Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hello Internets!

What a week it has been. Has it only been slightly more than a week since I was here? As you might imagine I have a few things to say and more than a few things to do, so it's gonna have to be a list here on this side of the pond today.

1. For starters, if you're here looking for questions to Hodgepodge 101, my apologies. I'm going to need to postpone Vol 101 until next week because we had a hurricane, no power for a week, traveled to Tennessee and back getting home late last night, need to elect a new President today, and there's more but I think you get the idea.  I have only just begun reading the links from last week so check back here next Tuesday (Nov 13th) for Hodgepodge Vol 101.

2. The hurricane.  It was scary.  We have a forest full of super tall trees behind our house and did you know tall trees can bend all the way to the ground without breaking? They can, but you hold your breath with every swoosh of the wind thinking this is the one that's going to snap one in two.

3. The wind.  Quite literally it sounded like a freight train barreling right thru the middle of our house.  It was a long night.  Add to that waking to the sound of our dog barfing at 2:30 am and it was a very long night.  The house was pitch black, the wind had not lessened one iota, and the windows were still rattling.  Nerves were still pretty shaky too.

4. We were very lucky. Our brand new landscaping stayed put and while we had many sticks and branches to pick up, no big trees came through our roof.  We did have some damage to our gable which is cosmetic in nature, but our roofer has already been in touch to organize that repair.

5. Our power went out a week ago Monday and was finally restored sometime late on Saturday. It's amazing how much we take for granted things like a warm house and a hot shower, light at the flick of a switch, and unspoiled food in a cold frig. As various parts of the community had power restored,  churches and gyms opened up to offer showers and coffee and the ability to feed our electronic addiction.   We charged our phones and ipads via the car for several days, but mostly stayed off line to conserve precious battery power.

6. Because of all the ginormous and deep rock in the ground here, there are still a lot of overhead power lines in this part of the state, many of which are still down. A number of roads are still impassable and schools in our tiny town have yet to reopen.

7. I keep things mostly light hearted here, but you cannot turn on the television or the computer without seeing photographs of the tremendous damage Sandy wrought, or hearing stories of lives devastated by her power and wrath.  People often make fun of the 'Jersey Shore' because all they know is what they've seen courtesy of bad reality programming, but it's a place many call home. It's also a place people have gone summer after summer to put their toes in the sand, to reunite with family, and to hang with friends at favorite and familiar local spots.  Much of what generations of Jersey-ans have loved for eons vanished in a gust of wind and a tide that burst its boundary. The actual geography of the Jersey shore has been changed by Sandy.

8. It's cold here. In fact we woke up to frost on our back hillside this morning and a winter storm is heading our way on Wednesday. There are tens of thousands of people displaced...homeless...begging for heat and help and hope. If you are able please consider making a donation to one of the many reputable organizations helping with relief efforts.  The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and Samaritans Purse are three that are legitimate, organized, and doing their best to bring relief and comfort to those devastated by the storm.

9. On Thursday night hubs and I boarded a plane bound for Tennessee.  We'd booked this long weekend away months ago, a trip back to collegetown for a homecoming gathering with old friends and a side trek before and after to visit his parents who live a couple of hours from our university.  While it felt more than a little funny to be leaving the house sans power it felt awesome to climb into a warm bed in a heated hotel room four nights in a row.  I have some pictures but I also have an issue with my camera so I think I'll save talking about TN for a separate post.

10. One of the biggest issues we face up here right now is petrol, or rather the lack thereof.  Some stations are still without power and those stations with power have no fuel.  Due to the ridiculously long lines resulting in rising tempers and confrontations, combined with the lack of product, our governor instituted rationing 1970's style.  You may buy fuel only on an odd or even day, depending on the last number in your car tag. Our cars are both even numbered which meant that we landed back in NJ yesterday, but were not permitted to buy gas. Hubs had enough in his car to get us home, but mine was on fumes.  Gas has become like gold up here so we put out feelers and friends let me know who was expecting a delivery.  Last night, after a busy weekend and a long day of travel, hubs left the house at 12:01 AM  to fill up his car, came home, got mine and filled it too. Yay hubs!  And yay friends who helped us find a station!

11.  Today is a big day in America.  People are distracted in our neck of the woods by things like surviving.  So many have had their lives turned upside down by the hurricane that the last thing they're thinking about today is getting out to vote.  Most of America though has no excuse.  I feel very strongly about this particular election and encourage you to get out and cast your ballot today.  It is our right, our privilege, and our duty as citizens of a still free country.

