I took a few weeks off from my weekly contemplations which lately seem to always focus on cultural, societal, political and even global woes. It was a brain cleansing. I recommend it.
I spent my morning at the local VA Medical Center. I travel there once every few months for an injection into either my spine or arthritic hip. According to the docs, it is my reward for years of pounding the ground engaging in the fitness craze of the times. Problem is my body more resembles a tree stump than it does a 125 pound distance runner. Like a Lincoln Town Car, built for comfort not speed. Well, more accurately it is akin to a tow truck. What did Bruce Springsteen call it in one of his tunes – the glory days? In that regard, I would do the same things all over again. So I may need a metal hip someday. There are many who served this great nation that would be eternally grateful if all they needed was a new hip joint.
I know all of you have heard horror stories about VA medical care, but the system does a lot of good for a lot of people. I have had my unpleasant experiences with the bureaucratic side of it, but for me the medical treatment side has always been good. Whenever I am there, no matter the time of day, the place appears overwhelmed. Many older Veterans, some of them seeking treatment because they believe that is where they are supposed to go and many others seek treatment because that is their only option. I see all of the ball caps from Vietnam, Korea and occasionally a WWII one. I simply do not see that many younger Veterans. It is humbling to know I was fortunate enough to spend a lifetime serving with men and women such as these. They left our country’s defense to the following generations from which still comes that few men and women dedicated to being the Guardians of our freedom. God bless them everyone.
I wanted to come home and mow the grass this evening, but my hip had a mind of its own and experience tells me it will until all of the numbing medicine has worn off. Suzie-Q, watching my wobbly trip up the stairs ordered me to the couch. When household six speaks retired Sergeants Major step lively – well maybe we wobble lively. I picked the wicker couch on the back porch and Suzie-Q handed me the day’s first cup of coffee. It was one of those spectacular fall days. Very tall blue sky, temperatures peaking in the 70s, light breeze, just a hint of color in the trees.
The deer wander through my yard. Treat it like their private buffet. I am always complaining to Suzie-Q about damage they do to our shrubbery. Up in the back yard, we have some knock-out roses and she calls them knock you out roses. Flower blooms do not last too long on them. HH6 told me I worried too much about the deer. The other day I called her out on to the patio. She has some very large mums, a bright yellow one, a burgundy one, and a white one there all in a row. Beautiful this time of year. Looks like the Washington Redskins offensive line. What I wanted to show her was a bald spot on the top of her white mum. I also pointed out the deer hoof prints. Needless to say the next order from HH6 was for me to put a chicken wire barrier around the mums to protect them from the deer. You know, the deer that I worry about too much.
I got myself into the supine position on that old wicker couch so that I could have a good view of my little piece of Wild and Wonderful hillside. I still need to mow that grass. Tomorrow I guess. Up the hill, the sound of my neighbor’s weed-eater was actually lulling me into a light coma. To me that weed-eater is just another sound of freedom.
I am a blessed man. Blessed to be born in the greatest nation on God’s green earth as is often said in these parts. I am blessed with a Soldier’s wife, a little bossy at times, but unequaled in my view. Blessed with a Son and Daughter-in-law who honor our family name every day. We are blessed with two gorgeous granddaughters, thankfully neither of which favors me even slightly. Blessed to be living a little piece of the American dream. Blessed to firmly believe that where we live, the place and the idea, will weather the times no matter the cultural or political tides because I believe God meant for it to. I am blessed with the understanding that peace and freedom are internal and cannot be taken by anyone except the Giver.
My cup runneth over.
© 2015 J.D. Pendry, American Journal, All Rights Reserved