As The Rooster Crows

Home » 2019

Yearly Archives: 2019

Follow As The Rooster Crows on WordPress.com

The Passing of an Old Friend

On 24 September an old and dear friend of twenty five plus years left his earthly homeland of Bavaria, Germany. Hubertus, along with his two brothers, owned a centuries old farm on Collins Wharf Rd in Allen, MD. This farm, which lies behind a brick gateway along Wicomico Creek has been a mainstay of the community since 1733.

Hubertus was surrounded by daughters Natalie, Isabel, Carolin and Sophie who held him, and eased his fears to let go, and feel safe in his passing.

Hubertus reminded Mary Agnes and me as being like an overgrown Leprecheaun. Hubertus was always so happy with life, especially his yearly visits to the Eastern Shore and the village of Allen.

There are nothing but wonderful memories of Hubertus and his daughters over the years. Once I picked him and his entourage up at Dulles airport each year, it was a constant how’s this, how’s that and what’s new. This went on non-stop until once on the Eastern Shore and the “Kentucky Fried Chicken” sign was spotted,

it was time to stop, all were hungry.

He shall be missed by all those he touched.

Rest in peace my friend as you sail off in das Boat.

( Hubert’s greatest toy was his hydrofoil, brought over from Germany in a shipping crate many years ago. The scene of that boat flying up the Wicomico River at 60 mph with Hubert at the helm, shall be greatly missed.)

My best interpretation of the Death Notice

You are no longer where you were,
but you are everywhere we are

DR. Hubertus Rechberg
died peacefully in the circle of his beloved daughter

  • 12 March 1948 in Munich
    Died September 24, 2019 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

In great love and gratitude we bid farewell to our father, father-in-law, grand-father and brother.

Wednesday the 2nd of October

11:00 am funeral service and funeral takes place
in the parish church ST. Clemens in 82438 Eschenlohe place.

12:30 – 17 o’clock approx. Reception in Wengwies

5.30 pm Children’s dinner PANCAKES – at Kiki
(Maus’s kitchen is occupied by the caterer!)

8 pm Family Dinner- at the Mouse

Until we meet again my friend.

Semper Fi
Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Shoveling can be disabling

Somewhere in the neighborhood of ten days or so ago, my Doctor of Nursing daughter decided to become a member of the Manual Labor force, whose main tool is a shovel. So much for the Florence Nightingale Pledge of the Nursing profession. An Umbrella Close-line base pole, No Problem!

After returning home from a trip to the ER several hours later, Arm in a sling, for at least two months mind you, we learn the cold facts of the incident. Son in-law, Jeffrey did send a text from the ER, ” in ER with Kathy, may have broken her arm”. “How” , was the wife’s response. “She fell off a shovel” “What the”, we say. We would soon learn the facts as mother goes to check on daughter.

Image result for spade
If one would stand on the two flat edges on either side of the handle pole , you are at
the nose bleed height of 18″ on the average.

I must take full responsibility for my daughter’s debilitating injury. For my daughters first eighteen years never once do I remember teaching and demonstrating “Shoveling 101”.

This woman, who is right hand dominate, fell off her shovel, to the right. In trying to break her fall with her arm under her side, she sustained a fracture of the R/Radius. Due to the human instinct to break a fall by outstretching the arms, the radius is one of the more frequently fractured bones in the body.

My first born will have many challenges over the next few months with her dominant hand in a sling. Writing, How to put her hair in a bun, washing one’s hands, driving. My goodness, can one even pick their nose? De-corking a bottle of wine, now that will be a challenge.

We are here for you Kathryn, just ask and we will be there. Fell off a shovel, really?

Image titled Prepare for and Exit a Cessna 172 in the Event of a Crash Landing Step 16
How to dig a hole.
If you’ve never dug one, you need to pull this up.

Proper Techniques

Proper Shoveling Techniques

Shovel Selection

Choose a shovel that is ergonomically correct – a shovel with a curved handle. These shovels help you to keep your back straighter reducing spinal stress.

For snow, consider a shovel with a plastic blade instead of metal– plastic is lightweight – isn’t the snow heavy enough?

Sometimes a smaller blade is better. You will not be able to shovel as much per shovel load, but the load will weigh less, which puts less strain on the spine.

