Monday, May 30, 2011

"Freedom Is Not Free"

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young marine saluted it,
And then he stood with ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought...how many men like him,
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves
No, Freedom is not Free

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of the fathers, sons, and husbands,
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!
                                        Kelly Strong, Commander
                                        United States Coast Guard

Biographical Note:  This poem was written by Kelly as a high school senior (JROTC cadet) at Homestead High, in Homestead, Florida, in 1981.  It is a tribute to his father, a career marine, who served two years in Vietnam.



God Bless America and God Bless our veterans and all the brave men and women still serving in our Armed Forces. 

Denise

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Anniversary

This week I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for Pink Saturdays, and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays. It's the merry old month of May, and in addition to celebrating Mother's Day, Mr. Forest Manor and I also celebrate our wedding anniversary.  This Monday, May 23rd, marked our 24th anniversary. I've spent almost half of my life with my "Better Half".  That sounds like the name of a country music song :-)

I set the table for just the two of us this week.  And since we're celebrating the date we got married, we're using our wedding china.  I'll be just like Hyacinth Bucket (or Boo-Kay) and pull out my Royal Doulton china, sans the hand-painted periwinkles.  My pattern is "Juliet" and I really love these dishes!



While we were on vacation a few weeks ago, we were browsing around in some antique shops, and I found these vintage etched sherbets.  I've been looking for some for quite a while now, but could not find any for a price I was willing to pay.  I thought these were a bargain.  I bought six, and the owner threw in the seventh for free.  I haven't been able to find the maker on these yet, so maybe that's why they were a bargain;)  But they seem very well made, and they are very pretty -- just what I've been looking for.


Last weekend we received an unexpected gift, a silver anniversary gift a year early :-)  My husband's mother gave us half of her sterling flatware.  I was so surprised and excited!!!  The other half will go to my husband's brother and his wife.  What a generous gift to the four of us!



A treasured cake cutter/server given to us by my bridesmaids for our wedding gift.  Our initial is monogrammed on the front, with the date of the wedding on the back.


We got some extra place settings of our dishes, so we exchanged those for the bud vase...


and the sugar bowl.


I love the look of the pattern on the coffee cups.



We've had a really busy couple of weeks, and I was so tired last night, I couldn't finish this post. So with no further witty repartee from me, I'll just leave you to enjoy the rest of the pictures.  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Denise 














On The Table:
China -- Royal Doulton "Juliet"
Vintage Sherbets -- Antique store find
Crystal Stemware -- Gorham "French Cathedral"
Sterling flatware -- International Sterling "Grande Regency"
Cake Plate -- Depression Glass "Cherry Blossom"
Cake Cutter/Server -- Wedding Gift
Crystal Salt and Pepper -- Wedding Gift
Place Mats and Napkins -- Gift from my mother-in-law

Friday, May 13, 2011

Historic Wilmington, North Carolina

In my posts for the last few days, I've talked about being at the beach for our annual family summer vacation.  That family time at the beach has come to symbolize a big part of what the summer season means to me... and on that note, I'll be linking this post to Seasonal Sundays hosted by The Tablescaper.  I hope you'll stop by to see the interesting posts there!

Yesterday we drove to Wilmington to visit a photography shop and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore.  We usually go to Wilmington for a day, or a half-day, when we're down here; and happily for me, we almost always end up in the historic downtown waterfront section of the city.  It's a fun area, and it has the most interesting old homes.  Now you may not know this, but I Love Houses!!  I love big houses, small, cozy houses, old houses and new houses.  I like cottage style, and castles, bungalows, and manor houses, Federal style, Georgian style, Victorian, farmhouse, townhouse -- just about everything but contemporary.  Anyway, you get the idea.  I want to share some pictures of these wonderful old houses located on the waterfront in downtown Wilmington.  The thing that makes them so interesting is that they have so many charming architectural features, such as handsome doors,



windows and cupolas (look on top of this roof)


ornate wrought iron fences...


and gates.


There are secret courtyard gardens


and fountains.


There are porches...


and the most wonderful hydrangeas that bloom in multiple colors.


There's convenient shopping right around the corner...




even some beautiful dishes!



And last, but not least, an awesome home security system!!


That's right, if pirates should sail up the river with plans to pillage and plunder, boy are they in for a big surprise:-)


I thought we might retire here, but I haven't told Mr. Forest Manor;)  Hope you enjoyed the tour, and I'll leave you with the rest of the pictures.








The U.S. Battleship North Carolina


Aren't the columns on the front of this house enormous?!





This is a Confederate Jasmine vine growing below, and it smells heavenly in the early evening breeze.





Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week!

Denise

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