Friday, July 1, 2022

Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

July 2022

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
– John Wooden

Starting the second half of the year this month. July seems to have a way of slipping up on you, surprising you that !Here it is, already!  This year though it couldn't arrive rapidly enough. Smack in the middle of the year, and the bonus is nearly everyone is on vacation, planning a vacation, just got back and are showing pics and mementos of their vacation. Then there are those of us who just want to rest at home, not be on anyone's schedule except one's own. Even for we who work year round, July seems to bring with it a certain respite, a take a deep breath and relax time.

Of course there are days to celebrate: graduations, anniversaries, new family members to meet (some may have been June brides), perhaps new born family members. A time for Joy. A time to count your blessings. So, do.

One such celebration here in America, is the Fourth of July. A couple of poems to remind us are Bud Lemire's "The 4th Up North" and "July 2000 Picnic" an encore presentation by yours truly. It was set later in the month so all could have their family celebrations on the Fourth, trips, etc., and was hosted by Unions in Saint Louis for members and their families. The late Leo C. Helmer, who was an executive in three of the Unions was there to help with the barbeque and other food. He thrived in such gatherings.

Bruce Clifford adds "The Girl in the Park" and "Unspeakable Goodbye." Bud Lemire has three more poems, titled "Reminisce," "Pulling Out Each Weed," and "Door Decoration." Judith Kroll shares "Does Love Whisper?" Walt Perryman's three poems are "Rambling about God and A Tree," "Cancer Survivors," and "A Thought about Ducks." Your editor responded in rhyme to a comment with "Still Going Strong."

"A Mother's Lessons" by Danielle Cote Serar displays how she showed her daughter about Patriotism. Since May, June, and July all recognize or celebrate patriotic observances, it fits in nicely. "On Trek" by Judith Kroll addresses our perceptions of the Afterlife and what may or may not occur. "Reflections of the Day" by Dayvid Bruce Clarkson, is about family love and one way to show it. The column includes one of his delightful Haiku posters as well. Thomas O'Neill uses his column "Introspective" to examine various concecpts of humoor.

"Sifoddling Along," by Marilyn Carnell welcomes her summertime in Minnesota "Woo Woo," by Pauline Evanosky, confides why the grass on the other side has an appeal for her, despite drawbacks.

"Cooking with Rod”features "Rodrigo's Easy Southwest Chicken Enchiladas." Mattie Lennon, author of "Irish Eyes," tells how successful the Listowel was, a pleasant and productive experience this year. The "Armchair Genealogy" column, by Melinda Cohenour, has her searching for tools in DNA matches to solve her "Brick Walls."

Bud Lemire's continued tale '2061' presents Part 5 for our readers. We will continue with future installments monthly. Enjoy!

We continue to thank our co-founder and webmaster, Mike Craner, whose knowlege and expertise keeps Pencil Stubs Online actually online. He does it well as we are now in our 25th year. Thanks, Mike, for everything!

Look for us in August.

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Armchair Genealogy

By Melinda Cohenour

Latest News in our personal DNA Research,
Breaking Down Those Brick Walls

Documented in several columns in Armchair Genealogy is the process and progress of your author's attempts to break through the five most troubling brick walls in our primary Family Tree. The five areas of research are as follows:

1) William "P. R." Joslin: Primary Maternal Line.

    DNA confirms genetic kinship back to this man and to ancestors existent in prior ages. The issue here is the lack of a complete paper trail to document his birth, complete with the names of his parents. Thus, we are left with the question of his generational relationship to your author: (from a prior column)
    'The DNA proves this line extends to either his father or grandfather being Col. William of Deerfield, William Joslin (1701-1771) and, thus, to the Immigrant Ancestor, Thomas Josselyn and wife Rachel Marlow (or Jude, depending upon your choice of “proofs”) born 1591 Bollinghatch, Roxwell, Essex, England and died 3 November 1660 in Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Colonial America. This prestigious line leads all the way back to Charlemagne whose antecedents are widely published back into the mists of time.'

2) Earl Allen Carroll: Primary Paternal Line.

    No update here, but for family researchers who may seek this column to aid their own research, the status from our prior column, he was born in 1863, and ... :
    'The loss of the documents in the courthouse fire in October of 1863 seemingly destroyed all evidence of Great-Grandfather Carroll’s mommy and daddy. Family records (scant as they were) indicate his father was one Stephen Carroll, alternately recorded as having been a native of Ireland or born in New York. The mother was listed on the death certificate for Great-Grandmother Laura Isabel Anderson Carroll as being Elizabeth Lewis, born in Tennessee. Records have been painstakingly researched for marriages or Census records reflecting a Stephen and Elizabeth Carroll in any state from New York to Missouri, with a focus on Tennessee. No luck as the only possible union proved to have no connection to our family. There are records of possible Civil War deaths which might ultimately relate to our Stephen.'

3) James Sylvester Anderson: Paternal Line, my father's great grandfather. Wed to Nancy Gilstrap, most of the information we have for this ancestor comes from the extensive records found for her lineage:

    'As you can see, extensive research has been invested in the Gilstrap – Anderson lineage. In spite of all this research, no record exists to identify a date of death or location of the burial of James Sylvester Anderson. It is presumed he lost his life in the final days of the Civil War in 1864 preceding the birth of his last child, great-grandmother Laura Isabel on 8 April 1865.
    'Adding to this quandary is the fact we have no parental lineage identified for James Sylvester Anderson. His father was reputed to be Keene, or Kean, or Quinn or possibly even Quincy Anderson who wed a Native American woman named Nancy Shorlin. The Quincy name as a distinct possibility bears up since Nancy Jane Gilstrap Anderson named her youngest son Alphius Quincy Anderson. The name Quincy was carried through the Carroll line to Edward Quincy Carroll, my father’s cousin.'

