Archive for the ‘Some Serious Thoughts’ Category

From The Entire Crew At Blue Heron Realty Co., Our Wishes For A Happy Holiday Season And A Great New Year !

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Well, it’s that time  of year again,  putting up the outdoor lights, decorating the big cedar tree in the front yard,  getting  a wreath properly hung on the door so that it isn’t that  tiny bit crooked, and,  my special favorite, stringing long loops of  colorful holiday lights along the full length of our back deck, such a cheery sight as dusk falls.  And all the usual outdoor holiday decor tasks  are made so much easier here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia because of our mild but definite 4 season climate. ( The delights of  the  Shore’s fabulous climate  were brought into sharp relief today by a call from an employee who had made what was to have been just a quick trip to Houlton, Maine, expecting to be back for work as scheduled on yesterday.  Instead, she got trapped by a major winter storm with a projected duration of at least 2 days, 8-12 inches of snow and lots of ice accumulation expected, so she missed  work  because it was too dangerous to drive.  You just wouldn’t  believe it, said she, ice pellets are falling fast and furiously, snow drifts are about a gazillion feet high, I’m so ready to get back to the Shore !  )  So,  counting my blessings as I puttered out on the deck yesterday afternoon, dressed in a light windbreaker, potting up pansies into  3 beautiful flower pots  I  got as  gifts for a special friend,  sky blue, sun shining, slight breeze blowing off the water, nary a snowflake in sight, no black ice, no 30 car pile-ups…..  I think next year I should just print t-shirts that say:  “Life is good ….on Virginia’s Eastern Shore“.

On a more serious note, this is the time of year when friends and family  are close in mind and heart, and, if we are lucky, in body too.  Trivial and petty are hopefully cast aside,  leaving more space for thinking  not just of family and friends but especially about helping those less fortunate.  By nature, I am an optimist and 13 is my lucky number–  but it does seem that 2013  has brought  definite economic improvement here on the Eastern Shore and nationwide.  For this, at Blue Heron Realty Co.,  we are truly grateful.  And we would especially like to thank our clients and customers, all the many folks who have purchased or listed property through our firm.  Please know that we very much appreciate your business and really value your confidence in us.

And to the readers of this little blog about life and real estate on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, we hope you found some of the information you were looking for and had some fun too, learning about our slender peninsula bordered by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Happily,  we had our 15 minutes of fame and celebrity this year as the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) premiered  a “beachfront house hunter” episode earlier this month about the Eastern Shore of Virginia  and one of its most charming little historic towns, Cape Charles, VA  and, ta-da, featured Eva Noonan, sales agent in Blue Heron’s Cape Charles office and her buyers, the Outlands.  I loved watching the HGTV crew film the show over 4 days, it was such a fun and a unique experience, keep an eye out for  repeat showings of our episode.  And I’m hoping in 2014 you will keep reading our little blog to learn more about the amazing quality of life and the outstanding real estate opportunities on the Eastern Shore to purchase beachfront properties, homes with backyard boat docks, Bay Creek Golf Resort listings,  historic homes as well as  town and country homes  listed for sale by Blue Heron Realty Co. in the Chesapeake Bay area   

And so, from Lemoin, Marlene, Montaigne, Mike, Gerry, Heather, Kay, Lisa and Brandi in Blue Heron’s  Machipongo, VA  main office and from Dave, Eva, Jennifer, Luisa, Bonnie and Cynthia in Blue Heron’s Cape Charles, VA branch office,  thanks once again for your continued support, we really appreciate it.  Best wishes to you and yours from the entire Blue Heron crew for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous  2014.      ( Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA. )

Christmas party blog photo


A Fitting Memorial Ceremony At The Eastern Shore Of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, Previously Fort John Custis, Near Cape Charles, VA

Thursday, June 13th, 2013
Susan Rice and Dignataries on the Dais At Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Refuge

Susan Rice & Visiting Dignataries At Ribbon Cutting Ceremony At Eastern Shore Wildlife Refuge

