Monday, October 31, 2016

366 Project - Day 305 - "Relieving the Pain"


October 31, 2016 - "Relieving the Pain"

Today my wife is sitting in the chair of an Endodontist - hoping for some relief from the intense pain she has been having for several days now.

*   *   *

Sunday, October 30, 2016

366 Project - Day 304 - "Tiny Fingers"


October 30, 2016 - "Tiny Fingers"

This morning we got to go out for breakfast with some of our favorite people in the world - our very dear friends Lenny and Kristin and their absolutely beautiful newborn daughter Fiona. It was so nice to be able to spend time with them... to chat... to laugh... to smile. Fiona didn't seem to interested in the conversations though... she slept through all of the noise of a very busy diner. After a very sad week, Fiona's beautiful little smile as she slept was enough to make everything right with the world!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Saturday, October 29, 2016

366 Project - Day 303 - "Exhaustion"


October 29, 2016 - "Exhaustion"

Well, the exhaustion is finally catching up with me! I had a very hard time falling asleep last night, but once I finally did I managed to sleep until around 1:00 this afternoon. Once I was finally out of bed I started trying to catch up on all that needs catching up. Exhaustion has crept back up again, so now I'm winding down with some cheap red wine and some sliced hot Soppressata. Somehow I think my Dad would approve! Now... if only I had some nice stinky Provolone to go with it...

*   *   *

Friday, October 28, 2016

366 Project - Day 302 - "Eulogy"


October 28, 2016 - "Eulogy"

Today we held the Funeral Mass and Burial Services for my Dad. What follows is the Eulogy I gave at the end of the Mass:

"I seem to have become the resident eulogy writer in our family. It is an honor I wish was not a necessary one, yet the Lord asks us to take up the Crosses we are presented in life and, with faith, follow Him even when the road we are called to travel is not a pleasant one. I made a promise to serve Him and to accept His will in all things, so once again I stand before all of you to say words I cannot help but wish did not need saying.

I also promised the wonderful office staff here at Sacred Heart that I would keep this as brief as possible. Unfortunately for them a promise to the Lord trumps a promise to the office staff of one of His parishes. The music might start playing, signaling that it's time for me to wrap things up, but my love for my Dad runs far deeper than the lowest note of that organ. The microphone might get turned off on me, but I'm Italian, I can project... so I think we'll be fine. We're here to honor my father... a man whose voice was often forced to be silenced, and that truly is a shame, because there were few voices to be heard that could be as kind and loving as his.

My father was a very simple man and, especially later in life, a very quiet one. He had so much to say, yet he never quite knew how to say it. He showed his love in ways that others might have missed, if they didn't know his way. Even I must admit that there were times I allowed myself to be blind... only to realize later just how loving what he had done or, sometimes, what he had NOT done, truly had been. After all, sometimes the fact that someone is there with you is a way for them to say "I love you"... especially when you look back and realize just how hard it must have been for them to be there.

My Dad was the type of father who would take you to Playland over in Rye, NY and actually watch you enjoy the rides. He was the type who would actually wave. That might sound like a very silly thing to some of you... but the next time you find yourself at Playland or some other amusement park or carnival, take a quick glance at the parents standing by the ride gates as their children go around in circles. Most of them will be looking somewhere else... carrying on conversations with others... or, in this day and age, checking their phones. They're oblivious to the child who so desperately looks out for them each time the ride spins past them. I would look out for my Dad every time my little glittery motorcycle would circle around... and every time I'd look out, he'd be there... not looking away, but rather looking for me... smiling... sometimes waving... but ALWAYS there. That was incredibly comforting. THAT was love.

For the last year and-a-half of his life, my Dad would wake up every morning and, after getting dressed, he'd take a little bundle of items to place in his shirt pocket... and he'd pray. At the front of that little bundle of items were these two prayer cards, from my brother Peter's funeral last year. Every morning Dad would hold these very cards... look at them... and pray - not just for my brother Peter - but for all of us. Days, weeks and sometimes even months might pass between visits with us... yet first thing every single morning, he would pray for us. He'd do it again at daily Mass. If exhaustion didn't get the better of him, he'd do it again after removing the cards from his pocket to put on the little table next to his bed each night. He prayed for us several times a day, every day. THAT was love.

