Listen My Children…1775

‘Listen my children and you shall hear…of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…T’was the 18th of April, ’75…’ (H. W. Longfellow)

A little bit of US history as memorialized in Longfellow’ long poem, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

My 5th grade teacher, Miss Meehan, wrote several stanzas on the blackboard (remember those?) and we had write them, ourselves, then memorize them.

I’ve never forgotten those stanzas and am reminded of the history and Miss Meehan every April 18th, today. It’s important to remember our history and important people in our lives. Miss Meehan was a good teacher and that period in US history was, well, what can I say.

It’s also important to understand our past, as a country and an individual, so we can learn and make in-course corrections as we continue to grow.

Paul Revere wasn’t the only rider that night and the British grabbed him before he got carried away with his warnings to the public. However, HWL chose to use him in his narrative and now his name is synonymous with revolution and liberty.

I hope you find the poem to read, yourself. And, as I like to do, read it aloud. It seems to resonate better with me when I do.

Remember history, and the teachers who made it come alive for you.


Birthdays Are ‘Big Deals’

July 4th was a ‘big deal’ day in the USA earlier this week when our country celebrated another birthday as an independent nation. With parades, picnics, backyard cookouts and traditional evening fireworks, Americans paid tribute to our homeland, a really ‘big deal’.

Birthdays are like that, aren’t they. To each of us, a birthday is a very ‘big deal’.

In early May, the streets were empty as I drove to a local Burger King restaurant for their $0.89 pancake special.  It was a Sunday, my birthday, and the early rising sun was like a giant candle on an over sized cake, as I imagined it.  This was my ‘big deal’ day.

Do you think of birthdays as ‘big deals’?  Birthdays, like anniversaries, are rare, hence, ‘big deals’. And the longer you’re around, the bigger the deal.  For me, birthdays are really big deals, I’ve been around a while.  Of course, it’s a bigger deal for my older sister and I remind her of that every year, it’s what little brothers do.

Certain occasions are meant to be celebrated with gusto, such as birthdays and anniversaries.  They’re high points in our personal timelines, reminding us of those significant accomplishments of making something last, a rare feat today.

Some among us like to keep these days private, quiet affairs.  Balderdash, I say! Announce it to anyone and everyone. Accept the kudos and applause, you’ve earned it. Revel in the handshakes and pats on the back. Smile broadly when someone ‘lies’ and tells you that you can’t be ‘that’ old, or that your spouse ‘robbed the cradle’.  Consider those compliments as gifts that help make your day the ‘big deal’ it should be.

On your birthday, announce proudly that you’ve moved the bar a bit higher, like an athlete achieving a personal best.  I’m almost two months along to a new ‘PB’, and I’ll let my world know when it happens.  Everything that is good that day will be in my honor because it’s my birthday, and that’s a ‘big deal’.  That’s how I see it. I hope you feel the same about your birthday!

Incidentally, Starbucks thinks my birthday was a big deal, they gave me a free coffee!

Steve (July 2017)