Throwback Thursday – Last Summer’s Vacation and Blog

Hi and Happy Throwback Thursday. I thought it would be fun to write about the beach on this day when it so cold in much of the country. Last summer I wrote about not having a beach body for our family vacation to San Diego. You can find the link here:

Turns out I am so glad that I enjoyed myself and that we took lots of pictures — both with makeup on and without.  Little did I know then that this would be the last time the three of us would have a beach vacation together.

I cherished it as I always do when going to this favorite beach location.  I have been going my entire life so there are memories of many loved ones. Sadly, we have lost quite of a few of these precious loved ones. I keep them alive in my thoughts, memories, photos, and discussions with friends and family.

We had several meals out with other family and a few for just us.  We laughed, we talked, and we so enjoyed each other’s company.  We went to Legoland with my dad and had a blast.  Ian then worked on a special Lego build and loved it. Kirk watched Ian play chess with Cody at the beach.  We had fun getting our feet wet in the surf and had lots of walks along the sand.

We also had the pleasure of watching Ian learn to ride a bike and Kirk and my dad rode along with him.  I have photos and video of that.  We enjoyed meals at the front porch table with my mom, siblings, and other family, sunsets, singing and time with family, special friends, lots of hugs and laughs, and precious time together.  All of this time is now bittersweet and something that I am so glad that we did.

I didn’t like how I looked in every picture but you know what, I cannot imagine not having pictures of me with my two best guys.  So when I am sad and missing my love like crazy, I can pull out these photos and be comforted by this special time we had together.

During the summer, we also celebrated Kirk’s birthday, his dad’s birthday, other relative’s birthdays, and it was the summer of Harry Potter when Ian discovered these wonderful books.  I too enjoyed them very much.

We also enjoyed catching up with old friends who we hadn’t seen for years, seeing the birth of a new family member, shopping trips, new books, long walks, times to swim, cookouts, and fireworks.  We worked and had adventures with new families and students.  We also enjoyed a few special movies together, such as I Can Only Imagine.

We had a busy summer.  I will cherish it always.  The three of us loved each other so very much.  We two who are left truly miss our loved one.  Things are not the same without him but we try each day to carry on.  We encourage you to spend special time with your loved ones, take that vacation, and enjoy and savor every minute you share.  After all, we never know when life will totally change.

On walls, shutdowns, and emergencies

(Note: Since my husband’s passing in late November, I haven’t been inclined to write. However, the current state of what is going on led me to write this blog. I am very troubled by the lack of willingness to work together by our elected officials. I know some may disagree with me, but I wanted to share some things to consider. Photos from Power Point clip art.)

I can think of several things that qualify for an emergency more than a wall. First, I do know that improved border security is needed and important. However, I am not sure if just a physical structure is the best way to go. Clearly some places need this structure. But, what about more officers, more immigration staff patrolling the border, more dogs, more technology, drones, and other things? And, what about working with these other governments and embassies to let them know we cannot receive them like this? Let’s work with them to ensure their safety in their own country so they won’t have to leave.

And, what about for example through the Rio Grande? Are property owners on that water to lose the view or should a wall be built in the middle of the water? Also, why is it only the southern border? Is that the only place that illegals are coming in? I think not. I know from personal experience that people come in via the ocean, land on the beach, and run. And, people and drugs come in via airplanes as well. Nothing from Canada?

The city of Flint, Michigan still isn’t with safe water and that to me is criminal. Families are sick and shouldn’t be. We still have children who are not with their parents who have tried to seek asylum in America. Why can’t the families be kept together? We still have school shootings where many kids are being killed and others are being scared of going. And churches sometimes no longer feel safe.

We have kids, men and women who are abused or are in sex trafficking and what are we doing? We also have a major opioid crisis and little is being done about it. We have violence, hate and discrimination that need to go away. And, we have children who are starving. We have teachers who have to use their own money to supplement what is used in their classrooms. We have police officers who are under appreciated and being killed for keeping us safe. We have people in disaster zones like Puerto Rico who still don’t have their lives back to normal.

On top of all of this is the government being shut down. Not only are people not getting paid, many are forced to work without pay while others have to stay home. They are supposed to be paid after this is settled, but who knows when that will be? I worked as a government contractor for years and am not yet sure how they will be affected with all of this. And, during this, the President and Members of Congress are getting paid. The very people causing the problem are still getting to continue with life as usual. That is so not right or fair.

And now we are seeing the impacts of things being shut down. We are seeing how gross some people are by not picking up after themselves at national parks or by destroying them. These are our national treasures that we should take care of. Let’s leave things better than we found them and help out by cleaning up and being careful. And people are having to wait in three-hour lines to board a flight for business or vacation.

I long for the days when people such as Senator John McCain and Senator Ted Kennedy were alive since they argued strongly against one another, but found a way to compromise. And they were friends. You knew that despite the work involved, the hard hours, the disagreements, and the not quite getting what they wanted, they still worked together until it was done.

Now, all we hear is that the other side is the enemy and that they are useless, or stupid, or have no ideas. And the idea of compromise has become a bad one and only used by weak people – or at least that is what some people say. People, grow up, put on your big pants, and talk to each other. Our citizens are suffering. Our citizens need you to represent them and take care of them. Our citizens need to get their lives back to normal.

The irony is that the very thing being fought for is causing danger to our citizens. That to me makes no sense at all. The TSA and Pilots Union have already said there is danger in not having a full paid staff and yet no one blinks. The FDA cannot inspect food as they often do and no one blinks. The food stamps program and many other programs will run out of money in February and no one blinks. How bad does it have to get before our “leaders” care enough to make changes and all come to the table?

We need to pull together as the great country we have always been. Now, I am not so sure. I am so disappointed with all of our leaders in digging in their heals since they all think they are right. By being that stubborn, millions of Americans are suffering and will continue to do so.

I am sick of tired of each side complaining about the other. I am sick of my friends who keep posting crap about the other side as well. And, I have stopped reading a lot of that and/or responding. I just can’t do it anymore since even they don’t want to listen to another argument.

I think we all need to come together and learn to respect our differences again. We are not all the same and shouldn’t be. And we all have something to offer, if only the others would listen.