Memorial Day 2022

Lest we forget. . . Remember the men in uniform who fought so we can have the freedom we enjoy today.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I, the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars,

It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades.

I found these old photos of my two boys joining their father in participating in the Memorial Day Parade in 1977 in Oyster Bay.

Did you know? Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 pm local time.

It is unclear where this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. And some records show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina, less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866. It was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed, and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

Source: History.com

A Soldier’s Christmas Eve

I got this poem from a mailing from the Disabled American Veterans. Please take a pause and remember our armed forces who gave us our freedom.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,

in a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give,

and to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,

no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,

and on the wall pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,

a sobering thought came to my mind.

For this house was different, so dark and so dreary,

the home of a soldier, now I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,

curled up on the floor in this one-bedroom home.

The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,

not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?

Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families that I saw this night,

owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,

and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,

because of the soldiers, like the one lying her.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,

on a cold Christmas eve in a land far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,

I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,

“Santa don’t cry, this live is my choice;

I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,

my life is my God, my country, my corps.”

The soldier rolled over and soon drifted to sleep,

I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep,

I keep watch for hours, so silent and still,

and we both shivered from the cold evening’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark, night,

this guardian of honor so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,

whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas day, all is secure.”

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,

“Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”

By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

and a Happy, Healthy New Year to All!

By Rosalinda Morgan, Author of “Saving Wentworth Hall”

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

Thank you, Lord, for my health, my family, and my friends near and far that I hold dear to my heart and all the blessings I received this year and years past. I’m grateful for the strength and courage you gave me during these difficult and uncertain times. Please protect all of us and keep us safe and healthy. Amen.

In Arlington by Robert Martin

Robert “Bob” Martin is the Past President of the American Rose Society. During his term of office, Bob believed that the Never Forget Garden project of the American Rose Society would be a great fit for the Centennial Celebration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Here is a beautiful and haunting poem written by him.

Thank you, Bob, for honoring our Fallen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH ROSE and A Tip Towards A Healthy You.

Queen Elizabeth was the first grandiflora rose, introduced in 1954, representing the best characteristics of its parent hybrid tea and floribunda rose. Winner of the AARS Award in 1955, the American Rose Society Gold Medal in 1960, Queen Elizabeth still ranks in the top 10 in popularity over the past 50 years. A classic rose, she was elected to the Rose Hall of Fame and deservedly so. Large trusses of blooms 3 ½” – 4” double on strong, straight stems, it has moderate fragrance and blooms continuously and profusely. The large flowers have lots of petals (35 petals) and are arranged individually or in clusters on the plant. They made great cut flowers. Color is clear, ranging from pale pink to rose or carmine, and is weatherproof in any climate. It has dark green, glossy foliage, very vigorous, and tall, about 4-6 feet or more and 3 feet wide. It likes to be tall, so do not prune drastically. It is winter hardy and very disease resistant. A climbing counterpart exists.

Queen Elizabeth at 3 yrs old – photo taken from my dining room window on the first floor.
Photo taken from the second floor window.

A year later – photo taken from my dining room window.
This is how tall Queen Elizabeth Climber has grown by its fourth year. My New York home has 7 steps to the first floor just to give you a perspective. The rose reaches the roof of my one-floor extension in back.

Grace Tedesco, an old friend from Oyster Bay, grew mostly Queen Elizabeth roses. She started with the mother plant that she said belonged to her mother. She had about 30 Queen Elizabeth roses in her garden, and she won the Grandiflora section of our rose show almost every year when she was alive. She passed away in 2012 at age 101, was married for 76 years, and exhibited Queen Elizabeth till she was 97. She fell that day picking up her roses for the rose show in 2007 and never seemed right afterward. I do miss her. She was a very good friend of mine who treated me like the daughter she never had. In Oyster Bay, where I lived, Grace was called the Rose Queen, and I was called the Rose Lady. I miss her and her constant advice that I should slow down

Well, Grace, I finally slow down and stop to smell the roses.

TIP OF THE DAY: Listen to classical music to calm you down. Close your eyes and just enjoy the soft music. You’ll be surprised how great you’ll feel after that short period of time when your brain is given a rest, free of those loud noises that surround us all day.

What are your goals for 2021?

I am grateful 2020 is over, gone and done. The New Year comes with an opportunity to reinvent, refresh, renew, and brings us better luck. It’s up to each of us to make plans for a better YOU.

2020 was a very stressful year for the whole country. We lost loved ones, the economy started going south, unemployment shot up, and with the lockdown caused by Covid-19, the entire world went into a spin. We got isolated from our loved ones, got restrictions to enjoy life, even going to church was forbidden. I hope with the coming of the vaccine, 2021 will be a lot better.

I need life to go back to normal. I’m tired of what is going on in the country. The election, the politics, divisiveness, the riot, the life restriction are not the life I envision in America. I long to return to the old days before Covid. I want to see my friends and be able to travel again and be free again.

