Category Archives: the long goodbye

Wednesday morning

The geese are back in numbers. My pillow is maybe 75 feet from the shore of Clemson Pond.

So I drift  off at night with honking and awake to the same. The geese communicate all night long.

One more month here.

I will miss the geese and frogs, and the constant burbling sounds of Clemson Pond. It is a sewage detention pond and it releases gas that forms bubbles on the surface algae mat. These pop and the  sound is audible, from my living room. Last evening we took a stroll. The Clemson Pond half mile and over to the Swasey.

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The Squamscott River smelled like cod liver oil.

Jon Ring who I spoke with on the walk agreed.

I have the taste and odor of cod liver oil in my brain, it was seared there long ago.

Jon said that he had been by the head of tide pool at dead low tide and had noticed a sheen on the exposed rocks.

The odor dissipated once one was past the Swasey Pavilion.

There is practically no water at all coming over the Great? Dam.

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2015-09-22 17.58.28 The river walk could be so unique.

Last evening the sunset was pretty good!

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2015-09-22 18.49.48Mike

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Bailey

“When we have the deepest affection for a dog, we do not possess that love but are possessed by it, and sometimes it takes us by surprise, and overwhelms us”

Dean Koontz  “A Big Little Life”

Linda and I had to take Bailey in last evening for his final rest and it was most difficult to let him go. It was our first time having to do this and it will not be repeated as Bailey was enough dog for a lifetime.

That is what you must do though as a responsible  pet owner, you take the pain so they do not suffer.

He had begun to fail since we moved from Locust Ave and his dignity in the end was paramount to us.

All the family albums are packed away from our move so I have no photos to share  of the camping trips when he was  a pup, nor photos of Bryce and Jeff loving him up. I have a photo of him and his Mom too buried someplace when we picked him up from our breeder Irene Selden. This post is for everyone that got a chance to meet Bailey and also  so we can visit it from time to time, though all the images  and feelings are stored  forever in our hearts.

Bailey did maintain that  game exuberance,  “let’s go for walk ” right up until a few weeks ago. Anyone that met him about Town was amazed at his age.

He was a good boy.

2008 Bailey

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bailey turkey

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Bailey 18

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bailey boating

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bailey10He would agree to this sort  of fun for one holiday photo, only one.

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bailey and me

 Thanks  so much to the staff at Exeter Veterinary in Stratham for last night and to Bittersweet Kennel in Newfields for all the care they rendered  over the years.

Mike

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another day done

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Mike

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just another squamscott sunset

Two for Tuesday

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Mike

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April 14, 2015 · 7:35 pm

Newburyport Massachusetts

 

Mike

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another bookmark

 

I was last year looking into the state of veterans today since they do not any longer represent a full cross section of society since the draft was abolished.  You still have to register though just in case it is ever revived.

My Dad never spoke about the  World War except to say one time that he saw some ” terrible things”. That was it  from Dad. I had read another essay that I could not locate today that if indeed they had spilled then perhaps  we might not have such a taste for war anymore. This essay below details that in fact Stateside folks were quite worried about the returning vet.

This author teaches  at Chapman College in California  and I used to get mail from them constantly. I attended Indiana University in Bloomington IN but had employed a clearing house for my application  process to multiple schools. Somehow I got on a list as a attending student. Once my Dad called me to tell me that a Chapman alum was visiting Chicago and called the house looking for me. My Father always got a chuckle from this constant erroneous  contact.

Mike

Robert Slayton  Professor of history, Chapman University

A Very Human Generation
Posted: 11/11/2013 8:31 pm EST Updated: 01/23/2014 6:58 pm EST

Huffington Post

Countless sources have portrayed the World War II generation of vets as tough cookies, who transitioned to civilian life with ease. Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation describes heroes nobly fighting a war, with nothing on the psychological cost, nothing on its aftermath. In fact, such simple depictions do these men and women a terrible injustice, by failing to explore their other great struggle, what they went through after they came home.

Many vets were seriously affected. A 1951 report for the Department of Defense on “Personnel Separated For…Non-Adaptability or Psychoneurosis” found that it wasn’t the rare weakling who succumbed. Between 1941 and 1945 the military granted 445,200 medical discharges for “Mental Disease” of which 380,000 were for “Psychoses” and “Psychoneuroses”. In his acclaimed memoir of Marines in the Pacific, With the Old Breed, Eugene Sledge wrote that on Okinawa his compatriots–one of the most elite fighting forces in the war–suffered 7,600 killed, 31,800 wounded, and 26,200 neuropsychiatric casualties.

