The Honeymoon

Linda Ho

Eva excitedly tore into the long awaited package that held the most innovative, must have, technologically advanced travel brochures. They were very expensive but considering the cost of the wedding it was a small price to pay and was definitely worth it.

In less than six months she would be married to her childhood sweetheart Leland, and all the details of the wedding had been carefully planned for months and arrangements completed except for the honeymoon. This was a matter of considerable concern, as they had very different ideas on where to spend their precious two weeks.

Most travel brochures and videos were old-fashioned, limited to sight and sound and lacked the ability to…

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National Poetry Month – Part 3


The celebration of National Poetry Month wraps up this week with an edition featuring three poems by Margaret Ryan followed by another special Thursday poetry reading issue. We at OLLI Connects wish to  congratulate all the poets who contributed to this month’s series of articles recognizing the exquisite talents of wordsmiths. In the words of Amanda Gorman, “There’s a poem in this place.”

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The Innkeeper

Mary Bowers

Jacob put down the pen, pushed back the stool, and stretched out his long, lean arms. His stiff back resisted painfully as he struggled to his feet. His feet – how they throbbed in their sandals!

It had been a busy day, reflected Jacob, stroking his long, graying beard. The profits were worth it, though. His sharp black eyes again scanned the figures of the inn’s assets. Yes, he had finally made it. He and Sarah could retire to that little farm in the country, and his son Ben could take over the inn.

Twenty years ago, when he had first bought this run-down inn, he had dreamed of this day. He had worked hard to enlarge the inn and the stables and to keep them in good condition. In a town like this, where the census was taken every ten years, a good innkeeper needed only two good chances to make his fortune. True, the years in between (more…)

Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

On November 22, 1963, nearly 60 years ago, John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas.

Where were you on that day?  What were you doing when you heard the news of the President’s assassination? And what do you remember of the days that followed?

George Hyde remembers.  And he has some questions for you.  (More…)

Our Start In America

 

Fred Barthmus

My family arrived from Austria in New York’s Idlewild Airport (now Kennedy) on a very cold January 17th, 1957. The family included my parents (Johann and Herta Barthmus), aged 46 and 48, sisters Brigitte, and Sieglinde (aged 14 and 16 years respectively), and my 12 year old brother Hans-Jürgen. I was just over 20 years old. We landed after a harrowing 28-hour flight in a Flying Tiger Airlines prop plane.  Because of two major storms over the North Atlantic we had to land on the Azores, and at Gander Airport (Newfoundland, Canada). As we were landing in New York we saw the impressive skyscrapers of Manhattan in the distance. After going through customs (each with one suitcase) we were welcomed by a representative of the Lutheran World Federation, and taken by bus to the Pennsylvania Station. It had snowed that day in New York City, but the snow had started to melt, and was mostly gray and dirty. A shocking first impression was   (more…)

Beautiful Sunrise or a Threat Lurking?

Mystica Green

When you first look at this photo, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “What a beautiful sunrise.” But if you look closely, you will see a threat lurking on the sand. The remains of a sandcastle built the day before and half washed down by the ocean is more than troublesome to sea turtles.

From the time hatchlings emerge from their nest buried in the sand, they’ve already had the odds stacked against them. A very daunting fact is that only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings born will ever make it to adulthood. Humans have sadly contributed to this fact. With six out of the seven species of sea turtles on the endangered species list, it is (More…)

The Family Cottage: A Love Letter

Diane Russell

“The afternoon is serene, simple, and pure at the cottage. Beneath the shadows of the trees, I lie in the hammock. The breeze that calms me and the whispering leaves create within me a tranquil lull… I hear the ducklings quacking; they, too, enjoy resting in the comfortable grass. The fragrant odors of the flowers sweeten my contemplative thoughts. It is time for sunset. I walk to the bank of the river. Now the motor boats don’t disturb the water. The waves sprinkle my face with tasty kisses. In the sparkling water, I see the reflection of an iridescent sky, and I reflect on this ethereal sight.”

In 1973, I recorded these impressions of our family cottage in a college literature class essay. This treasured property in Johnsburg, a northeastern Illinois village along the Fox River near Wisconsin, was (More…)

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Lucinda Knox

What is the appeal of horror?  I remember reading the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe with a friend from junior high years ago. We would sit with a flashlight in the back of a dark closet in my home in Illinois, taking turns reading and scaring ourselves half to death. At night, still terrified, I would bolt under my covers, hiding my head under the blankets while still imagining the horrors from “The Fall of the House of Usher.” You would think that experiences like that would have turned me away from that genre forever. But not so. As others have discovered, it is cathartic to read these books. After all, they deal with the many unanswered questions that humans have grappled with through the ages.

From Greek and Roman myths and the writings of the Bible, to the medieval stories of werewolves and vampires and the Gothic novels of Hugh Walpole (The Castle of Ostranto that Jane Austen skewers in Northanger Abbey), to Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, and to all the books that follow, storytellers have pondered such questions as, (More…)

On Waldo’s Pond

 

 

Neil Cosentino

We were on a northeasterly heading at 7,500 feet above and along the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Had I not looked down through a very small hole in the clouds by pure happenstance, there would be no log cabin in our life. I saw, at that moment a long, paved runway in those high mountains. It seemed odd and in curiosity that paid off later, I circled the location on the aeronautical chart and placed it back in the map holder.

This happened while en route to Mount Airy, North Carolina to look at a large track of land owned by the Reynolds Tobacco family. We landed and were met at the airport and toured the property. I found it strange that (More…)

Remembering 9/11: Twenty Years Later

Diane White

The names on the 9/11 Memorial are etched into marble and our hearts. I touched the names and there was something. An echo or reverberation. Like the experience at the wall at the Vietnam Memorial. Tears. You see people grieving next to you and long to reach out to comfort them. Sometimes you do.

On 9/11, I was with Verizon in the Information Technology department on an early morning conference call. Someone suddenly shouted into the phone (More…)