Thursday, July 12, 2018

When I was a Little Girl, I Kept a Dragon in a Jar

When I was very little,
I thought I kept a dragon in a jar.  Every so often I would let him out to fly around and then I would scoop him back up and place him into the jar again.  My dragon's name was Puff, of course, the song by Peter, Paul and Mary was popular at that time, I was about 6 years old. 

Puff was an actual puff, you know the puff that is bigger that a dandelion puff, the way the seeds of a plant spread.  Anyway, when I was a child I caught one of these big puffs (thinking it was a dragon, hey I didn't know what a dragon was suppose to look like, don't judge me)  and that was what I kept in my jar.  It was truly magical, I had it in the jar for days and I would let him out to fly and I would run around the yard with him.  I sang to him (Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the see and frolicked in the Autumn mist with a girl called Beverleeeee, sorry I am a creative singer) I tried to feed him. but he didn't eat anything.  But like my grandfather taught me, you can't keep creatures in a jar really long, they will die.  So eventually I left him fly away.  I truly loved Puff, I told him all my secrets, well at least the secrets of a 6 year old girl.

So why am I tell you this, well, this morning on my way to work suddenly there was a puff on my car window.  It plopped right directly in front of me, like it was looking at me, then it swirled across my window, just like a little dance and I smiled and all the memories of Puff, my dragon, came rushing back to me.  I even had tears thinking about it.  Isn't it amazing how little things can make you happy.

In this world, as a grown-up, it seems like it takes a lot to make us happy.  Everything seems so technical and we are skeptical of everyone and everything.  But, then I thought about it, isn't the simple things  still what make us truly happy.  Think about it.  A baby being born, love, a smile and even a fart makes us laugh. (Yes, Barbara I am thinking about you!).

Today I am thankful for that magical puff, the one I met today, and the one that played with a lonely little girl back in 1963.  Heck, maybe it was the same Puff.

May you find still find pleasure in the simplest of things.  Don't let life get so busy and complicated that you miss it. 

Smile, because, that's another day in Catasauqua.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Oh Say Can You See

You know, all this controversy with the Star-Spangled Banner and the Philadelphia Eagles and the President got me thinking.  Where did it all start.

We all know that Francis Scott Keys wrote the lyrics come from "Defence of Fort M'Henry", a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry
and observed that the fort's smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shell and  rocket barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. On the morning of September 14, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised.
During the bombardment, HMS Terror and the HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air".

The 15-star, 15-stripe "Star-Spangled Banner" that inspired the poem
Key was inspired by the U.S. victory and the sight of the large U.S. Flag   flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary  Young Pickersgill  together with other workers in her home on Baltimore's Pratt Street. The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner  and is today on display in the National Museum of American History,  a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution.   

The song gained popularity throughout the 19th century and bands played it during public events, such as July 4th celebrations.
A plaque displayed at Fort Meade, South Dakota, claims that the idea of making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem began on their parade ground in 1892. Colonel Caleb Carlton, Post Commander, established the tradition that the song be played "at retreat and at the close of parades and concerts." Carlton explained the custom to Governor Sheldon of South Dakota who "promised me that he would try to have the custom established among the state militia." Carlton wrote that after a similar discussion, Secretary of War, Daniel E. Lamont issued an order that it "be played at every Army post every evening at retreat."

In 1899, the U.S. Navy officially adopted "The Star-Spangled Banner".  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that "The Star-Spangled Banner" be played at military and other appropriate occasions. The playing of the song two years later during the 7th inning stretch of Game One of the 1918 World Series  and thereafter during each game of the series is often cited as the first instance that the anthem was played at a baseball game.  There is a great story here - (From the History Channel )  "Yet even though the event featured two teams at the top of their games, the crowd was somber that day, writes ESPN The Magazine. Since entering the Great War a year and a half ago, more than 100,000 U.S. soldiers had died. And just a day before the game, a bomb had exploded in Chicago, (the city in which the game was held), killing four people and injuring dozens more. In addition, the U.S. government had recently announced that it would begin drafting major league baseball players.
All this sat heavy on the shoulders of both the players and the smaller-than-usual crowd of fans that day. But during the seventh-inning stretch, the U.S. Navy band began to play the Star-Spangled Banner; and something changed.