Such figures are cold, but do not describe what this generation went through. In Omaha, a vet, sitting at a table with his fiancé and her parents at a Sunday dinner, heard a plane fly overhead, dove under the table, curled into a fetal position and locked his eyes shut, and eventually sought help in a VA hospital.

Trauma could affect anyone, even the bravest of the brave. The most decorated U.S. soldier in World War II was Audie Murphy, winner of a host of awards from the Medal of Honor on down. Over and over, Murphy demonstrated inhuman courage in the face of deadly enemy fire.

But when he came home Murphy had difficulty sleeping, and suffered intense nightmares. Once, while still asleep, he pounded a wall till his fists bled. Often he would bolt upright in bed, yank the pistol he kept under the pillow, and shoot clocks. Or mirrors. Or light switches.

Dean Winters was a Marine Raider, an advanced unit within the already elite Corps. Winters lost both legs in the war, and experienced two flashbacks. One came in San Diego, when he spotted a Japanese-flagged ship in the harbor; “I went crazy and wanted to sink it.” Another time in Vegas, he was watching a display of two pirate ships fighting, with theatrical explosions and water geysers. Turning around in his wheelchair, he faced a group of Japanese tourists. “It brought the whole war back to 1945. I saw helmets on them, rifles, everything. I tried to run them over. My wife and the people I was with wouldn’t let me out of the hotel room.”

Recognizing the effects of combat on WW II veterans is only new to our generation. Late in the war, Ernie Pyle warned his readers that “thousands of our men will soon be returning home to you….They have been gone a long time and they have seen and done things you cannot know….They have changed. They will have to learn how to adjust themselves to peace.”

An important guide teaching civilians what they would face was The Veteran Comes Back, a 1944 volume by Willard Waller, a Columbia University social work professor. The treatise declared, “The veteran is a social problem, and certainly the major social problem of the next few years.”

It gets worse: “That hand that does know how to earn its owner’s bread knows how to take your bread, know very well how to kill you, if need be, in the process. That eye that has looked at death will not quail at the sight of a policeman.”

Waller’s conclusion was emphatic, “Unless and until he can be renauralized into his native land, the veteran is a threat to society.” This was what Americans came to expect from their returning soldiers as the war wound down. The readjustment period would be fierce on both sides, not the neutral, pacific experience depicted today.

Returning servicemen did, in time adjust, as did their spouses, their families, their country. But it was not easy. The Americans that weathered World War II -both military and civilian–belonged to a most human generation. Because they were not simple, two dimensional characters, they had to confront the damage a human mind is so vulnerable to, especially when faced with a monstrosity like war. To detail their struggle is not to demean or disparage. Quite the opposite. Those experiencing life, 1941 to 1945, those real human beings, were hurt mentally as well as physically, and had to learn to recover. By including this part of their story, it becomes not only more complete but more elevated, and they can be seen as even greater heroes than we previously understood.

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thursday afternoon

I took myself a blue canoe
And I floated like a leaf
Dazzling, dancing
Half enchanted
In my Merlin sleep
Crazy was the feeling
Restless were my eyes
Insane they took the paddles
My arms they paralyzed
So where to now St. Peter
If it’s true I’m in your hands
I may not be a Christian
But I’ve done all one man can
I understand I’m on the road
Where all that was is gone
So where to now St. Peter
Show me which road I’m on
Which road I’m on
It took a sweet young foreign gun
This lazy life is short
Something for nothing always ending
With a bad report
Dirty was the daybreak
Sudden was the change
In such a silent place as this
Beyond the rifle range
I took myself a blue canoe
John/Taupin

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melting snow

I just moved a ton of snow off my roof and now it is on the ground to be moved again. I finally have broken down and pulled the trigger on a generator for my sump pump.  I simply cannot afford to be facing Spring on a wing and a prayer. This  melt easily could  be accompanied by a power outage at some point.

Honda EU2000i Generator

I went with the Honda EU2000i  and got a great deal on the web.

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Mike

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sunday morning

IMG_8293Icy blast from the past.

1/31/2011

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After the storm

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Mike

 

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