A strange thing happened this morning. For the first time in our 34 year marriage the day after Labor Day neither my wife or I got up at ‘0 dark hundred’ to go to work. I am almost 61 and my wife is almost 58. Actually we have been rehearsing for this day for a couple of weeks now but for some reason Labor Day made it official. Yes too early in our lives not to be working, but I am not going to go into the gory details in this post.

We always knew that this day would come. The turning of a page in our book of life, the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It is exciting.  And yet?

We have been preparing for this time in our lives for a couple of years now. Oh we will have to work as we truly cannot afford to retire but the days of killing ourselves for ‘The Man’ are over. My wife and I are planning on pursuing things that we love in life and make money along the way.

We have raised two fantastic children. One married with a child and the other unmarried and sorting out his path in life. And us? We are learning, or should I say relearning, how to be alone together in the same room. How to not necessarily fill the air with talk. That it is okay for us both to read and just be. Sometimes  one of us will look over, catch the other’s eye and will say, “What? Is everything alright?” Of course it is, we are just getting to know one another again. We made a spaghetti sauce the other day and for the first time ever I did not get out the mega pot to make a mega sauce (if we had some meat to put into it it would have been ‘gravy’) because we didn’t need a mega sauce. Our Costco membership just ran out. That became a topic of discussion. Do we really need to buy in that quantity anymore? No, we decided but aren’t ready to give it up yet. We both love the Costco Buffet. I spent a good part of the weekend in what has become my ‘happy place’ when not staring at waves at the beach, my hammock, and my wife spent her time doing art, reading, and just relearning how to chillax.

Today I was going to make a special day as it is the first one after Labor Day when she was not going to return to a classroom. But my plans changed. It was even more special than I could have ever imagined. Our daughter-in-law asked us to sit for our 6 month old, first Grandson while she and our son had to work.

Yes this new chapter in our lives is starting off just great. I can’t wait to see how the next 20 years turn out.

Deadhead1155                                                                                                                                                  September 6, 2016



Yes, Virginia . . .

Santa in Herald Sq

The following editorial, among the most famous ever written, appeared in The New York Sun in 1897 and remains appropriate today. Merry Christmas, everyone!       deadhead1155


Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old.Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth: Is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon     115 W. 95th St.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except (what) they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.



A Chimney’s Poignant Surprise: Letters Santa Missed, Long Ago

During this special time of year stories like this help us to remember what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.   deadhead1155

A version of this article appears in print on December 22, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Poignant Notes to Santa, Lost for a Century. Order Reprints


LETTERSjp1-master675Peter Mattaliano at Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery in Queens, seeking information on two children, Mary and Alfred McGann, whose letters to Santa from a century ago he found in his apartment. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Time

Last week, Peter Mattaliano, 66, an acting coach and screenwriter, put up Christmas decorations in his Hell’s Kitchen apartment and laid out presents for the children: Mary and Alfred.

These are not Mr. Mattaliano’s children, and they are no longer living. But a century ago they lived in what is now Mr. Mattaliano’s home.

He has honored Mary and Alfred every December for the past 15 years, ever since he learned of their existence when he renovated his fireplace. It had been sealed with brick for more than 60 years.

“My brother does construction, and I had him open up the fireplace,” he said. “We were joking that we might find Al Capone’s money. Then my brother yelled to me and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this.’ ”

In the rubble and dust, Mr. Mattaliano’s brother found a delicate piece of paper with faint children’s scrawl bearing a request to Santa from a century earlier.

“I want a drum and a hook and ladder,” read the letter, adding that the fire truck should be one with an “extentionisting” ladder. It was dated 1905 and signed “Alfred McGann,” who included the building’s address.


LETTERSjp3-articleLargeMr. Mattaliano’s apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood once home to poor Irish immigrants. In her letter, Mary hinted at her family’s poverty in wishing for a wagon for her brother. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

There was another item in the rubble: a small envelope addressed to Santa in “Raindeerland.” Inside was a second letter, this one dated 1907 and written by Alfred’s older sister, Mary, who had drawn a reindeer stamp as postage.

