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August is sliding right on by.

The last blog post by the Rooster was back on June 22, 2021. Where has this summer gone, I ask myself. I have kept abreast of the writings by others during these days; however, One blogger I’ve been following for some years, Mehrling’s Muse,(https://amehrling.com/about/) for whatever reason, I no longer get her notices. Perhaps her niece, a WordPress Techie, oops, Happyness Engineer, knows the reason behind that glitch. I do keep up with Anne’s husband, John, through E-Mail however. We have to keep that Train Ride going, right John. Oh, and Anne, I’m glad to hear the vision is good after the Cadillac Surgery, and you two are not flooded out.

From the Netherlands to America

Back about seven weeks ago, granddaughter Samantha and husband, Zed, transported their four children to Zeds parents. Sam made the trip alone. The kids would spend six weeks with Zed’s side of the family. 

Here is a rundown by Grandmom Elaine on their activities as posted on FaceBook and a few pictures.

Well that’s a wrap! The Wild West Grannie

Four grandkids for the summer.

– Seattle in a flash (space needle, Ferris wheel, fish market)

– Ranch adventure (horseback riding, dirt bikes, ATV, chores, water trough swimming, milkshakes, baseball, branding, birthday party, ditch wading, lawn mowing, treehouse climbing, a few bumps and bruises, fireworks, babies and Moosey) Thanks Cindy, Erik, Mylee, Scott, and the ranch crew for all the help.

– Burns adventures (yardwork, city pool, rodeo, church, parade, baby blessing)

– Road trip to Idaho (older “cousins”, swimming pools, RV sleeping, police car, Bear World, pizza and family) Thank you Sara, Rachel, DaeNell, Ben, Zach, Melina, Savannah, and all the others of the family there…so much appreciated help.

– On to Utah- (family time- more older “cousins”, baseball, dinosaurs, more good food, ducks, chickens, and solid sleep). Thank you Jessup and Amanda and family.

-then Colorado (water trampoline, watermelon and burgers, piano, run and run, feed chickens, sleep like the dead) Many thanks Bringhurst bunch!

– on to Missouri (quality cousin time, sleepovers, pizza, ice cream, Aunts and Uncles, swimming, jet ski and tubes, splash pad, baseball, trampoline, amusement park, Wonder of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium, rodeo, beef demo and the Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile, and 3 new babies) Thank you Uncle Dallen, Uncle Wes, Uncle Jeff, and the Aunts!

– fly to Detroit for next adventures with other grandparents. Good luck and have the best time Jeff and Kathy. We miss them already ! Amazing is all I can say Elaine, good job.

Off to DelMarVa

The kids hung out with “G” & Pappy, Sam’s parents on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for the next two weeks. The backyard pool got a whole lot of attention. Zoe, who didn’t like putting her head in the water on day one, was swimming under water by the end of the visit.

Trips to the beach at Ocean City and Assateague, the wild horses, no, not the kids, the ones at Chincoteague, VA were enjoyed. Great times with Libby and Ben, (Dogs,) Aunts, Uncles cousins, and friends. A special set aside day for a Barbecue and an invite for all friends and family to come and get reacquainted with the kids was great. Pappy had his usual array of Brats, Burgers, Dogs & Chicken on the grill. 

 The visit was too short, and before we knew it the kids, with pappy and G in tow, were off on their return to Europe via PHL to AMS. That’s Philadephia to Amsterdam for you non-flyers. Pappy & G would spend ten days across the pond; they would visit with friends Brian and Rose, travel the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and hang with Sam and Zed a bit. 

All four kids would start school, Zoe a first timer in Pre-K. Free at last, Free at last, at least for a few hours Monday – Friday for same and Zed to declare.

Zoe, the new Pre-K kid
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Top to bottom, Dx, Ana, Mia

Misc.

So my friends I’m back out here once more. Our chickens are producing eggs once again after a brief hiatus from the production business. My but they were slackers for about three weeks. We’ve gone back to layer crumbles with Fly Larve,a few Sun Flower seeds and a 1/2 cup of song bird feed and the protein boost seems to have done the trick.

Now you are up to date as of, let us say, to 8 August, 2021 anyway. A few more happenings in the journal, for the sake of being called a Rambler I’ll close for now. 

