Tag Archives: Veteran’s Day

Welcome to My November

Jillian here. I hate to say my life is dull compared to some of you. Laurie with her cider making, Jane with her bike/car adventures, Lavada with her hidden state treasures visits, Kit’s gardening and Tricia’s trip all sound so much fun. I’m here trudging along with the day to day grind. Working the day job and writing on a new story for NaNoWriMo on my lunch hour and at home in the evenings. I was supposed to go to New York City in October but my traveling companion had an emergency arise with her mother in law so we postponed.

My older son is in for a visit this weekend so that’s a very nice thing. He’s always a pleasure to be around. We both have long been Liverpool football fans and usually both watch the matches and text each other while they are being played. This week, at 6:30 am central time, we’ll be up and watching in the same room for the first time in ages. Looking forward to it.

I have a new Christmas anthology out that was a lot of fun to write. I am working on this NaNo story that’s a pretty heavy subject matter and is much slower going as the level of angst is pretty deep. My inspiration for the story is the true experiences of Oney Judge. She was a slave owned by George Washington. She escaped and he never freed her -even after his death, so she technically died a slave even though she’d been living in a free state for years at the time she passed away.

The law in Pennsylvania at the time George was president was that if a slave lived there for six months, that slave became free. A lot of owners removed their slaves just before the time ran—even for a day or two—as that act would start the six months running again. George did the same thing.  It was a shameful time in our history and I’m tackling it in this story. It’s clearly not a romance though she does eventually find happiness as the true life lady did. It’s difficult to write how the slaves were treated as less than human. I can only hope I’m doing them justice.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate. And bless the families who lost loved ones in WWI as we come up on Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Would that their sacrifices in the War to end all Wars had been true.

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My Grandfather

picgpaToday is Veteran’s Day. First and foremost, I’d like to extend a hearty thank you to every man, woman, and animal who has worked to keep us safe, both in our home towns and in other countries.

I thought I’d chat a bit about my Grandfather. I never got the chance to know him, as he died when I was about six months old. But Mom’s stories helped me know the kind of man he was.  He served in the Army for only about a year, being discharged due to “service no longer required”. WWI had ended. In fact, he got to France right around the day the Armistice was signed, so he didn’t have to fight, which I am personally glad for.

His discharge record says his character was “excellent” and his service was “honest and faithful.” I wonder, do they still list things like that on service records these days?  Grampa was a recipient of the WWI Victory Medal, given to all persons who served active duty overseas during the war. I used to love to get it out and stare at it when I was a kid. My mom still has that medal. 🙂

Beyond the war, though, Mom always said Grampa was a quiet man, except when it came to his mischievous sense of humor.  For example, he was driving home in one car while his brother was in the other one. Grampa took a different route and his brother never could figure out how Grampa made it home first. I gather Grampa never explained, either. He was always teasing the kids, too. One cousin of Mom’s still remember Grampa telling her Santa Claus fell off our roof. Hmmm. I guess that could have been pretty traumatic depending on her age at the time, which I’m not sure of.

Grampa  wasn’t demonstrative, so when he hugged you, it meant something, like when his mother died and my mom was crying. To this day, she remembers him putting his arms around her and comforting her.

He spent most of his post-war career working in sawmills, and a lot of that as a head sawyer. That’s the person who decides the best way to cut a log, to get the most out of it. The whole thing sounds pretty complicated to me, and I’ve seen a sawmill in action (compliments of my husband, the steam-mill, and steam-train freak). 🙂

One of eleven children, Mom calls him an “all around good guy.”  He loved his family, and his wife, and, in fact, passed away a short ten months after my Gramma. So I never really got to know him, except through Mom’s eyes. I’m grateful she’s shared stories of him with us. I think it’s important to remember where we come from. It helps guide us in deciding where we are going, right?

How about you? Do you have grandparent or veteran stories? We’d love to hear them.

Have a safe and peace-filled Veteran’s Day!

We salute you

Today is Veteran’s Day.  I’m pretty sure we all know someone who has served. Or someone who has been there to help and back up those who serve or have served. I found this amazing video with accompanying song by Norah Jones, that says it all. And, even though the song is about America, I think it applies world-wide. Thank you to all who have and do serve.

In honor of all our veterans:

by fivemumaw (http://www.youtube.com/user/fivemumaw)

posted by Laurie Ryan