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Waxing nostalgic I searched my files and came up with this:… a nugget of how things once were….

We’ve changed; I’ve changed…

i remember the controversy over Donvitti’s Veteran’s Day picture… Many were moved at it’s evocative message to complain vociferously … Now jaded as we are, we’d just say”that’s Donvitti” and shrug it off… Yes, things have changed…

I think young people thrive on change: old people hold onto pieces of the past… and as much as I hate to admit it, I am less young than I once was.

Memorial Day used to sweep me with emotion as I remembered those who had gone before… Back then, I hadn’t had to bury any of them… I think funerals change a person. I think they provide a reality check against some of the dreams to which we aspire… So now, I accept out of duty, and go through the motions, of celebrating Memorial Day… But is more empty than it was before…

I wonder sometimes, if blogging burns out neurons. It seems to… Sort of the same way that drinking strong coffee, towards the end, doesn’t jolt to the same effect as did that first cup…. or that flush from a light Chardonnay, gets lost at the bottom of the third bottle, … or how attending aother funeral, becomes “just another one..’

So how does one celebrate Memorial Day? What is the most fitting way of doing something grand? Something that can be done year after year, without losing its impact, its effect, its meaning?

Attending services at first seems like a viable option… Showing your respect by driving around the state, stopping from memorial service to service to shake a few hands, thank veterans for their service…. but after a while, when you look at the impact of what you’re accomplishing, versus the time, versus the effort you paid out, and you start feeling it’s a lost cause, an issue of spending years collecting pennies in mason jars, only to find at life’s end, no one wants them?

But,

Huddled on a moonscape tonight, is someone’s little boy… someone’s baby girl,… Perhaps their eyes are blue, or maybe they’re brown… Perhaps their hair is fine, flopping the breeze, or maybe it’s wiry, cropped close to the scalp? Bottom line, and cold reality is: tonight, any one of them, could breathe their last …

And for what?

For a gabble of egoistic, cranky old coots jamming the halls of Congress? For a man, (or women) having the luck to convince more levers, more buttons, more check-marks, to be cast for his name as opposed to his rival’s? For their spouses sleeping around the base back home? For their kids missing a parent, and taking that frustration out on those in school? For less taxes, more taxes, too many taxes, not enough taxes? For giant building projects? For protecting the simple wetlands needed to keep a little quiet in the urban world?

Why?

These ideas go through every service person’s mind, just before the order to move out, comes down… “Why am I here. they wonder?”

The answer lies in a small word, with a big meaning…. America… People have tried to put their finger on it, just what that means… and no one can: It is just too big…

How can you describe standing on the rocky beach in Portland, Maine, looking out toward Europe on a clear blue day, and compare it to the hotness lining the burr-yos outside Los Angeles, where the most amazing senioritas strut their stuff? How can you link hiking under the spires of the pristine rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula, with laying in the sun, sweating on top of an Alabama haystack sharing that moment with your high school sweatheart and two cans of PBR?…. Impossible? Yet but all that and more, fall under the umbrella of that single word “America….”

All are indeed worth dying for…

So, I think when it comes down to it, my best way to honor those who went off and didn’t come back, is to ask, …. “what would they want to do right now, if they were here? What is the one thing they miss the most?”

That would be: spending quality time with friends and family… That would be my answer… Personally, if they were here again, I doubt that they would spend all day going from service to service… Instead, they would be hugging their children, never letting go of their spouse, laughing with their grandparents, chilling with their friends, … they would be living life…. a life they did not have.

THAT is what they’d want to do, … if they were still here…

So, that’s how I’m spending my holidays… with family. with friends. Doing some catching up, some future planning, some sharing….

And the thought occurs to me at some point during that time… THIS is what they gave up… THIS is the true nature of the sacrifice they made…..

And that stupid little tear that always forms in the corner of the eye, almost always at the most inopportune moment, is now…. there again..

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Rick Jensen on WDEL, among others, has given much airplay to the invasive procedures implemented by the TSA..

Triple A, (AAA), is estimating 1.62 million people will fly this holiday.

There is no data on the number of complaints that will happen this weekend coming up.. But there were 877 complaints for the month of September.

877 divided by 1.62 million, is 0.054% of travelers. In other words, 99.946% had no complaints about the procedures being used this weekend.

And it’s not just Rick Jensen. It’s the entire media. A quick scan at the airport showed all major paper leading with the man who sat in urine theme.

Rick Jensen makes it official. American journalism has officially descanted to the level of Supermarket Tabloids.

But if I were a Muslim, with all these reports of x rays and groping my privates….. no one could pay me enough to fly this season to kill Americans… To hell with dying, but the groping of my privates? That sends me straight to hell! Ben Laden’s trust fund couldn’t pay me to bear that….

The real news travelers, is that 99. 95% people flew hassle free… If no planes go down in flight… one can conclude it is a successful policy.

Out of every 10,000 who flew, 9994 had no problem. What’s the chance you won’t be the one having a problem?
99.9%

Go fly…
Go fly.

Today I woke up above ground.

Ok, my spouse slipped in this sentence during a mundane call to work on Monday….

“I invited some friends for Thanksgiving…is that ok?”

My reply was “if its done… it’s done…”

So as we approached that time I began to worry how it would go over… Usually Thanksgiving is the one time our family pulls together in hectic-world. Now it looked like that would have to wait another year…. “If it’s done…. it’s done….”

My next surprise was “you have to pick them up… while I make dinner”…. So much for our time table… My spouse was so far behind, that without my assistance.. Gee, dinner by Monday?….. Great.

So I drove to pick them up… Perhaps this would be a good place to mention that one of that couple, suffered from severe depression… almost to the point of sort of being comatose…fading in and out of our world, would be the best way to put it.. Her spouse, since last Thanksgiving, had been diagnosed with intestinal cancer, and as soon as he became ill, his insurance, carried over since his retirement from Dupont, dropped him… The hospital forced foreclosure on his house to cover some of the medical costs… But it was probably worth it, at least according to my value system, because on this day here he was alive, and moving around…

So I brought them to our home, hoping a miracle had occurred while gone, and that the frozen turkey we had popped into the oven… was done… It wasn’t.

The china, not used since last Christmas…. still needed to be hand washed, and sterilized as well…

Dinner was great when we got it… Actually it was wonderful.. Perfect turkey.. (frozen turkey, in bag, cooked at 550 degrees for less than 2 1/2 hours… don’t ask me how the internal temp. was over 165 degrees)….

And we talked, listened, the usual sharing of stories… then sat down and watched the military channel on television… He was glad, since they had lost cable with their recent move… Even highly appreciative of a cup of coffee he was, because during the move… their coffee maker had cracked and without funds, there was no way to get one… it was his first cup of coffee he had in months…

So when she stood up and said it was time to go… we got everything together and went… I took some leftover food to their apartment and placed it into their almost empty refrigerator….

I bit my tongue because I know pride is important to people, and thanked them for giving us their company during the afternoon…

As I drove back in the dark, I thought of all my other Thanksgivings,… they seemed selfish in comparison… I imagined spending that day in a darkened apartment, a day like every other, and for once, I indulged myself that I may have made a difference… a small one perhaps…

So it was this morning, the day after, my spouse was relaying the story…”I was just having a normal conversation, and accidentally said ‘why don’t you come here for Thanksgiving’ before I even knew I had said it”… He said “We’d love too”. Then his wife said she didn’t think so… Then he came on again and said, “She needs to get out, we’ll do it…”

I guess in the large scheme of things… I really do have something wonderful to be thankful for.