January 7, 2017

America’s First Untethered Balloon Flight 1/9/1793

Carolyn’s Online Magazine




On the morning of January 9, 1793 no trades were made and no business was undertaken in Philadelphia. All the shops were closed.

Starting at sunrise two field artillery pieces inside the Walnut Street Prison courtyard fired every quarter hour, creating an atmosphere of celebration and anticipation.

As the early morning temperature rose into the 40s a 5-foot tall flamboyant Frenchman, Monsieur Jean-Pierre Blanchard, entered the courtyard. Dressed in bright-blue knee breeches, a matching waistcoat and a cocked hat with white feathers, he looked, for all intents and purposes, like a Shakespearean actor ready for his role in a great drama.

However, Blanchard was not an actor. Accompanied by the sounds of a brass band playing soul-stirring martial music he prepared to take America’s first hot air balloon flight. The famous Frenchman busied himself inflating his huge silk balloon with gaz, produced by mixing iron chips in the vitriolic acid, as a throng of spectators watched.

At 10:00, as Blanchard had promised, he was ready to start his 45th ascension, confident it would cause his name inscribed in America’s history books. His Journal of My Forty-Fifth Ascension states he came to the New World because ‘the [Western] Hemisphere had as yet only heard of the brilliant triumph of aerostation [the art or science of ballooning]; and the people who inhabit it appeared to me worthy of enjoying the sublime spectacle that it affords.’

When the United States chief executive, Gen. George Washington, arrived at 9:45 a. m. a hushed quiet descended on the crowd. As he, the French ambassador, and other dignitaries entered the courtyard fifteen cannons roared in salute and Blanchard removed his plumed hat, bowed briefly and exchanged pleasantries with his distinguished guests.

Towering over Blanchard, Gen. Washington presented the balloonist with a passport written by his own hand to be used as proof for the people Blanchard would meet after landing, proving he wasn’t an enemy of the United States, nor was he part of an advance guard of an airborne French invasion.

At the last minute a well-wisher shoved a small black dog into Blanchard’s arms. He rather dubiously accepted the dog, dropping it into the basket already laden with ballast—including meteorological instruments and some refreshments anxious friends had given him.

At 10:09 Blanchard affixed to the aerostat to the basket, thanked the president, confidently leapt into the balloon’s basket. The cannons fired a final salvo Blanchard as threw out some ballast and nodded to his assistants to release the restraining ropes. A gentle wind lifted the balloon skyward.

Thus America’s first untethered manned hot air balloon flight, carrying the first United States airmail letter, began.



Blanchard acknowledged the oohs, aahs, and cheers of the watching throng by waving his hat in one hand and a flag, ornamented on one side with the armoric bearings of the United States and on the other with the three colors so dear to the French nation.

Prior to the liftoff Blanchard had advertised the following notice in Dunlap’s American Daily Advertiser: ‘If the day is calm…I will ascend perpendicularly; but if the wind blows, permit me, gentlemen, to advise you not to attempt to keep up with me, especially in a country so intersected with rivers, and so covered with woods.’

The day was calm. Blanchard’s balloon ascended perpendicularly and so easily Blanchard was able to enjoy the different impressions which agitated so many of the sensible and interesting persons observing.

The exuberance from the prison courtyard was quickly followed by yells of pleasure from a massive crowd—half the city’s population—waving their hats, lifting their hands, and shouting words of encouragement:

Bon Voyage!

God Bless you!

Blanchard looked down on the city from a height of 1200 feet, probably astonished that all of Philadelphia watched him drift above the city. He heard the everyday echoes of their life rent the air: cries of an infant, barks of a dog prowling the alleys for food, the shout of a chimney sweep seeking work.

“Accustomed as I long have been to the pompous scenes of numerous assemblies, yet I could not help being surprised and astonished when, elevated at a certain height over the city, I turned my eyes towards the immense number of people who covered the open places, the roofs of the houses, the steeples, the streets and the roads, over which my flight carried me in the free space of the air. What a sight!,” he wwould later write in his journal.

