Tag Archives: Military

Sigh, No Cherry Pie!

27 Feb

This year the holiday that was bombed…Valentine’s Day. Our family celebrates loving each other on Valentine’s Day by giving simply, things that we should do more often. We don’t need a holiday to tell a loved one that you, do indeed love them! 

After setting down to check for emails, I noticed the Facebook tab was flashing. My son and daughter in law, I always look forward to hearing from them. We are nine hours apart and it is challenging enough to remember what time of day it is on the other side of the world! My son wanted us to sign into Skype, this is a step by step process. The computer I am fortunate enough to be using is over 12 years old! An ongoing chuckle that is constantly being acknowledged by all who hear, is that the computer is held together by the breath of God!

In order to sign into Skype, I must close each and every window, save every file…backup again. Once I have accomplished this, I can click onto the Skype logo on my desktop. Hitting that button is rather like wondering if the 3 year old fireworks you found carefully stored in a box in the bottom of the closet will still catch and spark! Evidently some video driver is going corrupt and I am told it cannot be fixed, as a result sometimes the image is similar to a Brite Lite screen with fuzzy picture behind and bright pixel dots on the screen!

We are in luck today! The breath is strong today and I am thankful to be able to see my son and daughter in law. It has been since June that we saw them last. They came home to get married in a whirlwind leave and then they were gone. I can tell by looking at his face that he has news to share. We had been looking forward to them PCS’ing back to the states. (PCS=change of station/transfer to a different base). Not only had that just been swatted out of the sky, now he was deploying…for the third time.

We listened mostly and tried to keep the conversation going. There is always an awkwardness, when sharing bad news. My youngest son as soon as we signed off, went to his room and sat on his bed. He did not eat lunch, snacks or dinner. He did not want to talk, nor play, nor watch television. After a couple of hours passed, I walked past his room and he was doing school online. That night he tossed and turned, he kept getting up and came out hugging me from the back of the couch. “Mom, I miss my brother! My heart hurts.”

His sister didn’t comment and went about the rest of the day staying busy. Turning thirteen soon, I have noticed that she tends to be more independent. I knew when she wanted to talk, I would be available to listen. She went with my husband to run errands and they came home with beautiful flowers for me to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Brilliantly colored and variantly petaled Primroses that smell sweet like the promise of Spring! While I was making dinner, my daughter came in and started helping me without being asked, prepping food and putting away dishes.

I knew this was her way of demonstrating her love and concern about the talk we had that morning with her big brother. She brought up the disappointment of not having them here for her birthday, games and 4th of July. No camping or finally being able to celebrate a birthday with her big brother after 5 years and worst of all…still, NO Cherry Pie!!!



Just a Bench…

22 Feb

We were given a cement waiting bench, we put it out by the tire swing so the children waiting for a turn would have a place to sit.
Little did we realize that this bench would come to represent more than just a place to sit.
Before little sister and brother came along, my oldest son and his friends would sit out there and scheme together. One day they talked about how they would create jumps for their BMX bikes. Another day it was used for a napping spot. Countless coats, hats, plates, books and Army men have utilized it.
Our cat likes to sit upon it and watch the goats out in the pasture.
The dog watches whomever sits there and offers to share their sandwich.
I sat at that bench after I lost my dream horse that I had shared the previous 16 years with. After the sun slipped away, the fog slowly crept along the ground and came to swirl around in front of me. I know I sat out there until I could feel the cold penetrate every joint in my body, I guess I needed to feel something, even if it was painful!
Over the years Z Waiting Bench has been well used and appreciated.
Last year someone was just downright mean and took it upon themselves to break the edges off and this exposed the iron rebar running through the rectangle of cement that gives a sitting place.
After thorough interrogation of the vast range of children that were at Z Farm that weekend, we came to the conclusion that the NOBODY Gremlin that causes socks to be lost, dishes to be dirtied and other various household items and farm tools to be misplaced had gotten bored causing mischief in the usual way.
In life I am finding that it is not always possible to find out the truth in all situations, no matter how much it is desired!
Instead of focusing on the havoc that was wreaked, think of the opportunity to recreate beauty from ashes.
There were a few very surprised children when I told them that no longer could we comfortably sit upon Z Waiting Bench.
After being queried by the suspected offending party about this, I calmly stated that safety came first and I was really sorry that one had ruined it for many. Hearing complaints, blames and whines we removed the seat and placed it on the ground.
Well, that’s not fair! Protest after protest from all was heard and acknowledged. I replied “Life is not fair and we just have to make do with what we have. I want you to remember that decisions you make really do affect others, contrary to what society tells you!”
I have two bags of cement, broken pottery and china pieces stored in the garage waiting for the warmth of Spring.
Collecting materials so we can implement plans to create a new and improved cement seat for this bench.
We want to have this done before my daughter in law comes to visit when my eldest son leaves for his next deployment of 9 months.
So many have come to Z Farm, shared, helped, been ministered to and moved on in their lives.
We are continually blessed by longtime family friends who come to visit. Sharing a meal together, we listen as they recall that some of the most pleasant memories of times spent on Z Farm included work, with me as the Sargeant Taskmaster! This resulted in tears, I laughed so hard! They reveled in their stories of youthful antics, mind you they are only in their early 20’s now.
One young man, now in the Marines. Another getting his life together and working steady. Both had fond memories of doing chores, eating well and sitting on Z Waiting Bench, while times passed.
Why not just go out and buy another? What is the point in replacing it? I am not giving into the societal norm throwaway mentality.
You cannot always just “go buy a new one!”
As I think forward to hands and minds joining together in the solution, it will create new memories.
It has been almost five years since my son left home, progressing towards his third deployment and still living abroad.
I cannot explain why it is so important to me, but I need to show that broken things are worth fixing, valuable. Maybe this will help things to seem normal, like before.
He remembers Z Waiting Bench and knows it will be here for him…waiting once again.
waiting bench

