WOW! It's been five years since I last posted on this blog. I started looking through past posts and decided this was an ideal place to keep up with my journey...in photography, in photoshop, in life! So much has happened in the past five years and I'm NOT going to fill in that blank...but start again with our new challenges faced in our country and the world.
It's been four months since the Corona Virus forced us to stay at home in order to stay safe, especially those of us who are medically compromised. My two sons, Justin and Jared, are both Respiratory Therapists, working in hospitals and being exposed daily. Justin has stayed safe--Vermont hasn't had the flood of cases that New Jersey has. Jared worked in uber-busy hospitals in north Jersey and did contract Covid-19. He stayed home and, after being sick for 2 weeks, got through it--then jumped right back into the frying pan. I'm proud of them!
On a personal level, I've been staying inside a lot, which suits me fine--I can read, play with photoshop, and read some more! My physical pains are worse, but I hope to be able to address this issue when the world opens back up. Lots of instructors have been offering free classes online. ZOOM has taken the internet by storm and has allowed us to 'see' others during meetings and family visits. My camera clubs have moved to online competitions and presentations. Life is as normal as it can be...and this keeps us all connected.
Lou and I did get to visit Six Flags Great Adventure Safari Park when it opened in early June. It was fun to get out. I've played with a couple of photos that I took during that short outing...and am sharing them here.
I hope to process some more and will post them when they are completed.
A friend forwarded a poem to me that really touched my soul. I wanted to share it, but didn't want to infringe on a copyright, so I went in search of the poet to ask permission to reprint. I found out that Larry Vaincourt had passed away on August 20, 2009. I wrote to his son, Randy, asking permission--and he granted it. He even sent me the proper version of the poem to be sure I got it right. :)
JUST A COMMON SOLDIER
(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.
And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.
It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.
Please check out the website dedicated to Larry...read about him and read some of his columns and poems...you can even buy a book! Thank you, Randy, for sharing your father with us. He truly embodies the spirit of Memorial Day.