Thoughts on Memorial Day

Most of my family served in the military. This morning I was thinking about how fortunate we were not to have lost any of our family members to war. I had one dear friend who sacrificed his life in Vietnam to save his fellow soldiers. He was the kindest and sweetest young man who had a bright future ahead of him. I am not surprised he laid down his life for others.

This morning I have been reading and looking at photographs of young faces that disembarked at Normandy, many to die within the first hour of the invasion.

I also read about the burial at sea of 69 crew members of the USS Intrepid following the attack by two kamikaze pilots on November 25, 1944, just two days after Thanksgiving.

These are just two events. There are SO many, too many, but if we forget them, we do a disservice to the soldiers who fought for our lives and our freedoms. I never forget there are lives and families on both sides of any military conflict.

As we sit down to enjoy our barbecues and meals and beach days with friends and family, I think about how many people only have a few medals and an American flag folded in a triangle to remember their loved ones. I can not imagine that loss.

There are still 81,700 American service members never accounted for from WWII onward.

Today I am humbled by the sacrifices made to protect our freedoms and our way of life. May God bless all the families who mourn these losses today. I am forever grateful and always hope that mankind will someday, somehow, find a way other than war to settle our differences.


Sunday Writing Prompt, May 30, 2021 – Shape-Shifter

This is my first time participating in the Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Today’s prompt is shape-shifter.

The Rules:

  • The style is completely open; poetry, prose, even a single sentence…Go where the prompt takes YOU!
  • Keep your submission to 500 words or less.
  • Post it on your page, and TAG it Sunday Writing PromptSWPMLMMMindlovemisery’s MenagerieAnd be sure to leave a link or pingback in the comment section below.
  • Feel free to use my photo for inspiration, or as your own cover image.
  • Please have your submissions in by the END OF EACH FRIDAY (Pacific Standard Time). Every Saturday, I will post a “standout” piece in a post entitled, SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT. Bear in mind, it will be based on my personal opinion. If you are not chosen, that does NOT mean your piece was not superb.
  • Be creative and HAVE FUN

Image by sdc140 from Pixabay

The Sacrifice

My fate was sealed before I was born. A bundle of sage swirled above my mothers head as the elders marked her protruding belly with charcoal from the fire. They held her head back as she choked down the potion that would hasten my arrival. Disease had taken all but of a few of the elders. When the protector succumbed to the fever, he was kneeling at my mothers feet – a sign her child would absorb the magic of the ages, but only if the birth happened before the next rising of the moon. I witnessed it all. It was my only memory of my mother. I would always remember the desperation of her last breath as I saw my first light. They say it was love, but I feared I was destined to never experience love again.

I was taken into the wilderness as a baby, left alone on a blanket to test my power. It was the first time I heard the animals speak. The panther considered eating me, pacing around the blanket for hours. He suspected a trap and taunted me by scraping a paw across my forehead. I did not cry, nor did I bleed. I felt the power of the panther seep into me as the panther backed away. By morning, I was no longer a member of the tribe. I was every creature of the forest and carried the mark of the panther from that day forward.

This life was lonely, full of responsibility for the tribe. I slept while fully awake, each part of me taking its turn guiding my body. I was a manchild the first time I transformed. A deadly rattlesnake found its way into the camp headed for the tent of the chief. Without a thought I felt myself rise and fall with the silent wings of the red tailed hawk until I had the snake in my claws. This was the reason for my mother’s sacrifice.

During the full moon I could sense my mother’s presence, her hair long and dark, her body strong now. It was her spirit that protected me, but it did not quell the deep loneliness I felt. She told me that during the coming moon, I must claim a wife and have a child. If I did not, another child would be taken from his mother as I had been. Her tears filled the sky and fell like arrows to the ground.

At the next full moon, I took a wife. I shared her bed and felt human touch for the first time. Within months our son would be born to a mother and a father. He would not lie alone in the forest as I had. I would teach him. He would know love.


Song Lyric Sunday – Carolina in My Mind

The prompt from Jim:

This week we are back to something more normal, with the prompt being City, Country, County, State, Town.

James Taylor was the first non-Beatles performer to have a contract with Apple records however short-lived it would be. After the death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, the role was assumed by Allen Klein who dropped most if not all of the non-Beatles performers from the label.

“Carolina in My Mind” was recorded in 1968 and released in 1969. In this original recording, Paul McCartney played bass with the band and both Paul McCartney and George Harrison sang background vocals as well. This version is not the most familiar version of the song to most people.

