Archive for April, 2015

Forty years later

The fall of Saigon is 40 years gone now, and I still question what it was all about; what was it for? After countless news broadcasts, documentaries, films, interviews, print articles, books and now websites, I am no closer to understanding the times we lived through. I’ve had difficulties with this period, most likely because I was an impressionable age, but not least from the societal upheaval that occurred at the time. Those of us fortunate enough to not have to serve, those who served and made it back home, we were all shaped by our experience of those years.

I find myself here at 4:30 a.m. Being a woman of a certain age, I am prone to waking in the night unable to make my brain shut up; and it often races down the highway of what if. This morning it comes courtesy of an onslaught of programming on PBS, and I am wallowing around in it for the second time this month.

When my first husband was drafted for service July or August 1970 (his number was 178 in the 1969 lottery), he went to Ft. Lewis for basic training. Once he was out of basic and looking at his MOS, we burned up I-5 between Vancouver and Tacoma every weekend for a while. He was only in for 18 months and never left the states.

His MOS ended up being something along the lines of personnel specialist and he learned how to avoid being sent to the war-that-wasn’t-a-war. If you were enrolled in training when the rosters were being filled, you were exempt. This resulted in his going to Ft. Sam Houston in Texas at one time for training, about two or three months, if I remember correctly. Then he returned to Ft. Lewis.

Sometime in early 1971, I took the civil service exam and in July, got a job at a Madigan Hospital Annex on base and moved to Tacoma. My job was administrative, medically processing out Vietnam returnees for discharge. At that time, Ft. Lewis was processing out something around 100-150 troops a week and it was not at all unusual to receive a couple of marriage proposals a week from the boys coming back. They were all so young. We all were.

I worked there until he was discharged in February 1972 and we returned to Vancouver, relatively unscathed by the experience. Life moved on, we divorced at the end of 1979.

In the 80s, I finally started growing up. I made new friends–most of them were civilians, having been deferred or gone off to Canada, still holding on to old beliefs from the 60s and 70s. I know what it was like for those boys coming home and I was still witnessing that same 60s-70s opinion of those who had served in the military. In the 80s, being a veteran was still met with derision and oftentimes contempt. At present, it’s become the empty “thank you for your service” that my son and daughter hear on Veterans Day.

In 2010 I was in Virginia visiting my daughter and grandson and we took the train in to Washington for a day. She wanted to see some museums and the botanical gardens, I wanted to go to The Wall. We didn’t make it there. I still want to go to The Wall. I feel as if I need to see it, touch it and shed some tears. For catharsis. For all the boys of my generation who didn’t make it back home. For all the boys who came home, the damaged and the sound. I won’t understand it any better, but I might be able to put it to rest.


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This is difficult

After being away from the blogging-and-sharing idea for so long, it seems the only way to get back to it is to start posting diarrhea from my brain. I truly overanalyze everything these days.

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DIY An Endless Supply Of Fresh Green Onions – Allrecipes Dish.

I need to do this. I only ever need a few tops at a time, and I never have green onions.

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I have wanted to knit a Dreambird since it was first published. It’s such a stunner and there are so many beautiful examples, now at 2200+. And I have also wanted to knit something from the Jojoland Rhythm that I just had to buy because it was so achingly gorgeous and unlike anything I had seen before.

A month or more ago, my LYS started a Dreambird KAL, but I was involved with something(s) else and had (1) nothing appropriate in stash and (2) no clue what to choose for a background color.

Last week, I went ahead and jumped in, even though the KAL is nearly finished. I cast on Saturday night and went to the store for the KAL Sunday afternoon, where I picked up a re-written cheat sheet for the pattern, which was originally published in German and has been translated into a number of other languages. I’m not sure if the German original is considered poorly written, or if it’s just the English translation, or if it was requisite that any translations doggedly follow the original pattern. Whatever the reason, it is rambling, verbose and confusing, to say the least. The handwritten cheat sheet I was given is sufficient to knit the shawl, in 8 pages rather than the original twenty-two. If you can get your hands on a cheat sheet from someone, I highly recommend doing so. The pattern isn’t difficult, but as written it is very difficult to follow.

Being of a hermity nature, I think I would be inclined to not continue attending the KAL even if it went beyond this week. I’m just not the chit-chatty type and there was too much ruckus going on for me to knit productively. I know what I’m doing now and am progressing nicely.

Dreambird, week 1

dreambird, one week in

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