“The letters were written in this room, and for 100 years, they were just sitting there, waiting,” said Mr. Mattaliano.

He learned through online genealogical research that the siblings were the children of Patrick and Esther McGann, Irish immigrants who married in 1896. Mary was born in 1897 and Alfred in 1900.

The family lived at 447 West 50th Street, where Mr. Mattaliano now lives in a fourth-floor apartment filled with books on acting and mementos from his days as a fast-pitch knuckleballer.

Patrick McGann died in 1904, so by the time the children wrote the letters left in the chimney, they were being raised by Ms. McGann, a dressmaker.

Mary’s letter is as poignant as Alfred’s is endearing.

“Dear Santa Claus: I am very glad that you are coming around tonight,” it reads, the paper partly charred. “My little brother would like you to bring him a wagon which I know you cannot afford. I will ask you to bring him whatever you think best. Please bring me something nice what you think best.”

She signed it Mary McGann and added, “P.S. Please do not forget the poor.”

Mr. Mattaliano, who has read the letter countless times, still shakes his head at the implied poverty, the stoicism and the selflessness of the last line, all from a girl who requests a wagon for her brother first and nothing specific for herself.

“This is a family that couldn’t afford a wagon, and she’s writing, ‘Don’t forget the poor,’ ” he said. “That just shot an arrow through me. What did she think poor was?”

LETTERSsubjp2-articleLarge.jpgLetters from two Irish children were found tucked in the chimney of Mr. Mattaliano’s apartment. They now hang above the fireplace, near presents he bought for them. Credit John Quilty

Then there was the fact that the letters had survived at all, perhaps avoiding incineration by being tucked on a ledge or in a crevice in the chimney.

“I have no idea how that paper made it,” he said.

The letters have become “my most treasured possessions,” said Mr. Mattaliano, who had them framed and displays them year-round above the mantel of the fireplace where they had been discovered. On Friday, they were joined by ornaments and mementos, along with a dump truck, a miniature wagon and a doll. “I wanted them to have a Christmas present, even if it was 100 years too late,” he said.

The story is well known among his friends, neighbors, acting students and the regulars at a longstanding Friday night poker game.

“I’m the new guy in the group, and I’ve been there since the late ’80s,” said Mr. Mattaliano, whose roster of actors he has coached includes Jill Clayburgh and Matthew Morrison.

For Mr. Mattaliano, the letters summoned a link to his years growing up in an apartment in Jersey City. He would leave letters to Santa under the tree on Christmas Eve.

When Mr. Mattaliano was 12, his father, who was 47, died of cancer just before Christmas, leaving his mother, Margaret Costello, to raise him and his three younger brothers on her own.

“So we had a few rough years,” he said. “For the next couple years, our Christmases were a little lean.”

Mr. Mattaliano, who has lived in Hell’s Kitchen for 36 years, saw the children’s letters as a testament to the immigrant struggle in New York..

“I’m sharing their space,” he said. Their spirits remain in the apartment, he believes, forever young, in something of a Hell’s Kitchen snow globe.LETTERSjp3-y-articleLargeRecords in a Manhattan court, where Mr. Mattaliano searched a 1905 census. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

He has written a movie script based on the letters, titled “Present From the Past.” It is fictionalized, but includes the letters quoted word for word and the children depicted as spirits in the apartment.

Mr. Mattaliano said he had attracted the interest of investors and hoped to start working on the film by the spring, using Broadway actors and shooting in Hell’s Kitchen and indoors on a set that replicates his apartment.

But even after he had written the script, he knew almost nothing about Alfred or Mary. He wanted to know more, and he wanted to give the letters to their family.

He began looking on genealogy websites and found census data that had basic information about the family. With the help of a reporter and a researcher from The New York Times, he found out more, including the father’s death.

