Remembering a War Hero

Remembering a War Hero
Remembering a War Hero

Hi, Folks,

It’s me, Indy—Tracy’s fur baby.

Today is a very important day. It’s my 6th birthday. Hahowl!

My mum reminded me it’s Remembrance Day too.

remembrance-day-free-pixabay-photo

My mum patted the sofa. I jumped up.

Pages rustled in the legacy book she wrote about our family.

My ears stood at attention.

When the pages stopped turning, I snuggled under my blanket, eager to hear more about my maternal great-grandfather—a war hero.

INDY

I hope you’ll follow along too. Mum’s story is not very long. 

A Man of Courage

Indy, even though I never met my grandfather whenever I hear stories about his life he comes alive in my heart.

Did you know it’s been ninety-eight years since my grandfather fought in the Finnish Civil War of 1918?

Here’s my grandfather’s army photo. He was only nineteen-years-old in this photo.

grandfathers-army-photo-alone

My grandfather – Eero Kohtala – 1918

My grandmother (Nana) wrote a note on the back of the photo. It says, “Vapaus Larar. V. 1918.” Translation, “The Freedom of Larar. Victory. 1918”.

Indy, you may use my laptop later if you’re interested in learning about this war. Just click on the two links–>Civil War of 1918 and The Finnish Class War 1918.

Commemorative Medal

My grandfather was presented with a liberation commemorative medal along with a certificate from the commander-in-chief, Kustaa Mannerheim, who later became the 6th President of Finland?

1812-war-medals

Open your eyes, Indy. I’m almost finished.

The certificate says,

“On behalf of the Finnish government and the joint armed forces, I, Kustaa Mannerheim, commander-in-chief, present this liberation commemorative medal to Eero Kohtala in recognition of his participation and dedication in the liberation of his homeland.

May this medal always remind the participants of the liberation war of their accomplishments. Be it always proof to the participants and later generations how the Finnish nation rose as a united front to defend their nation and freedom.

Be it a reminder of the efforts of the white army’s strong defense of Tampere and Viipuri, of their efforts and suffering and hardships they endured to push the enemy back with pride in memory of the enormous tasks undertaken and the right to do so as set out in this declaration.”

Indy, stop yawning. I’ve finished my story.

Folks, thanks for reading about my great-grandfather, Eero Kohtala. 

Our family remembers his sacrifice.

We also remember the greatest sacrifice, Jesus Christ, who gave up his life to save us all.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)

At 11:11 a.m., Mum and I will also remember the men, women, and the service dogs who sacrificed their lives for us.

Always Remembering,

Indy

The cross and poppy photo are courtesy of Pixabay. CC0 Public Domain. Free for commercial use.

Memorable Moments Down Wedding Day Lane

Memorable Moments Down Wedding Day Lane

On Saturday, October 13, 1956, my parents tied the knot.

Wow! Sixty years ago today.

To mark the occasion of their sixtieth wedding anniversary, hubby and I presented them with a congratulatory certificate from the Prime Minister of Canada this past Thanksgiving Sunday.

wedding-congratulations-from-the-prime-minister-of-canada

Last week, while chatting with my mom on the phone, I asked if she’d share a memorable moment of her wedding.

Mom chuckled. “Do you really want to know?”

“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want to know,” I said with pen poised.

My pen barely kept up with the memories that tumbled out. (I didn’t include them all. Grin)

Mom’s Memorable Moments – The Wedding Ceremony

Dad and I were married at the Finnish Lutheran Church in Timmins, Ontario. I believe the ceremony was at one or two in the afternoon.

One memorable moment that struck me was the mural at the front of the church. It was of Jesus, knocking at a door—much like he knocks at our heart’s door.

Wedding ceremonies sure have changed. The minister didn’t even ask the guests to sit down while he performed the ceremony. I felt especially bad for my father-in-law. He was not well. He had Silicosis.

It was an unusually hot, October Saturday. It was so hot that right after the ceremony our female guests had to go home to change out of their knit dresses (which were in vogue at the time) before returning to the reception at the Airport Hotel in South Porcupine.

Mom’s Memorable Moments – The Honeymoon

After our reception, we drove to New Liskeard, Ontario. My brother, Martti, was kind enough to lend us his new 1955 Pontiac. We didn’t have much money back then.

And the only clothing I owned that was suitable to pack for our honeymoon was a sleeveless, black and white dress with a matching, patterned bolero jacket, a skirt, sweater, bobby socks and saddle shoes.

martti-marita-kohtala-for-blog-post-oct-13-2016

My late, uncle Martti with my mom in 1954.

Later that night, after throwing open the door of our motel room, your dad and I laughed.

Our sleeping accommodations consisted of two twin beds.

The next morning, we headed to Niagara Falls (the honeymoon capital).

Our first stop, though, was Crystal Beach. Your dad wanted to visit his cousins. That second night, his cousins kept knocking on our motel window.

* * *
Dad’s Memorable Moments

“Mom, please ask Dad to come to the phone. I want to hear all about his memorable moments.”

