Monday, January 18, 2016

Ramblemore

Today is Martin Luther King Day. I wish I had some lofty thoughts to share because his I Have a Dream speech is my favorite
of all time. 

When I taught speech writing (one of my favorite classes to teach), students were required to read many classic speeches. They would have to select a favorite, deliver it to the class, and defend their reasons for choosing it. I should have given myself the same assignment. Then I'd have more to say for this post today. 

I will say this: Race relations in the U.S. are not in a good place. My hope is that we'll go forward to better days than ever soon, but we have a long, long way to go to achieve Martin's dream.

***

No spoilers, but I did wear a big grin for the last twenty minutes of Downton Abbey.

***

Some asked if I would be watching Mercy Street. I lasted all of 12 minutes. Too many severed limbs for me. I remember visiting a living history museum where there was a discussion of 1800s medical practices. The story was that if you fell from the hayloft and broke a leg that you hoped and prayed that the doctor was out of town. In that way, you might get to keep it. Doctors were saw happy and not only in those foul conditions of war time, but in regular communities in small town Maine.

My great-grandmother (who wrote me the letter I discussed a few posts ago) had a grandfather who served in the Civil War. He made it through, but died of his injuries a few short years later. Her grandmother received a widow's pension for the rest of her life. You'd think I would appreciate Mercy Street. Not so much. You?

***

We have had a snowstorm over the weekend and are having another today. We have celebrated two birthday boys. Now they are ten and nine. I took zero pictures. I must be losing it. 


Here's Jakob last August and way back in 2007 when he and the blog were babies.☺

Next time, I have a blog win to share. Hint: it meant that I put up a card table in the best light I could find.

A good week to you! Thank you for peeking in. Say, do you have a favorite classic speech? 



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48 comments:

  1. One of my favourite quotes is that that of Winston Churchill "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

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  2. The only speech I can still remember from my schooldays is "Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears..... Shakespeare!!! There must be others but I've gone completely blank - it was so long ago Vee!
    I enjoyed seeing the boys - where do the years go?!

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  3. I actually had a few tear there at the end of DA last night. And Mercy? I tend to agree. I may try it one more time, but that main character was not what I had hoped. I do like the title of your post.

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  4. Downton was wonderful....as always! Have Mercy Street recorded so we shall see. Have a great week!

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  5. I loved Downton and what an awesome treat at the end! I started watching Mercy Street too...and I did DVR for my hubby since I thought he would like it. I dozed off about 15 minutes into it but did see those body parts dumped out of the window. Now I understand the warning at the beginning about it may not be suitable for some audiences. I normally do like Civil War stories...I may go back and try it again, we'll see.

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  6. It's storming over here too - cabin fever is starting to set in! Happy birthdays to your sweet boys. I remember a few favourite sermons - does that count? Have a wonderful week Vee.

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  7. Oh sweet friend, there is more snow heading both our ways...we had a storm last night...and more to come.

    I enjoyed Downton and I am afraid this "hospital issue" will have something to do with Robert's health soon. (just my thoughts, so don't jump on me, lol)

    My favorite has and always be the Gettysburg Address. Have a beautiful day, looking forward to your post.

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  8. Good morning! Well first off happy birthday to those sweet grands! Growing up my kids were in a private school where once a year [in every grade] they were required to pick a famous american, write a speech about him and give it to the class while dressed as their chosen person [or give a speech they were famous for] etc. So honestly I am still too sleepy to figure out how many speeches that added up to over all the years with all 4 of my kids....let's just say A LOT! LOL But one I could probably still say word for word was..Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. They competed in their own classrooms for first place, and then those first place winners went against the other first place winners and then the overall winner presented his/her speech to the whole school in a special assembly that included parents, and finally went to the district representing the school there. My kids actually got this honor a few times! And this famous speech was the winning one more then once. I'll NEVER forget my youngest son standing in front of the whole school with his little 7 year old body and his huge top hat giving that wonderful wonderful speech! See where your blog post sent me this morning? lol Have a good day Vee!















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    1. Your comment made me grin. My son, and eight-year-old at the time won top honors for giving Dwight Eisenhower's D-Day speech. It was presented before a packed house and he earned a standing ovation. Happy memories.

      Did someone record your little boy with his stove pipe hat? Some things are only recorded in our minds and hearts.

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  9. Is it cheating to say that my favorite speech is the Sermon on the Mount? That is certainly full of "radical" ideas and unnatural concepts. Like "blessed are they who mourn" and "rejoice when you're persecuted" and "turn the other cheek" and going the second mile. (My own commentary here: Does this sound like a picture of the Church here in America? Hmmmm...)

    Happy, happy birthday to your two dear ones!! Oh my. How does the time pass so quickly?

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  10. Regarding a favorite speech, I can't say I have a "favorite." But I do enjoy a good Bible-based sermon.

    Happy birthday to your grandsons. You must have had just so much fun celebrating that the camera was forgot.

