This is a repost of last year’s Memorial Day post. I don’t think I could say it any better.
While it’s never wrong to thank a veteran for his or her service, that is not what today is for. Save that for Veteran’s Day. Today we remember the ones who never got to take off the uniform, those that never came home, the ones that paid that ultimate sacrifice. So we do not “celebrate” Memorial Day, we respect what it stands for. Now granted I will have my cookout and drink several adult beverages, after all, it is an extra day off of work. But in the back of my mind, and hopefully yours too, we will remember our brothers and sisters of all branches of the military and hope that their sacrifice wasn’t in vain. As an Army retiree and the proud father of a soldier, today weighs heavily on me and my family, I am so very grateful for those that served before me and after me. So lift a glass of whatever beverage you choose, and thank those we can only remember, those who fell on the battlefields the world over. And pray that the wars will end, and peace will reign. Amen.
Well, it’s not all that busy. We are still doing our voluntary self-isolation, and all these folks have long passed on.
I’ve posted about this grouping of birthdays before, however, I left one out. It wasn’t until I made a “Family Birthday” calendar (using Google Calendar) that this terrible omission was discovered. I had not added my paternal great grandfather to this group. Here are they chronologically, by birth year:
All these folks are on my paternal (father’s) side. Starting with Great Granddad (not to be confused with Old Granddad which is a whole different thing…)
Samuel W. Campbell, 26 March 1861 – 8 February 1924. This is the 159th anniversary of his birth. I have no idea what the “W” stands for. I have not been able to find much documentation of this gentleman. I do have two obituaries and his death certificate for him but that’s all. Worst of all is no pictures. My grandmother (just down this list) had pictures of her dad, and of Herbert, and even lots of my dad as a child, but none that I can say is Samuel.
Then we have his son, my Grandfather.
Herbert J. Campbell, 31 March 1884 – 5 February 1919. So, 136th anniversary. As with his father, I have no idea what the middle initial “J” is for. My best guess is James, as that was his grandfathers name. That would be close to a traditional Scottish naming convention. Had Samuel followed that tradition then James would have been his given name, not his middle name. I can find other Herbert’s across several branches of this line, so maybe he was named for an uncle or such.
Next, we have Herbert’s wife, my Grandmother (or Nanny as I knew her)
Josephine Melinda (nee Bodle) Campbell, 27 March 1885 – 21 July 1975. Happy 135th Nanny! I have posted about Nanny several times. As she lived with us for most of my childhood, she was very instrumental in my upbringing.
Finally, dear old dad.
Donald Sherwood Campbell, 28 March 1912 – 19 February 1985. Wow! 108th for pops! If you look up “character” in the dictionary, my dad’s picture will be there. He is the main reason, along with my brother, that I have a warped sense of humor. And I’m proud to say that I have passed that on to my two sons! Hey – a legacy is a legacy. Even if it’s silly.
I can only imagine how this week was celebrated during the short time (1912 – 1919) when all four of these people could be together.
Here I am just two months or so removed from a wonderful ten-day ICU stay (you can read about that here) and what are we doing? Taking Son-The-Younger and his two girls on a short cruise! Just what the hell am I thinking??? COVID-19 is running rampant across the globe and I’m just waltzing right in. Plus, we now have a confirmed case of the virus locally.
It may seem that the virus is targeting cruise ships. But I think it’s more of a “captive audience” type of thing. Let’s face it, you have thousands of folks miles from land all stuck together like sardines. It’s a petri dish blissfully floating out on the water.
Now, this is a short three-day cruise. Just out to the Bahamas and back. Nothing spectacular. Since it is a short cruise I don’t think it will attract the “jet set” travelers. I just don’t see anyone that’s been in any of the hot zones around the world joining us on this little adventure. My main concern is the crew. This will be Wifey and my fifth cruise (the first for the kids) and we love the international flavor of the crews. But that does pose a greater risk of having someone that has been in a hot zone being on board.
