A Heartwarming Thanksgiving Tale


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Bernard Pollack

Photo Credit: Bernard Pollack via CC Flickr

I recently came across a heartwarming story written by Charles Rogers, that I thought would be a beautiful tale to share. It shows us once again, how sometimes, despite millions of people that celebrate Thanksgiving each year, there are still untold numbers of people that are lonely and hurting.

But it can also be a time of sharing and helping others…and sometimes, one act of kindness can have an impact on someone’s life that could last a long time!


There was a time when old-time Canarsien Ned Caro, who is now 85, celebrated Thanksgiving Day just like the rest of us: with turkey and trimmings and family, and even giving a friendly toast to those pilgrims of long ago. Thanksgiving was a happy event – then.

However, things changed two years ago when his wife of sixty years passed away. “Things will never be the same,” he said, rightfully in the depths of depression. The loneliness was almost unbearable, but Ned knew his religion would see him through. “The Lord has a way of helping people like me,” he said. “I know it now because of what He did for me.”

 A long time ago, Ned was the owner of a popular bar at the corner of Rockaway Parkway and Glenwood Road, right in the heart of Canarsie, so he was used to listening to stories (“It goes with the job,” he would say). He was also used to telling stories (“That went with the job too, if you came into my place,” he added).

He then proceeded to tell his Thanksgiving story, preceding it with the notation that his late wife’s name was Rose. “Rosie,” he called her.

“My beautiful Rosie was kinda sick about six or seven years ago,” he said. “She was in her seventies and I was almost eighty and getting around wasn’t too easy, so we were getting Meals on Wheels at the time.

“Well, one day the Meals on Wheels person delivered the food and Rosie opened the Styrofoam containers the lunch was packed in and found a note in one of the boxes from the person who packed them, a six-year-old girl by the name of Erin Cohen from West-chester. The note said, ‘Whoever receives this box…please write to me. I am six years old and I would like to hear from you and I will write back.'”

Ned said Rose was “happily surprised” and sat down and read the note over and over, finally saying to him, “I think I’ll write to her.”

Rose took up her pen and note paper and sent off a thank you note to six-year-old Erin Cohen of Westchester, telling her who she and Ned were, where they were from and few insignificant details. She didn’t necessarily feel she’d get a reply, but nevertheless, she asked for one.

“And don’t you know? An answer came the very next week,” Ned said. “Rose was as pleased as she could be and that very night she sat down and answered the nice letter she got from Erin. She told her about me and our son and about how things were here in Canarsie. You know. All the basic stuff.”

She sent off the letter and nervously waited to see if the youngster would continue the correspondence.

Needless to say, she did, and sent along a photo of herself, leading to more exchanges and, eventually, a few phone calls.

Unfortunately, they never met face-to-face, though. According to Ned, the drive was “just too much” for him to try. And Erin’s parents – her father, Lawrence, is a veterinarian and her mother, Diane, an interior decorator- couldn’t make it either. Both parties promised they’d get together “soon”…and the time just went…

On March 27, 2004, at the age of 79, Rosie passed away. Ned was devastated, and, after a reasonable period, called Erin’s parents, telling them, “I really don’t know how to tell Erin that her corresponding friend is gone.” They said they would take care of it for him.

“And what do you think if I continue the correspondence from now on?” he asked.

“That would be wonderful!”

In the summer, as Ned and Erin wrote to each other, Erin’s father invited Ned to join them for dinner at a restaurant near Canarsie where he met Erin, now 12 years old.

“We talked for hours and really hit it off,” he said, excitedly. “We had a beautiful day together.”

As time went on, Ned met with the family every now and then for lunch or dinner on a weekend.

Last September, the family sent him a special invitation to Erin’s bat mitzvah, which he had to turn down.

“I don’t drive now,” Ned answered when they called him.

“I’ll pick you up, take you to our house in Westchester and take you home,” said Mr. Cohen. “How would that be?”

“Just about perfect,” was the answer.

