Thankful Thursday

So we did this thing. And the Nebraska Secretary of State accepted it. And my attorney is applying in the places so the IRS knows where I live, etc. I’m proud to announce I am now an official LLC.

I chose this name to honor my dad, Thomas M Jewell, Jr. He was a pressman/printer by trade, and worked for the Omaha World Herald for 37 years. He retired and died when I was 37 years old. I think he’d be pretty modest about this whole thing, but he and Mom instilled a love of books in me and my three brothers. We also had in-depth knowledge of ink, paper quality, and various newspaper techniques used through the years. Thanks, Dad! For everything!

As I’m still plotting my goals, tasks, and projects for this year, the LLC news came at just a perfect time. It’s a great motivator! The mountain of paperwork I needed to sort for our 2020 taxes is culled and tamed, so I’m ready to head into the home stretch of all that. It’s kind of toss up for figuring the new standard deduction vs. itemizing; I still itemize to see what exactly we have. Although 2020 had Quarantine; COVID-19; not getting to meet our new grandson yet; we are lucky we had few medical bills last year. For a couple 70 and 68 years old, that’s a huge win. We are thankful.

Dreams absolutely, positively, come true! Now the fun starts. The hard work. I’m ready for it. Although we’ve never done this before, I hear there’s no reason to stop. Just do it, it’ll be fun, they say. Beginning this company was a lot of the reason I dropped my formerly married name (finally); I felt it kept a connection to the family I still love. We’re in touch. They understand I still love them, and especially my kids. So it was time for a new identity. A new life. Instead of “here goes nothing,” we are saying, “here comes SOMETHING!” Thanks for being along with me on this journey. The best is yet to come.

Thanks, guys, for encouraging people to follow their dreams!

I’ll be finishing up our taxes the rest of the day. And tomorrow is an early eye doctor appointment. I won’t be able to see much after that. We’ll think of something to do. Writing and reading will probably be difficult. And I’m quietly celebrating and thanking my friends Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber, who unknowingly encouraged me to chase my dream. It’s meant a lot. Thanks for sharing my news. It’s going to be a blast! See you tomorrow (but it’ll be fuzzy!).

Wednesday ‘s Hot Stuff!

It’s a warm 9 degrees at the Home Office in Gretna, NE this morning. This is weather for comfort food, but it’s also time you can see live music tonight at the Ozone Lounge, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. My friend Jimmy Weber will perform, along with a list of friends set to join him for a tune or two. His new album, “Black and Blue Heart,” has been out for a couple weeks. I review it here, and I’ve listened to it a lot. Go for a night out. You’ll be glad you did. I hope we get there, depends on how soon the Babe finishes up at the VFW. Jimmy, hope to see you later! (It will be on Facebook Live, if you can’t make it).

And by the weekend, it’ll be even warmer. Check out Rave On Productions. They are presenting “Hedwick and the Angry Inch.” It is an underground rock musical – one of the most popular of all time. The music is something to hear the McGuigan clan deal with in their usual fine fashion. Can’t wait to go see it! The Waiting Room in Benson! We’re going Saturday night, when it’s supposed to be near 32 degrees! How’s that for a perfect night? Get your tickets for this ten performance offering. Check out all his other fun stuff, too; the McGuigan Arts Academy, music lessons, and all the happenings at Countryside Village.

Folks, you’ll feel better getting out and doing something normal for a change. Socially distanced is still required, with masks in Omaha. Small sacrifice for getting out after being snow/cold-bound. See you out at both events, I hope!

I need to get back to sorting the rest of our tax information. And set up the easier system for THIS year. I guess when filing stuff was my job; I kept up with it. I have the nasty habit of tossing everything into a computer paper box and sorting through it. I’m better than that. This is the year I do something about it. Promise to myself, and you are my witnesses!

Yesterday, I played hooky. I got a haircut. Then went to the Post. The progress on their remodeling project is awesome! The Babe is managing the project. He is such an excellent leader. Seriously, if you want anything done, Dan will do it, he’s the man. So proud of him. We had a fun day, really. Today, it’s back to reality.