Some spectators galloped down the Point road hoping to overtake Blanchard. They soon returned, declaring that the balloon was out of their sight. Many others regretted not stopping at the Oeller’s Hotel to purchase a ticket, sold by Blanchard—$5.00 for the best spot, $2.00 for back seats— because his expenses exceeded his income. By not doing so, they missed best spot to observe the most interesting scene the human eye ever beheld and to join President Washington, Vice President John Adams, and Secretary of state Thomas Jefferson, in doing so. Perhaps House of Representatives leader James Madison and James Monroe were also present.

The city remained closed until the balloon was lost to sight. However, people gathered for miles around on the surrounding hills and along the Atlantic coast were alerted by the cheers and yells. They watched the sky, hoping the balloon would fly in their direction. New Yorkers prayed for a sufficiently fair wind to direct Blanchard’s flight to their city.

Blanchard soared over Philadelphia like Icarus. From this unique vantage point he could easily see the entire square mile brick and wood city beneath him, beginning at the Delaware River and running west to Eighth Street, where the countryside’s unpaved roads began. He could see where the city ended at Vine Street, three blocks north of Market—the suburb of Northern Liberties was just beyond. Just one mile south the city ended at Cedar Street at the suburb of Southwark. He probably saw west as far as the Schuylkill River.


He saw ‘a whitish cloud (that) withheld from my sight for several minutes a part of the city of Philadelphia….A thick fog covered the south; toward the east…a mist arose, which prevented me from reconnoitering the area.’

The wind took his balloon east across northern Philadelphia, floated past Market and Race streets, crossed Fourth, Third, then Second streets. He had a bird’s seagull’s eye view of the working-class section of the city, the most densely populated city neighborhood. He saw houses belonging to blacksmiths, cordwainers, furniture makers, and other artisans and tradesmen, who worked on the first floor and lived above their shops with their families.

How small the people on the crowded sidewalks looked, shoppers on the way to the markets, clerks heading to shops selling goods from all over the world, servants wending their way through the crowd to complete their errands. Their busyness was interrupted as they paused, looked up, pointed to, gasped, and commented to each other about this strange thing floating in the sky above them. Blanchard could hear some of their yells that alerted non-observers to the sight.

As Blanchard’s air transportation floated over Philadelphia between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers he easily spotted and identified three towering buildings that testified to Philadelphia’s status as the nation’s political, cultural and economic capital during the 1790s. The newly constructed Bank of the United States was located in south Philadelphia, the city’s political and financial sector. Two blocks westward the State House and Congress Hall stood tall. He also saw the large public library and the museum that held an almost complete collection of the minerals and animals of North America. These structures marked the city as the single great metropolis in this newly formed country, a metropolis most agreeable to foreigners. The city was a gathering place for people who cultivate literary and scientific inquiry.

The wind shifted as Blanchard floated toward the Delaware River, pushing his aircraft south towards Philadelphia’s port—the center of commercial life where leathery-handed stevedores on the dock looked skyward. He saw warehouses lining the riverside, and wooden wharves, jutting into the Delaware River, that welcomed ships from the Caribbean, Europe, and ports as distant as India and China. They came to trade goods for produce from the Atlantic breadbasket, as the fertile Delaware River valley was known.

The balloon rose, carrying Blanchard south, parallel with the Delaware River. From on high he saw the handsome new mansions along Society Hill, above the recently covered Dock Creek, where the nation’s elite held their elaborate salons and luxurious dinner parties.

A mild northwest breeze carried the balloon steadily upward to about 200 fathoms as it traveled toward the Delaware River. As the balloon finally leveled off in a state of perfect equilibrium at 5,800 feet Blanchard observed sparkling sunbeams on the water below, making the river appear like a ribbon the breadth of about four inches.

A flock of wild pigeons flew by and scattered into two groups, frightened at the sight of a human being invading their special realm. The small dog whimpered restlessly at the sound of the bird’s activity, but was reassured by a pat on the head from Blanchard.

