CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 21, 2014

Seasonal Enthusiasm…Or Not

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SEASONAL ENTHUSIASM…OR NOT

 Traditions are difficult to maintain in a nomadic lifestyle combined with normal life changes. I could never quite keep up with the triple holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve—while settling and resettling in new communities. Now, however, we’ve been settled for a while…or at least, until we must move again.

My husband Monte and I have begun what I think is a new tradition tied in with my December birthday.

Last year Monte wanted to take me to a Christmas buffet at a restaurant at our local airport.

“Only if we can go dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus,” I said.

We had a great time.

We followed up that experience with being the Claus couple while ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. This, it seems, encourages more giving and gains lots of smiles.

This year we repeated the performance. Afterward our lunch we went shopping. Each place we ended up with photographs, which will complete this post on getting seasonal.

DeNunzio Restaurant at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Latrobe PA

DeNunzio Restaurant at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Latrobe PA

Is his beard really real?

Is his beard really real?

At Office Max...

At Office Max…

(more…)

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April 26, 2014

WP Photo Challenge 3/14/2014: Inside

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY, VINCE

 WP PHOTO CHALLENGE 3/14/2014:

 INSIDE

With the March 14, 2014 WP Photo Challenge being inside I couldn’t help but post the following series of Christmas photographs of Vince—obviously taken a few years ago—for this subject. Amazingly, as I am creating this post (in April, 2014) the public radio station is playing two Christmas carols, The Sussex Carol and On High. 

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(more…)

December 17, 2013

Christmas—Children’s Stories, Poems, & More

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHRISTMAS—CHILDREN’S STORIES, POEMS, & MORE

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For children (of all ages) I surfed the Internet and found the following sites with stories, poems, and finger plays that provide CHRISTMAS entertainment.

NOTE: To access a companion Christmas post click on Santa Claus—Children’s Stories, Poems, & More

Subscribe to this site to receive an email of current posts. Type your email address in the subscribe to box at the top right of this page. You will receive an email asking you to confirm the subscription. (Your email will not be made public).

th15JOKES

Why was the turkey the drummer in the pop group?
Because he was the only one with drumsticks!

What’s a sheep’s favorite Christmas carol?
We wish ewe a merry Christmas.

More: http://www.hellokids.com/c_5610/reading-online/jokes-and-riddles/christmas-jokes/santa-claus-jokes#wOS949kWtCBX5C3h.99

Q: What is Count Dracula’s Christmas story? (more…)

December 23, 2012

2012 Christmas Letter from Monte & Carolyn Holland

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CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
2012 CHRISTMAS LETTER FROM MONTE & CAROLYN HOLLAND

MERRY 2012 CHRISTMAS & A JOYFUL NEW YEAR 2013
FROM LAUREL MOUNTAIN BOROUGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Santa reflects on the meaning of Christmas...

Santa reflects on the meaning of Christmas…

OUR 2012 ORNAMENT: Forty years. Yes, this is the fortieth year our Christmas card has been a handcrafted ornament.
To celebrate I tried to prepare a special ornament, but discovered it cost just under $2.00 to mail, so I will hand distribute as many of them as possible during 2013, leaving, hopefully, only a few to main. Instead, this year, we’re sending those of you who joined our list after the beginning years one of the earlier ornaments, among them a peach and an angel .

IMG_0813eI made the peach in 1984 when we lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Monte was in his second year of seminary study at Candler Theology School (Emory University). As you know, Georgia is all about peach (and dogwood). The peach symbolizes God’s bounty provided for us.
The angel is designed as a paper doll. Angels play a significant role in the Christian story—for example, an angel appeared to Joseph, telling him to stay with Mary.

MONTE: This year I helped my brother Elwin, 91, maintain around-the-clock IMG_8458Epersonal care workers. On February 25th he fell and broke his hip. Since I held his medical power of attorney Carolyn and I rushed to his hospital bedside in Syracuse. When Elwin died March 4th we went to Northern New York for two weeks, where we dealt with his affairs. As executor of his estate we returned in May for four weeks for Elwin’s committal service, an auction, the sale of his house and a family reunion. It was good to get together with many of the family.
IMG_8551EIn April I finished a thirty-square roofing job on our Slippery Rock apartment building. In June we spent a week with Nolan’s family at Lakeside, Ohio. In late September I took a trip with a friend to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Churchill Downs, and a Secretariat festival in Paris, Kentucky. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit these well-known places. At DSCN1031E4Indy I met Donald Davidson, long-time radio broadcaster with the Indy 500. I got his autograph, which is special. In September I placed third in a pie contest with an apple-rhubarb pie topped with meringue.
October came. I finished putting the new roof on our Laurel Mountain Borough home. Sandy and I went to the Northwestern-Penn State game at State College, and at the NU PresidentE3pre-game tailgate feast Sandy took my picture with the President of Northwestern University, my alma mater.
A post-Thanksgiving Friday highlight was attending Ligonier’s light-up night. Jordan, a twirler, marched with the band, while Sandy, Michael, Nolan, Tammy, Vince, Marcus, and I watched (Carolyn, not feeling well, didn’t go with us). When Vince and Marcus joined two caroler statues in the park, thus forming a quartet, a newspaper photographer caught their image and it was published that week. It was a much better quality photograph than the one taken by us.