What will help with the wintertime blues, the COVID blues, the frigid weather blues, and general cabin fever? Going to do something for enjoyment. I felt great going somewhere alone yesterday. Usually the Babe or Mom is along. I should do that more often. Here’s to hoping you have some alone time. I plan to hope you do, too. Thank you for reading and see you tomorrow!

Another Fab Friday

Well, it finally happened, thanks to Jimmy Weber. I’ve finally joined the world of streaming music. His wonderful new album is available wherever you stream music. I’ve never streamed. I’ve clung to the CD format since – well, a long time. So here I am, finally, in this century as far as my music goes. Thanks, Jimmy! It doesn’t seem to work very well playing music on my Chromebook while blogging. I’ll have to try it later when I’m using the laptop. It’s got more “power,” as they used to say on “Home Improvement.”

On the COVID front, Douglas County Health Department in Omaha, Nebraska opened their website this morning at 9 a.m. to make appointments for the elderly. I registered Mom for next week. It should be a good experience. They have accommodations such as wheelchairs for those who need it. I got one for Mom. She’s always insisted on walking herself, but the time has come for sensibility. Saving her energy is key right now.

I’m closing in on the end of the month, and with that, I’ve decided February 1, 2021, I need to get back to work on my novel, “The Saving of Katie Fitzgibbons.” It’s time I got busy again. You’ll be the first to know how it’s going!

The Wal-mart pick up line was pretty long this morning. I waited a bit, but it still beat going through the store and all the people who appeared to be there. What a godsend it is! I have yet to convince Mom of that, but it’s ok. Someday we’ll probably shop for her. Getting out of the house is what she needs now. She’s ready to warmer weather so she can walk on her patio daily. It’s to slippery right now. Bless her heart.

Call your elderly friends and family. They are needing a bright spot in their days right now. If they have limitations in movement or with vision and hearing, the days are twice as long for them. We’ll all get there some day, some of us sooner than others. Be kind now, and someone will return your favor later on.

Thank you for reading today. Don’t forget about my friends Jimmy Weber and Billy McGuigan. They both have some great new music written during the COVID quarantine. It’s bound to help you feel better. Music does that. It heals the souls. See you again tomorrow!

Black and Blue Heart

This is dedicated to my friend, Jimmy Weber, who just released a new album. You need to read this review, which describes each and every song in detail. Jimmy deserves all of this praise and more. I was never a fan of country music (I listened here and there, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Martina McBride), until the Babe and I went to see him perform on his own. We loved him when he played with Billy McGuigan. No one can play the guitar like he can. Hands down, the best player there is. We’re lucky he settled locally, so we can hear him live several times a year (pre-pandemic).

After I downloaded the album, I sat at my desk and listened. I just listened to the music and the words. As a songwriter, Jimmy weaves tales with his lyrics, and they are all heartfelt stories, very raw with human emotion. He and his friend, Jason “Jake” Mayer, crafted these lyrical stories during the pandemic, and collaborated well during many Facebook Live events last fall. They were fun to participate in, and he introduced many of these new songs live. I love to listen to the stories and let the words and music touch my soul. Good music does that. This is beyond good; it’s superior.

Jimmy and Jake shared a lot of their hearts in these songs. As a person who was alone in this hard, cruel world for too many hard years, I recalled many, many personal hurts while listening to their words. I shared the emotion. You will, too. Your heart has to be in the right place to feel it. As a woman with a strong-silent type husband in the Babe, they described what men often can’t say out loud. The loneliness, the bone-crushing, soul stabbing pain of an often-broken heart. I’ve lived it, and I remember it all too well.

That said, it’s not a downer at all. It offers hope, the thoughts and belief in faithful love every human longs for. And it’s made beautiful. There is also a funny tune, “The Lord’s Got My Soul,” with the great Ray Scott. It’s a song to brighten any dark day. The music business has to be hard on relationships, and there are stories about that, too. Don’t give up, guys. You’re both good men with good hearts. Your dreams will come true about your careers and private lives, too. You South Dakota men all have the best hearts. (The Babe is from there, too).

Get Jimmy’s music – you’ll appreciate it. It may even lead to me asking the Babe to slow dance with me in the living room by the fireplace tonight. Wonder what he’ll say? See you all tomorrow!

