WONDERING AND THOUGHTS

1 June, it is a holiday here in Denmark so I am sitting outside, on a beautiful Monday morning with a fresh cup of coffee, just enjoying life as it slowly passes by, but before hand I took a quick peek at my schedule for Tuesday, got my knives and file sharpened, shoes loaded in the van and already to hit the road tomorrow. I have always believed in the “6 Ps” ; Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Have lived by these all my life and so far things have worked out fairly well – considering “Murphy” is always with us,

Life on the golf course this year has been very trying to say the least. It has proved to me I should have been a cook because I could slice bread real well! Those of you looking as this, raising an eyebrow wondering – I can’t hit a tee shot worth a plugged nickel, my slice is so bad sometimes I think it will come back around a hit me in the back of my head. Yesterday, after the first hole I knew I wasn’t going to need a score card to keep track of my game. I scored a whole 4 points on the first nine, 7 points on the last. I have never played so bad. Last year I was hitting great, I worked my handicap down real well last year, now this year is is going the other way and I can’t figure out why. I was playing last Friday with a usual partner, Kurt. At hole 10 he asked if I minded if he gave me some advice and proceeded to give it. I told him I have no idea what is going on so any advice he can give will be welcome. I absorbed what he told me. The next tee shot was a 300 meter shot – 100 meters out, 100 meter up, 100 meter down, but at least it was straight. I get to the next hole, wham, it was straight with good length. Then came the slice, but it wasn’t so bad. Sunday before our round I hit the driving range giving Kurt’s advice a try, once again slicing my way through the balls. As I said the round yesterday was bad, tee shots were bad, thus my attitude got bad, which lead to lack of focus, which lead to bad shots. Finally at hole 12 I am ready to tee off and I just told myself, “I don’t care” (which I really didn’t). I just came up, lined up, not taking any time to focus on the shot and wham, I hit a perfect shot. The next hole was a par 3, next was a par 4, so again I just went up, taking no time, no focus and whacked that white ball – it was a fantastic shot. The rest of the course, using my driver I did fairly good. I have come to conclude maybe I am over thinking it, over doing it to do good. I need to just relax and hit the ball. I was going to play today, but decided not to, just to stay home and relax. Tuesday. I have a regional golf match, so hopefully I can just relax and enjoy the game again.

Well the powers to be decided the China virus was a fail in getting President Trump out of office, so now another tactic is in play, organized civil violence. Reading reports, many of those arrested are not residents of the areas effected, and this makes sense. Why would normal, rational people burn and destroy their own areas? I bet many of the smaller shop owners will never come back to business after this, and it is really sad to see. Yes. there is problems with some police officers who abuse their power, but this is only human, look how many of our elected officials abuse their power. It is not confined to anyone group. When the video came out, most people were horrified, shocked at what happened. If people had come out with peaceful protest, they would find most civil Americans would fully support them, but burning, looting, beating up people – this was no reason for these type of actions, unless there is a subversive motive- and like Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s White House CoS said, “Never let a crises go to waste”. According to Emanuel, it’s not about managing a crisis—it’s about using that crisis to advance your agenda. I can guess there are those out there who have their “own agendas” and it doesn’t include the best welfare for America. Money and Power are the two things which drive many, and this is not the first time we have seen the masses stirred up to riot and destroy. Remember the last Presidential election. The biggest word and idea has been forgotten – RESPECT. Once people come back to the values our Nation was founded on and begin to once again respect each other, remembering diversity is what has made our nation great. Slowly over the years I have see our values eroded. I remember a time when prayer was part of our society, that has been taken away. One of the bases of our laws was the ten commandments, ten basic laws to live by, but this has been dictated as taboo. Soon we found the family unit was beginning to be eroded. In a speech by Ronald Reagan delivered before the Orange County Press Club in 1961, and entitled “Encroaching Control”, he alleged that, “Three months before his last visit to this country, Nikita Khrushchev said, ‘We can’t expect the American people to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find they have Communism.’” Is this what we are seeing now, the slow and planned take down of our society? If you want take the time, look out what freedoms we had a hundred years ago and what we got now. Slowly our freedoms and society are being torn down and replaced with what? No matter if I am right or wrong, that is not my purpose. My purpose is to make you stop and think for yourself. Do your own research, decided for yourself what is right or wrong. Have you ever read our Constitution? If not do so. If you really want to do some good research, start at the website of Hillsdale College (https://online.hillsdale.edu/#home). They have some very good FREE online courses, even one about the Constitution. Make up your own mind, and in the end, remember RESPECT for other’s opinions is a must, but this doesn’t mean you should let them run over you.

