Tuesday, March 23, 2010 6:56:08 PM
It's funny how much my life has changed since I started this blog.
I'm almost never here at Opera anymore, my nature photography has stepped into second place in favor of shooting bands and musicians and my job with the paper is going really strong.
The first few years I lived here in Claremont I wanted nothing more than to move back home to Sunapee or Newport where most of my social life was.
Now, I might have to move back to Sunapee and I don't want to, I love living in Claremont, I've made friends here and so much of my life is here. In a million years I never saw that happening.
Life is what you make of it and I've made mine almost exactly how I want it. I like myself, love my friends and I'm totally fine with who I am.
Ok so a little more money would be nice LOL. But money doesn't buy happiness nor does it make you like yourself any better, if I never have enough again I'll still be one of the happiest people I know.
There are people who try to bring me down, who tell me how wrong I am and how I "need" to change. I feel sorry for them, most of the time it's about money, I should have more money, I should change myself to make more money...one of them recently told me he is learing "to think like a rich person".
And if that's what he wants then I'm happy for him. I don't need money to like my life.
People is what, to me, life is all about. Friends in particular. I've said before that I'm blessed when it comes to friends in my life and I meant it. I believe it's how we treat people that matters most.
I also believe that if we treat people well then, most of the time, we'll get that in return too.
Karma. Oh yeah, I believe in karma! What you put out comes back at you for sure. Something to think about when you're wishing bad, or worse, on someone.
I try to be really careful about how I think and the wording of my thoughts. There are people I don't care for but that doesn't mean I wish them bad in any way.
I don't hate anyone, hate is ugly and time consuming, it hurts the hater more than it hurts anyone else. There are some I'm indifferent to, they just don't matter at all in my life. I like that way of dealing with those I don't care for much better than hating them.
Life is good, God is good, choices are what it's all about. I choose happiness!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 9:41:18 PM
Click on this and you can direct where it goes. It's way cool!!! Nora is my good friend and she made this for me.
Monday, March 30, 2009 1:41:25 AM
I go to church in a nursing home.
My pastor, friend and co-worker does his ministry at four nursing homes. I attend one with him twice a week.
I’ve had a problem with churches for a long time.
No matter how well intentioned they soon become about people’s petty, personal power. It makes me crazy. Church is supposed to be about God’s word.
But going to the nursing home is great.
The people who live there appreciate us coming so much.
They appreciate a chance to worship especially those who aren’t mobile and can’t easily go out.
We sing hymns for about a half an hour, we all enjoy that.
Then my pastor gives a lesson and always ties it into their daily lives in the home.
He also addresses issues like abuse on occasion and tells them should anyone abuse them in any way that the director of the home wants to know about it and they will be protected if they just go to him.
He reminds them that as long as they are alive on this Earth that God has a plan for them, that God is aware of them and that we are all, each of us, important to God. We know this because He created us at all.
These are wonderful people, some of them all but forgotten by those they used to interact with daily.
I’ve run into several of my old customers from the restaurant and they are thrilled to be recognized.
I did a story for my newspaper about one of the residents there and they all enjoyed seeing the article in print.
Just like I am important to God these people are important to me. I make sure to say hello to each of them, ask how they're doing, let them talk if they need to and sometimes cry also.
A friend of mine is a temporary resident there. He was in a bad car accident and between surgeries he is staying there. He’s only 33 so I visit with him often.
Of course in doing that I see others also. When he is no longer needing to be there I think I'll still keep going often.
From the nursing home windows I can see several of the churches down in the town.
The home is on a hill in a beautiful old mansion that has been added to but in the style it was originally built in. It’s a beautiful building and well kept. It’s clean and comfortable.
I think my pastor and friend is pretty special for taking care of the elderly.
In this country we don’t treat our elderly well, that has always bothered me.
I welcome the opportunity to give them some attention and love.
I think I get way more back in return.
Friday, March 20, 2009 3:40:24 AM
This used to be my neighborhood, this row of houses in the photo.
My house isn’t even there anymore; it was where the last boathouse on the left is.
Even as a child I knew I was lucky to live in this place.
My house was actually where the boathouse is, built right on the water.
You could jump off the roof or porch into deep water, the boathouse was under the living room, my bedroom was under the house and had a cement dock outside the door.
Originally the house was built on railroad ties and the water would run under my bedroom, the sound was soothing.
One year a house right across the lake, built like ours, fell into the lake when the ice went out.
The next year my father had our foundation redone and cemented.
The house was tilting towards the water already and he was afraid the ice might take our house also.
After that the water slapped up against the front of my bedroom, under the windows. It was still soothing but I liked it better when I could hear the water under the floor.
I liked looking out the windows, right onto the lake. I used to pretend it was a houseboat and it almost was except it didn’t move with the waves.
At night and early in the morning the sounds carried across the water and I could hear people a mile or more away having conversations.
On Saturday nights I could hear the dancing bands from the yacht club and people laughing and having a good time.
When the moon was big it would shine on the lake and if it was full the moonlight was a wide road you could drive a boat in.
