Monday, May 30, 2011

The Price of Freedom

Today is Memorial day, one of my favorite holidays. I love it because it is a time to reflect on what it truly means to be free, and to thank those who have safeguarded those freedoms.

Today, I especially reflect on the sacrifices of Col. James J. Beadling, my father, PFC Addison Hogue Thomson, my husband's grandfather, and Cpl. Scott M. Vincent, my hero.

Most of you who have read my blog already know a little about my Dad. He was a retired Air Force Colonel. He volunteered for service on the 8th of December, 1941. He served in both World War 2 and Korea. In Korea, he served as a squadron commander flying night air-to-ground support for the Marines. The stories that he told me about the Frozen Chosen will stay with me forever. Addison Hogue Thomson was a medic in World War 2. He was there D-Day plus 1 and stayed with his unit through the Battle of the Bulge and more. ( Now, if you say the Battle of the Bulge to most Americans, they think you mean the war against their growing waistline. Sigh). He told stories about coming ashore at Normandy and how he quickly learned to cover the red cross on his helmet with sand and mud? Why, you ask? Well, the Germans were using the crosses for cross hairs.

Cpl. Scott Vincent is the son of a friend. He gave up his life 7 years ago in the Anbar Province in Iraq. He always wanted to be a Marine and served his country proudly. He volunteered for three tours in Iraq. I promised his mother that his sacrifice will never be forgotten. So every year, on Memorial Day and the 30th of April, I think about Scott and the life that he gave up for Freedom. He was young. He had a smile that could light up the whole world, and a spirit to match. He had so much to live for. A girl, marriage, fatherhood.... so much lie ahead, but instead, he laid his life down for Freedom.

This Memorial day as I celebrate with family and friends, I am reminded of the tremendous gift and enormous responsibility that we all have been given. Freedom isn't free and we must all exercise our freedoms with thought and respect but most of all, we must remember to exercise them. Vote. Be involved. Don't let those who have paid the ultimate price to have given their lives in vain.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oh God, here we go.....

I have a 12 year old daughter. She and her sister are the light of my existence. She's brilliant and funny, cautiously optimistic and reserved all at the same time. I love her wit ( usually) and her unusual sense of self. But, she's 12. That means, she is on the cusp of knowing everything and relagating me to the cupboard with the other useless antiques. She thinks she knows everything when in actuality she doesn't know enough to come in out of the rain. Being her mother has been my greatest joy in life and it will also be my greatest challenge. It's hard to give your children enough room for their roots to grow and their canopy to spread, while at the same time pruning them back to keep them healthy and safe. Heaven help me.... the next couple of years are going to be trying....

The rest of the other teenage associated insanity is also starting. Not yet with my daughter but with plenty of her friends. Kissing, fondling and a scary game called Firetruck. Where does the insanity stop? It's hard to keep your child in line while encouraging them to tell you everything. I feel like my life as a mother is full of contradictions.

My hope is this - I remember my teenage self and how I thought I knew everything. I also considered my own mother a uesless antiguity. Eventually though... I grew a brain. I realized that my mother knew almost everything and was almost always right. She is my best friend, the one constant in my life, the person I can always trust. Maybe, just maybe.... if I navigate the next few years carefully.... one day my daughters will feel the same.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Pet Peeve

Incompetence. I hate it. When you hire a professional to do a job - from dry cleaning a dress to selling a house - they should know exactly how to go about undertaking the task. Real estate agents really frustrate me. They are great when it comes to helping you buy a house, but less than stellar when it comes to selling one.

I have a beautiful four bedroom, 2 +bathroom home. Wood floors, great natural lighting, tile, , two car garage,landscaped corner lot on a quiet cul - de -sac. Sounds great right? You know how agents come up with catch phrases when they list your home? Stuff like must see! Beautiful colonial! Etc????? My genius of an agent came up with Seller needs occupancy until June. yes, you heard that right.

We have had two open houses - well, we are having the second one this week. It's Sunday and the Open House still has not been advertised. Really. What really pisses me off about this is that when we had the last open house, I said exactly the same thing, we need more notice, online advertising,etc.... No offense to my local friends but this area doesn't have a lot going on except the Navy base, which means the person who is going to buy my house is quite likely not from here. A little notice is helpful.

We have gotten totally useless feedback, no consistent information relating to online views etc..... I have certainly learned a lesson from all of this. IF I ever sell a house again, I will not be intimidated by the so-called professionals because, apparently I know as much and quite possibly more, than they do. They will be working for me and if they can't be excited about selling a home as beautiful as mine, well, frankly they will sell someone else's. I really hate incompetence....

Friday, May 13, 2011


Wow, time has sure marched on since last I wrote. I have been so busy with my family, students and working on my master's degree that the only writing I was doing was for school. I guess the biggest change in my life recently is that I finished my degree! It feels good to accomplish this goal that I set for myself and with a 4.0 to boot. I'm proud of my accomplishment.
Now, with the impending move back home, I just hope that I get to use my education. The job market is very competitive in Maryland. It will be sad for me without a job - a teacher without students isn't much use to anyone. I love my students and will miss them all terribly when I move. If I can't find a job, I will probably volunteer at my daughter's schools until I can find something.
It's hard constantly being uprooted by the Navy, but with luck, this will be my last time. I'm happy about that.
My husband and I have been getting on a little better. Life happens and we are both stressed about the move, but at the end of the day, I can't picture my life without him. So we muddle through and try to make it better. Real love sometimes requires getting your hands dirty and working at it.
Speaking of my husband, his doctors tell him that he may have celiac's disease, so we are now a gluten free family. Making the change has been very challenging and I am still trying to figure it all out. I never realized what kind of impact a dietary change like this one could have on all of our lives.
I promise to write more often now. I've missed writing just for myself and not just for completing the latest assignment. Writers write.... and I need to do more of it.