Pat and I are standing on my front porch. Our lunch breaks are over and we're about to head to our cars to go back to work. The beautiful sunny weather we were enjoying a week ago is gone, bullied and shoved out by the typical Washington clouds. It starts to rain.
Pat: I'm getting rained on!
Me: Well... come here then. *I grab his arm and haul him under the eaves where I'm standing.* There, see? No more rain.
Pat: You saved me!
Me: I know. It was a monumental task, but someone had to do it.
Pat: *stares at me suspiciously* I think you're some kind of witch.
Me: Yes, you're right. I am. I'm also a ninja, remember? I'm a ninja witch.
Pat: *suddenly struggling to keep a straight face* You're a WINJA.
Pat: Or a NINJITCH!
Me: The correct term is Winja, Pat. Not Ninjitch. Now get it right before I cast a curse on you. Because trust me, a Winja is the last person you want to piss off.
Would YOU piss off a Winja?
I didn't think so.
It could almost have been just another party. A gathering of about ten or so friends sharing some good food and good conversation with nearly that many children running around, shrieking with laughter
Except that it wasn't.
A boy, maybe eight or nine, came running up to my friend Josh. "I'm leaving!" he said.
Josh grinned at him. "Oh yeah? Where?"
"To join the army!"
It's tricky for me to read Josh these days, but it seemed to me that his smile became a little more empty as he chuckled. "Oh, okay."
The boy stood in front of Josh for a moment longer, quiet. Then he took a deep breath. "Don't die, okay?" he burst out.
"I'm not going to die," Josh promised him. The boy nodded hurriedly and took off running. Josh looked at me, smiling ruefully. "I made it through once," he said. "I can make it again."
Saturday was Josh's going away party. Josh, who was supposed to get out of the military this year, has been stop-lossed and is being sent for a second tour of duty in Iraq.
Yeah, it could almost have been just another party. Except that it seemed every few minutes, someone was asking Josh, "so when do you leave again?" Except that the men were asking him about the last time he was there, and what he expected from this time around. Except that a small boy came up to him asked him not to die.
I've known Josh since I was four years old, and while there have been long gaps during the years where we've fallen out of contact, I still feel fortunate to be a part of his life. Josh is one of the best men I've ever known. I'll be thinking about him every day while he's in Iraq, and I'll be thinking about his wife and two small children.
Regardless of how any of us feel about this conflict, it's still an everyday reality for far too many men and women in the service and their families and friends. And all we can do is cross our fingers and hope like hell that they come home safe.
Be safe, and come home.
Nils had a blog an eternity ago (2006) which he started to chronicle his family's trek through Europe. He made exactly three posts, then abandoned the project. Now Nils is back with a slick new layout and a great sense of humor, entertaining with posts that include....
"...I do not understand my subconscious. Most of the people who I talk to about dreams, like friends and stuff, are all, "I had this dream last night where I cleaned my kitchen, but everything was upside down. Crazy."
So then I'm like, "Wow, that is weird. I had a dream last night where I was in a State Park that was also a shooting range and there was a Poodle-Eating Puma terrorizing our campsite. The end of the dream was me tackling the the Puma as it tried to eat our friends second poodle, the first having been the first victim of it's spree."
And because I love the URL...
We must make him post more!
It's been a while since I've posted, which would be because I've done absolutely nothing exciting. Certainly after my harrowing experience at Fort Worden, little things like my flowers blooming and Stella the kitty actually seeming to regress back to kittenhood and lunge at my ankles during inconvenient times just kind of seems to pale in comparison.
I have made some very positive changes in my lifestyle. Changes that I've been saying I need to make for a very long time now, and lacked the drive to actually implement.
Healthy eating and a hard workout routine.
Exciting? Well, it might not sound like it, but for me it is. I feel ten times better than I have in a long time. And I'm really excited about the personal trainer-created weight room routine that my friend and I have been doing - it makes every other weight training routine I've ever done look like a kid's game of make believe. So entire body weight training three times a week, yoga twice a week, and cardio five to six times a week plus actually eating right will eventually transform me into THIS!
Okay, so maybe I won't be as bad ass as She Hulk.
Maybe. Maybe I will transform into She Hulk. You never know.
But... you know.... without the green skin and hair and all.