Tag Archives: military

Funerals

I am scraping, at least for this blog’s issue, what I originally wrote and will write about this weekend’s funerals. We have lost two great people, in our time line, and they both will be sorely missed. These were contrasting funerals; one somber and one long with hype. Both were expected to be the way it happened.

Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul and will never be forgotten. Her music will live on forever. The funeral was over eight hours long and most of the entertainers of song were there. The funeral was filled with music coupled with speeches. Quite a few celebrities sang her songs and a few sang traditional songs that Blacks usually sing during high spirited church services. The eight hours were long although the music didn’t make it seem so.

She passed on as the queen she was. During her lying in state to the interment, she had three wardrobe changes and a viewing by thousands of people. She was driven in a nineteen forty nine (I think) white hearse, the same one her father was carried in. From all over the country pink Cadillacs were bought in and the long rows of cars were parked outside the church. This was in remembrance of her hit song “Pink Cadillac”. What a sight and what a way to go.

People were there that I have not seen in a long time and are very old as well. They all looked and sounded good. Stevie Wonder started his time by playing the harmonica, something I have not seen him do in many years, before he played the piano and sang. The church was jubilant with all the music and singing.

Senator John McCain’s funeral was solemn and the church was filled with dignitaries from all parts of the political world as well as both sides of the political aisle. Former President Obama and Former President Bush both spoke. President Trump was dis-invited and the eulogies, which include his daughter Meghan, took swipes at Trump. It was not a surprise.

I admired this man, not only as a military veteran but also as a politician. This was one person that was well known to reach across the aisle and work with everyone. He would disagree and, when shown something different that he could go along with, he would be man enough to agree. He did not put party ahead everything but cared about what was right, lawful, helped the USA, no matter the party view.

Unfortunately, Senator Graham, who was his very beat friend, a person that stood beside him on many, many views, and was against Trump as was Senator McCain is now staunchly in the President’s corner He has reversed almost everything he have said in the past. Oh, what can happen in a week (a day?).

So I watched funerals and I wonder, as I have in the past, what will mine be like? I really don’t want all the hoopla that go on (it’s a waste of money, in my opinion), just have a few prayers and bury me. I just hope I have lived up to the hopes and standards that was expected of me. I hope I haven’t done any wrong to anyone. I also hope I have been some help to someone that needed it. We all must pass on some day, let’s hope there is something good to say after you’re gone.

 

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Relocating

 

 

I finally have relocated to Virginia Beach, about two hours from Richmond, a few yards from the beach. I returned to Imperial Plaza for the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) monthly outing and we all had a really good time with good food. Laughing, joking and having a good time with my buddies made the day for me. It was a really good break from unpacking. My wife had a nail appointment at her usual nail salon after which she and her sister went out to eat. Who say seniors can’t have fun?

The thing about moving is finding things you forgot you have and taking more time than you have looking at pictures/items long forgotten but, my, my how memories return. There are several hard parts with one is finding your way around the new surroundings. Going through the streets watching the driving habits that are different from where you come from. There is also the joy of finding shortcuts that are not featured on GPS, avoiding the volume of traffic during the rush hours. In a few weeks I should be able to go where ever I desire without a thought, GPS or map. I remember being stationed in Europe; I would purposely drive around the larger cities, hopelessly lost, but not afraid. By the time my gasoline is getting low I would somewhat know the city. I would not know it like a local but I would know it. That is what I am trying to do, in time, here.

There is the myriad of empty boxes with a few more to go. Where to put it all is beyond me and I am wondering how we accrued all the things we are finding. The thrift stores will acquire quite a bit before we are finished with it all. I finally can move through this place without sliding side ways from one side of a room to the other. However, this bring on wonderful memories of my many military moves. Oh, well, the things I am really looking for must be in one of the boxes I haven’t emptied yet, I hope.

Another difficult part of relocating is getting used to new routines as well as meeting new people (it takes me awhile to remember a name). For some odd reason I find myself waking earlier than usual but on an odd day or two I do sleep late (blame it on the salt air, so refreshing). It is good during this time of year, however, when it gets dark earlier and sunrise later, I doubt I will be in to it as much. Then, being on the coast, with the water a hundred yards away, may be a problem if or when a hurricane arrive and the water floods the area. We’ll deal with that when the time come to deal with it. Until then, we’ll enjoy what is here.

Well, summer is here and it’s fun time. Many people prefer cold weather, winter snow, I don’t. I spent too many years in the military surrounded in cold weather and snow. Now that I am not required to do it, I will not. Have fun, stay safe and I’ll see you the later.

