Open roads and motorcycle safety is always in style!

Open roads and motorcycle safety is always in style!


Blue Skies and open roads are finally here. Not only does that mean it’s time to get your motorcycle back on the road, but also to make sure you are riding with safety.  “While motorcycles are cool, they just aren’t as safe as cars. To some people, that’s part of the appeal. Living life on the edge and taking risks can be part of what makes riding a motorcycle rewarding.” In this blog, you will find many safety tips to make sure you have the best experience possible.


  1. Wear a helmet. A helmet can help reduce or prevent concussions, skull fractures, damage to eye sockets or other facial features, and traumatic brain injuries.
  2. Take a motorcycle safety course., is one of the many places to offer both basic and beyond basic motorcycle safety courses.
  3. Check your motorcycle before hitting the road. Make sure the lights, horn, blinkers, brakes, and tires are in good working order before you even turn on the engine, especially if you have not been on your bike recently.
  4. Educate your passengers. Make sure to have a spare helmet ready for anyone else who will ride with you on your motorcycle, and talk them through motorcycle safety so you can drive distraction-free.
  5. Keep your hands firmly on the handlebars. Too many drivers take one hand off the wheel, especially to fiddle with the radio or answer their phone. Distracted driving is dangerous enough when you’re surrounded by metal and airbags – when you’re operating a motorcycle, all you have between yourself and hitting the pavement is your safety gear and your awareness. Keep your hands in place, steering your bike, and look out for other drivers.
  6. Look twice at every intersection. Look left, then right, then left again before driving through an intersection. Many drivers do not look carefully for stop or yield signs. A number of drivers involved in motorcycle accidents claim that they did not even see the rider before it was too late. This simple safety precaution can help ensure that you see them and that they see you before it’s too late.
  7. Leave enough space. As a motorcyclist, you will not have the benefit of a bumper if you hit the vehicle in front of you, and you could easily fly off your bike and seriously injure yourself.


Along with these safety tips, you should also make sure your insurance is completely up to date. One major detour / red light on your joy ride, could be not having proper coverage, including motorcycle accessory coverage. Here at C.H. Edwards, we make getting proper coverage as easy as cruising through green lights. Give us a call for your no obligation quotation.

A Bedtime Story For a Little Boy

Little boy asked, “Daddy, will you tell me a story?”

With all the love in his heart, the father smiled and agreed.

Once upon a time, there was a little baby boy. He was a good boy and everyone loved him. The baby boy had an older brother, but the brother was only older by a few years.

In the mornings, the baby boy would sit in his high chair and his brother would sit near him at the kitchen table. Their mother would make breakfast and the two boys would eat together. They laughed and they sang. The mother would smile happily as she sang along too.
Most mornings, the father would rush through the kitchen before leaving for work. He would kiss the two boys before heading out and then the father would kiss his wife goodbye.

After breakfast, the two brothers would go in the television room. They would sit on the couch or play with their matchbox cars on the floor while watching their favorite television shows.
On nice days, they would go outside and play. The baby boy was so happy to be outside. His older brother was happy too.
In the autumn months, the older brother would collect leaves in a pile. Then the older brother would cover himself, and pop out from beneath the leaves and shout, “Surprise!”

All the leaves would fly up as the older brother leapt from the pile. This always made the baby boy laugh out loud.
This made their mother laugh too, so the older brother would gather all the fallen leaves and do it again.

The older brother scooped up all the colorful leaves he could find, and same as before, the older brother placed them in a big pile in the family’s backyard. The baby boy would giggle with excitement as his older brother buried himself in the leaves.

“Are you ready,” asked the older brother.
The baby boy laughed even louder because he knew what was coming.

“Surprise!” shouted the brother, and then he leapt from the pile of leaves with his arms wide open.

The mother would watch this and she would smile. She always made sure the two were dressed properly. She made sure the older brother wore his jacket because the months were beginning to cool. The little boy dressed warmly too with a light coat and dark blue hat that was knitted by his grandmother.

Lunchtime was always a fun time in their house.

