Father’s Day ~ The Men In My Life

Here are the five men, who shaped my life. In their own ways, they were my father or a father figure to me. They have all passed from this life to the next, but their memory and the love they gave me, live on in my heart

My Dad. He was an amazingly talented musician and he passed along his love of music to me. Dad was devoted to our community. He played the organ at both the Congregational Church and the Catholic Church in North Falmouth.


He was the Music Director at Highfield Theater for many years. He also was a summer police officer in our town. And when we went to local parks for cook-outs, Dad was the burger meister! He has been gone a long time now, but I still think of him often and miss his wry sense of humor.

My Uncle George. He was the father who taught me everything growing up. How to swim, how to dive, how to bowl, how to hike, how to play cards, and how to love unconditionally.


When I was about 7 years old I cut my toe badly at the beach and he carried me all the way home! And helped Mom drive me to the doctor’s office for stitches. He was not a loud man, but in his quiet loving way, I just knew that I was one of his special kids.

img098Uncle George and me at my wedding to Jack.

In fact, when Jack and I married, Uncle George walked me down the aisle. I miss this sweet, loving, wonderful man!

My Uncle Bob. He was fun to be with. But, he required that I act like a mini adult too. That was fine. I adored him and just wanted to spend time, quiet time, with him.

uncle bob

I did a lot of things with him and his wife, Aunt Cynthia. I remember being on his boat, or when they took me to their home in Quincy and to museums. And I recall my Uncle once got a monkey. Cute, but it didn’t last for long.

My Papa Fred. Another quiet man, who was quite old when I lived with him and Grandma. But he showed me something important.


What real love between a man and a woman was all about. I would watch Papa and Grandma sitting on their sofa watching Lawrence Welk. Papa would hold Grandma’s feet in his lap and stroke them gently. He simply adored Grandma and had all of his life. He no longer had the will to live when she died and passed eight months later.

My Papa Sam, my Dad’s Dad. I didn’t know him as well, but I remember him taking me to the Prudential Building in the summer to listen to the Barbershop Quartets sing.


I remember sitting on his lap and listening to him sing along. He had such a beautiful voice.

These 5 men helped to shape the woman I grew up to become. Each is special in their own way, and now, each is greatly missed.

Happy Father’s Day! I remember you all with love and many memories that make me smile!

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Being Thankful

Recently, I read a story a man had written where he fussed and fumed about his father never buying him any good Christmas gift. Well, I shook my head in disbelief.

You see, my Dad was a really busy man. He taught school 5 days a week, he taught piano after school to so many of the kids I went to school with. He also played the organ at the local Congregational Church, was the director of the Senior and Junior Choirs, and also directed the Handbell Choir. Each year Dad directed a Christmas Carol sing on our town’s Village Green. Not to mention playing the organ for many weddings and funerals.

So each year Dad would go down to the local Pharmacy or 7/11 Grocery Store, whichever was open on Christmas morning and did his Christmas shopping for us.

img514Here I am, at the age of 12, on Christmas Morning with the gifts that Dad got for me. Notecards, a horoscope book, hat and gloves, a little kitty, and two dolls.

I wish I could sit down with that man who complained and tell him how lucky I feel that my Dad went out before I woke on Christmas to get these things for me. He did it every year. Sometimes I got life-saver candies, sometimes some Christmas candy. Sometimes chapsticks. Sometimes a teen magazine. But he shopped on his own and bought these things for me all by himself.

My Dad did the very best he could, all on his own, and I feel like I was pretty lucky!

Mom did the big shopping. And it was pretty good too. Mom also cooked the best Christmas breakfasts and Christmas dinners. She was a traditional Mum.

But all in all, looking back now, I think I was pretty blessed all around. I didn’t have to have my Dad buy me the world to show me that he loved me. His Christmas Day shopping sprees mean more to me now than he will ever know.


I love Linemen!

I was so grateful to hear that my friend and breeder of the fabulous Heidi now has power and water! This is truly amazing!

I’m not sure how often any of us think about our electricity. I mean, well we think about it when we lose power, but do we truly appreciate when the men and women who go out after hurricanes and tornados and get the poles back up and the wires strung, bringing light into the homes of so many?

I’ve watched and learned and I have seen these people bringing light back to a community filled with darkness.

You Electric Linemen, are my heroes!


November 1st

Here we are. It’s November first and before you know it, 2021 will be over. I am still astounded at how we actually got to November so quickly. For me, this year has simply sped by!

On Friday I went into my hairstylist’s salon and had a morning of beauty. I had my first manicure in years, and she revived my hair and by the time I left, I felt wonderfully renewed!  I am always grateful when I can take a few hours and get spoiled like this! And I thank my stylist, Rebecca. She always makes me feel spoilt!

After that, I took off to go and see Mandy, Matt, and the kids! It had been a while, and I’d missed them a lot.

251199180_636648094160564_8142376043744435376_n (2) copySavi & Oma

The kids showed me their games and we talked a lot. And after dinner, and a movie the kids and I crashed while their parents had a date night.

