wasn't sure how to give the letters to her. "I will just hand the letters to her and leave, maybe she won't be home," he thought to himself. Frank nervously rang the doorbell, and a woman in her mid to late twenties came to the door just as Julia described her the night before--young and beautiful. She appeared sure of herself.

"Can I help you," she asked.

"I have something that belongs to your Grandmother," he said to her.

"Both of my Grandmothers died," she said.

"These are your Grandmother Julia's letters that your Grandfather wrote her," as he handed her the letters he turned to walk away.

"Well you're just going to hand me letters that my Grandfather wrote and leave," she said to him. "Why the big mystery?"

“They were left in my Cab and I had to return them," he said to her.

She began to read the letters and at the same time, she asked Frank to come into her home. He sat down at her Kitchen table and she continued to read the letters.

"They are the most beautiful letters I have ever read," he said to her. "My name is Frank."

“My name is Kimberly and I never knew these letters existed," she said. "Someone left them in your cab?"

“Yeah," said Frank.

"Who?" she asked, "You can tell me."

“Julia," he said.

"Julia who?" Kimberly asked.

"Your Grandmother," said Frank.

"Yeah, OK, what did she look like?" she asked him skeptically.

Frank said, "Well, for one thing, she is a big fan of Days of our Lives."

“That is true she watched it every day and on the days she couldn't watch it when she started getting sick she asked me to tape the episodes," She said.

Frank explained to Kimberly the whole story of her Grandmother being in his cab and taking him to Kimberly's home the night before.

"I was working late last night that is why I wasn't here. I am really skeptical about all of this and I don’t believe a word of it," she said to him.

"The people who are living in her home have two young children; they can see her and talk to her; perhaps the children's Mother will allow us to come over," he said.

"I have their number I will call them," she said to him.

Kimberly went into another room and came back into the kitchen a short time later."Meet me at my Grandmother's home," she said with a stunned look on her face. "I spoke to Lucy Stetlock the woman who bought the house. She said it is ok for us to go there now."

When Frank arrived at the house Kimberly was already there talking to Jessica and Anthony.

"She is glad you got the letters," Anthony told Kimberly.

Tears began to swell up in Kimberly's eyes "I didn't know about the letters they are very beautiful letters," she said.

Jessica told Kimberly, "Julia wants you to know that Frank is a good person." She then paused as if listening to Julia and said, "you can save anything in life but life itself."

Anthony then said, "How you spend your life is determined by your life's worth. Julia says you can measure a person's worth by what they give to others."

"Frank needs someone to help him realize his true worth. She told me to tell you that," Jessica told Kimberly.

"Julia wants me to tell Frank that the greatest achievements in a person's life are all the unremembered acts of kindness and love that were bestowed on others," Jessica told Frank.

Anthony began to tug on his mother's shirt.

"What, sweetie," Lucy asked her son.

Anthony said, "Julia said that Frank and Kimberly are each other's better half."

Anthony then turned to Frank and Kimberly, "Julia wants me to tell you that nothing goes unnoticed in life."

Jessica said to Frank and Kimberly, "Julia says, you are now learning how to live and you need each other to grow."

Anthony told his mother that Julia wants to watch Sesame Street.

"Thank you," Kimberly said to Lucy unable to hold back her tears.

"Your Grandmother is a remarkable woman," Lucy said to Kimberly.

"So was my Grandfather," said Kimberly.

Frank and Kimberly believed in Julia's message and they dated for a short time. Frank went back to school and with Kimberly's help graduated from College and is now a renowned Parapsychologist. Kimberly also went back to school and achieved a law degree.

Frank understands more about himself and the countless possibilities that lie ahead because he has Kimberly in his life. They are continuing each day to learn and recognize that it is the small subtle acts of loving-kindness that determine the true worth of a person's character. They understand also that they are truly each other's better half.

