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“We’re In The Army Now” April 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, People, Special Events.
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22 comments

Dad ~ Top Right

Dad enlisted in the Army and reported for duty on June 27, 1946, at age 18.

His enlistment, at the end of his first year at Northeastern University, coincided with the end of World War II, just before the Korean War.

Earlier that spring, he received a draft notice, had a physical, and then the draft ended.  After considering his options, he enlisted anyway:

* He valued higher education but had limited financial resources.  He hoped to subsidize the expense of obtaining an electrical engineering degree with the benefits offered under the G.I. Bill.

* After spending 17 years in rural Vermont and one year in Boston, he wanted to see the world beyond the relative confines of New England.

At the recruiting office in Rutland, he passed the mental screening test with a score of 49 out of 50 ~ “to pass you need to get 15.”   From Rutland, he headed to Fort Ethan Allen, passed his physical, and was sworn into the army on June 29th.  Next stop:  Fort Banks in Boston.

A few days later, he caught the troop train to Fort Dix, NJ ~ “they have got between two and three hundred of us now.”

On the 4th of the July, at Fort Dix, his number came up on the processing roster and he received his uniform, dog tags, etc.  He bought stationary at the PX that afternoon and caught up with some letter writing:

“Before we finish processing, we will get 6 tests, some movies, several shots, and some other stuff besides.  Anytime after that I might ship out. The sooner the better.  After we finish processing we are likely to draw K.P. and other details.  When on K.P. you work for 16 hours straight.  The food is a lot better here then at Fort Banks.  If the food that I get the rest of the time in the army is as good as it is here, I won’t kick a bit.”

A few days later, he wrote his sister, Marjorie, also from Fort Dix:

“I am quite a ways from home now ~ it would take 12 hours to come home, but I will probably be a lot farther away in a couple of days. They say this fort is only 30 miles from Philadelphia.  None of us can get a pass to get out of here though.  The shots I had yesterday made my arm pretty lame, but it feels better today. I am enclosing some papers for Daddy to keep.  They are to show him that he is the beneficiary of the life insurance that I took out.  I didn’t take the $10,000 policy as the war is no longer on.  I decided that $5,000 would be plenty.”

The next day, July 8th, he wrote his dad:

“Just a line tonight to let you know that I ship out tomorrow.  Tonight I do not know where I am going; they will tell us in the morning.  (I suspect they have put me in the infantry and will send me to Fort McClellan, Alabama.) I will not send this letter tonight and will leave space to write in my destination tomorrow morning.  Enough for now. I have some friends to say good-by to.

P.S.  I was right.  I am going to Alabama.”

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Continued tomorrow . . . “It’s a Rifle, Not a Gun!”

Flight 293 April 12, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , ,
35 comments

AirplaneShortly after a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the captain announced:

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain. Welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from London Heathrow to New York.  The weather ahead looks good, so we should have a smooth uneventful flight.

So sit back, relax, and . . . OH . . .  MY GOD!

Silence followed.

Some moments later, the captain came back on the intercom:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sorry if I scared you. While I was talking, a flight attendant dropped a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants.

From the back of the plane, an Irish passenger yelled, “For the luvva Jaysus . . . you should see the back of mine!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source: e-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

“You’re Out Of Line!” April 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, People.
Tags: , , ,
40 comments

SwimmingAt Water Aerobics last week, I listened to my body instead of following the leader’s orchestration.

As I did my own thing, I heard a resounding chorus of “Nancy! Nancy! Nancy!”

Alarmed that someone was drowning, I turned and heard, “You’re not doing it right.”  “We’re not doing that any more.”

I nodded and kept doing my own thing.

A few days later, as we rode our bikes around the neighborhood to check out the Annual Yard Sale offerings (more focused on socializing than shopping), we ran into some folks from Water Aerobics.

It was great chatting with them . . . with clothes on!

Donald-DuckaUntil one guy (who has hardly spoken to me before) asked, “Why don’t you do what everyone else is doing in Water Aerobics?”

Taken aback by the challenge in his voice, I said, “Well, if my shoulder is bothering me, I do other stretches.”

Dissatisfied with my answer, he rephrased his question, “Are you just not a good listener?”

“I listen.  But I listen to my body first and foremost.”

Ignoring my attempt to deflect the discussion, he continued with his cross examination, “Do you just not like to have people tell you what to do?”

Tigger-Looking-At-His-Tail“Well, I admit I don’t worry much about staying in line.  It’s not synchronized swimming after all.”

He kept at it, determined to discover why I am not doing what I’m supposed to be doing when I’m supposed to be doing it.

Why?

I’m not sure and I didn’t ask.  That’s HIS business.

Perhaps . . .

* I stepped outside the lines of what he views as acceptable conduct.
* He believes I am stepping on his toes by coloring outside the lines.
* He blames me for upsetting him . . . when he’s upsetting himself.

People like him are exhausting.  They require too much tending, insisting that we spend time mending broken fences that splintered under the weight of their expectations.

Mickey-SurferLife is short.  Feel free to ignore the Border Collies yapping at your heels to get you “back in line.”  Do what you want to do.  Let them think what they will.

They’re not the boss of you.

