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Something Fishy

Yesterday we found ourselves at daughter Kathryn’s house for an early dinner of Chili. We also got a free meal the previous night and played some single deck Pinochle. Jeff and the Rooster were partners and we got our butts kicked two games to one. One of our losses was by more than 100 points, 120 is game, ouch!

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This blog is not about Chili, Pinochle or eating at the daughtersthough, it’s about something fishy. With Jeff off to work in our nations capitol for a few days we extended an invite to Kathryn and granddaughter Abigail & cousin Rachael for dinner tonight. We do that a lot when Jeff’s out of town and traveling.
So, Kathryn asks, “what’s for dinner Granny?” Me wife says, Cod Fish. Kathryn asks why do we put fish after the Cod? “Well, it could be Cod Cakes I say”. We also put fish after, Cat, I mean, would you ask someone to come to your house for cat? We put the fish after Tuna, Sword and Gefilte, don’t we? This led me to realize we put Brazilian & Sea prior to Bass. Should you be eating Drum, it’s color coded, Black or Red? Eldest daughter comes out with some strange thought provoking stuff now and then. Do I have you thinking? Are these prefix and suffix foods?
Tomorrow morning I’m having Bacon Pig with my eggs for breakfast, chicken eggs of course. What are you having for dinner tonight?  Are these prefix and suffix foods I ask?
As long as we have the La carte de vins the girls will be happy, bon appétit.

 

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Baked Cod

 

From the recipe book of https://www.delish.com
Total Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Ingredients:

4 cod filets, about 1-inch thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1 c. cherry tomatoes
1 lemon, sliced, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, smashed but not peeled
2 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
Directions

Preheat the oven to 400° and pat cod filets with a paper towel until dry. Season all over with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, cherry tomatoes, lemon slices, garlic, and thyme.
Brush a baking dish with olive oil. Pour tomato-oil mixture into dish, then nestle in cod.
Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 15 minutes.
Serve garnished with parsley, more lemon juice, and pan sauce.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

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National Pastoral Care Week

From October 22 to 28 we recognize Pastoral Care Week, also known as Spiritual Care Week. As more people around the world come to recognize the importance of whole person care, we take note during this special week, now in its 32nd year, to celebrate those who provide this care through professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling. These trained professionals minister to the needs of persons of all faiths or none. They provide this care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices, nursing homes and military settings throughout the world. By celebrating the week we have the opportunity to recognize the important and often unrecognized work and healing gifts of pastoral care givers, be they clergy, chaplains, or volunteers. By Eric J. Hall (Huffington Post)

 

Back in June of this year daughter Kathryn, ever watchful over the lives of her aging parents, sent me an email pertaining to an upcoming educational program offered at the hospital where she is employed. The course offered the opportunity for an individual to be trained in Pastoral Counseling and ultimately be a Chaplain upon successful completion. I’m guessing she thought I had too much idle time on my hands. I accepted the opportunity, filled out a lenghthy application and passed the background investigation and was accepted.

I finished the course successfully along with five other classmates and have begun walking the halls of the hospital and doing patient visitations. I am part of the Volunteer Services of the institution and am proud to be worthy of this responsibility.

During my formative years I was raised a Methodist, practiced as a Lutheran and attended a Baptist church while in the Marine Corps in Washington, DC. Fifty three years ago I married a young Catholic girl and have long been a practicing member of that faith. I’ve worshiped with Mormons, Jews and those of the Episcopal faith and attended a few Charismatic services. The rooms I enter will have a listener from many perspectives and three-quarters of a century of life experiences. Now, if these legs just hold up, I may do some good. Not quite sure what they might say when they realize a Rooster’s walking the halls.

No matter the faith, we all ask for a blessing from a higher authority when the chips are not quite falling our way. This is especially true when sickness or injury brings us inside those antiseptic walls of a hospital. An ending quote from a Chaplain that was recently carried in the Huffington Post went like this.

““We as chaplains in health care are often invited by patients and family members to stand with them in sacred spaces at sacred times in their lives. We are there with them to witness the beginnings of the lives and the ending of lives. We stand with them and support them during some of the greatest joys and some of the greatest tragedies that life brings to any person.”