4) Mother of ex-husband (the father of my two children), Johnny Raymond Bradshaw:

    Most of your author's most recent exploration of our family has been directly related to the DNA matches to my daughter (where a number of half-siblings have now been identified, and resulted in fulfilling and ongoing contact) and cross-referenced to DNA matches to not only those half-siblings but also to my son's son as well.
    Although it seems we have identified the Mystery Bio-Mom, work continues to explore the exhaustive process of adding each DNA Match to the tree established for my daughter. This requires painstakingly adding the Match and the line of ancestors of that Match to the tree. Each addition demands we pursue documentation of vital records classically accepted; i.e., Birth Records, Death certificates, Census records that denote names, ages, and relationships of household members, and (among others) family Bible records. Additionally, the relationship of the DNA Match must be checked for logical proof. Did they live in the right era and locale? Were they of the right age?
    Once this seemingly unending process is complete, the identity should meet the requirements of logic, proximity, and that the additional DNA Matches fit the range of potential relationships such as 2nd Cousin, or Great Uncle, and so forth. When we feel assured these proofs have been met, we shall announce Mystery Bio Mom's identity.

5) Father of Roxanne Marie LeTourneau Bradshaw, my son's first wife and mother of both his stepson and first child.

    Again, research continues into DNA Matches to my grandson's DNA test with the same exhaustive process noted above. Here, again, we have some very excellent DNA Matches that point to the LINT family.
    Once we have completed this process and feel comfortable our assumptions as to his identity are correct, this column will be the outlet for that announcement.

In the meantime, continue to pursue your own Armchair Genealogy.

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Cooking with Rod


By Rod Cohenour

Having grown up in New Mexico, it stands to reason that any type of Mexican food for me will always be my number one choice.

One of the issues with Mexican food though is that many of the dishes require extended preparation and cooking time. This dish, however, is simple, easy to prepare, and totally foolproof. It lends itself well to experimentation with different ingredients although this combination is definitely my favorite.

Try the dish, I think you'll find it to be your favorite as well.

Adios and Muy Bueno,

Rodrigo's Easy Southwest Chicken Enchiladas


  • Butter flavored pan spray
  • 2 pkgs DelMex Frozen White Meat Chicken Corn Taquitos
  • 1 can (28 oz) Los Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) Rotel tomatoes with green Chiles (include liquid)
  • 1 can (7 oz) chopped green Chiles (include liquid)
  • 1 brick Velveeta (32 oz) brick
  • 1 pkg. 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 cups Fiesta Blend shredded cheese
  • 2 cups Pico de Gallo
  • Sour cream
  • Green onions, tops and bulb sliced in small pieces (for garnish)


    1. Spray a large baking sheet (with a deep edge) with butter-flavored spray. Arrange Taquitos on baking sheet, fitting so as to fill the dish. Spray the tops of the Taquitos. Bake according to package directions.
    2. While Taquitos bake, melt the Velveeta cheese. Then whisk together enchilada sauce, Rotel, green Chiles and cream cheese. Whisk to blend well. Add to the melted Velveeta and heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. This is your enchilada sauce.
    3. Remove Taquitos from oven. Top with blended enchilada cheese sauce. Add shredded cheese before returning to the oven. Let heat through while shredded cheese topping browns nicely.
    4. Prepare dish for serving by garnishing Taquito-enchiladas with sour cream, Pico de Gallo, and green onions.

Serves 8 to 10 with refritos or pintos or black beans, Mexican Rice, a crisp salad and Tostitos.

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Woo Woo

By Pauline Evanosky

The Grass Might Look Greener

I don’t know about you but for me, the grass in the next field over has always been greener. It’s almost like I could not be satisfied with where I was in life at any point along the way. I think I will be working on that one until the day I die.

I can remember, as a kid, my mother expressing disappointment with where other people were in life and whatever it was they were doing. The lesson that I took away with this point of view was that I should not do what they were doing. Also, whatever I did wasn’t likely to end up well.

It was unfortunate that many women she pointed out to me had horse teeth. I wasn’t sure what to do with that one other than, to maybe, not complain when I went to the orthodontist. I have lovely straight teeth now and am pleased to have them.

However, it turns out I do have horse teeth. I discovered this when a root canal went bad twice. The dentist discovered the roots of my teeth extend so far up that their x-ray machine just couldn’t take a picture of them. I had to go to a specialist because of my horse teeth. Somebody said to me I was more likely to keep them because the roots were so long.

As a child, I never reckoned the cost of anything. Now, as an adult, I know orthodontia is expensive. My sister did not have any orthodontic work done. I don’t know why, but she seemed to blame me for it. Not having a specific memory to fall back on I don’t know why she feels that way. I do remember my brother Michael getting work done. He got to wear some sort of external neck brace sort of contraption. I also remember flying rubber bands launched with our tongues from the complex arrangement of metal braces in our mouths, but I don’t remember if that was him or me doing it. Knowing Michael, it was probably him. But the idea that my sister is or was jealous of me makes me think that the lessons I learned were the same ones that she learned.

I can remember my father making scathing remarks about other service members who took part-time jobs selling insurance. He thought it was disgraceful. Those families also got to take vacation trips. We didn’t do that. He was an Army guy through and through.

So, these are the lessons instilled in me as a young girl. Always watch out for people with bad teeth and don’t take second jobs. I’m not sure if that was what my parents had intended, but it resulted in me, for many years, being jealous of other people for the things they had and being very judgmental about life and the people in it.

I remember as a high school student realizing that was pretty much everything that my parents talked about. It disturbed me and I would usually go back to my bedroom to read and leave them to their scathing remarks.

Perhaps if we have odd lessons instilled in us as children it is our job as we grow older to overcome those prejudicial ideas and find a new path as an adult.

