From my home to your home – Have a Blessed Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!
I have had this simple creche gracing our home during the Christmas season every year since 1970.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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!
Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Wishing you and your loved one a
Happy and Blessed Easter!!!
This month as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is interesting to note that the rose is not only a symbol of love but a symbol of discretion. Legend has it that Cupid gave a red rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to bribe him to secrecy over the dalliance of Venus and so the red rose become the symbol of discretion, love, passion and romance. Roses were henceforth painted on the ceilings of banquet halls to remind all gathered there that whatever was said there, should not be repeated which became the expression sub rosa (under the rose).
Another legend says that while Aphrodite was running to the dying Adonis, she was scratched by a rose bush and her blood falling on the roses turn it red. Other account says that Adonis turned his blood into red roses.
Whatever legend strikes your fancy, there is nothing in our garden at this time of the year but the florist and even the supermarket stores are selling roses grown in South America so there is no excuse not to give red roses for Valentine’s Day.
And how did Valentine’s Day get started?
A certain Bishop Valentine started it to replace the Roman festival of Lupercalia. There were several Bishops of Valentine but nobody is really certain as to who is the real Bishop Valentine. But whoever he is, the tradition continues and we celebrate this day exchanging gifts and greetings between our loved ones, friends, family but mostly lovers.
During the Victorian era, valentine cards were mostly decorated with old-fashioned roses. Even today, valentines are still associated with roses. For Valentine’s Day, red roses are arbitrarily the most popular flower.
There are several red roses in the market nowadays but I can recommend some tried and true varieties that grow very well in the garden. Plant some of them and give your Valentine red roses again in June.
Here are my favorites:
Firefighter – dark red rose
Ingrid Bergman – dark red rose
Lasting Love – dark red rose
Let Freedom Ring – medium red rose
Mister Lincoln – dark red rose
Olympiad – medium red rose
Veterans’ Honor – dark red rose
For the romantic at heart, here is a lovely poem by Robert Burns (1759-1796).
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!!!
Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.
“To remember, lest we forget.”
There isn’t an American who is not affected by that tragedy at the New York Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Everyone who died in that tragedy left someone behind who loved them. Rose is a flower of love. To honor and pay tribute to all the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Sue Casey of Portland, Oregon formed an organization called Remember Me” Rose Gardens to create three rose gardens on or near the sites of the terrorist attacks in New York, at the Pentagon and at a field in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County in Pennsylvania.
The intent of “Remember Me” Rose Garden” is to affirm love and life year after year with the blooming of each rose bush. It is a national opportunity for us to remember the fallen and celebrate life, liberty and freedom through roses.
There will be 11 roses to be selected for the “Remember Me” Rose Garden”. So far the following roses have been chosen:
Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.
Is there a pot of gold for us lovers of roses? For all the Irish in all of us, we can say we have a green rose, not St. Patrick rose which only has a tint of green, but a real green rose. It is Viridiflora ‘Rosa Monstrosa’ otherwise known as The Green Rose. The buds are small, oval, of soft bluish green color and quite beautiful. The petals of the bloom reverted back to leaves (petals are modified leaves) and it does not have reproductive organs. The “blooms” are usually formed in clusters throughout the year, and a spray of this rose is wonderful. As you would expect from an Old Garden Rose, this one is fragrant too. It has a spicy fragrance. But unless you know what you’re looking for, it is hard to find the bud since the bush is totally green. But is it really a rose? The Green Rose is just that, a green rose. It blooms continually through the season. The small plant grows to 3’ tall and has few thorns. It can be grown in a pot, and is rarely out of “blooms”.
It is an oddity and a conversation piece to say the least. Just as when you present your friend with a perfect rose and they ask “Is that real?”, I bet you this same person will tell you this one is not a rose. However, records say The Green Rose has been in cultivation as early as 1743 and is a sport from Rosa Indica (The China Rose of England and the Daily Rose of America). So take pride, we have our own green to celebrate.
“May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rains fall softly upon your rose beds.”
Try it. You might like it. People either love or hate this rose It is a wonderful rose to use as a filler material in arrangements or as a landscape rose. But you will have some visitors in your garden who will say “That is the ugliest flower I’ve ever seen. Why do you give it space?” Because it is unique and fragrant. It is also a rose and it belongs to my rose collection.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!
Here is a Thanksgiving Blessing I want to share with everyone.
You have blessed us in many ways,
In the beauty and richness of our land,
And in the freedom we enjoy.
You have given us even greater gifts
In our family who loves and cares for us
And in the grace which allows us to know and believe in you.
May we be grateful for all our blessings
Not just today, but every day.
Help us to turn our gratitude into action
By caring for those in need
And by working for a more just society.
Bless the wonderful meal we will enjoy today and
the merriment of those at table.
Be with all those we love who are not with us at this time.
We thank you Lord now and forever. Amen.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!
Rosalinda R Morgan