Monday, May 25, 2015

The American Roger Robicheau

"The American Hero always comes through
To capture our hearts with a spirit so true

Some proudly are soldiers who march in harm’s way
Insuring our freedom, courageous they stay

While others come forth as civilians so brave
Determined in purpose, so steadfast to save

We should always keep clear a place in our heart
For each has a value beyond precious art

Their duty to country will not be surpassed
Please honor their courage, for some it’s their last

We live in a world which can be hard to bear
Thank God for these people, how greatly they care

Do ponder new heroes and what they will face
And pray for their safety no matter their place

Our heritage brings out the best, we all know
Our great book of heroes is destined to grow


Monday, May 18, 2015

"And Long May She Wave" Marlene Terry originally posted on July 4, 2013; forward by Gina Waite

To ALL our valued, it's not April. Nor were we trying to fool you...but somehow Monday came and went...WITHOUT a Nutshell post for you to read! As I was thinking of what to write about, and solidified the beginnings of another story, I realized that this story...this FANTASTIC story that my Mom wrote about an American hero, J.O. Young...was a PERFECT story to share again. It's Memorial Day on safely, enjoy the memories of relatives that have passed on AND remember to be grateful for our Veterans and that Grand Old Flag!
Take it away Mom...

"On this special day and as  promised we're sharing a few thoughts and comments from a veteran of World War II. Not the kind of vet who was serving in the Armed Forces at the time but one who earned that status from the U.S. Congress after being incarcerated as a civilian contractor and held as prisoner of war for nearly four years.

In 1941 J.O. Young was working on Wake Island as a carpenter for the Morrison Knudson Company. Here are his remembrances of the happenings of that time:

"Four hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941," J.O. said, "the Japanese attacked Wake Island. We civilians fought along side the US Marines stationed there. There was just no way we questioned if we should. We just did it. And on Dec. 21, the Japanese Navy finally overran the island and captured those of us who survived.

"As dawn broke across the lagoon, the Stars and Stripes was flying, but shortly thereafter, it was lowered and in its place was hoisted a white bed sheet, denoting our surrender. The sheet was then replaced by the Japanese flag, The Rising Sun.

"Later in the day we, as prisoners of war, were marched past the barracks that had been commandeered as the command post for the Japanese soldiers. There was our American Flag, wadded up in a ball and being used as a door stop."

During the ensuing weeks and months, other interviews and chats with J.O. told of the sufferings and sacrifices of those prisoners who were moved from Wake Island to other Japanese POW camps throughout the war. 
One such sacrifice involved the unraveling of their own socks so the yarn could be used as a makeshift binding thread that sewed together strips of fabric taken from their clothes, blankets and towels, in order to create an American Flag.

"It was crude and we had to keep it hidden most of the time," J.O. told me. "But it was a huge reminder of who we were and what we held most dear. ... It helped us all to make it through."

"What was indelibly impressed on my mind during that time was that when 'Old Glory' does not fly, there is no freedom!"

...  Hope all of our Flags are up and flying today. ... And long may she wave!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at 

Monday, May 11, 2015

"I'm a Cracked Pot" Gina Waite (picture courtesy of Mike Terry. Author of The Cracked Pot story, ~unknown)

Mother’s Day is such a lovely day! Mine was interlaced with sweet memories of a sweet Mother who tried her very best to do everything she could to make a fabulous life for her family! I’m not certain my Mother knew what a wonderful woman she was…because women can be their own worst critiques! Often times, instead of taking value in everything we tried to do right, we dwell and linger in the things we wish we did…better! 

I don’t know why we are so hard on ourselves because it’s our imperfections that make us perfectly suited for the individual’s God knows we can bless! It’s like the cracked pot story! Wait…are you saying you haven’t heard the cracked pot story? Well, as I know I’m a cracked pot, with imperfections very easy to see, I’d love to share the story and message with you! It’s a story for anyone who’s not quite perfect! It all starts with a perfectly perfect water pot…and a cracked one, who doesn't see the value in his imperfections:

“A water bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master's house.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream:
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."
Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, "As we return to the mistress's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt badly because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress's table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house."

