“[W]hat sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory? Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man-at-arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now — as one of the world’s noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. … [W]hen I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, County; always their blood and sweat and tears, as we sought the way and the light and the truth.” –General Douglas MacArthur
Today is for those men and women who have given their lives for our freedom – so among the hotdogs, parades and fireworks, let’s say a prayer of thanks. God bless our troops and keep them safe.
Here is the vid – so cool – makes me feel all warm and fuzzy
Pass it on!
Heads up! My dear friend Kelly who had a serious car accident a couple of years ago (you may remember her from this post) has started a movement called National Thank You Day. The day is meant to honor first responders and to say thank you in whatever way you would like to those individuals who serve the public by responding to often dire situations – firefighters, paramedics, police officers, emergency room nurses and doctors, etc. And it seems to be really catching on and on.
So get on over to BigTimeThanks and check it out. You may find there is someone you want to give some big time thanks to yourself.
And this is just for you Kelly:
I put on purple socks today
which made me think of you
I walked them out into the day
and wished the sky to blue
I bought a box of chocolates
and ate them in your stead
I called up God and placed my bets
then uttered prayers in bed
I forced myself to belly laugh
and make it very loud
and gathered lillies along the path
to chase away your clouds
I tried to do the many things
that inform the world of you
in deepest hope that angel’s wings
will fly us back to true
This week I am grateful for the truth. In all its many forms. The look that tells it all. The touch that conveys meaning. An honest belly laugh. And the truth that humbles and humiliates – that makes me see I have a long way to go. That I cannot phone it in and expect much in return. That facing up and starting over is so much better than a free pass.
The facts. A candid assessment. Because facts don’t judge or give you extra points for style, looks or pedigree. Facts just are. Because the truth is something I can work with. Something I can get my teeth into and taste, digest.
So I thank anyone who tells me the truth, even when it hurts. Even when it changes something I’d rather not change. Even when it sends me down a new and tenuous path. Even when I don’t like it very much. It is still the best friend a girl can have.
–noun, plural -ties.
freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
One thing that most men have in common is the desire to be free. Whether he lives in the western world, the third world or, behind a government-erected wall, man’s most beloved freedom is that of personal liberty.
Perhaps that is why America has been a most prominent and envied country since her beginnings. Our founding fathers were forward thinkers who believed that personal liberty was something that every man, woman and child was entitled to and in fact was divinely endowed to every person on Earth.
This week I am profoundly grateful for my personal liberties. For my freedom. For the fact that I had the good fortune to be born in the United States and not in another country. That in that respect that fate has treated me well.
It is easy as an American to take for granted what so many men have given their lives to provide. And what men and women still fight to provide. When we turn on a switch, we have lights, when want to go some where we have transportation and freedom of movement, when we have an opinion we voice it. This is the way of life in America and ‘normal’ for us. We rarely, I think, stop to consider that it is not normal for millions of others. We rarely consider that loudly voicing our opinion in another country might result in a prison sentence or even death. We rarely marvel at the fact that if we are hungry we can simply go to a store or a local eatery and satisfy our hunger.
We walk down the street without fear of marauding bandits, rabid and predatory animals or being thrown in a gulag in which no one will every find us.
We are too busy and too stressed to notice that we live in the greatest country in the world. We are too angry about the issue of the moment to say a small prayer of gratitude for the glory of daily life in America.
And I am as guilty as anyone else for taking it for granted. For not thinking of it often. For not contemplating how very rare and unusual our country is. How very much I have to be grateful for just by virtue of the fact that I am an American.
And so I say now – thank you – I am grateful.
What are you grateful for this week?
This week I feel grateful for books. All kinds of books, text books, fiction, how-to, reference books, ebooks, print books, coloring books…
If you are anything like me then your world has a lot of books in it. Books that sit on shelves and collect dust, books that overflow on the nightstand and on the floor next to your desk. I honestly cannot conceive a world without books. They were my first real connection to the outside world. In fact to worlds that only existed within the covers of books.
Unlike most kids, I always had a long list of books on my Christmas wish list and birthday wish list. I didn’t care about barbie dolls or easy bake ovens, I wanted stories and histories and autobiographies. I wanted books that took me places I couldn’t otherwise go.
Think about the books in your life. Where have they taken you? To outer space, Africa, other planets, parallel universes? To worlds both better and worse. To new points of view? Inside the human body and up to the sky? They certainly have for me.