Everyone made sure to wash up and clean their hands first before sitting at the table. The baby boy sat in his high chair and his brother sat right beside him.
Mom would make different foods for lunch. She fed her boys well because a healthy belly meant a healthy boy.
Mom would make different meals, but the baby boy always loved soup. Tomato was his favorite—but he always offered to share. The older brother offered to share his food as well because this is what we do with the people we love.

The two boys sat and finished their lunch. They sang and they played while their mother cleaned after them and made sure the house was well-kept.
The father would call from work and he made sure to speak with everyone in the house. Of course, every phone call was always ended with the words, “I love you.”

When evening came, the two boys were ready for dinner. By this time, the father had come home. They all sat together as a family. The father would tell about his day and mother would fill in father about what the boys did while he was gone.

Everyone made sure to finish everything on their plate so that afterwards, everyone was able to enjoy something sweet for dessert. Cake was always the favorite in this house.

After dinner was done and dessert was finished, the father took his two sons in the television room to play. Some days he would be a train. Both the baby boy and his older brother would sit on their father’s back as he moved hands and knees across the living room floor, tooting, “Choo-Choo!”

Some days, the father would take turns and lift the boys high in the air. He lifted them, one at a time, so they could lay flat and pretend to fly.
The boys would spread their arms, as if their arms were the wings of an airplane. They made airplane sounds, like “Zoom,” as they pretended to fly through the air.
After they played, everyone settled down and the boys watched a few shows before going to bed. But when bedtime came, clean little boys slept in their clean little beds beneath their clean little sheets.

The father would read his boys a few bedtime stories and then he kissed both of his sons before saying goodnight.

The older brother was settled into his bed first and tucked beneath the blankets. Then he snuggled his little face in the pillow and said, “Goodnight mommy. Goodnight daddy.”
To which mommy replied, “Goodnight baby,” and daddy said, “Goodnight son.”

The baby boy was prepared for his crib where a proud loving father and a proud loving mother would lay the baby boy down and set him off to sleep. They were so proud as parents. They were so lucky as a family

“Daddy,” interrupted the boy listening to the story.

Yes son?

“Whatever happened to that baby boy?”

Well, cancer came along and you died before you reached the age of three.
And not one day will ever go by that your mom, your brother and I will not be thinking of you.

Sleep well now son.

I promise we will all be together again

Someday . . .

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation

It’s not just about shaving your head to raise money

It’s about raising money to put an end to pediatric cancer.
It’s about raising awareness and finding a treatment that is less toxic so that our children will not only beat and survive cancer, but they will go on to live a long and healthy life

Visit St Baldrick’s @


Written by Ben Kimmel, The Written Addiction

May 25, 2015 Memorial Day

May 25, 2015 Memorial Day

This morning, I woke to the usual peaceful sound of my community. Since I always wake early, the sounds of my street consist of birds chirping and wind sweeping through the trees.

This morning’s wind appears to be gentle. I like the sound it makes. I like the way birds announce the sunrise, as if to prove they know when the sun is on its way and that today arrives with a new promise.

My home is also quiet. The only noise I hear comes from the moving water in my fish tank, which stands against the wall in a room that I consider to be special.
This room is not unlike any special room in any house. This is my sanctuary. This is where I come to write, or sit and think. This room is where I sort things out and maintain my sanity.
I have bookshelves for my books. I have paintings on the wall and a few masks that remind me of the first vacation I ever took with my wife.

Above my desk, which is catty-cornered against windows with the blinds slightly opened to allow a source of morning light, and hung on the wall above my computer, monitor, and the printer is a small board with some memories I keep pinned to it.
There is a picture of my daughter when she was very small. I have a Father’s Day card that was drawn by her. There is a picture of my blue and gold macaw Oscar the Parrot, a few other tiny pieces I keep for different reasons, along with a broken drumstick from a local show I like to remember.

