A blog about a life awakened and rejuvenated around Western New York.

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Beach7513 004Last day of vacation of a sucky, rainy week, we decided to take a ride to the beach of our separate (but connected) youths. The drive up Route 5 along the lake passed through bright sunshine to overcast skies to smatterings of rain (some downright monsoon like). But we continued on.

Evangola State Park was the place we went for a day of sun and fun, picnic lunches and escape. It remains the same. However, it looks different. Maybe it was just perspective from childhood to the verge of my senior years. But the essence of it was Eerily familiar.

Grabbing the blanket and radio (and with umbrella in tow) we headed through the park to the shore, getting caught in a downpour before our destination. Under a tree, we debated ending the trek and returning home. But, just as suddenly the rain stopped.

Down the ramp to the sand, barefooted and determined, we found the beach deserted. No one, save for the two guards still on duty.Even the gulls were few. The skies changed but our connection stayed strong. As the rays of sun made an occasional appearance, it reaffirmed our believe in a greater power. My wife and I took our leave in the expanse of this Lake Erie shore. Even one day at the beach, albeit a rainy one, was just what the doctor ordered. It was sill a good day!

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Nik Wallenda.

What can you say about him? The guy is insane. He’s nuts. He has a death wish. He is extremely talented, And focused. And driven.

Nik Wallenda is amazing.

My knees knock on an extension ladder more than a story high. They say, “Don’t look down!” I look down and worry about falling and breaking something. What does that say about Wallenda? (What does it say about me?)

To be so sure that’s what you want to do when you grow up is commendable. To achieve your dream is a gift from somewhere way North of the horizon. It’s no wonder Nik Wallenda is so successful at what he does. He’s the seventh generation in the “Family Business”. And he walks with Jesus.

Now this isn’t a religious diatribe. It’s just that from his first step over the gorge that is as deep as the Empire State Building is tall, Wallenda was thankful for every new step forward he was “allowed” to take. And if he were going down, he’d go down with his prayer in his heart. But, Nik Wallenda was held aloft. As you watched (if you watched) his incredible feat, you noticed something. After a while, the high wire disappeared. It blended into the grandeur of the Grand Canyon’s magnificence. And there he was, the Great Karl Wallenda’s great-grandson suspended in mid air walking with the most spectacular view in the house.


Photo credit: AP

It laughs in the face of the old joke, “Why does Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon (and last year, Niagara Falls)?” It’s obvious. To get to the other side (which was the side this whole trek started on before helicopter whisked him to the starting point!)

Every ending is a beginning, after all!

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A wet Monday for the most part, still battling my weather woes. I don’t usually find my self in the throes of such a malaise, and I’d be crazy to start now. So it just seems natural for music to soothe this savage’s breast.

I’ve spent the day searching for the songs that express such days perfectly. The Mamas and the Papas sing “Monday, Monday” and I find myself harmonizing right along John, Denny, Michelle and Cass. “Rhythm of the Rain” by the Cascades stokes a few chords but doesn’t completely satisfy. Dipping back into the days of my Bubble Gum youth, the Cowsills “The Rain, the Park and Other Things” brings a smile.

Chicago’s “Thunder and Lightning” rocks with horns (I still miss Cetera’s voice in the later stuff). “Raining Men”  by the Weather Girls… I don’t think so, “Let it Rain” soulful, but I had enough. “Purple Rain”, “Bucket of Rain”, “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” Enough said.

“I Don’t Like Mondays” (Boomtown Rats), melds into “Long Monday” (John Prine) and “Manic Monday” (The Bangles) fill the calendar day.

But I guess the ultimate theme for days like these is the spirit that lives in Karen Carpenter’s lilting voice in “Rainy Day and Mondays”. She finds a way to ignite my fire long after she’s gone. I miss her voice, terribly!

Hey, so I’m a passionate guy. Sue me!

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Buffalo weather is right on schedule. It’s cold, it’s hot. It rains like a son-of-a-bitch or sprinkles in misty precipitation. They tell me there’s this thing called “the sun”,  but I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of it in so long, I have come to doubt its existence. I will offer some resistance and wait to see what the weekend brings.

