Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Window @ Rick's

     How about a "Thanksgiving" moment here? I am so very thankful for my wife for many things. One on the list, but very important to me is for her guidance in decorating the store window at our store in the center. Store window decorations are a thing of the past it seems, but not to us. Every seasonal change gets a new display, and as the holidays change, they too get special attention. It was changeover night at the store with tomorrow being December 1st. We started at shortly after seven and just got home shortly after ten. No splash-slash for C.... She takes her time and turns every ornament and light just so. And all the labels on the bottles.....she goes outside and checks each and every one for correct positioning. I love her for all that she does, both at home and at the store. She certainly has an 'eye" for it! 
     Thank you C!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Stripes! (or step #1 perhaps?)

     Last summer, after the last car "jumped" into the grocery store, the landlords of the plaza took a real interest in trying to see what they might be able to do to help keep the plaza safe for all. They hired a consultant who studied the traffic, took a zillion measurements and drew up nine different possible ways to change the parking and traffic patterns within the plaza. A meeting was held with interested parties and there was much discussion. This past weekend, a first step was taken at the plaza in what I think are going to be a series of changes to help aid safety for all. While I was at the meeting this summer, I am not involved in any way with these matters as I am but a tenant in the plaza. I have lobbied hard for years for the diagonal parking in front of the stores, and I am thrilled the owners have taken this first step. In addition to the angle parking, they have added more space to the areas surrounding the handicapped parking spaces, of which I whole-heartedly approve. Now, wheelchair vans and cars with wheelchairs and people who use walkers will finally have room to unload safely. I spent time last summer with my cousin who has lived her entire live thus far in a wheelchair (more than fifty years), and I now understand why this space is needed and I am happy to see it added here in Sharon Shopping Center. Yes, three "regular" spaces have been removed, but in the name of safety for those who need the room and just doing what is right for them, this will only will be a learning curve for the rest of us. But in my humble opinion, it's a long over-due good improvement. Anxious I am to see what step #2 might be (if there is one).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Santa and Mrs. Claus

     Here is one more from Saturday night in Pine Plains at the Light Parade. What is the end of a parade, a month or less before Christmas, without a float with Santa on board?( Miracle on 34th Street anyone?) Gotta tell you..... The crowd was crazy about this Santa and his Mrs......must be someone very popular in this locale.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sneak Preview

     I have become friends with Eddie from Mizza's Pizza over the last year and as many of you know, he and his family have purchased the former Sharon Motor Lodge here in Sharon. They have had contractors laboring there since the early summer, restoring a rundown motel to what is going to be just a very fine, comfortable place to stay. From the shingles on the roof to the foundation, things have been fixed, thrown away, replaced and renovated. A whole new septic system is on its finishing touches of being installed out back. Rooms all have fresh paint, and all new furniture and televisions. Carpeting and bathroom tiling is in its final stages. All new door locks, air conditioners and more. Everything will be new. Everything will be up to todays building codes. The water heating equipment is on schedule to be installed this week.

     Eddie and his family are doing just a remarkable job. He is really making a huge investment in both time and money. I told him I can't wait to see him hang his "Vacancy" sign. I said I might have even had rented a room this past weekend what with a house full of relatives here for the holidays. If we had had just one more person, we wouldn't have all fit, and we would have had to rent a room somewhere. He smiled and said " invite more people next year"...

     He is planning on being open by April for sure, and hopefully in March. This investment for our town to me speaks volumes. A happy customer of his might have breakfast at our diner. Perhaps buys a paper at our pharmacy. Or some wine for a relative. Gas for their car. Flowers for the friend in the hospital they traveled from afar to see. This inn/ motel/ whatever he calls it can only help all of us. To use a partial line from My Fair Lady....."just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait!'

     Different views from a couple of rooms....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Lights (and sirens) Parade

     Each year of late, many town fire departments in our immediate area have what they call a "Light Parade". Tonight's was in nearby Pine Plains, New York. I had been meaning to get over there for a few years to view this as I knew that they involved their whole town pretty much in one way or the other. Boy do they ever! They have many organizations involved in the vehicles and floats, and other groups giving away cookies and hot chocolate and more. There was an awesome raffle and other fun things going on too!  The town was all decorated and lit up for the holidays, with lights in many windows and post lights all lit up from stem to stern. The parade itself lasted for just over thirty minutes and features fire trucks from Falls Village, Kent and Sharon in Connecticut, and a number from around Dutchess County in New York State. There were old cars, new cars, electric cars, new tractors, old tractors, horses, ponies, miniatures and more. It truly was a very enjoyable small-town America parade at its finest. I applaud them sincerely!

