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November 28, 2003 - Friday, 11:07 a.m.

Sunny Friday

It's another sunny day, and the temperature is moving towards 40F. I love long weekends. My list of things to do is getting longer by the moment. I need to do some research for my paper. (The rough draft is due next week). I'd love to get all the research done and be well on my way to completing the paper.

My basement project is looming. Gah! What an awful amount of work is left down there. I've gone through about 70% of the boxes, but the new ones are just stacked down there next to the dryer. I need to get through the end of the boxes and then get them all put away. The concrete sink that my dad demolished for me still has some piles of concrete left next to the washer. I need to get that carted out of the basement. Sounds like I am going to need to convince my boys to carry that out of the basement for me. It's far too heavy for me to handle. Some times it really gets old doing most of all this stuff by myself... but that's life I guess. I have SOOoo much clearing to do before I can start on the REAL work of replacing drywall, fixing the floor and replacing the carpet. How will I ever get this all done before the next semester starts?!?! That's my goal, but it's gonna be hard to hit.

What a beautiful day yesterday was! It was one of those crystal clear blue sky days. Not one cloud in the sky and a thin blanket of snow on the Peak. The sun was shining brightly, though not warmly. It was so clear. No haze, no pollution, the mountains crisp and clear. Gorgeous! I found myself thinking about how beautiful it is here, and thinking about spending the day with my family and how much I was going to enjoy the day. I went to my Mom and Dad's first and helped them with a brochure for Winter School and then down to Char's for the rest of the day. We played some Scrabble and I worked on a new baby blanket (crocheted). Dinner was wonderful. The food was so good. Then a couple games of Trivial Pursuit. By the end of that everyone was gone except for Char, Lynn and I. We sat and watched "Notting Hill". What a cute movie!

As I was driving up to Woodland Park that morning I had thought about Brian. Brian is a cousin of mine. He's 3 or 4 years older then me. He was in the Marines for a few years when he was in his twenties. When he came home he got married and has lived in the Fargo area ever since. He joined the National Guard probably about 15 years ago and went about earning a living and raising his family. When the war in Iraq started this past March the North Dakota National Guard was called to duty. They mobilized their entire unit and came in a convoy to Fort Carson, which is here in town where I live. Some time in about June his unit shipped out to Iraq. He's been in the Baghdad area since then. Basically they are an engineering corp. They've built barracks and such for the soldiers, but I don't believe they have done much rebuilding in Iraq, which was part of what I thought they were going to be doing. It's been nearly six months now that he's been gone. I think he is hoping to be home by Christmas, but they don't hear much about when they might come home. I was thinking how he wasn't home for Thanksgiving this year and that I dearly hope he'll be home for Christmas with his family. I know they miss him terribly.

This is definitely a military town. There is an Air Force Base and an Army Base here. Then there is also the Air Force Academy just north of town. There is definitely a lot of military living here. My family's never been the "career military" types. My uncle was in World War II, another uncle was in the Korean War. My dad was in the Navy for a couple years. While he was in boot camp the Korean War ended. No body was the right age to be in the Vietnam War. Of my cousins only Brian ever joined the Military and I think he was only in the Marines for a few years. And that was after the Vietnam War was over. In my generation (that would be all my cousins and that is around 21 people (including my sisters and I)) there are only 4 boys, the rest where girls. In my kids generation there are a lot of boys, but so far no interest in joining the military. [Looking at all the kids of my cousin's and sibling's, there are about 45 kids; over half of those are boys.] Being the mother of three of those boys I am glad not to see my boys in the military. The thought of them being somewhere where other mom's boys were shooting at them would be beyond scary for me.

The day is slipping by here. It is already approaching noon. It's time to get moving and get something done around here.

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