Monday, November 30, 2015

"Christmas in Motion" Holiday Light Show in Pittsville, Maryland


It's that time of year again!

"Christmas in Motion" is a holiday light display located off Route 50 in Wicomico County, MD. Tucked back in the woods of Pittsville, sits a house with an amazing array of lights which are skillfully displayed and choreographed to music. Just tune your car stereo into the station and listen right along with many popular holiday melodies.

This display is also a Toys for Toys collection station and while it is free to visit, bringing a new, unwrapped toy is always a nice idea. There is a mailbox for letters to Santa too.













Visit the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pittsville-MD-Christmas/124469590999107

Saturday, November 28, 2015

One Step Away: Our New Threat

I'm not defending the violence in today's world or making excuses for people who spin out of control and take lives. I'm just pointing out there there are increasing numbers of people out there who are angry; bitter; hurting and disgruntled. So many appear to be just a few steps away from a breakdown, which lately seems to progress to acting out publicly to make a statement. And sometimes that statement is about taking lives, either in a final bid for attention or a desperate wake up call.

I believe it's going to get worse. Maybe all these things that are happening are showing us something. maybe our society is broken because so many people are walking on edge. Phrases such as "he's like a powder keg", "disgruntled employee" and "disturbed" - aren't those words we hear over and over? How many people are actually too close to shattering?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Reach out to someone this holiday season

I think it's very important to remember how many people are sad or feel alone during the holiday season. From now until New Years can be a very painful time for many of us - some don't have families or loved ones might have recently passed. Perhaps work has taken someone away from friends and relatives and for the first time they are finding themselves all alone in a strange place.....but we can do something.



Even small kind acts such as inviting a neighbor over for coffee or to take a walk.....asking a co-worker to lunch...bringing homemade treats to an acquaintance who seems down. It's no secret that suicides increase during this time of year - but we an ALL do something to help. Please consider reaching out to someone during the next month and spreading kindness.




Find us on facebook and tell us about your journey to connect with someone.
https://www.facebook.com/JustDoSomething

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why I'm Dreading Thanksgiving (and a holiday collection of images)

I've been dreading this day for weeks and months, wishing I would wake up one day and just find that it was over and that it had already passed by. Things are so different in my world now; some people are gone, the ones who showed their true colors and just vanished from my life, and I didn't want to go through the holiday without what had mattered so much in the past. A few days ago I'd posted "holidays suck" on Facebook and then started seeing that some people are much less fortunate than I am. And then I felt selfish and stupid for complaining and instead tried to reach out and connect with those who are alone and down, because that's what I think holidays are supposed to be about.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Life after "Death of a Small Business"; One Year Later

I caught sight of that ol' familiar excitement again over the weekend - not as passionate or energetic as it once was - but still, it was a glimpse of interest towards something new. I've been struggling to find myself again following the closing a beloved small business after almost two decades. Letting go has been painful and finding the next chapter of life has proved elusive. So much so in fact, that I've almost given up ever having something of my own again, instead just searching for employment without really caring what I ended up with - believing that nothing could ever come close to the thrill I'd felt being the captain of my own ship. 


How's the employment thing going? Well, it's been tough for so many reasons and factors, ones that might potentially daunt even those who hold more qualifications than I do or who possess all the necessary skill sets needed in this day and age. While that sounds both depressing and discouraging it's true; one of the hardest things about moving on after burying my friend the small shop, is learning that 19 years in retail didn't necessary give me experience where I need it. If I stayed in that exact line of work maybe, but when you've lived and breathed retail 24/7 for so many years because it was yours, starting over doing that for an employer doesn't hold nearly the same excitement or challenges. And I'm almost much older now, not as suited to the long days and physical stress that once seemed like nothing in my younger years.  


To be honest, I had hoped to pick up and start fresh with a more sane line of work. Maybe in an office or a medical receptionist type of gig - perhaps at the nearby hospital which appeared to continually have slots open for a variety of positions. After riding the waves of a fickle and tumultuous economy, the ebb and flow of retail sales and the stress of constant juggling and worry, part of me longed for a bit of stability in a world that didn't fluctuate as wildly. Consistent employment was the key I told myself a year ago as I locked the door for the final time and walked away from that chapter of life; finding a normal job would be a refreshing and a needed change. All I had to do was find something.


It's been a challenge that I never saw coming. Assuming that having been a juggler of many tasks and duties qualified me for other roles, I didn't foresee this rough road but in a small town jobs aren't as plentiful as I'd thought. And it turns out that holding a title such as "wearer of all the hats" doesn't mean you have the skills and knowledge of data programs that are now standard in so many industries. Finding out that there is far more I'm not suitable for, than the positions I could get has been a harsh reality, and at a time when I'm floundering emotionally and needing to move forward into something new, it's been rough. While the idea of learning new applications, making myself marketable and taking classes has been looming over my head, knowing exactly which ones to pick is daunting.


