O Say Can You Sing?

I can’t. That doesn’t stop me from trying, though. Especially today.

Today is one of my favorite holidays. Sure, I love sparklers, fireworks, and family picnics, but those things are just a bonus. I was raised in a military household that instilled in me a respect for God and country.  You can’t shake my family tree without a few soldiers-from almost every branch-falling out. See what I did there?

I am proud of and grateful for each and every one of them. Most of all, my Pop. My dad taught me the proper angle for a crisp salute and how to properly care for an American flag, but that’s another post.


Today, especially today, I try to sing that anthem to the best of my ability. I practice singing it around the house  while I’m doing dishes or folding laundry, and I cry. I cry because that song reminds me of when I used to untie my Pop’s combat boots when he came home from work. It reminds me of 9/11. It reminds me of strength. It reminds me of soldiers coming home.

Sing it with me. Sing the only first verse, or sing them all.

God bless America, land of the Free, and home of the Brave.


The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Blackout Poetry

Have you ever tried your hand at writing a poem? It’s not easy. Even if you have a set form, like a haiku or a limerick, sometimes the words just won’t come to you. I found a form of poetry that provides all the words-you just have to put them in the right order! It’s called Blackout poetry.

Blackout poetry is fun and fairly easy to do. Have a newspaper lying around, a book you don’t care for, or want to recycle that beloved, crumbling copy of The Hobbit? Using a marker or a pen, you can black out the words you aren’t using, cross them out, or even doodle over them. Some people even use paint. Watch these videos here or here, or read more about how to make your own poem here. Try it for yourself! Below are some examples that I have composed.




“Sense in men and women never did exist.”


Hope lets the almost empty fight on.”


“He could feel the fire. Her smile was flirtatious; love was ablaze.”