Happy Belated Veteran’s Day

man standing on stage

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Saturday I was at my brother’s church for a pancake breakfast for Veterans. Better than the free breakfast was the opportunity to see my brother, sister-in-law and their two children–Christian and Victoria. Victoria is just a couple weeks away from a year old.

They do a simple ceremony with the boy scouts. It made me realize that it has been over twenty years since I was a member of the US Navy. Time flies so quickly and I wonder where it goes.

As a Veteran I want to thank those military members who have gone before and after me. Thank you for your service, brother. Thank you for your service, sister.

May you live long and happy lives.

For those who are not from the US– may you remember Armistice Day.

 

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Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July

silhouette of people beside usa flag

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Hildaebookcover2015finishedIn honor of the 4th of JulyHilda’s Inn for Retired Heroes will be free from July 3-5.

In Delhaven, there is an Inn run by a retired mercenary. If you are a down-on-your-luck mercenary or men-at-arms, come to the public rooms and Hilda Brant, the owner, will give you a bowl of stew. If you want ale, hand over the coins. Hilda may give you floor space, but she expects you to pay in favors or coins.

On the Eve of Independence Day

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As you probably know from what I have written here, I am a Veteran. I am also a widow of a Veteran. I am a child of a Vet and a granddaughter of another Vet. I have family members who died in WWII and are buried in Europe. You could say military service runs in my family. You could say that my family was patriotic and loyal to their country.

It makes me sad when I read that some groups are getting together on Independence day so that they can burn the US flag. It is done in the name of “free speech.” Why am I sad? Because the flag is a symbol of our country and our people. Because when I was in the Navy, every morning we would stand and salute the flag. It reminded us as sailors, soldiers, and airmen of the reasons we were in a foreign country. It was for our families, our neighbors, and our country.

It saddens me when a group of people intimidate others through violence and coercion. The most recent group being “Antifa.”

This was not why I joined the Navy. This was not why my family joined the Navy and Army in wars. We truly believed what it said in the Constitution. We truly believed that we are a “nation of laws.” No one group of people is more equal than another. We are equal as individuals.

I’ve heard the argument that to make everyone equal we need to become exactly the same. Bullsh-t. What makes this country wonderful is that we all have the “opportunity” to make something of ourselves. We can be free in word and deed.

If I am speaking a strange language, then I am sorry. I am sorry that you did not learn your “civil rights” in school. I am sorry that you learned to be exactly like everyone else in your group. I am sorry that you didn’t learn discipline and the ability to set a goal and see it through. I am sorry that you are weary of the world of “instant gratification.”

Tomorrow as we celebrate this “grand new experiment” please stop and read. Read the “Declaration of Independence.” the “Constitution”, and the “Federalist papers.” Read what the Founding Fathers had to say. They weren’t just white males who owned slaves. They were educated. They were thinking past their generation. They were visionaries.

Let me leave you with the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation
under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

 

Yule tide in Southern Nevada

CCO Public Doman from Pixabay

CCO Public Doman from Pixabay

This time last year, I was grieving for the loss of my late-hubby. As a unit, we didn’t celebrate the season. It had a lot to do with only the two of us in the house and how hard it is to keep secrets from each other. I remember buying a blue Norwegian sweater in Germany. When the late-hubby asked where I got it, I told him “Thank you for the Christmas present, honey.”

He found that funny. When he wanted something, usually tool or Amateur radio related, he would tell me that it was a great Christmas present. So our little joke was preserved.

This year without him and over a year away from losing him, I had the urge to decorate. Since I am short on cash and long on wants, I ended up getting a small tinsel tree and some lights at Wal-Mart. When I need some thinking time, I sit on my chair with my little dog on my lap, listen to the crackling of my Yule log DVD, and look at the lights. Even if our Christmas tradition was to avoid the holiday shoppers, I have found a new tradition of lights.

Listening to the crackle, feeling the warmth of the dog on my lap, and feeling the yarn and needles in my hands– for a moment I am at peace.

