Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders Fields

Photograph of underground bunker where John McCrae, Canadian, worked at Essex Farms, near Ypres. Photograph by McKayla Jerome Bohanna 2010.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Trip to Colorado Springs

I think the first real vacation trip my family took was in the early 1950s when we visited relatives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Uncle Oakley, my dad's brother, had a week off work so the adults decided to pack both families (all eight of us) in the car and drive more than 1,000 miles across country non-stop. I don't know how we all fit into the car, but I do not remember being uncomfortable. At some point on this trip, I slept on the ledge under the rear window ... or so I recall.

There didn't seem to be a lot of conversation among us, but Uncle Oakley kept me giggling as he waved and said, "Hi, Joe" or "Howdy, Sam" to what seemed like every person we passed. We must have taken food with us as the only time I recall stopping at a restaurant was for breakfast. This was a rare treat as breakfast was something you had at your own kitchen table instead of sitting on a stool facing a counter. If I recall correctly, this special meal consisted of a bowl of corn flakes and a glass of milk.

Only one untoward incident on this trip remains in my memory. Somewhere along the way, perhaps in Kansas, we ran into a dust storm. Maybe that was the reason for our stop for breakfast.

Once we arrived in Colorado Springs, Aunt Lena and Uncle Hebbert treated us royally. I can just imagine how excited they must have been to have eight extra people to feed and entertain, but that's what relatives did for each other. There must have been a lot of catching up on family news, especially between my mother and Aunt Lena. Not only were they sisters-in-law, but they were also cousins through the Bebout family and had grown up near each other in Kentucky. They were close then and remained so until both died in late 2006.

I don't remember if we did a lot of sightseeing or not, but do recall we visited Manitou Springs and had a family picnic at Palmer Park. The photograph above was taken in the yard of my aunt and uncle in Colorado Springs.

The trip home was probably uneventful after almost a week in Colorado Springs. That may have been the first vacation my family took, but parts of it are still vivid in my memory.