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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

NASA's Blast-off

This Day in History: July 29, 1958


The establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (The Birth of NASA) solidified the United States' commitment to winning the "race in space" against the Soviets. This was in 1958 less than one year after the Soviet Union shocked the world with its launch of Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the earth bringing the dawning of the space age. 

NASA became synonymous with the space race. It was the driving force that brought to reality what was once only envisioned in a sci-fi movie. What makes NASA even more intriguing are the events that followed within the next 55 years: Some ecstatic, others traumatic. 


Embrace the Past... 

In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States should set a goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Eight years and billions of dollars later, Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module Eagle and onto the moon's surface on July 20, 1969.

Empower the Present...

Enrich the Future...

We've come a long way since the birth of NASA in 1958 and who knows what is yet to come. . . Click Future Missions for a sneak peek at what possible lies ahead!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Amazing Grace

First appearing in print in the 1779 edition of Olney Hymns, the song "Amazing Grace" has brought words of hope to enslaved people and comfort to mourners for nearly three centuries. The song has been part of the burial of presidents and services for paupers. It has been the cadence for civil rights marches and the theme of human rights campaigns. Penned by John Newton, the words "I once was lost, but now am found" played out in the author's life. 

Today Awakenings sister site catnipoflife features Amazing Grace by way of a reblog. There are probably very few people that are not familiar with the song Amazing Grace. It has been sung by countless choirs, recorded by numerous artists in multiple languages, enjoyed by young and old, and dubbed the most popular song on earth.

Behind this song is a lot of history. With the recordings of history comes different accounts, some true and some false. One thing for sure, it was penned by John Newton. A number of legends circulate worldwide why John Newton, a slave-trader-turned-minister, penned the hymn. Regardless of the exact reason, its message embodies hope, faith and courage, even in times of the bitterest despair.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Biggest Baddest Bubble

How many of us as a kid tried to blow the biggest baddest bubble only to have sticky goop covering our faces, sometimes becoming entangled in our hair, the end result being to cut it out? It is definitely a natural phenomenon from the earliest age of the bubble gum chewer. 

Of course, to achieve that biggest baddest bubble one had to chew, let's see, three, five, um-m-m? maybe as many as 12 pieces of gum. Just the thought of it now makes my jaws ache! But, as a child, there was no pain when the gain was the biggest baddest bubble with which came bragging rights. 

Embrace the Past...

Gum chewing goes way back to the ancient Greeks who chewed mastiche, a chewing gum made from the resin of the mastic tree and the ancient Mayans who chewed chicle, which is the sap from the sapodilla tree. As for America, it originated with the North American Indians who chewed the sap from spruce trees and passed the habit along to the colonial settlers. The settlers in turn created a gum from a combination of the sap and beeswax.

It wasn't until the 19th century that chewing gum became commercial with the State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum thanks to the ingenuity of John B. Curtis. Flavored paraffin gums followed next and became more popular that the spruce gums. Using the paraffin made the gum softer, thereby lasting longer, that is in taste. In other words, the gum tasted better for a longer period of time while being chewed. Because of chewing gum's popularity the invention of machines for mass production became inevitable.

While chewing gum resulted in popping of small bubbles inside the mouth, it was not conducive to actual bubble blowing. Here is a tidbit of trivia on the beginning of bubble gum as we know it:

In 1928, an employee of the Frank H. Fleer Company, WalterDiemer invented the successful pink colored Double Bubble, bubble gum. The very first bubble gum was invented by Frank Henry Fleer in 1906. He called it Blibber-Blubber. Fleer's recipe was later perfected by Walter Diemer, who called his product Double Bubble.
Of course, that is just the 'skinny' of gum evolution. There is, however, one other needing honorable mention that should definitely bring back the memories. Do you remember Bazooka Joe comics?

Bazooka Bubble gum is the classic bubble gum. Each piece contained a Bazooka Joe comic inside the wrapper. Its distinctive name, taste, red, white, and blue logo, and unique packaging made it a unique part of Americana.

Empower the Present...

With all that history behind us, let's take a peek at how bubble gum is made today!  

Enrich the Future...

Will bubble gum ever not be available? Could it become extinct leaving only the memories of attempts, possibly achieving, the biggest baddest bubble? NAH! I don't think so! Stop now. Take a break. Grab a piece of bubble gum or two or three or however many you think your jaws can handle. Here is a little tune to keep you company as you go for it. . .the biggest baddest bubble that is!

Does anyone else wonder how many pieces of chewing gum this guy chewed 
before even blowing such a big bubble?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Write it, Stamp it, Mail it!

This Day in History: July 26, 1775

Establishment of the United States Postal Service

Embrace the Past...

On July 26, 1775, members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, agreed
That a postmaster General be appointed for the United Colonies, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1000 dollars per an: for himself, and 340 dollars per an: for a secretary and Comptroller, with power to appoint such, and so many deputies as to him may seem proper and necessary.

That a line of posts be appointed under the direction of the Postmaster general, from Falmouth in New England to Savannah in Georgia, with as many cross posts as he shall think fit.
This simple statement signaled the birth of the Post Office Department, the predecessor of the United States Postal Service and the second oldest federal department or agency of the United States of America.

