Monday, January 31, 2011
Last year on Sunday, January 31st, 2010, I wrote a blog that I am reposting today. I woke up today to an article in the paper from the son of one the deceased airman. I had brought back a lot of memories so rather than rehashing, I'm just posting it again! Thanks for reading.
"Exactly 19 years ago today, (Jan 31, 1991) a C-130 went down over the waters of Kuwait. I had just taken on the duties as a Mortuary officer in support of operation Desert Storm and a plane crash was everyone's worst nightmare. Little did I know that my own worst nightmare was about to happen. That C-130 was down over the water with 14 men on board and no chance for a search and rescue because it was down in enemy territory. Even worse for me, the plane was from Hurlburt AFB, Fl, a mere 5 miles from where I lived. My husband had been stationed at Hurlburt before leaving the Air Force and we still lived nearby. I thought," OH, my God, I might know someone on that plane. They might go to my church. I might know people in the squadron." As we 10 mortuary officers were being briefed about our duties. I just broke down into tears. I didn't want to do this . I didn't want to be there. One of the other Majors took me to the snack bar where I sat with tears streaming down my face. He said, "Carol you have to get control of yourself." And I just said I dont' want to. I didn't care how many people saw me or how much of a spectacle I was making. I just couldn't stop the tears from flowing. It was just too close to home for me. Another plane from another base would have been different but this one...... Eventually I pulled myself together and went back to the mortuary unit where I could hear others whispering, is she all right?
In this particular instance, as a mortuary officer, we are responsible for helping the families with their funeral arrangements. By the time we talk to the families, they have already been notified about the situation. In this case, the airmen were listed as missing in action as there was no search that could be conducted. We were each given 2 or 3 families to work with and I was given 2 single airmen whose families lived out of state and another airmen whose wife lived in my hometown. The awful part to me was that I was forever connected to these families and their situation for the rest of my life. I didn't want anyone to know that I lived there and that I owned a successful business. The only way I could handle it was to completely divorce myself from anything personal and just be a military officer. I had to squash my own feelings and just perform my duties as required. Years later that would come back to haunt me.
Until another day.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Are we crazy? My husband gave me a gift of a weekend in Niagara Falls for Christmas. Could have waited for a little warmer weather but oh, well. We have a new airline in town called Vision AIrlines. They are making Fort Walton Beach, Fl their hub! Great for us as the price is $79 one way to most places they go. I paid $308 to go to Atlanta 2 weeks ago on Delta. Now I can go for half that price on VIsion! We live in the panhandle of Florida and the joke is that nothing moves unless it goes through Atlanta first!
Today is a beautiful sunny 50's, just a light sweater to go out. Niagara Falls this weekend is in the 20's and teen's! For me, that is really really cold! In fact, we don't really have a lot of warm winter clothing so we are dragging out everything we can find to layer. My sis and her husband are going with us. I am looking forward to seeing the b eauty of the falls in their frozen glory! I visited when I was about 15 last. We are taking a guided bus tour on Saturday over to Canada. This is good as snow flurries are expected and walking in that cold by ourselves would be a questionable activity. I can't find my wooly hat that pulls down over my head. I wear in when I walk and it's cold out but where is it? Hate it when that happens!
I will be checking in. I'm also not worried about a diet this weekend. Just want to enjoy myself! Hubby and I like to take short trips, 2 or 3 days. We can go on a long weekend and still see a lot. My annual Decorating Den conference is in Phoenix in May and we are taking a short side trip to Sedona and will see the grand canyon. We went to the Grand Canyon in the 70's but it was so foggy that day, couldn't see a thing. Then we took a band trip as chaperones and saw it with four bus loads of teenagers. I was concerned about keeping the kids away from the edge. So this time, we will likely enjoy it more. Maybe even stop for lunch.
Later. I've got to get to work.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I'm feeling stagnant, just don't feel like eating right, weighing in, exercising. Bored with it I guess. Bored with the effort I made last year and not losing. This weekend we are flying off to Niagara Falls to freeze to death. Actually I am looking forward to it, to experience the cold, briefly, see the falls in their frozen glory, walk on ice. Maybe it will snow a bit and then I'll return to sunny Florida where each day is a different gift, one cold, one warm, one sunny, one rainy, never snowy.
