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Thank goodness that there are some events happening here and there, or I would be totally insano! I miss the wind down of summer, with late August events melding into fall! Normally, I would be trying to figure out which event I am going to go cover. I miss the music festivals going on everywhere. I miss the seafood festivals and the delicious treats they offered. Will the world ever get back to the land of the brave again? Will COVID19 change us completely? I miss what my country was, and I long for what it could have been if we just lived up to our potential! Don’t be down! I am telling you, and I am telling me. The ability that humans have, to adapt and reason an alternative path, is truly something, that gives me hope for our future. So, things are different now! A trip to New Jersey to visit the third grandson would have been a long drive, and some walking around town enjoying the day. Now, it is a drive that comes with an extra burden. Being aware of your surroundings is the new now! Could you turn a corner into a protest? Could you be randomly attacked because of any reason really? The bitterness of modern culture is everywhere in New Jersey. Where I would have frolicked right along with all three boys, it is more like I am keeping watch over them. Remember when you did not lock your doors? Now you do!

However, a trip away is still a trip away, and family is family! My grandson Robert has no one to play with. So, instead of wasting a beautiful day on one of many endless chores associated with a 200 year-old home, I find my inner child, and play as silly as I can with Robert & Ryan. For them life changed completely, and not in a good way. Their routine has been broken. School friendships severed. School activities will be replaced with a computer, and a foyer office. Recess will be real life, and whatever challenging and fun activities we can provide for them. They are, after all, an investment in our future! What I have done with the boys is, combine work with learning and fun. For example, today we got a break from the rain, so I got the riding mower out for a dirty wet mow. So, the boys got rides, and I got the lawn mowed. Then I decided to hose down and clean the rider of all the wet debris, the boys got sprayed with the hose. I went into the barn next for a workout, and they came in with me. Ryan would try to do what I just did on the weight machine, and Robert would be asking me abut a tool, and what it is for. Then, on a normal day, when the part of the yard where the pool is isn’t flooded, we would have gone for a swim! Maybe tomorrow if we get another ice day.

I didn’t go to the beach this year! Did you? Most of my life I lived on or near the beach. Sure, the neighborhood leaved a lot to be desired from my childhood, but there are aspects of beach life that are just wonderful. Instead, we created our own back yard pool oasis. I know we are all wary from life and wet from nature! Been a dreary month all the way around. As I reflect back on my day, I do it with a rare smile. Today was a good day, and I feel that I am deserving more! America is restarting itself. We have found catch is better than a video game. We found that we do not need to watch that which we could play. We have more gardens. We have more home projects done. And hopefully you drew your young people close. They need our protection. I remember the day that you learned something in a public school. Now I fear for what may be taught to the impressionable. I remember the days when parents dictated school curriculum. Now schools believe it is their responsibility to dictate their beliefs to our kids. You ever feel that you are a simple person stuck in a complex world? Feel the sun on your face, and be thankful for what you have. Think on those, who may not have enough to survive, we are all humans after all, and do not need to be told what is right and what is wrong. I noticed that we watch less television, instead we make our own video shows. So, I guess that covers home school drama club! Anyway, be safe! I am off to talk to Robert and tuck him in!

In my Mind

By Columnist: Tim Flanagan

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Having just come in from being out in this week’s heat and rain, I sit and turn my chair to take a quick look out the window. Wow it is a hot sunny day. Real Hot! It is days like this I miss living at the beach. You know its funny how noticeably different perception of an adult is compared to a child. For example, as a child I would always tell myself, the sand isn't going to be that hot. I would walk proudly into the sand convinced my supposition would be correct, not the case as the 103-degree sand started burning my feet and I would run hop as fast as I can to wet sand! Aahh, I can still remember that feeling. As an adult I have shoes on, sunblock already applied, a bag full with a book, snacks, drinks, music and whatever else may be awaiting in there, plus I am dragging my lounge chair with me. Oh man, I have become the person I used to make fun of haha!


So here you are on this hot day at the beach inside your own head. Of course, no relaxation is allowed until you have completed the beach routine. First finding the perfect spot is top priority. There are several factors to consider, such as the best vantage point depending on your particular sightseeing desires. Is it close enough to the water to keep an eye on your stuff, but in no danger of high tide? You may also want to figure in if you are on an ice cream man's traveled route, or maybe ice cream doesn't sway you. So, you find your perfect spot. Now it is time to decorate your new sandy beach floor accommodations. You get your beach chair positioned just right for maximum tanning efficiency, or you don't like sun and out comes the umbrella. That is another topic altogether. Out with the giant beach blanket which you sprawl in front of your chair. It will serve as a picnic blanket and door mat all rolled into one. Chair on, bag tucked under chair and shoes off. Your time has finally arrived!


