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On This Day: 18 Years Ago

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On This Day: 18 Years Ago

I remember where I was 18 years ago today. I was working in a central secretarial area for a some executive suites. I answered phones, typed, and did other office type jobs for the businesses that rented space there. On the morning of 9/11 one of the clients who rented an office in the building came in the front door and said, “A plane just ran into one of the twin towers. I heard it on the radio”. I honestly thought it was someone with a single engine plane who miscalculated.

“That’s terrible!” I said, “Are they ok”? The woman who delivered the news looked at me and realized I did not understand the magnitude of the situation. “It was a jet,” she said.

I was stunned. There was a second girl who worked the desk with me and as more and more people came in with updates I turned to her and said, “I have a portable black and white TV at home. Do you want me to go get it?” “Yes.” she said.

About twenty minutes later we were watching it all on an 11” black and white tv.

Another of the suite renters came in as we talked about the people jumping from the tower. “That’s impossible,” he announced. “I was just there and there is absolutely no way anyone could jump from those towers. Impossible, absolutely impossible!! The media is just pumping this up.” The rest of us in the office were all silent as he explained to us why he had knowledge of this.

The towers went down. The pentagon was hit. People were… gone.

Silence.

Where were you on this day 18 years ago?

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Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

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Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

I remember my mother saying “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit,” on the first day of each month for good luck. I have friends on facebook who post rabbits on the first of the month in recognition of the phrase; ok, I might do that too. I’ve always known repeating rabbit three times was for good luck, but I don’t understand why it is supposed to be lucky. Carrying a rabbit's foot is supposed to be good luck, but it’s not so lucky for the rabbit. There is a rabbit in the Chinese horoscope; I don’t know much about that either. There are rabbits in my back yard and they eat my vegetables, so that’s not lucky for me, but the rabbits enjoy it.

Wikipedia, the mecca of all knowledge, says the phrase originated in Great Britain and North America. Was that simultaneously? Did a person on each continent have the same revelation at the same time and announce, “We must say, ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit!’ on the first day of each month or we shall not have good luck!”

I read that President Roosevelt said it on the first day of the month. Was it lucky for him? I have no idea. The Energizer Bunny just keeps going and going… why is it pink?

In the end, sometimes we say or do things because of tradition, a touch of superstition, an element of hope, or maybe just for fun. I say rabbit, rabbit, rabbit because of all of those things — it certainly isn’t going to hurt and what if it does bring good luck?

So, on this first day of May, join me in saying, “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit,” and have a very Hoppy Month of May!

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Irish Heritage

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Irish Heritage

This past weekend we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. I sure hope it was a good day for you. I wore green, did you?

A fair percentage of my heritage is Irish, and I incorporate that heritage into my storytelling. As with many of us, I was not raised specifically in the heritage of my ancestors, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t come from history. It is up to me to learn about those who came before me. I am a storyteller; that is my profession, and as such, I am intrigued by the stories that were told in the countries of my ancestors. I’ve learned a lot of Celtic stories and I include them in my performances. I do not try to speak with the accents of the native lands and I am sure I would not give them justice. I speak with my own tongue, the one that belongs to me. However, passing on the ancient stories of my ancestral lands is important to me. It helps me to know myself and understand the traits I have.

I have a dream to one day go to Ireland. Oh my, I want to see that land with my own eyes. For now, I have the stories; I read them, remember them and carry them in the pocket of my mind… and I desire to share them.

What stories do you have in your mind's pocket? Share them with someone.

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Daylight Saving Time (cue yawn)

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Daylight Saving Time (cue yawn)

I didn't write a blog this week, I ran out of time...lost an hour...well, didn't really lose it, it was redirected.

I'm tired...seems like supper is too early...clock in the dining room is still an hour behind.

Daylight saving time...they say it was for the farmers, but the cows don't care what time it is...neither do the pigs...grass in the field doesn't either...I know this because I grew up on a farm...

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Ernestine L. Walden's Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

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Ernestine L. Walden's Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

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I have spent the past week craving peanut butter cookies; I am not sure why. I did my very best to ignore the desire, but alas, I gave in today. I went to my cookbooks and pulled out one of my favorites. It was one of those fundraiser cookbooks that have recipes from lots of people. I am sure you’ve seen them before or have even participated in being a contributor to one. The recipes in those books are usually contributors’ favorites, tried and true. This one was put out by the New York Farm Bureau in 1983 and given to me by my husband’s Aunt Maureen in that same year.

Over the years many of the pages have become stained, proof that I use this cookbook quite a bit. I turned to one of the most heavily stained pages, the one with the Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. Ernestine L. Walden submitted it. I don’t know her at all. I began wondering about who she might be. I called Aunt Maureen and asked her if she, by chance, knew Ernestine. She didn’t. We chatted for a while, and I hung up the phone. Just a few minutes later Aunt Maureen called me again, she had done some research on Earnestine and gave me some details.

Ernestine L. Walden was born Jan 20, 1924, to Ernest and Mary Swartz Kenyon, I am guessing she was named after her father. She died January 21, 2017, one day after her 93rd birthday. She married in 1941, and her first husband died in 1971, she remarried a year later to William J. Walden, and he died in 1996.

Her obituary stated, “Mrs. Walden was a proud homemaker who raised five children. She was a member of the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Franklinville and the Farm Bureau, and she delivered Meals on Wheels”. She sounds to me like she was a lively woman — someone you’d want to get to know.

I enjoyed learning a little bit of her story. I wonder how many people out there have adopted her cookie recipe and have made them part of their stories. I know it is part of mine. So, here you go! Here is Ernestine’s Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. Give it a try, tell me what you think. Will it become part of your family story?

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