See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Friday, May 30, 2014

When You Can't See The WAY

(From the Pentecostarion, Sunday May 25) we learn of a man who was born blind from birth who is looking for answers. Was it something he had done, or maybe his parents-- "Or am I a living sign of the people's faithlessness?" Whatever the reason, we see that his "feet can no longer endure tripping on the stones." Blindness must be a terrible thing. But without faith, can you have hope?

Sometimes children ask questions over and over like, when is daddy coming home? It seems they have an inner clock and they can sense even without wearing a watch, what time it is. But, certainly the answer must be when he comes home. Like the children, the blind man waited and waited. Until he couldn't wait anymore, as he could "no longer endure."

The words of the blind man "people's faithlessness" certainly rings a bell. Why is it because they lack faith? Not having had proper direction, can one be anything other than blind? Spiritual blindness is worse than being physically blind. The blind man waits and hopes for light, the spiritual blind thinks he's already enlightened. The blind man calls upon Christ God, "look upon me and have mercy on me!" Why would the spiritually blind need to cry out? He thinks there is no God. He can do all things on his own. He's all set, doesn't need anyone. Maybe, you say you don't need religion. Is this by your choice? Maybe, you have NOT been taught the truth and your walking down a blind path, unknowingly. Or worse, apathy has set in and its excuse after excuse. Maybe you have a little faith, just enough.

The blind man says, "He is truly the Christ, the Messiah Whom Moses foretold in the Law. He is the Savior of our souls!" Could there be any doubt that this man, had received a true healing, both physical and spiritual?

None of us are perfect, and we are given direction by "the" Church which leads us away from spiritual darkness, into the light. This faithless generation is filled with much darkness,  unable to see the light, being blinded by so much deception. There will be consequences.

We should be more like the blind man who revealed: "I am not content to continue asking whether it is night or day."

It was interesting what his neighbors had to say. "His neighbors asked him: "Who opened your eyes, which no one could heal before?"

The Church is there to reveal Jesus to you. Come and see. Come and be changed!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We the people vs WE THE PEOPLE

We are all taxpayers with a different opinion. Some choose to live in a backward mentality and then, there are the rest, forward thinking residents. The June ballot will mandate our choice. There are two choices. Can we afford to err on this critical decision for our town? One wrong move could see us back in the stone ages with a type of government which has been obsolete here since the sixties. Our population demands that we not go back to anything less than what a small city needs to provide its residents. Our budget cost reflects our residential number. Our infrastructure mandates fiscal responsibility and provides our people commodities that other smaller towns, who surround us, are unwilling to extend to its people. We just do not compare. In fact, they look to us. We are the headquarters for many establishments. It's simple, we need services and services cost us. We need creditable people to maintain our municipal government. Our government type is right for us and offers us a format to discuss issues. We can and do choose our council members.

Is it any wonder that some will go to any length to become elected in this town, (city), having run previously and lost? Some seeking election, have previously tried to sue their own town, have the nerve to be placed on the election ballot, once again.

The fact is, if they want change, they can have it by simply moving to one of the little towns, who offer little or nothing for their tax dollar. That's really what they are seeking, isn't it? Or, maybe it's  power, as they know what is best for us.

Some people just don't know when they have it good. Apathy, and negative attitudes have been blamed for the downfall of many good intitutions. Let it not be ours.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

D'oh...Is this is a No-Brainer

Recently, while reading the evening news, and particularly the letters to the editor, my impulse is to respond, as I can no longer stifle that "inner voice." One question read was "Do we want to continue the path we are on, or do we want change?" My level-headed answer is: What will change look like? Why was it necessary in the first place? How can we trust people who cannot get their facts straight? One article said not one of the towns, (our neighbors) Sturbridge and Charlton are economically depressed, and are, flourishing. It said "we were known as the Tri-Community." We are still known as a Tri-Community, and still have, as far as I know, a Tri-Community Chamber of Commerce. (Was this person implying that because we changed our type of government, (and they didn't) we made a mistake, and not to correct it, by going back, means to fail? That we are not flourishing?) Just look at what we do have and at all our accomplishments....Its time people see what a great town Southbridge is.

The editorial was entitled, "No 'red flags' over petition, just red, white and blue." In this article the writer implies that we as a voting town were never told "that we would become a city" and that we were upset. "Bull"! Where does he get the right to suggest how we feel? We became a city out of need, due to our growth, and, we are recognized by The Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office as a "legal city". Simply, have we "out grown" our Town Meeting type of government? We are known as "the city known as the Town of..." getting it's label from population, according to the taking of census. Our population is 16,719 as recorded in 2012. We are by all account a "small city". (No town with a population of less than 12,000 may adopt a "city" form of government).

