The Show MUST go on…

I know most people don’t care. That they just look at the numbers in a budget. They don’t care because they have no connection, they do not see the value in something.

Don’t let this happen, don’t let the theater be silenced, The show must go on, it is vital to the families and the military community.

Budgets are not easy, cuts need to be made but read this quote from IMCOM spokesman Scott Malcom,

“Our intent is to use our limited funds to provide critical base operating services and sustain the infrastructure that makes the Army ready,” Malcom said. “Is quality of life a child development center or a community theater? Are we in the humanities business or are we in the warfighting business?”

Stars & stripes article

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http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/the-show-won-t-go-on-army-expected-to-close-community-theaters-1.417910

 

Here’s the link to petition this decision and to have the voices of the community heard. Please sign it…

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fund-us-army-theater-entertainment-program

Anger blurs the words that need to be shared.  The Army asked for my families service and we gave it, with honor and respect. This is not about me and mine. It is about how we coped with the daily pressures of “serving” our country. We served the best way we knew.

The closing of the community theaters for families is wrong and  will harm the development of family members everywhere. Community theaters are a place where all are able to somehow transform to a different place and release the daily stress and pressures that consume a military families daily life. The release from the pressure of living in the Army is needed. Let me remind you, we are not talking about large oversize building that you find in most “civilian” communities here in the States. We are talking about Army base block buildings that are “converted” into places that allow families and kids to get an “idea” about the theater.  The overhead budget is not a large operating budget, this is not a building housing a “Hamilton” production.

The argument can be made that 1.96 million dollars is a lot of money for funding. We do know that the government can spend money in crazy ways BUT I am sure there are other places they can pull money from before taking away this very important community service. For a small bleep of time we could forget the worries of the world and go somewhere else.

I am hoping that this decision is not fully made and that somehow, somewhere, over the rainbow, there is time to change the decision and have these funds put back into the budget.

You can do something to prevent this from happening, to have your voice heard, sign the petition….

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fund-us-army-theater-entertainment-program

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Addicted to Your Coffee Mugs?….

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It seemed like it was going to start off like any other day but it took a different turn when I reached for the milk for the freshly brewed cup of coffee and….there was no milk.

Actually, there was milk, but when I  poured it into my coffee  it started to clump  and made me realize it was, “less than fresh”. It seemed as if today was going to be like all the days before, so I shrugged my shoulders, bowed my head and resigned to the fact, today was going to suck. A no coffee start to the day was not a good sign of happiness, I need my coffee.

As a wave of frustration came over me, I took the cup of coffee and threw it, “today is going to be different I yelled at the cup as it hit the floor shattering, things are NOT going to continue this way!

And then my day began.

Actually, my mind wanted to throw it but anyone who knows me, I would never break my favorite coffee mug, but things need to change. First off, how I was doing things, including not having fresh milk for my coffee.

I have more than enough coffee mugs each one is my favorite in one way or another. Ya know, the one you bought on that trip to Disney or the one that was given to you as a birthday present. It is a mug, nothing more but the fact that it carries the very drug you need to function in the morning as it wakes you up and gives you the confidence of the day, they all are important.

Sometimes though, the lack of milk or a bad cup of coffee can make you stop liking that certain mug. I do not know, work with me here, it seems that now that I thought about throwing this mug it no longer held me to the memory of how it became a favorite mug.

The violent act of throwing it and watching it shatter to pieces can be liberating. If done with a loud, Argh! or some other sound of frustrated anger, could make one feel oh, so much better. I think you know  what I am saying, the release of whatever seems to be deep with in the soul and taken out on this otherwise meaningless coffee mug, can make you feel liberated.

So, I guess I am saying that when you  throw the mug….make sure there is no hot coffee in it.

 

 


Been a While….

It is a known fact that times change, nothing stays the same. Pointing out the obvious is not my intent here; my intent is to share how quickly things can creep up on you.

I have been purposefully ignoring writing. It has taken a lot to not just sit down and start writing about one thing or another. I guess I am trying to think before I actually hit submit. Many times I have wanted to just “go off” and say what I think but then I am reminded of oh, so many people who have done that and regret it in the end.

Here’s the Thing…things can change and it is okay that they do.

I do not know but after being married for 25 years I guess I never thought that I would be getting….gasp… divorced.

Yep, I am and I am okay with it; so is my significant other.

Here is where I have to tell my Mom who reads every blog, that it is okay…Yes, mom, I am okay.