Summation Saturday

I’m enjoying music by Ray Scott this morning. The Babe and I saw him briefly about a year ago with our friend Jimmy Weber at a local hole in the wall, Buck’s. It was a fun night, but the Babe was dealing with a wound vac and wasn’t feeling well enough to stay for the entire show. What we heard, we liked. We bought up all the CD’s I could find online. He’s very good. The songs are making me think, which helps me create. Thanks, Ray!

It’s been quite a week. I’ve experienced some weird memories and dreams, when I figure out what they meant, I’ll let you know. Messages come in your dreams, and if you keep your eyes open, you can see them all around you. Mentally, I’m getting more in the Christmas spirit than before. Not sure why, but these holidays can be very tough for some of us. I’ll leave it at that for now. Remember that with your friends and family. Help them get through these days. It’s not all silver bells and tinsel. And now, we get to add in the Covid-19 which just adds to funk and fog. Be gentle with yourself and others.

My Writing Space. I love the laptop stand.

Yesterday, I mentioned this stand I purchased from a small company through Amazon. It’s the best investment I’ve ever made. With the stand all the way down, it raises the Chromebook up about three inches. I am not putting stress on my neck by looking down while writing. I can write longer! It’s a Christmas miracle! Get one for anyone in your life who needs some ergonomics in their life. The company is Lifelong.

Today, I’m going to sift through all the papers and printed things I’ve accumulated during this writing journey we’re on. It’s a good time to keep what I have found useful and toss everything that isn’t helpful. Later, I’m going to mark a quilt for quilting and tomorrow, going to hem a dress for a beautiful young lady. Time will fly by, as always.

Go for a walk today, or just get a little fresh air. From my studio window, I can see a couple houses putting up Christmas lights on their homes. It’s always fun to see them lit at night. If there are sound effects with them the dogs get a little nervous. They’re such cowards when it really gets down to it. They make me laugh out loud!

The last but best happening this week; When I talked about what I learned about writing from Carol Gino, Mario Puzo’s twenty-year companion and fellow writer, she took the time and e-mailed me. I am over the moon! We’ll talk more about that all later. I’m just going to enjoy the orbit I’m in. Thanks for reading, I’m headed out to the deck for a little fresh air. Be Kind. Be Careful. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. Slow down. You’ll get there. Just get there. See you tomorrow!

Magical Monday, 9/28/2020

It’s a chilly, sunny day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Fifty-two degrees! Brrr. But it was great to open the windows again for some fresh air. As we enjoy these beautiful fall days, I can’t help but think of two fall seasons years ago when I was pregnant, and hoping I wouldn’t give birth on Halloween. Both of my sons were due around then. Luckily, neither was. The last Halloween before Nick was born was brutal.

Nick was born on November 7, one week after Halloween. It was bowling night, so I took Frankie trick or treating. He was four. We lived in an old neighborhood, the kind with half of the houses on a hill, with stairs from the street up to the yards, and more stairs up to the porch. We knew all the people in the neighborhood, so we went up, trick or treat, then back down. There were fences separating the yards from each other, so you had no choice but to go up and down all of those stairs. I remember praying, “Please don’t let this put me into labor, God, Please?” Silly as it sounds now, I was concerned about it. The little guy showed up a week later.

Four years prior to that, Frankie arrived early. So was Nick for that matter, and of course, the third baby, Rebecca, was late. How does that happen? It was a very hard pregnancy, with a niece dying of spinal meningitis, Frankie had a drowning accident (and survived with no ill effects, thank God), and the baby laid on my sciatic nerve constantly near the end. First time I ever took a nap in the afternoon, to try and alleviate the pain.

But you forget all that once that baby is in your arms. She was wonderful. So sweet. I loved taking care of all of them. You miss babies once they’re not near you anymore. Gavin and Addison were frequent visitors, and so was Joell. He was a toddler but fun nonetheless. Now Kayla and Cody are our in Colorado and they may as well be in Europe, as we can’t visit until their Mama feels it’s safe as far as the CORONAVIRUS goes. I can’t stand it!