251222051_1763565073836476_1942447775671063765_n (2) copyOma & Quinn

I do admit to falling asleep during the movie. It seems lately I am just not getting enough sleep. So when a cartoon movie comes on, it is “snore city” for me!

The next day I left as the kids were getting ready for their Karate Class, as I needed to go and get gas ($308. a gallon) and get some food items at a cheaper, and better-stocked grocery store.

Of course, this was all done in the pouring rain, but I look at it like this, at least I got my car clean!

Of course, the next day was Halloween and the kids had so much fun dressing up and going out to Trick or Treat with their friends.

249588294_10227411726260542_4336663325132952949_nSavi & Quinn in their ghoulish costumes!

248085682_10227411727020561_7013899046720677103_nGhostly Savannah Skeleton Ghoul!

248439760_10227411725780530_3645333722983690242_nNinja Monster Ghoul Quinn!

Once again, we had no trick or treaters at our house. With a 600 ft. driveway, which is pitch black at night, none of the kids dare come down to see us. Jack insisted we get candy “just in case”, so I bought his Reeces Peanut Butter Cups. We had no trick or treaters once again! So Jack gets lucky and has his favorite candy.

So, November is starting on a happy note and for that I am thankful! Here’s wishing you all a wonderful and joyous November!


Getting it Done!

So Friday found me on the road to see my new Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.

To say she is lovely, warm, efficient and the only medical professional who has ever treated me would be an understatement. Amy is all of those things and more.

I went in with a list of 5 problems I am having, and she went down the list and seriously addressed each and every one of them!

Finally! A medical professional that actually listens to me and is striving to get a handle on everything.

By the time I left her office, I had prescriptions for a UTI (yes, again), an appointment to have an MRI, and a knee x-ray. There were other things I needed her help with and she was so glad to help me.

The ride home for me was really busy. It was bumper to bumper from our tolls on route 93 north. This lasted for probably 15-20 miles. I wasn’t at all surprised because it’s a holiday weekend and everyone is coming up to go to local fairs and others to close up their summer camps.

I stopped to pick up my mail at the Post Office, only to find my little town in all stupidity has blocked off several more parking spaces. Now they have blocked any space for the disabled to park close enough to the building. Isn’t that against the law? It infuriated me.

A woman I know was defending it because a woman was killed in the crosswalk a few years back. I am sorry for this. But, it was a series of tragic events that led to it.

First, the woman was reading the mail in her hands and not looking as she crossed the road. The teenager who hit her was using his cellphone to text.

You get the picture. It was a rather unfortunate series of events. And now, now it’s making it difficult to get into the Post Office for most people. It’s making a local shipping store (which also has mailboxes) look better and better.

I came home to Lili who greeted me quite happily, and Jack, who was already eating his lunch.

All in all, Friday was a major success!

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So Much To Be Thankful & Grateful For

I was thinking today about all the people and places and things I am grateful for. You know, over the last year I have really reevaluated what is important to me and what I am grateful for.

One of the biggest things I am thankful for is my Cell Phone. With my Cell Phone, I can call anyone I want, talk as long as I want and not feel so separate from everyone during the Covid Pandemic.

I am also grateful for my home. I have a roof over my head, in a Town that is safe, and during the Virus our merchants have done all they could do to provide us food, fuel, and household supplies in a safe way.

I am grateful for the good health I have had over the last year. Aside from a few minor colds, I am well, and able to care for Jack and the hounds!

I am grateful for my family. As wonderful and crazy and distant as they all are. Somehow we have made it through this time, still loving each other and still being there for each other, even if it is only by phone, text, or Facetime.

I am also grateful for Streaming Services that have allowed me to be entertained during this time.

And I am also thankful and grateful for a small group of women from my original WW Class, who, along with me, were determined to watch their weight and stay healthy during this time. We met outside until the snow blew, and then met online for Zoom Meetings.

There is more I am thankful for, but the list is so long I would be here all night listing it all. I will just say that I feel very grateful to have found the life I have after a year of total change.

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Lucky Sisters

When I was born many years ago, my mother became quite ill. Her thyroid quit on her and depression set in. Imagine having a brand new baby and being in the throes of depression?

My grandmother came to care for her daughter and the family, but a son-in-law, two other children, and a new baby presented her with a lot to do.


I was a sweet baby, but let’s face it, I was a 9 pound-plus baby who liked to eat, even back then.

Thus, my five and a half-year-old sister became my mother. She changed diapers, fed me my bottle, and cooed at me and lulled me to sleep.

It took my mother a long time to recover, and by the time she was stable on thyroid medication, I had bonded with my sister.


When I would fall and have a boo-boo I wanted Mel. If I woke in the night with a bad dream, I wanted Mel. I think, looking back, it must have been hard for my mother to see that her baby, didn’t come running to her.

But you see, I was very lucky. Melodie was the best thing that ever happened to me.

My Mom suffered from deep depression most of the remainder of her life. The dark moods often came when I would need a mother the most, and for me, Melodie was always there.

