Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Saturday, December 31, 2011
There, I said it. I said the word that can make grownups shudder. I wonder why? Is it because making a resolution to change something in our lives is relatively painless, but implementing the resolution is a whole other story?
I imagine so, but we are all different and we all have our reasons for wanting to make a change, but may not have the right reasons, or determination to succeed.
First of all, if there is something you want to change, then say it to yourself. Say, "I will stop smoking on the 31st of December". Then plan how you will do it. Nicotine patches? Lozenges? Spray? Sheer will power? You need a plan. You can't just stop. Chances of you succeeding aren't good without a plan.
Once you have a plan in place, then implement it on the date, and time you have chosen, start your plan, and stick to your plan knowing there will be some bumpy times along the way. There has to be a bit of flack to go through in order to get to the other side.
Then go through each day knowing you are one more day removed from where you were when you decided to change. Don't look any more forward than the the next day.
If you succeed, then the time was right. If you don't succeed, don't beat yourself up. The time just wasn't right, nothing more. Some additional preparation is needed to get your head in the right spot to succeed.
First thing you need is the desire to change. If you have the definite desire to change, then you are more than half way there. If you aren't sure, or think that it might be nice not to have a two pack of Twinkies a day habit, then it ain't going to work.
You have to want it. I know, sounds trite, and so used, but it is true. You have to want to change, otherwise you won't.
If you decide you want it, and have a plan in place, with a date to start, then when that time comes, just begin. No big goodbyes to something you no longer want in your life, no trips down memory lane, just begin. And the next day, wake up, and continue.
This system works with everything. A couple of years ago I successfully stopped smoking. Never tried before, except for a few hours one time. I never really wanted to. It was too familiar. Too comforting. Too much a part of me, and my behavior, that I didn't know how I would react without it in my life, so I continued to smoke. I continued to smoke until one day in mid autumn I said to myself that it was now time to quit. Nothing precipitated the statement; it was just something I no longer needed.
That revelation came out of the blue, as did the impetus to set a date. I naturally chose December 31st, and when that time came, I began.
I haven't smoked since.
Of course, I have suffered "resolution fail" as well. Far too many times, but that one success makes up for the many failures.
I used the 2 mg nicotine lozenges, and broke them into 1/8's, and took a piece when I felt a craving. The amount I would take fell after a day or two, and then fell again a few days later, and after a week or so was down to only a very few of those tiny pieces a day. I had one moment when I spoke loudly, and that was the only side effect I had to beating the addiction.
Do I miss it? No. Not really. I like the money in pocket, the breath in my body. I could not have done it at any other time. The time had to be right. The time had to be excuse free. I no longer needed a crutch to function in everyday life when I quit, and that made it easier to decide to go for it.
That is how I did it, and I am passing on my experience to you. It could work for you as well. The nicotine lozenges were a personal choice. You choose what you need to do it, or go without. Only you know what you will need.
Whatever you decide to change as you begin 2012, I wish you the best. One thing is for sure, and you already know this, whatever you decide to change in your life for the better will definitely be worth it.
Friday, December 23, 2011
A Common Goodness
That's all the teams asks of it's members, just be good, and that guiding rule covers everything else. Each team has their own policies, procedures and rules that all lead to the that common goal; they're all different, but it doesn't really matter.
It's like the National League, and the American League, they don't regularly play against each other, but when they do it 's more ecumenical than a rivalry. Those times that it becomes a rivalry we're working on eliminating from the schedule.
And, it doesn't matter what name your team has; mine is named after the mans birthday we celebrate on the 25th of December, Jesus Christ. Christmas naturally evolved from that name. I am glad his name wasn't Billy Ray. Wouldn't fit as well.
So, to all of you, and I do mean all of you, even those on other teams, I wish you all a Merry Christmas. The one thing we all have is that common goodness, and that is always worth sharing no matter what time of the year.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Big Brass Ones Are Festive This Time Of Year
I received the above e-card today from National Grid. It's obvious that the folks in public relations don't read the newspaper, or own a television. The sentiment is nice. Ironic, but nice.
Happy Holidays to you, as well.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Selectmen Respond To National Grid Incompetence
Friday, December 16, 2011
A Season For Head And Heart
For most, the seasons spell melts away into the January thaw, but each year, there are those of us that are captured by the spirit of well wishing, brotherhood, unity, and salvation that we decide to stay, and be that person throughout the year. Sure beats the heck out being seasonally schizophrenic, and keeping our family guessing as to which person we'll be depending upon the solstice.
