May 31, 2013

Tenant Connects Phone in 10-year-old’s Name




PA…Identity theft suspect used identifying information of a 5-year-old child…to open telephone and Internet service…incurring a bill of $941/32. After suspect was identified by state police, victims declined to prosecute.1    

The report reminded me of former tenants  (I’ll call them Phil and Rose) who rented the efficiency apartment in the basement of our home, which was also rented out. We lived an hour away due to my husband’s work.

We also owned a four-apartment building down the hill from the house.

Almost immediately after they moved in we received complaints about the couple from renters in the house and tenants in the apartment building. Allegedly, the husband had beat the wife, and she ran screaming down the hill to the apartment building  and left bloody handprints on the wall of the inside corridor.

The violence disrupted the lives of the house tenant.  One of them stayed up all night because they had heard threats of arson during the couple’s fighting.

“I’ll burn this house down like (more…)

May 30, 2013

On Learning

Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

Nancy (Briskay Cornell) Lipsius graduated from college in her early 70s and dreamed of attending seminary.

CUTOUT 12I thought I would not have enough topics to write about but last evening’s class provided me with just the one more that I needed.

I was asked how my schooling was different from the schooling of today and I’m afraid, being very nervous when speaking in a group, that I really did not touch on the real differences.

Although certain subjects were taught differently than present times, it was the times and the attitudes that were different prior to World War II.

I can only touch on this subject from my own experience in my own family and school system and my particular group of friends. And when it came time for high school it was my parents who selected my direction. Not too many girls at that period of time expected to go on to college but my parents expected me to progress from high school to the University of New Hampshire to become a Latin teacher. I was not consulted as to what I would like to do, just as my parents made all my choices up to that point.

That started my first rebellion. I did not want to become a teacher. So then the only other choice I had was to become a secretary and it was off to business school to gain the skills which I have been using regularly since that time.

My parents also made other choices for me. My friends were selected on the basis of not being (more…)

May 28, 2013

From Holiday Showcase Restaurant to Kensington High School (Buffalo, N. Y.)






Change is Our Most Important Product

“I remember when the waitresses roller skated outside.”

The dove-gray haired women had just entered the Holiday Showcase on Union Road in Cheektowaga, New York. After indulging in a delicious breakfast there Monte was waiting to pay the bill while Kathleen, our surrogate daughter, and I stood aside.

The women overheard Monte telling Kathleen that we used to enjoy the time we spent at the round restaurant while we were dating in 1966. That’s when one of them made the comment about the roller skating.

“I don’t remember that,” Monte said, “but then we frequented it at night.”

I worked nights until 10:30 to midnight, so our dates began late,” I explained.

“I remember coming here the night I was engaged,” the woman said. “That was over forty years ago.”

“What year?” Monte asked.

“1966. That’s the year we were married, too.”

“Oh,” Monte said. “What month was that?”


“That’s amazing,” Monte said. “We married in September 1966.”

I stepped to the wall to look at the framed old photographs framed hung there.

“Look at this photo,” I said, pointing to one showing the skating waitresses. “I never knew that existed.”

“They must not have worked at night,” Monte and the woman agreed.

Another photograph showed the groundbreaking of the restaurant.

“They built this in 1963,” he said, surprised. “It was pretty new when we were frequenting it.”

The clerk appeared behind the restaurant and Monte went over to the counter to pay the bill.

“We used to come here a long time ago,” he said to the young dark-haired girl. She seemed (more…)

May 26, 2013

Daily Prompt: A One-Week Journey in May 2013


The WordPress daily prompt for May 26, 2013, was Tell us about a journey—whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one. Photographers, show us JOURNEY.

How appropriate, since I was already thinking through a journey post.

I invite you to join me in my journey through a week in my life, Sunday, May 19 to Saturday, May 25.


It was a chaotic week having moments of frustration and joy.

I  managed, somehow, to begin each day with what I consider my morning routine—a warm cup of java, my heart meds, and the newspaper (physically in hand, not on a computer screen).

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2013

Jim Busch

Jim Busch

Your audience wants you to succeed.

Today I enjoyed sitting on my porch swing in my screened in (unheated), fighting off our cat who dove into my newspaper as I read it. I watched the birds feed within arm’s reach, and scared off the squirrels that delight in stealing the bird seed.

Once finished with the newspaper I strolled over to my garden, admiring both the raised one and in-pot ones, which contained salad greens and snow peas. Then I planted a short row of pole beans.

In the afternoon I attended a Ligonier Valley Writers, workshop on How to Perform a Reading of Your Work at St. Michael’s Church in Rector. It was good timing for me because I was scheduled to (more…)

May 23, 2013

Russell E. “Rusty Earl” Roy

RUSSELL E. “Rusty Earl” Roy

Russell E. “Rusty Earl” Roy, 77, died at 7:45 a.m., Saturday, May 4, 2013, at Countryside Convalescent Home. Although he lived at the Home for seven years, he was a lifelong resident of Jamestown, Pennsylvania.
Russell was born February 7, 1936, in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, to King C. and Minnie B. Wiser Roy.

A memorial service was held for Russell on May 25th at the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Church in Jamestown.

The following post is from interviews with Russ in 1997.

