Congratulations – you’ve just married the military


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You know, after that terribly long column enumerating traits of a military spouse, I started thinking about the next hurdle.  Did I give you enough information to move forward?  Are you ready to take your place next to your block leader and dive right in to company politics?  I’m going to suppose you’ve weighed your options, spent serious time in contemplation and determined the wedding’s still on, so give yourself a moment to smile, take a deep breath and move forward.  You’ve got work to do – literally.

If you’re like most military spouses, the wedding will put stars in your eyes (it’s the uniforms) and a few days later, you’ll find yourself waking up in WWII era housing wondering what happened to room service.  You’re going to spend a fortune trying to make a home of those four dilapidated walls so there’s only one thing to do – go job hunting.  And  I pray you’ll enjoy it because you’ll do it over and over and over and over – each time you transfer.  Don’t fret.  You’ll get good at it.  Keep your resume updated and sally forth! Continue reading “Congratulations – you’ve just married the military”

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Reality

Yes, sometimes it’s a real drag, reality, I mean.  I started this blog with a few goals in mind.  First I’m going to be me – you know how you read some blogs and the authors are so perky and happy about everything you just want to puke!  Well, I have good days and bad days, highs and lows, and the blog is a form of therapy.  I write about politicians, my family, my hobbies, things I’d like to do or places I’d like to go…but no matter what, I won’t lie to you, I won’t try to convince you that I’m laughing and smiling, cheery and fun, 24/7.  That’s just not real, at least it’s certainly not me.

Next, I want to be helpful or at least entertaining, enlightening, educational…when you close my blog, I want you to take away something that enriches your life in some way, no matter how small.  That may seem presumptuous and you can laugh at me, disagree with me, revile me – I don’t care.  If I can just make a few of you think about how we’re all connected, how the ripples you make impact your neighbors, how we can work together to make life better for others – my life will certainly have been enriched.

Imagine waking one morning in a fabulous mood, feeling like sunshine on the inside.  You get dressed, grab a piece of toast, dash out the front door and you’re anticipating a splendid day.  You get to the curb, stand there, wait for the light to change, hum a little off-key tune.  It’s a beautiful morning, and a car goes by, hits the only puddle in sight, splashes you head to toe with oily, muddy slime.  You glance up just in time to see the driver’s face and she doesn’t appear remorseful or even surprised.  No, her face looks like a storm cloud, and the look she gives you is one of fury, daring you to suggest she’s at fault.  What do you think would happen to your sunny disposition?  Don’t tell me you wouldn’t be the least bit disgruntled.  You have a dress that’s ruined and you’re now delayed because you’ll have to go home and start the day over.  There’s no way to reclaim what she’s taken from you.

Ripples, my friend.  Her ripples just tossed your happy mood overboard.  And you didn’t even know her, didn’t even speak to her.  Think of the impact we can (and do) make on those who know us, those who are a part of our daily lives.  Think how many times we’re not even aware of the filth we’re splashing on them.  It’s a dangerous world.

As I get older I’m working so hard to have a more positive approach.  I want to create ripples that make people smile.  Imagine it.


Mine, mine, mine…

Wow!  This is my very first post…hmmm…I feel so powerful.  Do you?  Feel powerful?  That’s what this particular post is all about.  Power.  Yours, mine, hers, his, theirs.  Do you hold on to it, lose it, give it away?  You choose.  That’s the important part.  YOU choose.  Failure to choose means you abdicate responsibility and allow someone else to decide for you.  Don’t do that.  Don’t let anyone take your power from you.  Guard it.  With everything you have inside.  After all, when you lose it, you lose the ability to hold onto  – what?  Your purse, your keys, your jewelry, your identity…your life, the life of a loved one?  So, remember growing up, Mom would say ‘check the back seat before you get into your car’?  Well, mine said that.  And I did.  But my world seemed to be a kinder, gentler place.  That could be just my perception, but you know what they say.  Your perception is your reality.  What I KNOW is that when my daughter went away to college I didn’t just tell her to check the back seat before she got into her car.  I gave her mace, a whistle, a phone.  I would have done anything to keep her safe and I’ve been blessed.  Now, 20 years later, Darling Daughter is alive and well, sightseeing with her oh, so precious family at Yellowstone.

Am I upsetting you?  I’m so sorry.  I get very intense about this.  We’re losing our daughters – and our sons – to predators that should be abolished from our planet.  They’re stealing our children from us, as if we’re powerless to stop them.   Watch the news.  Everyday at 6pm there’s no end to the pedophiles, rapists, kidnappers, terrorists that brazenly stare into the lens, into our homes.  They’re in our churches, schools, restaurants, and businesses.  They’re plotting, watching, following.  As if that’s not enough, we have depression, loneliness, hunger, prescription drugs, and domestic violence to deal with.  Parenting is tough.  We raise them only to give our precious children up to a world gone crazy.  We have to protect them, yet allow them to be young and joyful.  So how do we take power away from those that would do harm?  Vigilance, my friend.  Refusal to surrender your power as a parent.

Sign your kids up for self-defense training.  Teach them that certain situations, certain times of the day or night, certain areas are more dangerous than others.  Ask for their help and their input.  Get them involved in church and civic activities.  Talk to other parents and verify arrangements for chaperones during parties and other events.  Know their friends.  That’s probably the most difficult to accomplish.  Years ago I would tell our children that if you lay down with dogs you’ll get up with fleas…you see the point I’m trying to make there, right?  Our daughter would insist that I was refusing to see the possibility that she might raise others to her level rather than sink to theirs.  I reminded her that gravity is a law which must be obeyed.  It will always be easier to fall rather than rise in our society.  Oh, another thing – pray with your children.  Let them know you pray for them.  Tell them how precious they are, how irreplaceable in your life they are.   Love them with your whole heart.

By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I must warn you there’s much hard work and heartache involved in raising children.  Just in case you haven’t become a parent yet, yes, they’re cute, cuddly, lots of fun.  Yours will, of course, be brilliant like you, but they’ll bring you grief you can’t imagine…and joy beyond your wildest dreams.   We must do everything in our power to care for them and keep them safe.  It’s a dangerous world.