The ocean beckons, its proud current slowly pulls back the invisible reigns of the waves. Causing them to stop with a gentle curve back and over. The waves are perfect, they are the perfect size for body surfing, rough housing in them or just standing with toes deeply entrenched in the soft silt of the ocean floor, and the waves just crash into your back as you apply backward pressure to meet the oncoming wave with pure precision. Sort of like having a wave give you a back massage!


Now you are cooled off and feeling alive, let's soak up the sun and enjoy the day as part of the vast audience that dots the never-ending shoreline. All share the bond of this day! So, you kick back in your chair, take a deep breath and exhale with the thoughts of total peace. Peace is usually an unattainable state of mind. The beach and its sandy embrace, the ocean and its hypnotic trance and most importantly a group of people that share the same state of mind. If only the world was a beach and space was its ocean!


If it were not for the peaceful nature of a day at the beach, we would all explode from sensory overload. Kids playing, motorboats racing every which way. Planes flying banners, surfers, and teens playing Frisbee. Just life at its purest, if we as humans didn't have to work and we could just play all day again as children, then everyday could be a day at the beach!

A Day at the Beach?

By Columnist: Tim Flanagan

Spurred by the new barrage of verbal ignorance, spewing from the golden mouths of our revered Hollywood actors, it got me thinking, are they really the cream of the crop? Who or what are these men and women that make them so special? Is their opinion grounded in middleclass logic? Have they ever known or remember, what it feels like to struggle every day to make it? I doubt it! They think that everyone who voted for Trump is a privileged, racist, Republican Nazi! If they can’t get that right, then I hold little hope for their wisdom. The glory years of Hollywood have been fading for a while now! No more glowing aura around them on the silver screen. With a smart phone anyone can be a video star! Video hits on some of the most popular videos out there, far surpass movie attendance and DVD sales. I have been in two independent films, and a slew of live theatre productions, and what I learned is, it is easier to do recorded than live! There is no “cut” in live plays. Very few movie and TV stars have what it takes to transition to the wooden stage! So, I figure we have dismissed Hollywood actors to the bottom of the barrel. Who then are the best actors? Live theatre performers? No! They run a second to the best actors on the planet. Parents are the best actors!

Live theatre requires you to be on, two to three hours per performance, with “blackout” nights and short runs to give a nice respite. Being a parent, whether grand or not, allows very little time off, and often spur of the moment improv is a necessity! How often do we perform for our children? Got to be good to get anything past a child! You may think they are oblivious, but you are wrong. They may not understand what they see and hear until later in life, when a dawning moment reaches out like the first ray of sunrise. One of life’s greatest gives, is the gift of choice! How wonderfully scary and majestic. How many times have you put on that smile, even though you are bone tired and stressed to the hilt? Children are not satisfied with a one liner and a cut! They expect you to be at one hundred percent all the time. On those days where you fail, you immediately disappoint yourself with a poor performance. I love when they catch you in an adult conversation, and you improv your way out of trouble, or into trouble, depending on your mojo at the moment. Take my grandson Robert for instance, he is high maintenance when it comes to attention and being occupied. Right now, during this ridiculous moment in human history, he only has adults to play with. Well, outside of his brother of course. Though, when you are six, and your brother is not yet two, your fifty-six-year grandfather starts looking pretty good!

Versatility as an actor is also rare, or at least hindered a bit by the stretch. Take myself for instance, I have not had the opportunity for a dramatic performance. Would I be any good? Who knows, because it takes time and opportunity for the right moment to become reality. Parents on the other hand have to console when they think it is childish. We have to embellish for the sake of self-esteem. Parents have to pretend to be mad when we are amused, and then there are times when we have to act calm when we are exploding inside. Tears are easy when you are a parent! Tears of joy can turn to tears of frustration and disappointment. Can’t let that show if you want to be there for your kid! What a beautiful drawing sweet heart. When we really have no clue what they drew. Some may describe this all as a form of lying! Pretend to be innocent? Is there a difference? The Oscar goes to…a parent!

The best actor award goes to…

By Columnist: Tim Flanagan

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