Category Archives: Open Discussion

Author Wayne Soini Talks about Abraham Lincoln at Sawyer Library


When: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Where: Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester, MA
Subject: A brief talk with Questions and Answers on “Researching and Writing about Abraham Lincoln in 2017”
(None of my books on sale that night but I will gladly sign copies if people bought copies on Amazon.)
Author of DEEP SNOW, HIGH WATERS and FULL HEART (Young Man Lincoln Trilogy)…
Free and Open to the Public.




Oil painting of Abraham Lincoln by artist and sculptor Richard R. Miller

Slip Sliding Away

The “lighthouse” at the end of the harbor breakwater on Bearskin Neck in Rockport has precariously tumbled away from its perch.  Even though I live right down the street and go by this often by boat, I’m not sure exactly when this happened.  Anyone?

I've fallen and can't get up

I’ve fallen and can’t get up

Are You a Flasher?

Oh, for the love of God.  Not that kind of flasher.  Keep it clean.

Are you a flasher when you see a police car parked on the side of the road?  Do you warn approaching cars of the hidden police car parked around the bend or up ahead?

I used to be.  I’m not any more.

In my 20s and maybe even my 30s, I would warn other cars by flashing my headlights in the hopes of saving them from an impending ticket.  Now, after having seen more than my fair share of super crappy drivers, I think that if you’re going to speed or drive recklessly then you deserve a ticket.  I now, as a driver who has two young boys in the backseat of my car 97% of the time, support the police officers in their mission to keep our roads safe.

The other day, while driving from Rockport to Gloucester via Thatcher Road, the car behind me was so spirited with its flashing, I couldn’t help but laugh.  He surely had some type of super hero complex.  Clearly on a mission to save the world from speeding tickets.  What would that Super Hero’s name be?  Driving in front of him was reminiscent of walking into Spencer’s at the Liberty Tree Mall circa the 1980s.  Surely someone out there knows what I’m talking about?

His exuberance made me start to think…..which side of the law do most people fall?

While I Like to Keep My Husband on a Short Leash…..

While I like to keep my husband on a short leash….I’ve never put one of my children on a leash.   First of all, I’m kidding, I don’t keep my husband on a short leash.  He may disagree with that statement however… so maybe I should change it to “I don’t mean to keep my husband on a short leash”.  At any rate, that isn’t the point here.  The point is that I’ve never put my kids on a leash.  So, I am wondering who has?  Or who thinks it is okay? Or who thinks it is abominable?  Or who sees pros and cons?

Today I saw, what I am guessing to have been, a mother and a grandmother walking (literally) a toddler down the sidewalk…on a leash.  I am not trying to cast judgement.  I do not claim to be a perfect parent.  For example….. there was the time that I let Thatcher lay in bed with my husband and forgot to transfer him to his own bed.  I went into the bedroom later to find my husband sound asleep and 2 year-old Thatcher WIDE EYED with the sheets pulled up to his nose watching, none other than, the Gladiator on the TV.  Excellently appropriate movie for a toddler.  And then there was the time that my husband bought air freshener that looked alarmingly like the can of Pan Nonstick Spray and I used it to make the boys some grilled cheese sandwiches.  I didn’t even realize that I had done so until my husband asked, “Why is the air freshener in the Lazy Susan?” a couple of days later.  And, just today, as I was trying desperately to choose one hanging plant and a few perennials….and all the boys wanted to do was play bumper cars with the garden carts….and Wolf Hill was closing in 5 minutes…I absolutely said some words of encouragement for better behavior that I am now, in hindsight, not proud of.  Nor, for the record, were they effective.

Soooooo, I digress.  I am by no means perfect, but the kid on a leash thing is something that I haven’t quite wrapped my head around.  I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel (or look I guess) more than a bit wrong to me.  I am all about Safety First…I really am.  So, if you have a runner and you really think that your child is going to dart into traffic with no advanced warning….then maybe a leash is the way to go?  Likewise, if you are in an incredibly busy place…like, say, Disney World or the Running of the Bulls in Pamploma (in which case, I suppose, whether or not to use a leash would probably not be the parental decision that would be in question), I guess I can see the merit. We, as parents, have always opted for strollers or simple hand-holding.  That having been said, we did once suffer through a horrifically long 2 or 3 minutes of not being able to find Finn at the New England Aquarium.  While I guess, if I had to pick sides, I would call myself anti-leash, a leash would have prevented that from happening.  So, I ask you honestly, what are your thoughts?

It’s About that Time of Year

Once a summer or so we get the phone call.  Well, actually, the email is more accurate these days.  It is always an email that I look forward to getting, but yet it is also one that gives me a moment of panic.  The email usually reads something like this,

“Hey, we thought we’d make a long weekend out of heading up your way for a quick getaway.  Any recommendations of where we should stay?”

So, my question is this….   Where you do recommend that people stay??  Because it’s about that time of year again, and I’d like to be prepared.

Typically, the emails I get are from college friends (who I am always PSYCHED to see) but who come from places where you can easily book a Hilton…or a Marriott….or a Hyatt….or a Sheraton.  All are choices that we don’t have here.  Now, let me be perfectly clear…I LOVE where we live and I love the variety of quaint choices that we have to offer visitors, but I’m never certain of what their expectations might be. 

I’ve had some good luck…and some bad luck…with my previous recommendations.  I feel like a have a pretty good handle of what the options are, but I haven’t stepped foot in many of them.  Likewise, I know that I can read Trip Advisor or many other reviews, but I’d rather ask you.  And…as I tell my students…let’s keep it positive people.  I have no desire to slam any local businesses so, while I’d really love some feedback, let’s stick to places you WOULD recommend and respectfully not mention the places that made your guests want to bathe in scalding water for days.  Not that we have any of those places here, but hopefully you get my point.

I’m so curious as to what you all have to suggest and share!!  Thanks in advance!!


What is Going on in Magnolia

On Sunday, April 6, 2014, the Magnolia Library held an important meeting. Bill Fonvielle, City Councilor Ward 5, facilitated this forum. The panelists were Chief Eric Smith, Deo Braga, (The Azorean, Dunkin Donuts), Tim Flaherty, (YMCA), Mark McDonough, (Serenitee Group), Eric Loiacano, (new owner of property on Lexington Avenue), and Jon von Tetzchner, Innovation House. It was standing room only with more than 200 people attending this event. It was informative, important issues were discussed, such as the Magnolia Fire Station re-opening, the new 525 Restaurant and property under development to help revitalized Lexington Avenue.  There was also a questions from the floor to the panelists.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

GMG Open Topic Of Discussion Of The Week- Wood Stoves vs Pellet Burning Stoves vs BioBricks

So before you start reading please consider contributing to the deiscussion on this topic by clicking where it says “Leave a comment” below the post.  If you get the email at the end of the night you can add to the discussion by clicking on the title of this post and adding your comment where it says “Leave a comment” below the post.  Thanks.  I’m really obsessed with the topic right now and I’m excited to read what you all have to say.

The idea of the new “GMG Open Topic Of Discussion Of The Week” Is To Talk about an interesting topic and beat it to death in the comment section.  Hope you like it and feel free to subit other topics for upcoming weeks.

A friend of mine has a killer pellet stove.  You go into the room where the pellet stove is roaring and no matter how frigid it is outside you are warm and comfortable in his house.

I hate the cold.  Despise it actually.  Winter is for the birds as far as I’m concerned. I want to be comfortable and being cold does not equate to being comfortable in my book.

Pellet Stove


This will be my first shortened post using the new format so to view the entire post click here to expand it-

Read more