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1966

It’s Christmas Eve put the computer away, is what she said to me. But I have friends out there waiting to hear from me. Well wait until later before you go to bed, unless you hear the bells, on Santa’s sled.

I’ve got to send greetings to those who follow me, this is one day I just can’t let pass. Well right now we’ve got to get ready and, get to Mass, there is someone more important to who we must thank, and before church we need gas in the tank. So I log off the keys and clean up my act. If we don’t hurry, we’ll stand in the back.

We fill up the tank and drive to the church, I’m driving too fast, and we stop with a lurch. We’re greeted by the Priest with a skeptical stare, I’m thinking he saw us, speeding in there. We find us a seat and just settle in, as the priest and the Alter Boy’s march does begin.

The opening prayer is on Christmas and the birth of Christ, it’s the season of Joy and, everyone’s so nice. The theme of the Homily is to go forth and be kind, I turn to the wife and just start to smile, I’ve been kind to the woman for quite a while. Fifty-three years together are we, I shut my eyes and our first Christmas Mass together I see.

It was 1966 in New Jersey, a cold winter’s night when the two of us walked through thunder and snow. It was 8/10 of a mile to the church, the wind gusts were blowing 25 knots or so. There was something so special with everything white, I remember that walk, like it was this Holy Night.

Back at my grandmothers home after Mass, we were offered Mogen David wine, in a fancy cut glass. Joining us there were Aunt Maude and Uncle Jim. When I was little, every time they would depart, he would give me a dime. Those memories way back to a long-ago time, bring genuine joy and, I remember the Homily, Be Kind! theRooster, 2018

Reflecting Back

There are many great memories of Christmas with our families. While living in Connecticut, we would have Christmas Day at home and then in a day or two drive to New Jersey and Delaware to celebrate with our respective families there. This, of course, was a grand time for the kids when they were young. Santa seemed to always leave a few out of state gifts for our three, what a treat.

That first Christmas Mass together was attended at Holy Maternity Catholic church in Audubon, NJ. We walked the 8/10 of a mile from my grandmother’s house at W. Pine and 4th Ave. You can check the weather at the Wunderground site below. Twas, not a night fit for man or beast, but we were young, so what the hell.

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An excellent remembrance for me was a Christmas Eve I had to work many years ago. I was a young State Trooper and my assignment on this eve was I-84 between Rt. 32 and the Massachusetts State Line. It was called the Upper Patrol. On this night I exchanged my big grey Stetson for a red floppy Santa’s hat, big white tassel on end and all.

If my memory serves me correctly, it was a relatively quiet evening. I would make a few stops, give some verbal warnings. I would hand out candy canes to those I came in contact with and wish them a Merry Christmas and ask them to please drive safely as they continued their journey. After the shift was over, I’d enter our home quietly, my lady was waiting up, and we would have a bit of quiet time and last minute wrapping together. Those were the days my friends.  

This past week saw us journey North to CT to visit our son and his family. We would take a leisurely route and cross into NY via the Bear MT. bridge.

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A stop at the 202 diner in Cortlandt provided nourishment.

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It was only a three-day visit, but it was grand to be with those who are near and dear to our hearts. We had a meal at our favorite haunt when visiting Tolland, Camille’s. I got to spend a few hours with an old member of the Thin Blue Line, #467. We drank coffee at Dunkin Donut’s and told war stories for a couple of hours. I spent time with a brother-in-law, talking clocks and wine racks. He’s quite a Woodworker.

Yes, Christmas time is great for bringing us together. I thank the good Lord for giving me and the little women good health to travel and the ability to wish all of you who take a gander at the Blog from time to time a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

As I close, remember the theme from the Homily at Mass, BE KIND!

The weather on 24 December 1966 in the greater Philadelphia area.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Looking for Moose

After the reunion at Troop C the Mrs. and I would head back to our son’s home in Tolland to catch up on their day. Earlier the oldest daughter and her best friend forever, forever being Kindergarten went off to their high school for the selection process for the girls volleyball team. After all the angst the past week over practice and the entire process of trying out, both girls made the team. Congratulations Jill and Mandy.

The girls, Matt, Beth,Rebecca, and Kevin would have a holiday afternoon and head to Essex, CT for a train and boat ride. Essex is a great little spot to visit if you ever find yourself in Connecticut with nothing to do. The crew even had a meal at the famous Griswold Inn.

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Courtesy of the Essex Steam Train

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The Griswold Inn, courtesy of Wiki.

The Griswold Inn, located in Essex, Connecticut, is the oldest continuously run tavern in the United States of America.[1] Founded by three brothers in the late 18th century and named after the Griswold Family of the area, it has been under the stewardship of only six families. The inn was captured by British troops and used as a base of operations during the War of 1812.[2] During prohibition the inn still maintained a lively entertainment schedule for the local yachtsmen. Over the years several surrounding buildings were added to the inn complex, each with its own unique history. The inn was also used as a filming location for the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. (From the pages of Wiki)

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Mooring a boat along the Connecticut river takes a dingy ride back to shore. Nice picture Matt

Back in Maryland our crew was headed to Baltimore for the Ravens vs Lions  pre-season football game. They would make the 109 mile trip in a converted tactical van which today performs as a venue for tailgating.

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Inside the party van on the way to the game.

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M&T Bank Stadium is in sight.

Granddaughter Rachael was celebrating the completion of her first week as a teacher for 4th and 5th grade students in Science and History at the Stepping Stones Learning Center. After a two-year career in the Brew Pub industry as a personal assistant she now gets to do what she loves, help children grow.

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Rachael on the left with her mom Sarah, our middle child.

Eljefe/Jeff the son in-law, just back from Brussels would be so up for this trip. You see, he hails from Bay City, MI and has been a loyal Detroit Lions fan for his entire life. We who root for others, are so terribly sorry for yet another loss. May God bless you for your loyalty and comfort you during future games. Have a Beer and a Brat Jeff, on me of course.

Abby is spending this semester at SU in Salisbury but heading back to MSU in Starkville, MS next weekend to celebrate her 20th birthday with friends and watch some SEC football. Go Dawgs.

As for me and the little women, we’ve spent the night in Bangor, ME, had a great breakfast yesterday in Ogonquit. We visited a cemetery in Kittery and drove every back road from Portland to Bangor looking for a Bear or Moose. NO LUCK.

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This vault was sealed with a kiss.

For dinner we would seek out Geaghan’s Brewery and Pub for a dining excursion. We both love brew pubs. Seems it was open mike night and a small group, complete with Harp were providing entertainment. You know, I’ve go to get better at this interviewing stuff. I chatted and filmed them for a good 10 minutes and never got the group’s name. Hey, I’m learning, right.

Out in Oklahoma City last week, great-granddaughter Mia Davies scored her first soccer goal. Thank the good Lord, Mia Hamm will not be missed.

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“SCORE!!!” You Rock Mia.

 

OK, there’s your nightly wrap-up. It’s time for a shower, breakfast, a drive to the border and on to Moncton, NB for the night.

Thanks for traveling with us, we hope you enjoy back roads because that’s how we travel.” Here Moosey, Moosey, Moosey.”

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This is as close to a Moose as we’ve gotten. It’s a picture hanging in Geaghan’s Pub.

Rooster LogoSemper-fidelis