I’m Just Sayin’

I'm Just Sayin'

You may not realize it, but busy sucks. Relaxation rules. If you are running in a thousand different directions week after week, please rethink your priorities. It’s wearing you down. It’s wearing your kids down. Being worn down sucks. And a grouchy, over tired family is a bickering, complaining, unhappy family.

If your kids eat dinner three nights a week on their way to activities —rethink those activities. If you are on the PTA, teacher appreciation committee, soccer snacks, and concession stand duty you have overextended yourself. Sure, parents do need to pitch in, but pick the jobs that allow you to be with your family. The world will continue to spin if you decline a few volunteer jobs. Volunteer at home. Volunteer to help your kids with their homework. Volunteer to rebound for your son, or hit tennis balls with your daughter. Volunteer to make popcorn for a card playing evening or a family movie night. If you haven’t watched a movie or television show with your kids in a month, you are missing valuable talking time. And believe me, kids will not tell you about their lives when they are late for karate, or being fitted for a cheerleading outfit. They need time to open up—time to connect.

photo ~ teendriving.statefarm.com

And yes, I do believe that teenagers are a good audience when they are trapped in your car, use that time smartly. Pretend like you are casually interested and then listen hard. But remember that very shortly they will be driving and your talk moments will have to find un-rushed time at some other point.

Don’t pass by your husband or boyfriend either. It makes him feel unimportant. Don’t spend hours telling him all you do. Sure, he needs to know, but if you are that busy don’t spend your only moments together bitching and moaning. Take time to hug. Male egos do not like to be last on your busy schedule. Slow down. Spend the evening relaxing. Talk. Give a back rub. Get a foot rub. Make love. Don’t be too busy for your relationship. Consequences are dire.

people-walking-on-path

Find time to really connect with your kids—with your mother—with your sister—with your girlfriends. That’s why there’s Starbucks. Be there for them. Life is all about relationships. Those people at the bake sale will not hold your hand when you have a biopsy. Spend time on real life. Never blow off a girlfriend when she calls with a real problem. Don’t rush past your family and never get to know them. I’ll bet you still have much to discover about your kids. But you will never truly know them if you do not spend time with them. If you are hauling them here and there to hang out with others, just remember they are not hanging out with you. As they grow they might never even see the need for hanging out with you. That’s not good.

Don’t be too busy for those who truly matter. Someday when you need someone, you don’t want your family to be too busy for you. I’m just sayin’.

 

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

I'll be  home for Christmas

"I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams ~ IIlustration  by Haddon Sundblom for Vintage Christmas Coca Cola Ad 1945

For most American servicemen and women serving in the military overseas their holiday wish is simple: to be home for Christmas.

Soldiers sacrifice much for the sake of others, not the least of which is being able to spend the holidays with their loved ones.

No Christmas song captures the soldier’s heartfelt longing more than “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”

The melancholy words of the soldier overseas writing a letter home, echos generations of soldiers who long to be home but are unable to e because of the war.

The wistful holiday classic written during WWII was the perfect sentimental war-time song holding deep meaning to US troops overseas and it rings as meaningful today as it did 70 years ago when it was first recorded.  To read the full post follow Sally.

Photo thanks to ~ Lets Find 1 Million People Who Really Support Our Severely Injured Veterans

An Uncomplicated Christmas

Seatrs Christmas CatalogIt was the year 1961 and we were planning our Christmas shopping.

There weren’t many choices for us living in a small town in the Pocono Mountains of

Pennsylvania. In those early years much of our shopping was done through catalogs. We would get the big catalogs and also the Christmas issues from Sears Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward.

We would spend hours looking through those catalogs and try to decide what to get other family members. I had received many presents in my younger years from one of those catalogs. The presents were always delivered by mail. No UPS back in those days.

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When Flying Was Fun for Thanksgiving

As millions crowd our airports for the traditional Thanksgiving trek home over the river and through the woods, the tension mounts at the thought of long lines, insufferable crowds, and the dreaded delays that inevitably await the weary and wary traveler.

Gloom is cast before the holiday even begins.

But for the Post-War population, the new air travel was a breeze.

For the modern mid-century family, the notion of flying home for the holidays was a novelty and a grand experience at that.

“Over the River and Over the woods. To grandmothers house we go,” this 1951 TWA ad announces gaily.

The gleeful modern family fairly bursting with pep and anticipation couldn’t wait to board their flight to visit Grandma. Why let old-fashioned distance keep a family apart?

“There’s a new road now to an old tradition. It’s the TWA high way home for Thanksgiving. And what a blessing it is to families separated by too many rivers and too many woods….and so many years!”“If you’ve let distance and lack of time keep you away too long, try traveling this high way. Find out how TWA can make it very near to someone dear- for even an ocean apart is only hours apart…by skyliner!”

TWA went out of their way to make flying a family affair! Flying was no longer just for Dad and his business trips. Once the airline, started their Family Budget Plan, “…parents have had cause to cheer'” boasts TWA in this 1949 ad. “for now they can take the whole family by air at down to earth prices.”

