Sunday, August 31, 2008

Steeplechasing in Norwich, Part III

Ah, it's Sunday again which means it's a good time to take a look at more of the lovely churches that we have here in Norwich and continue doing some steeple chasing that I was inspired to do after reading similar posts by my friend the Princess Patti of the Late Bloomer Boomer.  I think that you'll find some of the nicest architecture ever when it comes to churches and even if they don't all have steeples, they are still beautiful buildings.

Central Baptist Church 1

This first church is the Central Baptist Church which is located in the same square as Norwich's City Hall.  The cornerstone of the building was laid on November 18th, 1891 with the formal dedication of the church taking place on October 14th, 1892. Central Baptist sits directly across from the United Congregational Church...

UC Steeple

... which was built in 1857. The congregation of the United Congregational Church was very involved in helping to educate people as well as the anti-slavery movement. Abraham Lincoln visited here before his election and the church was the founder of the Norwich Free Academy where Amanda attends high school.

Night steeple

As an added picture bonus, I snapped a shot of the United Congregational Church when I was out doing night photos during the last full moon. I think it takes on a whole new look at night.

Park Cong

This next church is also a Congregational Church, of which Norwich has many!  However, considering that Norwich was settled by Congregationalists in 1659 I guess that's not really all that surprising.  Park Congregational Church was established in 1874 and sits on Broadway directly across from the Norwich Free Academy campus.

Taftville Congregational Church

Speaking of Congregational Churches, this is the Taftville Congregational Church, though it's often referred to as "The Green Church" when giving someone directions! Taftville is one of the villages of Norwich; in 1866 it was named after the founder of the large textile mill that was located there. Formerly one of the largest textile mills in the country, the Taftville Cotton Mill is now known as Ponemah Mills and is being converted into luxury apartments.

Family Church of God

This castle-looking structure, appropriately located on Church Street in downtown Norwich, is the Family Church of God but I haven't been able to really find out anything about this church in my research.  I found the prism effect in this picture to be quite fascinating as the only other time I've had that come out in a picture before was when I was taking pictures in a cemetery and I've never been able to account for it but I think it looks nice.

St Peter & St Paul

On the west side of Norwich sits Saints Peter and Paul Church which was founded in 1938. Behind this church sits a lovely park that depicts the Stations of the Cross where I recently took some pictures that I'm sure I'll be posting at a future time.

First Baptist Church of Norwich

Also located on the west side of the city is the First Baptist Church of Norwich which was established in 1880.  The current congregation is under the direction of Pastor Cal Lord who has been with the First Baptist Church for over 22 years.  Believe it or not Dr. Lord has a blog of his own titled Dancing With God and he has been kind enough to occasionally stop by and leave a comment or two here on my blog.  He's given me encouragement with my pictures so I hope he likes this one of his church!

I hope you've enjoyed this last series of photos of some of the churches located in the town I call home.  There are a lot more churches tucked away in various parts of Norwich but whether I get to them or not will remain to be seen!  Everyone have a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Line of Duty Deaths in August Climb with Five More Officers Down

These last two weeks in August have seen way too many Line of Duty deaths for the Law Enforcement community and it's with a heavy heart that I have to add five more names to the Honor Roll of Fallen Heroes on the sidebar of my blog.  Every time I get a notification in my email my heart sinks but to get them so often this past week has been even more depressing.

May God be with the family, friends, and comrades of the following men and women as they come to grips with their deaths and loss to their communities.

Ordinance Officer Kathy Ann Cox of the Gordon County Sheriff's Office in Georgia was killed on Thursday, August 21st, when her department truck was struck head-on by an armored car which swerved into her path while attempting to avoid hitting a car that had stopped in front of it.   Both the armored car and Officer Cox's truck were engulfed in flames at the time of impact.

Officer Cox, age 50, had served in law enforcement for 30 years and was also a volunteer member of the Nicklesville Department of the Gordon Country Fire Department.  She is survived by her husband, two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren in addition to her mother and brother.

A Perth Amboy, New Jersey police officer was killed on Friday, August 22nd, when his patrol car was struck by a drunk driver while he and his partner were transporting a prisoner to the Middlesex County Jail.

Police Officer Thomas Raji, a 10-year veteran of the department, died after his patrol vehicle was struck broadside on the driver's side when the drunk driver ran two red lights at the intersection.  Officer Raji's partner and the prisoner they were transporting were both injured in the accident also.

"The Perth Amboy Police Department lost one of its finest today," Chief Michael Kohut said. "Officer Raji was well respected among his colleagues as well as the men, women and children that he encountered on a daily basis."

Officer Raji, age 31, is survived by his expectant wife, Marisol, who is also an officer with the Perth Amboy Police Department and two step-children, Devyn Nicole and Gabriel Anthony.

On Monday, August 25th in Massachusetts, Police Officer Melvin E. Dyer succumbed to injuries that he had received ten days earlier as the result of being struck by a motor vehicle while directing traffic at the Marshfield Fair.

A part-time officer for the Duxbury Police Department for the past year, Officer Dyer was directing traffic at an intersection near the fair when a vehicle failed to stop and ran him over.  He was transported to Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston where he remained in critical condition until his death.

“Every day of his life was devoted to public service, so it’s a terrible irony that he should die this way,” said Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald, for whom Dyer worked previously.

Officer Dyer, age 67, had previously served with the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department for three years and was also a Vietnam veteran who served in the Marine Corps for 20 years where he rose to the rank of Master Sergeant and was awarded the Purple Heart, among other honors.

Officer Dyer leaves behind his wife, Bonnie, daughter Melissa and husband Todd, son Michael and wife Anne, and granddaughters Samantha and Ashlye.  In additon he also leaves his children from a previous marriage, Betsy, Jane, and Bob as well as two sisters and two brothers.

A member of the Columbus Division of Police in Ohio died from a brain bleed that he suffered while taking part in department training on Thursday, August 21st.  Police Officer Timothy A. Haley, a member of the Division's SWAT team, was engaged in a physical excursion training exercise during which time Officer Haley said he had a headache and didn't feel right. 

When Officer Haley, age 42, fell unconscious during the exercise he was rushed to the hospital where it was determined that a blood vessel in his brain had ruptured and that he was brain dead.  Per his wishes as an organ donor, Officer Haley remained on life support for five days so that his organs could be harvested.

Officer Haley worked patrol, the narcotics bureau and the helicopter squad. He also was a K-9 officer for a time, and he was part of the SWAT team for the last three years. "Just a star. That's how cops refer to people like Tim: Just a star," said fellow SWAT officer Jim Scanlon who was there at the time of Officer Haley's collapse.

