God Bless Our Veteran’s

I am grateful to all the men and women who have served our country, and continue to serve. Also, I am grateful that my Veteran Husband, Jack came home alive from Vietnam.

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A very young Jack.

Hubby served in the early 1960s in the Army. He was a fixed-wing pilot on the Otter and the Caribou Aircraft.

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Here is Jack with his Army Aviator friend, Jim. They’ve been friends all these years.

This group of men had flown Otters and Caribou aircraft during their time in service to our country. This museum had a beautiful Caribou aircraft for all to see.

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Now, in Jack’s later years,  it is Jack and I going through his Agent Orange Health problems. We’ll get through it. I am just so grateful that Jack made it back. If he hadn’t I never would have known him or had him in my life.

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The last thirty-two years have been good ones for us. And on this Veteran’s Day, I am so grateful to have my Veteran sitting next to me at home.

God Bless the Men & Women of the Military. I thank them all for their service.

In Memoriam September 11, 2001

I think we all can tell you where we were, and what we were doing on that fateful day, in September.

September 11, 2001

It was a beautiful day here in New Hampshire. Sunny, bright, clear with blue skies. I was taking a shower getting ready for a dental appointment, while Jack was working on shingling the house. It was a day like any other here.
Hubby had the TV in our bedroom pointed out the window so he could listen to the morning news.

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my arm and Jack told me I had to get out of the shower now, something was happening. I was a little dazed and confused. I shut the water in the shower off and grabbed my towel.

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Jack and I sat in our family room watching Fox News, ABC, and CNN. A plane had hit one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in downtown New York City. Jack, as a former Airline Pilot knew immediately, that it was no accident.

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While we watched, suddenly another plane came in and hit the other Tower!
We were both in shock. We listened to reports. No one was saying terrorism, not at first. But both Jack and I knew.

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I look at this picture, and I know that none of those innocent people got out alive. That thought brings me to tears each time I see it.

We watched the Tower’s come down, one and then the other. We knew people had died. We just didn’t know how many.

At 12:30 I drove to my dental appointment. There was not another car on the road. Not one. I got to my dental appointment and found that I was the only patient that hadn’t canceled that day.

When I got home we watched the TV all day. I called my family and my close friends. Just to hear their voices.

It doesn’t matter your political affiliations, or how you feel about the war. What matters is on September 11, 2001, innocent people died in New York City, In Washington, DC and in Shanksville, PA.

People like you and like me. Just because they were Americans. That was the day I learned that we are no longer safe here at home.

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I also learned that when our country is attacked in such a manner, we pull together and unify.

God Bless all who lost their lives that day, to their families, who will never be the same, and all who serve this country each and every day to protect and defend us.

September 11, 2001: Basic Facts

Chronology
8:46 AM Plane crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
9:03 AM Plane crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
9:17 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shuts down all New York City area airports.
9:21 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) halts all flights at U.S. airports. It is the first
time in history that air traffic has been halted nationwide.
9:38 AM Plane crashes into the Pentagon. Evacuation begins immediately.
9:45 AM The White House evacuates.
10:05 AM The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:10 AM A portion of the Pentagon collapses.
10:10 AM Plane crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
10:22 AM The State and Justice Departments, as well as the World Bank are evacuated.
10:28 AM The World Trade Center’s north tower collapses.
10:45 AM All federal office buildings in Washington, D.C. are evacuated.
1:44 PM Five warships and two aircraft carriers are ordered to leave the U.S. Naval Station
in Norfolk, Virginia to protect the East Coast.
4:10 PM Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapses.

The Flights
American Airlines Flight 11
From: Boston, Massachusetts (Logan Airport)
To: Los Angeles, California
Lives: 92 people on board
Crashed into North Tower of World Trade Center at 8:46 AM

United Airlines Flight 175
From: Boston, Massachusetts (Logan Airport)
To: Los Angeles, California
Lives: 65 people on board
Crashed into South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 AM

American Airlines Flight 77
From: Washington, D.C. (Dulles Airport)
To: Los Angeles, CA
Lives: 64 people on board
Crashed into the Pentagon at 9:38 AM

United Airlines Flight 93
From: Newark, New Jersey
To: San Francisco, California
Lives: 44 people on board
Crashed into rural Pennsylvania (southeast of Pittsburgh)

Victims
Victims came from more than 90 countries around the world.
The following are the number of people who died at each site:

World Trade Center 2,823 (includes airline passengers)
Pentagon 125 (not including plane victims)
Flight 11 – 92 people on board
Flight 175 – 64 people on board
Flight 77 – 64 people on board
Flight 93 – 44 people on board

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m, the times the Towers were hit. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

Fact Sheet
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC
August 15, 2002

 

Happy Birthday, Melodie!

