Even the darkest night

Is only a few steps away

From dawn’s light

And the warmth of the sun

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crow composit

“Look at all them owls in that tree,” said Lowell. His jowls wobbled as he wiped sweat from his face with an already soaked and disgusting orange sleeve.

Harvey wrinkled his nose. The putrid scent blowing down the hill wasn’t much worse than Lowell’s odor. If he didn’t still need the despicable little man, Harvey would have strangled him on sight.

“They’re vultures,” said Harvey. “Owls ain’t up in daytime and don’t flock like that.”

“Well they stink. I don’t wanna go this way.”

“It’s this or rot in prison.”

Lowell continued to whine. “You said you had a way out, a secret way.”

“I do,” said Harvey, as he trudged to the top of the ridge and gazed at the vultures.

Lowell joined him a moment later, gasping from the exertion, eyes closed. It was a full two minutes before Lowell opened his eyes and saw the partially decomposed bodies strewn under the tree. Their telltale orange jumpsuits marked them as prisoners. His meaty hands grasped Harvey’s arm.

“Those are guys who supposedly escaped.” Lowell’s voice rose in pitch. “They’re dead! We’re gonna die!”

“No, Lowell,” said Harvey. “WE ain’t gonna die.”

Dozens of beady black eyes watched as Harvey cut Lowell’s throat and pushed him against the tree. Blood coated the bark, which began to glow.

“Hurting little girls ain’t good, Lowell. Judge went too easy for what you did to my sister.”

Harvey watch Lowell’s eyes widen as the birds descended then stepped through the portal.

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Trump’s Plan to Cut Funding From Meals on Wheels=Scrooge

charles french words reading and writing



I do not usually deal with anything political on this site, but our times have become so extreme that I cannot pretend that writing and politics are disconnected in any way. Writers must speak our conscience.

Regarding President Trumps’s budget plan to make drastic cuts to Meals on Wheels, I remind everyone of that great writing, which was a morality tale and one of social critique: A Christmas Carol.

The ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, pays a visit to Ebenezer Scrooge to offer him a chance at redemption:

“But you were always such a good man of business, Jacob,” faultered Scrooge,

who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my

business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forebearance,

and benevolence, were, all, my business.” (Dickens 21)

The soul of a society, the spirit…

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Take Back Your Calm

Feeling stressed? This will help.

Izolda Trakhtenberg

Here is a resource for you.

Take Back Your Calm in Just One Minute with this effective meditation. This video utilizes the same breathing techniques used by first responders to remain calm during times of extreme stress.

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Importance of Freedom of the Press

Mr. French has some important things to say about freedom of the press. So did Teddy Roosevelt and George Orwell. Want to know what? Keep reading

charles french words reading and writing

In our current political climate, in which the Press has been attacked as somehow against the people, it is important to remember that a free Press was seen by the founders of the United States of America as a crucial element to keeping the nation free. Other thinkers have argued for the maintenance of the free Press as a necessary aspect of battling tyranny and supporting freedom. The Press is one of the institutions that must be preserved if the nation is to remain a free democracy.

One of the writers whose work most clearly illustrated the abuse of power and the effects of the suppression of the Press was George Orwell.



“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all,
means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

                                                                            George Orwell



In an example of the use of the free press itself, Teddy Roosevelt said, in an…

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Against All Odds

A friend of mine recently posted his dismay at all the negativity that has popped up on the news, Facebook and other social media. Instead of posting pictures of cute puppies and kittens like a few folks have done, I’d like to take a moment to thank some people for the work they do every day. While we see some of these folks on a daily basis, many work behind the scenes and aren’t noticed.



To all our armed forces who risk their lives to keep America safe: Thank You

To all our first responder who protect the innocent, uphold our laws, rescue lives, extinguish fires, and heal our injured: Thank You

To all the doctors and nurses who work long hours to help us get well and heal: Thank You

To all the teacher s who share their love of knowledge with our children, the future leaders of this country: Thank You

To the people who rise early in the morning to collect our trash and recyclables: Thank You

To people who repair and build our roads in sweltering heat and frigid cold: Thank You

To our postal carriers who brave all sorts of weather to deliver our mail: Thank You

To all our public servants who work behind the scenes to keep this country running: Thank You

To the innumerable volunteers who step up in more ways than can be counted everyday: Thank You


I’m sure I’ve missed a few. Take a moment to think of all the people you pass by every day.

Who would you like to thank?

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deadwoodIf I close my eyes I can see it as it was before that night; quaint little buildings with lit up signs, craft and antique shops filled with assorted treasures. I used to love walking up and down the street late at night after the rest of town went to bed. It was the only solitude I found back then in a town full of busybodies. If only I could turn back time and bask in their attention.

They said the river, fifty feet below Wood Town, was too far to be a flood problem. I guess they were right. It wasn’t the river that caused its destruction. Six inches of rain fell that Saturday evening just before dinner.  A torrent of water rushed down the hills above town, sweeping everything with it. Cars and people were tossed like sand in the waves. Two hundred year old stonework ripped from foundations. Chunks of sidewalk joined the churning rubble as it raced to the river.

Now all that remains is darkness and debris. Everyone is gone, all of them, young and old. Crumbled bricks lay scattered amidst gutted out buildings that once held thriving businesses and homes.

I have plenty of solitude now as I complete my nightly walk. No one is here to pester me with questions or babble about the latest gossip. I wish they were. My feet feel heavy, like waterlogged wood, but they leave no marks in the silt filled street. The dead leave no prints.

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