Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thanks, Mom!

While I have been way too busy at work - and putting in way too many hours - Mother Nature has been alive and well in the garden.  April-like rain in May has made everyone happy!
 "Water" iris are nearly taking over the pond - fine with me.  Hope the fish don't mind.
 For one who is not thrilled with yellow flowers, I seem to have let them in with abandon!
 Hemerocallis Daylily 'Black Friar' - got it from Andre Viette.  Healthy, happy and apparently spreading.  A great contrast with all that yellow!
 Callas are not hardy here.  Don't tell these plants.  They have lasted 12 years.  Not as pink as originally, but still lovely  - in the garden and in the vase.
 Even the blueberries have thrived in benign neglect.  Should have two handfuls this year .... maybe three!
And, this lovely.  Failed to write down what it is.  Actually, it came up as a surprise.  I have no idea what it is or where it came from!  Looks a bit like 'Stargazer' but I think it is not dark enough.  Faintly scented, but easily 7 inches across.  Now sitting on the coffee table so that I can keep an eye on 'her".

Now, back to the salt mines.  Hope you have a good week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Rite ... that feels so wrong!

First word ... "bubble".  I don't remember why.

First "high heeled" shoes .... 7th grade.  We did things later then than today!

First kiss ...  the goofy guy down the street.  I thought he was wonderful.  He moved away that summer.

First summer job .... working for a neighbor in his office..

First car .... a pale blue Corvair.  "Always wear your seatbelt!"

Pierced ears?  "Not while you live under my roof."  So I got them my first year in grad school... done by a doctor!

First apartment ... a two-bedroom townhouse with two friends.  My share was $50 a month.

First car purchase .... $1,872 for a navy Volkswagon beetle. Wouldn't we love to buy a car for that today.

First real job ...  working in a private high school in Knoxville, Tennessee.

First home purchase ... a two-bedroom townhouse for $26,000.  Today it probably sells for half a mil!

First [and last] marriage ... May, many years ago.

I just realized how all those things happened in the first half of my life and how long it has been since a real rite of passage has occurred.  Perhaps that it why I am not ready for this one.

The birthday that accompanies this hasn't really bothered me, but somehow possessing the card does!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

A day to remember those who have fallen to protect our freedoms and our way of life. A day to thank those who have had the courage to serve this Nation in its times of need.

If we have learned anything from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is how to love the warrior while hating the war - a lesson that we did not understand 40 years ago when our brothers and sisters were returning from southeast Asia. For them there was little "home coming" because most of us at home did not know how to separate their service from the cause. We may have welcomed our own soldier or sailor, but we failed miserably in finding a way to welcome them home as a group.

While today we are doing a better job of welcoming our service men and women home, we are still failing them medically and emotionally. This whole new population of young men and women with traumatic brain injuries is stretching our VA system far beyond its capacity and we are not moving forward to fix that.  The improvements in medicine generally mean that more severely wounded soldiers will survive now, but we haven't found the ways to support them and help them maximize their remaining faculties so that they can lead productive and meaningful lives ... for the next fifty years.  I fear the population of homeless Iraq/Afghanistan vets will make the homeless Vietnam vets seem like just a handful.  As a nation we need to do better. As individuals we need to start doing more. 

At the very least we need to say thank you to those who have done so much for us. Thank you to Lew Puller. Thank you to Les Smith, Jake Smith, John Bane, and Ray Whiteman. Thank you to John Connell, to Ron Stewart, to Keith Hammock, and to Bob Kenney. 
Thank you to Neal Miller, Drew Bowder and the new generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines serving in the the desert and around the world. Thank you to the families of them all.

Today is a day to remember; a day to say thanks. "And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave, o're the land of the free and [especially] the home of the brave."