Friday, May 27, 2005

A Moment to Say "Thanks"

Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Image hosted by Photobucket.comI didn't want to let Memorial Day go by without remembering what we are supposed to remember - those who have fallen. But I also wanted to pass along this story from my dear friend, JR Davison, a U.S. Marine in Vietnam. I think it gives a very unique perspective and also reminds us to say "Thank You" not only for those on the wall, but to those whose names are not there.

"The Wall speaks to us in many ways and on one of my visits my heavenly Father's voice was very clear to me without the normal background noise of my life. It was on one of my monthly adventures with my (then) 3-year-old grandson Cayman.

We were walking through the Vietnam Memorial early one Saturday morning and as always it became very quiet as we walked down the walkway. I’ve been through the Memorial several times, but on this visit my attention was drawn to the endless roster of names on the black granite.

I took Cayman over to the wall to show him the carved names of the men who died in the Vietnam War. I told him that grandpa had fought in this war and that I’d seen some of these men die while I was there.

At that very moment I saw our reflection clearly on the wall. It was then the Father asked: “Do you know why your name isn’t on this wall?… It’s because of My plan for your life.” As I knelt with Cayman, I thought about the ramifications if my name had been on this wall. How my wife’s life would have been scarred along with my parents. How my son, daughter and grandson never would have been born.

I would have never known the love of God, or walked with His Son, or experienced the peace and everlasting joy that comes from a relationship with Him. I would have spent an eternity in a hell far worse than any war. However, my name wasn’t on this wall because of His plan alone. (Jeremiah 29:11)

As I got up to leave, the Father reminded me of a place where my name is written more boldly than these on this wall of death, and that place is in His book of Life. Even though there were times in Vietnam I could have been killed, Father's hands kept me safe because I was His beloved child. Therefore, nothing could have separated me from knowing Him or His love for me. Not even the Vietnam war. (Romans 8:38-39)"

J. R. Davison – USMC - Vietnam 1969-70

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Memories, like ghosts.

Ghosts by Alf Whyte by Photobucket.comMemories, like ghosts
haunt me
In the dark hours
when silence surrounds me.
Times of pain,
times of sorrow,
hard times
that do their best to confound me.

Old hurts, like cracks in a foundation,
Smack themselves across my imagination
like a wet towel upside my face.

Why do I go to that place
where they sting me,
like yellow jackets
when you step on their hole?
Why torture my soul with things
that are long since past?

What is the balm that can heal me,
What is the oinment to soothe the
longing of what might have been?

Where are the kisses of a friend,
the kindness that my aching soul longs for?
Is there kindness anymore?
If so where? When? Who? How?
What do I do, now that memories have
brought your face to my mind?

But forgiveness is possible, is preferable
to the angry sting of memories unresolved.
So you are absolved.
I let you go
and wish you well.

Debts are paid.
Freedom granted.
All accounts are settled.
May you have a good life,
my one time friend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

We had a little excitement today ...

General Dynamics f-16 in the neighborhood. A couple of these - F-16s - flew over the building as part of the scare about a small plane that got too close to the Capitol.

They evacuated the White House, the Capitol Building, and everyone was in a big tizzy. But - thank God - it turned out to be a whole lot of nothing.

I talked to Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman on the Mall. He apparently was in the basement of the Senate when the alarm came. He said that they told everyone to leave, no questions asked. The Capitol Police basically threw everyone out.

Another man I talked to said that the alarms went off and the police told them all to leave. ADIZ Image hosted by

All for a guy who got off course and flew into the ADIZ Air Defense Identification Zone -- the kill zone -- here in Washington. Get inside this area, and you run the risk of getting capped faster than a 24 agent who goes with Jack Bauer on a mission. But I'll tell you, I am glad they are there. There's something comforting knowing that even a false alarm would be met with a response to keep us safe.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

So, it's been a while ...

Maryland Map hosted by Photobucket.comsince I've been blogging. In the interim I have turned 43 (man, that sounds old). And my lovely wife gave me a great surprise: a trip to Maryland's Eastern shore, where we had some of the best crab cakes in the world.

We stayed at a place called the Five Gables Inn and Spa. Five Gables Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe room was very comfortable, with a gas fireplace and a whirlpool tub, although the jets in the tub we not as powerful as the one we have at home. But it was warm, and large, and the food was great(mostly continental breakfast stuff, but also fruit, bagels, muffins,hard-boiled eggs, and some fantastic raisin bread).

It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Manassas, but when we got there, I had a massage scheduled. It was very relaxing. 208 Talbot Image hosted by Photobucket.comThen we went to dinner at a place called 208 Talbot where I had the grilled Salmon and Cornelia had the sea scallops. Both were fantastic. The waiter was very knowledgeable about what the Chef was cooking that day, and he sounded like he had eaten there, which to me was a great endorsement.

He wasn't just sucking up; he really seemed to know his stuff. The restaurant was dark inside, but each table had a candle and there were plenty of antiques and historic art. There windows in the front were large, with the kind of antique glass that has the ripples in it. Our meal was delicious and I would definitely go back. It would have to be a special occasion because things were a little pricey, but hey, it was my birthday.

Sunday we went for lunch at The Crab Claw and that was where we had the great crabcakes. These things were crabby in the best kind of way, lots of crab and very little filler, not stuffed with a lot of crud, but really full of crabmeat. A baked potato and some veggies (I had coleslaw while Cornelia had broiled veggies with Old Bay) made everything delicious.

Rebecca T. Ruark Image hosted by Photobucket.comWe were supposed to go out on the Rebecca T. Ruark a skipjack, which the watermen use for oysters and other sea creatures. But the Captain would not take us out because the wind was contrary and the seas were too rough. He should know: this particular skipjack sank several years back in heavy weather. Maybe some other time.

So that's wazzup. I'll be seeing you.