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celebrations culture Flag Day Fourth of July happiness history inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi preservation story telling summer

The American Flag: A Symbol of Opportunity

american flag may 5

Flag day is an important day in my household. We honor the American flag and reflect upon how it symbolizes aspects of our lives. I come from a military family that has faithfully served this country for over a century.

There is an American flag that sits in a shadow box on the mantle above the fireplace. It has been lovingly stored there for many years. It was a gift to my father many years ago and he placed it this box . It stood as a symbol of the life he lived and the gratitude felt for being allowed to live in this country.

The flag was special because it had been flown above the United States Capital in Washington, DC. These flags may be obtained through writing your congressman and paying a small fee. It is a privilege to have one of these American flags.

This country was founded on the principle of freedom. In the beginning that freedom appeared to be limited to a few men. After many years of war and various movements freedom is now available to the people of this country. There are still obstacles to be overcome but there is still freedom underneath this flag.

As a family we celebrate the freedom this country allows through the display of the American flag. It is a reminder to my family that the life we enjoy came from the sacrifice of many individuals. They are to be honored and not forgotten.

Struggle for freedom comes in many forms. There are people in this country trapped in economic hardship that seems impossible to overcome. To these people the struggle is real and for many it seems that there is no hope.

America is the land of opportunity. God has blessed this land and her people with natural resources and the freedom to start over repeatedly. This is a country where each day is a new beginning. Economic hardship can become a struggle of the past.

The American flag is a symbol of that opportunity and freedom. Immigrants have long come to this country searching for a better life. When they see the flag it is a reminder of that hope.

In the late 1800’s my grandparent’s immigrated to this country to escape famine. The few family members that remained alive boarded a boat to America. Having heard that there was opportunity and farm land in Mississippi they immediately migrated south. There was hope for the first time in many years.

The family worked on various farms as they made their way to Mississippi. The labor was difficult and they saved money from each meager check. My great-grandfather was a vet and was able to make extra money tending to sick livestock.

Finally arriving in Mississippi the family bought a small farm. They raised their own food and soon life began to improve. The children were expected to seek out opportunity and work hard. Each generation increased a little farther on the economic ladder.

Soon many years passed and the world was in the midst of World War 1. The sons of the family in Mississippi were drafted and fought in a foreign land. Each time the American flag  was flown it reminded them of home. Seeing such destruction in countries at war made them appreciate the blessings of this land.

The next generation faced the Great Depression. The family barely made ends meet and times were extremely difficult. The American flag was a reminder that this country still offered opportunity and the blessings of the essentials of life. The depression extended around the world and the family was grateful for the opportunities in this country.

There were several wars in the following years. Each generation of this family served with pride to protect this great country. The American flag stood as a symbol to them of perseverance. They were proud to live in this country.

My father had a dual career as an engineer in the army and as a civilian. He dedicated his life to the principles upon which this country was founded. The American flag flew proudly in each of his homes. He taught his children the importance of patriotism and hard work.

The American flag flies outside my home today. As with all previous generations there is still struggle in this country. Adversity will always be a part of our lives but we are blessed to live in a country with the opportunity to overcome issues. Each failure may be turned into a success. The American flag is proudly flown as a symbol of that opportunity.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

 

 

 

 

 

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bicycles bicycling culture daily prompt God happiness humor inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi poetry story telling summer

Pink Flamingo on a Summer Mission

flamingo bicycle clinton

Pink flamingo on a bike

riding along the road

sun glasses shining

chilling without a load

 

The day is warm

summer is here

greeting all people

who are near

 

God gave him a yellow bike

to enjoy the summer

spreading kindness to all

including the newcomer

 

He spreads joy

throughout the land

passing cafes

listening to the bands

 

The pink flamingo rides the streets

enjoying the view

spreading happiness and cheer

every summer day is new

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/taper/

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/taper/”>Taper</a&gt;

 

 

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camping culture daily prompt happiness hiking humor inspiration intentional living life lifestyles nature story telling summer

Skipper’s Tall Tales: Beach Vacation

Skipper

The sun is shining brightly on the beach this morning. I notice the sparkling on the sand as Piper takes me for a walk down the beach. We are on vacation and Piper is humming as the waves splash across our feet.

I take notice of some dolphins swimming in the surf not far from us. They are so close with their fins dancing on top of the waves as we pass by. I decide to go and join in the fun with them. Quickly catching the wind my ears begin to flap and I fly to the spot where the dolphins are swimming.

Taking a dive into the water I was able to spring onto the back of the dolphin as he was coming out of the water. The dolphin was shocked when he saw me and began to go faster in the water. Jumping up out of the water trying to shake me off it felt like I was riding a bull in a rodeo.

Faster we went through the waves until the other dolphins decided to join in the fun. I used my leash to maneuver the dolphin until the other dolphins jumped over us and caused me to fall. My ears quickly caught the wind and I flew through the air back to the beach where Piper was waiting. She was laughing at my antics and sat down on the sand as I landed near her.

