Essays

Improving Memory

It’s probably safe to say that all of us would like to have a good memory. To run into an acquaintance or a classmate we haven’t seen in years and remember their name is an incredible high. On the other hand, not being able to recall the names of the people in the new activity we joined two weeks ago can induce…

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Essays

June’s Special Days

What do Flag Day, Father’s Day and the first day of summer have in common? If you answered “they all occur in the month of June,” you’d be right. National Flag Day is always on June 14. Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. This year that was June 20. The first day of summer in our hemisphere falls on…

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Essays

D Day

When armies plan wars, they use code words to keep their operations a secret. D-Day and H-Hour are such codes and the U.S. Army used them during WW I. They were also used in WW II and since then have come to signify the day (D) and hour (H) of the Normandy invasion. Sunday, June 6, 2004 will mark the 60th anniversary of the…

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Essays

Memorial Day

America has remembered those who died in service to their country since the 1800’s. In the past century, hymns were sung and poems were written. Later, red poppies crowded the scene, worn and sold first by individuals, then by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The proceeds benefited orphans and widows and gave work to disabled veterans. Our nation was proud of…

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Essays

Mother’s Day

Here in Carpenter Country, some of us are moms and some of us aren’t. Either way, we were all someone’s child once and we all have or have had a mother. We celebrate Mother’s Day for her. Like desserts, moms come in all shapes and sizes: Short, tall, wide, narrow, sweet, sour, good, bad. Some love their kids beyond belief. They are patient, calm, unperturbed…

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Essays

Two Days, One Goal

Arbor Day and Earth Day–different yet alike? Yes. To explain what we mean, here’s a little bit of history. Arbor Day came into being because a man named J. Sterling Morton envisioned trees on the plains of the Nebraska Territory. To celebrate the first Arbor Day, April 10th, 1872, the residents of Nebraska planted almost a million trees. Ten years later, the state…

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Essays

A Time of Joy

Palm Sunday. Passover. Good Friday. Easter. April is a month of meaningful holy days. But back in the mists of our earliest dawn, before all these special days had names, this month of many festivals played host to a celebration dedicated to the goddess of spring. The mythological goddess (or perhaps goddesses) of an earlier era had many names. To some she was Ostra.…

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Essays

Roaring March

March arrived a few weeks ago, blessing some parts of the country with jonquils and daffodils. Here in Carpenter Country we were favored with higher than normal winds. While waiting for the roaring lion to be replaced by the gentle lamb, we happened to glance at the calendar–and spotted just one festive occasion: St. Patrick’s Day. Surely there were other important events in the…

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Essays

St. Paddy’s Day

No matter where our ancestors came from, most of feel a little Irish on March 17th. Of course, there are many degrees of Irish. People blessed with a wee smidgen may just put on a green blouse or tie and go out to their favorite restaurant for corned beef and cabbage. Those who like to wear more green might opt to shop. The web…

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Essays

Leap Year

What is there to write about Leap Year? We all know that in 46 BC Julius Caesar established the Julian Calendar, which added a full day to every four years. Of course, if we had stayed with J.C.’s calendar we would now have at least 15 extra days floating around with no place to land. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII spotted the extra…

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