Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day and if you are old enough you remember it as being called that by either your parents or grandparents. Memorial Day is a day to give thanks, and to remember those that gave their lives in service to our great nation.

For many the day is marked as the beginning of summer and not as a day of remembrance. It is a day off from work and a day to play with parades, picnics, ball games and auto races.

This Memorial Day I wish to thank all of those courageous men and women that gave their lives so that I may be free, free to live as I want, free to write as I wish and free to travel where I want.

I also want to thank those that are living and have served or continue to serve.

I begin my thank yous with my dad; Dean, he served with the US Coast Guard in WWII. He started a family tradition, three generations in the Coast Guard, a story that he never fails to tell. My brother Gary retired from the Coast Guard, Keith served in the Coast Guard and Kevin continues to serve in the USCG. My daughter Stefanie also retired from the Coast Guard and my ex-son-in-law continues to serve.

I also have many friends that have served or serve in our Armed Forces…

Marines—Howard H, John R, Scot N

Navy –Paul B

Army—John B

Ohio National Guard—Mike K, Beth K, Andy H

Coast Guard—Matt P, Joan R, Mike P, Bill L, Angie N, Dave S

Air Force—Abe B

And I am sure there are others of you that I have missed but to ALL of you ….for myself, my family and the people of the United States of America

        I THANK YOU AND SALUTE YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION AND SERVICE TO OUR GREAT COUNTRY!!!

Raise your flags and please take the time to thank our military personnel on this Memorial Day weekend. If you can’t say thank you at least lift up your drink in a toast to them!!



 

 
 
Today Oprah Winfrey said goodbye to the “OPRAH” show. During her 25 years on the show she did several episodes when she revealed her “favorite” things. We will miss Oprah and those “favorite” days.

So in place of Oprah’s favorites I recently started a my “favorite” things page on this website. During Oprah’s “favorite” things she would GIVE her favorite things to her audience.

I am NOT Oprah, I will NOT be giving you, my readers my “favorite” things. But like Oprah I will GIVE you the reason behind my “favorite” things.

I apologize for any confusion regarding the “favorite” things page as compared to Oprah’s favorite things days!



 
 
Well by now as I am sure you are aware, the world did not come to an end over the past weekend; for which I am extremely thankful!

I am really happy because I still have a lot on my bucket list to see and do before either I come to an end or the world does.
 
We have had a few incidents indicating there is some trouble on our great planet...over the weekend a volcano erupted again in Iceland and earthquakes occurred in both Cailfornia anad New Zealand. All of that was followed by the deadly tornados in the midwest United States.

Maybe we all need to get out and celebrate life and our amazing world? Get traveling while we still have time
 
 
"Never go on trips with anyone you don't love"
                                                                ~Earnest Hemingway


Days ago I celebrated my 34th wedding anniversary with my usual travel companion, my husband Ross. In those years we have traveled to over 40 different countries. We have seen and done things that many only dream about, there have been good times and some trying times.


The good times are always easy...climbing exhilerating active volcanoes, helicoptering to jaw-dropping glaciers, scuba diving with mammoth lemon sharks and walking on the historic Wonders of the World "The Great Wall" and "Machu Picchu."


But then there are the trying times...thirty plus hours on planes and on lay-overs, driving around lost in rental cars, missed flight connections with subsequent nights on airport floors, long, really long road trips with the constant nearness and poor meals or the lack of a meal at all!


Without love there may have been a different ending to many of our journeys. Traveling is exhilerating but it also can be stressful. Your traveling companion needs to be your anchor to keep you in place when things go wrong. Your iron to smooth over the rough spots and not create more wrinkles.


I remember an incident in Thailand where a couple we were traveling with had a disagreement...she had both passports... I'm not sure what would have happened if they hadn't made up?? I'm not sure if they are still together but they did return to the US together!


Moral...travel with someone you love and... carry your own passport! 
 
 
Yesterday was Mother's Day, a day to thank our mothers for their love and support and for nuturing our adventureous spirits. It was Mom who gave us courage to spread our wings and fly. Thanks mom!

It was mom who watched over us from the time she knew we were expected until the time she last saw us; and all of the times in between when she wondered where we were.

So for all of you that thanked mom and thanked everyone that is a mom I would like to say "Your Welcome."

And don't just wait until Mothers Day's to check in with mom as you travel about , she worries it is her job. I know I am in the middle...need to check in with mom  and hope that my girls check in with me!
 
 
Congratulations to our military for stopping the top terriorist in the world. He (and I don't even want to immortalize him by putting his name in print) changed the world for all of us that are old enough to remember it before 9/11.

I have visited sites that have become memorials as the result of his terror....Ground Zero and the US Embassy in Nairobi. Those places and others around the world make it hard not to celebrate the end of his rein of terror.

May our military continue to make our world a safer place to live and travel.

And to the military members that paid the ultimate price I thank you and salute you. May you rest in peace knowing that you did a job well done.

And to the family and friends of those that paid the ultimate price may God be with you. Today is your day to celebrate !