2020, A Different Year

What a way to begin a year! Lots of people working at home, or laid off. Most of us are wondering how long this will be, and how much can we trust what we hear. Once my Dad told me, “Believe nothing you hear and half what you see and you will be alright”. Like I told my wife, I am skeptical of what all I hear, yet on the other hand I am not going to put my head on the chopping block and see if the hatchet man can miss. I take the normal precautions while I work, am out and around, yet I realize if I get it, I will get it. Not losing any sleep over it. I have looked at the positive side of the situation.
With more people sent home to work, school out, some laid off, look at the chance to have more quality family time! In the day and age of everyone going everywhere all the time, now things have been forced to slow down and be together. What a great thing. Why not make this time quality time. Think of all the things you can do with your family, the things you can teach your kids. And just some time to sit back with a cup of coffee first in the morning and listen to the birds sing. This is the best part of a spring morning. Even though there was a cool wind blowing, I sat outside this morning for the first time this year with a cup of coffee and just watched the morning, it was great!
Speaking of the situation, I just wonder in trying to save the limb, we are killing the patient? I understand the Chinese virus is something new, we need to take precautions, but in many cases is it over kill, killing our nation (the patient)? So many states have shut down when there is no real crises – many of the areas where there is low population. Many of these places, why haven’t the State governments come in and said to industry, “Come up with a plan so you can stay within limits of contact and such so you can get back to work”. So many small businesses will not be here after this is done. So many people are out of work right now, many who could be working?
This bail out Congress came up with is like putting a band-aid on an amputated limb. Giving businesses money to pay employees, is the same. Businesses are not employment centers, they are there to make money. Yes, for a little while it will help pay the on going bills, but sooner or later, that band-aid is going to get blood soaked. The bill Congress passed had so much pork barrel spending in it, it was pathetic. Everyone who voted for the bail out should be voted out of office. Where is all the money coming from – sooner or later we the people will have to pay it back. In the mean time, the money printing machines are rolling full speed, printing almost worthless money. When I was a kid, my Dad once told me, “There will come a day when you will need a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread”. So how does Congress usually finance this? They sell bonds, but what happens when no one wants to buy these bonds? Well our government buys them back. In other words, we are getting debt stacked on debt. I just read where the U.S. Treasury is thinking about coming out with a 50 yr bond, first time ever. There is also talk of zero or negative interest rates in the States. What this means is if we get negative interest rates, you the saver will get to pay the banks for the privilege of keeping your money. At the low rates now, at least you are not losing money, but this could turn around if negative rates come to the States.
We are now into May and things are beginning to loosen up a bit. I wonder if instead of locking everyone down, why didn’t they treat us like responsible people. Lay out the facts of the situation, tell us what we needed to do and let us carry on with our lives the way we see fit. I know business owners are not dumb, they would have found ways to make things work. What I can’t figure out is why it is safe to go to the big chain stores to shop, yet we can not be trusted to go to the park, the beach. Let some of the small business owners come up with their on solutions. Yes, people are going to die, this is one of the three facts of life which are: be born, pay taxes, and die. We have learned we need to take precautions for the older generations, those who have medical problems and such, but hey, let’s get real.
Actually, in a way I have found a bright side. Many churches have developed an online service. The Cloverdale Church of God uploads their services so their members can watch and listen. This is great for me, as the time difference I get to listen to the services on Monday mornings on my way to work. Tom, the pastor told my brother, who e-mailed me, let me know that even after this is over, they will continue to post their services online. So, I guess God does work in wonderful ways.
I guess no matter they situation we can be thankful for what we got, instead what do don’t have.

HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU GOT?

