I walked over to the CVS today and got the latest copy of the “Woodstock Times”. It’s a sellout publication in Woodstock. How could it not be? It’s got the latest obituaries,
stories about community events (more fun than a soap opera)
a full color picture on page 1 (always)
and, a Letters to the Editor section.
I mean, what more can we all ask for? An edition once offered a full color photo of a statue of Buddha perched atop a bright blue sign saying:
WELCOME TO WOODSTOCK
We are all here because we are not all there.
I mean, how can I not buy a copy of the Woodstock Times this every week? It’s better than any tabloid anywhere. Donald Trump doesn’t even have a chance with this one.
If you live in Woodstock or visit Woodstock, you can buy a souvenir bumper sticker at Houst with the Buddha post on it. Buddha won’t be on the bumper sticker. But, that’s not the important part of the message anyway.
Then, when you return home to wherever in the world that may be, you can display this wonderful sign which reads: We are all Here Because We are Not all There. Personally, I can’t think of a better souvenir of Woodstock than that.
But, back to the Woodstock Times:
Because of the propensity of cotton tops in the area, obituaries are always popular. A couple of winters ago we were dropping at the rate of 1 per week. Every week Stuart Klein and I visited in Bread Alone for a few minutes and chatted about who died the week before.
Both Stuart and I were grateful to see spring arrive that year. First, we were grateful to see a few forsythia blooms just to see something besides winter. And, second, we were grateful to be alive and mentally together enough to know we were looking at forsythia blooms.
The weekly Letters section usually begins about page 14 or so with a letter from Howard Harris. Howie has been sending letters to the editor for years, decades maybe. For years, he wrote them in haiku.
Howie’s letter is traditionally the first one to go on the page. Howie taught me many years ago (when I first began writing letters about the pantry) that the letters are more or less sorted by when they come in. “Email your letter over on Friday, Thurman. That way you’ll have a good chance of reading it in the Woodstock Times.” Howie’s advice worked every week for years.
Brian quit printing my letters years ago but Howie still plugs along with his weekly letter. A couple of years ago or so, he dropped the haiku and now uses a straight 2-4 paragraph letter denouncing any local activities involving the local Zoning Board of Appeals and whatever else he’s thinking about. His letters have great interest and are probably read by 95% of the people buying the Woodstock Times weekly. Personally, I miss the haiku.
Standard letters written by Woodstockers include:
comments on the Arab Israeli conflict,
opinion pieces on all sides of whatever local fight is in progress,
thank you letters offering recognition about a job well or poorly done.
During election season, the Letter section is filled to capacity with letters for and against the various candidates and the issues they represent.
But, no matter what’s happening, I look forward to Sparrow’s message.
One thing the Woodstock Times does not have is a list of breakins, brawls, speeding tickets. If we want to read about that stuff, we have to buy the Daily Freeman. While it’s nice that the Woodstock Times doesn’t waste space on sleaze, it gives the reader the feeling that nothing ever goes wrong around here. This is definitely not the case. We have as many vandals around here as any other town but we just don’t mention them.
An important part of the paper is the weekly listing of meetings which usually appears at the top of page 3. These meetings are important. Whenever a decision is brewing, interested parties and protestors need to know exactly where and when the meeting will be held. It will never do to show up at the wrong time or place (which I did once).
Town Board Meetings are big sellers with a list of commenters who sign up a few minutes before the meeting so they can have a 2-minute “say” about anything they want in the “Public be Heard” segment of the meeting. Always popular in this segment is comment about any project that is just beginning, is ongoing, or is finished.
The Woodstock Times is delivered to Woodstock stores every Thursday afternoon after 2:00. Apart from the first section featuring news, letters, meetings, obituaries, the second section is a real seller. That’s the Almanac. Everything that’s happening around here, both large and small, appears in the Almanac.
My favorite section in the whole Woodstock Times is the cartoon by Swami Salami. Swami Salami’s cartoon is displayed, usually, in the upper left hand corner of page 15. My week is just not complete without seeing Michael Esposito’s message.
