Category Archives: Daily Life

Happy Birthday, US of A!


On Monday, the US of A celebrates its 240th birthday.

It was, like with any birth, one that was born out of travail, crying, shouts of glee, bloodshed and even death. Truly the continent was in heavy labor as the push and screams of thousands were heard around the world.

That sorrow and agony gave way, however, to jubilation as the nation emerged covered with the scars and trappings of nativity. But as difficult as that birth was, the struggle was not over.

There would be growing pains, illnesses and diseases to overcome. There would be those who would attempt to reclaim and to destroy that life which was born out of a pledge to devote honor, lives and fortunes to see this epic birth come to be and last through all time.

Through the years, as with any baby maturing to toddler to child to teen to adult, this great nation of states joined to form a “more perfect union” had to go through its share of perils, tests and trials. In each instance, in the end, the US of A emerged on the other side a better nation.

The most trying time is undisputed, which is what occurred during what I would call the teenage years, puberty, when literally brother was pitted against brother, sister against sister, sons and daughters against mothers and fathers. The greatest and most costly toll of lives and bloodshed threatened to tear the nation apart. Yet through the trauma of the Civil War, the War Between the States, a united and stronger country came of age.

Dark days still lay ahead, but it seemed the worst had passed.

Through more battles and more wars, we find ourselves today celebrating the nation we’ve become and feeling the pain of the mistakes we have made. We honor the lives who gave their all to keep this nation the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Now, we look forward to the days and years ahead.

We are traveling the rough and choppy sea of economic uncertainty, but which seems to be slowly recovering.

The ship of state must traverse the gulf as the skipper maneuvers the ship to avoid crashing on the rocks of lost hope, despair, keeping an eye on the course and the port of serenity which lies in the distance.

The tides of global unrest threaten to engulf us. We must stay resolute and strong. Together we can ride the waves and dock in safe harbor.

Many have lost hope.

Many no longer aspire to the American Dream.

Many wonder if the flag will still wave for much longer.

But we are Americans.

We will survive.

From the Cornfield, America, may she always be that shining city on a hill to which others seek to aspire.

Happy Independence Day!

Antique excavating Grader!

Yesterday while on a run I discovered this relic. An antique grader, note there is no engine. This was a towed one. It’s age speaks for itself. 🙂
The days of yesterday!

Rochester history.

Here in Rochester, many famed industries were started as many of you know. One of them being Bausch & Lomb. It’s founders both lived here.
On Memorial day in 1932 a monument was constructed and dedicated for Henry Lomb honoring his service in the American Civil War. Lomb served as a sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. The monument sets in a meridian on Upper Falls Blvd and St. Paul street in front of the original Bausch & Lomb plant.
For over 30 years the lights were turned off for unknown reasons. But recently, just last Monday (Memorial day) thanks to donations from local merchants, the lights were back on.
It’s nice to see history continually honored as it should be.


Memorial Day History, Rochester!

Through the years, America has been involved in several forms of war-combat. Many of us here, in Mark’s news bureaus are most familiar with the Vietnam war. It’s within our age, time frame.

Here in Rochester next to the Monroe County Airport is a terminal for the National Guard chapter, And this old helicopter from Vietnam sets there.

I wanted to share this bit of history, picture with our readers and wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day!


To All the ‘Mothers’ in My Life


While I have only one Mom in my life, there are many other mothers in my life to whom I wish to offer a Happy Mother’s Day.

There are even a few over the years who have never had children of their own, but provided that maternal care to boys and girls with whom they came in contact. To those women also I offer a Happy Mother’s Day.

Saturday I shared a tribute to my own Mom on From the Cornfield. You can read that article at:

To That Special Woman Called ‘Mom’ and on CNN iReport where it was vetted for use on CNN.

Now I pause to offer verbal flowers to all of the “mothers” in my life who are still with us:

My mother, Sharon Hollifield

My maternal grandmother, Mary Powell

My sister, Leticia Hollifield

My aunt, Doris Harwick

My oldest son’s mother, Luann Logan

My youngest son’s mother, Cathie Land

My oldest son’s wife and mother of my granddaughters, Anna Ivy

My sister-in-law, Brenda Ivy

My father’s wife, Susie Ivy

My step-sister, Lorena Martin

There have been good times and some not so good times, yet each of these women have had an impact in my life. I wish for each of them a day filled with love, joy and peace.








Aunt Doris

Susie with Dylan on her lap and Dad (Lynn)

Then there are some other “mothers” who have been so supportive to me over the past couple of years during some rough patches who are members of CNN’s iReport community, internet friends, long-known friends:

















Each of them in their own way, some mothers and grandmothers, some without children, who have given verbal and moral support through my ups and downs with my health. Their online friendship has meant more than they will ever know.

May God bless each of you and may His peace be with you.

Happy Mother’s Day, Sunday!


