Back to School and Bad Days

road-sign-940644_1280I’ve had a couple of unpleasant days in a row.  An inability to sleep at night has caused me to oversleep the past couple of days. Which means I have woken up late and the dog didn’t get to go out to do her business on time. So I have quite literally woken up to shit for two days.

As you can imagine cleaning up such a mess isn’t something I want to do before coffee. However, it is necessary. It isn’t the dog’s fault.

I am not sure if it is this unpleasant chore that sets my mood for the day or the lack of Exhaustedproper sleep but I have definitely been a grouch. Fighting the crowds to get the kids ready for school hasn’t helped. My youngest is in middle school and on the autism spectrum. He is high functioning so when he is having a good day you can hardly tell. But he is always very particular about things

For example, he will only wear khakis and shirts with Sonic the Hedgehog on them to school. It is his self-imposed uniform. Finding Sonic the Hedgehog shirts, until recently, has been an issue all on its own. Finding them in his size is an even greater challenge. Fortunately, he has a grandmother on his dad’s side with an embroidery machine.

doomSchool starts tomorrow. I am as prepared as I can be. I will be up by five in the morning because I know that if I want him to school on time that is when I must begin the day. I had nightmares all last night about being late and losing things.

Today I am trying to relax. There is a Native American thing going on at a local park that I want to go to but I am honestly peopled out. I also don’t have money to spare. School supplies and fees took more than I was expecting and I have to come up with a new way to juggle bills.

Right now I am watching a documentary series called Underworld At War. It is all about crime in Britain during World War II. The second episode was an account of Neville Heath; a conman and killer. It also covered the thoughts and challenges facing a school girl named Daphne, who fought to get an education during the turbulent times and realize her dream of becoming a teacher.

The now-retired Headmistress read excerpts from the diary she

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kept during 1940. She spoke of doing homework during air raids and by oil lamp. She mentioned the time a bomb went off just as her father opened a door and how the blast blew him back onto the stove.

It made me think about how valuable that once school girl’s diary is to history and how it now gives us a more complete picture of the era. Of course, that wasn’t why she kept her journal. She just used it to record her thoughts. She probably never intended to share those thoughts with anyone else.

Today we write blogs and share them with the world. We keep online journals that are accessible to people in countries we will probably never see. It is an immediate transfer of information on daily life.

My ramblings of a couple of bad days don’t hold a candle to watching your father get blown back by an enemy’s explosive device. The information I am sharing isn’t all that useful from my current standpoint. I share it anyway because it allows me to get thoughts and worries out of my own head. I doubt they will even be of any use to future generations, but it does make you pause to think. Daphne didn’t expect her words to hold much value either.

o'connor

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A memorial

My grandfather was a soldier. He fought in WWII. He was also an airplane mechanic and kept the planes running for others to go out and face the enemy. He didn’t like to talk about it though.

My grandfather did not die in battle but there were many who did. Somehow he made it through, along with his best friend Jake, who went on to marry my grandfather’s sister. I did not know them when they were young, but I have seen the pictures of them posing in front of planes, usually with a pretty girl or two.

My memories of Uncle Jake are mostly the scent of his and Nana’s house. It was a comforting smell and Nana always had candy on the coffee table and hugs ready when we stepped through the door. Uncle Jake was a teasing voice dressed in blue coveralls, seated in a recliner.

My grandfather was, to me, a quiet serious man. (Boy was I mistaken about that one, but hey I was a kid at the time and he was really tall.) He always worn dark work pants and white t-shirts. When I was a kid, I never saw my Uncle Jake or my grandfather in anything else than those work pants,t-shirts, and blue coveralls.  It was like they got used to uniforms and kept it up when they returned to civilian life. My grandfather also made the best barbecue chicken in the entire world.

Uncle Jake passed away from some sort of cancer. My grandfather died in a V.A. hospital after I was out of high school. WWII did not take their lives but they carried the things they saw with them when they finally returned home. However, even with those shadows, they built lives and families and a legacy of love that was passed down all the way to me.

They were soldiers.

 

Happy Memorial Day.