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Woodstock, New York
At a time that fits your schedule on the Winter Solstice, December 21st, please take a moment to join with fellow mankind to focus on a vision of peace and harmony for all species on our planet.
Get comfortable in some place quiet, private.
Inhale deeply and slowly. Breathe in love, gratitude, and the energy of new beginnings. When you exhale, breathe out all negativity.
Continue with this breathing pattern as you breathe in love, gratitude, and the energy of new beginnings. Exhale all negativity.
Begin to be more grounded and feel calmer.
When you are ready, envision the Winter Solstice as the turning point of the year for all beings. See the Winter Solstice for what it is…a re-birth for all and a time of positive new encounters.
Envision a Planet Earth where all beings know and feel a connection to one another.
Envision a Planet Earth where all beings work together and coexist in mutual respect.
Envision a Planet Earth where all beings live in harmony and are dedicated to deepening an understanding of one another with love and gratitude.
Envision a Planet Earth where all beings use our new energy brought by the Winter Solstice for peace.
Sit quietly for a short time with this meditation and absorb the positive new energy surrounding you.
Now, move a bit as you reenter the present. Feel comfortable repeating your Winter Solstice meditation reinforce the experience and your intention for the coming year.
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Woodstock, New York
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In the spirit of the holiday season, I thank each of you for supporting my work and following the story of hungry people in America. This has been a busy year for me. Without your support, none of it would be possible. However you discovered this blog and whatever keeps you returning, I thank you.
Each new reader who learns something new from the story of hungry people in America and each new reader who finds information about the situation inspires me to continue working . Thank you.
Each person who buys a copy of “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” validates the story. Each person who finds the booth at the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market strengthens ripples of abundance and knowledge which are created there. Thank you.
Each person who puts a dime or a dollar or many dollars in the donation jar at the booth supports the effort to feed the hungry in our great nation. Each person’s generosity increases the awareness of the situation. Thank you.
Please continue reading the articles. Your readership allows me to share the awareness, strengthening ripples of abundance even more. Thank you.
The Mower’s Meadow Flea Market closes over the winter and does not open again until May. I seek an indoor market to winter over where I can continue to tell the story of the hungry in America.
Please drop by my booth wherever I am. In the Spring, I hope to offer Reiki sessions, copies of the second edition of “A Healer’s Handbook”, and unique bracelets designed by Michele Garner, the artist who designed the cover of “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore”.
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It snowed a little bit last Saturday when I was at Mower’s Meadow and more is expected this week. The books and clothing all got a mini dusting of the first snow of the season.
Whenever that happens (the first snow of the season) I always remember one of the first things I learned about the Woodstock community and its residents when I moved here: Labor Day means we pack away our dreams of a summer moon and drag out the brand new boots we were waiting to put on.
And, further into the memory is the afternoons in the pantry when the cold was so cold and Bob Otto and Tony Cannistra about froze to death in the barn. They distributed frozen food to the shoppers from that dirt floored room in the unpainted, uninsulated, unheated building behind the church parking lot.
Even though the pantry couldn’t open until 3:00, Bob and Tony unlocked the barn and got to work at 2:30. “Come on over!” they called to the crowd gathered in the parking lot. “We’ve got chopped meats, cutlets, steaks, roasts, mac and cheese packages, frozen juices.”
2:30 in the parking lot was described by some of the volunteers as a circus. I lovingly thought of it as a bus station in a third world country. And, actually, I thought of it as more than that.
I once spent a couple of hours in an out-of-the-way airport in Venezuela that was overcrowded with hundreds of gold miners who themselves waited for planes. They either waited for planes to get further into the interior of the country to hunt for gold or they waited for planes to return to civilization to sell what they found. Whatever their destination, the place was packed.
But, whether we were all coming or going at the pantry, we were in a hurry, too.
In the pantry, we were always in a hurry. The crowd was always larger than the hallway, the parking lot, and the barn entrance. And, they wanted to get the long wait behind them so they could have a two or three minute shopping spree in the tiny room.
