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Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I am pleased to announce that Sam Huntington has joined Always On Watch as a team blogger.

Sam's first post will appear on this blog's main page tomorrow.

Note to readers: I will be off the grid for most of this week. One of the mothers in our homeschool group passed away on Saturday morning. The funeral is today.

I considered this lady as more than merely a parent of one of my homeschool students. This lady, one of the staunchest conservatives I've ever known, was a friend. I'll miss her.


  1. How awesome! I can't wait to see the post!

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  3. Congrats on the addition, condolences for your friend. I will ask God to send a special blessing your way.

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  5. Condolences for the loss of your friend. I will look forward to reading the post by Sam. If you chuse him, he has to be good.

  6. I am sorry to hear of your loss and send along my prayers.

  7. Prayers for your friend and her family (and you.)

    Hi, Sam!!

  8. I am sorry for your loss. How horribly sad to lose a mother.

    And can't wait to read Sam's post!

  9. I don't deal with death well AOW. Had a lot in my family lately.

    I know one thing and we all have to do it. God Bless!

    Welcome to Sam!

  10. I've read Sam's writings at another blog, and we are in for a treat. Welcome, Sam!

  11. I usually enjoy Sam's commentary whenever I run across it. Nice signature portrait too! ;-)

    It's always hard when someone we love or rely on passes on, but I firmly believe those people never die and remain with us as long as we remember them.

    Death can be a great friend -- a blessed relief from pain, disability, grinding poverty and mental deficiency. Death is as much a part of life as birth, and should not be feared, although few of us can imagine our welcoming it.

    As usual Emily Dickinson had something pithy and memorable to say about it. Sometimes her demure, maidenly appearance shielded a capacity for ironic humor.

    Drowning is not so pitiful
    As the attempt to rise.
    Three times 'tis said
    A drowning man
    Comes up to face the skies,

    And then declines forever
    To that abhorred Abode
    Where Hope and he part company,
    For he is grasped of God.

    The Maker's cordial visage --
    however good to see --
    Is shunned -- we must admit it --
    Like an Adversity.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    When death comes, there is no sane response but to accept it and carry on as well as possible cherishing the memories with gratitude that the friend or loved one lived at all.

    ~ FreeThinke

  12. When my grandmother died in 1988, she was 98 years old. Her birthday is 13 April, and this year she would have been 122 years old. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my grandmother. She lives in my mind's eye. When I am gone, she will continue to live in the memories of my children. I’m very glad about that.

  13. Yes, Mustang, and that is exactly the kind of thing I meant when I wrote that last post.

    Life is a continuous, "ever-rolling stream" that has no beginning and no end. We are part of everything that ever was -- or will be.

    The relatives I had from my grandparents' generation all were born in the nineteenth century. They witnessed miraculous changes and terrifying events. It was a privilege to know them -- not only as loving and fun-loving human beings, but also as witnesses to history -- a living link with the immediate post-Civil War period and beyond.

    For me they are still very much alive in my consciousness. I can even "hear" how they would respond to events that amuse, perplex or challenge me. Somehow, they are still sharing life with me and giving good advice.

    It's a great comfort to have known them.

    ~ FreeThinke

  14. FreeThinke said:

    Death can be a great friend -- a blessed relief from pain...

    The lady whose funeral I attended yesterday perished from Stage IV cancer.

    Yes, she suffered.

    And she fought the inevitable. With all she had.

    What she most hated about departing this world was leaving behind two girls, whose father had died about 6 years ago. I admit that seeing those two girls who have lost both of their parents was heartbreaking.

    In all of my 40 years of teaching, never has the parent of one of my students died while that student was under my tutelage. This is a new experience for me -- one that makes me so very sad.

    Besides that, this is the first death of a friend close to my age. Sobering.

    I will miss this lady. When Mr. AOW had his stroke, this lady was there to support me -- even as she was undergoing treatment for cancer (although I didn't know about the cancer at the time). Her quiet kindnesses meant a lot to me at a time when I was spinning in circles. In fact, this past Christmas, despite all her suffering, she again reached out to me by sending me a book as a Christmas gift. She took time to do that even as she was fighting Death.

    All in all, she was an amazing lady. I'll miss her.

    Today, it's back to the teaching grind for me. I'm all cried out. I hope.

    If at all possible, I will see to it that this lady's daughter finishes this school year. We have only a few weeks to go.

  15. FT,
    Dickinson has a poem for every circumstance, I think.

  16. Mustang,
    Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my grandmother.

    We are the living legacy of the ancestors who mattered to us.

  17. I'm so sorry about the death of a friend, AOW.

    Having said that, YOU GOT SAM? I SWEAR TO GOD I was going to ask him just yesterday if he'd write a post for me now and again and YOU PULLED THIS COUP!! Congratulations! (i'm a little envious but if I can't have him, I'm glad YOU do:-)

  18. Z,
    I admit that I'm down in the dumps.

    My friend's "troubles are over," as my grandmother used to say. But my heart breaks as I see my friend's daughter struggling to cope with the loss of her mother.

    As for Sam, well, I didn't pull off a coup, exactly. Well, maybe I did. Sam is an excellent writer and brings thoughtful essays here. I don't have time these days to write much.

    The timing of Sam's willingness to blog here is a Godsend! Sam has come along at a time that I'd have shuttered my blog for a while as I mourn the loss of a friend and grieve with my student.

    I don't blame you for being jealous.

  19. You will be sorely missed, AOW. Despite Sam's being an excellent writer and a stimulating presence, no one could possibly replace you for long, so please come back to us ASAP.

    Good luck with your mentoring at this crucial time in a young life.

    All the best,

    ~! FreeThinke

  20. Thanks, FT.

    I hope to make some blog rounds over the weekend and post regularly starting next week.

  21. AOW...re Sam, I'm STILL pouting :-)

    but, seriously..(okay, I am seriously pouting!!!), I'm so glad he's stepping in when you can't be around because I know how busy you are more than some others might...hang in there, honey. Your blog is one of the best, and Sam can only be a great asset. xxx

  22. Z,
    This last week has been incredibly stressful.

    And even less stressful weeks don't allow me much time to blog -- especially when the school year is in session.


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