Technique

Warm muscles work better. Take some time to stretch to prepare your body for activity.

Just like with a golf club, hand placement on the shovel handle is very important! Don’t put your hands (grip) close to one another. Create some distance between the hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift snow.

Think about good posture and maintaining the natural curve of your spine.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart to maintain balance. Try to keep the shovel close to your body. Bend at the knees, not the waist or back. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Lift with your legs, not your back. Do not twist your body, instead, step in the direction that you are throwing the snow or dirt. This will help prevent the lower back from twisting and alleviate any back soreness that you might typically experience.

Don’t throw snow or dirt over your shoulder! Go forward with it.

Fresh snow is lighter in weight – so clear snow as soon as it has fallen. Snow becomes dense as it compacts on the ground.  Wet snow is very heavy. One shovelful can weigh 20 pounds or more!

Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks to stretch your back and extremities.

Digging holes

Make sure that the shovel head is perpendicular to the soil’s surface when you push the shovel blade in. And if you can’t push it in with one foot, if you have to jump with both feet to drive it in, then you need a backhoe or a pry bar to dig this hole.

When you’re going to lift the dirt out of the hole, hold the shovel near the middle of the handle and use the upward momentum of lifting the soil out to throw it into the wheelbarrow or onto a tarp. Don’t be at the end of the shovel and don’t be down close to the head. Both cause strain on your back.

When you encounter roots, remember your shovel is not a pry bar, but it can be a chopping tool. Turn it around and cut cleanly through the roots that you encounter, and then lift them out of the hole into the wheelbarrow. Shoveling is all about keeping your back straight.

If you have injured yourself while shoveling or have any questions, give PRO Physical Therapy a call.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Dumster Talk

Throughout my life, I’ve lived in quite a few places. South Jersey was my home for the first eighteen years. In case you don’t know, everyone in New Jersey lives near an Exit, that Exit is off either the NJ Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway. Some folks way up north will quote an exit off I-80 which runs E to W from the George Washington Bridge to the Delaware Water Gap bridge at the Pennsylvania line.

George Washington Bridge from New Jersey-edit.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Bridge


So, after that bit of geography, the better part of my early years was spent close to exits #3 & #5 just off the NJ Tpk. And Exit # 4A off the Garden State Pkwy. Thanks to the United States Marine Corps, while stationed at the Earle Ammunition Depot in Colts Neck, NJ, I also lived a short distance off Exit #8 of NJ Tpk.

After graduation from high school, the Marine Corps moved me about to assignments in South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington, DC, New Jersey, Japan, and California.

I married my wife of 54 years while in the Marine Corps and upon discharge we resided in northern Maryland for a year before moving to Connecticut and ultimately a career with the Ct State Police, retiring in 1988.

Maryland Eastern Shore counties.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Shore_of_Maryland

Upon retirement, the little woman wanted to relocate to the northern Maine coast. As for me, I was looking to travel south to the Gulf Coast of Florida. We wound up compromising and found the Delmarva Peninsula and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

We were Yankees no longer, we now live below the Mason – Dixon line and are Southerners. There is a lot on conjecture as to the exact placement of those markers. Some folks locally say Mardella Springs has an original marker, others will tell you Delmar is the line of demarcation. In either case, we’re about 20 some miles south of that infamous line.

So, for the past 31 years, we’ve lived as Southerners. During that time, we’ve met some characters along the way. For this story, I’m calling the featured character Charlie.

Charlie lived in on a small wooded plot in a small trailer just off the main road that ran from Allen to Trinity, MD. This was not a terribly long stretch of road, only 3 1/2 miles to the old Trinity Church cemetery near our present home. Every Christmas and Easter someone comes by and places plastic flowers on two or three of the grave markers.

Christmas in July decorates the grave markers, no Easter changeover this year.

It’s been told that Charlie, back in the day, as they say down here, once was a store owner. Some kind of malady occurred in his life that caused him to give up the store and live a life of solitude., thus the trailer in the woods.