And, after the shopping, they were always in a hurry to get their new found food home because the event had taken all afternoon. For some, it took more than just all afternoon because they got to the pantry late morning. Hitch hikers started out early and, if they got a ride quickly, they were in the parking lot before noon.
My memory always includes a vision of Bob and Tony taking turns to come into the hallway to warm up, whatever that meant. Even though the hallway was crowded, there was just not quite enough body heat generated to call the place cozy…or even cool. The place was cold.
I never said a word about the temperature because I was afraid that if I did the volunteers would walk off. I just went about my business pretending that I wasn’t wearing two sweaters under my coat. Volunteers made statements about the temperature of the hallway as they wore two hats.
“My hands are frozen!” Bob always remarked as he briskly rubbed them together, hoping the friction would get the heat going. Just outside the door to the building, Bob stomped his feet, trying to get some feeling into his cold toes.
Tony was less vocal but just as cold when he got his short break. I always suspected that he had a small hidden flask to help warm himself up. How else could he be so calm about fingers one degree away from frost bite? I never saw any evidence but it was the only excuse I could find for a person in such cold weather conditions.
Because, not only were the two men standing in the cold, they were handling frozen meats, vegetables, fruits, juices. All of it came rock solid frozen from the food bank.
Before the pantry opened, Tony also doubled as the parking lot manager which put him in the middle of the confusion. Just the parking lot was a fulltime toughie job. But, somehow, Tony made the parking lot and the barn distribution look easy.
But, no one complained. Ever. They had gotten a three-day-supply of food a week ago and it was all gone now. They were hungry. They were the struggling poor.
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Woodstock, New York
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On behalf of Chip, Lulu, Sport, Bubba, and the many dogs shopping at the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market every week, thank you for generously sharing your tennis balls with the Woodstock Dog Park.
With your continued generosity, we can give them out every weekend and Wednesday the flea market is open!
We give them out on flea market day to all the four footers shopping. They Love Them! We can’t thank you enough for your generosity.
In addition to making the dogs visiting the flea market happy, this distribution introduces the Woodstock Dog Park to many families who had no idea there is a dog park on Dixon Avenue.
Your generosity is appreciated by all the people with booths in the flea market. We all love seeing the dogs carrying tennis balls.
The Mower’s Meadow Flea Market will be closed after Thanksgiving weekend until the Spring. IF you continue sharing the tennis balls with us, I’ll hold them until the market opens in the Spring because I’ve reserved a space for the next season..
The bottom line is that, as long as you share the tennis balls, dogs all over Woodstock will enjoy chasing tennis balls! It’s a favorite sport of many local pets!
Woodstock Dog Park
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Do you attend a yoga class regularly?
Well, you’re missing out.
Well, actually, I’m missing out, too. I used to take a yoga class every day.
Then, life happened and I really just never got back into the daily morning yoga groove. But, it’s okay. I found Carolyn Abedor. So, now, I take a morning yoga class at 9:30 every Thursday.
What can I say? With Carolyn Abedor teaching our class, I feel better than I’ve felt in years. What’s her secret? Carolyn takes her class time seriously. She focuses on our spines so that we stand straighter. We breathe better. Our balance improves.
I feel more confident when I have a class with Carolyn because my body is rejuvenated. I know this reads redundantly but it’s true. I know that my chance of falling is smaller after a class with Carolyn.
So, after a class with Carolyn, I stand taller, with happier shoulders. I walk straighter on stronger legs.
But, that’s not all. An hour with Carolyn and yoga is an hour promoting homeostasis which is all important. I leave the class more grounded. I feel that I have offered my spiritual body a chance to harmonize itself through Carolyn’s instruction.
During the hour, wellness is all important. Joint health stays on the agenda. Emotional balance is part of the routine.
Okay, you’ve got the picture I think. Where is Carolyn? She’s in the yoga building at Access PT on Route 212 next to St. Gregory’s.
And, what makes Carolyn so fancy? Well, it’s her experience and her credentials. She’s a physical therapist AND a yoga teacher. This combination of education and training and experience make Carolyn an exceptionally wonderful teacher.
I LOVE Carolyn!
I look forward to seeing you on Thursdays at 9:30!
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