Today the Opining Quill ran out of ink, but he has left a permanent mark on the hearts and minds of those who knew him best. Peace be to his memory.
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We all have our moments of joy, of doubt, of sadness and tears. We all have our talents, our limitations, and our challenges. There is commonality in our lives and yet we are all individuals, unique and complex.
Behold the strangers as you pass by, there is little you know about them. Their lives are a mystery, perhaps shattered like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered across the table waiting to find connections. You pass, never knowing the burdens, challenges, or obstacles they carry within their soul like a weight upon their back.
Life is not always easy, for some the challenges are not apparent, they are devils within the depth of their inner soul. They are the burdens of life, covered and hidden from the outside world, known only to thy self.
It is hard to understand the unknown, and more difficult to appreciate the shoes within which the stranger walks, if you have never known the path by which they trod. Look upon thy stranger as a friend, a fellow member of humanity, for you are their stranger.
What does the stranger see in you as they pass? Are you just another stranger from the dark unknown or a sudden moment of comfort with a smile on your face or a warm greeting of “good morning”?
Open your heart with compassion, empathy and concern for the unknown stranger and find within yourself an inner warmth. Take the time to assist a stranger faced with an obvious challenge and you will feel inner warmth for you have made the world a better place.
For some, life is not easy, but your response to the unknown world of another can make a world of difference in their life. You may never know how you contribute to the comfort or challenge of another but they will know.
You will make memories today, what they are is largely up to you. Your compassion, patience, and tolerance can be a world of difference in the life of another, don’t let them walk alone in darkness bring them some hope and light, give them a memorable moment. Share your love for humanity, the world will be a better place.
My Congressman, Joe Courtney sent me an email telling me how Obamacare is saving money for people all across his district on healthcare. Then I went to a Town Meeting and my local government leaders told me about my taxes going up due to the increases in health insurance for town employees due to requirements of Obamacare.
Gone was the smoke and mirrors, gone was political rhetoric of Congressman Courtney, the light of day was upon us and the financial facts were a stark reality, Obamacare is costing every taxpayer more money. It is an undeniable fact.
Joe Courtney has failed the 2nd District, his voice is an echo for the Progressive Liberal Wing of the Democratic Party. Joe has taken the wrong road, a dirt road where the dust kicks up to cover his tracks and he disappears in a cloud of dust when it counts the most. The fact is Connecticut can’t trust Joe Courtney to take the right road.
Congressman Courtney followed the political path of least resistance, guided by Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, a path of poor economic policy that has given us the only American President in U. S. history who did not deliver a single year of economic growth over 3%. When the people of the second district needed a shepherd, Joe was a sheep in a flock of misguided Democrats.
When we needed Joe, in the dark of night, he failed to read the bill, he failed to do the job. Now he wants our votes and says he has the answer to fix the problem he created. Well Joe, I have an answer too and her name is Ann Brookes.
Ann Brookes is a new political face with the experience and intellect to do the job right the first time. Ann is an accomplished leader, she has created and executed economic recovery strategy both at home and aboard. She has worked with world leaders on large scale projects and worked with folks like us when they needed assistance to deal with the burdens of government taxation. Ann Brookes, gets the job done and done right the first time. Unlike Joe, Ann Brookes will not have to go back to fix a law she voted for, Ann will do it right the first time, that’s the way Ann Brookes has always done the job.
Ann Brookes is proud to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and understands our Constitution, Ann believes in the importance of that document. She understands the important contributions immigrants have brought to this county, and she supports legal immigration.
Our economy, our security and our future are the driving motivations behind Ann Brookes running for Congress. We need new economic policies and Ann, as a tax attorney understands the impact that changes will bring. Our security depends on a strong military, secure borders and wise leadership in foreign affairs. Ann Brookes will bring an intellectual level of excellence with reasoned judgement to Congress as a voice of the people in the 2nd district. Ann will be an independent voice of the people not a pawn of the politically powerful.
The voters of the 2nd District have seen the failures of Joe Courtney as America is being taken down the wrong path on the issues of; national security, immigration, economic stability, healthcare, national debt, even our infrastructure is crumbling and our veterans are being ignored, enough is enough.
