Story Time ~ Happy Birthday America!

Written by
Katherine Hinchee Purdy

It’s that time of year again! The time to look back, reflect and thank God for our wonderful country. Thankful for freedom! Happy Independence Day weekend!

Photo used with permission.
Photo used with permission.

“Isabel Greene, if you don’t stand still you will get stuck with a pin,” Mama said as she pinned the blue fabric with straight pins from her mouth.

“But I like to swish!”

“That’s fine,” Mama said as she removed another pin from her mouth and turned the child around to get to the back of the dress. “You may swish all you want – after I finish hemming your dress.”

“Yes Mama,” Isabel said quietly but swished her skirt as Mama bent over to retrieve the pins she had just dropped.

“Baby Maggie didn’t have to stand up to get her dress hemmed,” Isabel said as she looked at her little sister sitting in the high chair nibbling on a piece of crust.

“Baby Maggie doesn’t know how to stand yet. Now carefully step down from the stool and look at your dress in the mirror.”

“Oh Mama, it’s beautiful.” Isabel said as she swished from side to side. Ouch! It bit me!”

“That was just a pin dear. Now turn around slowly,” Mama said as she stood back to get a better view. “Isabel, you will look like a doll on the fourth of July! Just like a little sailor girl.”

Just then the screen door clapped loudly and Mama turned to see Isabel’s two older brothers racing to the ice box. “Just a glass of milk boys, lunch will be ready soon!”

“Mama,” Eugene said as he glanced at Isabel swishing in her new blue dress trimmed in red and white. “Do we hav’ta wear those silly costumes to the parade and picnic tomorrow?”

“Yeah,” five-year-old Curtis chimed in. “Those look too sissy!”

“No, they do not look sissy and yes, you must wear the sailor suits I made for you. It’s perfect for the occasion.”

“The other boys will laugh!” Eugene plopped into the kitchen chair and reached for the cookie jar.”

“If anyone laughs at a sailor suit, they should be ashamed of themselves.” Mama took the cookie jar and placed it into a cupboard. “Besides, your nephews will be wearing the same thing. After all, your half-brother Jim is in the army and Fred is in the navy. You are wearing the suits to honor them. They are fighting for freedom. Don’t ever forget that,” Mama said softly as she placed her sewing notions into her basket and put it away.  “Isabel,” Mama said as she reached for the child. Carefully take off that dress and put your play dress back on. Here, let me help you. We’ll get you changed in your room while the boys finish their milk.”

~*~

     The next morning, Isabel awoke to the sound of Papa whistling a new song they had heard on Grandpa’s radio. Over There by Mr. George M. Cohen. “Catchy tune, aint it?” Papa said as Isabel entered the room wearing her new dress. “Well, don’t you look pretty?”

“Thank you, Papa.”

“Oh dear,” Mama said. “It’s too soon to wear your new dress; it will get dirty. We’ll get you all prettied up when it’s almost time to go.”

“Yeah,” Eugene said, “Don’t want to spill milk on it” and stopped short; whispering in Curtis’ ear.”

“Boys,” Mama said sternly, “if you mess up your suits before we go, I will insist that you wear the sailor hat Jim sent you.”

Eugene and Curtis looked at each other and then quickly shoveled oatmeal with their heads bent over the bowl.

“Mama, we could make bows for their hair just like the ones you made for Maggie and me.” Isabel said with a twinkle in her eyes.

“No way!” Curtis shouted and looked at Papa for help.

“Better do as your Mama says boys, I wouldn’t want to see my boys running around with a girls bow in their hair!” Papa looked at Isabel and winked.

~*~

     “Are we there yet?” Isabel asked from the back of the buckboard.

“We’ll be there in three shakes of a lambs tail,” Papa said with an edge of impatience in his voice.

Isabel closed her eyes and imagined a fluffy white lamb shaking its little tail three times. “It shook three times. Are we there yet?”

Papa turned to Mama. “She can count?”

“She can count to ten!” Mama said proudly, “By next month, she may be able to…” Music, clapping, chatter and laughter filled the air with excitement.

“Papa, they’re playing the song you were whistling this morning,” Eugene said and began singing along with the music.

“And we’ll all be glad when it’s over-over there!”

“I hope we didn’t miss the parade,” Curtis said as he cast a sidelong look at Mama who, in his estimation, took too much time packing lunch and dressing the girls.

