Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Legs are the First to Go

I was speaking to my mum this afternoon, sharing with her about a new book I'd started reading, entitled, 'I Love a Man in Umiform.' It is this woman's story as an army wife.
I love Lily. Her book is fresh and honest and real. I can relate to so much of Lily's story. Her marriage to her soldier began around the same time Mark and I were growing from friendship to courtship. Like ours, the War on Terror as been a part of their lives, their marriage.
I was sharing with my mum that one of the disadvanges of not having children (it hasn't been from a lack of trying) is that I don't have little people that give me a reason to get up in the morning, to shower, dress and eat well. Little people to help with homeworl and pick up after.
Who have their daddy's eyes and I can at night.
But then I have to remember that I am Somebody, that I have to get up, pray, shower, dress, workout and eat for me. I have to take care of me for my beloved and for myself.
"But you know mummie, the first thing to go is the legs. Women stop shaving their legs when their men are deployed. After all, the one who really cares isn't here to notice."
She roared with laugher.
"I never thought about it," Mummie said after she stopped coughing.
It is true. We stop shaving legs, binki lines, etc. Sometimes it is so bad we don't get hair and nails done. You know, those lovely things we do to feel like girls.
Funny, it was Mark who broke that habit.
When he calls he ask what I am waering, is my hair braided or free from the retricting plaits? "How long is it now?"
What I wearing; my black yoga pants and t-shirt, his old army sweats as PJ's, his favorite pair of jeans.?
Am I using his favorite scented lotion that reminds him of Morcoccan nights?
I realize this was the reason I needed to take care of me.
It gives my soldier one less thing to worry about.

Your Son, Your Friends, Your Husband, The Killers

This is a follow up from yesterday's entry.
You know your an army wife when: your husband comes home with a army t-shirt....for you.
We had been married several months and it was his first drill weekend. Because the unit was so close, he could come home Saturday evening and return to Base the next morning.
That Sunday, Mark handed a black t-shirt. Not one of  his old PT's, but a brand new tee from the Base.
It said on the back in big, bold yellow letters: Freedom is Not Free.
Four and a half years later, I still wear it with pride.
I remember the evening well; the War on Terror had just begun. My beloved son was serving on the U.S.S Abe Linclon. He was on ship when the first shots were fired off.
He came home the same week Mr.Bush made his appearance on the Abe.
That night I was part of an online discussion about the War, when I recived an e-mail. The person was unknown. But that evening I had been recieving e-mail thanking me for raising an amercian hero, asking me to thank him for his service, G-d bless him and our family, etc.
It was this e-mail that knocked back on my heels.
Someone send me pictures of what the bombs off the Lincolen had done; pictures of dead and dying Iraqi men, women and children, people with limbs blown off and blinded.
"Look at what your son has done. Are you still proud?"
"Look at what your best friend is doing. Are you still proud?"
It took several minutes to regroup and then I wrote the person back the following: "and what about Sdaam? He did this and far worse to his own people. Do you have a better way of dealing with Sadaam? With those who are out to not only destroy this nation, but all other nations because they don't like our "Westeran Way of Life? If you have a better way of handling this, why don't you write Mr.Bush. I am sure he would be open to the idea of not losing any mairnes,soldiers, saildors or airmen."
We deal with enough with our loved ones in harm's way.
We don't need to make ourselves targets as well.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's a Reel Thing: Captain's Visit

It's a Reel Thing: Captain's Visit
The latest from Mark.

Love From.....?

One of the questions that often comes up amoung military families, both actived and retired, is how much Military proud should we show?
No doult you have seen them; you might even be one...
The proud Vet who's car and/or van is covered in Military bummer stickers, plates, sayings, flags, ribbons. Once while shopping at the NEX (Navy ExChange) I spotted a bummer sticker that read; 'Sexually Deprived for Your Freedom.'
Ani't the truth. Yes, I know, for some that was WAAAAY TOO MUCH IMFORATION.
But let's get real (Reel); there is a LOT we military spouses sacrific.
Then there are the Oneses the wee ones wear; "My daddy's/ mommy's in Iraq (Aghanistan).
There are sites that sell decals and stickers declaring "Proud Navy Wife" "Proud Marine Dad" "I (heart) My Soldier,etc, This includes ball caps, jewelery,key chains, teddy bears. My favorite "Half my heart is in Iraq or Afghanistan.' The yellow ribs in our hair, on our doors, on the car window.
The debate?  If any or all of the above is a loving tribute, a means of support or if the above makes us stalker's bait. Or worse; the target's of those who oppose the War. While such attacks are rare, it does happen. More than likely, what happens is ugly comments about our deployed loved ones or trying to draw us into an arugement about the War, our policies, etc.
The question is; how much attention do we really wish to call to ourselves?
That is when wisdom muct come in.
Not don't get me worse, I have a t-shirt with the logo of Mark's unit that I wear, along with a hat from his last deployment. I do have several army themed t-shirts as well as my Spouse's buttom.
But I also believe that we must be as "innocent as Doves and as wise as Serpents." While we can't walk about sharing everything about our lives (that isn't wise whether your military family or no) nor should we live in fear and jump at every shadow.
Each family must decide what is bested for them, where to draw those lines. And thanks in part to Family Readiness Groups (F.R.G) we have been guideslines that are wise and balance as well as fun.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of our heroes; we just need to be wise about it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chili Without Beans

One of the few nice things about Mark being deployed is that I can enjoy my Chili. Without beans.
I am not a big kidney bean (red bean) lover and frankly I like my Chili without beans. I  pour over corn chips (for the crunch) and a nice tall cold Coke.
And then there is Corn Bread Chili.
When the Chili is half cooked, you spoon small portions of Corn Bread mixture (my is homemade. Jiffy isn't kosher) on top of the still cooking Chili and it cooks the Corn Bread, giving it a nice topping.
And because I use Kosher ground beef and turkey, no cheese.
Mark loves beans in his Chili.
In fact, he prefers 18 bean Chili.
Just have to make sure the beans are fresh. Nothing worse than Chili and stale beans.
Of course there is meatless Chili, just the beans.
Now don't get me wrong, I would make a huge pot of Chili brimming with beans right now if it brought my beloved tomorrow.
But since he isn't here, I shall before the Telly, NOT watching the election results (as an American that is my right) and enjoy my very meaty Chili.
Keep your head down, beloved.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lovely Comments

I would like to take a moment to thank those who have left such lovley comments. They mean so much to Mark and I.
I know we have many readers, most don't leave a comment. And that is cool.
But to be honest, the feedback does help.
And though Mark cannot read them from where he is posted, I do read him what people have written. It encourages us both.
Being a military wife isn't an easy thing, nor is it for everyone.
But to be honest, I wouldn't trade my life for anything.
First off, I ahve the love of a good, g-dly man. A rare thing these days. A faithful man who loves me, his family and friends, his country.
Being an army wife, I am part of something bigger than myself. By standing beside my husband, keeping the home fires going and yes, now with Operation School Supplies and Holiday Package, I have a small part of my husband's mission. He sees to the school being builded: I send supplies that the children need.
It is hard. The nights cold and lonely.
But for the freedoms we enjoy, it is worth it.
In my own way, I too serve our nation. And that is an honour no one can ever pay me for.
Well, give our servicemen and women the respect and honour their due.
That's payment enough.
Under the Afghanistan starry sky, my beloved sleeps.
Sleep well, Beloved.