The good news is the solution for the voters of the 2nd District is easier to understand than Joe’s common core math. The solution is a move back to the basics. Getting rid of Joe Courtney is as easy as learning your ABC’s.
All you need to know is: Ann Brookes, Congress
Hartford – Governor Malloy today announced the State will face this weather emergency with all the resources available to him as Governor of Connecticut. He said, “It is established science that storms of this nature are a result of our human impact on the environment”. The Governor went on to say, “Connecticut residents have over a period of time been angelic in their efforts to support him and his fight to reverse the human impact on our climate.”
The Governor was at the State Armory now being used as an emergency center during the storm. He activated the National Guard and addressed them this afternoon. His message was clear, “You have been activated to address the accumulation of powder now falling and covering the entire state. This powder from the heavens must be controlled and you shall be our first line of defense.”
“Many of our saintly citizens, have dedicated hours of effort to address the climate issues facing our state but they have now passed to the great beyond. As is so often the case many of those angels have inadvertently created this new problem.” The guard troops stood at full attention awaiting their orders but many had a look of surprise they could not hide when the Governor finally drew his speech to a conclusion as he gave the this order:
“I hereby order the National Guard to confiscate, all existing bottles of Head and Shoulder anti-dandruff shampoo and to immediately supply all funeral facilities with adequate supplies for immediate application. Funeral directors have been ordered to treat all of the dead with Head and Shoulders to stop this angelic dandruff from covering our State. You are our first responders, and our last line of defense, I wish you well in your efforts.”
Many of the troops were seen leaving the armory scratching their heads and reporters questioned if all of the problem was really heavenly sent. One lonely Republican, working as a janitor at the center called the entire press conference, “just another snow job by Malloy.”
They say time heals all wounds, I sometimes wonder if I have enough time remaining in my life to heal. It has been twenty five years, and the scars upon my heart remain and yet the memories and lessons still provide strength and guidance.
My father was not a man of elegant words; his lessons were passed on by example and action. A man working day and night holding two jobs for thirty-five years without missing time passes on a work ethic. There is no doubt he was a provider for his family but it was his acts of kindness and love that have proven to be his lasting legacy.
Today I enjoy the toil of clamming and the results of my harvest, an endeavor passed on by a man that never ate the fruits of his labor. No, my dad would dig and clean the clams for family and friends out of love and kindness, receiving only smiles of joy from those that ate the fruit of his labor.
The first year he was gone was filled with memories and tears, the wounds of such sudden sorrow were deep. Trying to move forward would bring back memories and moments of sadness over his passing. The first time clamming alone was one I can never forget, but the story is true and the memory is clear.
It was a warm and sunny day like many others on Cape Cod Bay, an ideal day with a tide that would accommodate an early afternoon of clamming. I ventured out over the tidal flats, a walk I had taken with my dad and always taken for granted. He would always lead the way knowing exactly where to go. Over the years the clam beds were getting smaller, but dad knew just the spot to go in the uncharted expanse before us.
Now alone I ventured out, rake in one hand and bucket in the other. Yes I thought I could do what dad had done; he made it look so easy. I dug, and I struggled, the tide was turning and little did I have to show for my efforts. My emotions were raw, as I thought back to the times I had shared in these waters with the man that never ate the clams.
Alone in thought, I believed if he were there we would have had our limit and been walking home by now, but I only had three clams. The tide was changing but not my luck. I saw a seal not too far away, I paused to observe and thought how much my dad liked to watch the wild life that Mother Nature so kindly brought his way.
It was then I noticed the seal seem to be nodding his head to my right, I moved in that direction and he continued to nod and I continued to move. It wasn’t that far until he stopped and suddenly began to move his head up and down as if to say, yes. I paused, and without hesitation I began to rake for clams, for the tide was turning and the time was coming when I would have to stop my quest.
There with the first stroke of the rake was a clam, as I reached for my bucket I looked toward the seal but he was gone. I continued to rake and in a short time I had what I had come to seek, a bucket full of clams. It was time to go and leave the bay but the memory of that day will never leave.