Colonial Times

The backdrop for a unique form of writing during Colonial times
reflected a dimly lit atmosphere absorbed in pungent aromas from the kitchen.
Puritan life was harsh with very few amenities.

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Jump back in times past
Before the typewriter
Even ballpoint pens
Pencils or paper bags

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With the quill of a goose
Dip the sharp tip in ink
Scratch out a meager note
On paper made from rags

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 Fold the paper closed
Tightly smooth each edge
Seal with drops of wax
Press with a brass stamp

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Visualize this early writing
Visualize this early writing
Under the faint glow from burning fat
Where leftover grease saved for lighting
Renders your colonial day lamp
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Imagine tapping coded messages
Flicking beads upon an abacus
While tantalizing, pungent aromas
Hover lazily throughout the air
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 Jump back to colonial times
Find a place in the kitchen
Freshly baked breads, spicy fruit pies
Invite you to take a chair

 ©2013 Awakenings

20th - 21st Century

"A rural mailman travels up a creek bed toward Morris Fork near Jackson, Ky., in August 1940.;
 K. Ng rides a Segway on his mail route in July 2002 in San Francisco."

Empower the Present...
Reclyclables: The collected colorful and compelling 100% recyclable advertising supplements will be shipped, by truck, to the center for turning recyclable paper into..... recycled paper which will then be used by a concerned and responsible corporation for their twice weekly colorful and compelling advertising supplements printed on 100% recycled paper. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Next year postage will increase because the U.S. Postal "Service" will need more money to keep this thing going. [American Digest]
Side note: Perhaps we should no longer complain about all of the so-called "junk" mail. That just may be the ticket to empower using present day postal service.

Personal letters and hand-written invitations are rapidly being replaced by e-cards, e-invitations, e-this & e-that. With the growth of online bill paying, fewer and fewer notifications are being stuffed into mail boxes.
Side note: The click of the mouse may be much faster than the mighty pen but there is empowerment when the message is personally written and stamped!

Enrich the Future...

With postage stamps continuing to rise coupled with the influx of electronic forms of communication, the postal service is in jeopardy. Within our already troubled economy, restructuring is in order but this will entail downsizing which will result in loss of jobs. 

We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing society. Will the postal service survive? Only time will tell. Write more letters, then, just stamp it!

"It's going to be a much smaller postal service in the future but the goal is to make it a profitable postal service." ~Victor Dubina, Chicago Regional Communications Manager 

Dragon's Loyalty Award

 The two awards, the “Very Inspiring Blogger” and the “Versatile Blogger”, 
have combined their powers to become…The Dragon’s Loyalty Award.

Awakenings has been tapped by Alastair for the Dragon's Loyalty Award. This award is extra special for two reasons: its symbolism being the dragon and its ties to loyalty. It is very humbling for Awakenings to be recognized with these words. "Why," you may ask? 

The Dragon
This mythical creature surrounded by tales of mysticism often airs a spiritual significance with its only boundary imagination. Within those tales, the dragon is known for its greatness, a symbol of power and majesty, as well as oftentimes compassion.The dragon is also associated with wisdom, in some instances, even being recognized as wiser than humans. Like the strength of the dragon, within Awakenings lies the stalwartness of a great nation!

By definition, loyalty is "faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause." Being loyal signifies a feeling of allegiance and has a strong bond with patriotism. Loyalty demands responsibility and obedience whereby personal devotion is a key factor. The voice of loyalty is the voice of freedom, the voice of freedom is the voice of America.
Thank you, Alastair, for considering Awakenings as being a loyal dragon! As with any award, there are rules. 


  1. Display the award on your blog
  2. Announce your “win” with a post
  3. Post seven interesting things about yourself.
    Now sure how interesting but there will be seven.
  4. Present the award to 15 deserving bloggers
    See below
  5. Drop them a comment to let them know
    I will do pingbacks. It’s easier :-)
Seven things about me:

  1. I am currently reading Reflections of Mamie - A Story of Survival by Rosemary Adkins
  2. Awakenings sister site is catnipoflife.
  3. Find out about me HERE.
  4. My website is HERE.
  5. Awakenings, the book, is HERE.
  6. I am loyal to God, country, family, and friends.
  7. I love America!
My fifteen I declare dragons are (in no particular order – except alphabetical)

  1. Angela @angchronicles
  2. Barb @Life in the Foothills
  3. Christy @Poetic Parfait
  4. Claire @clairecappettaclairecappetta 
  5. Deidre @Thoughts and Prayers  
  6. Granny @angelswhisper2011 
  7. Gray Poet @Gray Poet
  8. Joseyphina @Joseyphina’s World 
  9. Julie (aka Cookie) @cookiecrumbstoliveby   
  10. Len @myownheart.me
  11. Mark @Maleko’s Art
  12. Neeraj @Pieces
  13. Rosemary @Reflections of Mamie  
  14. Skye @The Santuary of My Heart
  15. Susie @Country Side Poet