Veterans, Horn Mufflers

As we come to Veteran’s Day next week, I’m thinking of those who sacrifice for the United States. I’m not a veteran. But I know some. My husband, Vietnam; my dad, WWII. Neither speak/spoke of war unless pressed. My Air Force grandsons will be veterans, one day.

I even wrote a book about the experience of a veteran, at his request, when he could see his end was near. My father-in-law, who spent most of WWII as a prisoner of war of the Japanese, rarely had anything to say about his time in the Army. Only the radiation burn on his cheek told us he’d been near Hiroshima and Nagasaki when we dropped the bombs on them. We knew he had shrapnel in his spine and wore compression stockings to help the pain in his legs that resulted from having them frozen. That about covered it as far as he was concerned, even for his own children.

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But as he talked with the staff at the veteran’s hospital he visited more frequently as he aged, they pressed him to write his story. He did me the great honor of helping him bring it to light. He called it Triumphs and Tragedies, Corregidor and Its Aftermath. It’s available on Amazon, Arthur B. Baker and J. Carlile Baker authors. Please buy the one you get from me. I can’t believe some others are asking over $100 a copy because it’s out of print. I’ll be happy to send you one for the $10 he initially asked. Dad has gone on to live with Jesus, but he showed me what a hero looks like and does before he left. And I am blessed.

Joy in the Back Seat

The title may seem to allude to teenagers and steamed up windows, but nope.

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This one is about taking the back seat. The older I grow, the more I notice I’m taking a back seat to my children and grandchildren. It’s become their day. At first, that kind of bothered me. I like to be in the middle of the action, you see.

However, if the last shall be first … back seat, see? But more to the point, in the back seat I can serve in a million ways. A. I have more time, what with not paying attention to the road so much; B. I’ve been down this road, so I can point out the potholes as well as the scenic vistas; C. I can refuse to backseat drive; D. I can snitch snacks from the sack on the floor (say what?); E. I can play with the kids who are also relegated to the backseat, and throw in a little tutorial storytelling; F. I can climb up on the rear window ledge with the dog, sing about the moon, and watch the rising and falling electrical lines like I used to when I was a kid; (Some would say my singing isn’t serving, I’m okay with that.) G. I can make cool stuff back here, like mysteries and mittens; H. I can fix stuff that broke, like headless dolls or zippers that don’t zip. I could go on, but I think the joy is already showing. There’s plenty of action in the back seat. (Get your head out of the gutter.)

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