Animals, Family, Family Matters, Literature, Plain Speaking, Rural Living

A Pre-Valentine’s Day Poem To Those Who Matter: Love Song: I and Thou

Nothing is plumb, level, or square: the studs are bowed, the joists are shaky by nature, no piece fits any other piece without a gap or pinch, and bent nails dance all over the surfacing like maggots. By Christ I am no carpenter. I built the roof for myself, the walls for myself, the floors… Continue reading A Pre-Valentine’s Day Poem To Those Who Matter: Love Song: I and Thou

Family, Family Matters, History, War

Jenny Alice May Mapson, R.I.P.

She was born in Birmingham on January 23, 1912, into an England that was rending itself apart. Suffragettes demanding a woman’s right to vote were chaining themselves to Parliament’s railings, smashing storefront windows in Oxford Street, and living-room windows in Downing Street. Newly-empowered Socialist labor unions were flexing their muscle, threatening strikes in coal mining,… Continue reading Jenny Alice May Mapson, R.I.P.

Family, Family Matters

“Two Different Faces”–Happy Birthday, Sis!

Sixty years ago today, my idyllic life as an only child came to an end and I began the rest of my life as a sibling. We were living in Mubi, in the British Cameroons which was, at the time, administered as a United Nations Trust Territory. In a few short months, a plebiscite would… Continue reading “Two Different Faces”–Happy Birthday, Sis!

Family, Family Matters, Friendship, Home, Religion

Putting Up the Christmas Tree

It's that time of year again . . . and I was reminded of a post that I wrote on Ricochet--crimenutely!--seven Decembers ago.  Not much has changed, except that our small family is even smaller.  Sam is gone.  And Mr. Right is gone.  And numerous other two and four-legged friends have either fallen by the… Continue reading Putting Up the Christmas Tree

Family Matters, History, Medieval, Religion

The Power, and the Glory, of the Word

The church of my childhood was St. Mary’s, Handsworth, just outside Birmingham, in England. Although I probably attended services there only a few dozen times, while we stayed with Granny and Grandpa during my father’s infrequent “leave” periods from the Colonial Service in Nigeria, it was a bulwark of stability in my life. Like the… Continue reading The Power, and the Glory, of the Word

Family, Family Matters, Friendship, Plain Speaking, Rural Living

Of This Old House. Of Mine.

This post was originally published on ricochet.com on May 26, 2018.  There's an update for 2020, just below it. This old house once knew his children This old house once knew his wife This old house was home and comfort As they fought the storms of life Truth be told, it’s not so very old.… Continue reading Of This Old House. Of Mine.

Family, Family Matters, Friendship

Gratitude: For Michael, And Why I’ll Still Be Here A Week From Now

I originally published the following post on Ricochet, on November 4, 2016, five days before the election that put Donald Trump in the White House.  It would have been my stepson Michael's forty-ninth birthday.  Tomorrow, November 4, 2020, would have been birthday number fifty-three. Please don't wait to hug the people you love, and don't… Continue reading Gratitude: For Michael, And Why I’ll Still Be Here A Week From Now

Culture, Family Matters, Friendship, History, Nature

The Yankee Gale

“The Third of October, 1851, brought perhaps the greatest marine disaster in [Prince Edward Island] history. The afternoon was warm and still…the sky heavily clouded. The north and north west had a lurid, glassy appearance about sunset. It was a Friday, perhaps the best remembered Friday in P.E.I. history. A violent gale and wind arose… Continue reading The Yankee Gale

Family, Family Matters, History, War

Commemorating “Battle of Britain Day.” And my Auntie Betty (1912-2014)

I was reminded, via a post on Ricochet, that today (September 15) is "Battle of Britain Day,"  The post is currently behind the member paywall.  If it's promoted to the public feed, I'll add a link. UPDATE: The post was promoted to the public feed.  Link is here. This is the story of Auntie Betty,… Continue reading Commemorating “Battle of Britain Day.” And my Auntie Betty (1912-2014)

Crafts, Family, Family Matters

Occasional Quote of the Day: On Whining and Deafness

Two years ago this October, I had the very great pleasure of driving to Armagh, PA, a tiny little town in farming country about one-hundred miles East of us, in West-Central PA, where Mr. Right, my stepdaughter Jenny, our granddaughter and I had lunch at Griffith’s Tavern, a nice little diner of the “hot meatloaf… Continue reading Occasional Quote of the Day: On Whining and Deafness