To cure my loneliness, I found out music is good therapy. I find myself playing music most of the time. I play Filipino Kundiman to keep me connected to the Philippines. I want to go home and visit my parents’ grave. I missed Mom’s funeral, and it saddens me to no end.

What are your goals for 2021? I call it goals because it seems that resolutions do not work anymore. Studies show that resolutions seem to be out the window by the end of January or early February.

So forget about resolution. Instead, set some goals for a better YOU. 

With some determination, you can accomplish a lot if you set your mind to it.

Did you accomplish anything about your goals in 2020? I accomplished a lot but not all.

Interestingly enough, diet or losing weight was not one of my goals. I lost a lot of weight last year without going on a diet or even thinking of losing weight. I think the fact that I had to go up and down the stairs at least 20 times a day (17 steps to the second floor) to attend to my sick husband made me lose weight. I did not follow any of those diet fads. If I do, I’m sure I will gain weight. I’m slowly getting back to my normal weight while maintaining a good eating habit.

I tried to learn a new language last year. That did not go too well because I lost motivation to do anything after my husband died. Grief took hold of me, and I could not function. I will try again this year.

One of my goals last year was to learn how to play the piano. I bought a piano a week before 2020, and I started teaching myself how to play the piano again. I play to distract myself from things I don’t want to think about. It’s for my enjoyment only and an exercise for my fingers to thwart arthritic pain.

I will continue to downsize my garden to a sustainable level. I’m planting more shrubs and vegetables and cutting down on roses which need more care. Since we don’t have a rose show anymore, I’m opting for easy-care roses.

Regarding books, I was able to spend less on books last year. This year, I’ll try to cut more on book purchases. I have enough books to read in my lifetime. Last year, I only read 12 books. I plan to read more this year.

And write more. Last year, I edited one of my manuscripts, and with the help of a friend who is reading it will try to finalize it this year. Then on to the next one. I have plenty of ideas percolating in my head, but in 2020, I felt overwhelmed after losing my husband and could not get back to the swing of things. I hope 2021 will be a better year. I need to stay focused.  

One last thing I plan to do this year is to continue organizing my home, although I can’t find stuff after I get organized. Right now, I know where things are. Every year I said it is time to organize, but life gets in my way.

One important thing I found comforting, despite the pandemic. My true friends came to my rescue when I needed it most. They called and emailed me to comfort me, and we reconnected again after so many years of disconnection. I am very grateful to all of them. After the pandemic, we plan to get together and have a blast.

For a change, I plan to do things for myself. Charity begins at home!

So that’s my plan for this year. I hope 2021 to be a wonderful year for all of us!

Wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!

What are your plans for 2021? Share and comment below.

Memorial Day Weekend 2020

This year, Memorial Day is different from years past. Not just because of the Coronavirus. This is the first time, I spend Memorial Day weekend without Matt since we got married 50 years ago on Memorial Day Weekend. I miss the times we walked to the corner of our street in Oyster Bay to see the parade. It’s not the same anymore and never will be the same again.

 

Matt on his ship
Matthew Morgan on his ship, USS Fiske.

I found this photo of Matt in one of the boxes in his closet while cleaning up his things. I always wonder why I have not seen any picture of him in uniform. Well, I finally found one. He served in WWII with the U.S. Navy.

 

Taps” is a bugle call played at dusk, during flag ceremonies, and at military funerals by the United States Armed Forces. … The tune is also sometimes known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby”, or by the first line of the lyric, “Day Is Done”.

 

Lest we forget. . . Remember the men in uniform who fought so we can have the freedom we enjoy today.

 

Happy Memorial Day!

A Grateful Daughter’s Tribute To Her Mom – Love and Remembrance

Mom's House 4
Mom & Dad on the back terrace overlooking the backyard at the 50th wedding anniversary

My mom, Fausta (Pacing) Rosales, lovingly called Lola by her grandchildren, passed away on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. She was 96 years old, a month shy of her 97th birthday on Dec. 16. She was the last among her nine siblings to pass on.

I thank you Mom for all the years you loved and took care of my three brothers and me, our spouses and your grandchildren, for your love and loyalty to Dad, for your zest for life and the courage to tackle all adversities that life brought upon you and your family.

I remember stories you told me about my struggle with meningitis when I was two years old. You and Dad and my doctor godmother pulled me through otherwise I would have died. When I was five, all my playmates were all in school but I was too young to enroll in 1st grade but you convinced the teacher to let me just sit in class without grading me. I was admitted and ended up getting 80 at the end of the school year and got promoted to 2nd grade. As I became a teenager and through my twenties, you were my ally when I had problem with Dad about boys. When I was reviewing for my CPA board exam, you were there making sure I ate right to sustain my long days and nights reviewing for my exams. When I left home, you were heartbroken but let me go to pursue my ambition. You knew I would be OK in New York. You were always supportive of what I wanted to do. You were easy to deal with than Dad who was very strict but both of you made me the person I am today because of your strict discipline. Thank you.

Here is my family when I left home for New York in 1967, taken at Manila International Airport.

LM Left Manila 1966

(left to right) – My three brothers, Robert, Radelo, Renato, Me (Rosalinda), Mom and Dad. All four of us have the same initials – R.A.R.

