Friday, February 28, 2014

The First of My California Trip

April 3, 1979
It's early morning. The sun's rays are penetrating across the desert town far off to the mountains. The baby is up and fed. She's with her parents. I'm enjoying a cup of unhurried coffee and thinking on the last couple of days.
I arrived in L.A., a weary, tired and excited girl. As I struggled with two overloaded suitcases, I wondered where I should wait. I knew it would be a while, so I wanted to be comfortable and in plain view. 
I took the plain view right at the front door. It wasn't comfortable as I leaned against a pillar. Soon the minutes dripped into a half hour and Diane and Herman with Michelle would be there shortly. I sat on the suitcase, even if it did feel like it was going to break.
I saw many people, from a man wearing an army green suit, T-shirt and tennis shoes with a knapsack, to the obvious fashion plate snob. Some wore very summer clothes,(probably from the East and their first time in California, like me), others a fall or spring light outfits, while still others wore fur coats or winter coats with boots. Of course, in an airport you cannot really determine a person's sanity by his clothes. The winter people were probably going some place very cold.
As the half hour turned into an hour, I began to grow anxious. I was so very tired and my thinking started to be irrational. I almost felt like crying and I could feel the fear creep into my face. My mouth was dry and my whole body ached from worry.
I prayed to the Lord to quiet my fears. I prayed the little VW Rabbit wasn't in trouble and I asked that they would soon come. He gave me strength to sing Christian songs to myself and while I was trusting Him, He brought the family safely to me.
I hopped into the car and began my tour of California. First stop-> L.A. and surrounding areas. At night it was an ever going plane of lights, only the ocean stopped it on the west. I saw the expensive homes and palm trees at night.
We spent the night at a distant cousin and his family's apartment. They were a very nice couple and their children were beautiful. George was five and always wearing some sort of hat covering his black hair. Nina, almost three, was a little lighter with brown hair and brown eyes. They had olive skin and looked like their mother.
That ends my first day in the Golden State. I'll write more, but now the morning is moving on and I have to get moving. An aunt's work is never done.

April 10, 1979
I'm back to my story after a week. There is so much happening and a new life style to absorb, that I haven't time to record it. Also at night, I got distracted by "The Scarlet Letter" on TV. It was a very good production. There's no desk in my room and it makes it hard to write. Also I'm so tired by 10:30, it's a relief to snuggle in my covers and wait for morning. Well enough excuses, I could go on; and on with my story of California.
My first full day in California began with a tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bell Aire and L.A. in large. This is the rich, elite and stereotype California. Look to your right and you see bag ladies or a man getting his breakfast in a truck size garbage bin. In front, are the glittering signs for record albums. Larger than life and prettier are the Bee Gees, Bob Welsh, George Benson and many other entertainers. On your left, there are chauffeur driven cars, not necessarily limos, with business people. There are the modestly decorated mansions to the sheik's gaudy green home with painted naked statues. All the houses are larger than any normally big home. People have the money and they spend it.
The flowers were in bloom and every lawn was manicured. It was a man made beauty, but beautiful all the same.
We started up the coast and one big name was Malibu. Beach Boys songs popped into my head as I observed the surfers and the crashing waves. It all seemed very fast moving and a life style all their own.
Mud was on the road and houses that were worth a lot, hung from the hills. Driveways were blocked off as I gazed at the "basements" of houses. The foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rains came down and floods came up. The house on the sand went smack.
So many people's lives are like that. They have no firm foundation and nothing to cling to in the storms of life. Jesus is the foundation in life, because He is the maker of life. I praise the Lord I have Him to hold me and support me.
The views from these houses had the ocean and were very picturesque. The setting on the cliffs was ideal. It was very inviting scene to build your home, but the hills were just dirt. So is life like this story. We are tempted by beautiful things, but they turn out to be the real horrors of life and our foundation is crumbly dirt. But Jesus says it best in Matt. 7: 24-27 and Luke 6:47-49. He is the Rock.
As we went further up the coast, the less populous and more natural the state became. It was more common to see a cow than a surfer. It was very beautiful and uplifting in its simplicity.
We spent my second night in San Luis Obispo. It is an agriculture town with a university, a lot like Penn State, only with an ocean near by. There are quiet peaks and the city is hilly.
Diane's old high school friend has lived there. Her husband is a chemistry professor at Cal Poly. They bought a new house.
The house was twenty years old and built by the man for his family. It appeared small but rooms kept springing up. The living room was long and went into a dining area. Separated by the sliding doors was a cute deck. The kitchen was large and had plenty of room for a refrigerator, washer and dryer, stove, sink and cupboard space. In the guest room, downstairs, was a piano and a studio bed. It was to be my room and it was comfortable. Up some stairs we went into Linda's room, the sign hadn't come down yet. It was a fair size room with eves in it. The room reminded me of my own at home. Up a few more winding stairs into the attic with a hall, there was an empty room with an insulation floor. The man had built himself a den or office and it had the neatest door. Because of the slanted ceiling, the door had a wooden flap, so it could open into the room. Then there was Relatives Roost. It was high and had a lovely view of Bishop's Peak. I envied Diane and Herman for this room, but it really suited a couple, more than a singe teen age girl. In Maggie and Al's bedroom, the man built a place in the wall where his wife could sew. In the basement, the used to be a garage was the den or rec room. It had a sink, a turning door in the wall for the man's projector and a bed with a door to the outside for their dog, Bowser.
The man used every inch of space and there was a lot of storage. We all concluded it would be a great house to play hide and go seek, but did not pursue the game.
I had a wonderful night. Al made thick, chewy pizza, unlike any I've ever tasted. The fresh salad was great with the snapping lettuce, glistening tomatoes, creamy avocados and firm cucumbers.
Maggie and Al are so nice and were the best hostess and host. I enjoyed getting to know them, because I was too young to know Maggie from before and I was eleven when I met Al at Diane and Herman's reception. So I really didn't know them.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Anticipating California

