Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amish Country And Remembering Nick Erdy

Sunny - Hi 73 Lo 54 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 66 Lo 39 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Flurries - Hi 39 Lo 34 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Ghost in this House, Allison Krauss and Union Station


Michael made our annual trek up to Amish country this past Friday. He and I were absolutely giddy about the trip--- definitely an "old people moment". Really, you would have thought we were on our way to Cancun... Holmes County, Ohio is about 3 1/2 hours northeast of us. We had perfect weather and it was simply a beautiful day. It was the first time we had ever visited on a Friday and this late in the year---We typically make the drive to see the fall colors. That wasn't in the cards this year, but seriously, it was so much more enjoyable... far less people.. We quickly realized Friday is wash day in Amish country--- We saw clothing out drying everywhere. It was pleasant to see-- reminded me of being a kid and my grandma hanging the laundry outside to dry. I remember the clothes line posts that she would secure under the clothes line to hike the line up high so the clothing wouldn't drag. I remember the sheets billowing in the breeze and running in between them, making believe it was a curtain to a stage where I would perform some brilliant song for all to hear. I still remember how wonderful the sheets would smell when she would pull them off the line...

Now, the food in Amish country is... Oh my gosh... incredible... homemade pies and bread. We had dinner at a place called Boyd & Wurthmann Restaurant. It was cozy--- home cooked food. Served by lovely young Mennonite and Amish girls, the service was impeccable, the portions- huge... It was at this point we decided that someone should invent a gravy that could also be used as a dip. OMG...
We went to some of the shops but only found a couple of places that interested us--a bulk food store... which was pretty cool for Michael and an incredible antique store. In fact, I have never seen it's equal anywhere. Run by another member of the Amish community- I could not believe how many pieces I found that I instantly fell in love with. I have quite literally been looking for a china closet for 10 years. I found at least a dozen there I could have taken home at that moment. The rest of the shops we visited were of the "cute variety". The choxkie--- the overly cute painted signs that say things like, "friendship" and "love" with teddy bears and cute snowmen painted on wood or tin all of which is made in China or India... you know, the stuff you find in the Tenderhearts mail order catalog. The trip was rejuvenating for the mind and soul. Next time, hopefully we will leave with a beautiful piece of furniture hand crafted by someone over a century ago- or possibly a beautifully handmade quilt... or one of those way cool Amish made wicker baskets. Our focus was on the scenery and those areas not inundated by tourism, but rather the freshly plowed fields and the laundry and the big skies, rolling hills and gorgeous valleys, and the young Amish children selling their wares and tending their chores... very nice...very nice indeed.

On Saturday, November 22, the Fourth Annual Dinner and Auction benefiting the Nick Erdy Foundation will take place. I never knew Nick, but like so many in this community, I felt I did. I have written about him and others we lost from Lima Company. He is still remembered. He is not forgotten. A memorial for those lost from the 3/25 in 2005 has arrived in Cincinnati it has been on display in Ohio's State Capital since Memorial Day. In the coming days, I will make the trip to Union Terminal to remember those fine young men. I expect it to be highly emotional.
Nick Erdy and Dustin Derga were best friends. Dustin was killed on May 8. Nick was killed on May 11. They had plans together... to become firemen... or to open a bar in Florida... to live their lives... to get married to their girls back home, who also had become close friends. May 2005 changed everything for those in Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment. Remember them. Keep them in your hearts, pray for their families and loved ones. Pray for those still in harms way. Thank them when given the opportunity.

Watch this:

I found this heartbreaking note from Kristen, Dustin's girlfriend.

for all of you from the 3/25 who gave the ultimate sacrafice, we salute you. There are not enough men out there who would pick up a gun and go fight for their country. It is a shame that more people could not be like you... You served and lived for a purpose and that is more than most can say... you fought for freedom, your families, friends and the future of America...You had an honorable job and you held up your end of the bargin... It is like that Toby Keith song.. "American Soldier." "And I dont want to die for you but if dyings asked of me, I'll bare that cross with honor cause freedom don't come free!" You all are the true definition of HERO and that will never be taken from you. I regret not being able to meet all of you.... but the ones I did know... CPL Dustin Derga and LCPL Nick Erdy, were among the greatest people I have ever met. Fun loving, carefree, and full of commitment to the United States Marine Corps and their fellow Americans. You boys will forever be in our hearts! And the only thing we ask of you now is to watch over you fellow soldiers and bring them home to us! To the rest of the 3/25... You are in our thoughts and prayers! Just remember those men who lost their lives will now be fighting next to you for the rest of their lives... and in return just live your life with them in mind... never forget!! Fight hard... Come home safe!!! We will all be waiting for your return....
SEMPER FI... Kristin (Derga's girlfriend)

For more information on the dinner and auction for The Nick Erdy Foundation click here

Have a great week everyone!

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