If you don’t have a Covid shot, I wish you’d get one. Take care of the elderly, and Semper Fi to all and God Bless the men and women in Blue.

The Rooster

Summer has Arrived

The days are getting longer. Yesterday, 06/22/21 it was 78F at 0500, today at the same time it was 56F, go figure. I checked the weather prediction map, NOAA’,s site, a prediction map showed all weather staying west of the Chesapeake Bay and generally speaking following a track North via I-95. Since we had a lunch date with Mary Agnes’ sister in-law at noon, outside dining was in order. On this day we would dine at Tall Tales Brewing Company in Parsonsburg, MD.

We met Barbara, entered, and were seated undercover on the fringe of outside. All the doors were open, and a delightful breeze was blowing. The windows are floor-to-ceiling fold back doors: ice tea, no sugar for me, A wine for my princess, and a Lager for Barb. We ordered Chicken Salads for the ladies and a Mahi Mahi Taco for me. Unfortunately, when our food arrived, so did the weather, in the form of Rain. Although we were fine as we were undercover, several other tables had to reposition back a bit.

All in all, it was an excellent get together, we caught up on the goings-on of both sides of the family. I call Barb’s side of the family, the Polish side. Barb is the Matriarch at this point in time for her side. She beats me in age by three months by the way. My wife, of Irish descent, is the Matriarch on her side of the family. So thus we have, the two sides as I identify them.

As far as weather predictions, they, NOAA in this case, blew it! Don’t you love the ten-day predictions you get from various WX sites or the five-day predictions? On this day, we couldn’t even get a 3-hour forecast that was worthy. So what the hell are they smoking in those weather shops?

Caroline Schweikert photo of Junes Strawberry Moon. This lady and her husband have been friends for over 30 years. She is a wonderful photographer and her work can be found on Facebook.
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Granddaughter, USAF, Samantha, just dropped these 4 off at SEATAC and flew back home to the Netherlands. The kids will be with Fraternal grandparents in Oregon for a while and then meet the Maternal grandparents in Detroit, visit the Greats in Bay City and then head to Maryland. In Maryland they will be stay with Pappy & G and also visit Greats there. Pappy & G will get the Wee Ones back to the Netherland prior to the start of school.
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Thanks for the great view of Seattle and beyond Samantha.

This is what I’ve come to call a Sami-izem: You know your kid learned to speak outside of the US when she says “Mom look at that! It’s like 10 meters tall!”

Life remains good on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. God is good, and thanks to him, so are we. Our chickens continue to give us eggs. Greggory Peck is in Talon Hill. ( Remember Boot Hill?) Our Garden is growing nicely and were using a lot of fresh Parsley at the moment.

Grandson Tommy, TP for short, makes a final gesture prior to exiting the car for his start of the Journey at the United States Air Force Academy.

So, for this day, these photos and my writing I bid you all Ah plue tahr

Be safe, if you haven’t already, get a flu shot and make sure you check on the elderly.

In a Funk?

The One Question That Will Get You Out Of A Funk

So, am I in one, I ask. I finally got plants and seeds into my Pot Garden, that was a month ago. Many thanks to my son-in-law Greg for the pots and potting soil. Gotta give credits where credits are do. I may need soil again next year.

I’ve not written a post for over a month. We’ve been in quarantine since 19 March. I’ve only gained 5 pounds. We have not contracted any virus. Well, there’s something to be thankful for. “O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” (William Shakespeare)

Stephen King had a great saying – “Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.” Seventy Seven years on this earth, thank you, thank you, thank you, I say!

We have a grandson in NY City, young, single, works for Viacom and has been by himself in a 600 square foot, 4’th story walk up eating Deli food since this all started. I’m guessing he spends his spare time cleaning. Never have I seen a single, twenty something guy, as neat as this. David, you’re amazing!

As for the Rooster, Hard at work getting a Blog out. , here’s looking at you.

Granddaughter Samantha, Capt. USAF, stationed in Germany, living in the Netherlands says: COVID-19 has changed a lot, but it was sure nice to have half occupancy in the amusement park near our house. Valkenier is a very family oriented park and all kids are now old enough to ride. Mia counts as an adult and is able to partner up with Ana until she grows a few more centimeters.

Zed & Zoe
Mia & Ana
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Congratulations Sam

Daughter Kathryn and son in-law Jeff are in the process of moving back to this side of the river. If all goes well with the VA and Bank they will be one mile away from us. Settlement is supposed to take place on 7/8/20.