My mother baby sat Shelly, the granddaughter of Mom's cousin, Norma. Noreen, Norma's daughter, drove Norma and Shelly to our house one Sunday in August of 1978. Mom, of course was happy to see her older cousin,Norma, the daughter of Grandpa Evans' older sister Edith. She was older than Mom, consequently, her daughters also were older than Mom's kids. Well, everyone was older than I.
We had a pleasant visit. At the very end, Noreen or Norma mentioned that Shelly needed a babysitter. Noreen had a well paying job at Packard Electric plant, working various shifts. Shelly was eight. She had lived with a babysitter in Wheatland, but that lady was unable to continue. Shelly would live with us during the week. Mom and Dad always had a heart for children, so with little discussion, they said yes. Shelly's bags were packed and I had a little sister going into my senior year, who didn't live with us on the weekends, often. Some weekends, she stayed.
Now, from my journal:

March 27, 1979
Yesterday Shelly got a belated birthday card from Diane. In the message were some words for me, advising me to bring my camera and plenty of film. She named all the places we would visit and excitement filled my eyes, even though I was sick. Magic Mountain, Hearst Castle, Death Valley and a lot of other great places are some of the attractions we will be attending.
These last couple of days will seem an eternity even though I have been looking forward since last year and now it is a reality. Thursday I'll go crazy from anticipation.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Teddy Tuesday

On the AP:
STRUTHERS, Ohio (AP) — A man is suing a northeast Ohio child services agency after the death of his 14-year-old son, who authorities say was tortured and fatally beaten by the boyfriend of the boy's mother.
Shawn Tedesco of Sharon, Pa., sued Mahoning County Children Services on Wednesday, seeking information after Teddy Foltz's January 2013 death.
The Vindicator in Youngstown ( ) reports Tedesco alleges the agency was notified that Teddy was abused but acted negligently by not actively investigating his mother's household.
The agency's director wouldn't comment on the lawsuit.
Teddy's mother was accused of allowing abuse and pleaded guilty to related charges.
Prosecutors say her boyfriend beat Teddy after years of torture that included forcing him to walk on hot coals. He was sentenced to up to life in prison and has appealed

From Teddy's Law Facebook page:
Tonight I would like to talk about the foundation we are setting up for Teddy. It will be called The Team Teddy Foundation. We are very excited to bring Teddy's name on and raise awareness to other children. I want this foundation to serve as protection to abused children. No child should ever feel like they are alone. We also will fight for Teddy's Law. To strengthen the laws against child abuse. We have had a bad few months. But it is time to be positive and move on from our failures. We still need help. Please do not give up on us. A lot of us are new to all of this. We are in it's for the long haul. And we cannot do this without all of you. We are all Team Teddy. Please continue to share Teddy's Story.

Team Teddy!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Waiting for California

Now, I am getting back to the memory part of my blog. I do so desperately need to write on my novels, so I will borrowing my past in my journals. I will post them in italics, I will make some corrections from, ekes, thirty five years ago! but basically, these will be what an almost eighteen year old thought in 1979:

January 25, 1979

In the morning, laying in my soft warm bed surrounded by the dark cold air, I wish we didn't have school. My body rejects the idea of getting up. My mind says, "It's snowing hard, the streets were covered last night, we shouldn't have school."
But I get up and slowly trudge to the radio. My school isn't canceled and the ritual of getting ready for school is performed. I don't feel at all like dressing and putting on my make-up.
Whiteness is a mist and again the sidewalks, ground and roads are covered by snow. Buses are late on the slippery highways. Home room is extended five minutes.
Now that I'm in school, I'm glad I'm here. I have my eye on the week vacation at Easter and a trip to California. I can suffer the worst blizzard in this school, if I be basking in the sun in only three months. Some things are worth the agony.
P.S. We got out of school early. 

