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                        Living in America vs England



September blog 2017

Posted by dawngriffis on September 5, 2017 at 3:45 PM

With this summer almost over, I think for many of us we probably feel it could have been better. What with up and down temperatures, plus violent storms in many places of the world, I’m sure for many 2017 will best be forgotten, and to hope for better 2018.

This month we have some lovely poems from Bev including pics from the UK. This past weekend was the annual St Giles Fair in Oxford, so I have included one of Anthony Morris’s photos for you to enjoy or reminisce. If you look closely, you will see the Martyrs Memorial in the back ground. Near there is where my favourite stall was, they sold cockles in small dishes, I do miss those.

This month we have a contribution from a British lady who now lives in Pennsylvania with her family. Wendy and her husband Bob, are very involved with the Scouting movement and Gettysburg memorial area, but I’ll let her tell you her story.

I hope you all enjoy the blog and have a good month


Beverley Coleman

Was thinking of our friends today

Those far across the sea

Those l talk to every day

And they talk back to me.

It brings me ever closer

It really blows my mind

Although I've never met some

They all seem very kind.

We chat about our daily lives

Well most times it is me

Yes I can talk for England

As most of you will see.

From Australia to Canada

U.S.A to Spain

New Zealand, France and Italy

Wherever is our gain.

I love them all kidding

The distance it is none

Just leave a little message

I'll get back to you in one.

And if by chance I'm not around

You know your in safe hand

Because the friendship on here

Are the bestest in the land.

So all my friends around the globe

Today this is for you

Be contented

In everything you do.

And if by chance you’re poorly

May good health come your way

Not just for tomorrow

But every single day.

Banbury Friends by Maureen Tyrrell

Once a month usually around the 23rd many members on Banbury Friends Facebook page members post photos of candles. Somme are simple some imaginative or just plain beautiful. Here is one; it was posted in August by Jacky Holloway Shelley. I thought it went well with Bev’s poem below. 

Facebook world

By Beverley Coleman

The crazy world of Facebook

Where some friends come and go

While others just stick with you

And just go with the flow.

They listen to your tales of woe

Cheer you up when you are sad

Celebrate your birthdays

And are happy when your glad.

Friends come together often

But most is done on line

Your friendships get much stronger

It's all in a matter of time.

You know there's some you'll never meet

But the bond is still as strong

As if you saw them everyday

It matters not how long.

I compare it to a magnet

It seems to draw you in

You may be small; you may be tall

Or even fat or thin.

Who cares the feelings mutual

It comes right from the heart

The friendship buttons there to press

Go on let's make a start.

And as today is Candle day

Let's all light up the way

It's our day friends enjoy it

Let's call this FRIENDSHIP DAY.


Photo by Beverley Coleman it inspired the poem below


By Beverley Coleman

I looked around was all alone

Nobody left in sight

My own fault I was dawdling

We hadn't got all night.

But hurrying I did not do

I was taking in the view

And clicking at my camera

To send them back to you.

The waterway was tranquil

There's leaves still on the ground

They'd been there since last Autumn

No wind to shift around.

I hear voices in the distance

I'll catch them if I run

But there's no running in me

Walkings much more fun.

From waterways and cottages

From main road to village stream

The scenery is beautiful

It's all part of the dream.

To wander English countryside

Like we're allowed to do

Savouring the beauty

Of every lovely view.

Now for Wendy Joyes-Holsberger story and pics , above is her and her husband Bob; followed by a few more pics from UK.

I came to the USA in 1966 as a nanny, married in 1968 and after my husband left me with 2 small adopted children I bought myself a house in PA. I worked in social work in foster care and ran my own business, then became a case worker for a homeless shelter and went on to teach for PSU in Nutrition Education. 16 years ago I met another social worker who had raised his daughter as a single Dad and we married. His ancestors fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. Bob has advanced degrees in History, especially The Constitution and taught K-12 after his first retirement. We are now fully retired but have for the last 15 years been fully trained Adult Boy Scout Leaders. We have given the boys the opportunities to do their genealogy and if they have relatives who fought - or died at local battles we help them find the names of their kin on the monuments and photograph them. Many boys have felt "shivers" or have had a feeling of "kinship" when hiking certain trails in the Park. They are all changed by experience as you see the bullet holes in the houses or visit shops that were hospitals during the battle. My job as I am now a cancer survivor of 11 years is to "drive the toe truck" I teach the nutrition lessons, feed the crew, and drive the van to pick up the "sore toe" brigade. Bob gives a lecture at every stop and it takes a full year of 5 visits to complete the major hikes. I dispense water bottles and Band-aids to other visitors and answer questions about life in PA, life at the time of the war and why we teach the boys about history. The troops we have worked with call us Beaver Bob and Momma Beaver as it is unusual to have a married Wood Badge Trained husband and wife team working for BSA. We have a 95% Eagle completion record. Our 3 children are now in their 40's - and I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up! I love to travel, have been to 43 of the 50 states which is not bad for a girl from West Sussex who was just going to spend a year here and go back to University. We enjoy gardening, and hunting and fishing; have a cabin in the mountains shared with the family; and go trout fishing, surf fishing and buck hunting, can our own food and I sew our own clothes. Would love to be a re-enactor but no longer have the stamina. Bob shoots black powder rifle and teaches history in a very hands on way. We love the town of Gettysburg and it is a very welcoming place albeit a tad crowded in the summer. Anyone wanting to know more can contact me through FB.

