Touched by an Angel

December 21, 2020

I recently received this email about Alan from a good friend. It was written by Charles Spinelli. It was so touching that I asked Charles if I could share it.

This is from the heart…

What a year!  I don’t think it’s necessary to recap all that occurred this year or how exactly we got to where we are…actually, I am not even sure exactly where we are??

But I do want to share this with you.  I met my friend Alan the other day.  Alan is an angel.  Well sort of.  He is actually a homeless man in the town we work in.  He is grimy and he smells.  His mode of transportation – a bicycle that is held together by duct tape.  I buy him lunch or give him money every time I see him.  But on this day, Alan gave me a great gift!

It was chilly and he was wearing a hoodie and a down overcoat.  He had boots on, but there was a hole in the top were his sock was sticking out.  I said hello and he immediately got up and held his hand out to shake mine.  Despite his physical condition, and the pandemic, I unhesitatingly shook Alan’s hand.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be touched by an angel! 

With a beaming smile, he asked how I was.  Alan always asks me how I’m doing.  And not just in a perfunctory way…he really listens.  I paused for a moment and said, “You know Alan, I’m doing well.”  I expounded, “I guess the challenge in these times is to look at what you have and be able to count your blessings.  How are you doing?” I asked.  He said, “My friend, I am blessed.  I am warm and I have so much to be thankful for.  Some people have it much worse than me.”

Wow!  Angels always appear where they are needed.  I knew immediately that God was using Alan to give me a message.  Even in the midst of difficulty, we need to know that we are loved.  And that it is never, ever as bad as it seems, because God is always with us.  And, if we can love, we should love.  If we receive love, we need to return love.   Love is the only way that Alan can think that he is blessed.  His very existence hangs in jeopardy every day – the weather materially impacts him, he relies on handouts for his meals, and he can only hope that he will find someplace safe and warm to sleep.  Alan understands that God loves him, I think that is why he can positively say he is blessed.

Are we as confident in God’s love for us as Alan is?  Personally, I often lose sight of that.  The past month has been heavy.  The uncertainty of everything has caused so much anxiety.  My focus has been selfish, and I seemed to be caught up in the issues of the world.  I have been at times anxious, scared, hopeless, angry, frustrated…sound familiar?

In a sense, Alan and I are very dissimilar.  I have everything I need and most things I want.  Alan, well, he literally has nothing.  The world would say we have zero in common.  But the world is wrong.  God sees it another way.  In fact, from His eyes, there is nothing different between us.  We are both simply His children.  In this sense Alan and I are brothers and God gives each of us the same gift – love.

I was really amazed how Alan could say he is blessed.  I was also very embarrassed about why I think my troubles are numerous.  Alan gave me the gift of perspective.  As I paused to take stock of my life, I came to understand that there is indeed much to be thankful for.  Just focusing on some of the things that I take for granted, gave me so much to ponder and pray about.

So, this week, let’s take a minute to contemplate all the gifts we have.  Look at our spouses or your children; our family or our friends; and know that they are truly gifts from God.  Reflect on how God is always there to help us along.  And maybe we can also say that we are blessed…just like Alan the angel.


Thank you, Charles, that was beautiful….

Merry Christmas to all and……Stay Safe….

Every Day is a Gift

The Dash

June 18, 2014

A couple of months ago

I attended a funeral

During the Mass

The priest read a poem

Written by Linda Ellis

Simply Titled….

The Dash

The poem seemed to be

The topic of conversation

After the service

I never heard that before

That was very profound

It really made me stop and think

When we look at a gravestone

We only see

A name

A date of Birth


The date they passed away

Between the 2 dates

You will find….

The dash

The little dash stands for

Everything that was accomplished

During their lifetime

What do we do to fill our dash

What have we passed on…

To our family….



All who we meet

What is our legacy

What did we do with the gifts

We were given

This is the measure of our dash

How do we want to be remembered

If given the chance to write

Our own epithet

What would it say

Do we live to fulfill

The words we would write

Live Your Dash!

The Hunt

April 5, 2012

This Sunday is Easter Sunday



A big day for the Hutchinson family



Every year….




After we go to Mass….




We all head over to my Mom’s house


For Easter Brunch




Everybody chips in….




We have it down pat by now…




We all bring a dish




My sister Maureen coordinates



Janet always brings her sausage and egg casserole




A family favorite




There so much food there


You would think there were a 100….


