Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yes, It's A Sad, Sad World

You know the emails that get forwarded to you over and over, the ones you delete before you even peek at them? Well, today I peeked. This one was worth posting on my blog.

Irena Sendler- who recently died at 98 years of age, was a 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

During WWII, Irena was given permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a plumbing/sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive. Being German, Irena knew what the Nazi plan was for Jews. Irena smuggled out infants in the bottom of a tool box she carried in the back of her truck.

She used a burlap sack for bigger children. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with her dog. The barking covered noises of the infants and children.Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 infants and children, before she was caught!

The Nazi's broke both her legs and arms, and beat her severely. Irena kept a record in a jar buried under a tree in her back yard of all the children she smuggled out.

After the war, she tried to locate all parents that may have survived to reunite families, but most had been gassed. The children she could not reunite were placed with foster families or adopted. Irena was nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize.

She was not selected.

Al Gore won for a slide show on Global Warming.

A sad world, indeed.

Blessings to you and yours.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dreaming of Time

So much is happening this summer. Or, should I say, same stuff--different summer. As I grow older, I find that change and challenge is not quite as appealing as it used to be. I like consistency and (cough) mundane. But after working 40 hours a week, it leaves you with little energy and time.

Garage sales, house maintenance, cleaning/cooking/laundry, weeding, and a few spare minutes at the computer fill the remaining time allotted in my week. Throw in visits from my family (my folks are here this week) and wa-la! Before you know it, the summer has withered on the vine like my dried out honeysuckle.

I want something for my birthday this year that nobody can give me. Time. Time to read, write, sit on my porch swing, try new recipes from cookbooks bought and not used, clean out my closet, rearrange my kitchen cupboards, and take long walks in the woods. A consistent and quiet life.

Sounds like I need to go find a holler somewhere and just be.

Maybe I will. At least in my dreams.

Blessings to you and yours.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


It takes 21 steps for the guard to walk across the tomb of the Unknown soldier. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

The guard hesitates 21 seconds after his about face to begin his return walk for the same reason.

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.'

Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of their life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives.

They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as a guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.

The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The guard’s shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV.

All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis (the boxer,) and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer. Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Interesting and fascinating facts to ponder.

Blessings to you and yours.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WalMart Meltdown

You know, I'd rather take a beating than shop. For anything. I'm not the typical stereotype for a woman. I especially hate grocery shopping. But last night, after a quick dinner at Panera, my husband and I decided to stop at Wally World for "just a few things." I was tired and my patience had worn thin by the time I searched every aisle in the grocery section for beans. Just beans.

First, we hit the health & beauty aide aisle for mouthwash and razor blades. Then we trucked to the stationary department for two reams of printer paper. After a wild search for cheap potholders (since mine are shot) Mike located them hidden behind the dishtowels in the middle of the store. Why are no two WalMarts alike? Anyhoo, we circled the sock section on the lookout for soft socks. My work socks are full of toe-holes, so I decided to blow the moths out of my wallet and buy a couple pair of dollar-socks. Fine. That was when my head started to hurt, my hip began to ache, and I had to pee.

But no, we weren't quite done. Soft Scrub. Mike (the coupon King) had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for Soft Scrub. The search was on. Up and down the aisles of dish soap, laundry soap, toilet cleaners, and Windex-like cleaners. But no Soft Scrub. "WHAT?" I screamed. "No Soft Scrub?! WHAT kind of a place is this?"

Finally, by the time I went on my wild rampage for beans, I was ready to spit. "I'D RATHER PAY DOUBLE AT HARRIS TEETER THAN SHOP IN THIS DAMN STORE AGAIN!" I shouted to no-one in particular, just anybody in earshot. After a couple of strange looks and my husband walking the opposite direction, I calmed down just enough to stand in a long line, listen to a couple of screaming babies, and then get stopped by the WalMart greeter to check my slip to make sure I didn't steal anything.

Never again. Whip me, beat me, call me Edna, I'll not go into WalMart again. Not for at least another week.

Blessings to you and yours.