Charlie could often be found in the local country store sitting on an old wooden milk carton under a big fan. Charlie would be talking about the past with the store’s proprietor for the better part of a morning or afternoon, especially in the summer. You would always know when Charlie was there, his dog Brownie would be lying outside awaiting his return. Inside the store, lying about somewhere, was the resident Collie, Chief. He was the companion of the store owner and resident historian, who we shall call Butch.

When we first moved to Allen, since named Eden by the Federal Government and Postal people, there was no trash pickup or mail delivery. The post office was part of that general store and the Post Master or Mistress as in this case just happened to be Butch’s mother and he most often referred to as “Mother.” She went by a slew of names depending on who she was referring to her at the time. I always called her “Yes, Ma’am.”

Often while depositing trash at the “Transfer Station” one might run into Charlie. Growing up in New Jersey, we called them “Dumps” and would always make a “Dump Run” when making a deposit. I guess down here I just made a transfer, stuff to be used by someone else, I guess.

At times Charlie could be found conversing with the manager of the Dump, his name was Slim. Slim was there from opening to closing, watching over the three dumpsters, two for household trash, one for metal. There was no recycling back in those days, just household trash and NO construction materials were allowed. You were in big trouble should you transfer building Materials. Those had to go to the big Dump in Salisbury where you were weighed and had to pay a fee.

Often times, Charlie’s dog Brownie could be found in one of the dumpsters, looking for some munchies he was. You always had to examine before making a drop into the bin. There was a rare occasion when Charlie himself could be found in a dumpster. More than once this writer had to hold up the throw of a bag into the bin for fear of injuring a dog, stray cat or Charlie himself.

I would spend a lot of time chatting with Slim and Charlie from time to time. Slim was always up to date on what was biting on the hook in the local waters. With no Barber Shop in town, the Dump would often be a place to keep up with the local goings on, along with the Post Office and General Store of course. That old store made the best sandwiches I’ve ever tasted.

At one point in the past, old Charlie showed up at the Dump with a second dog. This dog was also brown. I asked Charlie what the dog’s name was, Charlie responded, “Brownie II.” How simple and appropriate I thought.

As time passed, Charlie appeared one day at the Dump, and the elder Brownie was not with him. I asked where the old dog was, and Charlie responded, “dead.” I wondered what happened? I asked Charlie and he replied, “Metalosis.” Not familiar with the term I asked, what is Metalosis? Charlie kinda chuckled and said, “The metal in the bumper of the car that struck him, what done it.

Life, South of the Mason Dixon Line, with the Rooster.

A Couple of Shares With You

A while back I posted a commencement address by Admiral William H. McRaven.

Each month in a local paper, our daughter Kathryn posts an article on Population Health. When I read the article, I got all chest puffy and proud of my daughter’s material as well as learning that a family Sunday Night gathering was remembered. I feel Admiral McRaven and my daughters post kind of go hand in hand.

In case you didn’t see my McRaven post, here is that excerpt. Here is a part of the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014 by Admiral William H. McRaven.

Image result for Admiral William H Mc Raven at U of Texas
Google Image

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — that’s Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

(Text of entire speech if interested: https://jamesclear.com/great-speeches/make-your-bed-by-admiral-william-h-mcraven

Daughter Kathryn remembers Sunday nights long ago.

Image result for Kathryn Fiddler

From the Salisbury Independent: Here’s our July Population Health article from Dr. Kathryn Fiddler, our Vice President of Population Health at PRMC.

So, I grew up in Connecticut, one of three children of a State Trooper and a nurse. One of my best memories was of Sunday nights. My dad would work on preparing for the week. My dad would get out his badge, his belt buckle, and his rank. He would then ask us all to get our shoes lined up. We only got one pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year, and they were usually leather.

My mom would get her white uniforms out. He would lay all his uniform parts out on the floor. He would get out the ironing board, take out his brass cleaning kit, his leather kit and proceed to wax, polish, and iron. He would shine his brass until it glistened, polish our leather shoes until we could see ourselves in the toes, and then iron his uniforms and my mom’s.

Sometimes he would teach us how to do it, other times we just sat and talked with him about our day. It was a labor of love, and also pride for himself and our family. When I joined the Air Force, I continued that ritual, polishing my boots, ironing my uniform…. Today, I still polish my shoes and iron my clothes, preparing for my week.

