Tag Archives: Holidays

Year End: A Reflection

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Happy new year with fireworks.It’s hard to believe this is the last day of 2012. This year has gone by so fast for me. My mother told me many years ago that it would happen. At the time I didn’t believe her but I have since learned she knew exactly what she was talking about.  The older you get the faster the time goes.

I think back when I was small and would ask how old I would be when I got out of school and just when that was going to happen. Then I couldn’t wait to turn 16 so I could drive a car legally. Since I lived in a very rural area, I started driving dirt roads when I was twelve. I was really big stuff once I got my licence. Then the next time I couldn’t wait for, was turning twenty-one. I wanted to be old enough to party with my friends.

Once I made it past twenty-one things began to speed up. I was married with two kids and time began to pass by too quickly. My children grew up at a great rate of speed.  Now my grand and great-grand children are doing they same thing, but it seems even faster.

I now know that each second we have on this earth is precious. I may not be here in twenty-five years or as far as that goes, I may not be here tomorrow. The New Year makes me very reflective of my life and all of my blessings. I’ve met a lot of very friendly, kind and wonderful people through WordPress. I’ve been able to share my writings as well as my thoughts on different topics. It has been a blessing to me to be able to share a part of me and my life as it is now.

I’ve also figured out that bad times happen, but it’s what we do during and after those times that matter.  Through the grace of God I’ve made it so far and I’m going to see another New Year, if God leaves me here one more day.  My hope and prayer is for everyone to have a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year.  Until next year.   Shirley

Flash Fiction Contest Winner and More

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English: fireworks seen across the at Washingt...

English: fireworks seen across the at Washington, D.C., USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello everyone. Today is the day that I announce the winner of the 4th of July contest winner. I received wonderful entries which made the decision hard. I can fully understand that line all the judges say, “I wish they can all be winners.”  What I’ve decided to do is have a runner-up, who will receive one e-book of his/her choice. Today I will be posting the winner and the runner-up plus an Abecdarian poem I wrote called The 4th of July.  For those of you who don’t know what an Abecdarianpoem is, I’m here to help 🙂  The poem is comprised of  every letter of the alphabet to start you line. It is fun to do and can be a real challenge. I hope you enjoy all the post and please have a safe and happy holiday.

Shirley

!st Place Winner: John Granger

An Understanding

Nathan was having trouble standing still.  It wasn’t just the normal nervous energy of a 14 year old; Nathan wanted to get away from this place.  He looked at his mother, standing to his right, and wondered how she could just stand there looking so calm.  He surveyed the other families in the cemetery, all with fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands or wives just like his Dad.  He couldn’t understand why they all just stood there passively listening to this Major or Colonel or whatever his title was blather on and on about the meaning of their loved ones’ deaths.  And yet, he stood here passively, too – not screaming out and running to get away from the thought of it, like he wanted to.  He was just standing and pretending to listen. “The Fourth of July is a time to reflect on what our country means and what the sacrifice of the men and women who lay here means…” the man at the podium was saying. Nathan couldn’t see any sense in any of it.  He didn’t understand why his Father had been sent half a world away, why someone who never knew his Dad would walk up to him in a crowded market and blow himself up, or why his Mother insisted on bringing him to this stupid memorial service.  All it meant to Nathan is that he would never talk to his Dad again, never play catch with his Dad in the backyard again, and that his morning was being wasted listening to this garbage. “These are our American heroes.  They chose to put themselves in harm’s way in order to defend a way of life, to defend what they held most dear…” Nathan had an involuntary reaction to the word ‘heroes.’  He hadn’t even realized that he was listening and suddenly a lump formed in his throat.  His Dad washis hero.  He suddenly was listening intently to what the man had to say.  The man was explaining exactly why his Father had done the things he had done and although Nathan had heard the patriotic rhetoric before, it suddenly rang true in a way he hadn’t experienced previously.  His anger and resentment melted into pride.  He looked at his mother again and finally understood everything. Runner-up:  ES