So instead, I have photos directly above the TV in the living room. I look at them a lot and talk to them in my mind. They will know me when I see Kayla again and meet Cody. There is always hope. If we lose hope, we lose everything.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Today? I’ve spent a bunch of time with several places where I’ve received emails saying I’ve reset my password. What a bunch of clowns. Don’t people have anything better to do? I guess not. There will always be a criminal element in whatever we do, you know? I love technology and am grateful I don’t fall for scams. I feel sorry for folks who do. Even the old grandkid calling grandma from jail scam. It happens so much. And once people are old, PLEASE, leave them the heck alone! They don’t deserve that!

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

The rest of today? Hope to knock the dirt off some succulents I need to bring inside. Some of them are really looking great. I need to keep them alive during the winter. They should do well, as long as they’re not overwatered. Or underwatered. Or get too much sun. Or too little sun. If you’ve ever tried to troubleshoot a sick looking plant, you know what I mean. It needs to be awhile before we cut things down for the winter. But then, it always catches us by surprise. How about you?

I have more scenes to write scenes as prep for working more on my book. Katie’s story is taking shape, and I hope I’m on the right track. I’ll know in about ten days, when I have a new session with Sam, my book coach. It’s been great working with her. She is helping me focus and concentrate on what I’m trying to get onto paper. A lot of what people write is junk. Filler words. Words that aren’t necessary to the story. Their story gets lost. I’m working to avoid that. Wish me luck, skill, light a candle, say a prayer.

There will be more work on the VFW Post 2503’s website today. I successfully added their October Newsletter last night. Thought I should quit while I was ahead! One day, I hope a year from now, I will have a Newsletter. Won’t that be fun? I look forward to all of it. You’ll be with me all the way, I hope.

How Sad! This is what I get searching for a photo of a NEWSLETTER.

I am starting to tally what I’ve spent on writing this year. Of course, I don’t have any income yet from writing, so it’s all written off now, but I will find it interesting. Having a website, memberships, online training, book coaching, books to learn from, and the Nebraska Writers Guild FALL Conference 2020 cancelled but paid for (since the spring one was, too) should have a hefty price. I’m guessing less than $3K. Nothing wrong with investing in yourself. Your dream.

One of the reasons I love to hear my local musician friends is there is a common theme aside from gratitude in their talking with their audiences. Billy McGuigan, and Jimmy Weber are two of the best and nicest entertainers you could ever meet. The common theme is following your dreams. I have heard them both say those words from the stage, and one time, I thought, “Why not?” There was no reason not to. Their (unknown) encouragement has propelled me thus far. So guys, thank you. I still love to see you both perform, and we need to again. Soon. Very soon. My world gets set right by music.

Hope you all have a beautiful day. Listen to music, it cures everything. Thanks for reading, stay tuned for tomorrow, we’ll have another adventure. Or Katie will. Stay safe, be courteous and kind, and live your dream. It’s possible. Even probable. Get started today.

South Dakota Sky

It is a spectacular Sunday morning out there friends! The dogs slept in (until about 6:30 a.m.), so the Babe and I got to sleep in, too. Great way to start a Sunday. When I got coffee and went out on the deck, woo hoo, it was a bit chilly! But not enough to get a jacket, robe, or blanket.

And this all has to do with the photo in the header this morning. I looked up to the sky above us, and told the Babe, “This is a South Dakota Sky today!” He agreed and we drank coffee. You see, he is from South Dakota, and the only vacation I got to go on as a kid was to South Dakota. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis wanted to take either my brother or me along to have another kid to keep their son company. Rod was (and still is) five years younger than me. We had so much fun. My aunt and uncle were gracious hosts, and made sure we had a good time.

The absolute most beautiful sight I ever saw and remember to this day was Mount Rushmore in the morning. The sky was this exact color. South Dakota Sky Blue. It wasn’t humid, which dilutes the deep, intense color, and the sun shone exactly correctly. I’ve been disappointed in later years to view the monument in the afternoon, and the sky isn’t as pretty. Usually it’s cloudy, and just not the same.

