Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The best Christmas gift of all

Freddy popped the big question on Christmas Eve. And my mom said yes. But before that, Freddy called and asked me and my grandmother if it would be okay. We said of course it would!

I did actually get some nice things for Christmas this year, but that was by far the best.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas letters

I've been busy, like everyone else, with the hustle and bustle of holiday preparation. The bus route on my way home, with three lanes of traffic in each direction and lots of malls, has in a sea of brake lights.

This morning, I had a message in my inbox--an unexpected one from a man I hadn't heard from before, who'd served with my dad. That has happened on a few occasions, but this one contained very clear memories of what he'd heard had happened on July 8, 1969 to their company. He'd been wounded prior to that, and was recovering in the "tent city" in Tam Ky. He's struggled with that, but I'm happy for his sake that he wasn't out there in the foothills where the ambush took place.

A few days ago I received a Christmas letter from the wife of another man who served with my dad, and I was saddened to learn that their oldest son is in Iraq, again. (I don't want to start counting the number of times he's been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past five years and three months, or trying to imagine what that family has been through.)

Please keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season, and remember that the effects of war aren't over once the troops come home.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Endings, and beginnings

It's been a time of endings and beginnings for me. I've been wrapping up my fall semester's assignments and attending software training sessions and an all-day orientation for my new position in transplant surgery administration.

In the past week and a half, Bill Clinton's visited Vietnam and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt visited Fallingwater. And I've had no time to blog about it. Doesn't matter.

What does matter: in a fluke that I can only describe as divine On Demand intervention, my friend Melissa managed to not just get "Unknown Soldier" to show up on her TV, but managed to tape it as well. We watched it last weekend with Melissa's friend Debbie while we sat around and talked and tried to figure out how to order pizza.

Really, we're not that dumb. But, we did have a wind storm the night before, which had rendered lots of places without phone service and electricity. The pizza shop down the road had a phone number that kept going to voice mail, so we couldn't figure out if they had power or not.

We eventually gave up and called another place, closer to where I live, and lucky for us they delivered that far. (It's not actually far. Just another zip code and another township.)

I watched "Unknown Soldier" again after that, from the tape, and every time I watch it I notice something different that I like, though the Vietnamese children seem to be growing more and more interesting...there's a lot going on with those joyful little faces. They, more than anything else, make me want to go back.