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Showing posts from March, 2014

Ayuh to Z - My Theme

I can't believe it!  Today is the last day of The Two Writing Teachers March SOLC of posting daily for the month of March!  Another March SOLC completed! Yea! That was fun!  I can hardly wait for next year!

This is post 495 for me on Mainely Write.  I am on my way to 500.  This Saturday will be my 500th blog post!  500 posts.  Huh.  Who knew that would happen?  On that day, I'll be on letter E in the A to Z Challenge.  Excellent!

When I started this back in December of 2010, it was a whimmish thing.  I didn't really get serious until March of 2012, when a teacher friend of mine, Wanda, mentioned the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.  I decided to give it a try for the month of March, and from there I continued to blog on most Tuesdays.  Through that I discovered Poetry Friday, and added that to my "must do" list.  Then Laura Salas Purdie had her 15 Words or Less prompt, that I'm not sure how I ran across.  There were then Flash Fiction c…

Eat!

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Day 30 or 31 of SOLC!  We are almost at the end of March.  Seems hard to believe.  We still have plenty of snow here in Maine.  It is supposed to rain today, so that may be the end of it...hopefully.  But it always snows sometime in April - often when the daffodils are up.  I've seen snow in June, too; but that is less likely to happen.

But what was I talking about?  Oh, yes.  My grandson.  Who cares about spring?

It was his job to feed the dog.  He would pick up the dog's bowl, bring it to the closet where the food was stored to set it on the floor.  Then he'd unzip the bag of dogfood and scoop out food.  This was a bit tricky, as he couldn't get a full scoop, so I had to watch and see what fraction of a scoop it looked like, so I could tell how many were needed.  It was usually 3, sometimes 4.  After he'd put about the right amount in the dog's bowl, he'd zip the bag, close the door and bring the bowl over to the dog's eating area again.

Then would co…

Singing All Along the Way

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Can you believe it? It's Day 28 of 31 at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge!  Today I'm commenting.  Sometime, somehow.  I have commented but not as much as I'd like to.  Seems it's been so busy lately.

When I was babysitting, I found myself singing.  I was singing a lot.  And I remembered singing a lot when my own kids were small.  Every night I would sing "I love you a bushel and a peck..." and "Edelweiss" after storytime, as they lay in bed.  I sang "Edelweiss" for my grandson also, substituting his name for "homeland" at the end.

I also sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Everybody Ought to Know" and other hymns throughout the day.

And then there were the random songs.  By random songs I mean, songs I made up on the spur of the moment - songs that don't necessarily end up rhyming, and aren't to any tune anyone would recognize - songs made up to go with whatever we were doing, or what I was thinki…

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

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Today is day 28 of 31 in March.  If you are looking only for my poem for Poetry Friday and Poetry Jam, it is at the bottom of the page.  But I think you should read all of the post.  Just my opinion.  You can head to the bottom only if you want though.  I'll never know.

I think I will finish up March SOLC with more mini-moments with my grandson.  There were so many days where there were more things that I wanted to tell, but just couldn't fit them in.
So, how about the Brown Bear incident(s)?

Of course, no grandparent worth their salt (and especially if that grandparent happens to be a retired teacher) would go a day without reading a story to their young grandchild.  And we read a few books each day, and one at night-night time.  Sometimes I chose the book, and other times he chose it.

This particular evening I chose this book.  It is one I've read in my first grade in the beginning of the year and then we've done rewrites of the story.  This book is Brown Bear, Brow…

It's a Jungle Out There!

