Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let's Hear it for the Boys and Girls

This takes me back, to a time and place where my husband and I found ourselves in service. We were newly minted married and newly minted members of the USAF. My brother would later serve in the US Navy. Back then, the feminine members of our armed forces hovered at 10 percent, today we approach 15 percent, and one of the delightful or thought provoking news items this year was an announcement that the BDU's the everyday uniform for service members was finally coming out with WOMEN'S SIZES - I don't have a lot of pictures of me in that outfit - Think greenish balloon. It's always better to feel professional in something that fits, without a couple of trips to a tailor! I know, I tried. The men and women of our armed forces are every day standing up, putting their lives on the line. They understand the concept of freedom better than anyone who has not served, because they surrender it completely for their training and induction into the service, and then they live under a much more severe code of conduct and justice for the duration of their military careers (Article 15? anyone) No service is perfect, no person is either, but the willingness to work towards that goal, to work together under the harsh conditions, strict rules and separation from friends and loved ones gives each and every present and former service member a core of strength our nation must not forget. Today our veterans get a few thanks from restaurants; consider adding yours as well. Any day you meet one, "Thank you for your service" might be the sweetest words he or she might hear all year.
In Honor of my Father, USMC, USAAC, ILNG
Semper Fi

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just Say NO

The leaves are changing here, I can hear the marching bands practice on the field across the street. When the lights come on, sometimes I walk up the hill and look at all the pageantry on the football field. The Cheerleaders here have bright orange as one of their colors. Bright Orange - a warning color - is that a future for guys who cheer too? I was at my 30th high school reunion, and someone had found old, film footage of our pep rally and highlights of our surprise run to become Illinois State High School Basketball champions in 1980. One of the best things was two of our football players joining the cheerleaders with their wild acrobatic moves. Title X has killed a lot of male gymnastic programs now, so if you love to throw your body through the air with impossible twists - and are male, you have cheer leading and the circus- right? So how does Just Say NO figure in here. In the 1980's it was a catchphrase, not always appreciated, but we knew what no meant. NO meant stop, don't start, period. I heard it from parents and teachers all the time. No one in authority wanted to be my friend back then, just my respect for them - and then they for me. That became the basis for a lot of great relationships. A young man, 11, in Ohio has learned the hard way, that no is a thought in short supply. When I cheered and when I was in the stands, cheering NO NO NO, WE WON'T GO, had power. "Hey Hey Hey, let's have a happy day" just has no power. As a kid, I knew there were big no's, things you just didn't do - and a little tease, OK, but to the point of hurting, physically hurting someone, that was a no. When a girl broke up with you, no was no, no stalking. No, it cost too much meant save or choose something you could afford, not just open a charge account. No was a border, a baseline to turn you toward another course. I learned NO first from my parents and then my teachers. It was not fun, it was disappointing, sometimes it made me angry. It taught me there are rules, things you just DO NOT DO. It gave me a base to stand on and build on. Now, do parents still say NO, or do we bargain and avoid and worry over having to say that to our children? Do they know, from parents words and actions, that there are things that are off limits, things you NEVER do, things that are WRONG?
No, that is probably not the case for a lot of young people. No's early hurt, but they teach, dealing with them moves one toward maturity.
Who tells this generation what NO means?
To the young man in Ohio, I hope you cheer loud and proud, I hope you can do a back-flip soon. I hope when you have a cheer with NO everyone understands.
Gonna Stop NO
Gonna Fight ON
Gonna WIN

Rebekah ( Cheerleader in 1976 )

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I got to do something wonderful today!

I got to do something really wonderful today. I got to wake up with my best friend, confidante and lover - my husband.

Marriage certainly has its ups, twists, turns and even down days - but I have been blessed to spend the majority of them with him - not missing him.

While college students - we knew he was facing a year abroad - France.

One September I put him on a plane, with the cliche in my head - "If you love something, set them free. If they return to you it's real - if not, it never was.."

Probably the hardest moment. I could not, would not chain him.

Even for Iowa, it was the longest scholastic year of my existence. Ever.

Cliche or not, in May we met, after only exchanging snail mail - and the first thing he did, after kissing me was propose.

In Paris

(Swell the romantic music - it plays in my head each time I remember it)

I was remembering that day - because of those I see in real life and even in the tales told by the many writers online, in what I call tales of the heart - more commonly known as Twilight Fan Fiction.

I see dear ones to me approaching marriage - and I want for them all the sweetness I have found and more.