A 21-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, Officer Haley is survived by his wife, Renee, and sons Tristan, 9; Brandon, 7; and Devon, 4.

A 4-1/2 year veteran of the Montana Highway Patrol and former U.S. Marine was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, August 26th, when his patrol car was struck by a GMC pickup truck that crossed over the median causing a head-on collision.  Trooper Evan F. Schneider and the driver of the pickup were killed instantly while a passenger in the pickup truck died from her injuries later in the day.

According to a spokeswoman for the Montana Department of Justice in Helena, Trooper Schneider had been traveling west on U.S. 2 between Hungry Horse and Columbia Falls when he observed the driver of a vehicle traveling eastbound commit a traffic violation. The trooper turned around and passed two vehicles with his emergency lights flashing and was attempting to pull over the vehicle when a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line and collided with his car head-on. What caused the pickup to veer into oncoming traffic is unknown.

“Trooper Evan Schneider was a ... dedicated man whose quick wit and sense of humor will be deeply missed,” Montana Highway Patrol Capt. Clancy King, who commands Schneider’s detachment, said in a statement. “Our prayers are with the Schneider family during this sad time.”

Trooper Schneider, who would have turned 30 in early September, is survived by his wife, Carrie. His brother, James, is a Montana Highway Patrol trooper in Libby, Montana.

Left Alone With the Lizards

Remember the other day when I wrote that Amanda was home from New Jersey?  Well, she's gone again!  This time she's off to spend the weekend over at Jason & Amy's to catch up with her friend Cate whom she hasn't seen in over a month.  I rather thought she'd be going over there this weekend as the last time I had seen Cate she had asked when Amanda was going to be home as she was bored and wanted to see her so I knew a get-together was inevitable.

I figure that she may as well go and have a good time with Cate as I'm working overtime again tonight followed by my usual Sunday evening shift and double shift on Monday and will be gone a lot; there's really no sense in Amanda having to sit around the house by herself all weekend. Plus it means I can put off a trip to the grocery store for at least a few more days - yay! However, it also means that I get to take care of the lizards while she's gone - not yay!  Supposedly it's easy - just spray them down twice a day with the mister and make sure they have some worms and dried crickets to dine on.  Ugh!   Oh well, they're kind of cute in a lizardry sort of way and I do like the way they change colors all the time.  As far as pets go, I think I can deal with these two.

Anyway, I guess it's back to enjoying a little bit of piece and quiet for me for a few more days, or at least for the little amount of time I'm not at work!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend no matter what you end up doing!

Friday, August 29, 2008

One of the Worst Calls Possible for First Responders

As someone who works in an Emergency Medical Services field, I know that some calls are worse than others.  This call yesterday most definitely qualifies as one of the worst ...

Jewett City Toddler Dies of Gunshot Wound

Video by Dieu To/Norwich

What makes this even more horrible is that there are many, many, many people who are affected by a tragedy like this including, but not limited to, the First Responders to the scene - the police, fire, and medical personnel who responded to the call for help and arrived to find a critically wounded child whom they wanted to help more than they wanted anything in their lives at that time.

Two of my good friends, Amy and Andrew, were very involved with this call as Amy was one of the EMTs who got to the scene first as part of the ambulance crew working in Jewett City and Andrew was the paramedic that we at American dispatched to the call for a higher level of care.  Both of these people are extreme professionals and very good at their jobs but both of them were very affected by this tiny life that they did their very best to save but who later succumbed to his wounds.

My thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family of young Wyatt Matteau as they try to come to grips with this horrible, horrible tragedy but my thoughts and prayers are also with my friends who will forever have an image of this horrible day burned into their memories.   May you both find comfort and peace in knowing that you did everything you possibly could to help this young child and that you did your best.

All who responded to that horrible scene did the very best they could and I applaud all of the First Responders and thank them for doing a job that I know I could never do.  You may not have been able to save this child but think of the countless lives you have touched and the care you have given to so many others.  It's most definitely not an easy job but someone has to do it and I thank you for taking on the challenge.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Return of the Prodigal Daughter

There it is ... the train that brought back an end to my peace and quiet at 6:20 p.m. yesterday evening - right on time as a matter of fact - when it stopped in New London long enough to discharge a good number of passengers including Amanda, home from her summer vacation in New Jersey.

After stopping in New London this train was going to continue making its way north and eventually complete its journey at North Station in Boston which is just a t-ride or two away from my friend Ms. Maggie Moo who was having her very first "Supper Club" get-together at her apartment last night.  Don't think I didn't wish that I was getting on that train and going up there to join the party but sadly the only place I was going was back to Norwich with my newly returned daughter (who just happened to be starving of course!) and her two new pet lizards.

Yep, pet lizards ... you read that right!  Amanda had told me the other day that she was bringing back a lizard but as it turns out, she brought back two as Darci seemed to think Amanda would do a better job raising the one she had gotten than she would.  Uh-huh.  Lizards.  Right ... I guess it could have been worse, it could have been snakes - in which case she could have left them on the train and sent them up to Mags' place for dinner as they wouldn't have been coming home with me!

This is Evra and he was quite nice about posing prettily for a picture unlike Verde (Spanish for green) who decided that she was not going to have her picture taken at all and avoided that by clinging to the roof of her cage out of camera shot.  Great, not only did Amanda bring home lizards, she brought back a temperamental one to boot!  Perhaps she'll settle down and I can get a picture another time; I can, after all, be quite persistent when need be!

Amanda seemed to have a wonderful time while she was visiting Darci and while there she attended a Renaissance Faire, did a lot of shopping, and even got to go look at some art in Trenton (honestly I never knew that they even had art in Trenton but it's been a long time since I've lived down that way and a lot has probably changed!)

Speaking of things that have changed ...

Yep, it's back to black for Amanda's hair and except maybe for needing a cut, I think it looks pretty good but maybe that's because it's all one color for a change and not a shade I need to wear sunglasses to look at!  Darci actually did the dye job for her and for her first time, I'd have to say she did darned good.  Thank you, Darci, and I hope that Amanda didn't give you as hard of a time with her hair as she usually gives me!

After stopping in at the local exemplary pizza place right up the road from my house to feed the poor starving child we came home where she wasted no time in booting up her beloved computer and filling the house with music.  Yep, she's home but that's okay, I kinda missed her (just don't tell her that, okay?).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how."

Ah-ha, well, even though Rhett Butler wasn't talking to me when he said those famous lines perhaps that certainly explains what's wrong with me of late as it's been an extremely long time since I've been kissed by anyone - never mind someone who knows how!