February 24, 1979
As I pierce the gray skies, I have the sudden urge to hold Tim, to hug him and kiss him. I need him here for companionship and his smile and kind eyes. But all I feel is emptiness and loneliness. A pit enlarges in my stomach and nothing relieves the pain on this dreary late winter day.

February 26, 1979
It's confirmed, I'm going to California! I leave March 29 at 6:15PM from Pittsburgh and I won't be home till 5:08 PM April 17. I'm looking forward to my break. I've never been that far west and I know Diane and Herman will take me to neat places.
I'm ready to pack and leave already and the worst part is I have to wait a month.

February 27, 1979
Memories live like they happened only last week, but when you look back, you find it was a month, two months or even years when it actually happened. So life floats along, each of us making our memories. Some are mistakes we'd rather not look upon; and other memories bring spring to a cold dead winter evening.
Memories put us in "movies" and always take us to another world. The plots move, and you meditate the endings and all along you know you have been down that road before.
Memories are for you and me to share together, so we make one more memory before we part.

Yes, you can see why my writing teacher gave me a "B" on my journal by these samples. I seemed to love "and." I tried to write creatively, not so much concisely. I fell in love with Tim, as he was on my paper route in my freshman year. Tim moved to Florida, that summer. He came back to visit his sister in January of 1979, so his memory was fresh in my mind. We had rekindled our relationship. I love how the finalization of a trip to California made me forget about Tim. At least for a day. A cold, dead winter's day. Don't forget dreary.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Another Weekend

Oh, boy, another weekend with no time to write like I would. I work which makes it hard, time wise. I also was involved with travel on Saturday morning with the Teen Bible Quiz team my daughter and I coach. The last match of the season dawned wonderfully. Such early dawns, though, starting a day to travel an hour and half to Monroeville, arriving at nine in the morning. GPS took us away from the church, that is visible from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, setting off a delay, but Katie made up a song about following our youth pastor, Pastor Mike, that lightened my anxiety. The kids did well for as much as they practice and came away encouraged. On to next season in a few months, I breath relief that we are not doing the district, regional and national level this year. But wait till next year!
Today, with sleeping in, I found myself in surprise at the worship at church. I came not expecting. Those are usually the times I am filled. The sermon challenged, read the stories of Jesus. Retell them to the lost lamb, he only wandered off. Love them back to church brought tears to my eyes.
Now, I'm writing with one hand, as I eat lunch before I hurriedly get ready for my shift in less than an hour. Last weekend, I didn't have internet connection as I spent the time in the Poconos in two feet of snow. I let my husband drive and the library was closed, so I didn't ask him to sit somewhere while I wrote. I'll write about this weekend another time, too. Ah, the ideas swirl waiting for time.
Now, I have to go love some lambs.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Three Years of Blogging

Three years ago today, I put to computer my blog. I have been doing some recalculations about this whole writing process the last couple of weeks. As I wrote three years ago, this is a journey. I started reading a book on publishing(Book Publishing Instructions by Jeremy Myers) I downloaded for free a few months ago, last night. The mechanical, technical leg of this trip makes me sweat in fear. This e-book is so clear on the technical aspect of publishing and all the goals I started with are suggested in the book. I am encouraged again. I do love when my ideas are confirmed.
Writing conferences eluded me, as life commitments cloud the goal. I tried writing groups. The first one, the time and leader did not fit. The second, I pursued East Liverpool to find the CreateSpace authors. They invited me to their meetings and I enjoyed these gals immensely. Life threw the wrench again with new job and new schedule that I haven't been able to meet with them since late summer. The beginning of this month, a fledgling group opened wings here in the Shenango Valley, with my schedule in mind for the meetings. 
I self published a novel, Summer Triangle, the end of August, last year. Deep breath. Again, life drags me away from the marketing needed to promote novels locally. I signed with West Bow Press in January to publish Main Street, technical problems delaying the upload. All in God's time, I believe.
Today, I pause to celebrate a little, but I also am refreshed to continue the hard work of writing. I don't want to lose sight that I am a writer. Sometimes, I got bogged down with life issues. I resolve to keep the goal to glorify God in all I do. The following is my inaugural post. The sun decided to brightly shine as I typed that last sentence:

  I did it!  I'm starting a blog with my niece, Lori's, and my daughter, Katie's help!  A fun way to get together this afternoon.  They helped me set it up while we talked about girl stuff.  We decided on the name together.  "Musings" was wandering around in my brain, so we all thought Miss Mollie's Musings was a perfect name for a writer's blog.  I do muse a lot, too.
Sometimes, I amuse myself.  I hope to interest the reader with my postings.  I also want the discipline to write.   I have been pursuing in earnest  my dream to be a published writer for about 2 years, now.  I started writing and illustrating stories in third grade- the first one cleverly entitled "3 Dogs for Mollie"  Guess what I wanted for my birthday?  I finished a story last May.(Main Street)  I entered a contest for the Youngstown Vindicator this month.  Didn't win or place, but I had fun and I still think of Dave and Kelly.
I love words which is why it takes me so long to read a book.  I read each word and pay attention to the sentence.  But I'm also afraid as I have been out of school so long, I forget the grammar rules.  As I am a registered nurse for 32 years, if you count being a nurse's aid and nursing school, my writing suffered as charting must be concise and done in a hurry! Supervisors don't like overtime for flowery reports.  Yet, as we went to lap tops, with keyboard charting, my typing improved to the point where it is now hard to write long hand.  It is what I do every day. Writing on the computer helped with the spelling and grammar.
I enjoy telling stories, but writing is more difficult.  I want the stories of my ancestors to live on for my kids. The triumph of the human spirit with God's direction fascinates and inspires me.
I'm not sure which direction this blog will take me.  Life is a journey with joy in that journey.  I pray each day that I may have strength for that day and joy in the journey.  I hope you will join me in the journey of a middle age woman finding her dream.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Energy Crisis Blessings

The late seventies brought harsh winters, somewhat like what we are experiencing now. I've seen pictures on Facebook, asking if anyone remembers the blizzard of 1978. Compounded with the frigid temperatures was the idea we were having an energy crisis. No meetings, no basketball games, no running to the mall for two weeks created a dull atmosphere. As a teenager, I found being stuck in my home, as much as I loved it, an island of loneliness.
As we put on extra sweaters with the turned down thermostat, we possessed no cell phones, internet or even more than one TV in my drafty house to keep me connected to my peers like kids today. School canceled for days dragging into weeks to conserve energy with the coldest of temperatures. I hibernated in my room with the gas stove, throwing off heat in intervals, cold in between. I kept the patriotic spirit by doing as much as I could by candle light, taking baths, reading, writing or just dreaming. My early readings of Little House books and Abe Lincoln biographies bolstered my resolved. I always wanted to live in the "olden days." I think I slept a lot, because we knew the school was closed down, no anxious waits for the news in the morning.
The authorities toyed with the time, making it Daylight Savings Time, but kids waited for hours in the dark for buses. The national news aired families in Florida griping about the pitch black night. That seemed to be the only place that didn't have the deep, deep cold. I think it was forty or maybe thirty four. Still it gave them daylight in the evening.
Being a teenage girl, emotions rise to the surface quickly. Irritation at not seeing friends at school, mostly the boyfriend and all the extra curricular activities rerouted to the next month, I was bored. I couldn't vent my adolescent steam. My mom overheard me complaining to a friend who called that a meeting was canceled.Thinking I called her a name, she became angry and cried. I rolled my eyes.  Dad blessedly worked, staying out of the feminine mire.
When we made it back to school, we hunkered around in our winter coats due to the heat only to be sixty five. We tried turning off the lights between classes, until our biology teacher explained that used more energy flipping the switch off and on for fluorescent lights. I never thought school would be so welcomed, but we couldn't do anything else when banished to home with conserving gas and all, school provided socialization.
After two years of brutal winters, the school district added the long spring break. Those first years, we had to attend school well into June. My senior year, they added ten days in April around Easter. We had a mild winter with no snow days in 1979, only the usual cold January, with no more energy crisis. Still with ten days off in the spring built into the schedule allowed me to take three weeks for my first visit to California. I ended up only missing a small amount of school for my educational trip.
I'll write more about this trip later.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Teddy Tuesday

Just a reminder, that if you suspect child abuse, but don't feel you can't get involved, you can report anonymously. I used to do this for my adult patients. I could call Adult Protection- I had it on speed dial- and report dangerous situations.
From Teddy's Law Facebook page:
Signs/Symptoms common to all abused kids:
Frequent injuries, bruises, fractures. (frequent bruises in toddlers are not always an indication of physical abuse or neglect.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Changes

Valentine's Day changes over the years. As a kid, I spent the night before working on a box to receive Valentines and signing Valentines to be given. The last year, when I was in fifth grade, I covered a box with white tissue paper, then pasted images from a doll's box I had. She was Peace, but she had the counter parts of Love and Flower, I believe. It was 1972, after all. Peace had luxurious black hair to her mid back. She wasn't as buxom as Barbie. Just a petite little doll bigger than Skipper displaying a calm face with doe brown eyes. At almost eleven, this was a very cool box, I thought. I forgot about Soul, till I looked it up on Google. My sister gave me Soul for being in her wedding, later that year. Not mine. I forgot the red boots. So very cool.
As a little girl, I just wanted that extra loving from a special boy. I probably thought of boys too much with maybe holding hands and a peck on the cheek. Friendship, really, is what I seek. Yeah, rhyming words spring to mind often lately. And I wanted to look like Peace. Now, I want to emit peace.
As a teen, Valentine's Day had a vague idea of spending that day with someone special or not, if no one special graced my life. My first Valentine's Day with my not sure he would be my husband involved finding a card that wouldn't say too much, but I was "falling" for him. His said, "If I told you, you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?" Ah, things haven't changed that much.
The next year in 1981, a blizzard roared through western Pennsylvania on February twelfth. Big surprise, there, huh? David's brother married on the fourteenth with that snow covering so wonderfully and bright blue skies. The only Valentine's Day, my husband wore red and white, like in a white tux with a red ruffle shirt. I thought he looked wonderful.
Children add a new dimension to this holiday of love. Can they add more to your life? Love grows. Red pop (sorry soda for my non-western Pennsylvania readers) filled glasses when they were young. Red plates, homemade sugar cookies or heart shaped cakes or pancakes decorated my table. Big red hearts in the window to announce a beautiful holiday.
And one year celebrating this holiday at church with dainty cards inscribed with scriptures. Of course, 1 Corinthians 13, but also 1 John 4. What is love? God is love. The holiday became God's that year. Romantic love comprises a small portion of this wonderful day, I give back to Jesus. God gives all love and this holiday is now one of my favorites. I quote Robert Frost, "and that has made all the difference."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Storm Tossed Morning