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Day 27 of the Slice of Life Challenge

Picture goes here when I get home....I'm home

Another adventure in babysitting -

He picked up two balls -  one smooth green soft plastic, about the size of a tennis ball, the other also green but spiky and a little larger - both were flashing bright, blinking lights.  He began pumping his arms, wiggling his hands and then twirling the balls out in front of him up and down round and round furiously.
He suddenly stopped his gyrations and both balls became quiet and unlit.  He thrust both darkened, lifeless balls, towards me.
"You jungle, Nannie!"
It was then I realized he had been juggling!
I took the balls dutifully and began juggling as he had - which, by the way, is a much safer way to  "jungle" than letting them go flying through the air!
When I "jungled" though, only one ball lit up. It was motion sensitive.  The other stayed unlit.  I shook it more, thinking it would light up. Nope.  Squeeze?  No, not that.
So…

Mommy, You're Here!

Day 26. We're on the last stretch for March SOLC.   I wonder how many will make it to 31 days with a daily Slice of Life?
Then, on Tuesday, April 1 (yipes), I will be participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  And because it is Poetry month and that is what I have done for the past 2 years, that is what I will be doing again - a poem a day.  My theme, you ask?  Well, I have an idea.  I'm just not sure how well it is going to fall into place.  My husband has said that I should do this theme next year and actually over the summer take pictures to go with it, as I did for last year's theme of Maine lobster boat names from A to Z.  I was able to take pictures of almost all of them, and some were sent to me by boat owners or available online.  I enjoyed writing poems for all the boats and searching out pictures for them.  But I am too antsy to do this one regardless of not having pictures, I may still have to do it and just adapt it a bit for no images.  Mayb…

Going to Miss This

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Day 25 of 31 in Slice of Life!

I don't know what to say today.  It's my last day here.
Hugs - I'm going to miss them. Little voice -  I'm going to miss it. Giant smiles - I'm going to need them! Legos underfoot - I can probably do without.
Wednesday morning the train is taking me back home. The good thing?   I'll be back in April to see him again and welcome the second little grandchild into the world.
Isn't life grand? Yes, it really is.

Thank you! Thank You Very Much!

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Day 24 of 31 in the TWT SOLC!  And if you don't know what that means, click on the link! 


Oh, my what a time we had with a little pull back car tonight after tower building time.  First we built a Duplo tower, then we built a tractor trailer to drive around the tower.  I got to drive the Duplo tractor trailer, and he had a little blue car I'd bought him and brought out with me.  Then he picked up this tiny pull-back car, and we gave it a ride in the my tractor trailer.  After a bit, he took the pull-back car back out of my truck.  He pulled it back, and it came racing toward me on the coffee table, and right onto the floor by my feet.  I looked very startled, which sent him into hysterical giggling!  He dove between the coffee table and the couch and retrieved the car and did it again. This time I caught it just as it went over the edge.  Again hysterical giggles ensued.  This was repeated a number of times accompanied each time by the most delighted and delightful squeals (…

I Hear the Train A'Comin'

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Today is day 23 of SOLC over at Two Writing Teachers!  We are close, oh, so close to April!

Let's see...Saturday...
It was a gorgeous day yesterday and we went outside twice to play in the driveway area.  The lawn area is too muddy and has lots of branches and leaves that need cleaning up.
The day we went to WalMart, I bought sidewalk chalk.  And today we went outside and drew with chalk again.  I had made a line on the driveway to show him how far away from the road he needed to be, and some lines around cars in the driveway so he'd know I didn't want him to touch them.  The lines became roads to him and he was trotting around on them.  That gave me an idea to draw a line with cross lines on it to be a railroad track...in some places I started to draw the second rail, too, but my back was not enjoying drawing down past my ankles, and the chalk was getting pretty short, so I stopped before all of it was done.  He didn't mind that it wasn't complete, nor that my ba…

A Full Day By Noon

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I had a shower...ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha (said in a "You can't catch me - nah nah nah nah goo goo" way, or however you put it in your neck of the woods)!
I plotted.  I didn't want to risk waking him, even though it didn't wake him last week when I took a shower during his nap.  I've been here 9 days and that was my second shower.  It's a good thing I'm mostly alone here with a two year old!
Anyway, this morning I woke before he did and waited to hear him start stirring.  When I could hear him up and about (he'll play in his room sometimes for an hour before calling to get dressed and go downstairs to eat) I went to his door and told him I was going to take a shower and then we'd go downstairs.  That was fine with him!  He played, and I got to get clean!
After I finished my shower, we had a lovely breakfast of a banana, an orange, some orange juice, and a peanut butter bagel.  We tidied up, took the dog out and then headed off for WalMart in a nearb…

