Friday, 11 November 2011


20. Veterans

Not much housewife-ing going on here.  A bit of reluctant housedaughter-ing, but that is a story for another time.

Is it auspicious or superstitious?  Should we be hording water and canned goods?  The retail industry in the US is putting on massive sales for the ‘holiday’ and the ‘once in a lifetime’ date and hedging their bets either way.
Is this really the way we want to celebrate our veterans? By massive sales?
If I was home in Britain we would be wearing red poppies and observing a minute of silence while snuggled into the couch with a duvet and coffee.  Or at least I would.  Pete would still be trudging off to work. 
When did the poppies disappear in the US? As a kid I remember old men selling them outside of the grocery store.  I had no idea what they were for, but I remember those men standing, painfully, in the cold, selling these tiny red flowers. 
We have a few poppies floating around our flat from years past.  I don’t know how they survive, by the end of the winter they are usually crumbled, curled, faded bits of red paper, but they are there in a drawer somewhere.  I can’t bring myself to throw them away. 
Do you know how I learned about the poppies?  Black Adder.  The last episode of the fourth season.  No one had ever explained the significance of these red flowers.  When I actually think on it, it makes my heart weep a bit. 

If you know me, you know that I am anti-war through and through.  But I will never be anti-soldier.  I may not agree with what they are ordered to do, but I will always be thankful that there are people willing to step forward and do it. 
Now if only we treated them better on their return.  If only we thanked them with services instead of sales. 

On another completely unrelated note, it’s my Dad’s birthday and as with last year, I am thankful for his example.  On this birthday in particular.  On the eve of his retirement from decades of wage slavery, he has returned to the stage, his first love.  At a time when many people give up their dreams, he has reached out and taken this one back.  It has not been an easy road.  He is still working everyday and doing rehearsals every night, memorizing Shakespeare’s words, and fighting off a wicked cold.  But he has done it. 
The veteran player has returned to tread the boards again and found that he’s still got it.  This particular dream is not ready for the ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ shelf just yet. 

Today I am thankful for those veterans that are willing to sacrifice their lives and those that rescue an almost sacrificed dream. 

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