Laid to rest

Friday was a day of traveling.  We took the hotel shuttle to the airport and got checked in and our luggage checked.  Then the wait began.  They had oversold the flight and we didn’t have seats.  But enough people gave up their seats to go on a later flight and get a $400 voucher that we were able to not only get on the plane, but all sit together!!  Robert had the window seat, I had the middle, and Ryan had the aisle.  It was a good flight.  Once in Chicago, we got our bags and then our rental car and began the drive home to Mom & Dad’s.  We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner on our way.  We got home about 12:45 in the morning and went to bed shortly thereafter.

Yesterday was Grandpa Bob’s memorial service.  When the family got to the funeral home, the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) were already there and had a flag line for us as we entered.  We got pictures of Grandpa set up and the funeral home guys were really nice and helpful.  We received visitors for a while and then the Rock American Legion post did the military ceremony.  It was really nice, and the Adjutant presented the flag to me which I in turn presented to Grandma – "On behalf of a grateful nation, I present you this flag in the memory of our hero and your loving husband, Bob."  That was really neat that I was able to do that – and I even managed to say the line without a quaver in my voice at all.  And after I gave Grandma the flag, I stood at attention and saluted her.  I did break down during the playing of Taps, though, understandably.  After the military ceremony, we had the Catholic funeral stuff.  Mom had picked out some really good hymns, and we ended with America, the Beautiful.  Then it was off to the Rock Cemetery for interment of Grandpa Bob’s cremains.  The PGR escorted us with about 16 or so motorcycles, with Ryan leading.  That was quite an honor for him, not only that he got to ride a borrowed bike with them, but that he got to lead!  The interment ceremony was very nice, and I was presented with a small urn with a few of Grandpa’s ashes.  I had asked for it since I don’t get home to visit the family plot in the cemetery very often, and this way I would be able to have a little bit of Grandpa wherever the Army sends us.  I think Robert was able to get some closure also, with dandelions.  After everything was done, Robert blew some dandelion fuzz into the grave.  Then it was off to the Lutheran church in Rock for a lunch provided by the church ladies.  Lots of good food, and more visiting with family and friends.

We were all tired by the time we got home, and I was definitely glad to get out of my Class A uniform which I had been in all day.  Dad lit the sauna and that sure felt good.  And when I went to bed, I fell asleep almost right away.

This morning we got up and ready for church, and mom had made cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  They were really good.  I wore my Class A uniform to church since it was Memorial Day Sunday.  The service was good, and it was nice having the whole family sitting together – except Mom who was playing the organ up in the balcony, and Robert who likes to sit in the balcony.  Sometimes Ryan or I will sit with him up there, but I we wanted to sit with the family today.  Robert was very well-behaved sitting all by himself.  Of course Gramma was there with him and sat with him during the sermon.  After the service and some coffee and goodies and visiting, we had a short choir rehearsal for next week.  There are 3 or 4 of us that will be singing.  

Once we got home, I got changed out of uniform and we had a nice relaxing afternoon and evening.  I stitched some.  I crocheted some and finished a baby blanket and then I stitched more.  We had kabobs for dinner and they were really good.  

Today’s high:  89
Current:  72

Home Sweet Home – for one night

Today was travel home day.  We left the hotel about 0730 and had an almost 2 hour bus ride to the airport in Kansas City.  I napped for a while.  Then we had a couple of hours in the airport before our flight left, so I got a coffee from Starbucks and sat and chatted with DW (my horn player in the BQ).  Then I went through security and found a seat and got my stitching out.  The flight from KC to Denver was fairly uneventful other than I was stuck next to a guy that was taking up more seat than he paid for.  And then when the plane’s movement would cause me to bump his arm, he’d give me dirty looks.  Hello???  You’re hanging over into MY seat.

Denver was interesting.  It looked like we were all set for on-time.  But then there was lightning.  And then there was a tornado warning.  We finally left an hour and a half late, and it turned out that a tornado actually did touch down briefly about a mile and a half from the airport.  Fun.  But once we got in the air the flight wasn’t bad.  Once back to Tucson, we got all our instruments and bags and headed back to Sierra Vista.  Ryan and Robert came and picked me up and then we went to Golden Corral for dinner.  Once home, I got my suitcase unpacked, got laundry folded from last week, got laundry started washing, and of course spent time with my little man!