Yesterday I met a salesperson in one of the shops at Blackstone Valley that was not only helpful because she is a salesperson, she was also happy, and sincere about her helping because it is who she is. At first I thought that she was just affected by the "spell", but the more I lingered as the sale was completed, the more I saw that it was her true person showing through, not the corporate "HoHoHo". It nice to meet someone with this natural ability to make me feel good as I spent my money. It was also good to know that there will be someone else that she will interact that may not be in the best of moods, or maybe in a bit of a holiday funk, and they will be in a better place after being with her for just a few minutes.
Their wallet may not be in a better place, but the head, and heart will be, and that is one of the many side effects of the season.
So, on that note, may your head and heart be touched this season enough to share that touch with another.
And, that is the spirit of all who celebrate this season, the giving. It sneaks up on you, and before you know it, you are giving, and sharing, without really knowing it.
Keep it up; it's what keeps us going for the rest of the year.
Friday, December 9, 2011
It's Laundry Day, And I Am Going To Wiggle A Couple Of Loads
Last week, after we discussed it for a very long time, I went out to buy a new washer and dryer with Mary's blessings. She paced nervously at work while I shopped, but she could have relaxed. I had done my research. I had compared models on consumerreports.org read the reviews of dozen of models, and manufacturers, and knew the things that these machines needed in order to perform: lots of buttons, little LED lights, digital displays, various test modes, beeps, and alarms. This obvious information, along with my research, and the advise and recommendation of the salesman steered me towards the LG washer and dryer.
Normally, I would check out the Maytag, Whirlpool, or Kenmore, but repair history, and cost brought me to LG. Now, you have to know where in the World of Laundry I am coming from. I do all my own laundry. I figure, my clothes, my job, so I have a stake in choosing the best machines.
It's probably some control thing.
The Laundry World we have lived in, since we bought our home in 2006, was not the best. The washer and dryer came with the house, and had been installed in the mid 1980's. I only know this because when the washer died a couple of years ago, and needed a new belt, the repairman we called was the very one that had installed it in the first floor half bathroom back when it was originally purchased. He told me that he had to dismantle the washer to get it inside the bathroom, and to get it out, well, guess what.
The washer was a simple one. It has a few dials. One for the kind of cycle I wanted, one for the size of the load, and another for the temperature.
The dryer was in the basement on a concrete platform by the oil tank. It had been "repaired" in the past because there was a regular light switch built into the front panel for on and off, and a dial for setting the time for a load. We only used the timer, and every load lasted sixty minutes.
A lot has happened in World of Laundry since 1985. The machines we bought this past week do everything except fold the clothes and put them away.
The tub will then wiggle for a minute, or so, as it determines just what it's up against, and when all the data is gathered, the machine calls for the proper amount of water to be delivered into the tub, and the cycle begins in earnest.
Wow. This is so cool. So many functions, so many choices. So many little buttons and lights. A true gadget.
But, wait. There's more. If the machine acts up an error code will display to diagnose the issue, and if there is still a problem, you simply call the 800 number, talk to the technician, and then hold your phone up to the on off switch. The washer will then transmit diagnosis signals to the technician to assist with determine the problem.
Tell Mr. Spock they finally invented a Tri-corder for the laundry room. The true final frontier.
The dryer is massive, and dries really well using far less electricity than the old dryer which almost needed it's own electrical feed from National Grid. It uses Sensor Dry that determines the moisture level in the clothes, and constantly adjusts the time to dry.
It has lights, beeps, and plays a song at the end of the cycle like the washer does.
Well, this is all very interesting, but a gadget isn't a real gadget unless it performs, and so far these two machines perform really well, and do exactly what the cycle chosen says it will do. Permanent Press delivers dried clothes completely wrinkle free.
Yep, gadgets are great, and so far I am having fun playing with them. I'd like to share more about the new washer and dryer, but I have another load to wiggle.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Sturbridge Veterans Honor Roll Fundraiser
|An example of engraved bricks in other communities|
that honor local veterans.
Make checks payable to Friends of Sturbridge
Seniors and mail to: Veterans' Honor Roll,
P.O. Box 1, Fiskdale, MA 01518-0001.
