Anchored In Memory

Photos open the doors of my mind and trigger the same emotional response that occurred when the picture was taken.



Even years


Revisiting old photo albums brings the past to the forefront.

Today is December 7th. Pearl Harbor Day.

On this day in 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked.

I was not alive when this happened. Therefore, I cannot even pretend to imagine what it was like or the impact it had on the brave men and women who were.

I rely on the images and news audio and history books to give me a sense of what happened.

As a child, I had very little appreciation for the sacrifice of military service. I read about it and learned enough to pass to the next grade of school.

History was a class that had to be taken….nothing else.

Until nothing else turned into something that required my respect and gratitude.

In 1982, I was 13 years old. My life consisted of school, friends and soccer.

My devotion to the sport of soccer earned me selection on a number of “all star” teams that would travel to play in selected tournaments around the country. The biggest of which occurred in Hawaii.

Our team would represent the state of Texas. We raised all the money ourselves and took great pride in our accomplishments.

If I remember right, our bragging about it got quite annoying to everyone else.

13 years old….everyone was annoying at 13.

10 days in paradise. We got 3rd place.

20131207-120516.jpgI honestly don’t remember any of the games or much of the paradise part.

What I do remember is the visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial.


I remember going and thinking how cool it was gonna be to see war ships and cannons and guns and stuff.

I remember being there……

And it wasn’t cool.

It was sad and humbling.

At 13, I didn’t even know what being humbled was.

But I know now, at 44, that that was exactly what I felt.

I remember standing on the memorial that is over the USS Arizona, listening to the tour guide tell us that over 1100 servicemen went down with the ship and were never recovered.

They are the memorial.

I remember the tour moving on…but I couldn’t.

I was looking over the edge into the water at the ship and thinking…

“They are still down there….they never got to say goodbye…”

I remember I started to cry….and I remember giving a salute to them over the edge….and then slowly catching up to the rest of the tour group and listening more intently to a history lesson than I ever have before or since.

I learned then…as I still know now that freedom is not free.

To all those who have served and to those who continue to serve to preserve my rights as an American citizen….

I once again salute you.

And say thanks.




Middle school and history class. 2 phrases that don’t get along.

I enjoy history. Not just American history but World History. To know where your going, you have have to know where you’ve been as a nation.

When my middle school aged step daughter comes home with History homework I like to help try to engage her in conversation to see what she is learning.

One particular topic that she was studying this past year was Abraham Lincoln. One of my favorite subjects and most fascinating to me. It was time to engage…..

Me- tell me what you know about Pres. Lincoln.

Her- he had a beard….but no mustache, wore that hat that looked like the one that guitar guy you like wears, he was famous for some address he lived at-

Me- address he lived it? You mean The White house?

Her- no, he gave some speech about some place he lived at. They called it his address.

Me-…….The Gettysburg Address?

Her- yup that’s the one.

Long pause where we just stare at each other….. Waiting for the other the break…

Me….ughh, alright what else do you know?

Her- he was shot and killed while he watched a movie or something like that and he grew up in a login…….

My frustration and annoyance barometer was about to runneth over. I wasn’t about to belittle a 12 year old for her lack of attention span or lack of detail oriented learning ability on a subject most kids her age care little about. Besides, after the Gettysburg Address explanation I was in no mood for more nonsense. I took the low road to tackle the latter subject.

Me- Login? Don’t you mean he grew up in a log cabin?

After a short pause and her making her best mimic of “The Thinker” pose. She states in the unwavering confidence that only a 12 year old possesses….

Her- Nope, I’m pretty sure it was a login.


Her- don’t yell at me. Yell at the teachers at my school. They are the ones teaching me this dumb stuff. I’m gonna go (smarty pants face engaged) LOG IN to my computer and play games.

I continue to sit at the kitchen table, dejected from another should have won learning situation. Seriously considering taking a 12 year olds advice and taking it up with the school. But alas, the kids already think I’m crazy do I really need the entire school district to think so too?