It has taken me months to realize what my late-hubby meant when his last words were “I want you to be happy.” He said this to his daughters and to me. It was the most important thing for him. I am of Norwegian Viking blood so I come naturally to the somberness of that breed of people who conquered the Northern wastes. I was even born south of the Arctic Circle.

I do love the sun, but I have that fair skin that burns easily. So my best seasons are spring and fall. Summer is the time I get to look out the window and lust after the sunseekers.

So happiness is something I have to work to gain. I meditate. I walk the dog. I am mindful of what I eat. I am learning –painfully sometimes– that joy is fleeting, but happiness and peace comes from balance.

Thank you for the success with Hilda’s Inn for Retired Mercenaries. When I saw the numbers rise and stay high, I felt joy.

May your holiday season bring you peace and happiness… and joy.

Holiday and the Starbucks(r) crisis

Just recently, I have been listening to the brouhaha about Starbucks(r) and their plain colored coffee cups. I want to inject a little sanity right now.

What the heck. Why are you interested in Christmas before Thanksgiving? It would make more sense to yell at Starbucks(r) for the Pumpkin Spice Latte (shudder) that they sold for Halloween than to get excited about Christmas coffee containers.

There I said it… Christmas. It is unnatural to even be thinking of lights and trees with presents all around until after Thanksgiving. Save it for Black Friday.

Heck I have more of a problem with their desire to use Italian for the cup sizes instead of being smart and saying small, medium, and large. So much for Starbucks(r) and the now plain red cups. At least the baristas aren’t forcing a dialog with me about the topic du jour.

When I do get a cuppa, I Veni, Vidi, Vici.

So let’s keep Christmas in December. My new motto.

If you’d like to read some fantasy and a little sci-fi, my books are here.

My most recent release is Hilda’s Inn. Hildaebookcover2015finished

Sword and Sorcery

Hilda isn’t prepared for the damage and chaos caused by a dragon, black mage, and elementals. And a very angry Lord Barton.

Percy DoyleA sci-fi short story collection for Pre-order:

Percy Doyle’s Space Market

Percy is a trader, a rescuer, a time traveler who works under the radar of the authorities. His backer is a so-called criminal organization called the family.

Percy may be a swashbuckler, but he doesn’t want Grandma, the matriarchal head, mad at him.

Memorial Day Weekend

Today I took a shower and walked Foxy, the little chihuahua. I am only mentioning these two things because I usually need an hour rest between these two actions. Even so I am a little out of breath and my heart is beating faster than usual.

It is hard to be alone. I envy the chronic illness patients who are able to survive without a companion. Part of the reasons I need someone is that much of my mind is occupied with other things. I am not happy unless I am creating. It has been hard to create when I am grieving, which brings me to my real post of honor, duty, and promises.

My late-hubby did not die on the battlefield of Vietnam. Plus he was very aware of the capriciousness of life. Even though I know in my heart that Agent Orange from his tours in Vietnam caused his early death (67), I have been unable to get anyone else to agree. In his own words he said that “we drank it, ate it, and bathed in it. Agent Orange was in everything.” He didn’t die on the battlefield, but he and many Vietnam Vets are dying from the battlefield.

I honor those who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice. I honor those who fought and gave their health. I honor all those who now pay the price everyday in cancers, fatigue, and chronic illnesses. They gave all.

Every generation my family gives one or two family members to the military. My great uncle died in WWII and is buried in Belgium. My grandfather lost a lot of friends in WWII when his ship sunk in Leyte Gulf. He is gone now.

If I go back far enough, we have family members who fought in the Revolutionary War. My late-hubby’s family had a patriarch that died in the Civil War. Some families gave more than others.

I remember. I hope to instill this pride to my nieces and nephews and now my great-nieces and nephews.

There are no guarantees in life and war. There are no guarantees in death. Remember our dead and know that this sacrifice was to allow the Great Experiment to continue– freedom and justice.