Remembering September 11 – Fifteen years later

Remembering September 11

Remembering September 11 at the Flight 93 Memorial

Remembering September 11 – Where were you?

September 11, 2001. Has it been 15 years already? It doesn’t seem possible.

Apparently, it is. Our youngest was in preschool; now, she’s in her second year of college. Our granddaughters are older than our two youngest were the day of the attacks.

Fifteen years – a blink of an eye for some of us; an eternity for those who lost loved ones.

Most of my peers can recall that day like it happened yesterday.  Our children and now grandchildren heard – or will hear of – the stories and learn about this event in history class.

The attacks of September 11, 2001, were referred to as the “Pearl Harbor” of our day.

Remembering September 11, I recall the fear and the sadness of that day. Our children talk about how eerily quiet it was. Such a pretty day, yet no one was outside playing. The skies were quiet as all aircraft was grounded. Towards evening, our neighbors gathered somberly. I remember how the stages of grief began to unfold: specifically shock, sadness and anger. I couldn’t tear myself away from the images on TV, and yet I couldn’t bear to watch. I recall how sleep wasn’t an escape, and morning came with the wonder of whether the attacks happened or it was all a bad dream.

It’s hard not to remember the day our world changed. Some changes for the worse, and some for the better. We saw horrific images and mourned the loss of thousands. But we also saw humanity and bravery at its best – strangers helping strangers. We witnessed selfless acts.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Sadly, it seems we have forgotten what it is like to put our differences aside for the common good of all. Once, though we stood on opposite sides of politics, religion and countless other opinions, we were able to push that aside and embrace our common humanity. Today, we let those differences define us and stand toe to toe, trying to come out on top of our arguments.

I have written about military life, patriotism and September 11, 2001, countless times. Last fall, my husband and I had the opportunity to stop at the Flight 93 National Memorial, a site so humble and haunting. A site where heroes stopped a planned attack on the nation’s capital, where we had also spent some time visiting that same weekend.

Remember September 11

Remembering September 11 at the Flight Memorial

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” Ecclesiastes 3:4 KJV

It is my hope, that as we recall the events of the terror attacks, we recall the humanitarian acts in the days that followed. By remembering the good, we would find our common ground again. Instead of bickering, we would be compassionate. That we stop a moment and remember the lives that were lost and the life that we continue to live.

 “I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 KJV

I hope that we remember that evil doesn’t triumph. I hope we remember that even though tragedies make the headlines, that there is still good in the world. That even during tumultuous times, there are still people willing to put on a uniform every day – be it military members, police officers, firefighters or EMTs – to make sure that our little corner of the world is safe. That in an emergency, these brave souls will risk their own lives for the good of a stranger.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV

On this day, we are remembering September 11, 2001. May we #NeverForget

© Lynne Cobb – September 2016

Remembering September 11

Remembering September 11

 

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Back to School Almost 30 Years Later

Back to School

Back to school!

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.  ~Sydney J. Harris

It’s that time of year again, when summer winds down and fall takes over with the excitement of cooler temperatures, vibrant colors and the promise of delicious cider.

Previously I wrote about our youngest child beginning college and starting her new chapter. As she began hers, I knew that I, too, would begin mine. As an “almost-empty-nester,” I am writing new pages as I navigate this season referred to as midlife.

I have often thought that fall felt more like a fresh beginning than January’s start of a new year. Maybe the life-long conditioning of new beginnings due to the start of the school year has something to do with the feeling.

My own memories of fall have, for the most part, been good ones of fresh starts, new dreams and the old, decorated cigar box filled with bright crayons, sharp pencils, kid-sized scissors, pink erasers and mini bottles of glue. (My personal favorite were the pencils that were red on one end and blue on the other. Are those even a thing anymore?) I also remember my mom walking with us to school to see the class lists posted on the doors. The excitement and anticipation could either provide a moment of elation or anxiety, depending on your classroom assignment.

I hold tight to those childhood moments, and to the moments I experienced with my children. This is the second year that I am not sending children off for the traditional “first day of school.” I admit, I miss going out and purchasing new school supplies, finding out who the teacher will be, and snapping photos of the day. After twenty-five years of “first day” traditions, it is weird to be out of the loop.

But nonetheless, this fall is pretty darn exciting. I’m not sure if my adult children will get up early and come stand on the porch for a photo. Well, maybe if I bribe them with coffee and cinnamon rolls. I’m willing to give it a shot. If not, I will just have to take a selfie of myself on the porch. Hahaha – no! Because in addition to most of my brood returning to college this fall, yours truly here will be doing the same.

Back to school.

After a hiatus of about thirty years, I start my classes today. I am pretty darn excited.

No, I won’t have an old cigar box filled with supplies. I know I won’t be sporting a new backpack, but I will have my new laptop. No, there will be no locker for my books, so I am trying to organize the office to be functional for both work and school. No, I won’t have to go clothes shopping or look for cool and cute dorm room stuff.

But, what I do get is the satisfaction of completing something I started 36 years ago – my journalism degree. I have absolutely no regrets that I left school to get married, travel as a military spouse, be a mom times four (see, I can still do math) and have the opportunity for all the other experiences I have had thus far. I have lived in and traveled to places some people only dream about.

So why finish the degree? One, because I can. Two, because I want to. Three, because I need to.

