Barb and her sister Nancy made it back from D.C. 20 minutes early last night and we went out to dinner at Outback (in part because of this). Despite being tired from the travel and time difference they were very upbeat and talk about how wonderful the hospital (except for the food), volunteers, doctors, and therapists were. They told me stories of Jason and others in the hospital how nearly everyone was so upbeat even though many of them had lost a great deal–arms, legs, eyes, brain injuries. The helicopter pilot that lost her arm and both legs “tooling around in a wheelchair wearing a t-shirt that said, “It’s a good thing my husband is a butt man.” Barb and Nancy were sorry for the losses but said they were being well taken care of and they all seemed proud of what they had contributed. Barb said I really needed to go visit Jason and meet these heroes. I want to but even as they were telling me of all our soldiers and how well they were doing the tears welled up. It made me very sad. I’m not sure I could do anything but cry if I went to visit. I think we are doing the right thing in Iraq, but the losses make me very uncomfortable. Although I sometimes say, “Too much sand, not enough glass” I don’t mean it. I know that of the available options to us we are almost for certain going down the correct path.
Barb, Nancy, and I went to the Uncle Bonsai concert last night and enjoyed it. I wanted to hear more of their old songs but they had new material and I hadn’t really heard all of the stuff that has been out for a while. I never listened to anything but a little bit of their “Doug” album. After hearing a couple of the songs last night I listened to the entire album this morning. Some of the songs were sad and it probably affected me more than usual because of the stories from Walter Reed.
When we got back from the concert I did a very quick check of my email and I found out Bob Coval died yesterday. We knew it was coming (low bandwidth version here) but still a great sadness swept over me. Since I’ve been over here this last week I had been thinking about Bob frequently. I should visit him or at least find out when he died. I didn’t really want to know though. Now I know.
This morning Nancy announced it was 6:00 AM and they needed to leave right away. One short night is all I got with Barb before she headed home again. They need to leave early because I-90 is one lane in both directions in parts of Snoqualmie pass because of rock slide. The state transportation department is saying there could be long delays over this holiday week. Five hours was mentioned but that could be for next Sunday night when the really heavy traffic occurs. I’m hoping to go home on Wednesday night. I didn’t even try to get an airplane ticket because they sell out a couple months in advance over Thanksgiving. That means I need to try and get over the pass at a high traffic time. And over course coming back Sunday night will be hell. It might be that the return trip will be best done via Portland. It’s normally a nine hour drive but that will be better than 10 or 12 hour drive over the traffic clogged pass (which is normally a five hour drive).
I was at my first IDPA match Saturday until just before I went to the airport to pick up Barb and Nancy. The match went pretty well. Lots of rules to process on a continuous basis after the buzzer goes off. It’s not like IPSC where you often get to “shoot them as you see them.” Gaming is still present just less obvious. Thanks to Wendell for arranging a group of us to attend together. Robin, Sean, and I had dinner at his place with Hobbit Friday night. Robin and I were in pain from laughing at the S&W (Sean and Wendell, not Smith and Wesson) rendition of Whale.avi (S&W were far better than the real thing). Then we all were in the same squad for the match on Saturday. It was most pleasant company for both Friday evening and Saturday.
So… I’m alone here in front of my computer thinking about Bob, Jason and our other heroes that have lost so much, Barb leaving after spending just a few hours, and I will have some long drives to visit home over Thanksgiving. I think it will be best if I get out and do my National Ammo Day purchases. I wanted to do it yesterday but the IDPA match and spending time with Barb were higher priorities. Anything to get out and moving will be better than here.
I’ll be back with something more upbeat later.