Where Were You When…

Two very important world events will be happening in the next two days: The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the end of Once Upon a Time (okay, so one huge world event and one series finale that’s very important to me.) If you know anything about me, you know that I am super excited to experience both, but then that started me thinking… when we think of tragic events everyone seems to ask – where were you when such and such happened? But instead of focusing on negative events like assassinations, terrorism, or accidents, let’s see if we can remember some happy events.

 

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Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s Wedding

“I, Diana Frances, take thee Phillip Charles Arthur George…”

Just like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, I was enthralled as a young girl (very young) over his mother and father, Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding. I was six, I believe, and my mother had gone on and on about this real life prince and princess getting married. I was already a very imaginative and romantic child, using the sheer curtains in the living room as a wedding veil when I’d play pretend, so of course I was excited to see a real royal wedding. I remember it was a hot day and my mom had spread a sheet on the floor, since we had a shag carpet and it was cooler, and plopped my sisters and I in front of the television set. The princess bride was gorgeous, the prince was doofy but handsome in his blue royal suit. I loved it and since then, I don’t think there’s been a royal wedding I’ve missed from Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, to Prince William and Catherine Middleton–where I shared my royal wedding fascination with my son and “daughter” Princess Ellie (may she rest in peace).

 

 

Classic Television Show Endings

“I’m sorry, we’re closed.”

I may not remember the ends of super classic shows like The Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, or Little House on the Prairie, but I clearly was present for shows in my generation ending, like Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, Smallville and a bunch of others. Sometimes those final shows are awesome. Smallville, for instance, finally had our young Clark Kent that we had seen grow up finally don the red cape and save the day in a super suit. I shot off the bed, jumping up and down since I thought for sure they’d never show Tom Welling in the suit. Even still, we didn’t get much of a glimpse, but it was enough for me.

Some shows have had stupid endings like Seinfeld where everyone went to jail for all the narcissistic things they caused of the run of the series. They could’ve done better. Cheers too, it was so boring all sitting around the bar contemplating the meaning of life. Zzzzzz… The only thing I liked was Sam turning off the lights and telling the customer outside that they were closed. Great line, but very lack luster ending.

Friends though, oh boy. I cried. Those six people I watched every week were my friends and to watch them grow over the years into relationships and families of their own touched my heart. Then to have Monica and Chandler move away and everyone turn in their key was just heartwarming. I have a feeling my precious Once Upon a Time will be that way. From the way the actors on social media have been posting, it seems like this final episode will be bittersweet. Once has meant so much to me from the moment it aired too, so I know I will be sobbing whether it’s a good episode or not. I don’t want to see it go.

 

 

First Independence Day After 9/11

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night with the light from above

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Yeah, yeah, so it’s not some big historic moment, but it definitely was important and I know exactly what I was doing. After 9/11 our country was in chaos and depressed – not economically, but as a mood. No one wanted to laugh at first, no one wanted to be adventurous. There was a heaviness to the nation and I know I had felt it. But that first Independence Day, July 4th, 2002, I will remember well. Jon and I had moved to Solana Beach, California from Tierrasanta, which is on the coast, north of San Diego. We lived on this hillside overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, and the Pacific Ocean. We knew there were going to be fireworks shot off after the P!nk concert going on, so we (and most of the neighborhood) started setting up chairs overlooking the grounds down below. We couldn’t see the concert, but we could definitely hear it and when it was over, P!nk sang some patriotic tunes as the fireworks burst almost eye level with us on top of the hill. It was magical. I remember leaning on Jon’s shoulder at one point tearing because it was such a perfect moment to celebrate the first American birthday after such a tragic event shook our world. He knew I am a huge patriotic sap, and wrapped his arms around me, sharing in the moment.

 

2009 Armed Forces Inaugural Committee

President Obama’s Inauguration

“We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin…”

Politics aside (and I don’t want to read them in the comments either), Barack Obama being elected to the presidency was an extremely historical moment: The first black person to hold the highest role in the country.

As a nation we unfortunately have slavery in our past. I am not proud of this. To me it’s a deep scar in our history and it shouldn’t be forgotten, but learned from so the same mistakes should never be made again. What our black ancestors went through was disgusting; how they were treated, how they were abused… and for what, because their skin is a different color? Seriously, beyond disgusting and it fires me up to no end. So to see how far people of this ethnicity have risen to such high powers makes me extremely proud.

