Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday

For as long as I can remember, the day after Thanksgiving has involved shopping. Being 57, we’re talking over half a century! But when I was growing up we didn’t refer to it as “Black Friday”, even though the term has apparently been around much longer than I have. It was just the “Day After Thanksgiving” sales and shopping.

When I was very young my mother, my sisters Karen and Gail and I would all head to downtown Providence, Rhode Island to do our Christmas shopping. I loved every minute of it - the busyness, the crowds, the escalators in the fine old department stores, the Christmas decorations and the excitement of finding just the right gifts for family members. But the highlight of every single one of those Day After Thanksgiving excursions was lunch at Shepard’s Tea Room. It was always crowded and always worth the wait.
Like Shepard’s itself, the Tea Room had beautiful, gleaming wood and I remember an overall rosy glow to the place - could have been paint; could have been lighting and surely fond memories as well. Shepard’s Tea Room managed to be both elegant and casual all at once. I remember the Turkey Club Sandwiches as being a favorite along with a fountain Coca Cola. We would sit around the table, enjoying our lunch and pore over our Christmas lists as we planned our shopping strategy for the afternoon.

Yes, the stores were crowded. Yes, there were many sales in all the stores. But it was never as chaotic and aggressive as it has become in recent years.

When the Midland Mall was built in Warwick in 1967 and the Warwick Mall followed in 1970, our Day After Thanksgiving shopping forays to Providence soon came to an end. Shepard’s was anchoring the Midland Mall; Jordan Marsh and Filene’s, both from Boston, were anchoring Warwick Mall. Our lunches at Shepard’s Tea Room were replaced by lunches at the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter and the Newport Creamery.

The new stores in the new malls were oh so very modern; the parking was always crowded but readily available; all the stores were close together and we didn’t need to bundle up before we headed out onto the street to dash off to the next store. My glasses no longer steamed up as I entered a new store; the Christmas lights didn’t twinkle and glow the same way through those foggy cat’s eye glasses.

We missed the Tea Room, but made new memories.
We were certain we had gained so much through the addition of those sleek malls.
It would be years before we truly understood all we had lost.

Monday, November 16, 2015


"Blue Marble" photograph via NASA
Transliterated languages via Columbia University

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Broken Heart

"You will lose someone you can't live without…"
~ Anne Lamott

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Honor and Gratitude

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month...

“On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Presidential Proclamation

Honoring all who served

Honoring all who were wounded 

Honoring all who gave their lives

You stood in our stead
You stood for our country, for our constitution

You stood for our freedom, for our liberty

You have our gratitude, our respect, our memory

We pledge our service, our advocacy, our work for peace…

Dad ~ 1942

Sunday, November 1, 2015

On Grief

"Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."
~ Megan Devine

Learn more about Megan Devine

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Saturday, October 24, 2015


Dear loved ones of Suzann Diehl,
We visit that heart shaped rock slab on top of Cadillac Mountain twice a year.
We will check in on your heart each time we do…
Lee and Chuck

Friday, October 23, 2015


Gorgeous sunset tonight over the Mount Desert Narrows, between Trenton and Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pope Francis & A Clerk From Kentucky

Kim Davis is the elected civil employee in Kentucky who disobeyed Federal law and refused to issue civil marriage licenses to same sex couples in her jurisdiction. Davis, the daughter of Roman Catholics who currently identifies herself as an Apostolic Christian, has said her religious beliefs preclude her from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Professor Katherine Davis of Columbia University has stated: "Kim Davis has all sorts of religious liberty rights secured under the First Amendment and under other laws, but they are not at stake in this case. All she's asked to do with couples that come before her is certify that they've met the state requirements for marriage, so her religious opposition to same-sex marriage is absolutely irrelevant."

News reports say that Kim Davis, along with her fourth husband (who was also her second husband), had a private audience with Pope Francis. Kim Davis spoke with ABC News saying of the meeting: "Just knowing the pope is on track with what we're doing, and agreeing, you know, kind of validates everything." She had previously stated the Pope told her to “Stay strong”.

Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi said (in Italian) yesterday: "I cannot not deny the meeting took place but I have no comments to add.”

I normally link to all the sites where I found information and quotes. But a quick Google search will flood your screen with news reports and opinion pieces about this meeting. I will leave you to it.

I keep thinking of all the people Pope Francis could have chosen to have a private audience with:

The Richard Family whose son, Martin was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing; the same Roman Catholics - parents Denise and Richard; their surviving children Jane and Henry - who spoke out against the death penalty for the man who murdered their son.

Any of the survivors or family members of the victims of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in South Carolina. They were targeted in their church as they prayed.

These just a few of the people Pope Francis could have spent time with and said to them “Stay strong...”

Monday, September 21, 2015

New Drinking Game

If not Bernie Sanders

I would suggest Martin O’Malley

Or perhaps Hillary Clinton

Thanks to Alana Is Alive for the original post.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Happy New Year!

Rosh HaShanah begins at sundown Sunday, September 13, 2015. This marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year - 5776 on the Hebrew calendar,
If you would like to learn more about Rosh HaShanah you can click here.

May we ALL have a sweet New Year!
Shanah Tovah!

Layout, photo of leaves and design by LMR/Pink Granite. Software: Apple iPhoto ‘08 & Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Mac. Font: CK Dear Miss Rose.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11th

It was a day unlike today, with sun, blue skies and white clouds. Stunningly beautiful, yet completely ordinary, as people went about their normal routines; getting kids ready for school and heading off to work. Then, the ordinariness was shattered. First, we thought it was a terrible accident. But before we had a chance to absorb it all, shock turned to horror, then a cascade of feelings as the day turned into night, followed by more days, upon days.

It changed us.

It changed us all.

Today, on this solemn anniversary, I remember the kindness. Citizens and leaders of countries all around the world reached out to us here in the United States. They expressed love, compassion, sympathy, friendship, solidarity and support. Ordinary folks of all ages took to the streets of their hometowns with signs and flowers and candles. They made their way to US embassies and signed condolence books. They ordered the flags of their own nations flown at half staff to honor the dead. They wept. They prayed. They rallied to our side. We were no longer one nation, but one world, indivisible, seeking liberty and justice for all.

We remember.

We shall always remember...

Monday, September 7, 2015

On The Day We Honor Those Who Labor

“To our sages who toiled -
To the one who chopped wood; to the one who raised cattle
To the storekeeper, the cobbler, and the one who sold salt
To the one who brewed beer and the one who filled casks of wine
To the tailor; to the teacher; to the dealer in cotton
To the one who scrubbed clothing; to the keeper of vines
To the merchant of silk; to the one who plowed fields
To the builder of houses; to the doctors and scribes
To the blacksmith; to the tanner; to the digger of graves

Let us give thanks for a tradition that sanctifies work.
Let us honor those who toil and sustain the world
in noble and humble ways.
We acknowledge those whose labor goes unnoticed.
We praise the strength of their hands,
and the dedication of their hearts.”

~ From the Mishkan HaNefesh, 2015
Published by CCAR Press

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

DT Fans and Followers

So what are we calling them?


Trumpets and Trumpettes?


Hmm… That last one does have a certain ring to it...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins!

Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States

Just one of many articles, this one from NPR

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. Here is the closing paragraph:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.”

As I wrote six years ago:
“Perhaps the most transformative aspect of living in a state where same sex marriage was legalized May 17, 2004 is that the sky did not fall. None of the dire predictions and specious arguments made by the opponents came to pass - in particular the idea that allowing same sex couples to marry would undermine “traditional” marriage between a man and a woman. It didn’t happen. And that wonderful, ho hum normalcy has been one of the most powerful arguments in favor of marriage equality.”

I am proud of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and so grateful that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of justice and equality and love.

As President Barack Obama said this morning:
“Today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we have made our union a little more perfect.”

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