Those I remembered on Memorial Day 

On this most recent Memorial Day weekend i spent sometime reflecting on the soldiers In my life. My maternal grandfather was a horse soldier in WW1; i have a photocopy of his draft notice snd a picture of him in uniform on a horse.

My father was in the Navy, the Army Air Corp and later the United States Air Force. He flew in planes in the Navy during WW11. He served during the Korean  conflict and Viet Nam war. He was in the military his entire working career.  

My uncle’s, cousins, brother, two husbands and my oldest son also served, as well as a niece. They all felt a call yo serve. 

A strong thread of patriotism is woven through the fabric of my life. 

No one in my immediate family died in war. My mother’s first fiance died in the second world war. A dear high school friend paid with his life in Viet Nam; another friend was one of the countless victims who returned as mere shells of the young men who left. Their minds forever scarred.  

When my father was in the last year of life the Navy awarded.him some medals 70 years after he earned them. All of his five children attended the extremely moving ceremony…he hated being in the spotlight but endured the event for us kids. Less than a year he was gone;  buried in the military cemetery at Fort Sam Houston. His was not the only funeral I attended in that place filled with a seemingly unending ocean of white tombstones. I suspect it will not be the last. The sound of Taps played on  bugle on a gray December after a twenty one gun salute will forever be etched on my heart. 

This  year I needed my flag hung early. Saturday we hung it over our front porch. The next morning at Mass, there was an elderly man alone, a few rows in front of me. He had a colorful shirt on , on a grey, rainy Sunday. I was startled to notice the naval planes and ships on the shirt on the word  “Midway” in red lettering. I left my seat when it was time to offer each other the sign of peace and walked up to where he was standing and touched his arm. He turned as I said “Peace be with you.” That ever present thread of patriotism  will always tie me to the military. I looked in his  aged eyes and saw another American hero.

Peace be with them all, now and forever.

©Nancilynn Saylor.                                      June 6, 2017

Wish you were here…

I awakened  after a night of restless dreams to a sweet text message from one of my late son Steve’s high school friends. He always adored Jo and they participated in theater arts together…he truly loved her for her beautiful heart.

I have a some sweet special friendships with many of his friends from high school and am happy to report that it is a positive result from FaceBook. Social media can have some positive benefits . 

My sons had a wild and wacky relationship growing up. They often fought like siblings can do, but would defend each other like knights, against the dragons of the outside world! 

I miss my oldest boy and know his brother, Mike, does too! 

So thank you, dear “JoJo” Daly-Di Nova, for this morning surprise picture from your ten year reunion. Love those beautiful smiles!

© Nancilynn Saylor                                         16 February 2017

The Final Frontier 

It  was 1957 and our whole family was crowded into our parents bedroom. We all crouched on the floor in front of the window, craning our necks as we searched the clear, dark winter night sky.Soon we saw it. It was a small fuzzy ball of light moving across the horizon- Sputnik, the recently launched Russian satellite,  in low elliptical orbit over Earth. My fascination with space was forever kindled in that cold viewing spot with my family in Alaska. I was nine years old. I would try to always catch as many launches of rockets, satellites and space capsules going forward in life on this planet with a keen passion for what was ” out there” beyond the confines of Earth.🌏

Eleven years later I stood watching the night sky on my birthday…running inside  to watch on television as Neil Armstrong stepped down on the surface of the Moon. Life would never be the same afterwards!

Some launches came before dawn and I would set my alarm to get up very early…missing sleep was no comparison to the excitement of a launch. There were many launches-not all as exciting but always breathtaking as the controller said “we have lift-off.”

Thirty one years ago today, I was in between patients at the clinic I worked in. Staff and patients alike hovered around the television as we watched the Spaceship Challenger launch. The communal gasp 31 seconds later when it exploded in the clear blue Florida morning sky will be forever ingrained in my memory. I am not sure how we worked the rest of the day with the grief so fresh, so raw. The lump in my throat and tears returned today as they showed film clips on the news.

As the evening news was about to sign off tonight, the meteorologist said the International Space Station was flying over Austin in about 3 minutes. In the chilly twilight sky we watched as it flew swiftly over our house and out of sight. It seemed a fitting close to a day etched with memories of space that will last a lifetime. Rest In Peace, space pioneers.

©Nancilynn Saylor, January 2017
Shuttle launch courtesy of NASA

stock photo of Atlantis 2011 launch

Weekend winding down

Today there were highs and lowsI went to see a high school musical this afternoon. My eldest son Steve was a theatre arts person in school and was very good at it. We spent lots of time over four years watching as the students learned their craft and bloomed on stage. Today, one of his classmate’s daughter was in the play-Morgan, a freshman, was wonderful in her role. I thought a lot about my departed son during the intermission. 

After the play, I hurried home to watch my team in the football 🏈 

playoffs. I had prepared homemade enchiladas for supper and Romeo had them in the oven when I arrived home. 

Now, it is nearing bedtime. The dinner was wonderful, the football game-not so much. My team lost. 

Go Pittsburgh! Next year will be another year for you!

I hope everyone has had a great and relaxing weekend. I’ll be back again tomorrow!
©Nancilynn Saylor, January 2017

 About Marching

I have always controlled my own body. I did not need to march for that right to do so. 
I worked for over 50 years and it was pretty easy to find work. I did not march to find it. 

I never felt I  needed to march to make my point to elected officials either. I called them on the telephone or wrote letters and  I VOTED  IN EVERY ELECTION. 

I am pretty certain I paid the same price at the gas pump and grocery store as those with more money than I had. When there were gas shortages I did have to wait in a long line more than a few times. 

I was never on public assistance,  but for many years I had no insurance on my children. If we went to doctors we paid the bill. Thank goodness we were pretty healthy. There were a few lean years that a few extra free dollars would have made life a little easier. 

I learned how to sew and how to cook, garden, and can food. I believe in recycling and composting. 

I never asked for anything from the government. 

I do not mind that people can get assistance when they are “in a pinch.”

I have known people that I helped who needed money for food, spend the money given to them on rib eyes and porterhouse steaks and lobster, when they told me they were down to a few cans of food in their pantry. That $100 could have filled their pantry with beans, rice and healthy nutritious foods. I grew up in a family of seven- we ate lots of beans.  As a matter of, I had pintos for dinner last night. They were great!

It was interesting to see the marchers on television. It looked like a great happening. 

I am not a fan or crowds-be it a mobs or riots or traffic jams. 

I don’t think marching makes anyone better off than someone who did not march. 

But if it was a good way to make you feel better-you should do it and often. 

As I said in the beginning, I have always controlled my body-also my mind. I have learned to have a healthy questioning attitude. I don’t embrace every news story or every new idea I read. 

 Although I certainly don’t mind if anyone else does. 

©Nancilynn Saylor January 2017