Time Travel: Independence Day, Fred Astaire Style

It’s the tail end of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, so let’s talk Christmas movies!

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Just kidding…a tiny bit, at least.

This last weekend does remind me of one of my favorite Christmas movies, Holiday Inn, which I talked about in this post.

But Holiday Inn covers all holidays, not just Christmas. For Independence Day, Fred Astaire delivers one of his most entertaining performances.

I’ll let you see for yourself in the clip from TCM’s site. Think real firecrackers and jumping feet. My inner pyro gets excited each time I see it.

Keep in mind as you watch that the number took three full days and 80+ takes to get perfect. That helps explain his reaction at the end.

Happy Independence Day!

Watch Fred Astaire’s Firecracker Dance

Moving On

We’re in the middle of a big transition right now. And right now, I hate my stuff. All of it. Well, almost.

Okay, not really. It’s when things multiply in closets over the years that you start to eye those trendy Tiny Homes with new interest.

Do you think the ladies of World War II and the WASP had that issue? Just what did they have to keep up with during their moves?

Let’s take a peek at their living quarters, called bays. By the way, six cadets shared a bay, and two bays–twelve cadets–shared one toilet and one shower.

From the WASP WWII Museum website

From the WASP WWII Museum website

See those white lockers? Each cadet filled half of one. So, imagine your junior high school locker. Now imagine living out of it. Cadets could also have a smallish suitcase or footlocker, but that was it.

Not much to go on, but not much to have to keep up with, either, when living on the go.

It makes me appreciate anew the situations that they and all service people live in.

Grab Bag: It’s Your Turn, Part II

You all inspired me with your responses in this post to where you were in years past. Thanks!

Then I got to thinking about your replies to where you would’ve liked to have been at the turn of the 20th century. (See this post.)

So…let’s have some fun and combine the two.

Where would you have liked to have been in these years/decades? 2005, 1995, 1985… You get the picture. Extra credit? Jump back a century or two. 1815, 1715, etc.

Go crazy! =)

 

Review: Gilbert Morris’ A Bright Tomorrow

Once a month I offer a review– usually fiction, sometimes non-fiction, sometimes movies/TV. Grab your favorite hot beverage (mine’s a mocha), and let’s talk!

Gilbert Morris stands as one of Christian fiction’s most prolific writers. Still going strong in his mid-eighties, he’s given us sweeping family sagas and numerous standalone novels. A Bright Tomorrow, the first in the American Century Series takes the spotlight this month.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 mochas

What it’s about: Rural Arkansas at the turn of the 20th century can’t contain the ambitions of three teenagers. Lylah, Amos, and Owen Stuart lead their large clan as the oldest siblings. Their mother strives valiantly to grow a godly family, but their father’s wandering ways leave the others to shoulder the backbreaking work.

Circumstances draw the three away from the farm to far-flung corners of the country–and the world. Each takes very different paths to find their destinies. Readers lay down roots in New York, storm San Juan Hill in Cuba, infiltrate China, and witness bulging circus tents across the country. And God fills every place with His love and mercy.

You might like this if you like: Family sagas, turn-of-the-century history

What I’ve liked: Gilbert Morris excels at conjuring vivid characters. Each is not simply sketched; they’re painted in striking detail. Speaking of details, Morris does his historical homework, assuring his readers of an accurate read.

I’m not crazy about: This is merely nit-picky. However, the writing style in this story uses conventions that were more common to the earlier days of Christian fiction. For example, “head hopping” (hearing the thoughts of more than one character within one scene) is a common occurrence. Having said that, as a writer myself I’d take Morris’ track record any day–minor infractions or not.

The bottom line: The first in this series, A Bright Tomorrow sets up the saga well, and I look forward to following the Stuart family for fictional years to come.

What about you? If you had lived at the turn of the 20th century, what historical event or person would you have wanted to see in person?

 

In the Trenches

What is it about challenges that bind a group together? Have you ever noticed that?

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I’ve been thinking about it a lot this week. As I write this, our church youth group is taking part in an annual mission trip/youth camp.

Several youth groups in our area are spending the hotter-than-the-sun days of this week all over our town. They’re ripping off roofs for new ones, giving elderly and disabled people access to the outside world through new wheelchair ramps, cheering up homes through fresh paint, and other repairs.

It’s fascinating to watch our group during these weeks. They don’t scatter as much during free time or meals. They gravitate toward one another naturally, even if they’re on each others’ last nerves.

And throughout the year they keep these common experiences alive. “Remember that cactus that grew through the roof?” Yep, they all remember. Together. Just like I remember stories from mission trips of yore. (I like getting to use that word whenever I can, don’t you?)

Challenges bind us together.

The other day I ran into a former coworker from my hospice days. Eight years spanned the time from our last meaty chat. But we–and several other comrades–had hunkered in the trenches in those times. As we talked it was like we’d seen each other yesterday. Nothing can break our experience together.

It’s as if these bonds are God’s bonus for surviving and thriving in difficulty.

So, what challenges are you going through today? Are others facing them head on with you? Then take heart! You’ll share those common badges of honor forever.

And it’ll be like no time has passed, even if the years carry you far away from each other.