Memorial Day 3 Ways To Raise Up The Flag

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Memorial Day! Cookouts, beach trips, boat rides, parades, picnics are just a few of the activities you and I are taking part of on this Memorial Day, 2016 as we celebrate the start of SUMMER!

We are the home of the free because of the brave. Anonymous

 I want to share with you three ways to honor and raise up our flag as you enjoy this special time with your favorite people. Click here for an amazing 3 minute Memorial Day video produced by Zoomability.

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As I have been placing flags around in flower pots and window sills, my mind keeps going back to when I was ten years old and the U.S. was directly involved in the Vietnam War. Over 58,000 Americans were killed in this horrific war, and if you have never taken the time to view pictures/videos about it, or if you haven’t in years, I strongly urge you to click here to learn more about this time.  The U.S. involvement was during the 1962 and 1973, and as a girl at the time, in addition to the news/media coverage, I have three vivid memories.

First, a close friend of our family, Timothy Faust was injured badly in Vietnam and I remember us standing on our driveway on Webster Drive together when he came home. Tim’s mouth was covered with gauze because of the deformity caused by his injuries. After many, many surgeries, Tim passed away as a result of his injuries. Second, our family was very close with The Allen Family, who attended church with us. Their brother, Larry Michael Allen was killed instantly in ‘Nam and here is what a U.S.A. Today article stated in 2012:

“I will mark this Memorial Day by remembering Larry [Michael] Allen, a fallen Marine from Decatur, Ga.
On June 18, 1970, somewhere in Vietnam, our squad ran into an ambush and was surrounded. We were taking heavy fire from the enemy we could not see. We were advancing when Larry (Mike) stepped directly in front of me and one other Marine, taking a bullet wound in the lower stomach, meant for us. As he lay dying before us, I will never forget the helplessness I felt. The firefight was so intense that our choppers could not get in to help Larry (Mike) and the other wounded. That day, we lost a wonderful 18-year-old Marine who not long before was running high school track in Georgia.
I salute you, Larry (Mike). Thanks for giving two of us our lives. Semper fi, my friend.
Terry Franks; Springville, Ala.”
And a word from Betty Lou, Mike’s sister: Sgt. Terry Franks, came to meet my folks in August 1970 when he returned home to B’ham. He still keeps in touch with my mom, called last month.

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. Arthur Ash

And thirdly, and closest to me, my own big brother, John Wade Walker was serving there as a Marine. John was the oldest of six children and I recall Mama praying around our dinner table for his safety. Thankfully, John and his wife of four decades live in southern Mississippi and have three grown married children as well as three grandchildren. John went onto become a lifetime Marine, serving in many future battles. Semper Fi!

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My brother, John Wade and his bride dance at our niece’s wedding.
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My brother, John’s 3 grand babies: Anna Claire, Titus Ray, and Noah James. Their group hug forms a heart!

Read more about my “grand” nieces and nephews on an earlier post: Carve Your Hearts On Hearts.

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My sis-in-law, Jeanie sent me this pic of the flag they hang on their porch every patriotic holiday to honor those like Mike and Tim, who have gone on ahead of us.

Three Ways To Raise Up The Flag:

(1) Think of and remember those, and their families, who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, for our freedom.

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Facebook post from my friend, Jay

(2) Teach and train up our children with understanding about what our flag represents.

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Our friend, Sam Moon, 9, with his new friend, Colleen, who was there to visit her father’s grave site.

Cub Scout Pack 178 and Boy Scout Troop 173 Scouts in Marietta, Georgia placed 18,000 flags in minutes. My friend, Stephen  Moon shared this story from their day:

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Some of The Moon Family with Cub Scout Pack 178.

“This happened to make it even more special: A stranger was waiting to take a picture. After Sam placed the flag, Colleen started to cry and thanked him. This was her father’s final resting place (Marine Cpl. Richard D. Marks, Korean War)”

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Our friend, Rosie Moon, age 7 places flags around Marietta National Cemetery.
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Our friend, Will, age 11, and a Boy Scout shows his respect.

(3) Honor and pray for those who are currently serving for the preservation of our freedom.

