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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.

 

Minimizing

For the past few years we have been minimizing. I’m guessing Mary Agnes much more so than me, there are just some things that I will not part with. At least once a month I’ll get the question “got anything for Halo.” Halo Ministries is a local organization that takes in any and all things one would part with and then sells them in their Thrift Store. They also run a shelter for men and women and have a soup kitchen. It’s a nice Ministry that does good things.

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Halo photo by WMDT

Just last week I got the notice a trip to Halo was planned. I found a few old ties and belts that I was willing to part with and off they went with the weeks donations. “That’s all, I was asked.” I’ve been told we are trying to make things easier for the kids once we’re gone. We are only going to Delaware tomorrow I said. I got that look that said you know what I mean. Ouch!

So a few days ago we made the 50 mile day trip to Delaware to visit Sarah the sister in-law who has been going through one of those hiccups in life for the past six months. We dropped Ben the dog off at the Pet Palace boarding kennel the night prior and would pick him up on the return.

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Pet Palace photo

We would pick up Sarah around 10:00 and head off to the outlets. No sales tax in Delaware, great outlets. We go to “That Store,” called Christmas Tree Shops in other states, and I drop the girls off. I stay in the car, catch up with my Journal writing, check email, etc. I’ll go inside at Harbor Freight, Cabela’s & Bass Pro, but that’s about it.

Forty minutes later Mary Agnes comes out the door pushing a cart just loaded with bags. She pops the back hatch and transfers the bags. “Where’s Sarah” I ask, “still shopping” she says as she closes the hatch and returns to the store. After a total of fifty-five minutes they reappear with cart #2 and off load once again. It’s only a Subaru I say, not a Penske Rental. I get that look from both of them.

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Pinterest photo

Now where I ask, after the load transfer takes place. To the grocery store, we will buy the makings for lunch and visit sister in-law Barbara and husband Mike and make lunch for us all. A loaf of bread, Egg and Chicken Salad, Grandma Utz potato chips and some ice tea are bought and paid for and we are off to Barbara’s. I shall not even mention how I’m given directions by Sarah to get out of the parking lot maze. Suffice it to say a GPS she is not.

We have a nice lunch, learn about an upcoming trip to Alaska, one of those boat and train adventures and say our goodbyes and are off ninety minutes later. We will drop Sarah and her packages her house and head for our every six-week stop at the Big Box store. In this Case it’s BJ’s.

At this stop we only purchase what is needed. With some rearranging I find room for all we’ve needed to purchase as well as those items from that first cart full of bags. So I ask the question. “I thought we were minimizing.” Once again, THAT LOOK. It seems these are mostly items for others which makes it a bit easier.

We beat a good summer rain storm home and stay dry while off loading. I pick the dog up from the kennel, take him for a good run in a field as he rids himself of 22 hours of incarceration. Once back in the car he is a happy 20 month old 65 pound Standard Poodle. We feed the dog, open a cold bottle of nice wine, retreat to the porch and do what we do best – solve all the problems of the world.

It’s been a good day, and I didn’t have to get rid of a thing. Oh, and the stuff in the bags. It turns out they are patriotic decorations, paper plates, cups and the like for the Forth of July parade and picnic. The Oklahoma Grands and Greats will be in prior their stop in Alabama and ultimate flight in August to their new home in Geilenkirchen, Germany.

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Coming soon on a calendar near you.

A Trip to Starkville

May 1st would find herself and me busy getting ready for our trip to Mississippi. While I was busy checking off items on my Honey-Do list, herself would spend the day at the beach. Well, not really at the beach but in close proximity. Her sister has had a rough go of it the past few months, and ever the care giver, me wife has been making the weekly trips to attend doctor and treatment visits. It’s all good though, treatments going well and me and Ben, me dog, get a day’s breather from the “have you done this yet.” I’m sure some of you’ve have been there.

I get my trash run in, and check off all the other listed needs. Me love brings a nice premade meal from Harris Teeter home for dinner. We watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, I watch a few innings of the Yankees and Red Sox and then off to bed. Not really a fan of either, for me it’s the Washington Nationals.

