Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Today is Memorial Day, for some this is just another day off or the start of the camping season for others a time of sadness or reflection. I went on Saturday and visited my Grandfathers gave in Willamette National Cemetery, a place I go from time to time when feeling a feed to be close to the only father I ever really knew.

I started thinking as I looked at the row upon row of American flags lined up and blowing in the breeze, my family is patriotic. My Great-Grandfather Clyde Warrington served in WWI, my Grandfather Ed Dobbie , served as an Army officer in WWII, my father served in Germany, Korea and Vietnam and retired from the Army. My mother served over 25 years in the Army, my Aunt was a Warrant Officer in the Army. I served in the Marines, my brother Nick is serving in the Navy, and my son Jordan is newly jump qualified in the Army, stationed @ Ft. Bragg, NC with the 82nd Airborne and getting ready to deploy to Iraq.

I enjoyed traveling the world while serving and hope Jordan gets to travel to many places and see different cultures and peoples as Nick and I both have. I worry about him going to Iraq, war it seems was different before; it was something you thought about for others or worried about when on alert, now its my son who will shouldering a pack and walking into harms way. Its hard to believe now but when I went into the Marines most of the officers and staff NCO's had never heard a shot fired in anger. Now they have multiple deployments and are fighting on several fronts.

I miss the Marines, I miss the order, the travel, and the discipline. Mostly I miss the guys I served with, some of whom are gone, most of the others I lost contact with years ago. I wish I had stayed in, my life would have been VERY different, I could have retired after 20 years service in 2001.

Memorial day is something different for our family, its a day to think of the friends we knew and places we served good and bad. A day to raise a glass and say Thank You and remember Freedom is not free its price is paid in blood...........

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The end of the tuna can and start of the hamster wheel

Today Christina traded in her beloved 2006 Honda Civic (the tuna can) for a God awful color 2010 Kia Soul (the hamster wheel). I think its a cute little car for hamsters, and it may be a great car but the color will take some getting used to after the nice blue of the Honda. My perception is clouded by the Kia commercial, I prefer a little taller, bigger, heavier 4x4 type trucks/SUV's.. probably 'cause I'm a little taller, bigger, heavier 4x4 type guy. (Hint the 2008 Jeep Commander is mine)

I post all of this mostly 'cause I think she made a good deal, for a newer car and I didn't have to spend half my Saturday in a car showroom feeling like I wanted to hurt a salesman. Good job Christina!

Stay tuned the adventures of the hamster wheel have just started.....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Music and my soul

Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands

Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder

Have you ever heard a song and it speaks to you.. I don't mean "Wow I like that tune" I mean a song that reaches inside and speaks directly to your heart and soul?

There are songs that reduce me tears when I hear them, they touch me on such a level that I almost feel like God is touching me thru the music.

One of the groups that has this effect on me, Petra, I had the privilege of seeing in concert and met years ago when they were on tour here in Portland with Josh McDowell. I hear their music and it leaves me breathless and almost in pain with an emptiness words don't express. One of my favorites is Creed give it listen and tell me what you think.

I believe in God the Father - maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ His only Son
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the Man of Sorrows bruised for iniquities
I believe in the Lamb who was
crucified and hung between two thieves

I believe in the resurrection on the
third and glorious day
And I believe in the empty tomb and the
stone that the angel rolled away
He descended and set the captives free
And now He sits at God's right hand
and prepares a place for me

Creed ...

Another and more personal artist is Lauren Talley of the Talley Trio, some of her music is to me so intense and personal I sometimes hesitate to play it. I've had a shortcut to the song Testify on my desktop for years and love the song for what it says.

That said I don't listen to just Christina music, in fact I listen to almost anything that catches my interest from AC/DC, to country to my current playlist that is loaded with Cee-Lo Green.

I remember sitting in church in boot camp listening to the hymns and feeling like something was missing .. religion has never been a big part of my life even when church was. I went for the "fellowship" more than anything else, but have felt God's hand on me from time to time and envied people I know who seem "filled with the holy spirit."

I'm not sure I know where this is leading since I write from the cuff so to speak and this blog is called Ramblings of an Empty Mind.

I know something is missing from my life; that I have tried to fill it with other things over MANY years, but as I approach 50 years of age I am actively seeking out that which is missing. Is it music? a more personal relationship with God? more time spent with my son and daughter? or just simply learning to be content with my life for once.

I don't know yet and perhaps never will; but think the secret is in the journey not the destination.