     So, watch for a parade coming to or near your community in the coming weeks before Christmas. And when it does, get out there and show everyone good support!

     And in case you are wondering, I bet there was 1500 to 2000 spectators there, perhaps more. Then throw in easily a number of hundred involved in the parade directly as participants....WOW! A really big town function to be very proud of. Well done Pine Plains...well done.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Look Up!

I've been saying for months to you all to look up. I sure hope you all looked up at the setting sun tonight. Amazing!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

~I am grateful for many things in my life, both past and present. Each year, since owning our own wine store, we look forward to trying a special wine to have with our Thanksgiving Day Dinner, a once-a-year super-treat. This day I brought home a special battle of red zinfandel . It is from Ridge Vineyards in California. It was their Geyserville 2009. The format was a 3 litre bottle, which makes it all the more special. I know this is an extremely special treat to be able to enjoy this delicious bottle of wine, and I am thankful to be able to do it. I hope today was a special day in one way or another for all of you as well.

Oh....the wine? It's taste? Ah-may-zing!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pie Sale

Small towns. Don't ya just love'm? I mean, when a pie sale from the church ladies at one of the local churches is like the greatest anticipated thing of the day since hot and cold running much more small town can you get?

Today's sales total....96 pies in seventeen minutes!

Ladies. You rock! Congratulations!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The day before the day before....

Well today's posting is just a quick one. It was a busy day at the store, and tonight it is food-central around the house, so I am busy lending a hand. Hope to snag a pie sale or something "holiday-oriented" tomorrow. You all take care this holiday and be careful in the rains if you are traveling, either near or far.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Found: A flight of stairs

~stairway to heaven perhaps? and it's located on Murtagh Road, right here in Sharon? All these years of looking, and it's right here!

The truth be known, not only did we all lose power for multiple days earlier this month, but our local Sharon Farm Market lost a whole bunch of product when that all happened. A large financial hit I am sure. But, and this is a big BUT, that wasn't the end of the story for them. A major compressor died and repairs took a lot longer than anticipated so the farm market arranged for a refer trailer from the food warehouse for JAM's frozen goods so they could keep them operating. It just was moved away yesterday, and the steps they had for access are still there.

there's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying the stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying the stairway to heaven. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meet George.

George the Cat. We had cats. For one reason or the other, they have been gone for some time now, and we were cat-less (yes!). But then, Catherine came home from college last spring, and she brought a friend. George. A rescue cat. I was looking to be rescued! Six months have gone by, and he is a secured part of the family. He can find the most wild places to curl up and sleep. Here is his latest. Our vessel sink bowl. What a nut. That's our George.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New toys and the learning curve...

Okay, after supplying the "kids" with technology (iPhones for multiple years), yours truly has made the switch as well. My slide phone was three years old and scratched up very badly on the screen. So much so, I could hardly see what was there... I've been a good boy, worked hard and well, what can I say, I made the leap. Well along with that phone came the need for a new OS for the home computer, and it is just so different in many ways.......long-story short. I am having to learn a bunch of new stuff, so bear with me....please!

Today was the annual Sharon Women's Club Holiday Fair in front of my store. There were, wreath's and decorations, and all kinds of great baked goods, and some soups,and a raffle for a gorgeous little chair......just a neat bunch of items. It was a bit of a "behave" of activity!

One local was not very photogenic, and in a bit of a hurry....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Miniature Lobster trap buoys

Went to Torrington at the crack of dawn this morning, then back to the store by eight-thirty, then never left till six p.m. Thus no photo of local interest today. So, y'all get a selection from a trip to Maine. This exhibit was inside the lighthouse keeper's home at a lighthouse I visited this fall. 

Great colors, don't you think? And that's the thing about them...these are the true colors of the real ones. The replicas were done of all different buoys that are all from this one town or immediate area. The markings and colors are how they tell whose is whose! Pretty amazing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Evening Sky

Sure hope we get a sky like this one tomorrow. This day of rain was not my cup of tea. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I was notified today that I had my wires crossed, so-to-speak regarding yesterdays post. The first gent, whom I have listed is indeed George Marckres father. That part is correct. The next part, where I said the photo of the man in glasses like Steve Jobs wore, IS NOT George Marckres. It is one of Sharon's first keepers of the green (whose name escapes me right this moment).He preceded Jack Ward (Flashlight) and Ken Bartram and Carl Golden and perhaps others.

