Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflections on New Year's Eve | "What I Learned From the Past Year"

December 31st, 2016 ~ what I have learned during the last twelve months:

• i found out that things aren't often what they seem and that sometimes we confuse reality with the images we have in our minds....

• that sometimes you have nothing else left to do but to turn and walk away, even when it really, really hurts, even when it tears you apart to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.....

• i learned that some people can't ever, ever forgive, nor would they see any value in doing so....

• when given the chance to think about your choices, it is better to be kind than to judge because you never know what kind of battles someone else is fighting with...

• i found out that more people struggle with daily burdens, addictions and dark secrets than they will ever admit....

• that some folks will call themselves Christians and consider themselves good, honest, caring, kind people....and then can still turn on you in a heartbeat....

• i know now that learning the truth later on is often far more difficult than seeing the reality years before....

• i've seen how kindness can live in so many shapes and forms and, that it can appear in ways you may never of thought possible....

• i know now that it's okay to finally realize, accept and admit that someone isn't who you had thought, respected and loved....

• that some people will make any and every excuse to cover up their problems, even to the point of tearing you down and blaming everyone else rather than admit their own flaws....

• i know now what some of you may never have realized, that during this summer, this year, this darkness, that you were truly, the wind that held me up, the strength beneath my wings....

I wish in the coming year, that you find peace during troubled hours, strength when facing the challenges of life, laughter to carry you through the difficult times, and joy to comfort you at the end of each and every day.

#delmarvausa |"together we accomplish more"

Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year! Vintage Greetings and Wishes for an Excellent 2017

Goodbye can't get out of here FAST ENOUGH. I've learned more about myself, life and my family than I cared to know, made some tough decisions and found out things that changed everything. Some of it was overdue and needed to happen.....other aspects may have been best left alone....either way, I MADE IT. Looking forward to 2017 with a new perspective and with steps towards some bigger goals. I wish YOU a wonderful New Year's Eve and a fabulous 2017!! Click on any image to open it in a larger window.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Vintage Christmas & Retro Holiday Greetings - Such Fun Images to Enjoy!

Some images I found while looking for the perfect retro Holiday Greeting. How lovely are these vintage scenes of shops and Santas, space ships and mushrooms, classic vehicles and those beloved ornaments we all remember?? Click on any picture to open in a larger window and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Nautical Holiday | Seasonal Christmas Images from the Seashore

The message of a "tropical Christmas" might bring to mind stately palm trees by the ocean, strung with colored lights and festive beach cottages adorned with wreaths, garland and greenery. While that image may represent what is true of celebrations and holidays in the lower portions of the country, many of us may conjure up the pictures of small villages in colder regions, where crab pots are stacked to form trees, where fishing boats are a part of many Christmas cards, and where forests and mountains are a common part of the scenery. And then there are the vintage, detailed and yet often faded depictions featuring a jolly St. Nicholas by the harbor, scarf-wearing starfish dancing upon the frozen ice of a lake, or lighthouses festooned with decorations, glowing brightly in the night sky. Whatever your memories are - or perhaps favorite places or escapes - these images are for the ones who love to be near - or on - the water, and who find the greatest joy and peace in nature by the shore. I hope you enjoy these that I have come across online and included here. Click on the images to open in a new window for the larger version.


Friday, December 16, 2016

#ChristmasLightTracker featuring Holiday Lights on Delmarva

Photos taken featuring local businesses and towns of Maryland's eastern shore and southern Delaware. I'm posting pics from around the area as #ChristmasLightTracker to bring you local displays of lights and Christmas Spirit. For more follow me on Facebook.

Jim's Bait and Tackle Shop in Roxana, DE. Find them on Facebook.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Towns of the Delmarva Peninsula | Newark, MD and the Queponco Railway Station

Tucked away on Maryland's eastern shore, located between Berlin and Snow Hill, you will find the town of Newark. Most people assume, when you mention it, that you are mistaken and of course referring to it's namesake in northern Delaware - but no, there is indeed a Newark in Worcester County, MD. Turn off of Route 113 and go perhaps a mile or two and there you are.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Vintage Kitties of Christmas | A Collection of Nostalgic Felines

What started out as a wish to cheer a friend who is down because of the pending holidays turned into my sort of fascination with these greetings of yesteryear. It almost appears that perhaps the sending of cards for New Year's was a bigger deal than it is today, since although I didn't include many here, there are quite a few designs celebrating the beginning of January. The wishes for Christmas range from ornate and stylish, such as well-dressed caroling cats and images depicting a number of felines outfitted in hats and clothing, to very simple faces and a few sprigs of holly (as shown below). Many of them made me smile since I couldn't help but wonder what type of greetings may have been inside the card, as the illustrations of kitties experiencing the high life seems such a sharp contrast to our world today.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mourning for #OAKLAND

I'm angry to see - once again - that stupidity and irresponsibility have no limits. My heart hurts for the parents of those who died needlessly in a makeshift dance club. SOMEONE wanted to make a few bucks and didn't give a damn about anything else....

I'm willing to bet others saw it and did nothing - and now there are parents waiting to find out if a body is their child; firefighters and rescue workers combing through the rubble and smoking debris looking for answers - all because of someone who didn't give the value of human life a second thought.

Like I've said before we don't need to wait for the end of the world; we as people are capable of killing ourselves off just in normal life. Damn.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

November 2017 Delmarva Events for Southern Delaware & the Eastern Shore of Maryland

This is a listing of just a few of the many events, activities, shopping and local attractions around southern Delaware and the lower eastern shore of Maryland. From small businesses and community events, to holiday light displays which kick off their seasonal celebrations on Thanksgiving weekend, our community is filled with so many wonderful things to do! This year Small Business Saturday ALSO falls on the weekend of Thanksgiving, which offers visitors and residents alike a wonderful opportunity to shop some of our charming small towns and enjoy locally-owned and operated stores, dining and more. See more about SBS here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Maybe I should look up more often....

