Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Weber!

Congratulations to my friends, Jimmy and Barbara Madden Weber. The photo of them, with officiant Ken Sitler, is at Johnny Cash’s farm in Tennessee. I’m just now seeing photos, as we were unable to attend. The Babe doesn’t travel well these days, and it’s ok. The photos folks are posting show a beautiful bride and groom, who I know value each other more than you can imagine. How? Why?

When we are young and marry, we marry for different reasons than when we’re older. When we’re older, we’ve experienced loss of a partner, either through death or divorce, and when we’re younger, it’s for different reasons. It’s supposed to be for life, and some of us don’t make it that far, for whatever reason.

Two people who have experienced love, loss, war, serving our country, and marrying others, children, and all the things couples endure have a different outlook than 25 year olds do. Beginnings and endings are very common in these times. It’s ok when things don’t work out; people change and we don’t need to know details. We all have them. As long as I’ve known Jimmy, he’s a gentleman with much to offer, and has just seemed a little sad, being alone.

And late last fall, when Jimmy sang at a function we attended, we talked a few minutes after I finally met Barbara. She is a stunning woman, a quintessential lady, who I feel is a very strong person on her own. She is charismatic and I think she’s just perfect for Jimmy. We had a little discussion and I knew he was pretty smitten with her. And I just felt the reverse was also true. It’s hard to have relationships when one person is a musician who travels a lot. But now, at this point in life, Barbara can travel with him. They will have many adventures together. And that’s a beautiful thing. It isn’t luck, it’s what they both deserve: happiness.

Jimmy loves big, I think. He loves him Mama, his country, his family, his friends, and now, first, is Barbara. I can see much happiness for them as they grow older together.

When you get past the ages where you marry to have children, establish careers, and live in the grown-up world, you marry for different reasons. Companionship is one of the most important reasons. I’ve wished for Jimmy the happiness the Babe and I have. Best friends, united as man and woman, husband and wife. Complete trust, one in the other. You can just see they have it.

They are both people who are grateful to God for putting them together. That is important. God knows what He’s doing here, for sure. They deserve the happiness they will continue to have. Is it all puppy dogs and rainbows? No, not at all. Sometimes, we’re not happy with each other. A lot of times, when you’re older, you learn what is worth arguing about and what isn’t. Most of it isn’t. By this age, we’ve arrived at feeling secure in ourselves, and we don’t need to be better due to ego. We can both be right and we can both be wrong. It just is’t worth cross words anymore. Be grateful and things change up right then. Sometimes, the thing that keeps my mouth shut is, “Someday, I’ll miss this.” And then I’m grateful, not angry anymore.

As they start their life together, I wish many more happy years for them. We’re up to 24 already in October, and kids, it goes so fast when you’re with the love of the rest of your life. Cherish each other for how special you both are. Cannot wait to hug you both and congratulate you in person.

Much Love,

Kathy & Dan

Fabulous Friday Night!

The Babe and I attended a fundraiser last night for Toys for Tots and Guitars for Vets Nebraska. For nearly a year, our VFW Post has lent support to this great organization. G4V helps vets with PTSD learn to play the guitar, by offering ten free lessons with a qualified instructor. When they complete their instruction, they receive their own brand new guitar and accessories. Last night was an in person ceremony and the first public graduation ever.

Peggy Frye Ullom, a/k/a Taylor is the founder of the Nebraska Chapter. She is committed to helping other Vets who suffer silently from PTSD. It’s no secret she is committed to the nth degree. She is a leader who has a true heart for the mission of the group which is to help the Vets cope with their individual situations. She understands the task and fully supports the mission; she is one of the Vets with PTSD. Total honesty is her mantra, and it helps people open up and be vulnerable in their quest for a more normal life. It is with pleasure I now call her a friend.

The friendships that grow by getting involved in our community is phenomenal. When many like-minded people gather for the good of others, only great relationships can develop. I can hardly wait to see how things go next year, but I’m not about to wish my time away. December will find us regrouping, and structuring our Post Outreach more. There are a couple more groups we would like to become involved with and will investigate that further after Veterans Day/the Christmas Season. Only good can come of being involved.

