Veterans Day 2019

Here in the States, November 11 is Veterans Day. Originally it was established as Armistice Day, the day Germany formally surrendered at the end of WW I: November 11, 1918. In 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day, to honor U.S. veterans and victims of all wars.

In 2015 my husband and I took a long awaited trip to France. One of the places we visited was the American Cemetery in Normandy. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and contains the remains of 9,388 American soldiers. There are graves of Army Air Corps crews shot down over France as early as 1942, and graves of 4 American women. But most of the graves are of those soldiers who died during the Invasion of Normandy.

It is a sobering place, as you look out over row upon row upon row of crosses and stars of David. My husband said, “There is such sadness here.” My thought was of all those men, overwhelmingly young, who would never have a chance to have a career, or fall in love, or get married, or live to see their children grow up. They would never see their lives open up before them.

Here is a closeup of an infinitely small section.

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The American Cemetery at Normandy                                                                Image: ©Hannah Keene

Posted for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bravery.

Lines, Squares and Bumps

This is an example of the bright yellow metal plates that our city puts in the cut out portion of the curb meant for wheelchair users. The bumps slow the wheelchair down a bit, and the yellow shows everyone that the curb is cut out to be a slope from the sidewalk down to the road. In addition, these proved helpful to my husband in the last few years of his life when he was legally blind. He still had a small circle of vision in one eye, but could only look one place at a time (straight forward, down to his shoes, etc.). He thus could either look where he was going, or down at the sidewalk. He obviously chose to look where he was going, As he approached a cut out curb, the texture of the bumps that he could feel both with his feet, and with his white cane, warned him that he was coming to a road and had to stop. They were of great help.

A few weeks ago I was in a very large parking lot with a lot of sidewalks in front of shops, and I noticed that there seemed to be these yellow plates all over. It seemed to be a photo opportunity for Becky’s challenge of October lines&squares. And bumps.

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Hannah Keene 2019

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Misty Memories (Photos and Poems)

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Hannah Keene 2019

Far and away my true love lies
Just beyond the hill
And many a day I long for arms
That would hold me tightly still.

But far and away the grey gull flies
Quite far beyond the hill
And brings sweet memories back to me
Of a love that lingers still.

~Hannah Keene 2019.

Posted for K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Misty Memories (Photos and Poems).

A Boy and His (Shared) Dog

I am finding myself somewhat nostalgic and sad lately. The daylight is beginning to fade sooner and sooner, and while fall is usually my favorite season, September 2 marked the first year anniversary of my husband’s death. So I have been looking through family pictures of late, and went searching for these, as they are among my favorites of the past year – the first year without my husband of 44 years. While the post itself is far longer than six words, the title is exactly six, so I hope I can still use the Six Word Saturday hashtag.

I have written before about the fact that my good friends, Martha and Arthur, and I share our two dogs. Theirs is Teddy the Labradoodle and mine is Zoë the Miniature Schnauzer. When my husband and I returned to Northern California three and a half years ago and moved into our retirement community (St. Paul’s Towers), the grandkids were just 1 and 3½. Teddy was bigger than the 1 year old, obviously, but he was also awfully big for the 3½ year old. About a year ago, when they were 3 and almost 6, the two of them decided that it was time for them to start walking the dogs instead of just accompanying me when I walked them. So they became the walkers, and I became the accompanying and supervising person. The 3 year old was still rather scared of Teddy, but was comfortable walking Zoë. The almost 6 year was adamant that he wanted to walk Teddy by himself, without me holding on to the leash. Here is the result: he walking confidently on ahead with Teddy last February, when he was fully 6+ a few months. My granddaughter, Zoë, and I are lagging behind, in a perfect position to capture a photo.

Walking the Dog at Twilight

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Images: Hannah Keene 2019

Posted for Six Word Saturday. Well, at least there’s exactly six words in the title. 😉