Sunday we stop and celebrate motherhood and those women who brought each of us into the world and the nurturing, love and direction those women we call Mothers have provided. The spotlight is turned on the maternal instinct that gives protection, training and acceptance of those whom our Moms have birthed.

I join in this celebration of Moms. I offer this to my own Mom, my daughter-in-law Anna – who gave me my sweet granddaughters: Dlyan, Alaina, Amelia – my sister Leticia, my ex-wives Luann and Cathie who gave me my two great sons, my aunts, my grandmother and to all Moms in the world: Happy Mother’s Day! May your day be filled with love, joy and peace.

My own Mom became a mother at 17 with my birth. She struggled and did her best to be that woman who could make her children proud to call her Mom and to have the respect and appreciation of her three sons and daughter all these decades since.


She was determined not to be the mother she had had, who was not that maternal and viewed child rearing as a hands-off necessity. Over the years, Mom evolved, grew and developed her mothering abilities. Between the time I was born and 20 years after when my sister was born, her views and how she met the challenges of motherhood changed. She learned from her trial and error with me and my brothers.


Moms and Dads are not given training manuals. It is truly an on-the-job learning process. Some succeed. Some fail. Most have a combination of both success stories and those stories they would rather forget.

Some Moms work outside the home. Some Moms ply their trade never leaving the homefires even for short periods of the day. Both types of Moms are burdened and at the same time readily embrace the ups and downs that motherhood brings. Whether Homemakers or working Mom, there is joy, there is pain, there is pride, there is shame. Being a Mom is most of the time a thankless and yet so rewarding proposition.

The value of a Mom can never be fully assessed or appreciated. Yes, there are those Mothers who fail in being maternal. But on this day, it is those Moms full of maternal instinct we celebrate. We don’t look at those who do not live up to their responsibilities and privilege of knowing the joy of motherhood, it is the billions of Moms who embrace motherhood and who, for good or bad, shape the man or woman their young charges become.

To every Mom, whoever you are, where ever you are, may you feel the love and know you are special. May you know that the writer was right that it’s the hand that rocks the cradle who truly is in control of the world in which we live.

From Mark’s Den and the Cornfield, again may I offer Happy Mother’s Day!

In Rochester today, The weather!


Right now in Rochester it’s 70 degrees. And tomorrow we are looking at 71. The entire week for the most part will be nice, with a bit of rain in the forecast.
If you look at picture 1, you see the goldfish have come out of hibernation. And the daffodil has bloomed nicely.

“Junkin & Scrappin”…








As the saying goes, a buck is a buck! Junkin and scrappin has long been an income for many people including myself. Enclosed are some images I have seen through the years.

Home Again, Right Where I Belong

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Many years ago I wrote a song called, “Home Again, Right Where I Belong.” Today that song is ringing true.

Here I am in all my morning glory today. LOL But I am home!
Here I am in all my morning glory today. LOL But I am home!

As many of my faithful readers know, I was once more rushed to the Emergency Room on Sunday. First it was to Sullivan Community Hospital then transferred up to Regional Hospital for a short stay.

A bad bacterial infection had attacked me Friday evening after I had taken it to the limit. I had hoped to hang in there until Monday and call the doctor.

It was not meant to be.

The plan was to go to the ER, get stabilized and a script for an antibiotic. But on Saturday night, my fever spiked to 103.7. The ER doc, Dr. Oates, contacted my pulmonologist, Dr. Deshpande.

Next thing I know I was transferred to Regional. The techs took me straight to my room. Within 10 minutes, Dr. Deshpande was there. After heavy quantities of high dosage antibiotics and super-strong cortisteriod, I was sprung yesterday afternoon.

A few pics of me in the hospital - again!
A few pics of me in the hospital – again!

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Instead of the usual dosage of 500 mg of levoquin, I came home with 750 mg to take for five days.

But I am home.

Now as anyone who has been deluged with massive intravenous antibiotics knows, once stopped, it sure can clean out a body’s system. Such has been the case since yesterday.

Now it is getting life back to normal.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den on this Hump Day.

And how is your Wednesday going?

Winter isn’t over yet!

 What a difference a day makes. Picture 1 is yesterday around this time, and picture 2 was at approx. 8 this morning. As you can see, there's a bit of a change, and yes in the temperature too, LOL. Last night we were in question as to how much snow would fall, but as you see we got a light dusting. So, bundle up, keep warm folks!
What a difference a day makes. Picture 1 is yesterday around this time, and picture 2 was at approx. 8 this morning.
As you can see, there’s a bit of a change, and yes in the temperature too, LOL.
Last night we were in question as to how much snow would fall, but as you see we got a light dusting. However, our local weather people at News10NBC, Kevin, Rich, Josh, Amanda and Josh K here in Rochester are cautioning us that things may change tonight and tomorrow.
So, bundle up, keep warm folks!