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As a member of the Borough Council I’ve worked hard on road maintenance. I’ve preached about once a month at an assisted-living facility and filled in occasionally at Bethlen Home in Ligonier.

A white Christmas scene at our house

A white Christmas scene at our house

CAROLYN: For me, the year began with a three-month to-do list: learn to use E-bay; WRITE my novel, empty boxes we had stored in Sandy’s attic when we moved here in 2003 (which filled my living room in mid-January).
It was a doable plateful for the snowed/cold-in months. I stayed on schedule until…life happened.

 IT’S A GIRL!
Last year’s news, you say? Yes…and this year’s news too, I answer.

At the end of January I noticed an excessive number of hits on several of my writing blog posts—posts about my mother that wouldn’t usually be visited. I told Monte something was going on. He replied that someone might be doing a research project. On my Mother’ memorial service? I responded. Unlikely.
On February 5th I was contacted, via a blog comment, by a second sister my mother released for adoption. Now I can safely say that all my mother’s nine children are accounted for. In one year I’ve gained two sisters, two brother’s-in-law, four nephews, and one niece.
While Darlene (who contacted me the same way in January 2011) was born on December 2, 1953, P.’s birthday is December 30, 1948. She lives a distance south of us, but when she visited her northern mother-in-law in August she and her husband stopped by for an evening visit. (I won’t elaborate—further information is on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS in the ADOPTION category, )
In May we moved into Elwin Holland’s home in Heuvelton, New York, where we worked hard preparing the house for market and its contents for auction. The local (more…)

December 20, 2011

CHRISTMAS LETTER: 2011

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHRISTMAS LETTER: 2011

with Monte W. Holland

MERRY 2011 CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012

Each year my husband Monte and I send a letter the friends we’ve made throughout the years. For many, this is an annual contact. Below is our 2011 family letter.

MONTE—It’s been a busy year. I conducted 29 worship services, mostly at three facilities for older folks. Beyond that I did manual labor.  At my age busy means working not much more than five hours in a day and resting one day in between. I replaced part of the roof on our home and one-third of the roof on the apartment building (about a total of 16 square, if one is counting).

     In July we traveled to Northern New York for my family reunion and to help my brother Elwin set up a schedule of round-the-clock in-home caregivers. I’m really pleased that we have good help and he seems quite content at 91 years old. I take care of the payroll from here.

     In June we went to Lakeside, Ohio and shared a condo with our son Nolan’s family while he (more…)

December 10, 2011

Playing Santa’s Elf on My Birthday

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PLAYING SANTA’S ELF ON MY BIRTHDAY

     Turn the calendar back. One year…two years…four years…eight years…eleven years…wait…STOP!

     What does an eccentric old lady do on a birthday that falls smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season?

      Why…play elf for Santa.

     And so Elf Carolyn was reborn. Reborn, because when my children were little I assisted Santa Claus (a. k. a. (more…)

December 21, 2010

A List of Christmas Stories for Your Reading Pleasure

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A LIST OF CHRISTMAS STORIES FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE

The best gift is the gift of ourselves.

MAY YOU HAVE MANY BLESSINGS THIS 2010 CHRISTMAS SEASON!

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The following posts are gifts of writing, for your reading pleasure,  from myself and members of the Beanery Writers Group, which meets in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Today is the first day of WINTER. Cuddle up with a hot drink, a warm fire, and enjoy the following posts.

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On this site, my personal writing blog: Carolyn’s Compositions—

Christmas. Whose Season Is It?

Christmas Memories

Stockings for Jesus

A BROKEN LEG FOR CHRISTMAS

Christmas. Whose Season Is It?

Dear SANTA from COCHRAN

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: 2008 STYLE

SANTA IS DEAD!

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On the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, sponsored by the Beanery Writers Group—

Christmas 1998—A Memory Embraced

Mary’s Special Day

The Christmas Stocking Legacy

Noel

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2007-A

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2007-B

A Not So Gooey, Syrupy Christmas Tale

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Prohibited Visit to Santa’s Shrine

SANTAS, MRS. SANTAS, ELVES & REINDEER WANTED: Please apply—Application #1

SANTAS, MRS. SANTAS, ELF and REINDEER WANTED: Application #2

DEER HEAD FOUND IN MAILBOX—A GIFT?

