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Showing posts from May, 2018

Remembering the Fallen

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It seems like Memorial weekend officially ushers in summer plans for long days of fun and sunshine ahead. 
But for one woman—Memorial weekend became much more. 
In 2011, as Betsy returned home from a Memorial service honoring the lives of Fallen service members, she saw a military car parked in front of her home. She knew what that meant. 



An improvised explosive device had taken the lives of her son, Captain Joseph Schultz, and several of his team while they were serving in Afghanistan. She’d become a Gold Star Mother.


Betsy now knew what so many other military families have felt dealing with such a devastating loss. 
Galvanized with determination, Betsy Schultz brought together hundreds of volunteers, and thousands and thousands of donated dollars to create a place for military families to come heal—three families at a time. 





Named after her son, the Captain Joseph House renovation is nearing completion. Every Memorial Weekend, since Joe’s passing, there has been a service on the grounds …

Mt. Saint Helens and the Final Photo

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Glen was part of the Greatest Generation—a seasoned Army Air Corp pilot serving with the squadron that dropped the most bombs over Nazi territory in WWII. 
On a night mission, his B-17 was hit with flak from antiaircraft guns and caught fire. He and his crew bailed out at 17,000 feet. They were rescued by the Belgium underground. How they made it back to England is a story for another time. 




Now, over 30 years later, Glen remained in top physical shape—and was my mountaineering instructor. As we drove the miles to our next climb he shared about his buddy, Gunner, from theB-17 crew and now his climbing partner.
After returning home from the war, Gunner was the one who’d gotten Glen into mountain climbing—the perfect place to escape humanity and the war-haunting memories. Gunner did the planning, and good-natured Glen climbed every one with him. 
They’d faced enough cliffside danger to know that Mother Nature could offer some real battles too. Over the decades of climbs they’d always taken …

My Mother, My Friend

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Mom didn’t want me to get married. At least not yet. She probably assumed I would try it and then lose interest like I did with mountain climbing…after I’d climbed a few peaks I switched to scuba diving. 
I could count on Mom to always share her opinion—which typically ran counter to mine.
Yet, her strong-willed, goal-oriented, feisty blood was flowing through my veins.








More determined than ever to get married, I set the date and the discussion was over. Even though she didn’t actually smile, she must have seen herself in me and knew she’d raised a confident woman.
Once the wedding issue was settled, she dug around in the cabin loft and pulled out her satin wedding gown and began planning. 
I agreed to wear the gown, but knowing how she felt about the wedding, I told her I’d handle the planning. That’s how we rolled, Mom and I.




But isn’t that how it should be? Even though it’s not exactly what their hearts want…mothers raise their children to be independent, self-reliant, and to make their …

Youthful Insights

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He might not remember, because he was only three, but as my grandson and I left a grocery store there was a man holding a sign that said “Hungry”. 
He asked us for spare change. I’d seen the man often—he was a fixture on one of the main streets. His face bore the weariness of alcohol abuse. But I knew our town provided access to food—he didn’t need to beg.


This was too much information for a little boy, but since he might not understand why I’d ignore a man asking for help, I dug into my grocery sack and gave him a couple bananas and a few cheese sticks that I’d bought for my grandson. We moved on.
Fast forward a decade. I just read my grandson’s middle school assignment. He was explaining about poverty in our world. His essay detailed how poverty causes much of the world’s hunger issues. He also discussed poverty’s other problems, and I told my grandson that I admired his research.


I’ve been researching poverty too. It’s prevalent where I live and affects the school where I volunteer. We…