Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

War and Remembrance

Dad's recent posting of the after-action report of the skipper of the USS Aulick on the kamikaze attack of November 29, 1944, combined with the anniversary of their 70th wedding anniversary prompted me to go back to read some of his web site.  I encourage you all to do the same.  It is a real gift that he's given us.

Some of my thinking comes from the fact that we now live in a military town.  We're fortunate to have so many young military families in our church and in some small way to know of their joys and sorrows of long deployments.  We just had a young Army wife and her 1 year-son with us and part of our family for Thanksgiving dinner.  Her husband got back early this morning from Afghanistan.  Its hard for me to fully understand the emotions involved in that.  I want to recount another homecoming of 69 years ago in Dad's own words.

Just to set the stage:
He had been at sea for a number of months, at war in a hostile area in the largest war in this country's history.  His ship was just involved in the largest Naval battle in all of history.  Then on November 29, it was attacked by a suicide bomber that killed many, including his good friend Jim Hahn as well as wounded many others.  The ship limped back to the States and Dad eventually got to head for home to see Mom and me.  The following is in Dad's own words from his web site:

" The trip to Ohio was not easy. It was a bad winter, and weather really was a problem all the way. I remember that we had to spend a night in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where I shared a room with an Army officer. Then we flew to North Platte, Nebraska, stayed on the ground for a while and then took off hoping to land at Omaha. But the fog was too thick to land, and we were diverted to Lincoln. Apparently, the forecast for all points ahead was so bad that the flight was cancelled.   We were all put on the train for Chicago. Of course, without train reservations, getting out of Chicago headed to Indianapolis and then on to Portsmouth was a big problem. Then I found out that a coach train called the Trailblazer was going to leave shortly for New York. I knew it stopped in Mansfield after a six-hour ride. That, with a four-hour drive to Portsmouth, would be the best I could do under the circumstances. So I got on, understanding that I might not get a seat. I don't remember if I sat down at all during the trip. The train was full, with many other servicemen aboard.
   My plan almost went awry, because when I got to Mansfield I found out how bad the weather was there too. The streets were full of snow and ice, and my parents' car had not been out of the garage for two weeks. They didn't think I could even get it out on the street. And they thought driving four hours at night in weather like that was crazy. But I was motivated. Even so, it wasn't easy getting the car out. Their garage was at the back of their lot, and the doors opened on to a short drive off a narrow, unpaved street. Actually, it was called Dickson Avenue, but was more of an alley than an avenue. Just getting the garage doors open was a challenge, and the alley was barely passable. But, like I said before, I was motivated.  It was near midnight when I got to Portsmouth, but the problems of the trip were soon forgotten when I greeted Peg, then went up stairs to see Mike for the first time. He lay there sleeping peacefully, unaware of the emotions of the moment."

                                                        A Real Love Story

Friday, November 29, 2013

NARRATIVE OF ACTION 29 November, 1944 As reported by J. D. Andrew Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Aulick DD569 “This vessel was assigned as an anti-submarine patrol vessel on patrol between Homohon Island and Dinagat. The northern half of this patrol was patrolled by the U.S.S. SAUFLEY, the southern half by this vessel. The length of the individual patrol lines was four and a half miles, a patrol speed of 18 knows was used. As this vessel approached the southern end of the patrol, radar contact was made on a group of planes and six were sighted at about 1750 Item time. These planes were taken under fire by the condition watch and the ship went to general quarters immediately. One of the planes peeled off from the formation and made a dive attack from the relative bearing of185, dropped his bomb near frame #110 port, struck the SC radar antennae and exploded on hitting the water approximately 20 yards off the port bow without further damaging the vessel. At this time it was also noted that the U.S.S. SAUFLEY was also under attack. Another plane started in on a run from about 200 relative then turned and made an “S” turn on the starboard side and came in from a relative bearing of 180, struck the starboard guy on the mast and the starboard side of the bridge windshield. Both plane and bomb apparently exploded just above the main deck outboard the ward room. Both of these planes were fired upon by 5”, 40mm and 20mm. The first plane to attack was not on fire before hitting the water but burst into flames at that time. The second plane was noted to be burning from several hits as it passed over the stern. The explosion of the second plane set fire to powder in number two gun and handling room and killed the men therein as well as several of the men on guns 41 and 42. The fragments from either exploding bomb or plane killed and wounded men on the flying bridge and the bridge area. Total casualties, 3 officers and 28 men killed, 1 man missing and wounded 64. Among those wounded were the doctor and one pharmacist’s mate on duty in the wardroom.”