Storm Tossed Morning
Mollie Lyon

My strength is beaten
The storm tosses, tears apart my boat
I hang on to a shard
It won't keep me afloat.
I stretch down deep
I reach with my feet
I feel the Rock,
An Anchor solid.

I claim the life of abundance
I stand, knocked about
My feet don't want to dance
I stand with no desire to shout
A whimper, but I won't be low laid.
My strength is not my own
I am nothing, but what I am made.

With Jesus, my Rock,
I'm anchored in strength
In this moment I am not locked.
I can move
I can dance
I can run
I am alive.
In Him alone, I put my trust.

Even though I am not affected by the storm in the East, we have all kinds of storms and we need to trust in Jesus, alone.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Teddy Tuesday

Photo: 4-year-old girl dies from head injuriesBy MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com02/08/2014 12:05 AM

A 4-year-old Conneaut girl died Friday morning from head injuries apparently inflicted late Thursday night, authorities said.
A felony child endangering charge has been filed against Joshua Million, 25, 243 E. Main Road (downstairs). He was arraigned late Friday afternoon in Conneaut Municipal Court, and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled, a court spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Million is being held without bond on a misdemeanor probation revocation order stemming from a traffic offense in 2013, officials said. A condition of the probation Million was granted at the time stipulated he stay out of trouble for five years.
A hearing on the revocation matter will be held at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the local court.
Conneaut Police Chief Charles Burlingham said police were contacted by staff at UH Conneaut Medical Center staff around 11:45 p.m., apparently when the child was brought to the emergency room for treatment. Burlingham identified the child as Melaney Powell. The girl was flown by medical helicopter to Cleveland.
She was pronounced dead Friday morning at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said Christopher Harris, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office.
The child is the victim in a “suspected homicide, as reported by the Conneaut Police Department,” according to a statement from Harris.
A preliminary cause or manner of death was not immediately available Friday, Harris said.
Burlingham said the child suffered “suspicious injuries,” which he described as head trauma. “These were fresh injuries,” he said.
Million had been left in charge of the child’s care, Burlingham said.
He is reportedly the boyfriend of the victim’s mother, according to reports.
Investigators have collected evidence at an unidentified location on the city’s east side, Burlingham said. Depending on the results of the analysis, additional charges could be filed against Million, he said.
“The matter remains under investigation,” Burlingham said.This is from Teddy's Law page again. The more I read, the more I see it is the boyfriends of the mothers of these precious children.
When will this end? Why do our children have to suffer abuse? This is becoming an epidemic. We need to stand together and fight against child abuse. This crazy monster was actually smiling in his mug photo. I seen this first hand on a Cleveland news station. Let's end child abuse!
4-year-old girl dies from head injuriesBy MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com02/08/2014 12:05 AM

A 4-year-old Conneaut girl died Friday morning from head injuries apparently inflicted late Thursday night, authorities said.
A felony child endangering charge has been filed against Joshua Million, 25, 243 E. Main Road (downstairs). He was arraigned late Friday afternoon in Conneaut Municipal Court, and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled, a court spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Million is being held without bond on a misdemeanor probation revocation order stemming from a traffic offense in 2013, officials said. A condition of the probation Million was granted at the time stipulated he stay out of trouble for five years.
A hearing on the revocation matter will be held at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the local court.
Conneaut Police Chief Charles Burlingham said police were contacted by staff at UH Conneaut Medical Center staff around 11:45 p.m., apparently when the child was brought to the emergency room for treatment. Burlingham identified the child as Melaney Powell. The girl was flown by medical helicopter to Cleveland.
She was pronounced dead Friday morning at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said Christopher Harris, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office.
The child is the victim in a “suspected homicide, as reported by the Conneaut Police Department,” according to a statement from Harris.
A preliminary cause or manner of death was not immediately available Friday, Harris said.
Burlingham said the child suffered “suspicious injuries,” which he described as head trauma. “These were fresh injuries,” he said.
Million had been left in charge of the child’s care, Burlingham said.
He is reportedly the boyfriend of the victim’s mother, according to reports.
Investigators have collected evidence at an unidentified location on the city’s east side, Burlingham said. Depending on the results of the analysis, additional charges could be filed against Million, he said.
“The matter remains under investigation,” Burlingham said