So yesterday sure was a Monday, and I apologize for my errors. I will revisit my source, get the correct "flow", and present it at a later date.

Monday, November 14, 2011

George Markres's Father

The mysterious man yesterday was George Markres father. George Markres was our town's greatest photographer of town history, in my humble opinion. Fran did great work, Jonathan and Brian do great work. I try my best. George Markres. He was amazing. He was more than a photographer. He was a story teller. He showed us history. He showed us history. 

Stop at the town hall and see his work there, and visit the historical society for much, much more. Be sure to read the caption about George's father and his ladder. A great story.....

Father(and his ladder)

George Markres

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sharon Ct. Quiz

~anybody recognize this guy?

First person to let me know the correct answer wins a lifetime free subscription to downcountrylanes...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Autum Colors

While most all of the trees, and in particular the maples, have all changed and dropped, been pounded with snow and dropped, been beat with wind and dropped, this drop of gold is still shining up here on my hill with most of its leaves. Gotta love its beauty...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank You Tulsa

     In Sharon, where we sure had the snow, and lots of folks went days without power, we were fortunate (in my mind) to have some great work crews from Tulsa, Oklahoma here to help return us to normal, power-wise. I had the pleasure to talk to a number of the fellows and they were just some of the nicest guys. Very friendly, extremely polite and assuring in most every way is about how I would describe them. I did have a nice lead-in with them, as my mom grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, which is about an hour from Tulsa, according to some of the men I talked with. I have not been there since I was a child. If I ever get the opportunity, I just might get there again, and try and feel my mom's "roots".
     I told you all of the above to just sum it up with this: Thank you Public Service Company of Oklahoma linemen and your foremen for all of your work here in the Town of Sharon. We really did appreciate it!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sights on Election Day in Sharon--2011

Blogger wouldn't pick-up pictures yesterday, so here is yesterdays offering a wee bit late.........small town election.-U.S.A.

Selectman's Office...Closed for business this day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I wanted to show some pics from voting day in Sharon, but the blogger won't let me upload photos. Maybe tomorrow. Sorry....

Monday, November 7, 2011

day is done.....gone is the sun....

What just moments before was a world filled with color, scenery suddenly changes to just a very few shades of colors as the sun disappears into the western sky. These fast differences have to be almost taken with a motor-driven camera as they happen almost in the blink of the eye.......

If you are wondering where, this is from just over the New York State side of Dakin Road, looking due-west. The hill would be what I always refer to as Sunset Ridge, just about midway between Amenia and Millerton. The lighted facility you see I believe is part of The MacEnroe Farm complex.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Church Ladies

     Since most of the good folks who take a peak at my blog from time to time tend to be all connected to Sharon in one way or another, tonight's subject will probably be one that 95% or more know exactly what I am talking about. I want to complement The Church Ladies of Sharon ( awww heck, and everywhere else too!). First, let me say this. Church ladies are the best! Church ladies are the good ladies, usually older than others in the church, who just see to it that there is always a cookie for the kids, a coffee for the adults, some yummy fruit in the summer, and all kinds of goodies the other weeks of the year. They are the ones who set it all up, and clean up the mess when it's over. They fill the sugar bowls and bring in the fresh milk. They start the coffee before a service, so it's ready when the service has ended. They wash all the dishes, and put everything in its place. And when there is a special event, be it a special service like a funeral or memorial service, they crank-up the product mix, and bring out the home-made cakes and fresh apple pies and such. They'll break-out the good silver, shine it well, and have the punch bowl filled with a nice punch and the crystal cups will be filled. You know the ones I mean. The ones with the handles too small for ninety-percent of the worlds population to get a finger through to really support the drink, so you live in fear you may drop the cup, break the glass and get Hawaiian Punch lemonade on your white slacks. Those cups. I feel like Andy Rooney. Who invented them anyways?

