Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’
So with the end of March having occurred I no longer have an excuse to be lazy. The truth is I have written so many articles over the years about Ireland and the Irish, that in March I rarely add new stories any more. I try to make an effort, however, to add at least one new one each year. End result is I have a plethora of Irish work on the website, which is ok, because it seems to drive a wealth of traffic as well. In previous years I changed the visual theme of the website to the current theme you see now. We used a different visual theme the rest of the year. The woodland theme more reflects my thought process these days.
With all of that I always feel sad to see March pass. While an excuse to be somewhat lazy on the site it is also a nice time to share heritage, heraldry and see days like St Patrick’s Day as being more than just a drunken rampage (not to say I haven’t participated in a few). There’s a reason its a known holiday, beyond green beer and shamrocks as well as silly hats. Learn it, understand it, then celebrate it.
Typically March is one of my favorite times of the year. You get the full gambit of seasons in one month: rain, snow, cold, warmth and the colors begin changing once again.
This March has been brutal, not weather wise but just in general.
We lost a good friend, and military blogger in Carroll LeFon AKA Neptunus Lex in 2012. My whole family was nearly killed in a car accident in the same year. My daughter has been plagued with one sick spell after another. The list goes on and on.
But in the end it is still the seasons, and just plain luck that goes wrong even though sometimes it is fate itself that has turned against us.
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I’ve been packing and working on some work relatted paper work since last night. I took a brief respite and turned on the news while putting the finishing touches on my check in luggage. The programming put me to thinking.
I’ve been flying so much the last two months that it feels like I live in an airport.
Thats not usually a big deal for me but it has made keeping up with Graduate school, to put it very mildly, a challenge.
When I get home my daughter craves, no, demands my undivided attention. Work is a huge demand on my time right now and school is just as bad, if not worse. It’s further complicated by the fact I sometimes jump three to four time zones in a single day.
But its good work, and I am doing my best too do a good job, even if the political enviornment is one I am not fond of. Anyone who knows me knows that I am about as politically correct as a an Irish bordello. So I usually just keep my mouth shut, keep my head down, to my job and move out smartly.
Truth be told in this area the travel is a relief. I grow weary of the huddeled whispers in corners sometimes, and it makes my head hurt when folks talk about the latest TV programming. While the latter is entirely me, and I admit that the former is just eye ball rolling and navel gazing. But I digress.
It has been nice seeing old Ft Carson again, sadly no one that I know is stationed here any longer. That much is somewhat telling, as well as vaguely disturbing. In our minds we often picture a place as frozen in time, in a single pane the way it was we last saw it. So it is often shocking when we return to a location and see the changes that have been wrought in our absence.
Cartersville and Ellijay, GA are both this way for me. Often I hear folks say “Oh its only grown a little.” While I stare at them flabberghasted. However my Ft Carson experience is more unsetteling than normal, whereas Cartersville and Ellijay have people I know who can help me identify changes or find places I used to haunt, with Ft Carson I have none of that. Too many years have passed, to many duty stations have changed and too many personell have left for Fiddlers Green from the wars and “peace actions” since my time here.
In High School, one of our yearbook themes was “We are only just passing through”. My good friend, lets call him Gas-man due his MOS and to protect the guilty, and I noted how many folks just passed through our active duty units. Compared to a dinner we had recently with a group of National Guard veterans who I think may have a more solid bonding experience as their personell usually stay until retirement, with minimal change due to personell rotation, or MOS branch orders like in Active Duty.
I think I envy them that. A steady parade of faces over the years, folks I knew only breifly or not at all move past my minds eye as I board another plane and then another. Watching folks in uniform shuffle from one Gate to another to catch flights from here to yon. The last time I flew on Active Duty we were told we could not wear our uniforms for security concerns. We wore civillian clothes. I consider the fact that those instructions were pre 9/11 and now after the fact we openly have folks wearing. Its a juxtaposition to be sure for me, but one that I can not take a position on as I see points in both aspects. But the faces move on and fade out.
In the end we all do, we make only a few marks in the worls, on the people we meet. There are no more Alexanders, no more Hannibals. There will be no more grand parade of soliders from Antietam, The grand movements are done, the band has ceased. It is not what we mark anymore it is who.
Do I sound tired? I am. Very tired.
I turn off the TV and finish packing my bag. If our network programming is of any indicator, I think I’d rather read the works of Tacitus and remember than see what we have become.
I had a dream this morning.
Not a Martin Luther style, but one that comes of being relaxed in warm blankets on a spring Easter morning.
I was dreaming of being a kid again in my grand parents yard.
My grandparents and whatever aunts and uncles as well as my own parents (if any of the aforementioned were home from deployment) would all be on the porch following service and playing old bluegrass gospel tunes. We kids would be scattered throughout the front yard chasing easter eggs and what not. My grandfather would tie fishing line to June bugs and Japanese beetles for us to fly around the yard. The smell of friend chicken and collard greens coming from my grandparents home. Fresh cut grass drying for hay and a morning dew so thick you could wash in it.
My grandpa had a Wurlitzer player. He’d put Jimmy Rogers on in the evenings most days, but for Easter it was always home grown. Except for Sunday service. No music was allowed during service, just voices which always struck me as odd for no sooner than we would get home then the instruments come out, the porch chairs be occupied and the music start.
It was so real, and I was so young I could feel the dew soaking my shoes and my socks making my feet squish when I would wiggle my toes. I could hear the hum of the beetles and the far off cigar tinged voice of my grandfather singing Silver Haired Daddy of Mine.
I am not a very religious person. I should be, given my luck and the guilty conscious I was born with tells me I had best be and that I need to improve vastly. But I find the dedication hard, given some things that I have witnessed and seen through the years here and in other countries. It all seems so futile sometimes. But I digress.
I won’t spoil my daughter with my terrors. For her, Easter is a day of service, eggs, chocolates, chicken and buttermilk biscuits for breakfast, and play time with her immediately family. It’s a time of home cooked meals, beautiful days with flowers in bloom.
Religious or not I can’t help but feel a bit home sick, and a closeness to my relatives whom have been called home. My Aunt Betty who had a crooning voice so suited to Hobo Bill’s Last Ride it would give you chills when she sang it. My grandfather, whose favorite song was most likely Little Log Cabin in the Lane. My Uncle Charlie who specialized in old cowboy songs and who, if I must admit, I modeled myself after in so many ways. He’s jovialness, always a smile, his ability to take everything in stride. I never had a chance to tell him before he was taken away. It always seemed so unmasculine, and immature. Now to feel that foolishness for just even a moment. He would sing the yodeling cowboy songs with a brash grin spread across his face, like All Around the Water Tank.
In my head this morning we were all rejoined, and we kids played on in awe. Now I wish I could go back, for just a moment and play, and learn from them. To cover those old songs that my peers have never heard and have no memory of. The music can’t die with us, and it can’t go with them either. We must let it play on, for as I awake I realize that every time I try to play it, they are playing with me.
As the morning sun creeps in to my room, I try in vain to return to sleep, return to those days and that moment in time.
But we can’t go back. Home is never really home once you leave, trust me on this. But it is the place your always called back to by those who know you least while knowing you most.
Perhaps one day. But for now I have my memories, which I have chosen to share with you.
I know most folks like to sit back and smoke their cigars.
I like to walk.
Was a nice brisk cool morning yesterday, great weather for my traveling companions: a Gurkha Cuban Legacy and Yukon Blend coffee with a shot of Jameson.
Here’s a little photo-essay attempt with some random thoughts.
Feel free to click any of the images for a bigger version. Enjoy the walk, sorry if my mind tends to venture in to strange places. its just the way I am.