Driving the sexy beast…

20 Feb

I saw this comment on my son and daughter in laws’ Facebook page. He posted a photo of his 1985 Mustang. He has invested a lot into that car and not only monetarily, emotionally as well.
Our family jokes that this car will forever be sought out by our local law enforcement. They are constantly seeking to find out when my son will be home on leave. I am sure they would like to just pull him aside and chat him up…right?
After I wrote the blog about driving your car, I had an opportunity to drive your car again. As I searched for a CD, (no I haven’t figured out how to download music into the 2nd cell phone yet. It took me 2 months to program the first one, excuse me if i am not jumping to do it all over again!) I find a CD that just looking at causes a fresh wave of missing you. It is a CD that you recorded for me and you wrote “Mom’s mix, love you MOm” on it. Recalling what prompted the creating of this music, I smile. You were 15 and making it known that you liked to listen to Other music now. I did not necessarily share the love of your genre of music, yet wanted to enjoy time with you. So, we compromised and you put a few songs you liked, then a few songs I liked and so forth.
Currently skipping through the rather loud choices, I settled upon a song called Seize the Day. I listened to that and when I came home, I time warped and expected you to walk out of your bedroom with your jet black hair, eyeliner and skinny jeans.
Now, I can’t get that song out of my head! I looked the lyrics up online and reading them realized why that song was stuck in my head.
I notice that the green light is on your FB this morning and I greet you and send you the lyrics to the song. I am so caught by surprise when you tell me that you were cleaning the house to the same song, it sounds like within the same time frame as when I listened to it.
This may just seem like coincidence, take into account that we live over 12,000 miles apart!
Little reminders in life, no matter how far apart we are in actual mileage , our hearts do not acknowledge this distance!
Enjoy your time in Europe, praying for safety in your next deployment and don’t worry..We will keep your car pristine…for the next leave when you “drive the sexy beast!”
Mayday ahah 246

