Check out the latest on We Are Such Stuff IV

I have posted two more pieces on my new blog, We Are Such Stuff IV!

1942: Dad promoted to midshipman, a continuation of my father’s letters to my mother when he was in New York during naval training;   and

Thomas prepares for the ministry, 1802-1806, which is the second installment of the first chapter of my book on my family ancestry.  In this excerpt, the Rev. Thomas Thomas (my 3-greats grandfather) studies at Hoxton Academy – his first formal education at the age of 26! – where he trains to be a Independent minister.

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Thomas Thomas, drawing by his son, Thomas E. Thomas. This is the only known portrait of him.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: 1972

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That was the first year I could vote in a national election. I worked for the McGovern campaign, designing my own flyers and placing them under windshield wipers on nearly every car on my college campus.  McGovern promised peace in Vietnam – an end to the war.
1972_McGovernCampaignsUnfortunately, Nixon won, by a landslide! Nixon pledged “peace with honor” in Vietnam.

Nixon1972Little did we know then that some illegal activities had been carried out by the Nixon campaign  to discredit the Democrats!

The Watergate complex
The Watergate complex

The Watergate break-in would become so famous that the word “watergate” became synonymous with political corruption for years to come.

The Vietnam War raged on.

1972-Vietnam War1972VietnamAt the summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, 11 Israeli athletes were killed in a terrorist attack.

The 11 Israelis killed in the Olympics terrorist attack.
The 11 Israelis killed in the Olympics terrorist attack.

A plane carrying members of a Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. Two books and a movie would be released about the ordeal of the survivors.
1972-andes-plane-crash-site-and-survivors1Yikes! Lots of bad news! Still, we look back on those tumultuous times with nostalgia, remembering our own lives in our 20s.  My husband was about four years into his teaching career. He taught history and sociology at high schools on the south side of Chicago. Also, being a teacher allowed him to avoid the draft. Last night we found this picture of him in his classroom that year:
Dale1972And there was always our family’s cottage in Northern Wisconsin. Here I am enjoying a warm summer day among the pines:

Katy-early 20sMy husband and I both married other people and eventually divorced. Both of us had one child in our first marriages. We weren’t destined to meet each other until nearly 20 years later!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Early spring

It was only three years ago tomorrow that we had a string of very warm days – on March 21, it reached 80 degrees (F)! I was wearing capris to work all week, and on that day, March 21, I took a walk around the neighborhood of the school I worked at in Elmhurst, a  western suburb of Chicago. The trees were in bloom! ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

In a normal year, we would not see the trees in flower until mid April at least, sometimes later. (Last year we had winter weather until mid April!)

As a comparison, I also took pictures (as I do every year) of the first flowers that come up in my garden, snowdrops. This year, the first snowdrops made their appearance early this week, as the snow melted and the days were a bit warmer. Last year, they didn’t come up until the end of March. In 2012, I took these pictures on March 11:

snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012

I am always heartened at the sight of my snowdrops each year – it’s a sign that even if spring isn’t here yet, it soon will be!

I’ll be on spring break this coming week, and plan to spend some time in my garden, raking and cutting the remnants of last year’s plants to make way for this year. I’ve already seen the first green tips of other flowers pushing their way above ground. Daffodils should be be next, followed by tulips.

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

Smither Park – Houston, TX. My husband and I visited this park (actually, we found it by chance!) in June of 2013.

This park has a variety of conceptual installations being planned. The Memory Wall  has several sections, with different artists working on each one. (There is a sign up on the back of the sign.) These photos show parts of the wall, including close-ups. Artists use a variety of materials to design their section of the wall.

This sign shows the vision for the entire park  when installations are finished. They apparently got some funding to at least complete the Memory Wall.
This sign shows the vision for the entire park when installations are finished. They apparently got some funding to at least complete the Memory Wall.
Each number represents an area that needs to be worked on. Some of these are already in progress. Various local artists have signed up for different sections.
Each number represents an area that needs to be worked on. Some of these are already in progress. Various local artists have signed up for different sections.

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Legos and dominoes were used in this section!
Legos and dominoes were used in this section!

The wall extends the entire length of the park.

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Broken glass or ceramic with writing on them were pieced together to create this part.
Broken glass or ceramic with writing on them were pieced together to create this part.
Each artist that works on the wall has his/her own unique ideas of what kind of design & materials to use. Especially fascinating is this octopus with cups for eyes.
Each artist that works on the wall has his/her own unique ideas of what kind of design & materials to use. Especially fascinating is this octopus with cups for eyes.

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