I joke with her kids that I was her first child, but in reality, I really was. She would give me baths, read to me, and calm my fears and pains. She even snuck into the hospital to see me, when at age four I had my appendix out.


I have not seen her since Christmas. Although we talk on the phone every day. In fact, if life gets crazy and I don’t call, she worries!  And if I don’t hear from her, I also get concerned.

Sometimes if you are lucky, and your birth mother cannot be there for you, due to illness or perhaps they were young and unable to care for you, another woman will step in and fill that role.


For me, it was my sister, Melodie. Young as she was, she stepped up to the plate. She loves with her whole heart and she loves deeply. How fortunate I have been to have her in my life.

I love you, Melodie!

Maribeth Dackel

Crazy Busy!

Forgive me, dear readers, for not being on top of things in the last week. I’ve been pretty busy, and by the time evening rolls around, all I am thinking about is climbing into my cool, comfortable, bed.

Excessive heat combined with errands and mail runs, and then laundry, groceries, and dogs. Well, heck, at 61 I admit, I’m tired!

But something happened today that hasn’t happened in a long time. I heard my cell phone ring and I was doing laundry in the basement, so I ran up the stairs. Yes, you read that right. I RAN up the stairs, and best of all, I did not collapse at the top of them!

I also had another wonderful moment today! I am now 47.4 pounds down! Now this made me pretty happy, especially when I put a picture from a year ago next to my most recent picture. I feel like I am starting to look like the Me, I feel I am.

June 2019 July 2020

On the left is June 2019 and on the right July 2020

I still have a ways to go in my plan for weight loss and better health, but I am really proud of what I have accomplished!


Finding Joy

During Covid-19, many people are having trouble finding the joy in life. Right now, life is still hard.

Many people are still not working, and many are working from home which can be its own source of stress. Long hours, children running around in a state of summer boredom, and those darn meals and dishes that don’t seem to ever get done by themselves.

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I’m dealing with a husband, who has been in lockdown since mid-March. He has gotten short-tempered and sees very little joy in his life. He yells a lot. He yells at the TV and at me. Last night I had just about had it.

Early on, during the Covid-19 Lockdown, I admit to being scared, literally a wreck! I would wake in the morning with aching jaws after clenching my teeth all night long. Thankfully, I have a bite guard, or all my teeth would be cracked by now!

Anyway, I decided that I needed to find joy in each day of my life. Be it big or small.

Certainly, the success I have had on the WW Plan with losing weight has helped me, and I worked hard creating good meals for us and trying very hard to live in the land of light.

Once I began to see my grandchildren every few weeks, that also has helped.

My daughter’s family has isolated very strictly like I have. Hygiene is the most important thing for me and for them. So expanding our bubble to include each other has been such a joy!

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Tending to, and finding a return to health for Arnie and Anneliese, although stressful at the start, makes me feel so very happy.

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Things in the world are crazy and wild, but I try to stay grounded and remember the love, the joy, and the hope for a better future for us all.

I know it isn’t like this for everyone, and I wish I could help them find their own Joy, but this is something they must do for themselves.


Have you been able to find your joy during Covid-19?

Why Tuesday Is The Best Day Of My Week

During this horrid Covid-19 lock-down there were not too many days I would have termed as my good days. It was a very narrowly lived life. I fixed three meals a day and would go out once a week to collect mail and groceries, before racing home and jumping into the shower to de-germ myself.

My State has been doing very well. We have been on the way down with new cases, with only 15 new patients on Monday and Tuesday. Best of all, there have been no deaths in a few days!


Last Tuesday my back row group of WW Attendees, my pals, my gals, my friends, all met up at a local park in my town. We get there early and bring our own lawn chair to sit on. We share the Big Lake (Lake Winnipesaukee) with the ducks and geese and the Ultra-Lite Planes, and we sit there talking and smiling at each other, while we enjoy being together once again.


Most of us have been devoted friends since 2008. We gathered a few more into our group and we share our ups and downs and struggles, and best of all, when the chips are down for one of us, the others are there!


In fact, after my Staph Infection, I quit WW. I told the girls I wasn’t coming back. I was miserable, depressed, and in pain, both physically and emotionally.

My girls arranged a lunch with me and took me out. They encouraged me, with their love and concern to come back. I realized I didn’t just need my Class, I needed them. So I went back.

From 2017 until 2019 I didn’t do too well in Class. But I never missed one meeting unless I was sick. Wednesday Morning = WW Class.

I wonder if WW will reopen our Class? I’m thinking that they may not. It isn’t that the Class wasn’t big enough, we were 50-75 people strong year-round. But the one strike against us is that we are all middle-aged women, and we do not fit WW’s new Branding. Too bad because there are a lot of us 60+-year-olds who have been loyal members for years.

Anyway, We’re going to keep meeting at the Lake for the Summer, and will figure out what to do in the Autumn when things begin getting colder around here. But, for now, we have each other once again!

Maribeth Dackel