    Stay warm in your snow storms!!!

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  11. I do like Martin's speech very much and also, though it is so well known, still love Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. I think I need to know more great speeches. I think there was a book about this a few years ago. Any suggestions?

    And I did like Mercy Street. Not the gore, but the story. The people are not cliches and the conflicts I see setting up will be interesting to see play out. (But I am certainly grateful that I live when I do for medical standards, though I think things will get even better in the future. Or so I hope.)

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    1. I would certainly have named The Sermon on the Mount as my favorite speech if I thought of it that way....And now I see, I should.

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    2. No, I don't think we'd want to elevate speeches to the level of Holy Scripture nor would we wish to reduce The Inspired Word of God to a mere speech.

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  12. My favorite speech ~ "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34
    He loved and forgave until the end of his earthly mission. Okay, not a speech, but it was the first thing that came to my mind.

    Love those pictures of Jakob. Your grandsons are adorable. Are they snow skiing again this year?

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    1. Yes, they are! Weekly lessons instead of the entire week of February vacation.

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  13. I really can't pick a favorite speech since I can't pull up anything from my brain. If I had a favorite it would have to be short and to the point. I enjoy the passion in the delivery of MLK's speech for sure. Last night after Downton I said to Katie "I will not be watching Mercy Street, too much pain and suffering and ugliness and that's just in the previews!" Happy birthday to your January boys.

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  14. Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which I had to memorize in the tenth grade! Wishing those sweet grandsons of yours many Happy Birthday blessings! Winter has finally arrived here in N.C., no snow just really cold temps.
    Enjoy your week!
    Hugs from me to you,
    Sue

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  15. Happy birthday to the boys! What a joy it must be to have children to celebrate all the special days again. No grands here yet, but hoping some day :) I don't have a favorite speech, I am afraid I am speech-a-phobic, meaning, it makes me shudder to consider giving one. I have to admit I daydream through other people's speeches. I adored Downton but not watching Mercy Street. A girl's gotta sleep some time!

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  16. Hello Vee! And Happy birthday to the boys.
    I just could not watch Mercy Street. Hope all is well with you.

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  17. I messaged my daughter this morning that last night's episode made me smile. She promised her hubby she will wait to watch it with him when he gets back from a business trip to China. So I gave her no spoilers. Not easy!

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  18. I have not gotten to Mercy Street yet but may find it too gruesome. My favorite speech is Abe Lincoln's Gettysburg address. I have read every novel and anything related to the Civil War and before and after. History is one of my favorite subjects. Of course I cannot recite that speech but I love the thoughts behind it.

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  19. I too was grinning during the last part of Downton Abbey last night, loved it! My hubby and I did stay up to watch Mercy Street and although there is some bloody scenes, we both enjoyed it and will continue to watch it.
    Enjoy your snow, still none here in Western Washington! :(

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  20. Happy birthday to your grand Jakob! I understand the not taking pictures issue. Sometimes we just have to enjoy the present moment and not worry about photographs!
    We so much have a long ways to go on race relations in our country. It seems to me as of late, it is worse and not better. This involves so many areas, not just the color of our skin.
    Favorite speeches--certainly Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" and George Washington's resignation speech and Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech.
    I watched Mercy Street after DA and gave it the hour. It's tough to watch, but well done. I told Grayden I won't be able to watch another episode. ♥

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  21. Yeah, I think my favorite speech would be Paul's on Mars Hill. Second would be Stephen's before getting killed. After that, Thomas Cramer before being burned at the stake in Oxford. Somewhere down the line, I'd choose JFK's inaugural address. How many in this country still have a mindset of asking what they can do for the country rather than how much they can get from the government. And about Downton last night, I loved it!! About Mercy Street, I saw the ads and decided the costuming was too clean to look authentic so I didn't bother. Interesting story about hoping the doctor's not in town. The civil war medical museum at Frederic, md is fascinating. Think how many died from infections caused by packing a wound. I'd rather watch Gettysburg or Ken Burns for civil war stuff. Sorry for inaccuracy in capitalization but I'm taking a break from my work and am writing this on my Kindle. Isn't it interesting that Kindle knows enough to capitalize itself but not capitalize civil war. I suppose because it's two words.ok a y, I'm done rambling. Have a great day,Vee. Enjoyed your post.

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  22. I just finished watching last night's episode from Downton Abbey. Just couldn't stay awake to watch it last night. I am so with you on the smiles. Great turn of events.

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  23. I'm finding the older I get the less I can tolerate blood and gore, even in hospital settings, so I guess Mercy Street (never heard of it) will not be on my list. :) You're getting snow? Wow. The storm that hit Nova Scotia on Saturday only gave us an inch and it's clear sailing for us until the weekend. I think I can guess what your latest project (giveaway) is. I've been working on one and try to place at least one (1) piece a day!! 1000 pieces and I'm not making any headway. Frustrating!! Have fun.