I see other dear ones, currently separated, either by circumstance or foolishness, some will know the rapture of a reunion, others will not.

So why do I read those tales - Emancipation Proclamation by Kharizzmatik, (Blogspot)or the University of Edward Masen by Sebastien Robichaud?(

In real life, I can only pray to ease the ache I see. I cannot and will not meddle. I will listen, as some did for me that year.

In the written tales I can hope the authors take a note from Jane Austen - she would write for happy endings and bright futures - control where real life can give us naught.

Hug your love - let them know

Steve - you are my happy ending and happily ever after!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Once Upon a Snowy April Sunday!

I can't believe how much the sky today looks like it did 26 years ago - but it's a lot warmer. April 29th 1984 was the day I began my real life with my real love! What began as total confusion as to who was Frank and who was Steve, to friendship, to love, to letting go as he went off to France for a year,to wonderful letters and a courtship via snail mail! a proposal in Paris! Service in the USAF, 2 darling children,a daughter-in-law, a grandson, a house, 12+ exchange student children, 3 political campaigns,
moves, trips, dinners, laughter and loads and loads and loads of love
Thanks Honey
I can't wait to see what the next 26 years bring.
Your Red Head!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Birthday Wishes and Realities

I'm older - yes for all of us above ground and breathing - that happens every day. On the day I mark another rotation of the sun. I got one of my Birthday wishes - I got to be inspired and receive the gift of hope. I attended the Sarah Palin- Michelle Bachman Rally in Minneapolis. I's been quite a ride the past few days, the dismantling of NASA, the looming dread of April 15th make my special day a little nerve racking. The words on that stage re-kindled my faith in Americans. I learned there was a name for the spirit I assumed we all got from our ancestors - who jumped onto rickety contraptions, without radio, internet, GPS - and sailed across dark cold waters, away from every comfort,every convention, family, friends, heck even favorite foods - Just for the chance at a freer, new start in a place where you were allowed, even encouraged to do, go , be as much as you could. The name I learned in school was American Exceptionalisim. We are made up of those with the guts! to go. No old world con-strictures on your future. If your dad was the local cobbler, you weren't forced to follow - you might be a baker, a doctor,- Lincoln was a self taught man, from the cabin (I've been to Salem, IL !) to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I wish for someone who has sat at the kitchen table with the checkbook and bills, who drives the highways THEMSELVES, to take the reins of our country. Hearing first from our Governor, the only other man who had gotten down on bended knee (asking for my vote! for Pete's sake at the state convention) before me. He reminded me of how far we have come. Sarah Palin reminded me of the basic wisdom and how important it is for every "one" to serve in government - not just those who attended law school and have been groomed since birth It is our citizenship at stake these days - the country I grew to love is growing strange to me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ahh Spring - Season for Change

Actual Sunshine! Yes I know that it exists-but a normal March would mean Spring in theory more than practice. This year we have a lot of grass and warm temperatures, indicating change is in the air - almost time to put away the heavy boots. Change is in the air for my country as well. The changes I see on the horizon are not fluffy clouds and gentle zephyrs - they seem like angry wall clouds, harbingers of trying things to come.
I worry that many have lost their way in America, lost their path to adulthood with all it's joys; and responsibilities. I grew up with the image of the shining city on the hill, the place where responsibility and self determination were the guiding principals - if you chose to do something stupid - you paid the price. The training began on the playground.
I recall the days of the tall slide, can you remember them? before we had the lawyer approved, shock absorbing surounded, playscapes - we had real jungle gyms where if you went too far beyond your limits, you risked an injury. Those tall slides, the kind that the little kids waited to go tandem with you on? There was always one jokster who had to -jump off - or try standing - or something else? They got the broken arm, etc and we got the lesson, now we pamper and protect our young so much that at 26? or more they cannot fathom leaving the nest? They never faced a small risk, they got a trophy for showing up and heaven help their first supervisor - there are no trophys and gold stars for just showing up at work.
There is great honor in responsibility, great freedom in making your own way, and then having the choice of giving back - and how you give back. There is only frustration in having to wait all the time to see what you will get. Having it taken from you is not the same, think about the bully taking your desert - or you sharing it with your first crush - get the picture?
Let's get back to competition, for in the challenge is the energy to meet or exceed the goals. No one wins all the time - but the best are found and rewarded, and those who compete also earn their own honor. Competition also implies a choice of when to compete and when to support the competitors.
As the parks hopefully fill with children, this year let's start leaving the nanny state behind. Anyone want to race to the tall slide?