A Good Time for U.S. Citizens to Register to Vote Is Now

I received a call today from a dear friend who lives far away. She’s a widow and I had not talked to her in a long time. She and her husband were our close friends many years ago when we were young and our husbands were serving in the U.S. Air Force.
During our conversation, she asked me if I still planned to vote for the candidate we’d discussed in an earlier telephone call.  I told her I was. She said she had been encouraged by two of her family members to vote for the same one. She admitted that she liked the other candidate. But she said she would probably vote her family’s choice and my choice–because of certain issues.
There’s no doubt that my friend is a registered voter and has been for a long time.

If you are a U.S. Citizen of voting age but for some reason, you’ve never registered to vote, now is a good time to register.  Become interested in the process that keeps our country strong. Register. Go to your polling place. Vote!


— Freeda Baker Nichols

Prayer for America

Flag of the U.S.A.When my country’s flag is flying
and I’m standing at attention,
far below its waving glory–
blue and white and red,  it’s waving
like it waved when Francis Scott Key
penned the Star Spangled Banner
–proud I am to be reciting
pledges to defend my country.
When and if the call comes for me,
will I sacrifice my freedom
for the freedom of all people?
Will I give my life for others?

Marines, airmen, sailors soldiers
in cold graves beneath white crosses,
traded lives for country, gave me
freedom now to live and worship.
How I love them how I thank them
for the blessings I now cherish,
given me because they died for
U.S.A., Beloved Country.
Help me live, teach me to fight for
duty, honor that they fought for.
Keep Old Glory up there waving,
high above my treasured Heartland,
U.S.A., Beloved Country.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Eagle at Banner Mt.

A Summer Night

Whip–poor–will!  Whip–poor–will! A voice declares. It reaches across time and my remembering stops with the sound as it peacefully echoes back from a silent night of long ago. The summers of my childhood come alive with color as a cup of fiery memories overflows.

Yvonne & Freeda Baker

Yvonne & Freeda Baker

After supper, our family sat on the front porch of our home on Banner Mountain in the Ozark Foothills until time to go to bed.


Dusk appeared just as the whippoorwills began to sing.  Fireflies flitted about the yard and some of them had the misfortune of getting stuck inside a jar, held by small, sweaty hands.  Jarflies were so noisy that adult voices had to stop sometimes, but the children’s laughter continued and mingled with the noise of the approaching nighttime.

Daddy never said how tired he was or how hard he had worked or how aggravated he had been.  It seemed as though he loved everybody he had ever met, and felt no ill will toward anyone.

And Mama was always unruffled, unhurried, and able to relax as she went about her household duties. The apron she wore has no replicas.

The modern day housewife seldom wears an apron. But her children need to feel the security that I felt on those summer evenings when my family gathered to wait for bedtime –when the dogs lay lazily in a corner of the yard, and chickens were on the roost, the door to the henhouse closed and locked.  Once again the chickens had escaped the whistling hawk that sailed the clear skies overhead. Tomorrow would be another day.  Whip–poor–will!


© Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols, all rights reserved.



Thanks, American Veterans


I noticed him as he sat on the motorized shopping cart and guided a half-filled grocery cart firmly with his left hand. He turned into the isle by the diary products. He picked up a gallon of 1% Low Fat Milk. His cart already contained a case of Gatorade and a carton of Mountain Dew underneath the boxes of oatmeal, Oreo cookies, and a bag of Fuji apples. He also had bananas, grapes and a honeydew melon and tomatoes. There were frozen Stouffer’s TV dinners and several boxes of pot pies. He stopped briefly at the cigarette counter and went on without choosing any. Then he reached for a bottle of Aleve and a can of shaving cream. He passed by the meat bin, bought nothing there. He raised his eyes to look at me as he maneuvered past my overflowing cart. His eyes were pale gray, so washed out–there was hardly any sparkle to them. He wore a cap and his hair was neatly trimmed and short. Even now, he was a handsome man. He was a veteran. I know because he was shopping in a military commissary. It was the day after Memorial Day.

I wish I had at least said hello to him. I wish I had thanked him for serving our country.

