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    Share Your World – 2015 Week #14

    What type of music relaxes you the most or do you prefer silence? Let’s face it. In today’s world, life can be stressful. There is just no way that a person

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    Share Your World – 2015 Week #13

    What was your favorite subject in school? I actually had two favorite subjects in school. The first subject may not surprise you because after all, I am a writer. And

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    My Little Blossom

    “My Little Blossom” A daughter is a gift from God. There cannot be a finer thing Than watching while she’s growing up. Her growth reminds me of the Spring. She’s

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    The Wedding Gown

    Today we were going to look for my daughter’s wedding gown for the first time. A huge wedding gown sale had been advertised and she was determined that today she

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    Essence of Reminiscence – Week 2 – Mischiefs and Pranks: “The Little Girl in the Tree”

    I’ll never forget the beautiful spring day in late May when our five-year-old daughter Stephanie found herself as the little girl who needed her daddy to be her knight in

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    There’s Nothing Like Mom’s Home Cooking

    To me one of the best things in life is to sit down and enjoy a wonderful meal, and the best part of a wonderful meal is if you are

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    Share Your World – 2015 Week #12

    When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion. I remember this occasion well because it was part of

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    Essence of Reminiscence – Week 1 – That Unforgettable Journey: “A Dream Come True”

    As we sat down to supper the night that my husband, Michael, gave us the news, I could tell he had a special announcement for us. There was a twinkle

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    Essence of Reminiscence – Week 4 – Random: “Every Time I See Candy Dots on Paper . . . “

      I was the middle child of seven children. As you can well imagine, growing up in such a big family meant that we didn’t exactly live in the lap

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    The Simple Life

    I was born and raised in Minnesota, and except for spending one year in North Dakota with my husband, I have lived in Minnesota all my life. Therefore, I am

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Red-Letter Saturday #9: The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

RED-LETTER SATURDAY #9:

PaulRevereRide 1On this day, April 18, 1775, during the American Revolution, the British advancement by sea begins. It is then that Paul Revere and William Dawes rode from Charleston to Lexington at midnight warning that “the regulars (British) are coming!” In the days before April 18, Revere had instructed Robert Newman, the sexton of the North Church, to send a signal by lantern to alert colonists in Charlestown as to the movements of the troops when the information became known, in what is well known today by the phrase “one if by land, two if by sea,” meaning that one lantern in the steeple would signal the army’s choice of the land route while two lanterns would signal the route “by water” across the Charles River. After crossing the Charles River by rowboat and slipping past the British warship HMS Somerset at anchor, Revere safely landed in Charlestown and rode to Lexington, avoiding a British patrol and later warning almost every house along the route. He then rode through present-day Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, warning patriots along his route, many of whom set out on horseback to deliver warnings of their own.

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I cannot tell you how excited I was to see this particular historical event listed for today. The reason for this is because I am an avid history buff, enthusiast, student, life-long learner, and lover of the American Revolutionary War Era. Therefore, the subject of Paul Revere’s ride is truly a fascinating one for me. There are just so many interesting and intriguing details to about this dramatic night. Oh, how I dearly would have loved to have been present for his historic event.

If I had been there, perhaps I could have witnessed Dr. Joseph Warren as he participated on this infamous night. Dr. Warren was an American doctor who played a leading role in American patriot organizations in Boston during the early days of the American Revolution. He is the man who organized the midnight ride. On the afternoon of April 18, 1775, Warren received information that Joseph Warren death 2there was troop movement of the British army. It was he who sent Paul Revere and William Dawes on their midnight ride to warn the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, then sitting in Concord, the site of one of the larger caches of the patriot military supplies. After receiving the warning, the Concord residents began moving the military supplies away from the town. I wonder how he felt. Was he worried about the safety of these two men whom he was sending out, perhaps to their very deaths? He had hardly any time to ponder this because the very next day, Warren slipped out of Boston and during that day’s Battle of Concord and Lexington, he coordinated and led militia into the fight alongside William Heath as the British Army returned to Boston. It was during this battle that he was nearly killed, and later he became the head of the Provincial Congress. Proving himself to be a true hero thereafter, he died in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Dr. Joseph Warren was a true patriot.

