Tag Archives: holiday

Thank you

Veteran’s Day makes me think of my father. To say he fought in a war doesn’t really describe his experience. He served his country proudly, and in doing so, endured horrors that visited him from time to time for the rest of his life.

I remember asking him about his time in the service. One story that I’ll never forget was about his time in the Corps of Engineers when he was responsible for making sure his unit had the ammunition they needed to fight. More than once, he had to collect munitions from the dead – men he served with and called friends, so he could supply the ones still fighting.

He stepped over bodies on ground soaked in blood. He was in hostile territory recovering arms and ammo.

I could see the pain in his eyes as he told me this story. In reliving that moment, he gave me a unique insight into war that had never occurred to me before. I’d always thought of war in general terms: people fight, people die, it’s all terrible. But this was specific. His friends fought. His friends died, and it was more than terrible. It was something no one should have to experience. He was in the middle of it, and although he was happy to survive, part of him died that day and never returned when they shipped him home.

He was just a kid of 18 or 20. So very young, but not too young to die.

We see men in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and recognize them as veterans. But that title isn’t limited to old men. Young men and women continue to come home destroyed by things they’ve seen in conflict. They all bear scars. We see the physical ones. Some of those scars are in place of limbs. Some are completely debilitating. We don’t see the mental ones. The soul-crushing ones. The ones tattooed inside their eyelids that visit them when they try to sleep.

We need to turn the spotlight on the real heroes. Not the people in Hollywood. Not the men on the gridiron. Those people get paid to do what they love. The true heroes made a sacrifice, and often many sacrifices, to keep our country free.

From the depths of my heart, thank you to all who served.

Happy New Year!

Quoting Neil Gaiman here, because I couldn’t say it better.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. May your coming year be a wonderful thing in which you dream both dangerously and outrageously.

I hope you will make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and you will be liked and you will have people to love and to like in return. And most importantly, because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now – I hope that you will, when you need to, be wise and that you will always be kind. And I hope that somewhere in the next year you surprise yourself.

If you’re as big a fan as I am, you’ll enjoy these Neil Gaiman short stories.

Happy New Year image

So very, very thankful

As I sit here, exhausted from a day of cleaning, cooking, and cleaning up, too tired to get ready to go to bed, I’m very thankful.

I’m thankful I have a house to clean. It’s warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. I can lock the doors and feel safe at home. Some people have no home, or are not safe in the place they live. I am very fortunate.

ThanksgivingI’m thankful for a fridge full of food. Many people go to bed hungry each night, and wake up hungry the next morning, with little or nothing in between. I am blessed to live in the United States, where food is plentiful, and grateful that I can provide for my family.

I’m thankful for a family that I can cook for, who enjoyed the meal, and shared a wonderful day. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be completely alone in the world, and feel very blessed to have so many loved ones close by.

I’m more than thankful; I’m overjoyed that the doctors removed the tumor in my father’s lung, and he is now cancer-free. I have the opportunity to spend more time with him, and will treasure every minute, because I know it is precious.

I’m also thrilled that my daughter was able to join us today. Spending holidays with her, and every chance I get, fills my heart with joy. And I’m thankful for her wonderful boyfriend who loves her nearly as much as I do.

And my husband, who saw how bone-tired I was, and insisted in putting me in a recliner with a blanket and the remote, while he put the table away, and the chairs back in their places, is a daily reminder of how fortunate I am. I’m thankful to have someone in my life who loves me, and takes care of me, the way he does.

Then there’s all assorted and sundry things in life that make me happy: the friends with whom I can share stupid jokes and cat pictures, the clients who help me pay my bills, the strangers I meet in the store and share a brief bit of conversation that adds a little spark to the day, the babies in strollers that make me remember what it’s like to be a new mom, my pets who make me laugh. I’m thankful for the sister who infuriates and amuses me, and for all the laughter and tears we’ve shared over our lifetime together. The list goes on and on.

I’m thankful for all the days I’ve had up to now – the good, the bad, the fantastic, and the dreadful. I can’t change a thing in the past, and don’t think I would if I could. They’ve all brought me to where I am today: tired beyond belief, in a quiet house, with a comfortable bed waiting for me in the next room. And for that, I am very thankful.

The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project

DENVER (Dec. 9, 2008) The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project is asking concerned citizens to think about recycling their fruitcakes this holiday season.

Many recyclers tend to think of gift catalogues, greeting cards and non-foil gift wrap when recycling during the holidays. Champagne bottles, popcorn tins and cardboard boxes all show up in recycling bins between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Recycling fruitcakes will take this environmental action one step further.

When recycling your Christmas trees, and wreaths, you may be tempted to add your fruitcake to the wood chipper. Because the half-life of a well-aged fruitcake is at least 50 years, The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project recommends that instead, you join the new fruitcake movement: Regift, Reuse, Recycle.

Regifting of fruitcakes actually started in 1913, when the first fruitcakes were sent via mail order. With nearly every household receiving a fruitcake via mail, in addition to the home-baked ones being circulated, the cycle was started.

Reusing fruitcake can be as simple as repurposing this year’s gift as a doorstop, or using one in a variety of craft projects.

Consumers who are unable to regift or reuse their fruitcakes are encouraged to send them to The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project, where they are busily working on solutions to the problem of Fruitcake Proliferation. For more information, go to www.fruitcakerecycling.com. Their motto: Together, we can make a difference, one fruitcake at a time.

About The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project:
The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project was established in 2005 with the goal of educating the public on both the versatility, and environmental impact of fruitcake. Their website contains fruitcake facts, helpful uses for fruitcake, a forum for the community to share its concerns about fruitcake proliferation, Fruitcake Cards, and Fruitcake games. Its owner and webmaster is clearly a woman with too much time on her hands.

Read more on The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project website.