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If not now, when?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Funny how things kind of fall together into themes. After writing that phrase yesterday, this link showed up in the Spark e-mail this morning.

www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=if_
youre_waiting_for_the_perfect_moment_y
oull_just_keep_waiting


Such a great reminder that NOW is all we have. As I look at my calendar for the rest of the year, and process the endorphins from Monday back into "normal"... I ponder how often I need to have an event to keep me motivated (and training, because that's what keeps me fit and healthy) without burning out or hurting myself. Once a month? Every six weeks?

I have to carefully balance the energy it takes and the energy it gives. I don't have another one until July 14th... is that too long? Not really, that 5K fits in to the TRI training, because the TRI itself is the 29th of July.

Dreaming along... after the TRI it gets fuzzy, so decisions beyond that are yet to be made. We know there are always opportunities, and there is life to fit in around it all...

If not now, when? Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/31/2012 9:59PM

    All we have is today and now - that's why it's called "the present". Knowing you, you'll find lots to do to keep on going and going and going and . . .

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LEANJEAN6 5/31/2012 9:27PM

    Hi again Barb--I see you are back swimming---It feels good I bet!-Lynda

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SUE_2U 5/30/2012 6:39PM

    You are so very right. Now is all we have. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 5/30/2012 11:23AM

    You are an Energizer Bunny! No such thing as "I can't do it"!

Keep up your work. You're definitely an inspiration.

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MSLZZY 5/30/2012 10:34AM

    Look ahead for opportunites for action and motivation.
You manage to fit so much into life and I want to grow
up to be just like you.
I read that article this morning and it triggered a
sense of perfect timing. If not now, when? No time
like the present! TY!

Comment edited on: 5/30/2012 10:34:27 AM

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KNITLEIGH 5/30/2012 10:21AM

    This is so true! I think it applies to many areas of our lives!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/30/2012 8:59AM

    The Moment is now....

I have to agree with Kathy that the only thing I have gained by waiting is weight.

Thanks and have a fab day!

Sunny

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ALOHAEV1 5/30/2012 8:36AM

    I need a nap...

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LEANJEAN6 5/30/2012 8:10AM

    July 14th??--Another one??---- Well, it will keep you motivated ----LOL--You are so fit
Barb-----Lynda

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KALIGIRL 5/30/2012 8:08AM

    Isn't it amazing how the opportunities abound if we look for them?

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_LINDA 5/30/2012 8:04AM

    If running is your passion and that is how you would like to keep in shape, it sounds like you may need the odd run to look forward to, to test your fitness level and to have fun with, earning some bling. Good thing that 5 k does fit in with your tri training. To me, tri is the ultimate. I have to wonder if anything after that will seem quite as intense or as interesting for you.. You are challenging yourself fast. So I will be very interested in knowing what is next.. You are really ramping up the now, its the after I am curious about. How can you follow that amazing feat?
Points to Ponder.
Have a terrific Tuesday!

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AZMOMXTWO 5/30/2012 7:45AM

  Now is the time to get going thank you for sharing

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Tuesday's pep talk

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am still full of endorphins from yesterday, so forgive me for rambling!

What I am luxuriating in this morning is the realization that I never would have ATTEMPTED this kind of event 23 years ago. Or 10 years ago. Or even 5 years ago (when I was fairly fit).

My son's courage has given me added impetus (sp?). Several friends and family dealing with illness have also spurred me to an attitude of "if not now, when?"

And it dawned on me that I am now living like a naturally normal sized person might. The armor of the fat weighed me down from making some choices, but it was also the prison of the brain/mindset: what would so-and-so THINK if I did such-and-such?

Never let the judgment of others push you to inaction. Yes, I just said "push to inaction". The paralysis of fearing the opinions of others holds one back from achieving dreams.

This dream? Just plain living! Active, and free, and yes, fit.

After I crossed the finish line, while I was lined up to hose off, a man approached me and asked to take my picture. He had recently had a knee replaced. He asked, if I didn't mind, my age... and I proudly told him I'll be 60 in November! I talked to a little girl, and to some women 20 odd years younger than I... and my message to them was the same: never give up. Let yourself play in the mud... you can always wash it off! You have to make it a priority, you have to keep working at it.

Why? Because you're worth it. And it feels SOOOO good!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 5/31/2012 9:13PM

    Active, free, and fit!! Yes, you are. So glad you have just luxuriated in your well deserved endorphins. "If not now, when?" I'm going to remember to ask myself that question often. It's a great one! -Marsha

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ALOHAEV1 5/30/2012 7:10AM

    Of course it's OK not to mind your age!!! You are a very young late 50ish wear that badge proudly. High Five

We should all copy/paste your push to inaction, keep it as a reminder.

