Taken at an isolated beach area that I happened upon accidentally around Mile 34 this afternoon. It is a little out of focus because I zoomed in so far to take the picture. Regardless, I still like this shot.
Today is Memorial Day.
I have been thinking a lot over the past few days about LC. He is having a great time in Minnesota, and he sounds more relaxed than I have heard him sound in a long time.
Hearing my Mountain Boy like this makes me feel happy and relieved, because he needs and deserves to have peace and quiet in his life.
Yesterday he attended a church service that honored veterans. Today he attended a memorial service for fallen servicemen.
He served bravely and honorably and I am very happy that he attended these events and that he knows that his service is not forgotten..........
Fast forward from the Vietnam War to the Iraq War and I have also been thinking a lot over the past few days about my son Chris.
He has been in the Air Force for three years now and has just completed his second tour in Iraq.
He is a physically imposing goliath of a man - 6 feet 4 inches, 250 pounds, with a weight lifters build, shaved head and tattoos that belie the fun-loving, easy-going free spirit that my youngest child is.
Along with LC, my beautiful son is a patriot. If he reads this I want him to know how proud I am of him.....
My Mountain Boy is getting psyched up to begin the journey west to Bellingham. He, his brother, two trucks and my Jamie-dog are going to take their time - play tourist when they want, spend an extra day somewhere along the way if they feel like it. They need to be in Bellingham to catch the ferry on Friday afternoon June 11.
By the time they get on the ferry I will be well on my way via ferry to Ketchikan.......
I drove out to Eagle Beach late this morning - needing to be outside on another sunny day, and needing to feel "free". To release tension into the wind out at the beach on a sunny Memorial Day Monday.
Even though the tide was out while I was there this is always a very very beautiful place...........
I spent a couple of hours at this beach - walking, wandering, thinking, laying in the sand, introspective about work and family and my Mountain Boys' impending arrival and my life.
I'm not sure if it is because I turned 50 a couple of months ago or if is just related to having experienced so many life changes recently, but introspection about my life has been a running theme for a while now.
I hope that I can stop "stewing" soon. It seems like such a waste of time, but I can't seem to stop doing it.
As I wandered and contemplated and sat in the sand I took the time to watch small children playing and building sandcastles. To watch happy oversized Alaska dogs running on the sand and in the water. To watch people sun bathing and also wandering aimlessly on the beach.
It was a nice quiet way to spend this day.
Beautiful and fragile wild flowers are beginning to pop up wherever I look - here at the beach today, on Peterson Lake Trail yesterday........
After a couple of hours at the beach I started to drive home. On the spur of the moment I pulled into an overlook and turned the car around, intending to drive a few more miles Out the Road. I wasn't quite ready to head for home just yet.
Taken at an overlook around Mile 30......
This is the original non-zoomed-in picture of the man sitting on the rocks, that I took this afternoon. It is my favorite picture from the day.....
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE
By: Kelly Strong
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.