“The story doesn’t end there,” Ned Caro said. “Hopefully, the story will continue for a long, long time because this year they invited me to come to share Thanksgiving dinner with their whole family. This year Thanksgiving will be something special to remember. Again they’ll pick me up and take me home. I mean, last year I was pretty lonely, but this year – especially at this time of year – I’ll break bread with Erin and my ‘other’ family. It’ll be almost like it used to be.

“I’ll dedicate the day to Rosie.”


Source: canarsiecourier.com



An Ode to Thanksgivng


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Mike Licht

Photo Credit: Mike Licht via CC Flickr

Ode to Thanksgiving

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

A Tale From A Deathbed


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jon dawson

Photo Credit: Jon Dawson via CC Flickr

Every once in a while, I come across a story that touches my heart, brings a smile to my face and a giggle to my soul. Such is the case with today’s story. 

Doug Smithberger is on his deathbed at Allegheny General Hospital and knows the end is near.


His nurse, his wife, his daughter and 2 sons are with him.


He asks for 2 witnesses to be present and a camcorder be in place to record his last wishes, and when all is ready he begins to speak:


My son, “Bernie, I want you to take all the West End houses.””

My daughter “Sybil, you take the apartments over in the Bottoms and up toward Neville Island.””


My son, “Jamie, I want you to take the offices and apartments over in Neville Island and Coraopilis.”


“Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the banks of the river between McKees Rocks and Coraopolis and up the valley toward the airport.”


The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not realize his extensive holdings, and as Doug slips away, the nurse says,

“Mrs. Smith, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property”.


Sarah replies, “Property ? …. the jerk had a paper route!”

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! I hope this brought a smile to your face and made your day a little brighter! Love life and smile often.

15 Life Skills That Teenagers Need to Know


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Photo Credit: GotCredit via CC Flickr

According to Google, the definition of a “Life Skill” is “a skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life.” Sadly, many young people (and scores of adults) don’t know how to perform many of these everyday skills.

What are these skills? Well, I am glad that you asked because the following is a list of fifteen of these skills that everyone should know.

  1. Basic first aid.
  2. How to say “No.”
  3. How to use a credit card.
  4. How to write an essay.
  5. How to grocery shop on a BUDGET.
  6. How to jump-start a car.
  7. How to do their laundry.
  8. How to cook something that doesn’t come in a box with powder labeled “sauce.”
  9. Basic car and home repair and maintenance.
  10. How to send a professional email.
  11. How to budget and pay bills.
  12. How to change a tire.
  13. How to study.
  14. How to proof read.
  15. How to be kind to others

~ Source: Face Book

What are some “Life Skills” that YOU think a person should know how to do??


The Influence of One


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Photo Credit: Stevepb via CC Flickr

Years ago a John Hopkin’s professor gave a group of graduate students this assignment: Go to the slums. Take 200 boys, between the ages of 12 and 16, and investigate their background and environment. Then predict their chances for the future. The students, after consulting social statistics, talking to the boys, and compiling much data, concluded that 90 percent of the boys would spend some time in jail.

Twenty-five years later another group of graduate students was given the job of testing the prediction. They went back to the same area. Some of the boys – by then men – were still there, a few had died, some had moved away, but they got in touch with 180 of the original 200. They found that only four of the group had ever been sent to jail.

Why was it that these men, who had lived in a breeding place of crime, had such a surprisingly good record? The researchers were continually told: “Well, there was a teacher…” They pressed further, and found that in 75 percent of the cases it was the same woman.

The researchers went to this teacher, now living in a home for retired teachers. How had she exerted this remarkable influence over that group of children? Could she give them any reason why these boys should have remembered her? “No,” she said, “no I really couldn’t.” And then, thinking back over the years, she said amusingly, more to herself than to her questioners: “I loved those boys…”

Read more at http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-9.html#ixzz3rhUCfhUD

Why Go to Church Anyway?


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Photo Credit: Tim Wilson via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Tim Wilson via CC Flickr

If you’re spiritually alive, you’re going to love this!

If you’re spiritually dead, you won’t want to read it.

