Faces from our past….

They leave behind families who know nothing of how, or why. Often misunderstood they rise to the challenge everyday and wish nothing more than the ability to return home to the country they love. Proud, brave and sometimes terrified, they perform under stress as no other. Some becoming what legends are made of, others lives are changed forever. 

It takes a special person to perform their particular duties and as Americans we should show nothing but respect not only for those who return, but for the fallen as well.  It has often been said that our WWII veterans were the greatest generation.  They sacrificed all for our country.  If those men and women set the standard then I believe all fallen soldiers should be held with the same regard.  None of them wished to perish, none of them woke up one particular morning thinking today is my last day. None of them asked to be subjected to the horrors of war, to losing fellow soldiers and thier friends.   They all knew the job that laid before them.  They all knew the risks associated, and yet each and every one of them stepped forward with honor and integrity, putting aside personal feelings of dread to complete a task for you, for us, for themselves and for our country.

Can you say you would do the same thing?

Wont you join me today as I hang my head and humbly say a prayer to all soldiers lost in many theatres across the world over multiple generations? 

It is after all Memorial day-not national BBQ day.

To all soldiers in every branch of service I say;  Thank you for your service to our country and may God bless you, and your family.

Remember the fallen, respect those who remain. 

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Easter Bunny dilemma

This morning I was asked an important question.

Now being asked a question is not in itself a monumental moment. It happens on a regular basis in our household. The topics do vary and answers are given with a combination of elation, enjoyment, and occasionally frustration. Yet this mornings question was one I am positive has been asked, pondered and answered differently on many Easter mornings. It was also accompanied by an adjoining question that I am positive has been answered with the same zeal.

Dad where does the Easter bunny come from and how come he has eggs?

Studying the backs of my eyelids for an appropriate answer I tried recalling the wealth of Easter knowledge my parents bestowed upon my inquiring mind only to come up empty. Really? I have no answer for my son, nothing of humor or wit to make his little mind giggle at the mere ridiculousness of my statement! Come on, my dad surely had some bullshit story he passed down to me between picking at the Easter ham and two fingers of Black Velvet!

My child, still gazing up at me with wonderment is waiting very patiently for an answer.

What to say, what to say! Do I take the “I’m an educated adult path” and regale him with stories of Mary Magdalene carrying hard-boiled eggs to the tomb of Jesus only to have them turn brilliant (blood) red upon seeing the risen Christ? Or fill his little sponge like mind with old traditions; such as dyed or painted Easter eggs that celebrate springtime and the rejuvenation of man/life? WAIT! What about the darn rabbit? I mean is he old enough to understand the importance of the rabbit in medieval religious art? That it was widely believed the rabbit was in fact a hermaphrodite who could achieve immaculate conception thus tying it for ever to the Virgin Mary? That eggs from birds and rabbits giving birth all tie back to spring and the Vernal Equinox?

He’s still waiting for an answer and I can feel the sweat starting to form on my brow!

I know! I will sit him down at the computer and together we can discover the true meaning of the infamous Easter Bunny. Yes that’s how we will do it, father and son together on a journey, a quest if you will for answers only the infinity of the internet can divulge! Side by side staring into the abyss of information that is all but a keystroke away! Easter morning just him and I, reading, searching and learning while our other children are searching for eggs a n d e a t i n g c a n d y…….. Yeah that’s not gonna work…

No more pondering doe eyes, I can’t take it anymore so I lay the truth upon him..

Son the Easter bunny comes from a big green meadow just below the North Pole and south of Santa’s workshop where it plays all year with other forest creatures from every Disney movie ever created. The Disney forest creatures sing and laugh all day with the Easter bunny while they paint eggs for every child in the world! The tooth fairy is by their sides determining how much candy everyone will receive by the amount of teeth she has collected throughout the year. Then the night before Easter the bunny quietly distributes eggs in hidden places all over the world . He hides them for you to find so when you’ve eaten all the Easter candy from your Easter baskets you can run around burning off your uncontrollable sugar high!

Ok?

son; Ok (shoulders shrugged)

Thinking I am in the clear, and its time for me to have two fingers of Jack Daniels; he then turns and asks matter-of-factly. Dad, how does he get all the eggs and candy around the world?

I tell him the discussion about the time-space continuum will have to wait for another day.

Damn being a lying parent is a pain in the butt!

Friday the 13th

friggatriskaidekaphobia;  Say it out loud.  frigga-trisk-aide-kaph-obia man even slowly it sounds cool!  Have you ever seen such a word? Its very reminiscent of supercalifragilisticespialidoscous!  Have any idea what it means?  Its the fear of Friday the thirteenth!  Seriously, the fear of Friday the thirteenth!  So strange, there is a real phobia of this dreaded day. But very cool at the same time…

So many people are unreasonably terrified over todays date. My kids are petrified because all their friends have told them bad things will happen to you on this day and there is nothing you can do about it! Not exactly a Hallmark holiday yes?  Adults are scared of the ramifications associated with participating or doing anything of value on such a cursed day. All over the world this day has been cursed for a myriad of reasons.  Yet to me it remains just another day.

I awoke this morning determined that no stupid day was going to slow me down, make me cower!  Not a single idiotic theory about world domination along with the extinction of the human race was going to damper this mans afternoon.  No way Jose!  I was sailing along just fine!  In fact just for good measure, this afternoon I purposely walked directly beneath a ladder! What What?  You read that right, I also stepped on a crack, which by the way did not result in a trip to the ER for my mommy’s broken back!  As a matter of fact while turning the corner of our garage this morning my path was crossed by that of one never before seen black cat!  Woooooo!  Soooo scared!  Bad luck forever for me!  I guess I also should never have thrown that mirror on the ground, then danced on its shards of unprotected glass.