Frank and Kimberly are now married and have two children, one is named Julia after Kimberly's Grandmother and the other is named Charles after her Grandfather who was killed at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    Email: introspective7@hotmail.com
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Mobile 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Thomas_F_ONeill
    Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-f-o-neill-6226b018/
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Sifoddling Along


By Marilyn Carnell


Change affects us in different ways. Some people embrace change – even seek it out. You know them. They like new experiences. Some even parachute out of planes. I belong in this category. I love discovering new things and ways except for leaping out of a plane.

Yet, some hate change and resist to their last breath. Their final words are usually:

    “We have always done it this way.”
    “We have never done that before.”
    “We tried it once. It didn’t work.”

Within the second category is a sub-group that adapts to a different world but refuses to admit reality to themselves or others. They reinforce their ideas by turning a blind eye to the world around them.

I am reminded of an old Ozark story that went like this:

    “There was a man born in Missouri, he was a rambling man. First, he moved to Arkansas, then Oklahoma, on to Texas where he died and went to hell. The change had been so gradual that he didn’t notice the difference.”
    Although this is about regional competition, it makes my point.

How we see change isn’t always an individual choice. Sometimes the powerful decide that, to paraphrase a line from “A Few Good Men”, we “can’t handle the truth” and provide “alternative facts” to encourage compliance with a false reality. I became aware of this when I watched a doctor from the CDC on a cold evening in February 2020. She warned us that there were drastic changes ahead – school closings, business procedures changed and that we would all be seriously affected by this powerful new virus that had gained a foothold in the world. She was quickly whisked away and we never saw her again.

Which brings me to the effect that COVID has had on our lives. At first, it wasn’t too much different for me. I liked staying at home in the cold late winter in Minnesota. I did sneak out covered with hand sanitizer, mask, and gloves to purchase a new sewing machine. I rationalized the expense by thinking it was for a good cause. I quickly started making masks for family and friends, and then to donate to my clinic, my dentist, and University Hospitals. I liked feeling I was making a contribution to society. I quit making them when I realized that there were better alternatives available.

As time went on, I realized I was lonely and isolated. My life was upside down. All of my routines – buying groceries, taking classes, going to church were gone and replaced by new ones that required technical skills. Tasks had to be handled online if I were to avoid contact with others. No more going into shops and restaurants. If something was needed it was ordered online and delivered or picked up at curbside. No more idle chatter with a server or a checkout clerk. Zooming and streaming paled in comparison to remembered meetings face-to-face, but I liked it for some experiences. I liked online writing classes, routine medical visits that didn’t require my physical presence, and committee meetings. They saved a lot of time.

Now, more than two years into the pandemic everyone I know seems weary and anxious. Is this never going to end? My parents both were sickened by the 1918 Flu Pandemic. They seldom mentioned it and it did end officially in April of 1920, but it morphed into a less deadly flu that we still deal with each year. I believe it is likely that COVID will do the same.

There are signs that the pandemic is weakening. Impatient governments are lessening restrictions and the general public seems ready to take risks. As an older person with multiple risk factors, I am emerging from the safety of my cocoon more slowly. I have returned to church services, where we still wear masks and everyone is vaccinated. I will return to a sewing group that I love as it also is cautious about taking chances. It may take longer to go back to likely crowded spaces like the grocery stores or shops.

It seems I have slipped from Category 1 to Category 1-1/2. I am not as ready for change as I once was, at least where my health is concerned. I’m not totally resistant to change, but I am still not ready to jump from that safe plane.

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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

Traffic Light Plan Gets The Red Light and
Another Literary Festival In Kerry

“Thus methinks should men of judgment frame
Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade . . .”

(The Jew of Malta (c.1592)

There were no traffic lights in 1592 but are there enough men of judgment in 2022?