I know what' s wrong with me. It's worry over my oldest son. He takes after his mom and doesn't want to talk about his problems. He has depression also and periodically goes on and off medication. He's a good worker, always has a job but struggles with finding himself and getting the job of his dreams. Now, he has a good job on the local Air Force Base but he is totally burned out and fed up with it. He has decided to leave it (5 years) and go to EMS school and then to EMT school. He has a friend who did that and evidently is happy in his job. On the one hand, I am happy he has made this decision to go into a career he has aspired to. But I worry in this economy, in this job environment, if there will be a job waiting for him when he finishes his schooling. I ask him and all he says is they have a job placement program at the school. He will stay at his job until June but I will worry until then. He is 35.
I think they will be okay money wise as they are due to get an insurance settlement from auto accidents last year. If they manage wisely, they will have the money to get through this training period. In the past they haven't been known to be wise in their money situation. And he doesn't want to talk about it. Takes after his Mom in that sense. A lot of times my husband will ask me about things and I just don't want to rehash it or talk about it. Makes him mad.
On the other hand, they have beautiful children. His son is walking or teetering across the room and is really happy with himself. And my granddaughter is beautiful. I hope things work out for them. Last year, my youngest son lost his job and I prayed really hard for weeks for him to get another, and he did. A good job in sales and he likes it. Now, I guess I will have to start praying on the other side for things to work out for my oldest and his family.
I hope I get out of this stagnant feeling soon.
Friday, January 21, 2011
All the news is about snow now and boy is it ever snowing! However, I live in NW Florida on the Gulf Coast and we don't have any, just beautiful white sand and blue water.
Last April the oil spill hit the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. I've been fortunate that I have a long standing business and prior clients and referrals so I was okay. I also started collecting social security this year so that helped. However, Wed morning there was a meeting at the convention center for those with claims. Mr. Feingold was there to speak and the room was packed with 600 or more people. Let me tell you, it is a sad situation and it is not going away for a long while.
There was an established Contractor who spoke about cancelled contracts for construction right after the explosion. He has been unable to find work and is about to face foreclosure. The claims process is difficult and stagnant. Another business owner with 4 locations, is about to go under as well. Story after story from fishermen, waitresses, workers in the tourist industry, realtors, etc. etc. were heard. MAny are desperate and about to lose their homes, while others can't seem to get a payment. The man next to me said there were 4 people where his wife worked, 2 got payments, 2 did not. Doing the same job?
It's not only claims for last work for 2010, but the lost work will continue into this year. Our Real Estate market was heavily reliant on condominiums and second homes. That segment is dormant. It has led me to think that I will review my situation and be ever so grateful for what comes in. I will also think about the others that I work with. One woman who makes draperies for me is really in a bad situation. I told her I would help her fill out her paperwork when she comes to having to write up the situation. I believe that many who have not been paid, do not have good records or are not skilled in writing and describing their situation. I almost wanted to put out a notice that I would help those in need. I will help this woman and I hope she gets some money soon. And others too.
The economy in the whole country is suffering and it is hard when you see people you know in that situation. I've got a lot to do. Later.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I am back from the Atlanta Merchandise Mart and I had a fabulous time! A lot of walking around the showrooms. This is the place designer's go to see what is new in the market place and place orders for new products. I will be writing a blog about the new trends and will post it here. But in the meantime, the buzz words are neutrals, birds, washed grey furniture, and unfinished but polished furnitiure!
Small birds were everywhere, on candlesticks, mirrors, lamps, pictures etc. And I mean sparrows and chickadee small birds. You could see the emphasis from the green movement in the natural linens and colors shown. I'm very excited about it but most regular people, like my clients and those of you who are reading this, will never see the washed greys in furniture as it will be a high end look. Painted furniture is still very big, a lot of distressing and soft colors! The greys and beiges were accented with a new color called plum raisin which is a soft purply plum and was often mixed with teal. Later.
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