The morning of President Obama’s inauguration I was in Springfield, IL, working for a company where the people weren’t too tolerant. In fact, some were down right ignorant, asking why I wanted to watch, since I was white. As if it shouldn’t matter to me since I’m not his same race. I remember shaking my head and fuming inside at the audacity of such a thought. I was so proud and here these people were ruining it. Anyway, I asked to take a long lunch so I could see the inauguration and witness the swearing in of our first black president. I came home and watched with chills gathering on my arms. The historical significance not lost on what was happening. I think I may have even shed a tear or two. Like I said above, politics aside, it was a beautiful moment in American history, seeing President Obama take on his new role.

 

Berlin Wall Coming Down

“Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall.”

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I specifically remember being in an elementary school assembly watching a movie about an East German family flying a hot air balloon over the Berlin Wall into West Germany to be reunited with the rest of their family. It was called Night Crossing, as I just looked it up, and I went home that night after watching it and asked my parents if it was a real story. That was the first time I heard about the Berlin Wall. Even as a child the story about the Berlin Wall effected me. How could families be separated and kept from each other like that? So fast forward to when I was in high school and I remember watching television in my parents’ bedroom when the show was interrupted with news that the wall was being torn down. There I watched as people were standing on top of this graffitied wall with pick axes, striking the concrete and breaking off pieces and panels of the wall that kept them separated from freedom. They were joyous and celebrating, crying for the freedom they’d been bestowed.

To this day, every time I hear President Reagan’s famous quote shown above, I smile and get those historic chills running up and down my arms and legs. What a privilege it was to have witnessed such an event.

 

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I could go on and on, but I’ve already written a short story here. So it’s your turn. In the comments below or back on any of my social media posts, tell me what some of your positive memories are from historic and/or world events?  

 

 

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Twenty Super Years Ago

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE Superman fan. I have been since I was a little girl. And today is a very special day in my Super-history. Today is the day 20 short years ago that I met Superman himself.

Now I’ve met celebrities before. I have tons of stories… some funny, some creepy, but none as extraordinary as the day I met Dean Cain on the wintery streets of New York City, November 22, 1996. Everything we did that day ended in disaster, and yet for some reason we were still guided through the day like a game of Sims to meet Superman.

Dean was scheduled to be on the Rosie O’Donnell show in New York City at 9am. NYC was a 2-hour plus drive for us, and the NBC studios suggested getting there early. So at 3:30 in the morning we were woken up by my mom blaring – and I mean blaring- the John Williams’ Superman theme song. I’ve never woken up at that time that excited before. By 4:30 we – my four sisters, Kelli, Kristin, Aimee, and MaCai- and my good friend Cindy, were piled into the family van and headed toward New York from Connecticut. We didn’t get far though, because our van broke down.

My father was persistent and we were all determined to get there though, so he brought the broken van home and we switched to his Ford Taurus, a 5 seater car for 8 people. Hey, we were rebels. It was tight, but we made it…a little late, but we were there.

Now came the awful part. We were in line, where it was first come first serve, for seating in the studio. All of eight of us rotated in and out of the spot, fairly close to the front for the next two hours. I didn’t switch too much, because I was too geared up to see the show. I probably only left to go to the bathroom, whereas the others would come and go for food or the gift shops in 30 Rockefeller Center. So when the studio people came by to pass out tickets this b***h behind us started making a stink about how we didn’t deserve tickets because we were always rotating, and she couldn’t leave even once to pee. We were like big deal. You could have left and someone would’ve nicely saved your spot. The people weren’t that mean, but this chick just made such a ruckus that I started yelling and shouting at her (emotions were really high) and eventually it was too much that I said, “That’s it. I don’t want to see Dean like this. I’ll constantly have a bad taste in mouth about the day.” And we left.

Outside Rockefeller Center I collapsed on the stairs, mind you right across the street from where the whole Kennedy family (Teddy and John Jr. included) were walking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a service over John Kennedy’s death anniversary, crying my eyes out. I was so incredibly upset, because seeing Dean was something I was so close to and it was ripped from me by a nasty woman.  My mom hugged me and gave me the quintessential mom speech of how things happen for a reason and only God knows the reason.

As silly as it seemed, she still prayed with me on the steps that if it was in His will that God would see the desires of my heart and open the doors that needed to be opened.  I remember doubting her words and maybe even scoffing at the thought that God doesn’t care if I meet a celebrity or not. But the hour wasn’t up yet…

We walked the New York streets for a little while until it started to flurry and get rather windy and cold, and we decided it was best to go home. So we smooshed ourselves into the Taurus and maneuvered through NYC traffic, even switching off Fifth Avenue to Madison because Fifth was gridlocked. We were almost to the end of the street, when at a red light my sister Kristin said, “Eryn look, it’s Dean!”