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_LINDA 5/30/2012 2:21AM

    Keep on soaring high and never giving up! I can see you as another one of those running until 100!
Spark on!

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KRISZTA11 5/29/2012 3:07PM

    I'm glad you enjoyed the obstacle course so much : )

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KALIGIRL 5/29/2012 3:03PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KNITLEIGH 5/29/2012 1:50PM

    Well said! Thank you!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/29/2012 11:51AM

    Right on! This morning on the news I saw a news blurb about an 80 some year old woman who went skydiving and slipped out of her harness. OMG . . . She was absolutely as cool as a cucumber AND had no injuries . . . the diving buddy held onto her for dear life during the descent.

Now I want that to be ME @ that age. Don't know exactly about the jumping out of a moving plane, but definitely don't want to be afraid to tackle things -- I don't want fear to make me inert!

Thanks for this wonderful blog AND your wonderful example of how to get 'er done. Army strong!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/29/2012 9:10AM

    "I am now living like a naturally normal sized person might. The armor of the fat weighed me down from making some choices, but it was also the prison of the brain/mindset: what would so-and-so THINK if I did such-and-such? "

That is what plagues me day-in and day-out. Your attitude and accomplishments inspire me to want to be a "mini-Barb"! All joking aside, though, you are an inspiration to many, many people.

Congrats again on a job well done!



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CONCHA77 5/29/2012 8:40AM

    Wonderful Blog! Way to Go, Barb. emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/29/2012 8:23AM

    You are so right. We should never, never, never give up. Our success is out there waiting for us.

Glad you are riding high on those endorphines. BTW - the spelling was correct.

Huggers,

Sun
ny

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MSLZZY 5/29/2012 7:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KNEWMETODAY 5/29/2012 7:56AM

    Amazing! Congratulations! It is such a good feeling to accomplish something you might previously not considered doing.

One of many things, I'm sure!!

Kathy emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 5/29/2012 7:55AM

    Love listening in on your pep talks to you: it's amazing that doing the right stuff also feels so right!

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Bonus blog... getting down and dirty...

Monday, May 28, 2012

and up and scratchy, too!

To prove I started out clean.



See that haystack way off in the distance? That's the first obstacle. Took a while for folks to figure out you have to HELP one another up and over. But once that started to happen, it was great. I did not take photos of the rest of the obstacles, and in fact, took this one from the parking lot after the fact. It's taller than it was, and broader than it was a week ago when I tried it out. And a LOT of fun when there are twenty or thirty of you scrambling on it at once!

After that there was a six foot wall, that I amazed myself by getting over, then dirt birms then an 8 foot wall that I did not surprise myself (I did the jumping jacks instead, but I did at least try climbing up on it first)... after that I did not attempt tall walls.

Then there was the culvert crawl under the road, then a bunch of trail running through some woods, including jumping or climbing over fallen logs, then the barbed wire crawl under (we were still dry for the barbed wire crawl), then more trail running.

A mudslide down to the first mud pit, more dirt birms, then the so-called kill-box which included parallel bars (I kinda cheated, dropping to the ground between swings), the tire wall (about 12 feet up... I got up to where I had my arms over the top and some kind strangers tried to help me but I still ended up having to back down... fear of heights, folks... sigh). Then there was a rail fence about 8 feet tall that I had no trouble with. Go figure... tires, rails. Then running the tires (like the football drill). A run to a water stop...

Back to a rope climb and still rings swing (opted out, but did at least get UP on the rope first knot before doing my jumping jacks). Then the monkey bars (again a no-go... push-ups substituted). The the over/unders, which I'm proud to say I did fully and as designed (over a rail about 4 feet high, then under one about 2 feet high... repeat four or five times, I didn't count, just kept moving).

Balance beam came next... yeah, the wind... blame it on the wind... pushed me off when I got to the third height, so I had to climb back up to finish. One more wall that I skipped, then on to the mud trenches. You got plenty muddy in those, and it was slippery getting out. Thankfully there were course helpers who helped you drag yourself out... and a water break. Yes!

After that... lots of running through the woods, creek crossings, some with ropes to pull yourself up the far side. Another set of hay rolls. One gal and I teamed up to get through some of those obstacles. More running. Eventually... the dreaded climbing wall. I again, at least got myself up on it but I knew it was a no-go from my attempt at it last week... and by then my shoes had about a pound of mud on them and my jeans another pound.

