Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Spring is Sneaking In

After the cold spell we had here (10 days -- imagine what they must feel like in Buffalo, NY), the weather this week has been nice. However, it has reminded me that spring is nearly here. The clover and weeds in my yard are coming out. I have yet to find a pre-emerge or weed killer that will take care of them.

So, it won't be long before I'll be fertilizing, weeding, mowing and edging again. I have always loved yard work. However, it seems like I don't have as much free time to "putter" in the yard as I used to. I don't really understand that. I used to coach the kids' teams, was involved in Boy Scouts, etc. -- and still had plenty of time to keep a nice yard. Now that my kids are gone, it seems like I have less time. I need a time expert to explain that one to me.
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Being that we just celebrated Presidents' Day, I have been thinking about presidents this week. I love history -- and especially enjoy The History Channel's series on them. Who, in your opinion, were the best and the worst presidents?

For me: Abraham Lincoln would be the best. No president has had to hold together a fractured nation like he did.

The worst? Probably one of the presidents in the mid-1800s: Filmore, Pierce.

5 comments:

jross said...

I would agree that Lincoln belongs way up the list. Many presidents have left behind great legacies. I think Reagan is probably one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had. A was a unifier of parties, he was strong both nationally and worldwide, and he orchestrated the end of the cold war.

The worst president was probably the one whose administration was rocked with scandal - Ulysses S. Grant.

Kyle R. said...

I agree Lincoln was probably the best president this nation has had. No other president was faced with the challenges that he was. He struggled with depression, his wife was half a bubble off plumb, and he lost a son while in office; all while holding the nation together in the midst of civil war. And then, the compassion he demonstrated to the south after the war was tremendous.

Washington was great simply because he was the first and modeled what a president should be.

Jefferson doubled the size of the country for pennies on the dollar by making the Louisiana purchase.

James A. Garfield had the makings of a great president but was gunned down early in his administration. (He was a member of the Disciples of Christ, by the way, and a friend and attorney of Alexander Campbell)

Modern greats would definitely be FDR and Reagan; and possibly Kennedy, but he died too early in office to tell for sure.

As for worst presidencies, I agree the Grant administration was bad and so was the Warren G. Harding administration-- both dogged by scandal and dishonesty. Nixon, although I agree with him in many of his philosophies, of course caused irreparable damage to our country by his actions in the Watergate scandal-- and for that he would have to be one of the worst as well.

Jody said...

I enjoy reading presidential biographies and am trying to finish two right now. I think President Truman was faced with tremendous pressure to follow in the footsteps of FDR as well as being perceived at first as incapable of actually performing the duties. I personally feel like he may never be given the credit he deserves for his role in WW2.

Another favorite President of mine is Teddy Roosevelt. The man was very intelligent, had an incredible life full of adventure and established our national park system with Yellowstone as one of his greatest achievments.

Time has a way of erasing our memories of mistakes like Nixon's, but I don't think there has been enough time since then. I don't know that in my short life span there has been a more "Presidential" President than Reagan.

Jeff said...

I don't know my history well enough to weigh in on a discussion of Presidents. I would suggest, however, that much time is lost (wasted) chasing a little ball around and repeating similar motions over and over.

Kyle R. said...

Jody,

I agree with you regarding Truman. Truman had an emblem on his desk that read,"The Buck Stops Here."
Never more did the buck stop with him than when he had to make a decision about dropping the bomb. Talk about the weight of the world on someone's shoulders.

And Teddy Roosevelt was an asthmatic as a child and physically forced himself into the adventurer he was. He was one tough man. In 1912 (I think it was 1912) while running for a third term as president on the Bull Moose party ticket, he was shot in the chest by a would be assassin. He managed to give his speech with a bullet in his chest before seeking medical attention.

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I love presidential history, in case you can't tell.