Saturday, November 22, 2014

100 years: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

You've heard a lot about poppies this year, haven't you?
Well bear with one more...

The people of London were blessed with being able to see ceramic poppies at the Tower of London this year, A huge display of over 800,000 ceramic poppies, every placed poppy representing a fallen British soldier of WW1.

Why poppies you ask?
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem in Flanders Field. These poppies bloomed across some of the worse battlefields of Flanders in World War 1, the brilliant color of the poppies became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

You knew that though didn't you?

I was blessed with the opportunity to visit London in October, to see this spectacular display at the Tower of London, "Blood Swept Tears and Seas of Red". It's my desire to share these photos from my trip before the holidays get too close. The holidays are another gorgeous time of year filled with Red, But for now, I want to focus on remembrance...

I went twice to see this display, the first time was practically as I stepped off of the airplane, Heathrow is quite a journey from the center of London, but, I love it. That feeling of "I'm in London, I'm in London... I'M IN LONDON!"... and this trip was to see a very special display, one that would only be on display this year, and was (in my mind) a once in a life time view of art, patriotism and recognition. When I first saw the display from across the river Thames, it honestly looked like a sea of red. Those of you that know me KNOW how much I love Tower Bridge, but this time I sprinted across it, no slow sauntering for me, I had to get to the display! The view once I had crossed Tower Bridge? Breathtaking. There really is no other word.


These ceramic poppies were created by Artist Paul Cummins,
If you're interested in how Paul and his team made each poppy, Read his story HERE

I was lucky that in early October when I visited this amazing display, I was able to see it with a minimal crowd. I went once in the day, and once at night. In the evening because I wanted to hear the names of fallen soldiers called out at dusk, I felt like it was a way of honoring those that died too young, listening to their names called out and knowing that they were loved by someone, somewhere, at some time. My way of saying "You were important and so was your life... Thank you".

I'm not British, but I love England. Just like the love I have for my own country, it's hard to explain it. So I don't. I feel patriotic for both sides. My Grandmother was born and raised in Devon, England. I only met her once, as I'm adopted, but that English blood rages through my veins.

I'm a proud American that is extremely proud of her English heritage.

The night that I chose to hear the names called at the Tower of London was A cold and wet night. I had no umbrella and just a jacket, my phone and my camera. I threw my coat over my head and took the best photos that I could. Every second of stinging, cold, drops of rain? Totally worth it.
At the end, a lone Queen's guard played "The Last Post" on his bugle.
It was a very moving tribute, it was done nightly. Different names read, different people honored.

When I was there, that cold wet evening in October, a good size crowd had gathered during the tribute of soldiers names. No one spoke, no one moved. Everyone just listened, with absolute respect. I suspect it was that way every night.

I used to wonder why the British weren't patriotic, but I'm curious no more. It turns out the British are very patriotic, they just don't whoop and holler like us yanks... and that's okay. They choose to do things quietly, with composure and dignity... I admire that.

With Thanksgiving this week, I wish all of my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving, and my British friends... I'll eat some turkey for you!

Have a Great upcoming week,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wait. Where did September and October go?

Where did they go?

I woke up and it was November!
Some how between September and November...
All of this happened...

There is always some kind of this going on in our house...

This time it was "goo"... more on that later... (Hannah wants her own blog because she wants to create and make things, so I told her she can guest spot on my blog until we get her one set up)
And this little girl is the one always creating something new... She's my everything...
Well, there is ALWAYS this going on...
In fact, I would be creating right along with Hannah, except... I'm usually doing some of this...
(I've finished this class since... YAY!)
 Then, there was all of this fun... SO much fun!

In the Middle of October... I decided to go here for the weekend...
Because I had to see this with my own eyes, 
The poppy display at the Tower of London is breathtaking, I'm so blessed to have been able to see it before it's done
"Blood swept lands and Seas of Red"
It's in memory of the people that served and died during WW1
(More on this later... It must be blogged about!)
Even though I was only there for the weekend,
I still had to do this...
(I finished this class a week ago... Double Yay! :)
Oh, and while I was in in London,
It did so much of this...
Good thing I love rain... and London
I don't care what the weather is, I'm going to love every second of it when I'm in England!
My weekend went ever so fast, and I went back to this...
I don't only work with special needs kids... but this one (I'm not allowed to show his face) has a very special place in my heart.
But soon, 
Soon... Came this...
Lots of dressing up!
One of my sons is in that green costume, I honestly don't know what he's meant to be, but he was hilarious!
Especially when he tried to sit down!
And there was lots of trick or treating as well...
It's been a busy couple of months for the kids, and for me. I'm working full time, going to school full time and I was actually working a second job part time as well... That didn't last long, it kicked my butt! So I had to quit, I don't mind, I have more time with my children!
It's November
I love November, I love December too...
Things haven't been good on a few levels for me, personal mostly, but returning to my blog has reminded me that I have so much to be grateful for and so much to find beauty in. 
Life really isn't so bad, 
I Hope you have had a great start to your Autumn, I hope you see the beauty in the changing colors, I Hope you hear the crunch of leaves under your feet and I Hope that you enjoy the smells that mix in with the crisp air this time of year.
Until next time,