Normally this isn't a predicament that I dwell on, and certainly never one that I've posted about, but I figured what the heck - we're all adults here and I'm not going to write anything that will get my blog an "R" rating or even make for a very scintillating Google search!  After all, I'm not going to be writing about s-e-x or those special rooms in Reno hotels that come complete with hot tubs and mirrors and ... er ... well, I'm not writing about those, okay?  I'm writing about kissing and that's pretty innocent.  Or, in my case, pretty non-existent.

Truth be told, my last kiss was close to six years ago and I'm beginning to think that it's going to be another six years or longer before I have another one. Or, worse yet, I'll go to my grave having never been kissed again.  My family isn't exactly known for their longevity but if I live to be at least my mother's current age that means I'm looking at 24 more years of having only memories of what it's like to be held in someone's arms and kissed.  Not just a passing kiss from a friend mind you, but an honest-to-goodness toe-curling, foot-popping, world-stop-spinning-for-a-moment kiss - that kind of kiss!  I remember those kind of kisses and, right at the moment, I'm missing them and feeling a bit sad in the process.

Having been divorced for quite a long time now and been on one pseudo-date since then, I've come to grips with the whole single woman thing.  As a matter of fact, I ushered it in and welcomed it with open arms when my last marriage ended.  I firmly believed that it was better to be alone than with the wrong person and I still believe that, but I don't think that at the time I thought about the fact that there was a really good chance I'd be alone for the rest of my life.   After all, I was 44 and not considered ancient by too many standards and I don't believe I qualified for troll status where I needed to go live under the bridge and wait for the Three Billy Goats Gruff to come clopping over but ... perhaps I was wrong.

I'm pretty sure I have my good qualities ... I have all my teeth, I can cook, I don't snore, and I don't like to spend all day shopping.  I'm a good friend, a good dispatcher, and a good Mom ... but I'm just not good enough for any man to be anything more than friends with.  I get along great with the male population probably better than I do the female side but only as a friend ... not as someone to take to the movies or to dinner or to kiss.   I've more or less come to terms with that and, for the most part, I'm good with it.  But ... here's the thing ... I'm divorced, not dead.  Yet.  Though I might as well be when it comes to relationships.

Chances are, that's not going to bother me 98% of the time as I still adhere to that "better alone" philosophy I mentioned above but, like a 7 or 11 in a craps game, every once in awhile that 2% of the time is going to come up and I'm going to feel bad for a little while and throw myself a small pity party - this is one of them. By the way, did I offer you a drink or something to eat?  Sorry ... bad hostess ... bad!

If I had to guess, this particular pity party was precipitated while I was thinking about my upcoming "milestone" birthday and what would make it really special or memorable or set it apart from the rest.  Granted, having Claire over from England and then going off to a Rhode Island beach house with some of my bestest blog buddies the week after is special but I don't want my actual birthday to be just another day like most of my birthdays have been.  I want to be able to look back and say "Wow, my 50th birthday was great!" and Lord knows that having an actual kiss would definitely make it so and give me a date to remember other than one from six years ago but I'm also realistic enough to know that White Knights on shining chargers don't come galloping down the road giving away random kisses to damsels in distress no matter how long it's been since she's been kissed.

Too bad fairs don't have "Kissing Booths" anymore ... it is Fair Season out here and that would have been perfect! Alas, I don't think I can find a kiss on eBay or Craigslist or any of the local classifieds either so I'm pretty sure I'll be going without one as even if I put that on a birthday list, it's not the kind of thing you can pick up at the local Wal-Mart and toss in a gift bag.  Maybe if I'm lucky I'll get a hug or two which I do enjoy and appreciate in spite of the vicious rumors that I don't like them and need to maintain my personal space at all times and cost!  Hmpf!  That's just not true!

Anyhow, all that said, I'd like you guys to do me a favor ... if you do have a significant other, I'd like you to give him or her one of those nice long, foot-popping kisses that I mentioned above - especially if you haven't done so in awhile.  I think we sometimes tend to forget to appreciate or take for granted what we have until it's gone and if you've got someone who loves you and you love that someone back then don't just assume that they know.  Show them.  And don't wait for a "milestone" occasion to do it either because sometimes things change and they can change quickly.

Trust me, you really don't want to be me in six years wishing on the evening star that someone loved you or even liked you enough to want to kiss you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Creative Photography Contest #11

Roger has tweaked the rules a little bit over at his Creative Photography Contest blog but I think that the changes are for the better and hope that it doesn't dissuade anyone from joining in each week. I think that one the best parts of the contest is having other people who are so much better at photography than I am stop by and give me encouragement or pointers on my pictures.  Plus it gives me the chance to look at some truly outstanding photos entered by other people.

In talking to my Mom the other day she mentioned that my youngest brother had stopped by my blog a time or two and told her that there were just a lot of pictures lately like I thought I was "a photographer or something".  Well, no, I'm not nor do I think I am but I have a good time going out with my camera and trying to get pictures from different perspectives.  Plus I think a picture or two makes my posts more interesting for my readers.  At least I'd like to think so!  Anyhow, enough yakking and on to this week's contest entry!

Last week I posted a picture of a single tree and this week I'm posting a picture of a single rose.  I took this shot today while I was out photographing a few things for another blog post and it just struck me as beautiful what with summer coming to an end and a lot of roses blooming for the final time. I made a few minor adjustments to the original picture with Picasa but nothing drastic.

A Single Red Rose

If you'd like to see more entries for this week's contest, be sure to stop by Roger's post for Creative Photography Contest Week #11 and check out the linkies!  If you'd like to enter yourself, you have until Wednesday afternoon to do so.

Feeling "Disturbed"

With my 50th birthday a mere two weeks away I suppose that my only use of the term "rock out" should have to do with a porch and a rocking chair but either I haven't gotten the memo on that yet or have chosen to ignore it as one of Jamie's favorite bands has become the one I tend to listen to more than any other right now and these guys know how to rock out and then some.

Disturbed hails from Chicago, Illinois and is made up of members David Draiman on vocals, Dan Donegan on Guitars/Electronics, Mike Wengren on Drums, and John Moyer on Bass. They've been around for well over ten years and their music contains 'pummeling riffs and jackhammer beats' that are absolutely fantastic. These guys are hard-rock music at its best so it's no wonder that Jamie is a fan as she's always been the hard-rocker in the family along with her older brother.

Jamie the Rocker
While she was home this past July we spent a lot of time playing Rock Band on the XBox and, having downloaded the available Disturbed pack, we did our best to rock out with Jamie on vocals and myself on guitar. Amanda generally stayed in the other room and rolled her eyes - especially when I would join in with the singing! Sometimes that kid is just no fun at all!