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  24. I always did tear up at the Gettysburg address. And I always loves the JFK quote about asking not what your country can do for you, etc. (really pertinent for today!). We had a dusting with about half inch of powdery snow. More on the way this weekend. sign. To every time there is a season. :-)

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  25. I knew that you would love this series of Downton - and it gets even better and better!!! Do you watch Call The Midwife? That has just started again here after a Christmas special, and oh gosh, it is so moving and so good, I think you would enjoy it too! xx

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  26. I love quotes and write them in my journal but not sure about a favorite speech. I loved Downton...everything about this second show was special. Will not be watching Mercy Street. Enjoy your week! Hugs, Diane

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  27. The last episode of Downton Abbey made me smile too. I wish that Mr. Moseley and Miss Baxter would get together. And I can see where Thomas Barrow's heading if he doesn't get his life straightened [pun intended] out.
    I will not watch Mercy Street. I can almost guarantee that they'll display the South as evil, stupid hicks and Lincoln as noble. Nothing could be farther from the truth. ~:)

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    1. Oh I disagree on one of these points, perhaps two. =D

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  28. Happy Birthday to your dear grandsons. The years do pass too swiftly... I too loved the wedding last night on DA, it's been a long time coming!
    I'd guess you're working on a puzzle. Perfect project for winter days...

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  29. Didn't make it home in time from church last night to see DA. Had to drive slow in the snow.
    Happy Birthday to your grands. : )

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  30. beautiful Grandchildren!! I'm enjoying Dowton Abby,, I hope that before the season ends, that the family continues to enter a new era with grace,
    that the Bates have a child, Mary becomes a little less serious, that Carson's wedding comes about as the bride wants,, and well, I just love the show and even though I can't see it, I see it in my mind just from listening,,

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  31. Happy Birthday to those two sweet boys..time flies.

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  32. I so loved DA last night, Vee, and it brought tears to my eyes. As for Mercy, I recorded it and I agree...too much sadness and gore. I don't think I'll be watching it again.
    Happy Birthday to your darling grandsons!

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  33. I haven't seen the latest episode but I did read Susan Branch blog so I know it will be wonderful!! I watched LAST week's episode this evening. So is Mercy Street on PBS? I will have to google it! If we can't have Downton Abbey - can't we have some really good shows to fill the void??

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  34. I love this season of DA--it is more joyful! I did not watch Mercy Street. My eyes are still adjusting to computer and TV light so I need to minimize these days. Happy birthday to your handsome grandsons!

    One of my favorite speeches is George Washington's "Farewell to his troops" which he delivered at Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan. I blogged about it years ago. One line from his speech: "With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable." GW thought he was retiring back to his farm at Mt. Vernon, and saying goodbye to his military days and public life forever and all the good and loyal friends he made during the Revolutionary War.

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  35. I've taped Mercy Street but have yet to watch it. I hope it is not too bloody, I have less and less tolerance for violence and gore on TV. There is enough of that in real life.
    Amalia
    xo

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  36. I am with you, Vee. Too much gory stuff and the scenes were so dark you couldn't see their faces. It "shore ain't" no Downton Abbey.

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  37. Hey lady.....
    I love the I Have A Dream speech too...and I agree with you, we have a loooooong way to go to better race relations in America.....
    Love to you,
    Mona

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  38. Just testing to see if I am now a reply blogger.

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  39. Hi Vee :)

    My favorite quote from a speech is this one :
    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

    Your grand babies are adorable!

    xo,
    rue

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  40. Winston Churchill gave some of the best speeches ever, and so did Franklin Delano Roosevelt - they make a lot of sense even today. I particularly like to think of the latter's words about 'nothing to fear but fear itself'. This is particularly apt today, when so many are hysterically afraid of everything and everyone.
    Like you, I watched a bit of Mercy Street but found it gory and oddly, rather slow. Downton Abbey, now....that is a marvelous show. I loved Sunday's episode!

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  41. I just lost my comment. As I'm still a bit under the weather, I'll not tax my old brain trying to recall what I said. Take care and Happy Birthday to Jakob!

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  42. Hi Vee~

    Well, I have to say that my favorite speech was easy. It is, Chief Joseph's, . . . I will fight no more forever, speech. I thought it was heartbreaking, and heartfelt on his part. It took so much courage for this very brave chief to surrender.

    I have not watched, Mercy Street. I saw a preview, and thought that I would just wait until it came to Netflix - I'm not a big fan of gore either. Although, I am loving DA, and I'm also a, Doc Martin fan.

    I hope Jakob had a wonderful birthday, he sure is a cutie! Can you believe how quickly the time goes by?

    Off to bed!!

    Hugs,
    Barb



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  43. I just read the recap of the latest DA over on Susan Branch's blog. It was such a wonderful episode! So satisfying! And there's more to come!
    Speeches - I can barely think of any. Winston Churchill comes to mind with his "we shall defend our island...we shall fight them on the beaches" that stirs me as I think of so many British people huddled around their radios listening during those dark hours.

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