Related image
I’m guessing it works with daughters also.

We are all so busy. We move throughout our weeks driven by kids, family, jobs, community commitments, friends, and so much more. We rarely get a minute to breathe. What I have found, is this simple act of taking time to prepare makes a difference and allows some of life’s chaos to turn into calm. Taking a break to plan can have a positive impact on our well-being. It gives us time to pause and look ahead.

What if all we were able to take a pause, one day a week and prepare? What could we accomplish? We could plan a few lunches or dinner meals at home, avoiding fast food drive-throughs for a day. We could plan time to talk a walk, exercise at the gym, ride a bike, maybe spend time with family or friends. We could even make time to plan for our health. We could schedule an annual physical, a mammogram, flu shot, or much-needed colonoscopy if we need one? What about a few minutes to check any prescriptions and make sure they aren’t about to run out?

Image result for eleanor roosevelt

Think of how much money we could save, the stress we could lower, health we could improve. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” What would it hurt, to stop wishing for life to slow down, and instead, plan for it? Maybe try it this week, stop for 15 minutes and write down one thing you plan to do for yourself, then DO IT. Let me know how it goes!

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.
Any changes to the original posts are editorial changes by the Rooster

Bricks and Things

A couple we consider good friends, who live down south in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, were recently at a wedding in Leadville, CO. The wife of the couple is a fellow blogger, who goes by the handle as Merling Muse, life in the mountains. Were the husband a Blogger, it would have something to do with trains, I’m sure. They recently made a cross country trip to attend that wedding, and blog about it along the way.

The trip brought back many great memories of a trip Uncle Bob, (wife’s brother, who is no longer with us) and I made in 2010 via Rt#50 all the way. Miss you and that “First One Today” Bobby !

So, bloggers post, and those who get to read them can comment about that post. On occasion I get a bit wordy, My response to Anne was so wordy, I thought I’d steal from it and make it a post.

My response to Anne’s Blog

Our daughter Sarah was married on 7/2, in an Anglican church built in 1733, which sits on the bank of the Wicomico River. Bricks in the church were baked in the same kiln as a home we lived in for five years 20 years ago. They were shipped here by boat from Williamsburg, VA. A bit of Brick History, should you be interested: https://brickcollecting.com/history.htm

Mom helping daughter Sarah get ready for her walk down the aisle.

Mary Agnes and I have been to Leadville, and have long thought of returning for the train excursion. Mary Agnes was enamored with Molly Brown, thus the trip to the high back then. https://mollybrown.org/about-molly-brown/

We did take the train ride to Silverton that year. https://durangosilvertonrailroad.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw__fnBRANEiwAuFxETx5mCHb8ZdUybu40BWcIvcIeVb8SjGjsPQkvwL-Rk_I3gg4ymKeumBoCUWgQAvD_BwE

We have a granddaughter who graduated from USAFA, class of 2012 (Samantha) and for four years made trips to the Rockies. Brother-in-law Bob Romspert and I delivered Sam her car to her at the start of her junior year.

We used old Route #50 to cross the country and only hit an Interstate when we had to cross the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Great memories with a now departed companion of that awesome trip and our time together.
https://www.roadtripusa.com/the-loneliest-road/

For me, the highlight of that trip was stumbling upon Bent’s Fort.

Congratulations to the newlyweds Anne & John.

I Continue

Daughter Sarah, her beau Greg, daughter Kathryn, wife Mary Agnes and yours truly The Rooster, spent the better part of a week in San Antonio, TX not long ago. The reason, Sarah’s son, and our grandson Thomas, (Tommy) was graduating from Air Force Basic Training at Lackland, AFB. We also spent a couple of meals with nephew Noah, a 2018 graduate of the USAFA who is in Drone training. Here’s a site on the subject if interested: https://www.aetc.af.mil/Flying-Training/

As you read this Tommy is now at Sheppard AFB, Texas for further training with the Air Education and Training Command.