Unless, of course, they are the boss of you . . . in which case Listen Up!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Holy Cuttlefish! April 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography.
Tags: , , ,
28 comments

When is a Zebra NOT a Zebra?

When it’s a Cuttlefish.

cuttlefish

The Cuttlefish is a master of disguise:

Aah . . . that’s better!

Cocktails and Crew April 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , , , ,
35 comments

Last week, we attended a cocktail party hosted by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast at the Bay Preserve on Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey.

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The Conservation Foundation’s mission ~> “protecting the bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds of Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

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Before the drinks started flowing, we watched local middle schoolers wading into the waters for crew practice.

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Ready . . .  Set . . . Heave Ho!

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Over it goes.

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And they’re off.

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While the kids rowed, rowed, rowed their boats . . .

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Instructors scooted around in motor boats, barking orders.

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We wandered out on the dock and found a school of friendly fish.

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Bellying up to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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The sun made its descent before the crew teams called it a day.

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The guest of honor, Rand Wentworth, President of the Land Trust Alliance, regaled us with tales of early conservationists, including Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt.

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At last, time for some Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale.

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 Aah . . . that’s better!

Sneak Peek at Neal Preserve April 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
Tags: , , ,
35 comments

Our neighborhood is a bird sanctuary surrounded by 3 nature preserves ~ Robinson, Perico, and Neal.  Avian visitors include egrets, heron, pelicans, cormorants, anhingas, ibis, ducks, geese, vultures, and roseate spoonbills.

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Robinson Preserve opened in 2008 with walking and biking trails, a picnic area, kayak launch, playground, visitor’s center, viewing tower, and lots of wildlife ~ including several nesting pairs of bald eagles.

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Perico Preserve, still under construction, will be a bird rookery for nesting parents and baby birds.  “No Dogs Allowed.”

Reflections

Neal Preserve, located just to the west of our neighborhood, is scheduled to open tomorrow.  A few weeks ago, we had a chance to take a sneak peek.

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We walked along the elevated boardwalk and climbed the viewing tower.

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We saw fluffy cotton and cacti growing wild, 2000-year-old conch shells lining pathways, and palms swaying overhead.

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We enjoyed stories shared by the resident archeologist about two ancient burial mounds (300 B.C. – 100 A.D.) found on the grounds.

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And admired a trio of skeletons acting sentry over the ancient mounds.

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We didn’t see even the whisper of a ghost.  Maybe next time.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

The Mad Hatter April 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Nature, People, Poetry.
Tags: , , , ,
20 comments
220px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_27

Wikipedia ~ Alice in Wonderland (in Public Domain)

Trained to restrain
Our joys and triumphs
We share instead
Our sorrow and pain

Wings clipped, lights low
We diffuse our truth
To broadcast tales
Of worry and woe

Who created these social norms and mores we blithely follow?

The Mad Hatter?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Our Deepest Fear

 

Exterior Design April 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry.
Tags: , ,
30 comments

Nature bathes our senses in reds, pinks, purples, and greens ~ all the colors of the rainbow offered up with tantalizing tastes and textures, aromatic fragrances, and soothing sounds that speak to our spirit, like the cry of a gull above the crash of the waves.

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Primary shades demonstrate both restraint and zeal ~ an unparalleled zest for living:

* Red geraniums, strawberries, tomatoes, and cardinals
* Yellow daisies, sunflowers, lemons, and bananas
* Bluebirds, blueberries, and cloud streaked skies

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Secondary shades add nuance to nature’s palette, drawing us outward and inward simultaneously:

* Fragrant oranges bursting with flavor tickle our taste buds
* Green grasses tickle the soles of our feet
* Purple evening skies beckon us to linger longer under the moon’s rays

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Nature’s sights and sounds delight and inspire us to tread softly on this precious planet, while savoring all that it offers.

We hug its offerings to our hearts and souls, taking clippings and cuttings to brighten our interior decor and sustain us through hectic days.

Mother Nature . . . this bud’s for you!

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Even in the stillness, the cosmos swirls. Even when silence reigns, we hear its heartbeat.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Redneck Lent April 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , , ,
47 comments

Wikipedia ~ Holy Orders (in Public Domain)

Every Friday night, Bubba fired up his grill and cooked a venison steak.

But, all of Bubba’s neighbors were Catholic.  And, since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday.  The aroma from the grilled venison was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they talked to their priest.

The Priest came to visit Bubba, and suggested that he become a Catholic.

After several classes and much study, Bubba attended Mass.  The Priest sprinkled holy water over Bubba, “You were born a Baptist, and raised a Baptist, but now you are a Catholic.”

Bubba’s neighbors were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood.

The Priest was called.  He rushed over clutching a rosary, prepared to scold Bubba.  Instead, he stopped and watched in amazement.

There stood Bubba, clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat as he chanted:

“You wuz born a deer, you wuz raised a deer, but now you is a catfish.”

Wikipedia ~ Catfish (in Public Domain)

Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

Do Not Disturb April 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry.
Tags: , , , ,
20 comments

Dragonfly rested
Wings folded
Still

Do not disturb

Desires ignored
Outstretched wings
Flight

How you perturb

Dragonfly settled
Wings framed
Anew

Kicked to the curb!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts.  The beauty of Rod’s art lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.

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