The Best is Yet to Be!

Cold days are these bringing men to their knees,

a feast for the wolves in the Winter woods.

Pray not to be prey by shattered hearts seized,

bitterness wholeheartedly understood. 

Memorable times of loves far away,

wash over me like the high ocean tides.

I gave my heart so freely come what may,

waiting for the sun and moon to collide. 

For that which takes my soul to rue despair

the glistening hopes are of good favor.

Yet, I shall breathe again in caution’s care,

for the passion of love, I shall savor. 

My heart dawns, it sincerely dawns for thee,

for this fact surely the best is yet to be.

by Timothy Michael DiVito  2020

What Would The Greatest Generation Do?

Many in the younger generation really need to read this because many have been corrupted by what surrounds them: racism, greed, lust, hate, and no inner core, no belief in goodness, sharing or true love; only anger.

charles french words reading and writing

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

My parents were in the generation that faced the twin horrors of The Great Depression and World War Two. They experienced economic hardships past anything that we are suffering today. They fought a war against two tyrannies in Japan and Germany. They fought in a war, that at the most conservative, estimate killed 56 million people. The Greatest Generation did not worry about being inconvenienced; they did not let fear stop them. They did what they had to do, and they sacrificed in ways that are almost incomprehensible to people today.

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(https://www.goodfreephotos.com)

I shake my head when I see people protesting the lockdowns that are aimed at saving lives. They speak of inconvenience. Could these people have fought World War Two or lived through the hardships of the Great Depression? I think not. I know people are frustrated, but people gathering in crowds in protests, with no masks, are…

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Ellen Russell Mallory – First Lady of Key West

Ellen Russell Mallory – First Lady of Key West

 

Ellen Russell Mallory (1792-1855) settled in Key West with her ailing husband Charles and two young sons in 1823.  She was first white female settler in Key West.  Her husband and elder son died in 1825.  To support herself and her surviving son Stephen, Ellen Mallory opened her home as boarding house for seamen.  During frequent Yellow Fever outbreaks, she served as the town’s nurse.  She provided a good education for her surviving son, sending him to a Moravian academy in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  Ellen was a leading figure in the growth and life of Key West until her death in 1855.  Her son went on to become a U.S. Senator, and then Secretary of the Navy for the Confederate States.  Mallory Square is named after her son Stephen Russell Mallory.

 

Ellen Russell Mallory

 

Ellen Russell was born in 1792 at Carrick-on-Suir, near Waterford, Ireland.  Carrick-on-Suir is situated in the southeastern corner of County Tipperary, 17 miles northwest of Waterford.  When she was orphaned at about thirteen years of age, she was adopted by two bachelor uncles (her mother’s brothers), who were planters on the island of Trinidad.  There she met Charles Mallory and married him when she was no more than sixteen years of age.  Charles Mallory was a construction engineer, originally from Redding, Connecticut.  Charles and Ellen Mallory had two children, sons John and Stephen.  Charles Mallory’s health then began to fail.  The family left Trinidad and came to the United States around 1820, leaving seven-year-old son Stephen in school near Mobile, Alabama.  After trying the climate of Havana for a short time, the family moved to Key West in 1823, when the island was inhabited by only a few fishermen and pirates.  Charles Mallory died of consumption at Key West in 1825.  The elder son John died shortly thereafter, at only fourteen years of age.  To support herself and her surviving son Stephen, Ellen opened her home as a boarding house for seamen.

 

Ellen Mallory’s boarding house “Cocoanut Grove”

 

Her boarding house, the “Cocoanut Grove”, was the only lodging in Key West for many years.   With her meager earnings from the boarding house, she sent her son away for further schooling at a Moravian academy in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  Although, like his mother, he was a devout Catholic, he had only praise for the education he received at the academy.  After three years, his mother could no longer afford to pay his tuition; so in 1829 his schooling ended and he returned home to Key West.

