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Let’s Fly! ~ Wright Brothers Day ~~ Dec 17

Good day people! Hope this day finds you full of love and light.

I also realize the holidays can be a trigger for depression. It used to be for me also, for many years. If anyone out there needs a safe place to talk or just to vent, email me, I’m always available. (jlroeder at mail dot com). I’ve been there so I do understand. I’m a good reader/listener.

Also, I will be online on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day, so if you get lonely or sad or just want someone to talk to, get hold of me, I’ll be around. No reason for anyone to feel left out, if I can help I will.

Now let’s get going on those celebrations for today.



Wright Brothers Day ~~ Wright Brothers Day commemorates the date (in 1903) that the Wright Brothers first successful flight occurred near Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville and Wilbur Wright were self-taught and self-financed. True American entrepreneurs. North Carolina license plates say “First in Flight” to commemorate their accomplishment. I love to fly in planes, so thank you Wright brothers!

National Maple Syrup Day ~~ The national maple syrup day gives us an opportunity to enjoy this delicious American/Canadian treat throughout the day. Do you know maple syrup is only made in North America? True it seems. And did you know Native Americans were the first ones to make maple syrup? True again!  It is actually not easy to make. The timing is everything as the sap only “runs” for a 2 to 3 week period and once the maple tree buds the sap isn’t good anymore. It also takes a lot of sap to make maple syrup so enjoy every sweet sticky bite.

My grandfather used to make his own maple syrup. He lived in upper Wisconsin and had his own maple trees. I remember me and my siblings helping him ‘tap’ the trees. I also remember he used the old metal sap buckets to catch the sap. Then he would heat the sap and add sugar and make the syrup. There is nothing like ‘real’ maple syrup on a stack of homemade pancakes.

So go ahead and incorporate some real maple syrup into one of your meals today! Then invite me over. ahaha!

Underdog Day ~~ Today is the day to cheer for the underdog! An underdog is a person or group who is expected to lose. However, sometimes they pull off the unexpected.

The original meaning of the word “underdog” originated from sawsmen who built ships. Planks of wood called “dogs” were placed over the top of a pit, and two men would have to supervise the placing of these planks. One man would stand on top of the planks, and one man would stand underneath the planks in the dark pit, where he would be covered in sawdust. This poor man was known as the underdog.

So today lets salute all of the underdogs and unsung heroes—the Number Two people who contribute so much to the Number One people we read about. (Sherlock Holmes’s Dr. Watson and Robinson Crusoe’s Friday are examples.) This holiday was founded in 1976 by the late Peter Moeller, THE Chief Underdog.

Now how about something a little different. Some facts about December itself:

December 17th was known for centuries, as the beginning of the Roman/Pagan Saturnalia Festival, held in honor of the God of Agriculture.

The Mason-Dixon Line was established in December of 1782.

The Charles Dickens classic story ‘A Christmas Carol’ was 1st published in December 6, 1843.

Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday, and the tradition began in 1836.

Electric Christmas lights were first used in 1854.

The first department store to feature a visit with Santa was the J. W. Parkinson’s store in Philadelphia in 1841.

The most popular Christmas song of all time is Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas.” And “Silent Night”-arguably the most recognizable Christmas hymn-was written in 1818, by an Austrian pastor, Joseph Mohr. As Christmas Eve came, that year, the organ in his church was broken, so together with his friend, Franz Gruber, he wrote this new tune for the service that night, and played it on his guitar for his congregation.

There is an ancient legend that all animals of the forest can speak in human language on Christmas Eve.

According to an almanac prediction snow on Christmas means Easter will be warm and green.

The term Yuletide comes from a Norse tradition of cutting and burning a huge tree on December 21st.

People always mistake Santa’s reindeer ‘Donder’ and call him ‘Donner’.  Editor Edmund Clarence Stedman reprinted Moore’s version of the poem, and included the German spelling of Donder and Blitzen rather than the Dutch version of Dunder and Blixem. Both translate into English as Thunder and Lightning. The German word for thunder is Donner.  Technically, they’re both correct, although Dunder is evidently the true original spelling.








10 thoughts on “Let’s Fly! ~ Wright Brothers Day ~~ Dec 17

  1. Jackie this is a wonderful post. I am impressed that you put yourself out there to people in need that is a wonderful gesture. I knew about the origins of the underdog as my grandfather cam to Australia from Scotland and worked as a saw miller and I’m sure was the underdog on many occasions.
    I will post a Christmas from down under next week as my Christmas wish to the blog land, so if you don’t read me then Merry Christmas to you, I hope your Christmas break is not too cold, and that it is all you want it to be. I look forward to reading more from you in 2014.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Michael. It’s great that you actually have personal knowledge of what an underdog is! That’s cool. I will look for your post for sure. Have a wonderful Christmas and make Merry! Well have a Merry Christmas.


  2. I wanted to say, “What?! Are you a glutton for punishment?” But then I had to laugh, and I must say that you are the best listener in the world! For as much as you have put up with me, I know anyone who writes to you will be glad they did.

    **Jackie is a fantastic listener and a wonderful supporter!**

    I think that’s really cool that you used to tap trees and make maple syrup. Our son and I helped friends one time, so we were able to see the process. I found it fascinating.

    My favorite underdog was the cartoon. 😉

    Thanks for all the neat facts, Jackie!


    1. I’m leaving for my mother’s in a few minutes. I just wanted to pop in here and say that the reason I laughed was simply because I’ve written so many whiny emails to you. I didn’t want you to misunderstand. I probably shouldn’t respond to posts at almost three in the morning. It is your caring, nurturing spirit that makes your offer so wonderful, and I do hope anyone who needs to talk will write to you.

      Have a good day, Jackie! I’m off to brave the elements!


    2. It’s no hardship listening to you my friend. Thank you for the endorsement. 🙂 I was very very young when I helped my grandfather, but it always stuck with me.


  3. Lots of great information here. I did not know most of it and have no experience with maple tapping. Love the syrup though. You are very kind and thoughtful with your generous offer to be a listener at this time of year. I’m the listener around here. I pay someone to listen to me. 🙂 She told me that the sugar causes inflammation in the body and the brain. The result of inflammation in the brain….depression. So now the sugar is gone again. Yes, it did make a difference and I can tell. Thanks for all your hard work entertaining us with all these wonderful facts. Hugs, MH


    1. I’ve been enjoying these posts Marlene, so no trouble there. I understand about the sugar thing. Sugar is not a good thing for lots of reasons. I’ve always been the listener, but I do it because I hope it helps someone. Have a wonderful day! 🙂


  4. Nice service offering your ears. . . Eyes for those feeling the blues. Feelings I am so farmiliar with. I am currently watching ‘it’s a wonderful life’ it’s my highlight of the season. I watch these Christmas movies and cry tears of joy when their prayers are answered. I know it’s crazy but it makes me feel better. It gives me hope. Great post.


    1. If it gives you hope and makes you feel better than by all means watch them and weep. I know what it’s like to be alone for the holidays and a friend did for me what I would like to do for others. Lend an ear and a shoulder if necessary. Paying it forward you could say.


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