Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2016 10 16 October Morn October 16, 2016

Is this really October the 16th? Is summer but a fleeting memory of warmer smiles? Was that a flock of Canada geese I heard fly overhead the other day? Did I really have to scrape the windshield yesterday morning?

Holy crap! It’s autumn!

It’s been a while since my last entry, and I apologize for that. I have been busy with school, and when I tell you that this semester has been one challenge after another, well, please believe me. I also ask you to believe me when I say that with each challenge, there have been hidden treasures of opportunity that I have found, worked through and learned from. A kaleidoscope of higher learning, higher education, higher, um, stuff that I have managed to gather and collect and carefully place along the shelf of life. My life. Don’t ask, because I’m not giving any of it away. I might be persuaded to lend you some, but I will be wanting it back.

Should we expect the return of something that we pay forward? I think not, but don’t let that stop you from keeping on paying it forward. Things come to us unannounced and cleverly disguised, so don’t ever think that if you keep on paying it forward, you’re holding bin will run empty, because it won’t, it doesn’t and it never will.

Man am I getting swayed by brainwaves.

Here I am, there you are, and here we go. My son and grandson are coming over today. We’re heading to the coast, to Belfast, our favorite place in the world, or at least Maine. There’s a little hole in the wall Chinese take out place that we love to visit. My taste buds are frolicking with my mind already just thinking about it.

I went to the white cane and guide dog walk in Augusta yesterday. Bill Green was there from the famed Channel 6 show, and overall, the day was filled with smiles and laughter and canes and paws. My sixth event in as many years, and I’m already looking forward to year 7. I’d like to thank Debbie’s mom, Kay, who assisted me around the two block walk. I’d gladly follow you anywhere kiddo, and thank you very much for the wonderful conversation on a beautiful October morning.

Well, that’s about it. I’ll try to check in more frequently, but we’ll see what happens.

I thank you all again for stopping by, and I also hope the rest of October brings you tons of wonderful autumn memories that will keep you warm through the winter months.

Take care, and God bless the lot of ya’s.



2016 09 05 My Partner in Rhyme September 5, 2016

My Partner in Rhyme

September has come and summer is still hanging on. The nights are getting a little cooler, and the humidity seems to have dropped these past few days. I haven’t felt that surge of autumn fill my senses yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long now.

Last month I had another opportunity to fill my senses with another form of inspiration. I had the opportunity to join pens with a wonderful writer from just west of the Great Lakes. This Wisconsin writer has been a huge source of inspiration for me, as well as many other writers of a writing group that I belong to.

You can find some amazing works of writing skills at our group’s web address.

http://www.magnets and

This collection of writers is comprised of a host of talent from sea to shining sea, and I am very fortunate for having crossed paths with them all.

Ok, I got off track. What I was originally talking about was my collaborative partner who I joined with last month to write a poem. This is our second poem we have written together, and like the experience of our first collaborative poem last summer, this poem was another milestone in my short writing career.

Our first collaboration, entitled “My Partner in Rhyme”, can also be found at the Magnets and Ladders link listed earlier in this post.

My partner’s name is Alice Massa, and she has shown me more about writing these past few years than I ever imagined.

I thank you Alice for the experience, for your friendship, Inspiration, guidance and for the unique lessons of life that you hand down without even knowing.

I’d also like to thank you all for stopping by, and I hope your summer supplied you with some spectacular memories.

Oh ya, I almost forgot! The poem! Grin

The poem is born from a discussion that Alice and I were having about rainbows. I had told her how as a gardener, while watering I used to occasionally spray the hose away from the late afternoon sun to form a rainbow. Before I knew it, Alice and I had a five stanza writing piece staring back at us. Her ability to jump on a creative opportunity amazes me, and I am grateful for the experience. The poem is styled in a unique format. It is constructed of a style that resembles how limericks are designed, five lines per stanza, with the first and fifth rhyming. It is also built on five stanzas, which is something that Alice and I agreed on. Alice has also posted this poem, along with a collection of wonderful personal essays, on her amazing blog site, which you can find at the following address:

Thank you Alice for helping me become a better writer, and for being my Partner in Rhyme.