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. We've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them! ...AND...there's a lot of good out there!”

heart emoticon Hope you'll let us share your stories and photos at our residence..."In a Nutshell." Email us at

Monday, May 4, 2015

"Are You Smarter Than A Preschooler?" Jim Terry

If you have been following our blog, you will know that we welcomed another little nephew to our bunch in mid March.  I, like my sister Angie, was fortunate enough to travel home and was able to see this little guy within two to three weeks after his birth.  My youngest sister Mary was now the mother of three sweet little children.   While there I, again like my sister Angie, was able to notice the weeks and months of discomfort and unrest on my sister Mary’s face.  Not only was she pregnant and taking care of two other little children but they were also in the middle of a big remodel on their home. Needless to say, the look in her eyes of needing just a moment or two of peace and quiet were definitely being exhibited.   So Uncle Jim volunteered one day to take my oldest nephew, now being “five and a half years old” out for a day of fun in the sun so my sister could have some rest.  I thought what a better way to entertain him, as well as myself, with a trip to the Boise Zoo…little did I know at that time that I would be “schooled” by a preschooler.

Just inside of the gates of the zoo was the first exhibit that was filled with monkeys.  I heard from my tour guide, aka my nephew, that, “monkeys have really big hands so they can grab onto the logs so they can swing easier.”  He then continued in true form of a young boy by saying, “They also use their hands to pick bugs out of each others fur and then they eat them.”  Young boys, including myself when I was young, always want to say something to shock anyone in their “earshot” don’t they?  So of course eating bugs would be right up his alley. 

As we continued throughout the zoo and came upon the California condor exhibit, I said, “Do you know Benson that if that bird opened his wings they would then be as wide as three times as you are tall?”

He paused for a moment and then said, “And did you know Uncle Jimbobs, that they can also swoop down and pick up a cow if they want and take it to their babies and eat it?” 

I chuckled at his comment and then said to myself,  “Who was I to be one up on my tour guide’s knowledge?"  After all, I just did tell him that something might be bigger and mightier than he is, and at that age, that is just not possible.  I just didn’t have the heart nor did I dare tell him, after he looked at me with his “angry eyebrows”, that he might be confusing a condor’s flight ability with that of a dragon. 

As the afternoon progressed, we continued our educational excursion by riding the merry-go-round, climbing in old military jeeps, got our picture taken in the old photo booth, fed the giraffes and definitely encountered several other “beasts” over the course of the afternoon.  Guinea pigs, komodo dragons, bald eagles, snakes, tigers, zebras, porcupines, anteaters and many other species were all apart of this learning experience.   And even though I thought I knew a lot about some of these animals, I was again actually astounded at times with the knowledge and facts my "five and a half year old" tour guide provided…

FACT…"Did you know that zebra have stripes so they can blend into the herd when being chased by lions?" I had to look this one up and it actually does make it harder for the lions to pick out an individual zebra when on the chase.   

FICTION…A zebra is my nephew’s “favorite” animal. Which is actually FACT, at least according to him on that particular day, but the fictitious part comes when he states that the zebra is the “strongest animal in all of Africa, even over an elephant or a rhinoceros.”

FACT…A giraffe has a “very very long tongue so it can reach the ground easier” due to its height.  The giraffe’s tongue is also “black so it doesn’t get sunburned” in the hot African sun.   

FICTION…A giraffe can also be a “million zillion feet tall.” 

After the zoo and the amazing educational facts I had received from this young boy, we then spent some time running along the greenbelt to try and catch ducks and find fish in the river, had an ice cream and finally found the perfect park where we flew Uncle Jim’s sport kite in the gentle breezes in the heavens above. And as I pulled back into my sister's driveway and realized that our journey that day had come to an end, it was then I finally understood how much my nephew had actually taught me that day. It wasn’t necessarily the “facts” that he provided to me; especially the ones about a giraffe growing a “mission zillion feet tall" or the condor that is actually a dragon, but it was more about his love, zest and enthusiasm for life.   Every kite he flew, each simple lick of an ice cream cone he experienced and each animal he saweven though he had been there beforewas still fun…was still sensational and was still an amazing experience for him.  

It was upon that awareness and comprehension that I can now easily and proudly say,  “I am NOT smarter than a preschooler!”  How about you?