Pastoral Care Overview

The Catholic Health Association of the United States

https://www.chausa.org/Sitefinity/WebsiteTemplates/MatrixBaseTheme/App_Themes/MatrixBaseTheme/Images/subbanners/Banner_Pastoral_Care.jpg
Catholic health care is committed to care of the whole person – body, mind and spirit. We listen, we explain and we serve with compassion. As the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services states: “Since a Catholic health care institution is a community of healing and compassion, the care offered is not limited to the treatment of a disease or bodily ailment but embraces the physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of the human person. … For this reason, Catholic health care extends to the spiritual nature of the person. … Directed to the spiritual needs that are often appreciated more deeply during times of illness, pastoral care is an integral part of Catholic health care.” (Part Two: The Pastoral and Spiritual Responsibility of Catholic Health Care, Introduction)

Through the Pastoral Care Advisory Committee, CHA looks at the changing landscape, challenges and opportunities for delivering spiritual care in new and creative ways. While pastoral care has traditionally been provided in Catholic hospitals and long-term care facilities, the shift in health care delivery to non-acute care and outpatient settings has created new opportunities for patients and residents to receive holistic care in these new settings. Many of our members are using chaplains in physician offices and ambulatory settings where patients with chronic diseases are being treated. Catholic health care is committed to providing holistic care in whatever setting care is being delivered. The need for qualified chaplains is growing.

Recognizing there is a shortage of trained, qualified chaplains in health care, CHA is committed to working collaboratively with board certifying groups to ensure there will be enough qualified chaplains to fill the needs going into the future. Many members are finding ways to use board certified chaplains with the most critically ill patients and supplement their staff though trained volunteers and local clergy. For more information about pastoral care activities, please contact Brian Smith, MS, MA, M.Div., CHA senior director of mission innovation and integration.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.


A Share from Minnesota

Rev. Shirley Duncanson is a United Methodist Pastor. She is a graduate of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Metro State University in Minnesota and Cleveland High School, in Cleveland MN where she grew up on a small fishing resort. Retired in 2013, she has served churches in Owatonna, Fairfax, Morton, Winona, Homer, Mounds View and most recently Hillcrest United Methodist Church in Bloomington, all in Minnesota. Shirley currently is a volunteer pastor at a nearby church. She is the mother of seven and grandmother of seven. Shirley enjoys photography, theological discussions, political discourse, book studies, and reading.

I share with you her perspective of the upcoming election. Shirley’s Blog can be followed @ https://shirleyhobsonduncanson.com/

Surviving the 2018 Campaign

Political ads are out in full force. If we want to learn something unseemly about a candidate, we can simply turn on our TV.  I am living in a battleground state.  Outside money is pouring in. A truth meter on every ad would help.    I yearn for the election to be over.   Meanwhile, airways are humming with innuendo.

Will that person running in the Third District be a pawn of Nancy Pelosi? Or the one in the Sixth District vote 100% with Donald Trump? Which party is really out to protect the pre-existing condition clause in the Affordable Care Act? And which one is out to destroy it? Did our congressman running for Governor suddenly stop working across the aisle since he decided to run for that office? Which candidates are ready to rip off Medicare? And who is out there with big oil, when Minnesota farmers are putting up windmills and making ethanol? Can a person be against a tax cut and still be for the people in their district? Or is opposition to a tax cut a fatal flaw? Which incumbent is destroying the environment and which one cares enough to save it? How can anyone be against “building the wall?”  Is there a place for sanctuary cities?     And who do we need to fear more – Nancy Pelosi or Donald Trump? I didn’t know that Nancy was running in Minnesota, but suddenly her face is appearing everywhere.

I hate this part of politics . . . Looking for dirt on others and making it up when it can’t be found. This year, the usual distortions of reality are turning into fear-based advertising. I see this from the Republican side in a slug of new ads this week. Likewise, I’ve been  disappointed in Hillary Clinton’s “You cannot be civil with Republicans.” And Eric Holder’s “When they go low, we kick them.” Neither represents a Christian World View any more than the “Lock her up” chants at Trump rallies.