 

And could you just imagine being Robert Newman, the sexton of the North Church on that historic night? Just picture it. You are Newman, just settling down for a good night’s rest. Perhaps you just finished reading old north church 1000a passage in the New Testament of the Bible. Suddenly you receive a message that the regulars (the British are called the regulars instead of the British because even the American colonists were British) were coming by sea. You know that it is up to you to climb the stairs into the steeple of your church where you must light and then hang two lanterns in order to alert the back-up riders in Charlestown about the movements of the British. As you light each lantern, are your hands trembling with apprehension and fear at the knowledge that perhaps you could be arrested for treason? Or are they steady and sure with the confidence and pride of patriotism?

Robert Newman was another true patriot.

 

Finally, what would it have been like to be Paul Revere himself? Revere was a silversmith, and although he is most famous for his midnight ride, a little known fact about him is that in 1800 he became the first American to successfully roll copper into sheets for use as sheathing on naval vessels.Sons of Liberty 1000

With regards to the American Revolution, Paul Revere was a member of the Sons of Liberty, which was a group of militants. It is Boston Tea Partytherefore not surprising that he was a ringleader in the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, when colonists (some disguised as Indians) dumped tea from the Dartmouth and two other ships into the harbor. This occurred after the passage of the Tea Act which authorized the British East India Company to ship tea (of which it had huge surpluses due to colonial boycotts organized in response to the Townshend Acts) directly to the colonies, bypassing colonial merchants.

Then on April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren sent Paul Revere on his midnight ride to warn the colonial militias about the British troop movements. Imagine the scene. First of all, total secrecy was required. There was no shouting of the phrase: “The British are coming! The British are coming!” According to eyewitness accounts, the phrase which was used was: “The Regulars are coming out.”

Let me map out his route for you:

  • 1.  Revere crosses the Charles River by rowboat and lands in Charlestown.
  • 2.  He rides through Somerville, Medville, and Arlington, warning patriots along the route.
  • 3.  He arrives in Lexington around midnight and Dawes arrives to meet him a half-hour later.
  • 4.  He and Dawson continued along the road to Concord accompanied by Samuel Prescott.
  • 5.  They are detained by a British roadblock in Lincoln.PaulRevereMap 1
  • 6.  Prescott jumped his horse over a wall and escaped into the woods; he eventually reached Concord.
  • 7.  Dawes also escaped, though he fell off his horse not long after and did not complete the ride.
  • 8.  Revere was captured and questioned by the British soldiers at gunpoint. He told them of the army’s movement from Boston, and that British army troops would be in some danger if they approached Lexington, because of the large number of hostile militia gathered there. He and other captives taken by the patrol were still escorted east toward Lexington, until about a half mile from Lexington when they heard a gunshot. The British major demanded that Revere explain the gunfire, and Revere replied that it was a signal to “alarm the country.” As the group drew closer to Lexington, the town bell began to clang rapidly, upon which one of the captives proclaimed to the British soldiers: “The bell’s a’ringing! The town’s alarmed, and you’re all dead men!” The British soldiers gathered and decided not to press further towards Lexington but instead to free the prisoners and head back to warn their commanders. The British confiscated Revere’s horse and rode off to warn the approaching army column. Revere walked to Reverend Jonas Clarke‘s house, where John Hancock and Samuel Adams were staying. As the battle on Lexington Green unfolded, Revere assisted Hancock and his family in their escape from Lexington, helping to carry a trunk of Hancock’s papers.

paul revere statue 400Can you imagine how he must have felt when he was given his mission to carry his message to the patriots? Was he excited to be part of the American dream? Or was he terrified? Perhaps there was a mixture of both emotions in his heart as he rode on that fateful night. I can only imagine how Paul Revere must have felt with the cold night wind blowing against his face and through his hair. If I try hard enough, I can hear his horse’s hooves pounding on the ground as he races down the road, going up and down the hills, and galloping across the meadows and fields, snorting with each frigid breath that he takes in and out. And Revere’s heart must have been pounding in tandem, as he willed his horse to ride faster and harder with each gallop so that he could reach his destination sooner, his urgency apparent in each command given to his mount. And then – to be captured. Did he feel as though he had been a success or a failure? I wonder.

But I know that Paul Revere was one of the most courageous Americans ever. He was tantamount to the success of the American Revolutionary War effort.

Paul Revere was by all definitions a true patriot.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight right of Paul Revere, on the eighteenth of April in seventy-five; hardly a man is now alive, who remembers that famous day and year . . . ”  ~ from “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

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This post is presented as part of my special weekly feature, Red-Letter Saturday. If you’d like to know more information about Red-Letter Saturday, click here:

Red-Letter Saturday 

 

 

 

 

Writing 101- Day Ten: “Happy Leftovers Day”

Day:  Ten

* Today’s Tell us something about your favorite childhood meal.