But still there’s this mood it dumps on me that needs more shaking than an upside down Etch-a-Sketch on its last leg. I steer clear of windows, for the effect the view has on me. I listen to KZOK-HS2 out of Seattle. Great rock, no talk and none of the insipid local weather/traffic headaches with which to deal. Even the Weather Channel app on my phone depicts the grayness in the wallpaper representing the Buffalo sky. And they’re being optimistic.

I’ve heard folk say, “Well, a good thing about the rain is… you don’t have to shovel it!” (Nyuk-nyuk) Tell that to your friends in New Orleans next time you have too much time on your hands.

And you know, it’s not even so much about the rain. I can take a sun shower ten ways to Sunday. I’m a colorful guy and my palette is usually full. Muted shades of gray leave little to my imagination. The rain is just a reminder.

Forecasts call for improvements (I know this shit isn’t gonna last forever). It’s just that it’s caught me on a few bad days (although I question if this is a chicken and egg thing). So I’ll string it out and shout when the sun peeks out and I start to sweat. And you can bet I’ll piss and moan when the heat returns and burns my sorry rump.

But, there’s a big advantage to the sunshine. You don’t have to shovel it!

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American Falls - Niagara Falls

American Falls – Niagara Falls

Her call is loud and thundering, a torrent of water across the precipice here and over the “Horseshoe” (the Canadian side of Niagara Falls). Feeding Lake Ontario with the flow Lake Erie sends her, an unending cycle of life.

Nik_Wallenda_Niagara_Falls_2012Legendary and fabled, from barrel to a high-wire cable (Nik Wallenda‘s trek across the cavernous gorge) she has seen her share of daredevils and whack-jobs looking for the fame of a name in defiance. Triumphs unfortunately, are very few.

But the view (especially at night when the lights perform in unison to offer more beauty, if that was possible) is awe inspiring. If you are desiring adventure at the hands of Mother Nature, there is plenty to see and feel (you catch a good spray on a decent day) at the hands of Niagara Falls. One of the true wonders of the world, and the honeymooning isn’t bad either!

Visit this link NIAGARA FALLS , to find out more.

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It became a decent day to complete the chore of planting the remainder of the flowers in the various beds around the house. Frail and small in proportion to their soon to be abundant color and size. It is pleasing to the eyes.

Gardening relaxes me, much as it quelled my mother’s nerves back in the day. When she had her small spade in hand, she was transported to a more serene place and time. Those mindful adventures helped her. They probably kept her alive longer, with all the ailments she tended to keep private.

So, I come by my love of dirt naturally. And like I said, gardening relaxes me. Which I think is why when my writing partner, Marie Elena Good (from Maumee, Ohio) and I decided to branch out from “Across the Lake” the idea of a verbal garden appealed to me greatly. It was a thought I had held sequestered in the dark recesses of my mind (sometimes a very scary place) which was just waiting for the right time and place. A poetry place with a whole plot full of other like poetic minds planting seed. Seeds of thought that grow into “works of worded wonder”. The best of the best grows into “Beautiful Blooms”. All from a little spark of an idea; a nudge into rhyme. POETIC BLOOMINGS – the name of the place.

It is truly a joint effort. A communal garden. It eases my mind. While my botanical flowers take root and grow, I’ll watch them sprout until the poetry breaks ground and blooms.

Gardening relaxes me.

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I was going along, swimmingly. I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle sans limp from a gimpy left leg. My first sciatic nerve flare up had put me on my back to stew over my fate, and hope that my gait was unnoticeable. But, there lingered that tell-tale thump as my foot contacted the earth. I looked good; sounded like a Clydesdale.

Thankfully, I had worked out most of the kinks before the day. Rest and meds, stretches and patience. (Lots of patience. No one likes an impatient patient!)

Mission accomplished. Which is why I can’t get too upset that my nerve and back went AWOL this morning. More rest, more pain suppressants, more stretching, more of being a patient.

Day-by-day is my self-prescribed dosage. If I feel better tomorrow, then I’m headed in the right direction. If I don’t, this bastard’s going into dry-dock until ALL the barnacles are scraped off. Whatever the outcome, there’s no way I admit that this ship has sailed.