Our trip south for granddaughter Abby’s graduation in Psych from Mississippi State would put us on the road for three days. We arise bright and early, first off though, it’s do all the wash, take the dog and cat to the kennel and vacuum the house. We can never leave the house in a condition that is not worthy for a showing by a Real Estate agent, God Forbid. Of course there is also one more bag of trash to drop off on the way out.

Day one will take us just over four hours down the road, to Rocky Mount, NC. We always start our southern journeys down the Delmarva Peninsula, cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and head west out Route 58 to Emporia, VA. I could never go south via the insanity of greater Washington, DC. Our trip like the day was grand with several stops along the way for gas, food and the occasional leg stretching at rest areas. A small Ice Cream at McDonald’s would become routine each afternoon on this trip.

Just as a side note, Abby’s Mom, Dad and cousin Rachael were also heading south to Mississippi via a stop in Charleston, SC on day one. They had never been to Charleston and thought, why not. However unlike us leaving at noon, they were up and moving at 0300. Oh to be young again.

We check in to a Double Tree, freshen up and head up the road to an Outback for dinner. Back in the room we relax and chat about the toilet, yes the toilet. For all the niceness of this facility, we have the toilet from hell, or I should say from an airport. As the plunger drops in it’s reservoir of water, a high-pitch whine and squeal like an aircraft jet engine build to a high-pitched crescendo that will wake the dead when I take my 2 AM trek for relief. Noise abatement shall not be possible in this facility.

Despite the 2AM noise issue, we sleep well, breakfast in the hotel and we are on the road heading for Conyers Georgia for night number two by 0900. We are not in a big hurry. Conyers is just to the east of Atlanta and I had found on Yelp that there was an Irish Tavern in the town. We like Irish pubs and taverns. At home it’s the Irish Penney in Salisbury, MD at least once a month.

On this day we will follow I-95 south to Florence, SC. We do an exercise stop at the SC rest area. With our leg cramps gone and feeling refreshed we charge on heading up I-20 towards Columbia, SC. Enough we say of President Eisenhower’s Interstate System. We exit the Interstate and find old US Route 1. It’s backroads to at least Augusta, Ga, home of the Masters Golf Tournament.

We arrive in Conyers, GA, our nights stay for day two. We select Conyers so we can avoid going around or through Atlanta during rush hour. It will also give us a short ride our next day traveling to Starkville, MS. I must also admit to locating the Celtic Tavern, we tend to favor Irish Pubs when can find them while traveling about the country.

After checking in to our hotel we head to the Celtic Tavern in quaint old downtown Conyers. Check out: http://www.conyersga.com/visitors/attractions/filming-in-conyers

Conyers’ has been transformed into the French Quarter of New Orleans for filming of the popular series, “The Originals.”

We ate well, Fish and Chips for me and Shepard’s Pie for the Madam. After dinner and a few innings of a ball game on TV it was Good Night Irene for both of us. We highly recommend the Celtic tavern if you ever find yourself in Conyers.

We also met two nice folks while at the tavern, Albert and Nadine Chapar. Albert was snapping photos in the tavern for wife Nadine who own’s Solia digital media. soliamedia.com Turns out Albert is the principal of the Chapar Firm, LLC www.chaperlaw.com Never hurts to know a lawyer when traveling out-of-town. As it was learned, Albert grew up in Bridgeport, CT and his mother became the mayor of Bridgeport in 1989, one year after I retired from the Connecticut State Police. Yes, it is a small world. It never ceases to amaze me the connections with people we have with just a little introduction and conversation. Albert and Nadine, thanks for taking a moment of your time for some idle chit-chat. The Celtic Tavern Web Site is Nadine’s creation.