If you’re spiritually curious, there is still hope!
A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.  I’ve gone for 30 years now,’ he wrote, ‘and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them so, I think I’m wasting my time and the priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.’
This started a real controversy in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this… They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!’

Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!

Hey Coach


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Photo Credit: Lesley Show via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Lesley Show via CC Flickr

I have been a coach of many sports on all levels for 30 years. For most o those years, I coached three sports a season in a row. People used to ask me, “how can you do that?” “How do you find the energy to be able to coach so much? spend so much time with players and not get tired of it?”

Well, world famous author, Mark Twain, once said this, “If you love your job, you will never work a day in your life.”  This quote is one of my favorite of all time because it is so true. I have truly enjoyed every season that I have coached my players.

Besides the joys of victory and the agony of defeat of the games on the field, it’s the everyday coaching, teaching, and building relationships with people on a daily basis, that makes the job so rewarding. There is nothing that means more to me than when a player (or parent) tells you how much they learned the sport, enjoyed their experience, or other things that may have touched their lives.

I recently came across the following “Letter to a Coach” on FaceBook that I thought would give you a glimpse of what players sometimes say to a coach and illustrate why the profession of coaching is so fulfilling. 

~ Coach Muller

Since I have graduated high school there is one phrase that I miss saying more than I ever thought I would. “Hey Coach” left my lips at least once a day. Anyone who has  ever had a coach knows just how important they are. I’m sure everyone will say that their coach is the best. But this post is not about the coaches you’ve had. This is about mine. If I wrote just how much one person has changed my life, this post would be unreasonably long. But it is crazy to me that one person can do so much.

What makes a good coach? Well, don’t ask me! I’m a little too picky, grumpy, and “my way or the highway”.

What makes a good coach? My coach.  My coach has pushed me to success, and pushed me to tears. My coach has been a parent figure when times got tough, my best friend when we could celebrate our wins, and a shoulder to literally cry on. When we succeeded my coach succeeded. When we failed we knew we let coach down.  But that never stopped coach from loving us.

What makes a good coach? Compassion. I never doubted the love coach had for me. Not one day went by without my coach showing, or telling me how much I was appreciated.

What makes a good coach? Coaches leave their family, and dedicate their time to the people and the sport they love, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel worth it. Missing vacations, birthdays, and so much more, to give their time and love to us, even when we are ungrateful.

What makes a good coach? Everything my coach was, and everything I will be because of it.  One single person can change your life. And I know my coach changed my life for the best.

I’m trying to be like my coach. Hard, yet soft, harsh but loving, a rock, a shoulder to cry on.

I don’t know how to even thank someone, who has done what they have done for me. I know I will never be able to repay coach for the things done.

If you had a coach who changed you, please, go thank them. If you have a coach now. Go now,and thank them.

You don’t know how much they sacrifice for you, and for your team.  I love you coach. I love you for pushing me, I love you for accepting me, I love you for caring about me without fail. I love you for still caring even when new team mates have taken my place. I love you for being you.

Thank you.

The Hilarious World of Cats!


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Photo Credit: Fireflydaily.com

Photo Credit: Fireflydaily.com

I love cats! When I was a kid, we used to have many cats running, sleeping and playing around the house. Both of my parents really enjoyed having the critters around and my grandmother, who lived with us, loved them as one of her own grandchildren.

One of the funniest things I enjoy watching, are cats doing silly, funny, and surprising things. Sometimes, they make me laugh so hard that they make me cry. 

So, what I decided to do today was to share some of these funny gifs with you (gifs are small movies, that last a few seconds). I think that you will find yourself giggling and laughing at the silliness and stupidity of our furry friends.

So, without further ado, let the laughs, snickers, and giggles begin!!

And away we go!

Peek-A-Boo…I see you!

Itsy Bitsy spider…..

“I’m a monster!”

“Has anyone seen Kitty?”

King of the Hill!

“Ok….enough of you Psycho cat!”

Stop Thief!

What the ?????

“Wait….what was that??”

