CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

November 6, 2014

The Owl

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE OWL

 Bo Brocious, guest poet

The January 5, 2015, WordPress prompt is Daring DoTell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. How did you prevail?

As I groggily aroused myself from my mid-afternoon siesta my husband Monte rushed into the family room, retrieved his garden-soiled sneakers, and quickly slipped them on his feet.

 “There’s a bird caught in the deer netting (around our garden),” he said, grabbing a pair of scissors. The grogginess disappeared with my adrenalin rush. I slipped on my shoes, grabbed my camera, and raced to the garden. Sure enough, there was a bird in the netting. A big bird.

“It’s an owl,” Monte said, hesitatingly moving towards it to examine the situation. The black netting was wrapped around the bird’s feet tightly enough that Monte might need a surgeon’s skill to cut it without injuring the bird. He poked it gently with the handle of the umbrella he’d grabbed on the way to the garden.

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Still, he had to try. While using an umbrella handle to stabilize the owl he gingerly began snipping at the netting with pink-handled scissors. The owl, equally intimidated by us as we were of it, kept trying to reach its beak to where it could nip Monte’s hands.

My task was easier. Since I wasn’t going to risk the bird’s beak I stood back, waiting to offer Monte medical attention if it were necessary. And I studied the owl, wondering if it was one of the screech owls I kept hearing in the wee hours of the night—a noise that, when I initially heard it, made me want to call 911 to rescue whatever woman was being beaten. Then my trigger finger took hold as I attempted to shoot a prize winning photograph, which was difficult as I was repeatedly startled by the owl’s wildly flapping wings.

“Calm down,” I said—as if the owl could understand. However, it looked at me as if to say “what’s happening?” and calmed down somewhat.

After a harrowing ten minutes Monte freed the owl’s feet, but its beak-hold on the netting kept him trapped. It took a few minutes before it realized that if it loosened its grip it could free itself to leave. Standing back we watched it fly few feet. Its lift wasn’t high enough so it flew into the netting on the opposite side of the garden. We thought we would have to free it again, but this time, with a little trouble, it cleared the netting and flew into a tree and rested for a moment.

“It’s probably pretty exhausted,” Monte said as it opened its wings, gathered steam, and rose to become hidden by the trees.

When Bo Brocius read about this owl experience in the article It’s Been an Animal Day she responded by (more…)

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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…)

May 20, 2014

A Dog Biscuit, A Lost Dog, and A Funeral

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DOG BISCUIT, A LOST DOG, AND A FUNERAL

As my husband Monte shut the door I gave him my typical message: Wait, I’ve forgotten something. Returning to the kitchen I went to a gallon jug on the counter, pulled out a large dog biscuit, and stuck it in my coat pocket. Then we drove to the funeral home to pay our respects to our friend Henry, who had just passed on.

When we arrived I greeted his wife, Margaret, giving her the ritual hug. However, this time I held on tighter and longer than usual, enabling me to whisper softly in her ear: I have something for Henry.

I wasn’t certain how she would take my “bizarre” token to him. “I know what it is,” she responded, smiling. “Place it among his military medals. Henry will love it.” I carefully placed tucked the dog biscuit among his medals. Visitors from that point on wondered about it, but few dared (more…)

April 17, 2014

WP Daily Prompt: Humble Pie—Apology Letter

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hug for Tim

HUMBLE PIE: APOLOGY LETTER

(WordPress Prompt for November 30, 2013)

Dear Tim,

I hope you have a recipe for humble pie . I need you to bake one for me.

Let me explain.

We, as fellow writers, have been friends for many years. Once we discussed starting a writing group together. However, the Foothills Writers Group only began when YOU took the initiative and set up meetings in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

The group met successfully for more than six years. Then you had too many obligations to continue it, and I was relocating to another community. Thus, the Foothills group of loyal writers became discontinued.

Yes, we were friends. However, there was an issue on which we always conflicted. It was an issue that brought out my…well, my frustration with you, and perhaps a hint of anger…because you never seemed to consider my background, which differed from yours and all the other group members.

The conflict was based on your great pride about living in the mountains, in the rolling hills, of Southwestern Pennsylvania. You speak of your ancestral home providing you with a sense of place. Thus, whenever you set up a prompt, it was related to Southwestern Pennsylvania.

