Maryland Crabs and Meeting New Friends in Rotary

Until I return to Mexico on September 6th, I will be writing about personal stories as well as general stories about life in the United States. Since my U.S. address is now Maryland, I just have to mention our famous Maryland crabs.

After I arrived, my sister and I had dinner with her son Andy, his wife Nathalie and dinner was two dozen crabs from the local crab house. Two dozen might seem like a lot, but there is actually very little meat in them.

They were cooked with Old Bay seasoning, a very popular spice here, and eaten on spread-out newspapers, since it is very messy. We did not have lobster forks to pull the meat out of the small legs, but we did have wooden mallets to smash the shell of the legs and claws. For the main body, you can just pull the shell apart.

Whenever I travel, I like to attend local Rotary meetings, if possible, both in order to meet new people and to see what kind of projects they are involved in. If I am lucky, there will also be an interesting guest speaker, and luckily all of these things happened yesterday.

I attended a meeting of the Towsontowne Rotary Club, just 5 minutes from where I am now living. They said I was the first guest from an e-club and had me get up and describe what our meetings are like. They also said they are a “hugging club” and after the initial pledge and 4-way test, each member hugged every other member.

The members were friendly and interesting and had a wonderful guest speaker, Steven B. Goldberg, MD – a psychiatrist who started Veterans Health Services, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit to help veterans with mental health issues. VHS is the provider with no middleman or additional overhead. It is separate from the military, because many servicemen are hesitant to go for help because they are afraid it will negatively affect their military career or other aspects of their life outside of the military.

Staff will have 80 hours of specialized clinical training before they ever see a patient. Care is based on need and staffing levels will be sufficient to prevent the wait times normally seen with the VA.

VHS owns the building in which they will be located and leases out 100,000 square feet of it to help with the cost of providing services. It will also have nice decor and furniture, so that the veterans will not be sitting around in a depressing, poorly maintained space. The project will be starting up in 6 cities.

You can find out more about it at  – the name comes from their request that whomever we tell about it is requested to donate 5 dollars to the project. Other links to this project are:


     I was very happy to hear of someone doing something for our veterans and service members in distress, and the fact that he is a psychiatrist means that he truly understands their needs. I encourage all my readers to check out the sites that I have listed and consider donating, spreading the word, or contact people in your area who might be able themselves or know someone who might be able  to start developing a similar program, since I believe this VHS is local to the Maryland/D.C. area.

So that is all for now. Tomorrow morning is my mother’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, and then Saturday will be the first day of a 3-day road trip with my son to his home in Colorado Springs…..

Have a nice remainder of your week and an even better weekend….


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