Perpetual Poetry

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Yea!  My favorite day!
It's Poetry Friday hosted by Julia Larios at The Drift Record

Have you been to Ed DeCaria's Think Kid, Think?  You MUST stop in and read.  It IS Poetry Friday, doncha know!  There are some unbelievably wonderful poems out there!
I happen to have a poem in this first round of the tournament using the word "miscreant".  You know, I don't believe I've ever used that word before this past Tuesday.  I had to look it up to find out what it meant.

Because it is Poetry Friday, AND I am babysitting a toddler, AND Ed wanted extra poems for the word "perpetual" yesterday - I wrote the following poem quickly, and am posting it here as well as on Think Kid, Think.

 Perpetual Motion 
Per-pet-u-al - Per-pet-u-al
the motion never stops,
Perpetual / Perpetual / full speed with jumps and hops!
PERPETUAL, PERPETUAL!
with a happy, rappy, tap!
perpetual... perpetual...
When will he take a nap?
ⓒ Donna JT Smith, 2014

A number of times now, Grand…

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

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It is the 20th day of 31 in the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers where people are linking their stories about their daily life.  There are so many great stories out there, so many wonderful people!  Go visit!  And while you are at it this afternoon and tomorrow, please visit TKT and vote on some great poems!  I just happen to have one there...and I'll never know how you voted - so just enjoy and vote your heart!  If you go in the morning you can read Linda Baie's first round poem there, too!

My snippet is the continuing adventures of babysitting for my grandson!  Let's hope they are never real adventures, just nice calm, happy days and nights for two weeks!

Before supper, Grandson wanted to see pictures I had taken of him.  He knows I have pictures on my iPhone and on the iPad.  I know that he can more comfortably (or I can more comfortably allow him to) handle the iPad, so that's what we used.
I set up the iPad in front of him.  He sat down and basical…

Bedtime Facetime

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Day 19 of 31 days of Slicing!  Go check in on other lives at the Two Writing Teachers where people are writing snippets of their days!  What a wonderful community of writers.  If you are here and I have not commented on your site, I truly apologize.  I have just barely enough time to write, post and remember to link!  But in the evenings I am trying to get to at least three bloggers to make comments.

I have been writing about my time spent with my grandson this past week.  I have one more week with him and am treasuring every moment.  Though it makes it difficult to spend time writing, there are more important things to be done - things with deeper meaning and more far-reaching effects - things with my grandson.



Last night, Grandson was needing something to make his day complete.  He had watched a manipulated version of Curious George, the movie.  Manipulated means, I, Nannie, had manipulated it so we wouldn't have to start early and watch too much video for a two year old, and s…

It's March 18

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First info on March Madness 2014 Tournament.  Second (below the picture) the real slice if you don't care about the tournament but you do really care about my babysitting antics.

Here it is, the 18th day of March, the 18th post of the month of posts for SOLC hosted by Two Writing Teachers!  And not only that, but March Madness 2014 at Ed DeCaria's Think Kid, Think began yesterday with the first round of poets (or "authletes") getting their words to use in a poem.  Today is the day the second round of poets (including me) get their word!  In 36 hours the poems must be written and submitted.
Here are two links that will help you if you want to know the structure and timing of the tournament:
Link to March Madness 2014 Bracket for Round 1.
Link to March Madness 2014 Event Calendar.