So there you go, something to read and possibly follow up on a trip of your own one day. There’s lots to see in this great country of ours. Get off the Interstate, travel the back roads and small towns and meet the people who make this country what it is. You might just wind up in Allen, MD one day.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Took a Siesta

Life has been a bit busy of late. I’ve spent a month house and pet sitting. Took a trip to Connecticut for an old injury evaluation. Various doctor’s appointments, nothing serious though, I’m still vertical most of the time. Graduations, trips to Connecticut for more graduations. We went to San Antonio, TX for a grandson’s graduation from AF Basic Training. Visitors from afar, Alaska and the Netherlands to name two. Wedding plans with one of our daughters. Wedding week, in which I was a Co-Best Man with the grooms father. Wedding week was a blur of activity for these old bones. Today, just lots of rain. I’ve picked the below short piece for you all. So be you in Winnipeg, London, Ireland, NC, AZ or where ever, you’re all being thought of today.

Who’s Packing Your Parachute?

Image result for parachute packing

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile.  Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands.  He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison.  He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, ‘ You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down! ‘How in the world did you know that?’ asked Plumb. ‘I packed your parachute,’ the man replied.  Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.  The man pumped his hand and said, ‘I guess it worked!’  Plumb assured him, ‘It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.’

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man.  Plumb says, ‘I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers.  I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.’

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, ‘Who’s packing your parachute?’ Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.  He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory – he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute.  He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.  As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.

I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute.  And I hope you will send it on to those who have helped pack yours! Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could explain it!  When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do – you forward jokes.

And to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get?  A forwarded joke.  So my friend, next time when you get a joke, don’t think that you’ve been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you’ve been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you pack your parachute.

Author Unknown

A parting kiss after our walk down the aisle.
Graduation Day, Lackland AFB, TX
Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

CBS Sunday Morning

Busy has gotten in the way of blogging lately and, of reading those blogs I’ve come to enjoy. For the past 4-5 days I’ve been catching up on my reading and am hereby posting a blog. My Anglican Priest, Foodie Critic, friend, http://diningwithdonald.com/ has kept me up on the food chain in Winnipeg, Anne Mehrling keeps me posted on her family and Maggie’s Valley @ https://amehrling.com/ As they say out west, “I’m back in the saddle again”.

There are numerous other bloggers who will take you on journeys in foreign countries as well as NYC and visitations to places one has no idea they even exist. So many interesting people with something to share. Just last week I learned how to do some planting from pots to earth. The Lord has certainly supplied the water of late to help promote that growth.

When time permits on a Sunday morning, at 0900 here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I’ll turn on the TV to “CBS Sunday Morning”. There always seems to be something that piqued my interest, this morning was just such a day.

On most Mondays thru Fridays the wife and I can be found spending time with Alex Trebek and “Jeopardy” @ 1930. Today Alex was a feature part of “CBS Sunday Morning”. Alex has been treated for stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer lately. If your interested, here is the link to today’s show.
https://youtu.be/_FFXdn1kQro

CBS Sunday Morning also featured a piece on Admiral William McRaven, https://youtu.be/_6hNIuaBo9w

Admiral McRaven gave a well known commencement speech at the University of Texas a few years back. The central issue of this speech was the making of your bed to start your day. Should you have a few minutes, fifteen (15) to be exact, here is that Motivational Speech @ https://youtu.be/TBuIGBCF9jc

If you want to start your day off right, make your bed.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Fox dies in the Coop

This bit of news from France was posted on the “BBC” web site and forwarded to me by daughter Kathryn. I share it with you. Apparently, the young Fox, are not sly.

Chickens ‘gang up’ to kill intruder fox on a French farm

13 March 2019
Caged battery hens
Getty Images
According to the farming school, hens, will easily confront an animal that lacks vigor.

Chickens in a school farm in north-western France are believed to have grouped and killed a juvenile fox.

The unusual incident in Brittany took place after the fox entered the coop with 3,000 hens through an automatic hatch door which closed immediately.

“There was a herd instinct, and they attacked him with their beaks,” said Pascal Daniel, head of farming at the agricultural school Gros-Chêne.

The body of the small fox was found the following day in the corner of the coop.

“It had blows to its neck, blows from beaks,” Mr. Daniel told AFP news agency.

The farm is home to up to 6,000 free-range chickens who are kept in a five-acre site.

The coop is kept open during the day, and most of the hens spend the daytime outside, AFP adds.
You may also like:

Despite what you think, chickens are not stupid.