As the song began, Red Sox infielder Fred Thomas—who was in the Navy and had been granted furlough to play in the World Series—immediately turned toward the American flag and gave it a military salute, according to the Chicago Tribune. Other players turned to the flag with hands over hearts, and the already-standing crowd began to sing. At the song’s conclusion, the previously quiet fans erupted in thunderous applause. At the time, the New York Times reported that it “marked the highest point of the day’s enthusiasm.” The song would be played at each of the Series’ remaining games, to increasingly rapturous response. And patriotism played a part right from the start, as the Red Sox gave free tickets to wounded veterans and honored them during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner before the start of the decisive Game 6."
President Hoover signed the bill on March 4, 1931, officially adopting "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem of the United States of America.
Now here is an interesting FACT - When the U.S. national anthem was first recognized by law in 1931, there was no prescription as to behavior during its playing.   It wasn't until 1942 saluting and taking ones hat off came into play.
Since 1998, federal law (viz., the United States Code 36 U.S.C states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present including those in uniform should stand at attention; Non-military service individuals should face the flag with the right hand over the heart; Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute; military service persons not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note. The law further provides that when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Military law requires all vehicles on the installation to stop when the song is played and all individuals outside to stand at attention and face the direction of the music and either salute, in uniform, or place the right hand over the heart, if out of uniform. The law was amended in 2008, and since allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.
The text of 36 U.S.C.  is suggestive and not regulatory in nature. Failure to follow the suggestions is not a violation of the law. This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance.    For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not sing the national anthem, though they are taught that standing is an "ethical decision" that individual believers must make based on their "conscience."
All this hooting and hollering lately about the Star Spangled Banner and the NFL seems to me to be up to the individual and shouldn't even be dictated by the NFL  it is suggested and not regulatory to stand.  It says you should stand and not you have to stand.  
Yes, we do it out of respect for what the flag stands for in the song.  But even the song has been debated.  It is hard to sing.  The music for the our National Anthem was written by John Stafford Smith, who was from England.  The tune was from "The Anacreontic Song" was the official song of the Anacreontic Society in England.  The Anacreontic Society was a gentlemen's club of the kind that was popular in London in the late eighteenth century.  The Society was dedicated to the ancient Greek poet Anacreon, who was renowned for his drinking songs and odes to love. Its members, who consisted mainly of wealthy men of high social rank, would meet on Wednesday evenings to combine musical appreciation with eating and drinking.  LOL - I don't know why this makes me laugh, it just does.  Because the tune of the Star Spangled Banner is from a drinking song! 

But it all boils down to this - It is a National Anthem, no matter how it got there.  It stands freedom.  The flag flies for a country "which is the land of the free and the home of the brave" .  It stands for liberty and justice for all.  You know, I think our Country has forgotten this.   The flag isn't to be worship, it's not an idol, it is a symbol.  I don't think we are the people we use to be.  We are slowly loosing our freedoms.  We are being told more and more how to act, who to like and what to be.  We are loosing our voice in government.  We are a people divided and that's not good.  That is not what America is.  

For me, I stand and put my hand over my heart at baseballs games.  I even stand at home.  And patriotic songs make shed a tear.  I love America, but I am worried as to where we are headed.

For me...this is another day in Catasauqua.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Loss of a Firefighter Made Me Think

My Mom always has the WFMZ news on in the morning.  As I passed through the living room this morning they were talking about bringing home the body of Erik Hirner.   Erik was an 11 year veteran of the Reading Fire Department and a life member of the Charotin Hose Company in North Catasauqua.  

Erik lived in North Catasauqua and was only 38 when he departed this life from injuries sustained when his motorcycle collided with an SUV.  

Today a procession will bring him home and to the Funeral home in Northampton for a viewing Sunday and Memorial Service Monday.  This is a sad time for all Firefighters and his family and friends; and I am sure that so many are asking why.  

This morning I thought about that on my drive in.  I don't know why; but I do know that we should live our life everyday to the fullest that we are able,  because we don't know when our time is up.   