Today is my sister’s birthday. I am down with her to celebrate in Connecticut, while Jack stays home with the doggies!

I wanted to tell you all what a wonderful sister Melodie is. She is five and a half years older than me, and I was her “first baby”. She cared for me like a little mother and was always more like a mother to me, than a sister.

Mel is one of the kindest women that I know. She always has a smile and a warm greeting for those around her. She loves her family with her whole heart and rejoices in their successes and comforts them in their sorrows.

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Ron and Melodie

She has been married to her husband, Ron for 48 years. They met at the age of 13 at summer camp and wrote to each other for many years before their wedding in November of 1971.

So today, on her sixty-sixth Birthday I want to wish my beloved sister, Melodie a very Happy Birthday!

The Samoan Clipper

At the dawn of commercial aviation, Pan Am was a leader in the development of International Flight Routes. Some of their first planes were Sikorsky S-42B’s  or what was commonly known as the Flying Boats.

BdrUMkZCQAAAILnThe Samoan Clipper

Edwin Musick had been with Pan American from the very beginning when, as “pilot number 1” he flew the fledgling airline’s first scheduled airmail flight from Key West to Havana on 28 October 1927 on a Fairchild FC-2 floatplane.

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He would go on to lead nearly all of Pan Am’s expanding routes to the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific.  At one time, Musick held more records and honors than any other active pilot including the 1935 Harmon Trophy which recognized him as “the world’s outstanding aviator.” He was known as a pilot’s pilot.

2.-Ed-Musick-Arriving-in-Auckland-1937Captain Musick, in New Zealand after completing the first survey flight from San Francisco to Aukland, New Zealand, March 29, 1937.

On the morning of January 11, 1938, the Samoan Clipper shoved off from the Pan Am dock at Pago Pago, where at 05:32 (local time) Musick throttled up and lifted off for the final leg of his last survey journey to New Zealand.

Things went wrong pretty quickly as they had an oil leak in engine #1 and the crew, led by Captain Musick, decided to turn back to Pago Pago. Since they were filled with fuel, they knew that before landing they would need to do a fuel dump.

At 07:59 the plane was sighted over Apia (in what was then the New Zealand-administered trust territory of Western Samoa) and headed in the direction of Tutuila (the main island of American Samoa) 75 miles away.

Another radio contact was received starting at 08:27 informing the PAA station that Musick would be dumping fuel to lighten his now underpowered and still heavily laden ship before attempting to land in the severely restricted waters of Pago Pago harbor just a short distance ahead.

After 08:35 all contact was lost with Samoan Clipper and her crew.

Within hours, reports reached Pago Pago that “native fishermen” had spotted smoke off the NW coast of the island.  A US Navy plane was dispatched to search the area and quickly sighted an oil slick that “appeared to be coming from the ocean floor.” The minesweeper/seaplane tender USS Avocet (AVP-4) sailed from Pago Pago and was vectored to the scene some “12 miles north of Tapu Tapu Point” (the western-most tip of Tutuila Island).

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Shortly after first light on 12 January, Avocet’s crew spotted the tell-tale sheen of fuel mixed with assorted debris floating on the surface.  A ship’s boat was launched to collect what they could.  Recovered items comprised mainly small, charred pieces of “flooring, partitioning, books, papers, interior wall parts, and the navigator’s drift target tray.”  Most telling and heartbreaking of all was a tattered Pan American Airways officer’s jacket with its distinctive winged “PAA” logo identified as belonging to Samoan Clipper’s radio officer, T.J. Findley.

The position of these finds was recorded and preserved in a Bureau of Air Commerce accident report (dated 1 April 1938) that concluded the loss of the Samoan Clipper was probably due to “fire and explosion associated with the dumping of fuel, the precise cause of ignition being undeterminable.” Speculation focused on a static charge, engine exhaust or a spark from the electrically driven flap actuators as they were engaged before landing, but without any opportunity to closely examine the main body of wreckage, the exact reason for the destruction of NC16734 was reluctantly left a mystery.

A renewed search for Samoan Clipper began in early 2014 with a white paper co-authored by Russ Matthews (President and Co-founder of Air/Sea Heritage Foundation), noted maritime archaeologist Dr. James Delgado, and aviation historian Lonnie Schorer (A New Hampshire resident, who lives just down the road from us.)  The Air/Sea Heritage Foundation, began this expedition to locate, identify, and document the wreckage of Samoan Clipper, a Pan American Airways Sikorsky S-42B flying boat lost off the northwest coast of Tutuila, American Samoa in January 1938. If successful, the resulting survey will characterize an archaeological site with major significance to aviation and American Samoan history, determine the final resting place of pioneering Captain Edwin C. Musick and his 6-man crew, plus investigate the wreckage for evidence as to what lead to their fate.

