The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Holiday’

Merry Christmas!

Bob and I celebrated Christmas with Stacey and our granddaughters this morning.  Stacey, Harper and Juniper arrived around 8:45 am. I prepared Belgian waffles for breakfast. For toppings we had a choice of strawberries, apples, whipped topping, butter, and maple syrup. After breakfast, we opened Christmas gifts.  Everyone was happy with the gifts received.  What made me the most happy, though, was to spend the beginning of this holiday season with family.  I enjoyed our time together very much.

_LG25383Merry Christmas from our family to your family.

Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day.

I am a Veteran.

I graduated high school in May 1974 and shortly thereafter enlisted in the Army under the Delayed Enlistment Program.  The 6-month delay provided me an opportunity to get ready for my transition to the Army. During this time, I became better physically and mentally prepared before departing for Basic Training.  The only prerequisite I remember having to fulfill before my 6 months were up is that I needed to lose weight in order to enlist in the Army.  I think I had to lose 30 pounds.  I lost the 30 pounds and more.  My Army enlistment began in November 1974, when I was 18 years old.  I served 3 years.

My basic training was conducted at Ft. McClellan (Alabama).


Ft. McClellan, AL
early 1975

I apologize for the poor picture quality.  It is the best scan I could get from a picture taken with 110 film.  This picture was taken on the occasion of my graduation from Basic Training.

From Ft. McClellan I would travel to Ft. Benjamin Harrison (Indiana) for Advanced Individual Training (AIT). I studied to be an Army Stenographer, known as 71C MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). From Ft. Benjamin Harrison, I would travel to Ft. Hood (Texas) and later to V Corps Headquarters in Frankfurt (West Germany).


West Germany
sometime between April 1976 and December 1976

I served in the military both during wartime and peacetime.  My wartime service was short lived.  I joined the Army in November 1974.  The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975.  I cannot recall even considering that the United States was at war, when I joined the Army.  I wanted to serve my country.  Remember earlier when I said that I needed to lose weight in order to enlist in the Army.  I met that prerequisite.  I wanted to serve my country.

Even though the majority of my military service was during a time when the United States was at peace, I was not out of harm’s way.  While assigned to V Corps Headquarters, I worked in the Abrams Building located in Frankfurt, West Germany.  I was at work during the June 1, 1976 bomb explosions.  An article in the New York Times reported that on June 1, 1976 “Two time bombs exploded … in the headquarters of the United States Army’s V Corps, injuring 15 Americans and a German civilian, two of them seriously …”.

One bomb went off on the main floor of the Abrams Building; the second bomb went off in the Officer’s Club located behind the Abrams Building.  I was riding a paternoster (translates to “our Father”) inside the Abrams Building at the time the first bomb went off.  A paternoster is an elevator which consists of a chain of open compartments that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. Passengers can step on or off at any floor they like, or stay on the paternoster and loop completely around. The sound of the exploding bomb and the vibration caused by the explosion was like a hundred file cabinets had toppled over.

Here is a video that I found of someone getting on and getting off a paternoster.

Halloween 2017

It is October 31.  It is trick or treat night in our town from 6:00-8:00 pm.  This is going to be quick, as I am handing out candy AND penning this post.

Our first trick-or-treaters were our granddaughters, along with their mom.

Halloween 2017
Our granddaughters and their mom

The girls are dressed as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.  Stacey is dressed as Joyce in the Netflix show “Stranger Things”.

The girls’ cousin arrived 10 minutes later.

Halloween 2017
Harper, Juniper, Stacey and Maddi

Maddi took a picture of Bob and me with our granddaughters and Stacey.

Halloween 2017
Happy Halloween!

Happy Easter!


 


I have a small collection of Easter bunnies.  Some bunnies were given to me; others I purchased.  It has been a few years since I decorated for Easter.  I didn’t realize how many bunnies I had accumulated.

_XZ70787Easter Bunnies

_XZ70797
More Easter Bunnies

Earlier this month we passed by a tree alongside a rural road, decorated for Easter.

_LG20794an Easter tree

We were in Chagrin Falls, Ohio yesterday.  I saw the Easter Bunny!

_LG21097The Easter Bunny was walking around Chagrin Falls, handing out candy to everyone.

_LG21099The Easter Bunny struck a pose for me.
Yes, I received candy .. a Hershey’s Dark Chocolate snack bar!

After I chose a piece of candy, the Easter Bunny crossed the street.

_LG21101This woman looks very happy to be walking with the Easter Bunny

Happy Easter to family and friends, near and far!