Why write about it, why not? It is okay to go separate ways. Do I blame anyone? No, I really don’t except for, maybe a little… 

Is Maddie okay? She is a typical teenager who seems to worry more about the halo over her teenage head than what has happened, thank goodness for that, as she is a great kid who needs not worry or be worried about the adult life circling around her. I will say military life had prepared her for the separation of her parents so…Go Army on that.

Did the Army do this to you? Well, in many ways the Army did not help, it made life significantly worse and yes, in some ways if I were to blame anyone or anything it is easy to say that the military life did not help. It did not help that when I was working overseas that the job I had with the government was not as sympathetic to the needs of my family. Again, another blog that will come later. The Army life is not for everyone and it certainly was not for us. I am very proud that we served, but do hold anger towards the very thing I have pride for, again for another time.

Serving my country was not suppose to be this hard but is was and the battle ground that was being fought that none of us thought about was the one right here at home, among ourselves.

When you think about it, very few give credit to those who are part of the 1% who lay it on the line; they put everything on the line for country. When I hear about entitlements, I support the troops, or a reporter who is evaluating the value of the troops makes me cringe.

There is no true understanding to the sacrifice that military families make for this country.

But Maddie puts it back into perspective each time she goes to the movies and asks,

“Do you take military discounts?” 

Kid behind the counter, “No, we are trying to get away from doing that.”

Placing her $15.00 on the counter, “No problem, my dad will fight for you anyway.”

Enough said.    

 

 


That Really Hurt….

Ball_Head_1[1]I am not sure about you, but sometimes life sucks.

It throws curve balls that you really do not see coming. You think you have it all together and things are wonderful but somehow…just somehow, this ball comes out of no where and wallops you in the head. Dazed and confused, you stagger back  and wonder, “What the hell just happened.”

In the ruins of your former self you discover that the only thing that has changed from this devastating blow ….is you.

You can cry, be angry or just accept that things will never be the same again and somehow you will find your way back to something that resembles your former self. It can be argued that you needed that change and you were not willing to make it… so…life just made you go thru it. Other times, you may feel that the change is needed and well, you let it happen. Regardless of how, you are not going to be able to go back and try to live the way you formerly did.

You are going to have to accept, move on and just trudge thru the days to somehow find that middle happy ground that lies between the new normal and the old one.

Songs have been written about this and frankly…as I use to sing those songs, I always felt bad for the person who was going thru such a tragic event…never thinking that one day, it would be me. I am glad now that I at least have those songs to guide me thru the lessons learned by others; I have some grounding as oppose to wandering around in the dark hitting walls.

It is truly in your darkest days  you can find new life, new normal and new thoughts of appreciation to help you along with the days to come. An enlightenment of sorts can make you realize that though you think it is the end of the world, you actually have found a world that was always right there in front of you but you never wanted to see. Maybe you were afraid of it, maybe you did not want to work for it…maybe…just maybe…you were scared of it.

Life can suck at times…it blindsides you  and makes you dazed and confused.. that is life.

So…take the life hit and say, “That really hurt.”

Umm…yeah…but you are living.

 

 

 


Do not Pull the Blinds…

 

 

dogI love my dog Lyndie, she is the best dog in the world. I am sure that every owner of a dog says that…and yes, they are all correct.

Lately though, I have not been the best owner. I must admit that while standing at the window watching the snow blow all around I am not at all excited to bundle up and take her for a walk. She though, looks out the window, and sees something totally different; I wish I knew what she saw. Watching her tail wagging crazy, I roll my eyes and realize no matter how much I wish someone else could walk her, I need to take her out. Snow or no snow, I must go so I go to the closet, grab my coat and start the bundling process.

Maybe this time the wind will not be blowing so hard, it might not be all that bad out there, forget wearing socks, just put the boots on are all thoughts that race thru my head as she dances around pulling on her leash to get me to hurry up and get dress.

I wish I lived in a house, it would be so much easier to let her out. It would only be a quick opening of a door to a fenced in yard and then a quick call back to the door. But no, I live on the third floor of an apartment building complex. I know that there are other owners and every dog thinks they own the place. Dog fights are common and yes,  you would be happy to know, my Lyndie is always the winner. This little factoid does not make us popular among the other dog families in the community and well, I am constantly trying to dodge other owners.

See, Lyndie is the top dog, a protector and really does not want other dogs approaching us. She is a single kind of dog. No matter how many times I tell other owners to keep their dogs a safe comfortable distance they always seem to think that they have a better understanding of what is best.  It use to bother me beyond belief that they would not listen but now I just let Lyndie go at it.  And well, the other owner and the dog learn quickly that they were wrong.