Here is Wendy’s information on Gettysburg

The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was an Act of the Parliament in the United Kingdom abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire. In America, there were plenty of triggers of the Civil War, (known in the Southern states of the U.S. as “The War of Northern Aggression” and virtually all of them revolved around the concept of slavery in the United States. The small, hot and steamy town of Gettysburg in south central Pennsylvania played a big role in the outcome of that war.

The Battle of Gettysburg took place on July 1-3, 1863 in and around the village of Gettysburg. This battle was one of the most important battles of the Civil War for the North. Robert E. Lee had invaded the North and was trying to defeat the Union Army after dominating the conflict south of the Mason Dixon line. However, the Union Army held him off and sent him retreating. This was an embarrassment to General Lee and his supporters, and still (conceptually) plays a part in American politics to this day.

The Confederate Army was led by General Robert E. Lee along with General's Longstreet and Pickett. The Union Army was led by General George Meade. The Southerners were armed with British Enfield rifles and received support from England. Lord Palmerston (Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston) was the British Prime Minister during the American Civil War. Although he was anti-slavery, his sympathies were with the Confederacy, believing that once permanently separated from United States they would be a valuable trading partner in cotton, tea, and whisky. Furthermore, before the war he was concerned the growing American nation would again be a threat to the British Empire, so felt that successful Southern secession was in Britain’s best interests.

The Battle took place over three days. On the first day the armies were still coming together. The Confederates outnumbered the Union the first day and caused them to retreat through the town of Gettysburg to the south side of town. General Lee wanted his men to continue the attack and finish off the Union troops. However, his men delayed and the Union had the opportunity to dig in and set up their defenses.

By the second day, the armies from both sides were now at full force. The Union had around 94,000 soldiers and the Confederates around 72,000. Lee attacked and there was fierce fighting throughout the day with both sides taking heavy losses. The Union lines held.

The third day, General Lee decided to make an all or nothing attack. He felt if he could win this battle, the South would win the war. He sent General Pickett, with 12,500 men, on a direct charge at the heart of the Union Army. This famous attack is called Pickett's Charge. Pickett's men were defeated with over half of them injured or killed. General Lee and the Confederate Army retreated. One of the main reasons this attack was turned back was that not all who started the attack chose to finish it.

The Battle of Gettysburg was the deadliest battle of the Civil War. There were around 46,000 casualties including nearly 8,000 deaths.

General Meade and the Union Army were exhausted and had many casualties and deaths of their own to deal with. They did not pursue Lee's Army. President Lincoln was disappointed that Meade did not pursue General Lee as he felt the entire Confederate army could have been defeated and the war ended that day.

Some Confederate soldiers opted not to return to the South and settled in Pennsylvania.

I have the opportunity to spend time on the battlefield and its environs as I settled an hour east of this historical and beautiful place. Also I am one hour west of Valley Forge, Amish Country, on the banks of the mighty Susquehanna River. My American husband and I have taken our troop of Boy Scouts on many hikes, and adventures to follow the paths of ancestors, finding their names on the massive monuments to those who participated in the battle. The town is delightful, although really crowded in high summer. History abounds and many re-enactors help you to follow the activities of the 3 days that must have been pure hell on earth. If you visit, please spend some quiet time in the cemetery where the famous speech by Abraham Lincoln, learned by me in school “Four score and seven years ago…” Written by him on the back of an envelope, in a moving train and delivered as a eulogy in that place. I will add some photos.

Wendy Joyes Holsberger, West Sussex to Pennsylvania

Map of location.

Little Round Top battle field

National Cemetery

Museum and visitors center


One of the original buildings

Thank you Wendy for your contribution and photos I'm just sorry my web page wouldn't allow me to down load them all. Dawn

Now for the last of the UK photos from the Adderbury Lakes and village walk plus the fair.

Adderbury Lakes by Beverley Coleman

Another view by Bev. 

A village garden by Maureen Tyrrell

Adderbury village cottage gardden by Maureen Tyrrell.

St Giles Fair Oxford by Anthony Morris

Thank you to all contributers and to my readers I hope you enjoy our September blog


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