On Saturday, May 25th, along with hundreds of others, including scores of  local veterans, we attended  a very moving ribbon cutting ceremony at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National  Wildlife Refuge as part of the placement of a very special gun.  A great deal  of time and effort was expended, most  particularly by Alan Stanz, a US Navy veteran from the Eastern Shore, as well as by Terry McGovern,  author of a very fine pictorial history on coastal defense systems entitled The Chesapeake Bay At War“,  to make possible the transfer of this historic  gun from the US Navy  to  the Refuge.  Present on the dais were Ms. Susan Rice, Manager of  the Refuge, Col. Paul Olsen representing the US Army,  Barry White, USN retired, who had actually served aboard the Missouri, representing the US Navy, Vincent Rojas representing the Pearl Harbor Battleship Missouri Memorial in Hawaii,  as well as representatives of Senator Mark Warner and Governor McDonald.

Battleship_Missouri[1] at sea

Mighty Mo underway at sea

Photo of Bunker # 2 at The Eastern Shore Virginia Wildlife Refuge

Gun Barrel #393 Standing In The Remains Of Bunker # 2 At The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony At The Eastern Shore Of Virginia Wildlife Refuge

This is the story of the voyage of  that gun, a  single 168 foot long Mark 7,  Barrel # 393,  from her initial deployment to her final resting place here  at the National Wildlife Refuge at the southern tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  She proudly sailed on one of the most consequential battleships of WW II,  USS Missouri, the “Mighty Mo“, christened in January, 1944 by then Senator Harry Truman’s daughter, Margaret.  Fittingly, the “Mighty Mo”  was initially stationed in nearby Norfolk, VA , swiftly  cutting through the waters of the Chesapeake Bay during her  shakedown and battle practice before setting sail for Pearl Harbor in  December of that year.  The gun of our story was one of only nine aboard  in her class, a  16″ 50 Caliber Mark 7, constituting part of the main battery on  the Missouri.  But she was destined to play an important place in history, firing her heart out as the “Might Mo”  participated in the invasion of Iwo Jima, then in  the invasion of Okinawa as the Third Fleet flagship of  the great Admiral  Halsey and in the final assault on Japan in her home waters. This particular gun was a silent witness on V-J Day to the momentous surrender of  the Empire of Japan on Sept. 2, 1945 as the world heaved a great sigh of relief when Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur came aboard the USS Missouri shortly before 9 am to sign the Surrender Documents on behalf of the United States of America.  And  this gun, # 393,  with the ribbon cutting ceremony  at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge over the Memorial Day 2013 week-end,  has now become ” Our  Gun”.   At  168  feet long,  firing a 16″ shell  weighing 2100 pounds,  capable of hitting a target at  a distance of 23 miles, she is at last peacefully quiet,  resting in her final emplacement, in Bunker # 2, which once wielded an identical 168 foot long Mark 7  gun during  deployment  at Fort John Custis from 1942 to 1945 as a part of  its  gun battery for the critical coastal defense system.

A bit more history….   During WWII,  the defense of the 15 mile wide mouth of the Chesapeake Bay against possible attack by enemy warships was of the highest priority to the US military, particularly in consideration of the strategic importance of  protecting the US’s largest Navel Station in Norfolk only a few miles away, the very important  shipyard in the Hampton area as well as the necessity of  keeping ports and the critical shipping channels between Norfolk and Baltimore secure and open.  The upshot of this concern was that in September, 1941 a fort was established by the US Army at the very southern tip of  the Eastern Shore.  It’s mission was to work together with Fort Story on the Virginia Beach side of the Bay and Fort Monroe in Hampton to create a series of  coastal fortifications of the highest level at the mouth of  the Chesapeake.  Originally designated Fort Winslow, re-named Fort John Custis in honor of a local Eastern Shore hero in 1942,  at peak staffing over 1000 troops were stationed there,  manning a variety of gun batteries, state of the art radars, controlled mines, searchlights and tall fire control towers, 24/7.

