CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 6, 2009

My December Birthday: Reflections on Fifty Years of Bonus Life

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HELP ME CELEBRATE MY DECEMBER BIRTHDAY!

Wonder how you can help me celebrate my birthday? Visit Carolyn’s Compositions daily—or more—, read as many posts as you choose to (check the index pages on the upper right hand side of the site to locate articles that most interest you), and add as many comments as you dare to on the posts. The person making the most comments on Sunday and through December 10 will receive a special gift.

ENTER THE DECEMBER COMMENT CONTEST

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is awarding a monthly prize to the reader who makes the most comments at www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com. To enter, comment on any post. The more comments you post, the greater chance you have of winning. For further details click on https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/monthly-prize-for-comments/ or visit the page MONTHLY PRIZE FOR COMMENTS at the top of the column to the right.

November winner: Kim Mabee

MY DECEMBER BIRTHDAY: REFLECTIONS ON FIFTY YEARS OF “BONUS LIFE”

“Appendicitis gives Councilor Lown the sign he was seeking.”

     The newspaper headline came from the Portsmouth Herald (N.H.) newspaper, September 12, 2003. I was cleaning out my files from the three month New England vacation my husband, Monte, and I had taken (OK, so it’s 2009—and the files were stuck in a box, in a corner, like so many papers are in this house!). Portsmouth (N. H.) Councilman Brad Lown was pondering on whether or not to run for another term as councilman when his appendix provided the answer—no.

     It is likely Lown’s appendix was removed at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, the same hospital where mine was removed.

     I don’t recall the fateful day when I entered (more…)

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August 20, 2009

Vicious dog or man’s best friend?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

VICIOUS DOG OR MAN’S BEST FRIEND?

      Often dog owners often have a less-than-realistic opinion of their pet’s personalities. An owner’s loyalty to their dog precludes any insight into its degree of viciousness.

     Bob Petrillo, a Jeanette (PA) dog owner, believes authorities “overreacted” when they shot and killed his pet. Rocky was a one hundred fifty pound Rottweiler. Police justified the shooting because, they claim, Rocky (more…)

August 14, 2009

Two Photographers Named Cornell

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS NAMED CORNELL

      It was July 2002, a time I recall because everyone was riveted to the television news watching reports of the Quecreek (PA) mine disaster (QUECREEK MINE DISASTER: A 21st Century Historical Site in Somerset County, PA).  I was sitting in my sister Kitty’s New Jersey living room watching the successful but dramatic rescue, located just up the mountain from my Laurel Mountain Borough (PA) home, while scanning a trunk full of photographs taken by my father—his Navy buddies, aerial views of different countries, creative photo compositions. As I recall, it was a tremendously hot day, and I had to sit in front of fans while working.

     Before I came to this task, several of my photos had been “feature photos” in the Fay West section of the Greensburg (PA) Tribune Review. One was a distant view of Mt. Pleasant (PA) from Three Mile Hill (which bottoms out in Laurelville) on Route 31, descending downwards towards Bullskin Township. The sunset scene created a view of Mt. Pleasant in full flame, burning to a crisp. It was surrealistic, making me wonder if the town really was on fire.

     I wondered, as I quickly scanned my father’s photographs, whether—or what—my father had contributed to my photographic skill, noted by editors in Greensburg as well as my Fay West editor, Ed Cope (now working as head photographer at the Herald Standard in Uniontown), who is, himself, a great photographer.

     This could be a nature versus nurture debate. Although I knew my father was a photographer, his involvement in my life had been minimal, and ended at my age four. Because of his sparse presence,  I only have a few photos that he took of my sister and I.

     Yet, at a very early age, before I knew he was a Chief Naval Photographer, I enjoyed taking pictures—especially humorous ones. One of my first pictures was of my mother napping on the couch. I placed a potty seat insert on her head for a hat, and snapped the photo. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3819585858/ )

     I don’t intend to (more…)

June 2, 2009

Violet infestation? Why complain?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

VIOLET INFESTATION? WHY COMPLAIN?

      As I sat on my comfortable couch this winter, watching the snow drift with the winds and the birds fly to and from the window bird feeder, I was invited to contemplate on the number of blades of grass that would be on my lawn come summer. This invitation, in a Vital Stats column, Growth Industry, (the May 2003 Pittsburgh Magazine), states that the “Number of blades of grass on the Cathedral of Learning lawn” is 278,784,000.