“Nope, the parade doesn’t start until two so that everyone will have time to eat lunch. I would like to catch some of the baseball game. How about I take the boys over to the stands? The game will begin after the band plays a couple of songs.”

“That’s fine,” Mama said, “but don’t buy any hotdogs or peanuts! We have better ways to spend our money.”

Papa made quick work unloading the buckboard and herded the boys towards the baseball stands.

~*~

     “Lizzie! Isabel! Over here!”

Mama placed baby Maggie into the pram and reached for Isabel’s hand as they followed Lindy’s voice.

“Hello little sister,” Lindy said as she picked up Maggie and spun her around. “Why, Isabel! You look like a china doll in that lovely sailor dress.”

“Oh look, little Maggie is wearing one too. Where did you buy them?”

Mama beamed at her two little girls and addressed her step-daughters and daughters-in-law. “I made them. The boys are wearing sailor suits too although it was like pulling teeth to get the boys to wear them!” Laughter filled the air as relatives welcomed them to the Fair Grounds.

“Don’t unpack your food yet,” Aunt Jenny said as she turned and reached for Baby Maggie. Cleo is checking with the vendors to see how much the hot dogs cost. They smell too good to pass up! Oh good. There she is now.”

“I can’t believe it!” Cleo said as she reached the group. “The prices are actually reasonable. You can buy two hotdogs for a nickel or a big hamburger for a nickel. Peanuts are only 2 cents per bag. What do you think? Shall we feed our gang with Fair grounds food?”

Isabel chimed in with the other children. “We want hotdogs, we want hotdogs! Pleassssssssssssssssseeeeee?”

Mama opened her coin purse and smiled. “I think we have enough – this time. What shall we do until lunch time?”

“The swings are free. Why don’t we take the children over there. They can play in the sandbox too.” Lena said as she picked up her baby Grace, soothed her and placed her back into the baby carriage. “We have so much to talk about. The game will be over before you know it!”

     Isabel ran to catch up with her nieces and younger nephews. “Isabel,” Mama’s voice rang loud and clear. “Don’t get your dress dirty!”

Just as Mama finished speaking, Isabel tripped on a tree root and skinned her knee. Tears filled her eyes as she looked down at dirt covering her new dress and a large red spot on her white, torn stockings. “I’m sorry Mama. I’m so sorry,” Isabel repeated as Mama stooped down to assess the damage.

“Oh, you’ve skinned your knee!” Mama reached into her pocket and pulled out a small container of water and her handkerchief. “It will be okay. It’s not a deep cut but it may be sore for a while.”

“But I got my dress dirty.” Isabel’s blue eyes filled with tears as she looked up at Mama’s compassionate face.

     “That’s alright dear. The dirt brushes away and we’ll just slip those stockings off and no one will know the difference. Besides, do you know why we are here today?”

“There’s a parade and a picnic and a-a-fire?”

“Fireworks. Beautiful but loud streams of light fill the sky in a beautiful show!” Mom said as she finished cleaning the scratch and blew a kiss over the spot to make it heal more quickly. “Tender loving care always helps,” Mama said with a smile. “Now about the special day. Did you know that a long time ago our land was owned by a king far, far away? The king had never been to America but he claimed it anyway by sending ships of soldiers to make sure we obeyed his rules and paid high taxes. We sent letters to the king. We sent men to the king to tell him he was being unfair; that we could work something out but the king was selfish. He wanted the land and people to do his will. Well, the reason people came here so long ago was to be free of the king and his unreasonable rules. Did you know that America was the only place people could go in order to worship God and The Lord Jesus Christ without people trying to stop them?”

Isabel shook her head and listen wide-eyed.  “Well,” Mama said as she reached for her grandchildren who gathered around, “people prayed for a solution. They prayed for the king to change his mind.”

“Did he?” a little boy spoke up. Isabel suddenly realized they were surrounded by children she had never seen before and the swings were empty.

“No, sad to say, he didn’t.” Mama said softly. “He made it harder for our people. They had to pay taxes on just about everything. Finally, some men in Boston – up north- had enough. They couldn’t take it anymore. Back then, Americans liked to drink English tea instead of coffee. Fabric from clothes were brought on English ships. Just about everything we needed came from there but we decided we would make our own fabric. We had sheep and goats to sheer and spin the fibers into wool for knitting and weaving. We called it homespun.”