Kristin, God love her, was a tease and I think I told her to quit it. But she turned my head to the window and said, “NO, LOOK… it’s Dean!” And sure enough, IT WAS!

Everyone started yelling, “GO!!” and my sisters pushed me out of the car, right in the middle of the road.

I ran out and stood across the street from Dean taking luggage out of his limousine and signing autographs to the few fans that were outside. I called out his name and he looked up and waved. I squealed to myself and without thinking ran across the street, nearly getting hit by a car. I remember seeing Dean’s face just drop as he said, “Careful!”

I was an idiot, I hadn’t even looked before running. But hey, I made it and in just a few more feet I was right in front of the man I’d been infatuated with for the last three years on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanNow, I know people always say when they meet people outside of film, ‘oh they are so much better looking up close,’ but wow – it was the truth. If any of you thought Dean was gorgeous on television, it’s a different story up close… he’s exquisite!!! Black hair, tan skin, tall, muscular!! oh my gosh, and his eyes… gorgeous almond shaped with sienna brown irises, accented with flecks of gold. I’m not kidding, he is beautiful!

Now, that 20 years have gone by I don’t remember everything he said or I said, but I remember little flashes. I know I asked for a picture and he said sure, but no one else was around at that point. The fans had left, he’d sent his assistant inside the hotel to check in, and my family hadn’t showed up yet. This was before selfies, too, so I had no idea how this was going to work, and I was so nervous and shaky. Luckily, I felt a had on my shoulder and my sister was there saying she’d take my picture.

I ran right to Dean and latched arms around his freakin’ tiny waist. I remember hearing his laughter and seeing his big smile so genuinely happy he was making me happy. It was funny too, because as I was hugging him, I remembered his muscles and leaned my cheek against his chest feeling those oh-so-firm pectorals, then thinking, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve died and gone to Heaven.’ In fact, my picture with him is the face I was making when I leaned in.

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My sister Kristin went next, then Kelli, with each of them taking the pictures for each other.

By that point, my mother and my littler sisters  (Aimee was 5, MaCai was 6) came running up behind us. Aimee was yelling out, “Superman! Superman!” and Dean turned around and I heard him aww out loud at her cuteness.

Mom, on the other hand, was embarrassing – as mothers often are- she was saying, “I can’t believe we found you!” and picked up sister Aimee and literally threw her – yes threw her – into his arms. He caught her with a thud, her back to his chest. Thank God he was a football player!

He then knelt and lopped his other arm around MaCai. I don’t know how it happened but I had the camera. I was shaking like a leaf! I was also holding my gloves in one hand. Dean did notice that the gloves were covering the lens and said, “Hon? Hey honey, the gloves are in front of the lens.”

 

I was more enthralled that he’d called me honey, then sighed and realized what he was saying, and tossed to them ground. He laughed at me and I took the picture.

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The cool thing about this day was that it wasn’t an end, but a beginning. Like my mom had said on the steps of Rockefeller Center, God knows the desires in my heart. My desire wasn’t just to meet Dean, but to have a writing career, to meet the man of my dreams who would become my husband, and yeah to always have a Superman in my life.

Because of Dean and this day, I took my love of writing and apply to my love of history to become a historical fiction writer and researcher for other my books. When I wasn’t sure of where to go after college, I chose California because I loved it so much after visiting Warner Brothers Studio (where Lois and Clark was filmed). Because I moved to California, I met my husband, got married, and had a beautiful baby boy. And after meeting Dean again a few years ago, it has opened up far more writing doors than I could’ve ever hoped for. And lastly, the friends I’ve met, because of this man, have been life-long, deep connections I hope never to lose.

So Dean, if you are reading this, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for opening so many doors. THANK YOU for the last twenty years. And THANK YOU for always being MY Superman.

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Love of the Land

Gerald O’Hara: Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.

Scarlett O’Hara: Oh Pa, you talk like an Irishman.

Gerald O’Hara: It’s proud I am that I’m Irish, and don’t you be forgetting, missy, that you’re half Irish, too. And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them, why the land they live on is their mother. It will come to you, this love of the land. There’s no gettin’ away from it if you’re Irish

The quote above is from the classic movie Gone with the Wind, one of my all time favorite movies since I was eight years old. And this quote has always been one that has stood out to me as the half-Irish lass I am. I hold many things dear in my life…my family, my friends, my books, but none speak to me as much as land.