* Today’s Twist:  Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

To me one of the best things in life is to sit down and enjoy a wonderful meal, and the best part of a wonderful meal is if you are sharing it with family.

I grew up as the middle child of seven children, and we never failed to sit down to dinner together as an entire family every single day. It was an expectation. As a matter of fact, it was a rule that if the telephone rang during the dinner hour, it was never answered so that we could eat our meal uninterrupted by the outside world. And we never ate our meals in front of the television set. That would be absolutely unthinkable! Instead, we shared the details of our lives, which later became the model for me and my husband’s dinner rules when raising our own children.

We shared many special meals, especially those during the holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, but when I consider what my favorite meal is, it’s one that my mother used to prepare as part of leftovers: chicken and dumplings. My mom made the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever had the pleasure to taste (naturally, I’m probably biased). And my favorite part of the meal were the potato dumplings.

My mother was full-blooded German, and her mother taught her how to make those delicious potato dumplings that I loved so much. I remember that whenever I learned that we were going to have chicken and dumplings for supper, I’d look forward to it for the rest of the day, and could hardly wait for supper to arrive, just so I could eat those dumplings! And eventually I figured out that whenever we had leftover mashed potatoes after Sunday dinner that the next night was the time we’d have the potato dumplings, because the mashed potatoes were the main ingredient for the dumplings. She’d mix the mashed potatoes with flour and I think she used milk and then she’d dumplingsdrop them into the boiling water. Now these dumplings weren’t your spoon-sized dumplings. They were indeed the size of potatoes, and once they had chicken gravy ladled over them, they were so tasty.

After I was married, I tried to make those potato dumplings, but they’d never turn out the same as my mother’s. I’d call her and say, “Mom, the dumplings didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to. What did I do wrong?” She’d just laugh and say, “Cindy, it just takes practice, that’s all.” Of course, she didn’t have a “recipe” for them. She just made them the way any good cook does – by memory and instinct. I never have been able to duplicate them to this very day.

And her baked chicken was always the juiciest, moistest, most tender chicken you’ve ever had. It makes my mouth water to think of it. Those two things, (the chicken and dumplings) together with some corn on the cob and hot rolls and butter makes the perfect meal.

I only wish my mom were still here to share a meal with our entire family, but knowing that she’s watching over us and that some day we will see her again makes me smile.

 

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Writing 101- Day Nine: “Point of View”

Day Nine:  

* Today’s Prompt:  A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

* Today’s Twist:  Write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

 

The Woman

It’s such a lovely day for a walk in the park with John. I’m so glad that he decided to take the day off to spend it with me. We both needed a day to just be together, to unwind, to relax, to… forget.

Spring arrived early this year, with warm breezes, gentle rain showers, and plenty of sunshine to help the flowers bloom and the buds on the trees to open. I can hear the birds calling to each other in the branches of the trees, their birdsong cheerful. It’s as though they’re saying: “Life is good. Be happy.” But that’s a lot easier said than done … 

Oh, I must shake off these thoughts. It won’t do either of us any good to keep thinking of what happened that awful day. I promised myself that I would not dwell on all that has gone before. It’s over now. I must be strong for John, for both of us. We must move forward.

The Man

Meredith seems happy today. And that’s a good thing. I’m glad. She’s been through so much. God knows we both have.

I wouldn’t have wished the last two months on my worst enemy. And why it happened to us, I’ll never know. God… why did it have to happen? Why? What was the sense to it all? I’ve asked myself this same question so many times, but have never understood. I know I’ll never understand. Not in a million years. If God stood before me right now and told me why I probably still wouldn’t understand. What did I ever do to deserve this? What did we do to deserve this? We’re good people. We work hard, go to church, contribute to our community. Don’t we deserve rewards instead of punishment? I just don’t get it. Why God? Why? 

Okay. Meredith says we have to move forward. I know she’s right. But it’s so hard. I keep seeing his face, his smile. I keep hearing his laugh, and the way he used to call me “Daddy.” How can I move forward when all those things keep spinning around in my memory? Maybe if I hold Meredith’s hand a bit tighter I’ll feel better. There. That helps.

