Saturday, August 8, 2020

Let there be light!

How are you doing after the tropical storm came through New England?

 We lost power sometime Tuesday afternoon and it didn't come back until 3:30 a.m. Thursday. About 36 hours. Two dark, dark nights but Bern had so many candles that our house looked like a cathedral!

Cable didn't come back until this morning, which is why I haven't posted in so long.

Two things I've learned: never take electricity for granted and feel fortunate when you get it back and others haven't. This afternoon there were still 2900 customers in Cheshire that hadn't had power restored. Initially 94% of Cheshire was out of power.

 The storm upended and ruined Bern's grape arbor. We couldn't get it back together so she cut off all the branches. No grapes this summer.

Lots of tree branches in the yard. We are surrounded by very big trees on the east side of our yard. But no real damage.

Brigit, our dog, was freaked out by the dark and no TV. We usually eat dinner in the TV room and she's with us. But Tuesday and Wednesday we ate out on the deck. We lost most of the stuff in our freezer, but things in the refrigerator were ok.

Never, ever take electricity for granted!

We also got power back before most of Cheshire. Always count your blessings and feel fortunate.

We're doing zoom church though some of our parishioners are still without power. I called people to read and they're all ok--power, internet, all of it.

On top of the Pandemic and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the storm was just one more thing.

Lord, help us!

You know we need it!


Monday, August 3, 2020

Holmes and Watson in modern time

I just finished a 4 book series by Brittany Cavallaro about Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson.

They are great-great-great grand-children of Sherlock and John.

Brittany is a talented writer and the series is very, very good.

Charlotte is pretty messed up but capable of  on-target deduction.

Jamie is a normal kid who is a writer.

They are both from England but meet at a boarding school in Connecticut.

They're in love, in an odd way (you'll see if you read them) and always in danger.

Moriarty's are every where.

I enjoyed it a lot.

Teen aged Holmes and Watson, solving mysteries.

Check it out.
(link to my on-line blog)

(all opinions here are mine and mine alone)

laying low

Because of the heat we seldom leave the house.

Except for the grocery store and my every two week shots at Waterbury Hospital, I don't go much of anywhere.

Bern went to see her friend Sherry on Sunday. They sat halfway across a big front from each other.

Other than that she is only in the grocery.

I'm getting used to laying low.

At first it bothered me, but not for a couple of weeks now.

Who knew zoom would be our social life. Zoom church, Zoom my clergy group, Zoom with Josh and his family. Facetime on Bern's phone with Eleanor.

We pick up books outside the library.

I picked up Brigit's prescription outside the Vet's.

When we order out dinner once a week or so, I pick it up sitting outside.

The wine store I go to will bring it out to your car if you call ahead.

Lots of outside things.

l like that.

Who knows how long this will go on.

Lots of laying low.

(Opinions on this blog are mine and mine alone.)

(link to my youtube blog)

Friday, July 31, 2020

So here's a question

My ear attaches to my head at my bottom ear lobe.

My ear lobe doesn't go beyond the place my ear connects to my head. Got it?

Is your ear lobe detached from your head?

I just have problems wearing masks that go around your ears.

They tend to slip off at the bottom.

Think about it.

How many people have 'no bottom ear lobe" for the mask string to wrap around.

Or, do you have no problem since you have a detached earlobe.

An interesting thing to ponder.

Ear lobes and masks.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Give me a break!

The president wants to 'delay' the election since mail-in ballots will be rigged.

Give me a break. Several states have been doing mail-in voting for years--no problem!

And this on the day of the funeral of Congressman John Lewis, at which three former Presidents (Bush, Clinton and Obama) spoke in one of the longest and most deserved send offs anyone has ever deserved. And the current president didn't even go to the rotunda of the capitol to pay tribute to a truly great American.

Bern watched the whole funeral and cried many times. I watched Obama's eulogy and realized it was a campaign speech for Biden. And a great one. And one Lewis would have approved of and applauded.

Such a contrast--Obama and the current holder of his office.

Authority, calmness, wisdom and honor as opposed to the current president's complaints, refusal to take responsibility, whining and lies.

"Why are Dr. Fauci's approval ratings so high", he asked the other day, "and nobody likes me."

Maybe because Fauci is trying to save lives and you are letting people die because of months of inaction!

My heart breaks for our country and the threat to our democracy.

My heart soared to hear three former Presidents' words.

John Lewis died for freedom and equality. We must, each of us, find a way to fight and fight hard for those sacred values. 
link to my youtube blog


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Harry Kyle Parks, Jr. (1947-2004) Rest in Peace, Old Friend

I did a series of posts about Kyle Parks several years ago. I want to print them all here as a memorial to his friendship.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Searching for Kyle

I wrote here a week or so ago about a photo my friend, Mike Miano sent met.