Jeff has been working from home during this Pandemic thing. Kathryn has remained quite busy coordinating Population Health issues for PRMC. Jeff was out with Abby and Antwaine fishing recently and displays a nice Cat fish below.

One that didn’t get away.

Son Matt and daughter in-law Beth were to go to England to celebrate their 25’th wedding Anniversary. No, they didn’t make it, but they did celebrate.

A toast to the queen.

Grandson Tommy, A1C, USAF still hanging out at Seymour Johnson AFB in Greensboro, NC. https://www.seymourjohnson.af.mil/

Daughter Sarah and husband Greg took a few days off and ventured to the family Ski Lodge at Elk Mountain, Pennsylvania. Below is their wake-up and sunset views the past two days.

As for the Rooster and wife, we’re still crowing and cackling. We’re a bit more confined, aren’t we all. We did get out to dine at a local Brew Pub,Evolution Craft Brewing’s, Public house. It was outside dining at the time, but most enjoyable. The Mrs had the Johnny Burger and the Rooster had the Fish Tacos. All was consumed and washed down with a glass of Chardonnay for the Mrs and a Lot 3 for the Rooster. The good Lord graced us with blue skys and a gentle Eatern Shore Breeze. It doesn.t get much better than that. https://www.evolutioncraftbrewing.com/

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Traveling Europe during the Corona Thing

We “began” our Spring Break adventure yesterday. Join us each day as we imagine what we would have been doing.

Day 1 & 2: Driving to Genoa, Italy

The kids have done amazing driving these 14hrs. They’ve barely fought and only whine when they’re hungry. We’ve driven through 3 countries so far. We’re about 3/4 of the way there and every minute brings more anticipation.

Day 1 & 2: Driving to Genoa, Italy

The kids have done amazing driving these 14hrs. They’ve barely fought and only whine when they’re hungry. We’ve driven through 3 countries so far. We’re about 3/4 of the way there and every minute brings more anticipation.

Day 3 of our would be Spring Break

We safely made it to Genoa yesterday and the kids continued to be amazing in the car. It’s almost as if the trip took seconds instead of hours. This morning we walked around the city and of course ate Gelato and ice cream for lunch (see picture).

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We just boarded our cruise ship, found our room and got settled in.

April 6 at 7:18 PM ·

Day 4

Sorry for the little later post, we’ve been having a blast! Today was a day at sea. The kids loved the the kids club, we have a private lounge/tanning area, and I started reading a new book. Tonight was movie night on board and Dax and Zoe insisted on popcorn. They’re loving the never ending drinks and snacks. Mia and Ana opted for a little more swim time rather than a movie. Oh yeah, and the kids think its awesome they can live in their bathing suits. Thankfully it’s a gorgeous 70°.+2

Kids Club
Tanning Area
Pool Time/In our dreams.
Movies and Popcorn

Day 5

Today we were in port. Tomorrow I’ll catch up on posting pictures and describing the day…super busy and now we’re all ready to crash.

Here are a few pictures for you to guess the town we explored today.

Day 5 & 6 recap

Day 5 was Barcelona. We enjoyed walking around the city and eating our way through it. Day 6 was Palma de Mallorca. Definitely a city I want to come back to without kiddos 🙂 we of course found a playground for the kids. Last night part of kids club was about astrology. The kids were taught about the planets and different constellations and then elected to sleep on the deck.

Little of Day 7.

Zoe was the first one up, like always and will probably be the one who is most upset to get off the ship in a couple days. There is food at her every beckon call. Today we do Marseilles.

Day 7…continued

Marseilles was gorgeous. We did two different excursions. One was a poetry reading and another was learning fishing techniques from an experienced local. Kids are loving a cruise and have already asked to go on another one. Tomorrow is our last day of the cruise and will be a day at sea.

Trip Complete

Back home they are, the trip complete, just how long will the playroom stay Neat?

THE END

Once again I must say thank you to our Grands and Greats in Brunssum, Netherlands for giving me fodder for my Blog, what wonderful imaginations. I would also like to say thank you USAF Captains Sam & Zed, for all your sacrifices for the USA. Go Navy, Beat Army! It’s a family thing.

WE LOVE YOU!

