The weather has been beautiful here in Austin. Over the weekend we decided to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was wonderful to see. The spring flowers are blooming and we took a long walk around the field with many different flowers blooming.
The flowers were so beautiful and the landscaping so pretty. We also saw a mother owl with her little ones but couldn’t get a photo. It was a really nice day out. Nothing like fresh air, sunshine, great scenery and good company.
The past few days have been turbulent. With families there can be issues that can cause hardships. However, we have been through the storm and all is well. Truthfully almost all.
Families are not perfect. Each of has our own plans and our own ideas and something those bring us into conflict. The important thing to remember is that we are family. I was raised to believe that family is the most important thing. Every family has its weird Uncle George or it crazy Aunt Mary. Every family has its black sheep or show off who wants to let everyone know that he/she is better than the rest. I choose to live with all those things because, for me, the bottom line is family is important.
I have been blessed with all the quirks and strangeness and with the wonderful, caring and loving. I may not like everyone all the time but I just accept that we are different. For me family matters.
Things are beginning to settle down. Thanksgiving was good and interesting with the mix of people. My daughter, Jenny, sets a beautiful table and her husband did a wonderful job with all the food. It was an amazing meal. Today I made soup with the turkey carcass and some homemade bread for dinner. We will take it to Jenny’s house for everyone to enjoy.
I am finding my way around and only get lost every once in a while. I heard today that some vaccines may be coming before too long. Medical personnel, first responders and other special need people will be the first to get it. At least that will be a start and maybe we will begin to see a decline in the sudden panic that arose again.
I have not seen a person here in public without a mask worn properly. If everyone would do what they should maybe we can reduce the spread at last. How wonderful that would be and something to be truly grateful about.
I am sorry that I haven’t been able to read on a logical schedule lately. I want to keep up with everyone but things have been so crazy that I just couldn’t get to it.
We only have a few more weeks to go and the hectic part will be over. It will be time to settle in and get a routine going. I will be nice to have my daughter and her family to be with since they have been quarantining and we feel safe around them.
They have done so much for us during this transition as have my other two children. We are so blessed that my three and their families don’t fight with each other and love each other dearly.
There are some time when I am excited about being able to decorate with a whole new style and then some times when I know that I will miss some things. In reality, family is what matter the most and I know that we will find our lives simpler, easier and happier.
I want to write about my husband. He graduated from West Point in 1962. It was shortly after that there was war in Viet Nam. I won’t comment on that war except to talk about my husband.
He went there for the first time about 1967. At that time he was a Captain and was assigned to be a company commander. To this day he talks little about his time there other than the moments that were amusing in some way or good stories to tell. He has never talked about the other side. Thankfully he did not have PTSD although I’m sure there were times when all that he experienced he felt deeply. He did come home with malaria and still has attacks of it to this day.
He has never talked with his children or grandchildren about those days. As we prepare to move things have been pulled out of closets and they discovered that their father has 5 bronze stars for valor. To read the commendations fills me with pride and love.
When he returned from his first posting I received a letter from the men in his company sending us money they collected for us to go out to dinner. The letter said that he was the reason they were still alive and that he was the best company commander they had ever seen. He deserved that and it meant more than any other accolade.
He did have to go back for a second time and worked with the The Montagnard people who are the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. He loved these people and brought home some of the weaving the women did. This is a bracelet much like the one I have.
They were given as a symbol of respect and friendship. He was made a member of the group he worked with which required him to drink their version of an alcoholic beverage which he said he barely got down. He respected them greatly.
He has always followed the traits learned at West Point of Duty, Honor, Country and always will. He expects people to behave with integrity and be truthful. The many times he is disappointed he accepts the ways of the world and moves on.
I am proud of his life and he will continue following those things he learned at West Point for the rest of his life.
Today my house is full. My heart is also full with the love from my family. My two daughters, my daughter-in-law and a best friend are here. This is the first gathering since the beginning of covid. It wasn’t planned but just came together as a spontaneous time. The girls are all making dinner and my husband’s pain is less and he is able to rest.
All in all I am grateful. I know there are some tough times coming but definitely not as stressful as the week I spent alone in a hotel with Hap in the Mayo Clinic. I got through it and that is the best I can say. Somehow we both survived it and mending is happening.
It still feels strange to be at home the whole day on a Sunday. I guess that feeling won’t go away until church can begin again. I look forward to that.
Each of us is finding new ways to grow and cope in this strange new world. I suppose we will have some ability to meet others at some point but for now not exposing ourselves to those who could be carrying the virus is best for us.
I hope on this Sunday everyone has found some peace and hope that continues.
Today my son and daughter-in-law came over to help. She cleaned the bathroom like it had never been cleaned. WOW it is so amazing. My son mowed the lawn (which I had cut too long) edged and blew off the porches and walks.
This is so incredible and wonderful of them. They both work extremely long and difficult hours and have little spare time. I am so grateful for them taking their time to do this. How wonderful to have family and I love them so much.
It is a blessing to have family that cares. I know that all families have the kind of relationships that we have and I am so grateful. Many suffer from bad family relationships or abusive childhoods. Life is not great for everyone. I hope that they are able to find new friends who become family for them.
Friendships and family must be nurtured to grow. You can’t let the grass grow between you and your loved ones.. It doesn’t matter if you live next door or miles apart connections matter. Take the time to call, write, email, text, whatever. It pays off in the long run.
Today it has been 58 years since we were married. Sometimes it seems like forever and sometimes just yesterday. For you young folks we were married in 1962. That will sound like an eon ago. The Viet Nam War was just hotting up. The Cuban Missile Crisis was in October of that year. We were at Ft. Benning and it looked like my 2nd Lieutenant husband might be going to war. Thank God that did not happen. The next event to shock us was that Kennedy was shot in November of 1963. Again things in the military were very uncertain. What a way to start married life.
However, we survived it. We had children, moved from place to place to include his two years in Viet Nam and ended his career with a high note teaching math at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Our time since then has been living in Savannah, both of us working, me as a nurse and him as a structural engineer. Life has been good. We raised three children all married with children of their own and blessed be all gainfully employed (to include three of the grandchildren).
We had our ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade any of it. Now we look to the next chapter which is rocky at the moment but with planning will settle into a “new normal.” I have been blessed.
I have been thinking today about friendship. Even in this time of social distancing we can still be close to our friends. Communicative today is very different than it was years ago. For centuries communication was telegraph, some telephones, and mail. Maybe smoke signals. Now the world is connected.When my husband was in Viet Nam we only had letters to hold us together. Even those had to be numbered as many came at odd intervals or got lost. I never knew from day to day if he was alive….yet we managed.
Today I can pick up a phone, electronic device, computer, Kindle…..whatever and even see the person I’m talking to. I remember seeing an example of that years ago and being amazed (also wondering if I wanted to always be seen). Now we can choose.
This is so wonderful for me. I have spent time with friends on the phone, email and text messages. I can help them if needed and they can help me. We are there for each other and will continue to be. We are willing to share what we have (even toilet paper) or run errands for each other. Most of my friends are “old” like me and just as at risk but where friendship is concerned it doesn’t matter.
There are also those who I consider friends on Word Press. I know that I can share concerns, fears, hopes and ideas and others will respond. How wonderful!