Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Precious Memories and A Few Things I’d Rather Forget by Sherrie Hansen

Today is a day when we look back and remember. As people go, I am blessed with a rich heritage of wonderful people and good memories. But the truth is, there are a lot of things in life I’d just as soon forget – poor choices and the repercussions that followed because of them, people who’ve hurt me or treated me rudely or unkindly, money or things dear to me that I’ve lost, tragedies and heartbreak that have affected me, the people I love, or even the world in general. Yet here I am, blogging on a day devoted to memories, a day that memorializes the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we are so blessed with – a day that brings to mind some of the most painful episodes of history imaginable.

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Memorial Day is a day that can trigger tears and warm fuzzies, pride and patriotism, joys and regrets.

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When I visit the cemetery, I focus on the wild violets growing in the woods around the edge of the lawn, the pretty posies put on my Grandma’s graves – peonies and lilacs, lily of the valley, wild honeysuckle and columbine – sweet signs of life and living.

Flower - Lily of the Valley

I watch the flags blowing in the breeze and am so glad I can move, and feel and see.

Flags

I do not fear death because of my faith, but I do not like to think about it just the same.

Zion 2013 Sunset shadows

If I had my choice, there would be no more deaths. I like things the way they are right now – the people and things that are a part of my life. I really don’t want to lose any more loved ones – ever.

Grave

But that is not the way of the world. Time marches on. Borders and time are ripped in two, sometimes naturally, sometimes so painfully I can hardly bear to think about it.  Loss comes a visiting whether we like it or not. For every delightful event that occurs in our lives, there is a disappointment or a period of grieving that follows to balance things out.

175 Scotland - Cambo gardensraindrops

For me, the silver lining to all of this is my writing. Whether I’m hurting or sad or just going through an awkward transition in my life, writing about it, in fiction form, with names and details changed to protect the not so innocent, is very cathartic. Writing works a certain kind of magic, in which the real and painful and close becomes fictional and muted and distant. While my characters shed tears and endure the unthinkable, solving problems and masterminding solutions to their dilemmas, I am somehow freed from my past hurts, embarrassments and sorrows.

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On this day of remembering, I am thankful for the sacrifices people have made for me, the love that surrounds me. I am thankful for memories, for reminders of the wonderful things I have experienced in my lifetime. And I am thankful that sometimes, things that are best forgotten really are.

Scotland - Celtic Cross

 

About Sherrie Hansen:  Twenty-three years ago, Sherrie Hansen rescued a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa from the bulldozer’s grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Sherrie grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota and has lived in Bar Harbor, Maine, Colorado Springs, CO, and Augsburg, Germany. She attended Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. After 12 years of writing romance novels late at night when she couldn’t sleep (mostly because she was so keyed up from working 12 hour days at the B&B), she met and married her real-life hero, Mark Decker, a pastor. Sherrie lives in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and writes on the run whenever she has a spare minute. With her Wildflowers of Scotland novels, “Wild Rose” and “Blue Belle”, she has seven books in print. Sherrie enjoys playing the piano with the worship team at church, needlepointing, photography, decorating historic homes, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with her nieces and nephew.

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Short and Sweet

So it’s my birthday, anniversary and Memorial Day. Therefore my post is short and sweet. Happy birthday to me. I am thankful for another year. Happy Anniversary to my husband and best friend. At 18 yrs babe we’re just getting started. God bless the families of all the fallen warriors. Thank you for what you risked and gave for us while doing a job that is often thankless. You will never be forgotten.

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A Tribute to a True Storyteller by Sherrie Hansen

For 100 years, today was my Grandma Hansen’s birthday. She was born in 1900, and died in 2000, so there was never any doubt how old she was. Oh, the changes she saw in the 100 years she lived. As a child, I loved to listen to Grandma Hansen’s stories, both true and make-believe. She was a grand teller of fairy tales – The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, Jack and the Beanstalk – and she loved to dramatically embellish stories of her younger years – from Indians, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and one room school houses to the tale of how she and Grandpa Hansen eloped to the Little Brown Church in the Vale. (They didn’t tell a soul they were married for months.) We were all mesmerized when Grandma started to spin a tale of days gone by.