12.  For the most part I steer clear of politics on my blog, but not today.  I want it to be known that I am not voting out of revenge.  I don't even understand what that means and find it completely insulting, not to mention divisive.  

Out of all the many reasons I will not be voting to re-elect our current President, his discourse is right up there near the top of the list.  I am so hugely disappointed and disgusted to say to my children that the President of the United States is not someone I can hold up as an example.  Not in how to dialogue with people with whom you disagree.  Not in how to interact with people who have legitimate questions about decisions you make that affect their lives and their country  and their future.  Not in how to speak to an audience (all of America) which is diverse not only in ethnicity, but also in what it holds dear.

Our President is an ivy-league educated man, supposedly brilliant, and he shows unbridled contempt for at least half of the people of this nation.

You are free to disagree with me and I know many do. In fact some will likely stop reading here and that makes me sad. America seems to have lost its ability, and seemingly its will, for friendly disagreement.

I encourage you to cast your vote today for whomever your own conscience dictates. This is America and for now speech is still free.

While I often feel that keeping quiet keeps the peace today I'm tired, and I don't feel like keeping quiet.  When I cast my vote today I will think of my daughter entering the field of public education which now expects its people to support a particular political agenda or be ostracized. I will think of the long hours and exhausting schedule my husband keeps, of how hard he has worked all of our married life to support his family and to plan for the future and to pay our bills. Those bills include an absolutely obscene amount of taxes and I will be very aware of the ridiculously large check I sent just today to cover still more taxes. I will think of two very expensive college educations paid for entirely by us through forethought, savings, and hard work...by the choices and sacrifices we made in the immediate in order to be as prepared as we could be for the future.  I will think of my new health insurance premium for the coming year and the dramatic increase in cost for the same service we have always had.

I will think especially of two Navy Seals who lost their lives defending an embassy and an Ambassador, and a country they loved.  Who gave no thought whatsoever to politics when they charged into the fray, and whose families still weep without answers.

I hope today no American takes for granted the privilege that is ours.  People have died protecting and defending that privilege.  Let's not take it lightly.  Get out and vote.     

48 comments:

  1. So. Very. Well. Said.

    I also cannot vote for a man who thinks of a grandchild as a punishment for a mistake.

    I'm not familiar with the concept of voting out of revenge? Part of what will be driving my vote is how incumbents have voted on issues (which speaks volumes ... far more effectively than the words they speak on the campaign trail when trying to tickle the voters' ears) ... I assume that's not voting out of revenge?

    And I've already made a contribution to Samaritan's Purse. ;-)

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    1. Kathy, Obama, in a speech last week, encouraged his followers to vote "Out of revenge" in contrast to Romney's admonition that his followers vote "for love of country." This is the background for Joyce's remark.

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  2. There were no lines here in Rockaway yesterday for gas. That was during the day. Come down here for gas! LOL People here still don't have power. I feel especially bad for them. The nights have been unbelievable cold. I did hear for the weekend in the 60's. Take care Joyce!

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  3. Amen. Praying for your weary heart today and for our country. Particularly those that live in OH, IA, VA, NC, FL, NH, NV, WI, and PA. (Couldn't resist).

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  4. I have thought about you a lot over the last week! I really hope things get better!

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  5. Amen and amen, Joyce, on the political front. I have never ever felt more passionate about getting the wrong man out. I do not believe he has our best interest at heart. It goes far deeper than social issues or budgetary woes...t that those are small potatoes. I am glad youre back safe in y our wn home. I keep praying for you and those affected much worse. Where did puppy go while you were away?

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  6. I have missed you! I am glad you are safe and sound. I live far away from Sandy damage . . . I did not realize you had to ration gas,etc. It is truly amazing what we take for granted!

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  7. Hi joyce, It's great to hear from you and to know you have power back and that you survived Sandy with little damage, not counting the high level of fear it caused!! When you wrote your dog barfed - did you mean barked, or perhaps both? ha! Seriously I have been watching all the news of my old home state closely and have been praying for so many in NJ suffering from this natural disaster.
    I read your blog post all the way through even tho I differ on how these past 4 years have been. I also differ on thoughts about our President. Actually at times I felt you were writing about the other candidate. It's crazy how similiar people (you and me) can read behavior and speeches differently. But viva la difference! I know you and I are extremely blessed people, as are our daughters. Hardships? Really... we don't know them. Both our husbands have worked long, hard hours and traveled extensively - yes - because they love us, they enjoy being businessmen, and they enjoy the benefits. We are NOT low income people...we are not even middle America. Or have I misread your life? Your pictures?
    The United States of America will continue to be a WONDERFUL place for you & I to live regardless of who gets voted as President the next 4 years. Not everyone can say that.
    I look forward to next week's Hodgepodge. You deserve a rest after 100!!