Changes

I have attended two military management schools plus one when I became a civilian. The first thing that is always drummed into my head that I have found to be true today: there is always a resistance to change. In all my years of moving around in the military or having a change of command, I learned to adapt, go with the flow, things are not as bad as it seem, life goes on.

At the end of the month Bookdale Senior Living will leave to be replaced by Somerby Senior Living. Change. As I look into Somerby, as president of the Resident Council and as an independent resident at Imperial Plaza, I don’t, at this time, see any negative signals about the change. At this time, all I see are positive things. Sure, the pharmacy is lost but that was a part of Brookdale and, as told to me, Brookdale could not find a replacement willing to operate on the premises. Somerby, looking into their other facilities, have never operated a pharmacy on their premises. Maybe later they can be talked into trying although there are many regulation hoops to jump through. Changes.

A lot of people at Imperial Plaza either do not understand or refuse to understand that to them this is their residence but to Somerby or any other company this is a business and businesses must abide by laws and regulations. They want to not cause any disruption to the daily lives of the residents but, at the same time, must do what business practices demand. Sure, with change there will be some disruption of the way things have been done but change cause people to adjust to the subtle change in the way things were done.

Many people, especially senior citizens, want to stay in the same old mold and do not want to change, whether good or bad. They do not want to try something new or even talk about it. I have found a lot of people here always talking about the way it was done back in the ’40s and ’50s and they still want it done that way. On days when the activities department have music, old swing music have the place almost full. On days when up to date music is played, very few people attend then complain that there is nothing to do. They hate change and have to be dragged along into a new era.

I wish Somerby luck in managing Imperial Plaza and attempting to drag the stubborn individuals into a new system. I wish the residents stop asking the same questions over and over, put into a different format and getting the same response, hoping for a different answer. That goes back to the old saying: you can satisfy some of the people some of the time but not satisfy all the people all of the time.

On that note, to those reading this at Imperial Plaza, the blogs will continue but not from Imperial Plaza. My wife and I will relocate to Virginia Beach, right down the road (interstate 64) to a new senior living facility on the beach. My wife and I will return for visits and activities and we will always remember the good times we had at Imperial Plaza. However, as I have said, the blogs will go on and the readers around the world will continue to wonder what I have to say next. I hope I can honor their wishes and make it entertaining. Change is inevitable, we also are changing.

The World’s Spinning Faster

Thinking about the fiasco surrounding the NFL; the kneeling situation. I am dissolving my cheering for my NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys. Why, you may be wondering? It’s not what the team did, kneeling during the national anthem, it’s Dallas’ owner who is in the president’s pocket by saying the team will stand or not play. He was one of the president’s largest contributors which is also a mark against him. Strike two.

While in the military, I told the men that worked for me- in a baseball game there are three strikes before you are out. In my game you have two strikes and you are out. Mess up once, the strike is on me. Mess up twice and you are out. Jerry Jones have two strikes. I love the team but not the owner, especially what he is standing for.

Kneeling was never against the flag but against inequality. Against everything except the dishonoring the flag. Not once have anyone said anything about the flag or anthem, they wanted to have their voice heard, to unify. But, someone, somehow twisted the message and that was heard loudest. This will free-up time on Thursday, Sunday and Monday.

Also, bundled into this is the thought of burning, throwing away or rendering unwearable all the team gear that was collected over the years. Many have already sacrificed all the gear they have but the NFL and the team already have the money, what’s the point. I’ll keep mine but I’ll stop cheering.

Did you know that the president is so knowledgeable and have so much respect for the flag that he did not know what the music was before lowering or raising the flag or what it was for? Nor did he know what was to be done when the music was heard, etc. But, he is down on everyone about respecting the flag yet, in the beginning, he did not know it was never about the flag. What is to be done to the people that burn or stomp on the flag? I wonder.

As for the retiree/senior citizen, have you heard that the president have signed a proclamation to suspend funds to supplement healthcare for low income people? That it will mean is either higher cost for healthcare or higher cost of health insurance or both? As of yet, I am not affected yet because I am a military retiree but I am holding my breathe because this president may have other tricks up his ?/&**$# sleeve. I don’t trust him, don’t believe him nor have I ever. Any and everything touched by President Obama will be stricken, regardless what it is or whether it hurt people or not.

Moving on to my travels, a retiree’s privilege. This time my wife and I took the Sunshine bus tour to Cass, West Virginia. We stopped at the observatory and had lunch before going to Cass, WV. From a distance I took pictures of the large dish and the small dish but other than that there wasn’t much to see. Then on to the train.