They have not had a lot of luck. I think part of me believes that the plane, and the remnants of the crash, are probably sitting well below the seafloor, some 10,000 leagues or so under the sea.

I would like for the Samoan Clipper to be found. Like the Titanic, so much could be learned from that day, so long ago.

I want to note that I have gotten information for this Blog entry from the “Pan Am Heritage Foundation” as well as “The Air/Sea Foundation”.

As always I am interested in this due to Jack’s history as a Flight Engineer, First Officer and then Captain for Pan American World Airways.

Jack (2)Captain Jack

Happy Birthday Jack!

Today is the eighty-first birthday of my husband Jack. It’s quite a milestone for him and for us. We met many years ago and were friends for a long time. We saw each other through many difficult times in life, and eventually, when we figured it all out, we got married and started our life together. That was thirty-one years ago. How the time has flown.

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Today we celebrate Jack’s birth and here is hoping for not only a happy day but a healthy and wonderful year ahead!

Happy 31st Anniversary!

Today, Jack and I celebrate 31 years of marriage. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. In the grand scheme of things, 31 years is like forever in a Hollywood marriage. And at my age (60) it certainly is a large chunk of time.

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In our thirty-one years of marriage, we have had 4 White German Shepherds, Rex, Max, Fritz, and Lili. Four Wire-haired Dackels, Shubi, Greta, Arnie and Anneliese, and lived in four homes. One was a farm in Lyndeborough, NH, a nice ranch home in Punta Gorda, FL, in a motor coach here in Meredith, NH for 9 long months, while we built our current home, and lastly this beautiful house, that Jack and I designed.

We had four children, between us. Three are living, and they have grown up to be really good people. We also have two of the most beautiful, and wonderful grandchildren on the face of the earth!

Marriage is never easy, even if you are married to your best friend. There are days you want to murder each other, but lucky for us, those days were few and far between.

Forgiveness is so important when you live with someone this long. People do stupid things, and if you can’t forgive them, then you are with the wrong person. I am the Queen of stupid things and I am married to the King of stupid things. So it’s a good thing we forgive and forget.

You will also find during a long term marriage (or relationship) that there will be those days when your significant other just makes you crazy. Whether it’s how they are chewing their food, or even sipping their soup, you will sit there and wonder how you never noticed this before!

But then, there are those times when a little look, the warmth of a hug, or a gentle squeeze of your hand, will make you feel loved and safe. During my illness two years ago, when I felt like I was dying, I was so scared, and Jack just kept the home fires burning, cooked my meals, did the laundry, and did not allow me to believe that I was leaving this earth.

Likewise, not even six months later when he got the infection in his foot that led to the amputation of his toe, I made sure I was at the hospital each day. I brought him goodies to eat, stayed to speak with each doctor, and informed Jack that he wasn’t leaving me yet.

No, marriage isn’t easy, but the pros far outweigh the cons, and life would be so empty, so lonely, without my Jack.

Even after all these years, Jack is still the first person I want to speak with in the morning, and the last person I want to speak to at night.

I made up a short montage of our life together using one of our favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Anniversary Jack!

A Word Or Two…

Back in 2005, I started to write Dackel Princess. When I started to write, I think I did it because everyone else was doing it. I wanted to join in.

I never thought, in my wildest dreams that fourteen years later I would still be writing.

For many years I wrote about the dogs, the puppies, and the recipes I loved the most.

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Shubi, the original Dackel Princess and me in 2005.

Then, I started to write about my life. My grandchildren, my feelings about everything under the sun, and not only the wonders of life, but of the struggles too

Most of my Blog friends from fourteen years ago have long since stopped writing. And yet I go on. Mostly because I still feel I have things to share.

I realized that I had a lot to say about many different things. My loves, my life, my fears, and my happiness. And fourteen years later, I have a nearly complete journal of these years of my life.

I read that Queen Victoria wrote diaries and journals throughout her life, filling 122 volumes. It is estimated that she wrote over two thousand words a day!

I will never reach that lofty level, but I do like to sit down and write about the world according to “The Dackel Princess.”

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Happy 12th Birthday, Arnie & Anneliese

Twelve years ago, in the early morning hours, Greta went into labor. I was so excited to welcome her first litter of puppies, and I sat with her as she began the long journey to motherhood.

A few hours later, Arnie, Anneliese and three of their sisters made their debut.

Dec 10 015This was the start of something neither Jack or I had ever experienced. Having two pups, brother and sister, from the moment of their birth, for their entire life.

It’s pretty amazing. Watching these two grow and emerge as two sweet, yet very different pups.

We knew we were keeping Anneliese. I loved the look of her and felt that she would carry on the Dackel Princess line, in her time.

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Arnie, who is so sweet, loving and laid back. Here he is at a month old. A handsome boy then and now.