The stars were clear and felt close; you could see the Milky Way and other galaxies.
We used to sit on the open porch for hours, staring at the sky. We’d watch meteor showers when it was their time of year, we’d hope for a falling star other times.
The water had it’s moods, sometimes it was calm like glass, sometimes it was rapidly moving, which way it went depended on good or bad weather and sometimes it was furious with churning waves and whitecaps.
It was always beautiful.
It was a perfect place for children to grow, feeding imaginations and providing adventures.
There was swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing and other water sports. There were long hours climbing on the rocks pretending to be lost on an island.
I swam like a fish and used to pretend I was a mermaid, I’d pull myself up on a large rock and bask in the sun and then slip back into the water and swim along the bottom until I couldn’t hold my breath any longer.
Across the short span of the lake was Loon Island Lighthouse, it’s beacon comforting in the night.
Across the long span of the lake was Mt. Kearsage in all it’s splendor, looking totally different with each season.
On the Fourth of July there were fireworks from the yacht club that was right behind the point next to the lighthouse. Not only were the fireworks wonderful and magical but there would be over 100 boats that came to watch from the water adding to the excitement of the night especially for children.
We would sit out on our porch and watch the fireworks, feeling special that our house had this perfect location for what seemed like everything.
Across the street was a thick forest and if you hiked there you could find Indian Cave. We’d take a picnic lunch and go through the cave and then sit on top and eat.
If you walked up Burkehaven Hill, right on top was blueberry hill and that’s where we picked tons of berries.
Today the blueberries are gone and there are houses but back then it was like a wilderness.
Every Tuesday my friend and I used to go horseback riding on Burkehaven Hill also. There were two fields separated by a stand of trees and you could look down onto the lake and across to Mt. Sunapee while riding.
I used to pretend it was 100 years earlier.
I miss my house and I always will but I know how lucky I was to have it especially for 51 years.
As an adult I’d still sit for hours on the porch, staring at the sky, listening to the conversations float across the water. It was where I’d go to settle my mind and find my peace when life got rough.
But I’ve still got that feeling, all I have to do is close my eyes and remember, my soul starts to relax and my mind’s eye sees what I saw for all those years and I think again just how lucky I am.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 3:50:11 AM
As a Christian I am dismayed that God has been banned from so much of America.
But on the other hand I am more often disturbed and dismayed by the extreme, American Christians that want to legislate their morality and force it on every other American.
God Himself gave us free will.
See, He wants us to choose Him.
He hopes that each of us will do that even though He knows not all of us will.
And doesn’t that make good sense anyway?
I mean, does anyone want to FORCE himself or herself on someone they love?
Don’t they want that loved one to WANT to love them back?
If you force someone to spend time with you when they really don’t want to would that be good, quality time?
I don’t think so.
So I totally don’t understand this group of people who want to do just that. Force their morality on every American despite each, individual American’s personal beliefs.
That isn’t spreading The Word, that’s power mongering.
I never did care for power mongering.
My highest power is God. I’ve given my life to Him by choice and not under duress. That’s the way He wants it, by making this choice I am submitting to His will for me.
This type of power mongering isn’t what America stands for and I don’t believe it’s what God stands for either.
Are these people so threatened by thinking and belief systems that are different than theirs? And why would they be anyway? God has made it clear that all they need do is believe in Him, believe in Jesus Christ and that he came and died for our sins so that we could be forgiven and, after accepting Christ as their savior, to then try to live by His Word.
If they do that then they have everlasting life and the heck with those who choose not to believe.
Given that then why is this power struggle happening at all?
It’s one thing to spread God’s Word but it’s another to force the Bible down someone’s throat.
Not only is that not constructive it’s often destructive.
Look how many Catholics that went through the Catholic School system pre-70’s then left their religion by choice.
I’ve heard countless stories of the nun’s using the fear of God and His harsh punishments to keep the students in line as well as corporal punishment.
Many of these kids were NOT taught that God loves them even though they’re sinners and that they will be forgiven through their belief in Christ.
Many were taught that God’s love had a whole lot of conditions.
A certain percentage of those students grew, at worst, to hate a God so harsh and at best, to not want to serve such a God even if they did still believe.
But that isn’t the God of the Bible and the New Testament.
That was something made up by the Catholic School system of days past which is, for the most part, gone now…thank God.
My aunt Mag, God rest her soul, thought that she could earn points towards Heaven through works and getting converts for the Catholic Church.
But God’s gift to us is much simpler than that. It’s so easy it’s almost hard to comprehend.
So if God gives us the free will to make choices why on earth would anyone try taking choices away by using His name to do so?
Monday, March 9, 2009 6:31:13 PM
Outside my window the snow is falling.
Last week we had some warm weather and much melting but nature is reminding us that winter is not done until she decides it’s done.
This past Sunday our clocks went ahead an hour and soon the calendar will tell us that spring is here…but the calendar isn’t in charge of the weather no matter how well intentioned.
This has been a long winter, it started early with the devastating ice storm here in New Hampshire.
My town didn’t get it badly but not far from here many of my friends had no power for days and even weeks.