Plans for traffic lights on three bridges that span the beautiful Blessington Lakes as part of the recently submitted application for the Blessington Greenway have been strenuously opposed by local people. Public meetings have left the media in no doubt about feeling in the area

Wicklow Cllr O’Neill has been a longstanding supporter of plans for the Greenway for over 20 years, but he is 100% against this insane plan to place concrete dividers up the centre of the bridges to allow pedestrians and cyclists to use one side, while the other side would be reserved for vehicles.

Blessington Lakes in early morning

Such a move would have detrimental effects on the community, people commuting to work, emergency services, large vehicles like logging trucks and farm machinery. The very negative impact on the scenic beauty and the air quality and fuel consumption of queues of idling vehicles. Lateral-thinking Counsellor O'Neill has suggested cantilever walkways that would provide safety for greenway users and walkers. These could also be made attractive and possibly benches to rest and admire the beautiful scenery from these vantage points.

Wicklow Cllr, Gerry O 'Neill

According to Tom Waits, “The average person spends two weeks over their lifetime waiting for the traffic light to change.” A very conservative estimate if one were dealing with the proposed plan.

Humphrestown Bridge

At the time of writing more than 1000 people have signed a petition opposing the plan for the bridges at Knockieran, Burgage and Humphreystown. If you are one of the west Wicklow Diaspora why not submit your own petition to j.sherry@pleanale.ie before March 04th.

The Late Paddy Murray

After a long battle with several illnesses journalist Paddy Murray was buried on Friday 25th February. I since heard an audio clip in which he described how, as a cub reporter, in 1974 he interviewed, and had breakfast with, John Wayne in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. And how the Duke told him how he would live to make another film in Ireland. That set me thinking

The Quiet Man starring John Wayne has remained one of the most popular films in the world for seventy years. It is based on a short story by Maurice Walsh who was born in Ballydonoghue, County Kerry. His native townland has a long literary history.

Ballydonoghue writer, Maurice Walsh

Two Hundred years ago, Lisselton Bardic School in the parish of Ballydonoghue was famed throughout Munster and beyond for Poetry and Learning. It was the seat of The Court of The Wise, Cúirt na Súagh, led by Pádraig Liath Ó Conchubhair, hedge schoolmaster, poet, teacher, writer and native Irish speaker.

On March 22nd to 25th 2018, Lisselton Bardic School was reborn as Ballydonoghue Bardic Festival, an annual weekend festival to celebrate this outstanding literary tradition. Another successful festival in 2019 was followed by a two-year Covid break, but they are back again with style in March 2022.

Kerry-based writer and UL Lecturer in Literature, Critical Theory and Creative Writing, Kim Arnold, and renowned poet/playwright Máire Holmes, Kerry Writer-in-Residence, will deliver workshops at the 2022 Festival, as will Writer, Singer, Actor and Producer Priscilla Donovan from Tarbert. Máire Holmes will also judge the entries for the Literary competitions. Joe McGill from Radio Kerry will MC the Launch of the Festival. Miriam Costello will teach The Brush Dance and Music masterclasses will be conducted by Kevin O’Neill (Lisselton CCE) and other professional musicians. There will be music and poetry, culture and craic.

(Details from; ballydbardfest@gmail.com)

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On Trek


By Judith Kroll

The Universe speaks to all of us!!!

My daddy was, and probably still is, knowing him, a stand-up comic, a lay down comic, a walking, driving, sleeping, comic in heaven. No matter what position he has his standard jokes, tricks, always bringing a smile to the lips of those he touched.

I could write a book about all his stunts and funnies he pulled and I would still come up short of his funnies.

Dad was a hard worker. Very hard, and very smart, always helping his neighbors and friends where he could. People came to help him as well, and many used him. Hurt him, made him cry. Dad took no revenge, he just let it go. A beautiful soul that loved life. A silent teacher.

