Memorial Day From A Service Member’s Perspective

Photo credit: Dave Black

Today is a day that we take pause and remember those that have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we cherish and enjoy. I’m willing to put money on the fact that every one of us, either knows of, or is related to someone that has made the ultimate sacrifice. Being a service member myself I have a unique outlook on this day as opposed to many of my civilian peers whom have never been within the ranks (and to those that have and made the transition back to civilian life, I applaud and thank you for your service to our great nation). The point here is not to overshadow the sacrifices of civilians in service of our nation, I’d like to believe that their memories are also included within the spirit and intent of this day; however the fact is that there are so few of the population whom are either willing to, or are physically/mentally able to handle the rigors of service, that most will never understand the level of commitment laid upon the altar. It is to these few that have stepped forward, that have risked it all and paid the ultimate price, that we pay tribute today. It’s in honor of that sacrifice and their memories that so many of us willingly sign the dotted line and continue to uphold the values, rights and freedoms that they died for.

Until next time…


Angel’s On Her Shoulders

Photo Credit: pbo31

We’ve all been there at one point in our lives…where something happens that just cannot be explained. I had such an experience the other day while Andrée and I were in San Francisco attending the Google Plus Photographer’s Conference. The event was an all-day affair spanning two days (plus a photowalk the afternoon prior to the event); Andrée, being the good sport she is, attended the first day with me but had some reservations about day two and felt her time would be better spent seeing some of what San Francisco has to offer.

This left us in a quandary about what to do regarding transportation. Fortunately San Francisco offers some great public transportation options including the bus system, it’s inexpensive, reliable and most important, low stress…a perfect alternative to driving ourselves and paying a small fortune to park within the city. So, early morning arrived and we went our separate ways, each with our own adventure to be had.

The day seemed to drag a little without having Andrée with me and by noon I was ready to leave the conference and join in on her sight seeing adventure. Throughout the morning we kept texting each other and the feeling was mutual, her adventure was somewhat diminished without me being there to experience it with her (I know, go ahead and roll your eyes…we’re THAT couple). And so it was agreed, after one of the classes offered in the afternoon I would make an early escape from the conference and meet up with her at the Bed and Breakfast, go see some of the sites and maybe grab a nice dinner.

I said a quick good-bye to some folks and made my way to the bus stop a few city blocks up the road. To be perfectly honest, I’m not the most astute when it comes to using public transportation and it took a few minutes for me to realize that I was at the wrong location. It turned out that the bus stop I needed was across the street and up the road a little (thank goodness for modern-day technology…my iPhone really saved my bacon a few times this trip). Anyway, once I got my bearings I made my way back to the corner to cross at the crosswalk and although the light was green for me to cross, I decided that there wasn’t enough time remaining in the countdown to safely cross before the light changed. It’s a good thing I had waited, because that’s when things got interesting.

As I was standing there waiting to cross to the other side, a family of eight rounded the corner and proceeded to walk up the street towards the bus stop I had just returned from…everyone except the mother (I’m presuming) of the group. She broke from the group and stepped out into the lane right in front of me to take a picture of something. I really didn’t have the time to see what she was taking a picture of since at that moment a bus rounded the corner and I quickly ascertained that it was on-target straight for her! I reached out, put my arm around her shoulder and forcibly pulled her back onto the curb next to me; just as she stepped on the curb, the bus was occupying the very same space that she was just standing…it missed her by mere inches.

At first she was confused but quickly realized that I just saved her bacon; she gave me a small smile, nod of the head and took off to meet up with her family. It was all sublime and seemed to happen in slow-motion, kind of like what you see in the movies, however it all took place within the span of a few seconds. What struck me as odd, was that none of her family even noticed her absence or the fact that she was in imminent danger.

So I guess there is some validity to the old saying “…you never know, tomorrow you might get hit by a bus.” Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason and that there are forces out there that we just cannot explain. On that particular day something guided me to the wrong bus stop…and then suggested I wait again to cross the street to get to the correct bus stop. Had those events not taken place, I firmly believe that there would’ve had a very bad day on that street corner.
Until next time…