We are still seeing the damage that was done during that ice storm.
Winter doesn’t usually bother me. I lived in Florida for nine years and really missed the winter.
I like the cold, within reason and I love the snow especially if I don’t have to drive in it.
But this year I’m right there with those wishing it was over and done with. Enough already!
We are more than ready for spring here in New Hampshire. We are ready for warmer weather, for the bulbs to start peeking out from the ground and the trees to go into bud and turn green.
Spring in New Hampshire is beautiful. There are so many shades of green, the flowering trees are stunning and their aroma fills the air.
The daffodils and tulips are followed by the lilacs and the lilacs lead us into the summer sunshine and beautiful, warm nights.
It won’t be long now before the seasonal places in the harbor open, the summer people will come back and the streets will come to life again.
There are weekend concerts outside and boats on the lake, water skiers and swimming. There are parties and bar-b-que’s with the smell of food cooking on the grills flavoring the air.
But that isn’t quite here yet no matter how ready for it we are. Its still winter, as nature is showing us.
But as winter winds down and spring does approach, we feel it coming and are brighter in our moods and thoughts.
This has been a long winter, too long. I’m hoping spring comes early and stays.
Friday, March 6, 2009 5:22:00 AM
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 4:31:49 AM
We all have troubles, sorrows and pain.
Nobody goes through life charmed regardless of outside appearances.
But some people refuse to wear the negative as their usual outfit and choose instead to dress in bright colors, showing their smiles instead of their tears whenever possible.
Because even in the midst of sorrow we can find moments of laughter and joy and if we don’t grasp them gratefully then we’ve missed great opportunities.
To everything there is a season, to quote a great book, there is a time for sorrow but there is also a time for joy.
I know several people who won’t allow the time for joy. They prefer to hold onto their sorrows and immerse themselves in relentless self-pity.
And although we can and should be able to count on the understanding and loving support of our friends and loved ones during sad times, nobody wants to listen to someone who does nothing but drone endlessly about their problems and how rotten their life is.
This is especially true at parties and social venues. Places where most people go to forget their troubles and enjoy themselves in the company of others for a few hours.
At those times those harbingers of doom attach themselves to one person at a time and recite a litany of their problems with a stunning lack of awareness that they are ruining each victim’s enjoyment.
And as each victim finds some kind of escape the complainer moves about the room, stranding more victims, one after another and spreading their darkness like a setting sun.
And some of the doom spreaders are kind, good-hearted people, generous in every other way.
Often they are some of the luckier in the crowd, still having a job although the overtime has been cut, having family that loves and includes them and enjoying relative health.
And if someone tries, gently, to point out that they are the author of their own misery they will cry softly, with great drama and often agree, using this observation as yet another reason to feel sorry for themselves.
Complaining that one’s lover left them to someone who buried his young wife recently is not acceptable.
Whining about how one is being forced to live on 40 hours work at a higher than average wage to someone who only has a personal income of 5000.00 per year is stunningly oblivious.
Crying about how lonely one with a handful of attentive children and grandchildren to someone who has no family is almost cruel.
Yet on and on they drone, refusing to be convinced to just enjoy these few moments, if not more, of a life that will seem all too short when their time comes and they are called home to God.
I am a sympathetic, patient person but I am tiring of dealing with these types of people.
I have noticed my friends groan when one arrives when we are all laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
It’s like the pall descends before they even enter the room, permeating our happiness like smoke seeping into a closed room of a burning building.
Saturday, January 24, 2009 6:46:25 AM
Yesterday, seeing as it’s past midnight, was Mary’s birthday. She and Andre own Café Andre, which is my hangout.
There were a lot of people there, Mary always gets a card and a cake for all of our birthdays and tonight there were two cakes for her and lots of roses.
Mary loves flowers and especially roses.
Andre told me he thought about putting out appetizers and a buffet in honor of her birthday but then she’d have even more work so he didn’t think that would be much of a birthday present.
He said maybe on Tuesday, when they’re closed, he’d make a nice dinner at their house instead. I agreed that would be nice.
We often do holidays with Andre and Mary. Mary always collects those who have nowhere to go and then there are some of us that are close enough to just want to share special times with them.
They’ve come to my house for Christmas dinner; I’ve been to their house for Easter but these days Mary usually does holiday dinners in the restaurant because they know more people now after seven years of operation and their house is small.
So even when the restaurant/bar isn’t open sometimes there is a crowd there anyway although it’s a much different atmosphere from when they are open for regular business.
My whole family hangs at Andre’s.
There is my brother, my cousin and my chosen brother there most nights especially in the winter when our other favorite place, The Anchorage is closed.
My cousin in MA who has a condo here comes there when he’s in town and his two other brothers who live in Florida come when they’re up here on vacation.
Their mother, my aunt, who also lives in Florida, she’s there too when she’s here for the summer.
It’s our place, a second home where we are always welcome and wanted. It’s a place where we feel at home among good friends, a place to make newcomers feel welcome too.
So there was a good crowd for Mary’s birthday because we all love her and she loves us too.
What more could we ask for in a small town like ours?