Monday, November 11, 2013


The other day I was driving somewhere with the girls down a relatively well-traveled road. I noticed ahead of me a couple of motorcycle cops with flashing lights, and at a stoplight they did a couple of circles in the intersection and then proceeded to head my way. There was a red light ahead of me, but the line of cars I was in didn't move even when there was a large space between them.

I was confused for about a half a second until I saw the motorcycles. Dozens and dozens of them, all riding behind the police motorcycle escort. Every summer there is a big motorcycle ride, I don't know where all it goes, but it always drives by the lake. The sound of a couple hundred Harley's makes the air shake. I called to the girls and told them to look out the window because they were about to see something very special. Seeing as how it was Veteran's Day weekend, I figured this was a fundraising ride of some sort and rolled down my window and gave a thumbs up, and waved for a moment.

The men all drove past. Staring straight ahead. In perfect rows of three. And then I looked further down the road, saw a long line of cars with headlights and small red flags stretched out as far as I could see, and sandwiched in between them and the motorcycles was a gold hearse.

Boy I felt like a dumbass.

Not a fundraising ride. A funeral. A funeral for a soldier.

I don't know if it was an active duty or veteran, but it really didn't matter.

Sam had started her running dialogue of questions when I tell her to look at something, and for a moment I couldn't answer her. The lump in my throat wouldn't let me. A couple of tears let loose and then I was able to compose myself as car after car after car passed me.

I have never really known a soldier. My grandfather was in the Navy, but he never really talked about it, I never asked about it, and he died when I was in college. None of my good friends from high school enlisted. I didn't hang with the ROTC crowd in college. And even though my dad's cousin's son (first cousin once-removed?) is in the Army, I don't know him well and we would only see each other about once a year. So it isn't like I have close, personal experiences with soldiers. The closest I have come is watching Army Wives. (and yes, I understand that doesn't count)

But I have heard stories. I have seen photos, read books, watched documentaries, and of course M*A*S*H. (as if that counts too) Certain stories stick with me. War sucks. I've never lost anyone that I was super duper close to, much less had them killed in a foreign country probably scared out of their minds.  

So I have empathy. And respect. And seeing a parade of veterans on motorcycles honoring their fallen comrade tugs at my heartstrings.

When Sam asked who died, I told her a soldier. She asked what a soldier is. How do you explain soldiers and war to a four year old girl who is scared of the dark and dinosaurs and loud noises? I'm not even sure what I said, something about a guy wearing a uniform with a gun who goes far away to other countries to help people. She was quiet and then started asking questions about panda bears. I was fine with that.

I think as a country we are getting better at thinking of veterans more than just on Veterans Day. We see the difficulty their families have while they are gone, the trouble they have when attempting to acclimate back into normal life, and the wounds they have suffered...inside and out. And that is a good thing.

Of all the people I have never met in this world, hands down the person I respect the most is a soldier. And that is how it should be.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013



You know what sucks? Eating.

Putting nourishment into your body to keep it healthy and strong and allowing it to get you through every day. And I SUCK at that. I suck so hard.

Last spring I had a couple of chats with a nutritionist. You know what I learned? EVERYTHING IS BAD FOR YOU. Even the things that you think are good for you are bad.

Milk? Hells no. Skim milk is basically sugar water. The fattier stuff is fattier and still has sugar and that annoying thing called lactose. Which apparently isn't good for you either.

Bread? Nope. Not even wheat bread. I can't remember exactly why wheat is not good for us, unless it was the gluten, but grains aren't that great, and there is processed sugar in it too.

Processed sugar=BAD.

Do you know what has processed sugar in it?


Except organic meat and organic fruits and vegetables. So ideally that is what I should eat?

That and quinoa. No one likes quinoa. Anyone who does is trying to sell you something.

So I have taken this information that I have been given and have essentially said "screw it" to attempting to eat healthy. This has resulted in me eating terribly, or not eating at all. Do you know what eating terribly or not at all does to you? It makes you tired. I am so goddamn sick of being tired.

I have no solution to this problem. I have tried the protein shakes and they are OK, some of them, but there is no way in hell I'd be able to drink those every day for breakfast or lunch. Or both.

So I continue to eat whatever catches my eye, meanwhile teaching my children the same awesome philosophy. (Yes, I understand that is bad.)

It's stupid, and I am sick of it, but it seems so overwhelming to even attempt to make one meal a day really good for me.