The view from my window is a perfect caption of suburban life. My middle income town is clustered with modest homes and well-kept yards. From my window, which faces the northwest, I can see the trees that stand tall above the rooftops and the power and phone lines that string between the telephone poles that serve us.
The springtime has replaced all the empty trees with leaves. The bush which lines the fence between mine and my neighbor’s backyard has green leaves with white flowers blossomed at the top. Yes, spring has arrived and this weekend acts as the unofficial start to the summertime rush

There is peace to the silence of morning. There is beauty to the vision I see from my window. However, this vision did not come without cost. Like any homeowner, I work hard to pay my mortgage. I work to feed my family as well as fuel, keep, and maintain the two cars in my driveway. Each day, the mailman walks up to the mailbox on my front stoop, opens its little door, and slides in a pile of mail.

More often than not, the pile of mail consists of bills, or letters about politics, and daily adds from the super markets. Less often are the letters from family and postcards.

My house is in the middle of the street. Mine is not the biggest or the smallest. My neighbors know who I am and most of them smile and wave when they see me.
There are a few homes with children on the block. I smile when I see them because they are still young and it is nice to see young kids playing or learning how to ride a bicycle. It is nice to hear them laugh and it is nice to see mothers and fathers watching as their children play in the front yard.

My town, aside from the minor instances, is a good place. There are some troubles, but the troubles are small in comparison to other places in the world. I call this a community. It is no different from any of its kind that spread across our nation.
My home is not perfect—but it is mine. I do what I can to improve it. Over the years, I have painted walls and made some changes. The washer and dryer need to be replaced—but they work. In fact, I repaired the dryer myself. I repaired the washing machine too; however, none of the pieces fit back as well as when I took the machine apart, so it tends to bounce during some of its faster cycles.

There are things I would like to change in my home, but I would never leave or destroy it. And firmly, I believe in the right to protect it as well as all who dwell in it. There are things I disagree with in my community. There are homes that are less kept, but I still love where I live, and I would never stand for or allow anyone to come along and tarnish, destroy, or damage my neighborhood.
There are neighbors who are less than friendly and there is a small few on my block who I would rather see move, but nevertheless, this is my home. These are my neighbors and this is where we live “Together.”

Several years ago, I kept an online journal. It was read, but not by many.
Most of my readers were involved with the tattoo community. And since I, myself, am heavily tattooed, I saw my online journal as a perfect outlet for me to write to and interact with good, like-minded people.

One reader commented often. I never knew his full name.
I only knew him as Erik.
Erik was stationed somewhere in a country I knew little about. All I knew about Iraq is what I saw on television. Erik was a Marine and he had been stationed there for quite some time.

He asked me to send him messages describing my town and telling him about the local spots.
He expressed, “I’m tired of seeing what’s around me.”
“I don’t like it here,” he said. “I want to go home, but I can’t right now.”
“Soon,” he said. “I’ll be home soon enough”
“But for now, and if you don’t mind, next time you write something, see if you can write about your town.”

Erik asked me to write about, “Punky,” my daughter.
“It always hits home when you write about your little girl,” he said.
Erik wrote, “I want to read about the country I’m fighting for and forget about where I am.”

As requested, I wrote to Erik and described where I live. I described my town and the restaurants and fast food chains that line Hempstead Turnpike. I mentioned the town pool on Prospect avenue, which alone, comes with several crazy stories from my wild teenage years. I described the streets in my neighborhood and the sound of the ice cream truck as it drove through. I wrote about the three elementary schools and their playgrounds. I told Erik about the junior high, and high school. I wrote about the difference between Merrick Avenue when I lived there as a boy and the way it looks now that I’m grown.

Then I described Eisenhower Park and the man-made pond where I used to catch sunfish when I was a little boy. I sat along the concrete edge with a small fishing rod and line dangling in the water with a red and white float bobbing on the pond’s rippled surface.


Men and women walked or jogged on the cement path, which surrounded the pond that was shaped in the form of a large, misshaped oval.
Standing tall above this at the north side of the pond was the American Flag that stemmed from a dedicated spot for the Korean War monument. There were also a monuments for the men and women lost in the Vietnam, as well as World War II.  Of any places, I felt this best described the freedom Erikchose to fight for. I told him about the two clasping hands and how beneath it were the words, “All we had was each other.”