“Homespun!” a little girl spoke up. “My grandma made that!”

Mama nodded with a smile and continued. “One night when the supply ship was in Boston harbor, some of the men dressed up like Indians and sneaked aboard the ship and threw all the barrels of tea into the water. To this day, we call it The Boston Tea Party.”

“Wow!” A little boy exclaimed and leaned in closer. “What happened next?”

An older boy stood up. “It started a war didn’t it?”

“Yes it did.” Mama said and took a deep breath. The king was so angry, he sent thousands of soldiers, wearing fancy red coats with lots of guns and swords. They thought our men were not very smart and wouldn’t know how to fight so they expected the war to end quickly. But they were wrong. Oh, we didn’t have fancy uniforms – except for the officers. George Washington led our men. We had “militia” which meant they were farmers, black smiths, wheelwright’s, merchants, regular men who volunteered to protect our land.

Our men fought to protect their wives, their children, their parents and their land. They fought in the fields. They fought behind trees and fought in ways the British soldiers were not used to. Very important, smart men; the Continental Congress worked together in secret so that the kings soldiers wouldn’t know what they were doing. John Adams persuaded a plantation owner  from Virginia named Thomas Jefferson to write a declaration of independence. In fact, that’s just what it is called. The Declaration of Independence. It declared we were free from British rule and were a country now with 13 separate states working together for our freedom.  The Declaration of Independence was signed by some very famous men including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock. Each man who signed represented their state. Isn’t that wonderful?

Isabel watched boys and girls nodding their heads and nodded with them. Another child stood and cleared his voice to get Mama’s attention. “Ma’am we won that war, didn’t we?”

Mama’s smile lit her face. Yes indeed we won that war and became a free nation under God. The Declaration of Independence was accepted by all of the men on July 4, 1776. Today is July 4, 1917. We are celebrating today because today is the birthday of our great nation – The United States of America!

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~*~

     Isabel watched in wonder as the band played songs that night and men in the same uniforms her older half-brothers wore marched to the bandstand. One man in each different uniform carried a flag and one held a large red, white and blue flag with white stars in the top corner. Everyone stood. Man raised their hand to their forehead in a salute, other men, women and children stood too. Mama showed Isabel how to place her hand on her heart and whispered in Isabel’s ear, “To honor men who fought for our freedom, to honor men like your brothers who are fighting today for freedom and to show that we love our wonderful country, the beautiful United States of America!”

Suddenly, there were loud blasts causing Isabel to jump and baby Maggie to cry. Papa picked up Isabel and put her on his shoulders. The sky was filled with beautiful colors and shapes. “Fireworks,” Papa said.

“Like birthday candles?”

Papa chuckled. “Well, it’s our country’s birthday so I guess so.”

Little Isabel thought about the story Mama had told her earlier; that men died so that we could live free. “Happy Birthday, America, Happy Birthday!” she shouted.  “Thank you God for giving us a free country – like Mama said!”

 

Unlocking Family Stories in Memory of my Grandmother, Junie.

Today, September 19, 2018, would have been Junie’s birthday. So I thought what better way to honor her than to share her story? Happy Birthday, Junie!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meet Junie. June Ratcliffe McReynolds to be more specific. The grandmother I never had the privilege of meeting. Wasn’t she an adorable baby? I think so. I love this picture of her.  I am especially curious about the little girl hiding behind her. She must have been playing hide and seek from the camera.

I never met “Junie” (the name she chose for her grandchildren to call her) but I did get to read a book about her family’s heritage in 1975. When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.  She didn’t just list names, birth and death dates but stories about her family and what their homes looked like.  How did she remember everything in such detail?  Her ancestors came to life as she put pen to paper. This personality makes all the difference! How did she do it?

Junie, the young lady in the center front, listened.

She listened and took notes. Somewhere, there is a box containing small sheets of paper with notes Junie began taking as she listened to her “elders” tell about the good old days.  She collected notes for years and put them in her memory box to be used later as a reference for her book.

I wish I had taken notes! For as long as I can remember, I listened to Mom’s family and visualized the events until I thought I knew the mannerisms and how “Mama” and “Papa” reacted to each other and to the children. This was the basis for The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. I wrote my story as fiction inspired by a true story because I didn’t have the foresight to take notes.