So more jumping jacks and pushups. Oh, I left out the tire pull... I can't remember just where it was, but I ended up doing 20 burpees to sub for it, since you had to wait for someone to get there with a tire... before going back to trail running. More dirt birms. More just plain trail running, and then around a cornfield to the last set of obstacles: dirt birm, tires to crawl through (shoulders down, now bum down, shoulders down, now bum down... repeat for each tire!)... hurdles to get over (I climbed, I didn't run 'em)... down into another mud pit, up one more giant dirt birm, then down and around it to the finish line!

emoticon I think it took me about an hour and a half. Don't have my official time yet, but it really doesn't matter. The winner did it in less than 35 minutes, can you believe it?

BUT I DID IT! For my kid. He can now say his mom is one tough Army Mom!

Here's how filthy the jeans got. And then, after the preliminary rinse off... I ended up leaving them behind! How embarrassing.

All in all, a great outing. We now return to regular Triathlon training.



Life is good. Live it, and Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJR4HEALTH 6/13/2012 8:45PM

    Oh Barb that looked like so much fun to do Sounds like what i did when I was in basic training many many moons ago the balance beam thing is where i broke my ankle though

emoticon without getting injured

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HEALTHYOTTER 5/30/2012 9:12PM

    Yea for you! Thanks for the inspiration!

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KALIGIRL 5/29/2012 3:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KNITLEIGH 5/29/2012 2:23PM

    Wow! You are amazing!


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MSLZZY 5/29/2012 8:00AM

    So proud of you! HUGS!

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JUST_TRI_IT 5/28/2012 10:52PM

    WAY TO GO!!! A special way to remember your son and his comrades.

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SHARON10002 5/28/2012 10:38PM

    You're one tough broad, Barb! ( and I mean that in a nice way) Your son has lots to be proud of. . .
Not my cup of tea, but you nailed it! Sounds like some of the Tough Mudder things I've been seeing on TV!
emoticon emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 5/28/2012 10:04PM

    You're not only ONE tough Army Mom, you're a lot tougher than a lot of Army I'd bet, ah nothing like being young at heart - you absolutely amaze me! Now I need to go rest you wore me out...

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KARIDIAN1 5/28/2012 9:52PM

    Wow, that was an incredible run. Sounds like you had fun too. What a way to stretch your workout.

Any guess on how many calories you burned?

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WATERMELLEN 5/28/2012 8:51PM

    Ohhhhhhhh, I am so impressed. You are one TOUGH army mum! What determination!!

Bet your boy is proud of you!

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SLENDERELLA61 5/28/2012 8:41PM

    WOW!! Amazing and Impressive! Thanks for the pictures. They really do help one visualize what you are talking about. I sure wish I could have been there to see you do all this. Not sure if I'd ever have the -- what does it take -- courage? gall? confidence? fitness? all of these? -- to try it myself, but I honor all your characteristics that allowed you to go for it!!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/28/2012 8:41PM

    You are my hero! What a feat you accomplished! Indeed your son has EVERY right to be very, very proud of you! Barb, you rock.

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_LINDA 5/28/2012 7:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Well done finishing that!! That is one TOUGH course -sounds more like an army training camp!! All that upper body work -hope you are not too sore after tackling all this!!
Those jeans actually didn't look all that bad. I have heard of other of my Spark buddies just tossing what they wore on these mud runs, making sure the stuff they wore wasn't worth anything, especially the footwear..
What a worthwhile way to honor your son! You can be a proud army Mom and enjoy your well earned rest now!

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NEWKAREN43 5/28/2012 5:36PM

    Holy Toledo! That's a full day. I can't imagine how you feel tomorrow...And can I say that I'm relieved that you just 'left the jeans behind' and that the 'jeans didn't leave your behind' like I thought I was reading in your status! Whew!!! Somehow that tribute looked completely different!!! So here's to you and your tribute to your son.

Happy Memorial Day and thank your son for his service from me. Karen
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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/28/2012 5:34PM

    Totally awesome, Barb -- way to go!

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SUNNY332 5/28/2012 5:28PM

    Awesome....

Getting down and dirty looks like fun.

What an amazine tribute to your soldier this memorial day.

Hugs, Sunny

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What does one need to get deliberately down and dirty?

Monday, May 28, 2012

First you need an event. But given that you have one, what are the practical things to think about?

Go backwards in time when thinking of preparations. Think about AFTER the event, when you are going to be wet and covered in mud! Find out what you can about on-site cleanup that will be available.