Dad wouldn’t come to the phone. He was far too busy unloading the dishwasher.

So Mom relayed my dad’s profound memorable moment.

He said, “I got married.”

I heard a muffled chuckle come through the phone.

* * *

Well, on that note I’ll end with . . .

60th-wedding-anniversary-dad-mom-jpeg

May God grant you many more memorable moments.

“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18 (NIV)

Sixty years of marriage is truly a memorable moment!

 

Until next time,

 

Tracy

 

P.S. How long have your parents been married?

Finding Joy in Each New Day

Finding Joy in Each New Day

Linda Martin Andersen’s post, Look for Joy, ignited my joy spark.

She suggested starting a “Joy Journal”.

Pop on over to A Writer’s Playground and learn how to implement Linda’s three joyous tips.

Here are my three joy journal entries for today:

  • Found joy in exercising for twenty minutes,
  • Found joy in spending quiet time with my heavenly Father,
  • Found joy in preparing this short post.

oh-happy-day-selz-sheet-jpeg

For coloring enthusiasts, click HERE or on the “Oh Happy Day” page above, and then color your way into a joyful week.

Have a joy filled week,

 

Tracy

 

 What are you joyful for today?

Interested in a Back to School Special?

Interested in a Back to School Special?
Interested in a Back to School Special?

Some students are back to school.

For most, the first school bell will ring Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

To mark the occasion, I’m offering FREE back to school bookmarks for you to color.

The first bookmark, For My Teacher, will appeal to any student who wants to get into their teacher’s good books. Grin.

The second bookmark, Wise People, is for any studious person eager to learn more this fall.

Proverbs 18:15 says, “Wise people want to learn more, so they listen carefully to gain knowledge.”

SELZ SHEET BACK TO SCHOOL BOOKMARKS

Are you ready to claim your FREE printable bookmarks?

I sure hope so because this offer ends Wednesday, September 7, 2016.

To claim your back to school bookmarks, click on the image above OR CLICK HERE.

When you arrive on the doorstep of my online whimsical shop, float on in, and follow these easy prompts:

  • Click “Buy It Now”,
  • Type the code word, SCHOOL, in the discount box,
  • Click “Apply”,
  • Enter your name and email address, and
  • Click “Continue” twice.

Voila, your printable download will appear right before your eyes, ready for you to print, color, cut, and slip into a favorite book.

Until next time . . .

Happy Learning,

 

Tracy

 

P.S. The countdown has begun. 

P.P.S.  I always appreciate the support you show by way of comments, likes, and shares. 

A Crying Bear?

A Crying Bear?

Crying Bear arrived less than an hour ago.

Now where did I put that bear cage? 

Nah, all I had to do was . . .

open an envelope, and pull out Virginia Wright’s latest paperback edition of Crying Bear: Yes, Bears Cry Sometimes, Too!  

After running my hand over the glossy cover, I flipped to page one and read a delightful, easy-to-read story about an adventurous little cub that wakes up during a long winter’s nap.

Little children who have wandered off from their “Mama Bear” will be able to relate, and they will fall in love with this poor little cub that has lost her mother.

I can just imagine Crying Bear’s thumping heart. Her mother is gone. And she is one hungry bear cub.

It’s a good thing Mother taught her some survival skills.

Hmmm . . . I wonder—

  • Will Crying Bear put those survival skills to the task?
  • Will Crying Bear find food?
  • Will Crying Bear locate her mother before it gets dark?

To find out what happens, please grab the paperback edition of Crying Bear by clicking on this highlighted link, and then join this very adventurous little bear as she wanders too far from the den in the snow covered mountains of Maine.

I almost forgot to mention that Virginia Wright’s unique photography and art also helps to bring this touching children’s story to life.

Virginia Wright's Crying Bear Front Cover - July 21, 2016

And I wasn’t surprised to learn that Crying Bear landed on Amazon’s Best Seller list.

#1_1 Amazon_Childrens+Bear_Books2_7_24_16

AIbEiAIAAABECMXQ3YzssoOlyQEiC3ZjYXJkX3Bob3RvKihlYWNjNjVjMzRjNDA5OGYzNmNlYWU3NjVmZGFmNmRjNzIyYTY1ZDU5MAHbzgLrXgRcC2p7mIuOG_U4FW805QVirginia Wright’s experience as a preschool teacher at a private Christian school in Mississippi taught her that children are always excited and eager to use their imagination in dramatic play and that everything is an adventure in the eyes of a child.

 

Please help me spread Virginia’s good news by tweeting, pinning, and sharing this Amazon link for Crying Bear, Yes, Bears Cry Sometimes, Too.

To learn more about Virginia Wright, author and award-winning illustrator of eight books, visit the following sites:

Until next time . . .

Big Bear Hugs (I borrowed Virginia’s phrase),

 

Tracy

P.S. Virginia could really use some encouragement today, too, as her younger brother passed away unexpectedly last week.