When the automatic door closed, the fox – thought to be around five or six months old – became trapped inside.

“A whole mass of hens can arrive together, and the fox may have panicked in the face of such a big number,” Mr. Daniel told the regional newspaper Ouest France (in French).

“They can be quite tenacious when they are in a pack.”


Captains Two

Rather than go with Sam’s “A Day In My Life,” I’m just plagiarizing, with her permission of course, and shall call it “Captains Two,” plus the four Greats. That will be Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe. Enjoy the kid’s travels while in Europe for the next few years.

The Captain says:

Upon getting home from my work trip I learned it was time to pick up one of our two tables we had ordered. The table we would be picking up was in Northern Netherlands, or Holland, and was our new coffee table.

Kinderdijk was recommended to us by the man who built our table and we are so glad he did. The weather was perfect and the crowds were low. Dax and Zoe loved taking a vehicle ferry and then riding a boat to the windmills. One of the windmills we toured housed a single family of 14!

Zoe & Dax
Dax
Zoe

Next was another castle. Though the baroness was Jewish it survived WWII thanks to the wits of the staff left behind. They hid anything that could be taken off the walls in secret passageways. If they received news of German troops coming close they would begin to clean and manicure the grounds. When asked what they were doing by German troops, the staff would respond getting the estate ready for your leadership. Thinking their leadership was about to arrive, they did no harm to the property.

Dad & Dax
Zoe

And finally it wouldn’t be a Davies Day Trip if we didn’t go out of our way to see Amsterdam and the dyke system that has reclaimed the lowlands of the Netherlands.

The longer we’re here the more we want to travel. This should mean more actual travel leading to more blog posts. Enjoy! -S

Where in the World?

Son-in-law hangs out Gunners door and captures this shot (pun) leaving Baghdad, Iraq a few days ago.
Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Travels with Sam

Related image

As most of you know, granddaughter Samantha, Captain, USAF, currently lives in The Netherlands and works for NATO in Germany. It’s kind of like living in South Jersey and working in Philly, you just don’t need to cross the Ben Franklin bridge to get there. Sam’s husband, also a Captain, USAF and a pilot is stationed there with her. To maintain their family unit, their four children are there for the European experience as well.

Image result for quiet feathered quill

Once again the lazy writer in me is using a recent post of Sam’s to share with you. I’m attempting to get a blog out every Sunday or Monday. Thanks Sam for making that possible this week. I’ll gather up an occasional picture or two and some links along the way. I’ve got to contribute something to the blog, right?

A Weekend Away

Zed and I had the amazing opportunity to spend a few days together in Europe. His parents were out visiting to help with the kids as I was away with work. Zed was gracious enough to drive me down and take the scenic route. In total we visited 8 countries in under 48hrs.

Our journey began in the Netherlands, as that’s where we live. We quickly entered Belgium where we passed through Liege, Bastogne, and Arlon. I love living in a place that holds so much history. When we first moved here we watched Band of Brothers to give us a brief history lesson. Then it was a quick stop through Luxembourg, which is smaller than Rhode Island.

France is where things became new. As soon as we crossed the border we saw the Maginot line, which I got no pictures of because my phone was away.

Image result for maginot line

From that point on I always had it within easy reach and turned the auto camera function on. We were also greeted into France by seeing nuclear power plants. Their water towers are also some of the most unique I’ve seen (a funnel, a castle turret, and a mushroom). By this time we need some food. We like to visit the local McDonald’s to see what interesting things they have on their menu. We were let down, no unique menu items. Moments away from our next country we came to a border checkpoint. When they asked us if we had anything to declare I held up the McDonald’s bag and Zed said just fast food. I’d like to think we livened up the officer’s shift.

File:France Switzerland border 2.jpg
Wiki photo of France checkpoint into Switzerland.

Switzerland was up and is a country of tunnels. In 2hrs we journeyed through a minimum of 20. I lost count. So far it has been the country Zed and I both agree we’d like to ex-pat to, if we were rich enough to do so. Their homes are unique and there are ranches everywhere.

The homes have huge roofs (guessing to manage the snow), numerous windows, and carefully decorated gables. They even decorate the under side of the roofs.

