Tag Archive | holiday

Christopher Columbus … who knew?

In a past post I mentioned that I had relocated an old history book, copyright 1885, on my book shelf. Since today we celebrate Christopher Columbus Day, I thought it fitting to see if there was anything of interest in this timeworn volume about this renowned explorer.

According to Barnes Historical Stories, Columbus entered the world in 1435, the first of four children and the son of a poor wool-comber.  He assumed responsibility to contribute to the family to educate his young brothers and support his aged father from the savings of his meager wages. Did you know that his hair was totally white by age 30? Supposedly due to trouble and anxiety, it makes you wonder why it is included in this history text. Can you imagine today’s kids even caring about the color of his hair let alone what might have caused it?

Yet Columbus had a dream that was 18 years in the making. Determined, shrewd and intensely religious, Columbus believed his mission came from the Lord to carry the true faith to the uttermost parts of the earth. He deemed this cause his purpose and pursued it with courage and devotion.

You would think that with the acclaim Ferdinand and Isabella received from sponsoring Columbus’ travels, they would have treated him exceptionally well. Evidently that is not the case. Columbus made four voyages for the Spanish royals, yet evil men slandered Columbus, and they disregarded their promise to him that he should become governor-general over the lands he had discovered. Instead, they appointed another governor, who promptly returned Columbus to Spain in chains. Spain’s general population was outraged, and Ferdinand and Isabella tried to ease the wrong done to Columbus although they never permitted him to be governor. Eventually they neglected him altogether. Columbus died a grieved and disappointed man and requested that he be buried with his chains, a symbol of the Spanish ingratitude.

Here we are 506 years after his death celebrating his discovery with a holiday, yet in this age of global travel and communications, few of us even think about the cost of his investment let alone the man himself. So, take a minute today, just for fun, and quiz your family and friends to see if they can remember any details of Columbus or his voyage to discover a new world. He changed history. As you share what you have learned about him, it might become a conversation starter leading to discoveries of your own about their dreams, goals and purpose in life. Hmmm, Christopher Columbus. Who knows? He might still impact lives to encourage a new world.

Peter’s no hero

Who does he think he is, anyway? I’ve absolutely had it with Peter. Sorry to vent, but I just have to tell someone before I scream. I actually caught him in the act, and it made me furious. By the way, Peter is a wild rabbit.

Those who know me well understand my love for gardening and in particular growing my own vegetables. Not only do they taste so much better than grocery store fare, but the garden sure helps the budget. If I can put away some of my fresh produce, I can enjoy the savings throughout the year.

Unfortunately, Peter does not agree, and he has made it his mission to demolish half of my plants. It matters not that my garden incorporates approximately 256 square feet and that directly behind it is over 320,000 square feet of wild land filled with grasses, raspberries and other wild delicacies, all of which, according to the Internet, are actually more beneficial to his health than the plants he’s eating from my patch. They are certainly plentiful and easier to access to satisfy his voracious appetite as well. He does not even have to chew threw a heavy plastic fence to get to them. But no, his only concern is trying to take what he thinks is best at the moment. He has neither logical rationale nor consideration and respect for my efforts, needs and desires. It’s all about his agenda. Maybe he works for the government.

Though this true account is totally frustrating, I suppose the timing of it is appropriate as it makes me begin to think of the 4th of July celebration and our country’s founding fathers. We remember their character, strength and life-giving sacrifices to provide freedom for us. They planted seeds of patriotism and independence providing us a harvest of rights that have proven themselves for over 230 years. Perhaps on this Independence Day, our Declaration of Independence should be renewed in the hearts and minds of every citizen. John Quincy Adams says it well. “Posterity – you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” We must remember because if we become lax in our vigilance, others will come in to tear down what we have sown, even undermining the protections we’ve put into place.

As we prepare our barbecues and fireworks, let’s reflect on the yesterdays that made our country great before it is too late. Former President Woodrow Wilson provided this warning. “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.”

We need to look back and remember in order to foil the victory of those who would like to sabotage our garden of independence.