1) Take a bag of at least clean clothing to change into after you hose off. Including shoes. Underwear if there will be indoor / modesty changing facilities.

2) Think about how you will protect your vehicle's interior... even once you change! Plastic bags / sheets to cover the seats?

Think about parking, how far / what terrain you'll need to cover going to and from the start/changing after race area... are you going to get dirty all over again just getting to the car?

Now think about the event itself. What are the obstacles like? It is "just a few mud pits" or are there other crawling, climbing, hanging activities involved?

3) Plan and acquire needed attire and equipment. In my case this includes cut resistant gripping gloves, knee and elbow pads. It includes long sleeves and long pants and trail running shoes.

In the end, the goal is to have fun, honor those your event is meant to honor (in this case, the Quest for the Vets, our service members past and present). My personal goal is to finish the course, and NOT end up in the ER the end of the day.

AND... don't forget to stretch before and after!

Wish me luck, Spark buds... we are at flag raising minus 6 hours and change. Happy Memorial Day. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWKAREN43 5/28/2012 5:27PM

    I knew I had to read this blog after I saw your status update for today! I'm SO happy you avoided ER, however, missing pants will leave you some explaining to do! Can't wait to hear about it!!!

Happy Memorial Day!

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LEANJEAN6 5/28/2012 5:13PM

    Have you done it Barb??---- Holy cow!!! Whatta girl you are!!!!---Lynda

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SUNNY332 5/28/2012 5:02PM

    You have my utmost respect Barb. Way to go to "think it all through to the end". Awesome.

Best of luck. Can't wait to see your next post.

Hugs, Sunny

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_LINDA 5/28/2012 2:48PM

    Uber organized planner, thats my Barb! You mean warm up first then stretch before the race ;) Just a note, if you see the course ahead of time, do be wary of choosing long sleeves and pants -when wet and muddy, these can really weigh you down and make it difficult to climb obstacles. If there is nothing on the course like bushes or things that would scratch, you may be okay with shorts & T-shirt.. Can't wait to hear all about it and see the photos!
Go Barb GO!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Special thank you to your amazing son for helping keep us free!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/28/2012 11:43AM

    Definitely wishing you all the best. You are such an organized inspiration!

Happy Memorial Day. Remembering ALL our sons, daughters, family members in the service. God bless them one and all. God bless US!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/28/2012 11:43AM

    Good luck, Barb! I'll be anxiously awaiting photos.

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SHARON10002 5/28/2012 11:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good Luck, Barb!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 11:26:22 AM

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KATHRYNLP 5/28/2012 8:20AM

    Have Fun.. stay cool and hydrated!! emoticon emoticon

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BD3269PM 5/28/2012 7:56AM

    Good luck and enjoy emoticon

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KALIGIRL 5/28/2012 7:35AM

    Delfinite luck - hope the weather stays cool for you!

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MSLZZY 5/28/2012 7:21AM

    Good luck and stay safe. You have planned for this-mud
and all! Happy Memorial Day!

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MEDDYPEDDY 5/28/2012 7:12AM

    Oh I envy you, sound really fun!

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LEANJEAN6 5/28/2012 6:50AM

    Good Luck Barb!!!--But--I know you are going to do well and enjoy this!!--Lynda emoticon

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Tradition - the visit to the cemetery

Sunday, May 27, 2012

When Memorial Day rolls around, the meaning of the day and the family tradition have a strong pull. So when I contemplated my TRI training for the day, and it said "Bike 10 miles", I knew that a trip on two wheels, human powered, to Mom & Dad's gravesite would easily fulfill that requirement, and that was my plan.

I didn't take my camera. I didn't take flowers. I didn't arrange to meet others. It was just me on the bike. Once I entered the grounds, my bike automatically headed for the corner I remember. I noted how the "three small trees" we used to use as visual markers for where Mom was laid to rest aren't so small any more... still, they are smaller than their neighbors.

When I got to the spot, I parked the bicycle, and stood and chatted for a few minutes. Believe it or not, I spoke aloud, like in the movies. And, unexpectedly, as I started to tell them about my son and where he was and what he was doing, a few tears fell. They did not live to see him overcome his challenges and grow into the man I know they would both be proud of. He was still struggling when Dad passed.

I spoke of their other grand- and now great-grandchildren. And then I invited them along on the ride home, to show them how beautiful the grown-up suburbs mom used to say were "too big" for her have become. The city has grown. Places that used to be fields are now commerial and residential areas.