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Semper Fi theRooster

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

A Share from the Netherlands

I love when Sam writes a post and I get to share it with my readership. It certainly makes my Blogging easy. 2017 saw Zed deployed to the Gulf and Sam and the children nestled down in Allen, MD with Pappy & G. (That would be Jeff & Kathryn) Today you get to see the family from a distance 3896.60 miles away. When we spoke with Sam yesterday she said it was a balmy 60 degrees. Enjoy our distant Grands and Greats

December 25, 2018 / c12samb

Fröhliche Weihnachten

Merry Christmas from Germany…well the Netherlands. Live in one country and work in another, pretty cool concept.

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This was our first year recording the chaos thanks to an early gift, 1.5hr of opening gifts and a full day of lounging and playing with them. I tried to upload the pictures in progression of the events.

Sittard/Zittard

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Thanks for the Pic Twitter

 

Today the ladies, Kathryn and Mary Agnes, got on the SB-3 Bus in Geilenkirchen, 15 Euro for two, and traveled to Sittard, Netherlands for some sight seeing. I’m sure the grapes from a local vinyard will become a tasting at some point, when in Rome, you know. The distance between Geilenkirchen and Sittard is 14 miles. Google maps say it’s a 34 minute ride by auto. I’m guessing the bus is a bit longer, but plenty of time to take in the country side.

 

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Fruit of the vine!

 

Just last week, one of the AM TV shows were interviewing people on the street with a large map of the world. Passerby’s were quizzed on various country’s and their locations. OMG, no orientation to location on God’s Earth is held by anyone they interviewed. I do realize that for the effect they were trying to get, those with geographic knowledge were not put on the air. That’s kind of how things work in that industry. Is Geography even taught in school today? There was a good article in USA Today back in 2015 on just that subject. Check it out if interested at:  https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/10/16/us-students-are-terrible-at-geography

In case you’re one of those no-clue individuals, here is a map of Europe.

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Sittard from a Wiki view.

The city of Sittard is located in the Dutch province of Limburg, which is the southernmost province in the Netherlands. Sittard shares its eastern border with Germany, and is located about 45 meters above sea level at its city center. As a result of its close proximity to Germany, many of the residence speak not only Dutch, but also German fluently. In this respect, Sittard is truly a blend of numerous European cultures living together peacefully.

Early History

The earliest settlements in the area of Sittard have been dated as early as 5000 B.C. However actual settlements of the present day city did not take place until approximately 850 A.D. History says that the name of the city may have actually been given to it by Charlemagne. Others argue that the name came from the fertile nature of the land.

The Duke of Limburg is said to have granted the city its “city rights” in 1243. The 15th through the 17th centuries saw much conflict and war in the area and Sittard was destroyed by multiple fires and rebuild a number of times.

Sittard in WWII

In the years prior to the war, there was a large population of German Jews that had moved to the Netherlands to escape the rise of the Nazi Party. However, as with most other cities in Holland, the German forces occupied Sittard during the Second World War. Most of the Jews were then deported to concentration camps. The 2nd Armored Division finally liberated Sittard in September of 1944. Although the city was on the frontline of the conflict for nearly four months, the historic structures within Sittard somehow avoided being destroyed.

Following the War, Sittard quickly recovered and many of its neighborhoods were constructed in the years after the conflict.

Mining in Sittard

Part of the economic engine that drove Sittard’s recovery and growth was the coal mining industry, which had actually begun in 1926. Prior to coal, the main source of income had been agricultural. However, with the move toward “Green” energy, the coal mines were eventually closed down in the 60’s and 70’s. Industrial terrain and numerous large office buildings now cover most of the areas.

Sittard Today

Although the city of Sittard has continued to grow with the years, it has maintained its connection with its history. Many of the buildings in existence still today are indicative of the 16th and 17th centuries. Of special note are the following buildings:

-Saint Peter’s

– Saint Michael’s

– Our Lady Basilica

Though the city is quite modern in many ways, the original city walls, built in the 13th century, is still visible in many places throughout the city.

Summary

Although a little out-of-the-way, Sittard is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The city can be accessed my major motorways, rail and even bus. If you are not traveling far, you might even be able to ride a bicycle into the city. Whatever mode of transportation you choose, Sittard is an important city to visit on your tour of Holland, and one that will truly capture you heart.