Got into a financial discussion today with one of my customers, once again saw that “you crazy old man” look when I brought up the fact that one day all money will disappear and the government will have its thumb on everyone and our lives, knowing everything we are doing.
Just ask many of the depositors of the Bank of Cyprus how much money they lost in 2013. Some have said, “Oh, that is Cyprus, it can’t happen here”. It has happened once it can happen again.
Slowly I see George’s book, “1984” coming true. Those of you who have never read it, maybe it is time you did. He might have gotten the year wrong, but he is getting everything else right. Stop, look, listen to what is happening all around you.
Slowly but surely money is disappearing. Direct deposit, online banking, instant payments with credit card or direct withdrawal from your account using an app on your mobile phone. All of this is “to make your life so much easier”. They (who ever they are) wanting to make things easy and instant, but in reality they are also keeping better track of what you want, how much you make, where you spend your money, how much you got. What price are we going to pay for all this “instant service” and “life made easy”? Maybe I am old school, maybe I am just that crazy, gray haired old man, but I think we do have something to be afraid of.
I am reminded of when I was deployed to Kuwait/ Iraq in 2001. I was the V Corps G3 Rear HQ Sergeants Major. After we got to Kuwait, almost everything in the section went electronic. All the functions we had plotted on a map, now done by computer. Faster, better, instant updates and less personal needed to do it. I pulled my Operations Sergeant aside and told him I wanted all units of Battalion size and large posted by hand on a map. He started in, “But SGM, we got computers now, we don’t need maps, besides there is no place for it in the TOC”. I told him the map could be in the back room but I wanted it done and updated at least once every 24hrs, no ifs ands or buts. As time went on I caught some flak from one of the Operations Officers because it was taking some extra time to up the map. I told the officer this was NCO business and I would take care of it – updates continues. So comes the end of April first of May. We are in the middle of the war and it is hotter than a popcorn fart, so hot in fact that the electronics begin to overheat and fail. The large electronic map projected on the screen for the Commanding General to see goes out because the projector gets hot. Next some of the computer screens start to fail. About that time I hear the Chief of Staff, a Colonel start to cussing up a storm because there are no graphics to see. “Sir, I got a map”. The Colonel looked at me, “What did you say SGM”? I replied, “Sir, I got a 1:100,000 map current from Battalion level and above”. With language only an Infantry officer could use I was told to get it out there. Had my Ops Sergeant with a couple soldiers get it up front and the General was as happy as a fly in a pile of horse crap.
High-tec is great, but it will fail. This past spring the mobile app used for instant payments went down for just one day, you can’t imagine the strife it caused, instantly made the news. You trust banks, maybe to a point, but not completely, just ask the people of Cyprus who had some of their saving taken away. Banks aren’t lily white, just look at Danske Bank. One of the biggest money laundering scandals in recent times. Banks and insurance companies caused the mortgage crises which led to so many home owners losing their homes. So many home owners were made loans with hardly nothing down and in the end couldn’t make the inflated payments on houses which weren’t worth the money.
Like I told my customer. “You and I can go down to the local store to buy a bag of groceries. You go to pay with your plastic, but it doesn’t work. I pay with the money I have in hand. Who do you think is going to walk out with their bag of groceries”?
When we give up the use of money, the stuff we got in our hands, we can touch, feel and trade for goods, we are giving up a piece of our freedom. This is what governments want. Once all currency is gone, the government will have one more hold on you. They will have more control over our lives. “Oh but it will be so much easier” you say. Is easy always the best way?
Stop and think about our national debt. Congress can’t even submit a balanced budget. If I ran my business the way they run the country, I would have been bankrupt long ago. Spending is about 18% higher now than two years ago. Congress continues to loan money to every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, yet they have no money to spend. Think what eventually this will do to your savings?
Yea, I may be just a crazy old man, but at least this crazy old man will have something of value to buy or trade with. As a kid, my Dad taught me the value of money, if I wanted to buy something, I must have the money first so I learned if I wanted something, first I must work to make the money to buy it. There was never an allowance, or “free” money when I was growing up. I think too many kids got “free” money growing up and now they expect it.
One thing for sure – I am so glad I am over 60yrs old and not 20 just starting out.

