Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Oldest Brother's Passing

Sadly, my oldest brother (Lee Earl) was buried today in Alabama Naional Cemetery in Montevallo, it's considered the "Arlington of the South." As an honorable decorated Vietnam veteran, an Army buglar sounded "Taps" and a U.S. flag was presented by the Honor Guard to the family as well as a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Dignitaries gently placed his cremated remains in the burial plot. It was a lovely tribute to his sacrifices made for our country.

As a lifetime member of 101st Airborne Division, Lee (Earl) earned numerous medal of honors as an Army Sergeant including: Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Army Commendation medal, Vietnam Service medal (with one Silver Service star and 3 Bronze Service stars), Combat Infantry badge, National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Campaign ribbon, Vietnam Conflict Gallantry cross with Palm Unit Citation badge, Vietnam Civil Actions Honor medal, First Class unit citation, and Parachute badge. He for survived a helicopter crash in which he endured a head injury and ear surgery. He pulled out/rescued many soldiers before the fire consumed the vessel. He marched through dangerous rice fields and managed to avoid land mines (thanks to my mother who didn't let a day go by without praying for him). During his military service, he brought many to safety.

For those who did not know him, you should know how creative and talented he was. He could conceptualize an idea and bring it to fruitition. He loved inventing and he built two of his own homes and designed the blue-prints. He designed and layed out all his own landscaping complete with gazebo and rock wall overlooking a waterfall and creek. He was a master wood craftsman and a jewelry designer. He was a collector of old coins, civil war paraphernalia, old jewelry, and silver pieces. He was also an avid University of Alabama football fan. In his health, he was highly energetic, productive, and ambitious.

He served as a long-time employee of the U.S. Corps of Engineers (15 years as a civilian), in charge of million $ projects such as building bridges and roads and helping with major hurricane disasters along the Gulf Coast. Divorced in 1997, he fathered three beautiful daughters: Michelle, Raquelle, & Rachel.

He was a no-nonsense kind of guy with a lot of practical know-how. He approached life with gusto and verve. I miss him immensely, his memory will sustain me. May he rest in peace.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Located in the midst of Europe, Germany is surrounded by the North Sea, Denmark, Baltic Sea, Poland, Czech, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

From the high Alps, Bavarian plains, flowing hills, and coasts of the Baltic Seas: it all looks like a miniature train landscape packed with the nicest of old towns, medieval houses, gothic churches and small villages.

Germany is the land of poets and thinkers.

A popular German saying has the meaning: "Breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king, and dine like a beggar."

My husband's maternal side of the family is named Blumenthal. They were originally from Germany. Dale & I would love to visit the country sometime.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mother's Birthday

Today is the "9-11" anniversary, grandparents day, and my mother's 87th birthday! Since most of you have never met her, allow me to tell you about "Mama." She's free-spirited, amusing, sharp witted with a quick mind, and highly intuitive. She was a partner with my father for 62.5 years of marriage. She was a devoted mother of six children whom she raised and disciplined. During those years she managed a household: cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, decorating, . . . She always had a good eye and taste for fashion.

She's friendly, outgoing, and socialable, very fond of people in general. She knows how to make people feel welcomed and comfortable. She loves and nurtures children. She has a heart for the downtrodden, you could say she's a defender of the underdog. She strongly believes in fairness and resents false displays of caring and emotion. She hates arrogance and believes humans should never be demoralized. She has always desired our family to be warm, loving, and stable.

She loves the Lord and lives an honest, moral life. She has and continues to live a life of integrity. I truly love you mother, Happy 87th Birthday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to School

"School days, school days, dear old golden rule days. Reading & writing & 'rithmetic..." It's interesting how one simple jingle can immediately summon countless memories of childhood. With the onset of fall, comes the exciting rush of a new school year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Celebrated the last hurrah of summer with family and friends! Dale's childhood friend spent the weekend with us. He and his wife (Barry & Kathy) live in Nashville, they drove out here in their motorhome. Dale barbecued brisket and we had family & friends over. We had a great time. We also took our visitors site-seeing to Point Defiance Park and to Seattle to see the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. We got to see them in March 2008 when we flew to Nashville.