Tag Archives: memorial day

A Memorial Day Tribute to My Grandfather

25 May

My grandfather never served in the military, yet for some reason an American flag has been place besides his gravestone honoring him at a World War II veteran.  At first, I wondered if it should be taken away, but who do you notify about something like that?  Plus, I just couldn’t make a call like that.  I couldn’t bring myself to say, “You mistakenly put a flag by my grandfather’s grave, but he never served in the military.”  While my grandfather never wore army boots or rode in the Calvary or fixed an army tank, he loved his country and he served in World War II…just in a different way.

See, my grandfather and his brother tried to enlist at a locally, but were rejected due to their flat feet.  Undaunted, they drove to Philadelphia, thinking they might slip by the recruiters in a bigger city.  Alas, their giant, flat feet sold them out.  I know that throughout his entire life my grandfather felt a sense of shame believing that he wasn’t “man enough” to be in the military.  But who knows what would have happened if he had served?  Would he have been killed in the Battle of the Bulge like my grandmother’s first husband, Luke?  Or did God have another use for my grandfather’s talents?

My grandfather was a craftsman.  If anything was broken, he could fix it–and he took great delight IN fixing it.   Eventually, he became a mechanic for a large sewing factory, teaching woman how to sew and fixing the machines when they broke.  He invented devices, that if he had thought to patent, would’ve made him a very rich man in his later years.  While the factory started out making bras and slips, as the war raged, they started to craft parachutes and American flags.  In some way, this was a salve to my grandfather’s broken spirit.   Who knows how many more lives were spared because of the parachutes my grandfather and “his girls” crafted? 

Like I said, my grandfather, Edwin Landis, never served in the military.  But he used the gifts given to him by God to protect the military.  Though it may seem inappropriate to some, I think that American flag is properly placed because if there was ever a man who did something for his country, it was my grandfather.  He may never have his name memorialized in a tribute concert or a plaque, but I’d like to honor his contribution to freedom right here and right now.  You did a good job, Poppy, and I’m proud of you!


Friday Faves: The Josh-Wilson-Is-Coming-To-Town Edition

27 May

Photo Credit: Michael Yon

We will never forget you or your sacrifices to this nation.  We sincerely thank you and remember you on our prayers.


It’s another Friday and we’re all still here, so I guess the Rapture didn’t happen.  I know that Scripture says no man, not even Jesus Himself, knows the hour or day, but part of me just wanted to go home…and not just to avoid that dreaded Monday morning doctor’s appointment, which went well, by the way.  And, by well, I mean, that I didn’t flip out, scream, run out the door, or destroy any medical equipment.  Go me!  During the  check-up, I learned there are some things I need to work on, and my doctor discovered that I have cellulitis in my right forefinger (only the finger I use most when I’m not sucking my thumb.  I mean, I don’t suck my thumb. Anymore.)  So, I’m on antibiotics now.  Isn’t that weird–antibiotics for a finger infection?  More deets on that next week because God taught me something important in the whole process.

What are you doing this Memorial Day Weekend?  I’m all jazzed up because I’m going to see my amazing friend, singer/songwriter Josh Wilson perform at MayFair at Cedar Beach in Allentown.  He’s schedule to take the stage Sunday (May 29) at 8 PM, so be there!  I told Josh in an email (that he still hasn’t replied to–shame on you, Josh! You’d think the guy has a touring schedule, an awesome wife, and other responsibilities or something.  I’m just joshing [and punning], I know he’s mad busy) that my grandparents used to take me to Cedar Beach when I was a wee girl to feed the ducks and geese, a practice which is now outlawed in the city of Allentown.  I also informed Josh that think I also got bit by a goose at this locale, so everyone come out and see where I got attacked by waterfowl! 

The Museum released this album way before Rob Bell released his book, LOVE WINS. I didn't want you to think that the guys in The Museum are a bunch of copy cats.

The Museum (They’re on at 7 PM. Love them!), Building 429, and Beyond Barriers are also playing in this showcase sponsored by local Christian radio station, The Word FM.  While perusing MayFair’s website, I just learned that if you want seats at  “Word FM Night,” you have to pay $15 for regular seats and $20 for VIP seating, plus $5 admission to MayFair itself (It used to be free, but now THE MAN charges you to get in).  While paying to see Josh Wilson do his thing is a priceless gift, you’ll find me in the FREE standing room only section. (Incidentally, this appears to be the *only* concert that MayFair patrons are required to pay for–if they want to sit.)

Maybe Josh will even play this song at MayFair! I talk about Josh Wilson A LOT on Backseat Writer, for more JW +BSW goodness, click here!

*This week my friend, Ben DeVries who runs not one, but two, great websites–Not One Sparrow and With Those Who–did a little post on the pain children of divorce experience, and he even linked to something I wrote.  In “They Pull Away,” Ben uses a passage from Jenn Abbas de Jong’s book, Generation Ex: Adult Children of Divorce and the Healing of Our Pain.  You can learn more about the book at Jen’s website and even read the first chapter.  Purchase your own copy of this out-of-print book from a seller on Amazon.com!

*You know I love my books, and I found another great title over at BibleDude.net.  It’s called Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.  The book’s author, Wesley Hill, is a gay Christian who believes in practicing communal celibacy in accordance with the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality.  Incidentally, one of my favorite writers, Henri Nouwen, also held this viewpoint.  Homosexuality was a hot topic ’round these parts in January when I reviewed Jay Bakker’s book, Fall to Grace.  I haven’t yet read this book, but it looks excellent. The review was written by BibleDude.net contributor Will McPherson.

Click on this icon to see the full list of participants!

*Giveaway hops are fun, aren’t they?  I love jumping from blog to blog entering giveaways, especially giveaways involve books and bookish things.  Right now, the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop is in full swing.  Running now through May 31, you can enter 300+ giveaways from fine literary lovers all over the blogosphere, including right here at Backseat Writer (and on Backseat Reader).  To enter my giveaway for your choice of a $10 Amazon gift card or a book of your choice ($10 or under) from The Book Depository, go here or click the “Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop” icon on the upper right side of BSW.  Then head over to Backseat Reader and enter there, too.

*My final fave comes once again from Jenny B. Jones, but it lacks its usual jovial nature.  Living in Arkansas, Jenny is right in the middle of all the tornado activity and talks about the violent storms wrecking havoc in her area.  In fact, Jenny lives a mere 45 minutes from the town of Joplin, MO.  Read Jenny’s post, “All Twisted Out.

As we spend time with family and friends this weekend grilling, christening freshly opened swimming pools, and rocking out to Josh Wilson, let us remember those who are suffering in the South–pray for them and donate money or items if you are able. 

Tell me, what are you doing this Memorial Day Weekend?  Are you going to see Josh Wilson?  Do you like Josh Wilson?  Do you think Josh Wilson will respond to my email?  What’s your favorite thing to win in a giveaway? What are you doing to help those affected by tornadoes?  Is there anyone you are personally honoring this Memorial Day?

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