Fall Memories…

When my kids were little I use to drive my bicycle everywhere and sometimes I took them with me sitting behind directly on the grill… Oh, my … only the thought of it sends chills down my spine and through my whole body!… It was a time of no helmets and no bicycle paths… we didn’t overthink things as much back then, but some, we definitely should have!

The one who shared those rides with me the most was my little piggy, the youngest of them all, who at the time was going to a Preschool called  “Louis Pasteur”.

One day I arrived to pick him up and found him standing at the door with his little lunchbox waiting for me, very entertained in conversation with the watchman, the school’s security guard who stood there every day and at all times.

Riding with boys...
Riding with boys…

As I approached them he started telling me everything about their conversation and introduced me to his friend – Mommy, this is my friend Louis Pasteur! – he said very proudly and excitedly, I smiled and said hi, but tried to correct him about the confusion. He wouldn’t have it. The watchman WAS Louis Pasteur to him. He had seen him every single day, at all hours standing there, guarding the School,  so he “knew” that was “his” school, Louis Pasteur’s School!   I had to live it alone. Not worth destroying such cuteness!

The best moments for me turned out to be not so good for him...
best moments in life

Many years later, he told me that he was actually terrified with traffic and the way I rode, sitting there on my bike, in the middle of that traffic and noise, completely exposed… while I thought he was enjoying it …. suddenly one of my sweetest memories was now a horrible one of child endangerment and child abuse!  … I wish I could go back in time, hold him so tight against my heart and change many, oh, so many things, so he would never have to be scared again… at least not because of me…

and now she's coming to pick me up!
…and on top of everything, now she’s coming to pick me up again in that bloody bicycle!
If I could go back in time...
If I could turn back time…

Memories that fall out of nowhere, like leaves in Autumn, surprising and delighting us, just not in this case anymore… and I thought, that maybe if I wrote about it, I could possibly…. I don’t know what I thought…  but we don’t get do-overs in life, do we?…

He grew up to be a US Marine ...
… but he grew up to be an awesomely brave, smart and strong US Marine, in spite of me… or MAYBE, just maybe, even a little bit, because of me! I wish I could know…
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It should be mandatory to go to school to be a parent, it amazes me there aren’t any laws about that yet…
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Moms and boys…
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IN MEMORIAM ~ MEMORIAL DAY

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Amazing Grace…
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How sweet the sound…
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…that saved a wretch like me…
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I once was lost, but now I’m found… was blind, but now I see.
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process:
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey’s body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine’s casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process: “See the people in the windows? They’ll sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what’s going through their minds, knowing that they’re on the plane that brought him home,” he said. “They’re going to remember being on that
plane for the rest of their lives. They’re going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should.”
(TODD HEISLER/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS)
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‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace my fears relieved; 
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How precious did that Grace appeared, the hour I first believed.
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Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come
Brittany Jacobs kisses her son Chris near the grave site of her late husband, Christopher Jacobs, at Section 60 on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, Monday, May 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
‘Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home. 
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The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secure; he will my Shield and Portion be, as long as life endures.
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Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease…
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I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace…
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The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forebear to shine…
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But God who called me here below, will be forever mine.
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 26:  William McKeen sits at the grave of his best friend Kevin Lucas in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery May 26, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia. Section 60 is where many of those who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been buried. Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the US, commemorates members of America's military that died while in service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include casualties of any war or military action.  (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun
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We’ve no less days to sing God’s Praise, than when we’d first began.
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Amazing Grace…
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GREATER LOVE HAS NO ONE THAN THIS, THAN ONE, LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS…. John 15:13
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I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep … John 10:11
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I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid  of those who kill the body and after that can do no more… Luke 12:4
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Who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty…
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I will say of The Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. Psalm 91

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Dog tags signifying each soldier killed in action that has passed through School of Infantry East, are displayed on a memorial in the entrance of Ivy Hall - the headquarters of the school - at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Thursday, September 30, 2010. (Sheila Vemmer/staff)
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You won't see this on the news
You won’t see this on the news
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Noah Galloway
Noah Galloway
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The Ghost of Christmas Past

Christmas is the most beautiful holiday of the year and even though we have managed to commercialize it to a point of no return it stills holds a profound meaning to me and to millions of people around the world … I believe all Christmases are happening at the same time, just like in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”  We are all connected, we are all the same….  I wanted to share with you the Christmas images I’ve been having lately in my mind and heart. I hope that you enjoy them and that they touch your heart as much as they did mine!

ITALIAN CHRISTMAS...
CHRISTMAS IN ITALY
YEP! WHAT HE SAID!
YEP! WHAT HE SAID!
My husband at Piazza San Marco in Venice, a long, long time ago... As I like to say: He was born the first half of last century! Sounds impressive, doesn't it?! (at the very end, 1949)
My husband at Piazza San Marco in Venice, a long, long time ago… As I like to say: He was born the first half of last century! Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?! (at the very end, 1949)
MORGAN WEISTLING
MORGAN WEISTLING IN A PERFECT INSPIRATION OF A PORTRAIT OF LOVE

“FOR IT IS GOOD TO BE CHILDREN SOMETIMES, AND NEVER BETTER THAN AT CHRISTMAS, WHEN ITS MIGHTY FOUNDER WAS A CHILD HIMSELF.” 
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

two elegant dogs

PURE LOVE
PURE LOVE

WHAT KIND OF LOVE?! PURE AND UNCONDITIONAL!