     Naturally, my mind wonders about my lawn—and I wonder how I could ever count the blades of grass on it. I recollect how I once did red blood cell counts (I once worked as a hematology technician doing differential counts under a microscope). A section of blood, smeared on a slide and stained, is counted, and the total is projected from that count. Ah, so I could take a patch of lawn, say three inches square, and count the blades of grass in it. There are sixteen of these squares in (more…)

May 22, 2009

The “Meow” Chorus: A cat symphony on a Greyhound Bus

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE “MEOW” CHORUS:

A Cat Symphony on a Greyhound Bus

     The bus passenger carried a suitcase—an ordinary enough looking valise, dark brown with stains and stickers identifying places its age and destinations. It was one of several unmatched pieces she was traveling with.

     She was returning to her hometown after a years sojourn in a strange city. All her worldly goods were in these bags. Ordinary items. Clothes, a few books, financial records, photos and a favorite glass from the state fair.

     But another bag held one thing that was not ordinary. She held it tight to her side as she stood in the bus line, waiting to board.

     As the line shortened, she grew nervous. Could, she, would she, be successful? After all, there were rules. And she was intentionally and uncharacteristically breaking one of them. (more…)

May 10, 2009

Reflections on motherhood

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

REFLECTIONS ON MOTHERHOOD

     I lost my mother six and a half years ago. We had just reached a point where she would talk to me about happenings in the past, and we had had numerous conversations over the previous eighteen months. I grieved the loss of getting to know the woman who, I often say, taught me how not to live life. In spite of being a the matriarch of a typical dysfunctional family, she did (more…)

April 29, 2009

Characteristics of and lures used by child molesters

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHARACTERISTICS OF AND LURES USED BY CHILD MOLESTORS

 

 

     April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. (to view photo click on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3412621389/). I will be continuing my posts on child abuse and domestic violence throughout the month. Please be there for children whom you suspect are being abused. Sometimes, all you can do is hold out a loving hand and pray for them.

     This post is part of a continuing series about child abuse and parenting. At the end of this article are links to the other posts on this subject. If the links do not work, go to www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com , click on the folder CHILD ABUSE or the folder DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, and scroll down the posts to find answers to your questions.

 

     It is essential for a parent to know the characteristics of a child sexual abuser in order to protect their child. It is equally important to understand how perpetrators lure children into their web of harm, and to teach their child how to identify danger and respond to it, and most importantly, to report it to a safe person.

     However, if adults can be fooled, how much easier is it to fool a child. Parents need to be knowledgeable and continually alert to the dangers around their children.

 

     An abuser/perpetrator may not view their behavior as harmful. They may be unclear of (more…)

April 24, 2009

Characteristics of healthy families

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHARACTERISTICS OF HEALTHY FAMILIES

 

 

     April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. (to view photo click on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3412621389/). I will be continuing my posts on child abuse and domestic violence throughout the month. Please be there for children whom you suspect are being abused. Sometimes, all you can do is hold out a loving hand and pray for them.

     This post is part of a continuing series about child abuse and parenting. At the end of this article are links to the other posts on this subject. If the links do not work, go to www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com , click on the folder CHILD ABUSE or the folder DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, and scroll down the posts to find answers to your questions.

 

     All the media coverage makes dysfunctional families easy to detect. But what markers identify healthy families? Why do some families “make it” while others do not?

     No family is completely healthy. Nor is any family completely unhealthy. Rather, they fall on a continuum, able to move in either direction toward health or dysfunction. Healthy families have traits more on the healthy end of the continuum. What are these traits?

     First, healthy families tend to (more…)

April 23, 2009

How to plan to escape from a domestic violence situation

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HOW TO PLAN TO ESCAPE

FROM A

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSE SITUATION

(learn the signs of domestic violence: http://www.wcspittsburgh.org/page.aspx?pid=354

to read about Spiritual Obstacles to Leaving Abuse click on http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/spiritual_obstacles_to_leaving_abuse.html )

      Escaping an abuse situation can be dangerous. The first days, weeks, months, after leaving are the most dangerous days in the relationship. My husband, Monte, a pastor, buried one young woman whose ex-boyfriend returned and gunned down both her and her new boyfriend within weeks of their separation.

     A viable plan is necessary. The steps below need to be carried out cautiously to prevent their detection.

     First, familiarize yourself as best possible with domestic violence services in your community, especially the (more…)

April 20, 2009

Hope for Victims of Domestic Violence

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HOPE FOR THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

 

This post is part of a continuing series about child abuse and parenting. At the end of this article are links to the other posts on this subject. If the links do not work, go to www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com , click on the folder CHILD ABUSE, and scroll down the posts to find answers to your questions. Some applicable devotions will be filed in the DEVOTIONS folder.

 

     Although abuse victims learn to accept their worthlessness, there is hope for those who are caught in abusive lifestyles and for adults suffering the effects of childhood abuse, even though remnant effects of the abuse may never leave. The cycle of abuse can be broken—in your own life and in your children’s lives. Abusiveness is learned behavior. As such, it can be (more…)

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