Monthly Archives: December 2013

Near Winter Moon

Two weeks til Winter and we put up our tree
When I looked outside and what did I see?
With the excitement indoors I slipped outside
To take this picture, certainly not to hide
The air was cold, crisp, and every sound distinct
Just the setting I’d choose to set and think
But as quickly as I had come I was called in
Warm, with family, no place I’d rather been
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Two weeks shy of the Winter Solstice, the late autumn gives a convincing impression of a winter sky.


Thankful on a Snowy Monday

This gallery contains 22 photos.

I am a fortunate man in more ways than I could ever count. One such blessing I am thankful for, among many, are Monday’s at home with the twins. I could not have these moments were it not for my … Continue reading

Christmas Tree 2013

This is our Christmas tree, the Griswold 2.0 (squirrel not included). I am in the background, holding up the tree. I am pretty small so the tree looks large.

This is our Christmas tree, the Griswold 2.0 (squirrel not included). I am in the background, holding up the tree. I am pretty small so the tree looks large.

The family is involved, decorating this monster tree.

The family is involved, decorating this monster tree. It was awesome to see the excitement in the kids as they worked together on decorating the tree. I love it and hope they never lose the joy.

Night falls, the lights on the tree are the only lights powered on in the family room. Okay, it's a huge tree, some 9 1/2 feet tall. It means more room for the kids' presents I guess.

Night falls, the lights on the tree are the only lights powered on in the family room. Okay, it’s a huge tree, some 9 1/2 feet tall. It means more room for the kids’ presents I guess. Merry Christmas!

Remembering, God’s plan – A tribute to Dennis Traynor and his family

It’s been two years. But in some ways I am sure it feels like no time has passed, yet, in other ways it may seem like decades have run past. This morning, I awake with both the Traynor’s and my brother’s family on my mind. I share this again, in remembrance and in tribute to Dennis. Time passes, and supposedly heals all wounds, but still there lies a void where a man once walked among our lives. He’s still better off than he was here, and as a man, I know his legacy would matter to him, while it doesn’t replace him, it speaks volumes of his life and all he left here. There are many traces of him here, and plenty of people who will never forget the man.


I sit here with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, as I cannot seem to make myself move a muscle. This is another tribute piece, not much different from one I wrote just weeks ago. Some of this is unchanged as truths and observations needn’t be corrected or updated here. That said, this is specifically and uniquely a tribute to the life of Dennis Traynor. He was taken from us all before we would have been ready to let him go. It was after 10pm when the phone rang. It was my mom. No offense mom, but those late night calls are never good ones. I am glad she called though. The news; my youngest brother Pete just lost his father-in-law, of course this means Pete’s sweetheart wife Louise lost her dad. Their four boys, age ten and younger, have to hear their mom and dad tell them about their grandfather. My heart sinks for those Mr. Dennis Traynor left behind.

I started thinking about the last few hours or so. I started thinking about the afternoon into this evening and where my thoughts and actions took me. It’s hard to comprehend sometimes how much is happening in every second of every day. The dark sky and torrents of rain reminded me that God is All Powerful and there’s nothing we can do it about it. As it should be. I ventured out after dinner to get my son to hockey practice. We left the house and I thought about caution as we drove through the pouring rain in the dark. At that same time, God, the Creator of the power unleashed from the heavens, was sharing a part of His plan for this still young father and grandfather, and his family. Maybe the night sky was emptying itself, a cleansing of sorts, to bring another of God’s children home.

I have often thought that God has a unique way of allowing certain things to happen, or at least to be noticeable to us, at the right time so we can create our own way of coping with events bigger than us. For example, I remember when my grandfather died. He was a great man of God, a preacher, teacher, reciter of the scriptures, he had a Christian book store, he had preached on the radio, and lived his life for God. I remember the morning of his service, the day he was to be buried, a light, pure, white snow fell, just enough to cover everything in a beautiful untouched blanket of white. I remember saying to my parents that God had given the ground a purifying coat of clean for my grandfather’s body to be put to rest one final time. I don’t know how this relates or if it does at all but I know I won’t soon forget that my attention was so-called to the heavens yesterday as God’s power washed over the northeast.

There’s a plan for all of this. God’s plan. Two words that make many want to turn and run the other way, God’s plan, because it usually means something that us imperfect humans don’t understand, or don’t want to deal with. Whatever the reaction is, it doesn’t change the plan. When I was younger I fought the plan, I am sure I did. I also didn’t always understand how or why things so terrible could happen to people as part of God’s plan. I am certainly not going to pretend to know or understand all these things now either. I do know that almost always, we are a part of a plan that is much bigger than it appears on the surface.

