Monday, May 31, 2010


Memorial  (Decoration) days have long been set aside to remember and honor war heroes.

 Principally after the War Between the States, most legislatures established specific dates scattered throughout the Spring.  Georgia (and Florida) chose April 26th; North and South Carolina May 10th (Stonewall Jackson's demise); Kentucky and Louisiana chose June 3rd (Jeff Davis's birthday). 

Here we are now, the fourth (or final) Monday in May, celebrating since 1967, the federally-legislated holiday.  Many strive to keep us true to the purpose and others ignore them, thinking that *memorial day* signifies the beginning of Summer.

Sigh ~

I have four nephews in the Army right now.

I wonder what each is doing today?

One is in Jerusalem, according to his FB status for R&R.

One just returned from his honeymoon, again FB status info.

The activities of the third and fourth are unknown, but neither are in Afghanistan.... at the moment.

But whom I really like to remember is William Ferguson Smith, Confederate soldier and great, great grandfather. I've written about him here.

All in all, we'll enjoy our traditional summertime fare and pray for our soldiers before we partake.

BBQ Babyback Pork Ribs
(recipe compliments of Janet Walworth)
Oriental Coleslaw
Corn on the Cob
Toasted French Bread

Iced Tea or Beer

Ice Cream Sandwiches

What do you think?

I'm reading up on the Battle of Seven Pines.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This poem is posted as a complement to my book review of Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. The painting is W. A. Bouguereau's Childhood Idyll, also mentioned in the book.

God gave all men all earth to love,
But, since our hearts are small
Ordained for each one spot should prove
Beloved over all;
That, as He watched Creation's birth,
So we, in godlike mood,
May of our love create our earth
And see that it is good.

So one shall Baltic pines content,
As one some Surrey glade,
Or one the palm-grove's droned lament
Before Levuka's Trade.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
The lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground-in a fair ground --
Yea, Sussex by the sea!

No tender-hearted garden crowns,
No bosonied woods adorn
Our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs,
But gnarled and writhen thorn --
Bare slopes where chasing shadows skim,
And, through the gaps revealed,
Belt upon belt, the wooded, dim,
Blue goodness of the Weald.

Clean of officious fence or hedge,
Half-wild and wholly tame,
The wise turf cloaks the white cliff-edge
As when the Romans came.
What sign of those that fought and died
At shift of sword and sword?
The barrow and the camp abide,
The sunlight and the sward.

Here leaps ashore the full Sou'west
All heavy-winged with brine,
Here lies above the folded crest
The Channel's leaden line,
And here the sea-fogs lap and cling,
And here, each warning each,
The sheep-bells and the ship-bells ring
Along the hidden beach.

We have no waters to delight
Our broad and brookless vales --
Only the dewpond on the height
Unfed, that never fails --
Whereby no tattered herbage tells
Which way the season flies --
Only our close-bit thyme that smells
Like dawn in Paradise.

Here through the strong and shadeless days
The tinkling silence thrills;
Or little, lost, Down churches praise
The Lord who made the hills:
But here the Old Gods guard their round,
And, in her secret heart,
The heathen kingdom Wilfrid found
Dreams, as she dwells, apart.

Though all the rest were all my share,
With equal soul I'd see
Her nine-and-thirty sisters fair,
Yet none more fair than she.
Choose ye your need from Thames to Tweed,
And I will choose instead
Such lands as lie 'twixt Rake and Rye,
Black Down and Beachy Head.

I will go out against the sun
Where the rolled scarp retires,
And the Long Man of Wilmington
Looks naked toward the shires;
And east till doubling Rother crawls
To find the fickle tide,
By dry and sea-forgotten walls,
Our ports of stranded pride.

I will go north about the shaws
And the deep ghylls that breed
Huge oaks and old, the which we hold
No more than Sussex weed;
Or south where windy Piddinghoe's
Begilded dolphin veers,
And red beside wide-banked Ouse
Lie down our Sussex steers.

So to the land our hearts we give
Til the sure magic strike,
And Memory, Use, and Love make live
Us and our fields alike --
That deeper than our speech and thought,
Beyond our reason's sway,
Clay of the pit whence we were wrought
Yearns to its fellow-clay.

God gives all men all earth to love,
But, since man's heart is smal,
Ordains for each one spot shal prove
Beloved over all.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
The lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground-in a fair ground --
Yea, Sussex by the sea!

by Rudyard Kipling