“It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Palace

It’s time for the annual pilgrimage to Lockport’s Historic Theatre to see the glorious black and white version of the Frank Capra classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We saw it many times on the television as children and I have  a videotape to plug into the VCR at any time. It has always been my very favorite feel-good movie and when I finally saw it on the big screen at the Palace four years ago, it became my very favorite Christma gift. It is now the present I give to myself every year, that time out with Jimmy Stewart and the Bailey clan larger-than-life.

For me, the movie is a reminder that even in your darkest hour you are never alone and that prayer is powerful indeed. Just when we think we have nothing to give, we realize that we are important in the grand scheme of things and we don’t realize the impact we have on the lives of others.

Stop by the Palace at 3:30 or 7 p.m. on December 14th and grab some popcorn. Better yet, grab a cup of the snack bar’s new flavored coffees and a box of Raisinettes. Tickets are only $5 and you’ll be filled with holiday spirit galore! Share this movie with someone you love. Maybe it will become a tradition for you, too!

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“Pub Crawl”

Brace yourself. I’m breaking out the old fuddy-duddy side of me and it’s not pretty. Celebrating New Year’s Eve has always been sad and poignant for me and I prefer to stay away from people who see drinking to excess as a sport.  The family celebrations like First Night Buffalo and the local ball drops here in Wilson, etc. are much more fun.  I just don’t think you need to get smashed to have a good time.

We all have that relative who has a few too many at the family gathering and stumbles around telling stories of old times, or falls asleep over grandma’s  pistachio dessert. A little holiday nog, a cold brewski or a good wine with dinner never hurt anybody. What bothers me is the idea that it’s the drinkingitself that’s the star of the show. One local town is planning a great New Year’s celebration with kid’s activities, a ball drop, fireworks, entertainment and lots of holiday cheer! Then there’s the “Pub Crawl.”

For ten bucks you get a fancy mug and a punch card. Then you make the rounds of nine local bars to have a drink, collecting a punch on the card at each place. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’d be crawling after the third drink and comatose if I drank nine! The incentive is that if you visit all nine watering holes to fill your card, you can get a free tee shirt and be entered for prizes.  Yes, you could probably get the card punched without buying a drink there (that’s not clear in the advertisement) but anybody who proudly joins a Pub Crawl is surely going to stick around  for at least one and maybe more at each bar in the 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. allotted time. Nine drinks may not seem like a lot spread out over 7 hours, but I’m willing to bet there’ll be much more serious consumption than that going on, just to try to win Sabres tickets or a mini-fridge. I mean, let’s face it, most will be drinkingjust for  the fun of it and not the prizes. It seems that New Year’s Eve has always been celebrated with some holiday cheer, but this Pub Crawl thing is really pushing the envelope.

Yes, the advertisers advise you that you must be 21, should drink responsibly and there’s a number for a cab so you don’t drink and drive. Yeah, right. Most of those mugs are going to be carried by the youngest among us and they’ll be partying heartily. These are all legal establishments and will follow the rules, but the ones crawling the pubs will not. I know I’m in the minority and a tad old-fashioned. I’ve seen too many lives ruined by drinking to find stumbling, puking drunks funny.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I should loosen up a little but  alcohol is promoted as a fun way to socialize and all too often becomes a way of life. It’s addictive. It starts by making you feel happy and part of the fun, but it stops being fun when you crash your car or find pictures of yourself passed out in a pool of vomit on the internet. Embarrassing moments, dignity lost or relationships ruined are the easy ones to deal with. Try vehicular manslaughter, if you’re lucky enough to survive.

See, the whole idea of family celebrations is to have families experience fun things together. There are, indeed, many family things planned for this event, and I might even forgive the outdoor heated cocktail tent for the adults… but the Pub Crawl is a real stretch from family values. I am, frankly, appalled by the very concept. This is only my opinion of course and I’ve been accused of being a stick-in-the-mud before. That’s the price of getting old and crotchety. Still, the only place I’ll be crawling on New Year’s Eve is under some warm covers after the traditional ball drop, and there’ll be no hangover to start the New Year!

Feel free to voice your opinions on the matter. I’d like to see someone justify this one.

Mykel said it best!

I could write a thousand words about the amazing outpouring of love at Mykel’s benefit yesterday but his entry on his Caring Bridge journal site says it best. The barely ten-year-old author penned this at 3 a.m.

H EVERYONE IT IS REALLY EARLY IN THE MORNING I AM HAVE A HARD TIME SLEEPING,I JUST KEEP THINKING OF MY BENIFIT YESTERDAY IT WAS SO COOL TO SEE ALL THESE PEOPLE THERE FOR ME AND I DONT NO WARE TO START TO THANK EVERYONE MY MOM SAYS THAT WE HAVE ONE HUGE FAMILY IN BARKER AND I SURE BELEAVE HER SHE ALSO SAID MABIE I CAN HAVE MY PACK 26YA WE RULE OVER FOR MOVIE NIGHT YOU GUYS ARE AWSOME !I SAW MY MOM CRYING I ASK IF SHE WAS OK SHE TOLD ME THAT SHE WAS SO HAPPY FOR GOD GIVING US SUCH SPECIAL PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES .THANKYOU YOU AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING I BETTER TRY TO SLEEP I HAVE TO GO TO ROSWELL IN THE MORNING…LOVE MYKEL

Says it all, doesn’t it? There is no better feeling in the world than to be able to bring happiness and joy to those who are struggling with life’s blows. In this season of giving, there is no better gift to give than the gift of YOU. Hugs and prayers are free and the gift of your time and talents is precious!