While airborne Blanchard became an aeronautical scientist (the first test pilot in America), performing several experiments. He filled and sealed six bottles ‘with that atmospherical air wherein I was floating.’ He next used his pocket watch to time his pulse, carefully noting that airborne his pulse averaged 92, while earthbound it was no more than 84 in the same given time….’ He also weighed a lodestone that earthbound ‘raised 51Ž2 ounces avoirdupois’ but at his greatest altitude weighed only 4 ounces.’

As Blanchard floated through the sky the winds pushed him where they would. It balloon continued to drift southeasterly across the New Jersey side of the river in an increasing wind. Blanchard relaxed briefly, satisfying his appetite ‘with a morsel of biscuit and a glass of wine.’

Thinking he saw the Atlantic Ocean in the distance Blanchard prepared to descend. He carefully stowed his delicate instruments in boxes to prevent them from breaking on landing. He cleared several decorations from the side of the basket, valved out some hydrogen, and emptied several excess ballast bags overboard.

Then he guided the balloon in a downward course by carefully manipulating the gas valve and judging the weight of remaining ballast, steering it to a safe landing in an open, plowed field near Woodbury, N.J. 46 minutes after his departure from Philadelphia the first aerial voyage in America ended successfully after traveling about 15 miles.

Upon landing his canine passenger immediately debarked and made off for the nearest tree.

Blanchard worked quickly to release the gas from the silken globe then unloaded his instruments, checking them for breakage. Only his barometer was broken.

He next had to solve a common balloonist problem: how to return to Philadelphia. He sighted his compass toward the northwest and saw a farmer staring open-mouthed at him, a strange foreigner who dropped so silently from the skies.

Knowing little English, Blanchard yelled out in French, frightening the farmer, who stepped backward several paces. Blanchard, fearing he’d run away, held up the bottle of wine and gestured to him to share a drink. The husky farmer approached warily and took a sip, but only after the stranger downed a swig first. Blanchard soon had a willing helper, thanks to the medium of ‘the exhilarating juice of the grape.’

Although they couldn’t converse and the farmer couldn’t read the passport letter Blanchard carried, the farmer recognized Washington’s name Washington when Blanchard spoke.

A second farmer arrived, armed with an ancient musket. Frightened by the huge globe lying on its side, he dropped his gun and lifted his hands skyward in prayer. The first farmer explained what he understood of the situation again, the name Washington was understood. More people appeared and saw Washington’s letter, and everyone helped this intriguing stranger. Several men neatly folded his balloon and stowed it in a wagon. Others escorted him to Cooper’s Ferry on the banks of the Delaware River, where Blanchard crossed to the Pennsylvania side.

Before he bid his new-found friends goodbye he quickly drew up a document and asked them to certify ‘that we the subscribers saw the bearer, Mr. Blanchard, settle in his balloon in Deptford Township, County of Gloucester, in the State of New Jersey, about 10 o’clock 56 minutes, a.m….on the ninth day of January, anno Domini, 1793.’

Blanchard, arriving in Philadelphia that evening, was greeted by a cheering crowd of well-wishers who formed lines to shake his hand. At 7 p.m., he fisited President Washington and presented him with the flag he had borne aloft on his epic flight.

The experiment was pronounced a complete success. All manner of uses to which the balloon might be put were suggested in jest and earnest. Money was raised to pay back the four hundred guineas the experiment had cost Blanchard.

The brief flight deeply affected all who witnessed the takeoff. Dr. Benjamin Rush, in a letter to a colleague, wrote: ‘For some time days past the conversation in our city has turned wholly upon Mr. Blanchard’s late Aerial Voyage. It was truly a sublime sight. Every faculty of the mind was seized, expanded and captivated by it, 40,000 people concentrating their eyes and thoughts at the same instant, upon the same object, and all deriving nearly the same degree of pleasure from it.’

December 31, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — carolyncholland @ 9:57 am



[twitter-follow screen_name=’Carolyn C. Holland

Mr. Marino, of Hempfield, is the artistic director of Stage Right School For the Performing Arts in Greensburg. From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, costumed students will take groups, leaving 20 minutes apart, to sites in the neighborhood where they will hear stories that probably – or definitely – are not true.
They will be told all in fun as a fundraiser for the Academy Hill Historic District Association, and as a way to get people interested in local history and architecture. The association will donate part of the proceeds to the nonprofit theater school.