When we couldn’t be together, he told me he would talk to the stars, and send his love, and messages to me that way. The other day, I was talking to him, telling him I loved him, and missed him, as he passed in 2015. He sent me videos and pictures from heaven, and lately I hadn’t gotten any. I asked him where he was, I missed him. He sent a picture of all the stars, and the milkyway, and the night sky sparkling like his soul. I knew immediately what he was saying. Just before he passed, he said he was going to become part of the universe. He was, he is, he always will...be. We can talk thru the stars forever.
Love you Daddy
Judith 2-26-22

* * * * *

Create Your Own Reality

Those words are spoken a lot. Many times it refers to what we do on the other side in spirit.

How can we create our own reality in this life? There are many that try to create our lives for us.

Being in many Organizations creates our life if we think about it. To create your own life, space, reality you have to decide for Yourself what you truly want. Right now I am creating mine by writing, as I love to write.

You pick a car you like, you get married, kids, if you want all that, then you create. If you want flowers in your yard, a variety of them, then you create.

Choosing a job, something you love creates your desire, and if you tire of that job, you move to another you love, you create.

Pets, big house little house, clothes on and on. Also, who you are as a person you create. You become who you want to become. Loving and kind or the opposite. We all have choices.

Finding (YOU) is very important. Do we follow the crowd or follow our own goals. If we marry, we must let our partners be who they truly are as well.

We all have choices, we all have our own likes and dislikes. We all have the ability to Create our own reality and find our Joy!!.
Judith 2-24-22

* * * * *

February 9 at 12:28 PM ·
All the little cat spirits were crossing the rainbow bridge when one of them looked back and saw some cats' souls laying on the other side of the bridge, not moving.

“Who are they?” he asked the cat next to him.

“Oh, don’t you know they are the souls who had no owner in life and knew no love like we did."

“So what are they laying there for?” he asked “Why don’t they cross over like us?”

“They can’t.” replied his new friend “Only pets with owners can cross."

Just then all the souls on the other side of the bridge sat up and looked down the road.

"What’s happening?" asked the little cat. “Watch!” replied his friend.

Whereupon a woman was seen walking towards the bridge. She looked to her left and then to her right then opened her arms wide and all the patiently waiting souls got up and went to her.

She knelt and touched each and every spirit in turn. They then all proceeded to cross the bridge together.

“Who is that?” he asked his friend.

“That is someone special.” replied his friend “She is a rescuer."
– Author unknown


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Reflections of the Day

By Dayvid Clarkson

Love and Time

"Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,

"Richness, can you take me with you?"

Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!"

"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you."

"Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,

Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who helped me?"

"It was Time," Knowledge answered.

"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

* * * * *

On another Friend's page, a deer huddled under a tree in their back yard. Which brought to mind the time a large doe just plucked herself down in front of my deck.

Out at the Lake, we have many deer. Most just pass on by. Occasionally, some will just lay down right in front of my deck. The first time it happened I contacted a Biologist Friend of mine and they explained. The deer, when hurt or traumatized, (ie hit by a car), for some reason deer, will seek out humans or humans in proximity which reduces the potential nearby predators. The advice was to leave them alone, do not try to feed or water them. They just need time to recover.

Also if you pay attention to the surroundings there will be a 'guard deer' watching over the injured deer. The 'guard' deer is there for protection as well.

Then of course there are other deer that just like your vibe.

* * * * *

February 17 at 11:47 PM ·
It starts as a clear night then the mists gently roll across the lake. I sit in contemplation of the familial bond that unites us by blood. We might not have it all together but when we are together we have it all. Even in the most stressful of situations, one can find blessings. Moments that affirm the kindness and compassion that surrounds us. These small miracles might go unnoticed as you journey through the valleys, breathe and pay attention. Ease your burdens by seeing what is right with the divine comedy rather than what is wrong. Care for those around you and you will be cared for. May the Great Spirit give us rest this evening rekindling the pure fire of the soul. Awakening refreshed and restored. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends.