Our walk continued until it was time for lunch. We stopped at a beach side café and found a spot in the shade. The band was playing fun beach music as I listened contently by the picnic table. Piper bought me a snack. I ate the food and was almost asleep when suddenly the aroma of apple pie caught my attention.

Apple pie is my favorite dish. From times past this pie has gotten me into trouble. This time the apple pie was sitting next to the drummer in the band. Piper was talking to some people around us and did not notice me slowly inching up to the stage next to the apple pie.

I jumped for the pie and did a somersault over the bass player . It was time for the drum solo as I pounced on the drums and kept the beat of the music. The apple pie was in site as the solo ended. I quickly jumped again and grabbed the pie before hitting the ground. The drummer was amazed at how well I did his solo and was not angry that his pie was now gone. I love summer vacations.

Piper said it was time to go and rest. We left the beach side café and headed toward the beach house. The sun was hot and muggy with an afternoon thunderstorm approaching. Piper took a nap as I listened to the rumbling thunder and watched the lightening strikes in the distance. It was a pleasant time to sleep with the lullaby of the falling rain. I tapered down to a wonderful dream.

Late in the afternoon after the thunderstorm Piper took me back to the beach for some surfing. My bright yellow surf board was easy to ride in the waves that were still high. Piper took her blue board and headed out to the spot where it was easy to catch the waves.

I decided to go a little farther out to wait on a few larger waves. Sitting on the board the current slowly brought me inland. All of the sudden a huge wave caught the board and I was flying high in the sky. Going in and out of the wave I decided to do a few tricks on the way in. Letting the wind from the water capture my ears I flew up into the air and did a double back flip.

The water from the wave splashed in my face as I safely landed on the surf board. The surf was faster now as I approached the beach. It was time for one more somersault before I reached land.

There were many people on the beach watching this site. When I got back to shore several people wanted to take pictures of me with the board. I posed for several and acquired a few treats before returning to Piper.

We returned to the beach house to watch the sun set. It had been a glorious day on the beach. The bright red and orange colors in the clouds were beautiful and fun to observe. I quickly took a few photographs before falling asleep. Tomorrow is a new day and more adventure awaits us on this summer vacation.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/taper/

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culture daily prompt environment God happiness hiking history inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi natchez trace poetry spiritual story telling

The Rusty Bell

mount locust slave cemetery trail april 27

There is an old bell

that sits on a path

reminder of old times

remnant of history’s wrath

 

The tree surrounding it

telling volume of  stories of old

a time when the people

were cruel and cold

 

History must never repeat

this story of old

when people were enslaved

by greed and gold

 

The rust on the bell

is a symbol now

to remind us all

to greed and gold never bow

 

We must treat people

with love anew

kindness, dignity, and respect

all people are due

 

God made us all

beautiful in every way

granting us the privilege

of  living a new day

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/volume/

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/volume/”>Volume</a&gt;

 

 

 

 

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culture daily prompt environment God grand canyon happiness hiking inspiration intentional living life lifestyles nature poetry preservation spiritual story telling

The Canyon View

DocFile (4)

The canyon so vast

filled with colors and hues

speaking to volumes of people

seeing high with a view

 

The vastness

speaks to our souls

the beauty abound

nourishes the young and the old

 

God created this great land

filled with volumes of joy

for us to explore

searching our souls to employ

 

The canyons are filled

with dreams so deep

renewing our souls

as we take memories to keep

 

We are renewed

as we observe this place

remembering these colors

are a symbol of grace

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/volume/

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/volume/”>Volume</a&gt;

 

 

 

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culture daily prompt God happiness inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi poetry preservation spiritual story telling

The Path

012

Trees and rocks line the path

with life filled anew

hopes and dreams

for those who aspire not to be blue

 

God leads us on a narrow path

with sights along the way

following Him can be hard

when things in life go astray

 

Trusting in God is important

our faith must be true

we will be triumphant following Him

even when feeling blue

 

The path is beautiful

kindness is the key

following God for life

is the path for you and me

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/triumph/

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/triumph/”>Triumph</a&gt;

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culture daily prompt happiness inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi poetry spiritual story telling

Telephone Party Lines

party line

A long time ago

the phones of the day

were party lines

many people along the way

 

Everyone knew what was going on

listening to people’s issues

tying up the phones

with many tears and tissues

 

Happiness and cheer

spread to all who would hear

community shared all

the party line was the ear

 

The community was like a family

in times good and bad

helping one another

whether happy or sad

 

Party lines are gone

people still helping today

kindness and communication

are still the order of the day

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/revelation/

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camping culture daily prompt environment God happiness hiking inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi nature poetry preservation spiritual story telling

Summer Beach Day

IMG_4582

The beach lined coast

so tender and pure

beautiful sand and water

relaxation for sure

 