With some of her birthday money Jamie bought the band's latest CD release, Indestructible, but she wasn't really sure her father was going to let her listen to it in Florida so she left it here after recording it on a blank CD in the hopes she'd still be able to listen to it but if it got thrown away, at least it was just a copy. Having liked the songs that we played on Rock Band I decided to pop it into the CD player in the car and it's been the number one thing I listen to ever since. Generally I'll turn it on during the short commute I have to work in the morning which gives me time for one good head-banging song before I have to go face 911 and the stress of trying to provide ambulances to facilities in a timely manner when I ran out of available ones hours ago!

If this doesn't seem like the kind of band that a woman my age should be listening to what can I say but 'oh well'! I listen to a lot of stuff that women my age have probably never even heard of but perhaps that's their loss and my gain. I have always prided myself on being diversified when it comes to music and as long as it's good I'll listen to it and these guys, in my wish-I-knew-how-to-play-guitar-for-real opinion, are good!

Rock on!

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"

For some reason when I woke up yesterday I had this song stuck in my head so I decided I just had to post a video and share it. I don't know if it's because when I watched the weather forecast the night before they were talking about rain for Monday or whether it was because I had written yesterday's post about Sunday remembrances and this song refers to "leftover memories of Sunday".  Either way there it was and it went through my head all day even returning after I had listened to other songs.

For those of you too young to remember this song that became lodged in my head, it was recorded way back in 1971 by a group called The Fortunes, an English band that was formed in Birmingham in 1963 under the original name of The Cliftones.  This particular song only made it to #15 on the American charts but I remember it fondly from my youth (yes, I said youth, I was only 12 when it first aired!) and it just always struck me as the perfect Monday song.  Even better than The Carpenters' "Rainy Days and Mondays".

I'm sure everyone has suffered from one of those random songs that pops into your head for no good reason from time to time and then you end up singing bits and pieces of it all day long.  As a matter of fact, I know that Mo had "The Copa Cabana" stuck in his head awhile back as he wrote about it on his blog and then I had it stuck in my head all day - thanks, Mo!

How about you?  What song has stuck in your head recently?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Remembrances

Even though I have lived in Norwich for almost 8-1/2 years (a lifetime achievement for me!), were you to ask me where I'm from I would answer Canterbury, Connecticut as that's where my roots originate.  In spite of the fact that my Dad was career military, my parents lived in Canterbury when I was born and whenever Dad would get shipped overseas, it was back to Canterbury (or close to it) that we would return.

The vast majority of my relatives have lived in Canterbury at one time or another and a lot of them still do - including my mother.  Both of the grandparents that I grew up with made their homes in Canterbury, though initially my father's mother lived in the small town of Scotland just west of Canterbury before eventually moving to the little house across from my aunt and uncle that they built for her.

My beloved grandfather that I have written of several times before in this blog was born and raised in Canterbury - eventually building his own house across the street from his childhood home.  It was at his house that some of the best memories of my life occurred with a lot of those memories occurring on Sundays and beginning in this church.

FCC of Canterbury

This is the First Congregational Church of Canterbury and it stands on the Canterbury Green about a mile or so up from my grandfather's former house on Route 169.  This isn't the original First Congregational Church as the first building was destroyed in a fire when I was quite young but I still have memories of swinging on the bell rope as a very young child at that church when my grandfather would let us try to ring the bell for Sunday services.

My grandfather was a member in good standing of the First Congregational Church and served as Sunday School Superintendent for many years as well as being a Deacon.  He faithfully attended church every Sunday and customarily sat in the second pew on the right side.  When we were in Connecticut during the times my Dad was overseas, I went to Sunday School here and afterwards I would always meet my grandfather and attend Sunday services with him.

Sunday School classes were held in the basement of the church (now called Hart Fellowship Hall in honor of my grandfather) and after class was over I would go upstairs and wait on a bench in the vestibule until my grandfather would walk through the door.  At that time I would always jump up and give him a big hug (my grandfather gave the best hugs ever!) and then I would accompany him to "our pew" where I would always be so proud to be sitting next to him as he sang the hymns of worship in a clear, unfaltering voice and listened intently to the sermon.  I loved going to church with Gramp and truly missed it when we weren't living in the area.

Sunday services were always followed by Sunday dinner at Gramp's house.  By the time Gramp and I would return to his house after services were over the place was bustling with activity as my mother, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins were all gathered for the weekly ritual.  Before church my grandfather would always put a roast beef into the oven that was generally accompanied by the best scalloped potatoes on the East Coast and by the time we got there after church, just about everything was ready including fresh vegetables from Gramp's own garden and mashed potatoes that I generally got the honor of mashing once my Aunt Mary taught me how to get the lumps out!

The adults and youngest of the children would gather round the big dining room table while we 'older' kids got to eat at the kitchen table.  Myself, my oldest brother Mark, my cousins Steve and Dave who were brothers, and my other cousins Diana and Pat who were sisters, generally made up the group in the kitchen though sometimes one of my younger brothers or cousins might get to join us, too.  Along with the fantastic meal, we drank bottle after bottle of my grandfather's homemade root beer that had an amazing kick to it unlike any other root beer I have ever had!  After dinner there were was always a cake which was made by my grandfather that had the funkiest colored frosting imaginable and sometimes his fantastic bread pudding.

Following dinner the adults would retire to the living room while myself and the cousins would tend to kitchen clean-up and dish duty. Sometimes one of my older uncles would join in and then even doing the dishes turned into a fun task.  When the cleaning up was done we'd all spend the day at Gramp's either running around outside and driving the little tractor around the fields or, if it was winter, sledding down the hills behind the house.  Oftentimes my grandfather would pile all of us kids into his car (usually an old State Police cruiser that he had bought at auction) and we'd go for a ride somewhere in the countryside. If the weather was bad we'd stay inside playing board games like Clue or card games like Hi-Lo-Jack and no Sunday was complete until Gramp had read us the Sunday Funnies from the local newspaper. 

When my grandfather was aliveFCC of Canterbury Steeple Sundays were absolutely the best day of the week and I always looked forward to them knowing that I got to spend time with my grandfather, my cousins, and the rest of my family.  Sundays were definitely special back then but all that ended on August 22nd, 1972 when my grandfather died from leukemia long before he should have.  Thirty-six years later I can still remember how special Gramp made Sundays and how special he always made me feel. 

