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A Special Thank You to Veterans and Their Significant Others


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A special thank you to the Veterans and their families this year.

Below you will find a link to a blog I read on a fairly regular basis. Today’s story honors Veterans and their spouses and families. I strongly encourage you to read it, it certainly inspired this post.

My Dad served four years in the Army, and while he served stateside during the Korean War, Mom was right there by his side raising our family.

Growing up, we’d hear stories from Dad about how his favorite time of day was when he would come home to Mom.  One of my favorite memories is how she’d have his favorite glass of iced tea ready for him when he got home…every day…morning, afternoon, or night depending on his shift work at the mine.  I’m sure that was his 3rd favorite thing when he came home…her hug and kiss were no doubt his first. They were quite a pair those two.

My brother joined the Army at age 18 and retired at age 40. While my brother served for 22 years, my sister-in-law maintained their home, raised their children, and kept the Faith. I can’t imagine how difficult it had to be when he would be flown out on a mission…she would have no idea where he was going, or how long he’d be gone.  I don’t know if I’ve ever told her just how much I admire her and appreciate the love and support she has given my brother through the years.  So today, on this Veteran’s Day, thank you Jody for being Steve’s love, his rock, and his home.

On this Veteran’s Day, I honor and thank all the Veterans out there, including my brother, nephews, friends, and Dad. You are the reason we are still here, safe and sound and thriving. And for the wives, husbands and families…thank you for being their home, their safe place, their love. You, too, I hold in my heart and prayers. You are amazing and you are appreciated.

(in)Courage Veteran’s Day Blog Post

God Bless You,

Patty O

Will I trust him…not with my life or yours.


I have to give one last political rant.

I am seeing good people, people who I believe are good Christians, talking about how the Country will now go back to Christian values and become Godly again.

I AM COMPLETELY BAFFLED.

You believe that Donald Trump is the person who will do this?

HOW?

Have you completely ignored his racism, his use and abuse of workers, his bankrupties, his mocking of a handicapped man, his plans to stop helping people/immigration? Have you completely ignored his own claims of sexual abuse towards women?

Is this who you see as bringing America back to Christian values?

Tell me you are against abortion. That I can understand. I may not completely agree with you, but I can understand your stance.

Tell me you wanted change. That I believe.

But to elect this man because you believe he is what God wants to make America more Christian goes against all the love, compassion, and goodness that I believe Jesus brought us.

Donald Trump is evil.

I fear for my daughters. I fear for my LBGT relatives and friends. I fear for my handicapped friends. I fear for my relatives and friends who are black, brown, or any other color that Trump doesn’t like. I fear for my relatives and friends who are of a different religion or background.

Know that I support you. Know that I will ALWAYS fight for you.

And to my friends who are proclaiming a win for Christianity, I am here for you too.  Because even though I believe differently, you are still my friends.

I will go on to fight the good fight.

There will be some good that comes out of this and that is the solidarity of many people who do believe in love and good.

That will be done in spite of President Elect Trump, because neither his words nor actions are either of those.

Donald Trump is not my kind of Christian.

Will I pray for him, yes.

Will I trust him…not with my life or yours.

Patty O

i have three daughters

WE RAISED THREE WOMEN

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A Pileated Woodpecker Came a Knockin’


So…we were sitting in our living room, enjoying one of our favorite tv shows as dinner was cooking, when…BAM…this woodpecker flew right into our living room window.

Now we’ve had many birds hit our window.  You see they think it’s a through-way as our deck door is on the other side of our living room.  Most shake their heads as if to jumble their brains back in place, and fly away.  A few don’t make it.  We try to pull the curtain on the opposing window which seems to help but yes, we need to put something shiny on the window so they stay away.

Back to our woodpecker story…

Tim and I both, for some reason, happened to look out the window just as it was flying fast toward the window and hit.  Talk about a shock!  The moment it hit the window I think the three of us jumped 2 feet into the air!  Our hearts now in our throats, Tim and I both commented ‘Did you see that?’

Now those of you that know me, know that I’m a caregiver at heart and can’t stand to see anything or anyone hurt.  So off my chair I jump and I’m out the door.

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Gabi joined me as we checked on Mr. Woodpecker as he was lying on the grass.  His eyes were blinking, but he wasn’t moving – obviously stunned.  We said a little prayer that it would be ok.

I called one of our local Veterinarians (who lives a few blocks away). He gave us the instructions to put it into a box or paper grocery bag to give it a quiet, dark place to rest.  Gabi and I gathered the bag and headed back outside.

While I have empathy and want to make everything better (a trait I continually need to work on resisting), I’m not entirely blind to danger.