It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Entering Russell E. Roy’s soul, however, requires a different route.

Russell, a. k. a. Rusty and Russ, opens the window to his soul through poetic writing.

He began writing poems when his sister Alice Hoover, Mercer, asked him to write a table blessing for her bowling banquet. Although he wanted to help his sister he felt uncomfortable fulfilling her request because he opposes serving alcoholic beverages at bowling alleys. His way of helping Alice without compromising his own values was to write an appropriate allegorical poem, The Final Frame, through which he began opening the window to his soul.

Russ’s writing method is unique. He bypasses the common writing tools—pen and paper, typewriter and computer. Instead, he picks up a (more…)

May 21, 2013

Memorial Day—Children’s Stories & Poems



For children (of all ages) I surfed the Internet and found the following sites with stories, poems, and quotes that provide Memorial Day reflection.

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Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service… Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic…and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery…

Memorial Day…observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military…(it) became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Children are emotionally immature and have little life experience. Thus their concept of death can be fanciful or otherwise dealt with. Our culture also demonstrates, in all its combination of media, movies, and electronics, that life is temporary.

Perhaps a simple explanation comes from life and death in nature—leaves and flowers being “born,” wearing greens and bright colors, fading away only to return next year.

Have a respectful Memorial Day weekend with your children and family…Carolyn Cornell Holland

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Decorating graves of military men who died in service with flags
Decorating graves of military men and those who have passed with flowers
Family/friends gathering


…send out cards to soldiers that are currently deployed. Many soldiers look forward to hearing from home. Kids can draw pictures or create cards to send overseas to the soldiers currently fighting.
…fly the flag at your home on Memorial Day to honor the troops.
… teach your child how to display a flag properly. Teach them how they should handle a flag when raising it and lowering it.



Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. —George Washington

Memorial Day this year is especially important As we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life. —Robin Hayes

137 years later, Memorial Day remains one of America’s (more…)

May 19, 2013

WP Daily Prompt: Helping Hand: A Handwritten Letter



The WordPress daily prompt for today, May 8, 2013 is Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.


Perhaps it isn’t the most surprising helping hand I’ve ever received. However, it is the first thought that comes to my mind.

The helping hand was one holding a pen, writing a letter, putting it in an envelope, stamping it and mailing it.


The letter dropped on the floor through our old-fashioned mail-slot. My husband Monte picked up the mail that day and handed me several pieces of mail. I sat down on the stairs to open it.

Davis was the name on the return address of one envelope.

Darn, I thought. “I just submitted my article on the Davis’s 50th wedding anniversary. The information in this letter had better be good if I am to recall the article and amend it.”

I slit open the flap and two pieces of paper fell out. This letter didn’t concern the newspaper article. It was from my father’s cousin in Florida and most likely contained something about my family genealogy.

I opened up one sheet. It was a genealogy, but I noticed the more recent section had more names on it than what I already had. What I read changed my perception of who I was and where I lived.

“Monte,” I said. “Bob is playing a trick on me.”

“Oh?” he questioned.

“Yes. Somehow he (more…)

May 16, 2013

Raspberries Lead to Enterpreneurship


bramble: a collection of a group of plants — such as blackberries and raspberries — that have thorns.*
They contain dietary fiber and high levels of antioxidants— substances that health experts believe protect cells in the body from damage that they say can lead to diseases such as cancer.
Production and consumption of blackberries, in particular, have been increasing in recent years,…*

Ahh—that last part, that production and consumption of blackberries…have been increasing…would have been good news for a young child who lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at the time when the 20th century was changing decades from the 1940s to the 1950s.

That child was me.

MalinaAt the upper end of Spring Street, my home, there was a thick rambling thorny fruit patch. At some point I discovered its succulent blackberries and raspberries, and also discovered there was a market for them. I started picking blackberries and raspberries and selling them.

That was the second step in my entrepreneurship.

I had already discovered, at the age of 7-years-old, that I had another marketable item: a scar received from a severe appendectomy.

I don’t remember this marketing ploy but my older sister Nancy does. She tells me that after I recovered I offered to show the scar to people for a couple of pennies.

Inflation has raised the price in today’s world. Today I’m willing to show you my unique scar for  (more…)

May 14, 2013

May Welcome Message

May Welcome Message

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It’s May 13, 2013, and I am just now writing my May Welcome Message.

April was spent cleaning out my upstairs. I sorted through preschool toys for clearance from our home—holding onto a few for sentimentality and to have something in the even we have young guests, sorting out games, cleaning out closets and drawers. I still have (more…)

May 12, 2013

WP Daily Prompt: Hi, Mom!


The WordPress daily prompt for May 12, 2012, is Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. Wherever in the world you are, write your mother a letter.
Photographers, share a photo that says mothering.

960422-23 CIRCLE

I cannot think of a better letter to write to my late Mother other than the post I wrote on her 90th birthday, February 12, 2012: My Mother’s Special 90th Birthday Gift

However, I can add the following:

In August 2012 I had the opportunity to meet the first child you released for adoption. We had a delightful couple of hours on my patio. She is a kind, compassionate woman I think you could be proud of.

Thank you for the gift of two sisters whose existence was only confirmed since 2011.


For the photography request I pulled (more…)

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