This is St Urban’s Abbey.

While in Switzerland we were also able to participate in a Latter Day Saint Temple Session. The Bern Temple was the first built in Europe.

Liechtenstein was a surprise for me. It was also our first passport stamp since being here, we did a few euros to get it. Our goal was to see Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein (from the movie A Knight’s Tale), instead we walked into their Carnival parade.

Now it was time for Austria. We ventured through a 8.5mi long tunnel that allowed us to bypass a mountain pass. One of the most interesting things we saw was a car from Swaziland. How it got there we’re still wondering. There were also wooden huts scattered throughout and we never could research a good answer as to what they were.

Germany brought us to the end of our journey. We stayed at the base of Neuschwanstein Castle and Zed dropped me off at my work location the next morning (another blog post will be coming on that). We were able to see the Zugspitze (the tallest point of Germany) and a few avalanches.

The trip was amazing. A great time to spend together and see new things. We were blessed with safety and clear roads both in weather and traffic. Enjoy the few pictures I took and stay tuned for more adventures. -S

NATO 101 with Sam and Zed

I had the opportunity to go to a course in Southern Germany to learn more about NATO and it’s interactions with different nations. I learned a ton, but the best part was having a class made up of 26 nations, and not all were NATO members. To learn how Ukraine views current world issues versus Denmark is just one example. Throw in my US mindset and a Dutch opinion and dinner conversation was never dull.

Part of the course allowed the opportunity to independent study. I used the opportunity to sight see.

My trip to the Disney castle was worth it. Unfortunately pictures inside are not allowed. It is worth the ticket price. Interesting note, the castle has been a museum since 6wks after King Ludwig’s mysterious death.

I also visited Kolfel mountain in Oberammergau, Germany where the story of Hansel and Gretel comes from. The story goes that a witch lives in the mountain and there are numerous documentations of kids going out to play and never coming back.

Oberammergau is a unique village situated in a valley. When the village was hit with the Plague the town promised God that if it would stop spreading and spare lives they would always do a Passion play. The Plague ceased and the people have put on the Passion play every 10yrs following. This is the longest running Passion play in the world. It has become so largely attended that only those born in Oberammergau or those who have lived there for a minimum of 20yrs are allowed to be actors.

The opportunity to learn more about my job, but also other nations perspectives is one I am so grateful to have gotten. Not bad to get it, and see Neuschwanstein either. -S

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Getting to Sleep

How did you sleep last night? How do you usually sleep? We all can answer these questions through personal experiences we have each evening. Some of us have done the rotating shifts in our career days, remember those 11-7 days? I personally remember some 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM shifts. They seemed to screw me up more than anything.

Image result for midnight shift cops

I’m always amazed when I’m flying somewhere and I look to an aisle ahead of me and there’s a peaceful soul, eye mask on, mouth open, a bit of spittle in view and dead asleep. “Really”? Why the hell can’t I do this. I’ve been across the pond to Europe a few times, England, Ireland and, Germany, should anyone be interested. I would be willing to bet I’ve had less than one hour of sleep collectively.

I recently got a new Fitbit. I track my steps, heart rate, for messages I get a buzz alert and the message scrolls across the Fitbit face. I’m kinda old, need cheaters to read and, never find my glasses fast enough to read the message, but it’s there. The thing will tell me my active minutes during the day, remind me to move periodically and give me a calorie burn.

What I find is the neatest thing is, it can track my sleep during the night and daily activity. It tells me if I’m awake, in Rem sleep, light sleep and, deep sleep. On getting out of bed this morning, I learned I was awake eight different times during the night. Bad weather, bad bones has been my nemeses for many years. Wasweather coming through the reason?

The below web site has a great video by Matthew Walker on the secrets of sleep. The video is a short five (5) minutes long. Hey, if it helps you gain a few more hours of sleep, take a look.

https://www.businessinsider.com/get-a-good-nights-rest-sleep-expert-fall-asleep-quicker-tips-health-science-2018-1

As for me and the Airplane, I’ve tried everything. I’ll stick to a Bloody Mary (1), a couple of movies and a three-hour nap on landing, to take care of the Jet Lag.

Have a great day, and, sleep well tonight.