Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31st, 2016: "What I Have Learned From the Past Year"

What I have learned from 2016:

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

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 and Retro Holiday/Christmas Greetings

Some images I found while looking for the perfect retro greeting card.....scenes of shops and Santas, space ships and mushrooms, holiday images and more. 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

Vintage Santa Claus by the seashore, starfish dancing on the sand and lighthouses by the water.....enjoy these nautical and beach themed greetings of the season. Click on the images to get them to open in a new window for a 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

the 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.


Friday, November 25, 2016

The Day after Thanksgiving | Visiting Mom in the Nursing Home

It's a sort of damp, gray skies, moody kind of look from nature today. I guess it matches my mood and since I'm light-sensitive it is also oddly comforting.

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"

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Updates, Acceptance and Relief | the journey into dementia (11/16, part 24)

A phone call, an update from the nursing home, unexpected emotions....I'm trying hard to wrap my head around the fact that I'm feeling glad and relieved that my mother is adjusting. That statement in itself only brings on a bit more guilt as I say it but it's the truth; I never, EVER, thought I would be happy to hear how well she is doing locked away in a facility. See, there's the dark side of me coming out, the part that can't be glad without regret, nor happy without questioning something.

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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Changes, part 23: Tomorrow is moving day for Mom (11/26)

"Tomorrow is a beginning,
And yet tomorrow is an end;
I can no longer be stubborn,
I must be willing to bend.

Like the trees in the wind,
As their leaves fly away;
A time to learn to let go,
Tomorrow is finally, that day."

Monday, October 24, 2016

Changes, part 22: In two days we move mom into the nursing home....

I stood on the beach where for so many years I've gone to heal, grieve, cry and find peace......but today even the brisk October winds couldn't dry the tears that kept falling from my eyes. I whispered to the sea "my mother is dying", and the echo of the seagulls and the roar of the ocean had no answers this time. "She isn't dying - yet", I explained choking back sobs; "her mind is going and my choices are fading". The breezes continued to blow down the shore and the waves tumbled and rolled and fell over one another again and again, just like they always do, but they offered no comfort this time, only silence. And then the spirits of the sea sighed and spoke, but only to tell me there was nothing more I could do, that I needed to prepare myself for two deaths, because this was the double edged sword of dementia.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Changes, part 21: We did it. We signed papers to put her in a home.

Home from another very long day. Still hard to believe we signed the papers to put mom in a permanent facility. There weren't any other options and to allow her to return home would be dangerous and we believe, the setting for a downward spiral. I know all this and yet it's strange to see a house that she will never return to and to experience what feels like the beginning of the end. I'm very grateful for our friends, for sticking by us during a difficult time. I'm incredibly fortunate to have a spouse who in addition to having been able to deal with mom better than I over the last few years, has been involved with decisions over the last few weeks. I feel better knowing that he shares concern for her well-being. This wasn't at all a knee-jerk reaction and yet it's one that feels so painfully empty.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Decisions and Dementia: facility tour day (10/13, part 20)

It's funny - definitely not in a comical way but more in strangely sad form - how I only know that what I'm doing is the right thing, for just a small amount of time. And then in an instant it all changes again; I'm unsure; feeling guilty; questioning my choices all over again. And then I get another phone call from my mom, but it isn't her anymore, it's some woman that sounds like her but is horribly accusing and bitter and angry at me and I hate doing what I think is right while wanting to just give and do the wrong thing in bringing her home.....

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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It's Almost October and Time Isn't All That Is Fading Away (9/29/16, part 18)

September 30th. I just caught sight of today's date and flinched; another of my favorite months is gone.

Fall is for me, sort of a time of rebirth. It's about changing, which I am generally hesitant to do, and yet the cool air and winds and falling leaves seem somehow to encourage a new beginning. There's a crisp and subtle excitement in the air it seems, which appears to lift my mind and brings new energy to my soul.

Alcohol, Dementia, or Both? (9/28/16, part 17)

Bottle on the left...half consumed since 9/20. Bottle on the right just a little bit since 9/20. More than half of the middle bottle is gone since it's purchase on Saturday 9/24.

Since I posted that photo last night I've been thinking. Thinking that maybe some of you saw it and thought yep, that's how it happens.....or maybe you have an alcoholic in your family and are thinking about all the things that could be potential clues and pointers and examples that someone has a problem. Maybe often it IS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU and you still miss it.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Flagpole Dedication at BJ's On The Water (75th Street in Ocean City, Maryland)

On August 8th, members from various organizations such as the VFW, American Legion, VVA Chapter 1091, Hogs and Heroes, Legion Riders and others attended the dedication of a new flagpole at BJ's on the Water. Local officials including Senator Mathias presented the owners of BJ's with certificates and items acknowledging their involvement in the community.

Think For Yourself, Part II: "Grow Your Mind and Expand Your World"

~ Grow your mind and expand your world ~

"Expanding your world" sometimes can mean reading, becoming educated and learning more about issues and community matters. I think and hope that everyone makes some time to explore the challenges facing their local towns and cities, read up on problems and work together towards solutions. Grow your mind by continually keeping and processing a list of "articles to read" and share them along with your thoughts to invite new perspective and input from others.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's Not A National Day (yet) But Our First Responders Deserve It

For several years now an effort has been underway to dedicate a day to first responders. While it has stalled and been held up repeatedly, there are a number of cities and towns which are recognizing the date of September 27th as "National First Responders Day". After all, don't the people who aid, assist and protect our communities deserve it? While is isn't a national date (yet), here is what we have found out about First Responders Day.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Two years later: Labor Day Weekend

Two years ago I went through the most difficult Labor Day Weekend of my life. Everything I knew was ending and most things I cared deeply about were crumbling before my eyes. A month earlier I had posted that after 19 years my beloved shop would be closing for good and the feelings of failure and loss and disappointment were overwhelming. I tried to hear what people were saying, that this was the beginning of awesome things to come; that I hadn't quite found my niche and how it was waiting for me just around the corner. I attempted to visualize what it would be like to land a good job - finally, working for someone else - the kind of employment that would likely end after a day's work rather than being present 24/7.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Damn you dementia, you don't fight fair (part 16)

26 hours away from an appointment for my mother that I've waited almost 2 months for. Mom is furious and screaming at me, refusing to go, using what once was an incredibly talented mind to fight back and sneak, lie, threaten and blame. It's like watching a crystal vase teetering on a shaky table, just waiting for it to fall and shatter until it turns into just ordinary glass. 26 hours until we are in what I am praying is the right doctor's office to get some kind of answer, medication, legal rights, anything.

"Life on Delmarva" • #delmarvausa