Ernie – Never Give Up

While I might not be able to relate to the long distances Ernie is running I can understand his why.

I could not embed this video so check it out here on the CBS site.

Ernie talks of the gray lady, LST 325, and this epic journey he is on is to help preserve her. This was the type of ship he was on during WWII and it was a part of his soul.

There is only one left. Only one out of over 1,000. A tiny bit of history this Navy man wants so desperately to perverve.

I can understand. Something about living on a ship seeps into your soul.

I love the idea of this, so dedicated to something you give your all.

Parades + Memories

There are brothers of blood and then there are those that are forged out of something entirely different.

Parades always bring me back to another life. While you may see kids, dancers and high school bands I see into the past like some kind of timer traveler. I remember marching on Coronado Island in 1990 or it could have been 1991. We were to march no matter what but it just so happened that a huge team of horses were to our front. Just think of what the road might look like. I avoid every single obstacle block after block, our captain did not. It was hard not to laugh as he was marking time right in a large pile.

This parade reminded me of Crow today. We had this cassette tape of old Irish drinking songs that we listened to maybe a thousand times while driving around. The music and all these people claiming to be Irish had my head swirling.

So many adventures. We were sent to Hokkaido for cold weather training, which was miserable. There isn’t anything worse than the cold, you go between miserable and frozen day after day. All of us were sent to do home visits with the locals. Somehow Crow was able to bridge the language barrier and carry on a conversation. For some reason I remember this scene, it was about football.

We had so many adventures. We stumbled upon this cave on base in Japan. There were signed stating the area was off limits but, as you can see, we really didn’t pay any attention to that. We viewed those signs as an invitation to make this our own spot where we spent many nights.

Pretty sure they were looking down in this deep hole in the cave floor which Crow happened to fall into one night. You know… caves get dark. A dozen or so staples in his head and he was ready to go!

We had need seen each other in maybe 20 years but it was like no time had passed.

It is funny how certain things can trigger a flood of past memories.

I sometimes think I should practice mindfulness, to stay in the here and now. Sometimes I love taking these journeys way into the past and reliving some of the best days. While not every day was sunshine and rainbows those days, I am forever grateful for Crow.

Traditional Friday Coffee

It was when my daughter was in first grade that we started a Friday happy hour tradition at Starbucks.

We would each order whatever looked good on the menu and then talk about our day. I would ask her about what made her laugh, something she was proud of and other things like that.

Some days she would talk nonstop and other days only answer in one word sentences. We did this most every Friday for years. My son joined us a few years later.

Fast forward and now she is in 9th grade and the tradition continues.

This week was pretty good, the kids were talking, laughing and having a good time. If you have kids you know what I mean, these are the golden days. No fighting, no name calling, it was just fun.

I take a picture at every happy hour and text it to the whole family. It is just a way to say hello and have them see the kids as they grow. Most everyone lives out of town.

I hope to hold on to these Friday coffees as long as I can.

UPDATE

I found the picture of our first Friday happy hour!

253 beats per second

We had a sweet day planned. A group of teachers and myself were hitting the road in this awesome rental van. I was driving which I was a little sure of driving something so long.

First stop is an exclusive private school here in St. Louis. Their facilities are off the charts, I really have never seen such things in a K-12 school building.

We were in the basement of the building for a while looking at their maker and robotic spaces, so very impressive. They had all piece of equipment you could ever want.

Next we stopped by a Microsoft corporate office but before you judge you should visit. I’m so impressed and pretty sure that what we have seen is far beyond what Google has to offer. I will post more about this in the future.

We were sitting in their studio when my phone buzzed.

After this came in I stopped listening. His heart was beating 253 beats per second. This means another heart procedure for Aidan. We had the latest only a few months back. While he is only under for about 2-3 hours he has a heck of a time waking back up, that takes hours.

The upside was he told the paramedics how to calm his heart. He first two tries failed so he asked for a syringe without a needle. There is this method that I don’t fully understand, you blow into the cylinder and then quickly raise your feet and like magic the heart returns to normal rhythm.

Our next adventure begins.

No idea why I loved steep hills.

I hear being a Grandpa is the best, it is like a redo on parenting.

Many years ago my grandparents lived in Wausau, WI. My Gramps had a Ford LTD, blue and as long as a school bus. I can still remember sitting on those blue plasticy seat, not sure what they were really made of. They were cold in the winter and boiling in the summer.

Today I had a group of teachers meeting at our off site facility which is a short drive from every building. As I drove back I had this flashback to childhood. My brother and I used to always ask Gramps to find the biggest hills and drive us up and down until we got tired.

I’m sure the hills were not very steep but I remember them as mountainous, I was sure we would flip over at any second. I was scared every time but kept asking for more.

Many years later, after the Corps, we took a trip to visit family in Ireland. Gramps grew up there. While I am pretty sure, hopefully, that I am many years away from obtaining the title of Gramps, I hope I can be just like him.

Minus One

Today would have been a big one. I’m sure we would have all traveled to see you and celebrated with at least one cake, at least if I had my way. I always feel that if the celebration has only one cake it is kinda sad. I secretly judge every wedding I go to on the quality of cake. I am to cake as a palm reader is to a hand.

I was going to write 12 things that I remember that makes me laugh but there isn’t energy for that today.

Take every day as it is your last, you never know when it might be.

Happy 0311 Day!

These four digits mean so much, these four digits defined who I was and what I stood for. It took a lifetime to earn. Blood, sweat and tears are just the start. The sacrifice is something many claim but really can’t relate to. The pain that lives on, more physical these days than mental. Earning those four digits take its toll.

It taught me what tired really is. It taught me what brotherhood can do for the soul. It showed me how to overcome much and endure what you can’t.

It taught me things that I just can’t write.

To my 03 brothers – today is our day.