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Corporal James O’Neil Todd, age 23, U.S. Army, 2nd Brigade Combat Team; 3rd Infantry Division out of Ft. Stewart, GA, currently serving in Ukraine.
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My friend, Julie’s Memorial Day post.
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Lt. Ryan Jackson & Lt. Lauren Jackson, both helicopter pilots are currently serving at The Naval Academy.
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The Gillam & Jackson Families are so excited to welcome Everly Grace, 10:51 a.m. on May 26, 2016!

What memories does this Memorial Day 2016 trigger for you? How can you and I raise up and honor our flag in the days ahead?

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I am wishing you all a Happy and Safe Summer! Please continue to join me here on my Pages From Joan and share my posts with your peeps! God Bless America!

Five More Ways To Love Well We Only Get One Chance

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There are so many ways to “LOVE WELL,” and this may actually mean very different things to different people depending on your circumstances and the people who surround you throughout your days.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

 As I was working on my last post entitled Five Ways to Love Well, it was easy to think of lots of ways to love well, so here we go with five more:

SHARE YOUR WISDOM AND TALENTS. Daddy played the clarinet for the residents at Atherton Place in Marietta, Georgia, where he lived for the last eight years of his life. He loved sharing his gift of music with everyone! Sometimes he even sang Unforgettable or Young At Heart.  One of his many granddaughters benefitted from her GoodDaddy’s talent as shown here, they often played duets with their instruments.

Amy waits to join her GoodDaddy in playing a duet with their clarinets.

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BE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS. Here is our daughter, Leah driving her GoodDaddy home after one of our family parties.

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As the rest of us were cleaning up dishes and putting away food, I recall Leah volunteering to run him back to his home at Atherton. He was happy to catch a ride with his granddaughter, too, as his face easily shows. As the weather gets cooler, model service to others by keeping warm, new gloves in your car and giving them to people on the street who look cold. Your children can hand these gloves to a stranger under your supervision and you will plant a seed of service that will grow and blossom.

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COOK FAVORITE FOODS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES. Even though it’s been a few years since we had the same busy weekday schedule that many of you are carrying right now, I do so realize this is not the easiest thing to do! The crockpot was my best friend during the days of practices, homework, lessons and early bedtimes.

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Consider finding yourself a copy of Fix it and Forget it! One of my favorite crockpot tools.  A hardback copy can be purchased on Amazon for $0.01 plus $3.99 S/H.

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I also used this other book pictured here for quick, healthy meals. In addition, as often as possible, I tried to involve the children in helping out in meal preparation.

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Make it a “group effort” to get dinner on the table. Mama always loved helping out in the kitchen when she would visit our home, saying, “Give me a job!” Consider following my good friend, Lucy’s food blog: In A Southern Kitchen. One of her most recent posts features some short-cuts to healthy meals for the family.

PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. Even though our Dad worked very hard to provide for our family of six children, he would come home, get on all fours, and play “TIGER” with us. Same with my husband. Soon after our children were beyond the infant stage, he regularly had what we called “floor time” with them and they loved it! This involved tickling, wrestling, rolling around together. The giggling heard throughout the house was contagious, starting our evenings out in a happy way. This sounds so simple. These pictures are better examples than any words I could share with you! A Pastor and long-time friend, Garry goofs off with his grandson, Alex; a childhood friend of my sister Kathy, Peggy reads to her new baby girl twins; a baby is covered with “Grandma kisses.”

How many of you can relate to this!?!

And the last three are of Leah (now age 26) making memories with her grandparents.

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CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS! [pullquote]A birthday says ‘Thank you for being you.” On a birthday, we do not say ‘Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.’ No. we say ‘Thank you for being born and being among us,” Nicole Johnson[/pullquote]My friend, Donna recently posted this beautiful birthday cake on Facebook as they celebrated one of her son’s special days.

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My Daddy and Mama clap as Dad blows out the candles on his yummy Gabriel’s Desserts, layered caramel cake.
What would you add to this list of ways to love well???
Here is a recap of our list from this post and the last one:
  • Be there for each other.
  • Stay connected with the help of technology and letters.
  • Be compassionate and kind to those in your path.
  • Put up your phone.
  • Learn your loved ones’ love language.
  • Share your wisdom and talents.
  • Be of service to others.
  • Cook favorite foods for your loved ones.
  • Play with your children and grandchildren.
  • Celebrate birthdays.