I described this area to the best of my ability. I defined my childhood to Erik as well as the childhood of my daughter, whom I refer to as Punky in much of my writing.

To get a better picture for detail, before writing I decided to take Punky to Eisenhower Park so I could look around and send Erik something truly descriptive. I detailed the large, grass fields, which at the time, some of them were in use for a soccer game. I told Erik about the 18-hole golf course, and the picnic grounds with wooden tables, benches, and barbeque pits.
I wrote to him about a little place called Safety Town, which is a small town inside Eisenhower Park used to teach children how to, “look both ways,” before crossing the street.
I told Erik about the only tall buildings around us and how they stand across the turnpike from a place called The Nassau Coliseum where the Islanders played hockey and where I saw my first real concert.

At the end of my description, I invited Erik to my home whenever he reached stateside. I informed him that so long as my home stands, there will always be an open door and a hot meal waiting for him.

Erik thanked me.
Here he is, fighting in a country that hates us, and he thanked me.
I could not imagine where he slept or the things he saw.
I could not imagine the days or nights in the land where Erik was stationed.
I could not imagine the smells or the aromas of battle.
But worse, I could not imagine the unforgettable smell of burning flesh and death.

America, I have not forgotten you.
I have not forgotten the dignity I was taught or the pledge I said on a daily basis. I have not forgotten the cost of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I will never forget the words to your hymn, The Star Spangled Banner, nor will I ever allow anyone, either foreign or domestic, to come and take this land from me or anyone in my community.

But America, I am afraid.
I am afraid of what will come.
I am afraid of losing the dreams I have and the comfort you have given me.
I am afraid and outraged over the insults I see against you.

The other day, I watched video clips of someone doing a “Flag stomp.”
What that means is a man or woman who lives within your shelter and freedom—stomps on your flag.
They stomp on your precious threads, which embodies the freedom you offer to allow even people like this to have the freedom of speech. But yet, these people fail to see the terrible irony in this. Instead, they trample your colors of Red, White, and Blue under their boots.

I cannot tell you how much this action hurts me, but America, I can assure this will never happen in front of me. So long as I have breathe in my lungs—I will defend you.

It amazes me.
What have we become?
Where has the dignity gone?
But more importantly . . .
What will be of our future?

I have a certificate, which has been signed by the President of the United States.
This certificate acknowledges my father’s service in World War II.
But I wonder.
I wonder if the men and women who fought in that war, or Korea, or Vietnam, saw what we have become; would they be proud of what they see?
Or would they ask themselves, “Is this what we fought for?”

America, same as my house needs improvement and same as my community needs its share of changes, and no different than me deciding to love, stay, and fix this; know that I will never walk away or turn my back on you. Same as there is a cost for my home; I understand there is a cost for freedom and the glory of my country. And same as I work hard to support what I own, I will work equally as hard to protect what you have given me

It is said the most common final word of a dying man is, “Momma.”

I wonder what my friend Erik said when he died in action while serving this country.
I wonder what his wife and little girl said when they heard the news.

Stand down, son

You’ve done your job well.

Written in remembrance of all who served.
I will always remember
I will never surrender
United We Stand



Written by: Ben Kimmel, The Written Addiction

Things We Need To Do

Things We Need To Do

Warning: This one may seem a little sappy, but if you have followed along before, I don’t think it would be too much trouble to ask you to follow along again. So here it goes . . .

There are things everyone needs to see in their life. Like say, the smile from a grandparent. I never met either of my grandfathers. I only met my grandmothers, but my grandmother on my father’s side was always closest. There are things I remember like a sandwich she once made for me—and if my memory serves correctly, I cannot recall ever having a sandwich as good as the one my grandmother made.

I was young when my grandmother passed. I was only 12 years-old at the time, and my memories are few. I remember how soft her hands were and how warm she always seemed to be. The best part is I could never get in any trouble when she was around. Even if I did something wrong and The Old Man went to punish me, my grandmother would step in and silence The Old Man, which was incredible, because I never saw The Old Man back down from anyone.