Day three would find us on I-20 heading west to Starkville, MS for our granddaughter Abigail’s graduation from Mississippi State University the next day. Our big stop, rest and a meal would be at Panera Bread outside Birmingham, AL. This is a site for great dining and shopping should you find yourself in the Birmingham area: https://thesummitbirmingham.com/

Mid day we would arrive in Starkville and spend three grand nights at the Chester Hotel. http://www.historichotelchester.com/

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The hotel was one of Abby’s employers while living and studying in Starkville.

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The Beer Garden was a great venue to close out each day’s events. It is presently being renovated and will reopen the first week of August. If you should find yourself in the Starkville area and in need of a room, check out: http://www.historichotelchester.com/

Up early on Friday 4 May we head into the traffic bound for the Humphry Coloseum and the graduation of our granddaughter Abby.

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I made it through without vertigo taking over, thank you Lord.

 

We were so proud of our Psych graduate, you rock Abby!

 

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Granny, Pop and the graduate, and she did it in four years.

Abby is back home now going through the application and job interview process with tenacity. It should not be long and this young lady is starting her Psyc career, paying taxes and her student loan. Welcome to the real world kiddo.

As an end note, congratulations to all those Washington Capitols fans who have waited so long.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Trip to Arizona

So, here we are in the merry month of May. I look back in time and find that my last blog post was 21 March, just not like me you say, I agree also. I had one of those hiccups in life that affected my vision and here I am seven weeks later getting back into the hang of things. I find it much easier to write without the blind spots I was experiencing, all is well now.

We also did a little traveling along the way which kept us with family and sitting down with the computer to try and write a post just wasn’t in the cards. On my first trip I joined my son Matthew in Arizona for the graduation of his son and my grandson Kevin from Army AIT training and graduation from Intel School (35 Foxtrot) at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona. It was a great few days for just the boys. Our most recent trip was to Starkville, MS for a college graduation at Mississippi State. More on that in a forthcoming Blog.

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Back to Arizona and Fort Huachuca. The day prior to graduation was parents day, we got to spend a few hours with Kevin, some buddies and another family over a great meal at a german restaurant. (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g31357-d334858-Reviews-The_German_Cafe-Sierra_Vista_Arizona.html) Earlier in the morning we got to tour through the https://southernarizonaguide.com/fort-huachuca-museums-sierra-vista/

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Kevin left with buddies from Wyoming and Florida.

Graduation day presented a few surprises for us when Kevin was announced as the Honor Graduate of his class of approximately 200 and one of the recipients of the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency. Once again it was meal time and the same crew celebrated the graduates at Olive Garden before heading off in different directions.

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GAPB Badge

Kevin joined the CT National Guard after high school and delayed his acceptance to the University of CT for a year to take advantage of the Guard’s Tuition Assistance Program. Looking to major in Economics, I think starting out without debt after college is a good practice.

One interesting stop for Matthew and me prior to meeting up with Kevin was the town of Bizbee, AZ. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisbee,_Arizona Bizbee is a town of throwbacks to the late 60’s era. It’s definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area.

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http://tombstoneweb.com/ is also close by. We didn’t get to visit, the couple we dined with spent a night at an old Inn and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Tombstone

One final remembrance of the great southwest has to be “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit,”
This was my first experience at a “Dickeys,” If I’m blessed with a hungry moment and there’s one close by, I’ll sure make the stop. There are over 600 locations in forty-three states throughout the United States. The Dickies story: https://www.dickeys.com/about/our-story

After the festivities of graduation day the three of us loaded into our rental van and headed to Tuscon for early flights out the next day. We would all depart within a few hours of each other. I would connect in Chicago & Philadelphia to get to Maryland. Matt would connect in Denver & Kevin in Dallas to get to CT, crazy airlines.

Coming soon in a Blog near you, “Abby’s (granddaughter) graduation from Mississippi State.”

Have a great day, Hi to all the Moms out there, remember, if it were not for your Mom, you would not be reading this.

