Archive for January, 2016

Lessons from my Bird Feeder

January 22, 2016

The snow, ice and sleet are blessing us with their presence. Trading off one to the other. The world is a calm snow white. My little birds are on the feeders. I don’t know, 30  or 40 finches, sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, dove, juncos. On a near tree limb sat a male cardinal, a rufus-sided towhee and male bluebird. They were there for only a few seconds. You couldn’t script anything that pretty.

And I can see the reddish-purple of the house finches more brilliantly. And the yellow-rumped warbler shows off, the junco’s dark body with a white stomach looks like he sat in white paint. The cardinal is a deeper red than I recall. The bluebird!? Well, he’s a majestic sight.

They flit, chirp, fly off and come back, jump up to the feeder, fly away. Constant motion….then I saw it! How could I have missed it all this time? It’s always been there. Waiting for me to see it I guess. It’s the contrast.

Against the snow each of the birds is more brilliant. They stand out just a little more. Sometimes people and events need a contrasting backdrop. Something to help us see clearly. Learn the lesson. And there are some things that just take a while to see. Maybe if we work at finding that contrast it’ll help. Maybe it’s not always black or white, on or off. Maybe we just need to look a little longer. I’m sure  it’s there.

They’re back now. I better go feed them.

A Life Interrupted

January 12, 2016

He  lied about his age at 16 so he could join  in the fight.

He was captured by the enemy, subjected to and withstood the most horrendous treatment ever given to prisoners.

He buried his fellow soldiers whose bodies could not withstand the torture.

He died on Sunday, 1/10/16. Mr. A was a member of The Generation. He was a victim and survivor of the Bataan Death March. Unspeakable, demonic treatment was the order of the day for those prisoners. But he came home, settled into his life, raised his family. He didn’t ask for more. Just came back from war and went on with Living.

A survivor of Bataan was a family friend when I was growing up. He wrote me a thank you note when I was commissioned into the Army in 1972. He was glad to see someone joining vs. protesting. That wasn’t exactly de rigueur for the time. Here was a man who had been through what he experienced, yet he took the time to write me. I guess that’s just the way they were.

Like our soldiers today, and of all time, Mr. A simply wanted others to know why they can enjoy the freedoms we have. And like other veterans, their passions are deep. They don’t dwell on their story too much. Something like Mr. A’s experience is too painful. Just better left as is.

Mr. A was 91 years young. A 16 year old boy with life interrupted. But he put in another 75 years. Appreciative of his freedoms. Freedoms he had won for himself. And for us.

Rest in peace our good and faithful soldier. Thank you for a job well done.

Signed, The USA


They Gave

January 5, 2016

“No person was ever honored for what  he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” Calvin Coolidge

The direction of my first thought on this was to our soldiers. Our Vietnam vets earned our honor based on what they gave. Give them a nod, a pat on the shoulder.

The righteous giveth and spareth not. Proverbs 21:26