There are things we all need to experience. These are little things that compile in our memory banks, and we store them away in countless numbers as if they were forgotten. But nothing is truly forgotten. Each tiny memory is saved in our own vault for safe keeping. When the time is right, our mind recognizes the moment, which is when the tiny memories come to surface, yet suddenly, those tiny memories are not small anymore. That brief glimpse in memory that we kept locked away becomes larger and more important than anything we ever experienced in our lifetime.
I cannot say when I threw a ball for the first time. I cannot recall when I first put on a baseball glove either, but yet, I can recall the first time my Old Man tried to teach me how to pitch and swing a bat.

I remember it perfectly. We were standing in an empty field near the baseball fields on Merrick Avenue. The Old man was in a pair of blue jeans, sneakers, and he was wearing a blue sweatshirt. It was the start of the spring season and my older brother was about to play a game.

Back then, opening day was a big event in our town. All the teams marched in a parade, which began in the parking lot at the park on Prospect Avenue. This was also the town pool, so the lot was big enough to stage the beginning of this parade with room to spare.
Teams, coaches, and a marching band, with slow-moving fire trucks, all traveled from the parking lot on Prospect, over to East Meadow Avenue, and then the parade headed down the somewhat main street, passing the firehouse, and then turning left at the East Meadow Public Library, and onto Front Street.

From there, the parade passed the Bowling Alley and passed the small block of condominiums on the left hand side of the street. They passed the homes on the right side and they moved all the way down, passed the gas station, passed the delicatessen, and passed the Friendly’s Restaurant.

When the parade came to Merrick Avenue, they turned right and passed the homes, which were on the east side of the street. On the west side of the street was a large plot of empty land. It was the kind of plot that kept our suburban town almost country-like. And farther north on Merrick, and just passed the main cut through street of Earl Ovington Boulevard, which connected Merrick Avenue to Hempstead Turnpike, the parade marched up to the baseball fields for its grand finale.

What I recall most of this time was the families and parents that stood on the side of the road and cheered for the young teams as they marched through our town. I remember the hot dogs with mustard, ketchup, and sauerkraut. I remember the pretzels with huge chunks of salt, pouring packets of mustard on it, and then downing all the mentioned food with a can of White Rock soda.

benThere are things I have never done in my life and there are places I have never been to. But I did play a game of catch with The Old Man, and when I was old enough, I did get the chance to play little league and march in that parade.

If you ask me . . . everyone should have the chance to march in a parade.

I flew a kite once. I was young and unsure how to put the kite the air, but thankfully, The Old Man was there to show me what to do. And again, he was wearing a pair of blue jeans, sneakers, and that same blue sweatshirt.

(He loved that sweatshirt)

The Old man grabbed the kite in one hand and he held the spool of string in the other. Then he ran across an open field with tall, almost waist-high grass. He held the kite as high as he could so that when the wind picked up, the kite took flight, and slowly but steadily, The Old Man let the string out to let the kite fly as high as it possibly could.

He showed me how to make the kite move. He showed me how to make it swerve and nosedive. Then he gave me the spool of string. He made sure I understood to hold on and what to do. Then he smiled the way a father would smile at his son. He handed me the kite and said, “It’s all yours kid.”

We were in that empty field on Merrick Avenue at the time. The sky was the bluest I have ever seen and the scattered clouds were as white as anything pure. And when the wind died and the kite lost its height, The Old Man took it and held the kite up high. He ran through the tall grass once more to set the kite into the wind.
One thing I know and I will always know is that everyone should fly a kite at least once in their life. Everyone should know how it feels to run through a field with a kite in their hand and watch something so simple in design become so miraculous in flight.

I will admit that times have changed since then. Technology has stepped in and removed the wonder from childhood. I see this as thievery because today’s technology has stolen the wonder from our lives. Technology has taken the chance to do things, like say, sit in a bookstore because bookstores are becoming a thing of the past. And sadder than this, modern technology has nearly closed all of the record stores.

