From The Rev. Michael F. Hall re: Eliza Rubenstein’s Creation

“I will keep it short and sweet today. Some of you Gilbert and Sullivan fans will chuckle while singing the little ditty (below) to the tune of “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” from Pirates of Penzance. (Skip to minute 2:50 in this version on YouTube: see below).

“My suggestion is that you sing it at the top of your lungs while in the shower, or when walking the trail, or as you play solitaire, or put together a puzzle with your loved ones. Thanks to lyricist Eliza Rubenstein
“Enjoy the Day! Seize the Moment & Whatever Else you do, Have Fun Today!
“Take care,
“Rev. Michael: 

Effective Social Distancing

I am the very model of effective social distancing!
I listen to the experts on the topic of resistance-ing;
I know that brunch and yoga class aren’t nearly as imperative
As doing what I can to change the nation’s viral narrative.

I’m very well acquainted, too, with living solitarily
And confident that everyone can do it temporarily:
Go take a walk, or ride a bike, or dig into an unread book;
Avoid the bars and restaurants and carry out, or learn to cook.

There’s lots of stuff to watch online while keeping safe from sinus ills
(In this case, it’s far better to enjoy your Netflix MINUS chills)!
Adopt a pet, compose a ballad, write some earnest doggerel,
And help demolish Trump before our next event inaugural.

Pandemics are alarming, but they aren’t insurmountable
If everybody pitches in to hold ourselves accountable.
In short, please do your part to practice prudent co-existence-ing,
And be the very model of effective social distancing!

–Eliza Rubenstein

The Rev. Michael F. Hall
Keene Unitarian Universalist Church
Keene, New Hampshire

…and thanks to my daughter Brooke Ackerly for passing it on…pass it on. It’s a work of art, especially if you know the tune. If you don’t, YouTube “Very Model of a Model Major General”

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What about Mermaids?

by Rick on February 13, 2020

Calling forty-eight 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders together in the gym, I divided them into multi-age groups, defined the rules of “Giants, Wizards and Dwarfs” (a game like rock-paper-scissors), and said, “Now decide which you are: Giants, Wizards or Dwarfs.”

While the groups huddled in murmuring agitation to make their decision, a small voice at my side asked, Read More…

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The No Smoking Lecture

by Rick on January 23, 2020

A number of years ago, as I was driving north with my nineteen-year old daughter, she said: “Dad, you never gave me the No Smoking Lecture.”
“I know,” I replied. “I always trusted you.”
“But I needed it.”
“What do you mean, you needed it?”
“You do know I smoked, right?”

Read More…

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Driving Allison Home from an evening basketball game one Wednesday evening she said:

“I listen to my father,” said Allison, “because I have found that he tells me things that turn out to be true. Like ‘Never go out without money,’ he says.”

Allison needed someone to talk to. Last Saturday night there had been a party where some of her classmates got drunk and trashed the house of a classmate. Read More…

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Do not trip over what is behind you.
Seneca

One day, five second-grade girls came to my office.
“We’re having a fight.”
“Could we use your office to talk it out?”
“Sure,” I said.
They came in and sat at the round table.
“We would like for you to stay.”
“Yeah, but we don’t want you to say anything.”
“Okay,” I said and went back to my desk.

They started talking.
Early in the conversation, they acknowledged
that the problem stemmed from two of their parents,
who had not been getting along.
Miranda said: “Don’t bring the past into the present.”
“Yeah. Like, just cause our parents aren’t friends
doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.”
“Yeah. Like, let’s not bring the past into the present.”

A little more talking.
Then they got up from the table, thanked me,
and clustering at the doorway,
they put their hands together and
made a pact to be friends no matter what.
Saying in unison:
“Don’t bring the past into the present.”

Happy New Year, and Happy new decade. Today is 0101/2020
Press the Reset Button.
Be New

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