Please indicate "Honor Roll" on the outside
of the envelop and in the memo section of the
check. All donations are tax deductible.
Sturbridge Veterans Honor Roll website.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Picking Up Where We Left Off
Did we just become too selective, or cautious as we matured? Do we purposely keep a distance, and not allow ourselves to to bond like we once did on the playground because it is more awkward for adults when we don't have that playground to support us?
I know, too many questions for the morning. You can defer the thinking on this one until the commute, in the meantime, humor me.
The chemical responses ones body goes through when old friendships are reignited confound the me. There is a an overwhelming feeling of comfort, feeling safe, and happiness. Sharing the night with Mary made it even better. She was now able to understand some of what I shared with her, and that can be both good, and bad.
I know, not everyone has the same feelings when their past comes back for a visit, but I did, and as I said, I enjoyed it.
We accepted each other as we were the other night. We accepted each other on how we arrived not so much to the place, but to that moment in time. We are older, no longer competing with each other for our piece of the pie. We have our pie, and we are eager to share it as we show photos of our kids, and grand kids on our phones.
This reunion was small, about thirty people, but it was not so much the number of people in the room, or the memories, it was knowing that we had each made it this far in life, and had arrived intact. Some a bit bumped, and bruised more than others. Some with more challenges than the next. No one judged. A smile, and a hug hello was all that was needed welcome one back to the fold.
Back "then" was such a long time ago, and offered only a chapter in the whole story of who we are, but it was the foundation of who we became.
One can always grow without a foundation, but with one, one is not only stronger, and able to stand up to the forces that confront us, it leads to having a bit more confidence in life.
I was fortunate to have the kind of foundation that friends helped to build. I am who I am partly because of those early relationships. How those young people, from forty years ago, responded to life was an example for those around to follow. Those that did pay attention made a good choice.
So, in a strange way, these "mini-reunions", that happen later in life, are like stepping back and meeting ones younger self as you speak, and act just as you once did, without the need for any pretense. It's always good thing to let the genie out of the bottle once in awhile. Helps to center yourself, and sometimes some of us may need a bit of an adjustment along the way.
Next year will be a big anniversary of our high school class, and you can be sure I will be there once again. It's like a maintenance program, and I could always use an adjustment now and again.
Thanks to the other night I am good for a bit.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The Sunday Morning Muse
It's all part of the process. The democratic process. To voice opinion freely, and to occasionally offer some words of encouragement, humor, acknowledgment, and to annoy the bejeepers out of others.
Another part of that process is following the laws of the land, and voice an opinion when they should be changed, amended, or implemented. That is just another part of the process.
Now, another part of this whole thing is to record the process in action. Written minutes are part of recording of the process. Timely distribution of information comes with the recording of the minutes. We've already been down that road this week, heard from all sides, and it has been written (almost Biblical sounding this morning), that this part of the process will change for the better.
While we wait to see if that prophecy holds true, we can appreciate the comments left in the previous posting this morning. They are informative, filled with facts, and not a bit of speculation.
Where did this information come from?
Yep, meeting minutes, and the transcript of the videos of those meetings. So often the minutes are but merely a hint of what actually occurred, as we have discovered in this video age, and the transcript fills in the blanks by displaying the demeanor, the emotions, and the rhythm of the moment. Something that could not be shared unless you attended the meeting yourself until videotape was invented.
The minutes, and the transcripts of the Article 48 debacle are very telling. The "paper trail" is enormous offering up information against the article. Those that were originally supportive of it are now thinking again. Why attach themselves to it? This won't be good, and to remove themselves from the line of fire would be a good thing.
Meeting minutes are so important, and access to them is critical when they are fresh, and not eight months later. No drafts, but actual minutes. If you still think it is a non-issue just look at what has surfaced, and been accomplished this past week by having access to meeting minutes
Based on the information, Article 48 should not pass, but if by some remote chance it does, the minutes will still be invaluable; they will offer up indisputable evidence in a law suit.
Oh, I don't know, maybe a nay vote on the December 5th may be cheaper than a lawsuit for the town.
This time it's common sense talking.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
You Are Kidding Me, Right?
Now, it would be so much easier on this head of mine if I could see a pattern, a rationale, a simple reason, but it is beyond me.
Damn, I hate admitting that.