It is hard. I’m not saying it is not. Many people are comfortable being what their parents told them to be, but somehow, I have always thought there was more. However, the members of my family still alive today are in disagreement with me to the point we don’t talk about much of anything anymore.

So, I think what I’m saying is because it is the middle of the year there is nothing to stop anyone from sitting down and having a good hard look at your life and what you expect from it.

Keeping a journal helps with this. Writing in a journal helps with just about everything but I have found through the very act of writing that you might be able to tease something loose from the warp and weft of your life to look at and think about and maybe, just maybe make a small change.

You might ask what any of this has to do with being a psychic? It has everything. Because everybody, in my opinion, has those abilities and to move from one place to a different place in your life it helps to stop comparing yourself with other people.

Whether you are psychic or not you will always have the opportunity to do better. You will always have the freedom of choice. If you want to hop, skip or jump over to that other patch of grass, don’t worry about it. Just try to be appreciative of where you are right now. Remember, all you can do is to keep trying.

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By Thomas F. O'Neill

I have been living and working as a cultural diversity teacher in China for approximately 13 years, and I can honestly say it has been fun and rewarding teaching here.

I found that having a good sense of humor can get you through any difficulty in life. And reaching out to people and communicating openly and honestly is important, too.

When I first arrived here in China, I quickly noticed that American humor is difficult for many Chinese people to understand. Culturally speaking, what is humorous in one culture may not be entirely understood in other cultures. One reason for that is most humor is language-based; it’s a play on words and meanings.

On the other hand, physical humor is universal and comic actors like Rowan Atkinson are very popular here in China. The Chinese, especially children, love watching short movie clips of Rowan Atkinson playing Mr. Bean.

I found out quickly from teaching here that I lack the proficient language ability to tell a good joke in Chinese. When I try to tell jokes to my Chinese students, I’m told that I don’t have the right verbal cues that a Chinese person would use to make the jokes hilariously funny. However, my students say that I look funny when attempting to tell a joke in Chinese.

In the 1960s, comedy teams in America, such as Rowan and Martin, used their day's politics to bring in the laughs, but here in China, after 1949, political humor was banned. Modern times and modern politics have altered what can be funny in China. The humor here can be rather vanilla; the opposite of political satire.

I have also learned that after 1949 comedians in China had to clean up their humor. They had to get rid of country bumpkin jokes because the peasants were the heroes of the Chinese revolution. Of course, all the sex and bawdiness were gone, too.

The Chinese love posting political satire on the internet where they can remain anonymous from the internet police. Jon Stewart jokes were translated into Chinese and extremely popular here, but they were still a long way off from gracing Chinese prime-time, and his jokes were far too politically sensitive.

A significant source of internet satire in China is aimed at North Korea. In April of this year, a clip of an old Jon Stewart joke about North Korea went viral in China. It turns out jokes about North Korea are funny to both Chinese and American audiences.

I like to tell my Chinese students that in America when it comes to political satire, such fear as to what we say or how we say it is unnecessary. We have our freedom of expression, which most entertainers in China envy about us Americans.

The Chinese have a saying, “laughter is the shortest distance between people,” and that saying is profoundly true in any culture.

    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Mobile 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill


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Sifodding Along


By Marilyn Carnell

Summer in Minnesota

It is summer once again in Minnesota. It's all too brief existence is a time of exuberant outdoor activities. I live next to a hiking-biking trail so I witness the increased movement in the neighborhood when I sit at my desk. The trail was constructed on an old rail line. On the other side is a city park adapted from the previous use – a football field. Through the French doors in my office, I can see part of the park in the winter when the leaves are gone, but in the summer, I live in a leafy bower and can pretend I am back in a rural country environment like my beloved McDonald County, Missouri.

Yet, I can’t forget I am in the city because I often hear the distant cheers from a hard-fought baseball or soccer game or the hourly carillon of hymns from the Catholic church two blocks away.

Hopkins is not a typical bedroom community. It is a small-town established long before Minneapolis residents sprawled west to create many suburban municipalities. Originally its growth was fueled by the presence of the Minneapolis Moline tractor company, and was originally populated by a large Czech community of farmers. At one time it claimed to be the Raspberry Capital of the World. After World War II the demand for housing meant the loss of raspberry fields and very few vines can be found today. Still every July there is an enthusiastic celebration of past glory with a Raspberry Festival and a well-attended parade.

Hopkins was once derided by snooty neighbors as a place of “cars and bars” due to the plethora of car dealers and places of refreshment. There are still several auto sales businesses and a drink can be found only a short distance from any location in the city, but it is now quite respectable and quiet – Pleasantville personified.

The city works to preserve its image as a good place to live and like most communities in Minnesota, provides ample amenities that justify high taxes. As a former mayor, I appreciate living in a place that supports a way of life that is safe, provides good schools, continuing education, and recreational opportunities. If you call 911, a responder will be at your door within 5 minutes. That is a great comfort, especially to older residents.

One of the best features of the city is the “Hopkins Academy”. A five-week program free to all residents, especially new ones. Participants spend a couple of hours each week with a department of city management – police, fire, planning, utilities, and the City Council and Mayor. It is a great way to orient a new resident to community services and, yes, you get a tee-shirt at the end.

Summer will speed by all too swiftly and fewer people will be on the trail in winter, but it is busy all year long. The bikers put on snow tires and the walkers don boots that ease walking in snow and ice.

Minnesotans embrace their climate and care deeply about the environment we live in. After living here eleven years, I have finally come to accept and applaud the amenities Minnesota offers.

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Irish Eyes


By Mattie Lennon

The Dead House
And Tales From The Fraud Squad

Listowel Writers' Week was back, opened on June 01st, by actor, director and musician Dominic West, after the turbulent times of the pandemic. Literature played an important part in recovery during lockdowns, social isolation etc. It was great to witness a massive reunion of the literati in the culture capital. 



