Choose Love Not Fear

Boston Marathon

“We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it.” ~Mayor T. Menino

To contribute to The One Fund Boston, click on the logo.

This is an excerpt of an email that my sister Mary wrote to our family. My sister is a resident of Boston.

“As I write these words it is unfathomable to me that this bombing could happen in Boston, the city we love. When 911 hit it was so horrific that we immersed ourselves in our children and their needs blocking out the sadness and heartache that hit all of America. But this past week’s memories of 911’s fear and terror flooded our minds, reality hitting home, not only because the bombings actually took place in Boston but because it involved children. Martin Richards, the 8 year old boy who once proudly displayed a poster board that said “no more hurting people” and the 19 year old, a mere child himself, who reportedly put the backpack containing explosives down next to Martin and inflicted this pain and destruction on so many people, so many lives.

I thought of the parents who waited in agony for news, a glimpse of hope – parents of the dead victims hoping that the culprits would be found, the father of the bomber in Russia who said “thank God” when his 19 year old son was captured alive, parents of the survivors many who have lost limbs, hope and spirit due to this devastating event.

Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, neighbors and friends drifting on this tormented sea of sadness only to be enveloped by the brave men and women who rushed unselfishly to the sides of the victims and runners – the firefighters, policemen and common folk like you and me. Once again my hope and faith was renewed in all mankind. The out-pouring of love and generosity is still evident in the news as we continually hear stories of bravery and kindness spread across the commonwealth of Massachusetts toward our fellow brothers and sisters.

On Friday before Dzhokar Tsarnaev was captured we attended a closing ceremony for my son’s Boy Scout troop where Dr. Bernard Harris – physician, astronaut, entrepreneur, author, and  founder of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and the first African American to walk in space, gave a lecture outside to these rowdy Boy Scouts who were full of questions about his experience as an astronaut. What Dr. Harris said in his closing remarks will forever be embellished on my mind as he said there are three important simple things to remember in life.

• One – you can do anything if you put your mind to it

• Second – you have talent and

• Third – you are put on this earth for a purpose, go find it!

What my parents taught me were all of these things and more, but what struck me the most was the last point he imparted to these children. He had faith, he was put on this earth for a purpose and he was going to live out this purpose with gusto!

Please take a moment and pray for all the victims, their families and this Russian family as they are all children of God.”

 

 

Getting Back to “Real”

Rocking ChairsI got two messages today from people I feel are worth listening to. Of course they weren’t just for me, but somehow they felt that way. One was Seth Godin who said “Racing to build your organization around the latest social network tool or graphics-rendering technology permits you to spend a lot of time learning the new system and skiing in the fresh powder of the unproven, but it might just distract you from the difficult work of telling the truth, looking people in the eye and making a difference.”

That’s what it feels as though I have been doing this entire past month (or maybe even a bit longer). I have been so engrossed in trying to navigate WordPress and plug-ins and learning new systems that I really haven’t had quality time to connect with our community. OK, I’m one person, and maybe have the mindset that it is difficult  to delegate, but I feel I have to learn “it” so I can know how to deliver “it”.

Well, I said I got two messages today, the other was from inspirational writer Holly Gerth who just said “Let’s hang out” – which meant to me that we have been out of the loop – so let’s get back together – I thought that was appropriate too.  So, I just wanted to say that you can reach me here, on the blog of course, and also at Facebook – or Pinterest. Would love to talk with you.

 
Photo: .front-porch-ideas-and-more.com

American Chronicles

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

The first reaction I had when looking at the photos photographer Brian Goldman sent for consideration for the cover of our Spring issue was, “they look like a Norman Rockwell painting.” And you know what – lots of other people … Continue reading

“In Your Easter Bonnet”

Whitman Chocolates Easter Hat

Easter is always such a joyous time. Of course there is the deep religious significance, and this year there seems to be a abundance of biblical portrayals on television. My best memories of Easter, of course, were as a child. Not only was there a feast of food, and the traditional St. Joseph’s bread that our mother would lovingly make, but it was the anticipation of it all. It was the traditional search for the perfect Easter bonnet. Yes, we did that back then. Before the Second Vatican Council in the late 60s, it was mandatory for women to veil their heads in the Catholic church. At Easter, all women and girls would mark the occasion by wearing their finest Easter bonnet.

After the Second Vatican Council so many things in church changed. Of course as kids we didn’t really realize what was happening – all we knew is that we could finally understand what was being said at mass because it changed from Latin to English. We also got to see who our priest was – he no longer had his back to the congregation – he could actually face the people. Before the Second Vatican Council, we couldn’t touch the host, the priest had to place it on our tongues.  After the council, Catholics could hold the host in their hands, and it could even be administered by lay people.

With our newly elected Pope Francis, change seems to be in the air again. Habemus Papam! The first Jesuit. The first pope from the Americas. There seems to be an absolute  joy spreading out from Rome to the rest of the world. The feeling, an irresistible one, is a feeling of comfort that we have a new man. “You know the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome,” said Francis I, the freshly elected pontiff with a little laugh, as he stood on the balcony in front of the faithful. “It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth. But here we are … ” I am hoping that our newly elected Pope Francis will tread in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and preach peace and fellowship to all.

A Happy and blessed Easter to all.

Ti Amo

Ti AmoItaly’s influence on the U.S. is enduring and prevalent. As we learn in school, our country is named after the Florentine explorer who discovered this great land. From the time of Amerigo Vespucci  and Christopher Columbus, America has been inspired in some way or another by Italian know-how. Indeed, Italy has had a major impact on art, science and every sector in between — and it continues to do so. Continue reading

American Made

American Made by Dave BarnhouseWarm memories of those old country stores that are still sprinkled across our land. “The country store was a social gathering place in rural America and offered a wide array of merchandise – groceries, hardware, clothes, medications. In this delightful image a young couple on their motorcycles have stopped by for a cold soda. As a boy admires their powerful machines, two old-timers sit on the porch, intent on a leisurely game of checkers. Mom and Pop load up the pick-up and get ready to head home.” Continue reading

Change

Friends ForeverFinally updating everything, not only the blog, but the pic too. Have been incredibly frustrated trying to get all of this techno stuff in sync. Don’t know how many times the poor techies at Yahoo have received my calls of desperation, and thankfully, not hung up on me. The Our USA WordPress site is not perfect, but the techies have patiently walked me through it, and will probably have to do it all again. Trying to figure out how to get different images and links on the pages so I can celebrate individual contributors. Trying to figure out the differences between posts and pages, and basic theme customization and how to do sharing. Has anyone read the WordPress Codex lately? Frankly I have wanted to give up many times, but I guess it’s my Italian stubbornness that pushes me on. Well, I have said basta already! Rather than go for perfect, I am going for the best of what I am able to do right now and figure I will learn as I struggle on. And I guess that’s all we can ever ask of ourselves and each other.