So there's two gentlemen outside of the local grocery store. One is on oxygen and the other one isn't exactly young. They are patiently ringing the bell next to a Salvation Army kettle and like everyone else walking into a grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving we are just following each other like dumb ants. And then I look up from my phone and I see one of men smiling at me. And I realize he's probably been smiling at people all day and most of us never look up to see it.....

Monday, November 21, 2016

the First Annual Delmarva Toy Run | "Thoughts on Community"

In a couple of hours I'm scheduled to be at a local radio station to talk about an upcoming event. This project grew out of a discussion held at a fish fry a few months ago where the gist of the conversation centered around "we could all come together and make a difference". And thus was born the idea for the First Annual Delmarva Community Toy Run. A suggestion for a radio contact landed me this opportunity to talk publicly about what, when and why - and it's also the reason for me being up before 5AM. I'm a little nervous, making notes and writing myself reminders of what to say in case I'm tongue-tied, and then it occurred to me that perhaps I should just speak from the heart.

From the beginning the focus was on "community and people working together". It was decided that the run would benefit two separate types of collections, one a Toys For Tots drive being held at a small business, and the second, a local program hosted by an area police department. This would give everyone the opportunity to gather at one location for coffee, meet and greet and donate our first toy and then we'd roll out and onto the next stop. Two unique places with distinctly different affiliations and yet both for the same cause. But can we get that message out to everyone? How do we ask people to set aside details such as labels or connections or who they ride with or belong to, and just for a few hours on a Saturday morning, come out to join us as Rick or Angela or Bob?

"It's not about you and it's not about me. It's about what we can do together", stated an image I found and posted online yesterday, and that's the honest truth. So what would I say if someone were to ask me what my hopes or goals were for this event? I would reply that it's to stand there and look out over a variety of people, a blending of individuals and a gathering of vehicles and groups from across the area. NO LINES, no labels. Sometimes I think we forget in our world that "together we can accomplish more", don't you think? We are so busy doing things, attending activities, helping others perhaps, but does it maybe become too much about whose name is up in lights, which logo is represented or who the host is?

Lying in bed thinking a few hours ago, I had thought at this point in the post I'd go into mentioning some of the organizations which we've spoken with, perhaps offer a glimpse of the wide range of groups which have expressed interest and support for the event. And now I've changed my mind on that, because it's not what matters. What matters is the basics; I'm no better than you, that those folks from another town don't care who they ride next to and that we all charge out there to mingle with one another and fill some big boxes with toy donations. Because really, when it comes down to it, we are all part of this place we call home. We are all in this together.

I'm going to mention one more thing that months later, still resonates with me. At a community gathering this past summer, organized to bring members of the neighborhood together, a pastor from a local church spoke out. He encouraged us to work together, reminded us that hate and division solve nothing, and that unity was key for success. And then he offered a small tidbit of advice which stayed with me: "Don't stand with the person you came with", he said. "Walk around and greet your neighbors, meet others, reach out to someone new." A few people shifted uneasily, not quite willing to walk away from their spot or the ones they arrived with, and then I saw a couple of folks begin to drift slowly from where they stood and moved into the crowd - I hoped, to say hello to a stranger and connect with someone else. We tend to cling to what is familiar and safe and often we don't want to go even a little bit out of our comfort zone, and so maybe we don't reach out enough to see someone new and introduce ourselves. Maybe we need more of that. Maybe now is a good time to grow.

We're looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, December 3rd. Please find the how, when, where and so on listed below so you can make your plans and mark your calendars! Remember to invite your friends and neighbors and people you've been wanting to meet.

First Annual Delmarva Community Toy Run

When: Saturday, December 3rd

What: Toy Collection Ride/Run for our local area

Why: An opportunity for members of our community to come together with one purpose, that of supporting local area families and kids.

Where: Our meeting point is the Iron Horse cafe in Willards, MD at 9:30AM. You can grab coffee or a quick breakfast there, mingle and chat with everyone. Our first toy is being given to the owners of the cafe for their Toys for Toys drive.

At 10:30AM we will leave there to ride to the Salisbury Police Department which is approximately 20 minutes away. The second toy donation is for their program which works directly with local area families. There will be a few comments from members of our community and then group photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. This is a short ride as it's our first time doing this and we wanted to keep it all nice and simple. Remember that you don't need to ride a motorcycle to attend! Cars, trucks, buses.....whatever you drive is welcome to come on out and participate!

For more information please visit the event on Facebook here. See you there!

#delmarvausa • community advocate • localist
believer that "together we accomplish more"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A new family member: Rescued hound Carla, adopted October 2016

Carla arrived at our house late one Friday night in October. She was one of the three dogs belonging to my mother, who we have been struggling to cope with since June. Following a tumble in the kitchen where my mom may or may not have hit her head, something appeared to trigger a rapid onset of dementia. For five awful months we attempted pretty much every option known to mankind, all with the goal of allowing her to remain in her home as long as possible. Unfortunately, we were no longer dealing with a reasonable person and as the months slipped away so did the time and by September it was clear we couldn't go on like this. Mom refused to allow caregivers in her home, she didn't want to take pills or medications, and getting her to go to doctor's appointments with me was a nightmare.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Just hours after participating in a community gathering I saw the news....

Yesterday was a gathering of people who came out to tell officers that they are appreciated; that we care; that their lives matter. As are so many events that I attend, it was moving and emotional and to stand together with so many others who support our police was solidarity in action.

I hate that now, without ever knowing them, that we know their names.