Seriously, today was like any other day, I awoke at 5:30 to the sound of the station alarm toning us out for a medical aid.  No salt over my shoulder, no hail mary’s for this cat, heck no, I just strutted out to the rig and went about my business.  After returning from our little medical aid, I was reminded by a co-worker to “be careful” while pouring some coffee because it was Friday the 13th and who knows what could happen on such an unlucky day?  Unlucky day?  I make my own luck Jack! No stupid superstition is going to dictate my day! Heck No!  And with that said, shift change came and I marched right down to the local barber shop throwing caution to the wind! Never for a spit second did I fear for my life as he used his expert skills to provide me with a haircut Donald Trump would have been proud to adorn!  No bloody neck, no spot cut/gash into my golden locks of love, no sir, I was trimmed up and ready for a great day of Friday the thirteenth bashing!

Oh and bashing I did partake!  I rode horses today with abandon, hoping for some fatal action emerging from the belly of the four legged devil beasts! I clumsily walked around tall stacks of hay, stepping in front of a moving tractor and purposely standing next to a stud horse hoping to be kicked or bit!  Yet not one bad thing happened to me.  I even took to reminding everyone around me to “be careful”! Followed up with a high pitch, don’t you know what day it is? hee hee he!  Am I being to cocky? Have I screwed my karma into the ground?  Oh I don’t think so!

You see just as there is no real tooth fairy, Santa is a glorious traditional figment of our imagination, Justin Bieber is really the teenage anti-christ, and Dick Clark is really an Disney animatronic robot, there is no evil association with Friday the Thirteenth! None! It is just another day on the calendar. Just another day to make your own destiny, Just another day to praise the heavens or curse the dredges of society. Its all up to you.  So on the next Friday the thirteenth, make your own magic happen, don’t let  someone else’s fear from reality ruin your perfectly good Friday. Regardless of whether or not that Friday is the thirteenth.

Personal note: I did wait until the end of the day to write this little piece.  I am sure that falls under the “I knew the 49ers were going to win the Super Bowl: ten minutes after the end of the game aspect.  Or maybe I just like a sure thing.  I am safe now right? Please say yes……. Did you hear that? What was that noise? crap……..

 

 

 

The Christmas I was 8

Today I found myself daydreaming about the past.  I was 8 years old and Christmas was only a few days away.  I had searched the house high and low for any presents that may be in hiding from my prying eyes to no avail.  I had taken the time some two months earlier to carefully craft my Christmas list and although there appeared to be a few presents under the tree with my name on them I still was having trouble locating a box that fit the size or shape of the main present that I had requested. 

How could this be? I mean I was pretty clear about my wishes, I know I hadnt always been good during the year, but I surely hadnt warranted the number one gift to be crossed from the list.  Had I?  My parents were shrewd, crafty, some may even say sinister in the ability to hide presents during the holidays.  But at 8 I knew I was smarter than them, I always found my dads stash of chocolate chip cookies, I knew where my mom hid her candy, and there wasnt a day that went by I didnt know the exact moment when anything that had been hidden was moved.  I was stealthy and crafty and honing my skills.  So how, how could it be, that it seemed as though no one had even thought to obtain the number one gift I had so desired?  It was mind boggling!

My family never had much money and for me to be so self centered as to believe that what ever gift I wished for I would recieve was also ludicris.  But in the mind of an 8 year old only two things can happen at Christmastime.  Either mom and dad purchased the item or Santa Claus was in on the action.  Now being of sound mind I had eventually come to the conclusion that ole St. Nick was my main man!  I knew for sure he had my six.  On Christmas morning there it would be, glowing like the northern star from the heavens above.  But wait! Had I blown my chance with all my stealthy snooping?  I mean the cat is good but can he really see all of us when we are “naughty”?  I remember thinking about this in depth, so much so I didnt even take the time to ridicule my sister that evening even once, which of course brought unwanted attention to me from my mother.  But I played it cool, helped with dishes, pondered some more, picked up clothes and pondered some more, went and laid on my bed, wondering if Santa could see me now?  What was he thinking?  Why was I being tortured this way?  My day would have, no should have gone so much better, if only I had found my present!  But there lays the contridiction it all….  If I found it I was definetly on the naughty list, because I looked for it and didnt find it or any presents I may have been in a “grey” area.  What to do, What to do? 

It was definetly a long two days.  Kissing parental ass, being extra nice to my sister, like an employee who knows hes about to get fired and is trying extra hard to save his already lost job.  But in the end it was one of the best Christmasses ever.  I awoke that morning, it was still dark outside, I went to wake my sister, but then I thought no, I want this moment all to myself.  I carefull strolled the outskirts of the tree, wringing my hands and licking my lips.  There was so much stuff and all of it gleamed like a new penny.  As I was ready to give up, with shoulders slouched and head hung low, I looked towards the angel on top of the tree to ask why.  There it was, in a box, stuck in the tree.  What I had waited for all year, the item I had lost sleep over tossing and turning wondering, had I made the grade.  Well I had!  The big man in red came through! I knew he would! Knew it all along! Yep!

The Christmas I turned 8 was the year I got my first G.I. Joe!  It was the year I became a soldier, a man!  It was the year of many adventure between me and Joe! we conquered all foes, foriegn and domestic.  We slept many night is the bush under the stars, listening for the sounds of approaching enimies.  We killed many soldiers and showed them a soldiers respect upon thier demise! No video games only Joe and I and our imaginations!

One more thing, it was also the year I quit looking for presents in hidden places.  The risks, the loss of sleep and being nice to my sister were just more than I could bear in the year that I was 8.