By 1920, Mary, Alfred and their mother had moved up to West 76th Street. As young adults, Mary worked as a stenographer and Alfred as a printer. By 1930, Mary had married the similarly named George McGahan and moved to the Bronx, and later to Queens. Her brother also married.

But, so far, Mr. Mattaliano has not found any living blood relative. Neither sibling appeared to have children and both apparently died in Queens; Mary in 1979, at 82, three years after her husband. She is buried in Flushing. Alfred’s burial location is unclear, perhaps because his birth name was John Alfonse McGann. He seems to have died childless in 1965 in Queens. His wife, Mae, died in 1991.

Mr. Mattaliano met with Bruce Abrams, a volunteer at the Division of Old Records in the Surrogate’s Court in Lower Manhattan, and saw proof of the 1904 death of the children’s father.

“So their mother became the breadwinner — that’s why they couldn’t afford a wagon,” he said. “She was a widow at 35 with two kids.”

On a recent weekday, Mr. Mattaliano took the No. 7 train to Flushing, carrying a small, potted tree for Ms. McGahan’s grave site. He walked into the office at Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery and was told her grave location: Division 11, Row F, Grave 108.

The modest headstone bore the name McGahan, but only her husband’s name, George, not Mary’s.

Mr. Mattaliano said he would look into having Ms. McGahan’s name added to the gravestone. He put his hand on the grave and murmured little Mary’s Christmas reminder to Santa: “Please do not forget the poor.”

“You know, I might have to come out here every Christmas,” he said as he turned to leave, and then added over his shoulder, “I’ll be back.”
Doris Burke contributed research.

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A version of this article appears in print on December 22, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Poignant Notes to Santa, Lost for a Century. Order Reprints


For as long as I can remember, I have been waking up on Thanksgiving morning and rushing to the TV to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Once, my Father even brought my brother and I to to a customer’s office where we sat on a windowsill (that had no safety bars. Try and get away with that today.) and watched the parade right there in NY City. That year Soupy Sales was the second biggest star of the parade. The first, of course, was and is Santa Claus.

Now with 60 years under my belt, I still get up and grab a cup of coffee, open up the NY Times and watch the parade. I don’t think that I have ever missed a year. BUT something was different this year, I finally woke up and realized that the whole event is one big advertisement. Wow was that revelation, a wake up call. No I am not as naive as you must think. Oh sure, over the years UnderdogI mightBullwinkle not see Underdog one year but I just thought that was only because they were cycling through their collection and that if we didn’t see Underdog then we would see Bullwinkle. The floats too were a big part of the excitement. We got to see the hottest artists of ‘the day’. We saw the Rockettes, songs from Broadway shows sung by the Broadway Stars, Actors from our favorite Television shows. Marching bands from all around the United States. And much much more.

When I became a Father and began to watch the parade with my children, we would see Sponge Bob and Big Bird from Sesame Street (in addition to the Sesame Street Float), there was Pickachu and the Red Power Ranger, Barney that big purple dinosaur, and many many more.BarneyRed Power RangerOf course the people at Macy’s were doing the natural thing, keeping the Parade relevant for the children that it was created for. But there was also a hidden reason. Macy’s was selling the newest and the best of the toys that were waiting just inside their stores for the Black Friday rush. NBC was selling advertising time to the people that needed those products to sell.

Here’s the weird thing. It took until I was 60 to realize this. All of a sudden I am looking at a float sponsored by the Domino Sugar Company with some Star that I had never heard of before singing some song about candy and cookies and cakes and then the TV fades from the parade to a commercial for Domino Sugar.  There was a float for Lindt Chocolates followed by a commercial for? You got it Lindt Chocolates. And so it went right up until the moment that I had been waiting for, the arrival of the big man himself to Herald Square——SANTA!!Santa in Herald SqMy Dad told me that the only thing constant in life is change. I can live with that. I mean change brought us the internet, cell phones, flat screen TV’s, and much much more . But as the Parade wound down it was good to see that there is something that we can still believe in.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKAH, HAPPY KWANZAA (If I missed one please accept my apologizes) TO ALL AND TO ALL >>>> LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!             deadhead1155


I began this on Sunday September 13th. I pick up today.