Comment by monte of laughlintown, PA

I know many of you (most of you) have been waiting for this. Cindy and Jerry can be seen at

Posted April 18, 2013 at 03:50AM CDT

Comment by Cindy of Jersey Shore, PA

Monte of Laughlintown, PA Thanks to you and Carolyn for taking the photo I sent to you and cropping the picture. I had a photo of Jerry, his little girl and me taken at the christening on Sunday and I didn’t want his daughter’s photo on the Internet so Carolyn graciously cropped the photo. As much as I would have liked to share her photo with you, I only wanted a photo of the two of us posted. I’m sure you can understand that. Thanks so much Monte and Carolyn for your help. Love you both.

Posted April 18, 2013 at 03:59AM CDT

Comment by Cindy of Jersey Shore, PA

Julia of Alexandria, VA- Praying for Jeff asking God to place His healing hand on him.  Keeping you and Matt in prayer as well.  Do I remember that you have another son as well?   Just know that you and your family are in my prayers daily.  George of Virginia Beach, VA- I am keeping your wife, Bethanne, in prayer as she is feeling overwhelmed in dealing with her father’s estate and in dealing with her siblings as well as being there to support her sister Annette.  I ask God to give her the strength she needs. Monte of Laughlintown PA- Joining you in a moment of silence and prayer for those affected in the bombings in Boston.  Thank you again for your ministry on this site.

Comment by JK

Monte thanks for posting the link and Cindy I love the photo! So wonderful to put a face with the names!

Posted April 18, 2013 at 04:39AM CDT
Comment by Marshall of Fayetteville, NC

Cindy, I love the picture. You are a beautiful mother and son . God bless you and your family. Love ya’ll.

Posted April 18, 2013 at 04:43AM CDT
Comment by Marshall of Fayetteville, NC

Monte, great job by you and Carolyn Thanks a bunch for all your contributions.

Posted April 18, 2013 at 05:08AM CDT
Comment by Dan of Summerfield, NC

UR family; prayer please for the people in the small town of West, TX who experienced the fire and explosion in their fertilizer plant.  Since this essentially flattened the town, pray for the rescue efforts there throughout today, especially for the first responders, particularly the fire fighers many of them who had begun fighting the fire at the time of the explosion.  As the death toll rises, prayers for the many families who are grieving the loss of life.  So much prayer needed! * Praises for the picture of Cindy and Jerry (thank you for Monte and Carolyn), for Janet’s certification and other praises Cindy has brought to us.  Continued prayers for Sarah as she has to regroup after another disappointment, and put herself out there again.  Prayers for the other requests raised by Sarah.

Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Good Morning UR family, Thank you Luis for the message Life is full of its bumps in the road. However just like when flying on a plane we can always feel close to the Lord as along as we ask his help with the bumps. Praying for all those affected in the chemical fire in Texas. Praying that the firefighters will be found safe and sound. Praying for comfort and peace  the families and victims of the Boston Marathon. Sarah- Praying that you will find a job soon. Have you ever thought of working in Publishing? My SIL worked for a company called CRC press for a while. They edited the works of writers. You are so talented at writing  it may be worth a chance. Cindy -Thank you for sharing the picture of you and Jerry with us. The Lord’s light is shining so bright  in the eyes of you both. Praying for all on the list spoken or not have a super day UR family.

Comment by Lee Anne of Astatula, FL

Monte and Carolyn – thanks for posting the link. Nice site! Vicki – I am laughing because that’s exactly how I imagined her to look. I have a friend named Cindy that looks just like her! Cindy – love the pic. Thanks for sharing.

Posted April 18, 2013 at 06:03AM CDT
Comment by Earl  of Durham, NC

Cindy – beautiful picture.  Been looking forward to seeing it.  Welcome home Jerry.  Cindy, thanks for all you do on UR.

