Saturday, March 6, 2021
Friday, March 5, 2021
by Anita Mae Draper
|Postcard from California postmarked St. George, Brant, (Ontario) May 18, 1908. Public Domain, Courtesy of South Dumfries Historical Society|
The month of March is known for winter making a last blustery stand before its power wanes and the warming sun melts snow. This provides the perfect temperature for making sticky snowballs. The postcard featured above was sent from Los Angeles, California on May 13, 1908 to St. George, Ontario. The reverse starts off by saying that the sender is leaving California with regret and will be home soon by way of Chicago. Although the snow should be gone by May, one never knows when it comes to our weather.
|Children Snowballing Near Observatory, St. Louis (Shaw's) Botanical Garden, [Mo.] c1905. Public Domain|
This 1905 stereograph taken at the St Louis Botanical Garden in Missouri shows a snowball exchange between children on the site of the observatory. I had thought the person with an armload of snowballs might have been an adult, but considering the year, the short length of her outfit appears to negate that guess.
Did you know that many communities have bylaws concerning the throwing of snowballs? It is usually necessitated and enforced when the act hurts others, whether children or adults. The article from the Newmarket Era shows a good example of a bylaw to stop bullying. If only it was that easy the rest of the year.
An interesting photograph from 1915-1916 found at the Glenbow Archives in Alberta shows a snowball fight at noon between office staff members at Imperial Oil's refinery (Ioco), Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, British Columbia. The body language in this candid shot seems to imply the male is threatening to throw the snowballs, although we don't know if he completed the action.
|Hans Dahl - Snowball fight and snowman, by 1937. Public Domain|
On the other hand, the women in this Hans Dahl painting have chosen to direct their snowballs at a snowman. Are they aiming for his hat, face, or the club-like stick in his hands?
|A Republican-Democratic snow battle at the Capitol. Page boys. December 14, 1923. Public Domain|
|Snow scenes. Snowballing on Jaffa Road. January 1942. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division|
Although Jerusalem isn't known for its snowy scenes, the city does experience it every three or four years in varying amounts. Back in 1942, an overnight snowfall brought the community, including soldiers, out along the Jaffa Road to try their hand at target practice.
Have you ever been hit by a snowball? How did you respond?
This closes my series on snowball throwing, an activity to be enjoyed for all if done responsibly. Follow the links for other posts in this series:
Jan 5, 2021: Snowballs Go Way Back
Feb 5, 2021: Snowball Fights in War and Play
Anita Mae Draper served a 20-year term working on air bases in the communication trade of the Canadian Armed Forces before retiring to the open skies of the prairies. She uses her experience and love of history to pepper her stories of yesteryear's romance with realism as well as faith. Anita Mae Draper's published stories appear in Barbour Publishing, WhiteFire Publishing, and Guideposts Books. Readers can enrich their story experience with visual references by checking out Anita's Pinterest boards. All links available on her website at www.anitamaedraper.com
Thursday, March 4, 2021
By Pamela S. Meyers
|Sculpture of Chief Big Foot that sits at the|
shore of Geneva Lake in Fontana WI
by Jay Brost, Walworth WI
For several years now, my posts here have spotlighted my hometown area of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Geneva Lake, the glacier-formed lake the town sits next to. Many of my posts have centered on the beautiful estates that began populating the shoreline soon after the Great Chicago Fire in 1873. But before Chicago’s movers and shakers built those magnificent homes, the Potawatomi called the area home. And, over the next several months, I plan to highlight Lake Geneva's rich history that occurred in the 19th Century before the Great Fire. Growing up, I often heard about the Potawatomi that lived on the shores of Geneva Lake, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that for the United States to expand westward, the Potawatomi and other Native American Tribes had to agree to move farther west. The realization gave me a jolt in the same way as when I first learned my southern ancestors once owned slaves.
|Source: Friendly Fontana, a Pictorial History of the West End of |
Geneva Lake, Edition 2.0, Arthur B. Jensens, publisher; 2005
The Potawatomi occupied the wooded shoreline at the west end of the lake and traveled between their two encampments on the shore path. One was near what is now called Fontana, a small village at the west end of the lake, and another was where the town of Williams Bay sits today. Some of Big Foot’s family is buried in Williams Bay, some having died during a pandemic. They lived in homes similar to tepees, but with rounded roofs, where they raised their families. When the men went out to hunt, they took the footpath mentioned earlier to the east end of the lake (where the town of Lake Geneva is now) to fish and hunt. Chief Big Foot’s people were mostly peaceful and they wanted to live out their lives next to the beautiful spring-fed lake they called Kishwauketoe, which means “clear water.”
