Tag Archives: patriotism

Parades – A Photo Essay

There is nothing like a parade, especially on the Fourth of July. We took in two – the parade in town at 11 AM and the boat parade on the lake at 3PM.

all of us - O, me, W, and B
all of us – O, me, W, and B

July always seems like a busy month, I suppose all of the months are busy, but it’s July and I am in the moment. I’ve been flashing back and forth from past to present and present to past lately, some of it triggered by where I am and some where I’ve been. I needed something in between.

July means Independence Day, Continue reading Parades – A Photo Essay

Freedom Friday

Friday, July 4th. Independence Day. It’s America’s birthday and it’s a three day weekend. America will celebrate it’s independence from Britain. There will be parades, families will get together, there’ll be cookouts and fireworks. There’ll be all sorts of merrymaking – most of which I won’t partake. I’ll settle for the parade, a little boating, hamburgers and hot dogs, and fireworks. It’ll be great day.

It’s bittersweet for us, grandma and grandpa were always here for the Fourth. Always. The past couple of years they’ve been unable to make it up together. Last year grandma was here, but it was different. Regardless, I am always thoughtful of this day as well as our other national holidays – Memorial Day and Veterans Day – and how and why they are important to our culture and who we are as a people.

the Fourth of July parade with grandma, grandpa, and the kids - W and O. 2006
the Fourth of July parade with grandma, grandpa, and the kids – W and O. 2006

I am ever so grateful for the courageous men and women who went before me – Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and many more who debated and wrote the Declaration of Independence and set forth the ideas freedoms of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Continue reading Freedom Friday

Memorial Day Parade

Every year we attend the Memorial Day parade as a family. Sometimes we go to the parade at home, and other times we go to the one in Versailles – our home away from home. We usually ride our bikes to the cemetery and find a spot to watch the parade as it winds to an end and the participants file into the cemetery for the official Memorial Day ceremony. This year I walked, the kids and B rode their bikes.

There are veterans, politicians, firemen, police, bands, scouts, and other community organizations that march in the parade. There are the old, middle-aged, and young. They are dressed in red, white, and blue. They carry flags, wave at the crowd, and smile. One year I marched with the cub scouts. Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cool, sometimes it’s just right, but Monday it was between too hot and just right; depending if you were in the shade or not. The parade route is a lot longer than you think, but it is nothing compared to the sacrifice our veterans have made for their country.

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Marie Curie (1867-1934); Chemist, Physicist, Nobel Prize Winner
from Values.com – Daily Quote – May 19, 2014 Continue reading Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day weekend – 2014

It’s that time of the year, again. There are two weeks left before summer vacation. Nine school days. Summer vacation would’ve been sooner, but we had the brutal winter with sub-zero temperatures and excruciating wind chills. Four school days closed twice for two days and days were moved from June to January to make up. There is nothing like summer vacation days in January. My students are working hard and last week it was clear they knew exactly how many days remained; some even knew down to the hour and minute.

the flag flies outside, it's Memorial Day weekend
the flag flies outside, it’s Memorial Day weekend

But, I am not a day counter. I work at making the days count. Continue reading Memorial Day weekend – 2014

Getting started

aisnes_marne_memorial_day_trumpet2013_cropped
Memorial Day 2013 – A doughboy plays taps – Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France photo courtesy of Aisnes-Marne American Cemetery Facebook page

This is a bittersweet time for me. The beginning of summer always is. It is a feeling of relief and joy and uncertainty mixed into one. This should be day 2 of summer vacation. It is day 2 of summer, meteorological summer, that is. Celestial summer will arrive just after midnight June 21st and we’ll have our peak daylight. But, for now I have three days remaining before summer really begins for me.

We had a snow day in March and two flood days in April that threw a wrench in the school calendar and thus mine. It has been a rainy spring, which is nice because last year we had little rain and the fall fruit and harvest was dismal at best around our parts. Friday was warm and muggy, you could feel the energy in the air and Saturday was overcast with afternoon rain. We’ve been spared violent weather thankfully, but we had a spectacular lightning show last Tuesday evening and rain almost every day for the past week. Continue reading Getting started

President’s Day Challenge

Seal_Of_The_President_Of_The_United_States_Of_America.svgToday is President’s Day. It’s the holiday to celebrate all of our presidents, but in particular George Washington’s birthday. I remember in elementary school coloring pictures of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and learning stories of their exploits of how George chopped a cherry tree down and couldn’t tell a lie and Abe was an honest self-educated man who chopped wood. I don’t know if these tales are true, but I do know that these two presidents led our nation in a time when its citizens were uncertain of how events would turn out.

And so being the wise nation that we are, we celebrate our heritage and history by letting the schoolchildren out of school for the day. Now, in the interest of transparency, I do personally benefit from this holiday and all of the other holidays, as well. I am a teacher. However, being a teacher does not imply an endorsement of our holiday practice. Now that that is out in the open, I can continue. Continue reading President’s Day Challenge

Much is required

The 49ers made the Celebration of the Century - 1980s decade stamps
The 49ers made the Celebration of the Century – 1980s decade stamps

Sunday was Championship Sunday and yesterday, I got half of my wish. I was hoping for a ‘no feathers’ Super Bowl, instead we got the Har-bowl: a Super Bowl where two brothers – opposing head coaches – are pitted against each other. It will be a good one, no doubt, but I will be rooting for the 49ers.

If you have followed me for a while, or even for a short time, you know I enjoy football. You might recall I have rooted for the Packers in the playoffs (2011), the Patriots in the Super Bowl (2012), and wonder if I just root for the team that is on top. Not true. Continue reading Much is required

The turkey….

roasting and getting ready for dinner!

It’s Thanksgiving morning and the turkey is in the oven. There are yams cooking on the stove and it’s pretty quiet. Ivy’s been out a couple of times and she had a treat to start her day. I mixed chicken broth, warm chicken broth, with her dog food this morning and she enjoyed it.  Actually, she’s in the doghouse with B, because Ivy woke us up just as the sun was peaking over the horizon. She had slept at the top of the stairs just outside our room and let out a yelp and short bark to let me know it was time to go out. I felt the warm spot on the carpet when I went downstairs to let her out and start the day. Unfortunately, B’s sleep was collateral damage and she followed me downstairs.

It’s my job to cook the turkey and it’s in the oven. The smells are just now wafting through the house and before long; the aroma of Thanksgiving Continue reading The turkey….

Veterans Day – Semper Fi

Today is Veterans Day. It is celebrated on the eleventh day of the eleventh month; the day also marks the remembrance of end of the First World War. There is no coincidence.

Private Robert N. Watkins, USMC, my dad

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

As a young child, there were two topics, which I constantly read – World War II and football. I could not read enough or learn enough about the war. I was fascinated, and I still am intrigued by history. My dad helped foster this learning and I remember watching Patton at the Palms Theater in third grade. At the time, I thought it was a great movie. I have watched it many times since and have the soundtrack in my music library.  I am listening to it as I write this morning. I still think it is a great movie about a great man, who like many was flawed, but did what was needed when it was needed most. Continue reading Veterans Day – Semper Fi

6th grade, all over again

STRESS CITY. It is that time of the year, November and the push at school, home, and everywhere else. This past week was full: parent conferences at school – two full days, parent conferences for O, the election, and the kid’s activities – sports and scouts. I am grateful for B who handled scouts this week; otherwise, I might have burst. And, this week ends with my birthday. Yep, I am officially one year older today – Happy Birthday to me. Continue reading 6th grade, all over again