I need a time out. I want people who treat each other decently in public office. I want the Citizens United ruling overturned and names of people who pay for all the ads that disgust me revealed.   I want debates that are mandatory and candidates required to answer the actual question asked. I want those debates broadcast live and transcripts available. I might actually find out something good about each one. It might sway my intended vote.

I hope you vote this year if you are eligible.   I hope you recognize the power of a vote and the nonsense spewed that your single vote doesn’t matter.   I hope you’re able to dig through the noise of the campaigns and get to the truth of a candidates position.   I hope your vote aligns with the words and the life of Jesus –  whose concern for the poor was primary and taught us that what we do for the least of our brothers and sister, is as if we are doing it for him.   I hope your vote is one that will promote justice.

In the meantime, while the ads spew, the “mute” button on my remote is a gift, and Netflix is a safe haven.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A trip to Connecticut

When the wife and I say we want to go home, the place we always refer to is, Connecticut. We especially loved Connecticut in the fall. We would go to football games in Storrs on a Saturday and watch Uconn back in it’s Yankee conference days. They’ve gone big time today playing D-1 athletics in a big stadium in East Hartford. They happen to be loosing a lot lately also.
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Uconn-Icenter photo

We loved watching the tree’s turn colors. Our old neighbor’s, the Anderson’s, had a giant Maple that would turn the most beautiful shades of oranges and reds.

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Not the same tree, but it could be a twin.

Neighbors would bond while splitting firewood to burn in our stoves through the coming fall and winter. The smell of smoke would permeate in the air from those stoves. Ghosts and goblins would run through the local cemetary dating back to the 1600’s. On All-Hallow’s-Eve, back in the day when the children were young, this was a place which holds memories for a lifetime. With the coming of darkness, thoughts ran wild for those sitting on the stones, while stories were told. At times even the adults were taken aback with the frightful image of a translucent ghost moving among the headstones in the rear of the cemetary. Yes Vi Cordner, you pulled a good one on us that year.

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Bamforth Rd. cemetary, Vernon, CT

I helped coach a midget football team back in the day, the late 70’s. We always had a travel game to Portland, CT. On the return home from the game we would stop at the old cider mill in the town of Glastonbury. We would walk among the trees. we could smell the apples on the ground, and the Buzzing of the Bees that never bit you in that time of the year. All those adventures are rekindled in my memory as I write this post. A few gallons of the finest Apple Cider would be purchased that day, along with a half basket of apples. Once back home, a tasty apple pie would not be far behind. Take a deep breath in from your nose, can you smell it baking in the oven? 

Glastonbury today has many farms and agricultural resources, just click on the site below to view them.

http://www.glastonbury-ct.gov/departments/department-directory-a-k/health-department/better-health-initiatives/glastonbury-farms-and-resources

Connecticut is also home for the last steam powered cider mill in the U.S.

From their web site, I cut and paste to you, Clyde’s Cider Mill:

Welcome to B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, WHERE TRADITION IS VERY IMPORTANT

Clyde’s Cider Mill is located in the small village of Old Mystic, CT. B.F. Clyde’s started making Hard Cider in 1881.

The apples for our Hard Ciders and Apple Wines come from local orchards and are pressed into juice here at our Mill. The juice is then pumped directly into oak casks in the Mill’s cellar, where it is fermented and ages for up to 3 years. Our Ciders and Apple Wines are still, in keeping with the tradition of cider makers of long ago.

Tradition is very important to us here at Clyde’s. In 1898, Frank and Abby Clyde built the Victorian style building and purchased the machinery still in use today.

We are the last steam powered cider mill in the U.S. today. In 1994, Clyde’s was designated a National Historic Landmark.

We are open from September thru late December. With our cider press operating in the Fall.

Take a StepBACK IN TIME

A visit to Clyde’s Cider Mill is like stepping back in time. Come see the only steam powered cider mill in the U.S..

