Sunday, September 06, 2009

Terry's home...for now.

I may not have mentioned it but Terry's home from Mt. Airy, NC. She took her Mom down there for a reunion of WWII Vets and their families. The Polar Bears were under the command of General Omar Bradley Mark Clark (I think?)and spent a lot of time in Italy. Their numbers have decreased to the point where the Polar Bear Association no longer exists...officially. Yet those who survive and their relatives continue to meet on occasion.

This time they were in Mt. Airy, NC home to Mayberry, USA. Also known as Opieland.

Terry reports the men and their guests were treated royally by the folks of Mt. Airy. They had lots of great food, tours of Mayberry, USA, and one of the largest open air granite mines in the world. They were given a tour of a sock manufacturing plant and everyone got a free pair to take home. (And these were not cheap socks either! Rather they manufacture for places like Cabela's, Bass Pro, etc. with an eye to quality and warmth.) Most importantly, of course, the Vets got to see their old comrades again and reminisce about their experiences.

One or two of the kids of these men have been working on a history of the unit (The 85th Infantry Division also known as the Custer Division). They hope to be able to have it published soon. Terry was given a copy of one of the works-in-progress and asked--as were others--to do some proofreading.

Too many of the members of the "Greatest Generation" have passed on without leaving behind their stories. I know my own father (and my father in law) never talked about their experiences on the battle field. And now that they are both gone, it's too late to start asking questions.

We see a number of books about the strategists, the generals, and politicians of WWII, it would be good to learn more about the experiences of the everyday soldier--the Willie and Joe--as they slogged through Europe or the Pacific Islands enroute to keeping the world free from Nazis, Fascists and Imperialists. But it's difficult to get these men to talk about what it was like. They've held it inside for half a century and shared their thoughts and tears with their brothers in arms but few others. Perhaps, they fear the rest of us just wouldn't understand.


Terry and her Mom also had company up from South Carolina. Cousin Jimmy (helicopter pilot in Viet Nam), his wife, Pat (who, with the aide of her lap top and digital camera, put together a whale of a computerized slide show for the Polar Bears final dinner), and his Mom, Nancy (her husband, Jim, passed away several years ago...he was in the Navy in the Pacific, I believe). Terry reports they slid in to, and were welcomed by, the Polar Bear crowd.


Terry made only one complaint to me when she got home: How come I hadn't picked any string beans? Today she got more than two quarts out of the bean patch. Now I think she knows why I didn't pick any and why I pulled up the @(#*%)*#& cucumber vines and blighted tomato plants.

One group of zucchini plants are finally looking healthier than ever and producing fruit to beat the band. Time for roasted zucchini and boiled/steamed zucchini for dinner. Every. Single. Night.

And the ever bearing strawberries are living up to their name as well. Every other day I can get half a cup of strawberries for my breakfast cereal.


I'm eating better now that Terry's home too. By myself, things are pretty much meat-and-potatoes (and I sometimes skip the potato...sometimes the meat...and, if it's lunch, sometimes both). Two nights and we've had: 1) salad, grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, and planked salmon, 2) hush puppies, baked sweet potato, steamed zucchini and yellow squash, sauteed portabello mushrooms, peppers and onions, and grilled chicken breast.

While feeding myself, my weight had dropped five or six pounds. I guess I'm going to have to head up to the Bolt Hole before I put it all back on.


I finished hauling out the wood I had cut yesterday morning. There's more to do but some that I cut is unreachable with the ATV until I do more cutting. (Stupid me! I cut a couple of tree tops furthest from the trail so as to clear an area near my neighbor's line and am no being blocked by some tree tops near the second drive way. Doh!) Other tree tops are fine where they are for the time being. Perhaps they will attract a bear or two looking for a den? Nah. I didn't think so. More likely to get quill pigs (porcupines), skunks, or raccoons.

In any event, I've got more than a cord of wood out there that needs spitting. Since we don't burn all that much, it should be enough. If not, I know where there's more.


We spent some time today cleaning the trailer's interior. It's been parked in the barn up at the Bolt Hole for a year and the mice have been making use of it. We vacuumed and aired the place out. Terry washed down the surfaces.

I tried to charge up the battery, but that was a no go. My "smart" charger says something about a defective or open cell and suggests I take it to a reputable service center to have it checked out. I may do just that. Or I may just wait until next spring when I'll need a new battery to ensure a safe trip....Wherever we may go.


Weather here at the Aerie continues to be simply gorgeous. With lows hitting the low 50s overnight we've been sleeping with the window open. Late in the afternoon the sun warms things up to the upper 70s but as soon as it starts to sink toward that horizon, the temperature follows it downward.


Rev. Paul said...

Glad to hear you & your better half are reunited.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I spent a Christmas week in Mt. Airy many years ago. What wonderful folks live there!