CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

September 30, 2014

October 2014 Welcome Message

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

OCTOBER 2014 WELCOME MESSAGE

Follow me on Twitter #CarolynCHolland

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Each time I drive down our local section of the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) in Pennsylvania more trees strut their vibrant colors. Mother Nature’s wardrobe change is well into transitioning from monochromatic greens to brilliant red, gold, and bronze.  It’s striking—and a good reason for living in this part of God’s world.

In September we spent a lot of time in Slippery Rock, 82 miles away, but the problems are almost resolved and we won’t have to travel back and forth so often.

Last November my husband Monte finally trimmed our knarled, bent over, apple tree. He was concerned that this action would stop producing its 3-6 poor apples. He was mighty surprised at the number of apples old faithful produced. I slaved over a large kettle making applesauce, some of which I froze to enjoy when the snow lays a two-foot blanket over our yard.

Our snow pea, green bean, and floral crops were enjoyed by a deer with a disfigured leg. We must improve our deer fence next summer. However, we did have a good crop of potatoes. Well, good being relative…in days of yore I would have considered my yield to be meager.

Coming in October: Ligonier Days with its wonderful parade, food booths, craft booths, and people. For several years I’ve photographed it from a second floor window, with gratitude to the tenant for allowing me to do so. The Beanery Writers will have a table in front of Second Chapter Books from 2:00-5:00 p. m. on Sunday. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello.

The weather so far this month has been fantastic. Monte has been painting the house and the patio, both of which will be completed next spring.

Enjoy this wonderful month. It could be a bitter winter.

Carolyn Cornell Holland

October 23, 2014

11 Unique Facts About New England Lighthouses

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

11 UNIQUE FACTS ABOUT NEW ENGLAND LIGHTHOUSES

(Also try the questions at 11 Unique Facts About Lighthouses )

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 Lighthouses in New England…sounds very romantic, although the life of a keeper can be challenging. Recently, the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Castle was named the best lighthouse. I learned it does have one special feature: on Sundays from May to October you can climb the 44 steps to the Watch Room, then a ladder to the Lantern Room. This adventure will certainly be on my non-negotiable list of things to do in New England if we ever travel there again. After all, Portsmouth is where I spent my younger years.

But I digress. Below are 11 questions about New England lighthouses. Have fun!

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QUESTIONS

  1. What was used for the first fog signal, installed at Little Brewsters Island Lighthouse?
  2. What horrifying event occurred at Minots Ledge Lighthouse (near Cohasset, Massachusetts) one of the first screw pile lighthouses?
  3. From what lighthouse do romantics interpret to signal “I love you?”
  4. What was a lighthouse keeper’s annual salary in 1879, which held steady well into the 20th century?
  5. In August 2013 the federal government closed out an auction for Boon Island Light Station, New England’s tallest lighthouse. What was the top bid for this lighthouse built in 1855 on a tiny rocky island six miles off Maine’s coast.
  6. Which New England lighthouse has traveled the furthest?
  7. Which lighthouse boasts an enormous first-order rotating Fresnel lens fitted with a green light?
  8. What happened to the first lighthouse keeper in America, George Worthylake?
  9. Name the most haunted New England lighthouse.
  10. What special item did Nubble Lighthouse keeper Eugene Coleman inherit from the previous keeper?
  11. What four unique facts describe the Boston Harbor Light?

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BONUS QUESTION:

What four features describe the Boston Harbor Light?

To learn the answers click on MORE

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat

Beaver Tail Lighthouse taken from the boat

(more…)

October 21, 2014

Finite Creatures We Are

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

FINITE CREATURES WE ARE

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Cemetery in East Lamoine, Maine

I’m eyeing the stone of Louis and Mary Googins des Isles, circa 1794-1825

Interesting this WordPress prompt, finite creatures, appeared the day I after I did research on deaths and funerals in Downeast Maine in the 1790s-1800s. Lest you think I’m strange for picking this topic I’d better inform you that I was researching it for my novel, in which one character, Mary, must deal with having her husband Louis sail for France in 1812 and never being heard from again (oops—there is a surprise in this true life story that mimics the later well-known epoch written by Tennyson, Enoch Ardon).

