Hearts and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. Our Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra) symbolize the Holiday. May your Valentine’s Day be a beautiful one filled with love and happiness.
A Little Trivia on the “Romantic” Valentine’s Day
The romantic Valentine’s Day was first brought to the public’s attention by Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules.” Valentine’s greetings were introduced in the Middle Ages. Written greetings came after 1400. The oldest existing greeting is from 1415 in a poem by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Valentine’s Day celebrations began in the 1600’s. The next century small tokens and handwritten notes were popular. Printed cards started to replace handwritten notes by 1900. Printed cards along with lower postal rates contributed to sending Valentine’s cards by mail. Ester A. Holland introduced mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in 1840. Today an estimated 145 million Valentine’s cards are sent each year.
Our two groves of white birches are brilliant against the winter snow. Every time I go out to photograph, I seem to gravitate to these beautiful trees. They attract my eye through every season, through the day as it passes from dawn to dusk, and through various types of weather from mist to bright sunlight. Maybe, I should create a focused photo project just on these trees.
Every Christmas since I was a little kid, I would wish and dream for a “White Christmas.” This year it came true! On Christmas Day, it started to lightly snow at about 1:00P. By evening, we had a nice white blanket of snow gracing Heatherwood. The next morning, I got up and spent an enjoyable several hours wandering in a “Winter Wonderland” with my camera. The time just flew by, I started getting a little tired and hungry and looked down at my watch. Four hours had slipped by since I first stepped outside. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning!
P.S. Mary and I watched Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” last night to end a wonderful day!
Merry Christmas to all our families and friends! This little Chief Joseph Pine is a star of brightness in our winter garden. It radiates the Christmas spirit not needing any lights or ornaments.
I have so many fond memories of Christmas pasts. I remember my childhood Christmases when Santa brought the Christmas tree along with the presents after we went to bed on Christmas Eve. How excited I was when I would walk out of the bedroom to see a beautiful fully decorated tree surrounded by wrapped gifts in the living room. I remember one Christmas when Mom would not let us come out of the bedroom because Santa was running a little late. It seemed like it took forever when I heard a whistle. We rushed out of the bedroom to see a marvelous train running around the Christmas tree. And there was Pop, with his eyes half shut but with a big smile on his face.
Christmas has always been a family affair. When we were kids, Christmas Day was held up at Grandma and Grandpa’s house with all our Aunts and Uncles. For several years my twin brother and sister and I were the only kids. We were the center of everyone’s attention. As our families got larger, we opened our gifts in the morning at our own houses, then got together as a whole family for Christmas dinner first at Grandma and Grandpa’s old house, then at our house, then back at Grandma and Grandpa’s new house.
After Grandma and Grandpa had passed, we moved Christmas Dinner back to our house. As all the families expanded and my generation had children of their own, Christmas became a three event day. First, my generation had breakfast and opened gifts with their children in the early morning. In the late morning, our respective immediate families gathered at Mom and Pops for gift unwrapping and Christmas Dinner. Then finally, the whole family with our Aunts, Uncles, and cousins gathered at Mom and Dad’s for Christmas desert. What a wonderful Day!
Over the years, the family has gotten larger and larger. Now there are three generations in the family. Some of us have moved in and out of the area. We also spread our time between our respective in-law families. But we still try to get together as best as we can on Christmas Day. This year will be the first, and hopefully the last, Christmas that we will not be physically together.
Mary and I wish all of you a wonderful and healthy Christmas. Our thoughts and love are with all of you.
We are dreaming for a White Christmas. Thankfully, the predictions are for a snowfall on Christmas Day. The light snow we received two weeks ago helps set the stage and prepare us for some winter beauty.
Tonight is Christmas Eve. For Mary and I, it will be a quiet and peaceful evening, a time to reflect and celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We will be thinking of our families and friends, who many like us will be spending Christmas physically separated from our loved ones. Our spirits will be with all of you and those who have passed into our Lord’s arms before us.
This has been a crazy, crazy year. Our traditional Thanksgiving is normally spent with our wonderful families. This year will be different for many of us. We still plan to make the most of it and have quiet but special Thanksgiving Holiday.
We have a lot to be thankful for even in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have our health and the wonderful world around us. We share the spirt of our families even though we are physically separated. With the development of effective vaccines, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel to be able to get back to a “normal” way of life. If we all work together, we can restore our national economy and resolve the political strife. Two Thousand Twenty One will be a much better year.
Here is to all … Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Make the most of every moment.
This Fourth of July will be different that any other. The Fourth of July has always been a special time when I’ve celebrated with family and friends. I remember growing up and having family get-togethers at Sportsman’s Park in Yakima and watching fireworks at the Selah Park. I’ve been lucky enough to spend the Fourth in Washington, DC four times. I’ve watched fireworks over the Capitol Mall … what a glorious experience. Our University of Washington college group (the Whizzies) have gotten together for the Fourth every year since the the mid 80’s. For the past 30+ years we have joined together at Sunriver Resort in Oregon. We have watched the Whizzy children grow up and have children of their own. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed all our lives but not our spirit. Though we will not physically get together, we will have a collective Zoom event to celebrate the Holiday and our friendship.
In these difficult times, let’s all take the time to reflect on what this special holiday represents. It is a time to be grateful for what others have given to insure our independence and freedom. It is a time to give back to our Country and peoples and to make our Nation stronger.
Let us not forget all those who have given their lives to give us the freedom that we now have. Let us look back in history and understand all the difficult situations we have encountered and faced as a nation. Let us remember what it took to overcome those times.
Our current situation with the Covid-19 virus is minor compared to what we have faced before. Yet we are fighting amongst ourselves on how to move forward. Rather than fight, let all of us focus on how we can move forward to assure a strong recovery and a safe environment. It will take patience, compromise, and sacrifice. But as many times before, we can do it!
Mother’s Day is synonymous with the full Spring bloom. In the areas that I have lived, Mother’s Day weekend is the time to start planting annuals. I can visualize Mom bending over on her hands and knees working in her garden.
Mother’s Day has always been a special Holiday for me. It’s been a time when I would do little things that brought a bright warm smile to Mom’s face. All of us kids would fuss over Mom and thank her for all that she did. We could have never asked for a more wonderful, warm, supportive, and loving mother. She was always there for us, no matter the situation. She was the balance in my life as I was growing up and also as I faced challenges throughout my adult life.
So on this special day, let’s all cherish all that our mother’s have given us. Reflect, be thankful, and give Mom all the love in our hearts.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! My love is always with you!
This Easter is quite a bit different than any that I have experienced. I will be with my family in spirit and thought instead of physically being close to them. I will miss watching the little ones scurry around hunting for Easter eggs in our yard and the wonderful conversations between the generations. Our spirits, love, and prayers will transcend the physical distances between us. Mary and I will make the most of the day as we give thanks to our Lord who gave so much to free us from our sins. We will take the time to sit back and appreciate the wonderful world surrounding us. Our prayers will be with the many others around the world as we all fight this pandemic.