Picture Courtesy of
When white men first appeared at the lake in the early 1800s, Big Foot and his band had probably already heard about the new settlement of white people living at Fort Dearborn (now called Chicago) to the south. Other Native American tribes such as the Sioux, Sauks, Foxes, and Winnebago, were much more combative and in 1827, the Winnebago encouraged Big Foot to join the fight to keep the interlopers away. At the request of a U.S. Indian Agent, Chief Shabbona, one of the chiefs of the Illinois Potawatomi bands, was instrumental in helping convince Big Foot to not fight, and he agreed. I have often wondered how the area would have been if Chief Big Foot had warred with the white invaders.
|Big Foot High School with a copy of|
Big Foot's statue in its "front yard."
Source Lake Geneva Regional News
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
|Blogger: Amber Schamel|
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0
This gem is a blue form of the beryl stone, whereas emeralds are green hues of the beryl, so they are essentially the same stone, in different colors.
Aquamarine is a name derived from two Latin words meaning "water" and "of the sea". It was named such for its color that reminds us of the peaceful waters of a clear beach, but probably also because of the beliefs associated with the gem.
This stone has been admired for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians buried their kings with beads of aquamarine. The Hebrews used the stone in the garments of the High Priest and in their temple. Ancient Romans believed the stone had the power to grant protection to fishermen and luck in their catch. Roman bridegrooms would gift the stone to their betrothed, believing that it had the ability to absorb the atmosphere of young love.
During the middle ages, this belief was expanded to include rekindling love in a marriage. Also during this era, aquamarine was believed to hold mystic powers. Many famous mystics used the gem for their crystal balls in which to divine the future, including Dr. John Dee who cast the horoscope for Queen Elizabeth I's coronation. It was also believed that aquamarine could be an antidote for poison.
For centuries, aquamarine has been a favorite of sailors, and the legends and tales surrounding the gem are vast. One of the many tales is that mermaids keep this gem in treasure chests beneath the sea and give them out to their favorite sailors to protect them against storms and other dangers of sea life.
|The Dom Pedro aquamarine. Photo by Karen Neoh. |
Licensed under CC By 2.0.
There are many famous pieces of aquamarine. One of the most well known is a massive fourteen-inch tall obelisk named the Dom Pedro. The stone was found by prospectors in Brazil during the 1980's, and the original piece was over three feet long, and weighed over 100 pounds. The prospectors dropped it, breaking it into three pieces. The two smaller chunks were sold and made into smaller pieces of unknown jewelry, however the largest of the three became infamous and was named after the first emperor of Brazil. The sculpture was crafted by a German artist, Bernd Munsteiner, to reflect the depths of the sea and is truly a stunning piece of art. It is currently the world's largest cut aquamarine and is housed at the National Museum of Natural History.
The Roosevelt Aquamarine
Public Domain from the US National Archives.
Another famous piece is the Roosevelt Aquamarine. In 1936, the Brazilian President gifted a whopping 1,298-ct aquamarine to the first lady, Eleanore Roosevelt. At the time, it was the largest cut aquamarine, however it fell to second place after the discovery of the Dom Pedro mentioned above. It was never mounted into jewelry, but now belongs to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.
This beautiful gem is coveted for its tranquil and calming color and is a lovely tribute to all the people lucky enough to be born in March.
Two-time winner of the Christian Indie Award for historical fiction, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest".
She lives in Colorado Springs near her favorite mountain, in a small “castle” with her prince charming. Between enjoying life as a new mom, and spinning stories out of soap bubbles, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples.
Amber is a proud member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/ and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!