Here we are again in May 1993 for Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary.

At the 50th Anniversary
Left to right: Me, Rene, Eddie, Dad and Mom with Robert’s family – Stacy, Rose (Robert’s wife) and Stephen. Taken at home in the backyard in front of the extension built before our homecoming.

After I got married, you came to U.S. for the first time, after my first child was born. You stayed for a month to be with your first grandchild and later when I decided to go back to work, you stayed with me for four years until the boys are old enough not to have a babysitter. During those days, when my kids called her “Lola”, people asked me why my children called their grandmother by her first name. I had to explain that “Lola” is the Filipino word for Grandma.

Every time, I moved to a new home, you were around to give me a helping hand on my move. Mom was a well-seasoned traveler, traveling back and forth from the Philippines every two years. Mom enjoyed her U.S. trips to visit us all, alternating her stay between each of her four children. When she got tired of one, she went to the next one. We will always remember those happy times during our family gathering at Thanksgiving and Christmas at my home. Mom could get into an argument with one of my brothers who loved to tease her and she would use a few phrases she picked up staying with my other two brothers in New Jersey. We roared with laughter. She was feisty and hilarious. She loved meeting my American friends and always with a smile on her face. The last visit was when we first came to see our new home in Charleston in 2008. Our third bedroom is still called “Lola’s room” because she was the first one to occupy it.

My mom had a good life with few hardships during the war and in between Dad’s downturn in his business. She was the favorite among her siblings as she was growing up. She was a beautiful lady and Dad fell in love with her even before they met. Dad saw her picture in a magazine. Below was the original copy and the picture that Dad fell in love with.

Their love story was the theme of my first book, “Bahala Na, Come What May”. She was also featured in my other book, “The Iron Butterfly”, her mother’s life story. The book cover is a chopped copy of Mom’s photo.

Mom's Photo     The Iron Butterfly Cover

When Dad married her after 4 years of courtship, Dad got her a maid even before I was born. We don’t consider ourselves rich but we are comfortable. Dad built Mom a nice home which has been the envy of the town. It’s made of granite, marble and steel and it has fared very well during typhoons and earthquakes.

She loved sewing and I had to have tons of sewing projects for her to do during her stay with me. Otherwise, she got bored. I still have the sewing machine she used and I was hoping for years that she would come back because I still have tons of fabric for her to do some work. She made curtains and slipcovers, did alterations for me, fixed buttons, mended things and made some of my early clothes.

One thing she was not an expert is cooking. Since she always had a maid, she very rarely cooked. But she was a big help to Dad in his business by taking care of the books. She was very organized and constantly in motion. She was a strong and confident woman. You would not dare cross her path because she would have something to say. She always stood her ground and we love her for that. Maybe that was the key to longer life.

She is now with Dad who left us in 2007. Dad must be smiling to welcome her in his arms once more.

I love you Mom and will miss you terribly. I wish I was there with you to send you off safely home to God and Dad. Rest in peace and thank you for everything

Mystery Blogger Award

I’m excited to be nominated for the MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD although I have no idea what MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD is. This is the first time I received a nomination for any award at WordPress. It was a big surprise and I want to thank FortySomethingHeyHey for nominating me. Check her blog which is about Life is a Journey. It’s nice to be recognized by my fellow bloggers but a visit and a comment are good enough for me. I do appreciate the nomination very much but for now I would like to have my blog as Award Free Blog.

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I still feel obligated to answer the following:

Three things about me:

  1. I have lived all my life in four different islands but never learned how to swim.
  2. When I passed my C.P.A. board exam, I was the first graduate from my university to earn the C.P.A. designation and earned a plague posted at the university hall for my achievement.
  3. At 23, in spite of not knowing anyone at the Big Apple, I arrived in New York as a legal immigrant with a P-3 visa (professional, took me a two-year wait) with $100 and a suitcase, landed a job as Jr. Accountant at ITT Corporation the first week after my arrival (three days actually) but told my employer I needed another week to acquaint myself with the City.

 

Answers to questions asked by FortySomethingHeyHey:

  1. How do you act if you see a big spider?

I’m not arachnophobic (fear of spider). Spiders do not bother me. A big one might surprise me. I most likely will get a broom or something and hit it. My youngest son got bitten by a big brown flesh-eating spider and ended in emergency. This one might scare me a bit for the injury it can create. It’s really a nasty creature.

  1. Dog or cat person?

Dog person. A dog named Dallas saved my life. Read this blog – “How I conquered my fear of dogs.” about Dallas.

  1. Are you content with your life?

Yes except for one thing. I want a piano and learn how to play the piano. Still a dream for me.

  1. Do you have any hobbies?

Reading and Gardening. Reading provides me an escape from the realities of life and gardening gives me a break from all the non-stop projects I seem to get myself involved with.

  1. Will you bungee jump?

No. I’m afraid of height. I want to keep my feet on the ground. I don’t even like plane ride.

 

Thanks again FortysomethingHeyHey for nominating me.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

 

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