 

Ellen’s boarding house remained a center of social life and hospitality in Key West throughout the remainder of her life.  She nursed and cared for many of the sick and injured in Key West, during numerous outbreaks of Yellow Fever and hurricanes.  The hurricane of 1846 was one of such unusual severity that it obliterated the graves of her late husband Charles and son John.  Ellen lived to see her son, Stephen Russell Mallory, become a successful lawyer, marry well and have children of his own, and become a United States Senator in 1850.

 

After 32 years as the beloved “First Lady” of Key West, Ellen Russell Mallory died on May 15, 1855.  Perhaps at no time was the Key West custom of closing the stores along the route of a funeral procession as a tribute of respect more spontaneously and wholeheartedly observed than when Ellen Mallory’s remains were born to her final resting place.  Nearly the entire population of Key West walked behind her bier to the cemetery.  She was buried in the town’s new cemetery, founded after the great hurricane of 1846, where a stone about six feet long is inscribed:

MALLORY

Ellen Mallory

born at

Carrick-on-Suir, 1792

died at Key West

May 15, 1855

 

Excerpts from an article in The Florida Historical Quarterly; Volume 25, Issue 4:

 

Of those who have been identified with early Key West, one who has been given highest acclaim is Ellen Mallory, Stephen R. Mallory’s mother.  A contemporary noted:  “The first white female settler of Key West was Mrs. Mallory in 1823, the mother of the present United States Senator from Florida; she is an intelligent, energetic woman of Irish descent, and still keeps an excellent boarding house, for the accommodation of visitors there being no taverns upon the island.”

Another noted that “For some considerable time [after 1823] she was without a single companion of her own sex [on the island].  As the pioneer matron of the place, she was presented with a choice lot of land, on which she has erected a house, which she now occupies, as a boarding house, dispensing to the stranger, with liberal hand, and at a moderate price, the hospitalities of the place.”

Key West’s leading twentieth century chronicler speaks and quotes others: “First in point of time as well as in affection and esteem of her contemporaries, was Mrs. Ellen Mallory. Two distinguished men have told of her virtues,” writes Judge Browne.   He repeats Governor Marvin’s judgment: “I mention Mrs. Mallory last because she is last to be forgotten and not because she was the mother of an United State senator and secretary of the navy of the Confederacy, but because she was situated where she could do good and she did it.

Left a widow in early womanhood, she bravely fought the battle of life alone, and supported herself by her labor in respectful independence.  She kept the principal boarding house in town. She was intelligent, possessed of ready Irish wit, was kind, gentle, charitable, sympathetic, and considerate of the wants of the sick and poor.  She nursed the writer through an attack of yellow fever and was always as good to him as his own mother could have been.”

The sentiment of another, crystallized through a long friendship is contained in an excerpt from an address delivered in 1876: “Methinks I hear her musical voice today as she was wont to speak, standing at the bedside of the sick and dying in days gone by.  Catholic by rites of baptism…Oh, how truly catholic in the better and non-sectarian use of that term, was her life, devoted as it was to acts of kindness.  Her husband died shortly after their arrival; she kept for many years the only comfortable boarding house on the island, located first on the north side of Fitzpatrick Street and subsequently, after the proprietors had expressed their appreciation of her character and usefulness, by a donation of a lot of ground, on her own premises, on the south side of Duval street near Front.  With many opportunities of becoming rich, she died comparatively poor.  Next to her God, her devotion centered in her son, Stephen R. Mallory, whom she brought to this island a child of tender age and lived to see occupying a seat in the Senate of the United States as one of the Senators from Florida.

Going tranquilly about her duties, or dispelling discouragement with the tonic of fortitude and hope, the picture is beautiful.  Twice as I remember, I had the pleasure of receiving the proffered hand of this lady.  First, with words of ‘Welcome’ to your city, when as a poor young man, I became one of your number.  Second, on the occasion of sore affliction, when the balm of consolation gratefully reached my ears, and pointed my mind to contemplations of future usefulness.  She died in 1855.  Her mortal remains lie in yonder cemetery respected of all men.  She left no enemy on earth. ‘Requiescat in pace.’  Such was the woman who founded the family of Mallory in Florida; is it any marvel that she was the mother and grandmother of United States Senators?”

