Merry Christmas

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From the Rooster and his flock, a very Merry Christmas from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Herself, kids and a grand or two are making cookies on this Sunday a week before Christmas eve. My server, Bloo Surf is pulling one of it’s becoming frequent non functioning days. So, I travel the 3.5 miles to eldest daughter’s home and steal some bits of her band width.

Net neutrality, be damned the poor forgotten rural settlers. Seems my net is in neutral most of the time. I’d settle for a slow 2nd gear now and then on a semi regular basis.

Yesterday afternoon we joined a family that owns a large commercial nursery for a festivity that has gone on for a number of years. The invitees car pool to the nursery and then get to ride in a bus, car or P/U truck to gather festive greenery from the wild to take home for household decorations. The fact that we had a heavy wet nine inches of snow a week ago made the gathering quite easy. So many trees and bushes were relieved of branches that the pickings were easy.

If you need to learn the hows and whys of Holiday greenery check out funflowerfacts.

At one time during our outing we walked the grounds of Green Hill Church, built in 1733. Herself and the Rooster lived in and managed a farm dating to 1733 also. The bricks in the church and the home we lived in came from the same source back in the day.

Herself among the grave markers and the church as it sits today on the banks of the Wicomico River. https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/Wicomico/WI-2.pdf

Once the gathering was finished we (30+) invitees returned to the home of the nursery owners for some fine Mulled Cider, soup and sandwiches all finished off with home made cookies. Thank you Sylvia and Harrison for your friendship and generosity.

I slept well last night with all the fresh air and good food. Calories be damned, it’s Christmas.

A Day of Infamy

Just about this time last year I was sitting in a Starbucks enjoying a coffee and their Internet connection while waiting to meet my granddaughter, I got into a conversation with a Salisbury University Student. Herself has all kinds of words to describe my verbal engagement with others. She considers herself anonymous, me, I’m the opposite. My previous interaction in the Birmingham, Alabama car rental return line is a perfect example.

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WordPress Photo

It was early December when I was in that Starbucks and 12/07/1941 always comes to mind this time of the year. I was not born until two years later, but the history of the events at Pearl Harbor are forever etched in my Cerebral Cortex. What happened at Pearl Harbor was taught in History class when I went to school. My father fought in the war that followed, ending in 1945. I was a war child and now there are few who fought in that war left to tell their story.

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I don’t remember my exact words but I’m sure I said something like “any thought on what tomorrow is in our history?” He looked up at me with a blank look on his face, “Pearl Harbor Day” I say in a questioning tone. A no clue look on his face at my ice breaker. I’m sure he was not happy to be torn away from Twitter, Snap Chat or Instagram. I was later happy to learn he was studying for a Civil Rights History class, was from the western shore, that’s the other side of the Chesapeake Bay and was a Junior at SU.

The old who, what, why. where and when had kicked in. Sometimes I just amaze myself with what I remember. I’m pretty good at establishing place and time when I hear a song from the 50’s and 60’s also. Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the #1 song on this important day, I’m not that old that I remember that though.

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My point as I seem to be rambling along is: this young college student told me he was not familiar with, nor was never taught anything about Pearl harbor in school. We spoke further about geography and there was a lot lacking on that front also. I’m just amazed where our education system has gone. I’m happy he elected a history class in Civil Rights, there is hope. The young man later admitted that he had heard of Pearl Harbor through the movie but had no idea of the date.

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To all who lost their lives on that day, I remember and I Honor you.

A Thanksgiving Trip

The Return Home    Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Returning home from a trip to Oklahoma and Mississippi recently I found myself standing in the underground of the Birmingham, Alabama airport returning our rental car. If you ever find yourself in BHM and in need of a rental I would say it’s the worst experience I’ve ever had. The signage for where rental car pickup is located is horrible. It is on the bottom floor of a massive parking garage. It is poorly lit, kind of reminds me of the Philadelphia subway system back in the early fifties, damp, dark and eerie is the feeling. My head was on a swivel and my hand was on my gun, oops, not there any longer, I’m retired, I forgot.