Ken Sitler and Jimmy Weber, two local retired Air Force Veterans performed last night, too. They are always great to listen to. Their banter is pretty funny, and they had a couple Veterans who are musically inclined join them. One could no longer play guitar after having a stroke; he joined Jimmy and sang. I’m sure that made his year! It’s those kinds of meetings that develop into friendships that result from events like last night.

We’re grateful all these people made Omaha home after their military careers. Not just the three mentioned, but Dave (sorry, I don’t know your last name!), David J Mike and his lovely wife Gail, and all the other instructors I’ve haven’t gotten to know yet. The area is enriched with your presence. Grateful for all of you.

I know what music does for me; I’m sure it “works” in relieving anxiety, stress, and horrible events. Time, and learning how to cope is the best thing we can do for folks who need this. Art, drawing, performing, all give the same effect, it’s why the “arts” were created. When I was a kid, I was bullied. Most everyone was. I’d come into our house, and go to my room. That song by the Beach Boys became my theme song, “In My Room.” Sometimes I resolve bad moods or thoughts by being alone, listening to music. It always makes a huge difference.

As the Babe and I, along with our other volunteers from the VFW Post 2503, finish up on the Veterans Day Celebration of Veterans, we are cognizant of needs of our Veterans. The events in Afghanistan have shaken some to the core. They’re angry, needing to vent, and trying to figure out a lot of things. We are holding the Second Annual Clothing and Food Drive for Moving Veterans Forward and the Sienna Francis House. Two of our younger Veterans called last year to see if they could leave a trailer in the parking lot, and collect coats, for the homeless. Check the Post website @ http://www.vfwpost2503.org to view the list of needs for the food and clothing drive. We will also have Toys for Tots donation boxes available.

Last year at this time, we just became acquainted with Victory Apartments and Moving Veterans Forward. We coordinated with MVF and initiated monthly donations for them. It’s been a very worthwhile endeavor, which we will continue for years to come.

So much good has been generated with those two new guys who wanted to do something meaningful for their fellow Veterans. They have launched many good events; Car Shows benefiting Moving Veterans Forward, Guitars for Vets, Nebraska COPS, and the family of Corporal Daegan Page. The potential is mind boggling. Work by many becomes light. Thanks, guys.

We are also offering an Art Show by Liz Boutin. She is a Bellevue artist and military wife. She has journaled her way through working with the Red Cross Hospital in Germany, and working with Veterans from Iraq & Afghanistan at their first stop after becoming injured. The exhibit shows how PTSD can be worked with through Art. Liz will be present all day Veterans Day if you’d like to visit with her. She will also speak at our Veterans Day Ceremony, on November 11, 2021 at 6 p.m. Her art is available all week to view by members and friends. All are welcome.

There will also be resources available for referrals for Guitars for Vets, Moving Veterans Forward, 22 Until None in Council Bluffs, and other organizations on a list we’ll have available for you to have. We will have a representative from the VA who can register you for your VA Benefits on site, you won’t have to go to the VA Hospital. We want to make it as easy as possible for you or your loved one to receive benefits they deserve.

We cannot guarantee your souls can be repaired like new; we can guarantee you will not be alone. VFW Post 2503. 90th and Military Road, Omaha, NE 68134. Join us!

Fun Friday Night

Outdoor concerts are the very best. Hopefully, you sit near fun people, and temporarily forget your troubles. Last night was such a night. Local favorites Jimmy Weber and his friend, Ken Sitler, performed individually and together for a couple hours. The crowd loved it. Our friends became new fans, and purchased Jimmy’s CD’s.

Ken specializes in rock music; Springsteen, The Who, Beatles, Pearl Jam, FooFighters, some country, and a few of his own songs added in. Variety is his specialty, and it’s fun to sit and listen. Just to relax and unwind after a week of being very busy is a gift. Some of his covers remind me of my daughter’s eclectic taste in music. He is a very funny man. Quick with the wit, both on his Facebook page and in front of an audience. It was so sweet while introducing me to his wife, he referred to her as the love of his life, his best friend and a few other things equally heartfelt. It wasn’t phony, it was genuine. What a nice couple!