It’s snowing on my blog!

Yes, that’s snow you are seeing on the blog, thanks to our WordPress wizards, and it doesn’t have to be shoveled. Yipee!

Mykel Ruffini’s benefit will be a blast!

      

         Friends gather today for a benefit for Mykel Ruffini, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Hartland Fire Hall on Route 104. Mykel, who is in the 4th grade at Barker Central School, has been diagnosed with a cancerous Wilm’s tumor on his kidney and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  Friends of Mykel’s family have rallied together to plan a dinner of  ziti pasta, meatballs, salad, dessert and drink. Dinner tickets are $8 pre-sale or $10 at the door. Kids 5-12 pay $5 and those 4 and under are free.  There will be musical entertainment, raffles and a big Chinese auction including lots of gift certificates for food and family fun like Bison’s tickets and Darien Lake, a guitar, a bicycle and well over 100 baskets!!! This is definitely a family day as I expect most of Mykie’s fourth grade classmates and scout friends to be  there! Anyone can play the auction, drawing begins at 5:30 p.m. and you do not have to be present to win. I’ll be there with animal balloons and holiday tattoos for the kids, as we help our friend Mykel “Whip Wilm’s.”

            Friends gather today for a benefit for Mykel Ruffini, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Hartland Fire Hall. Mykel, who is in the 4th grade at Barker Central School, has been diagnosed with a cancerous Wilm’s tumor on his kidney and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  Friends of Mykel’s family have rallied together to plan a dinner of  ziti pasta, meatballs, salad, dessert and drink. Dinner tickets are $8 pre-sale or $10 at the door. Kids 5-12 pay $5 and those 4 and under are free.  There will be musical entertainment, raffles and a big Chinese auction including lots of gift certificates for food and family fun like Bison’s tickets and Darien Lake, a guitar, a bicycle and well over 100 baskets!!! This is definitely a family day as I expect most of Mykie’s fourth grade classmates and scout friends to be  there! Anyone can play the auction, drawing begins at 5:30 p.m. and you do not have to be present to win. I’ll be there with animal balloons and holiday tattoos for the kids, as we help our friend Mykel “Whip Wilm’s.”

         Friends gather today for a benefit for Mykel Ruffini, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Hartland Fire Hall on Route 104. Mykel, who is in the 4th grade at Barker Central School, has been diagnosed with a cancerous Wilm’s tumor on his kidney and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  Friends of Mykel’s family have rallied together to plan a dinner of  ziti pasta, meatballs, salad, dessert and drink. Dinner tickets are $8 pre-sale or $10 at the door. Kids 5-12 pay $5 and those 4 and under are free.  There will be musical entertainment, raffles and a big Chinese auction including lots of gift certificates for food and family fun like Bison’s tickets and Darien Lake, a guitar, a bicycle and well over 100 baskets!!! This is definitely a family day as I expect most of Mykie’s fourth grade classmates and scout friends to be  there! Anyone can play the auction, drawing begins at 5:30 p.m. and you do not have to be present to win. I’ll be there with animal balloons and holiday tattoos for the kids, as we help our friend Mykel “Whip Wilm’s.”

            Friends gather today for a benefit for Mykel Ruffini, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Hartland Fire Hall. Mykel, who is in the 4th grade at Barker Central School, has been diagnosed with a cancerous Wilm’s tumor on his kidney and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.  Friends of Mykel’s family have rallied together to plan a dinner of  ziti pasta, meatballs, salad, dessert and drink. Dinner tickets are $8 pre-sale or $10 at the door. Kids 5-12 pay $5 and those 4 and under are free.  There will be musical entertainment, raffles and a big Chinese auction including lots of gift certificates for food and family fun like Bison’s tickets and Darien Lake, a guitar, a bicycle and well over 100 baskets!!! This is definitely a family day as I expect most of Mykie’s fourth grade classmates and scout friends to be  there! Anyone can play the auction, drawing begins at 5:30 p.m. and you do not have to be present to win. I’ll be there with animal balloons and holiday tattoos for the kids, as we help our friend Mykel “Whip Wilm’s.”

 

Old friends, new friends, sharing smiles

Saturday was a day for sharing smiles and hugs. Pockets the clown got to make silly balloon animals at the Palace Theatre for “Light up the city” and it’s aways fun to meet new people. The children were out in force to sample the delights of  the season, from breakfast with Santa , “The Polar Express” on the big screen, to a tree-lighting finale and I’m proud of all the parents who bundled up the kids, despite the windy chill, to share old-fashioned fun. Organizers and volunteers did an amazing  job of providing a fun kick-start to the holidays.

Later on, at the benefit for Faith Moore, it was standing room only as musicians rocked the house and friends gathered to support Faith. The turnout was amazing and the show of love is just an example of the really caring community we live in. There were folks there from all the neighboring communities; a real gathering of friends. Faith did come home from the hospital on Friday after a bout with pneumonia, but was not able to attend the benefit. Our prayers are with her!

A Soldier’s Christmas

This is one of those email forwards that needs to be shared as we enjoy the wonders of the holiday season. God bless all the men and women in the armed forces and peacekeeping missions! Freedom remains the best gift of all!

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO LINER,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
‘SANTA DON’T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, ‘CARRY ON SANTA,
IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALLS SECURE.

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
‘MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,!
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.’