Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day - One Soldier's Story

I posted this on Face Book lastnight and thought I would share it here as well:

Memorial Day has had me thinking of the man whose POW/MIA bracelet I wore for many years, during and after the Vietnam War. I received the bracelet in 1970 and wore it until 1979, when it started to fall apart and was damaging my arm. Still..., I kept it close to me, in a drawer of every bedside table I've owned since. The name of the soldier was CW2 Martin Vanden Eykel II. He was a pilot in the Army and was from Wheatland, IL, born 4 October 1943. It has been reported that he and three crew members were on a recon mission when he made a radio transmission that he had to swerve to avoid hitting a mountain. That was the last anyone heard from him. It was 2 December 1969 when his helicopter went down. It has been reported that a Vietnamese woman stated she'd seen the crash and that the 4 soldiers had been taken prisoner. As this was unconfirmed, the Government listed them as Missing, No Body Found. Each night I prayed for his safe return. Whenever a report that soldiers or their remains were being released by the Vietnamese and shipped back to the United States, I'd scan the report for his name, but never saw it. Through correspondence with his mother, I discovered that he had two young sons. I often wondered how they were doing and prayed that they were well. When it was completed, I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, to locate Martin's name. I ran my fingers across the letters and, to my surprise, wept openly. I had never known this man personally, but had held him in my heart for so many years that it was incredibly emotional to see his name immortalized. Today, I had the idea of Googling him and found out that in March of 1990, his identified remains were returned to the US and that he was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetary, along with his three crew members. I will go to his grave in the future and leave flowers for him, thanking him once again for his brave and dedicated service.
To all who have or are currently serving, I thank you and ask that God bless you and keep you safe. Words alone cannot adeqately express my gratitude.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Birds and the Bees.....and the Ants!

It was a beautiful day and I finally had time to get a couple of little tasks done and checked off of my list. I set up the new patio table umbrella that I bought at a yard sale last weekend, straightened up the screened porch a bit, took a couple of plants outside and then I saw my little hummingbird friend arrived at the feeders!

I hadn't seen him yet, so the feeders were empty. I immediately took them down and into the house for a good washing before filling with nectar. As I turned one of them upside I down into my kitchen sink, about 30 dead ants came pouring out! Ewww yuck! They always get into the feeders and I have yet to figure out a way to prevent them from doing so, although the hummingbirds don't seem to mind. Still, I'd rather they stay out of everything. We have a real ant problem in our neighborhood!

After filling and re-hanging those feeders, I went to get the one I put seed in. I saw what I thought was a bunch of old seed in the bottom, but upon further inspection, I discovered that it was a wasp's nest!  Oh yikes! I hate bees, I'm allergic to bees, I don't even want to see photographs of bees! I scurried back into the screened porch and pondered this situation. Hmmm...I do have another feeder in the garage that I could put into service, but where would I hang it? I could go after the wasp with ant spray and see if it works. Kind of risky. I could wait until the wasp leaves again (he was going in and out), then snatch the feeder away, but this would panic him and he'd most likely frantically buzz around the deck forever. It was finally decided, after consulting with my brave assistant Jim, that I'd triple bag the entire thing in plastic grocery sacks, tie it together really quickly and leave the entire package outside until trash night. Yeah, that'll work! What immediately followed resembled nothing less than a scene from an "I Love Lucy" show, as the two of us tried to get the feeder off the hook without disturbing the wasp, then shrieked and put the feeder back each time he moved, then tried again, got it into the bag, then couldn't get all of the handles together to tie them properly, all the while wondering what the wasp was now doing since we could no longer see him. We finally got things under control and placed the bag on the table and slipped back into the screened porch. Now I just have to remember to take a big trash bag out to place him in on Sunday night, and get him down to the curb before he figures out what's going on. Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll make a run, or flight, for freedom before then. I spent the rest of the evening with a major case of the heebie jeebies!
I think that tomorrow I'll do something a bit less adventurous, like hitting some yard sales and working on my flower beds. Wait. Bees like flowers. Oh no!

Have a wonderful, beeless, antless weekend! Hugs, Leena

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So Special

I had finally finished mowing the lawn this evening and was dragging the large can full of grass to the curb, when my daughter pulled up. Upon parking her car, Jamison and Abigail came rushing over to me, squealing, "Meemaw! Meemaw!". They then wrapped their sweet little arms around me for some wonderful hugs and told me how happy they were to see me. We walked home, holding hands, while they chattered about their days. I once heard that grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own kids. Hmmm...maybe it's true! I hope that something or someone made you feel special today, because you are! Hugs, Leena

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Great Give-away at JuJu!

Click here for your chance to win a gorgeous custom cowgirl saloon slip dress AND a fabulous piece of boho jewelry from JuJu! While you're at it, don't forget to follow her on Face Book! Thanx and good luck!
Hugs, Leena
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