We start our season in September with our hard ciders and apple wines, jams, jellies, local honey, maple syrup, fudge, and what many people call “The best sweet cider on Earth”! Also available in the Fall are apples, apple pies, pumpkin bread, gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins, candy apples, kettle corn and apple cider donuts.

So take a break from the ordinary and come visit a National Historic Landmark and see the 6th generation of Clyde family making cider just like B.F. Clyde did in 1881.

http://clydescidermill.com/

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Reading on a Monday Morning

Back in June, daughter Kathryn sent me information about an upcoming training course at the hospital she works for, Penisula Regional Medical Center. The course was a “Basic Chaplains course,” with participants responsible for “Pastoral Care in Hospitals” upon completion.

Twenty-six years ago I also was an employee of this institution. Just one of my many hats during three-quarters of a century traveling around the sun.  I have thought of volunteering at this hospital for some time. I felt it would be a way to give back for the thirty years of Cardiological Care I have received. I’ve had quite a few positive outcomes from various procedures and am a proud, five-time graduate of the Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

So I filled out the necessary paperwork for the “Basic Chaplain Course” and was quite pleased when I found out I was accepted. I looked forward to my Thursday evenings and engaging in dialogue with my fellow students and instructor. After several weeks we would meet with in-patients, explain the services offered by the “Pastoral Care Department,” and carry on dialogue with the patients under the guidance and oversight of staff chaplains.

I proudly completed that course last Thursday and look forward to starting my Volunteer Chaplain time at the hospital in the coming days. I’ve developed of late, a habit of doing a daily reading of one kind or another. Today I happened to read, An Accessible Woman: Remembering St. Teresa of Kolkata, by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB     One part of that reading was as follows:

“The fruit of silence is PRAYER. The fruit of prayer is FAITH. The fruit of faith is LOVE. The fruit of love is SERVICE. The fruit of service is PEACE. God bless you. –Mother Teresa.”

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Check your Freezer (A Share)

 

When a major storm is on the horizon, sometimes packing your bags and leaving home is the safe thing to do. But, if you’re worried about the food in your fridge being safe to consume when you return, you’re going to want to remember this brilliantly simple trick.

If the power goes out while you’re gone, everything from meat to milk will be at risk. But, if the power returns before you do, you’ll never know if your fridge was running the whole time or not.

As Sheila Pulanco Russell, from North Carolina, explains in her post, all you need is a quarter and cup of water. Put the water in the freezer until it’s frozen solid. Then, take it out, and put a quarter on top of the ice. Return the cup—with the quarter—back to the freezer.

All of that may seem pointless, but stay with us. When you return, if you find the quarter has moved to the bottom of the cup, then you’ll know your food was unrefrigerated while you were gone and it’s no longer safe to eat. Found the quarter in the middle? The food is likely still okay, but, as Sheila advises, “If you don’t feel good about your food, just throw it out.”

Where you ideally want the quarter to be is exactly where you left it—on the top. That means your freezer’s contents stayed frozen the entire time. Genius, right? Facebook agrees, too. In a matter of days, Sheila’s post was shared close to 400,000 times.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Share from Geilenkirchen

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A Sam Photo

Once again I share with you the latest Blog from Sam and family and their immersion to European living.

It’s the Little Things

Tonight we stayed out late looking for a house. We saw two good options, but it meant we got home about 7:30. 7:30 is Zoe’s bed time. 7:30 and all kids are bathed. 7:30 and our family begins to calm down. Not tonight.

Side Note: I just looked up and had to tell Ana to stop putting the noodles up her nose.

I opened up my European sized refrigerator (think something a little larger than what you find in a hotel room) and saw not much. There was ground beef, milk, sliced cheese, yogurt, and salad. Now my Granny could easily make a 4 course meal out of those items, but I am not that skilled. Make grilled cheese…nope out of bread. Make a casserole with the potatoes I have…don’t have a dish or really a true oven. Spaghetti…my family is tired of that after eating it the past few days.

