Monday, May 27, 2013

Perry 200

This year where I live, we're celebrating the 200th anniversary of Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry's success in The Battle of Lake Erie.  Although it was a pivotal point in The War of 1812, it happened in 1813.  The actual battle took place at Put-In Bay in Ohio, but ships were built and repaired AND troops were assembled on Presque Isle - which we simply call the peninsula - here in Erie, Pa.

Oliver Hazard Perry is somewhat of a local hero.  There is a school named after him, a street named after him and a highway named after him.  We have a statue of him in our town square which is also named after him - Perry Square.  There's a memorial for him on the tip of Presque Isle.

Last Saturday was the kick off for many activities scheduled for this summer commemorating the 200th anniversary of The Battle of Lake Erie.  It's called Perry 200.  We had the most incedible Memorial Day Parade.  There were 200 units and over 3000 participants.  We had the big balloons like they have at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The parade lasted over 2-1/2 hours.  This is just the first of many events going on during the summer.  It will culminate with
The Tall Ships Festival in early September.

If anyone is looking for something fun and different to do this summer, check out what's going on in Erie, Pa at  The celebrations are going to be worth it.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day.

Love,  Paula

Monday, May 20, 2013


Last week's blog "Eight Days Without the Internet" made me stop and think about technology in general...ALL technology.  We have come such a long way technologically speaking, in such a short time.  I don't know if that's a good thing or not.  It just is what it is.  I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it.

My youngest son and his girlfriend live in California.  My husband and I live in Pennsylvania.  Technology - the Internet specifically - has made it possible to "see" and "visit" with them weekly, sometimes more often.  Also, the technology of the airlines makes it possible for us to go west to visit them once a year and for them to come east to visit us once a year.  If we had to drive (technology) or go by train (technology) we'd probably only do that a few times in a lifetime.  If we had to go by horse and buggy, we'd probably never see them again.

I can call family and friends at any time and find out how they're doing.  Both of my sisters live in other states.  Two of my best friends also live in other states.  But via phone and Internet we can communicate and keep up with what is going on in each other's lives and our family's lives.

My other two children and their families live in our area but on opposite ends of the city.  Again, we can call at any time to see how they're doing and what is going on.

These are things I LOVE about technology.  But there's also a down side.

I absolutely can't stand it when I'm visiting with or having lunch with someone and they're distracted by phone calls or texts.  An emergency is one thing, but most often it's just frivolous chit-chat.  I either don't answer and let who ever is calling leave a message.  Or I answer, tell them I'm visiting with someone and I'll call them later.  I want the person or people I'm with to know that they're important to me.  I'd like the same consideration in return.

As I was driving home from my daughter's house the other night, I saw two friends walking together.  They both had a phone up to their ears talking to other people.  Really?!!

A year and a half ago our computer system at work crashed.  The back-up reports said we were backing up successfully, but when we went to retrieve the information there was nothing there.  The good news was we GOT to start from scratch.  The bad news was we HAD to start from scratch.  It took six month, a typewriter, lots of technical support, and lots of overtime to get us up, running and back to some kind of normalcy.  Obviously it's easier and much more efficient to be computerized - LOVE.  But when something like this happens - HATE.

I remember my dad telling a story about how when he was young there weren't many cars around.  He and some friends were playing and one of his friends got hit by a car.  Cars didn't go very fast then and his friend wasn't hurt badly.  But the kids' reactions were, "Did you see that car?"  In dad's lifetime, he went from barely any cars to a man on the moon.  Amazing!

When I think about how far we've come just in my lifetime, it's mind boggling.  I remember the first cruise my husband and I took.  We bought phone cards so we could call and check up on the kids.  Phone cards were "high tech" at that time... better than a roll of quarters.  Now everyone has cell phones.  When I was in school, it was paper and pens.  We were thrilled to send my two oldest children off to college with electric typewriters.  My youngest son went to college with a desktop computer.  NOW my eldest grandson has a laptop, an ipad, and a smart phone.  I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like for my younger grandchildren.

Like I said, I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with technology.  I guess that if you can keep it in perspective and not become obsessed with it, it can be a great tool for keeping in touch.  I'm saying this as I'm typing on my laptop and have been on the computer for the last hour...

Love,  Paula

Monday, May 13, 2013

8 Days Without The Internet

In my blog "The Day Without a Computer" dated 11/26/12, I talked about a day without my computer. Well, let me tell you about my EIGHT days without the internet.  That's right, I said EIGHT DAYS WITHOUT THE INTERNET!!!!!  Our provider apparently had a huge problem that affected the whole city.  We called them several times throughout the eight days.  Three of the four times I called, the man on the other end of the line simply told us that they were experiencing a problem, the technical team was aware of it, and we would receive a recorded call when the problem was resolved.  After three days, we did receive a recorded call that the problem was corrected and if we still had a problem we should call the number they gave us.  We still had a problem.  I called the number.  The man at the other end said they were experiencing a problem, the tech team was aware of it, and we would receive a recorded call when the problem was corrected.  I told him that we did in fact receive a call.  He told us to reboot the system.  I assured him that we already did that.  He told us to keep trying.  That was all the help we got.

On the eighth day I called again.  This time I was less than pleasant.  This time I was not exactly understanding.  I was connected with a woman from the Philippines instead of a man from India.  She was so helpful and patient.  She stayed with us for 50 minutes and walked us through every task.  She got us up and running.  I have to wonder, if we talked to her originally could this all have been resolved a week earlier than it was?

Well, now that I've vented, I'm wondering what the lessons in all of this are... I believe there are always lessons.  Sarcastically I'd say, "If you want to get the job done, make sure you talk to a woman."  Or, be unpleasant at the start.  Or maybe the citizens of the Philippines have a better work ethic than those of India.

Seriously though, the real lessons are probably patience, persistence and the realization that the world goes on whether you have Internet or not.  You can still work.  You can still play.  You can still eat and sleep.  You can still connect with people.  Amazing as it sounds, life still goes on and is still worth living.  I'm glad to know that, but I've got to say... I prefer life with the Internet.

Love,  Paula

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


We often go through life on "auto-pilot".  You know what I mean.  We're like a bunch of little robots running around doing things.  Always DOING.  We often don't remember to live or to just be.  It's always do, do, do.  Sometimes we're not even aware of what we're doing or why we're doing it.  It's sad.  We miss so much.

I am on a personal quest to be more aware and live more consciously.  I'm striving to live in the "now" moment.  And I'm here to tell you that it's not always easy.  It's so much easier to go back to the old habit of being the robot.'s so much more rewarding to live in the "now" moment.

The other day I had a lunch date with some old friends.  I left work and was driving to meet them in my robotic state.  All of a sudden my awareness kicked in.  It was like someone flipped a switch.  Instantly I was seeing the beauty that was all around me.  Trees were blossoming in many different shades of pinks and whites.  Gardens were filled with color;  red and pink tulips, yellow daffodils, purple, pink and white hyacinths, white lily-of-the-valley, yellow forsythia, pink, purple, red and white azalea.  It was everywhere and it was wonderful!  Such beauty and I almost missed it.  Robot Paula would have missed the whole thing.  Aware Paula got to see, absorb and appreciate the beauty. 

So...which are you?  Are you robot or aware?  Strive for aware.  It makes life so much fuller.

Love,  Paula