Back to the spark that I had caught sight of over the weekend......it's there; I definitely saw the familiar glow. But somehow I just can't channel it into a fire, let alone see how it might grow. I feel like I'm stuck after thinking and working and living in such specific ways for so long - and yet inside of me - something I can't put into words is dying to be born.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Days of the Year | National Monopoly Day is November 19th

It started as an innocent Google search for the origin of this holiday, celebrating one of the most loved/hated/adored/despised board games. Ever. Once I started finding amusing graphics, giggling and spitting across the keyboard it was time to share them with you.

Considered by some as "the most popular board game in the world", it is based on a game designed in 1902 by Elizabeth Magie. Published by Parker Brothers in 1935, it's estimated that more than 5 million people have played it. (wow. but they didn't all "play", ha ha)









  


   
 



 
 


YOU'RE WELCOME.

Monday, November 16, 2015

"Operation Yellow Spear" Veteran Suicide Rally Saturday, November 14th

I wish I could have put some of the things I noticed that afternoon into words sooner but I wasn't able to process them right away. It's hard to explain how a stranger's name, written on a 3x5 index card, could mean anything significant and yet on that piece of paper titled "Battle card"were the words "Your hero".


Unsure of what it stood for, I took the card handed to me as we entered the church for a Veterans Suicide Prevention rally, a follow up to a previous "22 Too Many" event. Held in June, that was the first time I came face to face with some of the sobering facts about PTSD, soldiers and silent suffering. That afternoon at a local American Legion was informative and well run by a young man, but to compare the two events side by side was like night and day. I'm glad I got to be a part of both because five months later, standing in a church with an index card in my hand, it's sinking in that this problem isn't going away. And because that young man is even more dedicated to getting the word out now, today a larger number of us are gathered together in support of this cause. Words on posters and used frequently throughout the event were art, love, and grace, three things that were meant to epitomize this mission and steps of healing and assistance.

It was a few minutes into the program when images began to slide across the overhead screen. We saw faces of soldiers; read the words listing names and ranks; saw photos of men and women in uniform who served their country and came home from war. Because here at home - not overseas - is where they lost their battle.We were asked to stand when the name on our card appeared on the screen. As we rose to our feet you could see strangers focusing on the screen, connecting for the first time with a face and a name.



I stood in honor of Cpl Antonio F Trejo, US Marine Corps. Someone I knew nothing about before Saturday is now an index card lying here on my desk as a reminder to pass this on. He was a son, a guy who loved his dog and his Jeep; dedicated to being a Marine. He was a father. He lost his battle with PTSD on August 2nd, 2013 at the age of 25 and yes, now I know who he is; Cpl. Trejo is one of the 22 soldiers who die each day.

I'm not going to go into details about Operation Yellow Spear, because I want to encourage you to visit the site and learn for yourself. I'm just the messenger, bringing you a few words and a link; asking you to check out a newly established organization dedicated to this cause. I already knew that supporting our soldiers who are deployed is a great thing to do - and now I see that being there when they return could be even more important. To that end, please check out, like and share Operation Yellow Spear at https://www.facebook.com/operationyellowspear


News story from local tv station WMDT:
http://www.wmdt.com/news/more-local-news/22-Veterans-commit-suicide-daily/36460578

Site where I found Cpl. Trejo's information:
http://lcpllutzlivetotell.org/2014/08/antonio-f-trejo-25/

Saturday's event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1070671152958166/

Saturday, November 14, 2015

You find out who your friends are

This is true, but the irony is that it's most likely you will learn this during the dark times in your life. And of course, that's when you LEAST expect to find out that someone isn't who you thought - or learn they don't care about you as much as YOU cared about them.

 

That's the part which sucks, because in the back of your mind I think we figure that when the going gets tough people will come through for us. It can be a very jolting experience to learn that not everyone feels the same way about loyalty. Sometimes you learn that others, if life and circumstances get difficult or if too much is needed, simply don't have it in them to stay.

And that's how you find out.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Homegoing Celebration | Goodbye, Mr. Sanchez

It's difficult to put into words just what attending Mr. Sanchez's service was like yesterday. It was something I don't believe many of us have experienced but it was a beautiful ceremony for a man who was so loved. What people gathered to say about him; the words that his. friends and family reached for to tell his story; those are the things that speak to a life lived for others. I didn't think it was possible to hear the word kindness used so often while describing a person, but it was unarguably the most fitting.



Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sierra's Story

Sierra was born with a congenital heart defect, Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). She bravely battled two open heart surgeries before the age of one. Over the next few years Sierra led a happy, fun filled life, doing everything all children her age love to do. 

Then on April 14, 2011 as she glided gracefully up and down the lacrosse field, her life changed forever. Without warning, Sierra had gone into cardiac arrest and had collapsed on the field. If not for a couple of off duty nurses who performed CPR, her life could have been cut tragically short. Sierra was rushed to the hospital, and over the next few weeks she was consumed by tests and studies to find out what was wrong. Doctors at AI DuPont Hospital determined that she had a compressed left main coronary artery, and a pulmonary valve insufficiency. 

After recovering from