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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!



Autumn, Chester County by Patrick Sullivan


November Serves Up Gratitude.

The day after the election, Storytellers came together and spoke of “this is a judgment free zone, thank goodness” and “let’s focus on sharpening colored pencils, ya know – the stuff that matters.”

It was joyful to share conversation, art and hope together – The Storytellers Way.

Check back soon for art and stories created this month, published as the CPA team is able. We will be featuring poetry from Kyle, a tender memoir piece by Jennifer, and witty tales from Steven.

Hoping to see our group, together again – December 14th for our special holiday gathering with Craig – offering supplies and guidance to create unique evergreen arrangements.

Til then – be creative, be kind, be well. The Storytellers



What Happens in Fall

What Happens in Fall by: James Elliott

I hope that you understand what I am saying about this time of year. It was the week before Halloween when I decide to go as a gangster.

Jake was going to get in trouble with the law because he was a joke of a drug dealer. Me and all my buddies went to a Halloween festival and got are costumes. That was good because it was the time we all went trick-or- treating and egged old peoples houses and put a bag full of stinky dog droppings on there front porch. About this time my mom and dad have attitudes about my wants, and all I  ask for is a little understanding. Mom I called out “what about thanksgiving dinner?” she said “boy is that all I am to you?” and I said “no but you make a good cafeteria lady”.

To be continued….

“Good people born in October”

“Good people born in October” by Steven Collier ( I think Bradbury wrote a book on this subject)

Every year I see articles either celebrating or bemoaning  the seemingly inevitable growth of Halloween as America’s favorite holiday. Usually judged entirely on annual revenue generated.

These articles like to wax poetic about why those ever-puzzling millennials flock to the most macabre day of the year, often theorizing that it’s an act of open rebellion. Some sort of coordinated rejection of their parents’ more wholesome practices.

These ideas are, of course, ludicrous. Not because they assume that the youth of the nation resent their parents…that’s been true since the dawn of time. No, it’s the idea that millennials are remotely organized enough to launch any kind of national protest that defies all credulity.

I’m sorry, but I fear you severely overestimate our abilities…but then it’s only natural for parents to talk up their kids accomplishments. Is it possible that all of this perceived millennial competence i s nothing more than the wishful projections of the Boomers ?

Sorry, I went on a bit of a tangent there. I’m on a new medication that decimates my working memory. Makes it harder to focus. This is supposed to be a piece about Halloween, not anything nearly as unsettling as Boomers. I apologize.

This confusion over the popularity of Halloween just sounds incredibly uninformed to me. It honestly reminds me of 90’s cereal commercials. “Adults just can’t understand why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch.” Halloween, apparently.

My own cynicism leads me to believe that the perpetual fear mongering of the past 9-11 American culture radically altered the national zeitjeist to one that was effectively immune to the comparatively toothless terrors of Halloween, and therefore much more tolerant to it. I mean, what’s scarier – anthrax laced mail, or your neighbor dressing up like a Scooby-doo villain. I’ll let you decide.

But again, I suspect I’m over thinking the matter. Maybe Halloween is on the rise because it really is the most American holiday. Consider for a moment that Halloween is fundamentally a celebration of self –expression. You choose your costume.  You choose what to do with your yard. And all choices are equally viable. Dress as the mass- marketed princess, or make a DIY cardboard robot suit, both are rewarded with an equal amount of candy. Set out a few humble jack-o-lanterns, or turn your front porch into as CSI charnel pit, your homeowner’s association will turn a blind eye to both.

(I mean, if they’re cool they will.)

What are the traditional foods of Halloween? What are the traditional carols ? What’s a customary Halloween gift ? Annual family Halloween card ?

They’re all totally optional ! Fill in the blanks. It’s the national celebration that effectively has no expectations of you. Allowing you to exorcise your freedoms as you see fit.

It’s the night where you can celebrate you, however you like. Come as you are, as you’d like to be, or as you wouldn’t.

Be an inspiration, or a cautionary tale. The night is yours to narrate.

No mandatory egg-hunts ! No compulsory greeting cards ! No obligatory gifts ! No over-priced chocolates !(Okay, scratch that last one, but 3 out of 4 is pretty good.)

Strip away all of the Ghoulies and ghosts, and Halloween is the one day where you can live as you like without fear of persecution or condemnation. Is it any wonder so many people wish every day could be like Halloween ?

Anyway, to summarize: I’m still upset my boss refuses to consider “Bat-suit” workplace appropriate attire.

Wedding Memories

Steven Collier – 9/12/16


So, wedding memories. Yeah, I’m dreading those.

Weddings seemed relatively harmless when I was younger. But, anymore, I usually know the people involved. I grew up with these people. I went to school with them, sat at the children’s  table every damn Christmas with them.


And now, they’re getting married, getting hitched !

And I was still cute enough, that no one tried to make awkward small talk with me. These days, it’s like I’m trapped at a bad Junior prom for six hours. Well, a Junior prom with a bar.

Actually, you’d think that’d be a pretty sweet Junior prom. But then, the mother of the bride corners you, and starts flirting hard, the smell of gin upon her breath, and just to make it even weirder, the woman’s a dead ringer for Paula Dean. I mean, it’s uncanny, but now, I’m projecting too much. God, I need to learn when to stop talking.

Deep breaths, Steven.  It’s in the past. She can’t hurt you now.

What was I talking about ?  Right !  Weddings !

My problem is that I actually know the people who are getting engaged these days. More specifically, I know what idiots they are. These are people who ‘ve sent me skype calls at 3am to ask if something looks infected. (I dunno, man.  Snapchat your doctor.)

These are people who still get into heated debates over who was the best Power Ranger. These are people who still don’t know how to clean an oven. These are my friends.

And now they’re giving me unsolicited life advice on how to be more mature, like them. And what makes them such authorities ? They bought a freakin’ ring !

I was unaware that Kay jewelers now handed out official, free, adult cards with every purchase.

Not that I’m bitter.

So, in conclusion, weddings are cool. The food’s usually pretty good.  Everyone says that they had a good time, even the ones who cried the entire time.

I’m just terrified to think that these people will have kids within the next year.