I did what any good millennial would do…I went to Pinterest. I found an easy potato and ground beef skillet recipe (that didn’t call for cream of mushroom, heavy cream, sour cream, etc). I began making the meal and put on the last of the spaghetti. Now it is 8pm, I taste the concoction and the potatoes were still raw and it tasted horrible. Prior to me breaking down Zed said he had it and set out in search of food, not forgetting to bring cash with him because most restaurants do not accept cards here. The kids were falling apart so I gave them the spaghetti and they ate two cans of green beans. Good thing they’re young.

How did I get myself in this predicament? The small refrigerator and not having a true grocery store on base is what I’m blaming. Really what it is, we haven’t figured out a good routine and once we find a house (everyone please say a prayer) things should relax a little more.

So…

Things taken for granted so far:

– A commissary on base

– Zillow

– A full sized refrigerator…we are coming from having a garage fridge, a deep freezer, an upright freezer, and the biggest residential refrigerator you can buy for inside the house

– fast food

Say a prayer the kids survive the next month or really until we find a house and move. I highly encourage you all to stay away until we have our lives figured out. Once that happens our home is open to visitors.

….

Zed just walked in with pepperoni pizza, spaghetti (haha!), schnitzel, French fries, and a coke. I got the kids bath started and piled them in; Zed came up and relieved me. I’m currently listening to Zoe say “Dada” over and over, Zed teach Mia how to use a handheld shower head (I don’t know the actual name), Ana trying to escape without clean hair, and Dax saying watch me and then giggle. An hour ago I was close to tears and now I’m relaxed and listening to my little big family enjoy each other. Though there is quite a bit to get used to here, this assignment is going to be a blessing for our family.

Dax and Zoe just came down stairs and Dax is currently trying to put Zoe’s diaper and PJs on. A camera crew really should be following us around.

-S

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

Cone of Doom

Yesterday, daughter Sarah called early to ask my take on Hurricane Florence. During part of my Marine Corps life my MOS was 6811 back in the day. The below gives an overview of the career field from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/

USMC Enlisted Job Descriptions & Qualification Factors

FIELD 68 – METEOROLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY (METOC)

Philippine Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian V. Vinuya, back, and U.S. Marine Sgt. Erick Lallemand Jr., both meteorology and oceanography analyst forecasters, observe weather conditions Oct. 9 at Clark Air Field, Pampanga, Republic of the Philippines during Amphibious Landing Exercise 2014. U.S. Marine forecasters with 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade work seven days a week with their Philippine Air Force counterparts to ensure the safety of service members and the success of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2014. PHIBLEX 14 is a bilateral training exercise designed to demonstrate the commitment of the United States and Republic of the Philippines to mutual security, and ensures the readiness of a bilateral force to rapidly respond to regional humanitarian crises. Vinuya is with 900th Air Force Weather Group and Lallemand is with 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
•••

The METOC OccFld is the only earth science related OccFld in the Marine Corps. The METOC service OccFld is responsible for collecting, assessing and disseminating METOC intelligence relevant to friendly and enemy force strengths and vulnerabilities for the planning and execution of operations necessary to characterize the battlespace. This includes atmospheric, space, climatic and hydrologic intelligence for use in the production of Tactical Decision Aids (TDA) and METOC effects matrices. The METOC OccFld is comprised of MOS 6821, MOS METOC Observer, MOS 6842, METOC Forecaster, and MOS 6852, METOC Impacts Analyst, and is progressive in nature.

Marines entering the 6800 OccFld will complete formal training and receive MOS 6800, Basic METOC Marine and will participate in routine METOC service function while training for a designated MOS within the OccFld. As their skill enhancing training progresses, they become eligible to attend further formal MOS instruction. Billets include assignment to MEF, MEU, Intel Battalion, METOC Support Team (MST) , Marine Wing, Support Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station and Facility, TECOM, CBIRF, NMOPDC and instructor duty at MARDET Keesler AFB, MS.

My specific specialty was that of a Radiosonde Operator.