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Thrifty, not really as much as the name implies is the last kiosk as you drive through this underground maze. Were it rows of corn I would have used the word (Maize,) Wordsmith taught me that one. This being the Saturday after Thanksgiving, things were busy in the underground. Returning cars, worker bees and people standing in line were the order on this early morning. Fortunately I departed Starkville, MS early or I would have had an elevated stress level.

I had dropped herself and our granddaughter at the departing curb up above first, a smart move on my part I must say. Granddaughter Rachael had an earlier flight than us and the two of them started the check in process, they had my suitcase also. It was just me, the rental car and my backpack, I give that to no one.

There were multiple cars being returned at the Thrifty kiosk which is shared with Budget Rental Cars. I’m directed to a line of cars by a young man smiling and sipping from a hot cup of Starbucks, steam from the cup is giving his face a cloudy haze. I start to park behind the last car, the woman in the driver’s seat is looking back at me, waving excitedly for me to back up and beeping her horn like a mad woman. There is no place for me to go, another car has already placed it’s self in line. The young man drinking Starbucks approaches and after a few minutes gets things organized. We park, crazy lady leaves.

It seems the panicking lady had left her purse at her place of departure and needed to return. Those of us in the growing line of returnees were sorted into various spaces so the mad woman could go from whence she came and return once again at a later time. Any bets if she made her flight?

I get back in line, not quite in the same order as a car to my rear jumped in front of me thanks to the directions from Starbucks man. I hand my paperwork to a young woman who proceeds to do the fastest walk-around of a rental I have ever seen. Perhaps too much coffee and she needs a pit stop? She tells me I’m good to go, I grab my backpack, she hands me my papers and points to the growing line of returnees, I’m, number five.

I’m only in line for a few minutes when I’m joined by a family of five, mom, dad, two girls ten or so, and a teen age boy busy on his cell phone while he sits on a huge duffel bag. I’m guessing a girlfriend back home is on the other end. The girls are busy giggling, the mother looks as though she is not happy being up so early and is expressing the same to the husband. In a few minutes she leaves with the girls and heads towards the terminal.

My wife says I’m a talker, she’s right, I am, who, what, where, when and why are my trade mark. Back in my Law Enforcement days I conducted and evaluated hundreds of background investigations while a member of the CT State Police Selection Unit recruiting process. That penchant for people’s nomenclature has never left me.

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The line has yet to move, I turn to the man in line who’s wife just left with the girls, he’s wearing a red sweatshirt with a monogrammed “R,” I point, “Rutgers” I say, “yep” he says. “You from Jersey” I say. “Yep, Exit 8A off the Turnpike,” “Exit 5” I say, Jerzyeez jargon for those who don’t know. Everyone in Jersey uses a N.J. Turnpike Exit # or Garden State Parkway Exit # to orient people as to where they live. The inquisition has begun.

We chat while the line moves slowly, Rutgers man was in Alabama for Thanksgiving with the wife’s retired parents. They have a lovely retirement home on a lake in Sweet Home Alabama. I learn the son is most definitely talking to his sweetheart back in Hightstown, seems he had no desire to come south and visit Granny and Gramps. Who would think that was the case. The Mrs. teaches school, Rutgers man works in pharmaceuticals and will be glad when he gets home. He will also miss the Iron Bowl, a football game between Auburn and Alabama for those not in the know. Oh, and his beloved NY Giants are not doing well this year. They will do Newark by way of Atlanta on Delta. Who, what, where, when and Why,  all answered.

My phone rings, it’s herself, where am I she asks? It seems she and the granddaughter are all checked in, as is their luggage. My luggage however is still on the conveyor belt at the ‘AA” counter. TSA rules prohibit it being loaded until an ID’d person is matched with it. And where is this person, still in the Dungeon of Doom, Dilly Dilly. I explain its at least another ten minutes prior to me being on my way. She sounds frustrated as we hang up. It’s been a long trip.