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Aerial View of Fisherman's Island and the Eastern Shore VA National Wildlife Refuge

Aerial View of Fisherman’s Island & Eastern Shore VA National Wildlife Refuge Where Fort Custis & The Cape Charles Air Force Station Once Stood

And just a teeny bit more history…. After the War, the Army closed the Fort Custis but in 1950 it got a new lease on life when purchased by the US Air Force, re-named the Cape Charles Air Force Station, home station of the 77 1st Squadron.  Here about 500 airmen during the 1950’s & 60’s were stationed,  manning very specialized equipment as part of the military’s  new national air defense radar network .  In 1963 it became a joint use facility with the FAA but in 1981 all these missions were moved to the  Navel Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, and the Cape Charles Air Force Station faded into the sunset.  Enter the US Fish and Wildlife Service which in 1984 purchased part of the property to establish the now totally awesome Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge.  This pretty much brings us to the present except to say that currently  the Refuge owns 1340 acres at the Shore’s very beautiful southern tip, including all of what was once Fort Custis.  And to quote from the program handed out at the ribbon cutting:  “The Refuge staff continues history’s theme of protection– not one of protecting the Chesapeake Bay as Fort John Custis, nor protecting the skies as Cape Charles Air Force Station, but one of protecting the waters, the land and skies for wildlife  and their habitates for the continuing benefit of the American people.” 


Rosie the Riviter WW II Poster saying "We Can Do It "

WE DID DO IT — Thanks To The Efforts Of Millions Like My Father & Mother

So the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony wasn’t  just about this impressive and historic  gun, it was about remembering  the sacrifices of those who fought and those who died to protect us and to keep this nation free.  As Col. Paul Olsen, representing the US Army at the Ceremony, said so eloquently,  not every warrior returns from war.  And Memorial Day is the time for we the living to contemplate the abstract idea of freedom and to remember those who paid for it with their  last full measure of devotion.  And not just those who fought in battle or those who died,  but also  those who sacrificed in so many other ways.  I’m sure that almost everyone in my generation has a relative who was touched by WWII  in a very personal way. For myself, I would like to pay tribute to my father, now passed on, captured by the Germans, managed to escape,  awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, who struggled the rest of his life with medical issues from his war wounds.  And to my mother, who after graduation from college went to work, not in her chosen profession, but in an aircraft assembly plant, noisy, dirty, difficult but like so many other women across this country, worked  her heart out for her country.  And so on Memorial Day I always think of them, of their sacrifices, as well as of our debt to those who died.  It’s because of  my parents and the millions of men and women  just like them all over this nation, the Greatest Generation,  we are all still free, still speaking English– not German, not Japanese. Thanks, Dad.  Thanks, Mom. We can never repay our debt to you.

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From Blue Heron Realty Co. A Wish For Happy Holidays And A Wonderful New Year

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

The holidays are one of my favorite times of year here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  especially since our mild but 4 season climate makes it a lot of  fun to decorate outdoors as well as indoors.   But this  year has gone by so quickly,  it’s really hard to believe that 2013 is nearly upon us.  Although personally, I’ve been  looking forward to it.  I admit it, I’m very sightly superstitious.  And 13 is my luck number.   If indeed lucky numbers exist, which my hubby tells me is a bit silly.   Nevertheless…… 13 is still my lucky number !   So, its very possible  that  some good things are in store in 2013 and who wouldn’t be looking forward to that  ?   The word on the economic street is that if the politicians can get their acts together before the end of January, if not sooner, that  unemployment will continue to go down  and GDP will continue to go up.  So 2013 holds the promise of being a good year for everyone, not just us  “lucky number 13”  folks,  but for everyone,  which I find is a comforting thought to carry into the holidays.