Who’s that? I wonder if Meredith sees that old woman sitting on the bench over there. She kind of reminds me of my grandmother. She used to spend hours sitting in her rocking chair, always knitting something. She said it helped to pass the time. Oh my God… that looks just like his sweater… (sob) please God … no … (sob)

The Old Woman

A beautiful day, a beautiful day. God’s in His heaven and all is well. Knit one, purl two, knit one, purl two. Oops, dropped  a stitch there, go back and pick it up. Must keep going … idle hands are the devil’s workshop.red knitting 300

Oh, my. Look at that lovely couple entering the park. He’s so tall and dashing and she’s so slender and beautiful. Just like a prince and his princess. I’d say they look perfectly matched. Oh, and they’re holding hands, just like a couple in love should do. 

Oh dear, but something’s not quite right. I can see that from here, that’s for certain. Hmm… what is it about the two of them?

Ah yes, I know what it is. They have a look of profound sadness on their faces. She’s trying to hide it a lot more than he is, though. But she can’t fool me. Oh, no. Something very sad has touched their lives, something that is going to take a long time for them to get over, that’s for certain. They’re going to need each other now more than ever. Yes, that and the tincture of time will provide healing for them.

What’s that now? The beautiful lady is embracing the handsome man. It looks like she’s comforting him. How lovely. That’s right. Make him feel better. That’s good, very good. I’m glad she knows what to do. Oh, look. They’re leaving the park now, probably going home. I hope they’ll find solace in each other’s arms.

Oops, dropped another stitch. Go back and pick it up. Knit one, purl two, knit one, purl two. Must keep going … idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

 

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Writing 101- Day Eight: “Death to Adverbs”

Day Eight:  

* Today’s Prompt:  Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.

* Today’s Twist:  Write an adverb-free post.

 

Just after readying my usual afternoon cup of tea, I check the outdoor thermometer. It shows a reading of 70 degrees, which is downright balmy for Minnesota in the middle of April. Right on cue, my little toy poodle Lucy begins dancing at the door, and then she begins to woof, as if saying to me, “C’mon, Mommy. You know it’s time for us to go out now. Let’s hurry!”

I haven’t even opened the screen door more than a crack and out she sails, bounding across our driveway and sprinting through our backyard just like a deer through a forest meadow, her ears flapping through the breeze and her tail straight up in the air, wagging to and fro. Her speed belies her nine years of age; it was no wonder everyone who meets her for the first time thinks her to be a puppy.

Lucy 5000She heads straight for the back fence, checking for other signs of domesticated life forms such as herself, meaning of course, the dogs who belong to the neighbors who live right behind us. I watch with amusement as she stands stock still at the fence, with one front paw in the air as if she is frozen in time, waiting for her little friends to appear. When they do not, she begins to amuse herself by sniffing the ground for other interesting things to keep herself occupied. This procedure goes on for several minutes until all of a sudden there is a chattering from the fence between our house and our neighbor’s house. The noise comes from an albino squirrel which I had spied several weeks earlier once the snow had melted.

Lucy’s ears perk up, and upon seeing the squirrel, she races at break neck speed towards the fence, while barking her most ferocious bark, eager to capture her quarry. The squirrel scampers along the fence, but upon realizing that my dog just cannot jump to the full height of the fence, stops, looks down into my dog’s frustrated countenance, chatters right at her, and then scoots up a neighboring tree trunk and becomes lost among the tree branches. Lucy, upon realizing that she has lost the battle, whimpers and with a slow pace goes to lie down on the warm pavement of the driveway to sun herself for a while.

All is quiet in my back yard at this time of day. Because it is still April, the neighborhood kids are still in school. The only sounds are the songs of the birds as they sing back and forth to each other in their own special language and the already-mentioned chattering of the squirrels as they scamper in the tree branches overhead. The breeze blows softly through those same branches, as the trees lie in wait for their buds to begin to blossom.

And even though Lucy did not catch her squirrel today, I know that all is well in our world; or at least in our own little backyard.

 

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Writing 101- Day Seven: “Give and Take”

Day Seven:  

* Today’s Prompt:  Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

* Today’s Twist:  Write your post in the form of a dialogue. 

 

“Can you believe the nerve of those people? Why do we ever go to these parties, anyway?” Lisa slammed her keys on the kitchen counter.

“It’s good for us to go out and have some fun, don’t you think?” Scott quietly went about hanging their coats in the hall closet.

“I know, but some people just don’t know when to shut up sometimes. They were definitely getting on my nerves. I was so glad to get out of there.”

“Well, we’re home now, so you can just relax.”

“Honestly, some people never know when to shut up. All they do is go on and on about how much money they made last month and which vacation they came back from last week – it’s positively nauseating!”

“I know it upsets you, but you just can’t let these things get to you.” Scott came over to where Lisa was sitting on the sofa and began to gently massage her shoulders.

