Am I the only one… who believes Memorial Day should honor only our departed warriors?

Once again, Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a day that was set aside in 1868, specifically to honor fallen soldiers of the Civil War. The original celebration, known then as Decoration Day, took place at Arlington National Cemetery, with a crowd of approximately 5000 people decorating the graves of over 20,000 military personnel.

Over the years, it has become known as Memorial Day and in recent years, it seems that some people have attempted to turn this day into a day to recognize policemen, firemen or health care workers, but that is not and should not be our focus on this hallowed day.

We have two days a year when it’s designated that we do something to honor our military. In May, we have Memorial Day which is for those who are no longer with us and in November we have Veterans Day which is to honor all those who have served, or are now serving.  That’s military service.  Not being a policeman or a fireman, or any other type of serving, but a veteran of our military.

It gets my dander up when people mess with that! 

No matter how heroic we find these non-military hero’s to be they are not military and do not belong in this conversation. I’m not saying that our policemen and firemen don’t deserve being honored for what they do, but lets not cheat our military hero’s by grouping them.

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day approaches as soldiers’ step to the fore,
we’ll celebrate their service, just as many times before.

We’ll thank them for their gift, because of them, freedom reigns,
maybe not for the entire world, but at least they’re making gains.

Today we’ll honor those we’ve lost, for a few moments we’ll remember,
then we’ll put the memories away until a day in mid-November.

We’ll take their gift for granted at least til Veterans Day,
but their gift is all encompassing in nearly every single way.

Freedom, bought and paid for by the blood of brave soldiers,
with the fate of the entire world thrust upon their shoulders.

365 days a year our soldiers pay the price,
yet according to our calendar, we honor them only twice.

We need to tell them thank you more than just two days a year
and show more appreciation for the way they’ve calmed our fear.

It’s nice we have this day to honor their sacrifice,
but if we honored them every day it would be 365 times as nice.


Gramps use’ta say
©R.L.King2012 #53

About: Military Service

The future offers knowledge; memories stir the past.
Weapons ensure our freedom, if we handle them with class.”

John Adams quote: “Those who trade liberty for security have neither.”


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AM I THE ONLY ONE. . . . who’s impressed by our local Veteran’s Memorial Park?


Memorial Day approaches and I’m filled with a desire to write something in honor of our veterans.  In my preparations to do so, I came across this item that I had written a few years ago…..

My sweetie had a doctor appointment near the Veteran’s Memorial Park (located on Veterans Highway in Port St. Lucie, FL.)  We had about an hour to kill and decided that we would stop by the memorial on our way to that appointment.  Neither of us had ever visited it and we thought this would provide a good opportunity.  I swear, I have never “kilt an hour” more productively.

Now that we have, we’ve made a vow to make that short journey more often.  To my way of thinking, this memorial is probably one of the more honorable things that have ever been done in the Treasure Coast area. Our little visit was definitely one of the best decisions we have made in recent memory. What an impressive memorial we have right here in our backyard. I have to say however, to be completely honest, you simply cannot do it justice in only one hour.

As you walk from the parking lot, you encounter tributes to all five branches of the military, located around a meeting area with bench seating. It’s an area where one could conceivably assume that many memorial services have transpired. There are numerous plaques, including those that commemorate the formation of all 5 branches of our military, as well as the emblem for each branch encased in concrete at each of the five corners of the seating area. This area is located directly in front of a large, lighted United States flag, which one would assume is on display 24/7/365.

Other displays include a Korean War Memorial, a memorial honoring the veterans of WW II and one honoring all combat wounded veterans.

Additionally, there is a wall, which would appear to be a replica of the Vietnam Veterans wall located in Washington DC.

We found this to be a very worthwhile memorial park, of which the City of Port St. Lucie can and should take a great deal of pride. With very little effort this little park could conceivably become one of the more sought out tourist attractions in this area.

Were I a “snowbird” coming to this area to take in a Mets ballgame, or any of the other local attractions and were I somehow to be made aware of this magnificent little park, I believe it would have a prominent place on my itinerary.

It’s still some time until this Memorial Day, you still have time to plan for a visit. If you live in South Florida, you should treat yourself to an enjoyable hour or so by making a trip to visit this park.  If you do, you’ll want to thank me for the suggestion.

Gramps use’ta say
©R.L.King2012 #139

About: Military Service

“Can those who didn’t,,,,
ever really fully appreciate,

the price paid,,, by those who did?


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AM I THE ONLY ONE …who remembers the Birth of The First, 51 years later?

After the first, there was very nearly no second child. It took 7 years before I felt ready to go through    that process again.

 The first problem was my doctor.  He came highly recommended and any new mother I spoke to sang his praises but he and I had a personality clash that began with the first exam.   This was my first and I was extremely naïve.  My doctor visit lasted ‘maybe’ 3 minutes.  I had questions but he was on his way out the door. 

I called out, “Wait, I have a question about breach births.”  “It’s too early to be concerned about that.” Came the reply as he again started to leave.  “But in my mother’s family, every first baby is born breach, butt first breach, and I want to know if that’s likely to be my case too.”  Almost with a sneer, the doc told my that I should not listen to old wives tales and that I was being ridiculous.