Remember them?

Fortunately, I grew up in a time when there was such a thing as record stores. I stood in the isles and thumbed through albums. I listened to music; I listen to music, which was created by artists and not sampled from others. There were posters on the wall and names of bands smothered on stickers that were stuck on places throughout the room. These were bands that changed the way I saw myself. Music changed the way I saw my life—and in my youth, I took long walks to the record store just to see what I could find.
And if you ask me, I think everyone should have the chance to walk through a record store.

After a series of poor choices and bad mistakes, the public school system and I decided to part ways. I thought this was a good idea at the time; however, there are certain events that are seen as a necessary rite of passage in teenager’s life. Take the junior or senior prom, for example, or maybe a driver’s education class, or getting a learner’s permit, and ultimately, making that proud walk while wearing a cap and gown on graduation day. I missed out on these things.

I never had the chance to go to prom. I was “Away” for that. I never had the chance to take driver’s education with my friends and I never had the experience of driving my first car into the high school parking lot. As well, I never made that walk with the cap and gown. I never shouted with my class and tossed that cap into the air.

There was no prom for me. There was no driver’s education class either, and as for my high school diploma, mine came in the mail after taking a G.E.D test when I was 20 years-old. I still have the idea of throwing my own prom though, but I’m never sure who would come and I often wondered if I would have a hard time finding a date . . .

I saw an old teacher of mine once. I reminded him what he once told me in class when I was showing an urge to create. He told me I was stupid.

Told me I could barely complete a sentence. He told me I was either going to be dead of in jail and that I was a waste of space.

I reminded him of these comments and then I smiled when I was able to report, “Funny thing is I’m a published author now and you’re still here. Still standing in front of a chalkboard and probably still complaining about the kids you teach.”

When his face changed from an almost surprised to an angry look after I told him the news, I waved him off by pointing my finger directly at his face. Then I told him my penname and said, “You should Google me, bitch!”

The teacher remained quiet . . .

I never had the chance to speak at a podium to a graduating class. But I have spoken in jails. I have spoken in drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. I received a standing ovation in Riker’s Island and that was a proud moment.

I was given the opportunity to speak to 276 kids in a rehab facility. I remember some of them had tears in their eyes from hearing my story. Some of the kids thanked me, and some responded the same way I responded when it was me in their seat—they laughed because they thought they knew better.

They probably still think they know better . . . but that’s okay.
Same as I learned the hard way, so will they.

I believe everyone should have the chance to tell their story.
Everyone should have the chance to repay their debt and become clear with the house. Everyone should see the eyes of their own child and everyone should know the feeling of hearing their child’s first words, or seeing their child’s expression when they realize that,

“Daddy’s home!”

Everyone should have the chance to ease their feuds or settle their disputes. Everyone should have the chance to walk the beach and dig their toes in the sand at least once in their life.

Everyone should watch the sun go down, and then stay up long enough to see it rise again. I have done these things and I still have more to do. But what I’ve done I see as a victory over the odds that I once believed were against me.

I have never been to the Eifel Tower, and I have never seen the waterfront stores along the Amalfi Coast. I have never been to Rome or went on a tour through the Village of Pompeii, but I have seen the sun go down while standing on top of a building in New York City.
I have watched the sun come up while sitting in the field behind my old junior high school. I have seen beauty. I have seen sunshine and rain. I have seen tragedy and success. And as well, I believe I have seen death and resurrection.

It is good to dream and it is good to want more. This gives us purpose—and working for the purpose of our dreams makes it so that when we close our eyes for the last time—there will be no such thing as regret.

The same as everyone should have the chance to see the circus; everyone should have the chance to see the zoo. I may have never seen the beaches in Tahiti, but I might have the chance someday.
I have never seen the grunion at night as they wash up on the beaches of California, and I have never seen the dessert, which surrounds Las Vegas. I have never felt the sun in Cabo San Lucas, but I did have the chance to stand at my Old Man’s grave and show him a copy of my first published piece.