This was a small locomotive that ran up and down the mountain pulling four open sided cars (from Cass to the tourist station at the top) and while at the top another train arrived from the other direction. It was interesting as well as fun. A good day and that was last week.

This week, Brookdale Imperial Plaza took the weekly outing to Charlestown, West Virginia, the Charlestown Casino/Racetrack. This was an overnight trip because the horse racing is always in the evening. I did okay in the casino but lost my shirt on the horses. It is all about having fun and spend only what you can afford to lose. Never go to the casino expecting to win because you may win a little but the odds are against you. My wife and I had a good time and in two weeks we will be at the casino in Delaware before continuing on to Connecticut for the casinos there. We have not been in either place in a while but now is the time to go, this is before our next cruise which will be in December. Therefore, in two weeks one or both blogs may not be uploaded. Fun first.

Get out the house, get out of town and have fun. You may be here today but tomorrow is not promised. See ya!!!

It’s Good To Be Retired

Lately I have gotten off the trail by talking politics instead of talking about retirement here at Imperial Plaza. Well, I guess I will get back to talking about Imperial Plaza and tell you that things are as usual, not as smooth as it should be. We are losing people, good people, that we should not be losing at all. That is because of management or supervision or whatever but it still boils down to losing good people.

We just lost a bus driver/supervisor who has gone onto more, or you could say, better endeavors. It seem as though he was angry about something that occurred, here at Imperial Plaza, and he said he had to move on to another job. I do not know exactly what it was but it made him mad enough that he has found a new job, we’re going to miss him. It seems as though Imperial Plaza is short of personnel in all departments. From what I could find out, through talking with some of the other individuals, it seems to be that there have been problems with supervision. I cannot say whether supervision is correct or whether supervision is wrong, but it seems that it needs looking into to find out what is going on.

ROMEO went to Morton’s and had a really expensive dinner. The dinner was tasty but boy did it cost a lot. The drinks were very expensive plus I have never seen a Long Island Iced Tea in a wine glass. The side dish was large enough to share with three other people. What a waste when so many are starving and this place is over feeding. I can say that I do not want to go to Morton’s again but it was nice to at least go one time. Next month we are to go to Hardshell. Hopefully that is not too expensive but to be with the ROMEO guys once a month is worth it.

My wife and I are headed back to Maryland Live. We are to stay three days because this way we can go between Maryland Live, Horseshoe and MGM. I really don’t like MGM but, as they say, a happy wife is a happy life. Seems as though we called it just right because the weather should cooperate for us. Ice storms and a little snow is scheduled for this weekend but we are headed out Monday morning. I am glad that the bad weather is north of us because I have spent enough time in bad weather while serving in the military.

I am using this new voice activated program and it seems to be working very well. I decided to buy the program in order to write the two blogs and other writings that I have scheduled. It seems to take less time and making corrections is easy. All I have to do is edit. I have to edit because I do not have everything correct in order for the program not to make mistakes. However, so far so good and practice make perfect. The more I use it the better I’ll be and I’ll probably be using it a lot. So far what usually takes me an hour to write has only been 15 minutes. Needless to say, it’s money well spent.

This last snowstorm really bought to the forefront why I decided to move to Imperial Plaza. When you think about not having to rake leaves, shovel snow or worry about frozen water pipes, it brings a smile to your face to know that you’re at Imperial Plaza and don’t have to do any of that. So, I’ll take the good with the bad and stay right here at Imperial Plaza and have a good time looking out the window at the bad weather. Everyone take care until the next blog. Don’t forget to check out my other blog, faithingodministries.net. I write on the weekend that this one is not written.

Remedy

Sorry about not posting last weekend but, as I have said in the past, my wife and I are retired and we do what retired people are supposed to do. We have as much fun as our feeble bodies allow and then try to push a little more. We went to the jazz concert in Hampton, Va. at the convention center. Four days of having fun and listening to jazz. Who could ask for more except for more jazz.

I can’t recall all the artists off the top of my head because there was over a dozen, maybe more. However I took over a hundred pictures (good close ups with my zoom lens) and bought some nice cd’s to boot. We’re already thinking about next year because Stanley Clark and War a couple of the performers. Walter Beasley, Phil Perry, Sheila E and more headed up this year’s lineup. This was not at the Hampton Coliseum but the Hampton Convention Center. There are two jazz programs. One in the spring and one in the fall. Let me move on…

Old Man Winter is finally here and now we can go through it and hope of a warm spring. However, this time of year bring all sorts of colds and flues but I rarely get any of what is going around. As I thought about it and researched it, one thing stuck out. My immune system is still strong as ever and, contrary to popular belief, I know why. At the slightest hint something is about to happen, everyone take this or that and begin trying to get rid of whatever. I don’t, even during those rare cases when I do get something or get ready to get something.