Driving your car…

14 Feb

We had a Skype session yesterday, I received the news that heart had already know for so long.
Another deployment, broken promises of worthless paperwork, dashed dreams and crumbled crumbs of hope left on the table.
Before you enlisted, you and Dad went looking for cars.
When you came home from your seeking, sometimes it sounded like an updated story of the Three Bears story. This one was too old, this one was too trashed and then you found one that was just right.
Do you remember that it was the second time around of looking and going back that you were successful in your quest?
A car of your own! I recall that you questioned your Dad about the price of the car and knowing what it would take to make it road worthy.
So impressive when you asked if it was honest to buy the car for such a price when after you and Dad discussed what the car would probably need, you knew the car was worth more!
We gave you a key ring, your keys for the Mustang are still on it.
Looking towards the back door when I knew you were both returning from buying the car. Wanting to treasure the look on your face, triumphantly striding in with a smile so big your face looked as if it would crack!
Teaching you the power of this new car, your Dad took you out for the first time. He was driving and as he turned onto Hwy 126 the road was wet, it had been lightly sprinkling. Your eyes got so big as the car slid sideways across both lanes and right over the white line!
One night you were coming home from your then girlfriend’s house and a big deer jumped out of the woods and right into your car.
You came in the house and I could tell by your voice, when you opened the door and called out “Mom?”. I turned around and looked at you, your face was very pale. I asked what was wrong and I started to think you had been in an accident. Your story spilled out and we went out to look at the damage to the car. Wow, did the deer damage the front end! After cleaning it up, you dried the car off and spray painted ouch deer on the side!
That car taught you to budget, it also instructed you in the art of being humble. You got into trouble together and still have quite a reputation, just like our own Dukes of Hazzard and Boss Hog!
Both the Mustang and you like to show that you got it!
That car loves to drive! Old cars and trucks have personality.
I so enjoy being able to Drive your car. When I get in and adjust the seat, mirrors and stereo I look for a CD to listen to. The case of CD’s you left for me are still in the car. I discover a blue CD that says Mom’s mix~ Love you Mom. I pop it in the CD player and memories come flooding back, of differences and compromises we both came up with. Remembering our Mother~Son drives and “dates”, you are always freshly shaven, sharply dressed and smell like your favorite cologne.
Sometimes I would close my eyes, sit on my hands and chew on my tongue trying to hold off comments that would offend you in regards to your driving. Time passes, life goes on.
Can you come pick me up at the airport…in my car? Sure, we drive two cars to the airport, to give you your car and we have a way to get home. Your brother and sister help detail your car, your dad does work to suprise you while you are away.
We were talking about how we were going to meet you at the airport again and how you would drive to your new duty station. That won’t be happening anytime soon. I can’t sleep. The flag is flying at half-mast in Veneta, honoring fallen soldiers. It looks quite striking in contrast to the dark grey sky. I want to get a picture of it to show you every time I drive past that flag I think of you.
Every time I see your car I think of you. The tattoo on my ankle reminds me of the promise of protection from your Angel.
Every time I look at it, prayer follows, then praises.
No visit home, no duty station change, no sleep, no airline tickets, no money.
You have no idea how much it means when I can go out to your car, which still smells like your cologne.
Listening to the blue CD while Driving your car.
Mayday ahah 079

Failing Kindergarten

1 Feb

Reminiscing, I guess that is one stepping stone of realizing you are an unwilling victim in the aging process. I overhear children talking about how they are bullied, pushed. lied to, made fun of. Keep in perspective that most of what is heard is coming from third grade up to high school. Teachers uncaring, judgmental  dispensing unjust discipline.  Whispers of drugs, sex talk, cell phones, sex-ting, disbelief of intelligent child and adult interactions. Mistrust of adults overall is seemingly rampant, spreading like the cold you try to avoid by not touching fomites.

Forty five years is a long time, material things go from classic to antique status. Depending on the care and quality of the item either treasured or thrown into someone’s junk heap.

Listen with open ears, apply filters when necessary. Most of the things that really annoy me now, cannot be changed, fixed, averted, nor avoided.

Quite tragic that most of the drama starting at such young ages and progressing into adulthood is nurtured, cherished and shared with whomever will listen. 

Any helpful advice? NO, just want to make sure everyone knows. Can you offer help? Sure, it is not taken when proffered. 

It has taken over four decades for the realization that a lot of society’s ills, poor social graces and rudeness, anger and selfishness can be attributed to one thing from the childhood of everyone involved…these people flunked Kindergarten!


If Nobody lied..

31 Jan

(C) 2003 Gateway,Inc.

I was listening to the song by *Nickelback If Everyone Cared* and thinking of my son and daughter in law. So much of the content of this song, could be especially for you both.

Many people think the solution for peace is to be peaceful, not make waves, just give in to the other party. This is why one side will always be violent and one side passive.
There is no gray

area to war.


*”If everyone loved and nobody lied, If everyone shared and swallowed their pride. Then we would see the day when nobody died.”*
No, this is not a scripture, although it could be. If no one lied, there would be no ability for forgiveness.

I listen day after day to other people’s opinions about war here, war there, murders, PTSD, criminals, lack of government funding, too much government, waiting too long at the bank, store, stoplight, blah, blah, blah!

Some have no concept that others also have trials and travails to go through. Then again, they do not seem to care as they go on and on about how rough their life is, how horrible it is they couldn’t afford satellite, cell phone or cigarettes. 