I'm sorry. Did I say that out loud? I've been muttering ever since I received a few emails from the Town of Sturbridge today. The emails had Board of Selectmen meeting minutes attached to them.
Yesterday I posted about the long time we had to wait for meeting minutes to become available to the residents of Sturbridge. I was flabbergasted when meeting minutes from June 27th were finally released. I expected that it was an oversight, or there was a more legitimate reason for the extraordinary delay. I expected some explanation, as usual, posted in the comment section, but I did not receive a comment, and now I know why.
Today I received more minutes from this months meetings held on the 14th and 4th. Excellent. Minutes from the same month the meeting was held. Awesome.
The other minutes I received today were from October 1, June 6, 13, 20, and May 23rd.
Yes, May 23rd of 2011. Six months ago.
But wait, it gets worse. The last email with meeting minutes attached was the best by far. The minutes were from a selectman's meeting on March 24, 2011.
Yes, eight months ago. Eight months after the meeting, the minutes are being released to the public.
Now, I am done asking why. I no longer need a reason, or excuse, posted in the the comment section of this blog by selectpeople offering a rationale explanation.
There is no rational explanation when meeting minutes from a meeting held twelve days ago are released within the same month as the meeting, and minutes from a meeting held eight months ago are casually sent out in the same batch.
I don't want an explanation. I've been down this road before, and I nodded, accepted, and moved on after that explanation. I trusted that explanation.
This is a simple thing to master, and for there to be an eight month delay in making minutes public it speaks of other more important issues with the board that this is only a symptom of.
No more excuses, and reasons for the simplest things. I'm done with it.
The smallest details always reveal the most, and when the time is right, I have a ballot, and I know how to use it.
For March 24, 2011 Selectmen Meeting Minutes click here
Today, the little numbers at the bottom of the page say 96019. That is the number of you that have stopped by and read my blathering since 2008. I figure if I include the eight months without a counter the number just may be over 100,000.
No, I'm not a YouTube viral sensation that records 90000 hits an hour. That would be the best. No, I'm far from it. I may not be a national writing marvel, or internet sensation, but I am the appreciative sort, and for those 96019 visits people have made it to sturbridgecommon.com, thank you, thank you very much.
Now, let's see if we can do those 96019 visits in thirty days. That would be really neat.
Go ahead, surprise me. :-)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Why Do Meeting Minutes Take Months To Share?
Now, there is small town slow, and then there is "why bother?" slow.
Today, I got a "why bother".
I subscribe to the selectmen meeting minutes, among other notifications, through the towns website. I often get notifications of meetings, meeting time changes, agendas, and public announcements. A very handy thing to have. I scan the emails as they arrive. Some times I get mass emails with attachments. Most of those attachments are meeting minutes. A month of meeting minutes arriving by separate emails is not unusual, and the usually come late. One to two months late, and that is frustrating, and aggravating to say the least.
This is how I figure it. The meeting minutes are not only a record of what transpired during the meeting, who attended, who spoke, who said what, what business was settled, and what business was continued, but it is also a report card. It shows us just how the meeting went, and how those we elected to office handled the issues, and handled themselves. If one is satisfied on how they have performed, and handled the topics, and issues before them, one would think that a public record of that would be a great thing to have out there ASAP.
Nope. Not here. Not in Sturbridge. It is almost like the longer they delay the release of the minutes, the more of us will forget what transpired at the meeting.
Naw. That can't be it. Too petty.
Today I received Selectman's meeting minutes in several emails. The most recent meeting minutes were from November 18th. Now, this was only eleven days ago, and although not the most timely meeting minutes, anything delivered in the same month is golden.
The next set were from November 7th, again, a good thing. The other two sets are from October 17 (now we're pushing it a bit in the tardy column), and August 31st.
August 31st. Beyond late. Ancient history late. Previous generation late. No good to me late.
And, again, "why bother"?
I did receive another email with selectman meeting minutes attached. That meeting was held five months ago on June 27th.
I know there is a good reason. I know this because I will be told there is a good reason in the comment section of this post after I post it. I've been told this before, and I was told it was for a good reason.
The mechanics of recording minutes are pretty standard, and putting them in some readable form for distribution is also standard. Getting the minutes reviewed, and approved, should happen fairly quickly as well.