 

 

A Book Review of D. G. Kaye’s Non-Fiction, “Words We Carry”

It is my belief that every woman on the planet should read this non-fiction inspirational story that reveals the negative self-esteem experiences that many if not all women encounter during various incidents throughout their lives, and the consequences of those experiences often begin in early childhood.

D.G. Kaye writes with empathy, compassion, and a plethora of knowledge using her own experiences to help other women understand the importance of realizing their sense of self that is intimately associated with our self-worth. Self-worth is not a vanity and it not excessive pride. It is how we access our own sense of being, of who we are.

The author, D.G. Kaye, writes with a warmhearted conversational style that beautifully eliminates dogma and in effect the judging of us, by us, and others for what we may perceive as a failure to have fallen victim to ridicule, to embarrassment, and instead we begin to believe in our personalities and our value in the world.

Our society often appears to judge women by our appearance: a cultural sense of what beauty is, a person’s station in life, and least but not last – money. If as a child we experienced being bullied, laughed at, ignored, and ridiculed, our self-worth without a positive, loving alternative from your parents, grandparents, and siblings—is damaged and our chances of feeling unlovable, inadequate, and homely take root in our psyche. A psyche that is damaged presents difficulties in our self-expression, our personalities, and our ability to thrive in the world without a sense of inadequacy. This sense of inadequacy leaves us open to being further damaged by others.

D.G. Kaye, the author, encourages us, helps us to understand, and presents a rationale that can and does present a newer, healthier view of ourselves as well as to develop healthier relationships. Once we rid ourselves of negativity, jealousy, envy, and that awful feeling of inadequacy; our inner personalities, our joy of life, and a sense of inner happiness will begin to shine.

D.G. Kaye’s inspirational non-fiction for women is the best of its kind that I have ever read, and a must read for all women. I give this book a 5-star rating.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

How we handle this pandemic, collectively and individually, will be a testament to our strength of character, our empathy, our compassion, and our love of humanity.

charles french words reading and writing

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(https://pixabay.com)

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

(Traditional Irish Blessing)
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In this time of uncertainty, risk, and danger, please remember our connections, our strengths, and our blessings.

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A Review of Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney IV

A Review of James J. Cudney, IV superb novel, Watching Glass Shatter.

 

The title alone intrigued me. I already knew that James J. Cudney IV, was a fabulous writer and I already loved his writing style. I knew that it would be a great read, but I had no idea it would be so superb and that I would spend hours reading it while ignoring everything else that went on around me. Honestly, if my house had burnt down around me I probably would not have noticed.

I didn’t answer my iPhone, or make dinner or finish the laundry, I was so taken by it, so entranced by it, that I could do nothing else but read this novel that is as true to life as anything I have ever read. The people in this novel, come to life as real as you and me.  James J. Cudney IV’s novel brings a realism to this novel, Watching Glass Shatter, like no other. It is so astonishingly real in every conceivable way.

Normally, when I read a book, I know it is fiction, but not this story, no, anything but fiction. This story is like stepping into a family’s life in a very intimate way, observing, as though you are their invisible friend, and wanting so much to give advice, to hold a hand when tears flowed, to cheer when things go as planned, to grieve when they grieved, to respect their choices, even though poorly chosen sometimes, but necessary.

When I finished reading the last sentence, I knew I didn’t want it to end even though it was after midnight. I realized I had been reading for many hours without stopping for nether food nor drink. I knew in an instant that I would never forget this family, their lives, their losses, and their triumphs. I also knew I would be buying the print version today. I am also thrilled that now, knowing that Watching Glass Shatter is to be printed in several languages, because I am so happy that other people around the world will love this book as much as I do, and I hope the French language is of them. I give this story 5 stars and it doesn’t seem fair…it should be 10 stars!