On a more serious note, it’s the time of year when folks try to cast  aside the petty and trivial  and focus on the really important stuff– family, friends, country and helping those less fortunate.  One of the other reasons I’m looking forward to 2013 is that 2012 has still been a difficult year  for a lot of  our fellow countrymen, everywhere,  not just here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  But, by nature I am an optimist, things have definitely been improving,  and I really have high hopes for the New Year.  Meanwhile, we would especially like to thank all those helped make this past year a good year for our firm, our clients and customers, all the many folks who listed or purchased property through Blue Heron Realty Co. . We want you to know that we truly appreciate your business and your confidence in us.

And to you,  the dear readers of this little blog about life and real estate on the  the Eastern Shore of Virginia, we hope you had a bit of  fun and learned  more about our gorgeous and unique little spot,  located at one of Mother Nature’s very best addresses, the corner of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Hopefully you will continue to keep reading our blog about the Virginia Eastern Shore next year to hear more about our special coastal lifestyle and find out more about our beachfront properties, boating homes, Bay Creek Golf Resort listings, historic and town & country homes listed for sale in the Chesapeake Bay area by Blue Heron Realty Co..   And so from Lemoin, Marlene, Montaigne, Mike, Heather, Gerry, Kay, Lisa and Sandy in our Machipongo, VA office and  from Dave, Eva, Jennifer, Luisa and Bonnie in our Cape Charles, VA  office,  thanks ever so much for your support, we really appreciate it !   Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year from the entire Blue Heron Realty Co.  crew  !!  (Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Season’s Greetings From The Entire Blue Heron Realty Co. Crew

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

It’s so hard to believe that another year is quickly drawing to a close,  that in just a few days it will be 2012.  And after I’ve finally gotten  it down pat, correctly writing 2011 on my checks every single time,   now I have to start all over again, trying to remember to write in the correct date  ? ?    Ah, the trials and tribulations of a numerically challenged person,  twas ever thus !   On a more serious note,  this is the time of year when most folks pause and try to put aside the trivial and concentrate on what’s really important– family, friends, country.   And this year, like last,  has been a very difficult one for so many throughout our great country.   But hope springs eternal,  things are improving and I for one believe that 2012 will be a better year.  In the meantime,  we would like to especially thank our clients and customers,  all the many folks who listed or purchased property though Blue Heron Realty Co. ,  we truly appreciate your business and value your confidence in our firm.   And to you, dear reader of  this  little blog on life and real estate on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  we hope you had some fun,  learned a bit more about our little slice  of the planet  at the corner of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and plan to keep reading in the  New Year.   So,  from Lemoin, Marlene, Montaigne, Mike, Gerry, Heather,  Kay, Lisa and Nicole in our Machipongo, VA  office and from Dave,  Eva,  Jennifer, Luisa,  Bonnie and Sandy in our Cape Charles, VA  office,  thanks ever so much !    Have a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year from the entire Blue Heron Realty Co. crew !

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Want To Save A Chunk Of Our 100 Billion Afghan War Dollars ? Greg Mortenson Says “Build Schools IN Afganistan, Not Just Bombs FOR Afganistan”

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Greg Mortenson on Lecture Tour to Raise Money for Schools

On Thursday March 24th, I  zip-zipped the 45 minutes over  from Cape Charles, VA  to Norfolk where I attended an inspirational lecture at Old Dominion  University given by Greg Mortenson,  author of  “Three Cups of Tea” ,  the best selling book about his mission to build girls’ schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.   Montenson exhorted the capacity crowd of  3,000  to support building more  schools in  Afghanistan  and fewer bombs for Afghanistan.  I found his message of supporting education, especially for girls,  not simply  uplifting but also very timely and practical.  If you haven’t yet read  “Three  Cups of Tea” ,  it is definitely worth a special trip to my favorite bookstore, Barnes and Noble,  to buy it.  In fact, when it first came out a few years ago I found it so compelling that bought  copies  for each of my kids as well as a few friends. And check out his website, 

"3 Cups of Tea" - Buy It, You'll Love It !