So began my relationship with my doctor.  Each visit lasted 3 or 4 minutes and each time as he was leaving, he would say, “You’re doing fine.  Make your next appointment on your way out.”

My doctor told me everything was going to be fine, that this would be a ‘walk in the park’ even though the baby was 2 weeks late when delivery day finally arrived.  I had no idea what to expect.  I received lessons very quickly.  The first order of business was to separate my husband and me. The mother-to-be needed to be prepared for delivery. When I heard my nurse say that I needed to be prepared, I envisioned a talk/lecture or perhaps I needed to be prepared by donning one of those attractive hospital gowns. Whatever it was, I THOUGHT I was ready.

WRONG! Once my clothes were removed, wadded into a plastic see-through hospital bag, and I was redressed in the gorgeous gown, the next order of business was completely unexpected.

“Lay down on the table, Mrs. Chandler,” the nurse began her instructions, “bend your knees, and bring your feet up the table, as close to your behind as you can get them.”

“I beg your pardon. You want me to do what?” I asked, completely NOT understanding what she was asking me to do.

“Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the table. Now scoot your feet up the table as close to your butt as you can get them.”

“Ok.” I answered as I tried to get into this position.

“Now, Mrs. Chandler,” she continued, “let your knees fall apart as far as possible.”


“I need to make sure you are shaved properly, so spread those knees and try to lie very still.”

Oh dear, suddenly the romance and beauty were leaving the birthing experience.

Once this unpleasant ordeal was over, I was told to turn onto my side facing the wall. “That’s easy for you to say,” I thought as I tried to maneuver my mountain of a body on the narrow table.

I should have known that the embarrassment of being shaved was only a prelude of what was yet to come. As I finally settled into a semi-comfortable position on my side, I heard the nurse say, “Now I’m going to give you an enema. You’re going to feel warmth. Don’t be alarmed, it’s only water.”

“YIKES! Why didn’t my doctor tell me all of this was in store for me?” I thought. “Where is that man anyway? He should be here. I want to talk to him! He needs to tell me these things.”

As the enema began to do its job, I was working myself up into a significant Mad (with a capital M). But there wasn’t a lot of time to ponder a punishment for the good doctor, because suddenly, I needed to get to the bathroom FAST. The nurse had left the room as I tried to struggle over onto my back and then onto my side facing the room so I could raise my whale-like body to a sitting position. Right then, time was my enemy as I did my best to hurry. As I sat up, I spotted the toilet in the corner of the room. Thank goodness, I didn’t have to waddle down the hall to a bathroom.

Just as I sat, with much relief, the nurse bounded back into the room with my husband in tow. “Mr. Chandler can stay with you for a while. I’ll be back later.” The now annoying cheerfulness of Ms. Evil Nurse (as I had nicknamed her in my mind) was starting to get on my last nerve.

The smell in the room quickly became unpleasant and what did my brilliant husband say to me, “Whacha doing?”

“What am I doing? What does it look like I’m doing?” I answered with a few more choice words that might better not be repeated.

Later I was settled into a hospital bed with a sheet to cover my near naked mammoth body. The cramps had advanced to PAIN and the ‘walk in the park’ was completely forgotten. If there was ever a modest bone in my body, it didn’t stand a chance of survival as it seemed most of the hospital staff on the Baby Delivery Floor had been into my room, flipped up the sheet to take a ‘quick peek to see how we’re progressing, dear.’

At long last, Dear Doctor walked through the door, right in the middle of a contraction that nearly took my breath away. True to form, he and I were only in the same room for a very small amount of time. By the time I was able to form coherent words, he was on his way out the door (just like he was during office visits.)

 “Wait.” I nearly yelled.

He didn’t step back into the room but he did stop and turn to face me with a questioning look on his face.

“Is everything ok?”

“Yes, everything is fine.”

“The baby’s position, Doctor? Is the position ok?”

“The position is fine but you’re going to be here for a while. I’m going back to the office. I’ll see you this evening.”

And with that, MY DOCTOR was gone. I didn’t want him to leave me. I didn’t want him to go back to the office. I surely could not live until THIS EVENING. I was near tears when my husband said, “Honey, I’m going to go out get some air, and stretch my legs. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

As he leaned down to give me a quick kiss, I latched onto his arm and growled, “You are not going anywhere! You are going to sit right back down!” and again my newly acquired potty mouth began with words I’m sure he’d never dreamed of hearing me utter. I had such a grip that the only way he would be getting out of that room was to amputate his right arm, so he calmly sat back down to share in my misery.

The next person into the room was a young intern, to ‘take a quick peek to see how WE’RE progressing.” After his quick peek he queried as he looked over my chart, “What time are you scheduled for your cesarean?”

“Oh, I’m not having a cesarean.”

“Mrs. Chandler, it appears that you’re having a large baby and the baby is incorrectly positioned.”

