Mourning My Survival

The July 21st CBS Sunday Morning Show had a segment by Steve Hartman about an Army platoon from Vietnam. They met at the grave of one of their members who was killed in Vietnam on a mission. Mr. Hartman said something that stunned me about the group. That was: “They mourned their survival”, referring to the feeling of survivors guilt. That phrase dug deeply into my soul and I commend Mr. Hartman for helping me to embrace why I often become so emotional when Vietnam comes to me.
I spent two voluntary years in Vietnam, Pleiku 67-68 and Tuy Hoa 69-70. I volunteered for both those years out of a sense of duty. The second tour added an excuse for my oldest brother, nearing retirement, to avoid going. I return to the US being required to change into civies at the airport each time. I return to mini skirts, hippies, free love, protests, and draft dodging. The most hurtful emotion was when some friends and neighbors shunned me because I served my country. I will not get over that.  To this day only about a half-dozen people have thanked me for my military service.
It has been almost 50 years since I returned. I have all of that time been Mourning My Survival. Mr. Hartman should be immediately promoted to the anchor of the CBS Sunday Morning Show. His segments are remarkably well produced every time.

Surviving,
Jim

Almost Ready!

Just heard from Stephen of Green Monkey Coachworks – the builder of my 1941 Ford pickup. He just reported that “It’s almost ready” – in the debugging and breaking in period! Cannot explain how excited that I am! His work is museum world class quality and know that in the end I’m getting a bargain. I’ll post photos and reports as soon as stuff settles in.
Spent some time in the shop today. Another coat of finish on the Poplar Burl bowl, sanded a bit more on the Quilted Maple bowl, and piddled with other stuff. Our weather today is quite mild – felt so good to be out in it. I keep the big doors open all the time that I possibly can year around. But, when it’s very cold, of course they are closed.
Feeling encouraged.
Jim

‘Nuther Step

Met with my Primary Care Doc Wednesday to review my stroke on May 10. All is well! BP, labs, drugs working, no changes, no review for a few months! Can’t describe just how happy Cat and I are – great relief.
Still not working much at all in the shop – piddling and messing around. Have finished a few bowls, all domestic woods, and am finding my skills returning. It takes a real touch to turn, and not all the way back, but working on it.
Had an enormous disappointment and betrayal from who I thought was a friend a couple of days ago. Step backwards, but I’ll just disconnect and mellow.
Am not missing all the work of my business closing but do still miss so many people. Find new people? Some.
Cat and I are making arrangements for the help we’ll need in the future – we cannot count on those who we thought would jump in – they jumped the other way. Oh well, I guess. We’re embarking on a journey to get some real solid answers for Cat’s condition – the steps we’ve taken already are yielding results.
Sure do regret getting rid of the chopper and associated……. Sure do regret disposing of all the rock stuff a few years ago, too. Will just do different stuff.
Friends come and go, but sometimes one disappears that just jolts your soul. Personal.
Hope good things for all, even those who don’t deserve them.

Jim