being christian at christmas

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How some people define the spirit of the Christmas season in West Vincent baffles me.

Please see below as another one of those nasty and pathetic missives is making the rounds. I was told this was found on a Ludwig’s Village community bulletin board.

West Vincent is such a beautiful place, but it’s like it has a rotten core, doesn’t it? This is unfortunately still a place with a handful of pious hypocrites who claim to “love thy neighbor” yet do things like this and isn’t that terrible? These people give the really nice people who live in this Chester County community a bad name and I think that is truly awful don’t you?

Being a Christian isn’t faux piety, it’s actually living what you preach. A lot of these people preach a good game, but are some of them really good neighbors? My opinion is the answer is a resounding no. Normal, emotionally healthy people do not do things like this to other people.

One day those of you who do things like this to your neighbors will find yourselves in a time of trouble. Will people lift a hand to help you? Or will they say “we’ve had enough of those bullies” and turn their backs?

People who do things like this during the most holy season of the year are held in the highest contempt by me.

Also it may appear contradictory, but I do actually pity these people for their meanness. They are missing out on so much in life by hating.

This man who is being victimized has run good and honest businesses for years. He and his wife are the kind of people that would give you the shirt off their back no matter what you had done to them. They are truly good people. I am proud to call them friends. We have used him professionally in addition.

If I were in this gentleman’s shoes, I would take all these missives to law enforcement. And a TV station or two.

I don’t know why it is that some people are not content unless they make other people unhappy. They should be ashamed of themselves. The sad thing is, I know they are not. However I believe karma is a very, very real thing. Everything that goes around eventually comes back around.

To the rest of you I say it is Christmas, so if you see one of these missives floating around West Vincent pull it down and give it to the police and tell them where exactly you found it and what day and what time.

It is time for this to stop.

If you know the people who are doing these things, it’s time to stand up and tell them to stop. Or call them out publicly. (Cowards like this hate having a light shined on them even if they secretly crave the attention.)

Christmas is but a few days away. Let’s get back to the real reason for the season, shall we?

Thanks for stopping by today.

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phoenixville firebird festival rises from the ashes

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As a relative newcomer to Chester County I love some of the traditions and cool celebrations. Like the Phoenixville Firebird Festival. The people of Phoenixville have worked very hard on rebuilding their community and they have done a terrific job.

I was so upset for all those people that work on this community event when I saw on the news and websites of local papers like The Daily Local reporting on how some arsonist or arsonists had burned down the Phoenix built for this evening’s festival in the early hours of this morning. It made me so sad. It’s just so awful.IMG_2357.JPG But having been in Phoenixville earlier today I learned of a flurry of activity to make sure the festival goes on.

The photo at the opening of this post shows the work of a veritable army of volunteers who worked all day in the rain to make sure the festival still happens. A big round of applause for all those hard working volunteers and businesses like Kimberton Whole Foods and Phoenixville Ace Hardware and all the other folks I have been reading about donating time, materials, food, coffee, and good will.

To all of you who have worked so hard on this, a tip of the hat and a standing ovation. You all have done good. You get the true spirit of the season and what community is all about. It’s wonderful.

I am unable to go to the festival this evening but if any of you have photos you would like to share you can post on this blog’s Facebook page and let me know what the proper photo credit should be and I will post the photos tomorrow.

#PhoenixvilleStrong you guys are amazing! Have an awesome festival!

grocery store insanity

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No matter how well you plan for holiday meals and gatherings, the dreaded few-days-before-grocery-store-run seems to be unavoidable and inevitable. And if we are comparing the holidays, I think the pre-Thanksgiving grocery store runs are the worst.

So yes, today I made my pre-Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Giant. Getting through the parking lot safely was a challenge in and of itself, but I think complimentary sedatives should be offered at the door before you enter the madness.

When you enter a grocery store Thanksgiving week you definitely start with a prayer for survival and a deep breath. Today was no different.

As the doors opened and I entered the grocery store, it was a sea of people. As I was at the Giant next to Hershey’s Mill, the store was not only a sea of people, but a sea of people half of whom were in slow motion.

The aisles were also full of “sight seeing” shoppers. You know, the people who rest their elbows on the cart and steer aimlessly often into people and aisle displays? (And speaking of aisle displays, why do the marketing teams of grocery stores let the aisles get so crowded with displays that literally block the grocery items we are shopping for?)

Having experienced the people who run into the rear of your ankles, today I wore boots. I still got run into twice. The thing that irritates me about that is I feel compelled to apologize although I was the one who got my calves and shins run into. And have you ever noticed how irritated looking some of the people who run into other people with their carts can be? It’s fascinating. It’s like they are not so much sorry they ran into you with the cart, but are irritated that you are in their way.

But it wasn’t all bad. The craziness of the Thanksgiving week shopping trips also breed a certain camaraderie among strangers. I did share a couple of giggles with strangers.

One of the giggles stemmed from overhearing a woman comment about this other woman under her breath. It was like she was reading my mind. You see the shopper she was commenting about was the trifecta of poor grocery store etiquette. Oh yes, that bad.