I’m so proud of Robert!!!  He had his final school awards ceremony this morning, and he was one of only FOUR kids in his whole school (K-5) that had perfect attendance for the whole school year!!!!  He has learned a lot in Kindergarten, and he told me tonight that he was a First Grader now, but I told him he’s still a Kindergartner for another 1/2 day.  LOL  

K came over for a few minutes as she’s going to watch the house and take care of the cats while we’re gone.  It’s nice having such an awesome friend!!

Ft. Riley, KS

I am in a hotel in Manhattan, KS, just outside of Ft. Riley.  We got here yesterday  – drive to Tucson, fly from Tucson to Denver, fly from Denver to Kansas City, bus from Kansas City to the hotel.  It was a long day of traveling, but for the most part it was really nice.  Getting into Denver was a little bumpy due to 50 mph winds, but we made it ok.  Last evening I went to dinner with a friend from our band and a friend from the band from Ft. Knox (they were were for a ceremony Monday but had to go back today).  We had a good time and good food.  And I ate way too much.

This morning I was up and ready and once the bus got here, we headed to the parade field on Ft. Riley.  We played a Brigade Change of Command ceremony, and it was my first "real" ceremony as the Drum Major.  (I say "real" because I did the Retirement Ceremony in April, but it wasn’t a full-out with everything ceremony.)  It went really well and after our commander gave me kudos in front of the whole band and then they applauded me.  After the ceremony was done, we headed to the band hall and boy do they have a NICE band hall here at Ft. Riley.  It was made for them and everything is new.  The band’s FRG (Family Readiness Group) provided a lunch for us, so that was kind of nice.  OH – the Ft. Riley Band (1st Infantry Division – The Big Red One) is deployed, hence the reason for other bands to come in for ceremonies.  One of the Soldiers from the 1ID Band did march with us today – that was nice on both parts.  It filled our woodwind section out a little more (she’s a piccolo player) and gave her a chance to play (band members on rear detachment don’t get to do a whole lot of playing).  

Once we got back to the hotel, I did e-mail and stuff on my computer for a little bit, but then K and I (we’re roommates!!!) both took about an hour and a half nap.  I was OUT!  Usually when I take a nap, I have a little bit of awareness of what is going on, but not today.  It sure felt good – and the hotel beds and pillows are super comfy.  After we had woken up, we headed to Walmart.  We got a cab to go there, but discovered it was only 1.25 miles away, so we walked back.  Why did we need to go to Walmart??  Well, last night when I was unpacking my suitcase, I discovered that my shorts were not in there.  They were still in the dryer back at home.  Oops!!  There was no way I was going to be hot and miserable in my jeans, so I bought a pair of shorts.  K got some granola bars for breakfast tomorrow – no free breakfast at this hotel.

After we got back from Walmart, I crocheted for a while and K just relaxed.  Then we went to dinner and our friend M met us there.  He’s a fun guy and we had a great time at dinner.  We shared a dessert called a Dump Truck.  It came in a large toy dump truck and was tons  of ice cream, brownie pieces, cookie pieces, whipped cream, and pineapple & strawberries on top.  With chocolate syrup on top of everything.  It was really good!  On our way back to the hotel, we walked around the campus of Kansas State University (which is right across the street from our hotel) for a while.  What a beautiful campus, and OLD buildings.  K-State U was founded in 1863.  It has been co-ed from the start, and was only the 3rd institute of higher learning in the country to admit men and women equally.  it was a nice after-dinner walk, and much-needed after as much as we ate.

Once back in our rooms, K and I both called our respective sweeties, and I crocheted a bit more, finishing the first skein of yarn on a baby blanket.  Now I need to finish up on the computer and get to bed.

Today’s high:  81
Current:  72

Pentecost Sunday

This morning the choir sang at both services, but I didn’t quite get up in time for the 0800 service.  I guess all the early mornings this past week caught up to me.  I woke up at 0900.  Oops!!  At least I still had plenty of time to get to church for 1030 choir warm-ups for the 1100 service.  It went really well.  And we did something kind of neat during the reading of the Pentecost story (Acts 2) – we lit candles to signify the presence of the Holy Spirit.  

After church Robert picked to go to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch so that’s where we went.  Then we came home.  I got laundry going and I then I got my sewing machine out and finished the wall hanging for Robert’s teacher.  I think it turned out pretty good.  Then I got packed for my TDY tomorrow.  The guys had a good afternoon of building Legos.  After Robert was in bed, I stitched for a while.  I didn’t quite finish the project I was working on like I had hoped, but that’s ok.