 

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

 

An Oklahoma Share

2 Down

by c12samb

The Davies Crazies are 2 weeks in to our next adventure. Zed is out playing in the sand box while the kiddos and I are holding down the home front. We’ve enjoyed some amazing visitors; Mylee, Dax is still looking for you, Abby the girls want you to come back and go to the suseum, and Dad the kids can’t wait to go swimming. We are so blessed to have family that loves us and is willing to help out.

I believe by this time last adventure we had a black eye, not this time, just two puking kids and two kids with diarrhea. I know, not pretty, but it’s a day in my life. Some prettier things…we planted a garden and enjoyed a fun event for kids who have parents that are deployed. There’s a benefit to having so many kids…more chances to win. Think a 43″ TV and Chuck E Cheese gift card on top of the toy each kid in attendance got to pick out.

We’re also anxiously waiting our next assignment to be loaded in the system. We’re anticipating moving to Germany this summer, but as of this moment it’s just words. Everyone who has ever been slightly attached to the military knows that you can’t believe or act on anything until it’s in writing and even then it has a chance to change. There are some things I’ve started working, just so I don’t stress eat or bite all of my nails off…dang nails are gone already. Once it’s official I’ll be sure to post about it.

Catch Up Time…

I’ve been horrible about keeping track of my Selfish Year, but I’ll try to catch up.

  • Lost 10lbs so far
  • Successfully done date dates with the girls
  • Ran 35 miles (broke my tail bone so I haven’t run in a while)
  • Read 4 books
  • I’ve gotten a 86 on my fitness test
  • This will be my 3rd post this year
  • Completed 3 sewing projects
  • Completed 4 acts of service
  • Setting aside the $ hasn’t been so good, but I also haven’t spent more than I make
  • Have not started reading the Book of Mormon yet
  • I have my ups and downs with talking to the kids appropriately
  • No chore or bedtime routine
  • New resolution
    • Stop biting my nails – fail so far
    • Go to bed NLT 10pm each night – usually a fail

So there you go…all caught up. Cross your fingers for us that our assignment is loaded soon!

-S

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

Sea of Love

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#2 School, back in the day.

The first Valentine’s Day I can remember takes me back to third grade at #2 school on Wyoming Avenue in Audubon, NJ. Audubon was a Jersey suburb of Philadelphia, just four miles away from the Walt Whitman Bridge. Using my fingers to count on, I’m guessing I was eight years old at the time.

Mrs. Lippincott was my teacher. I googled her and learned she died in the year 2000 at age 98, she taught for 39 years. When not in school I always called her Aunt Grace. There were a lot of male and female family acquaintances back then that I called Aunt and Uncle this, and Aunt and Uncle that. They weren’t relatives mind you, but that was what I was expected to call them. Even my mother called Aunt Grace, Aunt Grace, she taught my mother also.

Valentine Cards to Print

In early February while in third grade there was a note sent home saying something like this; “All children are encouraged to bring in Valentines to share for Valentine’s Day. There should be 24 Valentines brought in to pass out. Please send in the Valentines in a bag and I will store them until it is time to hand them out. Here are the names of our students if your child would like to personalize the cards.”

My mother bought me several sheets of punch out Valentine cards. I’m guessing 12 cards to each sheet, I don’t remember there being envelopes. On the back of what ever picture or saying was on the front were dotted lines labeled To:, From: and Message. I can remember there were one or two girls in the class that I was sweet on, but if I wrote a message, that I can’t remember. I do remember addressing the cards though.

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Through the years, almost 75 of them, I’ve sent cards on Valentine’s day, given jewelry to my little lady, sent flowers and taken herself out to dinner at a fine restaurant.

I remember twelve years ago, I was in Florida for a Hurricane Conference. I was working for a County Emergency Management Office at the time. My oldest daughter happened to work for the Health Department in the same county, she was  a nurse and that departments Emergency Management Coordinator. We both were required to attend the same conference, so we traveled down and back together.

On the last day of the conference we got together for breakfast and agreed we’d make every effort to make Savannah, Georgia on the way back north to Maryland. We would break early from the conference, around 2:00 I believe and head north. Our bags were stowed in the car and we were checked out of the hotel right after breakfast, we were not going to hesitate.