       Dominic West                                                     

It would be impossible to catch all the events at this wonderful festival but I did my best. I attended six fantastic plays in Saint John's arts centre and one stood out. The Dead House. It is a full-length one-man monologue play written and performed by Martin (“Beanz”) Warde a gay Traveller. The play tells the story of a man who returns home for the wake and funeral of his grandmother (one of the “elders.”) He had been alienated from his family because he didn’t fit in with their traditions. On the day of the wake stories from the family’s past which had been buried for years re-surfaced and brought with them memories of trauma, loss, and despair. It covers all aspects of the tradition on which the play is expertly based.

The narrator is “Patrick”. Such an effect did the play have on me that I wondered if it was autobiographical. There was only one person to ask. Martin told me, “I researched the play through speaking to my parents and Traveller elders. It's not autobiographical but there are bits of real life thrown in. I think the truest part of the play is that Patrick, like myself, is gay. We both feel a disconnect from the culture but Patrick has the added issue of being emotionally traumatized, which makes reconnecting more difficult.”

There is no mystery about the actor/playwright’s middle-name, “The name “Beanz” was just a childhood nickname. No one got out of a council estate as an adult without a nickname.”

Martin Beanz Warde

This is a brilliant work and yet you may be wondering if there is a laugh in it. Well, you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget that it is written and performed by the man who once said, “I don’t know which was tougher, coming out as gay or as a comedian.”

Having been riveted to my seat for the performance and the intelligent and informative answers at the Q and A session I felt that the words of Stella Adler couldn’t be more appropriate, “The theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.”

The Dead House would travel well if it comes in the direction of a theatre near you don’t miss it.

* * * * *

I have lost count of the number of books of poetry that poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice has published and so has he. But I know that they number more than forty and he was presented with a Lifetime Award at Writers' Week.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award from Evan Mc Auliffe on behalf of the sponsor, Lyrath Estate

* * * * *

Thanks to Listowel resident, Listowel Connection blogger, and ace photographer Mary Cogan, I can give the following to you, which she brought back from her native Cork.

"This lady bought a robotic lawnmower. It is scheduled to mow the lawn at a given time every day, hail, rain or shine. She took pity on it on the first wet day." (see pic.)

* * * * *

Many jokes have been made about Mayo not winning an all-Ireland final for more than 60 years. One wag even went so far as to say that “If Lee Harvey Oswald had been a Mayo man JFK would still be alive.”

But the following, from a former Mayo county player may go some way to explain, “We were always a bit naïve. We didn’t have it drilled into us to win at all costs. It was a case of go out and play the game the way it’s meant to be played and the net effect was that we let the other team play too. Many a time we could have stopped a forward coming through if we’d been blatant enough about it, but we didn’t, and it’s one reason why we lost a lot of close games.” The words of Willie (‘Four Goal’) McGee from his book Tales from the Fraud Squad. In 182 pages he tells the story of his life. It’s all there from his childhood in Newport, County Mayo to his ascent in the GAA and his glowing career- climbing in An Garda Siochána all the way to Head of the Fraud Squad.

When the State was being threatened with the release of Foot and Mouth he was foremost in the investigation. And how was a detective supposed to deal with a Nigerian con man who ate a $56 million dollar bank draft to destroy evidence? Another fraudster actually forged Garda paychecks – and there was even one perpetrator who went as far as impersonating Willie McGee to gain free entry and refreshments at the Galway Races! The author deals with everything from the smallest type of confidence trickster to former Taoiseach Charles Haughey when Charlie was under the spotlight of a tribunal; He worked with the US Secret Service and other American federal agencies.

Willie McGee has a fantastic memory and like most of us, it isn’t always the big issues in his life that come to his mind first. He vividly remembers the year of his leaving Cert. Sister Mechtilde had banned himself and Christy Loftus from playing football in preparation for the exam despite the fact that they were both on the Mayo minor team. They disobeyed and thanks to the Mayo newspapers the good Sister found out. She gave them the father and mother of a beating. While he doesn’t hold any resentment this is how he describes her use of the cane, ” By the time she was finished with us she was red in the face and out of breath and actually frothing at the mouth, nearly like she was getting pleasure out of it.”

And how could he ever forget the morning in Late July twenty-one years ago when he was busy sitting at his desk in Harcourt Square and the phone rang. It was Chief Superintendent Tom Monaghan who asked, “Are you at the Galway Races?” Willie’s reply, “ I wish I was. Why are you asking?” Prompted the reply, “Because, there’s a fella down here claiming to be Superintendent Willie McGee.” It turned out that the “fella” was a retired Garda. It’s an interesting story and I won’t go into it here. I couldn’t do it justice; you’ll have to read it.

After retiring from the Garda he went on to lead the first specific fraud investigative unit for a national insurance company. As Willie puts it, ‘money is never free and those who were caught paid a severe price for thinking that it was’.

This well-written book of 21 stories is not to be missed.

Tales from the Fraud Squad is published by Merrion Press. The author suffered a near-fatal stroke but made a remarkable recovery and as a result, the Irish Heart Foundation will benefit from the book’s sales.

I’ll see you in August

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On Trek


By Judith Kroll

Once Spirits, Can We Be Punished

When we leave this earth most of us believe we go from physical to spirit. Visible to invisible. Limits to unlimited. etc. so if we are invisible spirits...what is left to punish? even burn? you can't destroy energy.

Now bear with me..

Perhaps, just perhaps, this life is not the real life.. It is like a dream, one we constructed while we were home..home meaning invisible, unlimited energy. Why would we do something so crazy? We have it all as spirits.

The universe has tons of evolving planets and peoples that look different than earth people. ECT. WE come here with our own free will. When we are finished here, we go HOME. back to spirit.