I would like to dedicate this poem to my son Matt, and his son, my grandson Jack. You two guys continue to put the hop in my step.

And away we go!


Rainbows Rising
by Alice Jane-Marie Massa and Deon Patrick Lyons

Little child, little child, do you want to make a rainbow?
Do you want to know how?
Just wait for a sunny day;
then, with your back toward the sun,
let the water from the hose arc into a powerful flow.

Little child, little child, let the wonder begin.
Red, orange and yellow, stretching awake inside an Autumn morn.
Green and blue, splashing atop an ocean so deep.
Indigo and violet, snuggling down into a bed of iris.
Replace those aimless frowns with colorful grins.

Can your tiny hand touch the rainbow?
Which color can you hold?
Can you feel the mist of wonder
where sunlight breaks through a raindrop?
Can you wave toward the arc of indigo?

Open your eyes to an Irish tale.
Gaze out across a clovered field.
Stand on your toes and stretch towards the clouds.
Fill your pockets with a fistful of magic.
Chart a course as your rainbow sets sail.

Little child, little child, why are you standing there akimbo?
Ah, you look just like your grandpa,
glistening like his shining star;
but your glance is so afar. Naptime!
Little child, little child, sleep well and dream a rainbow.


2016 08 28 Old Friends August 28, 2016

Old friends.

Just the sound of it starts your mind wandering. Just the mention of it grabs hold of you and pulls you back through time, to a place that will always exist, a place that will always lend an emotion or two, a place that truly belongs to you, and no one else.

Hearing things, seeing things and remembering certain things can take you back to a place that’s full of magic, but it can sometimes take you to a place that’s not very friendly. I myself would rather go back to those memories that bring a smile to my face.

Being able to talk to friends from your earlier days is such a gift. School days are a great source for reminiscing, and the summer? Oh my, how the recollections start to spin around with just the mention of the unforgettable summer seasons. Some of my fondest thoughts can be found along a summer breeze. It doesn’t really seem like that long ago, but oh how the time flies when it’s surrounded with one thing after another that keeps your mind working inside out with recalling and going over again and again those special moments that build your factory full of experiences.

I had a dream a year or so ago about working in a warehouse when I was in my late teen, early adult years. Of course, it was a warehouse full of tires, as I worked shipping and receiving for a decade before moving up to a regional sales rep.

Anyway, there I was, roaming in and out through the aisles of packed and stacked pneumatics when all of a sudden, the aisle was full of school aged kids who were sitting and standing. While walking down through the aisle, I noticed a girl sitting on the floor, and she was staring up at me. I instantly realized who she was, and was totally floored with emotions. Her name is, or was Wanda Eldridge, and I hadn’t seen or thought of her since my own 14 year old days in New Hampshire.

She looked exactly as I remembered. Her eyes, her skin tone, her hair, her smile, everything! It was incredible! She was the girlfriend of my best friend Jeff, and like I said, I hadn’t thought of her since those days of Hood Junior High in Derry.

I woke up from that dream with her face burned in my mind. I never was ever attracted to her. I never really knew her too well, other than talking to her a few times when she was with Jeff, but for some reason, there she was, and I couldn’t get her face out of my mind for the next day or two.

Our minds have cleverly carved out their nooks and crannies and stored away file after file of our experiences, and this particular one, this dream that pulled up something, someone I hadn’t thought of for over forty years was just another example of how some of our old friends, some of our old acquaintances can firmly take their place in our memories, for all eternity, or so it seems.

Where the hell am I going with this post? I’m afraid I don’t really know how to answer that question, other than to try and show you how amazing friends are. Their impact, their ingredients of character, their ability to grab a place marker and firmly take their position in our lives. Between family and friends, it’s fairly plain to see that our ability to cherish those things that are important to us is one of the true gifts that we should never overlook.

Now then, let’s see who we can remember tonight.

Have a great evening, and even though you might not try to reflect on your past too often, have faith that your mind will always be able to do the work for you, without you even knowing it.