Dad recently said to me two very simple words that so many of us find impossible to say to another human being. Those words? "I'm sorry."

I asked him what he was apologizing for, and he said that he was sorry that he hadn't done better for us boys... and he started to talk about how he should have been there more and should have tried to prevent certain things from happening to us. I looked him in the eye and said to him: "Dad... YOU have absolutely nothing to apologize for."

That night I could not sleep. I kept thinking about what he had said... and the more and more I thought about it, the more and more I found myself feeling that it is "I" who should be asking for forgiveness.

We all used to joke around about how, back when Dad was still working and living on his own, he would always say to us: "I need to get all four of you boys together so the five of us can go to Colony or something." We'd laugh about that because the thought of getting our family together for anything seemed to be an impossible task. Dad saying that sort of became a running joke... because it was something that would get said - but we all "knew" it was something that was never actually going to happen. Well... it wasn't a joke to him. To him it was a heartfelt wish. To him, it was something he truly wanted to make happen... he just didn't know "how". Doesn't that seem strange? You would think it would have been something so simple for us to do... and yet, it never happened. Now it really HAS become "impossible", as "the five of us" has been reduced to "the three of us".

No I pray for my father's forgiveness... and I pray for forgiveness from my brothers as well. Life is too short and too precious of a thing and we shouldn't let the busy-ness of life rob us of our chances to show love.

When I was little and I would be sitting in the front passenger seat of my Dad's car, every time we'd approach a stop - especially if it was a quick or sudden stop, he would automatically extend his right arm out in front of me to protect me. One day when I was well into my 20s and already had two kids of my own, he and I were riding in the car together. We had to make a quick and sudden stop. My Dad's right arm automatically extended out in front of me. We laughed about it at the time... and joked about it with each other many times over the years that passed - but looking back at that moment I realize that it was just one of the countless little things my Father did to say "I love you."

Love.

THAT is the essence here.

St. Paul tells us: "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

THAT is love.

THAT was my Dad.

Dad... I love and miss you more than any words can describe. Be at peace. Give hugs and kisses to Grandma and Grandpa... to Peter... to Michelle... and to all of your Grandchildren in Heaven. I pray that you will find peace in the Lord's loving and merciful arms.

Dad... I love you. Please pray for us... we need it!

*   *   *

Thursday, October 27, 2016

366 Project - Day 301 - "Loving Father"


October 27, 2016 - "Loving Father"

Tonight is the Wake and Vigil Service for my Dad. This is just a small section of the flower spray my brothers Xavier, Kenny and I chose for him.

Here is the prayer that I chose for the back of the Holy Cards given to those who attended tonight's services:

"For every burden that we bear,
For every sorrow, every care,
There's a reason.
For every grief that bows the head,
For every tear-drop that is shed,
There's a reason.
For every hurt, for every plight,
For every lonely painracked night,
There's a reason.
But if we trust God as we should,
All must work out for our good,
He knows the reason."

(I love you Dad!)

*   *   *

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

366 Project - Day 300 - "It's time"


October 26, 2016 - "It's time"

Eight months ago I gave this to my Dad for his 75th birthday. He instantly put it on... and it didn't come off from around his neck until the nurse removed it on Sunday.

I haven't been able to bring myself to put it on... until now.

It's time.

*   *   *

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

366 Project - Day 299 - "Abstract (Stacking It Up)"


October 25, 2016 - "Abstract (Stacking It Up)"

Today has been absolute hell!

Problems with funeral arrangements...

Frustrating conversations with church office staff...

Problems with the obituary...

Personal attacks at me on social media...

Arguments with family members...

Frustrating phone call after frustrating phone call after frustrating phone call...

Having to constantly clear-up misinformation...

Getting overwhelmed...

Feeling as if I've got a stack of issues piled up in front of me, about to topple over on me at any moment.

I'm about to call it quits for the night... grab some wine... and watch "JAWS".

(this sucks!)