Now, I don't mean that we should live recklessly or party like it is our last.  I always had this dumb way of thinking, if I died tomorrow, how long would the line at my funeral be and how long would my obituary be.  I know it sounds lame but I want to be more than 3 lines that say....Beverly Werner of Catasauqua died peacefully in her sleep leaving behind a son, 3 grandchildren, her partner and her dog.  No, I want it to say Past President of Consistory, choir member, Sunday School Teacher and occasional Blogger.  I want it to go on and on.  I want people to miss me who didn't even know me personally but knew me as "that nice lady who smiled"  "the lady who always said Thank you kind sir" when the door was hold open for her.  

Lately this world has been filled with a lot of hate.  Social media, which for me, was a way to see what was happening with friends and family has turned into a playground for adults insulting each other's politics.  

Twitter has turned into a weapon.  We have the freedom of speech but lets not turn it into the freedom to be stupid.   Where is the love, where did it go.  

As we mourn the loss of this young man, let it help us not to ask why but to ask how we can be better.

and that's another tear in another day in Catasauqua.

Firefighter Erik Hirner 
Procession & Service Information
Procession from Reading
Departing Reading Hospital 
through the city approximate time 1pm - 2pm
Sunday, June 3rd from 6 PM - 8 PM
Schisler Funeral Home
2119 Washington Ave
Northhampton, PA 18067
Monday, June 4th at 11 AM
A viewing will be held prior to the service
Schisler Funeral Home
2119 Washington Ave
Northhampton, PA 18067

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Spirits of the Past

Yesterday morning I spotted a cardinal in some bushes in the alley behind my house.  I saw it while on my morning walk with Blade, my dog.  I didn't think much of it yesterday, but this morning the cardinal was now squawking at me.  Let me add, it was REALLY squawking, so much it caught my attention right away.   They say cardinals are angels.  They say a cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed.  When you see one, it means they are visiting you.   

I immediately thought of a friend of mine - Miriam - she loved cardinals, she passed a few years ago and then of thought of Shirley, another friend who passed a little over a year ago and suddenly I had a hole in heart from the loss of several friends over the years.

It's inevitable, as we get older, we start to loose friends and family.

As I continued walking, I was really sad, but then I thought of all the good things these friends brought to my life and I became filled with love; and suddenly the hole in my heart was filled. 

Death happens, it will happen to me one day.  But this morning I realized that life is full of love.  Loving memories, love of friends and family, the love of my dog and I would say the cat, but cats, I not so sure about.  The world doesn't need love, it has it - you just have to recognize it and share what you have with everyone else.  So that one day, when you depart this life to go on to the next one that you don't leave holes, but instead you leave love.

and with that it is another day in Catasauqua.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Fourth in Catasauqua-Huzzah!

Declaring our Independence!
It seems that every year I write a post about the 4th of July in Catasauqua, and that is because BFF, Cathy and I always go to the George Taylor home for the festivities and the reading of the Declaration of Independence.  

Cathy and I were pleased to see that more and more people are attending the presentation.  This year it was an “interactive” reading of America’s Declaration of Independence – complete with patriots, loyalists, and muskets.  Huzzah!  

Original desk of David Thomas
The first couple of years Cathy and I went it was lightly attended, now you better get there early to get a good spot to watch;   oh, and listen to Gettysburg’s Antebellum Marine Band!
Jean in the Garden

Got to love the strains of the Patriotic music along with people strolling about in costume.  If you visit the George Taylor home at some later date, check out the garden that is taken care of by another BFF, Jean.  It is beautiful.

Cathy and I did something also different this year and so did the Historic Catasauqua Preservation Association, they celebrated the Froth of July with a exhibition of breweries, bottles and beer at the Beiry House Museum located at 8 Race Street in Catasauqua.  (Thanks Ben for showing off your collection)

Heads up (that was a beer pun) if you ever get the opportunity to tour through the Beiry house do it, it is beautiful! The house is decorated with original pieces.  Along with the art work  of local artist,  Bob LeFevre of the homes and businesses of Catasauqua. He collection is  breath taking, along with other artists,  the whole museum is a great experience.

 A visit to the upstairs is a must, but do not be alarmed by the headless women they are only mannequins (yes Cathy!)