So on this day of memories and love of country, my Grandma Hansen stands out in my mind as one of the individuals who truly made America great. She made my life pretty wonderful, too.  And she most certainly taught me how to tell a good story.

A Tribute to Grandma Hansen

 May 26th, 1990

 By Sherrie and Becky, her granddaughters, on her 90th Birthday

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 Stepping back to yesterday –

 Daisies strewn along the way.

 Treasures in the chicken coop,

 Racing ‘round the driveway loop.

 Mousey ~ mousey’s in the house,

 Hankies stuck in Grandma’s blouse.

 Hanging clothes out on the line,

 Bleeding hearts and dandelions.

 Finding eggs beneath a hen,

 Memories from way back then.

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 Grandma sitting on her stool

 Telling tales of teaching school,

 Peeling apples, scrubbing faces,

 Pansies put in little vases.

 Making dolls from hollyhocks,

 Darning all our worn out socks.

 Pin curls glistening in her hair,

 Corsets, baggy underwear.

 Raking leaves and burning piles –

 Memories of Grandma’s smiles

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 Cousins staying overnight

 In Grandpa’s bed, all tucked in tight.

 Oatmeal, sweet dough, chicken pie,

 Hiding while the dishes dried.

 Silly plays between the trees,

 Picking berries, bumblebees.

 Stories told again and again

 “Who will help me?” said the Little Red Hen

 “The sky is falling” – the games we played,

 Memories of Grandma’s ways.

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 Pictures on the piano top

 ~A growing family ~ a “bumper crop”.

 Her calloused hands and Godly heart

 Inspired us each, right from the start.

 Time goes on, and now it seems

 So long ago ~ those faded dreams

 But each fond memory has a place

 In every heart ~ in every face

 Our love for her ties us together –

Memories live on forever.

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Remember what the weekend is really for

The lilacs are blooming here in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  I can smell them when I walk out my front door.

The honey bees are buzzing, which is a good thing since we just recently got our hive placed.

The grass is a little long, even though I just push mowed the two-plus acres less than a week ago.

My youngest daughter and her friends are laughing as they discuss clothing options for their commencement ceremony which will take place Sunday.

I’m stressed.  There is so much to do this weekend and just not enough time to do it all.  I’d have to be a superhero to make it all happen.

That’s when it hits me.  The long weekend that we’re getting ready to celebrate in the United States is about more than the unofficial start of the summer.  It’s about more than graduations and grilling burgers.  It’s not even about the Indy 500.

It’s all about freedom.

Memorial Day started as a time to remember the soldiers of the Civil War, now it’s a time to remember those men and women who’ve died serving our country whenever and where ever.  It’s a time many people choose to remember their loved ones who have died, even if they weren’t veterans.

I know for a fact that being in the military is tough work.  Even in a time of peace.  There is still separation from family members.  There is still long hours preparing for the worst.  There is still the stress of job.

Being in the military is tough.  I know.  I served.  My husband served.  We’ve both missed various birthdays and holidays as our girls were growing up.  Heck, my dad had to miss family events when I was a kid and he was never in the military.  He was a cop.

There are a lot of similarities between law enforcement and military service.  Both professions give up some of their own rights to ensure society gets to keep theirs.  Both professions often have to put duty above family, even when they really don’t want to.

One of my favorite quotes about the military is by Father Dennis Edward O’Brian, USMC:

It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.

The freedoms we have in the United States shouldn’t be taken lightly.  They should be remembered, not just during a three-day weekend, or when the calendar says it’s the right time.  They are something we should appreciate each and every day.

Take some time this Memorial Day weekend to thank someone who has sacrificed to serve.   You’ll make their day.  You just might make yours, too.

Blessings!

Nichole

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