I think of myself as a very practical person and one of the most interesting things,  from a practical point of view, about Mortenson’s championing the cause of education in Afghanistan,  especially for girls,  is that  the US military is now taking some of his ideas on relationship building to heart.    “Three Cups of Tea”   has become mandatory  reading  in U.S. Army war colleges and  by the commanders and special forces troops on the ground in  Afghanistan.  General Petraeus has incorporated Mortenson’s three core principles into the Army’s efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people– 1.) Listen more and look at issues from their perspective.  2.)Be respectful  3) Build relationships.   Since the US budget for the war in Afganistan is about 118 Billion  per year ,  clearly everything we can do to win over the people there will help our war efforts.  Both General McCrystal and General Petraeus were won over to Mortenson’s principle of working with the elders in the Afghan communities to create the trust needed to achieve the best results and to focus on empowering the Afghan people.

School Materials Must Be Carried By Human Express Up Steep Mountains

Mortenson’s great success has come because the Afgan people in each village where his foundation builds a school  must demonstrate their sincere desire for the school,  wait their turn for the school to be built and agree to donate the land and all the construction labor before  his foundation,  the Central Asia Institue  (CAI ),  agrees to donate the building materials, books and school supplies.  He estimates that it takes up to 8,000 or more  man hours of labor to bring in the construction materials, which often must be brought in  tied to the backs of the villagers as they climb up the mountains to deliver the materials to their remote villages and to actually construct  the school.  Because of the huge involvement on the part of  the entire village  which donates its  time and its  land,  the village becomes  so psychologically invested in the concept of  having  their own school and their children being able to get an education that to date not one village school built by the CAI  has been destroyed by the TalibanIn concert with  various villages in high mountainous  areas where there have never been  schools,   Greg Mortenson’s group has built 178 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan,  schools which are now educating 68,000 children per year who would otherwise receive no education whatsoever !    How amazing and life-changing for these children !   Most of the schools CAI has built are are schools for girls.  Mortenson’s  motto is  ” If you educate a boy you educate an individual but if you educate a girl you educate a community”.  Mortenson has also been building what he calls  “Women’s Literacy Centers” where they educate adult  woman on a variety of issues like nutrition and  hygeine,  etc., provide a wealth of  information and skills which they can then take back to their village and pass on to the other women of their village, who then pay to forward to other women,  so the information ripples ever outward,  helping entire families in these remote villages.  Empowerment through education !  Go,  Greg,  go !

Changing The World, One School At A Time.

Towards the end of his lecture,  Mortenson outlined one of this most interesting fund-raising efforts called “Pennies for Peace”,   This is a stellar program where 4th, 5th and 6th graders collect change to be given to help build  CAI schools.  But Mortenson indicated that  one of the most interesting things to come about through the Pennies  program was not just the benefit to the Afghan schools but the pride and interest created in the American kids who are participating in the program.  These kids  become  really interested in the world and how they can help the world,  they take enormous pride and pleasure in working  for a cause so important, it really expands their horizons and self esteem.    It’s no wonder that  President Obama donated $100,000 of his Nobel Peace Prize to Mortenson’s efforts.  And I agree with Greg Mortenson’s statement that    ” The real war over there is poverty and illiteracy.  You cannot bomb people into peace.”   If we would take just a small chunk of the 100 billion dollars we are spending to wage war in Afghanistan and spent it to educate the children and alleviate the proverty there we  could save money, save lives, save the situation.  As Mortenson would say,  “Speak  the  Peace”  and  let your Congressman and Senator know how you feel !   P.S. Check out the CAI and its efforts at

Reflections On The Tragedy In Tucson And Thoughts On Where To Go From Here

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  as I imagine it must be  everywhere throughout the country,  there is a lot of sadness and reflection about the tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona.  It’s hard to believe that it occurred just a week ago this morning because it seems so much longer to me. And perhaps it is so vivid to me because I have family in Arizona and have traveled to Tucson  several times.   I can really see in my mind’s eye the sunny day,  the pleasant temperatures,  probably near 70,  skies so blue,   views of mountains in the distance,  hustle and bustle of a  Saturday morning  at  a  busy shopping center,  grocery carts clattering  to and from the parking lot,  cheerful  people lining up to speak to their representative,  Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  “Congress On Your  Corner”,   her  large sign,  inviting  folks  to stop and chat .   And then,  in an instant,  a  gun clip fired its 30 rounds ,  shattering  lives forever,  killing 6, wounding 13,  in the space of only about one minute.