——————————————————————————————–

Many of us in the Blogging World have hobbies, of course writing is the paramount one. We have Train, Food, Travel, Religion, Health and Beauty, and countless others. I guess, for the past fifty years Weather could be called one of my hobbies. I do not make it the quintesential topic of my Blog however. I am quite happy that on Thursday late and Friday I will be some 400 miles to the north of where Florence is projected to hit.

So, back to daughter Sarah who is really into weather. We will chat often during pending storms, a lot of the conversation surrounds the – What if’s? In years passed, we’ve had family pools as to where something will make landfall. Where will Florence land?

 

It is now 10:25 AM, September, 11, 2018,  a new forecast and conditions upgrade will come out in thirty minutes. If you are in that Cone of Doom, take heed and prepare. I wish for you a safe riding out of the storm, don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Sarah came by for a visit this morning and we chatted about the storm. I can not help to think back to seventeen years ago. I was heading home from the dentist and Sarah called me, “Poppy, a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center”.  So much has changed in the world since that day. We remember 9/11!

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AP photo

 

 

 

The Day the Pilot Died

It’s a Saturday, September 1, 2018, and I have to plan my day wisely. I’m going off on a trip. I must ensure that Ben, our two-year-old Standard Poodle will be looked after later today. I shall be off to Philadelphia International Airport, shortly after noon. My wife and daughter will be arriving from their ten-day trip to Germany, via Dublin. I call Granddaughter Abby, she will be around she says, and will tend to Ben’s needs. Dang, she’s a good one, that Abby.

 

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Pinterest Photo

 

I do all the routine housekeeping chores, dishes, laundry, trash, and load it in the car for deposit at the refuse station on the way out. I dig out the vacuum, use it to clean, all is in order. The bed is made, a beautiful bottle of Chardonnay is on Ice, and the favorite glass is being chilled in the freezer.

Around 12:30 I head over to the daughter and son-in-law’s and swap cars, mine is a bit small, comfort and luggage storage are paramount for these two travelers. I transfer the bag of trash to drop off and head out for PHL at 12:45.

After dropping off the trash, I give a quick check to Flight Aware, a great App if you’ve never used it. You can check on a flight, and it shows you where it is on a map, departure time and ETA. I learn the flight is due to land in exactly three hours, thirty minutes early. I don’t need to fly, no pun intended, but I hope traffic moves well as I go up the road.

 

It’s smooth sailing up the Delmarva Peninsula to Dover, DE where I get on Route-1, a toll road, and once again traffic is rolling along quite well. Route-1 is a posted 65 mph roadway, and I hang with traffic moving at 75 mph. No problem I think, I’ll arrive in plenty of time.

Route-1 merges with I-95 in Christiana, DE, right at the massive traffic area of the Christiana Mall. There is also a lot of construction going on affecting the merge onto I-95. All northbound traffic comes to a complete stop. A plethora of ramps and roadways ahead and to the right, show bumper to bumper traffic, inching stop and go style.

95 split

I check my watch, 35 minutes until the plane is scheduled to touch down. I’m 29 miles from PHL and the GPS, after five minutes of inching long says it will be 35 minutes to PHL. After 5 or 6 minutes of this, I’m now onto the merge ramp for I-95 north; At this junction, there are lane closures to the far right. Things are not looking good.

If driving north, you can pretty much do three things at this location. You can go over the Delaware Memorial Twin Span Bridges to New Jersey, keeping to the right to do so. If you stay center to the next split, the right will take you up I-495 along the Delaware River, and this is what the GPS tells me to do. Being quite familiar with the area I choose to ignore the GPS and take the left fork, thanks, Yogi Berra. I’m going right through the center of Wilmington, Delaware. “Bingo” — I’m flying along once again, I’ll get there in plenty of time.

I-495 and I-95 merge outside of Wilmington at the Pennsylvania state line. The traffic slows down a bit here, and there is a left merge that comes into I-95 and slows things a bit more not too far up the road. I clear this point without incident and arrive at the airport with eight minutes to go. I smile at myself and say “Rooster, you done good.”