Monday, February 10, 2014

What I Would Have Written

The weekend crashed with no time to write, as I worked. I had my first writer's group locally and it was great. Lunch with family and then visiting my brother, who is doing well, despite health matters, in the hospital. Sunday, church and chillaxing before work.
Today, I'm fighting the upper respiratory bug going around a congregate living facility. We joked yesterday that we see these people more than our own families. Sad, but true. After moping around all morning with no energy, I write this fast post.
So, if I could have followed up the Laura post, on Saturday, I would have written about the winter afternoons of reading the Little House books after my chores were done. There it is in a nutshell. The Reader's Digest version. Someday, the full version will appear.  Of cocooning in an old drafty bedroom with pink walls and covers, transporting myself to winter on the plains. Then emerging after hours for a meal prepared over our fireplace to watch the news, Lawrence Welk and the Saturday night line up. I have a vague feeling I wrote about that before. Anyways, that is what I felt this weekend as I headed off to work in our long winter.
Hearing the figure skating music into the hall as I passed my meds reminded me of sitting in a stuffed rocking chair with my parents watching the Olympics many years ago. I watched some. I miss those years sometimes, but they have been gone a long time.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, Laura

As I wrote when I first started this blog(almost three years ago!), Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing story inspires me. I thought about her the other day and how I began reading her stories. Today she was born in 1867. As I stared at the mirror, the similarities ran into my mind. Laura is less than a hundred years older than I- ninety four years at that. Our childhoods are best remembered in the seventies- eighteen and nineteen.
Her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, possessed extreme intelligence from humble beginnings. Like many in that generation, they were unable to afford college, so she was a self taught writer. As such, she did encourage her mother in writing. My daughter tested well. She inspired me in my concrete writer's journey. We do not have the working relationship Rose and Laura had, but I know she reads my blog and compliments me when she likes a post.
Katie also displays interest in the family history. I think my childhood is as foreign to today's generation as Laura's a hundred years earlier. Yet, I am draw to the past to teach us about now and the future. Some values should never die.
Laura honed her writing skills for decades before she published her book. She had one idea of her story, as a first person Pioneer Girl, but editors persuaded the third person story of little Laura. The facts in the first stories do not correspond with her real life. To think vivid memories could not be accurate from a three year old the publisher's thought. I remember a lot from those first years we moved into our house on Main Street. I was three, then. Why couldn't Laura? Some of us, writers I think, have excellence memories.
Laura was sixty when she published. She didn't have the self publishing like I do today. When I began this professional writing journey, I set out with that goal of sixty for publishing. Sixty is not old any more.
Laura and I write about our childhoods to encourage the next generation. We had great parents, wonderful sisters and even though she never wrote about her brother, we had one brother. Unfortunately, her brother died as an infant. Living in the past is not the point, but the sharing of eternal values drives my writing.
We also use curling irons. I think hers were probably hotter than mine.
Happy birthday, Laura, you live on in your books and in social media.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Entertaining Angels Unawares

I first met her, she sat with her head bowed in her room, silent with hair around her face. I knelt before her to dish capsules opened into pudding to help her mood. She stared blankly.
She had a model's body. She wore stylish clothes. One day, someone put her hair back in a pony tail. Her chic exposed.
"Peg, you look stylin' today," I remarked.
A smile, that is all. But it was enough to encourage me.
A few weeks later, a new hair cut on this thick white hair. She wore black frame glasses. She appeared to be metropolitan, in our small valley. I talked more to her. They pushed her into the dining room. She ate at a table, silently. Then she talked when I spoke to her.
I felt drawn to her and sought her out. I complimented her clothes, her hair. Her head didn't bow as much. Others noticed she talked more.
Almost as suddenly, she took ill. In days, she passed on. That happens sometimes when you are ninety seven. I looked at her obituary and the photo with it. She looked old in the seventies or late sixties photo, older than she appeared in the last months of her life. I glimpsed at the former lady and would not have guessed that life. Her family I knew and wondered if that is why she drew me in. I didn't know that before reading the article.
So it is. We may entertain angels unawares. Hebrews in the New Testament states that. Practice hospitality. Practice kindness. You never know who that person may be.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Another snow storm, I'm dreaming of summer nights with bonfires...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Teddy Tuesday

