Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Not much going on in our neck of the woods except for snow falling gently throughout the entire day and into the dark of the afternoon.  We got in early this morning from a small, enjoyable New Years Eve party and are both a bit sleepy.  Watching some football, doing a few things around the house, Bill shoveled, snow, then took a bike ride in the 6″+ of snow.  He’s recovering by taking a nap.  🙂  Good New Years Day stuff.  I’m catching up a bit on posts, email and Facebook and haven’t been out of the house all day.  All we lack is a fire in the fireplace.  Nice to just relax.  Bill put several small bottle of champers out in the snow to cool and we’re ready for a lovely evening.  Here are a few pictures from the confines of the house.

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Appropriately for the end of the year, the Weekly Photo Challenge is “Joy.”   Whether or not your year has been filled with or even touched by joy, I pray that 2014 will be a joyful year for you in all aspects of your life.

There are so many choices depicting joy, but for me, those choices have to start with my family.  I hope you’ll forgive me for not going my usual route with one photo, but these are joy-filled memories for me.

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My mom was born on this day 84 years ago.  I’m sure her birthday in 1941 wasn’t the best birthday she ever had.  That day was the beginning of suffering for many Americans, including those Japanese-Americans who were interned unjustly and for so long.

Although war isn’t pleasant to think about, we need to remember and to teach our children what happened and why, as best we can.  This short video serves both to honor those who fell at Pearl Harbor and as a simple reminder.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is “Grand” but has an extra layer this week:  the “wow” factor.  To stand on Omaha Beach, where my father-in-law landed on D-Day (and survived), knowing the history and seeing the distance that had to be overcome in what was literally a world-changing moment, definitely has the “wow” factor, albeit in a different way than seeing something grand and beautiful.  And yet, this place is in its way, both grand and beautiful….and awesome, in the real sense of the word.

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Giving thanks

Posted: November 28, 2013 in Family, Personal
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When you love what you have, you have everything you need.

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Connections are everywhere, between and among many things and people.  “Connections” is the theme this week at Ailsa’s “Where’s My Backpack” blog.  Here are just a few of the connections I see and love.

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
― Chief Seattle

Connections between human and animal

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“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”
― John Muir

Connections between man and nature

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“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
― Herman Melville

Connections among people and families

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Friday Fictioneers.  One hundred words to tell a story, a snippet of life told tightly. Does it succeed? You let me know.

Copyright E. A. Wicklund

Copyright E. A. Wicklund

Remembrance

Standing there, he can only imagine (because Dad had rarely spoken of it), dropping into the Higgins boats, men crying, boys stiff with fear; your best friend dying next to you in the ocean red with blood, men drowning as their water-filled helmets trapped them under waves. After staggering the long yards through waist-deep ocean, the vast expanse of Omaha Beach still waiting, filled with mines and hedgehogs and openness, the deadly rain of ammunition falling all around. Behind, the inexorably rising tide; ahead, the unknowable.

The gulls’ hoarse cries echo the forgotten screams of the defiant and the dying.

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A snippet of what my father-in-law and so many others experienced on this and other beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Higgins boats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCVP_%28United_States%29
Hedgehogs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_hedgehog

My father-in-law’s ship:

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Want to read more stories? Click here.

Today as I lay in bed,
nursing my sore throat,
slipping in and out of sleep
until the sun beat in through the half moon window
forcing me to move,

I dreamt of Christmas.

Not the faux Christmas seduction
   attempted by stores 
   beginning much too early,
   but of this Christmas...

of letters sent to friends not close enough now
   yet treasured,
   recapping the year,
   recalling good times.

of ravioli made and frozen against the day,
   cookies pressed and decorated,
   menus planned, discarded or amended,
   but always upside-down cornbread
   topped with maple-drenched apples and sausage.

of boxes of ornaments and ribbon,
   gift boxes and bags,
   beauty arranged and re-arranged
   on tabletops,
   in windows,
   hung from lamps,
   festooning mantels.

of gifts brought out from hiding places
   (sometimes after much searching),
   last minute buys,
   the sharp joy of “just right.”
   Wrapped and tied and dazzling.

Tangible bits of love
yet not the real thing.

of Christmas Eve
   and church and carols,
   (hopefully of snow)
   and silent night
   all calm and bright with
   lights on houses and on trees.

of joy welling up from somewhere deep
   to overflow on all around,
   to sleep and wake too early
   and go downstairs to start the preparations
   for too much food,
   to read the Christmas story,
   to laugh and sing,
   exclaim over gifts
   and lie back,

replete
with love.

Twenty nine

Posted: September 15, 2013 in Family, Personal, Photos
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Without you, life’s a beach,

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but with you, it’s the cat’s pajamas. Happy 29th anniversary to my favorite cat.

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To determine whether or not you’re artistic, take the Vincent van Gogh test.

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