Her son, my Daddy, Charles McReynolds remembers her telling him and his older sister, Bobby stories about their heritage and it ingrained a love of history in my Dad too. He put his memories in a book called Memories of an Old Geezer. If you love stories of the good old days and especially if you like cars, you’ll love this book! (It is available on Amazon.com)

So, listen carefully, ask questions and take notes!

Many thanks to Daddy and my sister, Judi for providing a copy of Junie’s book and some of her belongings.  A big thank you to my grandmother June Ratcliffe McReynolds for her foresight and hard work. She made this granddaughter feel right at home!

Sharpen those pencils and get out your notebook. Your family memories could be a book in the making. Listen to their testimony and how the Lord led the family through difficult times and filled them with the joy of His love. When I open the covers of Our Radcliffe Heritage, I can almost hear her voice as she tells stories of old. Memories and travels she made in order to complete her work. She even added photographs and sketches of old family homes.

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Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

Words of Life ~ ADORN (ed, ing) — God’s Grace ~ God’s Gloryhttps://wordpress.com/read/feeds/17646643

Guest Blogger: Frances Rogers

This post is reblogged from the Frances Rogers blog. Click the link below to read the excellent teaching from God’s Word on what it means to “adorn”.

 

At first glance I thought not to include the word ADORN in our list of Words of Life. There did not seem to be many references, but the more closely I looked, the more I saw the importance of this word in the Christian vocabulary, especially as it relates to women. Nontheless, men and women […]

via Words of Life ~ ADORN (ed, ing) — God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory!

Walking Down Memory Lane on Nannie’s Birthday

There are some special people in our lives who never forget about us. They put themselves before others. That describes my grandmother. She went by so many different names. Katherine “Isabel”, Sis, Mama, Grandma, Granny (I switched from Grandma to Granny the first time I watched the Beverly Hillbillies. I thought it sounded neat. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t thrilled. Now I do!) but to many people, she was “Nannie” and that fit her very well. Even neighborhood children called her Nannie.

Today “Nannie” would have been 104 years old. She was born on August 28, 1914. She is celebrating her birthday in Heaven with the Lord and her precious family. Parents, siblings, her husband, three children, a son-in-law and one grandson. She went home to be with the Lord in 1999 and looked forward to “going home”. I remember a few weeks before she was “called home,” she told me about a dream she had the night before. She said that as she woke up, her beautiful, sweet mother was sitting by her bed, stroking her hair. She reached up to touch her mother’s soft cheek and asked if she had come to take her home. “Not yet,” her mother had said, “but it won’t be long.”

Isabel was eleven-years-old when she lost her mother but seventy-four years later, she still remembered her mother’s face and voice.  No. I don’t think she had a vision but was looking forward to seeing her loved ones again. Someday, we will see her again!

I was thinking of different ways to celebrate her birthday. I could bake a devils food cake with her seven-minute frosting but I don’t have a double boiler or a hand mixer. She used to bake pineapple upside down cakes which were simply delicious!

One year, I bought mint julep candies in bulk and sent them to Mom and her sisters to share with their children and grandchildren. Granny had craved these candies when she was carrying my favorite aunt. To this day, whenever I hear the word Mint Julep or see the candy, I think of her. Perhaps today I will buy a Kit Kat bar in her honor.

 

Then I remember how she used to take me downtown on the bus to pay bills and shop. We always had lunch at the five and dime where we bought candy to take home for Aunt Sandara and for everyone to share. When I visited her after she moved to Richmond in the 1960’s she invited me to spend at least a week with her every summer. I loved that! I so longed for everyone to be together. She didn’t mind that we all talked at once, laughed loudly and sang in the kitchen. I think she relished it! As an adult, I lived in Richmond for a while and worked at a retail store. She would call me at work and ask me to bring her a Kit Kat bar. I usually bought a few for her. She would smile when I walked through the door with her treat.

There are so many memories of my selfless grandmother. She had a hard life but she didn’t let that get her down. This is one reason I write about her childhood. She worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant until past retirement age because she loved caring for others. She raised and helped raise at least three grandchildren and loved every child. I think her favorite thing to do was to rock babies!

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She was a good money manager and always made me laugh. She always cared about everyone. I feel blessed that she was my Grandmother. Love you, Nannie. I will see you again someday!

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When the Blooms Hide

If you know me very well, you know that I love Morning Glories. You know, that trumpet flower that men call weeds. It’s true that they will wander and grow out of control if you don’t keep up with them.