People there





In a few years we may not be off the mark..




If all the grandchildren start having kids


We should hit the 100 mark pretty fast




After the meal is done….





The fun begins




We do an Easter egg hunt with a twist




There is a battle for the……




Hutch Trophy




This is a competition between the adults and children




We buy 2 puzzles and we take the pieces…..




And place each piece in a plastic egg




Then the children take their puzzle eggs and hide it


In the front yard




While the adults take their puzzle eggs


And hide them in the back yard




It can be vice a versa…..




When all the eggs are hidden, we meet inside



And then….




We are off and running





Who can find all the plastic eggs and….




Assemble their puzzle first





Think there is a little bit of competition going on?




Last summer I told you about the Hutch Olympics….





This is training






Each team is fighting to get bragging rights




The trophy sits in my mom’s kitchen all year….




As a gentle reminder…







Family get togethers’ are great



There is a special bond that is reinforced





Time and time again



We all find ourselves laughing….




When we all……..




Are acting like children




We remember the simple……




Pleasures that life brings






Enjoy and……




Treasure the time……




You share with your family





It is one of life’s little miracles





Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all


My family and friends

Happy New Year

January 7, 2011

Where did 2010 go? 

Not that long ago….. I was sitting on the beach, reading a book, drinking a Bloody Mary and letting the water run up over my toes.

Each year seems to fly by faster and faster.

2010 was a pretty great year.  We had some very memorable moments in the Hutchinson household:

Our eldest son George IV got married in 2010 and he and his wife Caroline are now expecting George Henry Hutchinson V….. (G 5)…. in early to mid-January. Five generations of George Henrys. Can it get any better than that!!!!!

Our second son Brenton, bought his first house in 2010 and got engaged last summer. I guess that first time homebuyer incentive really put a bug in his ear (or maybe it was Meghan). A June 2012 wedding is in the works.

After 27 months living in Peru and serving in the Peace Corp, our little girl Elizabeth came home in the beginning of August. It is quite a treat having her back on US soil, soaking up that vibrant Hutchinson smile. She wasted no time in finding a great job and has just bought her first new car. Don’t get in her way, she is on a tear!

Our youngest son Grant is in mid stride of his junior year at Temple, where he is a film major. Over the past 3 years he has written, filmed and starred in several short films, all have been great. Besides that, he has a budding musical career, writing and performing songs with his band. Slowly making inroads to the Phila. music and film scene.

Janet and I have both been blessed. We will admit it. We are proud of all our children. They done good and made us proud.

My Pop always said that he was careful when bragging about his kids, for they always end up doing something that would kick him in the arss.

How could he possibly say that about me? I am sticking to my story.

With 2011 now in bloom, I will be going away this weekend for my 29th retreat in Malvern, PA.

My father invited up to Malvern right after our first child was born. He asked me if I would like to go on a retreat with him in January.  I said, “What is a retreat?”  Always the coy…. He says, “Why don’t we go and find out.”

I must say, it has changed my life.

We always find ourselves living on the go……Always doing…..

Where’s my to do list?

Let’s see…..

First, I ‘ll do this….

 then I can do that….

and that will give me time to get this done

 and then I’ll rest.

The problem is that by the time you get to the rest part, you have already started another list.

Blackberry in hand and you are going……

fielding calls, replying to emails, setting appointments….go, go, go!!!

We are always doing and never taking the time

To just stop and listen……

Going on retreat the first weekend of each year presents the time to just stop….

And Reflect……

What activities, circumstances and events have brought me to where I am today?

What gifts or talents have I been given?

Have I used and developed these gifts or talents?

Has it been only for  my benefit?

Or was I willing to share?

What have you achieved?

Would you have done something or anything differently?

What do you see in your mind’s eye for 2011?

What am I looking to achieve?

What can I  do better?

What are we looking to pass onto the next generation?

These are things we keep pushing out,

because they are too personal and they do not fit on our to do list.

I am not trying to be preachy….

These are questions we are uncomfortable with, for we start to measure our self.

I know, I know……

I am my own worst critic,

Just don’t hold me accountable.

Going on retreat, you find yourself sharing the weekend with those looking to address the same questions.

Beside the quiet time to reflect,

You will also share great conversations and insights.

It has been thru these retreats that I have grown.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you who are not just clients or associates but…..


Thru your friendships’ I have grown, which inspires me to do more in 2011.


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