Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You’ll laugh and think I’m crazy, but it seemed as though I could almost hear the stars.

Placerville, California aka Hangtown
Winter of 1890

Twilight arrived early that evening. The storm abated, and despite occasional flurries, the moon shone down at intervals through a partly cloudy sky, lending an eerie translucence to the scene and casting curious shadows on the glimmering snow. The breathtaking beauty of the mountains once more overcame me.  The magnificent ponderosa pines leaned and swayed precariously, each bow hanging heavy, laden with a mantel of white.  The air was still and silent, with only the occasional pop of an overburdened limb disturbing the quiet as it echoed from the canyon beyond.  I stood for a long time, shivering and staring awestruck across the snow-covered Sierras.  I’ve never experienced air fresher, shadows deeper, or a scene so extraordinarily quiet and pristine.  You’ll laugh and think I’m crazy, but it seemed as though I could almost hear the stars. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Old Hangtown, CA

Sometimes in the evening,
When the sun is sinking low,
And the pines are silhouetted
And I’ve nowhere else to go,
I remember good ol’ Placerville,
In the distant days of yore,
And I’d very nearly sell my soul
To walk its streets once more.

When its avenues were dusty
And its storefronts weathered wood,
When the girls were thin and lusty,
And the Ivy House still stood;
When Main Street ran a rutted course
And blooms were yet a bud,
The only ride to town, a horse,
And gold was in our blood;

When the Hangman’s Tree served nickel beer,
The Cary House was new,
Lamp-lit saloons exuded cheer
And frosty mugs of brew,
The three mile house was always full,
Lake Tahoe, days away,
And folks who stopped at Hangtown
Almost always came to stay.

Father in Heaven, hear my prayer.
Dear God, please grant my plea.
If I could just awaken there,
If time could set me free,
If once more I could stroll its streets,
And once more breathe its air,
I know there’s soul’s aplenty Lord,
That could benefit from prayer. ;)


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The greatest thing about being an American is having roots from all over the world, and living in a society that recognizes, promotes, and celebrates that diversity.

{From the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America, 1787}
“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The greatest thing about being an American is having roots from all over the world, and living in a society that recognizes, promotes, and celebrates that diversity. My ancestors arrived in the Colonies prior to the Revolutionary War. My Casebeer ancestor, Johan Kasebier, arrived from Germany in 1724, and my Camp and Daniels ancestors arrived in the Colonies from England in the 1630s.  My great grandfather, Henry Stancil, was French Canadian, and Scotch Irish roots run deep in my family tree. Each branch of the family sent sons to war to provide the freedoms we Americans enjoy today. Other family members, such as my great grandfather, Calvin Casebeer, fought to preserve the Union during the Civil War, and my father, Leo Don Casebeer served on the Battleship New Jersey during World War II. 

Freedom is every heart’s desire and every just government’s goal, but prior to our Constitution, liberty was a mighty illusive concept. My ancestors risked all they had in their quests for freedom, because in case after case, their homelands had very little appetite for religious freedoms.  In far too many cases, Kings, Queens, and yes, far too often, powerful religious institutions, dictated religious beliefs. Bigotry, intolerance and bondage were generally the result, and the freedom we enjoy today was little more than a dream.

Our Constitution and America’s other historical documents demonstrate very clearly that America’s collective conscience, as reflected by our chosen leaders, requires constant scrutiny and surveillance.  Even in a democracy of, by, and for the people, justice and equality are only as perfect as the conscience of that people.  Even America’s grand and glorious democracy reflects not only our goodness but also our greed.  Freedom is not a privilege to be taken lightly.  Freedom is a right and a responsibility, a perishable torch to be diligently tended and faithfully passed along.  Freedom burns within our hearts, ignited by the founding fathers, and it falls to us to keep that flame alive. America’s most trusted and time-honored institutions are only as righteous as the hearts of our citizens, our most godly leaders only as just as the collective conscience of their constituents and the most telling measure of a nation’s heart is the compassion of its people.

As a people, we have much to be thankful for this holiday season. As a nation, we benefit from the efforts of all the dedicated people who have secured the freedom we enjoy today, and from a wealth of historical documents like the following extraordinarily relevant proclamation.  SC

A Proclamation.
By the President of the United States of America.


