My Hometown – Hopatcong (Ode to Childhood)

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou

During our lives there are some things we get comfortable with almost to the point of taking advantage of them. It is this comfort that we benchmark our lives against and always find a sense of ease and safety with each passing day. No matter how far away we go, home is always there for us. It never leaves us, cheats on us or turns its back to us.

It’s allegiance and loyalty is without question and the sense you feel as you close you eyes, feel its touch, breath in its smell and see every memory race through your head is priceless. It is the warmth and coziness of home that continuously reminds me who I am and how I became the person I am today.

hopEvery time I return home, I see something new. Though nothing changes, it is always different yet still the same feeling I had as a child.

The comfort of the hometown deli, the sound of grasshoppers at night, the safety of living in a town where you never lock your doors at night, the sight of a million stars at the top of the golf course, the spirit of the Chiefs, basketball at Modick, soccer all around, the summers at the lake, remembrance of those we lost, patriotism, the comfort of the Old River Styx Bridge, rolling hills and the feeling of home.

This is my ode to Hopatcong, the safe haven that bore me and raised it. It is a town with a quiet rich heritage that continues to shine.

Its the parks, the diners, the locals, the morning dew, the local sports, the children and the air that we breath that makes home the only place you will ever know.

Be free, see the world and experience the magic and wonder of different cultures and different great natural wonders but never forget where you are from. It is and will always remained ingrained inside you.

Home is always safe in your heart!

“When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood” – Sam Ewing

“No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place picture-048like home.” – L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

“Home is the place, where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” – Robert Frost

“I’m laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone,
Going home, where the new york city winters aren’t bleedin’ me.” – Paul Simon, The Boxer

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” – Christian Morganstern

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” – Unknown

“Home should be an oratorio of the memory, singing to all our after life melodies and harmonies of old remembered joy.” – Henry Ward Beecher




Come Back Home – Original Poem with Audio

Come back home
Just come back home

It is cold inside this lonely heart
The fire is a little dimmer
The words a little softer
Don’t let a good thing die

I need you
Three of the hardest words to will from this selfish mouth
Cursed in the rationalization of self worth

I see you in the eyes of others
The rough touch of life is covering me with mental bruises

Cut by the memory of you walking away
Stung by those words forever tattooed

All around the world I will go
Willed by temptation
Caught in a trap
I can’t escape these words I’m saying
Forever deemed to a merciless life willing happiness on others

Masked from the public eye
Hidden behind romance
So they say
The worlds of a lover, the actions of a coward

Help me break these chains
Come back home
Where we belong

Leap from the clouds
Hand in hand
Gravity with betray science and freeze us in time

Come Back Home Audio

My Little Town – Original Poem


Racing down the street in my yellow two wheeled racer
Wind at my back and open road ahead
In my little town, I was king

No factories, no crime
No sign of a world outside

Subtle complexity and wonder; how pure we were then
Like untapped honey, our sweet journey anointed us
We were the believers

There was no cure for the disease of laughter and happiness

At night, the sounds of grasshoppers sending out their mating calls while we watched the stars dance in the sky entertained our senses
Cheap wine on the rocks was shared among friends

There was no future; no past
We only knew the now

Our parents sat by the window waiting to greet us home
Dogs playing in the yard
Lawns moved and the fresh smell of cut grass was our drug

In my little town, I was king
Hiding from the neighbors waiting to be found
Racing down the street to the corner just to step outside our walls

In the summer, the steps were the arena where a laser light show of fireworks shot off from every direction
Mom and dad on each side, sparklers in hand
Proud to be an American as the flag waved in the background


This was my little town
A proud town; small and free
Quiet and proud

I learned about life in my little town
A place to call home

Talie – Original Poem

Down from heaven she came
A second gift sent from the clouds

Natalie, her name, written with love in the sky and nestled in our arms
A reminder of the purity and solidarity of family
Without a word spoken, her presence speaks volumes

Warmth in her touch
Gentleness in her tears
Simplicity in her smile

Curiosity plays tunes in her mind as a new world awaits

Large beautiful eyes filled with passion and hope
At peace and tranquil in a world of beautiful chaos

Natalie is the final puzzle piece to a family now solidified with affection

Now brother and sister play
Protecting each other from world ahead
As mom and dad look on with pride

Dreams in the playpen
Laughter is the music of the home

A princess born from the flower garden in heaven and gently delivered to her home from the hands of the Lord

With nurturing of love, she will blossom into an empress full of fervor and energy touching the lives of everyone in her path

As we extend our hands and embrace, we are a family of four united as one

I Need a Home – 2 Year Old Mixed Pit (Northeast New Jersey)

I am a 2 year old mixed pit that is neutered (ouchie) with all my shots.
I am a very good dog and very loyal.