Unless there is a whole bunch of stuff one doesn't want in the minutes, and they have to be tailored for distribution. It's called editing, and there's nothing wrong with that. Making the moment sound better than it was is an art. I've been there. It happens, but it doesn't happen to take five months.
Next April, when we get this Decembers meeting minutes, I would be thrilled to read that something was being done with the system in order to hasten the distribution of the minutes.
Gives me another great reason to wish for Spring.
To read the Selectman's Meeting Minutes from June 27th, click here.
To subscribe to informational emails from the Town of Sturbridge, click here.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
"The Truth Behind Article 48" by Carol Childress
Note: the following are links to supporting documentation.--ed.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Doing Our Part On Small Business Saturday Weekend
A super sized company with a great idea that affects the local merchant in a good way. A rare thing this is. American Express may have started out promoting its OPEN small business unit, but what has happened has been the promotion of all small businesses.
More often than not we head for the plaza, or the mall to "cluster shop". Cluster shopping is attacking ones list by shopping in places that offer most everything on the list. Large stores like Target, Walmart, Macy's, Sears and Kohls are places where ones list can be completely crossed off in a short amount of time. Small Business Saturday is designed to introduce people to the small local businesses that carry many of the things on your list, but not everything. For that you will have to visit a few places. Most of the time, when you are only looking for that one particular thing, a local, non-national store will have what you are looking for.
Supporting small, local businesses keeps our money local, and not in a bank in Bentonville, Arkansas.
We try to do a lot of our regular shopping locally. For those things that aren't offered up the street, we do stray to a large chain as much as we want to support the small businessperson. Somethings just can't be had at the local business level, but for those things that are, we're all over them.
Whitco in Spencer, and yesterday Mary and I went over there again to check out my choices.
She was pleased. (whew)
Sometimes a local business can't compete with Sears for big ticket items like a snow blower. The local dealer may be able to offer a snow blower for less than what it usually sells for if offered on sale, but you can be sure that the big store will offer it for far less.
What does one do? $1250.00 vs. $825.00 for similar machines. As supportive of local business as I am, the answer is clear, I will go with the significantly lower price, provided the quality is similar. Last month, I did just that, and went to Sears and bought a Craftsman snow blower on sale. This time the national guy won my business.
Keep in mind, I'm a yankee, frugal by nature, and although supportive as all get out for the local guy, I am a bit more supportive for the little guys in my wallet, like Franklin, and Jackson.
"Chair City". Gardener, long known for furniture manufacturing, sells a lot of furniture as well. This would be my first time shopping in Gardner.
We had been to all the local shops, Charlton furniture, Sturbridge Furniture each time it opened and "closed forever" over the past couple of years. Rotmans in Worcester, Bernie and Phyl's, Bob's, and Jordans Furniture we hit last, and sometimes several times, but we still did not find what we were looking for.
So, off to Gardner, an hour north. The drive was nice, and the first store, Rome's, was easy to find. Family owned since 1945, our salesman, Bob, was very helpful, answered our questions, and stayed in the background as we looked for the items that had been eluding us forever.
First up was a living room chair, a Queen Ann type, that slightly reclined. Most that we had seen were ugly, too big, and offered in only one color. This store had several, good looking ones that came in any fabric or color we wanted. Choice, quality, non-ugly furniture, and it was a family owned small business! We found one, put it on the list, and then went looking for an upholstered chair for a bedroom. Not far away, and after several months of looking, we found not one, but two!
We were striking gold. The variety, amount of inventory, and choices this store gave were beyond what is offered in Worcester, Shrewsbury, or Natick. Amazing for a small business. The big ticket item was a dining room set. Rotmans had mostly, if not all veneer top tables, and although they are pretty to look at, they aren't meant for everyday use, and could be easily damaged. The solid wood tables were priced beyond reason, and the store offered little choice. Same at Jordans, and Bernie and Phyl's. This store, Rome Furniture Center, offered many sets, and although we found two excellent ones, the price was a bit beyond our budget. The salesman then referred us to another store in town, The Factory Coop, their sister store around the corner.
At the Factory Coop we found a solid wood set made by Amish furniture makers in Ohio, and the price was half of that offered by the large stores.
We spoke to the salesman, Kevin, and the stores manager for a long time, and they assured us that our preferences for color, wood, and style would be adhered to, and they went to extraordinary lengths in writing up the order.