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Tim, you knew I couldn’t relate to the hills, the topography, the place of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Yet I believed you expected me to write impassioned responses to your prompts. After all, everyone else (more…)

March 5, 2014

Where I Learned Key Church & Scripture Readings

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WHERE I LEARNED KEY

CHURCH & SCRIPTURE READINGS

GUEST WRITER MONTE W. HOLLAND

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On Wednesdays during Lent my husband Monte will present a discussion on the Lord’s Prayer—what it means in our lives and some valuable comments about it by theologians of the past.

He will begin by sharing about where he learned about key church and Scripture readings, then continue with A 6-Part Study of The Lord’s Prayer: Part 1.

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

NOTE: The main photo appearing on each part of this study features the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania. To learn about this spectacular site click on Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

Readers and commenters on the Upper Room on-line devotional site, where there is an active group of readers responding to the daily devotional, are sometimes  exposed to devotionals related to the Lord’s Prayer, which has started some good discussions.

Before beginning my discussion of the Lord’s Prayer I’ll consider and share some of my personal faith journey.

As I think back to my childhood, my family didn’t attend church regularly. Their only church involvement was showing up, maybe once a month.

What are the givens? What are the things that I don’t have to take time to look up? Where did I commit them to my memory base?

Here is a partial list:

  • The Lord’s Prayer: I learned and repeated the Lord’s Prayer in a rather (more…)

January 28, 2014

WP Wkly Writing Challenge: Lunch 1/20/2014

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hugs for Joanne and Mary

 WORDPRESS WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE:

Lunch 1/20/2014:

 DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED BEVERAGE

The January 20, 2014, WordPress weekly challenge is write a short(er) post during your lunch hour. During this limited period of time take a look at your surroundings and document what you see.

Done!

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The couple, old enough to have grown children—even grandchildren—seated themselves at the two-person table adjacent to the six-seater where I sat with two friends, enjoying food and conversation.

He wore a lined flannel plaid shirt, she a worn winter jacket. They walked in as if they were regulars, a fact proven by the waitress’s friendly greeting as she approached the table with glasses of iced water—before they ordered it.

Suddenly, the man jumped. We looked over and saw that his table was (more…)

January 16, 2014

WP Daily Prompt 1/13/2014: Ice Skating Competition & A Stored Memory

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hugs for my sisters

WP Daily Prompt 1/13/2014:

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINE

AN ICE SKATING COMPETITION & A STORED MEMORY

The WordPress Daily Prompt for January 13, 2014, was Ripped from the Headlines : click over to whatever website you visit most frequently to get news. Find the third headline on the page. Make sure that headline is in your post.

I’m cheating a little bit on this Daily Prompt, as I don’t know if I’m using the third headline on the page. However, I was watching for an article with information on which ice skaters were chosen for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
IMG_6535 140111 E“You missed the first ice dance,” my husband informed me.

d been distracted and missed the dance being aired on NBC on January 11th . The 2014 Prudential U. S. Figure Skating Championships pairs competition, would determine the United States participants in the Sochi Olympics. I expected to view the entire program. Five couples competed for 2 Sochi Olympic spots (it was not official that the top two would be chosen—this will be announced at noon Jan 12).

The first skaters I watched were Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, performing their Pairs Short Program. They were first after the Short Program, with a “record total” of 73.13.

Perhaps I was meant to see them first. She is from Cranston, Rhode Island near where I was born and a site we visited September 2013. He is from Boston, having arrived in Sudbury at age 18 months old. He is Russian and speaks the language. They were skating at the same ice rink where they practiced.

The Boston venue added to my interest in this competition It was happening at perhaps at the same ice rink where I witnessed a skating show in December 1948 when I was 4 years old (just about the time I turned 5…Or perhaps I was 5).

I learned later that the original Boston Garden was (more…)

January 5, 2014

Wordpress Daily Prompt for 8/18/2013: Procrastination

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS moved to

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe) in January 2015.

I invite you to visit the new site.

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Hug for Joanne

WORDPRESS DAILY PROMPT for AUGUST 18, 2013

Today’s date: January 5, 2014

PROCRASTINATION

 The WordPress daily prompt for August 18, 2013, was procrastination.

