10 July 2016
19 March 2015
At one time in my life I was so relevant that people wanted me dead, and they did their best to make that come to pass.
I sometimes lose my perspective on life, and I find that thankfully someone or something usually reaches out to remind me and set me straight.
Today it was a leader I will always look up to, and I bet he doesn't even know what he did.
He is once again, and in fact has never ceased to be, in the situation I mention above. He is a highly relevant, trained, and motivated leader. He is engaged in doing good, and making things right in all corners of the world at the behest of our great nation.
Today, as I sat in a parking lot in Denver, CO fresh into my new job at a corporate office of a telecommunications company, wondering what I was getting into, and just generally over-thinking my life choices. This man, this leader, took a moment from his day and let me know he was in fact thinking of me. He said he was thinking of 12 years ago tonight when we were under SCUD attack in Kuwait, and that he hoped I was doing well.
The parking lot faded away…
They were trying to kill me, him, all of us. We were relevant, alive, dashing to don our MOPP gear, then over and over running to the bunker and waiting.
Hearing the patriot battery fire nearby, then waiting…. Then BOOM…. Then waiting…. And waiting…. Using our M256A1 kits to see what we could see.
It became mundane over the next 2-3 days… so much so that my entire tent slept through one air raid siren and giant voice… never even roused. Our PL came through on her way back to her tent after the all-clear and threw our tent door open… banging loudly… and yelled “where the hell were you guys… I was worried about you” we all shot bolt upright in our racks… My mouth was moving before I could stop it…” So why didn’t you get us on the way to the bunker, why did you wait until the all-clear to get us???” She was not amused. I was not amused. There was no amusement. The door slowly slid shut. The only sound was that of the string holding the water bottle rubbing through the wooden frame…. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. Followed by the dull, quiet thud of the plywood door as it met it’s frame. We never spoke of it again.
All of this flashed through my mind… as I sat in this rental truck… in the parking lot… where I’m so irrelevant that no one even notices me.
However, today I was reminded that at one point in my life… I was relevant, people wanted me dead, and some people will never experience that.
11 October 2014
17 June 2014
During a recent flight from Billings to Portland, I had an opportunity to experience something rare these days. Excellent customer service.
Your team members Salvatore and Melanie in the cabin crew were exceptional. From the start of our boarding process and safety briefing, Salvatore brought gentle humor and a very human approach to his briefing. It was refreshing to hear it given in the same tone as you would normally talk with someone rather than a chore or reading a dusty script.
Furthermore, while our flight was in route, we encountered rough air on several occasions. On one such bump, a passenger toward the rear of the aircraft made use of your air sick bags, or rather, should have, but didn’t. Both Salvatore and Melanie reacted professionally and with the utmost care. They cleaned things up, and made sure the passenger was OK.
As the rough air continued, so did their professionalism. They did have two very short opportunities to make quick runs through the cabin with the beverage cart. They were quick, clear, and managed to take care of the group prior to the seatbelt sign coming back on.
As the flight drew to a close we were again treated to a rendition of your Alaska Airlines Visa card pitch as only Salvatore could give it. I would attempt to regale you with it, but it would pail in comparison. Had I not already been carrying my own Alaska Airlines card, I would have grabbed an application forthright.
This cabin crew reflects great credit upon your company as a whole, their respective teams, and your training team. Thank you, and please do pass along my thanks to both Salvatore and Melanie!
04 May 2014
I thought of this and wanted to share it here...
Relationships are windows in our life and heart.
I see a large white open room, big like your schools gym when you were little.
But all white, and quiet and clean.
It's impossibly tall, and has windows all over it. As we look around the room we see that the windows all have different views of out them.
It's incongrous and disorienting, but not unpleasant just the same.
As we look at each window we know, just know that each of them is a relationship we have with someone in our life.
Some are closed and locked against the storm, others are just dusty and rusty with lack of use.
Some are near, and opened, and we see that one in perticular makes us feel for the one we lost.
We recall that in the last this window was full of sun, and joy, and we could hear... no... actually feel joy coming through it.
But now it's differnet, it has been since he was lost.
Initally, some of us closed that window, against the storm and rain and cold.
She couldn't, she had opened that window and hapily given up the ability to close it years ago.
She kept it opened through the storms, and rain, because she knew that there would always be sun, and joy eventually.
She stood at this window happily for years.
Now since he has gone, she still keeps it opened.
She stood there in the rain and cold that chilled her to the bone over the last year and more.
She wouldn't leave... she needed to feel the loss, the pain.
And from time to time, the sun would come out, and the warm wind would blow the curtans in that loveley lazy way a summer breeze does.
She lives for these times.
As time went on, the sun stayed longer, and the breeze kept it's warmpth through the nights.
It was getting better.
She did notice that while the storms had passed, that now too, even the sun began to seem somehow hazy, and distant... but not in a painfull or sad way, rather in a comfortable and reassuring way.
It was many months before she relized she was no longer standing directly at the window, but was beginning to look at, and indeed through others again.
Her children could be heard through some of them, and close friends through others.
She looked back, frightend for just a moment that the window of her love would be gone, or closed, or something terrible.
But it was there, as she rememberd it, opened, with a warm sunny breeze.
She had weatherd the worst, and could now feel free again to walk around the room, knowing that she could always come back when she wanted... or needed to.
We all have these windows,
we choose which ones to open, and when. Some open to sun, and others to storm and rain. Sometimes we do what others call silly or even morose, and stand there with the rain coming in the window, and we just let it come in. We stand in the puddle, getting chilled to the bone, just as she had, but still we can't leave. We won't leave. Then sometimes the storm lifts, and we see sun, and beauty, and a warm breeze moves the curtains lazily, and we bask in this joy.
When we loose someone dear to us, I imagine we walk close to the window initally uppon hearing the news and gaze at it in a new way, seeing the small bits of paint missing, and the notes we have stuck to it in the past, or in some cases the cobwebs across it, All in a new light. the light of loss.
It starts as a cold blue light, but over time can become warm again.
Opening these windows is taking a chance, so some of us keep them locked up, closed, we hope it protects us, but really we just isolate ourselves.
I urge us all to open them, and try it out.
See just what adventures await us.
It won't always be sun, but remember,
It can't rain all the time.
25 April 2014
01 December 2013
Tomorrow that changes. I will wake up early, unplug my RV, hitch up my car, and drive out of Wisconsin. I'm headed to Montana, my new job, new area, new challenges, new fun, and all new adventures.
I hesitate to say home. As I have for several years. I do have hope though. Hope that I'm getting closer to whatever it is I'm looking for. I do have some fear, a move, this far, at this time of year, can be daunting. Particularly when your driving your home there. However I also have help. That's a great feeling. So it is with a bitter sweet excitement on my mind that I write this note.
One chapter closes, a new one begins, unwritten, with no boundary as of yet. No telling what may happen, or what hilarity will ensue. I like that. I like to feel the tangible excitement, even adrenalin. I know as I shift into drive tomorrow morning... my heart will be pounding in my ears with the recognition of what's happening. The gravity of it all... and I'm glad.
I will never look back and say, I wish I had given that a try.