(Thanks to Wiki for the information)

Once again I say thank you for stopping by.

This weekend Maryland Public Television featured long time DeMatha High School basketball coach Morgan Wooten ,now retired. His mantra was God, Family, School and basketball, what a wonderful way to approach the end result. Peace my friends.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Criss Cross

As I commence writing this post, I should have done something like “Travels with Charlie,” Steinbeck’s book, or some kind of version of it.  After all, there are four Standard Poodles in the Rooster’s family.

The Rooster’s family just does not sit still. Be it a town within a state, a state within a country or multiple countries throughout the world, they are on the move folks. Some spouses are crisscrossing and waving to each other out the car, bus train or plane window.

 

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I have big shoes to fill!

 

For today, Jeff is at home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As some of you are aware, he just returned from Stockholm, Sweden 48 hours ago.

 

Oleary pub Stockholm

Can you believe it, the man finds an Irish Pub in Sweden, and look who it’s named after. Edmund and family would be proud.

 

Oh and daughter Kathryn, Jeff’s other half, she and the Rooster’s wife just left PHL yesterday afternoon for Düsseldorf, Germany after an, Oh so brief stop in Dublin. I’m sorry Rita no time for a visit to Kilkenny.

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That’s my girl! Doing Dusseldorf one glass at a time. Cheers my Love.

 

Before that Sweden visit, Jeff happened to slip into Thailand, the Philippines, and New Zealand, then coming home via San Francisco. On the way out it was west to east, so he got a circumnavigation in. There must be some kind of a reward out there for that, right? Ah, there is, but it’s for boaters. https://www.cruisingclub.org/award/Circumnavigation

Bankok fish 3busy street in BankokFish in Bankok 2Tempe Bankok 1 Bangkok, Cheap shopping and fish stories.

The Air Force family of Sam, Zed, Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe as many of you know, have transitioned from Tinker AFB in OKC, shipped most of what they own to Geilenkirchen, Germany and have been attending Squadron Officers school. I reported on that a while ago. We had them here over the fourth if you remember and off they went to Michigan for a few days before arriving at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL. Sara’s daughter. Our Grand and Sam’s cousin went with them to be a Nannie.

 

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The Davies Crazys at Aunt Sarah & Uncle Greg’s house.

Hey Sam, how about a graduation photo!

Things got a wee bit busy in the cramped quarters at the base, and after a week or so, Kathryn and Abby drove to Charlotte, met the family and transferred the kids and Rachael and returned to the Eastern Shore for a couple of weeks. Jeff and Kathryn reversed the trip two weeks ago, and they made the transition in Salisbury, NC this time. It was right after that switch that Jeff headed off to Sweden.

I must give a round of praise for Abby and Rachael. Those two girls were just amazing in caring for their three nieces and nephew. Rachael by day ran a well-organized house with four children five and other. When Abby returned from a hot day’s work at the nursery, she would help her mother and Granny with baths and what all. Granny made most of the weekday meals. Kathy would work the hospital by day and grandchildren by night. Folks, these are four women who can start on my team any day of the week. Semper Fi my ladies, Ooh-Rah!!

 

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Daughter Sarah at the Biltmore.

 

For the past few days, the Oregon G-Parents have been with the kids and Rachael in the Atlanta area. Great Wolf Lodge and the Aquarium were on that schedule. Stacy and Elaine took a few days off from the Cattle Ranch in Frenchglen, OR to spend some of the last days for a while with the kids. ( I’ll do a blog on the Oregon grandparents and their ranch soon)

Sam and Zed graduate today, head to Atlanta tomorrow and fly out Saturday with the kids, 4, 5 & under!!!! They will be met on arrival by Granny and Kathryn, (G) &  (Great Granny), on landing, and help with the Jet Lag and transition for the next week. Grannies, the gift that keeps on giving.

Texas Flag

What about Rachael you ask. Well, she just happens to be taking a phone job interview as I write and left today for Austin, TX as a possible new home location. Rumor has it there may be some Mid-West Irons in the fire also.  https://www.statesman.com/news/local/for-second-year-austin-named-best-place-live-america-news-and-world-report/1R3DZ3wmujbm8r7GakwaMO/

And Abby, the recent college graduate has been hired by the local hospital working in an off-site Neurology office. She has been in a training program for the past few weeks learning the ins and outs of an office tech. Put that Psyc degree to work young lady.

