Thursday, November 11, 2010
Veterans Day has become a good time to stop and think about those who serve or who have served in the military. We read moving tributes to veterans. I think of those in my family who have served.
One of the programs at the Spokane youth conference was a tribute to those serving in the military and a service project of creating cards of thanks from the young men and women to those deployed around the world. When a ROTC chapter from one of the local high schools presented the colors in a dignified manner there was complete silence, respect and reverence in the hall. The speakers, which included a young serviceman, a gold star mother, and a colonel, spoke about the theme of the conference: Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
Col. Adams had recently returned from Iraq where he worked with senior Iraqi government and military leaders to help train the Iraqi military so they could defend their country. Among the interesting experiences that he shared, he said that regardless of what we may hear or see, there is much gratitude for the young men and women who went over there to give them freedom. One of the Iraqi generals told him, "With our freedom we are always being attacked by sharks trying to take it away. Freedom is the most precious gift we have. The Americans left their families and came half way around the world. Why would they come? They came in the name of their mission, 'Iraqi Freedom.' They came here to give us freedom. They made a difference."
The experience had an impact on those who were there. Said one young man: "I've gained a greater sense of gratitude and respect for the people who serve our country in the military." And a young lady added: "Now on patriotic holidays I will know the meaning of it and remember the troops and all that they go through." I also had the chance to visit there with a Vietnam Vet, who was so overcome with emotion at his service being remembered that he could barely speak. I'm grateful that on November 11 we have the chance to thank those who serve their country, instead of letting it get lost in the activities that come with most three-day weekend holidays. I still cry when I think of the experience.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
We cannot call it back. It comes, then passes forward Along its onward track.
And if we are not mindful, The chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing. 'Tis as a single day. (Hymns, no. 226)
That about sums up what's been going on with us. Before I realize it, another week, then two, then three have passed since I last wrote.
Improve the shining moments; Don't let them pass you by.
Work while the sun is radiant; Work, for the night draws nigh.
We cannot bid the sunbeams To lengthen out their stay,
Nor can we ask the shadow To ever stay away.
I took some days off a few weeks ago. We spent one day fishing at Lost Creek, and then I spent two glorious days cleaning the house. It feels so nice to have clean(er) closets that I don't have to risk life and limb to get into. I also (sort of) organized the camping gear and put it away for the season. Organization is not one of my strong points, but I feel better about the state of the house.
I have also been extra busy at work with some writing projects, including 2 stories about leadership from the Spokane trip. I enjoy writing, but it does take a lot of time and effort with lots and lots of revisions and rewriting. I feel good about the end product, though, and appreciate the help from coworkers on making it a stronger article.
David has, for the most part, been stable with bouts of depression thrown in for good measure. Last week we helped out with a ward halloween party, and that put him in a better frame of mind. We had a potluck dinner of soup and chili, with pie for desert. Then the children went to 4 different decorated rooms in the building for "trick-or-treating." David interacts well with friends from the ward, and our son Jeff and his wife, Nikki, came for the festivities. A good time was had by all.
I have been doing some knitting and crocheting projects; I'm definitely a beginner, but it is relaxing to work on something. I'm not brave enough (yet) to try anything more than baby blankets, but I'll get there. I think of my grandma when I knit; it was something she loved to do, and taught me the skill when I was in high school. Somewhere along the way I quit doing needle work, then picked it up again a few years ago. I like it so much I can't imagine why I put it down in the first place.
I also started work on a HUGE family history project: scanning family history photos into the computer. That's something else that I feel strongly about doing, and hope to keep working on it through the winter months.
As winter time doth follow The pleasant summer days,
So may our joys all vanish And pass far from our gaze.
Then should we not endeavor Each day some point to gain,
That we may here be useful And ev'ry wrong disdain?
I am taking tomorrow off for our upcoming 24th anniversary. We plan on going fishing again. The weather is beautiful this week, and it seems like a good idea to take advantage of the last of the good weather. Besides, a day of knitting and reading sounds really good right now.