Maggie’s Thought for the Month: It’s Okay to Walk Away

Everyone has a time in their life when they come to a crossroad. The hardest decision is choosing whether to stay or walk away.

Maggie never appeared to worry when she made a choice to walk away from a guest in our home or go to a quiet room when a summer party got too loud. She always knew lamb chops were a good choice for dinner, and whatever was cooking on the barbecue was worth the wait to stand by the cook and stare with her ‘puppy eyes’ to get a treat.

Life sometimes places obstacles in our path and we have to decide what choice is best for us. We can ask family, friends, mentors for advice- but in the end, the final decision has to come from you. The results of your decision will affect you, and only you. Sure, walking or staying may impact the people close to you, but it is you who has to live with the choice- so choose wisely.

Maggie always knew if she was staying or walking away. Maybe the secret is knowing when you come to a crossroad in life and decide to walk away…it is toward something that makes you happy.

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Maggie’s Thought for the Month: Reflect & Respond

The New Year allows people a time to reflect on the events of the past year. Although many may find heartache in a difficult year, or not being where ‘you thought you’d be at this stage in your life’, the secret to living is responding.

Maggie was always alert to her surroundings. I would hear her snoring in her bed, but the UPS truck would arrive, and before the doorbell rang, she would be at the door barking & claiming her territory. Whenever I mowed the lawn, Maggie would bark at me while she was sequestered on the deck. However, after realizing I wasn’t going to stop mowing the lawn, she would go in the house to avoid the noise & heat.

Most people are more than willing to reflect on their actions. The difficulty arises when one is asked to respond to those actions to help improve them self, or help other’s in their life.   It is difficult to admit when your actions are not supportive to your mental health. Even more so when loved ones or colleagues are impeding you to reach your fullest potential in life.

Maggie’s reflection on an event always triggered a response. As humans, we need to focus more on the response to our reflections- it is our response that defines our character & the worth others will see in us.

Paws & Reflect: A Journal of Inspiration & Reflection

Maggie’s Thought for the Month: Don’t Walk Around Leaves

The month of October has arrived, and in New England that means leaf piles everywhere. If you are a dog owner, this also means extra long stops at those pile of leaves for sniffing & scratching.

Maggie loved the fall. She enjoyed chasing the leaves as they fell from the trees, or having me throw a handful of leaves on top of her. Our morning walks heard the crunch of leaves from her paws and my sneakers. Maggie never walked around the leaf piles, she always walked thru them. She seemed to have a smile on her face while doing it, and a look of satisfaction when making it thru the very tall piles.

As a child, I would jump in leaf piles and lay flat on my back looking at the sky. As an adult, I see leaf piles and think about the task of raking, preparing the yard for winter, and dreading the shorter days of sunshine. However, when I walked with Maggie thru the leaf piles, the walks seemed a bit more fun and had me kicking the leaves along with her. It made me reflect on those childhood memories of the fall season.

Maybe we can experience the same childhood pleasures as an adult, but with a different purpose. As a child, walking thru a pile of leaves is just fun; maybe as an adult, walking thru a pile of leaves reminds us of the importance of acting like a child sometimes.

Maggie’s Thought for the Month: Just Show Up

One of the top selling book categories is how to be successful. The best advice I received on being successful- ‘Just Show Up’.

Maggie was always there when I needed her. After a long day at work, she was waiting at the door to greet me. If I was working in the yard, and someone came on our property, she was right at my side to protect me. She remembered neighbors daily walk times, and was always at the fence waiting to say hello & maybe get a treat. Day or night, I could always count on Maggie to show up.

We live in a world that changes quicker than any other time in our past. People are constantly trying to make themselves marketable, employable or the most valuable on the team. I’ve learned the most important quality to have is to just be there.  When I need help on a task, the quality I look for in the person to ask is not the smartest or strongest person. It’s the person who is going to show up- and be there until the job is done.

Maybe being successful is 1% Luck and 99% Dedication.

Maggie’s Thought for the Month: Your Path, Your Destiny

Baby Maggie

I’ve heard the secret to living your destiny is to stop asking other people for directions. Everyone has an answer when helping another find the ‘right’ path in life.

Maggie was a wanderer. She loved to go hiking, and venture off the marked paths. Her tail would wag with delight, while her legs moved swiftly to keep up with a scent she was following. During these detours from the path, I often found the best landscapes to photograph.  Maggie never hesitated to walk the unknown, and she always enjoyed the journey.

