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Welcoming Life

November 2012

Parents

I began my day by looking up favorite Thanksgiving recipes and soon found my head filled with a flood of holiday memories.They started with my parents and how they made them all special.The images rivaled Norman Rockwell themes--father sitting at the head of the table with the ancient carving knife and steel (I used to love to watch my father sharpen the long knife  before surgically carving whatever roast was before him).My mother would have set a beautiful table and prepared a scrumptious meal. I can still see the eager family faces calmly waiting to dig in after my father said a gentle grace.
I wrote a chapter about my parents in Above & Beyond Wellfleet; they shaped my happiness and forged my ability to withstand sadness.They were able to influence me so positively, because they were good people--but it was always the abiding love that they had for one another which was the greatest gift.
This photograph is badly in need of photo shopping. While it isn't a perfect photograph,it is a perfect view into who they were as a couple.I've saved this photograph as a treasure.My parents were in their 80's when it was taken, and they are coming out of one of our favorite farm markets (the School House Farm in Maine).My father is doing what he always did, watching out for my mother's well being.She was not steady on her feet and neither was my father--but they held each other up--always had.I don't know how I had the good sense to take the photograph.I don't ever remember taking my camera to the farm market, but this day I caught their hands together, my mother's determined face, and my father's first thought--protecting my mother.
I miss them.But I am grateful for the lessons they taught.They gave me the true recipe for what Thanksgiving is all about--eternal love.

Hurricane Sandy-The Aftermath

Last Monday, October 29, I cooked my way to coping with the dire predictions of the havoc Hurricane Sandy would wreak. The predictions were accurate and great pain and suffering were caused by her battering winds and unprecedented coastal tide surges. Entire communities up and down the Eastern seaboard were decimated. The rage of the storm even moved to the mid-Atlantic states. As I write this, residents of lower Manhattan in New York City, Long Island Sound communities, and New Jersey remain hostage to the wicked damage that Sandy caused.Loved ones were lost, homes were leveled, transportation systems were paralyzed--heartache everywhere.My family and I were fortunate--our homes and families intact.Those who were similarly lucky still felt the pain of those who suffered--still shared the heartache indirectly.My country's citizens never cease to amaze me.We come together.We cross all boundaries. We don't just revel in being thankful for being spared, we open our hearts to those who weren't.Right now, we are in the midst of intense political campaigns.Hurricane Sandy pushed aside partisanship.
Cold shoulders were replaced with handshakes and hugs.Let it always be so.I've always relied on music as being the great unifier in times of trouble. So I will close this post with some of the words from Bruce Springsteen's The Rising and dedicate them to people we all care about who we don't know but feel a kindred spirit:

"How do I begin again.With these hands.I pray, Lord.I pray for the strength,Lord.I pray for the faith,Lord."

The photo is of my beach right before the storm.The waves were at a tempest pitch.Perhaps nature is angry at us.That discussion is for another time.For now, I hope we  find as much peace with one another as we can and reach across any philosophical divide to Rise Up.
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