*   *   *

Monday, October 24, 2016

366 Project - Day 298 - "Blurry Mind"


October 24, 2016 - "Blurry Mind"

It's late. I've been sitting here for hours trying to write my father's obituary. I know all of the bits I need to include... I'm just struggling with getting it all to come together. My mind is a blur. I'm sucking on mints one after another after another, and I don't even know why.

Yes I do. Because they were his. We found dozens upon dozens of unopened rolls of LifeSavers mints when we were cleaning out his room at the nursing home. The funny thing about that is that I'm pretty sure he bought them one-at-a-time from the vending machine. Regardless, I snagged one roll as we were leaving... and now I'm sitting here downing them like an addict.

It hurts.

My head hurts.

My body hurts.

My heart hurts most of all.

It seems like we just did all of this. Didn't we? We just did all of these sorts of things and felt all of these sorts of feelings and pains... and here we are doing and feeling them all over again. It leaves you with an overwhelming feeling... a feeling of "What's next!?!".

Things are different now. Different than they were when we lost my brother last year. Part of it is sort of an overall "numbness" that has been there for months on end - but a bigger part of it comes down to "faith'. My faith has become stronger, and with that my understanding of pain, loss and suffering has become much, much deeper. I feel as if I'm closer to understanding "Why?" now. I feel as if I'm able to be at peace with things more.

It still hurts though.

My head hurts.

My body hurts.

My heart hurts most of all.

(I love you Dad!)

*   *   *




Sunday, October 23, 2016

366 Project - Day 297 - "Dad (I'm Sorry)"


October 23, 2016 - "Dad (I'm Sorry)"

Saturday was a long and busy day. My alarm went off at 5:00AM, calling me to get ready to head to the shelter/soup kitchen to serve breakfast to the homeless and needy. When I returned home about six hours later, I pretty much collapsed from exhaustion... knowing that I only had a few hours before I'd have to head down to Norwalk for a Vigil Mass and a Knights of Columbus dinner where a very dear friend of mine was to be awarded the very-much-deserved "Knight of the Year" award. After dinner we were to jet from Norwalk to Shelton for my brother-in-law's famous Halloween Party which would go on until the wee hours of the morning.

I woke up with the plan to leave for Norwalk a bit early, and pop down to Stamford to visit my Dad before needing to be at St. Matthew's parish for the Mass at 4PM. By the time I got home from volunteering I was so tired... I decided to change my plans. I decided to chill out at home a bit longer and then head straight down for the Mass... leaving Danbury as late as we possibly could, still allowing us to get to Norwalk before the opening hymn.

In short... I had planned to go see my Dad, and decided not to because I was too tired.

This morning my alarm clock went off, calling me to get ready to head down to Hamden to receive both my 2nd and 3rd Degree initiations into the Knights of Columbus. It was about 10 or 15 minutes before my ride was supposed to show up at my house. I was in the bathroom getting ready for a very quick shower, when my wife started knocking on the door. She was holding her cellphone in her hand... and I could see on the screen that it was a call from my Aunt. Somehow I just "knew" what that meant, and I said "No. No. No. God... No."

My Dad was gone.

Everything became a blur. A mad scramble to contact my Brother Knights to let them know what had happened. A rush to get out of the house as quickly as possible and make our way down to Stamford.

Blur upon blur upon blur. Talking with my brother on the phone... "No, I'm not OK"... trying to get out the door... running to the car... racing south.

Walking into the room alone and seeing him.

Blur upon blur upon blur.

My Dad was gone.

Hugs and tears.

Kneeling beside the bed.

His hand was so cold.

I haven't felt that kind of cold since...

... is this really fucking happening right now!?!

What do I say?

What do I do?

Dad... please... don't be gone.

I pull out a vial of Holy Water and anoint his forehead...

I begin to pray:

"Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord...

Those are the words coming out of my mouth. Prayers. Prayers upon prayers. Words flowing from my mouth... and I don't even know what I said.

My mind?

Very different.

"Dad... Dad, I'm so sorry. Why the fuck didn't I come here yesterday? I knew that this was about to happen... I've been dreaming it every single fucking night this week. Lord, why did you let me not come here yesterday? How could I be so fucking stupid!?!"