We must trust that the cruise line (Royal Caribbean in this case) will live up to their promises of greater sanitation for most areas on the ship, more hand sanitation stations, and better screening of crew and passengers prior to boarding. They have also stated that the fees for medical screening/care of anyone complaining of most “flu like” symptoms will be waived for the duration of the trip. They appear to have an expanded quarantine area ready, just in case.
Naturally the CDC has called for the elderly and those with compromised respiratory systems (and I fit at least one of those categories, maybe both depending on who you ask), to avoid travel “especially cruises”. Yeah… right. I never was one to listen to authority. There is a chance that I could be denied boarding. If I have a fever (which I haven’t since that hospital stay), or if my constant coughing is deemed to be a problem.
We are leaving on that most auspicious of days, Friday the 13th! So what could go wrong? It is spring break for the girls as well.
They say the virus can be killed with a greater than 60% alcohol solution. I’m sure one of the bars on board will have something that’s 120 proof or higher. Plus, we can use this as a warm-up for “Amateur Drinking Day #2” St. Patrick’s Day.
So, watch this space. Wifey may be handling a post soon while I’m in quarantine, or worse. I’m confident that all will turn out well and I will have pictures to post next week. Now please excuse me, as I must prepare for this trip. By which I mean the single malt is calling my name!
I have to admit that I have never attended a Burns night celebration. Just what is Burns night? Why it’s just the celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s poet laureate, Robert Burns.
Rabbie, as he is known, is probably best known for Auld Lang Syne, which is traditionally sung on Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve as we Americans know it.
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the NationalBard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.
He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.
Of course, the traditional meal served at a Burns night dinner is haggis, neeps and tatties. So what are these foods?
If you don’t know what haggis is, that may be a good thing. True haggis is illegal in the USA due to some of the organs used in the traditional recipe. The joke is that a haggis is a small furry creature found in the highlands of Scotland. The legs on one side of it’s body is longer than the other side so it can run around the mountain side. Funny, but not true. Click the link above to see what it really is. I don’t know if the haggis we had in Scotland was traditional or not, but I really enjoyed it. Wifey, not so much. Neeps are mashed turnips and tatties nothing more than mashed potatoes. The neeps and tatties are not to be cooked together. And don’t forget the dram of Scotch whisky!
Rabbie so enjoyed haggis he wrote a poem about it. It’s in the old Scot’s language so don’t expect it to understand it. This Wikisource page has the English translation.
“Address to a Haggis” (1787)Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,Painch, tripe, or thairm:Weel are ye worthy o’ a graceAs lang’s my arm.The groaning trencher there ye fill,Your hurdies like a distant hill,Your pin wad help to mend a millIn time o need,While thro your pores the dews distilLike amber bead.His knife see rustic Labour dight,An cut you up wi ready slight,Trenching your gushing entrails bright,Like onie ditch;And then, O what a glorious sight,Warm-reekin, rich!Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyveAre bent like drums;The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,‘Bethankit’ hums.Is there that owre his French ragout,Or olio that wad staw a sow,Or fricassee wad mak her spewWi perfect scunner,Looks down wi sneering, scornfu viewOn sic a dinner?Poor devil! see him owre his trash,As feckless as a wither’d rash,His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,His nieve a nit;Thro bloody flood or field to dash,O how unfit!But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,The trembling earth resounds his tread,Clap in his walie nieve a blade,He’ll make it whissle;An legs an arms, an heads will sned,Like taps o thrissle.Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,And dish them out their bill o fare,Auld Scotland wants nae skinking wareThat jaups in luggies:But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,Gie her a Haggis
Pipers welcome guests to the dinner, and then after dinner a ceilidh (dance) begins.
The piping in of the haggis and the Address to a Haggis. (I would turn the volume down if anyone is sleeping or you’re in a public place). The pipes are not appreciated by everyone, sadly.
Last Thursday we celebrated not only Wifey and mine’s 38th wedding anniversary, we also celebrated Samuel & Eleanor Campbell’s (my great grand parents) 137th anniversary. Today we celebrate Samuel & Eleanor’s son.
