With the permission of the American Eagle Foundation, I created a collage of Poe the Raven, one of their residents, to help support and amplify their mission. And I'm currently giving away a glossy metal print (12" by 12") to celebrate this remarkable bird and the people who care for him. You can enter the drawing by visiting this page. The winner will be announced on Sunday, August 15th.
After the drawing I will be sending out a discount code to all who registered and I'll be contributing 5% of all sales made with that code to the American Eagle Federation to continue their important work. So, enter today!
Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Or so it seems. I’m not willing to take any chances yet, but I can see that the time is coming. Hooray!
That doesn’t mean I’ll soon forget about how terrible this past year plus has been. I’m sure you won’t either. I’m not ready to tell any stories about what we’ve lost—or who we’ve lost in our family. That will have to wait until some healing takes place.
But I did take a look at other painful times in my life to see how I coped with those difficult times. Often, I do it through writing and I found this story I wrote in 2004 a few months after my father died. The external facts of this story are true. My dad had many regrets when he died. And he was a born-again Christian who found comfort in his faith. And a swath of sunflowers as described in the story did appear some months after his death.
My mother, who followed my father in death many years later loved this story. I hope you will like it too.
Valentine’s Day has never been a favorite holiday of mine. Maybe it started back in high school when I learned about the Roman festival of Lupercalia in Latin class. Thought to be the ancient inspiration for this celebration, Lupercalia involved slapping young women with the bloody skin of a freshly sacrificed animal to ‘bestow fertility’. Not my idea of a good time in any season or century.
It’s difficult to say these days when life in America and elsewhere seems to get darker by the day. Political discord, rending this country in half, economic ruin, the pandemic with devastating illness and the deaths of loved ones—so many loved ones (including a member of our family)—dying sick and alone. But hope exists—inside each of us. All we can do is the best we can under these trying circumstances. We don’t control the outcome, but we can and should be doing all we can to protect and care for ourselves and those that we love. And we can hope. For a better tomorrow. For a society changed for the better—not a disintegration into chaos, but an elevation of justice, fairness, equity for all, even those who don’t agree with us.
Yesterday, a fine man, a brave soldier, a loving husband and father, a staunch Democrat, and a dear friend was laid to rest in New Castle, PA. Albert T. Padula was 91 and he fought with my father, Virgil N. Brown, along with over 550 men in the 278th Field Artillery Battalion, during the World War II.
My morning started with a wave to my neighbor, Mark and his canine companion Roscoe, as they returned from their morning walk. The autumn snap in the air enticed me to follow his example and I set out on my routine jaunt.
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