... as it was in the beginning... is now... and ever shall be, world without end. Amen."

What do I do now?

What am I supposed to do now?

Blur upon blur upon blur.

Helping to lift my father's body off of his bed, onto the gurney that will carry him away....

Blur...

Cleaning out his belongings...

Blur...

Fighting back tears...

Blur...

Fighting back the strong urge to punch someone in the fucking throat...

Blur...

Discussing funeral arrangements...

Blur...

Calling family members...

Blur.

Now I'm sitting at home with the Bible my Dad kept by his bedside... and the prayer cards from my brother's funeral which my Dad made it a point to read and put in his shirt pocket each and every morning since we lost my brother eighteen months ago.

Looking at the photos of us he had pinned to the wall.

Dad... I am so sorry. I planned to be there. I meant to be there. I should have been there. I wasn't there.

The very last words we said to each other were "I love you". That was just a week ago. Right now I'd give anything to be able to hear your voice utter those words again.

I'm here, Dad. I'm still saying the words...

Dad... I love you!

*   *   *

Saturday, October 22, 2016

366 Project - Day 296 - "Knight of the Year"


October 22, 2016 - "Knight of the Year"

Tonight we're at St. Matthew parish in Norwalk celebrating with our dear friend Anthony Armentano as he receives the very-much-deserved "Knight of the Year" award from Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360.

Congratulations, Anthony!

*   *   *

Friday, October 21, 2016

366 Project - Day 295 - "Abstract (Still)"


October 21, 2016 - "Abstract (Still)"

Last night was a very rough night. Every night this week I've had extremely vivid nightmares... but last night was the worst. I don't know how many times I woke up... at least half-a-dozen times. By the time the alarm went off calling me out of bed to get my son off to school, my body was in a state of suspended animation... far too tired to even move.

Thankfully I have a doctors appointment on Monday to try to figure out what is going on and whether or not an adjustment is needed. The nightmares have been occurring for at least a week or so... but the extremely vivid dreams have been going on for a long time. It's as if I'm watching a movie with such an intricate plot that if I were to blink and miss a frame of the film, I'd lose my place in the whole storyline. It's exhausting. Sometimes I'll sleep for eight or nine hours and wake up feeling as if I haven't slept in eight or nine days.

So today is a very "slow" day. Today is a very "still" day. Not much movement. Not much action. Just breathing... and even that is getting exhausting!

*   *   *

Thursday, October 20, 2016

366 Project - Day 294 - "Autumn in New England"


October 20, 2016 - "Autumn in New England"

Well, it took us going well into the third week of October... but Autumn has finally arrived in our little corner of New England!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

366 Project - Day 293 - "Abstract (It's Too Hot In Here)"


October 19, 2016 - "Abstract (It's Too Hot In Here)"

We're well into the third week of October and it has been in the 80s here in our part of New England the past few days. We went from having the heat on constantly to having to turn the air conditioner back on! Today not even the air conditioner was enough... we had to have every fan on "high" too!

Supposedly it's going to be dropping down to the 50s this weekend though. I don't know... we'll see. I'm keeping the air conditioner and fans on standby, just in case!

*   *   *

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

366 Project - Day 292 - "Abstract (Coming Through In Waves)"


October 18, 2016 - "Abstract (Coming Through In Waves)"

It's another minimalist sort of day for me... so here's another photo that is virtually straight from the camera. The only adjustment made was to convert it to B&W with an orange filter. No cropping and no other adjustments.

That's all I've got for today.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Monday, October 17, 2016

366 Project - Day 291 - "Giving (Not Giving)"


October 17, 2016 - "Giving (Not Giving)"

I spent yesterday morning standing outside the entrance of a local grocery store selling the famous "Knights of Columbus Tootsie Rolls" to raise money for a Connecticut charity which focuses on children with special needs. For a little over two hours I stood with a little table which was covered in a banner that featured the Knights of Columbus' "Emblem of the Order" and upon which sat information about the charity... a box of Tootsie Rolls... a bowl of other types of chocolates and candies... and, of course, a large jar to collect donations.

As customers would head into the store I would greet them with a smile and a "Good Morning!", then ask if they would like to help children with special needs.

