The nice thing about being semi-retired is you can come and go pretty much as you please. At least as the schedule you are working or not working dictates. This week my schedule was to work Saturday. Tuesday (4 hours) and Friday. One of the good things the world's largest retailer does is give part-time employees vacation time. Prorated of course. Well ol' Pops has some left over from last year and with 10+ inches of snow on the ground and free room and board AND 30 degrees difference in temperature I headed south. This post is coming from Fayville! My home away from home. Yes, I know my Warrior is not here but. I did not come to see him. I came to UN-THAW! I know it gets colder and snow gets deeper where some of my blogging friends are but, folks I was so sick of snow and single digit temperatures it was come south or do drugs. I choose the later first but the local sheriff said NO! So here I am.
Having explained why I am here I have something else to report on. Usually I hate to use the word hate. It just seems obscene to me. There's a lot of things I strongly dislike but only a couple I really hate to say I hate.
These two things are:
Ohio in the winter time and driving the West Virginia Turnpike. I really love to hate those two things. I have had a life changing experience though so to speak. I no longer hate the West Virginia Turnpike as much as I did. The WVT is about 90 miles of up and down and up and down and round and round that you would ever want to drive. IMHO. Airborne Momma and I would count the minutes we were on that road and tried several ways to avoid it. Most turned out to be so much longer finally we just gave up and sucked it up. We drove it on our honeymoon to Myrtle Beach and drove it to Fayville and beyond every time we went south.
Why the sudden change you ask. Mountains, cold weather and melting snow. Put this together and you have icicles. Not just icicles but huge ice falls. Yes, this old guy has a little soft spot in his heart for the beauty created by Mother Nature, aka God. I left Ohio early Sunday morning to avoid traffic and reached the WVT a little past daybreak. Folks let me tell you for most of that 90+ miles of driving up and down and around and around the pageantry put on by the combination of the cold weather, mountains and melting snow was honestly indescribable. Miles and miles of crystallized melting snow with the sun shining on it provided an array of color and brilliance known to only a few travelers this past Sunday morning.
As I was driving on this nearly deserted highway and taking in this awe of power in these mighty mountains my mind wander. What force pushed these un-measurable tons of rock up at 45 degree angles. The layers of different soils so easily discernible as I drove. This indicated at some time in the life cycle of these mountains they were most likely covered by water. Now they pushed skyward nearly 4000 feet above the current ocean level. What force caused these stones to crack and let the melting snow trickle down and slowly again become frozen. Frozen to create this spectacle that I was now privileged to see. As the brilliant glow of the sun reflected on this show I drove and took this in. I was moved to stop and take some pictures. I had time and traffic was light. Then two thoughts went through my mind. Which ones would I take and which ones of these beautiful sites would I leave out. How could I a lowly man choose which was to be preserved in a photo and which was left to melt slowly away unrecorded. I would have to photo nearly 90 miles of mountains and it would take longer than this wonderful marvel would last.
No photos I or anyone could take, nor no camera could copy the majesty of what only the Big Guy created. I was privileged to see it and it will remain a beauty in my memories forever.
Yes, I know this is a military blog but we have a soft side too. Besides this blog is Mark 1:11.
As you may or may not have noticed I haven't posted the picture of my Warrior in Haiti through no fault of his. Rather through the ineptness of his computer ignorant father. It was, and still is a cool pik. He is being the good soldier standing in front of a barber shop with his cool shades. He is dressed in full battle rattle (I think). It's hard to tell when you strap on 100+ pounds of gear on a 150+ pound frame. He is dressed in the ARMY'S finest camo ACU's, BDU's, or what ever they are called today. But enough about him, how about me?
I am the parent of this rough and rugged Warrior and damn proud of him and his unit. The short story on my previous post doesn't do justice to the good these brave young men and women do. In war times or in times of natural disaster they are truly the best at what they do. Giving, caring, protecting and saving the citizens of the greatest country in the world or some other deserving country.
I just received a text from my Warrior who said they had just made a little PT jog through the streets in the neighborhood. Since my weather bug shows a current temp of 70 degrees and rain in San Juan he seemed in good spirits. San Juan, of the Dominican Republic, is the closest weather station I can locate. Perhaps it is not raining where he is at. Then again, maybe it is and he likes running in the rain. At 70 degrees it can't be that bad. He actually is lucky. I spent my afternoon shoveling snow, (more piks I can't seem to get downloaded). Last call was 10 to 12 inches. Geesh, I wish he was home!!
Other than that not much going on from what I hear. Just another fun day in an exotic location sponsored by the US ARMY, courtesy of the American taxpayer, you and me. Boy I hope he takes some pictures. I would like to have something for my money! LOL
Many may wonder what our Warriors of the 82nd AIRBORNE are doing in Haiti. Here is one of many stories of the kind of metal and compassion our Warriors are made of.
Saving A Baby
Our next destination is a large warehouse building that the team of soldiers believe to be a camp for people left homeless by the earthquake. As we approach the building, we make our way through the front gate and around the side of the warehouse. You can see an abandoned car off in the distance and plenty of dust floating around in this secluded courtyard. Sergeant White enters the warehouse with a few men to see how many people are there, while other soldiers wait outside.
As I stand there watching the scene unfold, a woman holding a baby comes up to me and tugs on my jacket and points to her baby. I wasn�t sure what she needed until I shined the flashlight in her direction and could immediately what was wrong -- her baby�s foot was horribly infected. In my best high school French, I tell her to wait for the doctor, or in this case, the platoon medic, to come back out of the warehouse, along with our translator. Our translator (see separate article) actually grew up in Haiti and later joined the Airborne after he moved to the United States. We learn from the baby�s mother that a piece of concrete fell on the baby�s foot and it had become infected. With crowds of people standing around watching and with several flashlights lighting the way, the medic washes the baby�s foot and then puts on some antibiotic ointment and some bandages.
Then the translator explained to the woman how to change the bandages and the medic gave her some replacement gauze to put on the wound. As the baby was in a great deal of pain, one of the soldiers next to me took out a surgical glove and turned it into a balloon to give the child. As he handed the child the five fingered balloon that looked like a blue bird, the baby instantly enjoyed the new toy. When the soldier explained that it was a �poulet� or chicken, then the entire crowd started laughing, along with the baby.
This story stolen without permission from the Releigh Telegram. For this and many other AIRBORNE/Haiti stories clik here
Has you may or may not know we have had a little snow here in the Midwest. Via modern technology I sent a pik of the drift in front of the front door to our house. A short unprintable epitaph was sent along with the pik.
Several hours later I received this text.
"Everything here OK, Hot as Haiti. LOL"
It's nice to know your kid has a sense of humor. Even if it is at your expense.
That is all. (Try to put a John Wayne draw on that)
My fellow blogger Infantry Dad has started a petition regarding the military practice of "stop loss". Go to this web site and read the petion and react according to your conscience. I respect and support Infantry Dad and his Constitutional rights to freedom of speech. Here is the petion site: www.gopetition.com/online/25742.html.
I am a widower after 32 years of marriage to the most fantastic woman in the world. A father of 3 and grandfather of 10. I am a Christian Constitutional Conservative and proud of my families military service going back to the Civil War.