The most public face of the dead,  Christina Green,  just nine years old,  a  9/11 child,  happy, energetic,  such a bright future ahead,  her life cut off almost before it began,  mourned nationwide,  eloquently eulogized by President Obama,  visions of her skipping through pudddles in Heaven.   One of the newspaper stories I read mentioned  that her family had reached out to the New Melleray Abbey whose Trappist monks make caskets by hand from the trees in their forest,  including caskets for children,  which they often donate to the families.  For each casket recipient,  the monks  plant a memorial tree in their sustainable forest.   A tiny bit of  comfort,  a  Christina Taylor Green Memorial Tree in the Melleray Abbey forest.   The public face of the survivors, Congresswoman Giffords. Gabby to her friends,  the main target of the shootings, she was a popular and helpful woman,  recently  re-elected,  just sworn in,  no doubt looking forward to speaking with her constituents at her  “Congress On Your Corner” meeting to be held in the parking lot, now blood-stained, in front of that busy Safeway  supermarket. Her fate now ? Permanent brain damage, the extent of which is as yet unknown. What a travesty !

In the aftermath,  as a significant  part of the national  conversation turns now to what might  be done to reduce the prospects of even more such violence and mass murder,  I find myself wondering,  as are many others,  why  is the  sale of 30 round ammunition clips  legal ?    Surely not for killing animals, shotguns and rifles are used for that.   It appears that what it is  just perfect for is killing people, quickly, very, very quickly killing people.   I’ve read that Virginia apparently has some of the most lax gun laws in this country- I have no idea whether or not that is true.  I do know that deer hunting in Northampton County, Virginia  is legal only with a shotgun and shotguns don’t take 30 round clips.  The right to bear arms is guaranteed in the United States Constitution but I don’t think I read anywhere in that document about a guaranteed right to bear a 30 round ammo clip.

 It seems to me that right now,  while intense national attention is focused on this issue,  when Congress seems to be  paying attention as well  ( especially since their personal safety issues might actually trump pressure  from the NRA lobby this time ) , that right now  is the time to try to ban this type of ammunition.  Apparently Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York, whose husband and son were both gunned down in a shooting spree on the Long Island Railroad some years ago,  is planning to introduce legislation next week  which will limit the sale of this over-the-top ammunition,  which is a huge money maker for the gun industry  but is so devastatingly efficient  in mass killings.  Hopefully, if  it actually gets to a vote, our Virginia representatives will remember the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre where the gunman,  using  a semi-automatic Glock handgun and 30 round ammunition clips, both similar to  that used by the Tucson gunman,  killed 32 people,  mostly university students and professors, in Blacksburg, Virginia, also on a bright, sunny morning.   So,  Bravo, Congresswoman McCarthy,  I hope you can gather the support needed to pass this legislation.  I hope the public, both here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and throughout this country, is flooding Congress e-mails  supporting  your sensible measures.   How many more mass murders have to be endured before the rights of the public not to be shot,  rapid-fire,  no escape possible,  can  triumph over the money grubbing of the gun lobby ?   If not now, when ?    IF NOT NOW, WHEN  ???

Thanks, Jon Stewart ! We All Can Use A Little Extra Sanity, Even Here On Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Monday, November 1st, 2010

We love Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert at our house here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  which is,  in general,  a pretty sane place to live.   I was  surprized to hear that their shows  attract  primarily  young people because I think biting political satire is funny no matter ones age.  Saturday was a work day for me so I didn’t see the live TV coverage of the  Washington D.C. Rally for Sanity and/or Fear  but I have seen lots of video clips and newspaper articles about the Rally,  which apparently had about a 200,000 strong turnout.  Some funny,  funny stuff  but sobering  too.  And I really loved a lot of the many different  homemade signs that people brought to the Rally.   ( The Washington Post has a photo gallery submitted by  readers  of some of the insightful and funny signs seen at  the Rally.  .)