The Fourth Cycle 49SE lumbered over and sat down by one of the great windows of The Distant Searcher explorer vessel.  It stared out into the vast emptiness of space, as it had done so every cycle for several revolutions.  In the darkness, a doorway slid open.  Another terraforming unit walked in, and stood near 49SE. “I extracted more information in the object that we found floating in space.  You know, the one near the burnt out planets,” 82NS said, “It is in a strange dialect, but I believe that it reveals ancient culture.” 49SE turned to face it’s worker counterpart. “What does it say?” it asked. 82NS lumbered closer, and placed broken remains of an ancient satellite near it’s counterpart. “Well,” 82NS started, “This one contains activities that ancient ones seemingly practiced.  They apparently celebrated something on a fourth day of a July.” 49SE stared at it’s counterpart with it’s work-worn iron face. “What is a July? What is a day? Was it a celebration for an achievement?” “Apparently, it was to celebrate the ancient’s independence from another group of ancients.  I believe that it was celebrated to commemorate that.  Not much else remains on the cylinders, other than a few practices observed by these ancients.” 82NS said. “What practices?” 49SE asked. “One of the symbol data cylinders mentions the eating of ‘hotdogs’ and ‘parades’.  Other than that, I do not understand how the various surviving images coincide with each other,” it’s counterpart replied, as it displayed images on itself for 49SE to visualize. “What is a hotdog? What does it have to do with commemoration?” 49SE asked, “What is a parade?” “As far as can be deciphered, a hotdog is a cheerful display of colorful vehicles and music commemorating victorious soldiers and independence from ancient beings.  A parade is an edible, protein based material that the ancients consumed.” 82NS replied. 82NS began lumbering towards the door, then turned back. “Oh, another cylinder mentioned the celebratory exploding of pyrotechnic compounds in colorful displays.” 49SE looked up at 82NS, and stood. “There is an asteroid belt between The Distant Searcher, and our next assigned mission.  It would be agreeable if we may continue this ancient practice of exploding objects in a celebratory manner.” 82NS nodded in agreement. “Happy fourth cycle to you, my friend.” it stated. “Happy fourth cycle to you!” 49SE replied as the two terraforming units left the room.
 

 

A celebration recognized in 1872

Between memorial and Labor Day

Celebrating American freedom

Declaration of Independence signed July 2, 1776

Event that went around the world

Fighting for rights from Great Britain

Government of the people, by the people

Home to all

Initially only thirteen colonies

Justifying our right to be free

King no longer has a say

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Making our country favored by all

National Anthem is the song of the day.

On the fourth the nation was born

Parties, fun, and games rule the day

Quality of life is our goal

Rain sometimes spoils the parade

Squealing children run and play

Time of remembrances

Uniting the country

Voices of politicians heard

Wonderful fireworks displayed

Xenophobia isn’t our norm

Yesteryear was great but tomorrow is greater

Zillions have and will celebrate the 4th of July

 abecdarian poem, using the 26 letters of the alphabet chronologically. An abecedarian poem is a special form of an acrostic poem, in which the initial letters of the words beginning each line or stanza spell out the alphabet in order.
Recognized

 

Author Notes Xenophobia is a fear of anything foreign.
© Copyright 2012 Okiegal930 All rights reserved. 

You’ve earned your rest, Daddy

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         You were at the beginning of my life

Now I’m at the ending of yours

You’ve gone from this world

Joining mama on the other side

A part of me is joyous for you

the other part feels sad

My world seems empty

Because you aren’t here

Your life here on this earth

Meant so much to so many

You loved and were loved

By your family and friends

Even though I can’t see you

You will always be with me

I will carry you in my heart

Every day for the rest of my life

You’ve earned your rest, Daddy

 My father passed away this week from complications of heart failure. I will not be posting for a little while. As soon as I can, I will get back to writing my blog.  Right now my heart is a little to heavy.      Shirley

It’s Here, Again

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I remember asking my mom how long would it be before I got out of high-school and how long would it be until I finished  school and many more “how long until questions”.  She would tell me, and then tell me not to be in such a big hurry.  My mind was saying, “sure mom”, the entire time she’d be talking.  That was like telling the wind not to blow.  “You will see when you  get older just how fast time will  go by.”  You know she was right.

One year barely gets going before another one is here.  My babies have babies, who have babies.  I know that can’t be possible, because I’m not old enough to be a great-grandmother.  I think I’m 49, but maybe I’m 62.  Those years which keep running over each other getting here, have really messed up my mind.   Maybe that’s a good thing and I won’t realize that my world has changed.

Time marching on is a double-edged sword.  I have watched my family grow and prosper, as well as myself, but I have also watched some of my family leave this world.  They are in a better place, but I’m selfish and want them here with me.  I have watched  familiar things disappear around me.  I hate it that they are rebuilding all the bridges around my childhood home.  I will miss those one lane bridges with the wood runners going over.   The bridges will be a lot safer for those coming up, but people(especially new drivers) won’t feel the thrill I did when I drove across, praying I  wouldn’t fall off into the creek if I ran off those boards.  They say change is good and I suppose it is.  I now know how my grandparents and parents must have felt as their world changed around them.

That is my New Year ramblings.  I’m going to eat my black-eyed peas and thank God for the wonderful life I have. I have no control over time or changes, so I guess I’ll just do what I do every year and go with the flow.  With love from my family and friends and lots of help from God, I will survive.