Whenever I go to visit my Mom, I drive past the church that I once spent so many happy hours in and that, technically, I'm still a member of.  As all things do over time, it's changed quite a bit since my grandfather attended there and I sat proudly by his side but the sight of it will always bring back many happy memories of a time when Sundays were special and a young girl knew that someone loved her unconditionally.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Random Ramblings

So it's Saturday morning and rather than do anything productive I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop and playing Word Twist on Facebook and wondering what to blog about.  Nothing in particular comes to mind so I guess we'll just go with some random stuff as it randomly pops into my head!

First off, thanks to everyone who left me well wishes on my post about my new endeavor at Mohegan Tribal Dispatch. I spent over three hours touring the complex with Frank the Fire Inspector ("Fire God") yesterday and got to see parts of the casino and complex that I never would have even thought existed!  The best part was going up to the roof of the hotel and taking in the view.  You can see a lot from 36 stories up but unfortunately it was kind of hazy so the view wasn't as good as it could be.  Still - it was impressive!  And me without my camera - darn!

Speaking of impressive, a new British Invasion will be hitting the East Coast very soon when Claire flies into Boston on September 2nd - woohoo!  She'll be staying with Mags for a few days then making her way south to visit friends in the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area before hopping on Amtrak to come visit me from the 8th to the 12th.  She insists we do something spectacular for my birthday so I'm trying to round up some friends from work to meet us at the Harp & Dragon (the closest thing we have to a pub) for the celebration of the 11th anniversary of my 39th birthday! Thanks, Erik, for putting that so succinctly!

Birthdays remind me ... while you're bopping around the Blogosphere today, if you get the chance, bop on by CrAzY Working Mom and be sure to give Tisha some encouragement.  She's reached that stage of her pregnancy where she's more than ready to give birth but her new baby girl is apparently not quite ready for her own birthday yet!  She's got everything from crib bedding on down ready for the arrival but sometimes you just can't rush Mother Nature no matter how much your back hurts, your ankles are swollen, and you can't find a comfortable position regardless of whether you're standing, sitting, or laying down!  Hang in there, Tisha - it shouldn't be long now - I hope!  Oh, and have you picked out a name yet for your new bundle of joy?  Maybe that's what she's waiting for!

Waiting ... that reminds me ... I'm trying to patiently wait until the second week of September when I'll be heading to Rhode Island to spend a week at the beach with five of my bestest blogging buddies - the aforementioned Claire, Callie from Oregon, Kai from Canada, Mo from Michigan, and the marvelous Mags from Massachusetts!  Mags recently sent us all a sample menu of what she's going to be whipping up for us in the kitchen and just this one night's menu alone was enough to make me wish September would hurry up! ...

Can you blame me for being anxious with a menu like that?  I thought not!  In addition to eating a lot of great cooking we are all hoping to take a trip out to the tip of Cape Cod one day and a ferry ride over to Block Island on another.  Somewhere in there we also have plans to haunt a local cemetery or two (Callie and Kai are fascinated with the idea of old graves) and take some beach hikes at night.  Turns out that there will be a full moon during the time we're at the beach house so no doubt we'll all be trying to get some great pictures of the moon. Either that or howling at it ... I'm not sure just which yet!

Ah well, speaking of howling, my stomach is telling me it wants something to eat so I suppose I should go try to rustle up something other than Cheez-Its!  Everyone have a fantastic weekend whether it be one that's random or organized!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beginning a Journey Around The Sun

A few weeks ago I posted this picture of the Mohegan Sun Casino and Hotel as part of my Big post for Mo's Manic Monday Meme. You may remember or you may not. You may also remember that I briefly mentioned that I would be starting a new part-time job here once I had gone through licensing and all that fun stuff - or you may not! It's okay if you don't remember, I have trouble remembering what day it is half the time so I'm sure not going to hold a leaky memory against anyone else!

At any rate, after attending Orientation and receiving my gaming license from the State of Connecticut Gaming Commission, I had my first training shift this past Tuesday evening in the communications center for Mohegan Tribal Public Safety. Even though I have been a dispatcher for more years than I care to count at this point, I must confess to being a tad bit good deal nervous when it comes to learning this new position.

At American Ambulance I dispatch ambulances and wheelchair vans - that's it - nothing else. At Mohegan Tribal I will be dispatching not only EMS personnel but also police and fire personnel as well as monitoring cameras, alarm systems, elevators and escalators, parking garages, and the gas station along with a whole host of other things that I can't even begin to remember right now! Even though I have been a Police and Fire Dispatcher in the past, that means virtually nothing to me as I begin this new job because as far as I'm concerned, I'm a rookie - plain and simple!

Along with myself, two other dispatchers were hired on for per diem work with the Tribe - one a fellow dispatcher from American and another a dispatcher at Station M in Montville and we all need to go through a good 40-hour training period - at the very least! John, the dispatcher from Montville, also came in for the training shift with me on Tuesday night so together we had a chance to be overwhelmed at the magnitude of the new job we had taken on.

I have a slight advantage over John and Kevin, my fellow dispatcher from American, in that I worked at the Mohegan Sun once before as a blackjack dealer and I'm at least a little bit familiar with parts of the casino that they aren't. As Lisa, the lead dispatcher, gave John and I a walking tour Tuesday night it was nice to see that some things hadn't changed in the 6 years since I'd been there but there was a lot that had. The Sun is just about ready to open their latest expansion - the Casino of the Wind - and there's still a lot of construction going on, especially in the area where they are building a second hotel. To remember where everything is will definitely take some time!

During my next training shift (today from 6 a.m. to noon), I'll be spending a couple of hours walking the complex with one of the Fire Inspectors as he shows me the ins and outs of the entire complex including the new construction, back-of-the-house areas, and any place else he thinks I'll need to know about. I suspect it will be more than a bit overwhelming but I'm looking forward to it as the Inspector I'll be with also works as a part-time dispatcher at American and he is the King of Snark as well as one of the funniest guys I know. Don't tell him I said that, though, I don't want him to get a swollen head though from what Lisa was saying the other night I get the feeling that he may already have one as he's not "just a" Fire Inspector at the Sun but more like a Fire God. He's been there since the place first opened and he knows where everything is - everything. It's hard not to be impressed.

In addition to knowing the above mentioned Fire God and having worked with Lisa when she was a part-time dispatcher at the Norwich Police Department many years ago, I have the pleasure of being able to work once again with some of the guys and gals that I have dispatched in the past. Seems like when a lot of officers retire after their 20-years at Norwich PD, they head down and become Tribal Police Officers at Mohegan - Artie, Joe, Diane, Elaine, Mike, and Todd are all there as well as the man who used to be my very first Lieutenant at NPD - Frank. He's been the Commander at Mohegan Tribal PD since its inception but seemed just as I remembered him when I went in for my interview (though maybe a tiny bit grayer!). In addition to the officers I know, there are also several paramedics I've had the pleasure of working with - Mark, Lindsay, Jeff, and Eddie - who work for the Mohegan Tribal Fire Department.