I have talked to, seen many who have passed, some thru dreams, some in my real time. Our pure energy spirit is still with us. a Higher self. for one, who helps us while we are here, and guides etc. I have met my guides, I believe I have seen my higher spirit self, but didn't know about higher self at the time.

What is left to punish when we instantly turn to invisible spirit energy. So then, we need open minds to know there is more to this life than meets the eyeball.
Love, Judith 6/30/22


My daddy was in hospice. He didn't know about life after death, and hadn't thought about it much, so he decided he was going to experience the whole experience of hospice.

He had a few visions while he was there, I was alone with him he called for me and looked out the window, and his eyes were twinkling, and he was smiling..all this time squeezing my hand.

When it was over, he said "Nirvana."

He had two when he and I were alone. Same reaction. He never said any more about them.

He said, "What is it like to die?"

I said "Want do you think? "This conversation was after the visions he had from the other side.

He said "I am going to become part of the universe." and he points upward and says "Zip."

My dad left his body before the body died. Talk about zip. So in reality he never died so to speak.

He died on 8 22 2015 AT 8 22 2:15. He did that on purpose. More to the story but he knew.

He had come to me several times... thru dreams, etc, and once he showed up in my living room. Yep.

One video he sent me in a dream was all my relatives who passed. They were alive and smiling, and they made themselves look younger LOL. What a treat that was. My one cousin jumped out in front of the "camera" or whatever they used on the other side and waved and said hello, Martha, my cousin. It was a heavenly treat.

I often wonder if they did that to daddy in the vision when he was in hospice. No death, just life, and pure unconditional love.

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Reflections of The Day

By Dayvid Clarkson

I have the most wonderful Sisters. I have been going through a bit of a rough patch health-wise. Haven’t had much motivation or energy to get some of the tasks done. Several days back I purchased some plants and vines to replant my deck. My deck is my Sanctuary. They were not getting planted. Pots to be cleaned out, soil refilled, and new plants.

Well, Margo and Denise arrived at my place on Sunday. Denise took to the deck jobs and Margo very efficiently went through the trailer dusting, doing dishes, sweeping up, etc. Margo and I have been close since our youngest years. She has stood by me through thick and thin.

My deck is my Sanctuary, my healing place. To have it refurbished means a great deal to me. If you will, ‘It is my G Spot.’ Well not anymore, it is now my ‘D Spot’. Denise did a great job. Thank you.

Now having said that, I do have some doubts. The plants were rehomed three days ago and nada. No blooms yet, no growth. Let’s blame it on the plants for now.

At the end of the day, I don’t think we truly comprehend the results of our kindness. Or the intensity that such kindness showers on the recipient. I say, ‘Thank You’, but what I mean to say is, ‘I Love You’.

And above all else respect and honour those that surrender their kindness to you.
Love you both.

As I prepare to rejoin my dreamland quests I reflect on the unimaginable origins of what I perceive. We see ourselves as advanced yet in the future, we will be hundreds of years old. I wonder if early life looked upon the stars with a heart yearning to understand the secrets. They had similar emotions and were deep thinkers. All one has to do is reference the great Greek Philosophers. We are not so different in our quests. I will continue to live the questions eventually living into the answers. Simply remembering as I retire.

In the evetime, I enjoy listening to the night sounds. The last of the bird calls, the mooing of the cow across the lake, and the start of the frog chorus create the nocturnal music I hear. This is the opus from the one great composer. Mother Earth grounds me as I make ready to retire. Father Sky dims the light so that we may rest easy. Go well into the night. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends.

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A Mother's Lessons


By Danielle Cote Serar

Today, May 30, we will honor and remember the fallen.

As we enjoy the comfort and safety of our home, as we are surrounded by family, intact and whole, we will say a prayer for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and for their loved ones who are left to remember them, holding folded flags in thanks of their loved one’s service on the behalf of a grateful nation. At 3pm we will listen for the nation playing Taps, a song I both love and hate to hear. We will honor all of those who allow us the privilege and freedom of this three day weekend, all our weekends, and will never forget those who gave it all.

“All gave some. Some gave all.” - Memorial Day 2022

Note: The flag in the box is my father’s, one given to my mother after it was draped over his casket. While he did not pass during his years of service in the army, he did lose many a friend, a brother in arms. He thankfully walked out of his time in the military alive though truthfully by God’s hand alone.

The photo of my daughter is when my husband and I visitied the Riverside National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2019. She is too young to remember but even then it was important for me to show her what this day is all about… every single person who served and gave their life. Every one of those flags represents a life that was given to service to preserve the freedoms we have, a life given in service for us.


Editor's Note: May, June, and July all have Remembrance Days to Honor America and Americans

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2061 (Part 5)


By Bud Lemire

2061 (Part 5)

The next day couldn't have turned out better. It was a beautiful sunrise out my window. In fact, it was beautiful out some of my neighbor's windows as well. Which reminded me, that I'd have to have Cassie haul down their bodies with the flatbed dolly. Skeletons everywhere looked kind of creepy. Covid took them all. I hope they enjoyed the Sunrises and beautiful view like I did, while they were still alive.

I was just finishing my breakfast when Cassie walked in. She was dressed for a bike ride and had her backpack on. I finished my breakfast and made sure there was enough air in my tires, and we headed down to be on our adventure for the day. My backpack was rather light, but who knows, by the end of the day, it might just be heavier. Cassie had a beautiful blue bike, and as she got on it, I could see she felt like I did as we rode our bikes. Free to let it take us wherever we wanted to go.

Our main goal today was to check out Elmer's, and some of the downtown stores on the way.