My owner is moving and cannot take me with her.

I need a good home.
I am free and fun.

If you would like to consider taking me home please email

You have to admit, I am very very very cute!!!

Please take me home. Please, pretty please!!!

Home is where the heart is….

“There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all”

In My Life – The Beatles

As I drove through the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul passing the places that reminded me of a comfortable feeling a long time ago when I called this home, a sense of nostalgia grew inside of me. Some of the places have remained, while others are victims to the recession. Memories raced back as I began to recall all of the life altering events that took place during my residence and all the friends that came and went, but more importantly the ones that stayed with me.

I soon arrived with dinner for Sonni, Mom and baby. Three generations together in one room. Pat didn’t hesitate to remind me that this was my second family and I need not wait so long to return. I feel as though she slipped that in more than once during the evening and the hug goodbye. I don’t know if I will see them before I fly home Saturday to see family number one. To add an exclamation point to this final visit to the home of Sonni and Sam, my framed poem for Tino was resting on the wall in the entrance to his room. My words to Tino will always be in sight and watching over him at night.

Maybe it has been the time away or the relaxing sense of seclusion I have in Charleston, but the depth of feelings that have reared during this trip seem intensified more than the last. I could dive into an analysis factoring in the birth of a child, old friends who have taken new steps in their lives and some that have remained in their current bubble. One thing remains clear, the ability to slip back into that comfort zone remains.

Tino was born into a wonderful circle of family and friends and no matter what course of life he chooses, he will always be surrounded by support. A few days prior to the birth, I went to the cemetery to see Janet Hegg, Sonni’s Grandmother who passed away in 1997. I found myself talking to her and telling her about the newest member of the family. It was somewhat comforting given that I never met her. It may be the single moment I once again realized I was part of this family.

In a few days, I will see my family. What a thought: I have the chance to spend a month with two different families. How many have the opportunity to say that.

Seven weeks is summed up in a computer bag and a gym bag. Some would find that alarming, but not me. It doesn’t matter what is in the bag, because it is never about the material value I carry with me each day. It is about the meals, the conversations, the hugs, the gifts, the quiet moments during a sunset and the laughter from shared memories that fills my bag up with each visit.

Home not only is where the heart is but where people let you inside their hearts. Thank you to my first and second families for reminding me how important these relationships are in my life.

I Am Thankful….

Due to the timing of this segment, it may appear to be a personal spin on Thanksgiving, but the timing is the only similarity from my vantage point.  My personal feelings and my strong family foundation have taught me some very valuable lessons in life and ones I still question such as the success of the Ernest movies.

I digress…

This week I flew to New Jersey and unlike my typical introverted self, I was able to engage in a very nice conversation with a new member of the graduating class of life.  A fresh young lass with wide open eyes and a world in front of him.  It was nice to see ambition, ethics and a bit of shyness.  We all need some of those attributes in our lives.   Wow, I really used the word “lass”

Again I digress….

My father recently had a procedure that will require some therapy so I am playing in-house nurse for a few weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, I am in it for the free meals and the company but it is hard work.  He is making me clean the house, throw out my old books, drive him everywhere and worst of all, sit through episode after episode of Law and Order.

I value my time in my hometown, the house I grew up in and the bedroom I experienced my first life adventures.   The walls are the same tacky blue and the lampshade is covered with NFL team logos including “wait for it” the Houston Oilers…Now you can point out how old it is.   Fortunately the thick red, white and blue carpet has been replaced with wood panel tiles.   As I sit in a room I once thought was filled with spiders, built a lego wall to the ceiling, played nerf basketball with my brother, sorted baseball cards and studied long division, I reflect on the many things I am truly thankful for.   I have an amazing family, quirky but amazing, a strong foundation of friends, my health and a very positive attitude; even if my father is being a pain in the butt.  Then again we can all remember our parents telling us to be good because some day we will be taking care of them.  Karma has a funny way of showing itself.

Did I mention my inate ability to digress….

I try very hard not to watch the news or indulge in very much television or radio, but media is a powerful tool we cannot escape. We are surrounded by conflict, rage, war, death, greed, depression and poverty.   It is a time when there are so many unanswered questions yet we are void of answers.   A time where surrender is an option many have toyed with.  I see this as a time of re-birth; a fresh morning dew on a cool open field. We are all blessed with something more powerful than any known material item; life. The ability to breathe, love, laugh, cry, hug and feel has no value.   It is a priceless work of art that we have created and continue to create with each passing day.

I am thankful for the lives I have touched.
I am thankful for the voices that give me a sense of community and companionship.
I am thankful for the ability to be creative.
I am thankful for each day of life.

What about you???