Sunday, May 16, 2010


Today my granddaughter Ashley graduates from 8th grade. It's hard to believe that she will be in high school next year with her sister Amber. And next year, Alicia will graduate to high school. Where does time go?
Ashley is a strong, independent, opinionated and lovable person, just like her mom. It's a good thing she is because she unfortunately lost one of her eyes when she was a baby. She has taken all of this in stride. I remember when she was just a little girl, she thought it was quite funny to pop her artificial eye out when she was around people, just to see their reaction. She really got some interesting responses. Some were aghast when the eye popped out. Some took it in stride. Most of them will probably remember when the little girl "lost" her eye. She doesn't do that too often now that she's older.
Ashley's determination is another asset for her. With all the problems of seeing with one eye, she has succeeded in playing volleyball and basketball, softball and any other sport that comes her way, and she does a great job. It isn't an easy task to do these things with just one eye. I watched her play basketball and volleyball this year, and she is aggressive and quite successful.
Ashley is special to her grandpa and me. She spent a lot of time with us when she was a baby, so we both developed a special bond with her. I'll always remember watching her in her johnnie jump. It hung right next to Grandpa's chair. She would get that jumper going like crazy, then tease Grandpa to try to touch her as she went in circles. She giggled and laughed at the game, right along with Grandpa.
When we sat down for a meal, Ashley wasn't afraid to try anything. If Grandpa ate it, it must be good. She loved pickled beets, something most kids shy away from. She doesn't care much for them anymore.
There were times when she stayed with us that she couldn't sleep for one reason or another, so we would put her in bed with us where she felt safe and secure. She continued to do this on occasion until she got so big, about 4 years old, that it was just too crowded to have her in our bed. It took a while to break her of the habit.
Congratulations, Ashley, on your graduation. It won't be long and you'll be graduating from high school and moving on to college. Grandpa and I both know that whatever you do in life, you'll do well. We're proud of you, and we love you bunches.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"The Girl Next Door"

I watched the movie "The Girl Next Door" the other night. What a disturbing movie! It is a true story about a girl who goes to live with her Aunt in the 50's after her parents are killed in a car accident. It takes place in the 50's. She also has a sister who was crippled in the accident and also lives with the Aunt. The girl the story is about is abused horribly! And when she doesn't accept the punishments gracefully, her little sister suffers, too. The boy next door becomes involved with the abuse but is afraid to do anything about it because of peer pressure from the ladies boys and threats from the woman. When the boy finally decides to do something about the abuse, he kills the woman. But it's too late for the girl. She dies. The boy has to live with this for the rest of his life. Quite graphic. Disturbing to think such horror stories do exist.
It reminds me of book I read several years ago about a woman in Nebraska who opens a home for older people during the 30's. She also abuses these people and kills some of them. The police look the other way through most of the book. I can't remember the name of the book right now, but it is also a true story.
Unfortunately, these horror stories continue in today's world. Let's not close our eyes to the fact that there are many people who are abused physically and emotionally. Let's try to help them, even if it means getting involved by contacting the proper authorities.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm Back!

Hello, my friends. It's been a while since I've blogged. I hope I haven't lost any followers.

Today I watched a DVD entitled U.S. vs. John Lennon. Thanks to Netflex, I found this video and decided to watch it since I was a teenager at the time of the VietNam War. I enjoyed the video very much. I watched it twice.

I was in high school when I first became aware of the VietNam conflict. I was also a wannabe hippie, beatnik, peacenik. I say wannabe because I never was, only wanted to be. I lived in a small Northwest Kansas town where these things were frowned upon by the people in town and by my parents. I played around with the idea some, but no one took me seriously, and I didn't pursue it. There weren't any concerts, protests or anything like it anywhere near me, so I quietly objected to the war in VietNam. I graduated from high school, got married and started a family. Then my brother joined the Army and went to VietNam. I didn't like the idea, but it wasn't my choice, it was his. I wrote to my brother. I worried about his well being. I was elated when he finally came home safe and sound. Many years later I learned that John had sent me letters which I never received. They contained information about what was happening there and I believe, how he felt about what was happening. I never received those letters. They were probably censored because of content. While he was there, I never publicly said a word about how I felt about the situation. Now, I wish I had.

My husband Al was also in VietNam. He was in the Air Force, not on the ground. When I began to watch this documentary, he left the house. He doesn't like to hear me or anyone else say that we shouldn't have been there. He remembers feeling that he was unappreciated when he came home. I'm sorry that that happened, but I don't believe the people blamed the soldiers for the war. They blamed the government. Al also had a cousin who was crippled for life in VietNam. No one wants to think that Lloyd's injuries were for nothing, but when the Iraq war began, Lloyd was with me on thinking that this, also, was a war which began for the wrong reasons.

Yes, I am against the Iraq war. It is the Taliban that we should be at war with, not the people in these countries. The Taliban is everywhere, even here in the United States. We can't get rid of them by declaring war on other countries. Too many people in the U.S. have labeled anyone from the Middle East as bad people, and this just isn't the case. As if the people there didn't have it bad enough, now they are faced with even worse situations.

Now I suppose there are those who will tell me that I do not support our troops. You're wrong. They are doing what they are ordered to do. Young men are losing their lives while many, many more are coming home with physical and emotional disabilities. Before we went to war, this country should have taken time to try to resolve problems in a reasonable and peaceful manner, working with other countries to stop the Taliban. That is what many of us thought Bush was going to do, but once he had "permission" to do what he felt was right, war was declared. Congress should never have given him so much power. We were too quick to declare war, thus causing many other countries to look at us in a more negative light. We have focused on one country, letting up in Afghanistan so that the Taliban could begin to organize once again there and in other countries.

As John Lennon said, Ghandi and King were for peace, and they were killed. We can add John Lennon to their company. It's sad when those people who believe in peace and love are killed by those who feel they will benefit from destroying others lives and countries.

Tears come to my eyes each time I hear of another young man killed or mangled, physically and emotionally, in the war. Yes, I'm a Peacenik. But I still don't say near enough.