I know a Slice isn't supposed to be informational really, and this isn't...really.  The above service announcement is more like a " oh, my, what have I gotten myself into" mo…

A Good Hair Day

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On Sunday, we went to the early, 9 am church service.  He knows where he is going.
I have to sign him in first, but his little hand in mine was tugging to go forward into the nursery.  I was greeted by a woman at the computer who typed us in and printed up our nametags - one for me, one for the little guy and one for his backpack.  He was ready for full steam play.
He looked pretty sharp in his plaid buttoned shirt and tan corduroys.  His hair was even tidy today.  His hair is fine and blond, just like his mom's was at that age.  Oh, what a time of it we'd have trying to get it brushed.  Because it was so fine, it would mat in the back as she slept, which is exactly what happens to him.  The good thing is that his hair is shorter - so it is easier to comb or brush.  The bad thing is that his hair is shorter - so when he sleeps he wakes to hair sticking up at odd angles, and with lots of static.
Today, knowing I wanted to not look like a grandma that doesn't know what she&…

Sunday

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I'm writing this on Saturday.  I won't have time on Sunday.  That isn't a day I write, though I will link to the post on Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Challenge for Day 16!  Now we ARE officially half way through the month.
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Yesterday, my grandson and I went outside.  It was a beautiful day - about 65 degrees out.  With light jackets on, we wandered the backyard.  There are some old cars out there from a previous owner.  They will get towed away soon, but right now they are a fascinating play area for a 2½ year old boy.  His body just naturally turned to direct his feet that way.

"Come over here and see all these sticks," I enticed him.  Sticks are the next best thing to cars when you are a young boy.  His head turned and his feet followed.

"Let's make a pile of sticks," I told him.
"Okay, Nannie," he said.

And so for about a half an hour we happily gathered up sticks.  He especially enjoyed getting…

Nannie!

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It's day 15 of 31 slices!  Yippee, Skippy!  It's the half way point, kind of!  Head on over to Two Writing Teacher to read more slices today!



I like being called Nannie.  My mom was Nannie to my kids, and my father's mother was Nannie to me.  There is something so sweet hearing it for the first times, knowing your grandchild recognizes you and has a name for you.

"Don't stand on the couch.  Remember what Mommy said."  He continued to walk on the couch.
I said his name sternly, then, "Do not walk on the couch!"
"Yes, Nannie," came the reply as he plopped down on the couch.
All was really going pretty smoothly - just the usual reminders of not to touch, and directions in the morning.  Shortly after lunch it was nap time and I took some time to write my blog post.  There was about an hour left to relax and pick up a few toys before nap time was over.
At 4:00, he woke up, ready for snack and more playtime.  He always wakes up so happy and f…

Tots Do Lots

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I'm babysitting for my grandson over the next two weeks.  Yea! (I think.)  So far it is "Yea".  As long as I can go to bed on time and take some rests while he is napping, then I should be fine.  It's a busy day with a 2½ year old - especially when it's been about 30 years since my last one was 2½!  I think I'll have plenty to slice about for a while!  And below is my contribution to Poetry Friday hosted by Kara at Rogue Anthropologist.  Can't believe I got it done!  Now to link before he wakes up.
************************** 12:37 - It’s naptime, and I already have plenty to write about.  I am having trouble picking one thing to write about though, so I guess I'll just start writing everything I can remember about this morning and see where it takes me.
Wow.  As I compose this list, I am starting to get an appreciation for how much I should be able to get done in a day.

Here's his list of accomplishments so far today:


woke up at 6:30 (I was alread…

There's a Time and a Place

My slice today is at nap time.  Posting is going to be tricky for a bit. Trying to find the right time and  place will be interesting. It will be especially difficult to do March Madness 2014 Tournament that's starting soon.
Today, Laura Purdie Salas has her 15 Words or Less challenge.  I decided maybe I'd have time to do that, but that's about it for today.
Go there to see her picture prompt.  It is an American Girl doll in a carrier that has a cutout heart for her face to either be seen or so that she can see...maybe both.  Here's what I came up with for the time being. I will try to make the rounds to comment later today.  Yesterday was too wild.  It's going to be wild for a while.  I need time and a place.