Many people instantly stopped, smiled, and gave whatever they could. Others smiled and said that they catch me on the way out - and I did not encounter a single person who said that and did not end up coming out with money in hand to place in the jar with a smile. There were even quite a few people who saw me as they were exiting their car, and already had money in their hand to give before I could even get out the words "Good Morning!".

There were many other people though...

There were people who replied to my "Good Morning!" with a happy "Good Morning!" back at me... and would go on to apologize that they did not have any cash or change on them... just credit cards.

There were people who, as soon as they saw me standing there, made it a point to avoid eye contact at all costs! Some would respond to my "Good Morning!" with a mumbled "Morning" as they rushed into the store, not even giving a glance. Others would walk past without uttering a word or acknowledging my presence in any way whatsoever. Quite a few even responded to my "Good Morning!" with a flat-out "No" as they walked past my table.

Two people in particular kind of stuck out for their non-donation.

The first replied to my request with "I don't even know how many times I've donated to you guys in the past" - and that was that. I didn't quite understand what that had to do with "now", but OK.

The second replied with "I work with special needs kids all day every day, so I already do enough." Again... I didn't quite understand that. Does working a particular job for a particular cause mean that you cannot or should not be willing to give to another organization which is helping the same cause? It kind of confused me.

Most people I met, however, did give... and many were extremely generous. Most gave at least a dollar or two. Some gave whatever loose change they happened to have in their pocket. Some threw in $5s... $10s... even $20s. One customer came out with a strip of $1 scratch-off lottery tickets in his hand. He tore one off of the strip and placed in the collection jar. Later on, when we scratched it, it turned out to be a $5 winner... which was quickly cashed and the money added to the jar.

One gentleman, who wasn't even shopping at the store - saw me... drove over... pulled up in front of me... rolled down the passenger side window and called out to me to hand me several bills. I wasn't about to rudely count them... but on quick glance it looked to be around $20 or so... maybe more.

What's my point in all of this?

First and foremost - it's so wonderful to see how many people there are in the world who are willing to help out others they don't even know!

Second - it's kind of saddening to see how many people will go out of their way to "not" have to do so.

My rule is a simple one: "Give what you can, when you can."

For that reason alone I make it a point to have at least a dollar or two tucked aside in my wallet... and some loose change in my pocket - so that when such opportunities come my way, I can give what I can.

Another little "rule" of mine is to always have a $5.00 bill - or even a $5.00 Dunkin Donuts card or something like that - in my wallet... because you never know when you're going to come across someone who needs to come across someone like you who has that to give to them.

So that's my little "homework assignment" for all of you: Tuck a dollar or two in an easily accessible part of your wallet or purse... or make sure you always have some loose change on you. When you are blessed with the opportunity to toss that single or handful of coin into a jar to help someone, do it. And if you can, keep a $5 bill or a $5 Dunkin Donuts card on you... and make it a point to not let it sit in your wallet or purse for more than a month or so. Make it a point to find someone who needs it more than you do.

In short - "Give what you can, when you can."

It's a simple way to spread love... and that is something the world could definitely use a lot more of!

*   *   *


Sunday, October 16, 2016

366 Project - Day 290 - "Abstract (Floored)"


October 16, 2016 - "Abstract (Floored)"

I have another renovation project to tackle... new flooring for our main bathroom. This should be "fun"!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Saturday, October 15, 2016

366 Project - Day 289 - "Abstract (Stamford Hospital)"


October 15, 2016 - "Abstract (Stamford Hospital - Untouched)"

This photo is almost straight from my camera. The only alteration made was a very slight cropping to eliminate a tiny portion of sky from the upper-right corner. That's it. No other adjustments whatsoever.

Why am I pointing that fact out? Because... well... sometimes things just sort of "come together" on their own, without any adjustments being necessary. Sometimes we overwork things... we just don't know when to quit... and we think that "more" is "more" when really "less" is "more".