Background: While the Beatles were on a recording break, the studio was shutdown and James Taylor went to a small island off the coast of Spain – Formentera. There he met a Swedish girl named Karen. They took a ferry to the island of Ibiza to explore and unfortunately missed the last ferry back to Formentera that evening. They spent the night wandering the streets and sat outside a closed cafe until the sun came up.

James Taylor said he felt a strong pull to his home of North Carolina and started writing “Carolina in My Mind” while watching the sun rise the following morning.

Here is an interview between James Taylor and Seth Meyers where he talks about how the song came to be.

My youth was split between Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio, but I always think of Virginia as home. When we made the decision to retire, we ended up in a small town in North Carolina that shares many of the landscape features I enjoyed as a child growing up in Virginia.

James Taylor’s father taught at The University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They lived outside Chapel Hill which I am sure was much more rural than it is now. In this song, he writes about being homesick and missing the familiarity of his north Carolina home. He said he felt a strong pull to return.

One of the lines in the song is said to refer to the Beatles “With a holy host of others standing ’round me”. He also mentions the woman he met on the island, Karen. She must have had a great impact on him although they never met again.

The song was re-recorded in 1976 for inclusion on Taylor’s greatest hits album. In this recording, the tempo is much slower and has become the most familiar version of the song.

“Carolina in My Mind”
Lyrics from

In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind

Karen she’s a silver sun
You best walk her way and watch it shinin’
Watch her watch the mornin’ come
A silver tear appearing now I’m cryin’
Ain’t I goin’ to Carolina in my mind

There ain’t no doubt it no ones mind
That loves the finest thing around
Whisper something warm and kind
And hey babe the sky’s on fire, I’m dyin’
Ain’t I goin’ to Carolina in my mind

In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind

Dark and silent last night
I think I might have heard the highway calling
Geese in flight and dogs that bite
Signs that might be omens say I going, going
I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind

With a holy host of others standing ’round me
Still I’m on the dark side of the moon
And it seems like it goes on like this forever
You must forgive me
If I’m up and gone to Carolina in my mind

In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.


SoCS – A Menagerie of Thoughts

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “collect.” Use the word “collect” any way you’d like. Have fun!

I have been in a writing slump these last few weeks. It is hard to get back into the groove of writing after taking such long breaks. My mind does not seem to want to kick back into gear.

Normally, writing comes quite easily for me. Lately my mind tends to wander into a million different directions which makes collecting my thoughts that much more difficult.

I recently read something another blogger wrote. She said something to the effect that perhaps she had written everything she had to say. That resonated with me. If I dig deep, however, I realize there is so much I could write about, but I am not always inspired to write about every little thing I have experienced.

My mantra goes something like this: “Collect your thoughts, Maggie. What do you want to write about?” Of course my responses find me bringing up topics I have already written about. My brain is in a loop.

Even if I come up with something, my brain goes into diversion mode. Even sitting here at this moment, my mind is wandering.

I should write about growing up in the little church community. Sunday school, preaching, Bible school, and the passing of the collection plate. I think I wrote about revivals, but those were much different than normal church attendance.

My mind even wanders when I try to sleep. It has become my norm now to fall asleep to soothing music. It keeps my mind from running away with thoughts.

With all these thoughts running rampant through my brain, one might think it should be easy to collect them and write. I did recently read that lethargy and brain fog are often a side effect of shingles.

Maybe I am just expecting too much too soon.


Throwback Thursday – The Tennessee Waltz

Image of Records and Decades
Throwback Thursday brought to you by Jingle Jangle Jungle

“Tennessee Waltz” was written by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart in 1946. Inspired by “The Kentucky Waltz” by Bill Monroe, lyrics were added to an instrumental piece “The No Name Waltz” which had been the theme song of their band – The Golden West Cowboys – for years. So, on that night in 1946, The Tennessee Waltz was born.

The song is about someone who introduces an old friend to their sweetheart and loses them as they danced to The Tennessee Waltz.

The song was not recorded by the Golden West Cowboys until 1947 and then it was recorded a few months later by Cowboy Copas (a prior member of the Golden West Cowboys).

It was not until 1950 when Patti Page selected it for the B side of a Christmas record (”Boogie Woogie Santa Claus”) that the song hit its stride. Page selected the song because it was a favorite of her father’s, but there was never any intention for the B side to to be played. The disc jockeys felt differently. It was so popular that when the record was re-pressed, “The Tenneesee Waltz” became the hit side and the B side of the record was replaced with another song entirely.