The conference ended around 2:00 PM and we were headed north on a five-hour or so journey. Savannah, here we come, tomorrow night we shall sleep in our own bed. We chatted about our individual training and informational sessions which were both quite different. My daughter being a nurse was learning a lot of medical and triage stuff. I learned about mitigation and disaster recovery. We even got to see Jim Cantore reporting from pool side while we were there. Jim happens to have a Twitter account if your interested. A little bit of a coincidence is that Mike Seidel from the weather Channel graduated from the same university as my daughter, Salisbury, University. Eleven (11) national championships in Men’s Lacrosse by the way.

We arrived in Savannah without a hitch around 7:30 or so, checked into our hotel and immediately went on the hunt for some food. Our first stop I remember being an Olive Garden. After parking in the back forty we found a line snaking out the door into the lot. The ladies, mostly young, dressed to the nines, with many wearing flowers, all seemed to have love in their eyes. It was February 14, we had had no clue.

We left the Olive Garden and tried numerous other restaurants, all were booked solid.  Finally we settled on a Mom and Pop southern comfort food diner. There were no young’ns at this eatery, no love in any ladies eyes and only starvation in our eyes.

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I swear, once we perused over the menu there was nothing on it that wouldn’t slip right down to your belly with lard or some other type of greasy digestive lubrication, or it was fried. The daughter got a salad, I had Salisbury Steak, real home food for me since that’s where I’m from, Salisbury. We toasted with water, “Happy Valentines Day my daughter.” No liquor on this menu, Bible Belt country was in vogue here.  We both had been looking forward to a Manhattan to close out our adventure.

So, that was one Valentine’s Day that will always be remembered. There are many songs out there that depict love that could be appropriate for this day. I’ve picked one that I consider extra appropriate and suitable for the occasion, “The Sea of Love.”

There are many “one-hit wonders” who spend the remainder of their lives in frustrated efforts to record another hit but who are never able to recapture the magic.  To some, the disappointment of failure is overwhelming.  Phil Phillips is not one of those.  Born John Phillip Baptiste on March 14, 1926, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he had only one hit.  “Sea of Love” it crested at number one on the R&B charts and number two on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the charts for eighteen weeks in 1959.  I was a sophomore in high school that year and I remember cuddling up to my girl at the time on the dance floor to that great song. Every Friday night just about every teenager in Levitttown, HS could be found at Christ the King, Episcopal Church on Charleston road for their weekly sponsored dance. Levittown is now Willingboro, just a short drive from Exit 5 of the New Jersey Turnpike.

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Contractual disputes between record companies effectively killed Phi Phillips career, but the song lived on, selling two million copies and earning Phillips a gold record.  Moreover, the song appeared in the soundtracks of half-a-dozen movies, including the Al Pacino Universal Pictures film Sea of Love.

In 2007 Phil Phillips was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Although he needed a hand of support in the beginning, once he got back into the rhythm of the song, he was in 1959 all over again at that induction. Phil Phillips is still alive today, age 91. Take a moment or two and go swimming in a “Sea of Love.”

After you listen to Phil, click on  Emily West’s rendition, she does the song proud in her version of this classic that I remember so well.

Credits: Google images, NBC, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Weather Channel, Twitter & Wiki
I wish for each of you to fall into a  “Sea of LOVE” on this Valentines day.  Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check on the elderly.

elderly couple

 

 

 

A Loss is a Win when with family.

Yes we went to the Egg Bowl, a 31-28 Ole Miss victory over granddaughter Abby’s beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs. Apparently someone forgot to let the dogs out.
On this Friday after, we celebrate Thanksgiving with Rachael, Sam and family who drove over from OKC, Kathy, Jeff, Abby and friends. We are blessed, even though State lost, we are winners for family and friends. To all our friends and family, happy day after from Columbus, Mississippi.

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/11/23/16681614/ole-miss-mississippi-state-egg-bowl-results-final-score-2017-highlights

Semper Fi/theRoster

The First Thanksgiving

A share from the Huffington Post.

