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

image[1]

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Are You a Grinch or Not?…

th[7]It is the Sunday after the biggest shopping day of the year and retailers are literally holding on. The shelves have been totally wiped out, employees are tired and the managers, well, they are just praying that they will make it till the end.

Company Leaders are wringing their hands waiting to see if they made their numbers for the big weekend. Some already know their stores made it while others are trying to figure out how to get you back into the store to buy, buy, buy.

If they can not get you into the store, they  bombard your email with cyber Monday deals. Go, shop online, from the comfort of your home. Slip into your favorite slippers and enjoy a cup of coffee while being hit from every pop up ad to buy, buy, buy….online.

Online shopping is easy, convenient and fun. It is a wonderful way to enjoy shopping without actually going to the store and who in their right mind would want to fight those nasty crowds! People are so rude these days. The only rudeness one may encounter from shopping from home is the occasional interruption from a child who whines about something they may not be able to have right away. Even that is manageable; just shut the door.

Here’s the Thing…how much shopping do we really need to do? Seriously, how many gadgets do we really need and don’t most of the Christmas gifts we buy end up in the landfill? How many ties, toys, electronics do we need to consume?

There seems to be a familiar sound rumbling in the air from all of you,

“What a Grinch you are! You need to get into the Holiday spirit.”

Really! Maybe the meaning of Christmas, yes, Christmas is about time together. The time spent trying to make cookies, buying a pretty tree, decorating that tree or just sitting and enjoying friends. Then, maybe, a small gift of love, friendship or just the joy of giving can be exchanged between all of you.  The gift then becomes a symbol of giving, gratitude, or love for another.

Do not miss the point here. Buying gifts is fun but when did it become the main attraction? Why do we allow commercialism take over the simple beauty of a wonderful Christmas holiday and make it a buy, buy, buy holiday?

What do you think?

Are you a Grinch or did you just yell at your kids to,

“Shut the Door, I’m  shopping?”

 

 

 


Exhausted…

the houseWe filled six cargo crates and now living with borrowed furniture. There are suitcases filled with clothes and we are eating off of paper plates. We have shipped a car and have another one for a few more weeks before it heads back to the States.  We are exhausted.

Exhausted would be an understatement but as many other faithful military family wives have said to me,” The light at the end of the tunnel is here, cheer up.”  It made me stop and think about the families that do this as a career. They move all the time, every three years to zig zag around the world to serve our country. They do it with kids, animals and husbands who sometimes are heading off to the latest war. It made me wonder, how many people really realize what goes on within the military family unit?

It is truly a way of life. One that is full of ups and downs that can not be defined or explained to someone who has not been there or lived the experience.  I never really gave it much thought before we, I mean, he, signed up to serve in the Army.

And that brings me to the point of, when he serves, the family serves too. We are subjected to the ups and downs of deployments, changing of duty stations (PCS) and all that goes along with being uprooted from family, friends and even ones own country.

Frankly, it has not been easy and in many ways I am extremely grateful to have had this experience but am really looking forward to going home  in more ways than one. Home means that we will no longer be subject to the ways of the Military. I do not have to wake up to bullets being shot at ranges that are near by, hearing mortars that make the houses shake, seeing soldiers everyday running in formation and chanting while running PT (physical fitness) at 5:30am, trying to negotiate driving behind a convoy of stykers or military vehicle’s, learning military time ( which I never really got), showing ID’s at checkpoints  or standing at attention facing the flag at 1700 (5:00pm) everyday.   I also will not have to watch the busses of soldiers leave in the morning going to war and knowing that some may not return, will not need to learn how to explain to my daughter that some of her friends dads/moms are not coming home, that I had a special letter for her in the dresser draw in case I get a visit telling me her Dad is gone. I can stop worrying about being blackout from the internet and wonder who was just injured, hurt or killed. Better yet, I will not have to go to another funeral. I will not have to worry about getting a speeding ticket on post and have it affect my husband. Mostly I will be able to go about doing what ever I want, where ever I want because I live in a free country, I live in the United States.

How do I go about thanking all those who have helped me go though this experience?

How do I tell them that the kind words, the help, the smiles and patience they had for me truly made me see a small picture of a world that so many judge, justify or do not even acknowledge exists?

All I can say to them is THANK YOU! It  is simple, pure and full on the love that the words are meant to share.  I know that I will see some of them again, somewhere, either on face book, on television, in person or by chance. I have built a new family  that shares a special bond .

With a tear in my eye and pride in my heart, I am grateful for them and the great nation they serve.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.


Looking for Brighter Horizons…

DSCN3536We were stuck on the boat with not much else to do but to look out across the small town on the Donau and wonder, will we make it beyond this point and travel the river?

The night before our quick stop had left me wondering if this cruise was really a good idea. I mean, we had never cruised before and part of why we had not cruised was because we had heard so many awful stories on how some cruises turn into vacations from hell. Sorry about that, but how else can I describe how I was feeling about this cruise? I was sitting alone outside on the boats deck while the family was trying to get some needed sleep. The crisp foggy air felt good as my hands were being warmed by a hot cup of tea.

I was sitting there listening to the emergency crew and the Captain discuss rather loudly in German, something and it was not sounding good. The storm had caused damaged to the hull and it must have been that jolt in the night that woke me from my semi sleepy state. My mind shifted back to my own thoughts.  Then again, being stuck on a boat, on a river with nowhere else to really go may be a great opportunity to reconnect with my now overly social media stimulated daughter.

