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Beach Day

I thought I’d give you a recap of how the Mr. and I spent our 4th of July.

Being empty nesters allows us to march to our own beat, so to speak.

First, we both slept in.  I started off the summer so well . . . getting up early each day to walk.  Since getting back from California, I haven’t been able to, though.  I was exhausted the first week and gave myself some grace.  I hurt my back the second week and am still healing, so walking has been out.

I did manage to get dressed in my favorite workout shirt, an homage to my Rooster, and do Leg Day of the 80 Day Obsession program I’ve been making my way through.

Excuse the bed head.  I had not even brushed it at this point.  I knew I needed to get on the ball with my exercising before the Mr. started hollering.

A couple of hours later, we headed out to one of our favorite spots . . . the beach.

Parking was a bit of a nightmare with a bajillion other people taking advantage of the gloriously sunny day.  Fortunately, we found a space on our second pass-through.  We’d packed a little lighter because of my back and settled in for the afternoon.

The Mr. had ordered me a patriotic bikini, and the visor was the one I’d found at the BX during our visit to Rooster’s base.

Ahhh . . . toes in the sand (the prettiest sand I’ve ever seen).

Oh my word, but the beach was c-r-o-w-d-e-d.

People were almost sitting on top of one another.  I can’t say that I like it when it’s that busy.

I’d read that the water had been clear for the past few days.  Boy, was it ever.  It was also freakishly hot, so many, many people stayed in the water.

A big gripe now.  I really wish that smoking would be banned from the beach.  Even though I grew up in a home where the adults smoked, I have become very sensitive to it.  It seemed as though EVERYONE around us was smoking that day.  It was so gross and gave me a headache.

Ugh.

One more grip:  Why are people so rude and sit in front of you and then set up tents?  We are very careful when we set up shop so that we won’t block others’ views of the water.  Ugh.

All of my complaining aside, it was a glorious day.  The forecast had called for rain.  I’m glad we ignored it because we didn’t see anything.

People watching is something we enjoy doing at the beach.  Take a look at this guy . . .

He was feeling the holiday.

We left around 4pm, sandy, tired, and hungry.

After feeding the dogs, who were extremely happy to see us, a shower, and a change of clothes, we headed out to dinner.  Nobody felt like cooking, that was for sure.

We had a 50% coupon for Bonefish Grill, a reward we’d earned after three qualified visits.  What can I say?  We really like this place.

I had been wanting a beachy drink.  This one hit the spot.

Dinner was wonderful, as it always is.  I always get the House Salad.  It’s light and hits the spot.  A former student who works as a server came over and spoke to us for a few minutes.  We see him almost every time we dine at Bonefish.  It’s always fun to catch up with my kids once they’ve left high school.  He’s turning out well, which does my heart good.

There was a long table beside us filled with some older folks.  One cute-as-pie lady gave us sparklers, which she’d made, and told us to have fun.  We assured her that as empty nesters, we were doing just that.

The Mr. suggested that we watch one of the many fireworks displays in town, but I said no.  I’m a homebody at the core of my being and just wanted to be with my fur babies.  Plus, I needed time to mourn for Molly (I didn’t say this to the Mr.).  The sad stuff had been building all day and it just needed to come out, privately.

It turns out that this was the best decision because he didn’t feel too great later that evening.  It had been a fun, albeit exhausting day.

Plus, we’re old like that.

July 4th, 2018

Gosh, but is it really the 4th of July already?  It doesn’t seem like an entire year has gone by since the last one we celebrated.  I actually remember spending a few hours at the pool before hurrying home to spend time with my sweet Molly, who wasn’t feeling well.

How will you be spending the day?  Will you watch a parade?  Will you grill out with friends?  Will you stick your toes in the sand and listen to the sound of the surf as I’m planning on doing?  Will you spend the evening watching a gorgeous display of fireworks?

What will you be thinking about as you engage in your fun?

Will you relish the day off in the middle of the week?  If you’re a teacher like me, will it be just another day in your second month of vacation – a day to spend with family?

I don’t know that I gave the 4th an extraordinary amount of thought until two years ago when my Rooster enlisted in the Air Force.

Perspective is everything.

Now that I’m a military mama, I recognize the day for what it is:  a celebration of the freedom that selfless men and women gave their lives for in the early days of our country’s founding.

This freedom is still being fought for.

I count it an honor to count my Rooster among that special group of people.

Rooster, thank you for what you do.  Thank you for answering the call to serve your country.

You always said that you wanted to serve where you would make a difference.

You do.

Every day.

I am so proud to be a citizen of a country that was forged by incredibly brave individuals.

More than that, I consider it a great privilege to be the mama of a serviceman.

Happy 4th of July, sweet friends.  Let us never take for granted the freedom that is uniquely ours.

