I Remember Mama so many years ago, I often watched it, it was a TV show. It was in the early 50’s, at the most I was ten years old, after the show it was to bed I was told.
Why does this show stick out in my head, it certainly wasn’t because of the bed. I had been reminiscing of Thanksgivings past, and so many memories that still do last
I’m off to the grocer in these late years of my life, with three things to remember to pick up for the wife. I walk the aisles, and get the first two, but item number three just won’t come through.
I’m sure you’ve been there experiencing the same, if you’re close to eighty and play the alphabet game. It wasn’t an A or a B this time, it was the C for cranberries that came to my mind.
For what ever reason that fore mentioned TV show, had a Thanksgiving episode that I remember and know. In just a few days the table shall be set, and the Turkey served. Oh my dear, that poor ugly bird.
So many memories over the years. We’ve been in Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, there were so many thanksgiving scenes. Now we’re in Maryland these past thirty years, to savor our meal and create lasting dreams.
I remember one year the turkey was raw, the old electric oven wasn’t working, that’s all. I can still hear the words brother Bobby would say, “well, the cranberries were good, anyway.”
The family all gathered, it was what made the day. It brings us together wherever we are. Little Tommy Palmer away off far. In Colorado Springs at USAFA you are. Mama Sarah will fly to be with you this day, but the old traditions in our heads will stay.
New baby Alana not yet a week old, will be part of the memories come later to be told. It’s daughter Kathryn’s house now to host this tradition, we are all so blessed to behold this new addition.
So wherever you are on this Thanksgiving day, take a moment and look to the past, there are so many good memories that surely do last.
Yes, I remember Mama, she’s gone today, but the memories of Thanksgiving in my head will stay.
To all my friends on this festive day, have a Blessed Thanksgiving and good memories I pray.
Did Ben Franklin want the Turkey to be the National Bird?
At 100 years, Philly hosts nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade
The First Blog
I find it hard to believe I started blogging way back in 2008, February 2008 actually. I used Blogspot by Google back then. I’ll still copy and paste on that venue from time to time. For today however, I shall share with you my first blog. A few things are different however, like I was up at 0400 this morning with the Mrs having coffee. She is gone, having walked to the eldest daughter’s home a mile away. The Mrs usually has 10,000 steps in prior to 0800. The daughters, now that’s a busy house, at the moment. husband Jeff (where in the world is Jeff ?) he’s still working from home for the government. Youngest daughter Abby and husband Antwan are living in the Frog, (Finished room over the garage). Their cat, Friday and dog Phoebe are there also. Oh, on Friday the young’ns are expecting their first child. Kathryn & Jeff have Libby, 14 YO Yellow Lab and their cat Bolt. That’s what the cat does when he she sees a stranger, BOLTS. On this morning daughter Kathryn will be out the door early for a Salvation Army breakfast.
So here you go folks, should anyone be interested, my first BLOG.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2008
Blog, kind of sounds like a cold, or a zit or some kind of an affliction. My first day with a blog, now what do I do with it?
Well to start off I’ll let the world know how I start my day on the Internet.
My start up page is http//refdesk.com
Having spent twenty years in Connecticut I next go to http://www.courant.com/ to check on the local news and how the UCONN Huskies are doing in any given season. I’m a forty year Huskie fan. http://www.uconnhuskies.com/
Next up, but sometimes #1 is the weather. While in the Marine Corps, way back when, I was in Weather as an occupation with Rawinsonde as a sub specialty. http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/marineenjobs/bl68.htm
I use a verity of weather related sites www.nws.noaa.gov/ #1, my other favorites are www.accuweather.com and www.weatherunderground.com
During the Hurricane season I live by the National Hurricane Center. www.nhc.noaa.gov/
I have friends and family in CT, FL, CA, and affections to Key West, FL, Pagosa Springs, CO, Flagstaff, AZ and Ireland and Germany. So, I usually check on the weather in those places.
Next it’s off to the Washington Post and Washington Times to get two diametric views on the news. www.washingtonpost.com
After the two DC papers I go to Google News, which I have preference settings in and glance over that. Next is onto my mail servers.
From then on I usually have a Memo Pad with notes on things to look up and it’s off I go. This all starts shortly after I get up, usually around 0500. Once downstairs it’s a hot cup of tea to start the day.
