Tuesday, March 21, 2023

'please' should not be needed


In the search for happiness is it enough to have stuff in your bowl, 
or to help those with empty bowls

Many streets pass over culverts where we have no clue they run underneath, yet that water is critical to our lives, with or without an empty bowl
While Franklin is considered an idyllic community, it is not immune from food insecurity; almost 10 percent of our neighbors regularly face an empty bowl

If all you have is a hammer, there should be only a few circumstances where that hammer can positively help someone with an empty bowl

The new building campaign was not about "just the building"; it was about how the Pantry will be better able to use the space it provides to help those with empty bowls

Our neighbors stories are many, varied, and deeply personal; we need to be respectful when helping someone with an empty bowl


The UN has an internet vocabulary game that for every correct answer they help to provide grains of rice to someone with an empty bowl

FHS students have worked diligently, crafting ceramic bowls in various shapes, colors, and designs as a reminder of those with empty bowls

The student led Empty Bowl dinner gets folks together for soup and conversation to help create the awareness of those with empty bowls

The ceramics crafted for the silent auction are truly works of art, some practical, some glorious, all reminding us to help those with an empty bowl

Some indigenous languages had no equivalent for "please", food was meant to be shared, it was a cultural given that one was treated respectfully when one had an empty bowl

Recovering from the pandemic will take time, many folks may have been shocked to find out how close they were to facing an empty bowl 

In reeling from the shock, the hope is that folks will recognize how easy it is, that they too, can help someone with an empty bowl

For Brenna Johnson and the FHS Empty Bowls Club

Monday, March 20, 2023

This branch


Cluster of kids playing, around the front yard tree, taking turns, trying to climb a low branch, failing to clamber successfully to the next branch

Green stems protrude tentatively? from the cold, brown earth; it is spring yet? or it this new weather an experience, a budding branch

The student theater group had set times within which to set the stage, to perform, and then to clear their set, props and all, to enable the judicial branch

Heated greenhouse served as the classroom for seed lessons, amidst the seedlings, beginning their own journey into the world food branch

Completed reading the collected works of my namesake, his perception and logic astounds some to this day, in awe of his prowess in the detective branch

Perhaps some of the family recipes passed down through the ages were really developed as means of survival to make the most of the food available to that branch


I cleared a vine or two that had tangled themselves between the trees, it would have more caused damage if I hadn't clipped that branch 

Soccer is the beautiful game, even more beautiful when the team can move with, and play with the triangles, passing to the open branch

The grill flames blew out twice while cooking, the wind blustering with such force, the grill relit quickly, enough heat had built under the branch

Odd how the last time we had been to the restaurant had been for my aunts birthday, then we hear that she has passed, only two sisters left of mother's branch

We should be more careful with whatever we're talking about when little ones are around, they do listen, remarkably they will repeat what we have said about the branch

Density and affordable housing are incompatible pairs, they are good enough for them to be elsewhere, as long as they do not get built on this branch

On the first day of spring, all the major papers have dire headlines, significant action is required, or climate change will make life a real challenge on this branch

a tree on the Franklin Town Common Apr 11, 2023
a tree on the Franklin Town Common Apr 11, 2023

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Advice from the corner


I bought a new basketball when I retired, planning to be ready to shoot some hoops, yet it sits in its the box in the corner

Neighborhood natives will give you directions to go down a ways, and turn 'where such and such used to be' on the corner

You can save time cleaning by doing the visible spots first, if it seems to pass the white glove test, inspectors may not check in the corner 

I'll drink any beer the first time, after that, only the really good ones make it to the shopping cart, the rest will remain in the corner

MA needs more housing, especially that which is affordable, yet there are those that won't approve building something down on the corner

Plan, share the plan, talk about the plan, adjust the plan, many minds will do better planning together, otherwise you can end up in the corner


You can get a book through the Minuteman library network, easy peasy, just like it was on the shelf, at your library, on the corner

He sang the song, as if he owned it, but finding out that his wife actually wrote the lyrics to the song blew me off the corner

The webinar shared insights on listening trends, some broken down by age group, some made sense, some could have stayed in the corner

She is such a breath of fresh air, yet some powerful men despise her so much, they work hard to keep her in the corner

The agenda was to plan for the event, which they found out as the meeting started couldn't happen, someone was not able to come out of their corner

There is a relationship between a thing, and the word for the thing, otherwise the concept would need to remain in the corner

Those in the know need to share what they know, or folks will fill the void with anything else, forcing those in the know to dig out of the corner

Friday, March 03, 2023

The face of my father


He would come home from work, lunch bucket, and newspaper tucked under his arm, and sink one-handed free throws endlessly; I have not forgotten the face of my father

He would only need to threaten us kids with the belt, and when he'd yell "Not one more peep out of you" one of us said "peep". I have not forgotten the face of my father

He played Cribbage during lunch time with his office buddies, when someone got a 29 hand, they'd tape it to the wall, and crack open a new deck of cards. I have not forgotten the face of my father

He was a cost accountant at the Washburn Wire mill, a steelworker union organizer, and for a long time, president of his local union. I have not forgotten the face of my father

He had worked as a roofer and helped weld leaks in the city hall tower during the winter before getting into office work at Washburn. I have not forgotten the face of my father

He served in the 4th Marines, seeing action on Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. He always said he was lucky to return and finally left us quietly on February 19, yes, 67 years to the day that he had landed on Iwo. I have not forgotten the face of my father


He was the middle child of 9, although he found out when his brother researched the family genealogy, that it was really 10; "They only counted the live ones". I have not forgotten the face of my father

He met, fell in love, and married Rita, in the time after WW II, and eventually reconciled with her parents even though they did not attend her wedding.  I have not forgotten the face of my father

He was not French, Rita's father felt it was beneath his daughter to marry an Irishman, so he took the family out of town come wedding day. I have not forgotten the face of my father

He folded out the living room sleep sofa nightly; that was their bedroom for 20+ years while raising 6 kids in a 2 bedroom 5 room 1st floor of a triple decker.  I have not forgotten the face of my father

He would have us gather our shoes to be shined while watching TV Saturday night, while we took our turns through the bathroom, well organized chaos, I have not forgotten the face of my father

He became well respected by Pepe for his ability to maintain a serious, and civil discourse, especially when some of the in-laws couldn't.  I have not forgotten the face of my father

He and Mom had got back into good graces with Pepe after the first grandchild came along. That was me. Now I understand it was my calling to bring people together. I will not forget the face of my father

for Gerald Sherlock