The Mohegan Mobil Station as seen at night

I'm looking forward to being a police dispatcher again and while having some familiar faces and voices at my new job will be great, I still think it's going to be rather intimidating for quite some time. It's always been my contention that anyone who takes on a dispatch position should treat that position with respect and a bit of nervousness as every dispatch center is different and no matter how long you've been doing it, you've always got something new to learn. I figure I've got plenty to learn and am plenty nervous about it but to me that's a good thing. Nerve-wracking but good!

Oh, and I almost forgot! One of the best things about all this is that because I am an employee of the Tribe and not the Casino itself, I can still gamble there should I choose to! The only stipulation is that I don't do it on any of my breaks but I'm sure that won't be a problem as I only test my luck, or lack thereof, every so often but I do like to go with my Mom from time to time plus the Beach Bunch that I'm spending a week with in September have expressed an interest in going to the Sun. I've shown it off to Mo and Mags once last October but I'll be happy to show it off again to everyone in September as the Sun beats "the wonder of it all" every time as far as I'm concerned! And I would say that whether I worked there or not!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Houston, We Have Tomatoes!

The Tomato Plant It's been a long time coming but I can finally reap some of the fruits of my labors as the tomato plant I started growing last May is at last yielding some honest-to-goodness vine-ripened tomatoes!  

With the way the weather has been going this summer and all the rain that we were having, I was beginning to despair of ever actually getting any edible tomatoes from my plant as a lot of people were having problems with tomatoes rotting on the vines and what-not.  Perhaps having grown my tomato plant in a container on the porch made a difference as the plant wasn't subject to the elements like a traditional plant in a garden would be and rather than it being drenched on a constant basis, I had to make sure to water it at least every other day so it wouldn't dry out. My First Tomatoes

These three little beauties are the first pick of the vine and I'm as proud as any kid entering their own homegrown goodness into one of the local fairs!   Granted, they are certainly nowhere near good enough to earn a ribbon, blue or otherwise, at the fair as they aren't very big and the top two need to ripen up just a bit more but to me they are definitely winners! 

Sliced Maters with SaltOf course, the proof is in the eating so with my mouth watering for a taste of vine-ripened goodness I sliced up the ripest tomato, arranged it on a plate, and sprinkled it with salt for one quick photo before sitting down with a fork and enjoying every single mouthful. Let me just say - it was absolutely delicious and I can't wait for the others to ripen up a bit more so I can eat those, too!

No wonder people like to garden - it gives you a sense of accomplishment that going into a grocery store and buying something off of the shelf never could.  Perhaps next year I'll try growing some peas, too!

I've Got a Question - You've Got an Answer

I really wasn't planning on watching much - if any - of the Olympics as I very rarely turn the TV on at home except when I want to check the weather or watch a recorded episode of "The Closer", but somehow I found myself getting sucked into the Games and turning the TV on more than I have in the past six months to catch an event here and there.

Gymnastics, swimming, track and field, and even the occasional beach volleyball match caught my attention. Which brings me to a question but not THE question of this post ... why do the women wear skimpy bikinis while the guys wear long shorts and t-shirts? What is up with that? The men get eye-candy and we women get nothin'? That is so NOT fair!

I watched in admiration while Michael Phelps won his gold medals wondering all the while if Mark Spitz was sitting at home watching the TV while drinking a beer and thinking "well, it was a good run"; I got a lump in my throat as I watched the Chinese Men's Gymnastics Team hold hands in unity before their Gold Medal Ceremony; and I held my breath each time a diver came too close to the springboard narrowly missing splitting his or her head open like Greg Louganis in the 1988 Olympics.

I have studiously avoided paying any attention to the Medal Count as I just don't think that's what the Games are supposed to be about. The whole "my country is better than your country" aspect of that really puts me off. All of these athletes are superb no matter what country they come from and where they call home.

So, after all that, we finally get to the real question of this post and that's -

Did you watch the Olympics or did you do a better job of avoiding them than I did?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Much-Loved Sheriff's Deputy Dies in Early Morning Burglary Attempt

In an incident that has been called a "terrible nightmare", a 15-year veteran of the Lafourche Sheriff's Office in Louisiana, was transported early this morning to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead after being run over by a burglary suspect in a stolen truck.

Deputy Sheriff Martha Woods Shareef, age 53, had responded to a local convenience store following the activation of a burglar alarm when the store was broken into at approximately 2:30 a.m.  Upon arrival at the scene, Deputy Shareef approached a male suspect who ran over and dragged her with a stolen vehicle as she approached. Dispatchers heard a loud scream over her mobile radio and then shortly after an employee of the convenience store presumably took the injured deputy's radio and spoke to dispatchers advising them that an officer was down and needed an ambulance while also giving a very good description of the vehicle.

The suspect, described as "a monster" by Sheriff Craig Webre was captured approximately four hours later after leading police on a high-speed chase, ditching the truck, and swimming across the bayou where he hid under a house to evade arrest. Webre said his deputies are working to gather evidence against the suspect. “We are piecing everything together to present to the D.A.’s office,” he said. “I hope this results in the execution of the person responsible for taking Martha’s life and I just hope I'm alive when he breathes his last breath on his journey to hell."

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, while calling Woods' death a “terrible nightmare", Sheriff Webre said, “I keep thinking I will wake up, and it will not be true. There are hardly words that would adequately express the sentiments of my whole office and myself. Losing an officer is such an unbelievably traumatizing event,” he added. “Martha was the epitome of a person who overcame every challenge, an example of someone who was universally respected.”

"She will be sorely missed. She was a girl who sang the star-spangled banner at all of our functions that we had at the sheriff’s office. She was much loved," Public Information Officer Larry Weidel said.

Deputy Shareef, who was well known for her smile and her singing voice, served as a patrol officer, former D.A.R.E. officer, and a patrol supervisor during her Sheriff’s Office tenure. She is survived by her husband, Rashid, an adult daughter, two sisters, and five brothers as well as an entire community that is shocked and stunned at this senseless act of violence against one of their own.

I send my thoughts and prayers to Deputy Sharee's family as well as members of the law-enforcement community, her church family and other community members who knew her.  May this brave officer rest in peace.

