I am telling you, always check the bed…..

When I go away on a trip and stay at a Hotel I know that there is always something that may not be to my standard. I know that when you are in the customer service business anything can and will happen, it is a given, right?

We see the television programs that go into hotels and find things that have not been cleaned. If you are anything like me, I regard them as being shows to disgust you so you will watch them and the show will get high ratings. Even with that said, I always check the bed.

The bed can very telling about how the room will be, clean or not. I never  actually have  had any issues, I would crawl into the  bed at night and find the fluffy pillows to be delightful. Hotel beds with their big pillows seem to allow for wonderful dreams. The much-needed vacation would be underway, leaving behind the stressful stuff of regular days.

I always remind those I travel with to check the bed before crawling into its sheets. This time, my teenage daughter who had selective hearing  and a “Yeah Mom, sure attitude” did not check the sheets. It was not until the next morning when in a “You’ve got to be kidding me, clean this room” parental rage, did I notice the stain. It happened when I pulled the sheet down to make the bed. Instantly the Godfather movie came to  mind and shrieks of  horror was bellowing from my mouth.  I was hoping that I would not find a horses head and was quite relieved when there was none. Even though a sigh of relief came to me, I was still disgusted to find the stain not only on the sheet but all the way through to the mattress.

Okay, now what? I really did not know what to do. I have never had this happen to me.  I know, call the front desk and find out what in the world  were they thinking. Seriously though, at that point nothing can really change the experience we had been through. The answer from management  was filled with  apologizes and a refund for the night . It helped but nothing can erase the experience .

Now when I ask my daughter to, “Check the bed.” She will. How about you?

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Stop for a Moment….

                                                 

         I am packing my bags for the start of the summer season. I am so excited to be able to throw shorts, a swimsuit and sandals into my overnight bag in anticipation that this weekend will be the beginning of a fabulous 2012 summer.

I can taste the BBQ chicken, steaks and hamburgers.  I begin to think about how in the States I would have been bombarded with Memorial Day ads for selling all the summer stuff; gosh, how I miss American commercials. I think about how I would not be able to escape the big signs screaming, summer is here. The kick off for the season has begun.

There is one thing though I am not going to forget this weekend, taking time to place a flag on a grave. To pause and realize that this weekend is to remember those who have given their lives to let me have this opportunity to enjoy life the way I do.

I am very proud and humbled by those who have given their lives for future generations to live free. I am honored to have been able to walk on the same ground they have walked to free those from a concentration camp in Flossenburg, Germany.  I cannot imagine the horror they faced and endured during the long journey to end the injustice that was before them.

I will pause, remember and honor all who have fallen this weekend.

And….I know you will too.

                                            


Rank, does it Matter to You?

What is rank? Does it define who we are or what we do? I mean, really, is being a Army spouse the same as being a Bankers wife or a Plumbers wife?

In the military I often hear, ” I am a Army wife” What does that mean? Better yet, I have heard and even asked myself, “What’s your Husbands rank?” As if to ask, “Am I really allowed or privileged to speak to you.”

Yes, I have even asked the question and I wondered why, what does it matter? I wonder because I would not have asked this when I was in the civilian world, so why am I asking now? Maybe it is a cultural thing, a question that comes out in the daily lives of those serving. It is a way of indentfying and yes, ranking those around us. There is after all a set of protocol that is followed and it is important to follow it. But that is for the Soldier, or is it?

Even though I did not join the Army, my husband did and with that we might as well signed on the bottom line too. Everything we do, reflects back on the Soldier. I can not seem to do anything on the Installation without being asked my husbands rank or sponsor number, his social security number. He is ever present in my daily activities. In the civilian world, it was all me.

Over time, the identity of the spouse can be lost, faded away into the background of what is important. If the spouse is not well grounded in their own self, this can be a major issue.

The culture of the military drives the rank issue, spouses feed it to meet the daily demands of serving the country.

So, I ask, What is you rank today?


Welcome Home….

Happy Birth..scratch that, Happy Anniver…scratch that too, how about, Happy Thanksgiv..what is it that I am wanting to say here?

It’s been a year, a long, stressful year that no matter what I write, or how many Holidays I try to think of, it won’t even begin to sum up the emotions of a Husband being gone on a deployment.

Many of you know what I am talking about, others, just hold on and listen to what is being told. Those of you getting ready for your first deployment, seek guidance from the many resources that the Military offer to cope; you will need it.

Back to the what do I say, oh yeah, it had been a long stressful, emotional year and now, finally, I am counting down the last days till you come home; reunited again.

I know, it was a year ago that I smiled every time the Armed Forced Network (AFN) made a live announcement on the play by play of where you were. “And now, they have landed in Nuremberg, not much longer till those buses come our way.”  Then came the Soldier shout outs, “Miss ya, see ya real soon.” I know, they make me smile every time I think of it.  To top it off, there were the emails that we would get, telling us, where to go, what time to be at the Field House to greet them. I was tired and I kept thinking that he will be tired too. Drunk with excitement, we hurried to get ready.

My daughter and I had been preparing for this day for a long, long time. It is what kept us sane as we watched over the year the news, heard the commentaries about the war in Afghanistan and learn about what was actually happening there. We knew that it was not all fun and games. We knew because many Soldiers did not come home. A daily reminder that war was with us, right with us as we tried to function daily as if nothing was wrong. When there was a memorial, we did our best to support the families and continued our daily lives.

