Monday, July 13, 2009

More Massanutten

Here are a few more pictures of our trip to Massanutten.

I’m showing this picture for Heidi over at Hick Chic. Honestly, when I climbed on the beast, I though I would need oxygen from being so high up and from hyperventilating from fear of not having on a seatbelt or a safety net under me.

I did find out that it takes a whole new set of muscles to ride a horse, and a strong back. I felt like I had an ice pick sticking in my lower back and at the juncture of my right leg and hip. But the ride was fun. I just wonder how long I would have to hurt just to be able to ride without pain.


The next day we toured Washington, DC and Arlington Cemetery. Did you know that perform over 20 military funerals there every day? You could hear weapons going off every few minuets. This is one for, I assume, an old veteran because of the age and number of attendees. But it was still very moving.

Directly across from this funeral is the place we place in honor of the 74 lost when my ship went down. The tree behind me was also planted in their honor and it was just a sprig when it was planted.

The strange thing is…I found out I am becoming a pussy in my old age. Just after the picture was made I looked down and had a flashback to my days at sea. I saw the mess decks above where I use to sleep. I saw her lean heavily to Starboard and I could hear the noise of grinding metal and the cries of confusion and fear coming from my compartment plus the guys on the mess deck swilling the ever present cup of coffee. I imagined quiet a bit and before I knew it I was crying. I don’t know why. I never have before. My grandson came over and hugged me and said, “It’s okay, Paw Paw, it is sad.” God I love that boy.

When I kind of got myself under control, the burial guard was beginning to load their bus to go to the next funeral or to the barracks or where ever. So I walked over to them and shook a couple of the men’s hand and thanked them for what they do for the boys, and the tears started again. They understood and patted me on the back and thanked me for my service and for acknowledging them. As a rule they go unnoticed until the fire the salute.

My grandson walked with his arm around me for over half a mile, till I could get a look at Arlington House, where Robert E. Lee lived. He only spent a total of around 5 years there, as he was stationed all over the country. How he fathered all his daughters, I’ll never know. Well…I do know, but how he had the time is the question. It was being renovated so I couldn’t go inside.


I took this for America’s 1st Sergeant, Mike. I was amazed at how big the thing is, but then it would have to be to fit the Marine ego. I just found out a few weeks ago, while googling military stuff, that he doesn’t call himself America’s 1st Sgt. because he thinks of himself as that (then maybe he does). But it is because he is with the 3 Marines, 3 Division which is nicknamed “America’s Division.” Live and learn.

I’ll try to show some more pictures later…I heard that. Stop yawning and moaning. Until then, this is the newly realized pussy turning control back over to you. Sniff, sniff.

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CI-Roller Dude said...

Just the thought of being in a ship rolling around in the ocean makes me feel like .....arghhhhh..... Pepto Bismal please. I like the dirt we have on this planet.
I hate grave yards. Too many people dying to get into them.
Nice pics. I'll tell my Bosnia horse riding story someday.

Brother Dave said...

Well, you have a heart, and that is good.

Interesting story.

Coffeypot said...

CI Dude, so I guess I won't be seeing you on a cruse. Grave yards can be cool. In highschool, they were the place to park.

BD, I don't think I like having one. I felt better being a bastard.

Anonymous said...

Being a softie is not a bad thing. Ask Roller Dude.

Coffeypot said...

Hell no! He'll give me a wood shampoo and lock me up.

SkippyMom said...

I have been to several funerals at Arlington Cemetary of family and friends and it IS a very moving place. It is also amazingly beautiful, don't you think?

I am glad you were able to visit and Jman is such a great kid. :) Lucky Grandpa.

[I feel the exact same way about horses. EEK!]

Coffeypot said...

Skippy, yes, J-Man is a great kid and has a big heart. I couldn't ahve been in better hands. I just hate it that he had to see me that way. Hell, I hated it.

Heidi the Hick said...

Gosh, I am so proud of you! Well, first I felt proud when I saw ya sitting on that horse, because, y'know, it doesn't have a slot for a quarter.

Then you fessed up about shedding a tear for your past and your friends, and what you've all been through, and all of that, all of what you've done and remember, that takes courage.

I get the feeling your grandson is one heck of a good kid, and you know what? He will only think better of you after that trip together.

And you rode a horse! Yay! Don't worry about aching afterwards. That's normal. After the first week you don't feel the pain anymore, then you go all bowlegged and life's good again, haha!

Southern (in)Sanity said...

I don't think that's "being a pussy" at all. Showing your grandson that you have a heart and emotions isn't a bad thing.

It sounds like quite a visit. I can't wait to see more pictures. I'm glad you showed the funeral. It does remind all of us that Arlington, for all of its history, is still a final resting place for military men and women today.

Coffeypot said...

Heidi, thanks for the comments, especially about J-Man. As for the pain going away after a week or so, I believe it. The body will eventually hurt so much that it will go numb, and I think that is the case with me riding a horse. I can handle bowlegged, though. It keeps my pants from sliding down around my ankles.

Coffeypot said...

Mr. R., thanks. I do have many pictures, but I don't have the ablitly to do somehting as simple as posting more than three or four from Picasa.