 

A Very Special Book Review: Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven in Words by Sally Cronin

Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words is not your usual book of poetry – not at all. Sally Cronin’s stunningly beautiful book is a work of art to be read again and again. It is the kind of poetry and enchanting stories that lift you up, touch your heart, and make you see the world in an entirely new way.

This beautifully crafted book, with verse for every season of the year and a treasure strove of all things human too, is one of a kind. There are enchanting fantasies where fairies and other folk are at play and Sally’s portrayal of the beauty of the natural world will take your breath away. Her love of animals is represented here as well as she celebrates her love of pets, and all pet lovers will treasure this heartfelt telling that will capture your heart.  Sally speaks to the past eloquently of soldiers old and young that are remembered here and speaks of those that are forgotten.

The beauty of her philosophy of life she represents in random thoughts that I see as a gift to all that will enrich everyone’s sense of being and opens the door to growth within our hearts and souls. Her superb writing talent is portrayed in micro fiction and short stories that are a wonder to read.

Last but not least at all, is Sally’s ode to The Duchess 1917-2012.  I read this first and I felt Sally’s great love for the Duchess that brought tears to my eyes.

 

****I look forward to when the print version of Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven in Words is released. I can’t think of a more beautiful gift of love to give to all those that I love – my family and friends.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates- #Reviews – #YAParanormal Karen Demers Dowdall, #Relationships Alex Craigie, #CrimeReference Sue Coletta

This weeks must read from Sally’s weekly book reviews from Amazon! I am thrilled and these three reviews are great 5 star reviews.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first review is for Karen Demers Dowdall for Garrett’s Bones. A YA Paranormal Mystery

About the book

Anna and Garrett are ordinary teens growing up in a small farming community in Connecticut in 1960. They have been best friends since first grade and now their relationship is changing to something more. While walking through their beautiful forest preserve, Anna and Garrett happen upon the ravaged body of a young girl and find themselves as suspects in this horrific murder.

Garrett believes that the evil man that murdered the young girl, will kill again. When Garrett and Anna find ancient bones buried in the forest, Garrett knows it means something. It is their mission, they believe, to save their community and the Indian spirit who now roams the forest.

Things get…

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Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Etheree – Two Hearts by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin writes a beautiful heart-felt poem about true love that lasts over time.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is Valentine’s Day and whilst it may be quite commercialised now,  it is still a day to celebrate love. (I do think it should be celebrated every day even after 40 years of marriage). This week on  Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 164 the prompts were very appropriate,’Love and Harmony’….. I have selected the synonyms ‘Passion and Rapport’

Etheree – Two Hearts

When
you meet
that someone
who sparks a flame
in your heart and mind
passion is ignited.
Even when the years have passed
the rapport that has developed,
energised with a sense of humour,
binds your two hearts together forever.

©Sally Cronin 2020

If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link again: Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 164

You can find recent reviews for my latest release and other books: Sally’s books and…

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left dry (and unworldly)

This stunningly beautiful poem portrays the one source that humans and all living things can not survive without – water, and in such a way, that it brings the truth to the surface of all our fears.

Frank Prem Poetry

how will we drink
the dust

can you tell me

we are burning
from above
draining
from below

there’ll be nothing left
soon
but the holes
where we mined
and the cracks
in the earth
that were once held together
by water

and still it’s not
enough

we have to take
another barrel out

send it
all the way
to china

like taking
your own heart
and selling it
to the highest bidder

leaving you
behind
like a husk
after harvest

rattling empty
with every passing breeze
that passes
by
where we are left
to stand

a ragged bunch
of scarecrow skeletons
still craving

not knowing
yet
that we have already
died

and the dead
can no more serve
any
worldly purpose

~

From the News. The miserable bloody news.

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