Hit the SNOOZE button


Houston…we have lift off!


Changing the World Through Kindness


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Photo Credit: Troth God of Knowledge via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Troth God of Knowledge via CC Flickr

One of my favorite TV shows that I used to enjoy watching when I was a kid, was about this friendly, caring and compassionate man who loved to share the good things in life and his positive personal thoughts with us kids…Mr. Fred Rogers, host of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”.

He always had this kind and gentle way of explaining the important and every-day-things of life in entertaining and educational ways. I used to think that it must have been really a cool thing to live in a neighborhood like that. Unfortunately, or course, the neighborhood wasn’t real and “life” was a lot harder and different from the way it was portrayed. 

The one thing that I learned the most from watching most of his shows, something that I still try to do every day…even now…is to show kindness and compassion to other people…especially individuals that were less fortunate than me.

One of the best examples that I ever saw of the great, beautiful kindness of Mr. Roger’s was the following video clip of Mr. Rogers and a little crippled boy in his wheelchair named Jeff Erlanger in 1981. The result of this interview and the way Fred Roger’s spoke and treated Jeff during this time, changed Jeff’s life forever.

Twenty years later, Fred Rogers was nominated to the TV Hall of Fame. During the H.O.F dinner something magical and beautiful happened…which you will see in this video.

It WILL touch your heart and hopefully, illustrate to you the fantastic power of showing kindness and compassion to others…just be sure to have a box of tissues with you…you’ll need them :)

How can YOU change YOUR world through kindness?

Life is Hard….


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Photo Credit: Loren Kerns via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Loren Kerns via CC Flickr

There are thousands upon thousands of books, articles, and countless other kinds of information which tell us how to deal with the hardships of life.

Sometimes, it is the simple thoughts and / or stories that will remind us the most of the important things in life that we can use to remember. 

Thus is the reason for today’s short story.

Is your life hard? Are you struggling with some difficult situations right now? Hopefully, today’s little tale will help you make your life a little easier.

A farmer had a dog who used to sit by the roadside waiting for vehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down the road, barking and trying to overtake it. One day a neighbor asked the farmer “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a car?” The farmer replied, “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me is what he would do if he ever caught one.”

Many people in life behave like that dog who is pursuing meaningless goals.

Life is hard by the yard, 
but by the inch, 
it’s a cinch. 

–Gean Gordon

Taming the Foolish Child


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Photo Credit: Tim Oiler via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Tim Oiler via CC Flickr

A little while ago, I came across a great story told by Rudy Ruettiger, a renowned player for the Notre Dame football that inspired his squad for years with his determination and work ethic. Hollywood eventually made a motion picture about his exploits and help to inspire thousands of people around the world.

In the following story, Rudy tells a touching story of him and his father and how a certain situation turned his life around…forever.


Notre Dame is a legendary place. A spot on the team means a chance at great fame. Rudy Ruettiger is a legend himself. He made the Notre Dame class. He then went on to become the heart of the Fighting Irish. His dad, Daniel Ruettiger, was a war hero and legendary dad. 14 kids. Married a world-class mom. Worked three jobs. Yet he always found time to attend his kids’ games.

“Bullied, badgered and mad, I became a rebel in school. Sophomore year it came to ahead. I befriended a rough kid who well could have spelled my end. A big fight was planned for that Friday night. My friend said, ‘Rudy, we’re tough. Let’s go.’

I foolishly agreed. I had a big head. It was a chance to show off. I’d smear those kids who had made me so mad.

I waited until the family was fast asleep. Quietly, I slid out of bed, pulled on my clothes, and tiptoed to the back door. I was careful not to make a sound.

Dad knew something was up. He cut me off at the door. With his hand on my shoulder, he insisted we talk.

I admitted where I was headed. The kids we would fight had belittled us. It was our turn to teach em’ some stuff.

That’s when Dad rescued my future, and maybe my life. He replied, ‘You are no man when a meaningless fight is your way. You become a man by knowing when to walk away. Learn it now and remember.’