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This year, I haven’t been able to take care of the flowers as well as in the past and they have grown without my assistance. Or rather, have grown in spite of neglect.  There are so many object lessons in my patch of Morning Glories. (Just imagine how many I would have if I had planted the seeds that I harvested last year!)

For today, my lesson is that sometimes while looking at the full picture, we miss the one perfect flower hidden beneath the vines and bushes. We often take credit for the things we work hard for and cultivate.  However, the plant that endures scorching ninety-degree weather without water, stands up against buffeting winds during a sudden storm after a week of drought and still produces flowers is amazing to me. It grows stronger in adversity. 

Sometimes, life is like that.  We don’t always see God’s hand working in the hardships of life. We don’t understand why He allows things to happen without intervening. Sometimes it’s because He is making us stronger. We must depend upon Him and be fed by studying His Word. In those times of trials, we can give in to depression and shrivel up, become angry and choke out something beautiful or we can trust in Him to make us what He wants us to become.  When we trust and wait on Him, we grow and blossom and become someone God can use in the life of someone else.  Someone is always watching. What will they see?

Will they just see leafy vines or will they see the beautiful bloom that was once hidden under hardships and endured?

Flourish Simple

“Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

The Churning Song

We go to the grocery store and pick up a box containing four sticks of butter to use for cooking and baking. It wasn’t always this easy. Not for women like my great-grandmother who lived on a farm!

Butter Churn

The cow was milked, cream skimmed from the top and then butter was churned. It wasn’t an easy task when our great, great-grandmother churned butter. There was a rhythm to churning.  I saw this on another blog called YesterYear Once More. (Check out the links below.)  I don’t know about you but I am thankful for today’s convenience but it would be fun to try churning butter just once. I love singing as I work so this would be twice as fun!

 

THE CHURNING SONG.

Apron on and dash in hand,
O’er the old churn here I stand —
Cachug!
How the thick cream spurts and flies,
Now on shoes and now in eyes!
Cachug! Cachug!

Ah! how soon I tired get!
But the butter lingers yet;
Cachug!
Aching back and weary arm,
Quite rob churning of its charm!
Cachug! Cachug!

See the golden specks appear!
And the churn rings sharp and clear —
Cachink!
Arms, that have to flag begun,
Work on, you will soon be done —
Cachink! Cachink!

Rich flakes cling to lid and dash;
Hear the thin milk’s watery splash!
Calink!
Sweetest music to the ear,
For it says the butter’s here!
Calink! Calink!

— Silas Dinsmore, in St Nicholas.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 4, 1899

The Butter Churning Song

 

via The Churning Song

Sunshine for Little Alice

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Yesterday morning, I walked into the guest room to open the blinds for our three kitties, Little Alice and our two Maine Coons, Skippy and Ruby.

It wasn’t quite 7am but I was too late. Alice got tired of waiting. She was ready for sunshine, birdwatching and snickering at the dogs as they passed by on a leash. She would never consent to that! She’s our very independent but sweet baby.

Sometimes, we need Sonshine in our lives. Instead of being gloomy, let’s open God’s Word and see what light and joy He has to share with us today!

Just as the cats delight in sitting in the sunbeam, let’s delight in the Light of the World – The Lord Jesus Christ through His Word, the Bible.

 

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path.”

Psalms 119:105

 

 

Observing Memorial Day

I first posted this in May 2012 but as I read it, I realized it needed to be updated and shared. Perhaps next year, we can make red poppies to wear as a reminder of our fallen.

Kathy

 

I found this interesting article regarding the history of Memorial Day. I wanted to confirm the history of this special day honoring those who have fought and died for our country. What prompted this search? I saw an ad on television (“ugh!”) declaring Memorial Day will be honored with a (get this!) Star Wars marathon. Are they serious?
Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to show movies about real conflicts where real men gave their lives for our country? Lets see, there is Gettysburg (a favorite!) Sergeant York, (WWI movie about a Conscientious Objector who became a hero, to rescue our troops) Friendly Persuasion, Shenandoah, Yankee Doodle Dandy (for those who are not familiar with this oldie but goodie, this is about the composer George M. Cohen who wrote patriotic songs, Over There and It’s a Grand Old Flag…), War Horse,The Fighting Sullivans,(five brothers lost when their ship went down in WWII) and numerous other WWII movies. Movies about the Korean War, Vietnam, and last but not least, the more recent wars of the past twenty years. Many men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice. Many carry physical and invisible scars that only the Lord can heal. So why would one want to waste time watching a series of movies about a fictitious, futuristic war on Memorial Day? If we have nothing better to do than watch a marathon why not be reminded of real heroes?