“My beautiful assistant
Will be sawn in two!”
Announced Magnifico.
“Ewww. Hand me the glue!”

Sorry for the gory story.

Tea Time for T

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This is Slice 12 of 31 of the SOLC at Two Writing Teachers, and the poem below it, goes with it, and it's a contribution to Poetry Jam where the poetic topic this week is FOOD!


About once a month a friend and I meet for tea and a cookie.  Two weeks ago when we arrived for tea, my usual giant homemade gingersnap cookie had just sold out.  I asked her to run after the person that had bought the last one and get it back, but she wouldn't do it.  She did, however, agree that the next time I could call ahead and have one put on reserve for me.  I think I will have to do that!  I substituted a homemade shortbread Tyrannosaurus Rex cut out cookie for my usual.  It was cute, and very sweet!  But I think, really I may just try calling to make a gingerbread cookie reservation next time.

When it was time for tea,
The waitress said to me,
"We haven’t any ginger snaps;
Would you like Mr. T?
His icing’s sweet and green - 
The whitest teeth you’ve seen.
But I would eat him qui…

Under Where?

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Day 11 of 31!
Two weeks ago, my daughter drove up for a mini reunion with some high school friends. I knew I would soon be going to her house to take care of my grandson for a couple weeks, so I very cleverly packed my suitcase for her to take back with her.  That way I wouldn’t have to travel with it on the train.  First off, my shoulder won’t allow me to put anything in the overhead on the train, and secondly, the commuter train that I have to take locally out of Philadelphia really doesn’t have room for luggage.  They are just planning on having you go to and from work ... commuter style, of course.

For two weeks now, I’ve been uncleverly wondering to myself where in the world all my clothes went? I've emptied drawers.  I've double and triple checked the laundry to see if I’ve left a dryer or a washer load in a machine.  I've sorted and resorted dirty clothes seeking a necessary item.  It eventually dawned on me what I'd done.  Everything was now in Pennsylvania wa…

Elegiac Limolerick

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Day 10/31 in the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.  Enjoy the reads!

Saturday morning, our new cat (not sure when he will become just plain old "our cat"), Noah decided he wanted to play as soon as we woke up.  He doesn't usually get right into play mode first thing in the morning.  There are pats to be done, leg to be rubbed, meows and words to be exchanged and bowls to be filled, etc.  But this morning, as soon as I opened the bedroom door, he marched straight into the room and headed around the door to the corner where I keep his toy bird-mouse on a springy coily plastic thingy on a pole.  I'm sure there is a shorter name - like cat toy - but then you wouldn't know why it is so much fun for him.
Anyway he went right over to it and wanted it "in play" now!  So even before getting dressed I got the toy out and started letting him run around after it.  He was in a good leaping mood. So I bounced it up in the air, and he leaped and and ca…

Shivering Poems

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Day 9 of the March Slice of Life Challenge!  Check out other Slicers' offerings at Two Writing Teachers.

More refrigerator poetry.  I posted the second poem I created on the edge of the door of our  refrigerator.  I don't know why.  I guess it was because I could see all the words from which to choose more easily, as they are on the side of the refrigerator.  I still have the first poem up on the front of the freezer door, and I just didn't move this one to the front yet.  No reason.  Maybe I'll go move it.  Or not.

 I kind of like how it travels down the narrow edge of the freezer door.
************ beneath the window shivering yellow flowers whisper of spring songs ************
We have just got to get rid of this snow.   My spring poems are starting to blossom. They'll die in this cold!

But to warm us all up - I've put my second haiku in Haiku Deck as I did yesterday.

My second Refrigerated Haiku:

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Refrigerated Haiku

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Day 8 of the March Slice of Life Challenge!  Check out other Slicers' offerings at Two Writing Teachers.

At Christmas, my daughter gave me a set of magnetic word for writing haiku and other poetry on my refrigerator.  Fairly recently I got all the words separated and somewhat organized on the side of the refrigerator...