“And didn’t you think that Jack Fraser was rather mean tonight?”

“Mean?”

“Yes! I’m talking about the way he bragged over getting the promotion that you were supposed to get. Didn’t that make you angry?”

“Lisa, Jack deserved that promotion just as much as I did. It was always a toss-up as to who would get it. So no, I was not angry. And he wasn’t bragging, he was merely sharing his good news. I think you were just being overly sensitive about the whole thing, that’s all.”

“Well, I think you’re just too nice, as far as I’m concerned.”

“You know what they say: it’s nice to be nice.”

“Well, Mr. Nice Guy, did you hear Jessica Wilkins go on and on about how her son is going to Princeton in the fall? By the way she talks, you’d think that the sun set and rose on that boy. It’s a sure bet that all her father’s wealth certainly helped him get into that college.”

“Now, Lisa, you shouldn’t say things like that. It could very well be that he earned that spot on his own merit.”

“I suppose, but she just makes me so mad, bragging so much like she does, like they all do. I’m just sick of all of them.”

Scott stopped massaging Lisa’s shoulders.

“You know what?” he said. “I think you’re right. Maybe we shouldn’t go to these parties anymore. I think it would be best for all concerned.”

 

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Coffee With a Canine

Today I would like to honor a fellow blogger by the name of Marshal Zeringue.

Marshal posts his unique and wonderful blog over at blogspot.com under the name of Coffee With a Canine. Two weeks ago I received an email from Marshal stating that upon reading my blog, he noticed that I owned a dog and was wondering if I would be willing to participate in a question and answer session on his blog.Coffee with a canine 1000

So I headed on over to his blog to take a peek and discovered why he calls it “Coffee with a Canine.” His blog is totally all about blog owners and their dogs. Period. He sends out questionnaires to the dog owners about their beloved dogs on the premise that they are having “coffee” with their pooches, asks for a few photos, and then posts the questions and answers on his blog. It’s a very clever way to run a blog. As a matter of fact, when Marshal wrote to me, he stated that he “edited” the blog, which I think is quite upstanding of him, instead of saying that he writes it.

When you look through Marshal’s blog and you see all those beautiful dogs that are shown therein, it is clear that Marshal is definitely a dog-lover, and in my book, any dog-lover is my kind of people! I know that my little dog Lucy would absolutely love him! So Marshal, you would be more than welcome in our home, that’s for sure!

I’d like to thank Marshal for interviewing me and my little Lucy. It was a pleasure to share her with you and the world because she is so precious to me. And I wish you the best of luck in your future adventures at Coffee with a Canine, but I know you’ll do great!

Writing 101- Day Six: “A Character-Building Experience”

Day Six:  

* Today’s Prompt:  Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

* Today’s Twist:  Turn your post into a character study.

I could hardly believe my good fortune. I had finally found someone to fill me with the knowledge that I had so longed for in the study of classical music, and the “Professor” was my teacher.

I recall that when I first laid eyes on him I was thinking that in all probability I was in for a long semester of boring lectures and pointless videos, partly because his thinning white hair and wrinkled brow. I couldn’t imagine that he’d hold a captive audience; he was just so old! He was small of stature and hobbled slowly about the lecture hall using a cane for support. But as he came closer to where I teacher 1000was sitting, I noticed his eyes. They had a sparkle, a liveliness, a look of zest for life within them, and I realized that perhaps I had been too quick in my assessment. It was not long before the Professor proved how wrong I had been.

He spoke with an eloquence that I have never experienced before. And when he spoke, you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone’s attention was on him and no one wanted to miss a single word as he lectured. Pens were writing furiously, with every student wanting to put down on paper every sentence that he spoke. His knowledge of the subject was vast and the class could tell that he was eager to empty himself of that knowledge into us. It was as though we were empty vessels, ready to be filled with the knowledge that he poured into us.

And if a question was raised by a student, he never failed to answer it completely. He was always kind and never dismissive. He was interested in helping us to succeed in the course and would do everythingthank you 6000 in his power to achieve that goal. And there were the times when he made us laugh by dressing up as a monk when teaching us about Gregorian chant, or acting out a scene from an opera and engaging in a sword fight. All these examples served to make us love and respect him all the more.

I was never so sad to see a semester end because it meant that my classical music class was finished. I had learned so much from the Professor, probably more than any other teacher I’d ever had. And somehow I knew that I would never have another teacher like him ever again. Thank you, dear Professor. I’ll never forget you.

 

 

 

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