Just as I started to lower the bag over the woodpecker in an attempt to ‘trap and scoop’, he started to flap its wings and move around.  All I could think was ‘I’m going to get pecked to death trying to save this woodpecker!’  It reminded me of a plaque that I used to have that read ‘Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a killer chicken!’  I think substituting the term ‘kids’ with ‘teenage girls’ would be even more appropriate, but I digress…

Picture this…

As Mr. Woodpecker flutters around, Gabi yells “Mom!” and I just about jump out of my skin.

We decide maybe we should just observe him for a while…now that we know he isn’t dead.  Then I start talking to him, at which point Gabi rolls her eyes.

“Hey buddy, it’s ok.”

“We’ll hang out with you for a while.”

“You’re not alone.”

“We just want to make sure you’re going to be ok.”

The woodpecker sat in one place for a long time, so long that I thought maybe I should try again (yeah, well, I didn’t say I was a brain surgeon).

As soon as I started moving, the bird started hopping until it hopped up onto our tree.  I couldn’t help but cheer on Mr. Woodpecker!  (At this point I decided to take photos of this beautiful bird.)

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“Way to go!”

“Look at you!”

“You’re doing so much better!”

I was just in awe.  I’d never been this close to a woodpecker.

They may be a homeowner’s pest, but they bring back memories for me.  Living out in the country, we often heard one of these birds knocking on one of our many trees.  I chuckle as I remember this one time that a woodpecker decided to peck at our light pole..while it wasn’t metal, it was like a huge telephone pole.  Now that was loud!

As I kept talking to my new friend I saw Gabi out of the corner of my eye, head back into the house shaking her head.  (Yes…it’s official…all three of my girls now think I’m losing it.)

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Mr. Woodpecker and I hung out for a while longer.  He perched on the tree, me sitting on the grass.  I think somewhere along the line we came to an understanding.  He seemed to warm up to me and let me sneak a few inches closer before he’d hop up a little farther on the tree.

Finally I decided I should call Peter, our friendly neighborhood Veterinarian, back.  I was concerned that there still might be something wrong with my little friend so I asked him if he’d come and take a look.

The moment Peter drove up, the woodpecker flew off.

I shrugged my shoulders as I laughed and yelled to Peter, “I guess it’s ok!”

I’m pretty sure he shook his head as he drove away.

I’m not so sure the woodpecker didn’t too.

All in all, it was a very cool encounter.

Have a good day everyone!

Your thankfully imperfect friend,

Patty O

 

September 11 – There is Beauty


Ever since 2001, 9-11 has brought sadness to the hearts of many.

On that iconic day, so many lives were lost.  So many dreams were shattered.  So many families grieved.

And we grieved with them.

I’ll never forget where I was when the first and then the second plane hit.

I saw the pictures of the devastation of the first plane just as I was about to leave the house that morning.

I saw the second plane hit just after I got to the babysitters.  I had told her to turn on her TV and we watched it together.

The feeling of sadness is still overwhelming when I watch the shows depicting what happened that day.

The feeling of heaviness and fear.  The knowledge that there is true evil in this world.  The feeling of insufficiency, wishing there was some way to reach out to the families.

Then I take a step back…

A step back from my sadness to remember.

To remember and revel in the love that was spread that day.

The show of caring, of bravery, of humanity.

Not only from the rescuers, the fire fighters, the police, and the EMTs.  These people were incredible and I hold them in the highest regard.

But the everyday person.  The people who opened their arms, their hearts and their stores and restaurants, to help everyone.  The people who made food for the rescuers, the people who joined the rescuers, the men and women who fought back, the friends and relatives that surrounded the families in their time of need and fear.

This is the beauty of that day.

The day that beautiful buildings which held beautiful people were destroyed.

The day that changed so many lives.

The day that changed our world.

Forever.

While we must never forget, we must not linger in that sadness and pain.

We must look for the good…

There is beauty.

For you it might be a ray of sunshine.

Or maybe a call from a friend.

For you it might be the smile of a young child.

Or maybe spending some time with a relative.

For me, it’s remembering that on this day in 1999, I attended a barbeque where I was introduced to my husband.

It was a blind date.

For me, it’s realizing how blessed I am.

And for me, it’s looking at the beauty that comes from nature, from age.  From hardship, from joy, and even from tragedy.

The picture you see is the bottom of a metal cabinet that I pulled from a dumpster.

The cabinet had obviously sat in water or was left in a damp environment.  The rust was taking over the original shine.  It had been neglected.  There was a little rust visible on the outside, but I didn’t see this until I turned it over.

There, is the beauty.  A beauty that came from age and neglect.

Find the beauty.

In the tragedy, after the tragedy, in everyday life.

There is beauty.

Patty O

 

 

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