Sliding Into Sunday

It’s been a fantastic three days. All the highs. All the lows that are really highs but you don’t realize it. What? It all depends on how you view events. I am grateful for all of it. Beginnings and endings that aren’t permanent endings. All the feelings that accompany them.

It’s amazing when you meet someone, then spend time with them. Every once in a while, you just know you can be friends. And then you reach out, they reach back, and you talk nonstop for a couple of hours. You could keep going but duty calls. What a great feeling!

I have a great deal of respect for Taylor Frye Ullom. She is the founder and Boss Lady of Guitars for Vets, Nebraska. Any vet who has PTSD can take guitar lessons with an individual instructor. Ten lessons and graduation later, they receive a new guitar and accessories, along with the opportunity to perform with others at a ceremony. I am blessed by attending several of their meetings over the last year and enjoying their music every chance I get. Thanks, Taylor. I love your honesty and candor. It’s refreshing.

We spent time at the Post Friday night for the weekly Fish Fry. Good to see the people, and the new crowd who attend. I did some office work since the group kindly prohibits me from bussing tables because of my chronic back issues. I protested and told them I can handle paper plates, but they insisted. Nice when friends look out for you. I appreciate the kindness.

We went to Gavin’s basketball game Saturday afternoon. He is getting better and better! At the first game, he scored a three pointer at the buzzer! How exciting! He was happy.

We all went to see an uncle of Tracy’s who is very close to the end of his life from congestive heart failure. He is the most active man, the best host, the best friend, and the best mentor. The Babe worked for him for many years, and they knew each other well. They two men were married to sisters.

When the Babe’s marriage didn’t work out, they remained friends and business associates. The Babe got his life straightened out and progressed at work. He became a lead man, then Labor Foreman. His brother-in-law is proudest of the soldier aspect of the Babe’s life. His service in the US Army in Vietnam, and his service now as Honor Guard Captain. Two men, stayed friends for years, despite what life threw at the two of them. What a gift.

I took this photo after we left our friend’s home last night. I believe the angels were telling us that was our goodbye on earth to him. He is ready. May God take him home soon. New friends and old friends. Are all part of our time here on earth. We need to recognize the angels telling us the stories and helping us with new beginnings and older transitions. We are blessed to experience both ends of the spectrum this weekend. Thank you for reading. Hope to see you again tomorrow. Blessings.

Saturday Morning Thoughts

VFW Post 2503, where the Babe is Quartermaster, did something they’ve never done before last night. They held their first ever Friday Fish Fry! It was a huge success, given that many Churches in the Omaha cancelled their Fish Fry’s because of COVID. We took the plunge and had a great turnout. It was so nice to see a crowd, complying with mask-wearing mandate, coming together for a meal.

As I watched the people, it occurred to me all this virus has stolen from us. I saw families with teenagers, families with young children, and older couples. The Babe worked in the kitchen, and I didn’t see much of him all evening. I saw people who were guests of the Post, members of the Post and Auxiliary, and prospective new members. It was great.

The good thing is this 89 year old VFW Post is trying new ways to expand it’s membership. We are trying new events. We are remodeling the building, and it’s coming along nicely. The North Room, the larger of two event venues, has new flooring where the old tile was. The carpeting is too expensive to replace, so a super-thorough cleaning will be the finishing touch after painting is complete. We’ve ordered new wall sconce fixtures and installed them. We have ordered matching sconces for the South Room, also. Those will be installed during the last phase. Below are photos of the Fish Fry and some of the remodeling.

The Bar will be repainted and the ceiling tiles will be replaced as well. Carpet cleaning is in order for there, too. We’re going to lighter, neutral colors. Grey is the new beige, right? Sprucing the place up for our 90th birthday celebration next April will give the aging members a chance to see their traditions are being carried on for the next generations of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Sometimes, an elderly lady recounts her experiences with the Post and Auxiliary. The place was packed every Friday night long ago. They sponsored a lot of dances, charitable events, fundraisers, Poker Runs, Raffles, and even purchased flagpoles in honor of a member who passed away. If you are near the flagpoles, there is a plaque in honor of Don Steiner, purchased by his wife, Sherri. It’s a place to go and remember. Sherri donated money for all the flagpoles.

There is also an area with Memorial Bricks, each purchased by members and friends. I purchased a group of them, honoring my Grandfather, Father, and two uncles, who were in WWI, WWII, and Korea. They are placed together and I am proud to see them. Two others I purchased for an Uncle (a Veteran and Omaha Police Officer), and one for the Babe, who served in Vietnam. All the bricks have memories attached to them, unseen to the naked eye. But the people they represent live on in our hearts.

Through the years we have met children of folks our ages. The now grown “kids” talk about the fun they had playing shuffleboard, bowling machine games, and cards. It would be nice for the Post to be a place like that again. The more good memories kids have, the better off they are. So are we. Make some good memories today. Do it every day, and it becomes a habit. Before you know it, your life is filled with joy.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it so much. More tax work today – a nap won out yesterday! I look forward to our next visit tomorrow. Have a beautiful day. Be Safe out there!