More than several times I have walked historical fields and felt the history of the those who came before me. I know it sounds strange and I’m not normally a metaphysical person at all, but I do  believe that you can sense things from the certain places. My first instance of this happened when I was a little girl first visiting the Lexington battle grounds, in Massachusetts, where the first shot of the Revolutionary War was fired. It was probably my imagination, but I swore I could hear cannons and wails of those who perished. I remember feeling an eerie wave of sadness, and shivers connecting with the land beneath my feet.

The second time I felt this same eerie wave was in Washington, D.C. on the mall between the Washington Monument and Congress building. I was only ten or eleven, but the same kind of thing happened, I started wondering how many vastly historic figures stood right on the same spot where I was. In my mind’s eye, I saw men in bowler hats and fedoras, and women in long, bustled skirts, crossing the very paths I was on.

Since then, this same thing has happened over and over again, but none as emotional as visiting Salem, Massachusetts. Stepping into the small town, where once everyday people were condemned to death as witches and warlocks, I began to shake with fear and nervousness. There was an oppression there I had never felt before, tearing at my soul to the point where I couldn’t help but cry. I remember crying to a friend who was with me and saying, I didn’t know why I was so upset. My spirit was bothered, and I think it was because of so many who had panicked and were killed on that very land.

It wasn’t long after I had visited Salem, I started a strange collection. A collection of rocks, dirt, sand, and even water from all over. I have sand from Mykonos, Greece; rocks from the Grand Canyon, Arizona; water from the Jordan River; sand from Saudi Arabia; rocks from Brighton Beach, UK… and so many other places around the world. Today though, I received the land of my ancestors – dirt and rocks from the Cliff of Mohr, in Ireland! My people, my land! And all thanks to a dear friend of mine, Gabrielle Morgan. You don’t know how much this means to me. It inspired me to write this today and recall those beautiful words from Gone with the Wind. Thank you so much for bringing me closer to land in which my blood began to flow.

14348875_10208781037855598_109811461_n-2…And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them, why the land they live on is their mother.

 

 

SPOTLIGHT: Loves of Our Lives by A.C. Chenier

Today I welcome author A.C. Chenier and her lovely book, Loves of Our Lives to my blog.

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BACK COVER BLURB

A rich and compelling novel exploring romances past and present, Loves of Our Lives centers on Katie Benjamin, a happily married woman whose interest in the theory of past lives changes her understanding of herself and the world around her forever.

Along with her best friend, Maria, whose terminal cancer has given her an entirely new perspective on life, she embarks on past-life regression therapy. Here, Katie learns of the lives of Elinor Davenport and Catherine Buchanan and the people they both loved.  In the process of finding these two women who once shared her soul she discovers a sense of completeness she never thought possible.

“The same souls come back to us many times and interact with us. This is the way we can understand our souls go on for eternity. These bodies may fail, but our souls do continue on to reunite with our loved ones many times.”

EXCERPT – Loves of our Lives

1864 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“I had this commissioned for you to have. I want you to wear it close to your heart and know my heart is now and will always be yours.” He opened the case and displayed a gold locket. She gasped at the beautiful locket within the case. It was a white cameo in a pale pink background.

“Turn it over,” he said.

She did and read the words he had engraved on the back. Forever in my heart, forever in my soul.

She felt tears running down her face as she looked at the beautiful words and then into Jonathon’s eyes. She looked deep into his eyes and felt her own soul connecting directly to Jonathon. He said to her, “Forever in my heart, forever in my soul. I will find you again.” He then wrapped his arms around her and took her lips in a passionate kiss. Her heart was hammering in her throat as she kissed him back. To her it felt a bit like a good-bye kiss, but a kiss filled with the promise of reuniting in time.

