Tag: Reflections

The Month That Was

September has arrived, leaving August a mere memory. And what a month it was—some good, some bad. [caption id="attachment_3905" align="alignleft" width="300"] An F-14 Tomcat on the flight deck of the Lexington[/caption] August began with promise. My husband and I had just come off a week’s vacation. Although I’m a “mountain” person, we decided to go to the Texas coast this year. We spent two nights in Corpus Christi in a beachfront hotel and one in Galveston. It was one of the most relaxing vacations I had had since our cruise to Alaska five years ago. In Corpus, we toured the USS Lexington Museum. The “Lex” was a World War II era aircraft carrier and was decommissioned in 1991. It’s also known as the “Blue Ghost” because it’s said to be haunted. We didn’t see any ghosts but were able to see some vintage aircraft. In Galveston, we rode the ferry…

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…

Onward and Upward

A new year is upon us, and it brings about new beginnings. In some ways, a new year is like starting over. I’ve always looked at each January as a time for rebirth and renewal. A time for putting the past behind and moving forward. A time to forget our past mistakes and failures and look to the future. In the past, I’ve looked at the new year and lamented over my failure to accomplish things in my writing. In 2009, I began a writing journal. This is an excerpt from the first entry on January 5, 2009: Another year has passed. I find myself wondering what happened to 2008. What have I accomplished in my writing? Not much, I admit. I submitted two short pieces for the church blog. While that is okay, they are a guaranteed publication. I still have an idea for a book, but I am…

2015 in Review

A few photos from 2015. The cover for The Stranger, the stage at the Ringo Starr concert, the Space Shuttle Discovery, and a civil-war cannonball, lodged in the wall of a mansion at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Once again the time has come for us to bid farewell to another year. Wasn’t it only yesterday we welcomed 2015? I have to agree with my friend Staci—the older we get, the faster time goes. (And I’m much older than her!) It’s been a good year overall. I was able to fulfill a long time dream of seeing one of the Beatles when my husband and I attended a Ringo Starr concert on February 14. In June, we took a vacation to Virginia, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. Being history enthusiasts, we enjoyed visiting the museums in and around DC. Among the highlights for me was seeing the space shuttle Discovery and the Apollo 11…

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…

February ~ Short, But Sweet

Today, I continue my series of some fun and interesting facts about each month of the year. January is now a memory and already we find ourselves in the shortest month of the year—February. In spite of its short length, celebrations and events fill the February calendar. February, along with January, was not part of the original Roman calendar. Numa Pompilus added the two months around 713 BC. For almost 200 years, February was the last month of the year. On the wind in February snowflakes float still. Half inclined to turn to rain, nipping, dripping, chill. ~ Christina Georgina Rossetti, A Year’s Windfalls, 1866 A few things about February: It is the only month in which it is possible not to have a full moon. The next time this will occur is in 2018. In leap years, February is the only month that begins and ends on the same…

January ~ New Beginnings

Welcome 2015! You’re probably thinking I’m a bit late because we are already on the 7th day of the New Year and new month. I want to thank you all for bearing with me while I took an unplanned blogging break during the month of December. [caption id="attachment_2459" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The winter moons are usually the most brilliant since they climb higher in the sky than in summer months. Since I'm always looking for that perfect "moon shot" you can often find me outside with my camera on a winter night.[/caption] For me a new year brings new excitement and possibilities. This year I’m planning my blog posts in advance so as not to be caught off guard. One of the things I thought would be fun is to write a post about each month giving some fun facts and a bit about each month’s origin. So, without further ado,…

Connected or Disconnected?

[caption id="attachment_2323" align="alignleft" width="224"] Creative Commons Photo by Mike Mozart[/caption] A few days ago, I was brainstorming a scene for my upcoming novel. It involved a character who disappeared after returning from a business trip. The character’s last known location was at a convenience store where he purchased gas for his car. That’s the last time anyone sees him. Okay, nothing unusual about this (except for the part about his disappearance.) A person drives to a convenience store, pulls up to a pump, swipes his credit or debit card, pumps the gas, and then gets into their car and drives away. Except the event happened in 1991. So, I had to ask myself, “What would we have done in then? Were debit cards in use at that time? Did we pay at the pump or were we required to pay inside?” Technology has changed the way we live, the way…

Can A Cat Teach Us Something About Writing?

I was full of enthusiasm when I began the 500-word challenge on January 1. The first few days, words flowed from my head onto the keyboard. I thought anyone could write 500 unedited words in thirty minutes or less. Yesterday, I didn’t feel like writing. In fact, three of the last four days, I’ve struggled to make the words come. I tried to work on a piece of fiction. The idea is there, but I’m afraid the story won’t be good enough. A few days ago, I wrote a post about my disappearing cat, Cruz. I saw him again—four sightings in a week. He’s been lurking near our deck. In the mornings, near daybreak, we can hear his distinctive “meow.” He acts like he wants to come close, but when we call his name he runs away. Can we learn something about writing from a cat? Cruz was always a…