Sunday, January 17, 2021

Books and more books

 

When I was a child I only had three books that I could call my own.
My older sister had loads of books. It was assumed that she shared, she did not. I was a very poor reader. 

When I went into Elementary Education I was still a poor reader. It took several years to improve my reading speed and comprehension. The more I read the better I got. SURPRISE! 

Still, by missing those early years of reading I never, properly, learned to spell or understand writing rhythm (cadence). It has come over the years, but it is a slow process. My husband is much the same way. We both are highly educated. We both can read someone else's work and see it, but those qualities allude us in our daily life. 

It was after we married that I began to collect books. So many books. Hundreds of books. My classroom libraries overflowed. I insisted that students read, read, read. Math and reading. Reading and math. Hind site I insisted a bit too much for some children. But I digress. 

 My husband, patiently, moved 50 boxes of books from Flagstaff to Kansas to Delaware. Can you imagine 50 boxes? My daughter has, patiently, accepted about 15 boxes while homeschooling/ supplementing  her children. My son has taken a box or two for his children. That leaves---a lot. And so, I have been going through my books.  






Believe it or not, I have read almost every book on my shelves. There are a few, that I inherited from my Grandfather,  that are beautiful but unread. Otherwise this has been a memory lane journey. The smell, the touch, the remembering where and when I bought it. The thoughts of warmth as books became my friends. 

Books are being divided. Ten boxes of media rate books were sent out on Friday to teachers and young families. Children books, early novels, joyful books, learning books.  My Native American books went to a Navajo friend who is now a school counselor. Those were hard to part with.

Then there are the books that were just fun. Dan Silva, Dan Brown, Jane Quinn. So far about ten boxes have gone to Vietnam Veterans' store. IF the library were open, they would have gone there. 

And still there is more. Ten boxes are packed for our next house.... that should be plenty. Sigh. What to do with the rest of them?

Monday, January 4, 2021

Endless wars

 I remember how it used to be a Democrat's ideal to cut the military and get out of wars.

What happened?

There was a great New York Times article about a poor German town that will really suffer when the WWII barracks of Rose will close this year. 

Terrible Trump is pulling troops home! Amazing. 

Let me tell you about that area. It has been occupied for seventy years. The US has paid for troops to live in terrible barracks while piling up money into the local economy. It is on the old Czech border. The Wall came down in1989 (yes, that is almost thirty years ago). I remember a troop carrier running over a chicken. The US paid for the chicken, and the chicken's eggs for 10 years.                                               The Russian threat is still studied- Fulda gap. Really? The Germans have great equipment and have a national service clause for their people.... They can certainly fight an incursion. But why would the Russians DO an incursion? They are trading partners with Germany. 

We just spent 100 million on education complexes in that area for soldier's kids. Really???

How about  Iran? Yup, they are a threat to the area. The US does not need that area anymore since we are able to sustain our own fuel. Should we keep the straight of Hurmoz clear? Well, maybe, but there are certainly other countries that can patrol their own areas if they wish it.

How abut Iraq? We destroyed it- so we should rebuild it. Just like we did with Japan and Germany? Really? Do you think we are rebuilding? I know 25 year old kids who were in charge of handing out wads of hundreds so our soldiers did not get shot at.  We are not wanted in the region- except by the people who can make money off of us. (Which includes the war machines who Mae crap in our country and sell it to other countries). Live and let live. Send in the Peace Corps when they are ready to not treat their people like poop. 

How about China? That is not going to be a physical war. We, certainly, are not interested in human rights there, so what is the purpose of building up troops? It is, already, a cyber war. We do not have to have troops in Japan for that. Let Japan build up their own army and protect themselves. Out- we need OUT!

It is obvious that we care nothing about Africa. China is quickly buying raw materials and slaves, but we are ignoring all that because we have never cared about Africa. They were European colonies. 

South America told us to take a hike years ago. Smart people.

Yes, I am a Dove! I was a hawk until my husband served in Saudi---and I understood that the US troops are nearly pawns for those who have enough money to be protected by them.  At least Saudi pad for us to be there. The wealthiest people in the DC metro are defense contractors. Same with many in the EU who deal with the US. Time to cut them off!

Bring our troops home. They are good at rapid deployment. We might need some fueling stations here and there, but the money it takes to sustain them overseas is a waste. We have a few, really good, joint bases going in Poland and England. JOINT bases....Those work. 

