Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

I know you've probably had your ears gnawed off about this, but remember the reason for the day. In this day and age, we sometimes forget the true meanings for our out-of-school/off-work holidays. We buy presents or sleep in really late, or, in today's case, barbecue then barbecue some more...with a little swimming thrown in, weather permitting. But I cannot see how we overlook the meaning of this day. I guarantee every person in this country knows a veteran or an active serviceman in the military. Did you thank them today--thank them for their service to our country, to their fellow Americans, and to you? They take great risk every day of their lives to ensure our safety as a nation. Thank them!

Many of us have stories of ancestors that fought in past wars. I'm proud to say that both my grandfathers fought in World War II. My maternal grandfather fought in the Battle of the Bulge and at one point was trapped in a barn shootout. For most of his life, he suffered from PTSD and relived his service through nightmares. He was an amazing man who taught me loyalty to my family, how to love unconditionally and that true love actually does exist--you just have to be brave enough to find it. And he taught me that all roads lead to home. He was a man that loved backroads...longgggggg back roads. But his detours always ended up as a gorgeous site-seeing trip and before we knew it, we were back safe in our homes. No matter where we were, he always got us home. And he was lucky--he came home from World War II. Millions did not. Take a minute to remember the soldiers who have lost their lives protecting us.

Happy Memorial Day, God Bless!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Make an adventure

A few years back, my Mawmaw and I were flying back down to her hometown in Mississippi. I was younger and not trusted to fly solo through the Big-Scary Atlanta airport. Except this time, instead of flying through Atlanta as per usual, we flew through Memphis. So, we arrive at the Memphis airport with no problems. We come to our gate early, eager to get home. Then the announcement: "Ladies and Gentlemen, our flight to Baton Rouge has been delayed for an hour. We will keep you updated." Okay, no problem. Mawmaw and I had our books. We could hunker down for an hour. Then the next announcement thirty minutes later: "Ladies and Gentlemen, our flight to Baton Rouge has been delayed for three hours." Can you hear me groaning? You're groaning too, aren't you? I call my parents, give them the update, then hunker down for the next three hours until the final announcement came over the intercom: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sorry to say that our flight to Baton Rouge has been rescheduled for 9:00 AM tomorrow morning. Please see the desk for hotel arrangements." More groans. But you don't understand...I was with my Mawmaw, the amazing woman who can turn any bad situation into an adventure.
We head over to our hotel and settle in for the night. Without car and unfamiliar with the city, we decided to dine in the hotel restaurant, and there we had the best burgers of our lives. The bun was buttery and the burger perfectly seasoned. We walked around exploring the hotel and just talking. Then we hunkered in for the night and prepared for our flight the next morning.
We could've become grumpy and irate about the cancellation. We could've remained trapped in our hotel, but we made our misfortune into an adventure. Four years later, I have never had a boring summer with my grandmother. She has no cable, which means no TV or internet. Her town doesn't have a movie theater or a zoo or even that great of shopping mall. But it doesn't matter. I meet the most interesting people in this country. Through my new acquaintances I've heard stories about African Safaries, published authors, and the craziest animal lovers you've ever met. Last year, I held a chicken wearing a hat while I sipped sweet tea in their hen house. This year, a donkey gave me a kiss on the lips. I cannot wait to see what next summer has in store.
But there's an obvious lesson to take out of this, especially during the summer season. If things don't go your way: a flight cancellation, rain, or plans just go wrong--don't mope about it! Turn that frown upside down, and make your misfortune into an adventure that you'll remember for a lifetime. I know I'll never forget the world's best burger in a hotel restaurant. Go find your burger, hold your chicken, and kiss your donkey. Have the summer to remember!