Having a pre-Fourth of July concert given by a couple of guys, retired from the Air Force, who love our country is a privilege to hear. They are truly patriots. Their stories are funny and could be true. They make everyone their friend by the end of the evening. You feel like you’ve been with a friend. Down to earth, talented people. Jimmy Weber, what can you say about him? He’s a guitar player like you hardly ever see. He can play many, many different songs and guitars. I’ve seen him do rock n’ roll how it should be done, and seen him do country like nobody’s business. Great voice, and introducing more songs he and “Handsome Jake” Mayer have co-written. They have a way with the music and especially the lyrics. You not only hear the music, you feel it. That’s what music is made for. Feeling it. It takes a lot of talent to achieve that. These guys all have it.

Jimmy Weber and Ken Sitler

Jimmy’s a humble man. Approachable. Grateful to God for his talent and abilibies. He mentions growing up in a small South Dakota town where everyone was a cousin (just about). The stories and humor help the people he sings about become more real. He is a great storyteller, and I still laugh at things he’s said many times. It’s still funny. Check his Facebook page and follow. His schedule is available there.

Thank you for reading today. And go see Ken Sitler and/or Jimmy Weber when you have an opportunity. You’ll be glad you did. See you tomorrow! Allergies are still kicking me, so it’s time to rest & recuperate. Enjoy your weekend!

Laid Back Saturday

Yes, date night was a success. It starts with a Babe (a/k/a Dan) and his wife, (Moi). We just have fun. If you want an out of the way place that is a dive bar, go to Buck’s. Dan had prime rib, I had a filet. Both were very delicious, and $22, $20, respectively. Typical mid-western full plate of food. Meat, Potatoes, Salad, Hot Veggies. No wonder John Denver wrote, “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy!”

Jimmy Weber, Singing “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy”

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a ringside seat/view of the performers. The venue is pretty small, and you take whatever table is open for dinner and probably end up there for the entertainment. We had a table behind a small wall. Could hear well, but couldn’t see. I still took many photos and videos. Unfortunately, Dan still quite a bit of leg pain when he sits for any amount of time. He toughed it out until the headliner, Ray Scott, did about two songs. We just couldn’t stay any longer. Sorry Ray, maybe next time!

A sweet couple requested a song and were serenaded by Jimmy singing “Wichita Lineman.”

Wichita Lineman

Jimmy and Ken Sitler performed a couple of songs. Ken is a fellow Air Force Veteran with Jimmy and they do make great music together.

Jimmy always opens his shows with the Star Spangled Banner, and ends with “Taps, God is Nigh.” Jimmy and a couple friends wrote some beautiful additions to the original lyrics of Taps and I’ve included it here.

“Taps – God is Nigh”

If you ever get to see these people, go! You will be glad you did. I love music that makes me happy. This did.

Today, it was back to Puppy Training Class, and it was fun. The Babe told me to look at how much all the puppies grew since last week! Goldie went from being the biggest to being the smallest! I wonder what the next week will bring?? This class goes four weeks, and a lot of it seems pretty fast, but it’s to keep the attention of a puppy, then let them all play as reward at the end.

We love having Goldie. That said, it’s really a full time job keeping up with her. She was really tired on the way home and fell asleep on Dan’s chest. I think she had too much fun chasing and playing with the dogs. We’re learning a lot about teaching her things, and it’s a shame we never had the time or resources to do this for the other dogs we’ve had. I hope she continues to learn at the rate she has been. She’ll be a genius dog!

Once we returned home from Puppy training, we had lunch and just relaxed. It was so nice, not having to be anywhere else. The Nebraska Game was good, and now, here we are relaxing some more. I have the feeling next week should fly by – speaking of flying, we need to get a turkey. (Remember WKRP in Cincinnati??) Cooking will be in order.

And starting Friday, the holiday madness will begin. Don’t get bogged down in it. Do what you can do, and leave the rest. Spend time with your family, you will never regret it. Scale back on demands this time of year. Spend time just relaxing and petting your dog. It’s why we have two of them!

What are you looking forward to doing this holiday season?? Comment below, like the post, and I’ll enter you in the NaNoWriMo giveaway I’m having on December 1, 2019. You can increase your chances by catching up on all the blogs for November, you’ll have 60 chances to win!!

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it very much. See you tomorrow!

Goldie is down for the count. Until tomorrow!!