     So today I was watching the church ladies at my church, The Sharon Congregational, and they just go about their business in such an awesome way. I really love it when one will place a plate of brownies on the serving table one way, and another will turn it to suit their taste. Then when that one turns their back, the other one spins it back! You can't make this stuff up. They are so caring right down to how that plate of goodies looks to the herd as it comes through the back door following the service. Remarkable.

     So, I propose a toast. To Carol and Jean, and Phyllis and Maggie some too. And at St. Bernard's to Jose and the other good folks there, and to Judy and Marion, and Maureen and Lee at the Methodist Church, along with a whole host of others. You all are awesome! Thank you! You treat us all so well. We should be treating you......

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Got him! (if only for a second)

Chased this guy the full length of Crystal Lake one morning about ten days ago and he finally relented and gave me one quick pose before bolting again. Guess I should say Thanks!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Night @ Sharon Firehouse

The Sharon Fire House on West Main each year hosts a bit of a Halloween Party, with some cider and donuts for trick-or-treaters and I think they extend a prize or two to some good costumes. (I have been away from that Halloween stuff for a good bit, so I am not sure if they still normally do that) This year, things really changed. The Feb-tober snowstorm we've all been dealing with in one form or another since last Saturday evening turned the firehouse into a warm place from the cold, a hot meal for those who could come, a charging station for cell phones, a shower for those in need and sleeping quarters for those who just couldn't be in cold, dark houses. And friendly faces and warm smiles were everywhere one looked.

I won't say anything more than a big thank you to all who went above and beyond for their neighbors in need during this stressful time for many, and I'll just let these few pictures tell a bit of the story.....these pictures just start to tell the story here in Sharon. There were so many more involved, (and still are) from sunrise to  late every evening and throughout the night for those who slept over. And this scene was repeated throughout the area and the entire state....neighbors helping neighbors, in whatever way they could, in their time of need. A remarkable time indeed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Early morning lineup on Hilltop

I came down off the hill this morning via Jackson Hill and Route 4. I was curious to see if any action was transpiring on 4 and South Street, as I knew there was much to be done in those respective areas of town. As I crested over the knoll near Ed Kirby's, I saw about five trucks parked on the south side of 4, headed east. A crew was working directly opposite Hilltop and there was just a pack of men swarming around the hood of a nearby vehicle, looking at a huge map and having a bit of a conference. I wanted to catch that on the memory card but they flagged me through.... "Keep moving please..." I quickly threw on the right-hand turn signal, and crept up Hilltop past more men and their trucks, all from Oklahoma -American Electric Power-. 

Since I didn't want to be the first "local" to run over a worker from a power company in the mid-west, here to help my friends and neighbors.....  I can see the Hartford Courant now.."Oklahoma lineman killed in Sharon by local man trying to take pictures.".... So I pulled over when I had the chance, into the old William Riley driveway and caught this little glimpse back at just a partial shot of the equipment lined up, getting ready to head out for a day of repairs to our local grid. As of this evening, I heard they did a lot good out there today, and I understand they returned power  to lots of folks today. Thanks Oklahoma!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feb-tober Snow Storm 2011

It already has been more than four days since the first flakes started to fall, and while some have lights and heat, many will not see that luxury for days to come yet. While the saying of "what a difference a day makes" rings true for some, so did the have concern for what lies around the next corner ring so true as well. You could have just snow here, and roads and yards be clear, and a one hundred year old monster  might meet you around the next curve, blocking everyone, and bringing everything to a standstill. It really was an incredible storm. I have a theory, which could be totally wrong, but one I am going with is, as follows: the fact that we actually had less damage than many other areas is because of our hills dropping their woodland-leaves perhaps a bit earlier than other areas, causing them to drop and our trees therefore not being there were not holding all that wet snow....possible? Or perhaps we in the hills were just a degree or two colder than other areas, so our snow turned-out to be not quite as wet and heavy for as long as others, thus making the damages someone less? Seem possible?

Here are a few shots showing the "flow" as I saw it.

First hour..Saturday afternoon, early.
Just a couple hours later than above photo..

Corner of Hilltop and 41..Sunday morning early..a white "wall"..

Maine Street, looking south @ corner of West Main
At "The Edgwood", on my way back from getting gas, in Washington Hollow, NY

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No entries

Due to snowstorm dropping more than 24" in our immediate area, having no power or Internet, my blog is temporarily in sabbatical state.. when the power and web returns, so will I!! Until, then, Happy Trails!