It is no secret to those who have read this blog for a while that I’ve got grandkids. Five, to be exact. Four granddaughters and one grandson. I never, ever would have guessed how precious grandchildren are before we were blessed with them! And I certainly never anticipated loving them every bit as much as I love my own children! It is one of the greatest surprises that is reserved for us as we get older, I think.
It is also no surprise that my two youngest are sisters, now 6 and 3. The six year old is very smart and can actually ready quite well. She loves her little sis and her little sis adores her big sis. It is quite lovely to watch them together (at least, most of the time!)
This past week I was at a location in Los Gatos, CA, where I saw this statue of two sisters sitting on a bench, book in hand. The older sister was obviously helping her little sister discover the magic contained in the pages of a book. But what really got me about the picture was the older sister’s hand on the little one’s shoulder in the back. It reminded me so much of my two youngest, who at the time were across the continent. It made me miss them and to contemplate how wonderful must be the love between sisters!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: on this day in 1941, the Germans began their surge to Moscow, led by the 1st Army Group and Gen. Fedor von Bock. Russian peasants in the path of Hitler’s army eventually employed their own “scorched-earth” policy to stop the advance.
Hitler’s forces had invaded the Soviet Union in June, and early on it had become one relentless push inside Russian territory. The first setback came in August, when the Red Army’s tanks drove the Germans back from the Yelnya salient. Hitler confided to General Bock at the time: “Had I known they had as many tanks as that, I’d have thought twice before invading.” But there was no turning back for Hitler–he believed he was destined to succeed where others had failed, and capture Moscow.
Although some German generals had warned Hitler against launching Operation Typhoon as the harsh Russian winter was just beginning, remembering the fate that befell Napoleon–who got bogged down in horrendous conditions, losing serious numbers of men and horses–Bock urged him on. This encouragement, coupled with the fact that the Germany army had taken the city of Kiev in late September, caused Hitler to declare, “The enemy is broken and will never be in a position to rise again.” So for 10 days, starting October 2, the 1st Army Group drove east, drawing closer to the Soviet capital each day. But the Russians also remembered Napoleon and began destroying everything as they fled their villages, fields, and farms. Harvested crops were burned, livestock were driven away, and buildings were blown up, leaving nothing of value behind to support exhausted troops. Hitler’s army inherited nothing but ruins.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The phrase “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe” symbolizes continuity, optimism for the future, borrowed happiness, fidelity, and wealth or good luck, respectively.