I love South Dakota almost as much as Nebraska, I’m a city girl, from a very blue collar family, and I had all brothers, which makes you have a unique view of the world, for a girl. On Dad’s side of the family, I only have one girl cousin, in fact. Outnumbered, to say the least. We’d shoot marbles in the dirt, do a demo derby car crash up in the backyard, and lots of other fun stuff. Much like a country girl might. But Mom stopped letting me play with the neighbor kids at about nine or ten. I had to behave like a “lady” by then.

I remember in the 1980s, when I was first divorced, there was a calendar called “Dakota Men.” It had hunky ranchers and farmers from North and South Dakota, pictured going about their daily tasks. Tame, compared to the things produced today, it enchanted me. They were all so handsome! I always wanted “to meet me one of them! “

Fast forward to the late 1990s. I did meet one. And there went my heart. The Babe was so worth waiting for. His eyes remind me of those South Dakota Skies. Every day. I’m so lucky. And so is he. We’re perfect for each other. Yes, there is occasional strife. The advantage to falling in love later in life, is you learn which battles to pick. You learn most of what people argue about is unimportant. You both check your egos at the door, if you know what I mean. You’re still an individual, but you’re also a team member.

I know marriage is completely different without raising children. Aside from the obvious, children are one of the things people disagree about. How many, if any, to have. How far apart. Is there such a thing anymore as a primary caregiver? My children’s father rarely, if ever, changed a diaper at all. It was the end of that era when I was married before. The Babe and his brother grew up babysitting for his younger sisters while their Mom worked as a waitress. He still loves babies, and isn’t above changing diapers.

Anyway, in the spirit of this whole South Dakota Theme today, I want to share a video and song with you today, written and performed by another Dakota man, and featuring yet another one! Yes, they’re both hunky, talented, and make beautiful music. Jason “Jake” Mayer wrote this song as a tribute to his family, and it’s beautiful. Jimmy Weber joins him, and he is always a treat. The song, “The Plains of South Dakota (featuring Jimmy Weber)” is one I know will go far.

It’s so cool to know people this talented. I get a whole blog and book(s) to tell my stories; these guys have a much shorter time to do so. And then putting it to music. I’m amazed at how they do this. Keep an eye on Jake Mayer. He’s going to do great things.

Jimmy Weber does, and will keep growing and going. He is a member of the South Dakota Music Hall of Fame, a well deserved honor. Like most of his fans, I’m waiting for his new music to be released. I hear from a reliable source there is one coming. Thanks, Handsome Jake!

Folks, I have a lot of writing to do today. I’m sending my first chapter and other homework to my Book Coach today, and we’ll have a conference about it on Thursday. I cannot believe it’s due already. I may have spent too much time gawking at the sky this morning, but trust me. It was well worth it!

Have a beautiful Sunday. Be Thankful. Be Kind. Be Courteous. I’m so grateful for all of you, reading daily as you do. We’ll meet again tomorrow, my friends. I look forward to it. Be Safe!

Great Advice

Thursday’s Child

There was an old nursery rhyme called “Monday’s Child.” It was a little ditty supposedly for children to help them learn the days of the week. I was born on a Thursday. Ascension Thursday, no less. “Thursday’s child has far to go,” was meant for me. From what I’ve read, I can take this one of two ways: First, I will have a long life. I’m hoping for that. Women have good longevity in my family. Both Grandmothers lived long. Mom is 91. Second, it could mean I have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Have you known me long? There were mountains and hills worth of obstacles. Faith and Hope have gotten me through. Sure there are more to come, too. Just realistic, not negative. God has been so very good to me. I’m forever grateful.

Either way, whatever that phrase means, I am here and so happy to be. Life gets better and better. Heck, this morning, I felt great and started a crock pot dinner an hour ago that will be ready at about 6 p.m. or so. Planning ahead. Chicken and noodles. Thanks, Peggy Fischman! My grade school, neighbor, and quilting buddy. Always has a new recipe or two.

The header photo today is my music of the day. I posted it on my personal FB account, asking what was missing? More Jimmy Weber CD’s. I hope there is one despite this pandemic. Jimmy’s a very creative guy, if anyone can produce it, he can. (No pressure, my friend!). Dayna Jones’ CD is great. You can order it from her, and she has a really cute shirt, too. I ordered a long sleeved one and know it’ll rotate into the fall wardrobe a lot. Go Dayna!