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

When I see the devastation to the city of Tacloban in the Philippines, I remember it was clearly visible from the Aulick as we protected the underwater demolition teams clearing the beaches the day before the troops went ashore in October 1944. It is near where MacArthur waded ashore sometime later. By this time in November the harbor was full of ships, and it's hard to imagine the scene if a typhoon had hit there.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Scott, Maureen & Sally in Jamestown in 2009.  Pocohantas is in the background.  I treasure the times we had with them in recent years and miss him a lot.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Remembering Scott on the first anniversary of his death. I still find it hard to believe and miss those Friday afternoon telephone calls.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Back in September we were leaving Key West and I had the opportunity to have my picture taken with the woman that swam from Cuba to Key West.  She had tried it before and didn't make it because she was stung by jelly fish.  This time she had a special suit to prevent it.  I made her laugh by asking her if she was going to try it again.  "Try it again!" she responded, "I already did it!  No one has asked me that one!"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just recently I realized something unusual had happened in my life. I had a new great grandson on September 5 and a new great grandson-in-law a month later on October 5. I suppose that has happened in other lifetimes, but probably not too many. Of course, I've had other great grandsons and another on the way - probably in my lifetime. Doubt if I live to learn of other great grandsons-in-law.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hannah & Andrew Campbell

The new couple dances at their wedding reception.  It was a joyous day.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Remembering Samuel . He would have been a year old today.

Friday, September 27, 2013

HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY, CYNTHIA! and I called her Peg. To some of you she was Mom, Grandma, MawMaw or Great Grandma. Today she would have been 92. I feel the presence of her absence.
Thinking about Mom on her birthday.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Announcing Elijah John!!

Elijah John was born on September 5th at 10:32 pm.  We are all doing well after a very fast labor, 10 days on the biliblanket due to jaundice and sleepless nights :)

What number grandchild is this Grandpa?

Thought you would enjoy a few pictures :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Arizona Memorial

If you want to see something moving and something I never knew , type eternal peace in the search bar then click on either one of the two videos on the left.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Keith Barry

If you want to see something that will blow your mind, google keith barry or enter his name on youtube. There are lots of choices to click on, and they illustrate this man's uncanny ability to do things ranging from sleight-of-hand to mind reading. In one episode he asks a woman he encounters on the street if she remembers her first kiss. Then after lots of questions, he is able to tell her the man's (or boy's) name. Since I discovered him, I think I've spent at least three hours watching different segments.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Remembering that Maureen and Scott were married on this date in 2001.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Don't know how many of you know this story. Eileen sent it to me some time ago. Don't know where I filed it, but I remember enough to get the idea across. I emailed it to Maureen, who's been thinking about buying a dog. Walking down the street, a man sees a sign in a window - Talking Dog for Sale. He goes to the door and is told the dog is in the back yard. Indeed, the dog is back there, and engages the man in quite a conversation. Along with other amazing stuff, he tells how he had worked for the CIA and was valuable because he could hang around and listen to people tell secrets, never realizing he could understand, then tell others what was being said. The man returns to the house and asks what the owner wants for the dog. The owner says: "Ten dollars." "Ten dollars? That's all you want for dog that can talk? Why such a low price?" "Because he's a big liar. He never did any of that stuff."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Good story

If you like dogs, here's a great story. It's great even if you don't.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Great Story

Bob Jurgensen forwarded something interesting to me. To follow up on it, I Googled "Story of Edgar McElroy and Doolittle Raid on Japan" There's a lot more about him there, and under Veterans Blog, one of the headings listed, is the exact same story Bob forwarded. You may want to read it for some insight into one of the most daring raids of WWII.



Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

A step back in time

Yesterday I did something that took me back ten years and more to the time when Mom was still her self. Some of you know over a period of years I made tapes of songs from records and other tapes. Mom and I would listen to them during lunch and dinner. Another, including Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, her favorite classical composition, she would play at other times during the day. I think she may have listened to that one at Kensington Place, but I don't remember ever playing any of the others there. So I believe the last time I heard them, including one with songs Megan included on the presentation she made at our 50th wedding anniversary, would have been while we still lived on Sutter Parkway. I don't remember ever playing them at Summit's Trace. So it's very nice to hear them again. I intend to take some time to do so every day.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Remembering Scott on what would have been his 66th birthday.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Good advice

Bob Jergensen sent me this: Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime. P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I should have mentioned that you'll have to copy the url in the previous post and then Google it. I wasn't able to post it so you could click on it directly.
If you have never seen a Ray Stevens video, this is a good example.";

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I don't know what your opinion of George W. Bush is, but this video is worth watching;     Bob Jurgensen sent it to me.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Friday, May 24, 2013

This photo has appeared elsewhere, but I thought it should be here too.  Happy Memorial Day to all who have served.
I just published a few more lines on

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wise words from a surprising source:     Don't know how I happened to see it on the internet, but Cindy Crawford was giving some advice about living.   She said, "Don't wish away the present."    How easy to be thinking ahead and anticipating some future event or happening and not really living the present moment.   She also said, "You can't multi-task presence."   Reminded me of seeing people punching away on their iphones etc. right in the presence of others.   It also reminded me of a booklet Nelson gave me years ago titled:   THREE - LINED OBSERVATIONS by Robert D. Andrews, a friend of his.   The observation is:

                            "This is the moment
                                I am with you.
                              I have no other." 
Interesting contrast.
Two men, both Primrose residents, died in April.   The obituary for one was three inches wide and nine inches long and appeared three times in the daily paper.   The other obit was an inch-and-a- half square, said the man "cashed in his chips early Tuesday morning" and that a local funeral home was assisting with arrangements.   It was in the paper just once.    I've read many different descriptions of death but never one that compared it to the last move in a poker game.    I didn't know either man very well, but the second one lived next door to me.   He had heart trouble and hadn't been out of his room for several weeks.   He died at 5:00 am on April 30, and I didn't hear anything.   I was surprised when someone told me at lunch.     

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dad!  You're doing great for 93!  Have a great day!
Happy Birthday Grandpa!!!  We love you!!

Jonathan, Leigh, Felicity, Adelaide & Baby Boy coming in September!
Happy Birthday Dad!

Sally & Mike

Monday, April 22, 2013

HAPPY 23rd ANNIVERSARY, SARAH & RICHARD!   (It actually was Sunday, as some of you know.  Sorry I was a day late, and almost two, with the greeting.   But I remember the time together and still have the sweatshirt that many of you signed as a nice birthday remembrance (70th) for me.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More pics from DC

Here a few more pictures we took last weekend. The group shot was from dinner Sunday night. The other two were from our walk around The Mall Sunday afternoon. It was such a beautiful day to be outside.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When we were in DC for Scott's service at Arlington National Cemetary, Megan, Steve, John and I went to see the WWII Memorial and this was taken in front of Dad's division.  It was too early in the year for the fountains to be on unfortunately.  We also had the opportunity to see Newton and Fred and their wives.  Newton said that he would have loved to see Mike.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hi all,
Just wanted to post pics from Monday.  A few are from my trip to Arlington after Dad's funeral in November.  Plus, I have Eileen's pics from November, and I have added them here.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Brutus gets leveled

And this one is great:

Tough nut - ha! :)

Husker spring game

Dad - this is the video I was telling you about from the Husker spring game:

Visit with Whitney

Out for dinner.