Today’s high:  80
Current:  61

Learning about TBI

Today we left around 7 and headed to Tucson.  After dropping Robert off at a friend’s place for the day, Ryan and I headed to the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center for a conference on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  There was an opening session where a couple of wounded warriors told their stories.  Then there was a morning session and an afternoon session with lunch (provided) in between.  There were different "classes" to choose from, and throughout the day, Ryan and I went to 4 of them.  We each went to different ones, morning and afternoon.  We both learned a lot about Ryan’s brain and how it works after an injury, how to deal with different things, etc.  It was a very good day with excellent presenters and I’m glad we were able to go.  And it was free!  AND the Brain Injury Association of Arizona (they put the event on)  paid our travel.  Can’t beat that.  🙂  After the day was done, we headed to pick Robert up and then we went to Toys R Us.  The guys got some Legos, Robert got a new alarm clock – one that looks like a BIG lego, and I got a few things for Robert’s airplane to-do bag for when we fly home the end of the week.  Then we headed home, but took the scenic route.  That’s a nice drive.  I got a little over 3 hours of stitching done during all the driving today, and then I did some more after we got home.

Today’s high:  86
Current:  70

More Spring Clean-ups

This morning I was in charge of the formation at 0630 to finish up spring clean-ups.  We had all of our area done by 0730 and then we were released until 0900.  Even though I was already in uniform, I headed home for a little bit.  Then when we got back at 0900 formation, all the MPTs (Music Performance Teams) were formed up and ready to go, but no one in front of the formation.  I was the senior-most person out there, so I took charge of the formation.  After announcements, we headed in to get ready for rehearsal at 0930.  I did a little bit of admin work before rehearsal and then a little bit more after rehearsal.  I left at 11 to go to my annual well-woman appointment and then after that Ryan met me at the commissary for the case-lot sale.  We got lots of food to stock up the freezer and pantry – lots of good deals.  Then we headed home to put the groceries away and I changed out of uniform.  We went back to post so I could get my allergy shots, but we went to lunch at Burger King first.  It was a nice afternoon.  Once we got home, he pretty much just dropped me off before heading to the Legion to help with dinner.  I went and picked Robert up from Child Time and we just had frozen dinners for supper – of course, I warmed them up in the microwave before we ate them.  I finished a crochet project and then did a little bit of stitching, and now I’m heading to bed.

Today’s high:  87
Current:  74

The Army Physical Fitness Test

Yup, I had a PT test this morning.  I was a little nervous as I’ve not been running as much as I need to and should have done.  But all was well!  I did 46 push ups for 100% (had I gotten 100% on all events, my push ups would actually be 101%), 73 sit ups for 96%, and ran my 2 miles in 17:32 for 88%.  My total score was 284!!  I was 10 seconds off from getting a 4-day pass, but I did maintain my exemption from unit PT for another 6 months!  I’m excited about that and I’m very happy with how I did.  I just need to run a lot more and do more speed work and I can totally get a 300 (or more) some day!

After the PT test, I headed home and was home just in time to walk with Robert to school.  I said good bye at the gate and Ryan stayed until the bell rang.  I came home and got ready for the rest of the day and then headed back in.  After formation, I spent the morning at my desk and I now have plane tickets, a hotel in Phoenix for the night before our flight out and a hotel in Chicago for the night before we fly back, and a rental car for our time at home.  At lunch, I went and met Ryan at a Chinese buffet we like to eat at and that was nice getting to see him in the middle of the day.  After lunch we were supposed to have a rehearsal, but the commander was sick (we’ve got something going around the band) and we just put out information about various things and then we were pretty much done for the day.  But I did stick around for a while and got some actual admin work done and then about 1530, I headed to the pool and swam about 700 yards.  It felt great to be back in the pool, and soon I’ll be back up to around 2000 yards a workout.  I stopped and picked Robert up on my way home and we got home just in time to get stuff from the Schwan guy.  Yay!!  I had forgotten it was Schwan day today.  Ryan had a 40 & 8 meeting tonight, so he left and Robert and I had sandwiches for dinner.  After he was in bed, I crocheted for a while and watched Tivo.

