Tag: Holidays

Full Moons, Time Travel, and a Holiday

After taking two days off from my day job last week, I had a five day weekend with the Labor Day holiday. And can I say those five days went by incredibly fast? Somehow, in my busyness to finish Unknown Reasons as well as formatting another book, I lost track of the fact we had a full moon this week until I saw the setting moon in the western sky as I left the house yesterday morning. [caption id="attachment_3924" align="alignleft" width="300"] A Harvest Moon from a few years ago. One of my attempts at capturing a good shot.[/caption] Frustrated that I'd missed this year's Harvest Moon, I searched for the date once I arrived at work and learned the Harvest Moon occurs in October this year because it's closest to the equinox on September 22. Hopefully, I remember to look at the horizon on the night of October 5. I…

Remembering

Today in the United States, we celebrate Memorial Day. It's sort of the unofficial start of summer. Kids get out of school, families begin taking vacations, and many people will flock to the lakes for boating, skiing, and cookouts. But this is not a holiday to be taken lightly. It began as Decoration Day back in 1868 when our country was trying to heal itself from the wounds of the civil war. In 1971, President Lyndon Johnson signed a law making Memorial Day a federal holiday. The day is a time for us as a nation to honor those who died in service for our country. If you are celebrating today with family or friends, don't forget what this is all about.  It's been said a picture says a thousand words, so I'll leave you with a few photos taken mostly in Arlington National Cemetery and Washington, DC.   [caption…

Christmas, Cowboys, and John Denver

I’ve been a music lover for as long as I can remember. While I like complete silence during the writing process, music often motivates me to write. One singer who has inspired several of my stories is the late John Denver. In 1975, John did a Christmas special called A Rocky Mountain Christmas. He sang several traditional Christmas favorites and introduced some new songs he had written including “Aspenglow” and “A Baby Just Like You.” The title of a third new song was “Christmas for Cowboys.” Christmas on working ranches is far different than it is for people who live in the city. Denver wrote the song as a tribute to cowboys. About that same time, I wrote (on notebook paper) my first novel. The finished “manuscript” was probably no more than 30-40 thousand words. It was the story of twin sisters, Christy and Cheryl. I was a teenager writing…

November ~A Time of Thanksgiving

In most parts of the United States, trees have already lost their leaves. However, where I live we often see the peak of fall colors in November. Daylight Saving Time ends and nights come early. But what else can we learn about our eleventh month? November, the ninth month in the ancient Roman calendar, gets its name from the Latin word novem, meaning nine. "November comes, and November goes. With last red berries, and the first white snows." ~Elizabeth Coatsworth A bit of November trivia: Topaz is the November birthstone The chrysanthemum is the month's flower On November 2, 1769 a Spanish expedition reached San Francisco Bay Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded in California on November 1, 1776. San Juan Capistrano is known for the swallows that nest there. Each year swallows leave their nests at the mission around St. John's Day on October 23 and return around the…

July ~ The Heat is On

In the northern hemisphere, July is one of the hottest months of the year. Summer activities are in full swing, the days are long, the nights are short, and many seek refuge from the heat. Let's learn a bit more about this seventh month of the year. The Roman Senate named the month of July was named for Julius Caesar. In the original Roman calendar it was the fifth month and called Quintilis. Two big celebrations occur during July for the North American Continent—Canada Day on July 1 and for the United States, Independence Day on July 4. "Hot July brings cooling showers, apricots and gillyflowers. ~Sara Coleridge The July birthstone is the ruby. The flower is the water lily. On July 16, 1790, The District of Columbia was established. Three former US Presidents died on July 4, the anniversary of our nation's birth. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died…

Independence Day

[caption id="attachment_2683" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Arlington National Cemetery[/caption] This Saturday, America will celebrate Independence Day. It's a time for trips to the lake, backyard cookouts, and fireworks. Sadly, many participate in these activities without stopping to consider the reason for celebration. On June 7, 1776, the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in what is now known as Independence Hall. On that day, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia read a resolution calling for independence.  Congress appointed a committee of five men to draft a declaration. Those five men were John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert Livingston of New York, and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Jefferson wrote the original declaration, Franklin and Adams made revisions. Congress reconvened on July 1, 1776. The following day, twelve of the thirteen colonies adopted Lee's resolution for independence with New York not voting. Immediately after the vote, Congress began to…

In Memory

Next Monday in the United States, we will celebrate Memorial Day. Many think of it only as a three-day weekend and the unofficial start of summer. Backyard cookouts, picnics, and trips to the beach are common. Yet many take for granted what the holiday is all about. Unlike Veterans Day, which is to honor the living who serve or have served in the military, Memorial day is a time to remember those who died in service to our country. It was first known as Decoration Day and began after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in battle. Over two dozen cities and towns lay claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day; however, President Andrew Johnson officially declared Waterloo, New York as its birthplace in May 1866. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. Five-thousand…

May~Flowers and More

The month of May has arrived and with it comes a flurry of activities, events, and celebrations. Across the country many students will graduate from both high school and college and begin a new season of their lives. Let's learn a bit more about this fifth month of the year. "The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May." ~Edwin Way Teale May is named for Maia, the goddess of growth and plants. It is a month in which many of the spring flowers begin to bloom. Although here in Texas, many of the wildflowers such and the bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush, and clover have already passed their peak, others bloom in May. The coreopsis and blue cornflowers are two that come to mind. Here are a few more things about the month of May: The May birthstone is the emerald which represents success or love. The…

A Good Friday

Welcome to First Friday Fiction. This story had its beginnings from a first person writing assignment I had years ago. Some of the sights and sounds Emily sees and hears are things I would experience walking along the country road where I live. The rest of the story is fiction. Emily Sanders paused for a moment to take in the warmth of the spring afternoon. She welcomed the sunshine and blue skies. Winter had been long and cold—not that it mattered. She’d spent the better part of the past few months working long, exhausting hours at the office. She had left the city and moved to a smaller community in hopes of having a less stressful job. But after months of working on an important project, she’d begun to wonder if she’d made the right decision. So far, her new job had turned out to be as demanding as her…

Peace On Earth

It's hard to believe this is the last First Friday Fiction story of 2014. I've enjoyed writing these short pieces and I plan to continue in 2015. This month is the last installment of David's Story. To read parts 1-6, click on the First Friday Fiction link from the "My Writing" shortcut above. What I originally intended as a stand alone flash fiction story in June developed into a longer story, thanks to several of you who asked for more. I plan another new series beginning in January, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy reading Peace On Earth.  Almost three weeks had passed since Thanksgiving and the incident with Sarah. While the polar vortex had given way to milder temperatures, Sarah remained cold and distant. David wondered what he had done. He didn’t invite Cassie for Thanksgiving and had never talked about marriage to her—she was the one…