Does that make sense? I don't know. I just came from a wine-tasting event at my church, where lots and lots and LOTS of wine was consumed. I have no idea what the heck I'm saying. I only know this: Life is beautiful and does not require any "touching up" to become so. Appreciate what you have... what you take for granted is something that others would give almost anything to have. You are beautiful just the way you are... don't "Photoshop" yourself unnecessarily. Just be you.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Friday, October 14, 2016

366 Project - Day 288 - "Abstract (Coiled)"


October 14, 2016 - "Abstract (Coiled)"

I love my new headphones!

That's it. Nothing else today. I just needed to say that.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Thursday, October 13, 2016

366 Project - Day 287 - "Abstract (Protected)"


October 13, 2016 - "Abstract (Protected)"

Sometimes things happen in life that cause us to - knowingly or unknowingly - wrap ourselves in a protective barrier, shutting ourselves off from further harm. As years pass the layer of protective padding might get thicker and thicker as the hurts get pushed deeper and deeper... yet the simple fact that they're still in there somewhere affects the very fabric of your being. Without even realizing it, the hurt that lies deep within causes you do make decisions cautiously, doing your best to avoid even the slightest possibility of exposing what you've worked so hard to conceal.

Then it happens. It starts with just a single bubble amongst the thousands of bubbles that make up the layer upon layer of protective wrapping within. A single bubble "pops". It doesn't matter "how" the bubble pops... the simple fact that it pops is enough to send a tremor through your entire being.

Another bubble pops.

Another.

Yet another.

"Why is this happening?", you ask yourself. After all, you don't WANT this to be happening! It would be so much more comfortable and so much easier for you if things were to remain well-wrapped and hidden.

Another bubble pops.

Another.

Yet another.

"I'm so not ready for this!", you say - as you realize you're holding the end of the sheet of protective bubble-wrap... popping the bubbles yourself, one at a time.

Pop!

Pop!

Things are surfacing and everything is beginning to make sense. Your mind starts to understand exactly why you do the very things you do... why you feel the very things you feel... why you fear the very things you fear... and how there's so much more to the story than you ever thought there was.

Pop!

Pop!

Pop!

The protective layer is disappearing...

... and soon it will be time to face what has been hidden for far too long.

"Am I *really* ready for this?", you ask yourself.

Well... you're about to find out!

*   *   *

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

366 Project - Day 286 - "Abstract (Time)"


October 12, 2016 - "Abstract (Time)"

Staring at the well-worn remains of a tree that has washed up on the shores of Candlewood Lake... thinking of my own forty years of life while doing so - I am reminded of one of Gollum's riddles for Bilbo Baggins from the book "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien:

"This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal; 
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down."

The answer?

"Time"

*   *   *


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

366 Project - Day 285 - "Right Next to My Heart"


October 11, 2016 - "Right Next to My Heart"

Tonight I officially became a First Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus... an amazing organization which my family has long been associated with. My grandfather - Nunzie Peter Pia - was a Fourth Degree Knight since the 1950s - and was an official photographer for the K of C. I have such fond memories of him and the K of C from when I was growing up - including standing with him outside a grocery store selling Tootsie Rolls to raise money for charity. I'd always end up with some Tootsie Rolls for myself, which I'd bring to school... and the other kids were always amazed because they were long Tootsie Rolls, much bigger than the little mini ones they were used to.

Tonight, as I became a First Degree Member of Brookfield Council 11913, I did so with a bit of my Grandfather next to my heart. I had his name badge clipped to the inside pocket of my suit jacket, right against my chest.

I swear I could feel his presence behind me, as my eyes began to tear up during the ceremony. I have a feeling he was smiling!

I love and miss you so much, Grandpa! I promise to do my best to make you proud!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Monday, October 10, 2016

366 Project - Day 284 - "I-84 West (Heading Home)"


October 10, 2016 - "I-84 West (Heading Home)"

We're on the highway... heading home from dropping our daughter off at college, after a wonderful and amazing birthday weekend.

Very tired.

Can't wait to get home and have some wine!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Sunday, October 9, 2016

366 Project - Day 283 - "Abstract (40)"


October 09, 2016 - "Abstract (40)"

I was born in this town exactly forty years ago today.

I grew up just a stone's-throw from this very spot.