Will the Democrats do that? Trump was a Democrat long before he was a Republican. I think this issue was his roots showing. I hope the rest of the party continues with those roots now that the ball is rolling home! Put the money into a health care system that works. 

Build up troop strength at home bases. Stay strong, but quit trying to rule the world on the backs of the military. What a concept! 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Happy New Year!

 Since we had my son's dog for his family vacation

Tomorrow is my first, official, normal (what ever that is ) new year day!

Woo HOO!

Allergies from the doggie started my cough again (my lungs have never, really, recovered)

Everyone runs if you go outside and cough ---and YES---even with a mask on. 

That means a few new books will be started and a good bit of "Your Honor" will be watched.

Or this jewel
I promise I will begin my walking again tomorrow as well!

What are you doing for this first week of this wonderful new year?


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goals and why they are rarely written by me

 Writing goals is not something that is normal for me.

Been "flying by the seat of my pants" for many years. The last of "real" goal setting was in 1980.

 I was camping at Bryce Canyon with a young man whom had just proposed that he should propose to me. My guy was a student in International Bank Management and had just received a job offer from Melon Bank in New York. The catch was that my guy would not "formally propose" until he had the job and a house well secured. 

Getting married was the next step in life. As a "good Catholic girl" this was the goal. Right? Be a nun, be a nurse, be a teacher or get married. That had been my 1980 goal- secure that marriage. My guy was a nice person, a "good catch" according to mom. My guy would do anything for me, except commit. 

My guy agreed for both of us that we could wait it out. 

That evening a phone call came into the nearby hotel and my parents told me to call them ASAP. Really? Camping at Bryce and they found me? Someone must have died.

No, they had received an envelope and wanted to open it. Voices shaking, they announced that a position in Germany was mine to be had. Teaching first grade. On a military base. My mother had NO idea exactly where the assignment was, but she wanted us to return immediately and respond to the proposal.

No hesitation, I told Mom to forge my signature and accept. My guy was sort of silent standing next to me while I chatted into the payphone. Whatever @@ he wanted to wait, I would wait someplace exciting.

By late August, Flying Tigers winged me on a horrendous flight to Wuerzburg Germany. I dove into the fun of teaching in a completely new environment. Decent pay, good travel, fun friends....

My wanderlust was at full tilt. My guy would call weekly (sort of like those calls we all used to make to our moms first time far away from home) and reaffirm things were going well for our journey together. There was lots of "sure" and head nodding at my end.

My guy chose to take some time and wing over to visit from New York in mid October. I thought---finally. But alas, no deal. No ring. Just more words. My guy left October 31st. We parted at the plane. No fanfare. My guy said, "We can still wait a bit longer?" Sigh.

Sitting over a beer at the Officers' Club 6 November, the person who has sponsored me wandered over to my table with a muddy soldier. They had been "in the field" and were in for the night. We shared a few beers. Ohhhhh- those blue eyes. Melting was on my mind. 

20 November Lt Blue Eyes called my guy and announced that my guy blew it. I was going to be married soon- to him. Lt Blue Eyes hadn't asked me. Hummm. Interesting conversation in which I did not participate. Lt Blue Eyes took me to Garmish soon after and asked me what I thought. 

December 1st Blue eyes was promoted a rank and gave me a ring.  We were married in June, thirty eight years ago.

That is when I knew that I am best when flying by instinct.

Saying all of that

Here are my thoughts on what should happen this year.

Emotionally:

Find a Church setting that fits both my faith and social justice needs.

Work harder on our marriage bond

Figure out how to be a good, long distance Nana.

Health:

Lose some weight.

Get out of the house more often. Begin the 1,000 mile challenge of walking.

Financially:

Move all of my money from USAA.  It is time to let that part of our lives go. 

Establish a face to face relationship with my local credit union branch in Idaho.

Continue to weigh the pros and cons of beginning my Social Security in 2021. I am only 63.

Talents:

Relearn how to fish.

Work on my recent fear of water (I fell into the lake in Kansas and almost drown- that put the fear into me). 

Think about art more, try different forms

Figure out zone five gardening. Start both my garden and a community garden across from my house. 


The house and move are not in my goals. 

They will happen. They are no longer "decisions to be made".

They are totally fly by the seat of my pants now.....and my wings are moving 1,000 mph!

PS- I am sorry there are no pictures of My guy or that trip to Bryce. In fact, I don't think we ever took one picture together at all.....