95 495 road sign

I find the well-marked Cell Phone Lot and slip into a Parallel parking spot. This will turn out to have been a good move. I roll the windows down, take out the key and put it into my pocket. I grab a book, I’ve just started to read, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Gramm, and exit the car, a 2013, Honda, Pilot. I do a few exercises to loosen up an ailing Hip. Sitting for the past two-plus hour just did the body no good at all.

white Honda blog photo

My first alert on the phone comes in shortly after exercising, “landed” it says. I send a thumbs up. I check “Find Friends” I’m a Tech addict my wife tells me, she’s right of course. They are still sitting at the gate, and I set the little Who’s-E-Dingy that will alert me when they move. I go back to the book.

“Ding,” they’re moving. I can follow them as they move through Terminal A toward the Baggage Claim area. After a pause at the Lady’s Bathroom, they’re on the move again. It’s another fifteen minutes until I get the “Come get us” notification. I close the book, grab the keys out of my pocket and hop into the driver’s seat. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning; I’m getting my friend of 53 years back.

 

 

I fasten the seat belt, put the key into the ignition, put my foot on the brake, turn the key, turn the key, turn the key, Nothing!!!! The car is deader than the last squirrel that tried to make it across the road in front of me. What the? Ok, check everything, nothing on, I’m doing everything right, I know I am. Try again, again nothing. I work the horn, lights, windows and there is no power in the car, The Pilot is Dead, Dead, Dead.

Parked a few slots to my rear is a gentleman in a new Dodge pickup. I approach, ask if he has cables, and can give me a jump. Yes and yes he says. He saddles up inches from the driver’s door. I pull the hood latch, climb over the center console, no small feat for this seventy-five-year-old geriatric and exit the car. I pop the hood, and we hook up. I give it a few minutes to pull some power from the big Dodge. I return to the passenger’s side and once again climb the mountain that is the center console, and I return to the driver’s seat.

 

jumper_cable-

Wimpy Jumper Cables

 

Into the ignition goes the key, I say a silent prayer, turn the key, and nothing happens once again. I’m thinking the big guy up above can’t hear me over all the noise from the big jets landing and taking off. I hit the horn, dead as a doornail. I holler out to the kind owner of the Dodge, let’s just let it charge for a few minutes. He gives me a thumbs-up. I sit for what seems a good five minutes. I get a text from the girls, “?”. I ignore it, try the key one more time, still nothing. “Crap,” I say.

I exit over Mount Console once again; I jiggle the hook-up on the Pilot, my new-found friend does the same on the Dodge. We chat a bit with the hope that more time will make things right. I learn he is from Lancaster, PA and picking up friends from the Mid-West. I’m all set to get more info on him when his phone rings. His guests have arrived, he must leave. He tells me he’s sorry, we unhook his cables, and he’s gone.

I call the girls and explain what’s been transpiring. I suggest they grab a cab and join me. They do and are with me in a matter of minutes, and fifteen dollars poorer. We hug, it’s so good to see them. I feel inept. These two have been up since ever, riding in a three-seat across airplane and are now standing in a parking lot in the ninety-degree heat with no promise of getting home any time soon.

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I make a useless call to AAA. It’s a holiday weekend you know. Philadelphia is always busy. I’m told, even more so over a holiday. William, very nice, very apologetic, very unhelpful dispatcher tells me the bad news. The best we can do sir is have someone there between 7:00 and 10:30 PM. It is now 5:45. I get an incident number and am told to cancel if something works out.

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I call the airport to inquire if roadside help is available. After some cockamamie story, I’m told NO, not to the cell phone lot, sorry. I murmur unprintables under my breath while daughter Kathryn rummages through the storage box under the rear seat. She brings out a set of heavy-duty jumper cables. Now we need to find a savior to hook up with.

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Heavy Duty Jumper Cables. I taught this Lady properly!

 

The daughter is entertaining the idea of getting a hotel room for the night. I’m going to try one more thing. I call the airport police. The dispatcher says she will check if one of the cars has a set of cables. If so she will send one to my area if they are available. Is this hope, I wonder.

