Next Generation Americans

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It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.Henry James

Over the course my lifetime, there have been many changes to my homeland. America has been built on the diversity of its people, yet sometimes I feel as if I no longer see the values this country was built upon. I expect the conundrum between progress and tradition but, I struggle with the fact that the good ole U.S.A. is vastly different than the country of my youth.

I can’t help but look at these pictures and worry whether wearing red, white and blue and stars and stripes will someday be banned in the U.S.A. forever. After all, it seems a crime to hang an American flag on one’s own property, on American soil. What’s up with that?

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Young boy (4-5) wearing red white and blue sailor hat, smiling, portrait

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What will our country look like for the next generation of American children? I’m airing just a bit of what I have been pondering this week. It’s an appropriate subject to consider on All Things Fulfilling during a month when we celebrate independence and American patriotism.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

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Capitalizing on Historical Aspects

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History is the interpretation of the significance that the past has for us. ~Johan Huizinga

“More cities and towns ought to do this!” I stated to my sister as we walked the streets of Frederick, Maryland on Friday evening during their Harvest Fair.

“Do what?” she asked.
“Capitalize on the assets they already have – you know, put new energy into historic cities and towns rather building new. Our country’s heritage is something our citizens should to be proud of. I think this town has the right idea.” I said. “I’ve seen some interesting historical aspects that presented in a history book, I wouldn’t dream of reading about. But being immersed in it as a tourist I am drawn into it. Even that Museum of Civil War Medicine, is neat. Seeing the artifacts is better than trying to read about it.” http://www.civilwarmed.org/.

“I agree but what else do you like so much about the town?” my sister inquired.
“The architectural details of these historic buildings, the vintage clothing shops, the retro furniture in these antique shops…..the town seems to be emphasizing all that. And obviously people are interested. I mean, look at all the people. Years ago, you could have never have convinced me to stop here.”
Over the past three or so years, I have visited this town willingly and each visit only gets better. People from the greater Baltimore/Washington D.C. area seem to be flocking to this town. The streets, shops and restaurants were busy! Each time I’ve stopped, the town’s identity seems to be more clearly established as a historical landmark, thanks to grants for Main Street historic revitalization efforts. Frederick Maryland has been “deemed a masterpiece in Maryland” by the New York Times.

If you are a Civil War buff, traveling to Gettysburg or Antietam battlegrounds, make a point to stop here. And don’t miss the canal area of the city. There are special things to be found especially during the spring, summer and fall.

Enjoy these pictures from the streets of Frederick, Maryland. Tomorrow I will share a few more images!

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I look forward to sharing a few more things that I found of interest.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The award winning book is available in audio, paperback and e-book through this link. http://amzn.to/1y21igm

 

Nostalgic Images Stirred

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When people…rethink their personal stories, they begin to build a sense of connection and responsibility…they begin to view their personal stories as intertwined with history.”~ Paul Rogat Loeb

I have kept it no secret that I have been writing a memoir over the past few years. For those who knew me in my early childhood days, they’ve asked “has writing a life story  been painful?” I have to laugh.

I laugh because as I have written the personal narrative, it has stirred and returned me to some fulfilling memories of an era that has gone by and will never come again. That’s life. That’s progress – ever moving forward.

I realize how woven history is with my story. I am a survivor and have lived through times of great historical importance. As an author, in telling the story, I’ve tried to capture those nostalgic times. If you are of the baby boomer generation, what societal changes do you think has had the most impact on life in America since the 1950’s? I’m interested in your opinion.  

This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Providential Visit

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All that I know of tomorrow is that Providence will rise before the sun ~  Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

It’s a city rising, moved by philanthropists, architects, artists, bankers, shopkeepers and others who have engaged in The Providence Portrait Project http://providenceportraitproject.com/  to revitalize Providence, R.I. a city full of history, art, architecture. I enjoyed a day in this city last week when I went to visit my niece who is an architect at Union Studio Architects, and is currently involved in the design of a new library in Tiverton, Rhode Island. http://www.unionstudioarch.com/ .

I encountered so many wonderful sites in Providence that had to do with architecture, history, libraries, books, art, design and education that I will share what I saw through images, rather than words. Enjoy the pictures!

My next stop will be in a city of mansions where wealthy bankers, investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs lived in the early days of our country. Many of them invested in the railroad which allowed for westward expansion of commerce and thus, more prosperity for citizens of our country. Many of the castle-like mansions have become museums, open to the public for touring.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow.

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Above two images – my niece Kara explaining about the Providence Portrait Project http://bit.ly/14tLl1w.