 

MY REVIEW

Eryn's Reading

 

Loves our Lives was quite an interesting story, beginning with the life of Katie and Ward, a husband and wife who seemed happily married. When they were apart, they couldn’t wait to be back in each other’s arms. I awed and was excited to read a story where a husband and wife were together and in love. Usually married couples in stories get the shaft. Well, I didn’t have to wait to long for that to happen, and the more Katie became interested in her study of past lives and a stranger on a train, Ward became the man both Katie and I didn’t want him to be.
Sure we find that her past lives show something incredibly different, and reveal another true love, but I still wished the opening chapters and back cover didn’t start off telling me this couple was awesome together and then drive a wedge between them. Other than that though, it was an interesting story, weaved with history, hypnosis, and past lives.  I loved the history and how it’s weaved into the book, but overall I would give this three-star read because of how the blurb misled me to believe the story would be different.  Now that these readers are aware, though, please enjoy the story with the open mind that relationships that seem perfect do change.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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AC Chenier is the author of the Past Lives series of books. The novels explore the fascinating spiritual world and the concept that we are all souls who have lived before, and that we reunite with our loved ones through time. The novels allow her to couple her long standing interest in the romance and fantasy genres with a passion for writing. When she’s not busy typing away at her computer, you can find her with her horses or golf clubs.

Follow, visit, LIKE her on her social media links:

A.C.’s Website: www.acchenier.com

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Canadian link to Loves of Our Lives

US Links:

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Dreaming in History

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Not many times can I say that being a Historian has brought me heartache, but I experienced it last night. After watching The World Wars on History channel this week, I had a dream – or nightmare to be more specific-  that Hitler and the monstrosities he caused were happening now. He was eradicating the Jewish and multi-racial friends and family that I love beyond words. We were blockaded in an abandoned school waiting to see who was going to go down this black hall next. One after one went some of my cousins, my sisters, my husband, my friend’s husband, my brother-in-law. I thought they would take me next but they didn’t. Those of us who met the criteria could stay, but we had to watch what was happening. I was trapped in the dream, crying out for the loss my family, my sister and friend’s husbands and in complete and utter shock, watching everyone around me falling apart with Hitler and Mussolini laughing at our sorrow. Cold, painful fright gripped me. I wanted out of the school, out of my dream and somehow I finally woke myself up.

Unconscious tears had wet my cheeks and I turned seeing the familiar body-shaped lump in the bed next to me… my husband. I woke him up, causing him to fret and gently he peeled our covers away, asking, “What’s wrong with you? You’re sweating.”

I clung to him, saying I’d had a nightmare, but it was real! I couldn’t help but think if World War II had happened now and those monsters were around, the days I know as history would be my present day. No more loved ones, no more family, no more incredible people in the world.

My husband tried to pacify me but I couldn’t go back to sleep. Instead, I thought about what it would have truly been like to live in Europe during the 1940s. Those tyrants were real back then and someone had gone through what I’d experienced in my dream in their own life and time.  How frightened and devastated those poor people must have been!  Through my dream, I had the tiniest glimpse into that world and it was a deathly scary place. My mind can only imagine what it would have been like, but real, beautiful people lived through it.

So today, more than ever, I mourn and ache for those lost during the Holocaust – whether they were the ones who perished or if they were broken ones who watched a loved one be taken, abused, and killed. I didn’t know any of them personally, but I do know them in spirit. They live in the diverse people I know in my life right now. They are the ones, should history ever repeat itself, I would always fight for even when they can’t fight for themselves.

Feeling History

Yesterday and today I spent time researching information for the newest book I’m writing.  This one is based during WWII and I, unfortunately, needed to read about the Nazis and their invasions into other countries. In doing so, I came across a chapter about one part of that war I always skipped: The Holocaust. Not because I don’t believe it happened or anything ridiculous like that, but because I cannot even fathom the amount of hatred and evil it takes to eliminate a whole race. What Hilter and the Nazis did to the Jews just disgusts me to the point that I’m overwhelmed with emotion that I want to cry from the core of my being for those people. It’s an anguish I know many went through and I feel for them, I do, but I go berserk thinking about the depths of agony they and their families went through and I have to put the stories down. I wish I could handle them, but I worry about my sanity, especially when I know there’s nothing I can do about it now.  May Hilter and those other involved in the extermination of the Jews forever burn in hell for what they did!

This isn’t the first time I have been so affected by history that my emotions went crazy. When I was little and visiting places like the Lexington and Concord battlefields, the National mall in Washington D.C., Ford’s Theater, heck even downtown Springfield, IL where Lincoln lived as a young man, always made me tingle with a surge of knowing what feelings were endured on those very places so long ago.  It wasn’t a psychic kind of thing, but more or less a link to history that my soul latched on to.  And it’s funny because when I got into college and chose History as my major, many people asked me why. I always told them, because history and I are just drawn to be together and I truly feel that is the truth.