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  8. Joyce, may I just say "Thank you?" Thank you for sharing with us the difficulty, pain and uncertainty so many of you are experiencing at this time in the northeast. I can relate to so much of this as we personally experienced the devastation of Katrina with our son and his family. I do hope recovery will be swift for all of you.

    Thank you for your boldness in sharing with us your deep held convictions about the future of our country. So many of us would stand up and say "Amen!" with a broken heart over what we have witnessed in this beloved country and what we fear should there not be a change in leadership. Although we won't know the outcome of this most important election for a while, we believers can continue to pray for those still voting and in the end celebrate that we have a Sovereign God who is still in control. Should Obama win this election, we the elect, can only praise God that His return will indeed be soon. So, we are not to be discouraged.

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  9. Joyce, I have to leave for bowling but I will be back. Excellent post and I am 100% with you!

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  10. loving your boldness; i voted a few weeks ago; May God have mercy on our nation and I'm praying He's providential for His praying remnant ;)

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  11. I actually prefer Obama, but everyone can have their own opinion.

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  12. So glad to hear you are okay. So sorry to hear it's been a really tough week. I've never experienced a hurricane. I've been close-ish to a few tornadoes, but those are done in a short amount of time. I cannot imagine the hour after hour after hour of wind and rain.
    Good for you fro sharing your thoughts about this country. And for not doing it in a hateful way. Just one more reason why I love to read your blog and why I wish we were closer so we could be friends IRL. (But by closer maybe I mean you are in the in mid-west and not me on the east coast. ;) ) Have you always wanted to visit no-where rural America? We have warm beds, hot food and gasoline!
    I'll pray for your house to get fixed and for peace for you and your husband while you wait for that.
    ((hugs))

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  13. Joyce, All I could think was "Amen!" and then I looked at the other commenters and see that "Amen" was voiced already!

    I have been praying daily for you and my Dad and I did so yesterday for all the Sandy victims still without power facing this coming storm.

    Our storm in June felt as devastating as what you are describing, albeit without the gas rationing. It actually took me a couple of months to get over running to the grocery store every 2nd or 3rd day and not replenishing all the food that we lost. With any rain and wind that comes our way we fervently pray not to lose power. Once you've been without for a week, you have a greater appreciation for this modern day convenience.

    You wrote so eloquently today and I'm thankful you felt you should share it with us! May the Lord's will be done and may you be safe & keep power in the coming days.

    Blessings, Angie

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  14. Glad you guys made it through the storm okay! That was a pretty scary storm. Made me very thankful to live in CA where we don't get hurricanes. On the other hand we are a fire trap of a state and we get earthquakes. If it's not one thing it's another.

    I'm with you about not re-electing the President. I'm also with you about how divided our country has become. It's quite scary actually, and it's worrisome. Our "wonderful" governor apparently signed in a new tax that home owners have to pay in regards to fire hazards or soemthing. I just heard about it and it's $150 per habitable building on your property or something. I'm pretty sure what our governor did was sort of on the illegal side - making people pay a special tax just for living in a rural area. He can kiss my you know what and come next election . . . it ain't gonna be pretty.

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  15. I love that you gave us this insight into your life and beliefs. Even though I respect your candidness and believe you to be a wise woman.
    My sympathies go to all those still suffering from Sandy. It really must be tough, but your country is strong and help is surely on it's way. I admire that in your country.
    I hope you are well and look forward to seeing you posting again.
    Miss you!

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  16. What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing what was on your heart. It is so good to see you back and glad you did not have extensive damage. And I would say having the trip planned ahead was a blessing! I am totally in agreement with you on the political issues. It scares me to think what we will be facing if there is not a change. Although as Libby commented, God is still in control and Heaven is getting closer. Take care of you and yours. And thanks for taking the time to reply to my email last week. It was good to know you were okay. Prayers for you and yours and all those affected by Sandy!
    until next time... nel

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  17. Glad you are safe and was able to enjoy the weekend with college friends. So many times I personally take for granted the little 'things' in life-electricity-gas in my vehicle-heck just going fill up when I want to. Keeping New Jersey and others in prayer. Keeping fingers crossed the storm will not hit.