I’m blessed that Dad stayed up to catch me that night. Bad news came the next day. Several were badly hurt in the fray. With a blow to the head, my friend was now dead.

It could have been me, or I might have been cuffed and taken away. Either way, that would have spelled the end of my dream – no Notre Dame.

Dad, you were the best: You taught me to stop the big talk; to get in life’s game, then go out and fight to make the big plays. You taught me to know when to walk away.”

By: Rudy Ruettiger

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” ~  Proverbs 1:8

A Wonderful Gift From Santa!


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Photo Credit: Jonathan G. Meath via Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Jonathan G. Meath via Wikimedia

Today’s world is filled with hundreds of thousands, even millions of people who are struggling with financial hardships each and every day of their lives. As the Christmas and Holiday season fast approaching, this is much sadness and despair that these people suffer as they know that they may not be able to buy a gifts or food  for their children or family.

What you see in the following video is VERY touching and heartwarming story of an individual who has the goodness and compassion of “Santa” and what he does to touch the lives of the unfortunate.

It makes you wonder…what do YOU DO to bring happiness and joy to others? Why not take a few moments to think about that today then create ways to brighten someone’s life.

You will treasure the experience!

What Do Coaches Make?


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Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

I came across this great story a while ago which perfectly illustrates the life and mindset of a coach. I have been a coach for 30 years and I think this tale hits the subject right on the head. I hope that it inspires you as much as it did for me. 


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, tried to explain the problem with college athletics. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to be a coach?”

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about coaches: “Those who can’t play, are those who coach.” To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a coach, be honest. What do you make?”

Having a reputation for honesty and frankness, the guest replied, (At this moment Coach Ridder was FIRED up and getting after it!) “You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids run through 90 minutes of practice and sweat. I make kids turn dreams into reality.”

“You want to know what I make?”

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them cooperate.

I make them competitive and respectful.

I make them show all their work in front of hostile crowds and perfect their acts of sportsmanship.

I make them understand that if you have the will to follow your dreams, should anybody try to judge you by a mistake you made you must pay no attention because you tried and gave it your all.”

“I make teams from individuals who work together to build success.”

He paused and continued. “You want to know what I make?” I MAKE A DIFFERENCE, I MAKE LEADERS, I MAKE OTHER PROFESSIONS POSSIBLE.”

Then he asked the CEO, “What do you make?”


It makes you think doesn’t it?

Simple Things to Remember About Life


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Photo Credit: Kate Ter Har via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Kate Ter Har via CC Flickr

Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad and focus on the good.

Love the people who treat you right.

Pray for the ones who don’t.

Life is too short to be anything but happy.

Falling down is part of life, getting back up again is living!

~ Madison Stacy Amelia Holleran

Enjoy your life.

Live for the Day

Love One Another

A Passion of A Coach


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A Picture of Me!!

Today, I have decided to share a little bit of myself with you.

I have been a Physical Education teacher and a coach for 30 years…and I love taking pictures (and my my blog :). It is funny how many people are tell me how surprised they are when they find out that I enjoy photography and writing as much as I do. They seem to think that someone who is an athlete (or least used to be) and is as big as I am (6’3″, 275 lbs) can’t possibly be someone who likes to do these things.

That’s OK. Because everyone is different and and have different passions for various things. I found my interest in photography by the one man who had the most influence and biggest impact in my life…my dad.

My father was a photographer for over 45 years. He had his own studio, took pictures for a local paper, snapped pictures at an untold  number of weddings and took pet, individual and family portraits. He closed his shop for the final time just as the digital camera was becoming popular.

When my father passed away a few years ago, I decided to use some of the money that he left me to purchase a really nice camera. The following pictures are of some flowers that I took in Philadelphia last summer while my family was visiting some of my in-laws and nephews and nieces.

I hope you like them. I am planning on beginning to post more pictures that I have taken and edited in future blogs.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them!

Steve and Amys August 3 2015 014 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 016 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 038 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 042 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 049 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 051 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 057 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 058 Steve and Amys August 3 2015 059


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