“My doctor was just here and he said everything is fine. He told me the position is fine!” I said as I neared panic mode.

The young intern must have felt he’d made a blunder because he said he’d check with my doctor and he’d be back to see me in a few minutes. However, I didn’t wait a few minutes. Evidently Baby decided that it was time to make an appearance and he wasn’t waiting any longer.

As an intense contraction cut through my body, I know I’d not be waiting until evening for Dear Doctor to return. I practically begged my husband to find someone to help me. He must have also gotten the message that things were quickly changing because without a second of hesitation he ran from the room and grabbed the first nurse he saw.

As Husband dragged the nurse back to me, she’s trying to calm both of us by saying, “Mrs. Chandler, you were just seen a few minutes ago but if you’re uncomfortable….. UNCOMFORTABLE????   “I’ll take a ‘quick peek to see how we’re progressing,” as she flipped up the sheet.

Before the sheet had settled back into place, she was at the head of my bed, pushing me out the door and down the hall, shouting at staff as we flew by. “Get a doctor! This baby is coming NOW!”  Her excitement must have affected her ability to drive a hospital bed though, because she was off a tad as she tried to race through the delivery room door, and rammed squarely, full speed, into the door frame. I thought that I’d been shot! I thought I had been killed and just had not yet died.

Quite suddenly the room was filled with people, lots of people, and not one of them was my doctor. An IV was started and I was helped into position. Baby was on his way and he wasn’t waiting for anyone. It was too late to further discuss the cesarean. It was too late for drugs. The baby was being born butt first, as had been my fear for nine months. I tried to listen to the conversation going on around me but could barely focus through the pain. The only thing that registered was “We’re having a boy.”

It seemed that all those around me were in quite a frenzy when suddenly, relief washed over me like an ocean wave. The baby was born. The baby was lying on my stomach. The baby was perfectly still and silent. Silence can’t be good.

Oh no, panic was beginning to grip my entire being when through the swinging doors, like Superman, came my ‘it’s going to be a walk in the park’ doctor. He grabbed Baby Boy up by his heels, swatted his little bottom a couple of times and the whaling began.

When he was laid in my arms, his little legs were still up on his chest but the doctor assured me not to worry. They would straighten out in time. And just like that the doctor was gone.

I was wheeled out of the room with our newborn snuggled in my arms, still screaming as if he was angry with the world.

In the months to come, I tried to remember what the silence in the delivery room sounded like when Baby was first born. It would be six months before we would hear silence again. It would be six months before he would sleep through the night.

As an adult now, Baby has heard all the stories about his birth. He has always ‘marched the beat of a different drummer’ and at times I will tell him “Just because you came into this world ass-backwards doesn’t mean that’s the way you’re required to live your life.”

A mother’s love is unconditional and no matter where he is or what he does, my first-born’s birth will always be remembered.  And the first born will be told the story many more times.


AM I THE ONLY ONE . . .  who occasionally finds inspiration in the misfortune of others?

A few years back, country music superstars Blake Sheldon & Miranda Lambert were married to each other.  For whatever reason, they decided to part ways.  At that time, they were both at the top of the charts with nearly every song they put out, and truth be known, they both still seem to have a new song near the top of the charts several times every year. 

Anyway, after hearing about their parting of ways, I wrote the following poem.  It’s not really about them, but it was inspired by them…


©By: R.L.KingFrom the book Memories & Time ©2017

They had a good run,
each hitting number one,
and each, winning many awards.
Artist of the year,
lots of fans to cheer,
and each, playing all of the cords.

They moved from the mountains,
to a lake with some fountains,
and a beautiful house on the shore.
Somebody cheated,
things got heated,
now they’re together no more.

Two successful careers,
leaving only time to cheer,
yet many opportunities to cheat.
Running so fast,
no way it could last,
many nights, dead on their feet.

Now single again,
many awards yet to win,
they’re singers without a song.
A soiled dove,
lovers no longer in love,
though it won’t be that way for long.


Gramps use’ta say
©R.L.King2012 #263

About: Being a Jerk

In our neck-o-the-woods,
iffin ya was askin fer it,
somebody was always fixin
to see to it ya got it.”


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AM I THE ONLY ONE . . . who has a list of do’s and don’ts in their head?

Donna’s Do’s and Dont’s

I have a lengthly list of items I’ve put together over the years. Here a just a few (perhaps I’ll add more from time to time.)

1.   A kiss is required after each ‘I love you.’

2. The 5 second rule states that if a treat (cookies, etc.) falls on the floor, as long as you get it picked up within 5 seconds, it hasn’t gathered any germs and  can be eaten.

3.   Calories fall out of broken cookies/cakes/pies/etc.

4.   Any baked goods on the Sale Rack have lost their calories.

5.   Birthday cakes absolutely do NOT contain calories.

6.   When a couple is walking, the man should walk closest  to the street.

7.   Do NOT talk to someone when they are in the bathroom.

8.   Always be on time. If you’re going to be late, STAY HOME.

9.   We only have so many heartbeats, don’t waste them on exercise.

10. Do not go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.