Matty playing with a stick in the backyard.

Matty and Jacks looking out the front window. Jacks is Ashley's (Whitney's roommate) cat.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I've made some changes in   You'll see a new heading See Page 5 My latest entry is there. The intent is to save readers a lot of scrolling. The last entry is also at the end of the After 1963 - not sure why.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A real war hero.   Today's News Journal carried the obituary of Donald E. Smith, age 95.   I don't remember him from Mansfield Senior High, where he graduated, but I do remember him from Rotary.   I didn't know anything then about his military service.   He was a bombardier with the Eighth Air Force and flew 43 combat missions over Nazi Germany and occupied Europe in B-17 Flying Fortresses.   He was one of four bombardiers to survive the war out of ten he trained with and shipped overseas.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This isn't a "small world" experience of the kind I've reported in the past, but it's interesting.   A man I ate dinner with this evening was one of the first two residents here at Primrose.   His wife was the other one.   She still lives here, but wasn't at dinner.    I can't imagine what it would be like to be the first two.   He said they ate out a lot until it made sense to have dining room service.    He is a WWII veteran, was a rifleman in Germany, was captured and was a POW.    He said one of the German officers wanted to kill him and the others captured, but another more senior one wouldn't permit it.   I didn't pursue the subject with him, but I wonder what it's like to owe your life to an enemy who wouldn't have hesitated to kill you in combat, spared it after you were captured.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!   (It was yesterday, so I'm a day late with the greeting.)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hello everyone!  I have to admit our lives have been so busy I haven't been able to check this blog as often as I would like.  Most of you know that Jonathan's Mom passed away early January.  It was an emotional time but we were ready to let her go and enter into the glory that awaited her in heaven.  I am always struck by God's perfect timliness, as Jon's moms life was slowly fading away we found out that there was a new life slowly growing inside of me.  It reminds me of the saying: "He gives and takes away."  So blessed be His name in all He gives and takes away, and in all our joys and sorrows through it all.  So in addition to Adelaide & Felicity we will have a new bundle coming the day after my birthday! 

We also we very blessed to see Nate this Christmas and his children for part of the holidays as well.  Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

(I wanted to add some pictures but for some reason my computer isn't cooperating with me right now!)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Don't know what prompted me to do it, but I revisited    
this afternoon.    I clicked on the first item, then clicked on some of the pictures down the left side.   I think some of you have seen some of them that show the damage the kamikaze did .   I also looked at the picture of the ship being scrapped.   Still gives me a funny feeling.   Another one, taken after becoming  a Greek ship, reminded me of how rough the ride could be in high seas.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Another small world item.   I learned at dinner that a man I have eaten with several times knew Dwight Mishey.     Misheys were our next door neighbors on Glendale Blvd.   The bouquet of tulips Steve brought to Mom one day came from some planted by Mrs. Mishey.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I spent the day quietly.   Didn't go to the dining room - guess I didn't want to make small talk, or any kind of talk for that matter.   It's not as though people I eat with wouldn't be sympathetic.   They have had similar losses.   One woman lost her husband in November.   He had Alzheimers.   She also has lost a son who was only in his thirties.   (Her name is Margaret, by the way, and people call her Peg or Peggy.)   I re-read parts of the last of a series of books sent to me by the All Saints Stephen Ministers.   The mailing was timed to be received sometime around the first anniversary of the death of a loved one - a day that can be very difficult for some, the degree of which will vary with everyone reading this.   I have to admit the tendency to relive those last few minutes with Mom.   I get up in the night to go to the bathroom.   One time this morning I woke up at 2:00, so I was awake at 2:06.    The book is well written, and like others in the series, advises that no one kind of mourning fits all, so don't be overly concerned if what you feel is different from what others say they have experienced.