I quit taking the flu shot in nineteen eighty six and can recall having the flu three of four times since then. Before that I had it every year and I truly believe it was because I took the flu shot. The common cold is another rare thing. I may get one a year, sometimes every other year, and it will last only four to five days at the most I haven’t had a sore throat in many, many years (I was a radio DJ and that was not a good thing to have). And now I will tell you why, knowing most will say they disagree.

I let my body fight the ailment and build up a tolerance to it and anything similar to it. Shortly before retiring from the military, it became mandatory to take the flu shot with the assurance you will not get the flu. I got it at least once, sometimes twice, a year anyway. I took the shot for two years after retirement. I got the flu. I missed a year and did not get the flu. The second year I asked myself why take it if I was going to get the flu. I didn’t take the shot and didn’t get the flu. I still don’t take the shot and, like I said, it has come upon me three or four times. I don’t take cold medication and rarely get a cold. If I do, I let my body fight through the ailment and I just suffer through it. It is only about four days and I will be fine until next year. My wife will be all over me and I still don’t get her cold.

I am not telling you how to medicate your body. I am not a doctor. I am talking about me. This is the cold and flu season and there will be a lot of people walking around giving it to others. What I am saying is that your body can fight almost anything if it is given a chance. Then you couple that with being able to, every now and then, suffer through the ailment for a short time. Each time you suffer through it will become shorter and shorter.

Here is another short burp…How many saw me in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on November eleven? An article was about me and two other veterans on page one and continued on page six (with pictures). I was at the jazz concert when the paper was printed but I saved the paper and others saved it for me also. Oh, well…at least it wasn’t a mug shot but it came close. Take care, stay warm and be careful in your travels.

It’s Been Tough

It’s been tough to see police killed in the line of duty. I have been a career cop, military, civilian and security. I am now retired but my feelings are not insulated from what is happening in the world today. It’s been tough to see the video footage of the police killing people although I do not have the capability of analyzing the full video to see if there was any justification. It’s been tough to see the riots, civil disobedience, of people. It’s been tough listening to the comments of people that think they know but, really, don’t. It’s tough to see what happened in France. It’s tough to see the governmental conflict in Turkey. It’s been tough hearing both sides of the political “know it all” spew rhetoric yet only giving part of the truth or underlying causes of all the violence. It’ been tough.

A member of my family have joined the police force and I fear for him each and every day. It will be tough for him, whether he realize this or not. I say this because he is in a small mid-western town and I know he think he is insulated from all of this. I pray he is right. Then, there is a level of prejudice on most police forces. I have not only seen it but I have experienced it first hand. It’s not a good feeling. And, there is the fact that many people fear the person in uniform, who have a badge and gun, wanting to do harm, if not out right kill. Yet, when there is trouble, danger, or just needing police presence to abate a situation, the person with a badge and gun is summoned.

This is a tough world to live in, especially during these dark days. And, what is happening is very political. Congress, not being the force it should be, decided to be a do nothing Congress because one party, being the majority, wanted to stifle the other party. There is a Congressman, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that say Congress does not confirm judges although the U.S. Constitution pacifically say only Congress have those powers. In the process many things did not get done and too much attention was placed too long on getting simple things done. This lead to many, many things getting out of whack when it should have not happened. I am combining the blogs Retirement and Religion together and will post the same article on both blogs which will mean duplicate postings on my other pages. I’m doing this because we, as people of the world, are in trouble. Not only through our American laws but as a religious people are we in trouble. Let me make a posting to prove this about the coming of the end because of what is going on now.

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV II Timothy 3:1-17)

 

Looking at today’s situation, the quagmire that we are in, all of us are in trouble. The world is in trouble. Wars and rumors of wars. Still don’t understand? Police violence, citizen violence, terrorist, out right war, gay right marches, gay rights in courts and schools, all sorts of other things all around put together is II Timothy Chapter 3. Robbing, shooting, using drugs, raping, killing, simple Godlessness is all in play right now.

Not all people are bad, just a few. Not all nations are bad, just a few. Not all things are bad, just a few. We can take our heads out of the sand and do something to correct this before it is too late. As nations stand together, not being separate or isolated from the others, we can combat this and become whole again. If we fight each other, we can not overcome the ultimate enemy. If we don’t get our lives right, we can not overcome that ultimate enemy.th3