(SANTA) SUED FOR NON-SUPPORT

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December 13, 2010

Six Camels for Your Wife, Sir…

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SIX CAMELS FOR YOUR WIFE, SIR…

     “Is that your wife?” the Omen* citizen asked the West Virginian I’ll call Tom.

     “Yes, she is my wife.”

     “I’ll give you six camels for her.”

     Tom declined the offer.

The country OMEN

     Tom and Joan were on a cruise to the Mideast. Their bus passed a desert area where the women were totally covered except for the slit of their eyes and their fingertips. There was a line of camels off the roadside. The driver stopped and told the tourists they could get off the bus to have their pictures taken with the camels.

     Tom further explained that a few days earlier his wife had visited an Asian beauty salon where the beautician didn’t speak English and Joan didn’t speak the Asian language. The net result was that she entered a brunette and exited a blonde, a hair color which she retained well after the cruise ended.

     While Joan posed with a camel, the Omen man approached her and gently ran his fingers over her golden curls, after which he offered Tom his barter.

     Later, Tom wondered if he should have bartered—perhaps the Omen man believed his wife, whom I’ll call Joan, was  really worth ten to twelve camels.

     He also wondered what the logistics would be had he accepted the offer. How many camels would he be allowed to keep in his cabin? Where would the other camels be kept? What would he feed them? Would he be allowed to keep them on his property in Southwestern Pennsylvania?

     This story entertained me while I volunteered at a Ligonier Valley (PA) Historical Society fundraising event, the Festival of Trees. There were only a few persons visiting the event at the time. While I was talking with some of them, Tom asked me if I wanted to hear a story. Since camels are reported to have been present at Jesus’ birth, and are an item in every Nativity set, it seemed appropo to hear a story about camels.

     Bizarrely, though, the afternoon included four more camel stories.

Bactriancamel

     Camels seemed to like Tom’s wife. On another cruise, this time in Australia, Joan and another female traveler accepted a camel ride.

     “Camel rides aren’t smooth, like horse rides,” Tom noted, elaborating that when the women dismounted the camels at the end of their ride they were vibrating. Even so, each woman claimed a camel cheek and stood there stroking it. The women invited Tom over to join them.

     “I noticed the camel’s mouth was juxta-positioning to spit,” Tom said. “Since the camel was giving me the eye, I knew it was preparing to send a burning spitball at me. I backed off.”

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“Watch out for camels or they’ll spit on you when you aren’t looking!”

     There are two misrepresentations in the statement above. First, camels do (more…)

September 16, 2010

Stockings for Jesus

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

STOCKINGS FOR JESUS

     The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

     “In all the years I’ve visited people’s homes during the Christmas season, I’ve seen many stockings hung by the proverbial ‘chimney’ I’ve never seen one hung for Jesus. And it’s his birthday,” my friend Linda Bondurant said.

     Linda, who lives south of Atlanta, Georgia, believes this should change, and is challenging Christians all over the United States to hang a stocking for Jesus this year.

     “Everyone has a place to hang a stocking,” she said.

     I’m suggest expanding her idea: for all others who hang stockings in the Christmas tradition, hang an additional stocking with God’s name on it.

     As I write this post there are three months—ninety-eight days—until the first time zone on planet earth reaches December 25th, 2010. That is, 2372 hours, 142,270 minutes (the seconds are ticking by rapidly—at the moment I’m posting, it is 8,536,196 seconds).* 

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     Invite all your houseguests who visit you on these days to prepare for Christmas by placing a gift in the stocking each time they visit. Linda suggests (more…)

January 6, 2010

These Gifts Won’t Be Regifted

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THESE GIFTS WON’T BE REGIFTED

     This morning, January 5, 2010, I am enjoying writing in what I call my “kitchen-porch” (the eating area of our kitchen is a closed in sun porch), surrounded by windows from which I am viewing snow-laden trees and woods. Mixed in with the gently falling snow are occasional larger snow-chunks, falling off trees when there is a gust of wind, creating the appearance of a blizzard. The view is even more pleasant when birds come to snack on the feeders that I could reach out and touch if it weren’t for the glass window-wall.

     One of my two major writing projects for January is an after-life fiction short-story, based on the true 1673 of Thomas Cornell, who was convicted of murdering his mother, Rebecca Cornell, and hanged May 23 that year on Miantonomi Hill in Newport. To view a photograph of the hill, click on:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaneryonlineliterarymagazine/2294677309/

     My main resource for the story, to be included in an anthology, is the book Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell, a historical account written by Elaine Forman Crane. To view an illustration, click on:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaneryonlineliterarymagazine/2295470648/in/photostream/

     Having accepted this project in December, I wanted a copy of (more…)

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