Thus, mortality has been on my mind these days.

The prompt asks At what age did you realize you were a finite creature, that you not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

Two of my earliest memories are of death.

Our family dog, a cocker spaniel named Buffy, died after being hit by a car.

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The man whose car hit him made a pine box for his burial. Buffy was buried under what is now an addition to 29 Spring Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I don’t recall my age but I might have been 5 or 6 years old. During a burial “service” I ran about the yard laughing. Was this an apartness from death or a (more…)

October 19, 2014

Angel Rescues Traveler in Massachusetts

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

ANGEL RESCUES TRAVELER IN MASSACHUSETTS

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A Night Time Ride to Safety

Along a Circuitous Path as

Angel Rescues Traveler in Massachusetts

(A Devotion)

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 40:23, 41:9    23. But (even after all that) the chief butler gave no thought to Joseph, but forgot (all about) him. 9. Then the chief butler said to Pharoah, I remember my faults today. (AMP)

Luke 17:18   Was there no one found to return and to recognize and give thanks and praise to God except this alien? (Amp)

Related Scripture:   Luke 17:12-19

REFLECTION:  Gratitude. For major events. And most commonly rudely forgotten.

For Joseph, who interpreted the dream for the chief butler and whose request to be recognized to the Pharaoh was “forgotten.” For Jesus, nine healed lepers neglected to thank him.

I, too, can be ungrateful. I don’t express gratitude often enough.

Sometimes, though, verbal thanks seems insufficient.

I traveled to New England by myself in the spring of 1996, and left Brocton, Massachusetts after 7 p. m., unconcerned about finding a hotel. I would be on a main road. No problem. I’d drive towards Merrimack, New Hampshire and stop along the way.

Wrong! I was traveling through a “bedroom community.” No motels!

At 8:45 p. m. I stopped at a drugstore in a strange town not too far from Framingham. “Are there any motels around?” I asked the pharmacist. Neither he nor the customers knew of any.

One customer said she felt bad. She had a spare room, but she also had company. She knew a place in Framingham but the dark night, the late hour and the heavy construction would create travel difficulties, particularly to a stranger. But she knew of a Bed & Breakfast out in the country. She’d call from her car phone.

A room was available! She drew me a land-marked map, then said (more…)

October 18, 2014

WP Photo Challenge: Refraction

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

REFRACTION PHOTOS

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The October 17, 2014, wordpress photo challenge is refraction.

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(more…)

October 16, 2014

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Malignant Fear

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

IN HONOR OF

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH:

MALIGNANT FEAR

 Tamara D., Guest Writer*

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 Speed Racing Heart

Stomach dropped to the floor

Breast smashed like a pancake

Too late to run for the door

Front Image Side Image

Deep breathing to the count of four

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Something is Not right

They need to (more…)

October 14, 2014

Dreamy Scenery Photographed

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DREAMY SCENERY

CAPTURED IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Note: Also see Dreamy Relationships Photographed

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The WordPress weekly photo challenge for October 10, 2014, is dreamy

Pictured above: Sun rays in my Laurel Mountain Borough, PA, yard.

Below are some dreamy scenic photographs.

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View of an unidentified pond

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Fence line in Ligonier Township, PA

(more…)

October 12, 2014

God’s Creation: Is It Disgusting?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

GOD’S CREATION:

IS IT DISGUSTING?

NOTE: This devotion was entered in a devotional writing competition at a conference. The judges didn’t know how to handle it because the content and the style weren’t in the typical format. One judge pulled me aside to tell me that the committee members were befuddled and didn’t know how to respond to this devotion. She ended by saying I should know and write to my audience.

I remained quiet while she explained the situation to me. When she finished  I explained myself.

“I did consider my audience. I was writing to a reader who studied science: biology, chemistry. This audience wants references (she’d told me devotions shouldn’t include references). Typical devotions aren’t written to this audience, so I thought I’d try writing several for this purpose.”

I don’t know if the judge was mollified, but I stand by the option to write devotions that speak to specific audiences.