I wish each  of you a Happy, Prosperous, Healthy New Year.  Turn up your speakers and listen to this one man choir sing Old Lang Syne as we start this new year and leave 2011 behind us.

http://youtu.be/0VaxyutCQAk

 

How does the New Year strike you?

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New Year Bell's

Christmas is past and now everyone is gearing up for the next party or whatever their particular tradition is.  Do you ring the New Year out or ring it in.  At this point in my life I do neither.  My husband and I toast the New Year in on New Years Eve about 10:00 PM and go to bed.  We have a wild time celebrating (not).  After a goodnight’s sleep (hopefully), we pick our New Years Celebration up once again (sort of).  We have a special meal.  As I’m a southern girl, I must have my black-eyed peas for prosperity.  I’ve never missed my New Year’s meal.  I’ve had to adapt it a little.  My husband being from the northeast has to have pork and sauerkraut for his New Year meal.  We are a true blending of the North and the South cultures.

Julius Caesar made January 1st the New year and the celebrations began.  I think that was around 46 B.C.E.  There have been lots of traditions developed since that time.  What traditions have you developed?  Do you see the New Year in and the old one out? What about that midnight kiss?  Do you seal the old year out and the new one in by kissing a loved one or even a stranger standing close by? What about the New Year resolution?  I don’t make them anymore because I never kept them.  I was a complete failure……

Share with me and others your New Year customs.  Let’s see how much alike and different we are.

I Don’t Know Why!

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Paper Whites No. 2

Image by frank3.0 via Flickr

Since last Friday, I’ve had a bad case of “I just can’t write on my blog.”  I don’t even know where it came from.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to write, because I finished book one of “The Dobyns Chronicles.” Now I start the heavy editing, before I have it professionally edited.  I also did my homework for my Gotham Fiction Writing class.  I also read two books.

Why is it I couldn’t sit at this computer and type my blog, when I was doing everything else?  Well, today is a new beginning, and I’m going to post three times a week instead of trying daily.  I opted for the daily blog challenge at the beginning of the year and fell off the wagon fairly quickly.  I want to blog because I have information to share, not because it was a New Year’s resolution.  Tune in on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and see what I come up with.  Blessings to all, espically those poor people in Japan.  Oh yes, Happy Saint Patrick‘s Day.  May your home be filled with laughter, May your pockets be filled with gold, and may you have all the happiness your heart can hold.

Irish Blessing unknow author……

In Celebration of Valentine’s Day

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I absolutely love Valentine’s Day.  It is a day for two people to share, to show how much you care.  It only takes a moment to let someone know you care.  It is one of those day’s you really do not have to buy anything.  A look, a touch, and Happy Valentine’s Day can show someone how much they mean to you.  I am posting a poem I wrote.  I hope you enjoy your holiday.

To The Man I Love

Blissfull moments spent thinking of you
building images in my mind
letting the love flow freely
between you and I

finding precious moments
to share a touch or kiss
building on each yesterday
and looking for each tomorrow

the sweetness of life
can’t be measured  by one
two make life worth living
the giving and taking of love

More Ideas for Blogs

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The second day of a new year and here I am at the computer, keeping my New Year resolution to blog every day.  A couple of posts ago I posted the review of Steven Aitchison’s book “100 Ways to Find Ideas For Your Blog Posts”.  One of his recommendations was to review books.  Blog the review and give the unvarnished truth about what you have read.

I’m going to be totally self-serving today, and ask you to consider reading my new book “The Tower.”  It is a mystery with lots of twists and turns.  Samantha Jensen is kidnapped from outside her home in Tulsa Oklahoma finds herself without memory in “The Tower.”  Sam’s twin- brother Allan operates a company, IDEA  (International Diagnostic

EThe kidnapping, smuggling betrayal and murder, take you around the world.  It is also a story of love and devotion, as well as retribution for crimes committed.  You learn tidbits about the countries traveled.

This was a book which was fun for me to write.  I love travel and adventure and I got put myself everywhere my characters where.

To end my self-serving section of this blog, you can go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_24?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+tower+shirley+mclain&sprefix=the+tower+shirley+mclain and take a look at my book.

What ever book you read and review keep it authentic.  According to Steven Atichison, you will find that once your blog gets known you will be approached by authors who give you their books for free in return for a review.  It’s ok to have a review once in a while, but if you’re going to do this make it a balanced review and don’t sell it to make money.  Review the book as if you were giving a detailed report to a friend, warts and all.

The paragraph above was directly out of his book.  It’s easy to read and understand.  I think reviewing books will give all of us avid book readers a new outlet.  It would be even nicer if the books are given to you.  That is a win-win situation, the way I see it.