Today’s high:  87
Current:  74

Another long-ish day

This morning was a normal morning – the only one for the week.  Although I did get chili going in the crock pot before work.  After formation, I headed back to ACS with my paperwork AND the Red Cross message number.  It took about 45 minutes, but I got the interest free loan that I needed so I can get plane tickets home to MI.  Then it was back to the band hall to do admin work for the rest of the morning.  At lunch, I actually stitched for a change.  Then after lunch I walked to my higher-ups for some paperwork delivery and pick up.  Then we had drill band for a little over an hour.  The band is really starting to look and sound good, and I’m getting more and more comfortable as the Drum Major.  Then after drill band, I walked to Garrison HQ to pick up unit mail.  And I actually left work at a sort of decent time today.  At least it wasn’t 1700 like it was yesterday.  I picked Robert up on my way home and then we had a relaxing time.  The guys went to McDonald’s on the bike for dinner and I went to choir practice, taking the pot of chili with me.  We rehearsed for a little while (2 songs for Sunday) and then we had a pot luck to celebrate the end of the choir year.  Tonight was our last rehearsal until fall.  There was LOTS of good food and everyone loved my chili.  Several of the guys went back for 2nds or 3rds on the chili!!  I was careful not to eat too much since I have a PT test and weigh in in the morning.  Once I got home, I crocheted for a little bit, and now I’m heading to bed.

Today’s high:  82
Current:  68

Crazy Day

This morning I was in at 0630 for Spring Clean-ups.  BQ was part of the team cleaning from Burger King to our old building and our old parking lot.  LOTS of cigarette butts.  YUCK!  We were done at 0730 and then home to get changed into duty uniform (we were in PTs for clean-ups).  Ryan walked Robert to school.  After getting changed and eating breakfast and doing my morning computer stuff, I headed back to work for 0900 formation.  After formation, we had ceremony music rehearsal for most of the morning.  Then after rehearsal I headed to Army Community Services to get the paperwork to get a loan to be able to fly home next week.  Then it was back to my office for lunch and flight research and got the paperwork filled out.  After lunch we had drill band for a little over an hour.  It was tiring, but good practice for our long ceremonies coming up.  Then it was back to ACS to bring the paperwork back, but of course I was missing something so I couldn’t get the loan yet so I can’t get my plane tickets yet.  Grr.  Oh well, I should have the missing item tomorrow and then I’ll go back once more.  Then it was back to my office and I finally got some admin work done.  I was at work until a little after 5, and then I stopped at the commissary and shoppette on my way home.  I finally got home shortly before 6 and decided to let Papa John cook dinner tonight.  I was done – no energy left to do much of anything, but I did get a little bit of crocheting done after Robert was in bed.

Today’s high:  80
Current:  67

Rest in Peace Grandpa Bob – We Love You

This morning after I walked Robert to school, I did my computer stuff and ate breakfast.  We had a comp day today, so no work!  Once Ryan was up and had done his morning computer stuff, we headed out to post on the bike.  I got my allergy shot and then we went to Clothing Sales for a few things.  Then it was back home again for a bit before we headed to Benson, 1/2 hour from here, to go to A&W for lunch.  It was a beautiful day for riding and, as always, I enjoyed riding with my Sweetie!  Lunch was good and then we headed back home to get the backpack.  We went to the quilt shop here in town and I found some really cute fabric to make a wall hanging with the thing I cross stitched for Robert’s teacher.  Then we went to Ryan’s college bookstore so he could get his books for his summer classes (Spanish 1 the first 5 weeks, Archaeology on Saturdays for 8 weeks, and Pottery for the second 5 weeks).  And then it was a stop at the grocery store for taco cheese for the tacos that I didn’t make for dinner tonight.  After a while at home (oh, and I did laundry today, too), we went and got Robert from Child Time, went and picked up my bike from the bike shop (new tires and handlebar grip tape), got a car wash – or would it be a van wash? – and then to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.

And we got the phone call this afternoon.  My grandfather – Grandpa Bob – has passed away.  I am very sad, but I also know that he is in a better place now and not suffering anymore.  Grandpa Bob, you are loved by many and will be missed by all.  I know you are in Heaven now, looking down on us.  Robert took the news a lot better than we expected, although I don’t know if it’s fully sunk in or not.  We had family cuddle time on Ryan’s lap and Ryan told him.  He cried for a few minutes but then went about his business of being a very active 5-year-old. Mom,  Dad, Carol, and Grandma – we are sending you big hugs from Arizona until we get there in person.

Today’s high:  84
Current:  70