The house was picked up, the frig full of his favorite foods and a list of things to do was posted on the family board. So, today we stood among all the other families, looking our best, waiting, waiting, and waiting for the door to the Field House to fly open wide. The fog, hid them at first but there they came marching into the gym as the song, “The Boys are Back in Town” blared over the loud speakers. There was not a  dry eye in the house and my daughter was craning her neck to see if she could catch a quick glance of her Father among the now large group of Soldiers standing at attention.  Where is he?

With a single word, Charge, the room exploded into chaos as families ran to see their loved one. Then, we found him. We hugged, all three of us, and hugged again, again and again…. Never letting go.

It was …scratch that…..Welcome Home.

 


Seriously, Bruce Jenner, Father of the Year?

If Bruce Jenner is Father of the Year, then my husband is Father of the decade! What in the world was Esquire thinking when they allowed Chris Jones to feature this article? Are we all that stupid to think that this family is an actual functioning family that represents the picture of Americans? What in the world are they, Esquire, thinking….????!!!

Here’s the thing, it sells magazines and for all the people wanting to learn something new that is Kardashian, then, here you go. But, if you are like me, I have grown tired of hearing about this family. I am not sure what they do, or why they do it.  I do think that they a contributing to the stupidity of the American public by feeding the laziness and entitlement society that is happening within our current culture.

Am I suppose to feel sorry for this guy? He was a fantastic Olympic star at one time. He actually work hard, gave passion to a craft of being an athlete. Bruce, what happened to you? Where did the passion go?

Each day Military family fathers wake up and give their time and thier lives to protect this type of behavior of people who think that getting on TV is a success. I cannot say I feel sorry for Bruce but I do feel bad for every family that actually do something that has meaning by giving their lives to defend this behavior.

Chris Jones, next time you decide to write an article, write about a family that defends America and sacrifices their life for it. Not about a family that is only looking to suck the life from any good American family. Maybe, just maybe you could call all military fathers, Father of the Year as they are the ones who actually defend your right to write this.

But….that doesn’t sell  magazines, does it?

Here’s the article:http://www.esquire.com/features/bruce-jenner-0612?click=pp


Please…let me start over today!

This is going to be short, I promise. Today did not start off very well and I have to admit, it is effecting my day and the day just started.

I have learned that you really should not call the Health clinic on a Monday morning. It can be an optimistic thing to hope that you will get through to someone after you have navigated the, dial one for appointment, two to cancel. Even after you have endured that process, and you are sitting on hold in the que, your mind can wonder and have you start another project.

This is what happened to me, I was number five in the queue and wanting to get other things done while I bobbed my head to the same song over and over again. So, I put the phone on speaker and started working on other projects.

After about 25 minutes, I heard the announcement that I was next. I was so excited.

I heard the voice of someone answering the phone. I picked up the phone and luck would have it, hit the wrong key to take it off speaker…..

Here’s the thing….I lost her and had to start all over again.

Guess what, that song is stuck in my head…..Please, let me start over today.


Take the speeding ticket instead….

It seems as if today IS that kind of a day. Nothing, I mean, nothing seems to be going right. I reflect back to yesterday and wonder what in the world happened to cause things to go so far out of whack. Really, what did I do to make today that kind of a day? Then it hit me….

Yesterday, while driving home, I found myself shaking my finger at the police officer (military police) parked on the side of the road with a speed gun. I actually did not know I was shaking my finger at him until I found myself saying out loud, “Oh, no, I am NOT speeding, put that gun down!” Mind you, I get lots of tickets and I was not about to get another one, especially when I knew I was NOT over the limit.

His face was stunned and slowly I saw him placing the gun on his lap. I drove on feeling victorious, that some how the order of the day was fine. I had some how won, small victories are just that, small victories and remember, no ticket.

Off to the commissary, or what most call the store, to shop for some groceries. This is where things generally start falling apart because it is a commissary. In Germany, this is where you get American food at okay prices. Do Not get overly excited here, prices are not that great and selection is usually a challenge as well.

Feeling a bit confident, I started to shop for produce and was quite surprised at the cost of a package of carrots. I stopped, recalled the price for the week that had past and thought that the new price of $1.40 for the same package that last week costed $1.15 seemed a little too much.  Then I saw the cucumbers, kiwi and …I think you are getting the picture….the prices seemed really high. My attitude gave me the strength to ask a clerk, who was quickly walking away because they knew a question was coming, They reluctantly smiled and got another “manager”.

” The price of gas has gone up” they said. You know how expensive it is to transport these products?

Seriously, my mind was starting to explode, “The carrots origin was from Germany.”

It became one thing after another as I tried to gain victory. Victory for what? I know, I should have just let it go, I was buying the products anyway. No amount truly was going to be too much, I knew that there was no other store down the road that I could get the food I wanted, even if I did want to, it was closed. It was this store or nothing….

So…victory turned to frustration as I watched the clerk ring up the produce I wanted….feeling a bit defeated I went home.

Then….it happened..the computer would not work. The server was down. Most would say this really should not wrap you around the pole but it did and what does one do when they can not get on the computer, the world stops….

Now it is around 11 am today and I finally am able to get on the computer and hoping, truly hoping, that by telling you this that the next time you run into the police (military police)  DO NOT shake your finger at them, except your fate and take the ticket instead…the cost will be far less.