Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Goodbye To Kids Without Stuff

I have just said goodbye to the school for disadvantaged children, where I have volunteered for the past seven years.

The school is closing and my heart goes out to all the children whose lives intersected with mine. It is hard to think that I won’t see them again, but then, who really knows. “Life is stranger than fiction” and our paths may cross again.

The young, kindergarten through sixth grade, children were so special to me. I treasure the time I spent reading and sharing books with them. The high school girls I came to know and love. I treasure the hours I spent teaching them etiquette and fashion secrets, earning their trust, then hearing their stories. On my birthday in May I received “Happy Birthday” wishes from three graduates. How great is that?

 As I look back on the students and wonderful teachers I knew so well, there is a sort of sadness, but also a sense of contentment. I am thankful that I was a part of their lives for awhile. Did I make a difference? I don’t know and probably never will. What I do know is they made a very important difference in my life. I found that happiness lies in making others happy, to bring joy and love to others. Especially to children who are Kids Without Stuff. Thank you, children, and God bless.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Note About Phoebe

by Lois Jamieson

I am very sorry to report that my blog partner and dear friend, Phoebe Maurer, has had some setbacks in her health. She hasn’t

been able to write her great blog posts for a few weeks. She will be back with us shortly. I talked to her yesterday, and I can report to you that she hasn’t lost her wonderful writing spirit. She is talking about writing a sequel to her first book “Circle of Acceptance”. This book came out of a short writing she did when we were attending the Via Linda Writer’s Workshop. We met at the workshop, and despite our many differences in background, we became fond friends that has lasted for these many years. We have critiqued each other’s writing over coffee at the book store.

We have spent many moments sharing our life stories. It was when I turned 80 that we came up with the idea of writing a book together. Of course it is about the perils and joys of aging. When I suggested we start with a blog, she was all for it even though she was not knowledgeable about the internet and cyber space.

I had a good laugh, while talking to her, when she told me she has spent her ‘resting’ time re-reading “War and Peace” and planning her 90th birthday party in July. It is a real joy to know this bright talented lady. She is a better writer than I am, and she has encouraged me along the way. She also told me that she had bought some painting supplies. No, not to paint her kitchen, although, that wouldn’t surprise me.  Phoebe is a very accomplished artist. She hasn’t painted for a few years because of her arthritic hands, but that won’t stop her. She’ll figure a way to paint once again.

So, I am ‘holding down the fort’ so to speak, but soon she’ll be back on the blog writing her stories.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Remembering D-Day

By Lois Jamieson
June 6th is a very special day to my generation. This is the anniversary, of the very day in 1944, that was the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

In June of 1944, the largest amphibious invasion in world history took place. The allied forces invaded Normandy, France. It was called D- Day, also known by its code name ‘Operation Neptune’. The landings were conducted in two phases, an airborne assault of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French paratroopers and the amphibious landing of allied infantry and armored divisions. There were two airborne  divisions, the 101st and the 82nd , numbering 13,000 paratroopers delivered by 12 troop carriers. 

Among the beaches in Normandy, Omaha Beach was the most heavily fortified. Hundreds of the invading soldiers were killed. These beaches are still referred to on maps by their invasion code names. Many of the courageous men of that generation, who were part of that fateful day, were either killed in action or have since passed away.

I have the privilege of having a good friend that survived the war and is still in fit condition at the age of 88. His name is Richard ‘Dick’ Saggau. Dick, a member of the 101st Airborne Division, dropped behind enemy lines into Normandy at 1:22AM on June 6th, 1944. He is one of the few paratroopers who survived. He was later recognized for his heroism by receiving the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star as well as other medals.

 I hope Americans will always remember and honor men like Dick.

Dick lost his wife a few years ago and has become a regular at the Jamieson dinner table every Monday evening. He doesn’t talk much about D-Day, but I know he remembers it quite well. So, thank you to Dick, and the very few survivors, for the bravery you displayed on D-Day.

This article has also been published on my blog kidswithoutstuff.com