I took a different bike-path home, one I had not taken before. It wasn't as pleasant as some of the others I have kept to, but it was a little shorter distance. In the end, my ride was 14.09 miles, in 90 minutes, with a 5 minute grave-side visit.

This Memorial Day weekend, I honor those for whom the day was founded: those lost in armed conflicts the nation has been involved in, dating back to the U.S. Civil War (remember, it used to be Decoration Day). May they rest in peace with honor. May their families be comforted that they are not forgotten.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYOTTER 5/30/2012 9:08PM

    5/27 was my Dad's birthday. He passed 8 years ago. I often feel as if my relatives who've gone are watching out for my kiddos. I hope you and your son feel the presence of his grandparents!

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MOBYCARP 5/28/2012 9:53PM

    Thank you for the reflection. There's been a lot of life happen since Dad passed. You got me to pause and consider the changes in my life and my daughter's life over the past decade, and what the folks might have thought about them. That's about as good as I'll do on this Memorial Day weekend that was mostly sucked up by my paid job.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 5/28/2012 7:15PM

    Wonderful, and you spoke my heart as well.
I visited Dads grave for the first time and had quite a chat with him. Every Memorial Day he would go up to the main street to watch the parade. I would call him to to thank him for his service and tell him I would always remember him.
He is buried in the Veteran's cemetery. It was nice to see the rows of flags.

emoticon

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KALIGIRL 5/28/2012 7:46AM

    Wonderful visit - hope it gives you a little added comfort that thy're looking over you both - have fun in the race today!

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SHARON10002 5/28/2012 12:12AM

    Great blog, Barb. So many of us have fathers who are WWII vets. I'm 8 hours away from where my parents are buried, so my belief is that my parents are always with me wherever I am; they live in our hearts and are just a mere thought away. I do believe they know full well what your son has become and has achieved. I agree with things changing as time marches onward. I know my mom and dad are beaming with love and pride over what our son has accomplished since their deaths, and I'm sure they're having some input on the finishing touches for their soon to be great grandchild.

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KARIDIAN1 5/27/2012 10:18PM

    Great Blog. It's nice you can still talk with your parents and keep their memory alive.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/27/2012 9:27PM

    This made me shed some tears. I had this fear that my son was not going to overcome his obstacles and become a productive man in life. I know my parents worried about it, too. BUT as of Friday, he passed his basics. He seems to me to be a completely different MAN from the one I sent off on March 5 for basics.

I am sure that your parents see what your son has become, what he's doing from their vantage point.

Hugs, and have a peaceful Memorial Day.



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WATERMELLEN 5/27/2012 5:59PM

    Lovely blog, Barb . . . you have to be so proud of your son, and knowing that your parents would be proud of him too. Our kids do grow up, eventually . . . and we never ever stop worrrying about them anyhow!

In Canada our "memorial day" is Remembrance Day in November . . . our long weekend in May is Victoria Day, celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday (last weeken). I have noticed, however, that there is a lot more respect for the militaty here post Afghanistan in particular than ever was during our "nation of peacekeepers" and "refuge for Vietnamese draft dodger" days!! Sometimes keeping the peace requires bearing arms . . .

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/27/2012 4:13PM

    Very nice blog. My sister and I also took a trip to the cemetary on Friday.

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MSLZZY 5/27/2012 2:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I also talk aloud to my mom when I am there. I feel
so close to her when I do.

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_LINDA 5/27/2012 1:09PM

    Beautiful way to spend your day Barb. Yes its important to remember why we have this long weekend. Thank you to your son and the others keeping our countries free and who made the ultimate sacrifice to do so..
United we are strong against our enemies and those who would do us harm.
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BARBAELLEN 5/27/2012 12:37PM

    Barb, somehow you've got the knack of making me stop and think about the important things. I took a break from wondering if I had enough corn on the cob for everone. Instead, I sat back and pondered for a while about my family who have passed. (Made me maudlin) I looked at my Dad's picture in his WWII uniform and thought about Memorial Day. I really believe we need to remember, even if it makes us feel sad. Thanks for the reminder that this holiday is not about corn on the cob. I needed that the kick in the you-know-what. Hope your holiday is great!
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MNTWINSGAL 5/27/2012 12:33PM

    Lovely sentiments. I talked to my Dad yesterday too.

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KASEYCOFF 5/27/2012 12:29PM

    Nice one, Barb, really nice.
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KNITLEIGH 5/27/2012 11:54AM

    Remembering is so vital! Thanks!

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