VACATION REFLECTIONS AND REALITIES

It’s midday Monday, over half way into my vacation, so thought it was a good time for a little reflection – seeing how it is raining today and we can’t get out to do some of the things we planned.
It has been great. No vacation last year as I had an arthroscopic surgery on my right knee about this time last year. So I began into this long drawn out process of getting knee replacements as both needed it. I got screwed out of an operation last year because a stupid doctor has his head stuck up his third point of contact. My doctor and the surgeon who did the arthroscopic both were amazed he wouldn’t do the replacement. So after a summer of knowing pain personally, I will get the first one done this coming Monday, waiting until next winter to get the second one done.
The area here where John lives went through a fire last year. Much of the area around here he lives was burned with many families losing their homes, getting out with only the clothes on their backs. As we drove through the town of Serpins, a year later one could still see the scars remaining. Luck have it, Serpins was not destroyed, but many villages were. Serpins was lucky as much of the town is back to normal, but you can see many of the cork trees are black, yet they are hearty enough to survive, while most of the pines, and other species are standing dead, only to be later cut down for firewood or pulp. As we drove around the area I could see the surviving corks with their black bark but nice green leaves.
John was lucky, the fire burned up to within a hundred meters or so of his village, it was stopped because one of the villagers who is retired was able to call in a few favors and get enough support to stop it. It was tough as the village is on a slope and the draw below them had a chimney effect, pulling the fire towards them. He and along with many were evacuated while the wrath of the fire raged through the country side. Many who lost everything had insurance, while the majority didn’t, having to start again from virtually nothing. From what I have read and talked to the people around, it is once again all about the money involved in timber, mainly eucalyptus which is a very oily tree and every year sheds its bark leaving piles of this oily substance lying all over the forest’s floor. Large industrial forests have sprung up of eucalyptus because it is a fast growing tree and the pulp and paper industry want it for their products. It would cost vast amounts of money for the forest floor to be cleaned according to local and national laws, thus many believe the fires were not started by natural causes, read the below article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4626896/Portuguese-fire-started-criminal-hand.html
Whether this can be proven or not, there is a lot of blindness in the government in complying to laws.
Normally I don’t get too much into political subjects in my blogs, but as it has directly affected lives of people I know and many around them, I felt I needed to say something.
Well by now the sun has started to peak out a bit, so will get out and try to do a couple things. I will be leaving this great vacation place Thursday morning, headed for Portugal, to play 18 holes of golf, if the weather is permitting. Then back to Denmark on Friday, winding up some business on Saturday and then Monday, I start to become the bionic man (I wish).

JOHN’S TV

I thought I needed to explain “TV” to some people. The first year, 2007 I was in Portugal, my friend stated his fireplace was his TV, so thus while there it is standard practice to refer to his fireplace(in the kitchen) as the TV. There are many benefits to this type of TV which the normal person will never know or experience. Thus I hope to open the eyes of many and expand your minds just a bit. So from now on when referring to TV, it is the fireplace.
First one up in the morning turns on the TV. The water pot is set on to make coffee or tea while the morning chores are done. When we are ready so is the water, no wasted time. We sit back enjoying that first cup of the day staring straight ahead into the screen.
Now let me ask you, how many you have a TV you can make your coffee on? It also provides warmth and you can get rid of your trash paper in it. Sure you need to get up once in a while to feed it, but you also got to get up to take a piss, get a drink, something to eat no matter what type of TV you are watching.
Last night for example, I cooked some great pork chops on the TV. Just before, John set the pot of taters on to boil. While we were eating had a pot of water getting warm to wash dishes. How many of you have such versatile TV?
Also we have no commercials, no ads and we don’t have to worry where the remote is, if the remote batteries go dead or if the power goes out! Yes we do have sound effects, depending on the type of wood we use in the TV depends on the noises. Really dry pine produces the old Snap, Crackle, and Pop. Eucalyptus, if not completely dry will sizzle and hiss, you can also see the water boiling out the ends. Oak lasts a long time as does chestnut. Last night we cooked chops over wet grapevine, what a fantastic flavor. See our TV is great, not like yours, which you can only turn on and off, and besides so much of the programming today is crap (oh yea, we can burn that in ours as well)
John’s TV is never out of date. It never needs a software upgrade. Yea, I guess we could get a bigger model but that is not necessary for full effect or enjoyment. We can dry clothes on our TV and even flick cigar ashes in our3s (just try that with yours).
I bet there is a lot of you who pay big money to visit a shrink! We don’t need one. Usually a couple evening with our TV and we got the problems of the world solved. Yes for this step it does good to have “qualified” friends present like, Jack, Jim, or Johnny. As of lately Jack has been present at most of our therapy sessions. Our TV somehow seems to make their presents a little more smooth. You need to give this a try sometime.
Yep, tonight after the dishes are done, we’ll turn out the lights, stoke up the TV, invite Jack for a visit and just vegetate. I’ll look over at John and ask him, “I wonder what all the common folk are doing tonight?”

