10 February 2017

Music At The Round House: Good News Coming For The Cafe

Deena Chappell Singing. Good News For The Cafe

We had a sweet evening at the Round House Cafe, the Deena Chappell Trio played and sang for two hours, beautiful American and country music.

I believe there is good news just on the horizon for the Round House, the word is they are close to reaching an agreement to keep the cafe in our community, thanks in great measure to the support so many of you have given them through their gofundme campaign, which has raised nearly $65,000 to help the cafe either buy their building or find a similar space.

It's not really for me to disclose the details of this, but I think the cafe will be able to remain right in the heart of our community, as we hoped and fought for, if not necessarily in the same building, which may have simply been priced out of their range. Other quite wonderful options have materialized, and my sense is that one of them is close to being finalized.

But this is for the Carrino's to announce, not me.

All over rural America, towns are fighting for their community, and we may have won an important victory and offered up a model for other small towns to keep their institutions intact and in town.

Tonight, sitting at the Round House with Maria, eating some great pizza, drinking some fine wine, listening to all of this great and free music, we  both said how lucky we are to live in this community. And we are hopeful of keeping our community cafe right in the middle of town.

Scott and Lisa Carrino have worked so hard for this idea of community, it may be very close. Stay tuned.


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Chloe: Wild Thing. Spirit Of A Pony

Chloe: Spirit Of A Pony

Chloe is the closest thing we have to a wild thing in my mind. It isn't that she is difficult or troublesome, she is none of those things. She has a powerful free and independent spirit about her, as ponies are said to do, and we love her for that. Ponies are not generally those cute little things we sometimes think of. They were bred as war horses, Genghis Khan rode them across Asia and Europe.

They are proud, strong-willed and intense spirits. Maria sometimes thinks Chloe does not get the works she deserves, she has considered giving to someone who had more time to spend. One person contacted us a few months ago and said she was moving to a farm in the area and would love to have Chloe, but we have not heard from her in some months and the idea seems somehow remote.

Ponies are notoriously willful, but Chloe gives us no trouble at all. She loves to walk with us, we took her out into the woods behind the farm the other day, she walked happily along.

I am not among those people who think it's cruel to re-home a domesticated animal or pet. That's a selfish idea for me. If you can better the life, or someone else can give them more, it's a noble thing to do, in my mind.

We'll see.

We are still open to her having a fuller life, but we are also very happy to have her with us. Maria feels somewhat badly that she doesn't ride her, but I never thought she liked being ridden much.

I think she loves it here, it's a tough notion to apply to animals, content would be a better word. She has  room to roam, she gets lots of attentions. If she is meant to leave, she will go, and if she is meant to say, she will stay.

I went out in the cold – she pays no mind to the weather – and she stood with me on the hill, and I could see her riding across the plains, out West. She has a strong spirit.

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Hug For India: Maria And Connie

Hug For India

Maria and Connie have become friends, and Connie said she hoped Maria could come by before she left for India, she wanted to wish her a safe journey and good trip. Connie asked if she could give Maria and a hug, and this scene did touch my heart in a particular way, I don't know how else to say it.

Connie has greatly opened up to Maria and as a result of your gifts and messages. She is smiling all the time, her door is always open, the lights are always on, she is always busy and  connected. So much of what has been taken from her has been given back.

No one can reverse the aging experience, or give back all of the things left behind, but attention and love and thought makes a staggering difference. You are helping to give these good people a way to live their lives with meaning and hope. Thanks.

Connie is looking for baby wool so she can make baby hats for newborns at the Albany Medical Center. This is a wonderful and ambitious project for her, if you have any baby wool you can sent it to her c/o The Mansion, 11 S. Union St., Cambridge, N.Y.., 12816.

If you wish to send letters to the Mansion residents, here are their first names: Ellen, Mary, Gerry, Sylvie, Diane, Alice, Jean G., Madeline, Joan, Allan, Carl (Bob), John K., Aileen, Christie, Helen, Connie, Alanna, Barbara, Peggie, Dennis, John R., Bruce, John Z., Bill.

I loved seeing this hug, and was grateful to be able to hug both of these beautiful women myself.

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Friends, The Mansion. Balcony Seats.

Friend's At The Mansion

Diane and Connie couldn't easily get their wheelchairs down to the main ballroom so they sat up on the landing where they could watch and listen. Maria joined them, she and Connie have become good friends, and talk easily with one another. Connie has been greatly affected by your gifts of wool and your letters, she is working hard to knit things for other people – scarves and mittens.

She told Maria that she wants to make baby hats for newborns at the Albany Medical Center, she is looking for baby wool. If anyone has some, that would be a timely gift for her, this work has given shape and meaning to her day, she is mostly confined to her chair due to back and lung issues. You can write her at Connie, The Mansion, 11 S. Union St., Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. She says she will eventually answer every letter she gets.

She will, too.

I'm grateful that Maria is joining Red and I, she is very natural at talking to people and using her intuition to find connections – just like Red.

Connie is busier than ever, and knitting up a storm. She lights up when she sees Red or Maria and both are attached to her. Diane wanted to get up and cross the room, she saw a newcomer sitting alone and wanted to keep her company.

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Reading Your Letters At The Mansion

Reading Your Letters At The Mansion

Everywhere I went at the Mansion today, there were groups of people sitting on chairs, sofas and benches, reading the letters you have sent from all over the country and the world. There was a birthday party in the big room, then a letters distribution. It lifts the heart to go into almost every room and see the residents reading their letters and getting ready to reply to as many as they can.

It makes a big difference, as some of you know. I could not have imagined it. Everyone gets their letters, reads them, and then shares them. The laughter and excitement are palpable, and so healthy. This is the best medicine anyone could ever get.

You can write to the residents of the Mansion c/o The Mansion, 11 S. Union Street, Cambridge,N.Y., 12816. The first names of the Mansion residents who wish to receive your messages and gifts are Ellen, Jean, Mary, Gerry, Sylvie, Diane, Alice, Jean G., Mamdeline, Joan, Allan, Carl (Bob), John K, Aileen, Christie, Helen, Connie, Alanna, Barbara, Peggie, Dennis, John R., Bruce, John Z., Bill (a new Bill).

(Connie has decided to make baby hats for the newborns at the Albany Medical Center, she is looking for baby wool to knit. That would be helpful to her, she has already made mittens (from your wool) for everyone on the staff. If you have baby wool, you can send it to her at: Connie,  The Mansion, 11 S. Union Street, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. and thanks)

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