I again am taking from the Teddy's Law Facebook page. Last week the Vindicator ran the interview with the mother of Teddy, who is in prison for fifteen years. As I wrote before, I had met Shain as she worked for another home care company and I noticed the decline in her service about the time she met Zaryl Bush. I understand the sentiments and I in no way would think Shain or any mother should be forgiven in the legal system. I cannot even sympathize with the "victim" mentality. I know for myself, I would never expose my daughters to another man. Anger rose in me when my husband, their own father, would be unjust in his statements to them. He never bordered on abuse. I can't image exposing them to an abusive man. No man ever is worth that.
So, my question today, is how do we build up women? Some of these girls are looking for "love." I know it is in a relationship with Jesus, but how do we get to that point? How do we reach young girls so they don't open themselves to poor relationships and children are abused and killed? I've been reading many articles on child abuse and so often it is the mothers' boyfriends. I've written about Christian women praying for young ladies purity two years ago. Pray helps, but do you feel we need more? How can we be aware and build esteem? And when do women take the blame?
This is unedited:
 This story really made me upset today. When will Shain take blame for her involvement in Teddy's murder. Why would the The Vindicator publish this story? Why would it make front page. This is one more ploy to make her the victim. Has Shain forgotten that she helped that MONSTER covered up Teddy's murder? It is pretty sad that two attorney's dropped her appeal case because the evidence was so stacked against her. Now she wants to speak out to other woman. GET REAL! She had every chance to get out of her situation. And she didnt. And from what i heard she also participated in the abuse. She is a very sad individual. She failed her children. But she is still aloud to see her two other children. What is wrong with our system? We all know it is broken. But why does she have rights to see her children? They covered up Teddy's torture, abuse and murder. It is beyond me. This is another sad attempt to make her self the victim and try to wiggle herself out of her prison sentence. Admit your role in this crime, shut up, and serve your sentence. Please let Teddy rest in peace. What i am asking ever single member on this page is to share Teddy's story. Be a voice for Teddy so he can protect other children. With the work of many and Teddy's memory we will make it our life's goal to make sure no other child has to endure this type of treatment.

Shawn Tedesco and Team Teddy

  • Debra C. Jadick I hope you don't mind but I posted this on their website; How disgusting that you would put this woman on the front page. Why not do a story on what she allowed to happen to her child? So she was abused. Big Deal so was I. So she was homeless BIG DEAL so was I. I never allowed a child to be abused , I would never allow a child to be MURDERED. Why not do a story on Abuse and Womens shelters to get the word out, A link to different shelters, phone numbers instead of glorifying what this sick woman did. She is not a mother she is a monster. Why not reach out to the people who actually loved Teddy, like his Father. Teddy's abuse was not a hidden abuse he was TORTURED!! Theodore Foltz-Tedesco suffered horrific child abuse at the hands of his mother's boyfriend Zaryl Bush. Teddy was beaten to death and was put thru various kinds of torture. The torture he endured included walking on hot coals, shoveling snow in his bare feet and other horrible acts. This is nothing short of heartbreaking. That one man could do this to a child. . Both Zaryl Bush and Shain Widdersheim were arrested for their crimes. . They were both offered pleas deals. Although it protected other children from not testifying I believe that the penalties should be harsher for torture of a child when there is a guilty plea. This needs to stop and it needs to stop now! Please be our voice in fighting for Teddy's Law!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dr. Baron

January 28, 2014

Dr. Henry Baron

Optometrist, patent holder fitted LBJ, Sinatra, Carson

- — NILES, Ohio – Dr. Henry Baron of Niles was a man of strong character whose life came to full circle on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. He was 89.

Born Jan. 26, 1925, in Sharon, to his parents, Joseph and Helen Zobroski Baron, Dr. Baron attended Sharon High School and after graduating went on to study at Youngstown State University, majoring in pre-med. After finishing his bachelor’s degree, he was accepted into a graduate program at Chicago College of Optometry, where he obtained his doctorate degree.

While living in Chicago during the Big Band Swing era, he played saxophone at various nightclubs, including the famous Pump Room.

After finishing graduate school, he returned to Sharon and opened his own private practice on Oakland Avenue.

During his long career, he was president of the Farrell Wolves. In 1964, he had the honor of fitting President Lyndon B. Johnson with bifocal contacts, which he wore during a televised speech to the nation on Oct. 18. During his career, he also fitted such celebrities as Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson of The Tonight Show.

Dr. Baron also was an avid sports enthusiast and a big fan of the Cleveland Browns and the local Niles Red Dragons. He often fitted the football players with lenses when they were coached by Tony Mason.

In 1973, Dr. Baron received his first soft contact lens patent issued from the U.S. patent office out of New York. During that time, he traveled throughout Europe teaching fellow optometrists the proper techniques and procedures for effective contact lens placement.

On July 28, 1981, he married Julia Lamonge of Niles. During their long marriage, they traveled frequently around the U.S. and abroad. They resided in Niles where they enjoyed raising their two sons.

Surviving Dr. Baron are his wife, Julia, Niles; his sons, Alan Baron and his wife Brenda, New Mexico; and Eric Stambaugh, Tucson, Ariz.; and his daughters, Jacquie Eubanks, Florida; and Renee Zamary, Sharon. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, along with his niece, Adrianna Lamonge Mayes and her husband Adam, Warren, Ohio, whom he held dear to his heart.