Most particularly I am grateful for:
Atlas Shrugged. My most loved book – for no reason and every reason. Because it examines the heights and depths to which man can go. I never tire of reading it. I am never tired of that world.
Stranger in a Strange Land. How do we treat people who are different than us? How can one enlightened and disarming man be for frightening to so many people?
Kay Scarpetta, Alex Cross and Kinsey Millhone – heroes of mysteries I cannot get enough of in the endless quest to solve a puzzle. Oh and Odd Thomas and Garp and, and, and
How about you, what are your favorite books?
This week I want to show special gratitude for work. Over the course of my life I have had many jobs and I’ve learned something from all of them.
I’m grateful for…
My first job of raking leaves and cleaning my dad’s car. From which I learned that you could earn money if you did things for people that they didn’t want to do themselves.
My first business was babysitting for the neighbors. From which I learned you could earn money by just being in a place and making sure nothing happened. Often treats, drinks and movies were provided. I also learned to love kids and that they are really a kick.
Waitressing was my first “official’ job where taxes were withheld and I got an actual paycheck. From which I learned that speed and efficiency is king. That humor and friendliness go a long way in human interaction. That change counting machines were a gift from the Gods. And most importantly good shoes are really important.
And then there was, marketing, bookkeeping, managing, personal assisting, tech writing, copy-writing, fiction writing, blog writing, and so on.
For as much as we may complain about our jobs and going to work or having to work, I truly believe that without it we would be lesser beings. We would have lower morale and be generally unhappy. I believe it is human nature to want to work for or at something, that there is a specific joy one gets from making something with his or her own hands, mind, intelligence and/or creativity. While work usually brings you money, it also gives you independence, self esteem, self worth, and yes even a sense of peace.
Even the really terrible jobs I’ve had (and I think everyone has had a few) where everything went wrong, the boss or the coworkers hated me, the work was unsatisfying or difficult, the pay was terrible – even those jobs, that work I am grateful for because they all helped me to survive. To have the wherewithal to provide for myself and even pursue other interests. Not to mention some good writing fodder.
How about you? What work are you grateful for?
How would we ever get through life’s ups and downs without our friends? The people with whom we laugh and cry, celebrate and commiserate? Though I am not one of those people who has a million friends, the friends I do have are incredible individuals and have added to my life in innumerable ways. I am grateful for…
1. Zelda – my partner in crime, and too many adventures to note. Who always has my back and worries about my retirement. Who makes me laugh and prevents me from taking myself too seriously.
2. Kelly – who inspires me with her emotional fortitude and the absolute refusal to let life keep her down. Whose laugh can crack an eardrum, and whose heart is bigger than the great outdoors.
3. Cora – who taught me about fashion, passion and perseverance. Whose intelligence and spirit personifies strength and character. Whose encouragement is appreciated more than I can say.
4. Jenny. A sister, a daughter, a mother – just family in every way. A shoulder to cry on, a reassuring voice in the dark times , a woman who is always up for silliness and dumb pranks and will drive me anywhere.
And Squawky, Christine, Billie, Di, Kim, Sharie, and Jess – Andy, Michael, Andrea, Debba, and, and, and…
My friends mean the world to me and I am grateful for you all.
How about you? What friends are you grateful for and why?
These days I know that it is sometimes really difficult to feel gratitude for what you have. With the economy flailing and the job market dwindling, just keeping your head above water can be a real challenge. At least it has been for me. Let’s face it, times are tough – for pretty much everyone.
Still I like this concept of gratitude – being grateful for your blessings. No matter how small or meager they may seem, we all have something to be grateful for and often more than the next guy. So I have decided to dedicate a post a week to gratitude. To say thank you for my blessings. So this week I am grateful for…
The people I have known throughout my life. The nice people, the mean people, the stern, and the happy people. People who have inspired me to be a better person, people who have taught how not to be by example, people who have made me laugh, people who have offered help when I was too proud to ask.
I am grateful to have witnessed true grace under pressure, kindness in any form, and advice given, even if unneeded.
For the sunshine that I experience most days and the many walking paths ready for my feet and sense of adventure – always with a view of the mountains and wild flowers.
For books that entrance me, educate me and expand my horizons.
For music that calms me and transports me out of a bad day.
For the technology that makes my life easier and better. And in fact has changed my life.
I am grateful for the good soil in my backyard that enables me to grow my own vegetables.
For my goofy little dog who is always my friend and greatest admirer.
For daffodils, chocolate, movies and obscenely strong coffee.
Today I am grateful for everything I do have and everything I do not have.
What are you grateful for?