Arnie

Arnie was actually sold to a woman from New York State. On the day she was due to pick him up, she called and canceled as her life was falling apart. She explained it all to me on the phone. I listened and gently told her she needed this dog. But she said no.

Arnie was 12 weeks old and I was really crazy about him. So was Jack and so was our young neighbor Emily. He was due to leave on that Saturday and by Monday morning we knew that Arnie was staying with us.

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Here they are the first year of their life together. Best friends always.

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Below is a short montage of their life together, with us. I feel so blessed to have had these two pups in my life every single day of their life. In many ways, although Greta was their biological Mom, I have been their forever Mom all these years.

They both are one of my life’s greatest blessings. The years of faithful love and companionship are truly priceless.

Thoughts

Wednesday was the National Funeral for President George H.W. Bush. I watched it, as I longed for the familiarity of the Episcopal Service.

I was Baptized as an Episcopalian. For those in England and Australia, the Episcopal Church is very much like The Church of England and the Anglican Church.

I never thought about it too much growing up, but in my thirties, I served my Church as a Eucharistic Minister. I loved doing that. I felt I was helping people to feel the peace of God

When we moved back to New Hampshire, there was far too much in the way of politics going on in the Episcopal Church here, and so I fell away from it. I was secure that God loved me and I know I love God, so we’re good.

Today I watched the Service for President Bush. I will tell you that I cried. Was I crying for him? For his family, for the loss of such a special man?

I think a little. Mostly I found myself crying, remembering those I have loved and lost. My Grandmother was truly devoted to the Church. I felt myself thinking about her and missing her. My father, my mother, and grandfather. Yes. I missed them all.

And I felt a loss again of my brother who passed at the age of 26. I remember so many times Mom dragged us to Church and some of the hilarity that occurred. Like when my brother fell asleep at Christmas Eve Mid-Night Service and then slid under the pew!

I thought of my little girl who was Baptized in the Church. As well as weddings, funerals and other Baptisms.

I recited the Liturgy, I sang with the songs, so familiar to me. I laughed and I cried, and at the end of the day, I am feeling a little tired and emotional.

I think I need a good night sleep tonight and then a fresh start tomorrow. Rest in Peace George H.W. Bush. May your Eternal Life include your beloved wife Barbara and your little girl, Robin.

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My Life, The Wonder Of It

There were so many special moments during our trip. There was a lot of talking, laughing and sharing. I looked at these three women, my sister, my daughter, and my cousin, and I realized how blessed we are to have each other. These are the women in my life that ground me, love me, and are there for me. Best of all, not only are we family, but we are friends!

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Look at your life, and ask yourself how many people in your life are you good around just being yourself, can joke with, and not worry about what the other person is thinking at that moment? You can just be your whacky self and find acceptance!

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We really enjoyed every moment, and no none of us gambled at all, although I kept seeing people walking around carrying flat screened TV’s only to learn they were holiday gifts for the High Rollers! Hmmm, perhaps there is a calling for me after all. Ha! I have never played cards well, and so I do not play. I did see an old-fashioned slot machine, and I was tempted but did not succumb.

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As Sunday ended and I climbed into my bed, I didn’t want to take off my Queen of the Day tiara, but I did, and although I am not wearing it now, in my mind I know it is still there!

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The next morning, we went to this great restaurant for breakfast. “Hash House A-Go-Go”! It was really fabulous, with country casual decor and an old fashioned diner-type menu.

20181119_091847I’d heard that their pancakes were amazing and decided to order the banana, brown sugar pancake. Mel got scrambled eggs and bacon, Janet got corned beef hash, and eggs and Amanda got eggs, and bacon. Mandy was good and ate her own food. Mel, Janet and I were all eating off each other’s plates. It’s been like that since the beginning of time, and so it goes! Take a look at this pancake!

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I have to tell you that this pancake was amazing! I love banana pancakes and this was like nothing I had ever had! It was so much better!

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As we were waiting I snapped this picture of Janet. She looked so beautiful and happy! Check out her pretty nails too!

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My beautiful sister with bunny ears! We love to joke around doing stuff like this!

Here is the view from our room at Mohegan Sun!

Yes, that white stuff is snow!

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Our time at Mohegan Sun ended all too soon. Melodie needed to get back to her life, just down the road in Connecticut, Mandy needed to get to work for a meeting, and Janet was assigned the task of driving me to Mandy’s house to get my car.

The best part of the end of our trip was the ride from the Casino up to Mandy’s Office, where the three of us were able to rehash all that had gone on.

Then after we dropped off Mandy, Janet and I were able to chit chat about things that were happening and talked about Thanksgiving, which will be spent at Mandy’s House.

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My three lovelies!  How lucky I am!

 

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