As we rode our bikes down Ludington Street, it was very dead. I knew we'd find more human remains in the stores. We walked into St.Vincent De Paul's and found several skeletons there. No good bargains, in the end, Covid took them too. I was caught up thinking of all the people who passed from Covid, and almost was in tears. Cassie grabbed my hand and lead me to the front door. “C'Mon Bud, let's not let the past bring down our future.” She was right. I needed to live in the now. What a strange and different place Escanaba has become. I know many places must be like Escanaba now.

We biked down 2nd Avenue North, and I stopped to look at the house I grew up in on North 14th Street. When I lived there it was white. When my Niece Rhonda bought it, she had it painted butterscotch. Now it had a really nice green coat of paint. I thought it looked really nice. I explained to Cassie that this is where I grew up. She said she use to ride by here when she was much younger.

We rode by Sav Mor and it looked pretty dead as well. No sign of life anywhere. I kept looking hoping to find someone crossing the road either on foot or in a car or on a bike. Nothing! I could see Cassie looking as well. She smiled at me, and I knew she was trying to make me feel better. I knew she was disappointed as well.

We were almost to Elmer's when I decided we should check out the Police station. I peeked in and looked around, and Cassie went down to check the other side. She returned to tell me she found a couple of bodies back where she came from, but nowhere else.

“I guess even the police are human” I frowned.

Cassie responded “I have faith that we will find someone somewhere, if we keep looking.”

I hope she was right.

We got to Elmer's and entered. There were about four Self Checkouts there. I remembered when they first started setting them up. It may be the future, but I didn't care for them at all. I didn't want Elmer's to be like all the other places. But they were. Funny I should say that, but now Cassie and I would have to use the Self Checkout. Nobody was working, and no bodies were found. Someone must have removed the bodies.

Cassie and I split up to get the foods we needed at home, and when we met up in front, it just seemed so odd not to pay for anything. It almost felt like stealing. As I was leaving, I looked up at Elmer's picture and said “Sorry Elmer, it seems like all your workers are gone, and I'll take what I need and if ever anyone returns, I'll pay what is needed. Sorry to see the store this way.” Cassie turned to me and said “I'm sure he understands, and look” she pointed at his picture, “he's smiling.” I knew he always had that smile when it came to customers, but it was nice of her to say. We went across the highway, which seemed so dead. Usually, it was so hard to cross, but no cars were moving at all. There are always people that we may not get along with, but I sure do miss the life that was here. Seeing the cars going places, people going into stores, and so much more.

We went into Aldi's and Meijer and they were the same. Not a soul in sight. After that, we headed home. Cassie gave me a hug, and she said she had to get home.

To Be Continued

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Still Going Strong


By Mary E. Adair

I'm accused of being caustic
And not in the least serene
In defense, I need to explain
It's just a protection screen.

While Life continues at speeds
That are rather difficult to match
I struggle along incapacitated
By Dreams that failed to hatch.

Inconvenience by happenstance
Is just one of many excuses
For failing to accomplish miracles
Caught up in entangling nooses.

Yet I approach each new day
With plans that abound in Grace
And continue to accomplish much
'Though at my own little pace.

An attempt that is blessed
With cheery determination to win
And despite inadequate means
I continue my inspiration to spin.

So no, I'm not caustic or glum,
Nor giving up on too many Dreams.
I keep pressing on to the Future,
Still going strong, it seems.

©Jul 30, 2022

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The 4th Up North


By Bud Lemire

We're celebrating the 4th
Way up here in the Yooper North
Fireworks will be flying, and all colors will be seen
Blue, red, yellow, and let's not forget the green

People will be scattered, throughout Ludington Park
On the night we celebrate, it shall be quite dark
The Escanaba City Band, will put on quite a show
At the bandshell, is one place you can go

Many people will be there, some who have been away
Returning for the festivities, throughout the night and day
Sparklers will be seen, as the kids run around
Remember not to litter, it looks nasty on the ground

Some will have, their own private Fireworks show
The sky above Escanaba, will be aglow
Firecrackers will be noisy, at this time of year
Ear Plugs come in handy, for a good night here

On this Independence Day, let us celebrate
Becoming the nation we are today, that made us great
As you're celebrating, going back and forth
Remember, we're celebrating the 4th Up North

©June 30, 2022 Bud Lemire

                          Author Note:

It's always fun to celebrate the 4th in Escanaba, no
matter which day we celebrate. Ludington Park is
a great place to be. Just a reminder, although we
have some really dedicated people here, who pick
up litter after the festivities, let's try to remember
to pick up after ourselves and not be slobs. We are
better than that. Enjoy the 4th wherever you are and
whatever day you celebrate it on.
Happy 4th from Up North!


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A Thought about Ducks


By Walt Perryman

When you think you have the world by the tail,
You’d better hang on, something is fixing to fail.

If you ever think you have your ducks in a row,
Think again, there’s something you don’t know.

But when you feel like your world is subsiding,
That’s when you cowboy-up and keep on riding.

Remember that cowboys like us seldom whine,
I whine because of one duck that’s never in line.

Have a good day and I wish you the best of luck,
And, try to not whine over ‘your’ out-of-line duck.

©2022 Walt Perryman

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July 2000 Picnic


By Mary E. Adair

An Encore Anniversary

(July 22, 2000)

Workers gather beneath the trees,
And kindness abounds with 'thank you's and please.'

Some play "rings" and others play ball-
But most do heed the Dinner Call,

For it's Bar-B-Q time in St. Louis city,
And the array of food is really pretty.

The pork steaks and the bratwurst
Had to be cooked on the grill first-

Then added peppers, onions, and brew
(The recipe made up with just what would do)

Plus Worcestershire sauce, and a lot of smoke--
And someone to watch the meat which they poke

With long-handled forks and a spatula wide.
While the ducks in the pond don't even hide,

But approach up the grass with hopeful looks,
Though everyone's too busy to stop and feed ducks.

