i was there…newtown

I’ve been away from my laptop and Word Press for some time now. There’ve been issues to deal with, some health, some holiday preparedness.

Sitting for hours at a time is not heart-healthy. Nor is it wise for me to overwork my arthritic right thumb…now in a customized brace which I wear daily.

Readership is down considerably. But I’ve learned to accept the ebb and flow of visitors to hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. The wisdom of age is understanding that life is comprised of many, wonderful moments…and learning to love them…as they occur.

Rigidly living life…is not really living at all.

These last few days, however, life has slowed down for all of us, almost coming to a total halt.

The killing of 6 and 7-year-olds…an incomprehensible tragedy. I am reminded of that other Connecticut tragedy…the doctor whose wife and 2 daughters were slaughtered, after the girls were savagely raped.

I knew I’d want to write about the devastation in Newtown, but decided to take some time to collect my thoughts. Especially since the area was home to my husband, daughter and me for 13 years before we moved west.

Everything the media says about the idyllic life in the small community of Newtown is true. It’s also true of nearby Easton, Weston, and Redding…our home town for 11 years.

Picture postcards do not do justice to the pastoral settings of these towns. One can only glimpse small slices as an outsider.

Living there is…

…awaking to explosions of fall colors in our own backyard…

…traversing 2-lane country roads on the way to everywhere…

…walking our daughter to the nearby Boys and Girls Club for birthday parties…

…celebrating our faith in a tiny, 100-year-old church…

…marching alongside our daughter and the other Brownies in the town’s Memorial Day Parade…

…selling handmade crafts in the annual fair held on the Town Green

trick-or-treating with friends throughout a nearby cul-de-sac, led by a horse who loved a carrot or two.

I made regular trips to Newtown, 10 or 15 minutes from my home. I patronized its antique shops, reveling in my discoveries. Hollandia Nursery was my favorite destination, where I bought most of the plants that graced the gardens surrounding our 110-year-old, Victorian farmhouse. If you visit http://www.ctgrown.com/html/photos.cfm  you’ll get a feel for the wonder that is the New England countryside.

Until she was 11-years-old, our daughter called Redding and the surrounding communities…home. My husband commuted the 2 hours to his job in Queens, New York, just so our child could grow up in the serenity of a small town. He afforded her the same experience we knew as children growing up in Maui and Oahu in the 1950s.

A dear friend who still lives in Redding, and has been a long-time administrator for a couple of schools, commiserated with me that our daughters would find the world beyond their small-town very different. However I think we’d both agree that our girls learned good-old-fashioned values, the kind espoused in Norman Rockwell paintings.

My daughter, a career ballerina, and my friend’s daughter, a veterinarian, grew up fulfilling dreams held long ago… in a small town in Connecticut. Something no longer possible for…


There but for the grace of God.

Let us love our children with our entire beings, so that they grow up to be healthy adults able to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Death awaits all of us. The date and time are unknown. But how we live all the minutes until then…are totally ours to determine.

…let’s choose to live them…with the joy and simplicity of those wise beyond their years…our children…

Chess Club at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT...

Chess Club at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



8 thoughts on “i was there…newtown

  1. This is just not a good Christmas at all. So very, very sad. Those poor families, it’s too difficult to even imagine. How can one live after that. My heart just breaks for them. For all the saddness and suffering in the world. We just found out last week that my mom has advanced pancreatic cancer. After being told it was just a spot on her pancreas. She is 74 and rather frail already. She has been through so much already in her life. I can only see saddness and pain in the world this Christmas. I see the entire world and life in a much different light now.


    • I’m so sorry to hear of your sadness…and your mom’s bout with cancer. I know you already deal with fibromyalgia so that these issues can weigh heavily on your already compromised well-being. Please take care of yourself first and foremost, so that you can be there for your mom, and others for whom we can offer up prayers and hopeful voices. Be well…and enjoy small moments of holiday happiness…as you’re able. You’re in my prayers…as is your mom. hugs… 🙂


  2. Dear hugmamma,
    How beautifully written, how thought provoking. Like the rest of the world I am still coming to terms with what happened to the children and their teachers in the school in Newtown. Words alone really cannot seem to express the depth of feeling this outrage has provoked, but words are all we have to express our outrage, sadness and utter disbelief that this could happen. My god bless the parents and families who suffered such a tragic loss and bring them peace.


  3. I know the towns well — worked for the Danbury News-Times and Newtown was my beat. Beautiful part of the state, lovely small towns. There’s only hope that we learn and change from this senseless tragedy.
    Happy Hols and hope your thumb is ok!


    • Thanks so much for the quick visit and comment. Do you still live in Connecticut? Whereabouts? I loved life there. I’ll always treasure the years we spent in New England. It’s like no other place I’ve visited. My daughter considers Redding home even though she left it when she was 11. She’s now 26. Washington State is where her parents live, she says.

      Happiest of holidays to you as well! God bless… 🙂


hugs for sharing some brief thoughts...and keeping them positive

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