Summer vacation is here

visitors from far and near

come to visit the coast

with music in their ears

 

The sand and water

have sounds of their own

calming the soul

with waves that are overblown

 

The sun is shining

relaxation is the order of the day

reading a book

sleeping the afternoon away

 

The sun sets on the horizon

The day is done

Wonderful colors shining

Till the next mornings run

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tender/

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camping culture daily prompt environment God happiness hiking inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi nature poetry preservation spiritual story telling summer

Summer Music

 

ms gulf coast barrier island may 9

Summer is fun and tender

music fills their hearts

people are singing

joyful sounds like art

 

The beach is filled

with bands from around

people are dancing

to the music that surrounds

 

The sun is shining

the waves are calm

accompany the music

the swaying of the palms

 

God gave us music

to nurture the soul

calmness and serenity

help to achieve the goal

 

Summer is fun

filled with delight

restoring the soul

with God’s light

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tender/

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celebrations culture daily prompt inspiration intentional living life lifestyles Mississippi story telling summer

Mississippi: A Family Celebrates Memories with a Cookbook

blueberry cobbler may 14

My kitchen is filled with light in the crisp late afternoon. It is the perfect time to bake cakes and other decadent desserts. This is a special afternoon since I am baking a blueberry cobbler for my father. Tomorrow is his birthday and there will be a celebration in his honor. The recipe for the cobbler is from a handmade cookbook made for a similar celebration many years ago.

Memories float back to that day in June as family and friends gather at the nursing home. It is a beautiful sunny day and the weather is warm. Meme had been in the nursing home for several years and had informed the family that she was ready to pass into the next realm of existence. After this day she had planned to cease eating food and let nature take its course.

Carefully I pour over the cookbook trying to decide which cobbler to make for this occasion. The cookbook has several cobbler recipes all of which Meme liked. I choose the blueberry cobbler recipe and pull out the ingredients. Hoping that the cobbler will turn out well I continue to remember that day.

Several months prior to that day in June my aunt gathered the siblings together to discuss what to give Meme on this special day. After much discussion it was decided to put together a cookbook of the favorite recipes from years of family dinners. Each sibling would put together a list of dishes she cooked over the years. The siblings would gather at a later date to decide which recipes would be included in the cookbook.

My father had several favorite dishes to contribute to this cookbook. Often the family would gather and have grilled food. One of his favorites was barbecue sausage. For many years the barbecue sausage would appear at family gatherings. My father would prepare the sausage a few days in advance to let the seasonings marry each other. On the day of the family gathering he would be standing in front of the grill with barbeque sauce on one side and a pair of thongs on the other. I can still smell the aroma of the cooking sausage. It is a wonderful memory.

grill guitar chair may 5

My uncle also contributed a meat recipe to the cookbook. In their childhood barbecue ribs would appear each holiday in the summer. These ribs would be seasoned with his special rub and then cook on the smoker for hours. Served with baked beans and potato salad this was a feast for the eyes and taste buds. It was a must have recipe for the cookbook.

My older aunt was fond of banana pudding. Each Sunday this pudding would appear on the table as dessert. My aunt learned to make this banana pudding as a young child when Meme was teaching her how to cook. A simple recipe that a young child could contribute to the family meal. A wonderful addition to the cookbook.

The younger aunt loved to bake blueberry cobbler for family gatherings. A blueberry cobbler would appear at many family reunions. This is the cobbler from the cookbook that I am preparing this day.

blueberry cobbler may 14

About a month before the birthday celebration the siblings gathered to survey and discuss the recipes collected. In addition to the favorite recipes there were a few included that the grandchildren enjoyed. It was a wonderful afternoon as the siblings sat sorting out and finally settling on the recipes for the cookbook.

Along with the recipes it was decided that little bits of family history would be included in the cookbook. There would be stories to accompany each recipe. Every sibling would contribute at least one family story.

The cookbook was copied and bound with a simple binder. My younger aunt was artistic and liked to draw so all recipes were illustrated by her. Meme was asked to tell a story about cooking for the family which was included on the first page. In relating this story she did not know it would be the foreword of the cookbook.

On that afternoon in June Meme was taken into a gazebo by a lake at the nursing home. Surrounded by her children and grandchildren she was presented a copy of the cookbook. A great speech was made by my aunt’s husband about how special she was on this day. Tears came from her eyes as she smiled at the gift.

Meme passed away about a month after this celebration of her life. Meme had signed a copy of each cookbook that was given to each sibling and grandchild. I cherish that cookbook and the love contained in it.

My blueberry cobbler is finished and the sausage is marinating for my father’s birthday. He will be standing by the grill with his barbecue sauce and thongs. The blueberry cobbler will be dessert and the memories of family will continue to be alive and well.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crisp/”>Crisp</a&gt;

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/crisp/