Monthly Archives: July 2014
When we think of Independence Day, most of us think of fireworks, picnics, and a day off from work. What I wonder about though, is if most of us know why we shoot off fireworks on this day. The answer may surprise you, because many people did not know this. Even before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams had a vision of a huge celebration taking place in the city square. He wrote a letter to Abigail Adams on July3, 1776. It said that our Declaration of Independence should be commemorated with “Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” The first Independence Day holiday was celebrated on July 4, 1777. On that day, at that time in history, the city was beautifully illuminated. That day felt to him like a day that should be filled with patriotism from a grateful nation to its freedom fighters. And, I believe that is what many people think today, but I also think many people forget about the sacrifice that was made so long ago.
According to some historians, the first fireworks were invented in India, but the first fireworks came to the West by way of China. Most if the early fireworks were simply repurposed military munitions, used to entertain rather than to frighten or kill the enemy, which is fitting in a way, because it was those same military munitions that brought about our freedom from England. From those ancient beginnings, came rockets, by stuffing a container with gunpowder and leaving a hole in one end for propulsion. These were called “ground-rats” or “fire rats” and they were highly unpredictable. That made them somewhat less effective, but as anyone who has ever watch a modern day display go a little haywire, they were also pretty entertaining.
So, why do most people love the fireworks today? Is it because of the great technology that allows it to be synchronized with the music, thereby adding to the festive feel? Is it the continuing patriotism in this country? Or is it simply the splendor of the display…the bright colors and the flashing light show? Well, I suppose it is really a combination if all three of those things. We are a people who love our traditions, and I believe that we are still a very patriotic nation. And, I think we love the tradition that was started by John Adams in 1777. It make us feel patriotic and allows us to honor all our military men and women who have fought through the years to keep our nation free. And really, being a free nation is still what it’s all about. That is the thing we must not forget. Happy Independence Day America!!!
Three years ago today, our family was blessed, with a little miracle. For some time during my niece, Cassie Iverson’s pregnancy, they weren’t sure that little Lucas was going to make it. Nevertheless, he arrived on July 3, 2011, a healthy baby boy, who’s only health problem was Down’s Syndrome. I suppose that many people would consider that to be a significant issue, but Lucas’ parents, Chris and Cassie find their son to be a great source of joy and laughter. His smile lights up their world every minute that he is awake.
Now that Lucas is more mobile, his antics have changed in scope, but not in how much joy he brings to his family. He loves to play in a pile of pillows, crawling all over them and diving into them. Then he laughs and laughs. The videos are so much fun to watch, because you can’t help but laugh too. This happy little boy is so delightful, that he is irresistible. There is no regret in his family’s hearts, because he makes their life so rich with the joy of watching his uninhibited, happy moments. I suppose that most 3 year olds would be doing things differently than Lucas by now, but that doesn’t matter, because each child is unique and goes at their own pace.
Even though Lucas is a happy, smiley boy, he still has the ability to let his parents know when he is not happy about something…but then what child doesn’t. The main thing is that those times are not the main part of their child’s life, because that would be tough. You can handle those crabby moments, when they don’t turn into hours. As for Lucas, the majority of his time is spent happily entertaining his mom and dad with all of his silly little antics. That is probably one of the biggest blessings of Lucas. Today is Lucas’ 3rd birthday. We are so happy to have him in our family. Happy birthday Lucas!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!
My niece, Chelsea Hadlock, has a very classic style that makes her appear to come straight out of the past movie star eras. It is a look that not everyone can pull off, but it suits Chelsea perfectly. Chelsea’s looks are complimented so well by the style of the 40’s and 50’s. While Marilyn Monroe was never my favorite actress, she was a classic beauty, and there are times that I see little bit of her style in Chelsea…minus the flippy skirt thing, because I can’t really see Chelsea doing that. Hats are especially big with Chelsea, and she always pulls them off in style, both for her and her daughter, Rory. If Rory grows up just like her mama, she will be very stylish.
While Chelsea has classic style, that is in no way all she has going for her. Chelsea carries her style into her home and her jewelry making. Her family recently moved into a new home, and she is busily decorating the new place. She is doing a lovely job with it too. Maybe I need to have her come and decorate a couple of my rooms. They sure could use a little updating, and I think she is probably much better at it than I am.
Even with all her nesting, you can be sure that Chelsea’s husband, my nephew Ryan and children, Ethan and Aurora are her number one priority. She makes things for them…like costumes and clothes. She is such a good mom. The kids are well behaved and always look nice. One day, Ethan wanted to have a sandwich that had his first initial in it, so she did that for him. She always makes them feel very special, and what could be better than that.
I love how Chelsea has grown over the years that she has been a part of our family. She was always a beautiful girl, but motherhood made her even more beautiful. Some people are like that. Motherhood puts them so in their element that they just glow. Of course, she probably had all those qualities all along, but we just didn’t know her well enough to see all of that before. Chelsea likes to do nice things for people. She likes to entertain and celebrate life, and she likes to do all those things in unique ways, so it is always new and fresh. She really has a zest for life, and that shows in everything she does. Today is Chelsea’s birthday. You have been a wonderful asset to our family. Happy birthday Chelsea!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
One hundred fifty one years ago today, a little battle that was a part of the Civil War, began. Many of the battles of the Civil War went without serious recognition, but not this one. It lasted only three days, but it was the turning point in the war. You have all heard of this little battle, of course…it was, the Battle of Gettysburg. It was fought between July 1 and July 3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The soldiers were all Americans…Confederate and Union. Some were related…fathers against sons, brother against brother. With this battle came the end of General Robert E Lee’s attempts to invade the north. The fighting was fierce with many casualties on both sides. The Union side came into the battle with 93,921 soldiers and lost 3,155 men, who were killed. Another 14,531 were wounded, and 5,369 were captured or missing. The Confederate side came into the battle with 71,699 soldiers and lost 4,708 men, who were killed. Another 12,693 were wounded, and 5,830 were captured or missing. This battle was devastating, no matter which side you were on. On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln dedicated the cemetery as the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers, and to reiterate the purpose of the war. In that ceremony, President Lincoln gave his historic Gettysburg Address.
When my family went back to visit my sister in Keeseville, New York, we took a trip down the east coast, that included Gettysburg. I can’t tell you if any of my ancestors fought in that battle, but I can tell you that visiting Gettysburg National Cemetery, is something that stays with you. You can’t help but walk away a very changed person. That place has a hallowed feeling to it. When you know of the deaths that happened there, the blood that was shed, families that were destroyed, there is no other way to feel, but awe. They knew what they had to do, and they did what was needed. It didn’t matter how they felt about giving their lives, they all felt that their side was right, and they were willing to fight for what was right.
I will always remember the feelings I had standing there, looking at all those graves…thinking about all those lives lost. I thought about children without fathers and parents without their children. There was no way out of it. They had to fight. It was kill or be killed. And there was a very important purpose for their fighting. Even all those years ago, the feeling was still there. You felt the need to be very quiet, because to speak almost seemed wrong. I felt very honored to be in the presence of such courageous men. Our trip to Gettysburg was forty one years ago, but the way I felt while I was there has never left me. I can feel it now, as if I were standing there right now.