He will be greatly missed and never forgotten by his family and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.


Dr. Henry, 89, Niles, Ohio, formerly of Sharon.

Service: Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m. Thursday (1-30-14) in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Niles, with the Rev. John Michael Lavelle as celebrant. Family and friends can view this obituary, sign the guestbook and send e-mail condolences at

Arrangements by JOSEPH ROSSI AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 457 Robbins Ave., Niles.

My first eye appointment I followed my dad up the wide stairs into this large yellow brick house. We sat in a white windowless waiting room.  A man in a white lab coat opened a door and asked us into his exam room. I watched as Dad first had his eyes examined. A large black machine on an arm with dials and two eye holes with lenses covered my dad's face,  as he sat in a hydraulic leather chair. The room darkened and Dad made the choices of which view was better.
Next, was my turn. The chair air lifted me and that machine engulfed my face. I, too, had to make decisions on which numbers or letters looked clearer on the wall. I sweated a little, but then disappointment covered me when I didn't need glasses. Everyone wore glasses in my family and I wanted them, as well. The next year, during the same process, I needed them for far away. In fourth grade, I chose a mild cat frame, brown in color. My mother couldn't believe I picked an old fashioned frame.
Soon, I had to wear glasses all the time. I went through two wire frame pairs till I was fourteen and my parents allowed me to venture into the world of contacts. Dr. Baron, as you see in the article, patented soft contacts. He persuaded us into this new form, claiming it could improve my eyesight by forming my cornea. I never wore hard contacts, that were so easily lost, as my sisters did. The soft ones overreached the iris, so no color. My eyes couldn't be bluer, but I didn't care. I felt free without those frames.
A January day, I walked from the hospital to Dr. Baron's yellow brick house office with my friend Karen and my then boyfriend, who met me at the hospital after my Candy Striper shift. I think his mother worked at the hospital.She brought him to work to meet me. My dad drove to get us at Dr. Baron's after I got my brand new contacts. Because that is the way freshman rolled in those days.
Dr. Baron glanced at my boyfriend, like what is he doing here, but he didn't say anything. The two young teenagers sat in the waiting room, while I learned the wonders of putting soft lenses in my eyes. Pictures of Dr. Baron and Frank Sinatra, and another with Johnny Carson smiled at me from the walls. I don't remember seeing President Johnson' photo, but I'm sure he had one somewhere. Dr. Baron's calm voice instructed me on the care. In those early days, many steps kept contacts in shape. I also learned how to make my own saline solution to economize.
Wearing time had to build up with the contacts, but I never tired of them. One year, though in a drought, on a Fourth of July, I forgot my wetting solution when we helped Ray move to Indiana, PA. My eyes became dry and tired, as well as the rest of me. I whined. How did my husband put up with me in those early days? About a month later, the heavens opened with rain and oh, my eyes were so relieved. On a morning walk in August of 1988 in Buhl Farm Park, I raised my face to welcome the downpour.
I hadn't seen Dr. Baron for years. I believe he retired soon after we moved back from Connecticut, probably early 1990's. Or my insurance wouldn't cover his services. I tried other places, but none satisfied like seeing the cool Dr. Baron in his yellow brick house office, with the huge glass ornate door entrance on a shady Sharon street.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Women's Looks- Part Three

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.- I Samuel 16:7
God made women. He made them like man in His image. There is a physical similarity, but as God is three in One, so is the human. We have a physical aspect, then a soul, which is our mind and emotions, then our spirit, which best communes with God.
I had heard a poem that Eve was made from Adam's rib, so the two sexes could work side by side. We compliment each other. God does not see levels of importance in our service to Him. Society made the distinction. Deborah in Judges 4 and 5 (about 1150 B.C.) warned Barak that if she went into battle with him, he would receive no glory. He didn't seem to care, but wanted her with him.
Other women in the Bible did have a man's connection for their service, like Noah's wife, Sarah with Abraham, Mose's sister, Miriam and Esther. We could look at this as cooperation, which God wants, as well. Women helped in Jesus ministry. Five women are drawn out specifically in Jesus lineage, because of their faith- Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Leah, although not mentioned specifically in the lineage, was mother to Judah. Leah, was not beautiful in Jacob's eyes; he loved Rachel. God used Leah, who also ended up being Joseph and Benjamen's mother, as Rachel died in childbirth with Benjamen.
The limits on women in the Church universal are man-made. Assemblies of God formed one hundred years ago. People may view this fellowship as conservative. I did when I first came in contact with this church. I thought women weren't in leadership. I found out that since its inception, women have been ordained. My theory is the women don't have to fight for power, like they may feel in other denominations, which is why women serve with no fan fare. They do their job like any person called of God.
God looks at the heart of service and obedience. He does not look at our sex or skin color. He created this world with differences as He is creative. He loves variety. We should not be judged by our outward differences, but by our abilities and content of character.