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/788436

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family from Our location in Mississippi.

Semper Fi

A Month Gone By.

How do I not post something for a month, busyness is the answer. Graduations, confirmations and obligations filled the bill. Passing miles beneath our tires as we make multiple trips to Connecticut sharing time with family and friends is part of the equation.

On the slim occasion I’d haul out the Mac to check email, blogs, weather and news, I’d get that look. I’m sure there’s a few of you out there that know what that look is, right? The look is usually accompanied with that one word, “really.” Just amazing how one word can say it all. Back goes the computer into the bag and it’s social interaction time. Not time for a Blog Rooster.

Speaking of Rooster, not me mind you, but the faithful protector of our flock for the past nine years. Casper was his name and he has passed to that great chicken coop in the sky. Casper was the most gentle of all our roosters over the years. He would alert the girls when trouble circled in the sky or lurched outside the fence line. He was pampered and lived the good life here on God’s little acre. Old age finally caught up with the old guy.

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Casper

We have a grandson entering the National Guard, delaying college for a year and earning the education incentive$. Another grandson graduated from College. He is now a Creative Media graduate working in NYC. We have a set of twins going in diverse directions, Oregon and Delaware for higher learning. The twins are adopted grandchildren. They have a brother whom I’ve mentioned in the past and he will be a senior at the Air Force Academy this year. Another road trip coming up in May of 2018. I have a brother who got engaged, congratulations Rick. A granddaughter busy with a traveling softball team and another who is a gymnast who does gourmet baking, that’s just in Connecticut.

Back in Maryland we have a granddaughter who returns to Mississippi for her senior year @ MSU, a grandson entering Salisbury University and a granddaughter who just finished her first year of teaching.

Although we have not spent time with them of late, we have our eldest granddaughter, the USAF Captain and her Captain husband and four great grandchildren out in OKC. Time with them gets spent Face Timing via electronic media.

As any parent and grandparent knows, we swell with pride for those who grow after us. In all we’ve been blessed with three children, nine grands and four greats. We are so fortunate.

Once back home in May from VT and planted on the sand of the Eastern Shore we had the great Irish wedding of our good friends Ed and Alexis O’Leary as they married off their daughter Maddie to John Vilkus. I previously put out a post on this event. That was two weeks of the entire clan here on the shore visiting from such places as Kilkenny and Galway in Ireland and the Queens own London. They are a wonderful lot, an entertaining group full of song, fun and frolic. It’s never all about you, it’s always all about all of you. The Mrs and I have been fortunate in the past to share their family home in Kilkenney in years gone by. It was nice we could offer up a bed or two for this grand occasion. They and some tag along’s even spent an afternoon with us picking crabs and partying late into the night while being entertained with song by the one and only Famous Seamus. Our extended family is loved by us all.

Then there was the 4th of July, which in our little community is a large event with a parade, food, fun and games. HOT is the normal weather occurrence. The event has been taking place in the village for over thirty years. When the organizers say “You all come,” they all do. The local Boy Scout Troop color guard leads it off, followed by all those politicians leading our county and state representatives, sheriffs & troopers, Those running in local elections always make an appearance to garner votes in upcoming elections.

 

We have kids on bikes and every other mode of transportation, 4x4s, mopeds, getting pulled in wagons and just walking and looking patriotic in their Red, White and Blue. The Buffalo Soldiers always make their appearance and this year a local car club entertained us with a host of tricked up cars. Farmers and their equipment, so vital to this economy, roll out to show their stuff. Some of the tractors were from generations past. Horses and pets also grace the parade route.

 

And no parade would be without the local Fire Company showing off their pride. As the blare of the sirens echoed and those watching were greeted with tossed candy and Tootsy Roll lollipops, pride swelled in us all. This was America, and this is Allen and it’s our birthday. Thanks to the Lions, the Allen Asbury Methodist Church our Fire Company and all who volunteer from our community for a another great Birthday celebration.

