Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Tribute

Image source: Rusty Russ
Memorial Day weekend has become the kick-off for summer activities, parties and vacations.  But more importantly, it is when we honor all those who have served our country and kept us safe at the risk of their own lives - many of which ended far to soon.  Let the flag wave and the bells ring, for Freedom is anything but Free.

Two of my uncles served in World War II, and I have many pictures taken during that time.  It is not something they liked to talk about.  My Uncle Charlie was awarded a medal, and although I've searched high and low, I can't find the paper with the information so I don't know what it was called, but he got it for bravery, leadership and refusing to leave his men under fire even though he had been injured. 

He was one of the special men in my life.  He was a carpenter by trade, and like my father, he was never afraid of anything. 

Here he is with the WWII flag.  Notice that this is not like our flag today.  This flag has only 48 stars.

Uncle Charlie

So when you plan your celebration, light up the barbecue, or pop the top on that first beer, remember those whose sacrifice made it possible.

And now I would like to leave you with this thought - something Uncle Charlie would say now and then.  

If a man's sick he's not well and everything he eats goes to his stomach.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Delights

Happy Easter everyone!  This year Easter falls on April 24, or one day earlier than the latest possible date.  Because of the changing dates, Easter could nearly be considered a "floating holiday".  I mean think about it, Christmas is always December 25 no matter what day of the week it happens to be, and Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November, no matter what the date.  But Easter can be as early as March 22 and as late as April 25.  Why is that?

The calculations are a bit complex, and I confess I find it too confusing to read, absorb and spew it back for you, so here is the way one source explains it:
Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon (PFM) date for the year. In June 325 A.D. astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon (EFM) dates. From 326 A.D. the PFM date has always been the EFM date after March 20 (which was the equinox date in 325 A.D.).*
Aside from the date-related confusion, Easter brings many traditions, some religious, some cultural and some just for kids.  Here are some of the things you see around Easter.

Easter Eggs.  The egg, the pagan symbol of rebirth, was adopted by Christians as the symbol of Jesus' resurrection.  Today, a popular Easter activity is an Easter Egg hunt. Here's a tip for boiling all those eggs.

As with most holidays, there is one or more foods associated with it.  First is a tasty treat called Hot Cross Buns, which were allegedly small wheat cakes baked to honor Eostre, goddess of Spring.  Later, Christians substituted sweetbreads blessed by the church.

The roast lamb found on many Easter dinner tables dates back to the first Passover of the Jewish people.  People would eat the roast lamb, hoping that God's angels would pass them over, thus the term Passover.

Ham is another popular Easter entree.  In the early days before refrigeration, any fresh pork that wasn't consumed during the winter before Lent was cured, and since this process takes a while, the hams were ready just in time for Easter making them the perfect choice for Easter dinner.  

What are some of your favorite Easter traditions?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Going Green?

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, or St. Paddy's Day as many call it.  It is a day of celebration, drinking, feasting, and coloring things green...water, beer, etc.  Digging into the archives, here is a post I wrote last year to take a deeper look at St. Patrick's Day, who St. Patrick was, and why we celebrate his life.  

While it will be a day filled with festivities and celebration among those of Irish descent, and those who just like any excuse to party, for Japan it is a different story.  In the wake of the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami, many have lost loved ones, are homeless, cold, hungry and scared. 

So, while we celebrate with our friends and families, let's stop for a moment and consider the suffering of our fellow humans. 

On a lighter note, anyone having or going to a party?

If you wish to help, there are a number of ways to donate such as through the Red Cross, and Second Harvest Japan, a food bank.  However, if you choose to donate, please select your charitable organization carefully.  Tragedy not only brings out those willing to help, but the unscrupulous as well.


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