Since then I've started getting obsessed about finding Kyle Parks, who was my best friend from, I don't know, age 5 until a year into college. He's in the picture as well, sitting with Jane Jasper, who I always thought was really cool and pretty and sweet but never asked out.

But I googled 'Harry Kyle Parks, Jr.' and then 'Kyle Parks' and got nothing, not one thing. I didn't think you could avoid being found these days but apparently you can.

I'll go back when I finish this and try a search with stuff I know about him--like he was a Navy pilot and went to Virginia Tech. But I'm not hopeful.

He's someone I shared my life with for longer than anyone except Bern and Josh and Mimi and I'd like to find him and get in touch now that we are in our mid-60's and see what comes of that, if anything.

Maybe I'm just getting old and searching for the past.

I don't know about that. But I would like to find Kyle.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finding Kyle

Charles, one of my friends who reads my blog found the obituary for Kyle's father, Harry Kyle Parks Sr., on a web site called '' or something like that. Really, is that a website people besides Charles and Fred and Bill (three members of my group I go to every Tuesday morning--who between them, I've come to believe, know Everything About Everything) actually know about?

Anyway, the 2001 obit said his surviving son, Harry Kyle Parks, Jr, lived in Bluefield, West Virginia--a town of 25,000 when I was growing up, probably much less then because the 'business' of Bluefield was to be the 'city' for the coal field and the coal field isn't there anymore. We went to Bluefield (which is called 'nature's air conditioned city' and lemonade is freely given out by the Chamber of Commerce when the temperature reached 90 degrees...I never got free lemonade all the time I was there) when we wanted to 'shop'. It was 25 miles away from Anawalt, where Kyle and I grew up, across either Peel Chestnut or Elkhorn mountain. Either way it was almost an hour's drive since the mountains were significant and the roads across them were full of KYA ('kiss your ass') turns and curves. Either way you went through Bluewell, where Lindy's Drive In was located. No one ever went to Bluefield with out stopping at Lindy's where the hot dogs with chilli and slaw were the specialty. I still long for a Lindy's hot dog.

So I emailed Charles to thank him for actually finding Kyle when I couldn't and told him I'd try to find him if he was still in Bluefield. Of course, I couldn't. But Charles emailed me back with Kyle's address and phone number. I'm not sure what web site he used (Jim' perhaps) but I am delighted.

I plan to write Kyle a letter tonight, since even Charles couldn't provide his email address and see if he'd like to be in contact. I'll send the picture that started all this. Kyle and I haven't spoken or seen each other since we were 21 or 22, so it's a ghost from the past 44 or so years. Who knows how he will react. We didn't part on bad terms in any way--our life journeys were just leading in different directions: his to the military and mine to the protest movement.

I've thought and thought of who I've known (who weren't family) longer than I knew Kyle. Surely Mike Miano who started all this non-sense of searching for a long lost friend who I've known where he was and have had sporadic contact with since High School and College. And maybe Mike Lawless, though the last 10 years haven't been a 'contact time' for the two of us. And then there is John in New Haven who I met when Bern and I lived in Morgantown and he was in graduate school, or maybe even when we were both in college. And since the years since college have been many more than the years before college, John is surely the person I've know longest and still relate with often and always (he goes on vacation with Bern and Mimi and Tim and Sherry--who I've know since 1980--and me).

But this Kyle thing has gotten under my skin. I'm going to write tonight. I'll let you know what

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Losing Kyle

I've written a series of posts, all caused by my high school and college friend, Mike Miano. Mikey send me a photo, that Bern and I are in, of a group of people sitting around a table. I have facial hair, so I was in college. I expect this was a party in '66 or 67 or maybe even the Christmas of '65--long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away at any rate.

One of the people at the table is Kyle Parks, who grew up about 200 yards from me and who I knew from the Anawalt Methodist Church before we even started school. Both are mothers were school teachers and though my dad did coal-mining, ran a bar, worked with my uncle in the H and S grocery store, and picked up and delivered dry cleaning, he eventually sold insurance, just like Kyle's dad. Since we were both pretty smart, we were in the same classes for 12 years, often competing for the first chair (teachers reseated kids, where I grew up, after each test--highest score got the first chair...don't think they do that in this era of 'everyone gets a trophy', but it was sure a motivator for me!) I hadn't seen Kyle since we were in college (he at VPI, now Virginia Tech, and me at WVU). That photo made me realize he was my very first friend and I tried to find him online, but couldn't, being a Luddite, but my friend Charles, who reads my blog, found Kyle's father (Kyle Sr.) obit and then an address in Bluefield, WV.

I was ecstatic! I wrote him a letter on Thursday night, addressed it, put a forever stamp on it and carried it around in the book I was reading all day Friday. Then, this morning I get another email from Mike Miano.

In it was Kyle's obituary.

I suddenly realized why I had passed up a dozen or more opportunities to mail that letter on Friday, including leaving it in the basket on our front porch.

