I love being a woman.

I’m a woman who has experience being a wife, a mom, a student, a teacher, and a degreed business professional. I’ve traveled throughout the U.S. and have been to Europe, too, but am greatly fond of western Michigan and its beaches, and the entire Midwest region. My journey is relative to my time, of course. I’m a straight-laced conservative when it comes to education and career, yet a child of the 60’s; a hippie you might say, when it comes to enjoying life. It’s been quite a ride!

My favorite things are my grown children, Ashlee and Krystal, my Colonel hubby, Scott (retired from the military after nearly 30 years but continues to work a civilian job), my mother, Kathy (a pioneer for women who worked in the factory at General Motors from the early 60’s until retirement 27 years later – but who is first and foremost a gentle woman with a strong soul and my forever role model), my pets (Japanese Chin dogs Jake and Lucy, and my kitties, Bliss and Salem), beaches, dragonflies, hummingbirds, and other nature. I might seem complicated at times but truly love the simple things.

My little place in the world, that’s my blog. I’ll be sharing my thoughts about my life, my family, my pets, my job, and how I view the world. I hope you enjoy my stories, my sense of humor, and my insight. This is a chance for us to share that cup of coffee or tea in the morning or afternoon, and reach across the miles that might separate us, and gather close together to catch our breath and a laugh or two. Life is busy. And so are we! So let’s dive in together. And smell the roses, too.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Friends: Dixie and Sammy

So I invited a couple over for dinner last night because the husband is retired Army, like Scott, and I figured the guys would have lots in common.

Well, the husband is MSgt. Sammy Davis, congressional medal of honor recipient whose heroics in Vietnam were depicted in movie, "Forrest Gump," as he single-handedly saved many in his platoon during battle while he was wounded.

Sammy said, "Remember the scene where Forrest brings them to the river bank and leaves them, as he goes back for yet another soldier?"

And I said, "yes," and Sammy said, "I swam each of them across the river to safety." This was a goosebumps moment for me, speaking to this courageous gentleman. Sammy told us about meeting LBJ, and how they used footage of him in the movie receiving his congressional medal of honor, but superimposed Tom Hanks' photo over him. I asked if he really showed the president his battle scars, as Forrest did when he pulled down his uniform pants in the movie. Sammy said, "No, but I would've if the president has asked to see it."

Sammy told us about his stint in Vietnam, and how it rained and rained for days, and his platoon of 40 was in the wetlands, and he was in a foxhole. It was November 1967, and he turned 21 holed up in that foxhole. He said, "You know how you look forward to your 21st birthday, and dream of all the things you're going to do on that special day," and there Sammy was, wet, cold, and smack dab in a hole in Vietnam.

And when enemy forces, 1500 strong forged towards Sammy's platoon, the men did not cower. The platoon held as best they could, and one man -- Sammy -- ended up saving several of his comrades, just as depicted in the film.

Sammy brought over his congressional medal of honor to show us. Also in the little worn blue box were several other mementos, precious to the sweet war hero; one I'll especially remember was an amulet given to him by Mother Teresa, which I held in my hand, and felt I was holding something once touched by an angel.

Sammy's wife, Dixie, was no shrinking violet. Lovely and animated, Dixie spoke of the many celebrity friends they had made over the years, including favorites of mine, Gary Sinise and Ann Margret. I couldn't get over the Ann Margret mention, and told of how I saw the movie, "Bye Bye Birdie" as a five year old, and have always loved Ann. Dixie mentioned they would probably be seeing her this week at the Ronald Reagan library. Dixie says the celebrities they meet are all very nice, and most become friends.

We talked about the 1960's, and what a time it was. We discussed how the music was so poignant, and how you can't explain any of this to the younger generations; how you had to "be there," to understand it all. Even though I remember it as a child, and Scott barely remembers much, since he was born in the early 60's. We talked about how the music then was about peace, love, and understanding, all in the midst of the Vietnam war time. And how many today are concerned with putting healthy food in their bodies, yet the music of today is generally not so healthy. Music is food for the mind. We pondered what the effect will be over time . . . to be continued.

We ate and made merry. We all enjoyed a delicious beef bourguignon that took Scott hours to prepare, along with Asiago cheese bread, and a Marie Callender berry pie for dessert. Dixie and I were equally excited that we were serving Blue Bell homemade vanilla ice cream with the pie, so that made up for the fact that the pie was store-bought.

"Next time, we'll make one of our special homemade apple pies," I said, apologizing for the store-made one. Dixie said next time we're going to their house. and Scott and I look forward to it.

We felt like we had known these people for years. So nice to make new friends. And always nice to meet a hero; even I know this is something you just don't find around the corner (yes, I'm quoting Forrest Gump here). Sammy and Dixie brought us a jar of their homemade salsa. And we swapped recipes, too. Sammy and Dixie are really nice, and Scott and I enjoyed having them over, along with two of my colleagues from IU. It was a great night; it's always nice to make new friends.

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