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Archive for February, 2016

Feb 23 2016

All Things New

Posted by Mugs @ 9:54 pm in Church,Family,Nature

God makes all things new each spring. Why do I forget that in the bitter winter?

I’ve jumped on board with Punxsutawney Phil in declaring spring around the corner. Last Monday’s 3 inches of snow prediction that turned itself into 9 inches of snow was winters last gasp. The robins and thrushes are pulling up earthworms and the seagulls who live in the Target parking lot were cleaning their feathers in the drizzling rain as if they had gathered for a group spring cleaning.

Josiah has moved to North Carolina for a new start, my tulips are pushing up to find the sun, and God has been painting the sky to get my attention. I declare today the official end to my gloom period.

Spring is here. Look for it and believe you will find it.

Feb 02 2016

The first 5’1″ Commandant of Cadets

Posted by Mugs @ 2:43 pm in Family,Nature,Running,school,Sightseeing,Work

Last month, Dale and I were thrilled to attend the ceremony in which Diana Holland, our friend, became the Commandant of Cadets at West Point.

During the ceremony, I was thinking: “Diana and Jim are the same down-to-earth people even if they live in a giant house and have aides bossing them around – Ralph (Diana’s dad) looks so very happy – Nora got on my case about not ‘hooting and hollering’ and there she is a couple rows in front of me ‘hooting and hollering’ – I’m so glad I convinced Dines to come even though she’s wearing her ridiculous Russian Spy hat, because we both got a shout out in the speech – Look, there is Paul Owen, he looks just the same – Wow, this is really happening – It is bitter cold here – hell really did freeze over.”

Maybe I only thought those things or maybe I whispered them to Dale and Dines sitting next to me during the hoopla.

Diana gave a great speech. Her line about Beth yelling “I told you so!” from miles away couldn’t have been more true. She also made a great joke about her and Jim discussing what a historic moment this was because she would be the first Commandant who couldn’t see over the poop deck. (The poop deck is a raised location in the center of the mess hall from which the announcements are made to the Corps during meals.) Downplaying, of course, the fact that she is the first woman to ever hold the job of Commandant of Cadets. Dale and I know her as a friend, fellow cadet, and Engineer Officer. We know she will work very hard and set a great example for the Corps.

Diana and Jim tried to enjoy the reception with family and friends, but Diana’s aide kept whispering in her ear about who she needed to hobnob with. (A long time ago, I thought it must be terrific to be a big wig, but as I’ve gotten older, the thought of having every moment of the day scheduled to accomodate the needs of others sounds quite unappealing to me. It’s too much like motherhood.)

Dale, Dines, and I had a lot of fun walking around the cadet area. (Because the signs said those authorized by the commandant were allowed, we figured we’d risk it since we had a reasonable chance to be authorized. The backup plan, if we got stopped was to tell security to check with the Com and see what she had to say about us.)

While shopping at the C- Store, Dale was finally able to buy a replacement greengirl. (He has never forgiven me for throwing out his old one.) John Brockhaus gave us a tour of the GIS lab, and Mark Gagnon let us admire his daughters “do not erase” art work in his office. The sky was blue, the stone was gray, it was 8 degrees, and a bitter wind was whipping off the Hudson trying to freeze us to death. Dines walked to the ceremony with a hot cup of coffee in her hand and by the time she arrived, it was cold.

The night before the ceremony, Dale and I had a lovely visit with Kristin, Mark, Ryan, Justin, Jonathan, Kathryn, Morgan, Maryann, Joseph, and Michael Gagnon. The Gagnon home is a happy home and Dale and I were uplifted to spend time with such a sweet family. Evan and Megan were not in attendance as they had decided to follow their parents footsteps and become cadets at West Point. Megan and Evan are still coming to grips with seeing a photo of their Mom with the Com. (For most cadets, it’s really best if the Com does not know your name.)

Throughout our two day trip, I enjoyed all things New York: the headlines of the New York Post, delicious diner food, and being able to talk in a loud and rude manner with no one looking askance.