2016 07 30 A Littler Me July 30, 2016

What would I say to a littler me? What would I say to a young boy with eyes as wide as the skies? What would I tell him about the world that lay in front of him, edging him on? How could I admire him, inspire him, praise him, thank him for bringing such life into my life?


This young boy, with such an eager and inquisitive nature had so much potential. He had desires, passions, questions, and yes, he had many wondrous ways that were unique to him. He laughed a lot, cried a little, frowned and smiled, shrugged his shoulders and raised his gaze towards a future that belonged to no one but him. He asked about things he didn’t understand, reached for things that he wanted to hold, jumped up onto the next step, traversed an obstacle or two, and dashed towards the finish line as quick as a cricket. He learned from his mother, was taught by his father, inspired by his brothers and sisters, admired his aunts and uncles, wrote on the chalk board, sat on a bus, stood in line, kneeled and prayed, helped his little brother up and ran after his older sisters. He idolized his older brother with a furied frenzy. He wished he could play baseball like Carl Yastrzemski, basketball like Willis Reed, ski like Jean – Claude Killy and have a come from behind kick like Dave Wottle. He dreamt of a roaring crowd, a monster that was catching up, an endless field to run through, a wild toboggan ride, pitching a no hitter, floating to earth and jumping to the moon.


What could I say to this inquisitive young lad with a sparkle in his eye? Would I be able to explain where he is headed? Would I be able to show him all of the miles ahead of him? Could I teach him something he wouldn’t learn on his own? Should I warn him of the hurdles, the obstacles, the fears, the worries that would spin around in his mind? Should I guide him to the left, or veer him to the right?


This young boy was the biggest part of me. He stared at a line of stepping stones, just waiting for a chance. He was all of my questions, all of my wonders, all of my joy and all of my hope. He was all of the things that would lead me to here, and although he didn’t know it, he was the creator of a life full of lasting memories.


What do you tell a boy like this, like me? What could I learn from him today? What questions would I ask this little man?


So often I have thought back and pictured him in my mind. I wonder how he came to be in a slice of life that defined him. I rack my mind some times, trying to remember all that I can about him. The Red Ball Jets, the Super Balls, the Hot Wheels, the cards in the spokes, knee patched jeans, the nights staring out the bedroom window, the Christmas Eves, the cuts, scrapes and bruises, the smiles on his face and the tears in his eyes. I search for hidden gems of his existence, but I usually fall back upon those same memories that have kept me company through my years.


Amazed and enlightened, I keep moving forward, as did he. With each step, I remember a young boy on a sting ray bike, pedaling up a hill and down the road of life. The momentum of this energetic little fellow found a way through a world that challenged him, taught him, amazed and bestowed upon him a talent known only to him.


What would he say to me today? If he could look ahead into his life, what would he think? Would he be happy with where I am? Would he be thankful that he wound up here with me? Could he begin to understand all of the choices he made? That I made? That we made? Would he be as proud of me as I am of him?


This young boy, this young man is all that I am made of. I wouldn’t be, couldn’t be me without the gifts that he possessed. I owe him everything that I am, and as I move on, I can only emulate the heart and soul of this young, courageous savior of my soul, for it is a powerful soul indeed.


What would I say to a littler me?


I would kneel down, clutch his shoulders, look into his eyes, and while trying to fight back a surge of emotions I would only be able to say one thing.


Thank you.




2016 07 26 In The Books July 26, 2016

It looks like another semesteris in the books. Do I look smarter? Do I feel smarter? Am I dressing smarter? Grin Probably not is the answer to that last one, for three quarters of the time I don’t know what color the clothes I have on are, but I’m sure I’m color coordinated for just about any occasion, right?

It’s been five years since I started my blog, and I can honestly say that I still hate cancer. In all of cancer’s ugly forms, none is uglier than the one that attacks me and you, for none of them have a care in the world how much evil they possess. They just keep moving forward with that stupid smirk on their face of death, without thought or care.