By traveling on a Monday Tuesday or Wednesday, they could save substantially. “As head of the family,” they explain “Dad pays full fare. Mother and the children under 22 go for only half fare each”…and best of all crying infants and toddlers under 2 could fly free of charge!

Tempting you further, TWA promises, “The flight is a delight, the service supreme, with delicious hot meals served free. Best of all…and oh how mother loves this!…you’re there long before the kids start to fuss or fidget!”

“Snowtime’s no time to give up flying! Vintage American Airlines Ad 1950

Compare the cheery disposition of Mr. and Mrs. Modern who have chosen the up -to-date way to travel to visit Grandmother with their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Outdated who chose the more antiquated mode of travel- their automobile.

Hampered by a snow storm they are unable to dig out in time for the turkey. Mrs. Outdated, with visions of stuffing and cranberries dancing in her head, looks longingly at the speeding plane in the sky, carrying the wise Moderns to the destination.

Vintage ad American Airlines 1949

 

“Don’t Give Up- Go Up,” declared American Airlines in this 1949 advertisement , touting the benefits and wonders of the new air travel that most post-war families had yet to experience.

“Air Travel- and only air travel can often make the difference between the accessible and the impossible. This is especially true during the holidays when the earthbound are frequently snowbound. Hence, wise travelers plan to go by air.”

“Also, air travel is little affected by the challenge of distance and time. The miles on the map lose their menace- the hands of the clock become friend instead of foe when you use this modern means of transportation.”

“So when holiday travel plans seem likely to get ‘bogged down’ don’t give up- go up.”

Step Right Up, Amigos – Have a Coke!

Drinking Coke was synonymous with fighting the enemies of freedom and democracy. Vintage WWII Coca Cola Ad 1945

Drinking Coke was synonymous with fighting the enemies of freedom and democracy. Vintage WWII Coca Cola Ad 1945

The heartbreaking tragedy on the Leyte Island of the Philippines which bore the brunt of the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan has a special relevance today when we honor our veterans. Thoughts go back to another fall day, October 1944 when General Douglas MacArthur landed on that very same island keeping his promise “to return” and liberate the Philippines.

Wherever the American army went so did Coca cola.

Coke went to remarkable lengths to make sure their soft drink was never far from the front lines, wasting no time in running an ad celebrating our shared victory in the Philippines.

“Naturally Filipinos thrilled when their Yankee comrade-in-arms came back to the Philippines,” the copy for this 1945 Coke ad declares.

“Freedom came with them.”

“Fair play took the place of fear. But also they brought back the old sense of friendliness that America stands for.”

Now the Filipinos need us again

Let us not forget that Filipinos bravely helped our American soldiers, let us not forget them now. We shall return…with help.

 

 

 

A Day of Gratitude and Remembrance

Photo Dennis L. Page

My dad was a man who exhibited humility in all he did.He was truly a man to admire.

Many people who grew up during the Great Depression were poor and my father was no different. He resided in a mostly agricultural area. His home was basically a family compound with grandma and grandpa living in one house, my dad, his two brothers and parents in another and my aunt and uncle who owned a farm in yet another home.

Photo Dennis L.Page

I was given few details of this era and the role my father played in it. I do know his particular weapon was one of the deadliest…a .30 caliber water-cooled machine gun M1917A1. He talked about the headhunters and how he would watch their silhouettes with spears and shields as he pulled guard duty at night. The oddity in it all was that the headhunters knew who their allies were and they hated the Japanese soldiers. Dad mentioned how he would dig a foxhole and then set up for battle. During one particular fire fight, bullets flying and under a curtain of ungodly noise a little monkey climbed in the foxhole and wrapped its terrified body around my father. That little monkey….a ray of hope and sunshine during the time of tests for survival and bravery….that monkey stayed with dad until the war ended. He sneaked the monkey under his shirt as the ship sailed from Japan to Hawaii . There was a damn near mutiny on board as the naval officers wanted to throw the monkey overboard. The men in my father’s unit informed those officers, “This here monkey has seen more combat then you could ever imagine.” The monkey stayed until Hawaii and was left with a G.I. who was staying behind.

Photo Dennis L. Page

So that was it. My dad had pretty much left the rest of his past behind, until a time years later when my father picked up my friend Paul and me at the theater after we had seen a war movie. Of course, my friend and I couldn’t wait to go home and re-enact what we had seen. Paul and I were in the backseat when Paul asked, “So, Mr. Page, how many people did you kill in the war?” The eerie silence was deafening as my father, my role model and my hero, took a moment, cleared his throat and adjusted the rear view mirror in the car. I watched one lonely, sad and sorrowful tear roll down his cheek as he looked Paulie in the eye and his exact words, in a trembling voice uttered, ” I would like to think I never hurt anyone.”

I was born in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey during the time my father had reenlisted during the Korean War. Years later my mom asked my dad if he wanted to be buried in Arlington. His response came as no surprise when he said, “Rose, Arlington is a place for people much more deserving than I am.” Instead, my dad is now laid to rest in a Veterans Cemetery on the same road where he grew up.

