Family

Teenage Naivete in a Dangerous World

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The other day there was an article in the paper about two teenage girls who ran away from home. The story first appeared on the weekend, only it was regarding one missing girl. As the police began to investigate and ask questions, it turns out the girl, and her friend decided to run away from home. One of the girls was last seen hitchhiking in California. I see stories like this and I just shake my head in bewilderment. What are these girls thinking? “Human/Child Trafficking is one of the …

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Watch Your Kids

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When I was a kid, one of the stories I heard a lot was about how my older brother Dan, when he was a toddler, drank ant poison. My other brother Jim, two years older than Dan, told my mother and she took him to the hospital. His stomach was pumped and he suffered no ill effects. The poison had a sugary taste, it seemed kid friendly, and that was what attracted my brother. My mom said that was a lesson for her that you couldn’t take your eyes off …

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Protecting Kids Against Predators

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  Years ago when I was in college and renting an apartment with two other girls, we were burglarized. A window had been left open when we all left for the day and the thief crawled in, stole what ever he could stuff in his pockets and fled. He took change, some jewelry and a lot of peace of mind. We all felt so violated. One simple thing would have prevented the theft and the bad feelings, we should have closed the window.   Isn’t that how it often is? …

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One More Trip (Re-Post in Honor of my Mom)

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I suppose that when a loved one passes, those left behind often have a “one more” wish. One more talk, one more hug, one more day, etc. For me when I learned my mother’s cancer was out of control, my one more was one more trip. My mother was an inspiration to me in so many ways. She loved her family, she loved life, she appreciated things, even small, insignificant things and she loved to travel. My sister and I were the youngest and when we moved out of the …

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About Friends

About Friends

When I was a kid in Girl Scouts we used to sing a song that went something like this: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” I liked that song, sang it often because the tune was easy for me to carry. But it’s only as I get older that I really appreciate how true the line is and how special beyond explanation are good friends. Old or new, good friends should be cherished and appreciated. I recently regained touch with an old …

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About Teenagers

About Teenagers

The other day I was sitting in a sandwich shop eating lunch. It was after three in the afternoon so school was out. There’s a high school just up the street from the sandwich place so consequently the shop was packed with students. In the group closest to where I sat, there was a guy and a girl hanging all over each other, they were probably about 13 or 14 and they were taking pictures with a phone, I guess trying to see how close they could get their faces …

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A Light Goes out in the Greatest Generation: Dedicated to my father, Rocco James Cantore

A Light Goes out in the Greatest Generation: Dedicated to my father, Rocco James Cantore

Rocco James Cantore 11/28/1916 – 04/10/2012 My dad was a member of the greatest generation. Born in 1916 he served stateside in the air force as an airplane mechanic (B26) during WWII. He met my mom while he was in the service, followed her home on the bus and they were married three months later. She must have seen something in him because my mom came from tough beginnings; her father left her mother during the depression with five kids to raise. In my dad mom found a man who …

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Abby the Labby and Her Training

Abby the Labby and Her Training

My home in the mountains is surrounded by forest. There are hiking trails everywhere and a few wide, clear fire roads to hike on. A few years ago, a man from the neighborhood went on a hike. Not a big deal, there are hikers up there all the time. But this man went on a day when the weather was supposed to get bad, a storm was moving in. He left his house on foot when things were clear and was in the forest quickly. But soon, the fog and …

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Seeing Los Angeles Through My Mother’s Eyes

Seeing Los Angeles Through My Mother's Eyes

My mother was born in 1924. She grew up in Los Angeles, sometimes living in the city proper, sometimes in an outlying area. Her LA is vastly different from the LA I see in my minds eye. The LA I see is a crush of freeways, traffic, and bad tempered drivers. The freeway transitions are always jammed, the bridges and signs covered with graffiti, and parking costs more than lunch. Mom’s LA was before freeways. It was a wonder world of streetcars, the Big Red Cars and the yellow line, …

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Thoughts on Aging (And a Little Venting)

Thoughts on Aging (And a Little Venting)

One day while I was working in a black and white police car on patrol, a dispatcher sent me a message over the car computer asking me if I could help someone with a non-police problem. A very old, and very confused, woman had called 911 because she couldn’t turn the hot water off in her tub and her son was an hour away. It was a quiet afternoon, so I said sure. I went to the apartment where the distraught woman met me at the door. “I’ve tried and …

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