Herbert J. Campbell & Josephine Melinda Bodle were married 20 January 1909, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This is the grand father I was happy not to follow in his footsteps, and “Nanny”, my grandmother who raised me as much as my parents did. Today marks 111 years.
At noon on Saturday, 16 January 1982, we said our “I do’s”. Given that damn near everybody said we wouldn’t last 6 months, here’s to 76 half-years babe! (That’s 38 years folks, it’s early, I’ll do the math).
Also happy 137th anniversary to my paternal great grand parents, Samuel W. Campbell and Eleanor Adaline Taylor. Also married on 16 January, just in 1883. Sadly, I have no pictures (yet) of the couple.
I have to apologize to ya’ll. We took our Campbell Christmas Vacation as planned, leaving here on December 26th. While the vacation was a joy, I became very ill, and was hospitalized on our return. That will be the subject of my next post, as I am still sorting out details of the whole vacation/illness. So this will be a quick post with some pictures of the vacation aspect.
The plan was to leave here on the morning of the 26th, and we actually made it work. We piled Wifey, Son-The-Younger, both granddaughters and myself into the car and headed north. Our destination was Maggie Valley, NC. We rented a larger cabin than the one Wifey and I rented two years ago for a five night stay. The weather was good, and for once, traffic not an issue at all. We all got our suitcases unpacked and stuff put away in our rooms and away we went!
Friday was Son-The-Younger’s birthday and we promised him we would take him the Sierra Nevada Brewery just outside of Asheville, NC. Wifey and I visited the brewery and took the tour two years ago. Son-The-Younger was looking forward to this trip. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway over the mountains to Asheville. We stopped at many of the scenic overlooks and the girls took many pictures.
We arrived at the Brewery just in time for our scheduled tour (you have to make reservations), and Wifey and the girls went to “The Back Porch”, an open area that has food, a garden and even – get this – beer! Although there wasn’t any live music that day, they do have an outdoor stage, as well as an indoor area in case of bad weather. And is very dog friendly.
We drove home and had a great BBQ dinner, which was another “requirement” for this trip.
Saturday was a planned “quiet” day. In the morning we took the girls to do some “gem” mining. Then Son-The-Younger and I visited Elevated Mountain Distillery, while Wifey took the girls to a little store we enjoyed on our last visit.
It was a good thing that we didn’t have much planned for Saturday. I woke up about 3AM with fever and chills. So after the short morning excursions, I went back to bed for the afternoon. I think I sweated through my clothes twice that afternoon. The rest of the family went tubing (man made snow, sadly) while I basically sweated every ounce of liquid out of my body. Son-The-Younger tried to get a fire going in one of the outside fire pits, but it was rained out.
I awoke Sunday morning feeling better, but not great. I knew I was still fighting whatever bug I had picked up, I just didn’t realize how badly I was losing that fight.
But not giving up, we again went over the mountains, but this time from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. We went right through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and we hadn’t even gone half a mile into the park when we came across a herd of Elk. The girls were so happy.
We made it to Gatlinburg with no issues. We even found a Mexican restaurant that Wifey and I had tried almost 20 years ago! And it was right next to the Ripley’s Aquarium which was our first scheduled stop (after tacos of course). Then the real fun began.
The plan all along was to get me a wheelchair while at the aquarium. My legs were still heavily impacted by the back injury, so I figured I would not be able to walk the entire distance required. Turns out I couldn’t even make it into the aquarium!
Going up the steps to get to the wheelchair I passed out. I was so lucky that there was a guy right behind me who saw it coming, probably before I realized what was happening. He was a strong enough guy that he grabbed me and set me down so I only ended up with was a scrape on one knee where it hit the pillar I has holding on to. Luckily it passed somewhat quickly and by the time the kids met us with the wheelchair I was coherent, and some of my strength returned. It was nice have everyone push my wheelchair so I could see the major parts of the aquarium, and there were plenty of places that I could be parked while everyone else went to see something that would have been a tight fit. We got in a few other attractions that afternoon, then head back to our cabin in Maggie Valley.