There are no flawed observations here, just facts. We are unique, not to be compared to our neighbors. The town of Sturbridge, for an example will decide on the fate of their budget on June 2, of $28.7M, "Southbridge Evening News", --having an open town meeting form of government, Town Administrator, and five selectmen. Here's the difference they couldn't become a city if they wanted to, with a population of just over 2 thousand people. Charlton, with the same structure, will be looking at a budge of $23.7M according to "" Sun., May 18, 2014. The census placing their population several years back at 12,981. Could they become the next to adopt a "city form of government"? In my mind, they are notably in a progressive state, have and are making plans for expansion. Another term for our ailment is called "growing pains". Call it what you will, but how can you go back. We move forward, not backward or suffer consequences. We are obligated to each other. We must work for what is best for our town and not be swept away with the current, only to drown, from having lost control, by falling prey to a petition that would return us to the past, which we realized no longer worked for us and was remedied in 1974, according to the Massachusetts Municipal Government Directory. We have a legislative body which consists of a town council of nine and a town manager. We get what we vote in.

Differences that  can be seen from the data available,  is the financial status of the three towns. We have the largest unemployment rate of approximately 9.9, while our median resident age is comparable, 35-41. Household income here is around $50,000 a yr. while Charlton is about $80,000 a yr. An estimated condo or house in the year, 2011 was valued at $300,489. in Sturbridge, while Charlton's homes were valued at $275,460 in 2012. The median Home Value in Southbridge is $155,200. We still have many three-deckers in this town, while the other two towns do not have many, if any. Our downtowns have no similarity. We have a hospital, full-time fire, ambulance and police departments. YMCA, trash curbside pickup and recreation, a new school and much more. We have, and supply our own Water system. That is Big, people...And, an airport!

While it was suggested that we are Tri-Community, we are, and have been in fact, very unique and different from our neighbors. Like, apple and oranges. It is what it is. Don't kid yourself, our neighbors have relied heavily on us because of our RESOURCES.

The situation we are in has little to do with anything but the fact that we need a tax-base adjustment, meaning more revenue. The money to function (pay the bills) must come from other than its residents alone. Our councilors pay the bills too, need anyone forget that. We need to establish new business. What can we do to bring in new enterprises, stores, restaurants, hotels, industry? Until that happens, we are going to just "pay the bills", like it or not. We have Potential....lots of it. Lets get that message out there.....

We have elected people to answer to us the voters, and we have a format to ask them the questions. These are the facts as presented. We do not need the proposed change of government some are seeking. Growing populations demands more services and result in increased costs. We live in an area in which the cost is 9.30% higher than U.S. average. Labor market suggests we are over and above the 6 per cent unemployment figure. All that adds up to hardship, sadly and unfortunately. Let's begin by being a good neighbor.

The petition is NOT the win-all that some claim it to be. Frankly, when someone says in an editorial that "I" have answered some of his questions", I say to myself who is this person and what authority has he imposed on himself? Does he represent "The O'Zone" pictured hand with six fingers that shows to many of us, what does not add up? This is more than flimsy, and sloppy. It again proves which direction we are to follow, not a backward approach. It is not will not make it go away nor is it for betterment.

Take a good look at our beautiful Southbridge. The only real problem here, is attitude. We should adopt a new slogan and attitude at the same time. We were always looked well upon. The "All America City"...Stand up for what is good. That is: "Learn to see" what is in front of you. Aren't we known as the "Eye of the Commonwealth"? No reason to be blind sighted here now. No, not in our Southbridge.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


It came as a total surprise. My husband, John and I were sitting in a back row of a theatre with another couple, intensely watching spider man and bingo, the emergency lights went on and a laser type of white light flashed indicating our need to evacuate. We were stunned!

This was the first time that its happened to us while at the movies, and at first, we thought it was a drill. Drills happen all the time, like the time we went to visit my brother in a Worcester hospital, and while sitting in the small cafeteria, having lunch, bingo the system was activated. The difference,  was the loud speaker announced that this was a test and that there was no need to leave.

Apparently, this was not a test. We probably were among the last to leave theatre four and following the crowd out of the door, left of the screen, found ourselves moving forward down  a long hallway with no windows, while the reoccurring sound of danger and frightful white blinking light beckoned to us.

Everyone walked forward, most smiling or laughing, in an orderly way toward the distant EXIT sign. No one heard any message from any loud speaker, apparently, they had also left the building. Should there be sign of smoke or fire, the crowd could run toward the door, and since, we were shoulder to shoulder from others exiting their auditorium, the scene could have been disastrous.

Finally, we left the building, to the cool street crowded with people, but no fire apparatus was present as yet. We waited for a time, not knowing what to expect or what was the cause of our departure from the building. Some joked about the popcorn machine. It was fine. It could have been otherwise, I thought.

Safety officials from the one truck dispatched from the Sturbridge Fire Department, gave the authorization to return, and that was the end of the featured film.

Rain checks will be honored from the ticket stubs and we'll be returning to see the exciting adventure.
No one knows what happened, other than we had an unexpected adventure of our own.

It makes one think. One thing for sure is that we are grateful for state mandates that provided us with the tools needed to evacuate, safely.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Just a Child

Yesterday, Ryan and I were walking just outside the common of the village, The Sturbridge Village that is, facing the meeting house. Learning to be patient is a good quality for even a three-year-old who placed himself at the end of the line, waiting to use the water pump.

