Memorial Weekend…again

Went back to my 2014 remembrance post this morning, knowing that for too many people every weekend is memorial weekend.

It’s a typically perfect Memorial Day morning here, like so many from my childhood, when every year we could count on it to be raining or blistering hot and windstill, or freezing cold, or all of the above, in gusts, or maybe cool and clear after one of those rains. In Lawrence this morning it’s 79º headed for 82, sunny, blue skies, humidity has dropped from 89% when I went out at 7am to 60% five hours later, and it’s exquisitely beautiful out.

But life holds more than beauty  – especially for those who will never see any of it again – and cloudy skies take over sometimes.  By 2pm we’re supposed to be mostly under cloud cover here, which seems altogether fitting for the day.

In 2016 I reshare my family’s story out of gratefulness, and out of reverence for, and abhorrence of, unspeakable loss on all sides throughout the generations.

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First posted Memorial Weekend 2014 (with edits 5/30/2016 – a personalized haiku for anyone who’s bored enough to find them all – link provided below.)

My grandpa enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 and served at the front as an infantryman during WWI.  His six sons were all military men, Army, Navy, and Marines.  The three Marines, 18, 19, and 21 were in the Korean Conflict at the same time, in the same general location, under miserable conditions.  All seven Reese military personnel returned home intact in body and went on to raise thriving families of their own.  Many of my cousins have also served with honor in the military.  The only family member I’m aware of, without digging into the archives, who was directly lost to war, was my Aunt Bette’s husband, making her a teenage widow with a baby. The baby, my cousin Vickie, is standing in front of her mother and between our grandparents in the family portrait. My mama is top right in both the portrait and the thumbnail pics, somehow descriptive of her position in my life for all time. And kudos today to my Baby Aunt Barbara, lower right in both, who put this collage together.

So thankful to have four of the original Reese Dynasty kids – Vic, Jerry, Barbara, and Roger – present and accounted for, on this Memorial Remembrance in the year 2016. Hugs and kisses all around, beloved.

Ongoing family is priceless. Feeling deeply thankful right about now.

Reese Family

 

Okay, Constant Reader, the edits took on a life of their own, so don’t even try. If, however, you’d originally thought you might, for the haiku, throw me a subject and I’ll do it anyway!

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Remembering a writing mentor who probably never knew it…

This is wonderful. My friend Ned Hickson wrote it and I stole it to share with you.

 

 

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A mentor every writer should’ve been lucky enough to have.

Anyone who follows my weekly Nickel’s Worth on Writing knows Publisher’s Digest and The Master of Horror® Stephen King are frequently among those offering accolades touting the value an…

Source: Remembering a writing mentor who probably never knew it

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Of bubbles and bibles and Southern Baptists …

A new friend is graciously letting me share a piece he wrote — the mark of a quality person in my world, especially as there was no hesitancy and he doesn’t know me from a ton of coal.  All I know about him so far is that he has a gift for saying things that need to be said — and read — and that’s sufficient for the time being.  And that he’s good people.  I hope my friends will be as struck by the truths he’s delineated as I am …

“I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but we don’t live in a Christian nation founded on Biblical principles. 

We live in a secular nation founded on the U.S. Constitution, which protects your freedom to be a Christian if you so choose, and to live by Biblical principles, whatever you interpret those to be. 

It also protects the freedom of those who choose otherwise. 

It’s kind of a beautiful thing.

If you’re a Muslim, no one can make you eat pork. If you’re a Christian, you can load up on the bacon and ham with a big greasy grin on your face. If you don’t subscribe to any religion at all, the world is your buffet.

It even works well within Christianity.  Southern Baptist? No one can make you say a Hail Mary. Catholic? No one can keep you from wearing your “I love the Pope” hat to the mall.

Do you think gay marriage is a sin? Ok, fine. Check your fiancé’s genitals before the ceremony and everything should be a-ok. Just remember it’s not your place to peek inside the pants of other people’s partners. So you can go your merry way and let others do the same.

See how that works? You get to live YOUR life according to your beliefs. You don’t get to force others to live THEIRS that way. And they don’t get to force you to live their way either.

This is how our funny little government works for everyone. This is why it’s a handy dandy thing to remember that, should you seek an office or a job in government, YOU ALSO WILL BE WORKING FOR EVERYONE when you clock in each day.

It’s also good to remember this is why the courthouse lawn and other taxpayer-funded facilities are not churches or temples or mosques. 

