Tag Archives: freedom

For the Joy of It

When is the last time you did something purely for the joy of it?  It seems that as we grow into adulthood that we lose some of the ability to do things just for the pure delight it brings.  We seem to always have schedules to keep, reasons for what we do that may have far less to do with us and more to do with the demands that others put on us, places to go, work to get done…and by the time we get done with all that, we just too tuckered out to even think about fun.  Or, we’re so tired that the idea of just crawling into bed sounds like fun.

Animals have no such compunctions, or at least, if they do, they’ve never told me about it.  Dogs seem to have a nearly endless capacity for fun – at least, right up to the very end of their days when they may be too feeble or sick.  But up until that point, put two dogs together and turn them loose and watch the fun begin!

When we walk our dog, Lucy, we are supposed to keep her on a leash at all times.  I guess that in a way we do, but we let go of the leash (do you suppose they’d buy the argument that we still have her on a leash when we do that?), and let her run a bit.  As you can tell from today’s picture, she loves it!  Maybe it’s time for us all to shuck our leash for a bit and let go.  I suspect we’d feel better if we did that every so often!

_MG_0534ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1960, the US navy bathyscaphe Trieste dived to a record depth of 35,810 feet in the Pacific Ocean’s Marianas Trench.  The record still stands to this day.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the one-foot measurement is based on one-third the length of the arm of King Henry I (1068-1135) of England.


In Honor

Just a very few words today and tomorrow, for the actions of our men and women in the service of our country have spoken far more eloquently than anything we might add.  Instead, all I can offer are thanks, respect, and tears for the great price they, and their families, have paid.

Vietnam Wall, Washington, DC, 2008

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1941, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt reacted to the German navy’s sinking of the merchant vessel Robin Moor by declaring a state of unlimited national emergency.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: most snakes breathe using their right lung only…the left lung is either greatly reduced in size or missing entirely.

Don’t Fence Me In!

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hovels and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in

Those are just part of the lyrics to the song Don’t Fence Me In, originally written in 1934 for the movie, Adios, Argentina.  It was performed by many great artists over the years, including Gene Autry and Bing Crosby.  You have to admit…just reading the lyrics sorta makes you long to saddle up a steed and head out across the vast expanses of the west, doesn’t it?  (Being a westerner at heart, it makes me homesick for the great American west!)

Today’s picture is from 2/1.  We went to Lobby Day in Atlanta to support efforts to stop the sex trafficking of kids in Georgia.  When we were done, we were waiting for our bus and were sitting on a concrete curb with a fence behind us when I turned around and saw this view.  I decided that I needed to shoot it and this is the result.  I like the way the fence reaches skyward…and finds freedom from being earthbound.  If only we could all do the same on occasion!  The fence doesn’t give up, though..and neither should we!

Even fences long for freedom...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1924, the gas chamber was used for the first time for an execution, as Gee Jon was executed in Nevada for a murder he committed.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in English folklore, Queen Mab was a fairy queen who governed people’s dreams.

Free At Last

There have been few truly great men.  There are even fewer who can inspire an entire race, or nation.  Martin Luther King, Jr., was one such person.  He was a man of deep passions, a man with faults, yet also a man of dreams and vision.  He was perhaps the greatest orator of his generation.  When one couples the power of persuasion with the ability to communicate beautifully and passionately, earth-shattering things can, and often do, happen.

Today, Laurel and I took off for a while and went to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center here in the Atlanta area.  I remember him well from my teen years.  At the time, I have to admit, that I wasn’t all that well informed.  When we are in our teens, we tend to believe what we hear from those who are older and who we respect.  Sometimes, though, they are wrong.  I was not a great fan of the man then, but I’ve changed my mind about him in most ways and truly think he was a very, very great man and gifted leader.

We listened to some of the excerpts of his speeches today, read many words that he’d written and spoken, and I found his words tremendously powerful even today. Today’s picture is from the Center, and you’ll see more over the next few days.

King’s tomb, and that of his wife, Coretta Scott King, are located on the grounds of the center on a raised dias in the center of a reflecting pool.  Here is the picture of the tomb in close-up, with the words that are perhaps his most famous: “Free at last!  Free at last!  Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”  May he truly be free, and joyful…at last!

The King Tomb at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1944, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” debuted on CBS radio on the ninth anniversary of Ozzie and Harriet.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: mallard nests are sometimes built as high as 40 feet above the ground.  It’s amazing, but when the young ducklings leave the nest for the first time, they very seldom are hurt by falling to the ground.

Don’t Fence Me In

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze,
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,
Send me off forever but I ask you please,
Don’t fence me in.

The words to this old song were for a movie, Adios Argentina, way back in 1934.  The words were from a poem by Robert (Bob) Fletcher, a poet and engineer with the road department in Helena, Montana.  Cole Porter was asked to do a cowboy song for the movie, he saw the lyrics and paid Fletcher $250 for the rights to use them, and wrote the music.

My photo today isn’t about riding a horse in the open country or any of that masculine stuff.  It’s about a flower that is situated next to a fence in Mendocino, and I just thought the title of today’s post was appropriate.  This flower was just outside the white picket fence, as if it were demanding its freedom.

It is a good thing to not be “fenced” or “boxed” in…we are lovers of freedom in America, aren’t we?  And that’s good…very good.