I told him, look what I did, Pop.

See that? I may not be as good of a storyteller as you were . . .

But I am working on it

Believe me I’m working on it.

By the way . . .

Have you ever seen the sunrise over your neighborhood?

Because if you haven’t it’s something you need to do.

Written by Ben Kimmel, The Written Addiction

Be Magical

Be Magical

There was an advertisement poster on the train for Disney bracelets. The bracelet is a series of different charms to be strung around the wrist and custom-made. One of the silvery heart-like charms had the words, “Be Magical” engraved with a tiny Mickey Mouse emblem and diamond-like chips sparkled in its background.

This is what I remember about Disney:
Little girl looked up at the stage to watch the lights beam while the curtain opened and her eyes sort of glistened in the reflection of the greatest show on earth.
She stared in complete amazement—watching magic perform in front of her. And to the little girl, this was whole new world of amazement. This is a world or purity and truth; this is a world of imagination that comes with princes and princesses. It comes with kingdoms and all we can dream of.

To the little girl, this was the embodiment of wonder. But to me, the father of that little girl, a tear formed because I never knew anything could be this magical

Be Magical . . .

There are different forms of magic. Take you for example and the magic you have over me when you simply the room.

To explain to everyone else . . .

She is the kind of beautiful that stops you—this is the kind of beauty that makes you stand still and you stare. You stare because you can’t move when she passes. You stare because you don’t want to blink, because blinking could lead to a millisecond of lost time, and even a millisecond of distraction is way too long. You stare because when she passes you can literally do nothing else but watch as she moves by.

And when she is gone, you wish you spoke, or smiled, or did anything so she would have stayed longer and the room could have remained a little brighter.
She is the kind of beautiful that when she leaves the room, you wish you could see her again. You wish you could hear her speak just one more time, because when she speaks, her voice somehow vibrates inside of you. And it’s good . . .

That’s magic.

However, I keep thinking about those words, “Be Magical.”

I say there is magic in the sunrise. And I depend on this magic. I look through the living room window of my home, which faces south, and I watch the sun arrive above the homes in my Long Island town. I look at my friend, The Old Tree, which stands in front of a lawn across the street from my house.

That tree has been here for decades. It has been here before me or any of the other homeowners on my block. And though it is not esthetically perfect; its limbs are broken, and its branches are mostly empty, The Old Tree has remained and survived whatever the seasons decided to offer.

The Old Tree survived storms and hurricanes. Whereas younger trees, or seemingly prettier and esthetically healthier trees have fallen to storms, The Old Tree refused to give way. Its deep roots hold strong and symbolize the magic of endurance.

I love that tree.

But there is more to say on the subject of magic—because magic is real.

Don’t believe me? Then I suggest you do research on a man named, Felix Baumgartner. Felix held the record for the highest skydive. He jumped from the edge of space, just above the atmosphere, at some 128,000 miles above the earth.

As he stepped outside of the small, balloon-risen capsule, he hovered above our planet where oxygen ends and the vacuum of space begins. He stared down at the vastness of Earth while suited in his spacesuit with only ten minutes of breathable air. Then he spoke to Ground Control and said, “I’m heading home.”

He said, “The whole world is watching me now. I wish they could see what I could see.” His breath was heavy as he said, “Sometimes . . . you have to get up really high to understand how small you are.” Then Baumgartner saluted. He said, “I’m coming home now,” and in a leap, Baumgartner dove from space and defied the speed of sound while freefalling at 729mph to the ground.imagespn7fv1os[1]

His breathing remained heavy as Ground Control reported his speed. At first, Baumgartner struggled for control. He tumbled and nearly lost consciousness; however, he overcame the spin and Baumgartner regained control of his jump.

When his chute deployed, Baumgartner swooped down from the sky. He simply floated down and landed on the ground. He jumped from 128,000 miles above the world, falling at a top speed of 729mph, and he landed on both feet as if he jumped from a stoop.

The charm says, “Be Magical.”

