Mary E. Adair
Hurray! It's March!
We hope that March will be a much smoother month because February really had its ups and downs for most of us. Much has revolved around news reports and rumors of conflict, even world-wide conflict. War is not like a chess game, with units of readiness moved here and there and procedure merely being strategy. Casualties, actual and expected, are not slide rule calculations to the loved ones striving to cope alone, mourning that individual "casualty," that one now lost to them forever. War is ultimately, a losing maneuver for people, whatever political goals are underwritten or stabilized. A recent family tragedy brings home the realization that perspective is everything in looking at any segment of life and current events.
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Slipping out of the editorial verbiage, let me take a moment to memorialize my beloved son Ray Ivan Nicholson, who was killed, not in war preparation, but in a collision of two pickups on the evening of February 8. His instant death has left all of us in shock and sorrow. His beloved companion Donna was also a victim, and the sudden losses have made everything hard to accept as reality. There have been beautiful words received through many different media, and in person, to cosset us in a caring, compassionate manner. We will hold those words within our minds and hearts because they have come as needed, with great sincerity, and have blessed us. We have seen much kindness during this time, and feel inadequate to express our gratitude to everyone. I only wish that all of you could have known Ray, for your lives would have been enriched.
We weren't sure that the March pencil stubs would evolve at all, under the circumstances, but I personally have found comfort in working on it. Ray was a hard worker, a craftsman and artist at any work he did, and not one to dilly-dally, so I could hear him in my heart saying, "Get busy, Mom. You know what needs doing." And so I did.
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One of the columns, "Irish Eyes" by Mattie Lennon, is a tribute written many years ago in honor of his father, Tim Lennon. Strangely, it has been a comfort, as well, during these days. Other columns this month are listed here with the authors:
Denise, "Alas, To Muse And Ponder"
LC Van Savage, "Consider This"
Leo C. Helmer, "Cookin' With Leo"
Michael Craner, "Mike's Place"
Phil Miller, "Stellar Notions"
Gerard Meister, "Thinking Out Loud."
The article, "Book Review" by Gerard Meister, details a new work that may well become the prime reference for fact as it was written to set aright the misinformation that has plagued Jewish people for years.
In the second article,"Easter Stuff," Leo C. Helmer, as he promised, has all the data surrounding the timing of the Easter celebration. The table he includes might be good to print out and keep.
Our poets submitting one poem each for March are:
Paul J. Leadem with "2003 A.D. -- Musing, but not amusing;" Sheila Keith with "If I had only known;" and Peter Tonge with "The Flame."
Those with two poems each are: John D. Strain ("Dana" and "I See Deeper") and M. Jay Mansfield ("Dust" and "Fire - Part III.")
Bruce Clifford has three this issue with "The Mountain," "Universe of One," and "Black Hole."
Judith Alexander, author of the nostalgic "Island Hotel" in February issue, shares four poems for March: "By The Time," "Choo Choo," "We'll See," and "It's Very Heavy."
Clara Blair adds five poems with "Reunion," "Rocket Science," "I Knew You," "In the Grove," and "Life Audit."
John I. Blair rounds out the list for the month with seven poems: "Birdfeeder Karma," "Categories," "Cedar Waxwings," "Owl," "Ralph," "Sometimes the Moon," and "Three Ways of Looking at Vultures."
The lone tale is penned by Paul J. Leadem, "On The Road With Dad," in which, as in Lennon's column, the author remembers life with his father. So we have a lot of good reading for you this issue, much of it that qualifies as something that may surprise you with an epiphany moment...
Votes have not been completely tallied in the contest yet, but when they are, the announcement will be made on the Home page. Like you, we look forward to seeing who has been chosen. Meanwhile, life in these uncertain times has few enough pleasures; therefore avail yourself of those gained from pencilstubs!