Let me know what you think.

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SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:27     God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NI)

   Related Scripture: Psalm 139:13-14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (KJV)

REFLECTION:   Although God created a wonderful being, the human, I’ve found that a built in life-saving technique may be—is—unpalatable for most people. It has to do with what we consider human waste.

Human waste, urine, not only stops infection when applied to wounds, but it can also be recycled as a re-hydration beverage.

“Disgusting,” you say.

But be patient. Release your prejudice and bias, if only for the moment it takes you to finish this devotion.

“There are many survival stories where people saved and drank their own urine to (more…)

October 11, 2014

Dreamy Relationships Photographed

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DREAMY RELATIONSHIPS

CAPTURED IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Reach for your dreams...

Reach for your dreams…

The WordPress weekly photo challenge for October 10, 2014, is dreamy.

Below are photos of dreamy relationships.

Lena and Mike reached for their dream

Lena and Mike reached for their dream

Jordan's dreamy expression...love those dogs.

Jordan’s dreamy expression…you gotta love those dogs.

(more…)

October 9, 2014

11 Facts About Hallow’een & Jack-O-Lanterns

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

11 FACTS ABOUT HALLOW’EEN AND JACK-O-LANTERNS

First, find the perfect pumpkin...

First, find the perfect pumpkin…

  1. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  2. Immigrants from what country brought the Jack-O-Lantern tradition to America?
  3. Who was Stingy Jack?
  4. The Guinness World Record for the most simultaneously lit Jack-O-Lanterns occurred in 2011 in ____________ and included ________ carved pumpkins?
  5. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  6. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  7. What various names have Jack-O-Lanterns been called?
  8. When did Jack-O-Lanterns change from being just a trick to being a seasonal decorating standard?
  9. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  10. What popular comic strip can be credited with the popular spread of trick or treating as we know it nationwide today?

BONUS QUESTION

What is behind the Jack O’Lantern legend featuring a man named Stingy Jack?

Second, carve that pumpkin...

Second, carve that pumpkin…

To learn the answers click on MORE

(more…)

October 7, 2014

Traveling on a Greyhound Bus with Children

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

TRAVELING CROSS COUNTRY ON A GREYHOUND BUS

(WITH TWO SMALL CHILDREN)

Our trip of a lifetime almost didn’t happen. You’ll understand after reading about its first two laps.

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In 1974 my husband Monte received a grant to attend an energy conference in Berkeley, California. Our children, Sandy 4 and Nolan 2, stayed in Slippery Rock with me for the first five weeks. In the sixth week we traveled to California, from where the four of us would travel back to Slippery Rock.

Our mode of transportation — Greyhound bus, which offered a 30-day Ameripass ticket for $50, entitling purchasers to unlimited riding to any destination served by the company.

Shirl, Diane, Nolan & Sandy (l-r)

Shirl, Diane, Nolan & Sandy (l-r)

Our good friend Shirl Murray drove us from our Slippery Rock home to the bus station , which was an hour away in Youngstown, Ohio. We made it with time to spare. The kids waited anxiously for “their” bus to arrive, then waited in line to board. A youngish man wearing the Greyhound uniform punched our ticket.

It was a cross country bus, so we settled in for our long journey. The passengers were a mix of humanity. A young couple and an elderly man seated themselves up front. Several teenagers seated themselves in the back of the bus. A frail woman sat in the middle. Most of the seats were filled with passengers boarding in towns the bus drove through en route from New York City to Youngstown.

The driver boarded, set his briefcase on the floor, situated himself in the driver’s seat, and shut the door. Suddenly the bus engine purred and he skillfully backed out of the parking place. All was well in the small community encased in what only can be described as an oversized tuna can.

The kids occupied themselves watching the Ohio country speed by while I arranged their things so they could entertain themselves when they tired of the scenery.

I sat back in my seat and pulled out a magazine, hoping I could finish an article before the kids needed me. The animated conversation interspersed with laughter coming from the young girls provided a pleasant backdrop.

At first I didn’t notice the frail woman, several rows down, but gradually her under-breath muttering pierced (more…)

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