The Connecticut connection of son Matt, Beth, David in NYC, Kevin, Jill, and Rebecca have no Moss growing beneath their feet either. Mexico at an all-inclusive two weeks ago, a week at Cape Cod and a quick trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts has rounded out their travels. Matt, David, and Kevin also did the Circle of Hope Hackers Conference in July. https://hope.net/

 

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Mexico, Thank the Lord you got there prior to the wall going up?

 

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The CT Crew in Gloucester, MA.  http://schooner.org/

 

Kevin did get two weeks in at Ft. Drum, NY with the guard and will start at UConn next week. He also spent some time in New Hampshire with the Love (Marissa) of his life and her family.

As for the Rooster, he got a shot of juice in his Right, Hip Bursa this week, and he’s halfway through a Pastoral Care in Hospitals course. Should he be found worthy at the completion of the course, he will be a Pastoral Care Volunteer. We can only hope they won’t be upset at having a Rooster roam their halls.

Thanks again for dropping by. Cooler weather comes in soon, the leaves will begin to change and soon the smell of Turkey will be wafting from the oven. I know this will happen as the Wolly’s are starting to appear on the roads.

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elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

Sharing a Grand and 4 Greats

PREAMBLE: As many of you know we have been blessed with three children, nine Grands, and four Greats. The author below, (Sam,) whose day follows, is the first-born of our daughter Kathryn and her husband Jeff. Sam is an Air Force Academy grad, wife, mother, and daily protector of us as a Captain on active duty in the Air Force. She and Husband Zed, also an Academy grad, live in Oklahoma City and are stationed at Tinker Air Force Base. Did I mention Kathryn and Jeff met in the Air Force in Berlin Germany?

Herself, after being away for a day caring for others, will often ask on her arrival home, “what did you do today?” On some occasions I consult my journal, so much busyness causes me to forget all I have done in her absence. Giving our and daughter Kathryn’s dog their potty breaks consumes some of the day. Cleaning up the kitchen, especially after great breakfast of Scrapple, Eggs, and fried Potato and Onions consumes some time. Emails, Blog follows and a dryer full of clothes is taxing on the time schedule. Be it a MAC day, exercise and a class for Stretch, Range of Motion & Flexibility consumes even more time. If time permits I try also to get a bit of a snooze in somewhere between 2:00 & 4:00 PM. I’m feeling the exhaustion.

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A man’s work is never done.

So folks, on that note, read on as Sam takes you on a true day in her life.

A True Day in My Life

Let me give you a quick run down of my day. Let me also say I’m not looking for praise or compassion.

0015 – Comforted a 4 year old with a nightmare

0045 – Last numbers I saw on the clock before falling asleep

0345 – Comforted a 3 year old with a nightmare

0400 – Doctored a sick 30 year old

0430 – Fed a no longer sick 1 year old

0445 – Laid down and reset alarm

0505 – Woke up to reset alarm

0510 – Notified my flight of a mandatory recall (For non-military…We run a phone tree of everyone I’m over telling them to show up at a specific location with specific items)

0515 – Showered/dressed/did my hair

0530 – Dressed/Fed 4 kiddos (All kids were helpful and happy. Chocolate peanut butter sandwiches all around)

0545 – Warmed up the car and checked on sick 30 year old

0555 – Loaded the car

0605 – Left the house

0620 – Dropped the kiddos off at school (only took me 10min…ooo yah)

0630 – Opened up the office/led a mock deployment bag check/gave a motivational speech (at least I hope it was motivational)

0730 – Logged into a Professional Development class

1130 – Logged out of class/did homework for the class (a discussion post and two responses to others posts, it’s kinda like a master’s class, but put on by the Air Force)

1230 – Checked email (had to sign a couple documents)

1300 – Ran to the kids school and checked up on 1 year old

1330 – Went to staff meeting (12 people that make up the leadership team of our unit solving problems and passing along information to the boss)

1500 – Changed for unit fitness

1545 – Unit Fitness (we played ultimate football)

1630 – Ran 2 miles (no, it did not take me 30 mins. to run 2 miles, more like 17)

1700 – Picked up the kids from school

1745 – Bought Happy Meals for the kids

1746 – All kids, without my prompting, say thank you for their Happy Meal (all except Zoe)