Posted April 18, 2013 at 06:11AM CDT
Comment by rob of hsv, AL

Good morning UR family. Thank you Luis for today’s devotional. Praying that we all experience a turbulence free day today. My wife’s bosses surgery went well yesterday. Still waiting to hear about my friends dads chemo. Thank you all for your prayers. Praying for all requested and silent wants and needs of my UR family, and for everyone in the path of today’s storms, be it weather or lifes  problems. Have a blessed day one and all.  Almost forgot!!!!!! Cindy what a wonderful picture. Once again congratulations and thank you for all you and soooo many others do. Monte,Dan, Sarah , Ed , Gwen , Don , Kathy the list goes on and on………… thank you all

Posted April 18, 2013 at 06:26AM CDT

December 13, 2014

People Gather in Love and Celebration





Throughout the year people gather in love and celebration—for holidays, for family events, for fun.

Photos are visual spaces where shapes and lines, objects, and people (and creatures) come together. The November 28, 2014, WordPress photo challenge asked us to explore the ways…people; lines and shapes can converge in interesting ways through photography.

A gathering of musicians celebrating Ligonier Days in Ligionier, PA

A gathering of musicians celebrating Ligonier Days in Ligionier, PA

A gathering of motorcyclists at Gravity Hill Road in New Paris, PA (Bedford County)

A gathering of motorcyclists at Gravity Hill Road in New Paris, PA (Bedford County)

A gathering of friends at an Amish wheel making shop

A gathering of friends at an Amish wheel making shop


November 23, 2014

Reports from Storm “Knife” in Buffalo, New York



November 17 to November 21, 2014

Photo by Kirsten

Photo by Kirsten

In 1977 my sister Lee was driving in Alden, New York, when the Blizzard of 1977 began. When she could drive no longer she parked her car on what she hoped was the side of the road. She, her 5-year-old son Todd and her 10-year-old daughter Deb exited the car and proceeded to the distant lights of a farmhouse.

Almost immediately she lost Todd in a snow drift. She frantically dug into the snow and finally managed to uncover him. Frightened, the three headed towards lights in the distance, never realizing they passed another closer house on the way. The owners let them in and cared for them while the blizzard blew wild outside.

Fast forward to Monday, November 17, 2014.

Sunday and early Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 Contributed photo.

Sunday and early Monday, Nov. 17, 2014
Contributed photo.

Lee is now a senior citizen experiencing health problems. Her daughter lives in a trailer with her husband, Tom, and 3 children: 7-year old, 5-year old, and a 6-week old baby. Kirsten could only open her door slightly open. The snow is falling. Fast.

Photo by Pat

Photo by Pat

Below are conversations I had with her, Kirsten, my long-time friend Pat, my sister Sally and sister-in-law Marge.

Snow blocking Kirsten's door --- photo by Kirsten

Snow blocking Kirsten’s door — photo by Kirsten

Kirsten's girls, photo by Kirsten

Kirsten’s girls, photo by Kirsten

Tuesday. November 18.

Lee. 10:00 a. m. While Monte and I drove to a doctor’s appointment I called Lee. She was snowed in.

“It’s sunny here, blue (more…)

August 19, 2014

11 Facts About the “Dog Days” of August



 As I sit here in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, on August 12, 2014, preparing this post it doesn’t seem like the Dog Days have arrived yet—one night this week the high is to be 49 degrees. On Saturday morning, August 16,  the temperature was 48 degrees.  Here are some questions on the month’s reputation:


  1.  Why did the ancient Egyptians refer to the star Sirius as the “Dog Star?”
  2. Name a notable characteristic of Sirius, the Dog Star.
  3. What did the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Romans blame Sirius’s conjunction with the Sun in the summer (ie. rising up in the sky at the same time as the Sun) for?
  4. Why is Sirius, the Dog Star, connected to the sultry days of August?
  5. What did the Romans call the Dog Days?
  6. Why did the Greeks refer to the star Sirius as the Dog Star?
  7. How did the Greeks and Romans describe the Dog Days, generally talking about the sultry month of August?****
  8. When did the term “Dog Days” come into use in the English language?
  9. The downtown Salem Dog Days of Summer event scheduled August 6, 2014, were objected to by some persons for what reason?
  10. What event coincides with the Dog Days of August?


