Both Brett and I are looking forward to the start of the new Ken Burns’ documentary tonight on Vietnam. We think it will be excellent, and present both the good and bad of that time as a cohesive whole. Brett did not serve in Vietnam, although he was in the navy and knew many who did serve. He started working for Black & Decker as a draftsman right out of high school in 1968, and joined the Army National Guard (like Dan Quayle) to avoid being drafted. However, he became very ill during his service (almost died) and was medically discharged from the Guard. But lo and behold, someone on his local draft board thought he should still be eligible, and one Monday in early 1970 he received his draft notice ordering him to report the following Monday. He had been a helicopter door gunner in the reserves, and when they told him he could possibly serve overseas he knew they didn’t mean Germany (and door gunners in Vietnam had a very poor rate of survival). So, on Tuesday he called the local navy recruiter and on Thursday he was at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center reporting for boot camp. He was only going to stay in the navy for one enlistment, but ended up liking his job and decided to make it a career. He spent the Vietnam years on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. For my part, I remember the demonstrations, the craziness of 1968, and all the arguments with my parents about the war. It was a sad, bitter but defining time in our nation’s history, and in my opinion, everyone lost.
I think summer may be trying to turn into fall here. Although the days are still very warm, the mornings have been cool, and I’ve found myself snuggling into the comforter on a few days to keep warm. Most evenings are cooler as well. Wednesdays have become known as Hell Day around here though – for the last several weeks they’ve all been the most unbearably hot day of all, with zero air moving and horrible humidity that lasts well into the night.
Also, there is a great giveaway going on over at Don’t Read This; It’s Boring which includes lots of fun things that would make great stocking stuffers, or can be used or eaten now (I’m talking about chocolate!).
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China, by Fuschia Dunlop, came off of hold this week and I’ve been enjoying it immensely. She includes recipes in the book! Stephen King’s It became available two days later, so now I’m reading about Chinese food during the day, and a creepy, scary clown at night.
- Listening to: There are lots of birds singing outside this morning, and lots of baby chicks peeping too. It’s a lovely, cool, breezy morning and it’s wonderful hearing the palm trees rustling again. Inside it’s quiet . . . for now.
- Watching: In the hour before Vietnam we’ll be watching another episode of Bletchley Circle – PBS Hawai’i is showing it again, and it’s a terrific show. We finished all the available episodes of Catastrophe and started a new season of Ripper Street. We wish some of our other favorite shows (Broadchurch, Happy Valley, etc.) would also have new seasons up for streaming. For a long time we didn’t watch any TV, but these days Brett and I are enjoying watching in the evenings, and catching up on shows we missed in the past. I’ve been binge watching The Mindy Project at night while I work on Swagbucks – fun show!
- Cooking/baking: There’s still a little bit left of the chocolate cake I made last week, so it will be a few days more before I bake something else. Brett’s making Scotch eggs for our dinner tonight. He and YaYu will have toast with theirs, and we’ll all share a big bowl of cut watermelon.
- Happy I accomplished this week: Even though it was overcast and looked like it would rain at any moment, Brett and I enjoyed our one afternoon at the beach on Thursday. Usually we read, but we chatted the whole time we were there which was fun. I drank my daily 64 ounces of water (and more) every day, did my language study, and rode my bike five days out of seven. YaYu let me help her with one of her college essays and actually accepted some of my suggestions! Brett and I both signed up for credit check and identity monitoring through USAA this week. We’ve always been careful, but feel a need to take some further precautions to protect our credit/money following the Equifax hack.
- Looking forward to next week: I almost can’t believe it’s time again for our monthly Big Shop. Our shopping list seems quite short this month compared to others. Fingers are crossed that we make it to the beach another couple of times.
- Thinking of good things that happened: YaYu ran a good race yesterday morning, and her time was a new personal record. The girls’ team from her school came in first. I was happy to get paid for my jury duty, although receiving the check brought back some unpleasant memories. But, I heard from someone on the island this week who knows the case well, and they thanked me for my vote to acquit, so that made me feel better.
- Grateful for: Thirty-nine years ago this coming week, our wonderful son was born. What a joy he has been, and I am so proud and thankful to be the mom of such a kind and generous man, husband, father, brother, son and friend. He is smart, a good provider, very, very funny and witty, and is living his dream. My only regret is that we don’t get to see him or his family more.
- Bonus question: What do you enjoy most about blogging? What do you like the least? Easily, the best part of blogging is the personal connections I’ve made, both online and in real life. I absolutely love the feedback, and the give-and-take, I get from my readers (I’ve only had one negative commenter, who ended up getting herself banned). I’ve also had the good fortune to meet several readers and their spouses in person, and have formed lasting friendships with them. Another upside to blogging is that I enjoy writing and expressing myself. Our son once told me that people blog because they love the sound of their own voice, which is true, but I’ve always enjoyed writing and this gives me an outlet (sorry though Mr. Burdine, there is no “great American novel” in me). The downside of maintaining a blog is that I have to come up with things to write about! Sometimes the muse is with me and I have lots of ideas and things to say, but other times it’s a real struggle to find a topic that interests me and that I think might interest readers. This year in particular has been a challenge at times because I gave myself a goal at the beginning of the year of posting five times a week. Other downsides? I can’t think of any.
That’s a wrap for this week! Hope everyone reading had a lovely week, and have another good one coming up!