Category Archives: Holidays

Father’s Day 2013 and “The Elementary French Reader”

The most valuable book that I own has no cover.”

Elementary French Reader - No Cover

The title of this book is “Elementary French Reader”  and “it once belonged to my father.”  It’s been stored away for a long time now.

Elementary French Reader - Inside 1

The notes section, pictured below, I find interesting to read. Part 1: 1._1. “La Chevre de Trigavou”  is about a small village in Francebut,  2._3. “Celui qui tua un Mercier” is this about a peddler or a snail?

Elementary French Reader -Notes 1-enlarged

 I wonder which one of these French Folk-Tales  in this elementary reader that my father liked and what French story was his favorite? Perhaps it was the one that I like:”The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo, published in French as Notre-Dame de Paris in 1831.

But, unfortunately I never got to ask him in either English or French, a second language that I, too, learned in school: He was killed in a construction accident in Cascade Locks, Oregon early one morning when I was only six years old…

…”I remember the morning of June 13th when my mother answered the knock on our front door. Two men dressed in black suits entered and walked past the living room sofa where they thought I was sleeping. They followed my mother into the kitchen and that’s where they told her the bad news. I remember looking up at the wall clock.  It was seven o’clock in the morning and for a moment, time seemed to stand still”…

I know I won’t forget my father even though I didn’t get to know him because he was working or traveling when I was very young. Recently, I decided to start cataloguing the few photographs that I can find of him and write down everything I remember. One day, I plan to write his story and I promise it will be an interesting one. It’ll tell the story about a man and a father who had the strong urge to “go west when he was a young man,” a move that would end his life prematurely. And, it will also tell about his growing up and having vision in only one eye because of the German Measles blinding it when he was a baby.

Father’s Day every year comes during the Month of June. “Happy Father’s Day” to those that are still with us.  And, for those fathers who are gone, let’s not forget them.

 Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, June 13, 2013

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Memorial Day 2013

Memorial Day 2013 Handmade by Veterans

Today, May 27, 2013, is Memorial Day, a U.S. holiday to commemorate soldiers who died in war and a day to remember those who have fallen during service to our country.

As we commemorate the soldiers we have lost, as well as wounded soldiers, bereaved families, orphans and widows, let’s not forget the meaning and traditions behind this sacred holiday.  Memorial Day was originally known as “Decoration Day.”  Its purpose was to visit cemeteries and place flowers on the graves of soldiers who had died in the Civil War. By the year 1882, everyone started calling it “Memorial Day,” and by the time World Wars I and II had ended, it had evolved into a day to honor all fallen military men and women.

Unknown Soldiers - Stone Mountain Cemetery
Stone Mountain, Georgia Cemetery, Section of Unknown Soldiers: Photo 05-27-2013

If you ever visit Stone Mountain Park, make sure you visit “Memorial Lawn.” To read more about “Sacrifice and Valor, check this post here.

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, May 27, 2013

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Mother’s Day 2013

Last year for Mother’s Day I wrote an article about the meaning of the red and white rose. It told about a Southern tradition that was special to me when I was growing up. You can read it on this link here.

Twelve months have passed with Mother’s Day this year falling on May 12. making it a special time to celebrate motherhood, to appreciate mothers and mother figures. Many people give gifts such as cards, flowers or candy, while others share a meal in a restaurant with their mother and mother figures, including grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers.

One of the things I did every year was to make sure to mail my mother a hand-written card to celebrate this day.  And, when she was alive I tried to spend as many Mother’s Days as I could with her. However, this year counts four years that I will “not” be mailing a card to her, yet it doesn’t stop me from thinking about her or remembering her on this special day as I do every day.

On my desk sits a figurine that symbolizes only “one” of the things my mother meant to me.  On the base is written the word “teacher.” For me, Mother was my first teacher.  She was the one who taught me the difference between good and bad along with so many other things.

Mother and Child 2013 copy

So, as Mother’s Day approaches I hope everyone will honor their mother.

 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you: Exodus 20:12

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, May 5, 2013

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Easter Greetings 2013

Easter is Sunday, March 31st.

Colored Easter Eggs 2013 copy copy

 Easter Eggs

by Mary Gilmartin

“When I was a little girl my mother boiled a pot of eggs for Easter

And then, she would let me dye them with tablets of colors.

Soon my basket was soon filled with

  green, blue, orange,, yellow and  purple eggs.

But, of all the colors, the one I liked best was the color RED.

It's Easter-3

Did you know that Irving Berlin, an American composer, wrote the lyrics to a song considered one of the most popular Easter songs of all time? And, Bing Crosby sings it on this video here.

Easter Parade

In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,

You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.

I’ll be all in clover and when they look you over,

I’ll be the proudest fellow in the Easter parade.

On the avenue, fifth avenue, the photographers will snap us,

And you’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure.

Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet,

And of the girl I’m taking to the Easter parade.”

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, March 24, 2013

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Valentine’s Day Poetry

Love 02-13-2013

Love is like a tree

It starts as a seed

You plant it you nurture it

And let it grow

And soon enough it becomes a gigantic

creation of life

Its branches wrap around you

It can stand through the heaviest thunderstorm

It changes with each season

But it eventually becomes something solid

you can count on

“Love” by Jennifer Gilmartin, Age 15

 Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans – 1993 Edition, Page 31

Note: This poem written by my oldest daughter reminds me of her birthday and Valentine’s Day. I think she’s grateful she was born on the 13th instead of the 14th of February, because I might have named her Valentino. Today she is known by the name Jamarie and if you click on her name, you will see what a lovely person she has become.

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, February 13, 2013

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