May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – Write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. ~Neil Gaiman
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Facebook - Wreaths by Nicole
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
I've been halfway around the world but only experienced New Year's Eve in one foreign city and that was Naples, Italy. When I was their in the late 80's, we were warned to be off the streets at midnight as Italians believed in "out with the old." Amongst the sound of fireworks could be heard the thunder of furniture and appliances hitting the streets as the items were tossed off balconies and out doorways. What a way to celebrate though I've read that it's not as celebrated as it was then.
Below are links to some of the more prominent traditions around the world. Do you celebrate a tradition that isn't quite as mainstream?
Country Living - 15 Best New Years Superstitions That Could Bring You Good Luck in 2021
According to the Sleep Foundation, my kid requires more sleep than I do and I can see that. She expends more energy in her day than I do. But, she also doesn't have any of the problems that I exhibit, so when she get 9-10 hours of sleep, it's a good 9-10 hours. I, on the other hand, according to the Foundation, only require 7-9, but that requires me to sleep a full 10 just to get it. Here's all of the factors that affect me.
Night owl - I have always been a night owl. From the earliest recollections, I've always been more wound up at night. That may have come from my father being a shift worker and me and my brothers staying up late for when he came home. It might also have been just a natural biorhythm that puts me out of sync with a majority of the world. I've never been a morning person. A good day for me is sleeping until 11am and then getting up and going by 1pm. I really hit my stride late in the afternoon and could stay up until 2am or 3am easily. This worked fine for the years that I was a club DJ, but doesn't work so well when you have a kid.
My ideal schedule would be to get to the point where I could go to bed at 8 PM and sleep all the way through with maybe one pitstop and wake at 6 AM. Hopefully, this would give me enough energy to work the whole day through.
*** While writing this post, I came across this article that describes how pre-Industrial Europe had two sleeps. Not exactly like naps, mind you. Naps mean you sleep as you normally would and then take a short twenty minute to hour nap after lunch to get your energy back up. In the Navy, we usually skipped lunch and went straight to our rack (bed) and called them Nooners. In two sleeps, you go to bed at dusk, sleep about four hours, wake for two or three, and sleep another four hours. I've read where Thomas Edison, didn't necessarily sleep, he catnapped. He'd sleep an hour or two, work a few hours, sleep a few more hours and so on. But he also was able to flexible with his lifestyle, unlike most in the 21st century.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
I joined the Navy as a means to an end. I wanted to be a nuclear engineer but didn't have any idea how to accomplish it. Navy recruiters came to school showing a video about the Nuclear-Powered Navy and I was hooked.
I didn't end up getting my degree, but I finished out my six year service. I didn't have any desire to stay in at the time, but as the years went on, I would look back at my service with growing pride. I served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I didn't really understand everything that happened until I got back to the states and eventually got discharged in 1992. Even now, it's hard to find information on what we did, but thanks to Facebook groups, I've been able to find more and more info.
As I get older, I realize that though it wasn't my original intention, I did something that less than one half of one percent of Americans choose to do. I don't necessarily believe all conflicts are justified, but the folks that I met from Kuwait and surrounding countries during that time wanted us there. It makes me proud to have served and I support anyone who wants to join the military.
At first, I didn't feel comfortable having someone thank me for my service. I didn't know what to say to something that I didn't feel I deserved. To me, those service members who gave their lives or were in heavier combat than I ever saw were way more deserving than I. But I read an article from someone who put it in perspective. We can't all be on the frontline, but we support them by doing our jobs, like my ship, among a flotilla of ships, setting up warfare ops off the coast of Kuwait and drawing fire for main force attacking from the western desert.
When I heard of our little parade here in Winnsboro, I pulled out the old ball cap with my ship's emblem on it. With Covid, the veterans formed up out in front of the high school and listened to the high school band play the different military songs and afterwards drove off in procession to the other schools. Along the way, we got cheers and "we love you" from the kids and it felt awesome. There were several times when I thought I would tear up. My daughter and her friends were so excited to see us drive by and my heart was full seeing all of the kids.
I love this little town and it's American pride. I know America isn't perfect, but what truly makes America great is the fact that there are so many people working together to make it great. Do we still have racism, poverty, injustice and inequality? Yes, but it's our constant stride together to make it better that makes me proud of America and my service in the military.
Thank you to those that served and are still serving.