                                  From this 20150907_135024  to this LOL 12006252_10207403456634852_98874825246846371_n

Autumn came today. Well not really. It doesn’t actually arrive this year year until September 23rd. But it arrived today (Sunday) nonetheless. We went from beautiful weather in the 90’s and 80’s (Fahrenheit for you reading this in the Celsius parts of the world) to suddenly waking up with temps in the low 50’s. To many people this spells relief. Not to me.

I must suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) and probably always have. We can add that to the list of other things that I suffer from. LOL.  Even before they invented those lights that mimic the rays of the sun, as a child, I used to lay on the carpeting in my bedroom in the sun streaming through my window. Today I know that the glass filters out the good stuff that helps over come the lack of sunshine but back then I did it to help me make it from the Summer to the Spring. I wasn’t exactly a shut in. I built snowmen, snow forts, shoveled snow for neighbors for money. I hiked, camped, and even took up skiing just to get out of the house. I owned the right clothing to keep me warm even if the air wasn’t but still deep down inside I was not happy.

Already, within a week I am suddenly wearing socks to keep my feet warm, looking for new gloves to keep my hands warm, shopping for another pair of fleece lined jeans and thinsulate lined boots. Now a days, I only go out in the Winter when I absolutely must. Even with the right gear, in my mind I wonder what the ‘f’ I am doing outside when I could be inside curled up in a blanket. Or better yet, living in a warm climate.

Most people will complain about the heat and humidity, I relish it. People tell me that I have poor circulation but tests prove otherwise. The Doctors just say “some people don’t like the cold. You’re one of them.”

For those of you that love the change of Season’s, the fall foliage, the beauty and quiet after a snowstorm, good for you. No I truly mean that. I have given it the ‘All American Try’ and just don’t get it and probably never will.

Don’t feel sorry for me. It takes all types to make the world go around. My goal is to move South, especially as the years creep up on me. There always seems to be a reason why this doesn’t come to pass. This year it is because, for the first time, I am going to be a Grandparent. No I don’t want to be one of those distant people that send cards on Birthdays, and Graduations. I do want to be hands on. I do want to be a major part of his/her life and spoil her the way a Grandparent should. If I was rich (monetarily, not in friends and family as I am) I would travel back and forth regularly. But alas, I was not born a Rockefeller.   Somehow I will find a happy medium, or die trying.

Some of you will read this and feel pity for me, don’t. I am not alone, otherwise there would be no mass migration South and out of the Northern States in this Country.



Summer Love

This article I borrowed from the N.Y. Times.
Very touching and relevant.

3 Whirlwind Weeks to 10 Years Apart to Growing Old Together



JULY 4, 2015

Julio Rodriguez was a seasoned flirt. Tall and handsome, he persuaded women to call him just by handing them a card printed with “you’re beautiful” and his number on the back.

Then, one steamy summer night in 1988, Mr. Rodriguez found he was the one being flirted with. He was managing a supper club in the Bronx. She was one of the guests. “I’d like you to make me a drink,” she said. He offered to get a bartender. No, she insisted, she wanted him. Slipping a $20 tip on the bar, she asked what time he got off.

“That’s my line,” he said, pocketing the money.

The woman’s name was Dolores Batista. After work, he headed to her red brick rowhouse in Throgs Neck, where she was waiting with chicken fricassee. “Vavoom Mama,” he recalled thinking. “I like to eat and I like a good-looking babe.”

Twenty-seven years later, Mr. Rodriguez, now 71 and a chef and cookbook author, is the one who makes the chicken fricassee. On a recent summer night, he tended the fragrant stew as it simmered on the stovetop while Ms. Batista, now 68 and an insurance agent for Allstate, stayed out of his way.