COMPARING U.S.A. TO DENMARK

Well I spent the day hearing about the follow video, so when I got home I had to view it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSFfTG42Jl8
After listening to it, and have been living in Denmark for the past 25yrs I felt I needed to write something about it so here it goes:
When I first got my business going (farrier) I soon got some clients who had lost their jobs and began to collect what we call “unemployment”, ok, but to my shock and amazement I learned at that time unemployment benefits continued up to four years!! I was shocked. I was also shocked when many of the people who were collecting told me, “Why should I go to work when I can stay at home and collect almost as much”? Last I heard the Danish government has cut this back as they could no longer afford 4years, it is at 2 years now(last I checked). I have seen so many people abuse the system and it is easy here to do. There are a lot of people working here, good honest people doing an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. There are many Danes who have values and uphold what they think is right, I have to add this so you don’t think there isn’t.
But shall we flip the coin.
Since I left, the United States has become a welfare country. More and more people are sticking their hand out to get all they can get from the government as they have learned they can get paid for doing nothing. When I was a kid, it was really a low blow to have to be on food stamps, receive welfare or such. But today it is growing to be the norm to be on some kind of government handout. There is no shame in it today. In fact just the opposite, so many feel the government owes them! When I was a kid there was a newly elected Democratic President who in one of his speeches he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?” Today he would not even fit into the Democratic party.
So back to the video. Yes in Denmark we pay taxes, lots of taxes. Yea there are services for those taxes, but like another world leader (Margaret Thatcher) said, “ The trouble with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money”. I see that now. It is the little things at first. Here a while back I noticed many of the road side rest stops have had the toilets, picnic tables and trash cans taken out, this is so they can save money by not providing the service. This tells me money is getting tight and local governments are trying to save money. Denmark has a cradle to grave care system. Suppose to take care of all your medical needs, needs in retirement and such paid for. You pay for these services in your taxes. Now much of the home care is being cut down. I have a customer who is a home care worker and every time I shoe her horse, I have to listen to an hour and a half of how services, which these elderly people have paid for, are now being cut or discontinued.
Yes education is free and like in the States everyone wants to go to the university, get a degree, which is for free. Like in the States many of the “trades” are suffering from not enough young people wanting to get their hands dirty, they want the office jobs. Like in the States many don’t understand the trades, welders, plumbers, electricians, mechanics and such are very good jobs, it’s just you got to work hard and get dirty.
Growing up in the States when the chimney needed cleaning out, you either did it or you hired someone to do it. You decided when your septic tank needed cleaned out, not here in Denmark. Firms are on contract with the local governments to do these for you, you no longer have to think about what you need to do, oh yea, this is part of your taxes. Everything is taxes as much as possible. We have our own water well, yet we pay a tax on the water, then we pay another tax on the waste water coming out of our septic tank. And get this – there is even a church tax here!! Once I found out about this I figured out the “separation of church and state”. I always enjoy how so many want to compare Denmark with the States – it can’t be done. At the end of FY 2018 the gross US federal government debt is estimated to be $21.48 trillion, according to the FY19 Federal Budget. Different reports puts the cost of single payer health care at between 1-3 trillion dollars a year, and this is just for health care. If the country is already so deep in debt, where is the money coming from? Guess we’ll just have to raise the taxes a bit more. Today so many want so much for free, they seem to forget that nothing in life is for free, it has to be paid for by someone somewhere. Oh by the way, this is Denmark’s national debt converted to dollars: $124,850873,000 (debt clock: https://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/denmark
No system is perfect. I have lived under two different systems. There is good and bad with both. So before we take what is said in the video at the beginning of this post, we need to reexamine ourselves and maybe once again bring up that phrase a newly elected President so many years ago put forth.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