View of sunrise from Dayvid's deck

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A Mother's Lessons


By Danielle Cote Serar

Following Through with The Plan

I and my mom used to always joke about patience, or rather our lack thereof. Both of us would quote, often a character from of all shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, saying, “I tried patience. It took too long.” And whenever my mom got frustrated with some form of technology or a situation (never a person), she would almost always turn to me and say, “I keep telling God that I’m not learning it this time around.”

So when the pastor said he’d be speaking primarily on patience today as part of our study on the fruits of the spirit, I could feel my mother laughing. It’s not the first time I had heard a message on patience but it was the first time that the opposite had been presented with respect to faith.

Impatience is the loss of contentment in God. This took some real reflection to truly internalize what was actually being said. See at least me, when I become impatient with people or things or situations, it’s because whatever is happening is contrary to what I WANTED or EXPECTED to happen. And in turn, I become frustrated or impatient. Patience in one perspective is the act of trusting God knows what we don’t and being content in that.

When I am impatient, I’m actually not trusting that God knew I'd be right where I am at. So whether it was living with my alcoholic father, or watching my mother go through cancer twice, or the loss of both parents, or the walk I’m taking now, God knew I’d be there, right there at that moment. He knew the journey I would take when he created me and he promised to never leave me. So when I become impatient, I’m really forgetting this promise.

Even through this, God still has a plan. God knew you would go through this. God is allowing you to be transformed through this pain. God meant this for his glory. Trust in God even when it doesn’t make sense.

As much as I may joke about patience and my lack of it, it is honestly something I do strive to improve. I trust God’s plan, even when I can’t understand. So working on my patience is only strengthening my trust in God.

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By Bud Lemire

Part One

I wake up and I am cold. Seems someone has turned down the heat in the middle of Winter. How could they do that to me? I am naked! Where are my clothes? At the most, I wear something, even just underwear. No wonder I am cold. As realization hits me, I am not even in my apartment anymore. Now, this is very strange. I look around at my surroundings. Some sort of Hospital perhaps.

Is the Covid pandemic over? Is it safe to come out? Nobody is around anywhere. I noticed a shirt and some pants on a chair over there. There is a note on the table. I pick it up and read it. “Dear Bud, we froze your body in December of 2021. We hope you made it through, and if you are reading this, you are somewhere in the future. Also, if you are reading this, we are dead, from the Variants of Covid that kept mutating and getting stronger and stronger and could not be contained. We hope others survived just as you did.” The note is dated December 21, 2061. That means I am almost 102 years old. I look over my body and realize I don't feel that old. Except for a slight pain in my lower back. I reach back to try to get rid of that sharp pain, and I pull out a shard of ice. Ouch! That feels better now.

I walk towards the door and hope and pray someone is still alive out there. Entering the hall, I gaze into rooms and all I see is scattered human skeletons on the floor. They seem to be everywhere, even some in the hallway as I pass by. Damn! I wish those stubborn people back in 2021 would have gotten their vaccines. I would still be in the past among more of the living.

As I go outside, I am happy at least it is a warm summer day. I want to get back to my apartment and see if anyone is alive in the building. It's going to be a long walk, but at least I can look things over on the way. No traffic at all. Cars without anyone driving, and no, they aren't moving. Everything dead, everyone dead. Surely I hope someone at the Tower is still alive. But I have my doubts.

As I walk down Ludington Street Eastward, my thoughts try to remember what was the last time I remember before waking up (or thawing out) just a short while ago.

I worked on the computer, went to my job, returned, and had a snack. Went to bed. No wait, I dozed off in the recliner.

I check my pants to see if I have any keys to get in. No keys. I hope the doors are unlocked. As I pass the downtown area, I see no sign of life. I like my solitude, but I like people as well. I liked it when I could choose to come out and visit with people or stay in and watch some DVD or read or work on the computer. Now the choice is made up for me. As far as I know, it is just me. Only me! I am alone!

People can sometimes get on my nerves and be rude, but they had many great qualities as well. I sure hope somebody out there is alive.

