Posts Tagged ‘WWII’

Finally!  It’s lunch time.  We’ll eat at Chalet-hôtel du Grand Ballon, (you can view this in English by clicking the box on the upper right), but first we have to make a stop at the Famille Riche store, filled aromatically and beautifully with all things honey-related.  The family raises the bees, using the honey in a variety of products.  My s-i-l gifted me with a jar of honey, almonds in honey, and a beeswax Christmas candle.  I bought several trios of honey-based soaps as gifts. If you have a minute, take a look at their website.  You’ll find beautiful things.  The almonds in honey taste wonderful on chèvre or foie gras.  You can take my word on that!  🙂

© janet m. web

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Towards the end of January 2016, I’ll have blogged daily, sometimes more than once, for four years.  Hard to believe.  While I started out with only writing, sometimes with photos borrowed (with attribution or permission) from the internet, my blogs moved now to mostly photos.  I’m trying to bring back more of a balance, but we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, it’s interested me to see which posts are the most popular, so I waded through the stats pages to find the following.

The most viewed in one day post, as I linked it to something on FB, was a grammar post I titled “The drop of an “at.” When I saw it had garnered 473 views, pushing my total for that day to 598, I couldn’t believe it.  Unfortunately, most of the viewers didn’t bother to “like” or comment, but it still made me feel good.  Total views of that post have been 823.

My most liked post was a Weekly Photo Challenge shot, “Depth…water droplet.  This has been viewed 384 times and reached 254 likes.  Will I ever be able to top that?  I don’t know, but I’ll keep trying.

But sometimes a post takes on a life of its own.  My post with the most staying power and overall views, is one I did back on December 9, 2012: Story of Stalin’s war…Al Stewart’s Roads to Moscow.  I didn’t have many followers then and the original post only got 16 likes and 4 comments, two of which were probably mine.  But with a persistence which continually surprises me, this post has been viewed 1,595 times!!  Rarely a day goes by without a view (no likes or comments) and I just shake my head and smile.  Who’s viewing this and why don’t they respond?  Is it linked somewhere obscure, somewhere that people find and then come to my post.  I Googled “Al Stewart’s Road’s to Moscow” and didn’t find it.  But when I put in “Stalin’s War, Al Stewart”, my link came up first!  🙂

Thanks for “listening” to my ramblings and for being a follower of my blog…or at least a reader.  I love meeting and talking with people from all over the world via my blog (and theirs) and even meeting some of them.  I also love finding out what you’re doing and thinking via your blogs, although I can’t begin to regularly get to as many as I’d like and still have any sort of non-computer life.

Speaking of non-computer life, I’m out of here and into the real world.  🙂  See you soon!  If you go over to view the Story of Stalin’s War, “like” (if you do) and comment.  It will change everything.  And do take time to listen to the song.  It’s wonderfully sad.

One of the joys of my trip has been our daily drives through the countryside near (and a bit farther away) from my s-i-l’s house.  Here’s a sampling of photos from the trip we took the same day we saw the travail.  The roof of this church’s steeple show the classic colorful Burgundian tile.  Even the smallest villages often have a large church.  I imagine it was a place where people who were often far from neighbors could get together at least once a week.

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One of the things I like about France is that they remember history.  Everywhere you go, you see monuments to the soldiers killed in WWI and WWII.  Sometimes there are only one or two names, sometimes many; sometimes the surnames are, sadly, all from the same family.  These are men killed by Germans in WWI.

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hu·man·i·ty

noun \hyü-ˈma-nə-tē, yü-\

Being willing to sacrifice for the good of others (humanity) as well as for yourself and your loved ones shows your humanity.
The man in the photo is wearing what my f-i-l was likely wearing when he landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day and later when he was in the Pacific.
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American cemetery at Omaha Beach.  There are many such cemeteries for the dead of many countries.
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The rest of this week’s photo challenge entries can be found here:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/photo-challenge-abandoned/.

To read about the U. S. Rangers assault, including scaling the picture cliff, on Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, go here:  http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/dday/pointeduhoc.aspx.

Each week I wonder:  Does Friday Fictioneers need an introduction and an explanation?  It’s really rather simple:  riff off the photo prompt with 100 words that make a more-or-less whole tale. Go to Hostess Twinkie Rochelle’s site, link up and start reading like mad to see what everyone else has created.  It’s an addiction, but there are many worse.  So join in or just read, it’s all up to you.  The linky guy can be found after my story.  Grab a cup of your favorite brew, sit back and enjoy the ride.  But be sure to expect the Spanish Inquisition, because nothing in FF is certain except death, lots of death.  Very few taxes, though.

Copyright Sean Fallon

Copyright Sean Fallon

Homecoming

The sirens wailed again as Annabel hurried through the darkness toward the air raid shelter at the children’s school.  Common sense dictated staying in a shelter near work, but she wanted to be with her family.  The harsh sound of the Junkers grew louder.  London glowed with fires, smoke drifting through the bomb-lit air, but the hellish picture was somehow imbued with a strange, terrible beauty.

Reaching the school, she slipped through the doorway with a sigh of relief, moving around people in the semi-dark, heading toward “their spot.”

Overhead, the whine of the bomb grew louder, piercing the air.

……………………………………….

The London blitz was a terrible time, but Londoners stood resolute against everything Hitler threw at them (or dropped on them).  The worst single incident was the bombing of a school being used as a shelter, where 450 were killed.  An episode of “Foyle’s War”, one of the best programs on television, called “The Funk Hole”, shows through a heart-rending story, a tiny bit of what that time was like and when I watched it again for the ??-th time, I knew I had to use that idea in a FF story and the photo of the mannikin in parts brought this scenario inexorably to mind.  My attempt is but feeble compared to reality, but then 100 words can be somewhat limiting.  🙂  A bit of description of the Blitz  can be found here: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/blitz.htm and I urge you to look up “Foyle’s War” at the library or Netflix or wherever and watch every episode you can.

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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