So here we are again, another “government shutdown”. The news media has made this seem like it is a big deal, I guess in a way it is. I was looking over a list of who and who is not affected (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/20/16905508/government-shutdown-2018-open-closed-furloughs) and no where did I see anything about Congress not getting paid.
Now from what I gather it is the job of Congress to approve a budget and if they don’t then this happens. Why is it I do not see Congress as one of the groups not getting paid? They are not doing their job and the way jobs and pay is, at least for most of us common people is “no work, no pay”. I know many jobs if you fail to complete your work on time you have to pay penalty. No where have I seen that Congress must pay a penalty for failure to perform. They know this budget is coming up and should have been prepared for it.
Now I know many of you are going to say: well there are many political things to consider. Well yea, I guess there are and they should have been considering them a long time ago. The big hold up this time is illegal immigration – a subject which has plagued our country for a long time and past Congresses have let it escalate into the large problem we have today. The best and easiest answer is: If you’re not in the United States legally, then you get deported. I know most countries are this way. Just try to live in almost any other country in the world and see what happens when you come enter illegally.
I was listening to the radio today about a man from Mexico who had come to the States as a young lad – illegally and now 30yrs later he was deported and there is a big up roar. His wife (U.S. citizen) said he is not a criminal, but isn’t it a crime to be in the States illegally? Anyway he has had 30yrs to get legal. I don’t feel sorry for him. And people say “But what about his family? To that I reply, “He should have thought about that”. Our last administration out right encourage young kids to flood our borders – illegally.
Yes, immigration is a big question and one which should be addressed, but not by holding American citizens as hostage. The ones who should be held hostage is Congress. They should receive no pay until this problem is properly resolved, and then they should receive no retroactive pay for finally getting their job done. Failure to do one’s job doesn’t mean you get a reward.

CREATION

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” We all recognize this from the creation story in the Bible, Genius 1: 1,2. I grew up in the church and learned this from the time I was a very small boy and today my faith is set fast in God, knowing there is something greater than me and some over all purpose for my life, if I choose to listen and follow Him. I remember when a timeline could be set to aging the world and mankind from the Bible: then came the dinosaurs, and how did the Bible explain them?
I have been watching a great couple channels on the boob tube, Discovery and National Geographic. They are fantastic because they present the facts as the researchers have presented them. There are no political debates or sides taken on these programs as far as I have seen. They have shows both on the Bible and those finding things described in the Bible and those who believe strictly in science – letting you make the decision of what to believe.
For me it is very interesting to listen to how science presents the universe and how the worlds began, much of it makes sense as they present it. I am always fascinated by the “big bang” theory and how it explains formation of the universe, stars, worlds and such, but where did it come from? What caused the “big band”? Every program I’ve seen and reading I have done, science cannot explain it or how it happened, it just happened from nothing.
Then it gets into the formation of life. How did life form? Where did it come from? In the programs I’ve seen some say maybe the right things were carried here from comets or such, forming in the oceans and somehow it became alive. Try as they may science and technology cannot create life. Try as they may they have failed. They have tried getting all the right chemicals, elements or whatever together, but nothing happens. The one conclusion I’ve come up with is the more and more science tries to explain the beginning of the universe and life, the more they prove the existence of God.
Sometimes I think we believers get too wrapped around the axle of time. The human concept of time is very limited. It is a proven fact the earth is millions and millions of years old. I also think we tend to put God in our small box of thinking and time, when really there is no concrete explanation of how God created the heavens and earth, just that He did! Maybe He did set things in motion and it took billions of years to happen, yet He did create it and start it in motion. In Sunday school I learned God created everything in seven days. Well I always thought He did this in a week (wow, He really worked some over time). But as I grew up and began to expand my mind and knowledge I then ask myself: what is time, what is a week, what is a day, how long are they really? How do we accept the things we believe but have no proof of?
Hebrews 11:1King James Version (KJV) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This is where we Christians live and the root of our faith. If it wasn’t for faith and believing in the Higher Beings of the Trinity, then I’d be lost, probably like many of you.
So the next time you get into a discussion with an evolutionist or scientist let them have their say then ask them how life began. Listen to them and then ask them where the spark of life comes from – to me “it just happened” is no answer – same with the “Big Band”. To me neither just happened, Someone caused it to happen, thus they are proving the existence of God.