We don’t usually deal with politics on this Blog but I think  political sanity is fair game.  From a political point of view,  I am an Independent.  I’m not registered with any political  party,  vote after evaluating the candidates and over the course of my years have voted for Republicans,  Democrats and Independents.  But I am a big,  big believer in civil discourse and behavior so the rise of the rhetoric of violence and the talk of   “second amendment remedies”  and behavior of the last few months seems unnecessary and alarming to me.    I believe President Obama  was born in Hawaii,  I  don’t believe President Obama is a Nazi or a Socialist,  I don’t believe in handcuffing a reporter for asking a question and the mere idea of  stomping on the head of a protester,  female or male is absolutely abhorrent to me.   That’s what the Red Shirts and Green Shirts do in Thailand,  that’s not supposed to happen here in the good ole  U. S.  of A.

If I hear one more politician condemn TARP as wrong and unnecessary I’m just going to ……. well, do  something.   As a realtor I deal with banks and bankers everyday so I’m really familiar with how the whole world runs on credit ,  from big companies to small farmers borrowing for seed and fertilizer for the new crop,  to individual house holds,  credit is essential.  So I so well remember the days after the September, 2008  Lehman Brothers collapse,  when credit was simply frozen and  governments world- wide were worried about the melt-down of the world financial system.   Saying to the banks,  ” hey guys,  it’s all your fault,  suck it up,  too bad for all of  you,  down the tubes you go, adios forever”  could have been a whole lot of fun but I’ve never been a believer in self destruction just to get back at the other guy.  So TARP was necessary,  in my opinion,  unless we just wanted to cut off our head to spite our nose,   Alice In Wonderland style.   And the good news is that most of the banks that got TARP  funds have repaid the principal plus some hefty interest so we the people will have doubled down on our benefits—- we saved our financial system and made money doing it.  How great is that !  So instead of being in line for free soup most of us are on-line,  thinking about the new iPad or  the new 4G EVO,  or  Christmas or some other such thing,  the whole point being that most of us are still living our lives,  albeit on a more frugal basis,  but we are not struggling through another Great Depression.   So to hear politicians on both sides of the aisle reviled for passing  the legislation that  kept  our financial system from total collapse  just annoys the you-know-what out of me !

Which is why I really,  really needed some Jon Stewart Sanity just before these  elections.   I’m not and don’t want to become  a person who turns purple in the face and yells or strikes out  at other people about differences in political opinion.  I want to continue being  a person who can,  pretty calmly,  make my points,  hoping that the other person  is trying to keep an open mind and is actually considering what I’m saying,  and no name calling,  please.   And I hope to be able to do rationally consider their points in return.  And Jon,  I agree completely with you that   ” these are  hard times but not the end times”.   So let’s just  keep calm and carry on like the real Americans that we all are.   As  Rosie the Riveter famously said,  “We Can Do It.”

Foreclosure Fraud Effects Everyone

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Normally in this blog we  discuss both aspects of  life on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and some specific real estate here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  But nobody can pick up a newspaper today without reading about the rampant bank recklessness in the foreclosure process around the entire country and I want to make a short comment about this issue.   The widespread disregard that it appears that most banks willfully have shown for the underlying legal process is very disturbing to me because every single property purchase in this country relies on the sanctity of the process of getting and keeping clear title to the real estate being purchased.   Therefore,  for the system to work properly,  when a bank wants to foreclose it needs to be able to prove that it has the right to do so.  When  these individual property rights are trampled on,   it effects public faith in our entire structure of property rights and real estate contract law.  So possible foreclosure  fraud by banks effects everyone.  An excellent explanation of the entire purchase-to-foreclosure process can be found at  .  I guarantee it’s worth taking the time to read.