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 Image above: Symposium Books, Providence, RI  www.symposiumbooks.com

IMAG0360Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

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Image above & below: Athenaeum Library http://www.providenceathenaeum.org/

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Twin Sisters (yeah, I know, it’s hard to believe) together at the List Art Center

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Walter Feldman Book Arts Studio http://brown.edu/academics/visual-art/facilities

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At the Gates of Brown University, Providence, RI  http://www.brown.edu/

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Image above: John Hay Library http://library.brown.edu/about/hay/

Three Images Below: Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

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 Above: Catherine Bryan Dill Center for the Performing Arts http://bit.ly/16MpQN5

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Above Image: The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in Providence, RI http://naturelab.risd.edu/

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Photo above & below: Strolling the streets of Providence looking at church architecture and steeples.

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A beauty, isn’t it?

Image below: Grace Episcopal Church, Providence, RI

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I found providence,  grace and many more fulfilling things in Rhode Island! Thank you Kara, for being a tour guide and showing the sites.

Please return to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com tomorrow.

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Play it Again, Sam!

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“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Have you ever wished you could have a “do over” – a repeat of a day, an hour,  a moment? I’d like our country’s citizens to have a “do over” of yesterday, for one moment, each and every day.  America was hard at work celebrating all things patriotic. We waved our flags, pledged our allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” We celebrated with baseball games, parades, barbeques and fireworks. Forgotten were the woes of stock market statistics, the high price of living, and the lackluster economy. Instead we had fun celebrating the liberties and freedoms that we so enjoy. The American spirit reigned supreme!

Don’t let the 4th of July be the only day of the year that you show your appreciation for this country of ours. Play it again, Sam, for each and everyday you are alive in this fabulous country, The United States of America – the land of independence! Every time you hear the words of our National  Anthem “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” put your hand over your heart, cause that’s where it belongs, in remembrance of our honorable countrymen who have fought the battles for us. We continue to live the dream, in a land relatively free of strife and struggle, compared to many countries around the globe. Thank, God.

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History Revisited

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“Most things in life require effort even if, years later, they seem easy” ~ Unknown

I slept all the way through American History. Every time those two words were uttered during my Junior and Senior High School years, I hit the snooze control button and off I would go into La La Land.

Recently, I had a second chance to learn about the battle of Gettysburg. I visited, for the second time since childhood, the battlefields where the three day war, that forever changed our country, raged. This time I learned!

I learned about “Pickett’s Charge” in a way that drew me in, rather than turned me off. I was able to observe from the largest canvas painting in this country, about the Battle of Gettysburg. The circular painting, which measures 400 ft X 80 ft, is enhanced by lights and an audio recounting of the battle, complete with battle sounds. I even got a glimpse of artist Paul Philippoteaux, himself. He painted himself onto the canvas, and into the scene, positioned in the middle of the battle. For more information on this artist, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Cyclorama. Thanks to the painting of artist Paul Philippoteaux, I have a greater understanding this 4th of July, of how our country and it’s citizens fought to gain it’s independence.

I am off to join the United Methodist Women, in cutting up strawberries for the Strawberry Festival being hosted by the Pioneers of Tred Museum, take in the nordic combined ski jumping and roller ski racing competition and the parade down Lincoln Avenue, in scenic Steamboat Springs, CO. far from the battlefields of Gettysburg. Happy Independence Day!

 

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All the Pieces in Place

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“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they have gotten lost.” ~H. Jackson Brown

True enough, Mr. H. Jackson Brown! But it just so happens that the subject of my blog writing today, lives on a road I travel all the time and she resides in my community!  Last weekend, one of my fellow Steamboat Springs community members brought home an award and the reward for her labor of love of writing historical fiction. Author Kathleen Cunningham Guler won her third EVVY award of her writing career as an independent publisher for her book  A Land Beyond Ravens. This is the fourth and final installment of her Macsen’s Treasure Series which take place in the Dark Age of Celtic Britain!

Kathi competed against 26 other writers to win 2nd place in the fiction category. Her award comes as no surprise to me. I have followed her weekly readings of the work in progress, at our writer’s group meetings. Kathi knows how to craft a fine story with all the necessary elements. She has become an expert on the time in history about which she writes, her books are written in a voice that is appropriate to time and place, her excellence in writing consistency throughout the series keeps her audience craving for more; and her character development is to perfection.

That is not all Kathi has going for herself as an independent publisher. She knows her niche market and how to reach it, too! She has even taught herself to produce a book trailer that grabs the attention of  potential readers. To read more about the other installments of her Macsen’s Treasure Series and other awards she has won, please visit www.bardsongpress.com and her blogsite http://kathleenguler.blogspot.com.

Congratulations, Kathi! What is on the horizon for your next writing project?

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