6 JUNE

In a few days it will be 6 June. Why is it special? – all the military types know and many civilians as well – Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe.
A few years ago I was privileged to do a Battle Staff Ride to the Normandy Beaches. About a month before going each of us were assigned a unit to research and their part in the battle, drew the 121st Engineers. On the ride over on the bus we watched “The Longest Day”. The next morning we were standing on Omaha beach at day break, I was not prepared for the feelings I felt.
I was standing at the low water mark and looked up the beach. It was almost flat with the dunes and banks rising high above it. My first thought was, “My God, how did these guys have the guts to cross this killing field?” As I slowly walked towards the high ground I began to look: to my left was a firing bunker, but the firing ports weren’t straight forward it was at a 45 degree angle. I looked to my right and saw another one mirroring the effect – then it hit me = interlocking, grazing fire made to kill anything in range! How anyone survived I’ll never know. As I slowly went up, the slit trenches were still there and behind were the mortars. Placed along the beaches were some bigger gun emplacements as well. I learned on the beaches, aiming stakes had been set so the mortar men, machine gunners knew exactly what their ranges were. The entire beach was dialed in. I don’t have to explain the meaning of this to any of my Grunt Brothers, I know the hair on the backs of their necks will rise just thinking of this. The soldiers landed and got bogged down, but then they broke through and we know the rest. You can read this but unless you have walked that battle field you will never understand (unless you’ve been under fire as well).
Once they secured the beached then they got funneled into killing fields of fire again when trying to breach the hedge rows. It was a killer. Walking the roads, seeing the actual remains of foxholes still there, I have no words. The average age of WWII soldiers was 26, so maybe this helped them “suck it up”, draw from within and drive on. They knew they would die, but someone had to.
I have no doubt about the will and intestinal fortitude of our soldiers today, I’ve seen what they have done in Iraq and Afghanistan if let along to do the jobs they are trained to do and not restrained by our political leaders who sit on their soft chairs thousands of miles away.
Sometimes I look at our systems and think we got it all wrong. Our leaders should be military and they should be right out in front leading the men into battle. War has gotten too far away. Yea we think it is something when a guy can sit behind a joy stick in the western U.S. and kill bad guys half away around the world. I wonder how politics would be if war was once again close up and personal? If our elected officials were also required to be out front – There would be no need of term limits for Congressmen then, most would pull out in a flash.
Anyway I want to salute all my Brother Grunts who led the charge across those flat sands into the certain death many received. As I walked the green grass dotted with white stone in the cemetery above the beaches I could only look and read names.
The table is set and I raise my glass – SALUTE!

MEMORIAL DAY, 2017

My Memorial Day is over. Here in Denmark it is no holiday, but my thoughts were upon this subject today as I shod horses.
Many times while traveling on the trains in Germany I have thought many times of what some downed air crews must have thought as they looked over the German country side. Did they see what I was seeing? I was visiting a friend North East of Frankfurt once. One evening we took a walk through town and the local cemetery where I saw three Veteran graves. My friend told me every year on Memorial Day flowers are placed.
I have visited the cemetery at Normandy – a very humbling experience. While on a different Battle Staff ride I visited sites where G.I.s made last stands trying to slow down the German offensive during the Battle of the Bulge. Having to research this Battle I was very humbled to read the battle accounts and then stand on the very ground where the actions happened. I have also communicated with my cousin who was an infantryman during this battle. We had a great talk after I had been there. I told him where I’d been and he knew the area very well. I have another cousin whose husband was a POW in Germany during the war, he was also an infantryman. I feel proud to have talked with both of these great veterans before they passed on – I pay both of them homage as they were up front in the real thick of the action. I think of my family who fought for the union during the Civil war, who served in the “Silent Service”, members of the National Guard, my family veterans who have gone to Valhalla.
As I travel south from my house many times I pass a memorial alongside the road. Once I stopped and read it. It was to an aircrew whose plane crashed during WWII a few hundred meters from the spot – all were killed. Now every time I passed the place I sit in the position of attention and render the crew as snappy salute as I can. I will talk to them, “Good Day Boys, see you on the return.” On the return I will salute them again and give them a , “Take care until the next time”
Since living in Denmark, traveling throughout Europe I have seen battle grounds, grave yards, talked with retired vets (expats) – to me Memorial Day has expanded. After I came home from my war, seeing the death and destruction war causes, I have so much more respect for those vets who preceded me; those who are still in uniform putting their lives on the line for me daily; and for those who are to follow, who will protect and defend the Constitution of The United States of America.
In the political times we have now, one thing is for sure: my Brothers /Sisters – in – Arms have all sworn to do this mission, no matter their political beliefs. My only regret is I have never had the chance to be “home” for a Memorial Day and help place flags on the graves of those who have passed before me.
I STAND AND SALUTE ALL THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED BEFORE ME ON THIS DAY.