Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - parade and other things

I rose early this morning, to the sound of the rain on the leaves of the flowering trees and oaks around my house.  The air in my room was cool and the leaves rustled ever so quietly as the drops fell from one to the next on their way to the ground.  The shower was little more than what could be called a \"smattering\" - nothing that would spoil the day to come in the slightest.

I had visited the cemetery on Saturday, anticipating a more persistent rain (prognosticators had indicated that would be the case as late as Saturday morning), so I did not attend the ceremony at the base of the memorial in the center of the veterans area...I can recall so many of them in recent years (9 to be exact); one for every year that the firstborn and the young one were in marching band...both high schools stood in full uniform on those occasions, some years in the cool overcast of early morning, other years in the stifling heat and humidity of a summer that had arrived too soon...still every year, they were there and I was as listen to the prayers and the politicians, to be among the living veterans and those departed, and to watch as the white doves swooped over the cemetery as they were released, I would imagine heading back to their coops at home.

This morning, I decided to walk (as has become my habit) downtown, to view the annual Memorial Day Parade- the precursor to the final ceremony, replete with a fly over from the Air National Guard F-16\'s whose home is at the Toledo Express Airport complex.  Most folks know of the event and try to attend unless they have other things to do, and there is usually a nice representation of folks lining the approximately 2 mile route, which snakes its way from Lourdes College campus, up Main Street, directly in front of the Root \"World Headquarters\" ;) and through the center of town, ending at Veterans Park, where the public softball fields are and a tank and cannon sit in another tribute to servicemen.  The walk started from my house with cargo pockets filled with Blackberry and cell phone, Flip video camera and additional AA batteries...I think I was prepared...and was convinced of that until afterward when I arrived at home to the realization that I had not taken a house key with me...thank goodness, the firstborn and his Ann were at home...another one dodged, it seems.

The neighborhood and Erie Street were very quiet...the only person I saw on the walk was a man repairing mortar on the side entrance of the church I walk by every day.  I walked toward Plummer Pool in the Burnham is cleaned, filled and ready to go (and now, there are swimmers there)...validation that the unofficial start of summer is here.....

On the walk through the neighborhood near the downtown area, I stopped often to take photos....all photos from the day are in the current album.  There was much to see...much to hear....lots to simply observe and digest...

While waiting for the parade to begin, I had the experience that I was meant to have on this day...I was standing near two ladies who were sitting on a planter talking to each other about the parade and their children.  They included me in several superficial comments about the weather or the band, then went back to talking between themselves.  As the parade started, and the colour guard and representatives from the local VFW post stopped just to the north of the Root building, on the recently rebuilt bridge over our picturesque Ten Mile Creek, they asked me what was delaying things.  I explained, because this was a little distance away from where we were and they could not really see it, that the group had stopped to allow two trumpet players from Southview High School Cougar Marching Band to join the members of the VFW at the bridge to play the classic bugle call \"Call and Answer - Taps\" before the VFW representatives excuted a 21 gun salute over Ten Mile Creek, to officially start the parade. 

This started a more personal discussion between myself and one of the ladies....about how nice it was that they were showing this respect to the veterans and troups who are serving now...she went on to tell me that her son, not much older than my youngest, is currently in training in Alabama, becoming certified to fly the Apache Blackhawk helicopter.  She also told me that his best friend will be going to Iraq soon....I looked at this woman, not much older than myself, and said to her, \"It takes a very special kind of mom to be able to support her child in this kind of choice in these times...\" to which she said, \"Yes, it does\" I said the only thing that I felt in that moment, from my heart....\"God Bless you both, for what you have chosen to do\"....she looked at me with a mix of gratitude and surprise and said, \"Thank you\"....

From that point forward, the parade was inconsequential...I began to watch....really the crowd reacted (or did not) to the veterans who took the time to participate in the parade, and to the ones who had to ride the route in cars or busses because they could not walk, but did it because it was important to them to be there.  I looked in the crowd....saw the older folks with walkers and canes...and American flags tightly clenched in hand...salutes to the flag every time it went by....respect by those who should be garnering their own....

A reality check...for all of us...we owe....a huge debt of gratitude what can never be those who willingly gave all...and all who live with the scars of their sacrifice...and to all the mothers (and fathers) and sons and daughters, who defend so we do not have to...

Hope you have enjoyed your weekend...much love to you


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Big Fun

For a Thursday, things are pretty nice...the sun is out, the folks in the office are keeping it light, and "the eagle flies" today...what's not to like?

Hope yours is going well...FB contains the cool stuff....join and add me to find out more ;)

That's it for now....till later, much love to you...


Friday, May 09, 2008

Just for the sake of information....

The young one is ON THE DEAN'S LIST for this quarter...I guess he/we are doing OK without outside intervention after all....

Thanks for nothing to everyone who has not been involved...your non-support has not been appreciated.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2008 "Rooties"

GivingThe 2008 Rooties were this afternoon at Fifth Third Field. This event is a celebration of the Root values and gives Rootsters the opportunity to recognize folks who they feel are living the organizational values every day.

This year's award recipients are:

Jim Haudan, Bruce Hulbert, Brian Donovan, Tricia Richards, Sven Nelson and me ( i am still in awe of that <3) The photo at left shows what each person received, personalized with the value for which they were recognized.

This means a great deal to me because the person who gave me my first opportunity to work in IT in an official capacity is a previous recipient of the same Root award.

Just thought I would share this with you....that and the fact that the young one has successfully completed all finals and juries and is now officially finished with his freshman year as a music major at the University of Toledo. His GPA is still awesome and we are hopeful that there will be tuition assistance coming again this academic year....

That's it for now....till later, much love to you


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fifth Third Field - Home of the Mudhens

Fifth Third FieldI have had the distinct pleasure for the last two days of going downtown to this beautiful ball field for things that I am doing for work. The morning sun on the grass and the brilliant colours never cease to engage and fascinate me. I hope you enjoy this photo...I am here again this morning and had the opportunity to take a few more photos that I will share on Facebook and in my Flickr album, accessible from the link on the right side of this page.

That's it for now....till later much love to you