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Friday, January 31, 2014

Thanks to our Caring Neighbors*

(Blogger's Note: The following was written and submitted to our city's award-winning newspaper, Suffolk News-Herald,, yesterday, 01.30.2014, after my neighbors came out to help us shovel out and clear our snow-covered driveway and front yard. Even if I have thanked them personally, I still feel it's appropriate for me to acknowledge, be appreciative to, and honor and praise them for their caring and selfless gesture. I know that words aren't enough to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of them, but, nevertheless, I have to do what I have to do to let them know how much I thank them for what they've done to me. Hence, I wrote the piece (e-mailed letter to the editor) to express my sincere thanks to our caring neighbors. Btw, I also took the opportunity to take a couple of photos and sent them to the above newspaper for possible publication.)

To the editor:

I would like to thank my caring neighbors and friends in North Suffolk, like Dr. Chris of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP), Nino and his wife Doreen, Margaret and her husband, and Travis, who all braved the bitter cold and snow to help us clear our snow-covered driveway on Wednesday, after Tuesday night's (winter) storm brought us about eight inches of snow.

Without our knowledge, our neighbors came, unexpectedly and with their own snow shovels and other equipment, to our aid when my wife and sister-in-law were about to start plowing snow in our front yard.

As a retired U.S. Navy veteran suffering from years of debilitating chronic lower back pain, I couldn't help them do the work. But my neighbors pitched in to help, and then they moved to another neighbor's house in the cul-de-sac and cleared that driveway, too.

What a noble act and gesture of kindness and caring. Thank God for our family, friends and neighbors.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our neighbors for their caring, can-do attitude.

Their caring spirit is a manifestation that we, as a nation, can always do something to help our neighbors.

Extending a helping hand to our neighbors is something that goes beyond logic and instead represents the best of Christian and American traditions. We are a nation of caring, loving people. In times of good and bad, we are always ready to serve and assist and to celebrate our greatness as one human family. 

Again, from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank our good, caring neighbors. May God bless us and our families always!

Chris Quilpa

*Published in Suffolk News-Herald's Opinion page, Friday, January 31, 2014. Btw, SNH is "Suffolk's news and information source since 1873" and is published Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, visit their website at Thank you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Neighbors Helping Neighbors, After Tuesday Night's Crippling Snowstorm

Hi, everyone! Good day to y'all! Thank God, we're alive and well...

After last night's crippling snowstorm in 757, aka Hampton Roads, VA, that brought our area approximately 6 1/2 to 9 inches of fluffy, cold, white snow, our caring neighbors and friends came out to help us clear our snow-laden driveway/cars and front yard. With their own snow shovels and snow-clearing tools or equipment, they braved the bitterly, below-freezing cold and snow just so they could clear our driveway, especially.

Through this post, I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our good and caring neighbors like Dr. Chris (a U.S. naval medical officer working at NMCP where I used to work (and retired) while I was still active in the U.S. Navy), Nino and his wife Doreen, Margaret and her husband Rick, and Travis. who, along with my wife Freny and sis-in-law Rose, did clear our driveway in a couple of hours this morning. Without them, it would have taken days for Freny and Rose to do the work. (Sorry, guys, if I couldn't help you at all because of my debilitating disability, chronic lower back pain/problems, sciatica, fibromyalgia which prompted me to retire from naval active duty nine years ago.) Thank you, neighbors and friends, for your caring, "can do" attitude, and your spirit of caring, neighborliness/Godliness, and Love. May God bless US and our families always!

Well, here are the photos we've taken to capture/document the moment "our good neighbors helping us, their neighbors." The photos, undoubtedly, depict the spirit of unity and teamwork, neighborliness, helping one another. Yes, good and gracious God, you sent our neighbors to our aid/rescue, and they shared of themselves selfless love and caring, like the time you sent your only Son, Jesus Christ, to save us all on earth. Thank God, for our good neighbors and friends. Again, thank you, my dear neighbors and friends, and family members for your time, skills, expertise, and energy. You guys are the best!

Photos and Texts (c) 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa

Well, my folks and friends, far and wide, this is all for now. Thanks, everyone, for reading/visiting my blog. Until next time around...Take care and have a peaceful and relaxing day/night. May God bless US always!-chris a. quilpa, 01.29.2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another Winter Storm in 757 and Elsewhere!

Hi, everyone! Good day to y'all! Yay, it's another snowy day in Hampton Roads and elsewhere!

Dear folks and friends: We, in Hampton Roads, are expecting snowy moments anytime now, as I write this post and at the same time watching/listening to TV news broadcast on  Channel 13 News Now, an ABC local affiliate. In fact there's flurry falling a few minutes ago. In our today's local city newspaper, Suffolk News-Herald, the headline reads, in bold letters: MORE SNOW COMING. Staff writer Matthew A. Ward writes, "Suffolk could experience "near-blizzard" conditions Tuesday and into Wednesday with snow accumulations possibly exceeding eight inches, city spokeswoman Diana Klink has warned."

