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My First Virtual Veterans Day Card

Posted by on 11 Nov 2009 | Tagged as: soapbox

My First Virtual Veterans Day Card

I’ve been sending Veterans Day Cards to various family members for about 10 years. My paternal family has three generations of military service. Add to that family by marriage, and I’m sure it goes back to WWI. It’s my way of saying thanks for doing something that I, as a woman, would not be asked to do–serve in the military. So, I figured expressing my thanks to those who served was fitting. Many of the Veterans I sent my first round of cards to were honestly touched, so I figured I’d start a tradition of it.

This year, like last year, I find myself ill and busy and unable to send out cards via mail. So, I’m employing my nerdiness and making a Virtual Card. This enables me to spread this message to more Veterans, and it also gives me an opportunity to explain why Veteran’s Day means enough to me to send out cards.

When I was around 7, I think, my Dad got a shirt that he gave me a few years ago. It reads: “PARTICIPANT: Southeast Asia War Games, 1961-1975, SECOND PLACE.” I asked my Dad what it meant, and he explained that the shirt is a joke because we lost the Vietnam War, and he was in it before he got married.

At that age, I thought nearly all Dads were Veterans. As in, you finish high school, you go into the service, you get out, and then get married & start a family. As I grew older, I understood that wasn’t true. My paternal family’s military history is probably similar to many Latino Families–Fighting in WWII enabled them to accomplish their dreams of a better life for their children via the benefits they were offered if they came home. Sad the price was often tarnishing their souls, and even sadder that many of them never came home, like my paternal Great Uncle, Carlos Garcรญa Vargas, who died on 10/24/1944 on the Arisan Maru with approximately 1700 other men who had been POW’s for a couple of years.

Another influence on me was the TV show M*A*S*H, which was a staple of my childhood. Indeed, “Abyssinia, Henry,” the episode where Lt. Col. Henry Blake is killed off, aired the day before I was born. Saigon fell four days after I was Baptized. My Godfather, like my Father, are Vietnam Vets.

My Father used his lifelong passion of running as his way to deal with his experiences in Vietnam, where he fought in the Tet Offensive. As an adult, I am grateful he had that outlet, as it enabled him to be a loving husband and father.

The older I got, the more I began to understand the impact of war on a person’s soul. I also began to understand and appreciate the dedication it takes to be a soldier, even if one does not see combat.

The Cold War ended shortly after I started high school. The first Gulf War was during my sophomore year of high school, and I feared that they’d reinstate the draft and I’d lose all my guy friends who were about to turn 18. I supported the soldiers in that conflict, which, I would later find out, included my Nephew Harry’s Papa.

It was also around that time that I began to understand the stigma of The Vietnam Vet. A lot of movies on that theme were cropping up, and my Dad was very eager to see all of them. I now understand why, and I kind of felt sorry for him the time my Mom expressed annoyance at having to go to “yet another one of these Vietnam movies.” In retrospect, I suppose the strength that she and other wives of Vietnam Vets have had to display in private is beyond my comprehension, and I just caught her at a bad moment.

My Dad returned to Vietnam in 1999, as a way to start making peace with that part of his life. He’s blossomed as a person as a result. ๐Ÿ™‚

The current conflicts in the Middle East started on my 28th birthday. I have a cousin (my Godfather’s son-in-law) who is a Marine currently serving in that conflict. I have another cousin who has lost a friend in those conflicts (Lance Corporal Hugo Lopez), just one of thousands lost.

At the same time, I’ll never forget what a Marine Veteran of this current conflict told me when I thanked him for his service. “I volunteered for it, Ma’am. As I was told in Basic–‘USMC means you signed the M-F contract.'”

To all those Veterans reading this, Happy Veterans Day, and you have my eternal gratitude for your service.

Lessons in Love

Posted by on 13 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: family, friends, soapbox, wifehood

If we lose the time before us
The future will ignore us
We should use it, we could use it, yeah
Lessons in love

Ah, Level 42. They had some good songs.

I use that quote because that’s something I should keep in mind.

The caretaker thing is a sine wave that I’m doing my best to navigate.

Through this experience, I’ve learned a lot about who our real friends are, and who they aren’t. Sad to say I was dismayed by some people who simply weren’t who they professed to be.

Speaking of professing, I learned recently on Livejournal that some women really don’t like it when women express contentment with housewifery. My satisfaction and fulfillment was taken as me being condescending. Frustrating, but I finally walked away from the discussion.

I never thought as a kid that I’d end up where I am. I wanted to be the single career woman.
However, I wasn’t going to deny the fact that I’d fallen in love with my soul mate. I’m proud of the life we’ve built together over these past dozen years. Times haven’t been easy lately, but if I weigh everything, I’m still happy with my life.

I also understand why so many couples get divorced–they haven’t taken the time to understand their partner, and then life throws a monkey wrench into things, and they don’t know how to adapt properly.

Being a good spouse takes a lot of work. It requires you to get out of your own head and learn how someone else’s mind works. That’s an incredibly huge task, and it’s no wonder a lot of (government-sanctioned) marriages end in divorce.

Don’t marry someone unless you know they’ll really be there when times are tough, and that you’ve got what it takes to do the same thing back. Think about it–would you still want to stay married if your spouse got hit by a car on the way to the reception and will need a caregiver for your whole marriage? Would your intended spouse do the same for you?

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a wedding. At first, I was looking forward to planning a wedding. Then I started to think about the complications having a wedding would bring up. Not to mention the fact that we really didn’t have the money to throw a wedding. When it was clear that I’d do most of the planning alone, I realized I wanted to be married more than I wanted a wedding. So, we eloped on our last full day of vacation in Maui.

I guess that’s enough rambling. I figured these thoughts were best written on this blog.

Friday afternoon…

Posted by on 08 May 2009 | Tagged as: nature, soapbox

My neighbor has some beautiful lilacs, and she brought me some cuttings. I put them in 3 different places, and we’ll see if they decide to grow. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Spring Ant Wars have been a bit easier this year.
I do a lot more spraying when there’s an invasion than I used to. I know the spots they like to come in, so I’ll hit every single spot when I see signs of an invasion.

Trying to get health care without insurance in the USA is a real pain. In a small town, it’s even worse, because the staff act like they’re doing us a favor by even existing. *sigh*

A few quick observations about Jong’s “Fear of Flying”

Posted by on 08 May 2009 | Tagged as: soapbox

*While I get the context of her beef about marriage, I don’t agree with it.

*I’ve been spoiled by erotica edited and/or written by Susie Bright & Violet Blue… I expected the “dirty parts” to be more explicit.

*Jong sure had a beef with Englishmen and psychiatrists.

*I’m glad I came of age a generation after this book came out.. I think that’s why I’ve been spoiled by great erotica. ๐Ÿ™‚


Posted by on 27 Apr 2009 | Tagged as: soapbox

It’s going to cost me $220 to get an annual exam because I don’t have insurance!

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