Rutgers man and I chat football, growing up in Jersey, the beaches at the shore and stay away from politics, Roy Moore country you know.  Eventually I made it to the front of the line, I thought I had won a prize. I got apologies from the kiosk attendant, a lovely calm young lady who gave me a $50.00 coupon for a future rental that I never asked for. I didn’t even complain. If you travel Thanksgiving this is something to expect. I say goodby to Mr. Exit 8 and make a bee line to the check in counter. On this day I will get my steps in.

The AA staff are happy to see me and get an ID from the baggage owner who’s luggage is accumulating dust. I get my receipt and we are off to find our cup of Starbucks, I’m smiling.

Should you ever fly into OKC, you’ll love the rental car experience there, one stop shopping, constant shuttles. BHM has a long way to go.

As for me and mine, we were off to the Eastern Shore via Charlotte and Philadelphia on American Airlines. I hope all who celebrated the day of Thanksgiving had a wonderful four-day weekend, and from our home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

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Photo Credits: Turnpike , Wiki. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, city of Birmingham, Rutgers Jersey, Rutgers, Thanksgiving Dinner, Pinterest

 

December 3, 2017

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Historical Society Breakfast

In the Village of Allen tucked along Passerdyke Pond and Wicomico Creek, a select crew of dedicated residents keep working hard to bring nourishment and entertainment to our community. On Saturday of this week the residents were provided a Country Breakfast courtesy of the Allen Historical Society. The menu consisted of : Scrambled Eggs, Scrapple,  Bacon, Fruit Cocktail, Toast, Coffee, Tea and Juice. All this for $7.00 and an opportunity to ask Santa for that special gift you desire to wake-up to on Christmas morning.

 

 

 Our daughter and Rooster & Wife get their moments with Mr. and Mrs Claus.

 

A few of the worker bees who make these events happen.

Thanks Melissa, Frank, John & Aggie.

A Brief History of the Village of Allen

The village of Allen was developed in the 18th century at the headwaters of Wicomico Creek around the grist mill established by John Adams. He was a son of the Rev. Alexander Adams who was the rector of Stepney Parish from 1704 to 1769. The mill dam formed Passerdyke Pond, still a village landmark, and the spillway or trap gave the settlement its first name. The Trap, later becoming Upper Trappe, to distinguish it from a village of the same name in Worcester County.

 

The name was not changed to Allen until 1884 when it was named after Joseph S. C. Allen, the first postmaster. In the late 18th century the village had a tavern, a store, and a sawmill in addition to the gristmill. The waterfront of Passerdyke Creek thrived with commerce in the 19th century. The Methodist Church was established in 1829, and by 1860 there was a post office in the village. Several general stores have operated in the village during its history.

 

Much of the village we see today lies on two colonial land patents, “Monsham” patented by John Christopher in 1683 and “Dashiell’s Lott” patented by Col. George Dashiell in 1721. The latter was a resurvey of the “Bennett’s Adventure” patented in 1665 to Major Richard Bennett, formerly a Governor of the Virginia Colony. (From the Allen Historical Society)

The breakfast was a fund-raising effort for the Historical Society which recently purchased a home in the village that will become the home of Allen’s history. If you stayed home shame on you, you missed a good meal to start your Saturday. You would not have to clean the grease off your stove and you did not support the town you live in. If we live here, we are all part of the history for those who follow. Come out to these events if you missed this one the next time you read a notice on the Village Sign.
We have two churches in Allen, a fire department, the Historical Society and a Lions Club. We’ve had a Church Fall Bazar, Fire Department barbecue chicken, Halloween in the cemetary, the Lions Pit Beef Dinner and Saturday’s breakfast.

