April 17, 2014

WP Daily Prompt: Humble Pie—Apology Letter



Hug for Tim


(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.

1 IMG_8162E

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…)

January 28, 2014

WP Wkly Writing Challenge: Lunch 1/20/2014



Hugs for Joanne and Mary


Lunch 1/20/2014:


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.



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



Hugs for my sisters

WP Daily Prompt 1/13/2014:



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 9, 2014

Popovers Made With a Blender

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for Tim


I spread softened butter onto the pastry on my plate. As I did so, the butter dribbled over my fingertips. I reached for the orange marmalade and added it to the pastry before picking up the popover and trying to graciously bite into it. The butter and jelly oozed out onto my hands and had I not quickly leaned over my plate it would have dripped onto my white winter sweater.
How, I wondered, does anyone eat one of these delectables in a civilized manner?


I learned a sneaky trick when entertaining people who didn’t know each other. I served something worse than spaghetti, an item which I never saw anyone eat without, somehow, staining some of their clothing.

This recipe is messier than spaghetti.

Because it cannot be eaten politely—it drips and goos with hot butter and other fillingS—it “breaks the ice” among persons just becoming acquainted.

What better way to break the ice and form new relationships than laughter, laughter over seeing (more…)

January 5, 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt for 8/18/2013: Procrastination


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

I invite you to visit the new site.

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for Joanne


Today’s date: January 5, 2014


 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?


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


Hug for Santa

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



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.



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…)

November 27, 2013

WP Daily Prompt for 01/21/2013: Sweet Sixteen

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for 16-year old Jordan

WORDPRESS DAILY PROMPT for January 21 2013

Held over until November 27, 2013:


I didn’t procrastinate

I intentionally held my response to the WordPress Daily Prompt, Sweet Sixteen, posted on January 21, 2013, until November 27, 2013. You see, I knew my granddaughter Jordan would celebrate her sixteenth birthday on this day.

The question the prompt asked was When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is it a good thing?

Thus, on Jordan’s 16th birthday I will first reflect back on my life and dreams when I was 16—back in December 1959.

scan0002E2On that date I lived in a two-bedroom apartment in a Buffalo, New York, housing project behind Kensington High School. Six months previously, on July 4th, my youngest sister Sally was born. She joined siblings Cynthia ((born March 1, 1958), Hugh (born June 4, 1956), Jane (born July 19, 1955), myself, and my older sister, 17. Both my parents held full-time jobs. They slept in the living room. I was a junior at Kensington High School.

I don’t recall my 16th birthday, if it was even recognized in the chaos.

What I do recall is the realization that I wouldn’t repeat the lifestyle I was in the midst of. Crying babies. Yelling parents. Overcrowding.

My goal was to get a college education and to be financially capable of living a better life. I did volunteer work in the school library, joined the journalism club, was on the yearbook staff. I was active in Junior Achievement, and volunteered at local hospitals during high school. I babysat for money.

I achieved my goal. I didn’t repeat my mother’s lifestyle. And yes, that is a good thing.

I married, had two children. The oldest was Jordan’s mother, Sandy.

86-13-10B E

She doesn’t remember much about her 16th birthday, except she went out on a date with her boyfriend. It was her second date—except for a prom date a couple of weeks earlier she didn’t have permission to date until she was sixteen.

Fast forward to November 23, 2013, Jordan’s 16th birthday party. I never saw her smile so much. Her friends were there, including her boyfriend. Her family was all there.


Her paternal grandmother made her birthday cake. Her father’s country music band provided the entertainment. Her step-father cooked the hot dogs. I didn’t do much—I was supposed to help decorate but fell and pulled some stuff in my knee. I was in pain.  However, I managed to do what I do at all events, exercise my trigger finger. I shot lots of pictures.IMG_4146E


Jordan spent most of her time with her friends, surrounded by this family. She ate pizza and hot dogs, blew out the candles on her cake, danced, opened her gifts.IMG_4163E


October 17, 2013

W-P Daily Prompt for 10/16/2013: Caregivers Deserve Commemoration



Hug for Jim



October 16 is officially declared Person X Day. The WordPress October 16, 2013, prompt asks participants to pick Person X to honor, and write about that person.

I watched as my 74-year-old mother carried a wheelchair from her house, opened the trunk to her car, and struggled to pack the good-sized wheelchair into the small space.

At 53 years old I would be considered younger and stronger, more able to do the task. Furthermore, it would be a good gesture to help.

But all I did was watch.

I had sufficient reason for just watching. My Mother knew what she was doing and how to manipulate the wheelchair into the trunk.

Furthermore, I was an 18 hour drive from home. I needed to be in good shape to continue on, and heavy lifting would jeopardize that fitness.

I think about my Mother often, about her situation. Her husband Hugh, victim of a disabling disease, was over 6 foot tall. She was just 5 foot tall, and was his caretaker.

They had moved to Presque Isle, Maine, from Buffalo, New York, over a decade earlier. A daughter lived in Maine about an hour distant, as did a granddaughter. Basically, my Mother was alone in her community. Old-fashioned pride prevented her from (more…)

October 6, 2013

Visiting the Portsmouth (NH) Athenaneum



Hugs for the volunteers at the Portsmouth Athenaeum

 “The high school yearbooks are on the shelf,” my husband Monte told me as I was talking to a volunteer at the Portsmouth Athenaeum about the house our family had watched being moved down the Piscataqua River in 1973.

“Pull the 1961 Yearbook. That’s the one that will include the members of the class I would have graduated with if I hadn’t moved away from here.

While he retrieved the volume I entered into a discussion with an Athenaeum volunteer about the house our family observed being floated down the Piscataqua River many years ago.

“I don’t think I ever knew the name of the house,” I said. “But I can date it because my daughter Sandy was three and my son was one-and-a-half.”

After much research she found the information.

“It was the Joshua Wentworth House,” she said. “It was moved to Strawberry Bank in 1963

Dorothy Briskay and my daughter Sandy enjoy the house move.

Dorothy Briskay and my daughter Sandy enjoy the house move.


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