There were schools that closed early today, at noontime. (However, my wife's school, in the Peninsula, didn't have early class dismissal. They just had a regular school day today.) More school, college, and university closings Wednesday have been announced or posted at the bottom of TV screen. Even public/government offices and courts will have closings or closures tomorrow. On the other hand, only essential personnel are to report tomorrow to specific military installations, like Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, etc.

Meanwhile, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) emergency crews have already pre-treated roads and freeways with brine solution (salt). State patrols, and local police, are mobilized, ready to serve and assist for any kind of situation, especially emergency and security. As I continue writing this post, snow is falling in our area. Accumulations of snow are already evident in some areas. Panic-buying (of groceries, essential consumer items) is anticipated, too, in grocery stores, Commissary, etc. Government officials have been reminding us to stay off the roads/freeways, and to stay home/indoor, if possible, unless we have to.  

Btw, the governor of North Carolina has already declared a state of emergency in his state, per media reports. As far as our state is concerned, we haven't heard from our new governor (of Virginia), Terry McAuliffe, about the same declaration, although he was interviewed via phone by one of the TV anchorwomen of 13 News Now. He said, "we're not declaring a state of emergency in our area." We'll wait and see how it goes, he added. He just cautioned or warned us, residents, that if it's not necessary to go out to just stay home, to stay off the roads. Our area is in a winter storm warning, per local meteorologists.

Man, it's bitterly cold outside! Temperature has been way below freezing! I was in the hospital this morning for my immunization (flu or influenza shot and tetanus-pertussis vaccine, on my left arm, and shingles vaccine on my right arm) and lab work. Ouch! Now that I'm at home, I can feel the soreness in both my arms. So far, traffic conditions are going smoothly. Before I forget, starting February 1st, drivers/motorists will be paying tolls when they pass through midtown and downtown tunnels.

Well, that's just an update of what's happening in our area and nearby state. How about the weather in your place, folks and friends? I bet you're doing well. Anyway, wishing you all the best!

Enjoy the photos embedded here...They're taken inside, in front and back of our house, as snow continues to fall at this time. Hope you like them...More photos tomorrow when the day is brighter...

This is all for now. Until next time around...Take care and have a peaceful and safe day! May God bless US always!-chris a. quilpa, 01.28.2014

Photos and texts (c) 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa

Saturday, January 25, 2014

After Snowstorm

Hi, everyone! Good day to y'all!

Well, after that snowstorm that hit our region four-five days ago, we're moving on again. That means, we're ready to get back to our normal life. The four days we've had in "hibernation" (at home) were kinda relaxing and enjoyable. We experienced peace and quiet, serenity and tranquility. Truly, Mother Nature can make us appreciative of God's beautiful creation, of God's infinite blessings to us---our being alive and well. It can help us to slow down and to remind us that we need to pay attention to what matters most to us---our precious life! 

Today, my wife Freny and I took the time out to get out of the house. We went to the Commissary to buy groceries. Thankfully, majority of our roads, highways and freeways are cleared of snow and/or black ice. Observably, we still have patches of snow in our backyard, and other areas that are privately-owned. Again, thanks to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for clearing the major roads and freeways.

Now, here's sharing with you my photos and haiku...Enjoy!

After Snowstorm (in Haiku)

Snow and ice melting
after snowstorm in HR*
it's time to get out.

Photos and text (c) 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa

*Hampton Roads in Virginia, USA where we experienced wintry weather/snowstorm (on the night of 01.21 through the morning of 01.22.2014) for the first time this 2014. For four days, there were closings and/or delays, no school/work in most schools and colleges and universities in our region, and in civilian and military establishments/organizations. 

That's all for now, dear folks and friends. Until next time around...Take care and have a wonderful weekend. May God bless US always!-chris a. quilpa, 01.25.2014

abitadeacon: Guess who is coming to America? The Pope, that's who!

abitadeacon: Guess who is coming to America? The Pope, that's who!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ah, Snow...Finally!

Ah, snow...finally!
they're here to cover the ground 
thank God for the snow.

Cold, chilly, freezing
snow has fallen in HR*
wintry weather's here!

At last, there's the snow
everywhere in Hampton Roads
there's peace and quiet.

There's snow, ice and cold
blanketing the thirsty ground

(c) 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa

*Hampton Roads, a region in southeastern Virginia that comprises cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and the Peninsula (cities of Hampton and Newport News) and Isle of Wight county.

Below are photos taken today, by yours truly, to capture or document today, a cold, chilly, freezing, snow-full but sunny and peaceful Wednesday. There were school, office, business closings today, and even tomorrow in Hampton Roads. Thank God, for the sun, sky, and snow, peace and serenity...everywhere in the are What an amazing feeling to see snow all over the ground! Wintry weather has finally hit 757! Deep freeze is all around in the succeeding days ahead, from weather forecasters/meteorologists. Well, it's the season, my dear folks and friends. Enjoy the photos!

Photos (c) 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa