Sunday, April 27, 2008
Sunny - Hi 95 Lo 63 for Qandahar, Afghanistan Mostly
Sunny - Hi 68 Lo 45 for Northern KY, USA
Song of the week: Turn! Turn! Turn!, The Byrds
Was this the last song of an innocent time? I'm serious... I was only a few months old at the time of it's release... Let me know... President Kennedy had been assassinated 2 years prior... we were in Vietnam-- however soldier morale was still high because the American people were supporting the effort and the troops... Seriously, was this the last song of innocence for our country?
This month has been on God's time. And once again I am reminded about how fleeting time can be. One moment has brought sheer joy and pride--- the next absolute sorrow and inconsolable grief. In the joy, I have seen struggle and hard work. In the sorrow, I have witnessed strength through courage and the support of family and community.
** My grandfather's best friend was finally given his medals for his service to our great nation during World War II thanks to a Vietnam Veteran. Vern was a medic... he saved lives and brought aid and comfort to soldiers in 3 major campaigns... including the Battle of the Bulge. He was NEVER issued a winter coat. After the war, he came home like the rest of his generation and got on with his life. I'm so pleased my grandparents invited me to attend. I'm so proud of my grandfather... I'm so proud of Vern. Thank these men... sadly, we are losing them every day...
I have moved the video to a separate entry- above. My apologies for the end of the video... first time using my camera--- and I haven't figured out how to edit yet... That is Ohio Congresswoman, Jean Schmidt presenting Vern with his medals... I've seen her a lot in the past 3 weeks...
** About two weeks ago, a coworker of mine unexpectedly lost her 15 year old son to a brain aneurysm... How does a mother recover from the loss of her oldest child? I don't know... I don't imagine a parent ever recovers from the loss of a child.. it's not the natural order... a parent is supposed to outlive the child...
** Friday morning, I witnessed a friend, 1 of 69 people from 34 countries become naturalized citizens of the United States. If you have never seen this ceremony or been witness to the oath... This is powerful stuff. By choice, they come here...they decide that this is a better place. Federal Court Judge Bunning (yes... son of Senator Bunning) asked that each person stand and give their name, the country of origin and where they reside currently... Safe to tell you... I started crying immediately... First person was from Canada (3 total), the next Russia--- many many Bosnians, 1 Iraqi, 1 Iranian, Filipinos, 3 Mexicans, 1 from Holland, 1 from France, a handful from the UK, China, India.... now... proudly are all Americans... Becoming a legal United States citizen by design is not an easy process and it takes a long time... years... I forget who it was, but one of the women stood and stated her name, where she was from and loudly and enthusiastically proclaimed in her glorious accent that she lived in INDEPENDENCE, Kentucky.
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
** That same Friday afternoon, I learned from my sis in law that Susan lost her long hard fought battle with cancer. She was only 47. My prayers are with Susan's family-- her husband... her mother... her brother and sisters... her son.... only 47....
** This weekend Matt Maupin finally came home. He was escorted by his younger brother Micah. Carolyn Maupin and Keith Maupin continue to be beacons of strength and dignity and compassion and hope during a time of inconceivable grief and sorrow. On April 9 at a scholarship fundraiser in his brother's name, Micah reenlisted in the Marine Corp in front of a packed house-- including his father and mother. Although Carolyn stood by her son's decision.... You could see the pain and fear in her eyes. Matt is home and the community is welcoming this young man home. Yesterday morning I stood along the highway with my grandfather and a bunch of crusty old Marines waiting for Matt. Kyle--- as usual did something extraordinary to welcome him home and to offer comfort and support to the family... He had a sign(s) made... pictures below... Michael rode in the escort as a member of Patriot Guard Riders from Lunken Airport to the Civic Center. I was very proud of him... he was the only sportie among the Harleys... We all met at the visitation. My grandfather is 85 and in failing health... He wanted to go pay his respect, but the weather was not cooperative. The police officers on duty especially Officer Combs and volunteers saw to it that we would get my grandfather through. He told us to come back in 45 minutes, he would get us a wheelchair and would get us to the front of the long line. Kindness... respect... appreciation...
** Kyle spoke to a very distinguished looking man-- Kyle what was his last name? ... As this man with an umbrella, a stylish suit and an English accent spoke about his time in the service and the artillery he used and the brotherhood he shared with Kyle, the conversation turned to his appreciation of the outpouring of support he was witness to. Shortly after, he shared with Kyle as I eavesdropped that he was asked by President Bush to paint a portrait of Matt Maupin. He described the painting... it will be Matt and his brother Micah... the portrait will be called Brothers.
** Today--- will be Matt's funeral... again the Maupin's are concerned about the entire community... they want us to be able to mourn his loss and celebrate this young man's life. Michael again will participate with Patriot Guard... I will wander down to the ball park... and pay my respect.
Kyle the dreamer, Ray the installer, Tom the guy who made the sign a reality... Michael
Read the oath above again... really... read it out loud. Say the words... Hear the words. Understand the words.
Everything is done in HIS time-- now read the following words...
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3
1: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3: A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4: A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5: A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6: A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7: A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8: A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9: What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10: I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11: He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12: I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13: And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
14: I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 15: That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
16: And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17: I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18: I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19: For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20: All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21: Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
22: Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
Yes... I have learned a great deal this month...
Have a great week everyone!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Partly Cloudy - Hi 82 Lo 56 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Cloudy & Rain - Hi 42 Lo 31 for Northern KY, USA
Song of the week: Fear Is Never Boring, The Raisins
Ah... this song... it takes me back 25 years.... I was a senior in high school and we were counting down the days until graduation.... If you lived in the Cincinnati area in 1983, 1984, or 1985 you heard this song... a lot on local radio. The band, The Raisins were (& still are) talented guys. This album was produced by their pal and Covington, Kentucky hometown boy Adrian Belew... who I loved... I fell in love with him when he was doing work with The Talking Heads... Anyway... this song... has been going through my head for weeks. I was disappointed that this album is out of print and The Raisins subsequent reincarnations such as The Bears or most recently Pschodots also out of print... I loaned the album to Rodney years ago and that was that. Now, I can get a used CD for $56.00 on Amazon... nah... so I was pleasantly surprised to find this video on You Tube. I can't remember where I saw this video... as an art student, we critqued the heck out of all the cliches, but liked the video for it's campiness. The melody is catchy and quite danceable... The opening lyrics a little disturbing... but parents didn't seem to mind... they were more concerned by the backwards masking... which was a huge deal when I was in high school. This song, this band brings back all kinds of memories... way too much fun... way too much indulgence... way too dumb... fear is never boring... I'm surprised we survived our teen years...
25 years... good grief...
Mama’s little baby likes fear and torture
Mama’s little darling likes violent sex
She thinks she’s queen victoria
Ridin’ the pony express
Oh no trouble now
Are your nerves failing
Don’t come unglued
If your heart skips a beat
Stay on your feet
Don’t throw that moment away
No no no no no no no yeah
Feeling good ain’t bein’ happy
No no no no no no no yes
Taking care ain’t being there
I’m out on a limb where the fun begins
Fear is never boring
I think I see a spark
Hear voices in the dark
They tell me don’t lose heart
Stiff upper lip
Stick to your guns
Don’t let ’er rip
Don’t throw that moment away
With consciousness barely floating
The slippery curve is approaching
My whole life flashed before I crashed
Fear is never boring
Have a great week everyone!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Let us never forget. Let us always be thankful for the fine men and women who serve our country.
click on the photos for larger view