Creative Photography #10

Tree at Fort Griswold
It's time once again for Roger's Creative Photography Contest and once again I'm entering just  under the wire but as long as I get my entry in by Wednesday, it's all good - right, Roger?  Truth be told, I was going to sit this week out but my good blogging buddy Princess Patti talked me into entering a photograph again this week so I acquiesced and dug through my pictures.

My past contest entries seem to have been mostly landscapes so this week I thought I would try something a little different and go with a single tree.  No moon, no clouds, no sunset - just a tree!  However, I must confess that this picture was taken at night which shouldn't surprise anyone who's been reading my blog and knows I've taken to prowling the countryside by the light of the moon in search of pictures.

There's a good chance that this tree may make a reappearance in September as I'm working on a post of a historical nature and this tree is part of that however it will probably reappear in a slightly different incarnation! Be sure to look for it!

In the meantime, click on over to the Creative Photography blog and take a look at this week's other contest entries.  You can tell Roger I sent you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"I think I shall miss you most of all." ~ Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

As a former military brat, member of the Air Force myself, and someone who has moved around a good amount over the years (ten states as of this count), I've had to adjust to a lot of people coming and going through my life.  A good part of our lives is spent meeting people either through our schools, our churches, our hobbies, our jobs, our lives in general ... but life is change and it's a sure thing that a good majority of those people that we meet are only going to be in our lives for a little while before they move out of it in one way or another.  We graduate from high school or college, we move to another city or state, we stop taking that class or participating in that hobby, or perhaps we find another job.

Some of the people that we meet become faded memories while others make an indelible impression on our hearts and our lives that stand the test of time and/or distance.  Those are the people that it becomes the hardest to say good-bye to and even though I should be used to such things by now I'm not really and if I try to tell you otherwise then you can certainly call me a liar because that's exactly what I am.

I've had to say goodbye to an awful lot of people that I've cared about over the years and lately I've been having to say it way too frequently at work as people who have come to mean a lot to me are advancing their careers and leaving American Ambulance behind.  I know that in the big scheme of things that's how life works and I certainly don't begrudge these people the chance to move on to a job with possibly better wages and benefits that may or may not be closer to home; to head off for schooling that will help them to reach their final career goal; to do what's best for their families; or to just make a change because they feel they need one in their lives.  No, I don't begrudge them those things at all but that doesn't mean I'm not going to miss them and that going to work won't be quite a bit less enjoyable then it was when they were there.

Change is inevitable and is oftentimes a good thing, but that doesn't mean that change doesn't hurt a bit when someone you've come to think of as more than just a fellow employee works his or her last shift with you.  Monday night I worked my last shift with two of those someones and my life now feels a bit emptier for having done so and I know that when their days to work roll around again and they aren't there, there's going to be a hole there that no one else can fill.

This is JM and Seth - I believe I may have mentioned them a time or two before in previous posts about EMS Week or other work-related things; I think I might also have mentioned that they didn't make guys who looked like this back when I was their age - or maybe I thought I just mentioned that!  Seth is the one who is doing a Howie Mandel impression and seems to have misplaced his gorgeous hair but he assures me that it will be growing back in, especially considering his wife hates the current Jean-Luc-Picard-wannabe look!

These guys are not only darned cute but they have two of the best personalities I have met in a long time.  They first met working at American Ambulance but you'd never have known it as they acted like they had known each other forever; they could be brothers, they could be cousins, or they could just be great friends who look and act quite a bit alike.   They were also two of my brightest rays of sunshine when a day was starting to get a bit overwhelming and dismal.  They made me laugh, they made me smile, and they made me feel like I was a great dispatcher - in other words, they made me feel good about myself and my job.

Seth is leaving American to go work at a rival ambulance company that just happens to be a five-minute commute from his home and which offered him a deal he couldn't refuse.  He recently got his paramedic license and will be using it to help save lives in northeastern Connecticut, which is fortunately where my mother lives.  Should I feel a bout of chest pain or difficulty breathing coming on, I'm going to drive to my Mom's house and call 911 from there as long as I know Seth is on duty!  Even if I feel like I'm going to die, I won't care as long as he's the one doing the patient care!

JM is going to be attending paramedic school in Hartford so he is leaving American on a full-time basis in order to pursue his paramedic license.  It's a grueling school but I've no doubt he's up to the challenge and will be an excellent paramedic when he's done with the program.  He's going to try to pick up shifts at American when he can but I get the sneaky feeling his schedule is not going to be any too free all that often.  Based on that, it feels like he is leaving, too.

To have "lost" one of these guys was bad enough; to have lost both of them ... well, suffice it to say that I am in mourning!  Even though I am happy for both of them and wish them both luck on their chosen paths, I will miss them both something fierce.

Despite my sadness though, what's a final shift without a cake?  Seth had mentioned before that he loved chocolate and that no one had ever made him a cake (which I still find very hard to believe!) so I made a chocolate cake with a chocolate cream cheese filling and chocolate frosting.

Aesthetically it most definitely wasn't the best-looking cake I had ever made but the boys seemed to like it and we made sure to have some nice cold milk to wash it down with because what's a rich chocolate cake with chocolate filling and frosting without milk?!  Pretty overwhelming, that's what!

Despite all of the chocolate, though, it really was bittersweet for me as I was happy that they liked the cake but sad about the occasion that warranted it.  When they went back out on the road to transfer a patient out of a local hospital emergency room back to her nursing home, my last radio transmission to Seth was darned near impossible to get out around the lump in my throat because I already missed him even though he has assured me he's "only a text message away" and won't be gone from my life forever.

Still ... goodbyes are hard and they don't get any easier as you grow older.  Experience has taught me that.  I am really going to miss these guys.

Good luck to you both, Seth and JM.  Thank you for making my job that much more enjoyable and for making me smile and laugh even when I thought I didn't want to.  You're the best and when I say that, this time there's no way anyone can call me a liar because it's true!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Norwich By Night

2 There is just about nothing worse than sitting in dispatch and looking out at the beautiful evening spread out in the city below me and knowing that I'd much rather be out there with my camera than sitting inside answering 911 calls. No offense to those who need help but when the sky looks like this outside - that's where I want to be!

As I drove home Saturday night it was almost 11:30 but the full moon was shining so brightly and it was such a beautiful night that I knew I had to pick up my camera and head back out the door in search of some night shots. After grabbing my trusty Kodak Z712, my tripod, and extra batteries (just in case) I decided that myNSH by moonlight first stop was going to be in the vicinity of the old Norwich State Hospital. It's just down the road from me and I've always wanted to try to take some pictures there at night. Of course, you can't just stroll around on the grounds as it's posted about every 50 feet with "State Property - No Trespassing!" signs and there are security guards who patrol in SUVs who make sure that's enforced but I figured if I parked my car down by the Hebrew cemetery and walked back up the road in front of the grounds, then I wouldn't be trespassing. After all, there is a sidewalk so it should be legal, right?