1747 – Pulled over to pick up spilled Happy Meal from the floor

1749 – Pulled over to swap the boy and girl Happy Meal toy (Ana is not a boy if anyone was curious)

1805 – Arrived at gymnastics and picked up the second spilled Happy Meal

1820 – Changed Mia into her leotard

1823 – Convinced Ana that her usual gymnastics outfit was dirty (honestly I didn’t have time this morning to look for it)

1830 – Dropped Mia and Ana off for class

1830-1920 – Entertained Dax and Zoe and ran inside to check on Mia and Ana occasionally

1920 – Went inside to pick up the girls

1923 – Doctored a rolled ankle and convinced Mia it wasn’t that bad if she still wanted to run back in and get a stamp

1927 – Doctored a stubbed toe and Ana convinced me that drinking her chocolate milk left over from her Happy Meal would make her foot feel better

1930 – Headed home

1943 – Upon entering I turned left (if you’ve ever driven my children home you know what this means, if you don’t please remind me to tell you before you do)

1950 – Hugs to Zed and bath time

2010 – PJs and kids/daddy snuggle time

2015 – Bedtime for Zoe

2020 – Shower time for this tired Momma

2030 – Put my boys (Zed and Dax) to bed

2035 – Did the big girls hair

2040 – Snuggle time with my big girls

Multiple times today I questioned why I do this. Why did I think it would be a good idea to have everyone show an hour early to work? Why do we keep the girls going in gymnastics? Why do I choose to have a very demanding job? I am exhausted. I am sore. But, I am happy. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m sticking to my goals. My kids are learning new skills. I am tired, but I am happily successful. Happily Successful is the answer I always gave when teachers would ask what do you want to be when you grow up successful, famous, or rich.

My why is because I cherish the hugs they give me as I leave them at a school they love, with teachers who fight and request to have the Davies come to their class as they move up in age. As I walk around their school during nap and give them each a kiss on their head I remind their subconscious self that they have a mom who would give up her lunch just to be near them for a few seconds. My life is insane. I’ve said before we live in survival mode. But this crazy life detailed down to the minute has taught me to slow down. It’s taught me the moments I have with my kids should never be taken for granted.

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The participants

We’re called the Davies Crazies. We’re the first asked to handle special events at work. The teachers ask us to request for our kids to go to their class. We laugh. We cry. We yell, though we do our best to reserve it for when one or more of the kids run into the road. But most importantly we love and we work hard. My why is because why not. My kids, my husband, me, and our family are happily successful and I could not ask for anything more.

Thanks for reading, this probably meaningless post and very long post. Hopefully if nothing else it made you laugh, remember your days raising kids, or hopefully did not scare you away from having kids in the future.

-S

*I knew at 0445 today would be interesting so I’ve been writing this post throughout the day. For any of you who were impressed I remembered exact times after a day like I’ve had, sorry to let you down. After 4 kids this mom has serious mom brain.

And I think I have busy days. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks Sam for all the smiles and joy you give us.

PS: Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Thanksgiving Trip

The Return Home    Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Returning home from a trip to Oklahoma and Mississippi recently I found myself standing in the underground of the Birmingham, Alabama airport returning our rental car. If you ever find yourself in BHM and in need of a rental I would say it’s the worst experience I’ve ever had. The signage for where rental car pickup is located is horrible. It is on the bottom floor of a massive parking garage. It is poorly lit, kind of reminds me of the Philadelphia subway system back in the early fifties, damp, dark and eerie is the feeling. My head was on a swivel and my hand was on my gun, oops, not there any longer, I’m retired, I forgot.

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Thrifty, not really as much as the name implies is the last kiosk as you drive through this underground maze. Were it rows of corn I would have used the word (Maize,) Wordsmith taught me that one. This being the Saturday after Thanksgiving, things were busy in the underground. Returning cars, worker bees and people standing in line were the order on this early morning. Fortunately I departed Starkville, MS early or I would have had an elevated stress level.

I had dropped herself and our granddaughter at the departing curb up above first, a smart move on my part I must say. Granddaughter Rachael had an earlier flight than us and the two of them started the check in process, they had my suitcase also. It was just me, the rental car and my backpack, I give that to no one.