Please forgive me for ranting about something so trivial as a television ad. I just want to thank all of the heroes who selflessly fought for freedom. So thank you for your sacrifice. We will not forget!

Norman Rockwell Memorial Day

“Two Generations of Vets” by Stevan Dohanos

In the following link, there is a poem that inspired a lovely tradition. Wearing a red poppy (flower) to honor the fallen. Artificial poppies were made, sold and used to help others. That is a lovely tradition.

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Above all, I do not want to forget the Sinless one who gave His life for us!
http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html#1\

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

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In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922, the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Enjoy footage of our grandfathers and great grandfathers as they marched “Over There!”

http://youtu.be/wbggEGUaE28

http://youtu.be/v1rkzUIL8oc (This scene from Yankee Doodle Dandy is one of my favorites!)

My heart goes out to grieving families of our fallen heroes. Praying for those who are serving today and for their families. Words cannot express our gratitude.

Have a blessed Memorial Day,

Kathy

 

Memorial-Day-MM

 

 

Throw Back Thursday

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A few years ago, I noticed someone had coined the phrase, “Throw Back Thursday” aka TBT on facebook. For a long time, many of us posted a TBT almost every week.

(My first year started mid-year as a fill-in for a K5 teacher who went on maternity leave.) It was such a joy to have a “class of my own.” They were so adorable! In the afternoons, I taught typing, history, and Home Economics. Each picture brought a smile. Such cute little faces!

What truly touched my heart was when I opened the 1980 yearbook. I had forgotten that my fifth-grade-students wrote messages to me. Some made me smile, some made me cry and some of the boys apparently wanted me to get married! “All in God’s time!” I used to say.  One of my favorite paragraphs reads:

Miss Hinchee, You are a very nice teacher and I love you. But sometimes you and nice and sometimes you are mean but I like you anyway. You’re a very nice person. P.S. I am glad I was in your 5th Grade Class.

Music to my ears! There are times when a teacher must be stern in order for the children to learn and to grow.  The words are even more precious because the little girl who wrote this is with the Lord now.

You know, this reminds me of how the Lord teaches us. Sometimes we feel blessed beyond measure when He sends along good things for us but when we go through the trials, we don’t understand why He allows some things in our life but He knows. He understands. He is with us through the trials and helps us grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of my typing students also signed my yearbook. He became a facebook friend a few years ago. I didn’t know that he was fighting cancer. The Lord called him home. What a joy this young man was. Serving the Lord as an adult at this same school. He is now with the Lord but I know he made an impression on many people who love the Lord because of him!

My goal in teaching was to show His love that each child would come to know the Lord as their Savior and that they would follow Him. That required me to apply II Timothy 2:15 to my life as well.   What a joy and blessing to teach each child. I am humbled as I look back at the wonderful opportunity the Lord gave to me so long ago!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart – Honoring Mama

Just a sample chapter from my novel, The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. The first book in the Isabel’s Story series that I am working on. Isabel’s brothers had surprised Papa by polishing and shining all of the shoes and boots without being told. Ten-year-old Isabel decided she wanted to do something to honor “Mama”. How did you honor or surprise your parents when you were growing up?

Katherine H. Purdy

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Honoring Mama

(Sample chapter from The Vision of a Mother’s Heart)

Isabel gazed at the star from her bedroom window and
wondered what she could do to honor Mama and Papa. The
answer came to her as she closed her eyes to sleep. “I will get
up before Mama and go blueberry picking to fix blueberry
pancakes for breakfast.” Isabel whispered, “Boy, will Mama
and Papa be surprised.” But what if I oversleep and don’t get up
before Mama?”

Isabel counted every hour, according to the coo-coo clock in
the front parlor. “Oh, be quiet you kooky bird,” Isabel whispered.
“Wow, 3:00 A.M., and I still haven’t been to sleep yet.” Her eyes
finally closed, and she gave into sleep.
The rooster sounded the alarm outside of Isabel’s window
just before sunrise, and she jumped into her clothes, pulled the
covers over her pillow, and then tiptoed downstairs and toward

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