Here, I’ve given the world the start of my day for the start of a BLOG. I shall end this bantering with saying Cead Mile Failte
TheRooster Semper Fi
Miracle on 600 19’th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Preamble from the Rooster
As I write this, Mary Agnes and Kathryn are in Brunssum, Netherlands along with K’s husband Jeff. Kathryn has given me permission to post her story for the preparation of their trip. I’ve done a bit of editing, added some photo’s and info, but this is Kathryn’s story. I hope you enjoy her Saga as so many have already. Congratulations to Samantha on her promotion to Major in the USAF. Sam, and husband Zed, a pilot, are stationed in Geilenkirchen, Germany at a Nato Air Base. ( Oh, and one last note, I did not ask permission to use her photo holding the passport.) If she was having a bad hair day after what she went through, we should not pass judgement. She really does dress up nice. A big thank you to a good friend, Lexi O’Leary, who checked on the wife’s welfare while she walked alone in DC getting he 16,000 steps in while waiting for Kathryn. It was much appreciated Alexis!
Planning July 2021…. Our daughter Samantha has been in the USAF for 10 years, in that time she has accomplished an incredible amount for the AF and for her family. When she was notified of her promotion to Major, she asked if I would be her officiating officer. Of course, I agreed, and Jeff was asked to say the prayer, two parents could not be more proud. Off to the Netherlands! Planning began, since Jeff would be coming from Saudi Arabia following a work trip, and I would be coming from Salisbury we needed to coordinate.
We asked my parents if they would want to go too. The answer, of course! Let the planning begin…. We plotted airports, hotels and restaurants. It was a fun summer activity. We also planned our trip to USAFA for parents weekend in September to see Tommy Palmer – another family member entering the long blue line, – something to take our minds off of COVID… despite the rising numbers, we had something to look forward to. Then COVID struck close to home, my dad got COVID, and he got sick. Luckily, because he was vaccinated, he never got hospitalized, but it slowed him down tremendously, he was really sick. In my mind I have a running list to all the things our family has lost due to COVID, friends, family, events, holidays, and now, my dad’s travel to Sam’s Promotion…..
My mom and I continued to plan, she’s such a great traveler. She and I picked tickets that would coincide with Jeff’s arrival to Frankfurt. We got our hotel and Blacklane pick up. Remember life before COVID? The only thing you had to worry about when making you plane reservation was picking a seat? Now plane reservations require scanning and downloading vaccination cards, testing requirements (which can change weekly) review and completion, quarantines. It takes a PhD in technology, political process, medicine and patience to know how to successfully enter another country…. Oh yeah, and a passport. That’s important too.
The fine print
As my mom and I sat 72 hours prior to our flight, working to get all our documentation in order, I got everything scanned in, vaccines, hotel reservation, passports, via the United app, and waited for our “travel ready” approval. Instead of the “All Complete Green Check on the APP” I got a “Kathryn Fiddler is pending updated information…..” Pending information? I checked the app again, reloaded my vaccine card and waited. The message remained unchanged. I checked my passport #, correct, I rechecked my documents and date, correct, then I read the fine print.
Apparently, my passport was required to be effective for at least 90 days, and mine was set to expire in 60 days. What did that mean? Surely my husband, who works for the Dept of State, could fix it. I called him in Saudi and let him know there was a glitch. I had 64 hours before our plane left. I also started calling the US Passport office when they opened, attempting to get an appointment. Sixty hours left. While at work, I called the passport office, hoping their live system would find me a next-day appointment for a passport. There were appointments in Honolulu, Seattle, Washington, Phoenix, Arizona, but none on the East Coast. Jeff was sending emails to every contact he had.
I hadn’t yet said a word to my mom, and I just kept trying. I did call my sister Sarah, just to let her know what I had done, I shared my sadness. What if I couldn’t get a passport? “No, I haven’t told mom or Sam,” I shared. Forty-eight hours left, passport office now closed.
I couldn’t sleep. I knew I had to let my mom know. When she walked over for coffee the next morning, I shared the news. She said she could go without me. She declined. I told her I would keep up my phone calls to the live passport appointment system. Jeff had exhausted his contacts. People were praying all over the world for us. I called Sam and let her know. She said, let me get with my legal folks and the German Nationals; God Bless NATO bases. There were renewed hopes. Forty hours left.
I spoke with many schedulers in my continuous calling, Joe, Maria, Sheree, Arthur, and Anthony. I begged, pleaded, considered flying to Buffalo to get an appointment, but someone else took that one before my passport agent finished. Thirty-six hours left.
