Looking Back

Personal Capital – Lessons from Living the “Village Life”

Over the last three decades of financial independence, Billy and I have done some extensive world travel. While we have seen the large cities, the amazing architecture, eaten in some of the finest restaurants and enjoyed museums, plays, and concerts, generally, we are attracted to Village Life. It might not be that different from the neighborhoods ...Read More

7 Things Our Parents Said on Roadtrips

Baby boomers were raised going on family summer road trips.Our parents wanted the family to travel through the countryside– enjoying roadside picnics overrun by ants and staying at motels overrun by spiders. Kids just wanted to get back home and play with their friends. To accomplish this they would sit in the backseat of the car and perfect the ar...Read More

Memory Lane Alert! A Case for the Maytag Lonely Repairman. Oh my…

What you are about to read is the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth. So help me Maytag Lonely Repairman. Here’s what happened… Years ago, Jan and I agreed to purchase a Maytag washer and dryer. We were convinced Maytag was a trusted brand. This was based on exhaustive research: Jan’s comment, “Gary, I feel sorry for that poor Maytag...Read More

A Kodak Moment

“Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away.” ~ Paul Simon I have a picture of the Valentine birthday party my parents threw for me when I turned six-years-old. It is a day that will live in my personal infamy. Daddy took the photo with a Kodak Mama made him buy especially for the occasion. The photograph showed ten small bodies seated in a circle on...Read More

Ahhhhh – The Dreaded High School Reunion!

Dear “Oh Carol:” I just got a notice that our high school reunion (50th) will be held late next summer.  I went to one, maybe it was the 5th or the 10th – but haven’t seen anyone since then. I went to high school in NY and then moved to the southwest when we retired.  My wife has passed on but I live nearby to my son and his family.  Even so, I fee...Read More

What Changes We’ve Seen!

Well, I’m giving it another try.  Back on February 4th, we attempted hip replacement surgery – but, long story short, it turned out I had an allergy I wasn’t aware of – so the surgery was called off.  But today we’re going to give it another whirl. In a short while we’ll get in the car and start the drive to Bost...Read More

What If…We Actually DID Something?

A “personal opinion?” You bet. And…one to be proud of!  Garret Mathews lived in Southern West Virginia from 1972 until 1987 where he wrote feature stories and, later, columns for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The newspaper’s circulation area includes McDowell County, one of the poorest counties in Appalachia. Before mine mechaniz...Read More

Things I’m Glad I’ve Lived Through (and Never Have to Revisit)

I belong to many nostalgia lists. Most of these sites center on memories of Philadelphia, since that’s where I spent my childhood and adolescence. Mostly these sites just make me homesick for cheesesteaks, water ice (or wadder ice, in the Philadelphia vernacular), and all-night diners where late dates ended over “kitchen sink” ice cream boats. Howe...Read More

In Memory of My Patty Duke Flip

“Meet Cathy, who’s lived most everywhere, From Zanzibar to Barclay Square. But Patty’s only seen the sights A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights – What a crazy pair!”   I really wanted to be Cathy Lane, not Patty Lane. I definitely thought that Crepes Suzette sounded more interesting than hot dogs. Hot dogs didn’t make me lose con...Read More

Garbage – Literally Speaking!

As a former summer replacement garbageman who once worked four consecutive days without throwing up, I must protest the automatic thingie used these days to hoist rubbish containers. If a modern-day garbage process-server comes across a receptacle that is too heavy, or too smelly, or too laden with dead rodents, he can affix it to a device on the b...Read More

What Happened to Exciting, Fun Winters?

I wondered as I looked out the window watching the snow falling on trees and lawns.  Well, I remember that heavy wet snow made great snow balls waiting for my brother’s back.  And fluffy flurries falling so much that it sat on my lashes like a bookshelf.  Opened lips could catch the flakes so I could taste God’s many geometric creations.   They tas...Read More

Nana’s Fishing Pole

I have been exceedingly blessed in my life to have had the influence of two remarkable grandmothers. Nana, my mother’s mother lived most of her life in small towns or settlements with limited access to stores and other amenities. Nana exhibited a remarkable work ethic, a tremendous “can do” attitude and a full range of talents she used to enhance h...Read More

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