Monday, March 1, 2021
A V1 flying Bomb which is on display at the Muckleburgh Collection in North Norfolk, United Kingdom
In an effort to terrorize and demoralize British civilians, the Germans unleashed a new weapon on England just one week after Allied troops landed in France on D-Day in 1944. The V-1 flying bombs were launched from ramps on the northern coast of France until the Allies overran the launching sites. The last one left France on September 7, 1944. Later the Germans launched the V-1's from other locations, including from special mounts attached to bombers, although this proved dangerous to the German airmen.
|A German Crew Rolls out a V-1|
Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1973-029A-24A / Lysiak / CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Each V-1 was twenty-five feet long with a wingspan of about twenty feet. The bombs, resembling small airplanes, traveled at a speed of 400 miles per hour and crossed the English Channel in five minutes. They had a range of 150+ miles and were capable of reaching London from northern France. The Germans launched 25,000 V-1's at targets in England and later Belgium, but only about 2,400 hit the capital city and its environs. Because the bombs flew straight and level, gun batteries posted along the southern and eastern coasts of Britain, Allied fighter planes, and barrage balloons successfully stopped thousands of V-1's from reaching their targets.
|Barrage balloons on the south-eastern approaches to London to combat V-1 flying bombs, 1944 |
Courtesy of Bellamy W (Flying Officer) Royal Air Force Official Photographer via IWM
Powered by a jet engine, the V-1 could be heard ten miles away, and it was nicknamed "doodlebug" and "buzz bomb" because of its noise. An air-driven gyroscope and a magnetic compass controlled the bomb's course, and a barometric altimeter controlled its altitude. Once the V-1 reached its programmed target, a device mounted in the rear caused it to pitch nose-down and the engine quit. Once the buzzing engine died, those on the ground knew they had twelve seconds to seek shelter. The warhead exploded on impact.
Back in Germany, the Nazis called the V-1 a wonder weapon (Wunderwaffe) and tried to convince the German people that it along with other weapons could turn the war in their favor. Although Hitler was advised to launch the V-1 at southern England where the Allies were gathering ships and equipment to invade France, he was intent on targeting London.
In an effort to fool the Germans, the British publicized inaccurate information and recruited double agents to send back false reports on where the V-1's had landed. The Germans believed the reports and adjusted the flight patterns, causing the bombs to fall short of their targets.
|Searching for belongings in the rubble of a home|
Ministry of Information Photo Division via IWM
|Civil defense rescue workers dig survivors out of collapsed buildings|
Ministry of Information Photo Division via IWM
Have you known anyone who was personally impacted by the V-1 bomb?
"The Terrifying German 'Revenge Weapons' of the Second World War" -https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-terrifying-german-revenge-weapons-of-the-second-world-war
"V-1 Missile" - https://www.britannica.com/technology/V-1-missile
"Hitler's Buzz Bombs" - https://www.airforcemag.com/article/hitlers-buzz-bombs/
"V-Weapons" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-weapons
Cindy Stewart, a high school social studies teacher, church pianist, and inspirational historical romance author, was a 2020 finalist for the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award of Excellence, placed second in the 2019 North Texas Romance Writers Great Expectations contest, semi-finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest, and won ACFW’s First Impressions contest in the historical category. Cindy is passionate about revealing God’s handiwork in history. She resides in North Georgia with her college sweetheart and husband of thirty-nine years. Their married daughter, son-in-law, and four adorable grandchildren live only an hour away. Cindy’s currently writing a fiction series set in WWII Europe.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
As a child growing up in eastern Canada, the Tuesday before Lent was called “Pancake Day”. Traditionally, we ate pancakes for supper. The batter was prepared as usual, and when my mother spooned the mixture into the frying pan, she tucked an aluminum foil-wrapped coin into each pancake.
You can imagine our excitement as the children endeavored to eat as many pancakes as possible, because then we increased our chances of finding the cakes with a dime or maybe even a quarter inside. Most had a penny or nickel, but that didn’t deter us.
Each year, we’d ask why we ate pancakes for supper just one day a week, and my mother always told us because it was a tradition. She didn’t know the reason. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered the reason.
Regardless of which traditions you adhere to regarding Lent, Pancake Day is still a fun way to change up your menu and encourage your kids to eat.
Now, if we could just find a way to hide money inside vegetables.
About “The Pony Express Romance Collection”:
Join the race from Missouri, across the plains and mountains to California and back again as brave Pony Express riders and their supporters along the route work to get mail across country in just ten days. It is an outstanding task in the years 1860 to 1861, and only a few are up to the job. Faced with challenges of terrain, weather, hostile natives, sickness, and more, can these adventurous pioneers hold fast, and can they also find lasting love in the midst of daily trials?
Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com