I may not be ready to dive from 128,000 miles above the earth, and I’m not sure I could handle a free-fall of 729mph, but I do know what it means to want to live out loud.
I know what it means to want slash the throat of the midnight sky and rage until the first moments of dawn. I know what it means to create. I know what it means to live, to build, and to dream.

I know what it means to dare, to love, and to give with all I have.

And that, in and of itself, is magical.

The dictionary defines magic as: The art of producing a desired effect or results through the use of various techniques that presumably assume human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.

But I say it’s more.

Don’t you?

Written by Ben Kimmel, The Written Addiction

Time For The Season

Time For The Season

Yesterday morning began with trips down to the basement, scratching my head, and looking for boxes of Christmas decorations, which apparently, would be much easier to find if I just listened to my wife when putting things away.

The tree stand was to the right side of the room and the clear boxes of ornaments and tinsel was on the left. The wife brought up the Christmas stockings and the Garlands. We found the white icicle lights that hang in our windows; we found the Santa decorations that go in the bathroom and on the other shelves throughout the house. We found the small white Christmas tree that stands in my daughter’s bedroom window; we found all of the little figurines that we place around the white tree in our own version of a miniature, winter wonderland.

Then, of course, out comes the white Menorah with electric blue lights. This decoration is out of respect for the religion I was raised with. These decorations sit on one of the shelves in my daughter’s room, along with cottony-white pillows of fake snow, blue and red Dreidel lights that string above her bed (A Dreidel is that four-sided top that we spin around on the floor) and next to the white Menorah, which stands on puffs of pretend snow on the shelf next to her bed, there is a small white snowman with tiny lights that shine inside of its crystal-like belly. Its eyes and a mouth made of coal; it has twig arms and a pointy orange carrot for a nose.HOLIDAY DECORATING

We cleared the shelving and the cabinets in the living room. We moved the necessary furniture to accommodate the Christmas tree—which is not always an easy setup. The tree stands on occupied real estate. By occupied real estate, I mean this is where my bird lives for the other 49 weeks of the year.

Oscar the Bird and his cage move from one side of the room to the other. His move is only five or six paces away from his usual spot, but he doesn’t like this. He Squawks and tries to snap at my fingers as I roll his cage to its temporary position.

Eventually, he calms down. I give him a treat or something to sink his large beak into, and with some hesitation, Oscar usually accepts the trade.

We buy our Christmas tree in the parking lot across from the East Meadow Fire Department on East Meadow Avenue. Each year, the firemen and women sell trees and wreaths to raise money for the firehouse. I feel it is my obligation to buy our tree and wreath from them. I feel it is my responsibility as a member of the community to thank them for their service while intentionally overpaying for an underpriced tree.

The tree is good. It smells from pine needles and the color is truly green and vibrant. I learned my lesson, so this year I made sure not to buy a tree that was too big for my home. This MENORA AND DREDIELyear’s tree is not too big or small. It is not too fat or too thin. This tree is just right.

After the normal frustration that comes with the beginning stages of preparing the house; the tree went into its stand, and I began to ravel the branches with green wires that hold clear lights. I made several passes around, working from the inside out, and weaving the string of lights around until the soft lighting warmed the tree with a holiday spirit.

Slowly, the house transformed into the Christmas spirit. The wreath was placed on the front door and the stockings were hung on the banister of our staircase. Everyone has their own stocking—even Roxxy the Dog who passed away.

We put on the movie, “Elf,” because it is a seasonal favorite in my house. My wife and I continued to decorate. My daughter helped, and occasionally, the two of them would shout out their favorite quotes from their favorite holiday movie.

As night fell, the decorating was nearly complete. The heartwarming lights gleamed as we placed the star on top of the Christmas tree. To complete it, my daughter placed the silver tinsel around the branches. One by one, she carefully hung the ornaments as the dogs sat nearby and watched us change the room into something magnificent.

We were all tired by the end of the night. We went to bed with Christmas lights still gleaming. The house was warm and all was well.

At last, the Holiday Season has begun . . .

Written by Ben Kimmel, The Written Addiction