Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Prelude to 4th of July

Patriotic 4th of July Video

across darkened skies
rockets' red bursts glare
American flags wave
over here, over there

Are you already prepping for the Fourth of July celebration? Have you made out a list, done your shopping, invited family and guests over for a BBQ? There is a good chance you answered Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! and yet there is the possibility the most important item was overlooked: the American Flag!  

YOU CAN BET, for each passing day that the flag is not waving, especially on a national holiday, someone somewhere is smiling because of its absence. The enemy does not sleep. It is up to us to be Forever Watchful. . .

and Proud to be an American. . .

Something to Think About

Why IS this day
So widely celebrated?
Sparks and sparklers
Never become outdated


Picnics and outings
Set the stage
For hotdogs and beer
The day's rage


Raucous celebrations
Reign through the night
Yet how many remember
The nation's plight?


When flag after flag
Waves across the nation
Sacrifices made
Call for celebration


For 'twas it not
For those who died
Would this country
Be unified


Raise your glasses
Toasting with cheer
America's freedom
Remains one more year


Look to our ancestors
Who fought to win
Sacrificing their all
For freedom to begin


Should we be misguided
Sorely blood stained
Will fading memories
Ne'er be regained?


Within every story
Beginning, middle or end
Lie choices and sacrifice
Are you ready to pitch in?
© 2013 
Sharla Lee Shults

"For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? - Ralph Waldo Emerson

America continues to FIGHT for her FREEDOM!
Proudly wave the American flag every day of the year!

Ice Cream!

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" 

Sound familiar? More than likely your answer is, "Yes!" Memories are quickly triggered: the beginning days of summer as a child, teenager, even adult. Do you know the who, what, when, where behind this little nitty? In case your answer is "No," here is some trivia to store in your memory bank.

The who behind this catchy little phrase is the 'Waring's Pennsylvanians.' As a jazz band formed in 1918, this group personified the enduring image of the 1920s: "the college boy in a raccoon coat, out for some jazz kicks with a hip flask and a flapper on his arm."

What it is, however, is more than just a phrase. It is actually a song written by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll and Robert A. K. King in 1927. 

When it was introduced to the public faces conflicting dates with reports of the first recording in 1925(?), 1927, 1928 and 1929. Most assuredly it was recorded during the Jazz Era of the Roaring 20s!

Where the group was formed finds its roots, as the name implies, in Pennsylvania. The founder and leader, Fred Waring ("The Man Who Taught America How to Sing") attended Pennsylvania State University. 

 A catchy tune with quirky lyrics!

For the complete lyrics, click HERE!

Welcome to summertime! 
 Do you scream for ice cream? What is your favorite flavor?

I scream, you scream...wikipedia.org

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Looking Ahead: 4th of July

As we approach the Fourth of July in celebration of America's independence, take a look inside Awakenings: Embrace the Past, Empower the Present, Enrich the Future. As Aristotle once said, "Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history, for poetry expresses the universal and history only the particular." So indulge yourself in the reading of historical events presented with poetic finesse.

Awakenings from Then 'til Now available in paperback or Kindle @ Amazon Author Central

"History is a mighty dramos, enacted upon the theatre of times, with suns for lamps and eternity for a background."
 ~Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)

Monday, June 17, 2013

When Kids Are Heroes

There are all kinds of heroes. There are the soldiers and military leaders of our nation who sacrifice daily for America. . .those who top the list at the heart of Awakenings. Each was once a child...

Then, not to be overlooked are the unsung heroes. . .those who are the quieter type of hero acting on impulse without thinking other than righting a wrong, bettering a situation or lending a helping hand in times of need. Each was once a kid...

Of course, you might readily connect to the superheros featured in the comic books and movies. . .those who test the realm of mysticism and provide insight into a world of imagination. Each reach out to the youthful heart...

Each of us was once a kid. . .we possibly connected with a hero. . .we may have even been a hero. Now we may have a kid(s) of our own. . .our hero(s). When Kids are Heroes, each one has the power to change the world!  

"These are the children who are making a difference through their selfless acts of giving. These kids are drilling water wells in Africa, helping orphans in India and building homes in Haiti. They are recycling and cleaning up their neighborhoods, helping their local animal shelters and making life better for their neighbors. And guess what? They are ALL just like YOU!!!"

Amy and Emma sell cookies for the homeless at Kids Are Heroes Day 2012.
Meet the heroes at Kids Are Heroes Web site  - The place where all kids can make a difference!

 385 Heroes from 17 Countries!

Learn About Featured Heroes...Become a Hero...Nominate a Kid!