I’ve said before, music gets me through a lot of hard times. As a single mom, I was glad to have the drive time from downtown to the 90th & Dodge area near home to just decompress from the day, and relax. It was then much easier to get home to my three kids and spend the evening with them when I wasn’t in school or working my second job. Music is always there, even if no one else is. Now, the Babe and music are always there. Grateful and blessed.

I Love Eleanor Roosevelt. Such an unsung hero.

Still working on character definition for my book, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbon’s. Katie has seven, count them seven brothers. They are characters, believe me. It’s fun to make this stuff up. I can do that since I’m doing an actual fiction novel. A couple weeks ago, I was considering creative nonfiction. My book coach, Sam Tyler, mentioned I could be sued. That would certainly be an unfortunate end, wouldn’t it? Since I have no interest in that happening, I have ventured back to fiction. The common disclaimer you see after every movie and at the beginning of every book should cover me. I don’t look good in horizontal stripes, you know? On a writer’s merch website, I saw a shirt that read:

If people don’t like what you write about them, they should have treated you better.

It’s certainly to the point now, isn’t it? I did buy the one that reads:

Careful! Or you’ll end up in my novel!

Another thing I’m learning about with this venture is “Character Agency.” It’s something vital to the story. Plot is driven by the decisions the protagonist (main character) makes. The writer needs to make clear why the character makes a decision they do. An inciting incident voids any possibility of a character continuing to live a normal life. Will they fight or flee?

Writer Topher Kearby sells his creations at http://www.topherkearby.com

I admire Topher’s work, and am Facebook friends with him. His typed words are beautiful. There is also art that go with some of the musings. Check him out.

As I go to do some more domestic chores this early afternoon, I want to thank you for reading today. I hope you have a great day today. I’ll be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Stay Safe, Wash Up, Mask Up, Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, and Be Courteous. It’ll help us all. Thank you!

Magical Monday

The Babe couldn’t pick Gavin up today, so I got to. I had big plans. I love the Sun Valley Nursery in Gretna. Since Goldie ate most of my re-planted geraniums from previous visits to Sun Valley, I decided to treat myself and take Gavin so he could see it. It’s overwhelming how many different varieties of geraniums they have cultivated.

We pulled into their parking lot at 10 a.m. on the dot. No one was around. I called their number, and they said they were overwhelmed this year and sold their entire stock of geraniums out. I’m happy for them but sad for me! What an awesome year they had. The only other business they do is at the Christmas season. They grow their own versions of Poinsettias. I just may go browse this winter, but with dogs in the house, I probably won’t buy one. They’re poisonous to dogs. I just can’t trust them to not munch. That’s ok, though.

Thanks to John Cleveland, who wished me this yesterday.

We had a quiet day yesterday. Father’s Day is still a tough holiday for me. Dad’s been gone a long time, but I still feel the void in my life created when he was no longer here. I wonder if anyone might miss me that much someday. And that’s it, we all think we have until “someday.” Some do, many do not. Too often, we have friends or family become ill, and we lose them, despite great medical treatment, prayers, meals, fund raisers, and car pools. It’s so difficult when it’s a child. We all would trade places with a child in those circumstances.

When it is unexpected, the grief hits you where you live. And it moves in on you. You didn’t get to say goodbye. You had one more fishing trip planned. You forgot to ask her for the recipe she made so well. You had no time to prepare. A heart attack, an aneurysm, a stroke, and they can be maimed for life or lose their life altogether. And the grief is deep, and ugly, and hard. We don’t want to deal with this, of all things. It is too hard. It’s too long. It’s not getting better. How do people do it? We do because we have no choice in the matter. None.

What can we do? Pray. Pray for them, their family, their kids, and their parents. Pray for yourself, too. You will get through it. You don’t want to. But you will. And your life will be significantly different than it was. You get to go back in your memories and laugh with them again. Take the part of them you loved and incorporate some of it into your life. Help people. Deliver meals on wheels. Volunteer at the soup kitchen. Help someone else. In doing that, you help yourself. Over time, it does get better.