Historically, why were the Dog Days considered bad?


August 16, 2014

Quonset Air Museum in Rhode Island




Blue Angel and Tomcat Navy Planes

130907 IMG_5253E

September 7, 2013, was An adventurous day as my husband Monte and I visited the Quonset Air Museum in North Kingston, Rhode Island.

My father, Chief Navy Photographer Robert W. Cornell, was stationed out of Quonset Naval Station in December 1943, when I was born in Providence. In August 1963 I visited up to the gate of the Navy Station while visiting a friend, the late Carol Cargill, who lived nearby in Warwick, Rhode Island.

The museum website states

  • The mission of the Rhode Island Quonset Air Museum (QAM) is to preserve, interpret and present Rhode Island’s aviation history through collections, research, education and exhibits…Founded in 1992 with the assistance of then Governor Bruce Sundlun, the air museum educates the public in the state’s rich aviation legacy and displays collections that document the contributions of Rhode Island to the growth and development of aviation and space exploration…QAM is housed on three acres in an original Naval Air Station Quonset Point (NASQP) hangar built in 1945, as the point building for the Overhaul and Repair (O&R) facility.

The museum has a large and valuable collection of aircraft, aircraft parts and other historical artifacts. The 28 aircraft currently on display or under restoration include civilian, military and prototype aircraft dating from 1944 (Hellcat under restoration) to 1983 (F-14 Tomcat), including the last aircraft to fly from Quonset NAS, a C-1A COD BU#136792, a one-of-a-kind TWIN TAIL Navy transport.

I'm sitting in a model demonstrating what it is like to be in an airplane cockpit

I’m sitting in a model demonstrating what it is like to be in an airplane cockpit

I was surprised to see a Navy Blue Angel, an A-4 Skyhawk, a small and simple tailed delta jet…the concept behind the Douglas A-4 was to keep the design simple and the weight as light as possible. It was the first operational A-4 Squadron was VA-72, stationed at the Naval Air Station Quonset Point. This aircraft is a veteran of the Vietnam conflict having served with U. S. Navy Attack Squadron VA-1645 ‘Ghostriders,” while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Hancock.

In 1974 the A-4 Skyhawk became part of the Navy flight demonstration aircraft. It was a smaller and lighter aircraft with a tighter turning radius allowing for a more dynamic flight demonstration.

130907 IMG_5258E


May 27, 2014

11 Facts About Father’s Day



Carolyn’s Online Magazine




See also 11 Facts About Flag Day: June 14 

Below is a list of unusual Father’s Day facts for the holiday enlightenment, presented in the form of a question. Answers are revealed by clicking on the MORE link at the end of the quiz.

  1.  Who signed the public law that made Father’s Day a permanent celebration?
  2. One of the first religious Father’s Day services was held in 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton, a member of the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, suggested this service. Why?
  3. Who is credited with conceiving the idea of Father’s Day?
  4. President Woodrow Wilson attempted to make Father’s Day an official holiday in 1916. Why didn’t Congress pass the bill?
  5. Name the Father’s Day the official flower, and it’s color.
  6. Father’s Day is a time set aside to value a father’s role in one’s life and to reflect upon paternal bonding. It is marked by spending time with one’s father or giving him a gift. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, what are the six most popular gifts?
  7. Why did Sonora Smart Dodd promote a Father’s Day celebration?
  8. Hallmark Card company claims that sending Father’s Day cards ranks what card-sending spot?
  9. Why was June 19 proclaimed the first Father’s Day celebration in 1910 by Spokane’s mayor?
  10. Internationally, Father’s Day is often associated with International Men’s Day. What does International Men’s Day celebrate?


How do Australia, Russia, and a native Hindu and Buddhist community in Nepal celebrate Father’s Day?