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HOLLYWOOD WHAT?

PONT ALEXANDRE - LES PONTS DE PARIS...
PONT ALEXANDRE – LES PONTS DE PARIS…

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INNOCENT PERFECTION

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS… IS YOU!

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STILL REMEMBER….NOT ONLY FOR DECORATION…

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I LOVE YOU… I REALLY DO…

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EVERYTHING WENT QUIET …TIME STOOD STILL… I’LL ALWAYS HAVE, MY FATHER AND MY LITTLE BROTHER IN MY DREAMS…

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IS THAT YOU MY GUARDIAN ANGEL?! YOU LOOK EXACTLY LIKE HIM!

THE 'PEPINIERE' PARK IN VILLERS-LES-NANCY, FRANCE
THE ‘PEPINIERE’ PARK IN VILLERS-LES-NANCY, FRANCE

my dog and I

FAMILY WILL HOLD YOU FOREVER, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT HERE ANYMORE..

IT'S STILL CHRISTMAS, EVEN IN THE STREETS... STILL CHRISTMAS…EVEN IN THE STREETS…

VENICE STREETS ...
VENICE STREETS …
MAGIC
YOU CAN’T APPRECIATE SUMMERS WITHOUT WINTERS… YOU CAN’T APPRECIATE WINTERS WITHOUT SUMMERS!
I REMEMBER
MEMORIES OF MY FATHER
SIMPLY CHRISTMAS..
SIMPLY… IT’S CHRISTMAS!
CHRISTMAS JOY...
AMAZING GRACE!
COLMAR, FRANCE...
COLMAR, FRANCE…
OH MY, HE IS REAL!
OH MY, IT’S REALLY YOU SANTA!
REALLY?
I KNOW, I KNOW… I’M MISSING MY RED NOSE! I WAS IN A HURRY…
DADDY IS HOME
DADDY IS HOME! PLEASE HOLD ME!
WHAT MATTERS IS TO BE TOGETHER
THERE IS NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD I’D RATHER BE WITH…
OH BOY!
OH BOY! I’M BEAUTIFUL…
DO YOU WANT A LITTLE GIRL FOR CHRISTMAS?… I COME WITH A TEDDY BEAR…
WE HAVE TOO MUCH... YES, WE DO.
WE HAVE TOO MUCH… YES, WE DO.
THE CHRISTMAS SOCK... I RATHER BE COLD THAN WITHOUT DREAMS
THE CHRISTMAS SOCK… SHE’D RATHER BE COLD THAN WITHOUT DREAMS
MILK AND COOKIES
MILK AND COOKIES, FOR SANTA AND ME!
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, YES INDEED!
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, YES INDEED!
NORMAN ROCKWELL
NORMAN ROCKWELL … AMERICAN GENIUS !
THE PRETTIEST TREE IN THE WORLD
THE PRETTIEST TREE IN THE WORLD

christmas car

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WHEN MOTHERS RULED THE WORLD!

WHEN ANYTHING WAS ENOUGH!
REMEMBER WHEN?
1936 A CHRISTMAS DINNER
1936 A CHRISTMAS DINNER
THE HEART OF A CHILD...
THE HEART OF A CHILD…
WINTER WONDERLAND
WINTER WONDERLAND
LOVE
EN UNAS MÍSERAS PAJAS… APOYADO SUAVEMENTE, DESCANSA SU PURA FRENTE… (MEMORIES OF MY MOTHER SINGING CHRISTMAS CAROLS WHEN I WAS A CHILD)

red barn christmas

I HOPE!
I HOPE! I BELIEVE!
RED MIRACLE
DUTCH MIRACLE
THE RABBITS CHRISTMAS
THE RABBITS’ CHRISTMAS
YES, WE HAVE ENOUGH TOYS...
LET’S TELL EVERYBODY THAT YES, WE HAVE ENOUGH TOYS…
NEW SHOES!  JOY!
NEW SHOES!! AUSTRIAN BOY DURING WWII
AND ENOUGH DECORATIONS...
THE SKINNY BOY WITH THE SKINNY TREE, NO, IT’S NOT ABOUT A SIZE “0”
THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Harry
Harry, are you still there waiting dear?  No child should have to wait in christmas!  It still hurts when I see you there like that, after so many years…
PICASSO
PICASSO
CONTEMPLATION
CONTEMPLATION
WHEN ALL WAS WELL IN THE WORLD
WHEN ALL WAS WELL IN THE WORLD
WONDER!
WONDER

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

CHRISTMAS IN COLMAR, ALSACE...
CHRISTMAS IN COLMAR, ALSACE… FRANCE