Presidents’ Day 2019

American Memorial BackgroundToday is Presidents’ Day. Last night I learned that although most Americans equate the day with being a celebration of BOTH George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays– that is incorrect.  The holiday is officially just to recognized George Washington’s birth in the month of February.  The United States no longer observes Lincoln’s birthday at all.

But, we seem to live with this error as most of my generation and before, always celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th and then celebrated Washington’s birthday on the 22nd.  After the United States enacted the Monday Holiday system, and Washington’s birthday was changed to Presidents’ Day; we just assumed that both birthdays were combined.

So, I’m not bucking the tradition and common practice of today– but just so you and I agree–that it’s really just George Washington’s observed birthday. Deal?

“A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”

George Washington

“How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg”

–Abraham Lincoln



Photo by BigStock and used at New Jersey’s Teacher Lounge

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“Sunday Thoughts”

Last night, I watched the 2018 documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”. The film covered the career and life of television personality, Fred Rogers. Mister Rogers was a friend to children everywhere through his “MisterRogers’ Neighborhood” on Public Television. If you never admired this man, I highly recommend watching the movie, currently available on Hulu; you will be impressed by this kind and gentle man who inspired millions of children during his career.

In May of 2001, Fred Rogers gave the commencement speech at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont and received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the school. A portion of his speech is today’s “Sunday Thoughts”.

mister_rogers_061918“In fact, from the time you were very little, you’ve had people who have smiled you into smiling, people who have talked you into talking, sung you into singing, loved you into loving.

 So, on this extra special day, let’s take some time to think of those extra special people. Some of them may be right here, some may be far away. Some may even be in heaven. No matter where they are, deep down you know they’ve always wanted what was best for you. They’ve always cared about you beyond measure and have encouraged you to be true to the best within you. Let’s just take a minute of silence to think about those people now.

One minute of silence

“Whomever you’ve been thinking about: just imagine how grateful they must be that you remember them when you think of your own becoming.

We don’t always succeed in what we try – certainly not by the world’s standards – but it’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bed-rock of our very  being is good stuff…

…And for all the rest of your days and nights I hope you can remember that you never have to do anything sensational for people to love you. The outside things of life are not the really important things. It’s our insides that make us who we are, that allow us to dream and wonder and feel for others. That’s what’s essential.

That’s what will always make the biggest difference in our world.”

–Fred Rogers

Photo © PBS Archives from John Hopkins University
Header modified from PBS Archives


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“A-Sittin’ On A Rainbow”

prine-dementMy wife and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a longstanding tradition. We have our “own” romantic day on March 23rd and we also celebrate Groundhog’s Day as a “mushy-dovey” day. But, I came across this video today of John Prine‘s 1999 duet with Iris DeMent; “In Spite of Ourselves”

And I felt like if I was gonna have a song about my quirky, off-kilter, and romantic love life with my wife, then this would be the perfect tune to have. Because, in spite of ourselves, we are each other’s “big door prize” and we’ll be “a-sittin’ on a rainbow” till the end.

Kiss your honey today, and if you don’t have a honey to kiss–pucker up and “kiss yo self” It’s all about fun and love today. (I mean for those who celebrate today; that is)

Here’s a Valentine Diversion.

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“Sunday Thoughts”

nola-street-performers“Only as we give the best we have to every passing experience can we hope to enter into the joy of living. Every act of life should be a magical rite filled with wonder; every coming event should arouse pleasurable anticipation. Whatever we do, the whole of us should be engaged in doing it. There are no half measures to living.”

–Ernest Holmes

And So It Is

Photo © by Bridget Siegfried

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