4th of July – A Fresh Perspective

Today, we celebrate the 4th of July.

As a new Air Force mom, I am looking at this holiday from a different perspective.

Today, when I think of the founding of this country, I am beyond thankful.

Thousands of people made the brave decision in the early days of the founding of this country by going against the tide to secure this nation’s freedom.

Over the years, countless citizens have sacrificed their time and, ultimately for many, their lives, to ensure that we continue to enjoy our freedom.

Several times during Rooster’s graduation weekend, we had the privilege of hearing new Airmen recite the Airman’s Creed.

It matters not the color of the uniform or the creed spoken.  Each branch of the military consists of self-giving individuals.

I think I used to take this for granted.

I no longer do so.

As you celebrate, take a moment to lift our country’s servicemen and women in your prayers.  It is because of those who blazed the trail all of those many years ago and those who presently serve that we continue to live in the Land of the Free and the Brave.

One Nation Under God

Happy 4th of July!

May we never fail to uphold God’s laws and stay true to Him, for He has abundantly blessed our country.

Independence Day 2012

I am so grateful to those who went before me…bravely standing their ground so that I could have the freedoms I enjoy today.

I am so grateful to those who serve, even while I sleep, to ensure that these freedoms are enjoyed.

Thank you!

Let Us Never Forget…

I live in an area that houses two bases from two different branches of the military.

It’s not easy to forget about the sacrifice that our soldiers are making.  In fact, I’ve taught students who had parents serving tours of duty in the Middle East.

On this 4th of July, I thought I would post a video for the Dixie Chicks’s song, Traveling Soldier.

The words of this song never fail to bring tears to my eyes…especially more so now because my friend, Jane, lost her first husband to the Vietnam War.

So, while we’re busy barbecuing with family and watching the night skies light up with brilliant flashes of color, let us never forget those serving all around the world, lighting up the skies in a much different way and often making the ultimate sacrifice…their lives.


The Beat of the Drums

Happy 4th of July!

I really like when this holiday falls on a Sunday.  It is a good reminder that it is by God’s grace that we live in a great country like the United States.  This country was founded on Christian principles (despite what some people may say), and it is God who deserves the glory for the blessings we enjoy in this land.

When I entered the sanctuary, I had no idea that I would be in for a treat.

I attend the contemporary service.  This service does not have a formal choir.  Instead, the music is led by a worship team and band.

This morning, however, there were quite a few people standing on the bleachers behind the band.  We sometimes use this area as overflow seating, but this was not something we needed today as a lot of people were missing…out of town visiting family, I suspect.

Among the group, I also spotted three guys from the high school band.

Interesting, I thought to myself.  They must be playing in the band too.  It isn’t uncommon to see new faces now and then.

The service began in its fairly regular way.

Everyone stood and said the Pledge of Allegiance, to acknowledge this special holiday.

We sang several praise songs, passed around the attendance binders, and took up tithes.

And then the surprise…

The band, the extra people in stands (I quickly realized they are the members of the regular choir, which sings at the traditional service), and the three guys from the high school band stood up.

The guys had strapped on their drums.

One was playing tenors (which is what Rooster will be playing this fall)…

Another guy was holding a snare drum…

The third gentleman had strapped on the very large bass drum…

The guys were wearing black shirts, and their drums were held with white straps similar to these…

They looked like they were wearing uniforms, and the picture was striking.

The lights were down in the church, and the choir began singing.

The boys stood at attention.

They looked a little like the following picture, which was taking during the Civil War…

One by one, the boys lifted their drums sticks as their instruments entered the musical piece.

As they began to play, all eyes focused on them.

We just couldn’t help it.

We were mesmerized.

Chills traveled through my body.

As the tempo picked up and the song reached its crescendo, tears began rolling down my face.

Chicky looked over at me and, in a voice barely above a whisper, asked why I was crying.

I couldn’t explain…not yet anyhow.

You see, as I watched those boys play, and I listened to the words of the song, my heart was moved in a powerful way.

My nerdy brain that thrives on history saw those boys as representative of others who, many, many years ago, served in our military.

Music played a very important part in military life way back when.  Music signified the beginning of a soldier’s day, meal times, drills, and even pay day.

The musical selection Taps originally began as a song that ended the day.

Drum cadences were used to help men march in time, unified, as they were about to face an opposing army.  Commanders relied on drum signals to convey commands across the field of battle.

All of these things were going through my mind as I sat there this morning.

Those boys…one just graduated, one to graduate next year, and the other the year after with Rooster – they could easily have been in our nation’s earliest battles for freedom as most of the soldiers were quite young back then.

This holiday is a day when people barbecue…thank their lucky stars that they have an extra day off.

For me, the morning’s music was a time to reflect and give thanks, both to God and to those who were brave enough to take a stand for freedom.

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