During the worst year of my life, I was a single mom, 37, with three kids. I lost: my best friend in March, my Grandma in May, my ex-father in law in September, my father in December. I was numb by the time summer came around, and I broke up with someone I’d dated a long time. He was trying to hurry me up in grieving for my friend. You can’t put a limit of two weeks on it. It’s impossible. My kids lost both grandpas in 6 months. It was a blow to all of us. I never thought it would be better. It took such a long time. But I use 1988 as an example of how a person can be stronger than they think they ever could. That doesn’t leave you, either. It’s a foundation for more. God will lighten your load. You have to trust in Him.

Sometimes, people write blogs or articles about their friends. The story telling, however it’s done, is so very important in your healing. As you tell your stories, you start to smile again. You become so grateful you had that person for a dad, or a brother, or a friend. Especially for a friend. I’m lucky to know a few people who are talented enough to write songs about their friends, dads, and grandpas.

Jason “Jake” Mayer wrote this beautiful song after he lost a lifelong friend Jason Diekmann. Jason passed from a stroke. What a tragedy. Jake wrote this beautiful song and dedicated it to his friend, about his loss. Jake’s good friend Jimmy Weber did guitar and background vocals. Jake, this is the first I’ve heard you sing, you’re good. There’s a lot of heartfelt emotion in your voice here. Hugs and prayers for you, Jake, and for Jimmy too. Here’s Jake Mayer, singing “The Rain’s Falling Down Again” (featuring Jimmy Weber). From what I understand, it’s available for download, through all the usual services. I understand it will be on the radio soon. I wish you much success with this, Jake.

Thanks to everyone who took time to read today. Talking about loss and grief may be uncomfortable, but it is so important. Dysfunctional grieving can take a real toll on families. Talk about it. Write about it. Do something with it. It will be a lasting tribute to your friend. Share, and your grief won’t be so heavy. I hope to see you tomorrow.

Memorial Day, 2020

May this day find you all free from threats, feeling safe, and remembering the selfless soldiers who gave their lives for our great country. This is a day we celebrate and think about their lives of duty, honor, and love.

By the time the USA was involved in WWII, many a young high school lad enlisted in the Army. Our nation stayed out of the war until we experienced the attack at Pearl Harbor. It was the absolute worst thing that ever happened to our country ever. Until 9/11 happened. How could we be attacked twice on our own soil? Did we not have the best military forces in the world? We did then and still do now. We let our guard down.

We let our guard down that Sunday morning in 1941 when most of those alive went to Church that day and may have been headed to Grandma’s house for dinner. Then it happened. A day that has lived in infamy. Many, many young men found their way to various recruiting offices to sign up for the Army or Navy, they wanted to defend our country against the aggressor. So many of those that died were fresh-faced teenagers who may have lied about their age to enlist. They left to go with others and defend our country. Many never returned.

Between the battlefield and the end of their lives, many soldiers met my father, Sgt. Thomas Jewell, Jr. He was initially a young medical supply/surgical tech and helped rescue the fallen from the battlefield, applying tourniquets or pressure to wounds and prayers with frightened young men. He was with medics all through Europe in General Patton’s Army. He served in Korea, caring for North Korean POW’s. He returned home to never really talk about things. Parts of him died with each of those young men. Many who survived told him at his 1987 Blackhawks Division reunion they had prayed for him every day because he saved their lives. One described him as self effacing, one who simply went about his work dodging bullets, carrying the wounded on stretchers. He was always an extremely modest man, never boastful about his accomplishments. He has always been my hero because of his unending support, quiet manner, and experiences in life that made him a good man. I am a very lucky daughter to have had that kind of father. He passed away in 1988, six months after retiring and three months before he was set for the first vacation of his life: flying with the Blackhawks to trace their steps through Europe on the liberation of Europe operation. Our mother still made the trip.

To help us think of those young fallen soldiers, here is an excellent video and rendition of TAPS. Jimmy Weber sings. Peace. Thanks. Gratitude. Let Freedom Ring. God bless you all. And God Bless America!

TAPS by Jimmy Weber