English Pilgrims set sail for their New World in September of 1620. They must have been consumed by fear for their lives and trepidation about what lay ahead, yet they were propelled through their doubt by the promise of a better future and by their unbounded faith in God.
They started from the Dutch port city of Delfs-Haven on the good ship Speedwell, destined to write one of the opening and best known chapters of American history.
The trip didn’t go well.
The Speedwell only made it to England’s southern port of Southampton where it sprang a serious leak. It set sail again only to spring another leak. They made it to the port at Plymouth. There the passengers and freight were transferred to the sister ship Mayflower, bound for America (some accounts say the Speedwell was only intended to go as far as England to meet up with the Mayflower, while others indicate that both were headed across the Atlantic).
The 102 passengers and 37 crew members spent 66 days on the frigid seas of the North Atlantic, sick, hungry, cramped, and cold in the lower gun deck of a vessel designed to carry only lumber, fish, and French wine on short trips along the European coastline. The Mayflower was just 100 feet long and 24 feet wide. Of the 102, only 41 were considered true Pilgrims, seeking separation from the Church of England. The remainder were called “strangers”, merchants, craftsmen, indentured servants, and orphaned children. Continue reading →
It is an expression that rolls off the tongue. Thanking someone in uniform as they trek through an airport or walk down a sidewalk has become commonplace.
The expression can take many different forms, from a simple ‘thanks’ and maybe a handshake to a fireworks popping flyover, flag-waving spectacle at a professional football game.
It is certainly most often a gesture made in hopes of lifting the spirit of a service member, a tiny step forward to express appreciation for what a soldier has done for the country, whatever that might be, from suffering the horrors of warfare to shuffling papers at the Pentagon.
BY JOHN FEEHERY Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com
April showers bring May flowers.
The Epigaea repens is a delicate flowering plant that was prevalent at Plymouth Rock, especially in the early 1600’s. It was so prevalent that the 100 or so religious separatists who made Massachusetts home named it the Mayflower, after the ship that brought them to America.
Mayflower was not an uncommon name for a sailing vessel at the time. There had been a Mayflower to sailed against the Spanish Armada when the Catholic power tried to instill its will on a newly Protestant English Monarch.
There is one person I know who is having a very special Thanksgiving this year, probably more special than all the others.
Her name is Tricia and just last Friday, November 18, she was what the medical community calls “clinically” dead.
This weekend she is home with her children and grandchild gathered around, no doubt looking into their smiling faces giving thanks for the miracle of her rebirth.
Tricia was at her job at a private club in Annapolis, MD last Friday. She had just left her secluded office in the lower level and gone upstairs. Moments later she collapsed. Her heart stopped beating. Someone yelled to call 911 within earshot of a doctor (a neurosurgeon) who rushed to her side and performed CPR. Continue reading →
As we approach the festive season — the elongated, enchanting month from Thanksgiving through Christmas to New Years — my mind has been drifting through various memorable past holidays. Some have been personal — the last one with my father before he died. But one that stands out for historic reasons was Christmas 1991.
It was precisely on Dec. 25, 1991 — 20 years ago next month — that the Soviet Union expired. Mikhail Gorbachev resigned his office, and the godless Soviet Union formally ended its existence. On that Christmas Day — of all days –mankind was given the gift of deliverance from the half-century-long threat of nuclear annihilation. Mankind had never been more than one human misjudgment away from the unthinkable. It seemed a miracle that for all the human blundering, the crass politics of the world, the trillions of dollars spent on nuclear weapons — we had come out the other side untouched by the long-dreaded nuclear flame.
But after expressing my heartfelt gratitude for the deliverance from such an evil, I remember thinking that it was a pity that from then on history and politics would be so boring — not that I was complaining. Continue reading →
This is a rewrite of the Thanksgiving MULLINGS first published in 2002.
Please take a moment on Thanksgiving to say a Prayer of Thanks for those brave Americans in uniform, and also for the civilians, who are serving in far off places, away from their families, protecting us, while projecting America’s values as we enjoy our Thanksgiving dinners safe from fear, and from want; and exercise our freedoms of worship and of speech.