She leaves the cooking to him. Whatever he makes for dinner, her response is always the same: “Oh, my favorite.”

“This is the meal that brought us together,” he said, scooping the fricassee onto piles of white rice.

Mr. Rodriguez, whose specialty is Caribbean cuisine, shows his love with food. The first time he picked up Ms. Batista at the airport, it was winter and he had flowers in one hand, and homemade chicken soup in the other. He dedicated his first cookbook, “Doll’s Kitchen: La Cocina De Dolly,” in 2007, to Ms. Batista, whom he calls Doll. The cover has a photo of her as a young girl.

Mr. Rodriguez, a chef and cookbook author, grows herbs and vegetables in pots on the front porch of the couple’s home.


They are not married, but might as well be. He refers to her as “my wife” and said he liked the way they fit together when they held hands. She wears a wedding ring he bought for her four years ago, even though she turned down his proposal.

“We’re so incompatible that I always thought, it’s not going to last,” she said. “But it has lasted, and now I think, ‘Why bother?’ What would change really?”

They were, and still are, an unlikely pair, like chocolate-covered bacon. She married young and raised a son, then divorced her husband of 16 years after they drifted apart. Mr. Rodriguez said he had never stayed with the same woman for more than six months. He had an ex-wife and dozens of ex-girlfriends, two of whom were the mothers of his three sons.

“Willie Nelson and him have the same song,” Ms. Batista said. “‘To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.’”

Interactive Map | Your Best or Worst Summer Dates in New York City This summer, we’re exploring love in the hot season, and love often starts with a date. We want to know about yours.

“That’s what bachelors do,” Mr. Rodriguez replied.

At first, Ms. Batista thought he was charming, but their differences gave her pause. She broke off the romance after a three-week whirlwind of barbecues, salsa dancing and what he called “hot fun in the summer.” She told him she did not date musicians or nightclub managers because they were unreliable.

He was not used to being rejected. “I actually wanted to stay,” he said. “I wanted to create roots with somebody I liked.”

It took 10 years for them to get back together. This time, he made the first move. He had just bought a car and needed insurance, so he called her. She asked what he was doing for work. He had switched from nightclubs to real estate, clearing the first hurdle.

Mr. Rodriguez spooning out a bit of broth from a chicken fricassee he prepared. Ms. Batista made him the same dish the night they met. He does the cooking now.


She stopped by his office. “When I saw him, I thought he’s really looking cute still and we did have a good time together,” she said. “But I felt this was going to be trouble.”

She had one nonnegotiable condition: no other women.

He gave them all up and has not looked back. The pickup cards, the one-night stands, “that was B.D. — before Doll,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I’ve been very faithful to my honey.”

There have been no more breaks. He moved into her house a year later, around 1999, and made it his own. He painted over the plain beige walls in marigold yellow. Mr. Rodriguez, who is also an accomplished artist, hung up his paintings of lighthouses, roosters and Caribbean shorelines. He planted cilantro, basil, chili peppers and Roma tomatoes in flower boxes on the front porch.

Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Batista in their kitchen in the Bronx. Regardless of what he fixes for them to eat, her response is always the same: “Oh, my favorite.”


“They’re better together than apart, I think they both realize that,” said Ms. Batista’s son, Derek, 44, a personal trainer who lives with the couple. “It’s a union that just kind of works. Some people on the outside looking in would say, ‘I don’t know how they deal with each other.’ I see them every day. I see the little things — little things that Julio does or my mom does — little things that really are big.”

The differences are still there but not as sharp, dulled by years of give and take. He is a planner, she likes to be spontaneous. He has 36 friends saved in his phone contacts, she has more than that listed under the letter A alone. He can be too blunt, she said. She sugarcoats everything, he said.