I arrive at the Tower and am thankful the door is unlocked. A note on the office door “In case of emergency, call us at home.” I see the activity room and the lobby are blocked off. I see some skeletons on the floor. Must have been the people who smoke. They come and go often. I was thinking, I hope the elevators work, or it will be a long walk up the stairs to the 15th floor. I find they are working, and soon I am on my way to my apartment. Hope it isn't locked. When I got there, it wasn't locked. Everything was as I remember it. But after 40 years I am sure the food in the refrigerator is no longer any good.

My feet are tired so I decided to take a rest in the recliner, as I think overall that happened.

To Be Continued

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Summertime Woman


By Mary E. Adair

I'm a summertime woman,
It's heated days, I crave,
That stretch endlessly dawn to dusk,
Making time for memories to save.

I love the sun peeking over the edge
Of the Earth it daily warms,
And the illumination blessing us,
With many more cheers than harms.

My mind can soar ever upward
To the unclouded, endless blue sky,
Expanding with new ideas and dreams,
Pursuing goals that I shall try.

Basking in sunshine throughout the day,
Making the most of the longer hours,
Delving into new tasks to enjoy,
That won't be delayed by sudden showers,

For the summer rains are mostly brief,
And the droplets dry within a second,
So only if you saw them fall, you'd know
Nought but sun ever did beckon.

I'll always be a Summertime Woman,
The cold doesn't hold any thrills for me,
Perhaps being born in the month of May,
Helped set my desire to be warm and free.

So bring on the higher temps,
And the blistering brightness, I say,
For Summer's the time to enrich our lives,
Filling them with blessings every day.

©Feb 17, 2022 Mary E Adair

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The Mountain


By Bud Lemire

What was once, a walk down the street
Is now a mountain, I must climb and defeat
Try my best, to reach the top
Even if it means, I might drop

I'll get up again, and keep on trying
I won't give up, until the day I'm dying
I'll not let that mountain, keep me down
As long as I live, I'll be the clown

The mountain, sure looks pretty high
Maybe I'll imagine, that I can fly
It'll help for a moment, but that is all
That mountain, sure makes me feel small

One step at a time, gradually I'll go
Doesn't matter, how fast or how slow
As long as I get to the top, then there I'll be
Another mountain in the distance, is waiting for me

Whatever happened, to the rocks on the road
They turned into mountains, heavier is my load
I will climb the mountain, I will not fail
I'll make it to the top, yes, I will prevail

©Feb 6, 2022 Bud Lemire

                       Author Note:

In life, especially in these trying times. The rocks on
the road have become mountains. They aren't easy.
Yet, with endurance and faith, we can get over them.
We can do it, because we have the willpower and the
strength within. Even when we think it is too much to
handle, we can do it. One step at a time. Take it
apart, and do a little at a time. And soon what you
thought was too much, has been accomplished. Have
faith in you, and know you can do it


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God Had Arrived


By Dayvid Clarkson

God Had Arrived

Have You Ever?


By Walt Perryman

Have you ever gone into a room after something?
But you forgot what it was and return with nothing?

Have you ever stayed bent over after tying your shoe?
And while you’re down look for something else to do?

Ever realize at the grocery store you’re not very smart,
Because you’re checking out with someone else’s cart?

Whenever you’re driving do you get lost a whole lot?
Lost so much that you don’t care if you’re lost or not?

Have I’ve posted something you’ve done or will do?
If I had done any of this, I would never tell you.

But I wonder when you read this if you’ll ever admit
That you’ve done it all or anything even close to it!