Even though our country is divided by political bickering and a lot of hate filled nonsense, there is one cornerstone we can always rely on and that is the sacrifice and service our military gives us. Please thank a veteran and appreciate them for keeping us free.

 

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day: Nov. 24

Camille Farrell, Hoop Artist

For many adults, the sight of a hula-hoop brings back childhood memories of carefree days of rotating a round plastic tube around their hips. Gyrating a hula-hoop can be how many have learned the physics of force, propulsion, speed, and that irreducible buzz-kill known as gravity. Since its introduction by WHAM-O as a children’s toy in the late 1950’s, the hula-hoop has been instrumental in teaching persistence, patience, and the exhilaration of accomplishing a goal.

One of the goals of Hoop Tribe of Salem is to inspire a sense of unity within the community, one hoop at a time. Like many flow artists, their aim is to bring people together, making a positive difference by promoting a healthy, fun, and positive lifestyle. Camille Farrell, founder of Hoop Tribe, has been actively involved in producing hoops and performing at local venues since 2008. With their hoops as dance partners, the hoopers perform at various music festivals, public events, art shows, and also hold workshops at BushPark, Minto Brown Island Park, and at the Waterfront in Salem. The positive feedback from the community has been encouraging and rewarding for the group, spurring their desire to pay it forward.

Hoop Yoga

Flow arts are something that Farrell has been interested in since she first saw a young woman dancing with a hula-hoop. “Shortly after my father passed away, I discovered hooping as a way to channel my negative energy into something positive and creative,” Farrell said. “I’ll never forget the first time I saw someone dancing with a hula hoop – it was in 2008 at the NW String Summit festival at Horning’s Hideout, a wild peacock farm right outside of Hillsboro. I went home and made a hoop of my own (and one for my best friend). Here I am five years later still passionate about hooping. It’s a creative outlet to raise money for charities, encourage a healthy positive lifestyle, create a sense of community among local artists, spread love, and inspire others the way I was inspired that day at NW String Summit.”

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Do Family Farms Still Matter?

Gaining Ground This article first came to our attention from our friends at I Support Farmers Markets, but originally published in Parade. We wanted to share this remarkable journey taken by author/farmer Forrest Pritchard.

As my friends headed off to graduate school, I pointed my dusty pickup toward the farm. My college advisors shook their heads with well-meaning disapproval. “Go ahead,” they admonished. “Get your hands dirty for a few months. But when you’re ready to decide on a career, the real world will be waiting for you.

But this is the real world, I insisted. It’s a world of sunshine and rain. It’s a world of physical work and sweat, and the sweet satisfaction of nurturing life from the earth. A few weeks back on the farm, I was sunburned and filthy and utterly blissful. Most importantly, I was certain that I had made the right decision.

I projected our bills for the coming winter, and knew that we needed ten thousand dollars to carry us into spring. That summer, we planted the farm with corn and soybeans, abandoning our traditional cow pastures for the quicker financial return of grain. The meadows were killed off with herbicide, and the rolling hills cultivated.

In October, trucks whisked away our glittering corn and soy. I was so proud of what we had accomplished: We had saved our family farm. Later that week, I received our paycheck and tore open the envelope.

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Unite Against Bullying

October hosts a number of national observances including Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Our friend Chris Gagliardi, who is featured in the Fall issue, has experienced bullying throughout his life. Born with autism, Chris has faced life with courage and is believed to be the only person with autism to have run for public office in the United States. Check out our Fall issue to read Chris’s story and be sure to sign his petition “Give Youth Rights for Justice Against Bullies.”

The NEA (National Education Association) encourages family and friends to pay attention.   “There are many warning signs that may point to a bullying problem, such as unexplained injuries, lost or destroyed personal items, changes in eating habits, and avoidance of school or other social situations. However, every children may not exhibit warning signs, or may go to great lengths to hide it. This is where paying attention is most valuable.”

“if you see something – do something. Intervene as soon as you even think there may be a problem. Don’t brush it off as “kids are just being kids. They’ll get over it.” Some never do, and it affects them for a lifetime.”

Standing with the Family Farmer

Farm Aid 2013

Farm Aid 2013

On Saturday, the great Pete Seeger took center stage, along with John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Dave Mathews at the 28th edition of in Farm Aid, this year held in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY. In a Huffington Post article Willie said this:  “Every year, come harvest season, we gather for the annual Farm Aid concert. Artists, farmers, activists and eaters, we come together to recognize the crucial importance of family farmers. We take account of how far we’ve come and we renew our spirits for the fights ahead. We stand with family farmers.”

“Today, as the minutes tick down to another farm bill deadline, people in towns and cities everywhere are taking matters into their own hands. They’re standing up with family farmers and insisting on food that is best for them and their families. They’re seeking out food from family farms at farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants. They are organizing to change the food served in schools, hospitals and public institutions. They’re making their voice heard and voting for family farm food every way they can. Our message is hard to miss. America needs family farmers. Congress, can you hear us?”

To read the entire article click here.