As you know, my vision loss in 2010 was directly related to my own battle against cancer as an infant. The radiation I had at five months old directly caused the blood flow to shut off to my good eye, my right eye, and after starving for blood, the retina finally shut down. The tiny amount of vision I enjoyed for a few years after the series of strokes finally succumbed to even more strokes, as the artery kept collapsing these past few months, and now I stand before you a completely blind goat on the verge of a thing.

I like that line from a song that Peter Frampton sang back about ten years ago.

The thing that I am on the verge of now could be considered the rest of my life. The mobility lesson I have recently embarked on is unlike any other from my past, in that when I remove the ecluders now, I am still in complete blackness. I’m not complaining in the least, as I knew it was just a matter of time.

Life is only a matter of time. Our time is a matter of life, and as this life of mine rolls on, it’s up to me, and no one else to see what I can do with it. So far, well, I guess I’m keeping sort of busy, but man have I slowed down. I feel most of the time like I’m moving like a sloth on qualudes. My balance is crap, my agility is crap, my sense of fashion is lacking and I still love chocolate.

The saying, Out of sight, out of mind”, is having fun with me. The visual cues are no longer something that I can take for granted, so I have had to try and make mental notes of my daily routines. Mental is right, because my short term memory without the visual cues really sucks, but then again, that happens with age a lot of the time, right? Right? Help me out here, ojk?

Fact is, I can’t remember crap either, and that gets me into a mess a lot of the time, but it’s my mess and my oh my how the times have changed.

I am all signed up for two more classes this fall, and no, I’m not going to take three. I do fine with two, and I’m in no hurry. Both of my classes are online, and with a little work, I have a pretty good grasp on BlackBoard, although that could change at any time, due to technological updates that have a habit of hampering digital accessibility from time to time. My tutoring has paid off, but my hard work has paid off as well.

The bouts I had these past three years with the meningioma slowed me up some, but it isn’t gonna do me any good to sit back on my goat caboose and wonder why I didn’t keep moving forward. There’s not much going on in my past, and although I moved a little quicker back then, it isn’t gonna help me if I don’t find a way to help myself today.

So, here I go, bouncing down the road with my white cane in one hand, and my laptop bag in the other. I did migrate both of my computers to Windows 10, and can honestly say that I am glad I did, as they seem to be running more efficient, especially with the taxing properties of JAWS tugging constantly on the system resources. It’s a similar platform to Windows 7, but with differences that are distinct. It’s a ton better than 8.1 ever dreamed of, and hopefully will be keeping me company for some time to come. Now, if I can get a better grasp on the ribbons, I might feel brave enough to move past my Word 2003 that I still use on this desktop machine. Yes, that’s right, Word 2003. My old buddy. My ally.

Ya, you’re probably right. I might as well move the rest of my past into the present too. Grin

Some things will never change the mind of a goat though, and one thing is for certain, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you find the receipt to exchange it, color coordination be damned.

Thanks for hanging in there, and thanks for your continued inspiration.

Those of you heading into the fall semester, good luck to you all.

Take care for now my friends.



2016 06 15 Arms Folded June 15, 2016

I just realized something today. It’s June the 15th, and I haven’t posted anything to my blog yet this month. Am I lazy? Am I busy doing other things? Did I just plain forget? Only my hairdresser knows for sure, and if I had the hair I used to I might actually need one.

I sat here for a second after I opened up a new word document and wondered once again what I should write about. With all that’s going on in the world, I could write about quite a few different things, but I made a commitment when I started this blog, not to write about political things, and even though politics has its grubby little hands in just about everything under the sun, I will try to refrain from doing what I said I wouldn’t do. I tend to get a little carried away with my political opinion from time to time, so don’t worry.

My father got me interested in politics about twenty years ago. I was complaining one day about this and that, and hearing enough, he told me that I should read the constitution, that it might help me with some of the questions that were running round in my head. Well, I did, and my mind has been spinning ever since.

I believe he is up in heaven looking down at me with his arms folded, all the while wearing a huge face filling smile.

He had such a huge impact on my life, and for the most part, I didn’t even realize it most of the time. I knew he was always there, and that when he saw that I needed help, he stepped up to the plate and calmed my inquisitive tone and aching bones.

I was growing so fast as a youngster that the aching bones part is true. I sometimes had to go down stairs at night to have my mother rub alcohol on my legs, for the growing pains were quite intense. She would rub a little on my lower legs, on my shins, and I would return to my bed, sticking my legs out from under the blankets to soak up some cool night air. Usually within a few minutes, I would drift off into lullaby-ville to enjoy the stuff that dreams were made of.

I still don’t know what I want to write about, so I guess I’ll just keep on writing.

Having a set of parents to grow up with is such a gift that I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I feel. I suppose that was the most important thing for me when I became a father. I felt that I owed it to my son to give him a stable home with a semi stable father to rely on. Now, don’t get me wrong, as I felt nowhere as adequate a father as I saw my own father. I’m sure he would tell you the same, and so on down the line. As time changes everything, so too does it change our perceptions. I have watched my son grow into an adult, and the fact that he has tried his best and has kept a working career going for the entirety of his adulthood is a gift that he can hand off to his son with confidence in knowing that he has my admiration and praise.

Believe me when I tell you that when I became a father, I felt as far from being ready to become a father as anything I had ever felt in my life. I guess as we grow towards adulthood, we take what our family teaches us and head out into the world not knowing that we will need to use all of the tools that are at our disposal. Half the time, I didn’t even know I had any tools to use, I just pulled my boot straps up and got on with it. Perhaps that was the most useful tool of all, the one that tells us to keep moving forward, no matter what.

Most of my moving forward days seem to be behind me these days. I might get cocky and take a step ahead now and then, but they feel like baby steps compared to how I used to be. Perhaps they aren’t baby steps, but even bigger steps than before? Perhaps the tools I use today are ones that I never would have thought to use before? Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m a pack rat and I saved every little tool that came my way?

Perhaps my dad is once again looking down at me with his arms folded? If he is, I bet he’s smiling even bigger than a few minutes ago.

With Father’s Day a few days away, I’d like to wish all the dads out there a wonderful day, and trust me when I say that some days you make a difference without even trying, so please, never stop trying.

Isn’t that funny how I just realized what I should write about, and I’m all done.



2016 05 22 A Dear Friend May 22, 2016

I lost a dear friend the other day. This friend I had known since 1986, and their presence in my life grew larger and larger with each passing year. This friend reached out to the world as they opened up their arms to greet each morning with a wide eyed yawn reminiscent of a young, inquisitive child. An innocent learner of the seasons who never asked for anything, yet never stopped giving.


Oh how I admired this friend over the years. Oh how I thanked them for always being there, no matter what came their way. Oh how I learned to love them just as they were, and how over the years I saw how others saw in them those same qualities that caused me to stand and stare up at them, as their inspiration continued to flood my world.


Since 1986, the old maple tree in front of our home has sheltered us from the cold, storming winds out of the west. The old maple tree hugged our home and warmed our spirits with a constant blanket of security. The old maple tree gave us shade against the blistering hands of the summer sun and gathered the songs of the birds with each new day’s dawn.


The strong limbs of our dear friend grew brittle as the years passed, but still, our old maple tree continued to stand strong and proud as it watched over the Battleridge.


The other morning, I walked up to where our old friend stood for so many years, and as I knelt down and reached out, I couldn’t believe she was gone. The emptiness I felt was similar to those same feelings I had when our barn came down. A hole in my heart that just didn’t make any sense.


We tend to grow fond of certain things in our lives. We love without knowing, and as the days continue to pass, we hang on to the memories with a passion that we can rarely explain.


For thirty years the majestic maple burst with life every spring. Her unfolding leaves sang to life as the wind whistled down from the mountains, and as I knelt there on our front lawn, I could hear her whispering good bye.


There’s an empty place in my soul.

There’s a void that I can’t explain.

There’s a calling that I hear along the wind.

There’s a friend that I will forever be grateful for.


As I sit here and write, I am being flooded with emotions. I shake my head and wonder why, I mean, over a tree? Really?


Yes, over a tree. A rock solid, tall, proud, beautiful   maple tree if you please, and yes, a dear friend indeed.