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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.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFETYSUE 2/17/2011 5:19AM

    I have such respect and admiration for what you have sacrificed for this country and your community. Hold your head high and continue to serve your community with your wonderful business that is still one serving the people and making there lives better. I would love to have you do my house if you were closer.

My brother was a Pilot in the Marines back then. He lost his best friend in a helicopter here in the states while he was out on maneuvers. Then after a year or more he married his wife and he had just left the Marines after 6 years before Desert Storm, he want to sign up and go but she begged him not to because she couldn't bare to lose another husband. He had already started a new job with American Airlines and for her decided not to go back.

I watched Desert Storm every day all day. I was a volunteer fire fighter back then and we had some of our guys in the reserves over there. Very young guys and when they came back they were not the same. They were members of one of the first in tank divisions and they saw a lot on the front lines. They were from fort Lewis here in WA State and they received some huge award for their job over there but I don't remember what it was....just how happy we were they were home safe. I was so glad it was just as they promised and a relatively short mission compared to most. Not for those there and those at home missing them but in the normal scheme of things. I will remember how proud I was of our troops and the job that was accomplished there, it was amazing. I am so sorry you had to go through what you did though.

I was a fire fighter for ten years and then was paralyzed on the job. I just wrote a blog on December 18th reliving my experience thinking it was 20 years. I will have to repost it and maybe add to it next year. It was a life changing event for me and it does feel good to share it and I never really do anymore. I felt like I could on Spark People and so I did tell some of the story. It was a relief when I saw all the support that came flooding in, I had logged back on to delete it thinking this is just not the place for it but I was wrong. All the support and great comments really did help.

I am glad I happened across yours because I saw your Border Collies and I have one as my assistant dog, fully trained by me. He is amazing!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/17/2011 5:24:14 AM

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/31/2011 11:17AM

    Hugs, for sure. As a mom of a reservist who lost five unit members that trained with him on November 5, 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, I can identify with that "close to home". I am irreversibly tied to every family who lost someone, had someone wounded, or loved someone who was just plain "there" that day. And on the anniversary of the date? Feelings get stirred up.

You have my thanks for the incredibly difficult job you do / did as a mortuary officer. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/31/2011 11:18:03 AM

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USMAWIFE 1/31/2011 9:46AM

    My husband was in desert Storm and lost several of the MP's and tankers he got everyday supplies to.

i still remember the night that CNN aired the first shots. I had a group of ladies from the brigade over and when I called our rear detachment commander, he had no idea that fighting had begun.

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KASEYCOFF 1/31/2011 9:33AM

    Shows there are some things you never forget. No matter how sad or tragic, these events have contributed to your life, even if only to give you more appreciation for your own family and friends. It reminds me to always count my blessings...


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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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINJO66 1/28/2011 11:15AM

    I have always lived just over an hour drive from the Canadian side of the Falls. As a kid, I remember going for "Sunday Drives" with the family to the Falls many times each year just to walk along side them, eat our picnic lunch, and if we were really good we would stop at a fudge shop for some fresh made fudge. Every time I go, the Falls are breathtaking. I have also been to the American side of the Falls a few times but the vista is better from the Canadian side. And the view changes at night when they shine lights on it. Amazing. Enjoy your trip!

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ELLIE381 1/27/2011 10:17PM

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Niagara Falls. We enjoyed seeing Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) during the winter. It is very beautiful with all the ice. Enjoy your time. emoticon

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PRAIRIECROCUS 1/27/2011 2:12PM

    Have a nice time at Niagara Falls !

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KASEYCOFF 1/27/2011 12:51PM

    Oh, I'm with you! Weekend getaways are the best! Good thing you're doing the bus over the border, tho - walking across the Rainbow Bridge in the middle of winter with the wind whipping around in those temperatures would have you freezin' fer sher, lol... Bet the light show at night will be spectacular. We were there one year in mid-March, and everything was still frozen up. It was gorgeous! :-D

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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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRAIRIECROCUS 1/25/2011 5:45PM

    I hope the beauty of the Niagara Falls area, with its friendly people. will
cheer you up ! I hope that everything will turn out fine, for you and yours !

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ANDI571 1/25/2011 10:25AM

    I am at the same point you are. I am so sick of tracking food and worrying about what to eat. I decided to pull out my book the Weigh Down Diet by Gwen Shamblin. The whole concept is letting God help us through those emotional times. Going to Him instead of food. I haven't tracked anything for 2 days now, and I just keep praying for God to help me not to eat outside the perimeters of hungry and full. I won't weigh again until next Monday, but I feel the past 2 days I have eaten pretty good.

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KASEYCOFF 1/25/2011 10:01AM

    Dunno what to tell you about the stagnation: I was just emailing to someone that these winter doldrums seem to be lasting 'forEVer,' which they do. Regardless of the weather outside (rainy here, rather than snowy, but 'sokay by me, lol) there's something about this mid-winter season that drags. Eh.

Re your son going back to school: both of my kids are in school. They were both working full-time, tho she's down to part-time as she's hoping to get the degree finished up this semester. Although it's scary in some ways given today's economic climate, there's a lot to be said for changing careers and direction and doing something that feels more rewarding. Sounds as tho your son is thinking along those lines. All you can do as a parent is be supportive and encouraging - could be the accidents last year were a wake-up call for him to find something he wanted to do that would be more meaningful.

I used to have this idea (years ago, when I was young and foolish, lol) that the hardest part of raising kids was letting go of their hands when they learned to walk and letting go of the two-wheeler when they learned to ride a bike. Then came the 'turrible teens,' and I realized that steering them thru all the potential problems there was the scariest part. Then they grew up. Now it's scary because they are trying to navigate their own crafts. Which gives credence to that old saw about 'Having a child is like having your heart walking around outside your body, forever.' That it is. :-)

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BENCHED 1/25/2011 9:42AM

    I feel bored and stagnant too, and I think it stems from my recent job and wedding stress. With everything occupying my mental space, it's hard to want to be physical. It's a different level of exhaution, so I hear you.

You're a good mommy to be concerned, and I'm not going to tell you to relax or not worry. All I will say is to trust his judgement and support him. That's what he needs more than anything. You might need to mention to him that you love him and that you're available to talk, just to open the gates a little bit. If he needs you, he'll come to you.

Support from Sparkland.

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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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRAIRIECROCUS 1/22/2011 4:28PM

    I am sorry to hear of all that economic hardship !
My prayers and good wishes to all !

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CARLANNIE 1/21/2011 3:28PM

    The commentary has disappeared from the national nightly news, but I had wondered if the local economies around the gulf had snapped back yet. Sounds like not. Hopefully 2011 will turn around for many people!

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ANDI571 1/21/2011 12:09PM

    It is so sad at what our country is going through. I am afraid we are all one paycheck away from going under. It's not a good thought.

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SBILLIAN 1/21/2011 9:48AM

    So sad - best wishes to all on the gulf.

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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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARSHASTAR 1/19/2011 12:33PM

    I envy your getting to see that Atlanta showroom. I really love looking at designer stuff. My FAV. mag. is Architectural Digest.

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PRAIRIECROCUS 1/19/2011 1:47AM

    I'm looking forward to your future blog, about the plum raisin/teal
trend in home decor !

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KASEYCOFF 1/18/2011 12:58PM

    I'm looking forward to your trends update. I have a friend who will be VERY interested in the plum raisin / teal look, I can see it coming! :-D

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DONNAEDA 1/17/2011 10:58AM

    I love the new coming look.

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DR1939 1/17/2011 10:14AM

    Like the plum raisin/teal combination. Sounds like a good year to come in home decor.

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