Oh - and get this - The Biery House is available for special occasions.  Affordable elegance for small gatherings - such as - Birthday - Showers and special occasions. And here is what I want to do - but I might be too old, Fancy Dress-Up Tea Parties for the birthday girl!!!  Call 610-264-9716 for information.

I would like to end with this from the Declaration of Independence - 

"He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever."

("He"-is King George, just in case you didn't know there for a moment)
and that's Another day in Catasauqua ........

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Real Housewives of Catasauqua

Last week the ladies of "Keep me in Stitches", which is a crochet and knitting group at the Catasauqua Public Library, were having a conversation when one thing led to another in my mind, what would a Real Housewives of Catasauqua show be like?

We were talking about Dancing with the Stars and Erika Jayne.  Someone asked who she was.  I said I think she is from one of those Housewives shows; which led to the above question as to what would a Real Housewives of Catasauqua show be like?  (We had some answers that actually kept us in stitches)

Who would star in the "The Real Housewives of Catasauqua"?  

I found an article that explained the casting of the show as follows:
1) There is no such think as too much personality.
2)  A sense of humor is a must.
3)  Friends of the housewives are preferred.
4) A willingness to be open is essential.
5) You don't have to be a wife (that is just too funny)

It seems that BRAVO has redefined the term"housewife", being that most of the women on these shows have probably not done any actual domestic chores.  

Think of what our women could do in Catasauqua - they could brunch at the new Bridge Street Restaurant.  They could visit an Art Exhibit at Gallery 415 or take swing lessons at The Gas House Dance Hall.  THINK of all the possibilities!!!!   They could even drink too much at the Auquasat Lounge and enter rehab which is conveniently located across the street at the Malvern Institute.  Do you notice how I managed to do all that in basically a two block radius - imagine the infinite scenarios involving the whole town!  Maybe we could even include North Catasauqua in the show.  

So, I ask you, fellow Catasauqians, who would star in The Real Housewives of Catasauqua?

and with that .. it's another day in Catasauqua.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What a weekend in Catasauqua

My weekend started last night as usual - food shopping.  But, when we came home my mom had said "there was a man here to see me."  What man, what was his name; my mother, of course, did not ask.  The gentleman did, however, show up after 8 o'clock and what a fantastic story.  He tracked me down, by this blog!  It was kind of exciting hearing the man say to Parke, "I am a looking for Beverly Werner, she writes a blog called "Another Day in Catasauqua"  ooooooo!  That's me!!! "I am a private detective."  ooooo! That's not me! "Don't worry you are not in trouble" Okay - it's me then.

It was very interesting -we talked about a 2014 story that I wrote - I just happened to take a picture that helped him in a case he was working on, unfortunately I could not be of more help to him, but  it was still the most exciting thing that has happened to me lately.

The Sweets
Then this morning it was to church for a fundraiser called Soup, Salad and Sweets.  My laughs started with my BFF, Tammy, who had Hallmark hair.  If you watch as many Hallmark movies as Tammy, Cathy or I do, you know what I mean.  It is that kind of hair you have when you meet Mr. Right, but of course, you dislike each other at first, perhaps you met in a fender bender in the parking lot or you spilled soup all over him, but by the end of the movie or this blog whichever happens first, you kiss and inevitably live happily ever after.

But, maybe the best laughs came later with the arrival of BFF's Jaime and Rami. You see, they have been remodeling their bathroom and Rami's new pride and perhaps joy is the bidet.  Yes, a bidet, which has a heated seat and lights up in the dark; which I may try in the future.  If I do, watch for my blog, "Another bidet in Catasauqua"  it is sure to be one that captivates your imagination.

Of course, Rami, who is eating for two can't understand the complaints of pregnant women, since he is not experiencing any morning sickness and I heard laughter coming from the table, since he was surrounded by women.

You know what--
isn't that a great thing.  To sit with friends, to make new friends and to eat great desserts (okay threw that one in because I ate some of the best desserts today) and to laugh.  I feel so happy today I just had to share it with you, my readers.

Yup this is my weekend so far, who knows it isn't over yet, maybe some more craziness will happen.  BUT that's the great thing, you never know what is going to happen next, Hallmark hair, baby daddy's (Dale and Rami) and bidets, you know what I call that ........Another day in Catasauqua.