Songs Have Meanings
Sarah got me in contact with an Aide for Congressman Andy Harris. I filled out a form explaining why I needed an appointment. Sam called her General Officers from the Pentagon to see if they could help. I drove to Easton, MD, to be closer to DC should an appointment come through. And working from my car, and dialing into Webex appointments, thirty hours left. With hope waning, I headed back to Salisbury.
Jeff sent a text that he was boarding for Frankfurt and would check-in when he landed. It was now just over a day until our 10 PM flight to Frankfurt. As I was headed home, listening to Genesis, “Jesus he knows me” and the lyrics “Jesus he knows me, and he’s been telling me everything’s gonna be all right”. I knew that in my heart, whether in Salisbury or in Europe, it would be all right. If these past few years with COVID have taught me anything, I had learned patience, resilience, and a feeling of peace with whatever happened.
As I stopped at a red light, Genesis on the radio, twenty-nine hours to boarding, I checked my phone one more time. There was an email from an Aide to the Congressman. I had an appointment at noon tomorrow, ten hours before our flight. I broke down and sobbed my eyes out.
Then I called my sister! It was her outreach to the Congressman’s office that had come through. I told her I was headed to our mom’s, she said, “wait for me, I’ll meet you there!” It was a celebration, a clink of wine glasses, and sharing of the good news.
Step one, we had an appointment. Now we needed to pack, and I needed to make sure all my documents were in order. Confirmation letter from the State Department Passport office, current Passport, DS forms for renewal, passport pictures, I checked and rechecked, and packed.
Off to DC
The next AM, 0730, after rechecking my documents one more time, I picked up my mom, and we headed to DC, 600 19th St NW, the US Passport office. As I left my mom walking DC, I walked into the building….. following all the rules. I must wear a mask, have my confirmation # and come into the building alone. We arrived at 10 AM, 12 hours from takeoff… and I was allowed in the building. I went to check-in, and my documents were verified. I got called 20 minutes later to review the accuracy of my documents and to pay $170 for a new expedited passport.
While I was paying, there was a crowd of people forming on the other side of the room. A gentleman was explaining there was a problem. He said we had permission to leave and get food, and it might be a while? I walked over to the group to hear what was going on. Oh dear, broken printer? Delays, another backlog, as I got closer I heard the whole story. The passport printer had been down since early AM. It would be several hours before it came online, and the passports from overnight had to be completed first. Eleven hours until takeoff.
I left the building to find my mom and share the news. We walked to a food truck and got our fine street dog for lunch, right on the mall. The fresh air was nice, DC is always beautiful in the fall. We walked for an hour, and then I went back to the passport office to get an update and to wait. I left my mom again to walk the streets of DC. Ten hours until take off.
I sat, read, listened to the anxious murmurs in the room. Everyone had a story, weddings, funerals, family vacations, family reunions, and none of us could fix the broken machine. After about an hour, there was an announcement. The printing machine was up and running. It would be a few hours, but the backlogs were already being printed. Eight hours until takeoff.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Finally, at 230 PM, my name was called. I went to the counter and picked up my passport. Never had anything looked so beautiful. I had a passport that didn’t expire for 10 years! 7.5 hours till takeoff! I met my mom outside the building, and we were off to Dulles! We had made it. The work of friends and family all over the world, the power of positive thoughts and prayers made it happen. I believe it.
I think of the old Master Card commercial. Plane ticket to Frankfurt, 500 dollars, new passport, 170 dollars, being able to officiate at my daughter’s promotion, PRICELESS!
Pictured below are the new Major, Samantha, husband Zed, L to R, Mia, Zoe, Dax, & Ana. Ctr, retired Major and Mom Kathryn, Samantha, the USAF’s new Major and Father Jeff. Right, 4 generations, L to R, the Roosters wife Mary Agnes, our daughter Kathryn, Major Sam, Kathryn’s daughter and Master of the Ceremony Mia, our great granddaughter, granddaughter of Kathryn and Sam’s first born.
A big thank you to daughter Kathryn who provided a written dialog to me of these events. Thanks to whoever in Germany for providing the photos of the event. Kathryn and Sarah, thank you for all you do for so many. Matthew up in Connecticut, thanks for all you do. Matt’s our families technical Wizard. The Rooster accepts responjsibility for all grammatical and draft errors.