Monthly Archives: December 2012

Thank You


I was just nominated for a blog award, for which I am very grateful. I will post about this and my nomination so, but I am pressed for time (running late right now actually).

Also this weeks article “I Believe” is a two part article with next week’s conclussion.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank Kurt for getting my computer back up and running (better than before). It is hard to find IT guys you can trust and rely on 100%, and Kurt is mt guy. Thank You Kurt.

 

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Jeff


I went to a funeral today, in the rain. My grandmother always said that rain during a funeral was tears from the angels. I did not know Jeff as well as I wanted too, and that was my fault. I have spent too much time as a gad-about, always leaving people and places behind. It has become easy to be friendly, but not too friendly.

 

I had picked out my dark suit for the funeral. Looking at it on my bed, I put it back. I grabbed my favorite light color suit. I was not going to mourn today; I wanted to celebrate the life of a good man.

 

Jeff was the first person I met when I transferred to the plant I work at now. Even then he struck me as different. The company I work for has over 12,000 employees, so remembering one person in particular is a big order. The last time I saw Jeff was a few years ago. He had 25 years with the company and had just taken a buy-out. I asked him what he was going to do, and he said he had a sugar maple camp and made maple syrup. I told him I would have to try some of his maple syrup, and he said I was welcome anytime. Not the normal well intended but hollow welcome people give one another either. No, he looked me in my eyes and shook my hand when he said it. Jeff’s welcome was warm and sincere; he wanted to see me sometime.

 

At a company, as large as ours, we lose several people a year. I do not go to the funerals. Though, today I felt compelled. I did not know why. I arrived and sat in the back row of the church in the corner. For an hour and a half I saw tears from a church full of people who mourned the loss of a dear friend, father, husband, and son. I also saw the tears from overwhelming laughter. You see, Jeff was a bit of a practical joker. Many of the thoughts people shared with us during the service were examples of his genuine great sense of humor. He was a man who could laugh with you, and at himself, but never at you. Like the time he was going to show some girls, at his house for a birthday party, how to ride a horse. You guessed it, he got bucked off. Later he lured them in to the kitchen to “watch two hairs fight”. When the girls had their faces close to the plate of water, watching the two hairs, down came Jeff’s hand splashing water over them all.

 

Jeff was many things to many people. He had a strong faith in God and a love of people. He sought out one man who had lost his wife, and was lost in his grief. Jeff comforted him. When people had a need he gave. He would mow a yard or leave firewood without saying a word to anyone. Jeff always left the recipient to wonder who his benefactor was. Jeff had compassion for all people. His family was his greatest love (after God). When Jeff and Deb wanted their four children to have a better education, they gave it to them. They educated themselves, so they would be able to educate their children, and they have done an outstanding job. Jeff was a doer.

 

Jeff had integrity, real integrity. You see integrity is a very small thing. Honesty and sincerity. That’s it, just two things. Over the last few years I lost my integrity. Oh, I am still honest, but I lost my sincerity. Over the last few years skepticism and sarcasm have replaced sincerity in my daily life. It has happened too many of us in the last few years. But, not to Jeff. Jeff, for 48 years, was always honest and sincere. Some might say brutally honest, without the brutality. Jeff was always straight forward, never mean, but always true to his beliefs.

Jeff had many gifts which he gave freely too those around him; compassion, friendship, faith, knowledge, time, love, humor, loyalty ,and sincerity (to name just a few).

As I left the church I realized everyone had their headlights on, and not just the funeral procession (it was still raining). Yes, they should be on, we all lost something today. When a great man leaves us we all lose a little. Jeff was a great man, but I still did not know why I felt compelled to be here. We need men like Jeff, but there are also other great people we have lost this year, why Jeff.

 

I knew why all of these people were here, but I still did not know why I needed to be here. I drove back with only the sound of my windshield wipers. Sad, but grateful. Grateful because I finally realized why I had to come and honor Jeff. Jeff had one more gift he needed to give. Jeff needed to give me back my integrity.

 

Thank you Jeff.

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Christmas during Colonial America


I love articles about Christmas … my favorite holiday.

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

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I have had several of you ask me about how true are the wreath decorations of Colonial Williamsburg. So true to form, I did some research to confirm their authenticity. In my research I came across some interesting information on customs and traditions of Christmas within the colonial period.

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During the colonial period in Virginia, the Christmas season followed a four week period of Advent. Most Virginians were devout Anglicans and they would have observed a period of fasting, prayers and reflection. They would have read daily from the Book of Common Prayer. Fasting would have been only one full meal, which generally would have been meatless during the day. After the four weeks, they would end with a Christmas meal and the start of the Christmas season.

Did you know that most of New England didn’t celebrate Christmas during the colonial period? Christmas was outlawed in most of New…

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The Unexpected


We are having an electronic problem. We are having repairs done, and we will use backup sources to continue our articles as best we can. Thank you.

 

My intended article “I Believe” is postponed till next week. I have someone else I want to share with you this week.

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Operation Live Well: Promoting Health and Wellness in the Military Community


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A healthy military is a strong and productive military, and the United States Department of Defense (DOD) is committed to the wellbeing of the entire military community. In addition to comprehensive healthcare services for those in uniform, the federal Military Health System has commenced a national campaign to promote healthy living. Called Operation Live Well, it focuses on injury and disease prevention in every aspect of military life.

Operation Live Well
Operation Live Well supports military families through numerous resources and healthy living initiatives. Various government policies and programs help military members and their loved ones make important choices that impact their health and wellbeing. The DOD encourages physical and psychological fitness through education and special programs. It also understands the importance of social interactions and spiritual pursuits.

Military Health Priorities
Emotional health, mental fitness and physical conditioning are directly related. The United States government encourages military families to eat healthy and exercise daily for health, strength and stress reduction. The DOD also encourages a tobacco-free lifestyle to prevent chronic illness and premature death. These basic priorities are essential for a strong, protected force as well as a healthy, resilient military community.

The government’s national prevention strategy seeks to avoid injury and illness due to any cause or situation that a service member may encounter. Natural disasters, occupational hazards, military exposures, traumatic brain injury and outdoor recreation are some of the specialized focus areas.

Disaster Preparedness
Natural disasters can happen at any time. Several agencies within and outside the federal government have resources that help military families prepare for emergency situations. Disaster preparedness is the best way to protect military families in emergency situations.

Military Exposures
Environmental and occupational safety measures are essential for preventing illness due to military exposures. Mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is a potential risk for military personnel who work in old buildings or shipyards. Many veterans have long-term health problems due to radiation, warfare agents and chemical exposures. The DOD and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) can help service members prevent or manage the health risks associated with these elements.

Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) awareness is a top priority of the federal government. The DOD has made significant strides in education, prevention and healthcare delivery to military members with TBI challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The DOD continues to research and provide resources for those who suffer from these debilitating conditions.

Outdoor Safety
Even outdoor recreation can pose health risks to military members and their families. From the prevention of heat exhaustion to protection during high-risk activities, outdoor safety is a major concern during the summer months. Fluid replacement, sunscreen and protective gear are some of the preventative measures for summertime health and wellbeing.

Operation Live Well is committed to healthy living for all people in the military community. To learn more about this national campaign, visit the Military Health System website here. The Military Health System is an agency of the United States Department of Defense.

 

 

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