I will leave the health issues for the next post. I knew I was sick, but I really didn’t feel any worse or better for the rest of the trip.
Monday found us in Cherokee, NC. I really didn’t expect the girls to enjoy the museum as much as they did. They were asking questions about the displays and had good comments when their questions were answered. it’s really nice to see them getting inquisitive about things that aren’t covered very well in school. The Cherokee people have an absolutely beautiful creation story. Personally, I find it every bit as relevant as any other creation story. It is no more, nor any less credible the one most of us have been force feed all these years.
Every time I visit a museum of this sort, I am saddened beyond words how native peoples have been treated by we white people. On every continent we have hurt if not straight out destroyed entire cultures. They had a veteran’s display in the museum. It told of a Cherokee medical doctor that was on a landing craft on D-Day. I didn’t know they had any doctors on the landing craft. But it makes me wonder were there any “white” doctors on any other landing craft? Then there was a display of Cherokee Medal of Honor Recipient. I’m sorry I don’t have names for these, and the other Cherokee’s enshrined in this part of the museum. I was so overcome, and still am, with emotion I had to leave the area and just sit down in the lobby. Knowing that chances are that these gentlemen had already been forcibly removed from their ancestral homes to the squalid desperation of a reservation, but still answered the call to serve this nation (not the Cherokee Nation, but the “white man nation”) amazes me. Sadly, most of the town of Cherokee was closed for the season, so shopping was limited.
However, Son-The-Younger conquered the elements and got the fire pit going. I am told the s’mores were wonderful!
The next morning we loaded everything back up in the car and headed home. We only stopped long enough to visit with Lil-Big-Sis at lunch. There are so many more stories to tell of this trip, but I just don’t have the energy to keep this going, nor a voice to dictate to Wifey, so dear reader this will have to suffice.
But I leave you with What’s Stuck In Wifey’s Head this morning. Enjoy!
It’s the last week for our mischievous little elf, Ginger.
Sunday evening found her opening the little gift the girls had for her.
She didn’t waste anytime getting things going for her last couple of days. Since the girls stayed with us Sunday night, she was ready for them on Monday Morning.
And since the girls are on their winter break from school, they’ll be staying with us a bit longer. And rumor has it that Ginger will be able to stay until Christmas morning this year! Seems she has some special gifts to pass out!
YES!!! Ginger was here bright and early Christmas morning. It seems that Santa brought granddaughter-the-younger a Malibu Barbie Dreamhouse! I think Wifey is a bit jealous. She didn’t get a Barbie Dreamhouse when she was a kid! Ginger had to build it for the girls after Santa just left it in the box.
Ginger also set out all the family stockings for us.
Then Ginger suddenly reappeared with two more gifts for the girls. Where does she get her money???
And then, just like magic, she was gone. No note, no goodbye, she just magicked herself back to the north pole.
I wonder what tricks she has planned for us next year. We heard some rumors that she’s been accepted into the trainer program at the North Pole. We’ll have to see.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this years adventures with Ginger.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate from the Campbell family to you and yours.
It’s close to Ginger leaving us for the year, but she still has a trick or two up her sleeve.
The girls had a sleep-over on Friday night, so Ginger had another lazy day. But come Saturday, she was waiting for the girls.
Ugh… more terrible jokes.
On a rainy, dreary day Ginger got the munchies.
And since the girls are on their winter break from school, they’ll be staying with us a bit longer. And rumor has it that Ginger will be able to stay until Christmas morning this year! Seems she has some special gifts to pass out! But that will be another post.
As I have mentioned several times (most recently here), the Christmas Season can’t begin until two things happen. I have to hear John Lennon’s Happy XMas (War Is Over) in some random way and I have to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
I am (somewhat) happy to report that both of those requirements have been met. The Official Christmas Season® may now begin. You’re welcome.
And as dear old dad always said, “Merry bah humbug!”