I’m holding the cables, and I see him, a man in “Black.” He is a Black man, with Black Button down shirt, Black Pants, Black belt, shoes, and socks. He has a Black pencil mustache. “Need a jump,” he asks. I explain the previous attempt by the other good samaritan and his having to leave. My new friend says, “let’s give it a shot.”

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He returns to his vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, of course it’s Black! Once again as the previous Dodge owner, he pulls within inches of the driver’s door. We hook up the heavy-duty cables, and life once again begins to trickle into the Pilot, I hope. After five-plus minutes I climb once again over Mount Console and assume my position as Pilot of the Pilot. I turn the key, nothing. There is hope though, dashboard lights in all the colors of the rainbow come on, this is a first. I shout out the good news. Let us wait a bit longer my Man in Black says. I exit once again.

We chat, “a member of the cloth,” I ask. He chuckles, “no, Real Estate,” he says. I learn he’s from Pennsauken, NJ just down the road from Willingboro, where I went to High School. I reminisce about days gone by, fifty-six years worth to be precise. Time passes, the girls leaning on the guardrail close-by. After what seems like an eternity we agree to try once more. I’m feeling right about the life-blood that has been flowing into the pilot.

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Once again I climb over the console and assume the position, I’m feeling really good about a start this time. I make sure AC, radio and any other electrical draining devices are off. My foot is on the brake; I turn the key,——ignition, it starts! Thank you Lord, there is a Savior, and he is, All Black. There is a Rugby team from New Zealand of the same name, in case you didn’t know. They bought a beer for the wife some years back in Ireland, during the World Cup.

 

I leave the Pilot running, exit once again, over the mountain and through the door. We unhook, his phone rings, time to go he says, my pick-up is ready. I give this kind sole a massive hug of thanks, and we say good-bye.

Daughter Kathryn returns the cables and loads their luggage to the back. We call the Police and AAA and cancel future service calls. We are off to Eden, how appropriate is that name on this night. Eden, Md, God’s Country on the Eastern Shore, here we come.

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elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Abby is a Birthday girl today

Yesterday Jeff & Kathryn invited us to join them at Ruth’s Chris Stak House for dinner, with family and a few friends, we would celebrate Abby’s Birthday. If you’ve never been to one of these dining venues, you must try it once. Mary Agnes and I would each have a steak of different description. Fabulous sides complemented a meal over several hours of great conversation to celebrate the growth of a fine young lady.

 

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“Hmm, how do we attack this”.

 

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We gather to gether to ask the Lord’s Blessing and to wish Abby a very Happy Birthday.

From the fingers of Captain Samantha Davies, USAF

Once again Samantha has made things easy for me to put out a Blog, thanks Sam. Enjoy Sam’s first week in Germany as she continues to share her adventure.

Germany Week 1

Note 1: Do not expect me to post each week. I highly doubt our lives are that interesting.

Note 2: We would not have survived this first week without the help of family. I feel semi normal today, but it’s only lunch time.

The first week was a blast. Monday brought daycare drop off and Mia’s first day of school at AFNORTH International School.

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It also brought learning the base and getting some initial inprocessing completed. Tuesday was a house hunting day and we picked up our Saturn from the processing center. We also got German cell phone numbers! Wednesday was Ana’s first day of school at AFNORTH and my first interaction with my fellow branch heads and wing commander. Thursday was a failed attempt at school lunch by Mia. She did a great job standing up and ordering it, but did not like their version of Mac n cheese and hotdogs. We also toured 4 homes. Friday was spent with my family while Zed did more inprocessing. I was able to learn the city center of Geilenkirchen, parking rules, and where the biggest grocery store is. Saturday (today) we slept in, only about an hour, and Zed set out with two kiddos on a continued house hunt.

All in all the week went smoothly. Thankfully my mom and grandmother were around. They made dinner each night and helped with bath time. I was in no condition to maintain survival of the kids or myself and Zed was about the same. So grateful for the help.

 

We’re still learning the time change and it’s been a little difficult to match up with those back in the States. We do have What’s App and that’s the best way to get in touch with us. Marco Polo is another fun one and more video messages rather than text messages. Keep following and I’ll keep posting.

-S

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

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