To find the answers click on MORE


April 29, 2014

11 Facts About Mother’s Day


NOTE: CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is now located at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

My mother, Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius

My mother, Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius


Also see:

Mother’s Day—Children’s Stories & Poems

May Celebrations: Part 1

11 Mother’s Day Quotations

Mother’s Day is May 11, 2014. Below is a trivia quiz for you. Enjoy.

  1.  What was Mother Teresa’s pre-nun name?
  2. What inspired Anna Jarvis to found Mother’s Day?
  3. How do children in Yugoslavia celebrate”Materitse,” Materice, or Mother’s Day?
  4. At what age does a woman’s body make preparations for her motherhood?
  5. Who holds the record for the shortest interval between two births?
  6. What is the modern world record for giving birth to the most children?
  7. Name the president and the year that orders were signed making Mother’s Day a national holiday.
  8. Why did Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother’s Day, file a lawsuit concerning that day?
  9. When and where was the first Mother’s Day observance held in the United States?
  10. Who does the Hindu scripture credit with the invention of writing through alphabets, pictographs and beautiful sacred images?


How old was the youngest mother, Peruvian Lina Medina, who gave birth in 1939? ­­­­­______ How old was the oldest mother, Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara (Spain, b. 5 January 1940), when she delivered a child? ______ The first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of Shuya, Russia, gave birth to how many children? ______

To learn the answers click on MORE…


April 24, 2014

11 Facts About May Day

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS valentine-coloring-4-231x300

Hug for Joanne




  1. The maypole, said to be a _____________, was originally made from a growing __________________ known as a ______________.
  2. May Day, celebrated across the globe, is actually two distinct holiday. One honors __________ and the other recognizes ________________.
  3. In 1925 ___________American astronaut, one of the seven original Project Mercury astronauts, was born. In 1967 _________ married Priscilla Beaulieu. The only other entertainer to attend was Redd Foxx. In 1945 ____________, German Nazi leader, Hitler’s propaganda minister, killed his family and himself when the Allies entered Berlin.
  4. During The Haymarket Affair of 1886, a rally in ________________ turned violent and more than a dozen persons were killed.
  5. May Day marks the midpoint between spring and summer, occurring exactly half a year from ________________.
  6. The world tree maypole is supposed to bridge the gap between ______________ and_______________.
  7. For Native Americans, May Day ushered in the month of the flower moon, a full moon under which ________________.
  8. People cover the maypole in bright ribbons and dance around the world tree. What did the pole represent? _____________ What did the ribbons represent) _____________
  9. May-day, the sea faring ocean distress call, is rooted in the French word ___________ , meaning ___________.
  10. Traditionally, on May Day, couples could be found disappearing into the fields to make love, in order to ____________; it was the last chance for _____________________.,


May Day’s Pagan origins are linked to both _______________ (a Celtic/Gaelic festival – the name means ‘day of fire’) and _______________ (celebrated the night before May Day). A similar Roman festival was called ____________________.

To learn the answers click More…


April 20, 2014

Spring Resurrection. Easter Resurrection.

(A FIFTY-WORD STORY: WP CHALLENGE 4/7/2014Movicon2-happy

Hugs for Dmitri and Noah

The WordPress weekly writing challenge for April 7, 2014, is fifty: write a story in fifty words.

April 15, 2014: Onion snow

April 15, 2014: Onion snow

The late-season onion snow* left in its wake…the truth of spring.**

A pure white trillium aims skyward not far from school-bus yellow colts-feet and lemon-yellow daffodils, Nature introduces, like clockwork, rainbow colors amid the early spring browns.

Resurrection is the order of Easter in more ways than one. Happy Easter.**

On March 28, 2014, this daffodil had some maturing to do. It was blooming the week before Easter.

On March 28, 2014, this daffodil had some maturing to do. It was blooming the week before Easter.


11 Facts About Easter

Easter—Children’s Stories & Poems

SHALOM! MY LORD AND MY GOD! The Easter Story as told by Mary


* onion snow n. Chiefly Pennsylvania A light snow in late spring, after onions have been planted.

** Saturday Essay: Resurrection by Colin McNickle





God’s form of communication? Lent Devotion #20


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