  • I can, because I now have the time. All four children have graduated high school and have completed or are completing their secondary education. I know it is not going to be easy, but it will be easier than when I tried to return to school fifteen years ago.
  • I want to, because it was a promise I made to myself and my husband when we married that I would, one day, finish my degree. His encouragement keeps me going – especially when I had a panic attack after reviewing the syllabus!
  • I need to, for myself and my adult children. I want them to see me finish what I started. I need them to set goals and strive to achieve them, no matter how long it may take. I need them to see that it doesn’t matter what age you are; it is still difficult to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

I need them to see that when life gets in the way – whether by your choice or by no fault of your own – you have to keep pushing and trying no matter what.

I need them to see that in their own lives, when a chapter ends, a new one begins – that each ending is a new beginning.

I need them to see there is a value in continued growth, no matter your season of life.

So, here’s to an exciting new school year to all – no matter how young or old you are!

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.  ~John Dewey

© Lynne Cobb – 2016

Have you thought about returning to school after your children graduated? Or, did you? Share your experience in the comment section!

 

 

 

 

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Good Memories and a Smile

Good memories

Good memories and a smile

“Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies.” Author Unknown

Looking out the kitchen window, I watched my two granddaughters playing basketball with their uncles – my sons.

It wasn’t too long ago that I’d watch my boys out that same window, and now they are grown men. They have fond memories of that basketball hoop, and memories of the one-and-one games with each other; of games with their dad, my dad, cousins and countless friends. And a few memories of the times when I’d impress them by landing several baskets of my own, thank you very much.

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8 ways midlife is like being a teen again

midlife is like being a teen again

The other day, I ran to the local pharmacy to grab contact solution. What should have been a quick trip took a wee bit longer than I planned.

Since embracing my natural color, I have worked with my stylist to make sure my hair is up-to-date and that has led to a whole lot of time spent in the hair care aisle of my favorite stores. Yes, stores. Plural. Because no matter where I find myself shopping, I have to check to see what is available for my lovely locks. And then you just might find me wandering over to check out the lipsticks, gloss and mascara on another aisle. Whether I am at the hair salon, drug store, health food store or the mall, I find that the beauty product aisles beckon me, like a siren calling sailors.

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Posted in humor, Mid-Life, My Take on the Subject | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

On friendship and letting go

clouds

For the past few days, I have purposely limited the time I have spent on social media. My boycott started out innocently enough – it was a beautiful day to be outside, planting flowers and pulling weeds. Good for the body, mind and soul.

A day to appreciate all of God’s creation – well, except for the spiders I encountered while weeding.

When I heard about the tragedy in Orlando, I jumped back online to see what had happened; what the latest updates were. Saddened and horrified, I felt sick to my stomach, just as I did on September 11, 2001.

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Between the Lines: Blogging over 50

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A few months ago, I responded to a request from Katherine at KatherinesCorner.com,  as she was looking for women bloggers over 50 to share their experiences, such as what inspired them to start a blog, what keeps them motivated and so forth. With her expertise and hard work, she is giving more than 80 bloggers the opportunity to expand their horizons and reach more people.

So, I threw my hat in the ring, was accepted to be part of this series, and now you will hear a little more about me. My blogging journey started out as an outlet during my dad’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, and then took a more “random” turn after he passed away.  A few years before he died, the newspaper industry was slowly beginning to fade. As a displaced writer, I was learning to wade into the digital world from the print media realm. One of my favorite writing gigs was a weekly column in our local paper. As I became more comfortable with blogging, my blog began to develop into its own character, and began to look similar to my old columns: a bit of family fodder, some opinion, an occasional recipe and my favorite – conversations with my readers. When I started writing sponsored posts and product/book reviews, I became more interested in the “how-tos” and migrated my work over to a self-hosted blog. I learned a lot and trust me, there is more to learn – like the value in posting on a regular basis, which is something I really need to do!

One of the most rewarding benefits to midlife blogging is meeting wonderful “Boomer Bloggers.” A few I have met, and there are many more I look forward to meeting “IRL.” What impresses me with the north of 50 crowd is the willingness to share our collective knowledge and expertise among each other and the new bloggers arriving into cyberspace.

Some professionals in the blogging world suggest carving a niche, and being an expert in a field. I agree, but I still defer back to my old columnist days and prefer to write about whatever topic moves me. So if you are hopping through my posts, you are going to see a little bit of everything that interests me. It may not be what I should be doing, but it is what I like to do, so maybe my little niche is, “Midlife Lifestyle Blogger.” Because I am an almost empty-nester, my husband and I have been able to travel a bit more, so you’ll read about our trips. We’re attempting to be healthier and greener, so you’ll find recipes from homemade bread to toothpaste. Plus, I have been dabbling in some humor writing to balance some of the more serious opinions and life-changes of moving forward after raising four little ones. One of my menopause posts was chosen to be part of the anthology, Feisty after 45 – The Best Blogs from Midlife Women.

In addition to cruising through my site, I do hope you click on the link below and check out some of the other writers and their work. And if you have ever wanted to give blogging a try, I encourage you to do so! It is a great way to record family history, share opinions or hobbies and meet others.

If you have any questions, there is a “North of 50 Blogger” right here (me!) who is happy to help! A list of how to contact me is on my “Contact” page.

Happy reading – and, hopefully, writing!

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I would have told her

I would have told her

I would have told her

It has been almost a year since our youngest child graduated from high school. One year of college down – where did that time go?

Prom pictures and senior photos are starting to pop up on social media, and it’s hard to believe that a year ago at this time, we were busy shopping for dresses. It seems like yesterday we were preparing for the last graduation party we would throw for one of our children.

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