I know it’s hard to look at this situation and see anything positive. It’s all part of the plan. God’s plan. Time will tell how the plan unfolds. Even though it’s God’s plan, we are to be present and participating in His plan. I am in no way trying to down play any of this; this is a serious matter. There’s a message in most everything and I am willing to bet there’s even more of a wonderful message here as well. Think of the things you have heard, the things you have read, the things you have seen yourself, the life you may have been a part of first hand, all those things are a message of Dennis’ life. While many stood and watched, or waited to be led, Dennis was doing, Dennis was leading. He was the straw that stirs the drink for his family and those who knew him. Personally, I am honored that I knew him. I am so glad I got to spend some time with him and talk to him at Pete and Louise’s house back in October. I am sure it’s virtually unthinkable that the family will go on without him. Often times through the most unthinkable loss or sacrifice comes the greatest gift or the most amazing victory.

Please don’t think that this is over when the news stops running or the stories stop circulating. You and I may be a part of the plan. Anyone of us could be instrumental. The Traynor family is and will be feeling like there’s a void in a place where there once was a rock. So, our words, our actions, just might be the right thing at the right time for the one who needs that spoken word or the example they were looking for. Foundations are paramount for a sound structure as the scriptures tell us. This family just lost a major portion of their foundation and we might need to help hold up the structure for a time. Really it’s always supposed to be that way. We are human, and our best moments aren’t all of our moments. Yet the more we think our moments are our best, the more they will be. And the moment we decide that we need to be our best might just be the moment that God’s plan includes us to be the message for someone needing to see that something that helps them cope and overcome.

Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with Dennis’s family, friends, and loved ones. It’s a tough time  for them all. As wonderful as the Christmas season is, Dennis is in the most wonderful place right now, so beautiful, that none of us can comprehend. Have faith, know, and trust that it’s God’s plan.

Capturing Christmas Trees

This past Saturday we went to a friend’s house in Bow, NH to get our Christmas Tree. We got the tree in exchange for some help with other trees and the promise of some future help with work around her property. This truly is a Griswold-esque tree. It measured 12 feet tall, had a bird’s nest in it, has it’s own pine cones, and was at least 7 feet across the base branches. Naturally, that is the tree we chose. The boys did the work on this one. It wasn’t as easy as pulling into a lot, picking a tree, bagging it, and having it tied on the top of the vehicle, but I wouldn’t trade it for a second.

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The boys work on bringing down the tree. To be honest, all three of us took turns under the spread of branches, some there to work, others for fun, and because they could.

Kearsarge November 24-30

Press Release: December 2, 2013

November 30: Kearsarge 0 @ Oyster River 4

With this past Sunday off, the Kearsarge Bantams only played one game last week. It was a road game out in Durham, played on Churchill Rink at Jackson Landing.

After I dropped my son and his equipment off outside the rink and the pavilion I figured I had some time to kill. So I drove a few feet further, down the hill towards the Oyster River. As I like to do, I looked to the sky. The late autumn sky was holding on to the last rays of daylight before giving way to a dark starlit sky. Before I returned up the hill I took note of a flock of geese headed south, honking along the way.

Back at the rink, the players from both teams were ready to play. The wind was calm, thankfully. The temperature was right around 30 degrees and the ice was prepped and ready. I noticed that in this 40-year-old rink that there was daylight showing between the ice and the bottom of the nets, but not enough space for a puck to escape. Let’s get on to the game.

Early on, both teams showed signs of offensive pressure, with Kearsarge holding a slight edge in sustained pressure and possession in the offensive end. But, similar to their opening game, the shots they manage were blocked, redirected to one side of the net or the other, or just missed the net. For all the pressure and team play, few chances required Oyster River’s goaltender to make a save. The first period would end scoreless, with Kearsarge getting the better of the chances.

In the second period, the short bench, lack of finishing on scoring chances, and the depth of Oyster River’s combination of players added from their top Bantam team started to take its toll. Half way through the period the home team finally succeeded in getting a puck behind goaltender Corey Henault. The period would end with Kearsarge hanging in there, but trailing 1-0.

The final period continued in favor of the home team. Henault made several nice stops but as the period wore on that would change. Like the geese I saw pre-game, the second half of period three turned south for the visitors. Oyster River finished with a 4-0 win despite Kearsarge playing hard right to the final whistle.

There are many benefits to being associated with youth hockey. The most telling, from my experience, is the unity of family that seems only to function at this level in hockey. Almost understood, from a brief locker room comment, was the attendance of nearly every player, multiple sets of parents, with siblings to match, at a local pizza place down the street from the rink. As the players filed into the establishment with their families, two things struck me. One, the coach thanked players and families for being there, at the game, and at the restaurant. Two, the players called out each other’s names welcoming them as they came in, like they were distinguished guests at a dinner in their honor. Then again, it is about the kids, and none of us would have been there without the youth all around us, the ones we hold so dear. Actually, there was a third thing I noticed; if you were a stranger sitting in a nearby booth, watching this parade of families enter, you would have thought for sure that this team had won whatever contest they had just come from. In truth, we all sat down, “broke bread together” (stealing a quote heard at my table), and we all won, just in the practicing of sincere fellowship.