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Mother Hen, Chics and Grandchick in their parade viewing attire on the 4th.

After the parade everyone gathers at the Community Hall for hot dogs, burgers, home-made ice cream and good old down home eating and socializing. A baseball game usually occurs across the street. The wee ones will enjoy the bouncy house and someone is always selling one thing or another. Eventually the crowd will dwindle, folks will head off to other celebrations and perhaps go into the big town of Salisbury for Fireworks.

When the sun sets, and the lights are turned down low, the far off sound of sky rockets at night bursting in the air reminds us all that we are one.

Oh, I totally forgot to mention that the garage, turned into a workshop, which became the Annex and hosted many gatherings is now a guest house and has a new porch which was finished last week. Been busy, please excuse the absence. We even have indoor plumbing.

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This is purely political satire and does not represent the views of this writer in any direction other than great vacations on Cape Cod. Thanks to Metro Goldwyn Meyer for a great movie.

Kate Smith said it best,

 

 

Civil War Days

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In the village of Allen on a cold misty morning.

Yep, that’s what they called it, Civil War Days. How can a war ever be civil? I always thought civility meant courtesy and politeness. A person making a polite action or expression. Civility was thought to express culture and good breeding.

Well it seems those boys in the photo up above got them a cannon pointed out over that field just awaiting for their countrymen in grey to come towards them. Now the gentlemen to the left in grey, I’m guessing he’s trying to be civil.

At any rate, on the 22’nd of April  past, the Allen Historical Society held it’s first Civil War Days at the Community Hall. That’s a building I believe is owned by the Methodist, supported by the Lions and used by The Fire Company and just about everyone else in this little village on the Eastern Shore. If your hungry come November look for the Missive announcing the Pit Beef Dinner held by the Lions Club.

Oh, what’s a Missive you say, It’s a written message, usually in letter form from an official source letting everyone know what’s going on and the needs of the organization. Usually it comes from Melissa, sometimes Aggie and even Lucy chimes in on occasion. Of course all these girls are technologically advanced and it ain’t no letter in this day and age, it’s Email. Of course you’ve got to be wired up for that. That’s always another story if you live in the back country. President Trump says he will bring High Speed internet to the entire country. I’m guessing that’s right after them Mexicans pay for that wall. So it will be awhile.

Here’s a bit from one of the recent Missive’s about the needs for the Civil War Days.

Hi everyone – 
I’m not sure my last email was received, so I’m re-sending a part of it.  This Saturday, the 22nd, the Allen Historical Society will host its first ever Civil War Heritage Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Hall.  The event is free to the public and will be a lot of fun!
The Hist. Soc. will be selling food as a fund raiser and we are asking for your help.  We need cookies, cakes, gingerbread, and perhaps pies to sell in individual servings. (We didn’t discuss pies, but why not?)  Nothing modern, just simple and good, something that could believably have been served in the 1860s.  You don’t have to have a period recipe – simple cakes and cookies will work just fine.  (i.e., no M&Ms or sprinkles, probably no coconut – the blockade is such a bother! – you get the idea.)
If you can donate such things, please know that you have even more of our undying love than you already have – and that’s a ton!

(And if you feel inclined to help in this way, or you want to give us a hand for part of the day in the kitchen, please drop me a line or leave me a phone message to let me know – you will drop my stress level immensely!)

Blessings and thanks,
Melissa
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Can you see how she signed it, Blessings and thanks, now that lady is civil. When I stopped by , Melissa was seated at an old tree stump cut flat on the top, in period clothing, beating dough with a mallet making Beaten Biscuits.
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Members of  The Buffalo Soldiers represented it’s self well as usual.

Inside the hall there were tables with all kinds of memorabilia, guns, pots, pans and antiques from days gone by.  Throughout the day there were historical presentations for all to hear about life in Allen, Maryland and the not so Civil times from  1861 to 1865.
At the end of the day many visitors had attended, learned new things and acted civil. Thanks to the Allen Historical Society for making this day special to so many.