So, when I get dress I am thinking about what other owner might be walking by the door, may be outside and well, socks may be the best idea, as my feet will really get cold.

With Lyndie biting her leash, me all set to go and yes, making sure I have the keys to get back in the building, I venture out the door into the hallway and down the stairs. Each minute wondering what will this walk bring.  Most walks are uneventful because I try to go out when I know other owners would not even be thinking about going out.

I bet they are looking out the window and instead of getting a coat on, pull the blinds.

 

 

 


Cue Clear Skies…

I relish in the fact that I am a patient person. I would even go so far as to say it is a strength of mine but lately it seems as if I have lost the ability to be…patient.

I have learned that when someone says something and they may be TOTALLY wrong, you listen and do not question it. If you do question it do it at your own peril. Sometimes it is not the fact that they are wrong but that you should just listen to them, accept the answer and then wait to see how it plays out. It generally goes back on the right course and the emotional feeling of frustration and feeling of,” Are you really …” (you fill the blank), goes away.

I have found that it is generally the space between being calm and going totally nuts is where the trouble begins. I am not someone to sit by and just let things happen, I am a fixer, a problem solver of sorts. I will add this is a very important skill  to have as it guides me through the biggest complications in life BUT even the most logical answer to an issue needs to be filled with calm and NO emotion.

Emotion, that human quality  can get us all in trouble. I am amazed at how it can cloud judgment and create a fire storm that swirls up like a tornado in the flat lands of the Unites States.  Like a tornado, emotion throws debris everywhere and lashes out at even the most innocent of bystanders. Now the original issue of concern takes on more problems and it grows from there; a so on and so on scenario.  Its path creates havoc on everything. Nothing is safe from its fiery and destructive path.

Here’s the thing….life in the military is constantly changing and one has to get use to that fact. It is good to be emotional but try to sound the warning signal before the actual tornado comes swirling. Let people close by have the chance to calm the storm before it brews. Most likely they will not be emotionally attached to the storm. Listening to what they have to say  might save you from causing a path of irreversible destruction.

Eventually it stops and in the silence of the aftermath the rebuilding can begin. Cue sunshine and clear skies.


You are an American in Germany when….

I have been missing from the land of blogging and all other social media because we are beginning our mission to come back home. To say that the process of leaving Germany has consumed my daily life is an understatement. For days now I have been learning everything I can to move back to the US.  It is a big deal after 4 years of being “away from home.”
But then I found this list on Facebook, it was being shared among those who have lived here or still are living here.
As I read it, it made me smile and tear up all at the same time.
30 Reasons you know you’re an American Military Family Living in Germany…


1. Ausfahrt isn’t funny anymore, and roundabouts are second nature.
2. You no longer mind the person behind or next to you only giving you half an inch of space.
3. 2 hrs for dinner is “fast food”. …
4. You judge mustard by how well it opens your sinuses.
5. Jumping across the border to get away for the day is no big deal.
6. You reach for the Jägermeister instead of Pepto Bismol.
7. You think family pictures taken at a castle are “so cliche.”
8. You forgot how to use round doorknobs.
9. You forget how to flush a toilet that doesn’t have a push button.
10. 100 MPH seems like you’re driving really, really slow.
11. You no longer think it is strange that beer and water are the same price.
12. You never go shopping off base without a shopping bag or VAT form.
13. You NEVER shop on payday or the day before a German holiday.
14. You never leave home without your keys, ID card, license, and passport.
15. You think anything with chocolate sounds like a good breakfast.
16. You think it is natural to pass Army tanks on the highway.
17. You answer the phone “Hallo” instead of Hello.
18. You need a power drill and sledgehammer to hang a picture on the wall.
19. You rig your lawnmower and vacuum cleaner to give you an electrical shock if you try to operate them on Sundays.
20. You no longer even want ketchup for your French Fries.
21. Christmas is incomplete without Gluhwein at a castle.
22. You sing “Tschüss” instead of say Good Bye.
23. Your children no longer say please or thank you … it is bitte and danke.
24. You wonder how you ever lived without Rolladens.
25. You wear a scarf every single day …. even in the summer.
26. You plan your route around ESSO locations.
27. You believe AFN is quality programming.
28. You own shoes just for walking …. and know you will walk everywhere.
29. You no longer need google translate at the grocery store and last least ….
30. You have said out loud at least once …. Damn Americans!!
Thanks to all who shared this and I know in some ways I will so miss Germany when I leave. It truly defines what happens when you live in Germany and I will miss it here…BUT…I can not wait to finally come Home.