There was an abundance of school children all around, having arrived on bus from various states and towns in the area. Each group was properly attired as to the type and color of their clothing, so as not to lose anyone. Everyone seemed to have a guide of some kind, whether it be a teacher or parent.

The historical information available is beneficial to all who wisely understand, that with very little years prior, and as hard as life was in those days, with adherence to the laws at hand at that time, moral values, and a love for God and neighbor, endurance was possible. Nothing was taken for granted. Everything and everyone was appreciated.

On the side of the meeting house is the cemetery, having many infant graves. If nothing else, it places a value on life and all living things are given a new perspective. One just needs to go there to learn, that is, if they are open to its message. Life is a gift.

A group of three girls passed in front of us on that dirt road. I overheard one say to the others, "lets go and see the church." I'm not good at guessing their age, but they were around eight. One seemed to be a little older, but not wiser. I heard her distinctly say, "No, I'm not religious." That comment took me by surprise, but should it have, as it is reflective of many people today.

What exactly do those words imply and, coming from a child? It says to me that she is not open to learn the values of what made this nation great, the love of God and Country. I'm sure she is just repeating what she has heard, possibly at home. It was not enough to just believe in God and the presence of this meeting house (church) made that clear. Worship was a strong part of the lives of the New England settlers.

I can clearly see the past all around here in the Village, with its many offerings of wisdom for those wise enough to see.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

His Question Took Me By Surprise

Today I'm still in awe of the question asked of me by my little grandson, Ryan. I'm his grandmother, but at times, feel more like his playmate. We play cars, trains and cooking, dining together which we look forward to --trying different foods and dipping sauces. He loves Ranch dressing and just about everything gets a dipping into the ranch heaped on his plate before consumption. Ryan says "Esterday", and I always have to say to him, "is it yesterday or esterday." After correction, we giggle a little  and move on. He's picked up a few words incorrectly, possibly from hearing them at day care, from other children learning to speak. Part of my grandma job is to listen for, and help him learn to say the words correctly, by gently correcting. We made three scrambled eggs, which he practically ate all by himself, surprisingly. And yes, after the fast, I now had some sausage in the house, which he was thrilled about eating and ate every bite. He's getting pretty good at cutting his own food with a salad fork and a butter knife. Bread, toast and juice and half of a pudding, I don't know where he puts it all, but he was full of energy afterward.

We spent time outdoors, and I let him help set up his picnic table, where we had lunch. Part of the fun was in filling his water can to water the weeds, along with the flowers. He opens the water source, uses the hose to fill the can, quickly turns off the valve, without getting wet. Not bad for a three-year old. Violets everywhere, his dad used to pick them for me when he was his age. We set the table, complete with umbrella, on blocks covered with mulch. Out came a truck planter and two sneaker planters, one red and one blue, which he immediately thought of his uncle Yo, "saying those reminded him of his green sneakers. Soon, I'll pick-up some flowers to plant, possibly at the end of the month. He loves, blue, yellow and pink. His brother loves orange flowers. We'll get plenty of both.

An important part of the set-up is the leveling of the table. I used a cup of water on the table to show him how easy it is to see if the table were level. Then, I dragged out the Exact Level and showed him the bubble which had to be in the center of the two lines. Everything we do is a learning experience. He is well rounded, loves to work and play. We play music together and find time to paint for grampy. He is a determined drummer, just like his uncle Steve.

We both carried the mat for the swing out to the back, because swinging with grandma is also one of his favorite outdoor activities. We also did some yard work, he held the bag, which I filled with the leaves, which came from who knows where? I thought we got them all last fall. He chose to use the big rake, of course. We did a small portion, grampy will help on Saturday. Grandma's tired.

Ryan is looking forward to going in the pool and that's all he talked about-- boat, froggy and all. Still, there was time to review all the gardens and examine the flowers that are already peaking out. It will be splendid again this year. It's the type of garden you dream about all winter in its anticipation.

His little mind is working overtime now, and since he's learned to talk he can't wait to share his little stories with his grandma. Then suddenly, out of the blue,  he said, "Grandma, I have a question for you." Wow he had a question for me. This was the first time he said "I have a question". The question floored me. It took me by surprise. He said: "Grandma, do you love me." I was stunned. That is the question that defines who we are. Only human beings are capable of love. It is the only thing we desire in life and the only thing that truly makes us happy, and successful. What is this thing called love? It is largely that which makes us what we are and are to become. We say-- it is a decision to care for someone unconditionally, with patience, kindness and endurance. It is greater than what we are. It just is. Besides, his brother Nathan kissed me on the cheek, Saturday, without prompting all by himself. I know they love me. It was the first time and it took me by surprise. The boys are growing up too fast.

"Yes Ryan, Grandma loves you." Love is life's greatest mystery, it answers all questions. How blessed I am.