The Ten Commandments may look lovely hanging in your church or on your wall at home, but unless you want to allow symbols of other religions including nine-foot bronze statues of a half-man-half-goat with curly horns from the Temple of Satan to greet you when you go to the DMV to get your plates renewed, it’s really best to leave those things up to the private individual to display. 

Any Pentecostals cool with a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe at your state Capitol building? No? Well, then maybe you get my point.

Your church, however wonderful it may be, has not been appointed to govern those who don’t wish to attend it. Your holy book, however full of wisdom you find it to be, has not been passed into legislation. 

And if you ever study what happens when any religion is given a pass to govern with that kind of power, you’ll thank God it isn’t that way here.”

by Ken Robert

{Follow him on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/writerkenrobert?fref=ts}

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99 Percent Of Facebook In 99 Words

Yup, pretty much.  A perceptive assessment from “List of X.”

If you have spent more than a few minutes on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of Facebook posts are actually very similar in nature. In fact, you could probably rephrase most of Facebook posts as one of the updates below, thus summarizing 99% of entire Facebook in fewer than 100 words.

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30 Things to Start Doing For Yourself

 

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http://themindunleashed.org/2014/07/30-things-start-4-absolutely-vital.html

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No pumpkin-carving experience is complete without a near-fatal knife wound

A timely post from Ned. Ray Villafane, eat your heart out.

Ned's Blog

imageCarving a jack-o-lantern used to require little more than a pumpkin, an oversized kitchen knife, and a tourniquet. It was a simple matter of plunging a 10-inch French knife into the gourd of your choice and creating a triangle-eyed, square-toothed masterpiece of horror.

In those days, the trickiest thing about making your jack-o-lantern was deciding on how to light the candle.

Option one: Light candle, then attempt to lower it into the pumpkin without catching your sleeve on fire.
Option two: Put the candle inside the pumpkin first. Then attempt to light it without catching your sleeve on fire.
Option three: Accept the inevitable and just light yourself on fire, then go find a candle.

After a quick trip to the emergency room for stitches and some light skin grafting, you could return home and set your jack-o-lantern on the porch, where it would remain until gravity and molecular breakdown…

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Unreliable Or Trustworthy: What Does Your Face Say About You?

My friend Carrie Rubin nails it.

Carrie Rubin

Do you judge a human book by its cover? Assign people personality traits based on their faces? Better be careful if you do.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

New research highlights the risk of judging people’s characters based on their facial expressions:

Those assumptions affect how we’re treated.

For example, if we’re blessed with a welcoming expression, we’re more likely to be seen as competent and trustworthy. Therefore, we win elections, become CEOs, and bring more boys (or girls) to the yard.

Uh oh, spaghettios. This doesn’t bode well for introverts.

The Introverted Face

The article discussing this research features an example of an introverted vs. extroverted face (The Introverted Face). To avoid using their image, I’m posting one of my own. My apologies for its American Horror Story scariness. Lord knows I would never have posted such hideous self-photos in the past, but with age comes blissful indifference. And…

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Real men are always in control — of themselves, not others

Atypical deep thoughts from my friend Ned Hickson. Imminently readable.

Ned's Blog

image Anyone who reads my weekly newspaper column or blog posts knows I try to keep life in perspective through humor. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the reasons my children are still alive today. While I joke about that, for many years humor was also part of a coping mechanism from a childhood witnessing both verbal and physical abuse by the men in my family — specifically, my father and older brothers.

The good news is that each of them eventually turned themselves, their lives and the lives of the people they loved, around. It wasn’t until I became a father that I realized the impact that a childhood witnessing abuse had on me, and how some of those wounds — as both a witness and recipient — had never truly healed.

I know this because I occasionally saw reflections of my father and brothers in myself as I…

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Words that ruin pacing

It’s the little things …

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My Toemail post …

This is such a fun site — check them out!

http://toemail.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/southwest-kansas/

Striking matadors could result in a lot of bull for Spain

Striking matadors could result in a lot of bull for Spain.

Ned’s humor suits me just fine and I laugh at nearly everything he writes.  Funny guy.

Surgical Fun With Hobos

Surgical Fun With Hobos.

Fathead Follies rarely disappoints in the humor department.  Any parent will relate (and cringe) upon reading this story.

You’re On Your Own, Pal

You’re On Your Own, Pal.

I love Transman and his story … and this one touched my heart in a unique way.  It deserves to be Pressed.

Winnowing the Chaff

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