Beau December 7th, 2008
Brrr…. okay, winter seems to have come early this year. Getting a lot more done inside, but at this rate we’ll be through our woodpile by the end of January. Which is a good month and half sooner than expected! That’s okay, just means I’ll need to split a little more on the nice days; most of it is seasoned already as unsplit rounds. But next year? We’ll really need to get busy. The pond has been wavering between ice and open water the past few days. The boy and the yellow lab are both curious, and sometimes the designs in the ice are fascinating.
It’s time again also for the Festival of the Trees! Mary at A Neotropical Savanna has put together a beautiful theme and collection of shared thoughts relating to the world of trees.
“This issue of Festival of the Trees comes after a month of autumn color in parts of the northern hemisphere and at the beginning of a month of snow and thoughts of Christmas trees, whether you celebrate it or not. There seems to be something about this time of year that prompts reflection…”
Reflection indeed. I love reading about the thoughts and creative endeavors of so many others throughout the world. After all, it’s our shared Nature isn’t it?
Time also to wish a hearty Congrats! to all you Oklahoma fans out there for the Big 12 Championship win last night. We had better hopes for Missouri– and they have been great this season- but the Sooners are almost playing in a different league. That and the front-end guys on the OK offensive line, I think their height ranges from 6’4″ to 6’8″ with an average weight over 310 pounds! And that’s college football?! It’s still fun to see- I enjoy watching a few of the bowl games over the holidays, and catching the spirit of the schools and students. And lest I forget, Congratulations to Navy on Saturday for their big win over Army. That’s a game of historical proportions, and many sailors and soldiers watch it all over the world.
I also send out a hearty Salute to my younger brother, an Army Sergeant Major, returned this week from Iraq and other environs. Welcome home!
Speaking of our troops, it is also National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and we remember the service and sacrifice of so many then and now. For me the story is unforgettable, as are the lessons it has taught. But time has a way of fading the memories and trials of generations past.
“You say Pearl Harbor to a lot of the kids today and they ask, ˜Who was she?” Samuel E. Clower
But we lost over 2,400 Americans and almost 1,200 more wounded. Most of those who were killed died within the first 15 minutes of the attack on the navy ships. And the long, bloody Pacific War was set to begin.
“I was looking out to sea at 8 o™clock in the morning and these planes started coming over and I thought, ˜More maneuvers again today on Sunday?™ Jaekel said. œI thought the Air Corps was doing a full attack. They dived and came down and I thought, ˜Oh boy, this looks like it™s real,™ and then I saw meatballs [or Japanese rising sun emblems] on the wing of one [plane] and one of them launched a torpedo. [One plane] came around the channel and it went by where I was and the rear seat guy was pumping shells, shooting at us and I just lied down and tried to crawl up between the ties. [The gunner] was so close that I could see the expression on his face. I didn™t get hit, but the guy right below me was in the phone booth and he got hit and the phone booth just shattered.” Haile H. œJake Jaekel
And yet the U.S. and Japan have come so far, with a shared vision for world stability and peace, and as staunch allies today. After spending some time in Japan, I can only embrace our shared history with friendship and respect, and hope that others in the world may look toward peace among nations in the years ahead. It’s also a fitting weekend to see the nomination for the incoming Veteran’s Affairs Secretary, General Eric Shinseki, as one who will lead public policy administration efforts toward the care of our veterans, and whose own service brings his career- and Japanese-American heritage- full circle.
Sometimes things never seem to change. Yet they do of course, and it’s important to find time to appreciate the nuances of life that unfolds around us. Here the pond’s ice has thawed, been moved by wind and water and then broken apart. At night it freezes again in geometric patterns.