Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Defining D-Day

I probably shouldn't title my post so seriously when this is most likely going to be a pretty frivolous entry. I'm feeling guilty because I haven't been posting as regularly as I'd originally intended so to do. The work days have been so busy that by the time I'm home, my brain is completely french-fried and all the brilliant witticisms (really, both of them) that seemed worth posting about have faded away to nothingness.

But here I am, and here are a few trivialities, and some others perhaps not so trivial.

What I've been reading over the past two weeks: Jane Eyre--out loud, a chapter per night, to Dear Daughter. Thank you, Best Friend of Dear Daughter, for passing along your extra copy. It's all the more precious to us because it came from you and for the nibbling from our second-most favorite black bunny! Drop City by T.C. Boyle-- this came from Kim Co-Worker, aka, the Book Fairy. She brought all of us culls from her collection. I received this wacky and sad tale of hippies who relocate to the Alaskan interior, and subsequently meet up with a unique married couple and a vengeful ex-Marine. Dear Daughter refers to it as "that book with the naked people on the cover." This world takes some explaining some days... Fall on Your Knees -- I can't remember the author, but this was more largesse from Kim Co-Worker. Similar to Annie Proulx's excellent The Shipping News, FOYK chronicles a multi-cultural family living on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (a place I am destined to visit) around the turn of the 20th century. There are some heavy themes in this book, but it's beautifully written, and keeps nudging me in the back of the head with some of the issues and signs I've been discussing somewhat on the sly with Sally. Salamandastron, The Long Patrol and Triss -- all by Brian Jacques, and part of the Redwall series. Thank you, Joel Bunny-Keeper, for loaning me Salamandastron and Triss! They're great! What rich characters!

Today I made my final arrangements for our upcoming vacation to Hawaii. Yes, I've waited until eight days prior to our departure date to make accommodations reservations in Honolulu. I'm a procrastinator beyond compare. I found a great bed and breakfast at a tolerable rate and in an area I will feel safe traveling with just Dear Daughter, since the Loved One will not be joining us on Oahu. File this under my own particular brand of living dangerously.

Today is, in fact, the 63rd anniversary of D-Day, when more than 150,000 troops from the Allied Expeditionary Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. This was the first step in the Allied liberation of occupied France and Europe...the beginning of the end of the lethal grip of Nazism. Growing up, we had a neighbor who participated in the invasion of Normandy. I actually didn't know this about him until I was grown and learned that he and his wife participated in annual reunions of his unit. Some of these were in the United States, some were in France. After he died, someone from his unit sent his widow a flag that flew at the memorial his unit sponsored in Normandy.

History often seems so distant unless we have something to tie us directly to the events and/or people involved. In this case, one of the heroes (and believe me, they were all heroes) of the Normandy invasion was the man who loaned us his tire pump for our bicycles, and who brought us fish from his trips to the lake, and who led the grace when we had his family to our house for dinner. That so great an accomplishment as the routing of true evil from an entire continent could be completed by such ordinary men is almost incomprehensible. But it's also quite fitting. Goodness comes in very small packages. It's the accumulation of many of those tiny bits that leads us to overwhelm the badness in the world.

Thank you, Richard, and all those who were with you on this day, 1944. You showed us what courage can do.

1 comment:

ever the same, ever changing, I am e said...

I'm in the habit now of scribbling down observations/witticisms on scratch paper in my purse or on the palm of my hand. :)