After parking under the old tree near the cemetery, I walked about 500 yards back up the road and found a spot across from the old Administration Building (which I've posted pictures of before) and set up my tripod. The amount of traffic still out and about was ridiculous but no oNorwich State Hospital at Night for Mone stopped to ask me what on earth I was doing so I figured I was okay, especially as there were no security officers in sight!
Norwich State Hospital has a reputation for being haunted, which is understandable considering the number of lost souls who once made their home there, but as I stood in the dark with moonlight streaming down on me I didn't feel creeped out or anything like that. I think I might have felt better if I'd had someone with me but I wasn't feeling panicky so much as I was a little nervous that some security officer may come along and question me even though I wasn't doing anything wrong! Still, I wouldn't have been surprised to come home, put the pictures on the computer, and find strange Full moon over trees2things on them. As it turned out, there wasn't anything unusual but it would have been cool if there were! Guess I'll have to go try again sometime!

After taking about a dozen pictures, I walked back to my car, debated shooting some pictures at the cemetery but then dismissed that idea, and headed back towards downtown Norwich. Considering some of the people that walk around downtown at night, I think I was more nervous there then outside of a reportedly haunted abandoned asylum but obviously nothing happened or I wouldn't be writing this post today!

Marina at night2 My first stop was Howard T. Brown Park next to the Norwich Marina, a spot I've gone to before on a full moon as I really like trying to take pictures of things reflecting off of the water. This picture shows the marker and tree next to the boat launch which is usually quite busy regardless of what time it is day or night as a lot of people like to fish on the Thames River. Surprisingly there were no boats being launched last night but there were some people at the park fishing off the docks or hanging out at the gazebo. I figured that as long as I left them alone, they'd leave me alone and that worked out just fine!

Looking down the Thames2 The moon was so beautiful that even though it was getting to be close to 1:00 a.m., it wasn't what you could call dark at all. This picture was taken from the dock looking down the river towards where it meets up with the Long Island Sound some 15 miles away. I really like the way the river looks like glass with the lights from nearby buildings reflecting off of it. Norwich just looks so much nicer at night!
Someone's Ship Came In!Speaking of nice, it looks like someone's ship came in while they were there to meet it! This ship has been docked at the marina since Friday evening and it sure is nice as well as very, very big! I would imagine that it costs more to fill up its tanks then I make in a half a year or longer! All I can say is that it must be nice to have money ... I'm sure that I'll never know myself!

Norwich's City Hall BuildingI decided that since I was out and about and it was such a nice night that I would make a few more stops before heading home so I turned my car and camera towards Norwich City Hall, a very beautiful building regardless of the time of day! The only problem I have with it is that there's just no way to seem to get a good angle for a picture that doesn't show some sort of street sign or another. The City Fathers really ought to look into that and rectify that as I'm sure lots of people take pictures of this gorgeous building, though most probably do it at a "normal" time of the day! If you look closely, you can see by the time on the clock tower that it was about 1:15 when I took this picture but I had one more stop I wanted to make before I finally put the camera away and went home.

The Water Street BridgeOn my commute to work, I have to cross over the Water Street bridge which connects the Laurel Hill side of Norwich - where I live - to downtown Norwich. As it was falling apart, the bridge was rebuilt a couple of years ago and is really very pretty. Antique lighting was used and every summer the City hangs baskets of petunias from each light. This picture doesn't really do the bridge justice at all but until I can figure out a better angle, it will have to do! Even at 1:15 in the morning there were a lot of cars crossing over the bridge so it really wasn't a good idea to try standing in the middle of the road to get a picture! Don't people ever go to bed??

Even though there were a lot of other places that I would like to have explored and taken some night pictures of, I finally decided that common sense should really prevail and that I should pack it in and go home. After all, my aunt reads my blog and she's going to tell my mother that I'm wandering around Norwich late at night to which I'm sure my mother will roll her eyes and decide that I am plain nuts! What I really need is to find someone who's willing to go out and prowl around with me at night as I'm most definitely a night person and have found that I really enjoy taking night shots. The world just looks so much different when the sun goes down and the moon comes up; it takes on an almost surreal quality and let's you look at things differently. Personally, I like what I've been seeing!

The moon over a tree

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Steeplechasing" in Norwich, Part II

What better day to do a little more "Steeplechasing" around Norwich than on a Sunday? Technically I suppose I really should be sitting in one of these churches on a Sunday rather than just displaying pictures of them but my second-ex kind of soured me on organized religion so now I prefer to do my communing with the Lord on my own but that's a story for another day ... or maybe not!

This post is Part II of a series of posts that was inspired by my friend Patti who first chased down steeples in her town of Ansonia.  I posted Part I on Friday just in case anyone missed it and would like to scroll down.  I'm not exactly sure how many parts there will be in this series, I guess it all depends on how many steeples I manage to chase down here in Norwich and perhaps the surrounding countryside!

In my own humble opinion, New England has always been home to many, many beautiful churches so no doubt there are churches and steeples galore to be photographed but I can guarantee you that I won't be getting to all of them!  Perhaps there will be some other New Englanders out there inspired to photograph and post a Steeplechase or two of their own ... or maybe even in other parts of the country?  Hint, hint!

First up today is this very small little church that I found tucked away on Park Street ...
National Spiritualist Church Norwich
This is the National Spirtualist Church of Norwich and it comes complete with a cute little steeple and bell ...
National Spirtualist the Steeple
I found this next church located on Convent Avenue behind the picturesque Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church that I featured in my first Steeplechase post. This is Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church which I never even knew existed until I went out taking pictures!
St Nicholas Orthodox Church
I'm not sure if there's a bell tucked away inside this steeple but I really like the cross on the top!
Steeple of St. Nicholas
The last church of today's post is the First Congregational Church of Norwichtown located near Meetinghouse Rocks across from the historic Norwichtown Green ...
NorwichtownFirst Cong Church
I've actually been inside this church when attending the wedding of a friend back in 2002 but I had completely forgotten that it didn't have the traditional spire-style steeple until I went to take pictures! There is a lovely gold weather vane located at the top of this tower.
NC Steeple2

That's it for today's "Steeplechase"; I'll have Part III up sometime this week but in the meantime I'm going to go chase down a hamburger, hot dog, and potato salad over at Jason & Amy's as it's a beautiful day and I actually don't have to go to work for once on a Sunday - woohoo!

Everyone have a great day and I hope I've inspired you to chase down some steeples of your own!