There were multiple cars being returned at the Thrifty kiosk which is shared with Budget Rental Cars. I’m directed to a line of cars by a young man smiling and sipping from a hot cup of Starbucks, steam from the cup is giving his face a cloudy haze. I start to park behind the last car, the woman in the driver’s seat is looking back at me, waving excitedly for me to back up and beeping her horn like a mad woman. There is no place for me to go, another car has already placed it’s self in line. The young man drinking Starbucks approaches and after a few minutes gets things organized. We park, crazy lady leaves.

It seems the panicking lady had left her purse at her place of departure and needed to return. Those of us in the growing line of returnees were sorted into various spaces so the mad woman could go from whence she came and return once again at a later time. Any bets if she made her flight?

I get back in line, not quite in the same order as a car to my rear jumped in front of me thanks to the directions from Starbucks man. I hand my paperwork to a young woman who proceeds to do the fastest walk-around of a rental I have ever seen. Perhaps too much coffee and she needs a pit stop? She tells me I’m good to go, I grab my backpack, she hands me my papers and points to the growing line of returnees, I’m, number five.

I’m only in line for a few minutes when I’m joined by a family of five, mom, dad, two girls ten or so, and a teen age boy busy on his cell phone while he sits on a huge duffel bag. I’m guessing a girlfriend back home is on the other end. The girls are busy giggling, the mother looks as though she is not happy being up so early and is expressing the same to the husband. In a few minutes she leaves with the girls and heads towards the terminal.

My wife says I’m a talker, she’s right, I am, who, what, where, when and why are my trade mark. Back in my Law Enforcement days I conducted and evaluated hundreds of background investigations while a member of the CT State Police Selection Unit recruiting process. That penchant for people’s nomenclature has never left me.

Rutgers swet

The line has yet to move, I turn to the man in line who’s wife just left with the girls, he’s wearing a red sweatshirt with a monogrammed “R,” I point, “Rutgers” I say, “yep” he says. “You from Jersey” I say. “Yep, Exit 8A off the Turnpike,” “Exit 5” I say, Jerzyeez jargon for those who don’t know. Everyone in Jersey uses a N.J. Turnpike Exit # or Garden State Parkway Exit # to orient people as to where they live. The inquisition has begun.

We chat while the line moves slowly, Rutgers man was in Alabama for Thanksgiving with the wife’s retired parents. They have a lovely retirement home on a lake in Sweet Home Alabama. I learn the son is most definitely talking to his sweetheart back in Hightstown, seems he had no desire to come south and visit Granny and Gramps. Who would think that was the case. The Mrs. teaches school, Rutgers man works in pharmaceuticals and will be glad when he gets home. He will also miss the Iron Bowl, a football game between Auburn and Alabama for those not in the know. Oh, and his beloved NY Giants are not doing well this year. They will do Newark by way of Atlanta on Delta. Who, what, where, when and Why,  all answered.

My phone rings, it’s herself, where am I she asks? It seems she and the granddaughter are all checked in, as is their luggage. My luggage however is still on the conveyor belt at the ‘AA” counter. TSA rules prohibit it being loaded until an ID’d person is matched with it. And where is this person, still in the Dungeon of Doom, Dilly Dilly. I explain its at least another ten minutes prior to me being on my way. She sounds frustrated as we hang up. It’s been a long trip.

Rutgers man and I chat football, growing up in Jersey, the beaches at the shore and stay away from politics, Roy Moore country you know.  Eventually I made it to the front of the line, I thought I had won a prize. I got apologies from the kiosk attendant, a lovely calm young lady who gave me a $50.00 coupon for a future rental that I never asked for. I didn’t even complain. If you travel Thanksgiving this is something to expect. I say goodby to Mr. Exit 8 and make a bee line to the check in counter. On this day I will get my steps in.

The AA staff are happy to see me and get an ID from the baggage owner who’s luggage is accumulating dust. I get my receipt and we are off to find our cup of Starbucks, I’m smiling.

Should you ever fly into OKC, you’ll love the rental car experience there, one stop shopping, constant shuttles. BHM has a long way to go.

As for me and mine, we were off to the Eastern Shore via Charlotte and Philadelphia on American Airlines. I hope all who celebrated the day of Thanksgiving had a wonderful four-day weekend, and from our home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

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Photo Credits: Turnpike , Wiki. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, city of Birmingham, Rutgers Jersey, Rutgers, Thanksgiving Dinner, Pinterest