November 26, 2013


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS Movicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hugs for everyone who believes in Santa


November 24, 2013


Fourteen brave souls wearing Santa Hats began the Laurel Mountain Borough Santa Hat Event with a chilly walk along seven of the Borough’s eleven roads.

Leaving Laurel Mountain Park's shelter house

Leaving Laurel Mountain Park’s shelter house

The Santa Hat Walk went as planned except for me—I couldn’t participate. The day before I slid on my stairs and pulled some stuff in my knees. Walking was out.

The walkers, including a preschooler and an octogenarian, were led by Borough homeowner Alice Grasso and her daughter Rachel, a resident.

Half way to the end...

Half way to the end…

The walk ended, as planned, at my house, necessary because we needed to be in reach of a Wi-Fi source in order to connect with the Santa Hat Challenge in Brocton, Massachusetts. The schedule called for a brief program about Santa Clause, with a welcome message, singing, and storytelling.

The Santa Hat Event was sponsored by the Laurel Mountain Park Association backed by the Beanery Writers Group. It was timed simultaneously with the 5th Annual Santa Hat Challenge held in Brocton, Massachusetts. Its purpose of the challenge was to set an intercontinental record for most persons gathering and wearing Santa Hats in recognition of Brocton native James Edgar, the first department store Santa 1890. The original Brocton event was organized by John Merian, a Brocton community businessman.

At 2:00 p. m. Wi-Fi was to enable us to electronically connect with Brocton’s event. I received a call from John’s electronics person Rich, and we walked through connecting through Skype. At that point the connection worked perfectly, and we agreed to reconnect at 1:00p. m.


On Saturday the Laurel Mountain Park plan for the day was changing. The weather was bitter cold, giving us two options: having our post-walk program out in the cold front yard, or moving it into my living room. The shelter house was not an option due to the need for Wi-Fi. At this point we had no idea how many persons would attend.

At mid-morning Sunday Rich, Merian’s electronics advisor, and I connected by Skype. He walked down the street in Brocton to where John had a stage set up. John and I spoke briefly and all was well for our 2:00 p. m scheduled connection.

Brocton, Mass.

Brocton, Mass.

John Merian, initiator of the Santa Hat Challenge

John Merian, initiator of the Santa Hat Challenge

As it turned out, attendance wasn’t (more…)

November 25, 2013

Santa Hat Walk 2013 in Laurel Mountain Borough



November 24, 2013


A mid-20s cold chilled by strong breezes and enhanced by tiny sultry snowflakes drifting through the air didn’t discourage 14 persons from walking almost one mile in Laurel Mountain Borough. The Santa Hats they wore created not only a unique group, but reminded observers that the holiday season is upon us.

Signing in for the Santa Hat Walk.

Signing in for the Santa Hat Walk.

The November 24, 2013, walk was sponsored by the Laurel Mountain Park Association backed by the Beanery Writers Group and was timed simultaneously with the 5th Annual Santa Hat Challenge held which was held in Brocton, Massachusetts. The purpose of the challenge, initiated by Brocton businessman James Merian, is to set a world record for most persons gathering and wearing Santa Hats in recognition of Brocton native James Edgar, the first department store Santa, 1890. The Laurel Mountain Borough event was sponsored by the Laurel Mountain Park Association backed by the Beanery Writers Group (Latrobe, Pennsylvania).

Waiting to start walking

Waiting to start walking

Leaving Laurel Mountain Park's shelter house

Leaving Laurel Mountain Park’s shelter house


A straggler, on time but walkers left early. He must catch up

A straggler, on time but walkers left early. He must catch up


September 7, 2013

Misquamicut Beach, Rhode Island

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hugs for Tom, whose father just moved on to a greater life, and Anna, the granddaughter.


The second beach we visited during our New England travels was Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island, where I printed a message in the sand—a temporary message, as were the sand castles my sister Nancy Lee and I built in the sand of Wallis Sands Beach and Hampton Beach (both in New Hampshire) when we were children. As we did with the sand castles, I waited (with my husband Monte, this time) for the waves to begin deleting the message before leaving the beach.





September 30, 2011

Women’s Friendship Month/Day: Part 2



     Women’s Friendship Month—September—and Women’s Friendship Day, September 28, provides an opportunity to review the long-term women friendships in my life.  This is Part 2 of the post. To read Part 1 click on Women’s Friendship Month/Day: Part 1.


