I am re-posting this Memorial Day post with an addition–an amazing photo! It’s my 1st Lieutenant son’s United States Army Infantry platoon. They are deployed to the Middle East, and we are anxious to find out when they will return.
In 2005, my brother took my almost twelve-year old son to Washington D.C. I came across these photos of their day together and thought they were a fitting send-off to my son who is in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) for the United Stated Army while he studies at a university.
He’s leaving today for mountaineering training in a country very far from home. I could say how anxious I am about this trip, how world events and politics are sad and disheartening, how I get nauseous thinking about his future, and how much I love him and want him safe and happy. Instead I’ll leave you with these photographs.
We were at an event where every table had a different bouquet and, of course, I had to absorb the colors and combinations. The two arrangements below are nestled in DIY Woodsy Centerpieces. Bendable twigs, vines and branches are wrapped around glass vases. The branches-wrapped-vases sit on thick slabs of wood. Simple. Woodsy. Pretty.
My daughter asked, “What’s something both beautiful and terrifying?” Hubby said a lion. I said a tarantula. Today, when walking Lucy very carefully, I thought ice. It’s beautiful yet, also, terrifying for many people.
In August 2016 while traveling in Italy, my daughter Morgan and I took a day trip to Tuscany. We toured two vineyards and an olive oil farm, enjoying a lovely meal prepared by the owners of the smaller vineyard. Once we returned to the U.S., we excitedly awaited our shipments of wine.
Fast forward to Spring 2017. In Brooklyn, Morgan’s roommate was enjoying a quiet day when, out of nowhere, POP! SPRAY! SPLASH! a bottle of wine exploded! It was wine shipped from Tuscany. The cork popped out and the wine sprayed all over the kitchen. How very strange!
Fast forward again, to Summer 2017. In New Jersey, our house was plagued by black flies. Not small house flies but big, bluebottle flies. Yuck! We closed doors and windows, cleaned fastidiously, and “disposed” of as many as we could. But they kept on coming. Hubby and I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from.
One daughter who doesn’t like bugs of any kind, wore a hat in the house and hid in her room.
Another daughter who likes some bugs, practically dove into her cellphone.
Our dog Lucy caught and ate some. They wiggled in her mouth! Double yuck!!
Still, Hubby and I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. It was a mystery!
Then, out of nowhere, they were gone.
A few months later, in preparation for Thanksgiving, Morgan was choosing wine and happened upon an empty bottle. “Who drank a bottle of wine and put it back empty?” she asked.
“Who indeed?” I wondered.
Hubby hadn’t and neither had any of my daughters. It was a mystery!
Then Hubby had an epiphany. “Remember those black flies? I bet the cork popped out of that bottle the same way it did in Morgan’s apartment. The flies must have been attracted to the wine.”
We checked the label and, sure enough, it was a bottle from the same winery as the exploding bottle in Brooklyn. Mystery solved, except for one more mystery…
Do you think the flies got tipsy from the wine?
Why would corks pop out of a bottle? Here are some possible reasons:
A cork would start to pop out of the bottle only if the wine or pressure inside the bottle started to expand, and that only happens at temperature extremes of hot or cold.
[Corks popping out of bottles is] more than likely caused by either: (1) not allowing the fermentation to complete all the way before bottling, or (2) adding sugar after the fermentation to sweeten the wine, but doing so without adding a wine stabilizer.
Growing up in suburban Baltimore, I saw my share of squirrels,
And although they weren’t seen much, skunks made their presence known.
I had no idea that suburban New Jersey–directly west of Manhattan–would be home to all those animals and more. Recently, we received a new “visitor” to our backyard. It wasn’t this cute raccoon resting in a tree,
or the opossum that chatters at night,
or the groundhog that tunnels under our yard,
or the wild turkey that displays its feathers for the ladies,
or the Box Turtle that gave me a kiss,
or the Red Fox we see at dawn and dusk,
At first I thought it was a fox because it looked more like this, but redder.
I told my family, “It’s strange, I saw a Red Fox at ten in the morning.They’re usually asleep by then.”
The next day, Hubby said, “Come quick! There’s a coyote in our backyard!”
I said, “That’s the fox I saw!”
He said, “It’s a coyote!”
“It’s a coyote! I know from watching Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.”
Lucky me! My flexible schedule allowed me to plan a last minute trip to visit my son before he deployed. The last two stanzas of America the Beautiful bring tears to my eyes.
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!