He died in Raleigh, NC on Tuesday, September 7, 2004 at Rx Healthcare from complications following a heart attack.

I discovered, after his military life (which wasn't mentioned in the Obit, but I know he went to Navy Flying School) he worked 25 years as a mechanical engineer for Goodyear in Danville, Virginia. I also discovered his hobbies were 'model railroading, cycling and cheering for the Virginia Tech Hokies." He moved from Bluefield, where my letter was going, to Cary, NC to be near his grandsons.

His brother Ralph, who was younger than us and I knew from birth, is also dead, along with Kyle's parents. But he had two daughters: Mandy in Apex, NC and Kelly in LA, his grandsons from Mandy and two sisters, who I vaguely remember. No mention of a predeceased wife or any wife at all, which caused me pain because Kyle's picture could have been in the dictionary beside the definition of 'straight arrow'. The Kyle I remember was no nonsense and 'down the middle' and a divorce must have pained him mightily.

I just reread the letter I wrote to my first friend who I hadn't seen for 4 decades and hadn't known was dead for a decade of that time. It wasn't good enough to re-start a friendship after all that time. It was full of humor and irony and joy as I told him about my life since we last talked. But it wasn't good enough to do our years of friendship honor.

I tend to have 'serial friendships'--I move on and make new friends, always have. I know Mike Miano and John Anderson from my past, I know them still though I haven't seen Mike for decades either (he has a pocket cross of mine that I won't get back unless I see him again) and though I see John, who I've known for well over thirty years a lot since he lives in New Haven and we share many friends, I need to ponder what I've lost by 'moving on' the way I tend to do.

I've lost Kyle, that's obvious. (I had already imagined establishing an email friendship with him once he got my letter. But that, alas, will not happen, not in this life or the next or anywhere in between.)

I've lost a lot of people I truly loved because, like a duck sheds water, I shed friends and move on.
It's worked for me and I've always had lots of friends. But after seeking, finding and losing Kyle--all in one week--I need to ponder 'friendship' for a while.

I'll let you know what shows up.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Losing childhood too...

If you've been following my posts about my oldest friend, Kyle Parks, you know he was in the picture Mike Miano sent and that Charles helped me find him and then Mike, again, found Kyle's obituary--ten years ago.

I haven't thought of him much. It's been 40+ years since we've spoken. But he was always in the background, Kyle and Billy Bridgeman and Joe Tagnisi, the kids I grew up with. These were the people of my childhood and now I know, 10 years too late, that Kyle is dead.

Toe-head he was, very short, almost white hair. Very put-together. A 'straight arrow'. A good, good guy was Kyle.

What I've been pondering is that with my knowledge of his death, my childhood has died as well.

Should have a long time ago, I guess. But the thing about me is this--I've had a remarkably happy and wondrous life. When that happens, I think, your childhood hangs around. There was nothing bad about my childhood or adolescence or young adulthood or my life since then. I have been profoundly lucky and wondrously blessed. So my childhood was still alive and well and fine until I found out Kyle was dead.

It's like the rope to the anchor broke and my boat is now slipping out to sea.

I don't want to be dramatic. After all I went 40 and more years before trying to find Kyle. But knowing he is dead is stunningly profound to me.

I'm fine--I'm always FINE--that's the uneventful and rather boring story of my life. I've always been 'fine' and will be even now.

But something has left the room of my life. Childhood, I think. It's silly to say I 'miss' Kyle since I let him float out there or over four decades without trying to find him. But now that I know my much delayed desire to find him is thwarted, well, something has left the room of my life.

I'm growing older--something Kyle never got to do--and I'm growing older knowing he's not there to look for anymore.

I'm going to sit with this for a long while. I need to ponder my childhood and how it seems to not be there anymore.

(link to my youtube blog)

All opinions in this blog are mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Bill Barr

If you watched any of the testimony of Bill Barr before the House today, you saw how polarized our political system is.

Democrats were all over him about everything: doing the president's will instead of upholding the law, using federal officers against peaceful protestors, clearing Lafayette Square for a photo op for the president, denying there is systemic racism in the police, having almost no black lawyers in the Justice Department, not whole hearted-ly supporting voting rights, backing up the president's lies, on and on and on.

The Republicans on the committee praised him for his good work, justified everything he has done that goes against the separation of powers, defended him for supporting the president, labeled protestors as violent, on and on and on.

I don't think we, as a nation, have been so divided since the beginning of the Civil War.

Something must be done to put out the brush fires of political division, deal as a nation with the pandemic and bring us closer together again.

For my money, that means voting out the president and letting Joe Biden work, across the aisle when possible, to make us the 'united' states again.

(Taking control of the Senate by the Dems would be even better.)

I fear for our democracy and our safety. (link to my youtube blog)

All opinions here are mine alone.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.