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  18. I had to pause at this one point "for now, speech if free"....well, to re-elect what we have now [both president AND congress] it could well be on it's way out. So, in all I agree with what you posted here.

    Back to the hurricane....sounds scary. I live in hurricane prone area here in Texas and I know just how it can be. Thing is, this storm, Sandy, was a double whammy in so many ways, with the cold air coming in from the Northwest and the storm from the Atlantic. Ironic part of it all is...where we lived in Colorado for so many years, we had 100+ mph winds coming down from the mountain range into the valley, and we had a huge tree come through the roof....and THROUGH the ceiling...I tellya, waking up to branches above your head is nothing I would wish on anyone!!!

    See ya next week.

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  19. Glad you are safe. And applause and amen on your thoughts on the election.

    The thing that keeps me from completely panicking over the thought of what could be our future is knowing that God is Sovereign, that He sets up kings and deposes them (Daniel 2:21), and that He sometimes even puts those in power who do not acknowledge Him to fulfill His purpose (Isaiah 45).

    I'll miss the Hodgepodge, but you definitely deserve a break!

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  20. Great to hear that you are ok Joyce. Was thinking of all my American and Canadian friends affected by Sandy last week...

    Praying whoever gets elected will do their best for all of America, and indeed people around the world, because it'll effect other countries as well as the USA...

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  21. Here, here! :)
    Glad y'all came through the storm okay; praying for those who didn't.

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  22. So glad you and your family are well and safe. Thanks for writing about your view on the election. Very well said! I'm in 100% agreement with you.

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  23. So glad your are ok "post Sandy" - what an awful storm.
    We ahve given to the Red Cross and I hope everyone
    who cannot be there to help "hands on" will help by giving.
    We can all give "something" and what a teachable moment for our children.

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  24. It's so good to see you back on-line again. I'd seen your update in the comment section of your last post, so I knew you were okay, but I've also been watching the news, and I wondered how you were coping.

    I've been praying daily for all those affected by "Sandy". Each day, my heart breaks whenever I watch the news, so I made a donation to a relief effort early on.

    I'm in total agreement with your feelings (regarding the president and the election). In fact, I think we may both feel equally passionate about the same things!

    I've been praying, praying, praying (and fasting for the first time)over this election. In fact, I early voted last week, just in case something happened on election day!



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  25. It wasn't as bad in my area as it was in others'... so glad to hear that you made it out okay. The wind was so very scary!! Just the sound of it. My brothers and I actually went outside when it first started (before it made landfall) but when it hit, we stayed inside as much as possible. There were fires down the street, power out... etc. But thank goodness, everyone we knew were safe!

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  26. I'm so glad that you came through it all okay. You all have been in my thoughts over the last week.

    Politics is a silly reason to stop reading anyone's blog, particularly when it's something rarely discussed on said blog. But unfortunately, I know entirely too many people who can't seem to handle a civil discussion about much of anything. I kind of prefer being friends with people who don't completely agree with me. Keeps things interesting! :)

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  27. I feel for everyone and all they are going through curtesy of Sandy. We have donated to the Red Cross and hope it gets to the people that need it!

    So glad your homefront weathered it all!

    AMEN!

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  28. I'm so sorry about what you went through and I'm sorry that things are still not right. We were spared most of Sandy but watch the news all the time to see if our President will do more than have a photo op in your neck of the woods and no- he's not. He is off campanging and smiling and reading the telepromp. I voted as well and it was NOT for the current person.

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  29. So glad that there was minimal damage to your property, and that you were able to get out of town for a few days. And I voted today, despite the fact that I'm disgusted with just about every one of the candidates, except for the ones I know personally (very local). Despite all that, coming out of the polling place was an emotional moment. It is a blessing that we get to do it.

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  30. I didn't realize you didn't have electric for so long. I'm so sorry! I'm glad you finally got power back and you are safe. TN sounds like a fun trip, especially since you got a warm bed. I cannot imagine all the people just trying to survive in what could be considered worse than a war zone. I donated money to the red cross. I want to do more, but have no idea where to begin.

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  31. Hi. The hurricane seems more powerful than what I had imagined from the TV news here in Japan. I am praying with people who have been affected.

