Sunday, May 24, 2009

Citizen Soldiers

It is Memorial Day weekend, perhaps our greatest National holiday. There is much more hoopla for 4th of July, little kids love it for the fireworks. Memorial Day is a thoughtful day for the adults of our country, only celebrated by some parades, and concerts, and a day off of work for some. I find that the older I get, the more this day means to me.

I belong to a family of citizen soldiers, the ones who enlist or are drafted, serve in a time of war, and then return home to their family and live the rest of their lives as civilians, regular contributing citizens. I am grateful to God for my country and for my family:

For Benjamin C. who served in the Revolutionary War,
For Eli C. who served in the Civil War,
For my father-in-law Charles R. who served in WW I,
For my father, Robert J., my uncle Jimmy J., my brothers-in-law, Wallace R., Charley R., Bob R., Gordon R., Edwin G., and other in-laws, George G, and Theresa M, who served in WW II,
For my husband, Fred R., who served in Korea,
For my brother, Dan J., cousins Ralph R. and Terry M., and many friends who served in Viet Nam,
For my son, Ben G., who served in the 1st Iraq War,
And for the families who loved them, prayed for them, and welcomed them back home, some of them bearing internal and external wounds of war.

I hate war above almost all things; I believe that war is the ultimate failure of a nation, that we have failed ourselves and our God every time we go to war. And yet, I have the highest respect for every one of those who have served our country so ably. I cannot quite be a pacifist when I believe that this world demands that we keep a strong defense. I am profoundly thankful for our Citizen Soldiers!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gray Saturday in May

It has been overcast and rainy here for what seems like weeks. At least, we are getting our overdue Spring rains, but the gray skies are doing a number on my mood. I am just kind of blah and irritable. Just ask Tex!

Our really good caregiver for the last 6 months or so has now become highly erratic, so we are having a progression of caregivers coming in and out while we wait to see if she can get her act together. I hope she does because when she is good, she is really great with Tex, I can find things in the house, and our schedule goes smoothly. With other people, I have to train them, keep checking on things, etc. At least I am reminded why I pay an agency so that there will always be someone here with him. Of course, all the end of the semester activity keeps me extra busy at this time of the year also.

I find that I am very conflicted about both retiring and keeping on working. I truly enjoy my interactions with the students, feel that I am contributing to their education and to some of them personally. On the other hand, I find that I am less tolerant of the normal accountability procedures and fuss at them more than is necessary. Working is also my ongoing way to get out of the house and get more social interaction than I have when I am home with Tex. So, I have pretty much decided to keep on one year at a time. I plan to work at least for one more year so that I have my 10 years in with The Great University, which has been my goal all along.