So, this weekend we supported the small business person very well. Our choices were better, and our prices were much better. Quality, and service were just as good, if not better than the big boys. All in all, we were very pleased, and I strongly recommend Gardner to anyone looking for furniture to check there first, and Spencer if you are looking for appliances.
Word of mouth can either grow a business, or ruin it, especially small businesses. When all things are good, and separating ones self from ones money isn't painful, and filled with remorse, then the word of mouth can only be good.
One more thing. We worked up an appetite shopping most of the day, and were talking amongst ourselves about looking a place for lunch after we closed the furniture deal on the table and chairs. The salesman overheard us, got up and walked across the office and returned with a brochure for a local restaurant in Westminster, The Old Mill. Each of the people in the office said it was great, and run buy the same family that started it in 1946 just after WWII.
We went to the restaurant, and the ambiance with the brook running around the building from the mill pond right outside its front door, to the excellent food within were well worth the trip. Put The Old Mill in with those other recommendations. You will not be disappointed.
Local small business supporting local small business, and both reaping the benefits, and both very successful.
It works for the consumer as well.
Friday, November 25, 2011
A Better Deal At Dawn
I watched as dawn turned into day.
That little bit of time in front of the kitchen window was far more pensive, and sedentary than rushing out blindly hours earlier to wait in line at Target in order to save 30-60% on a Blu-Ray player. It was also more rewarding. I saw things this morning that others may not have.
No, I didn't save 80% on an electronic book reader, or 52 inch LCD TV. No, I did not save any money at all, but I am a lot richer now than I was before getting out of bed this morning.
Starting off ones day a bit wealthier than the previous day is a great goal. Well worth the effort, and if you do it right, it doesn't cost a thing.
And, that's the whole point. This morning I did it right.
"When the Frost is on the Punkin"
|When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,|
|And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,|
|And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,|
|And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;|
|O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,||5|
|With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,|
|As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,|
|When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.|
|They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere|
|When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—||10|
|Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,|
|And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;|
|But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze|
|Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days|
|Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—||15|
|When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.|
|The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,|
|And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;|
|The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still|
|A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;||20|
|The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;|
|The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—|
|O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,|
|When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.|
|Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps||25|
|Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;|
|And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through|
|With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...|
|I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be|
|As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—||30|
|I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—|
|When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.|
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The Reasons For The Day
|© 2011 W.J. Hersee|
Making changes can only only be done when we acknowledge what needs to be changed. It's that simple.
So, a day for giving thanks accomplishes two things. One, the intended purpose of giving thanks, and another, more stealth like purpose, the acknowledgement of things that we would like to change.
Anytime we can focus on the good in our lives, acknowledge them, and the need to improve the things that aren't so good, it is a great thing, no matter the day, or the reason. Having a special day is just a way of getting the majority of us all on the same page at the same time for all the right reasons.
And, for that, I am thankful.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thanksgiving Traffic Will Be Heavy As Usual; Plan Ahead
Learn How To Map Your Neighborhood
DATE: December 8. 2011
TIME: 7 – 9 p.m.
PLACE: Sturbridge Public Safety Complex
What is a disaster? Disasters, by definition, are events that overwhelm police, fire, and medical 911 emergency responders.
Why MYN? MYN (Map Your Neighborhood) helps us organize a timely response to disaster when 911 services are unavailable. All of us, working together, can reduce the serious consequences of disasters in our neighborhoods.
What will we do?
We will learn a 9-step Neighborhood Response Plan that immediately helps us know what to do – both at home and in the neighborhood – to respond to power outages, injuries, fallen trees & building damage, and assisting people with special needs or who may be alone and frightened. The process is proven, fun, and easy.
We will identify the skills and equipment each neighbor has that are useful in an effective and timely disaster response.
We will know what resources are willing and available in our neighborhoods to respond, taking much of the burden off Public Safety in the initial hours following a disaster.
*“Map Your Neighborhood” (MYN) was selected by FEMA as the best program for neighborhood / community preparedness out of 188 submittals in 2011.
The reality for the Sturbridge area is that neighborhoods may need to respond to floods, tornados, snowstorms, power outages and other disasters. This meeting will help you to prepare, organizae your neighborhood and respond. Please join us.
To register for training or for more information contact:
Sgt. Kevin Mercier
Map Your Neighborhood Coordinator
Sturbridge Police Dept.
Phone: 508-347-2525 Ext. 117