Hand me the remote control!


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It was a blur. From start to finish, the day went by in the bat of an eye. A strategic move, bringing home base to a central hotel to make the travel from hotel to Glen Falls Park to Church (St. Gregory the Great R.C. Church, Williamsville, NY) and to a reception at the Hearthstone Manor (Depew, NY), a smooth undertaking. Despite traffic and construction, I think it went off without a hitch. A blurry hitch-less piece of work.

It had been a year and a half in the making. I was “invited” for a cup of coffee by my oldest daughter’s boyfriend of three years, Ryan. He needed to ask me something. Now, I’ve never been on a turnip truck, so falling off of one wasn’t an option. I knew the question. And I knew my answer.

And as I said, we had 18 months to prepare. But it came so quickly (and was over so soon) that I didn’t get a chance to enjoy it completely. But I guess I have plenty of time for that (God willing). My family had expanded by one, the son I hadn’t had until now. A sportsman and a sports fan. A Dave Matthews, Zac Brown fan (and as we found out, John Mayer… not so much) But we have one major thing in common that goes a long way in making this connection work.

We both love my daughter, Melissa very much. And now it’s his turn to take care of her in the way she’s become accustomed. In a very simple way, but fully and completely. Not a bad proposition, since he’s had a running start at it.

Now I can sit back and catch my breath for a while. I have another daughter that will take my breath away in due time. Keep the oxygen handy. NEXT… !



Today’s forecast: Fair, with a chance of thunderstorms.

That’s like saying – A great life… with a chance of death.

Ok, so reality could come to bite you in the ass on occasion, that is as long as it’s based on some semblance of fact. Reality based on fact? (What a concept!)

Sometimes I wonder, “Do they even really know?” The weather “gurus” play with their models (boys and girls with their toys) and then form OPINIONS on what THEY see. One scenario says it won’t be such a bad day… High in the low to possible mid-sixties, partly cloudy but dry. The other forecast says the temperatures will drop into the fifties and rain like a son-of-a-bitch (not an official on-air weather term). So we will be dealing with a cold to moderately warm, dry not so dry deluge of biblical proportions.

It’s like going to a psychic who sees a possible male or female with an b, s, n, or o in their name who was, is or will be acquainted to you in this or another life…

Rather random, wouldn’t you say? So, I prefer to use my father’s age old (and extraordinarily accurate system). “Sonny”, he’d say “stick your head out the window. If it comes back wet… take an umbrella!”

Yeah, he called me Sonny and he never knew why. He claimed I wasn’t that bright! But I know his garden would have loved all this rain (if it eventually falls or not!)

*******  UPDATE ******

OK, so it started to come down in a torrent of precipitation. A whole lot of rain in a short burst, but I’m taking off points for the lack of rumble. I’d like my thunder storm to make some damn noise, thank you very much!

But apparently, I pissed the rain gods off! I didn’t realize I wield such power! I must learn to harness this for good!



It’s been a great run, but I knew the string of gorgeous weather wouldn’t last forever. Highs in the upper seventies, brilliant sunshine and nary a cloud in the sky.

So today it started to rain. Not a massive downpour, but enough of a reminder to say “All good things must come to an end”. Surely, it’s not the end of the world. But I could get used to the former.

I mean, let’s face it. It’s mid-spring and everything seems to be popping. The trees are either blossoming, or dropping their seed. The greenery is in its early finery. The tulips in my gardens are fully grown and wonderful shades of violet and deep purple, reds and yellow, and some colors I don’t even remember planting. We could use the rain.

I haven’t had much time to plan a garden, with other important events taking precedent. But what will be, will be.

It’s rather nice actually, the rain. Misty drizzle in actuality makes a sit on the porch a true happening. I can hear the birds in their hiding spots, still chirping the songs. The woodchucks scurry in and out of the brush in the field across the way, (an attempt to play) but they stay close to the shelter of the foliage. The sound of the soft rain upon the leaves and the porch roof is the most enticing. There’s music in the tympani. This symphony of a Spring shower, stirring the flowers and all things alive. Me, included.

April showers be damned. This May rain rules the day.