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  32. I am so glad that you and Hubs are ok. I also think that your first post since Sandy is a hurricane of words!!! It must feel good to get it all out!

    I say a hearty amen to your political thoughts! We voted absentee ballots. I am glad to have voted, but it is so disheartening to vote red in a blue state, it feels like your vote is wasted.

    I was excited to see on the news tonight that Michigan is YELLOW!!! I keep telling God that I believe He can do anything, and a red Mitten? That would be a flat out MIRACLE!

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  33. I'm so glad you are OK! You have been at the top of my prayer list, checking your blog for any word from you... thanks for letting us know you were ok! Take a deep breath, my friend... this has been a rough week for you! We'll see you next week!

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  34. Oh, I have missed you and have often thought of you and hoping that you all were faring okay. I'm so glad that you were able to get away and enjoy a change of scenery and get some good rest.

    I am so with you on this election and I will likely spend the night right here in my chair watching the results. If we are fortunate enough for the Lord to give us "one more chance" then we'd better get it together. Agreed with all your remarks concerning our President.

    Hoping each day brings your area closer to getting it back together. Blessings!

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  35. That had to be so scary. I'm so glad you were spared a lot of damage and that your hillside held out. I can't imagine being without power for that long. Praying for those who have suffered the loss of their homes and those who lost family members.

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  36. Hugs and prayers. Great post. Thank you for sharing!

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  37. Joyce, I'm so glad to see you back and to see you safe. Thank you once again for giving just the right voice, this time political, to things that I've been thinking. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

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  38. Joyce, I am sorry you guys were affected by hurricane Sandy. :( I am happy to hear that you're ok! I can't imagine how that is like. I've never lived anywhere that had hurricanes or tornadoes. Though we get earthquakes. ;/ Take care & have a good week! -Nikki

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  39. I am very disappointed by the outcome of the Presidential election, to say the least, but we have to keep trusting God to get us out of this mess we're in...and I believe He will in His own timing. So glad to know that you're OK, Joyce, and that your power is restored. Praying for you and everyone in that area who've been dealt a horrible blow. Such a wonderful post you shared this morning...many blessings!

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  40. I am glad you are okay. I have been thinking of you knowing NJ was hit hard. We are in a similar situation here. Thankfully we were part of the 10% that didn't lose power. We did lose our cable so internet, TV and phone were down until Sunday. My elderly in-laws are still without power and it is in the 30s and snowing today. Hoping it isn't too bad of a storm tonight. Stay safe.

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  41. Joyce,
    thank you for the post, I haven't heard from one of my friends in NJ since before the storm, I have been seeking but no luck...keeping you in my prayers...and hope everything gets back to normal soon.....and I didn't vote out of revenge I voted for who I thought was the best candidate,and being said...America needs desperate prayer!!!!

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  42. Joyce,

    I am so glad you guys are okay, and I am sorry for the challenges you have faced. This storm reminds me of the series of young adult books I read last summer (The Dead and the Gone is one of the books). Reading about the North's trials after the storm make me ill at ease at how much we DO take for granted.

    Thank you for your courage in sharing your thoughts about the political issues of our day.

    I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with EVERYTHING you said, but I am not brave nor gifted in words, as you are.

    I hope you guys manage to keep your power during the follow-up storm.

    Many hugs!!

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  43. Joyce,

    I am so glad you guys are okay, and I am sorry for the challenges you have faced. This storm reminds me of the series of young adult books I read last summer (The Dead and the Gone is one of the books). Reading about the North's trials after the storm make me ill at ease at how much we DO take for granted.

    Thank you for your courage in sharing your thoughts about the political issues of our day.

    I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with EVERYTHING you said, but I am not brave nor gifted in words, as you are.

    I hope you guys manage to keep your power during the follow-up storm.

    Many hugs!!

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  44. We went through much of the same during Fran. We sat all night watching a huge tree in our front yard do yoga. We also lost power for several weeks. I am glad you are okay and hope this new storm does not cause any problems

    I am without words about the election. I also am without anything positive to say about the media and how this president has completely been not held accountable for anything and an honorable man was slandered. I am saddened for our children.
    Don't get me started about being small business owners, the taxes and regulations that are causing downsizing decisions that will cause some to loose their jobs. I am praying my husband (and the many many overworked husbands) that will bear the brunt for their families.

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  45. i am so glad you are okay and glad you took a trip away during those tough days---i enjoy your passion joyce!

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