Celebration of a Hero’s Too Short Life

July 4, 2017 is an Independence Day we will never forget.  That is why I chose it.  All eleven of the the family were in Cambridge UK at the American Cemetery  to celebrate the life of my oldest brother George, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division,  who jumped in the early hours of June 6, 1944. He  was  wounded at the battle for La Fiere Bridge in Normandy, and died on the ship back to England.  He was 20 years young.  I was not born until two years after his death.    As the last of my immediate family, I feel a responsibility to pass this story of our family’s hero to my children and their children.  I heard the other day that it takes 3 generations to forget history.  I am doing all I can to insure that my grandchildren will both  know and remember our history.

I have quite a few tales to tell as I share the steps my family took starting in Normandy and then to Cambridge. I hope this will encourage each of my readers to keep their own   heroes   and everyday  family  members and their stories alive by  repeating tales to  family today, recording,  and preserving them  for the generations to come.


http://www.AParatroopersFaith.org     Visit  to learn more.

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T he Call of the Wild A film review

Call of the Wild

Buck is this beautiful half St Bernard, half Scottish sheepdog and yes he is computer generated. In fact, all the dogs in the film are computer-generated but that,  in no way,   takes away from the story loosely adapted from Jack London’s classic. The only times when I was noticing the fact that the dogs were not living and breathing were in scenes when they became too real with head-turning and too real emotion.

Harrison Ford is believable in his character filled with regret and pain and perfectly suited for children in his love for Buck.  They know what it is to love dogs.  I read that Harrison Ford agreed to make this film because he wanted to do a family movie and he succeeded. Living a life of adventure and following your heart and dreams are always great life themes for children or adults.

The photography of the Yukon landscape is breathtaking with adventure, bravery, and love of the wild  encouraged. There is a clear delineation between positive and negative behavior.

I have to admit to being brought to tears several times by real emotion.  I would say this is a perfectly lovely film for anyone who has loved or been loved by a dog. . . . .

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Dickens Christmas Has Arrived

Image result for images of Dickens christmas in Skaneateles NY

According to the Skaneateles NY Chamber of Commerce as many as 20,000 people visit each year for Dickens. Many of these visitors, in turn, help support the local economy by buying at the shops filled with unique gifts and eat at the restaurants.  There are no franchise eateries here only elegant and unusual ones where you can sit and recover and enjoy unique food and drink.

The characters wander through the crowd and interact with anyone who is willing to “play!” Dickens Christmas is in character starting the weekend after Thanksgiving and running each weekend until Christmas.

Last night, the festivities started at the library where there was prayer lead by a local pastor in front of the traditional Christmas nativity scene.

Come one come all for a boost of Christmas past in a unique 19th-century village in Central New York.. . . Skaneateles. 


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Best 100 Pound Christmas Commercial Ever


This will warm your heart. . . .



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The Parable of the Good Samaritan

gImage result for images of good samaritan

A parable is a teaching tool explaining a moral or lesson. Jesus used this method repeatedly in the New Testament, in fact, 65 times in the Gospels. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is an illustration of Christ teaching his disciples exactly who were their neighbors they were to love as they loved themselves.

The Samaritans were scorned and looked down upon by the pure Jewish people because they were half Jew, half Gentile. They were deemed unworthy by the Jews. This was illustrated by the Priest and the Levite both holy reverent Jews passing on the other side of the road so as to ignore the injured man in dire need.  But along comes a Samaritan who cares for the man with no questions asked, takes him to an inn for care and rest and pays out of his own tunic.

Jesus asks his followere  “Which loved his neighbor?”   They replied,

“The man who was merciful.”   “Go and do likewise!”



Image result for images of samaritan house Syracuse NY

This is Smaratin Center where I volunteered las night. Please watch the video which shows and tells the story of how this center reaches out a hand to help the Central New York hungry.

If you have never vollunteered helping fhe lowest among us, it will open your mind and heart.  Yes, there are poor hungry  people among us along our  path of life.  Please don’t cross over to the othere side to ignore them.


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Manhattan Short 2019 The World’s First Global Film Festival


Welcome to the 22nd Annual Film Festival.  This year there were 1250 entries from 70 countries  from which  10 finalists are chosen.   These films will not only be screened  in over 400 venues worldwide but will also do a week’s run in a cinema in the county of Los Angeles on September 20-26. This special screening qualifies each of the selected short films for consideration for the 2020Academy Award Nominations.

The audience at the each of the 400 venues watches the 10 short films which run from 10  to 15 minutes. Then each viewer  participant votes on the short film and actor he or she judges the winner.  On October 27, Manhattan Short will announce the winners on its website.


One World/One Week/One Festival . . . . . The Audience Is the Judge
















































































































































































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The Goldfinch . . . . the film


Most of us have had the situation of liking a book more than the adaptation necessary for creating a film from a popular book.  This happened to me today or at least half of it did.  I have not read the highly acclaimed book The Goldfinch and I went to see the film.  Well goodness, it was Tuesday special of $5  for  a matinee  film AND   free popcorn. I am glad I spent only $5 on the ticket as I didn’t really enjoy the film very much.  Those of you who have read my reviews know I pretty much just like film but not this time.  I don’t think I will bother to read the book even knowing the character development is much more indept and the plot less confusing.

I’d say$5 is about what The Goldfinch is worth!

Have any of you see  the film or read the book?  I would love to hear from you . . . .