The future of the world lies in the hearts and hands of our children!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Father's Day Salute


All across America, tomorrow (perhaps today in some parts of the country) is a day of celebration for "honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society." Fathers, of course, have been around since the beginning of time but what about this celebration? What inspired this special one-day focus on fathers? Should this celebration rest primarily on one day?
Mother's Day: Inspiration for Father's Day
In 1908, Mother's Day became a commercial holiday. With the overwhelming success of the establishment of Mother's day came the desire to create similar holidays for other family members. The most likely to succeed was, of course, a celebration for fathers, thus the establishment of Father's Day. Even though the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 10, 1910, it met with much resistance from Americans who perceived it to be no more than just an attempt by merchants to cash in on yet another commercial success. It was not until 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed it into law, did Father's Day become a permanent national holiday.

As so many Americans scurry about at the last minute in search of the 'perfect' Father's Day gift, I found myself reflecting on similar events of Christmas Eve. It's all about gifts. Material things. Cards. Presents. Packages. Does Dad really need a new tie? Is last year's leather wallet already worn to a frazzle warranting the need for a new one? Is the cologne you got him on his birthday a few months back already gone? 

Then, in the middle of my reflection, I received a phone call. It was from our son, Scott. Since his dad is on Day 37 of hospital confinement Scott knew Father's Day would be no different than the days spent together over the past 2+ months. Being on life support lends itself to very little communication. It was our son's words and his own perception of Father's Day that truly brought tears to my eyes. 

Father's Day: Through a Son's Eyes

Why should Father's Day, or Mother's Day for that matter, be celebrated only one day of the year? I celebrate the blessings of you and Dad every day of the year. While we may have had our differences that growing up naturally brings, I am ever so thankful for the joys, as well as sorrows, shared as a family. I had much rather remember you throughout all of the days a year brings than wait for one day to buy a meaningless gift.
I am not advocating the abolishment or non-observance of Father's Day. Do not get the wrong idea. I am simply reflecting on our son's perception of this day and the importance of not letting this celebration be limited to just one day out of the year! Every day spent with a mother or a father should be in celebration. 

Father's Day: Through a Soldier's Eyes


For many, their Father's Day celebration will be distanced across our nation, continents and oceans. They face separation, some in the midst of conflict. They await comforting words from loved ones. For those who are serving our country here at home or overseas, I salute you. To those deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world, hopefully next year you will be celebrating at home with your families.

Remember...More than being soldiers, many are fathers!


To those who serve near and far
I rejoice in wishing you a Happy Father's Day!

To all those currently serving in our military, 
as well as their children, spouses and families, 
thank you for the sacrifices you have made 
to keep America a free nation. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Ford and the Year 1910

1903 Ford Model A - http://en.wikipedia.org
1928 Ford Model A Business Coupe - http://en.wikipedia.org
Ah-h-h! The Ford! It has been around for a long, long time. The first vehicle of its kind was sold to Dr. E. Pfenning, a physician from Chicago, Illinois. It was shipped to Dr. Pfenning on July 28, 1903. This sale came at a most appropriate time for the fledging Ford Motor Company. The 1903 Ford Model A was a simple machine with a 2-cylinder engine, producing eight horsepower and could reach 30 miles per hour (only on smooth roads, which were rare indeed!) Since that first Model A in 1903, Ford Motor Company has gone on to produce over 300 million vehicles. Go, FORD!

As we look back on the times of the early 1900s, we find it much, much different from today. The past 113 years have been witness to depression, war and peace time, as well as medical and technological advances that appear to be something out of a sci-fi movie.

Here is just a taste of the happenings of 1910 that will hopefully whet your appetite to want to learn more. This is history. . .American history. How much do you remember?

Tiny_StarFuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.
Tiny_StarThe average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Tiny_StarOnly 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Tiny_StarOnly 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
Tiny_StarThere were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
Tiny_StarThe maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Tiny_StarThe tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
Tiny_StarThe average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
Tiny_StarThe average  US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

Tiny_StarA competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
Tiny_StarMore than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.
Tiny_StarNinety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Tiny_StarInstead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the
government as 'substandard.'
Tiny_StarSugar cost four cents a pound.
Tiny_StarEggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Tiny_StarCoffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Tiny_StarMost women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Tiny_StarThere was no such thing as under arm deodorant or tooth paste.
Tiny_StarCanada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Tiny_StarThe five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
Tiny_StarThe American flag had 45 stars.
Tiny_StarThe population of  Las Vegas  Nevada was only 30!
Tiny_StarCrossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.
Tiny_StarThere was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Tiny_StarTwo out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Tiny_StarEighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
Tiny_StarThere were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE  USA!
Tiny_StarI am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
Tiny_StarFrom there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD...all in a matter of seconds!

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.