I've spent countless summer days on this beach... and have walked down these stairs I don't know how many times. It has been at least twenty years since the last time I looked at them... yet they look exactly the same to me.

This whole place does.

It looks the same...

It smells the same...

It feels the same...

I, however, am quite different... almost unrecognizable.

Four decades of growth and change. What will the next four bring? Will I be standing here again at eighty?

Will it look the same?

Will it smell the same?

Will it feel the same?

Will the same memories still flash through my mind?

Will I have tears in my eyes, as I do now?

One can only hope.

So here's to the last forty years!

Here's to the next forty as well!

I wonder how the story will end... but I'm quite content with waiting to find out!

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Saturday, October 8, 2016

366 Project - Day 282 - "Abstract (Reflections)"


October 08, 2016 - "Abstract (Reflections)"

Water.

Color.

Night.

Life.

Is.

Good.

*   *   *

Friday, October 7, 2016

366 Project - Day 281 - "Abstract (Back to Work)"


October 07, 2016 - "Abstract (Back to Work)"

It's time for me to get back to work.

Now, if only I had the energy to actually do that!

*   *   *

Thursday, October 6, 2016

366 Project - Day 280 - "Leica"


October 06, 2016 - "Leica"

Leica is having a very quiet and lazy "leave me alone, I'm comfortable" sort of day.

(lifeisgood!)

*   *   *

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

366 Project - Day 279 - "Abstract (Treasure)"


October 05, 2016 - "Abstract (Treasure)"

They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure. That certainly proved to be the case with this object - a very old ornate wooden window shutter. Many years ago we happened to be at the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT one Sunday, right at the time when all of the vendors were packing up their wares and heading out. Some vendors chose to dump items that hadn't sold into the trash bins instead of packing them up again. That was the case with this shutter panel. A man walked over with it and a box of old magazines... and left both alongside an overflowing garbage can. I don't know why - but I fell in love with the wooden panel, which is almost as tall as I am. I took it home... and for years it has been sitting tucked behind a door... waiting for me to find a use for it. That moment came recently, when I had a tall, narrow strip of bare wall that needed "something" to hide the holes where other things had once hung. Then I remembered the wooden shutter panel... dug it out of its hiding place... and hung it in place. It fit perfectly!

Yep... One man's trash is another man's treasure!

(lifeisgood!)

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

366 Project - Day 278 - "Abstract (Cupcakes)"


October 04, 2016 - "Abstract (Cupcakes)"

Later this week I'll be baking cupcakes for the potluck feast that follow's our church's "Living Rosary".

For now, I'm playing around with the little cupcake liners and my camera.

(lifeisgood!)

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Monday, October 3, 2016

366 Project - Day 277 - "Simple Love"


October 03, 2016 - "Simple Love"

It's a very quiet day.

A very simple day.

Nothing exciting.

Except that my new note cards arrived in the mail.

Yep. That's it.

(lifeisgood!)

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

366 Project - Day 276 - "The Rosary"


October 02, 2016 - "The Rosary"

October is the month which the Catholic Church dedicates to The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I pray the Rosary every single day... and I own about a dozen sets of Rosary beads - in fact I always have a Rosary on me at all times. This particular set of beads, however, is my absolute favorite... and is Rosary I pray with the most often by-far. This Rosary was a gift to me from my brother Peter when he stood as my Confirmation Sponsor. It is an "Our Lady of Lourdes" Rosary... and on the back of the central medal there is a small capsule containing water from the grotto in Lourdes, France. I love all of my Rosaries... but if I could only keep one, this would be the one.

Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary, pray for us!

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

366 Project - Day 275 - "Abstract (Wet Lexus)"


October 01, 2016 - "Abstract (Wet Lexus)"

It was a rainy day as I wandered through the parking lot. I looked at droplets on a Honda... droplets on a Mercedes... on an Audi... on a Chevrolet... on a Buick... and on a Subaru - but none of them could compare in beauty to the droplets on the trunk of this particular Lexus LS.*

(* This posting is in no-way and endorsement of Lexus products... and the photographer/writer of this post has not been compensated for his opinion. If, however, Lexus would like to give him an LS - he would be more than willing to accept such a generous gift.)

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