I was writing it on November 24, 2013. Today, January 5, 2014, is the day I’m publishing it.

I ask you: Is this procrastination or what?

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Question: What have I been putting off doing?

My answer: Responding to this post.

Question: Why was I procrastinating?

Answer: It was filed in an out-of-sight site, which was temporarily abandoned for more recent items that would later receive the same treatment.

Simply put, by filing it out of site I could procrastinate and neglect to follow it through. I do that with many items that cross my desk. In fact, paper items crossing my desk are so prolific it’s easy to procrastinate.

I procrastinate on other things too. For example, bunnies and kittens are adorable. Soft fur, snuggly, good companions. However, their fur contributes to what we, for some reason, we call dust bunnies—or dust kittens. These are not so cuddly as they gather under our couches, along the edges of our floors, under our beds. When I operated a child care home, I found a creative means of dealing with the dust bunnies a. k. a. dust kittens. The children decorated a jar, and every morning they opened it to feed their pet bunny or kitty as many (more…)

December 12, 2013

A 70th Birthday Lunch & St. Joseph Hospital (R. I.) History

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

Hug for Santa

A 70th BIRTHDAY LUNCH
&
St. Joseph Hospital History

For days before my three-score and ten birthday my husband Monte kept asking me what I wanted to do.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I just want a quiet day.”
That wasn’t what he wanted to hear. He wanted to do something special.
The day before my decade-turning event he asked me if I wanted to go to a Holiday Luncheon Buffet at the Latrobe Airport branch of DeNunzio’s Restaurant.
“That sounds nice,” I said. “But I’ll only go if we can attend as Santa and Mrs. Claus.”
My daughter and a friend he’d invited couldn’t go with us. The next morning the friend called, asking if she could come over, since she wasn’t going to work because she had to take her car to the garage for emergency repairs.
The three of us took off.
En route, Monte and I had to make several short stops—a grocery store, a pharmacy… Many of the other customers smiled and spoke to us. After all, how often do they meet Santa in these places, even at Christmas time?

IMG_2082 When we arrived at DeNunzio’s the owner asked if he could take our picture.
“Certainly,” we responded at this unexpected request. Later, he said, his photographer was arriving later. “Could he take some pictures?”
I was pleased to be taken to a table with a window view of the runway, although no planes landed or took off within our sight while we were there.
We filled our plates with delicious salads, soup, roast turkey/cranberry sauce, beer battered cod, and more. Their chef attended pasta bar allowed us to create our own pasta dish which the chef cooked on the spot. We downed all this with hot apple cider before approaching the dessert bar.
While we were eating a woman came over to us and asked (more…)

December 10, 2013

Revisiting Providence, R. I., 70 Years After My Birth

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hugs for Darlene and Peter, birthed by my mother 10 and 20 years after me. She had a baby every decade: 1943, 1953, and 1963.

 REVISITING PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

70 YEARS AFTER MY BIRTH THERE

St. Joseph Hospital, now closed

St. Joseph Hospital, now closed

It was a cold and snowy December 9th evening in 1943, when a cab stopped in front of the doors of St. Joseph Hospital. The driver helped a woman, perhaps screaming in pain, up the snowy steps. He probably didn’t know that her water had broken in his cab, ruining her fashionable fur coat. Was this the first time he had transported a pregnant woman to the hospital who was so close to giving birth? Did the severe snowstorm delay his getting her to the hospital? According to the woman she was mighty close to delivering her child in the taxi.

In the excitement and urgency of the moment did she even pay the taxi driver?

 

Hospital entrance

Hospital entrance

 

It was 1:15 a. m. on December 10th that Dr. Monroe Rosembloom, in the service of the U. S. Naval Air Station, delivered a 6 pound 12 ½ ounce baby girl whose mother named her Carolyn Virginia Cornell.

Her father, Chief Navy Photographer Robert William Cornell, wasn’t present for the birth of his daughter. It is likely he was on duty somewhere with Navy business. IMG_5396

Fast forward to September 7, 2013, when my husband Monte and I traveled up the New England coast during a 32 day trip.

Two of my goals were to see the hospital where I was born and to locate where my first home, 11 Neville Street, was. We visited the Cranston Library for help.

Monte and librarian Lisa Zavodi studied old and recent maps for (more…)

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