And then I wrote my haiku:
No matter how many words you get in these sets, you always want more.  They must have sugar in them.  Like candy, words are addictive - you can never get enough.
A haiku requires willpower then.  You cannot indulge in wanton wordiness.

Ok, though you shouldn't indulge in wanton wordiness with a Haiku, you can however play with its format as much as you like!  So I'm trying Haiku Deck here with the same words.  Fun!


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

Of Roosters and Sharks

It's day 7!  Yea!  A whole week of posts in March for Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers AND it's Poetry Friday over at Reflections on the Teche with Margaret Simon Stop by and enjoy some great posts in both places today!
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It seemed that yesterday was a rooster day!

As I was bopping through the Slices for Thursday, someone had posted about their mean rooster that would attack them as a child.  Someone else had mentioned a rooster that would come running after their mother when she was out hanging clothes on the line.

We had a renegade rooster, too, who would come tearing after us.  Now he didn’t always do it, but when I think about it, it was probably when we had the dog in the yard with us, that he would let us pass.  I remember one day hearing my brother, who was probably 8 at the time, yelling wildly from the porch for my mother. She came running from somewhere in the house.  My brother was kind of accident prone, or catastrophe prone, so w…

How to Make a Toddler

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Yesterday I had a wonderful visit with my daughter and 2 ½ year old grandson via Google chat.  It was fun to be able to watch him have lunch and play with his little truck.  It was fun to hear him say "Hi, Nannie!" and see him smile.  I even held the computer so that he could see our new cat play with a cat toy and hear the cat meow...and then hear him meow back!
So I am combining my March Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers with Poetry Jam today.  The Poetry Jam challenge is to write a poem with "Bottle" in it or somehow incorporate the idea of a bottle in your poem.  This is what I came up with:

How to Make a Toddler

a gallon of giggles
a vial of smiles
a bottle of boisterous
a jar of wiles

a bucket of laughter
a tank of tears
a jug of hugs
a flagon of fears

a flask of ask
a canteen of can’ts
an ampoule of no
a shaker of shan’ts

a keg of I can
a pitcher of pouts
a carton of pain
a decanter of doubts

a pot of play
a can of care
a vessel of love
a ewer of pray…

Poetry Anyone?

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And now it is Day 5 of the March SOL.
Because on Sunday the names of the Poetry Authletes were at last made public, I can finally tell you that I am in at least the first round of the competition.
I am a bit nervous about it, because, not only will I be posting and helping here, I will be visiting my grandson some this month AND composing a poem under duress - maybe more than one if I'm lucky enough to move on to the next round.  I guess I will relive, at least for a few days, what it is like again to have a day job, have a toddler and try to write!  It's hard enough when I'm all by myself and just LOOKING at work I should be doing.

Whether I lose or win a little bit, it is always an honor to be in there writing with the wonderful poets included in this list.  I know there are some of you Slicers who are in the March Madness 2014 poetry tournament this year, too.  Are we slicing off more than we can chew?

Can I Do It All?

Take a slice and chew it up
Take a sip from out da…

Old Post Commenter

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Today I received a neat comment on an old post.  Someone had done a search on "Walter Reed, Woolwich", and my blog post "Walter Reed's Gulf Station", came up. 

I'd had another comment on it prior to this one from someone who had lived across the road from this man and his Gulf station.  I had asked the commenter if they were perhaps a daughter of Carla, who was a good friend of mine who lived down the road from me.  I had heard from someone that she got married and lived in the house across from Walter and across from where I had lived as a child, just down the road from her old house.  This person was not Carla's daughter, though.  She gave me more information and her sister emailed me later, too, with a picture.

But on Monday night, lo and behold, Carla's son, who no longer lives in Maine, commented on my post!  He was the one searching for information on Walter Reed.

Unfortunately, I've lost contact with Carla and her family.  We spent summe…