There's visiting to do, and tales to trade
While nearly everyone sits in the shade.

Some try to fish, and others wish
They'd remembered to bring a special dish.

Maybe some dessert next year, they'll add.
But all are happy with the weather-best they've had

(In the last few years)-or so they say.
And several will remember this picnic day--

Like the man who failed to catch his kid--
And into the mud she went--yes, she did--

And jumped up and down, I think, in glee--
But no one was as surprised as he.

Then the startling sound of a fireworks' boom,
While the beer on tap just didn't zoom,

But trickled enough to fill the glasses
To please thirsty lads and some of the lasses.

So settled and happy, they waited for the prize
Which made some people strain their eyes

To have the numbers that were just drawn,
While others looked like they would yawn.

So given out, the prizes were
Some to him's, and even a her.

The quietest it had been the whole day long-
And the winners each chortled a little song.

"Almost mine!" we hear someone groan--
And next a chuckle from the gal who'll own

One of the baseballs, that were here to give,
To add to the belongings with which she'll live.

Yes, the July Picnic of the 2000 year
Should win from all a bit of a cheer.

And so the gathering is over at last -
I ate so much, I think I should fast!

©July 22, 2000 Mary E. Adair

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Pulling Out Each Weed


By Bud Lemire

Learning to let go
Comes in many ways I know
Items that you kept, that you no longer need
Takes up space in life's garden, pull it like a weed

Time to get rid of things, that have been put away
Never to be used again, it doesn't need to stay
It's not easy, to say goodbye to something in your home
I valued it more than I should have, I know I'm not alone

As the years go by, each item that is here
I look over carefully, some need to disappear
Hold it up, and bring it close to your heart
If it doesn't call out to it, then it must depart

Little by little, I rid myself of things
Each day I wake up, a little less it clings
Maybe someone else will value it, my time is done
So I'll pass it on, so they can have some of that fun

I'll keep what means the most, to my very heart
I know for me, that this is just a start
Every week, that I get rid of stuff that I don't need
Will be like life's garden, pulling out each weed

©June 16, 2022 Bud Lemire

                           Author Note:

Letting go of things you no longer need is like pulling
out weeds. It leaves the flowers alone, and they can
shine so much brighter. There are other things that
mean so much more. These weeds can be let go. Let
someone else cherish the weed as a flower. It became
a weed in your life. It's served its purpose, and now
must carry on in a new home. I shall continue to pull
out weeds, for the rest of my life. But what the heck,
it'll give me something to do during the winter and
rainy days.


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Rambling about God and A Tree


By Walt Perryman

When you were young did you have a special place?
Where you could hide and drop out of the rat race!

You could fantasize about who you were or wanted to be!
Mine was on the Pecos River under an old Cedar tree.

I could talk to God, and have a conversation with him,
Then somewhere while living life, God’s light went dim.

Today, the world has replaced my old hidden cedar tree.
And it’s hard to hear over the noise what God is telling me.

Today a place such as my old cedar tree is hard to find,
But I’m learning how to replace it, in my heart and mind.

Some will and some will not understand my little rhyme,
But you don’t need a tree, you can talk to God anytime.

©Feb 07, 2022 Walt Perryman

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Does Love Whisper?


By Judith Kroll

A pregnant woman feels the butterfly-like tickle in her womb.
Love is whispering.
The day is quiet, the trees are swaying, and you can actually hear the leaves fall
Love is whispering
. A baby kitten purrs sitting on your lap. Stretches and yawns
. Love is whispering.
You meet a stranger in the grocery store, your eyes lock, you both smile.
Love is whispering.
To hear, and feel the love whispering, one must listen.
The waterfall never stops whispering,
Do we ever stop listening?
Sunrises, and sunsets, clouds floating above,
Sun shining, and rain drops falling,
Yes, love is always whispering.
The gentleness of nature surrounds all of us.
Stop and hear the whispers.

©5/29/22 Judith Kroll

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Door Decoration


By Bud Lemire


People put plaques on their door, or a door decoration
To celebrate a holiday, or some other occasion
Here at Harbor Tower, it's great to have one on your door
Sometimes we get off the elevator, and we're not on the right floor

I have a heart on my door, it was for Valentine's Day
I kept it there, because it had something to say
“Home is where your heart is,” was hitting me true
It's been my home since 2004, and it's helped me through

The heart is a symbol of love, and I'd like to think
I shared much of my love, I say with a wink
Some have a 4th Of July plaque, or a Summer décor
Or something else they love, that means so much more

The beat of the heart, the décor on my door
When I'm deep in thought, I know it's my floor
If my apartment door, doesn't show a heart
My key won't open it, and I must depart

Most times, I'm alert and aware
Other times, I could be anywhere
Sometimes we get off the elevator, and realize it's not our floor
Here at Harbor Tower, it's great to have a decoration on your door

©Jun 4, 2022 Bud Lemire

Author Note:

I think it's a great idea and it actually stands out for you. When you
come home and see your door that has the decoration you put there
But there are those times your mind does wander in thoughts and you
follow someone off on their floor, and you notice something else on
the door. The thought hits you, this isn't my floor. So you get back on
the elevator and take it to your floor. In my case, home is where the
heart is.


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Unspeakable Goodbye

 By Bruce Clifford 


Fifteen thousand three hundred and forty times
I’ve said good morning to you.
I’ve said goodnight to you.
Forty-two birthday, all the holidays.
I sent my wishes to you.
I always wished the best for you.
You couldn’t hear me.
I always cared.
This pain has gone nowhere.
This pain has gone nowhere.

Will you ever tell me why?
Why are we an unspeakable goodbye?
Why can’t you just look me in the eyes?
I’ve only asked you for the truth about a half a million times.
We used to see eye to eye.