It has been twenty-five years since dad was killed by a hit and run driver, not a day goes by that I don’t think about the man. The wounds of that day are deep, the scars of time remain and I wonder if I will live long enough for time to heal the wounds of loss. On this day, I can only write these words in his memory, happy Father’s Day, dad.
Every once in a while you think back, sometime way back to when you were a small child and something brings a smile to your face. Sometimes you remember the good and sometimes you remember something not so good. This is a story that was memorable because of the excitement and reaction of those that witnessed childhood in action.
It was in the early 1950’s in Manchester, CT an evening like most any other, the kind of day you just relax, and maybe take your kids for a ride to do something a little special. To children of the day Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger were real life heroes and riding a horse was a big deal for a five year old.
Mom came up with the idea it would be a treat to go the pony rides after dinner, something we had done before and I am sure our smiles warmed her heart. With all the excitement of a little boy I got my cowboy hat and then reached in the drawer and grabbed a surprise of my own.
The pony rides were near the railroad tracks in Buckland where the Agway Store now stands. We pulled in and mom took me by the hand to see the man in charge of the ponies. He was a nice fellow, always talking to the kids and helping us up on the pony. These were calm older ponies, just what you would expect for small kids to ride a few times around the ring.
In a child’s mind you could be like a “real cowboy” out on the trail. I knew of course real cowboys went fast and I wanted to do what they did. That is where the idea to stuff a New Year’s Eve noise maker in my pocket came from. Yup, I got on the pony and as soon as they let go of reins and gave the pony a gentle tap to get him going I pulled out my surprise.
I proudly raised my hand in the air and gave the noise maker a spin. Suddenly I was off at a full gallop faster than any kid had ever been around that ring. Smiling from ear to ear and enjoying the time of my life. Of course the man in charge and my mother had instant visions of my life coming to an abrupt halt at any time.
The pony got corralled and the man took me down a whole lot faster than normal I thought it was great, until my mother reach me. “You could have got killed” she was screaming and I was beaming, but not for long. I don’t remember her getting more upset than she was at that time. She grabbed my noisemaker and flung it over the railroad tracks, a fete she probably could not duplicate without the adrenalin of the moment.
She continued to demonstrate the fear and anger of a mother all the way home. We never stopped for an ice cream cone I was expecting. My joy was gone at least on the surface but I never forgot that ride, it was a thrill to be sure. Just as she promised we never went back to the pony rides. I am not sure if it was a punishment or we were banned by the owner but it still provides a childhood memory with a smile.
They are nearly gone now, time has taken them away. They are men of another generation, children of the great depression. Boys that turned to men on the beaches of Normandy, in the sands of Iwo Jima and carnage of Pearl Harbor they remember their brothers in war and peace.
Memorial Day has a deeper meaning for them. They were there among the dead; they carried the bodies, of fallen brothers. They were the defenders of freedom, the lucky ones that returned home. Their memories were strong and clear, the times they wanted to remember were the times spent with their fellow fighters. They could not forget the carnage and destruction left by the scars of war but their love of fallen brothers ignited traditions of remembrance.
They vowed to remember; they organized and joined together in organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Army Navy Club, the Marine League and the American Legion. Traditions of remembrance and honor for their fallen brothers were building blocks for the next generation. No day had more meaning than Memorial Day, a day to honor the men and memories from their time at war.
They were younger then, stronger in mind and body. Today, time has taken most of them away. Every year there are fewer veterans of the “greatest generation” to carry on those traditions of remembrance. The traditions have been passed to a new generation; the sacrifices will never be forgotten.
The light of freedom shines bright upon our nation, the torch of responsibility to remember has been passed, and we must never forget. Memorial Day is time set aside to remember the sacrifice of all our fallen brothers and sisters. The sands of time will take away a generation but the traditions of remembrance will not pass away.
When the sun rises above our land on Monday we will be given another day to remember, we will remember those that never lived to see the light of God grace their dreams and hopes. We will join as a nation to honor those that sacrificed their lives for each of us and for our hopes and dreams.
In the evening the light of day will slow set to the darkness of the night and we will still remember, we will remember those brothers and sisters that did not return. We will remember because we can never forget those that served, fought and died for us.