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.

2200 and DONE!

I just completed something that one year ago, I would have told you there was no way I could fathom doing. I read a lot on Facebook about our Veterans, the 22 a day who commit suicide, and how we can help those who ask for it. Because of that, I’ve become a volunteer at our VFW Post 2503, @ 90th & Military Ave in Omaha, NE. The Babe is the Quartermaster for the organization, and I belong to the Auxiliary, serving as a Trustee. Check their website, activities, and events for the month of August. Busy place, doing good for the community. We’d love to have you stop by!

So in addition to this, we’ve established relationships with Moving Veterans Forward, Nebraska; Nebraska COPS, and Guitars for Vets. We support all three, and are proud to be a part of it. Great causes, all of them. Personally, I joined a July Challenge on Facebook, to do 2200 Squats during the month of July. That means 71 a day. Unlike the photo in the header, I couldn’t do a push up to save my soul. Some folks prefer 22 push ups a day.

Being in my very late sixties, I can’t do the kind the kids are doing; squatting while hanging upside down like a bat in it’s cave; squatting while holding a 75 lb iron weight; squatting while holding a human sideways. You get what I’m saying.

The kind I can do are holding onto a countertop height sink, and doing them without hurting knees, back, etc. There are YOUTUBE videos on how to do that. It’s amazing! I did 50 a day in June to raise awareness about heart disease (prevelant in our family, thank you Agent Orange!), and 71 a day for 22 Until NONE. I’m going to issue a challenge to everyone to continue with me, for the month of August. All I want you to do is think of the number of very good people, citizens of this great republic, who have suffered such trauma to their minds, bodies, and souls, that they feel their only option is to end their lives.One is too many, much less 22.

Of course, the person has to be accepting of any help. And it’s peer to peer in most cases. Men and women who have been there, and done that. Listening to the Babe tell me of his solo trip home from Vietnam in the late 60s, I marvel at how that must have felt. I believe now groups are sent home at a time, and it’s orchestrated by the military. When the Babe came home, he was dropped at the airport, no money for a plane ticket home or anything. He was 19 or 20. A farm boy from South Dakota who escaped that Jungle Hell with his life. I am sure every military veteran ever in a war had PTSD. Now, it has a name. In the two World Wars, the men (and nurses) were told to “man up” and get back to their lives. Many, many of them were alcoholics until they died. How sad. How tortured they were. The Babe suffered from alcoholism, too. Thank God, he resolved that and his chain-smoking habit before we met. I’m so grateful for that. It’s restored him to the person he was before he took his trip to Southeast Asia.

Personally and publically, I support assistance for veterans, and especially veterans who suffer from PTSD and Chronic Pain. I can relate to the Chronic Pain, and know how hard it is to keep from being deep in a pit of depression. Guitars for Vets would help someone you know who is a veteran diagnosed with PTSD. We’ll have information about them tomorrow at the Car Show. I’m raising funds for them by selling guitar pick earrings for $10 a pair! You need some. Stop by the merch table tomorrow. Omaha, NE. 90th & Military. See you tomorrow! And do your 71 squats; or 22 pushups or squats. Just remember our warriors. We owe it to them.

Tuesday Things

This was such an enjoyable day so far! I met my niece, Wendy, to talk about the silent auction The Babe and I are doing for Nebraska Concerns for Police Survivors (COPS). We talked about everything. Life, dating, people, Christianity, Catholocism, Faith, God, Baseball Tournaments, losing her husband Tom twelve years ago, and the Auction. I got so much energy from her, we had fun laughing and talking. I’ve loved my nieces since they were babies. I knew her when her uncle and I (dating couple) babysat for her. We have kept in touch for over thirty years. That’s a long time!

The Babe is mowing the yard (Raabe Ranch) before it rains some more. College World Series in town, it always rains. The CWS was on GMA this morning. It was great to see our city showcased for the Series. We’ve been home to them for over sixty years. The stadium is different, per the NCAA requests, and Omaha complied. It’s the first thing you see when you come from the Airport. It’s impressive. I’m proud of my hometown.

Trying to desensitize the pups to fireworks. They’re not panicking outside, but staying very close to us at the moment. Random firecrackers are going off – well – at random times. Hard to time them, so they do disturb our peacefulness here at Raabe Ranch.

IIt’s humorous. Direct TV sent a box to return our equipment in. Inside is a plea, “What Can We Do to Make You Stay?” Sounds like a desperate plea. We can’t trust them anymore. They didn’t live up to their last promise. Just like dating, almost. I just want their stuff out of here. And don’t bother me anymore. We’re done. (Cue: I Will Survive)

This afternoon? I’ll work on a nicely typed list of Silent Auction items. And Raffles. And of getting information out for our event. Dig in. Dig down. Do the Work. What do you need to Dig Into? Dig Down For? and Do the Work On?

It’sI need to straighten up our nest for sure. It will be a top priority during July. The calm before publishing my Kidlit Adventure Begins. It will be too hot to be outside much and a perfect times for getting life and stuff in order. The change one habit at a time method is working pretty well. I haven’t done squats every day, but I’ve done most days. It’s a start. That’s all we need. A start. And to keep going. Committing to Act, even to yourself, is huge.

Even though July is PTSD Awareness month, in August, I want to commit to doing 2200 squats (Up from 1500 this month) AND do 22 Wall Pushups a day. During that time, I will pray for the Veterans who are in danger of committing suicide. Please. Call a VFW. Call the VA Medical Center. Call a HOTLINE. Please think of your loved ones. If you don’t have family, think about your friends. Please. Let someone help you.