There was no access to internet, something else we were told they would have but changed when we got on board. Think about this, a teenager going on a cruise, with her parents and there are no other kids, no Face book, computer access. She was pretending to be happy but she was clearly saving her disappointment for some other time. She was going thru social media withdrawal and that my friend, spells disaster.

The German or some dialect of German was being shouted as I began to continue wondering how I was going to save this Holiday vacation and then it struck me, maybe this was a great opportunity to talk with my daughter, I mean, really sit down and talk. The opportunity to enjoy each other, and with no interruption’s,  we would have each others full attention. I took another sip of tea and its warmth was making me smile. That’s it, we can turn this around. The yelling in the distance seemed to stop and I decided to get up and go inside. There I saw the Captain and some official looking men sitting at a table, they too were smiling. Maybe this cruise will turn its self around after all.

A simple hole in the hull of the boat was not going to ruin this Holiday cruise. We were going forward and cruising this river. Even if we do nothing but sit on a boat and talk with one another.

Determined and smiling, I left the main deck to wake up the family.


When One Goes Down, They All Go Down…

The day began with my teenage daughter telling me that her 2-year-old computer decided to go blank. She no longer could use it.

“See”, she said holding it up as evidence. The screen was blank with little lines going up and  down the screen.

I shook my head. Knowing that I had no idea where the warranty was or the receipt.  Thinking that maybe we really did not have one anyway.

“And, I have a paper due next week.” Her eyes big, wondering what was she ever going to do.

Me, I was thinking about the photos, documents and everything else that was  now lost forever. I sighed deeply thinking back to a past summer when she had spilled chicken noodle soup all over the keyboard and screen. I had triumphed over that small disaster by taking a blow dryer to it and drying the keyboard. This time, I could see it would not be that easy.

We all knew that the computers would not last forever but really, when do you ever take such a thought seriously? Me, not till the thing is dead and gone. From the looks of the computer, it was dead and most definitely gone.

It always seems to me that these sorts of technological malfunctions always seem to occur right before the Holidays. I am not sure but I really am starting to believe it is a conspiracy against my pocketbook. That all computer companies gather around and decide that the shelf  life  of a computer will always end on or about December.

Though it can be difficult to swallow the purchase of a new computer, it is truly to my advantage, or so I rationalize, that I will get a holiday bargain for it. Some sort of dollars off, percentage off or buy this and you will get this offer will be afforded my way.  Making me feel okay with this large purchase that generally never includes all the programs you need and therefore, you hear the continued draining of your checking account.

So, off we go to the PX or otherwise know as, “the only place to get an electronic device” and shop the 5 computers that are available to us. We find the best of the lot; middle of the road in price and leave. And yes, it was marked down $70.00 for the Holidays.  It took us all of ten minutes to find the one among the 5 that we liked.

It was not long before my daughter and I were having a “discussion”  about who in the family would use it, where we keep it and most definitely no eating or drinking near it; we did get the warranty. I think in some small way we were bonding over the purchase of the new computer. We were so happy about the purchase and even got all the programs that it needed…included, no extra charges. For us it was a simple install and not long after getting it set up she was navigating around all her favorite sites.

I sank happily into to the couch thinking thank goodness that should be all for now.

Shouting from the other room I hear my husband shriek, ” Hey, my computer is all messed up.” Thank goodness I know they have more available at the PX and they are on sale…for the Holidays.


Think Before You Post…

When I sat down to write I had so many stories to write about and I could not figure out which one would be the best. Being true to myself, I always try to think about what would be most interesting for someone to read. I recognize that many of you who read my blog are not affiliated with the military and fewer have had the benefit of living overseas. As I collected my thoughts, I knew that there would be one topic everyone, including me, was thinking about; the drama surrounding General Petraeus.

I have been reading many different articles about what has happened and have heard more about this story on AFN (Armed Forces Network). I will confess, I wish in some small way that I could have written a book about these events. I would not be sitting here in Military on post housing if I had.  With each twist and turn I hold my breath like I am turning the pages of a newly released novel.

Then it got me wondering, how could this happen? Now a days we are addicted to our computers with not much emphasis on the power  our computer holds over us because we use them without  thinking.  That is the problem, we do not think about what we say.  How many times do we log in, give an opinion on the article, picture, email or whatever without thinking about who will see it. Those words are forever connected to us and sometimes we even cringe at the content of those posts after we have calmed down. We can delete the content but it never truly goes away.

I can recall the daily discussions I have with my teenage daughter to not write anything on Facebook or in messages that could be perceived in a different matter than what the words were intended. I know that she is tired of hearing this from her over protective mother who sounds more like a drill sergeant at times than a Mom.

It may be just a coincidence but in the last few days I have found quite a few re-posts starting with, “I am sorry about the last post, I was not thinking.”


Pardon the interruption…

Lately it feels like there are a few too many things going on.

I guess you could say there have been too many interruptions and not enough closure on things I think are important.

Here are a few things I hope will end soon.

1) The election. I really hope that it ends soon. I, like I think most of you, want to just be done with this election as it feels like it has been going on forever. Just put someone in office and let’s deal with what will happen next!

2) Wondering about where we will be living in a few months. I guess that one will take a few more months to decide where we will be landing once home in the US.

and…

3) Will my sister call me. Ever since Hurricane Sandy she has been without power and no power means no phone lines. I know she is okay because she has spoken to other family members but not me….makes me wonder  .

So, with these things on my mind along with the other important things like, will there be a turkey at the Commissary for me to buy I have not been able to think clearly and without interruption.

Now  I hope with  a new week on hand, those interruptions will start to go away and time will be easier to manage…then again…the big decision to decorate or not for the Holidays seems to be creeping into my mind.

Excuse me, I need to….