Independence Day at Home

Our hometown of Warren, PA throws a big party for the 4th of July holiday.  There is music, a parade, the Childrens’ Carnival and Fireworks.  Festivities began this year on Friday, July 3.   We didn’t participate in all of the 4th of July festivities.  I will share with you the events in which we did participate.

On Friday, July 3, we rode downtown to hear some music.  We went to Music in the Park first.  Throughout the summer months the city of Warren provides Music in the Park every Friday night from 7:00pm until 9:00 pm.  Friday was the first time we had made it to a Music in the Park concert this summer season.  We listened to the band Only Humen for about an hour.

20150703_234427871_iOSOnly Humen is a classic rock trio

We enjoyed the Only Humen concert very much!

We listened briefly to the band Leather & Lace that performed on Liberty Street from 8:00-10:00 pm.

20150703_002844314_iOSLeather and Lace

Both bands were good. My favorite band, though, was Almost Humen.

 

Our July 4th activities began shortly before 11:00 am, when we met my stepdaughter Stacey, our twin granddaughters, and Chris (Stacey’s mother) to watch Warren’s 4th of July parade. We met at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carver Street, at the start of the parade.

20150704_145733359_iOS

Harper and June did not stay in those chairs for very long.

The parade lasted 2 hours, and I spent most of that time sitting on the ground, cross legged, with Harper on one knee and June on the other. Stacey, Chris and Bob stood for the duration of the parade.

_LG16197 4x6See the man and boy who are wearing patriotic hats?

That man, his wife and son were already at this parade location, when we arrived.  They moved their chairs over to allow room for Harper and June’s chairs.  Harper and June pushed their chairs back because they didn’t want to sit at the front, alone, beside strangers. I sat down where the chairs had been.  Harper and June liked that seating arrangement.

_LG16200 4x6

_LG16201 4x6Brett Fallon

 

_LG16219 4x6

_LG16221 4x6
A highlight of Warren’s 4th of July parade is the candy that is tossed (and handed) to the children.  The older children in this picture went out of their way to make sure Harper and June got candy.

_LG16225 4x6
Neither Harper nor June like loud noises.  June is even more sensitive to loud noise.  The fire trucks hit their sirens in the parade.  You could count on June holding her hands to her ears, whenever that happened.

_LG16228 4x6Harper and June liked the Zem Zem Hornets and their Go-Karts.

This was the first year Bob and I saw the parade with Harper and June. The girls liked the parade, and I am so happy that we were able to share the experience with them.

Bob and I did not go to watch Warren’s fireworks display.  Instead, we sat outside at our backyard fire and enjoyed the pleasant night.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

20150214_173153874_iOS-LOVE-5x7-card-01-front

Did you have an enjoyable Valentine’s Day?

Bob and I braved a Winter storm to drive to Jamestown, NY.   Our first stop was at the J.C. Penney store, where I purchased a new Winter coat.  I had been waiting patiently for Winter coats to go on sale so that I could replace the coat I have been wearing, which is way too big for me.  I almost waited too long.  I didn’t have many coats to choose from.

20150214_185306764_iOS

I like my new Winter coat.
I especially like the fact that this coat is sized XL, whereas my old Winter coat was sized 4W!

Our next stop was for lunch at the Olive Garden.  The waitress offered, and we accepted, a small sample of red wine.  Bob and I made a toast “to us”, and then drank our wine.  We each ordered the Citrus Chicken Sorrento entree (described in the menu as “Tender, grilled chicken breasts in a citrus honey glaze…served with lightly-seasoned broccoli, artichokes and roasted vegetables”).  Our meals were accompanied by a house salad and bread sticks.  The chicken and its accompaniments were excellently prepared and tasted delicious!  Our meals were filling; however, we decided to splurge on dessert for two.  The dessert we chose to share was the Black Tie Mousse Cake (described in the menu as “Rich layers of chocolate cake, dark chocolate cheesecake and creamy custard mousse).  Dessert was decadent!

After lunch, when we walked out of the Olive Garden, we were greeted by a strong wind gust and heavy falling snow.

20150214_183319000_iOSI took this picture, when we were almost home.   I was so happy to reach the outskirts of our town and even happier when we arrived safely at home!

We plan to spend rest of the afternoon and evening at home, in the safety and warmth of our home.  Everyone, who is affected by this weekend’s Winter storms and Arctic weather (we are expecting a HIGH temperature of -7 degrees tomorrow!), please be careful in your travels and dress warmly!

 

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