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Modi, Texas and Trump

Image result for image of Mr Modi and trump

On a previous trip to  America, the two strong leaders met and appeared quite amicable. My friend Page sent me this article below from the Washington Post this morning. She had visited India during college and also knows my love for Incredible India.  Her question was about my opinion of Mr. Modi and had it changed. My trips to India were 2013, 2015, and 2017. I have not heard specifically from Indian friends about Mr. Modi’s work and accomplishments and struggles since his election in 2014.

I will give my thoughts and then I encourage my Indian readers to agree, disagree, and add to my text.  First I am an unashamedly Modi fan an have been from the months I spent in Ahmedabad when he was state minister of Gujarat. The infrastructure, electricity, traffic and just about everything was more efficient in Gujarat. Traveling through India where all those services were less, it seemed a no brainer for me. Elect Mr. Modi to do his hard work and magic all throughout India.

On each subsequent visit, improvements had been made. An example was public trash barrels had been placed around the city and yes they had been used. . . . . to overflowing onto the ground around. Next job is getting trash trucks to haul it away. Such a small but monumental problem with a huge amount of people. They are trying and working at it and it will get corrected.

Kashmir. . . . has been a challenge between India and Pakistan since 1947 and the division of the countries. I know that division is rarely, it seems, satisfactory for anyone. . . Ireland, Israel, and Palestine. . .  Berlin.  And to the best of my knowledge, Kashmir and the wars over it are rooted in the usual hatred and greed . . . . .money and or power.  Please add to the conversation and correct me if necessary.

Mr. Modi is a devout Hindu and now he is the leader of a country which is 85% Hindu.  There are more Muslim people in India than in Pakistan and all major and many minor religions are there. . . interacting more or less peacefully. I have heard that some Christian churches who have served and ministered for years in India running hospitals and schools are feeling less welcome now.  This is a problem in a democratic country.

Now for a very strong positive for Mr. Modi. He had promised 100%  potty installation by 2020. It seems hard to understand in a huge country with 1.3 billion people that there are many homes and areas without indoor facilities. In the Washington Post article, I read of the Gates Foundation award for progress!  That is amazing as I am sure there were high-performance expectations that were met.  Remember  India launched a rocket and beat the US to an orbit of Mars. . . .

India has a huge gift for problem-solving and an entrepreneurial spirit. Mr. Modi sees the challenges pretty clearly and inspires confidence in the huge middle class. Ironically Mr. Trump voices his base as being middle class in America. Neither is perfect and both have a huge favorable following.   Can they deliver? Can they avoid corruption and love of money and power?

I would not be surprised if, on Sunday, both leaders are filmed in a large white cowboy hats.  Don’t expect a white stallion, though.



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Mahatma Gandhi. . . . The Great Soul of India

illustration of mahatma gandhi for Gandhi jayanti, great Indian freedom fighter who promoted non voilence

Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian lawyer  known worldwide as the leader of Indian Freedom fighters. This goal  for freedom and home rule for Indian people was lead by nonviolent passive marches and  demonstrations in response to the conflict with Britain and her  Colonial Rule.

Gandhi was a very spiritual man who studied the world’s great faith systems and incorporated their teachings into his Hindu faith.  This gentle , devout, and kind man has left his impression on the world even today , 71 years  after his assassination by a deranged follower. Here is a quote of Gandhi’s under the title of God.

” He is a personal God to those who need His personal presence. He is embodied to those     who need His personal touch. He is the purest essence. He simply is to those who have     faith.”                Mahatma Gandhi

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9/11/19. . . . .

, 9/11 Pictures Of Rubble And First Responders

America’s darkest day was 9/11/01. I have heard stories over and over of people, where they were when they heard the news and how the images are  seared in their mind’s eye forever. Eighteen years have come and gone  in a flash as years do seemingly do. Have you noticed that years fly by and children have children of their own?Have you wondered who  old person  is staring back at  you  from  the mirror?

But have you also noticed that as fast as years come and go minutes and days can seem an eternity.?  Waiting for a diagnoses, waiting for a loved one to leave surgery,thinking you may never have a restful and complete night’s sleep after babies are born?

One of my 9 year old students asked me once why vacations go so fast and school goes so slowly. I told her as far as I could tell, it is a mystery of the universe!

But the purpose of this blog on this memorial  of our country’s  darkest day is to ask all who read my words to  NEVER FORGET  September 11,01. . . . 911. . . . . .



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Is there a Grand Canyon of the Eastern United States?

log Image result for images of grand canyon of the east

Image result for images of grand canyon of the east

As a teacher I often  taught connections by discussing how different places, people , things were alike and different. Many people are association learners as I am. The first image is of Letchworth State Park in Wyoming County NY south of Rochester. And the second the Grand Canyon. Both  have large holes with rock formation and water flowing through the beautiful formations,

Many people who grew up in central New York have happy memories of camping at Letchworth as a child.  There are many camping sites and simple cabins for inside campers. In this natural wonderland is made up of 14000 acres and 66 miles of gorgeous hiking, biking, horse and cross country skiing trails.

Image result for images of balloon rides in letchworth state park

To get a different view as you travel wherever the wind blows are Balloons Over Letchworth. This balloon is getting up close and personal at the brink of the middle falls.

Letchworth has been voted  #1 State Park 2015 with its 14,000 acres and 66 miles  for hiking, biking, horse and cross-country skiing trails. The Genesee River Gorge splints the park in two and can be up to 600 feet deep with three major waterfalls including the 110 foot drop of the  Middle Falls.  In my opinion both are amazing and worth the trip, but there is a reason why The Grand Canyon is called GRAND!

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