 
Out at the confluence of the creek and the Wicomico River is the Wicomico Yacht Club. This month a year ago the old structure was lost in a fire which started in the heating system. A new structure is under construction and it will be a grand one. There are many events held year round at this facility also to include the entire family.

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The new facility takes shape as the club celebrates Trunk or Treat at Halloween.

Many people when they hear the word “Yacht Club,” turn their nose up and think, a snooty uppity place. Not so my friends. The Rooster has been a member for thirty years and my first vessel was a 15 foot canoe, my last a 21 foot Pontoon Boat that was great for the grandkids as well as yours truly. Your grandkids will love the pool also.

 
If you’re not a member, give it some consideration or contact a member when events are occurring. Crab and Oysters feasts are just two events to bring gastric delight to you.
So, in essence what I’m crowing about is that we may be small, but we have some mighty people who bring joy and sustenance to us.

 
The Marine Corps has a saying, “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” Be one of the few and proud of the Village of Allen and support your community. If you can’t work, buy a ticket.

 

 

Merry Christmas to all from the Rooster’s Coop to yours.

 

 

Mercy

The Dalai Lama said:   “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

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Quite often in life I have heard the words, “Oh Mercy Me.” Just what does this mean I ask. Well, in reading a recent book, 
“Mercy means that we no longer constantly judge everyone’s large and tiny failures, foolish hearts, dubious convictions, and inevitable bad behavior. We will never do this perfectly, but how do we do it better? How do we mostly hold people we’ve encountered with the understanding of a wise, caring mother who has seen it all, knows that we all struggle, knows that on the inside we’re as vulnerable as a colony of rabbits?”  A blogger I follow used those words from Anne Lamott’s new book, Hallelujah Anyway- Rediscovering Mercy.”  
That question (judgement of others,) is one I have recently been asking myself, very recently in fact. Especially when herself gives me that look. You all know what that look is, right?  _
The Oxford dictionary in it’s “Synonym Study” has this to say about Mercy:  If you want to win friends and influence people, it’s best to start with benevolence, a general term for goodwill and kindness. Charity is even better, suggesting forbearance and generous giving but also meaning tolerance and understanding of others. Compassion, which is a feeling of sympathy or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune, will put you one step closer to sainthood and showing mercy will practically guarantee it. Aside from it’s religious overtones, mercy means compassion or kindness in our treatment of others. 
Way back in 1971 Marvin Gaye wrote and sang about the Ecology and used that saying “Mercy Me.”
Whoa, oh, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Whoa, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no
Oil wasted on the oceans
And upon our seas, fish full of mercury
Oh, oh, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be, no, no
Radiation underground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
Oh, mercy, mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land?
How much more abuse from man can she stand?
Oh, no, no, no
My sweet Lord
No, no, no, no, no
My, my, my Lord
My sweet Lord
Ecologically speaking, I get that look when I toss a recyclable in the trash can. “Oh mercy me, I’ve erred again.”
During this season of Christmas I shall make every effort to show a little “Mercy.” I’m not looking for Sainthood, just a little compassion and kindness towards others. If I don’t get “that look,” quite so often I’ll know I’m making progress with both people and recyclables.
May you all enjoy this Christmas season and may a bit of Mercy enter our hearts.

A Loss is a Win when with family.

Yes we went to the Egg Bowl, a 31-28 Ole Miss victory over granddaughter Abby’s beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs. Apparently someone forgot to let the dogs out.
On this Friday after, we celebrate Thanksgiving with Rachael, Sam and family who drove over from OKC, Kathy, Jeff, Abby and friends. We are blessed, even though State lost, we are winners for family and friends. To all our friends and family, happy day after from Columbus, Mississippi.

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/11/23/16681614/ole-miss-mississippi-state-egg-bowl-results-final-score-2017-highlights

Semper Fi/theRoster

The First Thanksgiving

A share from the Huffington Post.

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/788436

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family from Our location in Mississippi.

Semper Fi