Our world seems to be filled with people that follow a traditional path, or those that want to pave their own way. From my experiences, people following the untraditional path get asked a lot more questions. Maybe our world can also be divided by people who fear the unknown, and people who crave the excitement of the unknown. The times in my life when I didn’t know my destination, resulted in the most memorable experiences & life changing opportunities.

Everyone is unique.  Follow your own path. It just may lead to your destiny.

The Greatest Gift


The holiday months are approaching. This means family get togethers, celebrating traditions, and trying to make special memories with loved ones.

When I reflect on my favorite childhood memories, none are of the holidays. I remember the ordinary, every day events as the most special. Memories of my father reading to my sister & me at bedtime, or my mother waiting for us in the kitchen with a snack when we walked home from school. I recall family dinners every night, and sharing the responsibilities of keeping the house clean and doing yard work.

I often hear parents stress about searching for the perfect Christmas gift, or saving for the ‘dream’ family vacation. The price of these ‘must-have’s’ often mean long hours at work or paying someone to do the ‘ordinary daily activities’.

I am often asked if I worry about not having anything to write about. I have a bottomless treasure box of family memories. They were not created once a year, or with the need to go away to a fancy hotel or tropical paradise. My memories were created everyday at home- with loved ones who just wanted to spend time with me.

A child who feels important and valuable; the greatest gift a parent can give.

What Is A Hero?



What Is A Hero?

The dictionary defines a hero as somebody who is admired for outstanding qualities or achievements. What defines an outstanding quality or achievement? Does outstanding mean beyond everyday life accomplishments?

In today’s world, we can rapidly name an actor, athlete or musician we would call a hero. These people have accomplished or created something that many could never conceive. On the contrary, it is the ‘non-heroes’ who experience life accomplishments every day; living with grace, ethics, and honesty.


In my youth, I recall my heroes as the people who always protected me, taught me wrong from right, practiced what they preached, and loved me enough to give consequences for immoral actions. Living everyday with grace, ethics and honesty is difficult to achieve for the most strong and powerful, as we are reminded daily from television and other social media.

My heroes never made the news or were viewed as strong and powerful. Their titles were dad, mom, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, neighbor and teacher. They were my heroes not because of one outstanding accomplishment, but because of their consistent & unwavering dedication to all the small accomplishments.  Nurturing children who understand the value of living everyday with grace, ethics and honesty was their greatest achievement.

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.


Linda Massucci grew up in a small town in Connecticut. She first enjoyed creative writing in elementary school and continued to write short stories in high school. At college, she wrote a short story for a Christian Marriage class and was told her writing was very similar to John Steinbeck. As an avid reader, she looks for books that inspire, educate and use her imagination.

Book Cover LOGG

 Linda’s books allow the reader to contemplate the importance of family, faith, values and how the actions each person takes in life always affect other people. Her first published book from Helping Hands Press is titled ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. The following is an excerpt from the book:

I can’t recall the first memory I have of my Grandpa Frank, but I can recall the many Sundays at his home just listening to him speak. He told of stories of coming to America with ten dollars in his pocket and his best girl by his side. When he laughed, you could see his stained teeth from all those cigars he smoked since the age of twelve. His face was worn from working outside at the trolley yards and his hands had calluses and scars. Grandpa Frank was a slim man with wavy white hair. I’m sure, in his youth, he must have been an attractive man, but to me he was just my Grandpa Frank. An old man who always had time to sit with me and listen to my worries, hopes and insecurities. Whether I was eight years old or sixteen years old, I could always depend on Grandpa Frank for a listening ear. He was never hard to find either. From my house to his, it was a quick bike ride and all downhill too! Pass the town bank, cross the street at the market, turn left across the tracks, and you entered the Italian side of town. Grandpa Frank and Grandma Marie moved into the two story white house after they left Brooklyn. Grandpa said the Italian section was called Goat’s Island, because so many of the families had goats in their yards. I don’t remember Grandpa Frank having goats — I guess he got tired of taking care of them. There was one thing he never got tired of caring for, and that was his grapevine. (Prologue)

Linda Massucci captures the heart of family values in ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. The flashbacks throughout the story will find the reader laughing and reflecting about their own family memories and adventures as a child. The bond between the main characters, Elizabeth and Grandpa Frank, will have readers wanting to be a part of their special relationship.

Olivia's Journey BC2

Linda enjoys writing about her travels across America, blogging about her beloved dog Maggie who passed away to young, dabbles in landscape photography, cherishes every opportunity to walk on the beach at sunrise & sunset, and values spending time with family & friends. She enjoys a non-competitive game of golf & hopes to play at Pebble Beach someday. You can follow her blog at, or her other social media sites: twitter handle: @LindaMassucci or at