The Pilgrims had much for which to be thankful, after their first harvest in 1621. About ninety Indians joined the pilgrims for the great English tradition of HARVEST FESTIVAL. The participants  celebrated for several days, dining on venison, goose, duck, turkey, fish and of course, cornbread, the result of a bountiful corn harvest, This tradition was repeated at harvest time in the following years.  It was President, Abe Lincoln who declared Thanksgiving a national celebration in 1863. The Plymouth Pilgrims simply celebrated survival, as well as the hopes of good fortune in the years that lay ahead.

The Pilgrims Came

The Pilgrims came across the sea,

and never thought of you and me;

and yet it’s very strange the way

we think of them Thanksgiving Day.

We tell the story old and true

of how they sailed across the blue,

and found a new land to be free

and built their homes quite near the sea.

Every child knows well the tale

of how they bravely turned the sail

and journey many a day and night,

to worship God as they thought right.

Unknown Author

(When my niece Jeannie Paul was nine-years-old, I helped her memorize the Thanksgiving Poem “The Pilgrims Came.” I never forgot it!)



“Voice of the people”

I hear a clear voice calling it echoes in my heart and from a din of others it sets itself apart. Not crafty elocution the kind which others speak, but a great voice with a message that common people speak.

Poem by Ben Burroughs (The people’s poet)




Beyond Forgetting You

If I could hold you in my… arms

when evening lights are low…

and talk about the things we did…

once in the long ago…If I could take your

hand in mine…and feel your burning kiss…

I’d shed the shrouds of gloom’s abyss…or

if my ears were blessed to hear…

the sweetness of your voice…

my broken heart would mend again…

and tenderly rejoice…

for since you went away from me…

life doesn’t seem worthwhile…

the days are dreary and I have…

forgotten how to smile…they say

in time all wounds will heal…

well maybe that is right…

still without you my happiness…

is very far from sight…I’ve

tried to leave the past behind…

but this I can not do…for everything

reminds me…I’m beyond forgetting you.

Poem by Ben Burroughs (My favorite poet)




On the back of a bakery receipt nine-year-old, Eddie wrote the following message:

Here lays another Henry Paul

He left his wife to do it all.

His sons will have to step ahead

‘Cause they have nothin’

Now that he’s dead.

PS It’s okay if you wanna wate two days to bery him ’cause he’s not going anywhere anyway!

Poem by Kathleen Paul Cortese (with the help of nine-year-old, nephew) Conor Foor (2006)



Mother Nature’s quiet beauty

bringing calmness to voices

that can not speak.

The stillness of the landscape and

gentle breezes whispering life’s secrets

while conveying peaceful memories

to souls at ease in sleep.

Poem by Kathleen Paul Cortese (My first attempt at poetry 7/24/2014)




It happened so quickly, my emotional state

Turning from shock to blinding rage!

People had disrespected me purposely,

Making me madder than I thought,

I could possibly be.

Fury fueled by hurt from the past,

My senses sharpened hormonally,

injuring myself by letting it last, Please God,

Release my anger and let it pass.

Poem by Kathleen Paul Cortese (12/2014)



Genealogy leads to a better appreciation of history. Once we discover that we have ancestors living in a particular place at a particular time the history of that place takes on a whole new meaning.

The magic in family history is bridging generations by getting to know those who came before us.

Common sense has its feet planted in the past.

We draw strength and part of our own character from what comes before us.

Stories have a unique ability to draw us closer to our ancestors and help us understand who we are.

No ones is in charge of your happiness, but you!

Be happy with what you have and you’ll have plenty to be happy about!

God is everywhere inside all of us, and life is just a circle.

If you want to become a writer, find a subject you care about, and the words will come.

Time brings the sweetest memories.

Time is the best story teller.

The simpler you say it the more eloquent it is.

Writing is talking to yourself with the hopes of being overheard.

Something to do, Someone to love, Something to hope for are the true essentials of a happy and meaningful life.

Your best gift to your child is the example of your own good marriage. to be good to your children, you must first be good to each other.

What a child needs most is two parents who love and appreciate each other and love and appreciate him.


Unknown sources


No matter how long you live,  you have stories to tell and nestling in each one, there might be a nugget of wisdom.

Frank McCourt (author)


For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these “It might have been.”

John Greenleaf Whitter (An American Quaker Poet)  (*Well-known quote from his poem Maud Muller)


For most people there is pressure to recover from grief. I don’t believe in ‘getting over’ someone.

John Travolta (actor)


Knowing what you want is the first step in getting it!

If you don’t put a high value on yourself, why would you expect anyone else to put a high value on you?

You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough!

Everyone owes a lot to being lucky, and the most luck you ever get is being born at all!

Mae West (actress)


One wrong turn at the corner,

can lead you into the wrong,


Edna Mae Paul


Don’t waste your time worrying about something that may never happen.

Marion Theresa Paul


If you don’t know what you want, you’re never going to get it!

Never trouble, trouble till trouble, troubles you

Mary Louise Paul


I think keeping family history alive is one of the most important things I can do.

If it hadn’t been for genealogy, I would’ve never found my passion for writing!

Finding the identity of a long lost ancestor, helps me reshape my own identity.

Learning about the English branch of my father’s tree, makes me walk with my back a little straighter.

Grammar doesn’t make me a good writer, a good story does!

I love being a grandmother, it’s giving me a second chance at being a better mother.

I’ll learn more from failure then  regret over not trying. (*Meaning for me of John Greenleaf Whitter quote.)

My writings are full of clichés which I think service a purpose. I know critics say that using these worn out expressions are a big no, no, but without them I feel that I’d miss the opportunity for my readers to recognize and identify with my common way of expressing myself.

Kathleen Ann Paul (Cortese)




In Loving Memory of Our Father                                                     

You have been gone from us for many years.

You only saw 6 of your grandchildren,

but all 26  grandchildren and

37 great grandchildren know you

because we your children keep you with us

in our thoughts and hearts.

Your picture shows your handsome beautiful face

which will always be in our memories.

Sweet dreams and kisses to you my hero.

from your loving daughter.

Edna Mae Paul  added on 7/14/2014  

(Edward Joseph Paul taken from us 60 years ago today.)









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