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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.

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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

 

Cris Crossing Flights

 

Flag of Chad

Two family men are heading in different directions this week. My son in-law Jeff,aka: el Jeffe, is heading East, actually as the keys hit my MacBook Air he is in Paris on a lay over. Today he will arise and head to one of the worlds great vacation spots, the country of Chad in Africa.  Jeff will be doing what he does at our embassy there. His son in-law Zed is going the other way.

Coming west back to Oklahoma is our granddaughter’s husband Zed, Zed has been vacationing in and around the Persian Gulf and every coupe of days or so flying an Electronic stuffed Air Force E-3 Sentry at 35,000 feet or so to keep you and I safe.

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E-3 Sentry, AF.Mil photo

Zed will arrive back in Oklahoma City today greeted by his wife who gave birth to daughter Zoe here in Maryland back in January. Zed will get to see child #4 for the first time in live mode. Thanks to today’s electronic wonders he got to see the birth live via an iPad.  I can not imagine the greeting he will get from Mia, Ana, and Dax. Did I mention both Mom and Dad are Air Force Captains on active Duty. Thanks you two for your sacrafice and service on our behalf.

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Captains X 2, Zed and Sam

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Together again Ana, Mia, Zoe, Dax & Zed

Both Zed and Sam are graduates of the Air Force Academy and stationed at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, OK.

Rooster Logo Semper-fidelis

 

Great Grandchild #4Arrives

Touched

by c12samb

My granddaughter, eldest daughter of my eldest daughter arrived here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore a week prior to Christmas from Oklahoma City,OK.  Sam’s Mom and Dad had flown to OKC, jumped into the Cow Pusher Suburban with children # 1, 2 & 3 and headed East to Maryland. Sam was with child and would deliver that child here in Maryland. PRMC would be the hospital, no barn stall for this child due shortly after Christmas.

Husband Z was in the Gulf or Desert if you wish, acting as a Taxi Driver in a A-3 ,AWACS, 707. Both Father and Mother 2B are U.S. Air Force Captains on active duty. Mama would deliver her newest child here on the Eastern Shore and if all went well, dad would view the coming attraction on the Internet. ( If you follow my writing at all your aware this might not happen in this suspect IT zone).

I can not say any plaudits that would be inadequate in describing the love and sacrifice the  grandparents to be have put forth for this child and grandchild to be. Oh, and the three come priors, S p O I L e D! There is also a BiG YeLLoW Lab, Lady Liberty is her name who has given nothing but licks of love to all involved. Oh, did I mention Libby is just thrilled with on the floor food droppings during this entire event.

Mama is amazing, as she waited and she goes this adventure alone. Aunt Abby was right there day in and day out until she said, “Mississippi State her I come”. Love you girl, and we all miss you, including the mail box  (It’s a family thing). Aunt Sarah and Aunt Ray have been there also doing their bit to help make things as smooth as they can be.

Last but not least, the Matriarch of this clan, Granny ,(Herself), you are so-so special, I love you.

So, enjoy the new mothers post, she’s an amazing young lady, wife, mother and Air Force officer and Proud to be an American

Touched

təCHt/

adjective

  1. 1.feeling gratitude or sympathy; moved.

    “the star said he was ‘very touched’ to receive his medal”

  2. 2.informal

    slightly insane; crazy.

    “you have to be a little touched to do my job”

This word was used numerous times the 36hrs I was in the hospital; by the nurses, midwives, and birth photographer.

It all started with a stress test at my OBs office. No signs of contractions, no signs of stress on the baby, no signs of labor starting any time soon. I was able to delay setting an induce date and scheduled my next appointment. I picked up the girls and headed home (well to my parents home that I’ve adopted these past few weeks). I settled them in, made some dinner for them, ate a delicious dinner prepared by my grandmother and got ready for another evening of chasing 3 hoping it would get things going.

About 6pm I started noticing tightening in my belly, but this had happened before and I didn’t pay much attention to it. It was tub time for the kiddos after all. With kids smelling yummy and dressed I couldn’t ignore the tightening anymore. I started tracking it…30sec long and 4min apart.

By 7pm they were about 45sec long and 3mim apart. This is when it finally hit me that Z would not be in the room when this baby was born. I packed up my hospital bag (trying to delay as long as possible) and broke down and called Z. Thankfully we had made a plan months ago and timing worked out great that he wasn’t busy and was able to answer. He told me I needed to get to the hospital and to call again when I’m settled in and ready to go. I got my mom and grandmother and we were off.

I am not the nicest laboring mama (think Jekyll and Hyde). Thank you Mom and Granny for putting up with me. We arrive to the hospital at 8:05pm, 6hrs after my OB had told me see you next week and 2hrs after noticing labor starting.

The nurses at PRMC were fantastic. I told them I have super short labors and they listened. I had three nurses working together to get me admitted, in a room, and an epidural as quickly as possible. Now that I was in a happy place the nurses asked my story.

They knew this was baby #4 in 4yrs. I told them a birth photographer was on her way and they told me to tell her to hurry. I then said Z would be here via FaceTime from his deployed location. The midwife came in and heard my story too.

In walked the birth photographer. She had never had the opportunity to photograph a live birth, she had only ever worked with stillborns. She was so excited that she could help capture these moments for Z.

We got Z on FaceTime and on the next contraction Baby Z was born at 10:05. 8hrs after my OB saying see you next week, 4hrs after noticing labor starting, and 2hrs after arriving at the hospital. She weighed 7lbs 1oz and was 19in long. She came into this world healthy and alert. Seeing Z’s face upon meeting his little girl via FaceTime had the entire room quiet and in awe. It was an amazing image that I will have for the rest of my life.

Thank you Jennifer Seay Photography for capturing it.

For the next 36hrs Baby Z and I spent as much time with Z as we could (having two Z’s may get tough…Need to figure that out). Each time anyone would walk in the room and see the iPad on they would ask if Daddy was on, if he was they would leave if not they would come in and do whatever checks they needed.

Everyone knew our story. Everyone expressed their appreciation for our family’s sacrifice. Everyone said our family had touched them. The outpouring of support from the hospital was amazing and completely unexpected (I’m in a town that never sees a military member in uniform, people rarely move away, and who proudly display Confederate flags). This experience made me appreciate my little hometown so much more.

When I looked up the definition for touched I love that both apply. Our family had touched the lives of others, but we are also touched…As in insane…As in who would have 4 under 4 while both parents are active duty military. We love our life and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s chaos, but it’s a lot of fun.

Baby Z’s current stats at 2wks old…20in/7lbs1oz

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“Good friends are like quilts-they age with you, yet never lose their warmth.”

Some of this was forwarded to me in an email and for those of you who fit the bill, so to speak, I’m sure you can relate. I love to share.

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One of many made by Herself.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

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Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? That actually never happens in my case. I will dance with myself to those  wonderful tunes of the 50s, 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

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I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, I remember the important things.

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Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect. You, mend a broken heart?

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Miss you Maggie.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, actually bald and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched  into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

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a Wiki image

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore.  I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,  but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

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My only regret,  is living in the Boon Docks and having to go searching for the high speed internet needed to get a Blog out!

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Thanks Pinterest

 

A Flyers Game in Philly

On Friday, December 9, 2016 herself and the Rooster went to bed a bit earlier than usual. The next day would bring a pre-dawn wake-up to feed the backyard flock and ready ourselves for an overnight trip to the City of Brotherly Love. We would be traveling with our eldest daughter and her husband to attend a Philadelphia Flyers Hockey game against the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon.

The kids would be coming by at 0730 on Saturday after having spent the previous night at a holiday gala in Ocean City, MD., these two definitely get around. Jeff is not long back from a two week trip to Israel. Yes, he’s the Dept. of State employee.(Where in the world is Jeff Berthiaume?) Kathryn has no moss growing on her posterior also.

So I hop in the drivers side and will act as the Uber driver for this jaunt. This happens a lot when I travel with these two. I guess having grown up in the greater Philadelphia area, they might feel I know my way. I was seeing Hockey games in Philadelphia in the early 60’s when they were the Ramblers. The old Arena at 46th and Market was the venue back in those days. Saw the old Jersey Devils at the Cherry Hill arena also. For this event it would take place in the Wells Fargo center in South Philadelphia. It is part of a Sports Metroplex that shares parking with the Eagles, Lincoln Financial Center and the Phillies, Citizen Bank Park.

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The Sports Complx

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Philadelphia City Hall

 
After a breakfast stop in Seaford, DE we would continue north to center city Philly and check in to the Marriott opposite Philadelphia City Hall. If you’ve got nothing better to do, take the virtual tour. The kids got an upgrade to one of their rooms and gave it to us. Taking care of the elderly you know. God bless them, we are quite fortunate. Must have been a reward for driving!

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The Ben Franklin bridge from our window. I walked over this bridge many times as a kid.

We did not tarry too long for the game would commence in ninety minutes and we still had a subway ride to South Philly.

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Youtube photo

SEPTA operates the subway system in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It is part of regional public transportation authority that operates various forms of public transit services—bus, subway and elevated rail, commuter rail, light rail and electric trolleybus—that serve 3.9 million people in five counties in and around Philadelphia.

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I can’t remember the last time I traveled the subway. If I could venture a guess I’d say 1968 was the last ride. It hasn’t changed much and our day’s steps, 10,000 of them, began as we searched for an entrance to the world of the underground. Once we found our way down under we went through the unaccustomed use of the ticket by credit card machine. After numerous failed attempts, a local interceded and moved us on our way. He was waiting to use the machine also. I’m sure his help was more motivated by wanting to move through the turnstile than “Brotherly Love.” Thank you anyway my friend should you be reading this.

Did I mention it was Freezing Butt Cold, well it was as we started our walk from the subway stop with hundreds of Orange & Black clad supporters of Philadelphia Flyers Hockey fans. The venue was large, the crowd easy to follow, no getting lost on this segment of the adventure. Jeff would hand out the tickets, a necessary should we get separated.

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On entry the usual security check, I’d walk through the Magnetometer, get called back, “Duh,” oh yes, I have a Pacemaker and set it off again. I’d explain this and I usually get the Magic Wand treatment, not this time though. The young lad says, “that’s OK sir, go on through.” I must really be looking old lately, take care of the elderly, I appreciate it and all the perks that come along. They did look through my man-purse, good thing the .380 was back home.

Let the game begin. Great seats in a mid level box. Our own bar and waitress to bring whatever, first class kids, thank you. Line of sight was fabulous, a near full house, even with all the Christmas shoppers out and about.

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It’s feeling like a date night.

The Flyers would start slow and go down a goal. Eventually things would tie at 2 – 2. Then it happened, Brayden Schenn scored  two more goals and garnered a power-play hat trick . Flyers win 4 – 2. It is now an eight game win streak, the longest since 2002 and increased to nine last night with an overtime win at Detroit over the Red Wings.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2016/12/10/schenn-hat-trick-leads-flyers-to-8th-straight-win.html

What is a Hat Trick you ask? http://mentalfloss.com/article/56326/where-does-phrase-hat-trick-come

Just a great end to a wonderful afternoon. When I return once again I’ll take you on a fine dining experience to “Bank and Bourbon” in downtown Philly. Come back often for “The Rooster Crows.”