Friday, September 29, 2017

The UP Honor Flight

My husband and son went on the Honor Flight this week.  My husband is a veteran of the Vietnam War and has been looking forward to this trip for months. Our youngest son was going as his guardian (they don't allow spouses to go).  Both of them were excited about going to Washington DC and seeing all the memorials.  They left at 4 in the morning on Wednesday and spent the entire day moving from one place to the next in comfortable air-conditioned buses.  My husband said that everyone that was running the honor flight was friendly, caring and respectful of all the veterans.  Even people they met at the memorials were friendly.  Many came up to the veterans and shook their hands and thanked them for their service.  But my husband said his favorite part out of the whole trip was when they landed back home and there were hundreds of people standing on the tarmac waving flags, posters and cheering.  Being a Vietnam veteran, he never received that kind of welcome the first time.  In fact, he had been told to change out of his uniform and into civilian clothes so there would be no trouble when they landed.  Wednesday, almost 50 years later, he and the other Vietnam veterans received the welcome they deserved.  I thank the Honor Flight people for giving my husband and son a wonderful memory.  The look on my husband's face when he got off that plane in a crowd of well wishers, yelling "Welcome home" and "Thank you for your service" is an image that will stay with me forever.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Let me show you a picture of...

My husband and I are at that age when we find ourselves with people who invariably say, "Let me show you a new picture of my grandchildren."  We smile and ooh and ahh at the picture and listen to all the wonderful grandparent stories.  We are fine with it because it is something all grandparents do.  We are fine until they ask, "Do you have grandchildren?"  Most of our friends know the answer to that question but there are always a few who genuinely don't know.  No, we do not have grandchildren.  We have a grandpuppy. 

My son and daughter-in-law have this adorable dog named Snoofer whom we have affectionately dubbed our grandpuppy.  We do all the normal things grandparents do, we buy him gifts, we go to visit him and are sent pictures and stories by his "mom and dad". 

When we first told people we had a grandpuppy we thought they would think us quite odd but it seems there are many people who have grandpuppies.  So when I am asked if I have a picture of my grandchildren, I am very happy to pull out a picture of my grandpuppy, Snoofer.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!

Today is the birthday of our Blessed Pope Francis.  I wish him a happy birthday and share some of my favorite quotes by him.

"Peace is a precious gift which must be promoted and protested...Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake.  War begets war, violence begets violence."

"Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads ... to those who have quit or are indifferent."

“The most important thing in the life of every man and every woman is not that they should never fall along the way. The important thing is always to get back up, not to stay on the ground licking your wounds.”

“The media only writes about the sinners and the scandals, he said, but that's normal, because 'a tree that falls makes more noise than a forest that grows.”

Monday, September 11, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Autumn

It is not officially Autumn yet.  There are still a few weeks left of the summer season, at least that is what the calendar says.  But here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it seems that Autumn is showing up early.  Gone are the temperatures that hovered in the mid 70s with sunshine lasting till almost 10pm.  These have been replaced by temps in the 50s and 60s and in some cases, 40s.  Shorter days with darkness until after 7am and beginning at 8pm bring a somber feeling this month. The colors of summer are starting to fade away and in their place are bursts of the Fall colors of gold, red and orange.  Clothes have changed from shorts and sleeveless tops to long pants and sweatshirts.  It is becoming "sweater weather" as my mom used to say.  Deer walk across the field frequently enjoying the delicious apples on the trees and small creatures are starting their annual hording of food for the coming winter months.  Geese are calling their goodbyes as they fly overhead toward their southern winter home and plans are being made to put away deck furniture, cover the bushes and plants, store the lawnmower away for the season and prepare the snowblower for the coming weather.  Meals are beginning to change as well from corn on the cob, steak on the grill and tart lemonade to hearty soups, stews and chili, homemade bread, hot chocolate and black coffee.  Heavy quilts and cozy flannel sheets have been put on all the beds and soon every window in the house will be closed tight against the freezing cold temperatures of the outdoors.

Yes, Autumn will officially be in about two weeks but here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we do not go by the calendar.  We know the change of seasons by using our 5 senses which are after all more accurate than a calendar.