I hurt when I heard you were hurting.
I cried when I learned of your pain.
None of that was deserving.
Why am I the one who now has to pay.
Now all I want to do is cry.
Why have we become an unspeakable goodbye?

© 5/27/2022: Bruce Clifford

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Cancer Survivors


By Walt Perryman 


When I was first diagnosed, my first thought was, I am going to die.
So, I wrote this for all you cancer survivors, I think you will identify.

Sometimes with the grace of God and modern medicine, we live another day
. That is when we appreciate life in a more honest and positive way

. Once you have cancer, you look at life different than before,
And I believe it makes you appreciate everything a whole lot more.

Everyone knows that someday they will die; this is very true.
But sometimes being a cancer survivor can be a benefit to you.

It makes sunsets and sunrises more magnificent than you have ever seen.
And you appreciate every hour and every minute that comes in between.

So, if you have cancer, mount up and do what you have to do,
There are millions of cancer survivors, and you can be one too

. Modern medicine has really come a long way.
I thank God and modern medicine for each and every day.

©2022 Walt Perryman

                  Author Note:

When I grew up it seemed that anyone that had cancer died.

But when I was working in Saudi Arabia in 1990,
my Bladder cancer was discovered!
After years of treating it, and everything I thought was good,
I went two years without going for my checkups.
Then when I did it had turned into stage three,
after a 10 hour operation and a couple more operations
I am still alive enjoying every moment without a bladder and prostate,
but I am more alive. Once you have a life threatening situation
but live over it you look at life differently.

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By Bud Lemire

As you get older, you reminisce more
Back to the place, that you've been before
You could have been thinking, of someone you knew
Wondering how they are, and if they think of you

Maybe it's a song, that'll bring you on back
A trip in your memory, and you don't have to pack
Songs mean so much, and they can be treasured
Taking you anywhere in time, they can't be measured

Remembering loved ones, who have passed away
They're alive again in memory, on any such day
They may be gone for now, but they remain a part
Of who you are, in your soul, and in your heart

You traveled one time, to a special place
You remember that feeling, along with a face
The time spent there, the waves on the shore
The memories of being there, can mean so much more

When you are older, you have more memories stored
Because there are many more places, that you explored
I look forward to the future, I love the present and past
I enjoy reminiscing, because my memories are so vast

©June 22, 2022 Bud Lemire

                          Author Note:

Reminiscing is one thing we all do. As we get older, we
have many more places we can go to in our memories.
It's like a film being played within your mind, and you
are watching a rerun of something you enjoyed so very
much. Many times when we reminisce of someone who
has passed, we get emotional at the loss. Yet, we must
remember all the joy they gave us while they were here,
and smile and take that feeling with us as we travel to
the future.


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The Girl in the Park


By Bruce Clifford

(The Diamonds from Within my Soul)

She was not there to save me,
Still, she saved me and saved me and saved me again and again.
Somehow, she got through to me.
She saved me, saved me, and saved me over again.

The girl in the park.
We would stay outside for hours until it began to turn dark.
Why did she leave me?
Where did she go?
I just have to know.
Eskimos nose to nose.

Now I have lost my way.
I have found myself circling diamonds like a fist full of hand grenades.
Found luxury in a lifetime of the only memories I could have saved.
Remembering how hollow and empty that park felt after she went away.
She went away.

Who was the girl in the park?
We would carry on for hours until it was turning dark.
Now I am planting flowers in an ocean of lost souls and broken hearts.
Whatever happened to the girl in the park?

What happened with the girl in the park?
With all we shared together, I thought we knew who we are.
Now I am lost in sadness and confusion as every cell inside has fallen apart.
Whatever happened to the girl in the park?

Why did she leave me?
Where did she go?
I just have to know.
I miss her more than the diamonds from within my soul.

* * * * *

The Girl in the Park

Now they ask me for her name.
It is not up to me to say
She still talks to me in my dreams.
She protects me from my extremes.

If she could have told me why.
Feeling as if I am dying inside.
If she could have told me why.
I thought I was stronger.

I am unable to let go of all the unanswered reasons.
I have fallen below the earth and its ever-changing seasons.
She made me feel as if I was once truly alive.
She is the only antidote when I am dying inside.

I thought the girl in the park understood me
I know we used to see eye to eye.
Everything else around me was gloomy and cloudy.
When we were together, there were only sunny skies.

What changed inside her?
What changed inside her?

* * * * *

The Girl in the Park
(Always Care)

I am a lot more fragile than I thought I could believe.
I am a lot more detached from whom I want to be.
When we spent our time together I felt centered and in the right place.
Leaving me with no answers has left me lost, lonely and replaced.

I have painted reflections in the sky of our afternoons in the park
I have gathered recollections in her eyes before life grew cold and dark.
Now I save them in my thoughts and they stay with me when I am in despair.
I know for her I will always care.

Always care when I sleep at night.
Always care when nothing seems to go right.
Always care as my state of mind.
Always care for the rest of my time.

Does she still go back to the park or think of me?
Does she have any answers or know what she wanted me to believe?
When we had time together, it never felt like it was out of thin air.
I wonder if for me she ever cared.

Always care when she sleeps at night
Always care as she wanders through life.
Always care if she thinks of me.
Always care if she remembers how we used to be.

Now I am planting flowers in a park.
Tears flow from my eyes as the sky grows cold and dark.
The emptiness is real after everything that we shared.
I know I cannot forget, and I will always care.

Always care when I sleep at night.
Always care when nothing seems to go right.
Always care as my state of mind.
Always care for the rest of my time.

The Girl in the Park,
I will not tell you her name.
It is not something I could say.
I went to the park when it started to rain.
Like the diamonds from within my soul.
I miss her more than she could ever know.
More than she could ever know.

©6/25/1983 Bruce Clifford (Avatar Music)

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