Apologies and Promises
So I’ve been neglecting this blog… Sorry. (For those of you reading this on FaceBook, what you’re seeing is a feed from my blog at http://radloffthoughts.blogspot.com/ — you probably can’t see any of the photos, links or videos or anything from FaceBook, so you may wanna traipse over to the blog if you feel you’re missing something.)
It’s not that I don’t have anything to say — on the contrary, I have plenty of stuff floating around in my bean. But I’m busy. I hate not writing, but it’s hard to find time… So I hereby pledge to at least TRY to blog more often. I need to for my own mental health. I’m gonna try to do the “365” project and post a photo a day for a year. With luck, that’ll spur me into writing a bit more, too.
I’m still tracking down a photo, so I’ll start by trying to get some of the random thoughts that have been collecting in my head out in public.
I’m sure most of you have heard about Dagmar’s trip to Mayo (if not, you can read about it HERE). It seems cosmically unfair that as soon as she started truly recovering from an illness she’s been suffering for a decade we both come down with H1N1. My poor Viennese Snickerdoodle has been ill the last ten days (as have I, but she’s worse).
What’s even more unfair is that as soon as she started feeling a bit better and was considering going back to work, the flu came back. She’s STILL sneezing and sniffling and feeling miserable…
Personally, I’m feeling better, but I still have trouble staying awake a whole day. The H1N1 flu really zaps your energy! I’ve never slept so much in my life…
I was lucky enough to be able to go on the Siouxland Honor Flight, a program where they raise money, charter a 737, and take WWII veterans to Washington D.C. to see the various monuments — notably the WWII monument. It’s quite an experience!
Right now it’s 5:15 in the morning. The Honor Flight was about 11 days ago, but I’m still going through the photos; I’ll put ’em on the Honor Flight web site, and we’ll make DVDs to give to the 108 vets that were on the flight. I’ve been working on the photos an hour or two a day… I’m sorting through the photos of the veterans getting off the airplane at the end of the day right now.
The flight left at about 6:30 on a Tuesday morning. We arrived in Washington, toured the memorials, and were back in Sioux City by 2 a.m. Wednesday — we did it all in one long day. Needless to say, we were tired when we got home! On the plane on the way home I reflected on what I heard one man say earlier that day. “You know, when I came home from the war, I simply got off the train, found a job and went back to work. There was no big hoopla. It wasn’t any big deal.”
They let media people off the plane first so we could take photos of the vets as they came off the plane… As I walked down the aisle on my way out I heard more than one vet wonder if there would be anyone at the airport. “I’m sure my wife’s home asleep. I hope I can find a ride home…” and “I bet even the airport staff is asleep by this time.”
Once off the plane I ran down the connecting walkway, cameras flapping in the breeze, hoping to find a good spot to get photos of the guys. Around the corner zipped the exhausted hippie, to be confronted by about 50 cheering people standing on either side of an aisle of American flags. Nearly everyone was waving small flags. The American Legion, Legion Riders, Patriot Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Legion Auxiliary all had representatives there, veterans of Vietnam, Panama, Somalia, Desert Storm, Iraq, standing at the ready. There was a full brass band set up in the corner.
I skidded to a stop and got my camera set up. The first veteran came around the corner, wiping his eyes blearily.
“They’re here!” someone shouted. The people in the flag line came to attention. The band started playing. A cheer went up from the crowd and everyone started clapping, applauding.
Slowly, one hundred and eight World War II veterans, all in their 80’s or 90’s, walked (and in some cases rolled) down the avenue of flags to meet their loved ones — finally welcomed home from a war that ended 64 years ago — with a bit of hoopla.