© 2016 Freeda Baker Nichols



America’s Story

Eagle at Banner Mt.Flag of the U.S.A.cropped-dsc_0436.jpg

America’s Story

Do you see upon the canvas
in that painting on the wall,
how our country won its freedom,
why our soldiers stand so tall?

Do you see the purple mountains
high above the golden grains
posing there in modest beauty,
background for the wind-swept plains?

Purple mountains in the distance,
rising high beyond the hills,
hiding dust of my ancestors
where the ancient river spills.

Eagles’ wings spread wide in splendor
blending with the twilight sky,
in this land where freedom’s arrow
silenced every battle cry.

In the distant purple mountains
ranging inland from the sea,
kinfolk battled one another
in the war that set men free.

On beaches claimed at Normandy
in the battle of the brave,
truly dedicated soldiers
fought with courage to their graves.

Others lived to tell the story
why America stands tall . . .
their account depicted boldly
in that painting on the wall.

Our flag raised on Iwo Jima
island in Pacific’s blue,
symbol that our battle ended
successfully in World War II.

North Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq
and the clouds of Desert Storm
bring back thoughts of Nagasaki,
and the dropping of The Bomb.

The message on the canvas
speaks in clear and native tongue–
and all who understand the language
are true daughters and true sons.

Purple mountains in the distance
standing tall in majesty–
a symbol that America
is still the land of liberty.

© 2015 Freeda Baker Nichols

If You Must Fight For Country

Flag of the U.S.A.








If You Must Fight For Country

If you must fight for country, lad, be brave.
March straight in tracks that former troops have trod.
Do not let those who hate you choose your grave.

Our country is our home that we must save
from hands of men who turn cold hearts to God.
If you must fight for country, lad, be brave.

The enemy may capture you to rave
of bold attempts to break you like a rod.
Do not let those who hate you choose your grave.

Raise high “The Stars and Stripes” to watch her wave
in triumph, give your firm salute and nod.
If you must fight for country, lad, be brave.

The steps you take must make boot prints to pave
the winding route for future men to plod.
Do not let those who hate you choose your grave.

To keep our country’s freedom that we crave,
some died—they now lie deep beneath the sod.
If you must die for country, lad, be brave.
Do not let those who hate you choose your grave.


© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols



When Dogwoods Bloom

When Dogwoods Bloom
for the Arkansas Folk Festival

On Mountain View’s courtsquare this past weekend,
a fiddler sat and played a song of choice.
He tapped his foot in rhythm to pretend,
once more, that he could hear his darling’s voice.
Oh, hold me close before you must depart,
she whispered in the autumn mountain air.
Though drums of war beat louder than his heart,
he made a promise on that old courtsquare.



He said he would return when dogwoods bloom,
then marched to rhythm of his country’s call
and often felt that he would meet his doom
but he returned a hero that next fall.
The dogwood blooms had fallen off and died
and buried there beneath them lay his bride.

The man who tapped his foot would try to smile
each time he moved his bow to make a tune.
He watched the couples dressed in Ozark style
as feet would dance in springtime afternoon.
The sight of dogwood blooms, the music flow,
the tangy taste of sugared lemonade—
oh memories, how bittersweet they grow
as wagons roll to start the grand parade.
His country’s flag waves highest on this day.
He shuts his eyes and no one else can see
the tears that never fully wash away
his deepest hurt, his pride, his loyalty.
The dogwood blooms had fallen off and died
and buried there beneath them lay his bride.

(These are the first two stanzas of a longer poem)

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols


PROUDLY FREE by Freeda Baker Nichols

Oh gentle breeze that waves my country’s flag
to greet the dawn with red and blue and white.
Please keep Old Glory high—don’t let her sag—
and keep her flying through the darkest night….
When morning has broken, oh breeze blow hard–
unfurl the Stars and Stripes into the air.
While we were sleeping, Armed Forces stood guard
to see that our flag kept waving up there.
With pride may our country honor the cause
of freedom for which we take a brave stand,
remembering the scarlet beneath the gauze
that binds the wounded in a war-scarred land.
If ever your stars become still as stone,
goodbye . . . farewell . . . America, my own!
© 2013  Freeda Baker Nichols