Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

I talked a little about the pups yesterday.  Another aspect of their world is that they're on a schedule.  That's why today is a Holiday so there's no reason at all to be awake before 6am but we've already gone for our usual walk and they have eaten.  I could go back to bed now...still might.....but enjoying my cup of Pete's morning magical coffee too much at the moment.

I talked a little about my sense that change is about to happen in my world.  One thing I'll say is that I don't envision myself lasting the winter here, but at the same time unless something surprising happens I don't see myself back in Charleston either.  Wherever I end up, tho, will become home base for me for the foreseeable future as I'm tired of moving, of having my various worlds scattered around the country, and of not having the roots I've talked about for the past few years.

Right now the temperature outside is 40 degrees and skies are clear.  An arctic cold front is supposed to blow through later today causing temperatures to plunge....the temperature at this time tomorrow is forecast to be anywhere between 10-15 degrees.  There is a possibility of the first flurries of the year later today.  Not liking this....

I may have shared this in the past, but I work in a military facility.  I'm surrounded by 50 IT engineers, (99% men, by the way) most of whom are ex- military because it takes a certain level of security clearance and knowledge of how the DoD works to do what I do.  The reason that's pertinent today is that today is Veteran's Day so for the people here it's more than just a day off.  Places that have large bases nearby find that the military presence is embedded into the culture of the area.  That's true here so Veteran's Day is truly a time to appreciate those who serve.

Here - it's personal.  It's families who are separated, it's people who are away from those they love, it's worry about the dangers - it's real.  It's not just a day off.  There was a moment at the Colts/Rams game yesterday that actually brought tears to my eyes (story here).

To see that wife and those oh man.

Many of these people serve for 20 years before retiring, yet they're younger than I am.  The typical path is to enlist after high school and to retire in their early 40's.  It feels odd to work with people who have already "retired" from a career but it's true.  For some, though, the military becomes a way of life so now they're back as civilian contractors.  They've been stationed in places around the world and somehow end up here.

I live close enough to the base to hear Revely play over the loudspeakers at 7am each morning, and the plaintive notes of taps each night at 10.  I live in the flight path of planes that come and go all day and all night, and sometimes even go out back to see what's flying overhead when the roar is particularly loud.  That's not a complain at all.  In fact, it's pretty cool.  I have a very cool existence here.

In one of my recent posts I broached the topic of "selective disclosure".  The only visible indicator about my unique history that I've got at work is that I use an HRC mouse pad at my desk.  Why?  Because it's just not important there.  Some of the people I work with have subtly shared indicators that they're aware - some have seen videos of my wrestling, another asked how I got my book published.....but it hasn't affected anything at all.  It's a non-issue.

There was a time when I had a picture of Elizabeth at my desk which invited questions or discussion.  Others I work with have pictures of their family so it's not out of the ordinary.  Regardless of specifics, all are aware of my liberal political and social views and it's probably no surprise that I'm a distinct minority there in that regard.  Still, the minute anyone disparages same-sex marriage or other things I'm passionate about I'll speak up 10 times out of 10.  They know that, and in fact I'd go so far as to say that they respect it.

I took the dogs to the doggie park and one of the engineers was there with 3 big, beautiful German Shepards.  I grew up around German Shepards for most of my life, and getting Maggie (an Australian Shepard) was my effort to downsize.  I think Cody is part Shepard.  But, of any breed, the one that I still find amazing is German Shepards.  He rescued these 3 - one of them had been thrown out of a moving car!  I would have taken one of them in a second.  They're amazing, graceful, intelligent, animals.

Later in the day a Colonel that has become a friend invited me to go shooting with him.  He's got quite the impressive collections of firearms, and my own highlight of the day was shooting his M4 Carbine.  I do well on a gun range, but I've never had what I'd call "formal" training.  Until yesterday.  It'd be a horrible pun to say I had a "blast" but I did.  And I had almost as much fun last night - eating pizza, watching football, and cleaning the guns.  It was just a fun day....

1 comment:

paintsnfun said...

In the years I lived in the community nearby to where you are, I liked it, in general: the people, the culture, the cities. But I could not adjust to the cold and snow. I hated that....but then, I had just moved there from having lived in Florida for 8 years, so not surprising.