     At this point in my life my husband decided to change careers. We spent three years in Stone Mountain, Georgia, while he attended seminary.

     It is shared experiences that deepen women’s friendships. Unfortunately, when a woman moves repeatedly the bonds of the friendship tend to soften with distance and time. It is difficult to build depth of relationship when women are separated by miles and miles.

     While in Stone Mountain I picked up my friendship with Shirl, whose family had moved there several years previously. However, it wasn’t quite the same. We knew we’d be separated by hundreds of miles in three years, and that seemed to blanket a slight fog over our renewed in-person relationship.

      Meanwhile, I made no attempt to develop any meaningful women friendships, knowing it takes time to do so, and three years is usually insufficient.

     While living for five years in New Castle, Pennsylvania, I met Colleen. Our common interests pulled us together. I also met Lena, who now lives in Florida.  Our bond is special, having a (more…)

June 21, 2011

Bird Attack! Dive bombing birds attack humans!



Dive bombing birds attack humans!

     Occasionally while I sit on my patio, a bird will sit on a nearby tree branch and squawk at me. I’ve learned that this means the bird is unhappy with my presence, because the mother is nesting, nurturing her babies. I listen, and tell them I’m harmless, I’m not going to move off my patio, and they’d just better adjust to my presence.

     No bird has ever attacked me.


     As my husband and I traveled to Lakeside, Ohio, on June 13, 2010, I read several days worth of newspapers. There was an article about an angry flock of crows which had the audacity to attack the police in Everett, Washington.

     The angry flock of birds were swooping down and dive-bombing the officers as they walk(ed) to and from their cars. One police officer tried to scare the velociraptors by turning on his siren, to which the birds responded by decorating his car with droppings. Crows, allegedly, have face recognition, and if angered, remember the face. But they apparently cannot distinguish one police officer uniform from another.

     Because the police learned that the birds, which are very protective of their young, are (more…)

November 22, 2010

My Husband’s Pumpkin Pie Saga



     I might as well tell it like it is, like my husband Monte tells people: I don’t tend to prepare foods I dislike—like lima beans and pumpkin pie.

     Monte really likes pumpkin pie. I do not. So in defense, in 1985 he began making pumpkin pie.

     We were living in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in the Emmanuel United Methodist Church parsonage where Monte had his first appointment with the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. Being a pastor was his second career—he’d spent nineteen years as a physics professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Slippery Rock University in western Pennsylvania.

     As he dabbled increasingly successfully at making pumpkin pies, he had a brainstorm: why not (more…)

March 9, 2010

Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania: Quaint



     Kraft Singles American Cheese and Disney ABC have partnered to find the best community in the United States.

     “Every American has something about their town that makes them proud to call it home, and the great thing is Americans all have a different perspective on what makes their town so special,” says Clayton Wai-Poi, senior brand manager for KRAFT Singles. Contest judges will be looking for the one-of-a-kind features that make American communities unique.

     I considered entering until I learned that entries were taken by text or cell phone—whatever, none of which I am savvy enough to use. But the idea challenged me to write something about my community.

     The judging was based on three criteria: 60% for originality in describing what makes the town unique; 25% for inspiring others to visit the Town, and 15% for a photo that best showcases the Town.

     I pondered my community, Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania, tucked into the Laurel Ridge foothills at the bottom of Laurel Mountain Borough. What one-of-a-kind feature makes this community unique.

     Quaintness…the single most frequent word used to describe Laurel Mountain Borough, a small community in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

     How does a resident get this point across in a short description, stated with originality, that will inspire others to visit the community?

     First, one must understand what quaintness is. Dictionaries offer three definitions. First, charmingly (more…)

February 6, 2010

The snow came softly and gently: Feb. 5, 2010



February 5, 2010

       Today will be a great day to sit at my laptop on my porch, looking out at a winter wonderland, working on a short story and my novel.

     Thursday, February 4, wasn’t like this. It was a beautiful day that invited me to be outdoors. The snows of the earlier series of precipitation had virtually disappeared in the Ligonier valley area of Pennsylvania, but in my little corner of the world remnants remained. The sun that sparkled off these remnants cast s (more…)

Create a free website or blog at