Trifecta Lady was this woman who was on her speaker phone of her cell phone having reality show high volume conversations. If that wasn’t bad enough she was also an aimless sight seeing shopper who blocked aisles…..because she was so into her cell phone conversation she should have been having someplace private and not on speaker phone….in the middle of an insanely crowded and crazy pre-Thanksgiving grocery store. And no one needed to hear that conversation.

Shouldn’t there be some sort of “Dummies Guide to Grocery Store Etiquette”? Not just on pre-holiday shopping weeks but all the time? I guess I just don’t get and never will get those who have the compulsion to have what should be very private conversations in public, on their cell phones. I don’t need to hear the conversation and neither does anyone else.

I survived my grocery store run. But I admit today is even worse because we are expecting snow tomorrow. So you not only have the pre-Thanksgiving shopping craziness, but the oh-my-it-might-snow milk and bread run.

My final comment on the pre-Thanksgiving grocery store craziness is how nice the people who work in the Giant were today. It made the in store craziness easier to deal with.

The holidays are hard on people, but sometimes I think people make it harder on themselves. I have seen the good in people this Thanksgiving season, but I have also seen the worst.

There are people with no sense of personal accountability who blame all around them for their shortcomings. It’s sad. It’s also so sad how angry some people become during the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving. But they are the people who feel they are “owed”. These are the sad people who can never see the good in anything….unless it benefits them. Hopefully some day they will get what it is all about .

Thanks for stopping by today. Practice safe shopping, hear?

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be thankful

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It is that thankful time of year. Only I keep seeing people that are NOT particularly thankful and are just plain cranky.

I went to the Giant to pick up a couple things, and stopped by the customer service desk to see if I had enough points for my turkey. While I was there, a woman came up to the desk holding a newspaper. A Philadelphia Inquirer. She asked if she could just leave the money on the counter or if it had to be scanned. The older lady behind the customer service desk running the lottery machine said “We have to scan it.”

This woman with the paper basically went off about having to wait essentially another 60 seconds so her newspaper could be scanned. I and another person were somewhat incredulous watching this.

Yelling at people about scanning an item that they have no control over is just such a waste of energy. And it’s not their fault that they have to scan the newspapers.

The holidays are hard for a lot of people. But we should try to be nice, shouldn’t we?

I went from that odd scenario to learning that my friends Samantha and Gregory just had their second baby. He is a beautifully perfect little boy and I’m so happy for them! What an awesome Thanksgiving present!

I am really thankful that I am in the safe happy and loved place that I am today. A few short years ago my life could’ve turned out quite differently.

I remember Thanksgiving meals past where I was with a group of people who weren’t tremendously happy people. You actually feel quite sad for people like that during the holidays . It used to be fascinating to watch this bunch of people on the day of the year when we’re all supposed to be thankful and grateful and about family, and perhaps their greatest familial tradition was ripping into people who were not present to defend themselves and sometimes even ripping into people who were present.

None of us lead a perfect existence. I do not pretend that I do. But I am very grateful for what I have. And I am very grateful for the love that surrounds me. I guess it’s about deciding whether you’re going to look at life as a glass half-full , or a glass half-empty.

So I hope people hang onto the feeling of thankful as the holiday crazies literally begin to swirl all around us. And I really wish that people would be kinder to those who work in the stores. Whether it’s a small retail shop, or a grocery store, it doesn’t matter.

We all have bad days, but at this time of year especially we should be more mindful of how we treat others.

Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey chim chim cher-ee!

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Very true and we have an awesome gentleman who took tremendous care of us so I thought I would recommend him —- John Wisnewski of Let There Be Light Chimney Sweep. I am posting his card.

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I will note that I am not being compensated for this review. We are happy customers. If he checks your chimney flue, have him check the one for your heating system as well.

Thanks to him and his honesty, we avoided a potential issue with not much fuss. You see, we learned the hard way that heating companies might do a great job cleaning and servicing the heater, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they get into the flue for the heating system and really check. We haven’t been in this current house for that many years yet, and well, when he removed the pipe to the flue in the basement there were years and years worth of debris in the base of the flue…very much preceding our tenure in the house and the two heating companies that we knew of who had serviced the heater had not cleaned this out either.

Let Their Be Light Chimney Sweep is also Angie’s List rated. Now he is also Chester County Ramblings Rated :)

contentment

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“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” -George Sand

“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.” – Bertolt Brecht

Today, sipping tea in my little house in its own big woods on a chilly November day, I am content. There is no place on earth I would rather be.

Today is also a bittersweet day as it is a day on which my family lost two wonderful people. Yes, on the same day a couple of years apart. My cousin Suzy and my father.

Thanks for stopping by.

laughing out loud

I had to giggle at this. The utter absurdity of it and misplaced sense of entitlement meets an up-country flair for the dramatic.

The ultimate irony is this is part of the same tired mantra of a small group of people in essentially a small town who regularly declare war on anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with them. They practice the Northern equivalent of the Southern “bless your heart” tactic. I find them extremely amusing. I also find them sad as their limited lives are entirely too consumed by their petty vendettas.

And remember….this blog is NOT endorsed by This is West Vincent on Facebook….it doesn’t have to be.

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