At home, being tidy is important to him; to her not so much. They fuss over the refrigerator. For Mr. Rodriguez, who learned to cook while serving in the Navy, the water should always be in front of the milk because it gets used more often. The milk, in turn, goes in front of the juice. When Ms. Batista reaches in, he said, she messes up his order.

She rolled her eyes as he spoke. She brought up the time she had made hamburger patties for a barbecue. They were free-form and unacceptable to him.

“She made flowers, they were all different shapes and sizes,” said Mr. Rodriguez, who prefers to cut his patties with the rim of a water glass.

“Hamburger Nazi,” she said.

Underneath the daily annoyances is a bond that has grown stronger over time. Ms. Batista underwent treatment for breast cancer with Mr. Rodriguez at her side. Last year, when she moved to a new office in White Plains, he showed up to paint the basement and mow the lawn. And despite grumbling that she has too many friends, he makes a feast when they come over. He has been known to cover the kitchen table with 20 kinds of tapas.

Ms. Batista is quick to praise his cooking and his artwork. She helped him buy a used Jaguar sedan to replace his worn-out Lexus. He pays her back from his catering earnings, though she does not ask him to do so.

“I’m very spoiled,” she said, “but he’s spoiled too.”

Their friend, Carlos Aponte, 70, said he saw them as two strong personalities who clashed at times but who were willing to accommodate each other, even when it meant doing something that might not be comfortable.

“When Julio is frustrated and impatient, I see how tender and caring she is,” Mr. Aponte said. “And on his side, I see the love in the way he absolutely takes care of her.”

For Mr. Rodriquez, the home he has made with Ms. Batista has given him a stability he never had before. The youngest of 17 children of Puerto Rican farmers, he said his own parents split up when he was young. He treats Ms. Batista’s son as his own, cooking for him and once picking him up at 2 a.m. when his car had been towed. His three sons call Ms. Batista “Mom,” and pack into the house on holidays.

It is good they met when they did, both said, because they would not have been a couple when they were young. He was too flirtatious. She was not his type. He had a weakness then for women with long legs and black hair, he said, even if they were light on substance.

“She wasn’t the type of person I go after,” he said. “You don’t always get what you want. You get what you need.”

“And,” Ms. Batista reminded him, “I have other redeeming qualities.”


Boy what a winter it has been here in Northern New Jersey. We have had as much snow as last winter when we totaled about six feet but it has been so cold that the snow that we do get just doesn’t melt. We keep missing the ‘big ones’ but it seems like every few days we get about two to three inches of new fresh powder.  I wake up each morning and the thermometer reads anywhere from minus zero to ten degrees. Some days we make it into the twenties and the other week we even hit forty. A heat wave. After I went out and put more salt on the sidewalk I took out a chair and even got a sunburn on my face just sitting, like a lizard on the rocks facing the sun.

This weather has taken it’s toll on the roads as well. Not just potholes but major

Frost Heaves.Frost-Heave-Sign. This ought to keep the local DPW busy in the spring. In the meantime driving is like riding a roller coaster. But there is promise. Every day the sun comes up a little earlier and sets a bit later. I feel it’s beautiful warmth shine through my windows warming me for a little longer each day. Why even next Sunday Daylight Saving’s Time begins.  Spring Ahead

Oh we may be getting up in the dark again but even that will change.  Some of my hundreds of Facebook Friends (a topic for another blog) are beginning to post their preparations for their gardens by posting pictures of their seedlings.seedling_tray_damping_off

Anyone that lives where we have cold winters and has a garden has heard the expression that ‘rocks float’. 5543.got_rocksPreposterous you may say but I say nay you are wrong. As ground freezes it pushes the rocks up towards the surface and no matter how hard you try, every year you have to clear out the rocks every Spring before planting.

Ah but all is good. In three weeks Spring officially begins and a week after that the Boys of Summer will take the field, my hammock will come out of the basement, and once again life will return to the Northern Hemisphere. What’s that? I think I hear a little voice in my head asking me to put the air conditioners back in the windows.