October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Bounty and Blessings of God’s original Creation

I’m frequently bewildered by the attitude of some Christians who will insist passionately on one hand that the Lord created this planet, saw that it was good, and then created mankind as its caretakers, to dress and keep it. And then, in the next breath tell you they feel absolutely no responsibility to act as good stewards of the earth, because it’s all going to burn up anyway. Christians have anticipated the second coming of Christ for over two thousand years.  We may well continue doing so for two thousand more.  To me, it seems reasonable to believe that anyone professing to follow the teachings of Christ, doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with their God, would have compassion and empathy for the generations of mankind, and all creatures great and small, who will inherit an earth reflecting, dependant largely on our stewardship, either the bounty and blessings of God’s original creation, or an infested and withered shell. God expects us to be faithful stewards of everything with which He has entrusted us.  And, according to my Bible, there will come a day when we’ll each be held accountable. SC

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thank you Lord for grandma's and for memories of our youth

When I was very young, I was occasionally blessed to spend time with my great grandmother at her home on Reservoir Hill.  My favorite room was the kitchen.  Even now, I can close my eyes and picture it in every detail; just as it looked those long years ago. I can see the old wood range in the corner of the cozy kitchen, and hear the clanking of its lids as great Grandma painstakingly brought the range to life. I remember how the nickel handles and black cast iron stovetop shone in the flickering light of the coal oil lamp as she polished them with a wax covered bread wrapper. I smell the sulfur and see the flash and flutter of the wooden match as she lit the crumpled newspaper, the sound of the dampers being opened, and the crackling of the fire as Grandma carefully fed kindling to the growing flame. I remember peeking in through the open dampers at the glowing embers on the grate, watching their light dancing on the wall, and gazing up at the warming oven in expectation of the golden brown treasures that would soon be steaming inside. And my mouth literally waters at the memory of aromas as Grandma began to cook; the sizzling of the bacon, the fragrance of frying eggs, and the enticing aroma of coffee in the graniteware pot. Thank you Lord for grandmas and for memories of our youth, and the joy it brings to share them with our friends.  SC

Friday, November 14, 2014

Enlightenment and Justice

The eclectic, dynamic, philosophical populace which comprises the vast middle and virtual heart of this incomparable republic knows well where we’ve been, appreciates where we’re at, and anticipates with great hope where we are going.  It’s sad that some won’t follow, but it’s time to let them go, and strive onward ever onward toward our goal. Our goal, much like that of our nation’s founding fathers, is quite simple: a more perfect union, and the greatest degree of liberty achievable within a framework of just laws, assistance for those who require assistance, and fundamental environmental safeguards. Despite their obstructionism, those who oppose our goals must be held blameless. Some are led by their better angels to rise above their ignorance and base, primordial natures and strive for high ideals, while others, by their natures, are unable. It’s not their fault, and we must feel pity rather than petulance for them, but we must under no circumstances allow them to hinder us from our cause or rob us of our joy in its pursuit. 

   Since its inception, our Republic has emerged slowly but steadily from the world’s history of bigotry, racism and intolerance, toward a more just, merciful and compassionate society. At this moment in time, our country is more polarized than at any time since our Civil War, but this is one moment in time. We survived our Civil War and we will survive this. Martin Luther king Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Despite the greed and corruption that will always be a threat to the greater good and the common man, more than ever in the history of the world, our society as a whole seeks enlightenment and justice. And today more than ever, those things are attainable if we rein in our petty, partisan differences and work together for truth, justice and the American way. SC  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Some time ago I posted the first 18 chapters of my historical novel to my blog. 
Go to my website: 
 I've provided a link to take you directly to

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

If you pray that God will bless others for you, you may well be disappointed. But pray that God bless others through you, and prepare to be a blessing for the Lord. SC


  • I realize there are many who prefer to believe that if they prayerfully point out a problem, the Lord will fix it. I'm no theologian, but in my experience, your prayers are likely to be more effective if you step out in faith and ask the Lord to help you fix the problem.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


My dad, Leo D. Casebeer 
Served aboard the Battleship New Jersey during WWII


Lost and fallen we may be:
The dreadful price of liberty.
Counted now among the lost;
Our souls applied toward freedom’s cost.

But do not think us lost in vain.
Despite the grief, despite the pain,
Our sacrifice was gladly paid,
That freedom’s banner never fade.

If you would honor what we’ve done,
Hold high the torch from sun to sun.
Lift up the flag that all may see
The proud result of liberty.
November 11th, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Здравствуйте! Наслаждайтесь фотографии?


Go to my website
click on the link to my Facebook timeline photos.
That'll kill a few hours of your time.
If you enjoy my photos, please let me know.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Радость - это святое. Я хотел бы пожелать вам радость.

I wish you joy.

    Happiness is transient:
    Fleeting pleasures many find;
    Passing quickly like lost youth or morning mists.
    Joy is everlasting. Joy soothes a weary mind.
    Joy discreetly fills our heart;
    Then joy persists.