These types of problems will not have a solution, because one is really not desired. It will be another set of self-inflicted issues, each time seemingly an emergency. It is so easy to get caught up in the vortex of ungratefulness.
There will always be war as long as there are men to wage it! As much as society thinks there are warm,fuzzy, solutions for why others want to hate, kill and destroy what is not understood.
Just like failing Kindergarten, There is so much more to life than what meets the eye! Compassion, truth, forgiveness.
The next time you are tempted to unleash some unsavory remark to the cashier, because you had to wait in line too long~ comment on how thankful you are that they are there to help you and you can just drive to the store and pick up ready-made groceries, toiletries, pretty much one stop shopping.
Await their reply, what did they say?
Next time you are caught in traffic, muse over the fact that we can drive pretty much anywhere within the US and not be subjected to armed, forced searches.
When forced waiting for road construction, tell the workers how you are glad roads are “repaired”. Some countries, there are no paved roads and access to simple life-sustaining items such as food and water have to be obtained by walking, burdened sometimes a great distance, carrying a weapon is customary.
Is the food not to your liking? At least you have food and most Americans are overweight, out of shape and not healthy even living within the boundaries of Amber fields of grain.
Some nights are off-limits to sleep? Knowing that many are terrorized by uninvited, terror-stricken dreams I hold back my complaint that I didn’t sleep well.That is why I started blogging, my mind sometimes just can’t slow down. Writing helps, pull out skeins of thought and unravels my knotted brains of yarn.
Why do I write about what seems to be rambling, not connected thoughts?
We are a 3rd generation Military family, if you have family that has served or is currently serving, you may experience a dramatic change in what you think is normal, everyday life and trials.
I know that over the last 4 1/2 years I have wrestled with so many feelings, sometimes wondering if I was nearing the brink of my mind’s capacity.
No matter whether you support the past, present or future happenings with our Military, we need to remember that every Soldier is someone’s son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister, father, or mother!
I do not take offense in an opinion stated, if respect and care are taken in the expression.
Think about how the world would be…If everyone loved and nobody lied, If everyone shared and swallowed their pride. Then we would see the day when nobody died.”
Please note *song credit!~Nickelback~If Everyone Cared*


25 Jan

ImageWoke up this morning cold hardwood floors, no coals in the woodstove and the heat pump running. Good thing I had set up the coffee the night before, I will drink a nice cuppa before I venture to the wood shed to bring in kindling to start a fresh fire. Last time the the fire went out, I stumbled outside not fully awake and left my brain in the house. I slipped in the mud and needless to say it was not a pretty sight!

So, as I listen to the heat pump run I am reminiscing about this last summer and the family that we were able to spend time with. It was warmer in June, although this picture was taken the day of my oldest son’s wedding, the weather the day before was more like an early spring day. At the wedding rehearsal, we were all bundled up in jackets, coats and even an occasional blanket! The day of the wedding was brisk, we were concerned about the looming clouds that rolled in and lingered bringing the threat of not only rain, but thunderstorms. As picture after picture was taken, arms were rubbed for warmth, jackets  and sweaters taken off and on I kept hearing “what time is it? Do I have time?” 

I am still thinking “what time is it? Do I have time?”.

Every minute that ticks into an hour stretching into 24 composes what we call a day. Have I used my time wisely? Some days, it seems that I haven’t. 

I have been guilty of assumption, thinking that I will always wake up tomorrow. 

Charles M. Schulz – “Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it sure makes the rest of you lonely.”

I always wondered the source of that quote. Unfortunately, we know that it is true! Currently, we are a military family; Grandfather, Son and now Grandson all Veterans in serving this United States of America. Deployment is tough for all, it doesn’t matter if they are just stationed overseas at Duty station or on an away mission. I now understand something my mom told me years ago “it doesn’t matter if someone is 2 hours or 2,000 miles away, they are still not here!”.

My father in law is still battling as a soldier, this time the enemy is cancer. He is doing very well, but still in the trenches. My eldest son is battling health issues from being a soldier and is still active Military. Both with Lion hearts and bravely stepping forth each day, not knowing what may come.

I am here at Zion Farm, seemingly millions of miles away from family that I Love so much.

Pondering who I am; soldier, nurse, teacher, farmer, administrator, advisor, manager, daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, warrior and chaplain.

We haven’t been able to get away to visit family in Germany, nor family in Bend. Like an unseen cog in the wheel, life keeps turning. One little thing after another, it’s only money. don’t get attached to material things. At this time, I am looking at the maps and realizing that each mile should be represented by dollar symbols! We work hard, my husband holds an outside job and I run the farm with help from our children and sometimes friends chime in to help. 

It really is true, no matter whether across town, state, continents, or heavenly realm, loved ones are still absent and missed. Not able to hear how much the kids chatter about them, what they would like or not like. What we can do next we see them, what they have been doing, nor can they hear the prayers we offer up daily for them.

Let me close with an Irish blessing, it seems appropriate;

May the road rise to meet you. 

May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face. 
And rains fall soft upon your fields. 
And until we meet again, 
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.