Thankful

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I have a lot of things in life that I am thankful for, and I try to make sure that I remind myself of this often.

This weeks’ picture was taken in February, 2011. This is our deck and grill,  the winter we decided to move to a warmer climate.

In July of 2011, we took a mid-summer vacation to Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, and fell in love. It was crazy hot, but it wasn’t enough to deter us from such a move. We decided on a five year plan that April, when it seemed that winter would never end.

Then, in 2013, we pulled the trigger, and uprooted our Michigan lives. We moved to lovely… Las Vegas?

We gave ourselves two years in Vegas, and decided it was time to come to our new home – Raleigh-Durham. We have now lived here for a year and a half, and we are really, really happy.

All things happen for a reason, and every once in a while, we need to remind ourselves of things we are thankful for. Yes, we love and miss our families, and yes, we are truly thankful for them. But I am also thankful for moments like the one in this picture – moments that send us blindly hurtling towards our future.

November 11

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I grew up in times that were complicated for the American military. We were trying to forget Vietnam, and you only went into the service if you didn’t know what to do with yourself or if you were a screw-up.

After I had already started college, things began to change. The GI bill made the military appealing to those willing to sacrifice a few years in order to get money to go to school – this was a major reason why my brother went into the military. Thankfully, we were fortunate enough to not have to worry about him seeing battle duty. In the 80s, we weren’t at war, so it really was a different world.

Of course, since Operation Desert Storm in 1990, America – and its military – has not been the same. Coincidentally (?), the great guilt over treatment of Vietnam vets overflowed. Americans vowed never to treat our men and women in uniform the way we did in the early to mid-70s.

Being raised in the Midwest, I also had a cultural upbringing regarding the American civil war. It was just a standard history lesson, with no real impact on my life. I pretty much just knew names and dates, and the fact that the Midwest was part of the underground railroad.

Now that I live in the American South, the civil war becomes a little more real. Nearly everywhere I look, there’s a memorial of some sort to the confederate army.

This picture was taken in April, 2016, in Raleigh. Walking through the tombstones, it’s easy to realize how families and lives were ruined as a result of war. Battles are honored, as are the fallen – and the survivors, too.

I think it’s good to remember the major issues that create the world we live in today. The good, and the not-so-good. Most importantly, we need to learn from our mistakes and ensure we take steps to improve.

Godspeed to everyone who served in the military – regardless of when, why, or how.

Godspeed also to those who didn’t – regardless of when and why not.

Goin’ to Mt. Pilot, Paw!

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Mount Airy, the home of the Andy Griffith show, lies in the shadow of Pilot Mountain. In fact, I understand that little Opie said at least once to his paw, that he was headed to Mt. Pilot.

This mountain is unique in that it has a big ol’ nub that sticks out, and you can see it for miles. In fact, coming South on I-77, you can see Pilot Mountain from Virginia – about an hour away!

From the top of Pilot Mountain, you can see a gorgeous view of Winston-Salem and the farmland surroundings. Pilot Mountain is one of the most notable views in the state of North Carolina.