Don't Fence Me In

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, was first performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in 1599.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Nationwide, there are too few honeybees.  This is cause for significant alarm, as honeybees are the pollinators of all vine crops as well as certain nuts, some citrus, and backyard apples.  Up to 90% of feral (wild) bees have been killed off in the northeastern United States.


“You’re grounded!”

Did you ever hear those words from your mom or dad?  Unless you were perfect, like me, you probably did.  (OK…I wasn’t perfect, I heard them, too!)  Those words struck terror in our hearts, didn’t they?  I mean, how were we supposed to LIVE if we were grounded, couldn’t see our friends, couldn’t use the phone?  They should have just perhaps had us executed – we might have preferred that to being G-R-O-U-N-D-E-D!!!!!

But, somehow, we managed to live through those groundings, didn’t we?  And, if we are to be honest about it, we probably deserved it and are better off for having learned something about life through the ordeal. And our kids learned from it and survived it when we grounded them, too!

There are worse things than being a teen and being grounded.  Consider the subject of today’s blog post.  This puppy ain’t goin’ nowhere!  I don’t know how long it has been there (but from the looks of it, it’s been grounded far longer than I ever was!), or how it happened.  But it is sad.  You get the feeling that this boat would give just about anything to be freed from its grounding.  I can sympathize.

Since yesterday was our anniversary, we took some time and drove down to Point Reyes National Seashore.  It’s a large place, and we’d not been there for decades.  It was a nice day and it was nice we could share it together.  This was the first thing that caught my eye and the first picture I shot while there, with a part of Tomales Bay in the background.  You’ll probably see some others in coming days, but for today, fly high, surf the waves, enjoy the freedom we have in this great country…and enjoy!

Chompin' at the bit to be free...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1858, Queen Victoria of England transmitted a telegraph to President Buchanan over the recently laid trans-Atlantic Cable.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the name “Dylan” is Welsh in origin, and means “from the sea.”

A Day of Honor

You may have already read many things about Memorial Day, perhaps attended a service to honor and pay respects to the fallen, heard speeches and comments until you are blue in the face.  I’m sorry if that is the case…but maybe not for the reasons you suspect.  I’m sorry if those things bother you, because I am an American and I am deeply thankful and grateful to those who died for our freedom.  We can NEVER honor them too much, so now you will have to deal with this blog post…or not.  You can skip it if you wish…I’ll never know.  But if you are humbled by those that bled and died for you, I hope you’ll take this as just one more opportunity to honor those  men and women.

This morning my wife and I put up our flag.  It was an overcast, cool morning, but not raining.  The rain had fallen during the night, but the skies were still overcast when I slide the flag pole into its holder at the front of the house.  I went back inside to get the camera because I liked the contrasts of the flag against the cloudy, troubled sky.

How symbolic, I thought, our nation’s flag, standing proud after over two centuries of war and peace.  I thought about the many troubled skies that had looked down on that flag – that first flew over Washington’s headquarters on January 1, 1776 at the base  of Prospect Hill in Boston as his army besieged the British.  Of course it looked different than it does today.  The flag weathered the storms of the Revolutionary War, and later wars.  Of course, it flew over the Union troops in a war that was testing “whether than nation, or any not, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”  That nation was re-unified.  The flag flew over WWI and WWI battlefields, over the Korean peninsula, in the humid hinterlands of Vietnam, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other engagements and wars.  Our flag has seen many troubled skies – and has remained a symbol of what makes our nation so unique.

In what other land do people lay down in the mud and blood, sweat-soaked and in agony, as their life-blood drains out of their earthly bodies so that someone back home can say whatever they want about the war, about politics, about faith, about anything?  Many die so that tyranny and control can be exerted on others, but to die for the freedom to even disrespect the flag that flies over our heads…it is such a testimony of the power of freedom and human love for it!

Our flag flies today under darkened skies.  I must say, I fear for our country.  Our greatest threats are not from without, but from within.  We have forgotten what honor means.  We have forgotten that some things are truly worth sacrifice…even sacrifice on a huge scale.  As a people we need to find our grounding again, to be done with the viciousness and divisions that tear at us.  We need to remember and unify around the things that made this country great…and then hold tightly to them, not so much for ourselves but for future generations of Dalrymple’s and Woolcotts and Gallegos’ and Chows and Kelley’s and Smith’s and Singh’s and Koo’s and Stanton’s and Kim’s…

I hope, and I pray, that civility will return to our nation, that we will treat one another with respect…a respect purchased by the blood of those martyred in the cause of freedom, and that our great nation will recover its footing and last a long, long time.

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

“God bless America, land that I love!  Stand beside her, and guide her, Through the night with a light from above.  From the mountains, to the prairies, to the ocean, white with foam – God bless America, my home sweet home.” – Irving Berlin

Thank you!!!! to those who died, and who lost fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives so that we could be free!!!!  May we honor and care for you every day – and especially on this day!

A Day to Honor the Fallen - and Remember Them Forever

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1868, Memorial Day became an officially sanctioned holiday when military commander John A. Logan chose May 30th to remember the soldiers who had died during the Civil War.  He called it “Decoration Day” after the custom in several Confederate and Union states of decorating the soldiers’ graves with flowers.  Over the years, it came to be a day to honor the fallen of all wars.  Interestingly enough, it was also on this day in 1922 that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, was dedicated.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: as per the Greek historian, Herodotus, Egyptian men never became bald because as young boys their heads were shaved exposing their bald scalp to the “health giving rays” of the sun.