©Feb 12, 2022 Walt Perryman

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The Variants Of Those Who Doubt It

By Bruce Clifford

I can’t imagine this life without it
The variants of those who doubt it
Moving on as we test our patience
It’s all the same in this relative station

I can’t imagine this world without it
The variants of those who doubt it
Standing tall is our test of time
Moving forward as we cross the endless divide

I can’t imagine this universe without it
The variants of those who doubt it
A shot in arm
It won’t do any harm

I can’t imagine this world without it
The variants of those who doubt it
In the station on this virtual line
The unforgettable is doing just fine
Their all doing fine

I can’t imagine this world without it
The variants of those who doubt it
Moving on as we rest in limbo
It’s all the same as we toss and tumble
It’s all the same when we fall and stumble
A shot in the arm
It won’t do any harm

I can’t imagine this world without it
The variants of those who doubt it

©2/1/2022: Bruce Clifford

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Patio Cat's Adventure


By John I. Blair

Although she’d spent her entire days
There next to the great glass door
(At first beneath a gently rotting deck
Then later on the patio that was beneath it)

She’d only barely grasped
There was another world inside,
Another world, perhaps with cats like her,
But no trees, no birds, no flowers or grass.

Years came and went, heat and cold,
Rain and sunshine, day and darkness,
Food and water marvelously appearing,
Brought by the man who lived beyond the glass.

Then one bitter winter night
When the water bowl had frozen hard,
The door opened, she felt the warmth within,
And with noght to stop she slipped on through

And the door slid shut behind her!
Where were the trees, the outside air,
The box with rags where she had slept,
The shrub-filled yard she’d always known?

Broad bare floors, shelves crammed with books,
A hard brick hearth, odd things of wood and cloth,
Strange smells and sounds,
The man himself, softly talking to her.

She cried and ran from place to place,
Threw herself against a window,
Hid under furniture hours at a time,
Insisting this was not her world, was wrong.

The soft and aged cats inside
(Who didn’t even speak her tongue
Or so it seemed) just stared,
Then walked away to other rooms.

She told the man as best she could
(Even when he gently touched her back)
That however warm she was unhappy
And craved to be outside

Despite the water and the tasty food
He placed there for her
Near the door she’d entered in
(What perilous steps those were!)

Then, in another day or two,
He opened the door once more.
She walked back through,
Got chased around the yard by Blacky,

(Just in sport), then washed herself
And trotted off with purpose strong
To check if everything she’d known in life
Was still in place, still there for her.

And so it was.

©2022 John I. Blair, 2/26/2022

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Omicron Is On The Loose


By Bud Lemire

Many times, I wish that we could hide away
From the nasty virus, that is around today
Maybe on an island somewhere, where it will not find me
Until this is all over, but that might take an eternity

It's not a matter of if you get it, it's a matter of when you do
That's what the news is saying, I wonder if it will come true
I hide in my apartment, but I need to come out sometime
At the grocery store, I look around as I stand in line

People are getting it, when they've done everything they possibly can
I do my best to use caution, but will it be enough for this man
Those N95 masks we are supposed to wear, sure do fit so tight
They are ones we need to use, when we are near people, day and night

I sit here also thinking, of those who are so deep in fear
This is a time of support, to help those who are here
Others walk around without masks, thinking they are safe from it
I think they heard so many lies, they believe someone's full of shit

Then there are those, who think a cloth mask will keep it away
The N95 isn't cheap, but it's the best protection every day
I don't have all the answers, many are as confused as me
On what we should believe, and what the future will be

Oh, another hundred people, got Omicron today
Is what I keep hearing, the news had to say
Use every caution, with the virus in the air
Because Omicron is on loose, and it's everywhere

©Jan 12, 2022 Bud Lemire

                        Author Note:

I must admit, that my anxiety keeps popping up
. Sure, many can stay relaxed. For me this bad
news is overwhelming. I must fight every day
to stay calm and get through it.


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My Little Grandfalls Church


By Walt Perryman

My old church has seen a lot of smiles and many tears.
And God has kept it strong and sturdy for 120 years.

It has a big steeple that people can see for miles around.
Many souls have been lost, yet here, some were found.

Many of God’s seeds were planted here this much I know,
And it has been for a hundred and twenty years or so.

A lot of us found God here and some of us went astray.
Some of us came back and some never went away.

It has been seventy years since I first came in the door.
As I get older, I seem to love this old church even more.

This church has weathered a lot of storms in its day.
But when the skies cleared this old church was o.k.

Welcome to our little church with the big steeple.
Come have a talk with God and some good people.

©8/6/2019 Walt Perryman


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What Will Be

By Bruce Clifford

She doesn’t know much
She’s so out of touch
Lost in a time
Spaces collide

She doesn’t show signs
She’s so out of line
Chasing a dream
Dire and extreme

What will tomorrow bring
What will be
What will be
What will we see
Will we succeed
What will tomorrow bring

She doesn’t know time
She’s too hard to find
Lost in a whirl
Diamonds and pearls

She doesn’t see fault
She’s taking the fall
Running on wind
Waiting to begin

What will tomorrow bring
What will be
What will be
What will we see
Will we succeed
What will tomorrow bring
What will be
What will be

©1/28/2022 Bruce Clifford

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My Unfinished Baffling Morning Thought


By Walt Perryman

Yesterday I worked outside in the hot Sun,
I worked a lot, but I didn’t get anything done.

Before I get one thing finished, I start on another,
Before I finish that one, I am doing some other.

But, I stay busy at not getting anything done.
The next day nothing is finished not even one!

Reading this thought might make you dizzy,
Because when I’m doing nothing, I’m still busy.

I’ll finish this later, so it’ll make more sense to you,
Unless I'm too busy getting nothing done later too.

©Feb 9, 2022 Walt Perryman

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I Have Sinned, and I Loved It!


By Bud Lemire

To all people, I just wanted to say
When you sin, some sins are okay
I'm not exactly sure who decides, what is a sin
They need to update their rule book, I say with a grin

I hear religious people say, they can't do it because it's a sin
If I couldn't do it, I would surely jump out of my skin
I recall one lady saying, if you watch Star Trek it's a sin
Who makes up these rules in the sin book, I just can't win
When she said Spock is the devil, I just had to laugh
She looked at me, as if she thought I was a giraffe

You can't listen to rock music, it's not good for the soul
A sin? Not sure about you, but it makes me feel more whole
Sure glad Mama gave us the choice, on what to believe
Because that sin book they wrote, sure taught to deceive

I never had need for a sin book, not at all
I have no limitations, I never built a wall
There are sins, people say, but I call them crimes
Sins were from long ago, move ahead with the times

I know I'll offend many, but my voice must be heard
The list of sins from the sin book, is really absurd
What feels okay, isn't a sin, but is really alright
Some say I sinned, but I really took flight
You know right from wrong, if you use your heart and mind
And you can move through this world, leaving the sins behind

© Feb 13, 2022 Bud Lemire

                         Author Note:

I never cared for the word sin. And the preacher up front
talking about sins and how wrong they are. As he raises
his voice and points out at the people sitting down. I return
home and start to cry (I was a kid). I have not sinned!
We've come a long way since those days. To me, when you
have a good head that reasons and thinks and follows the
law of the heart and mind, you know right from wrong.
No need to“sin,” so no need to do anything wrong. As
humans, we will always make some mistakes. But we
learn from them. We grow from them.
We become better as humans.


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How Far Away Is It

By Bruce Clifford

How far away is it
The virtual stoppage
The end of the line
Remembering days of plenty

How far beyond is this
The micro and the small
The waiting in line
Recalling the past of many

Why are we drifting along on this island
Omitting the silence as we buy and trade
The vaccines are lasting if only for a minute
Trying to make it through each day
What can I say

How far away is it
Billions of light years
Beyond the ways and limits
Hiding the tears

I can’t imagine life without it
It’s been two years
So close to our hearts
The many who died

I can’t imagine this world without it
The variants of those who doubt it
I can’t imagine life without it
The many who cried
The many who died

How far away is it
The climate controlled unit
Moments in time
Will that day arrive

©2/4/2022 Bruce Clifford

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