Hillsides slide down onto the light rail tracks and they are closed for cleaning, traffic is slowed and accidents loom on the express ways. Are the traffic girls the new 'weather babes' of television? Seeing the drive time to Seattle doubled is making me happy to not be on the commute.
We go to morning prayer at the church, I hold the door open for the senior elder ladies getting off their church van, I smile and greet them, loving the twinkle in some of their eyes and the greetings I get in return in English and Korean - the smiles are my reward. My mother taught me what manners a gentleman should have - she had much hope in me, planting a lot of good ideas and habits.
I go upstairs and start my devotions and the English Language Pastor, waves good morning and a greeting and goes to the sound booth (he will be translating during the service), he comes back out and we talk, I ask how his Spanish is - he acknowledges it isn't good as it should be. He was raised in Argentina, before coming to the United States. I talk a bit about my mother and her family, my grandfather and grandmother, using my grandfather's book with his biography and picture. For such a brief moment there was much information exchanged. He got up and went to work, I went back to devotions.
The whole discussion about the arms, the assault weapons and the lack of understanding brings back memories of wars - my little ones, and all the ones I read about - living through the works and words the authors sent my way. I realized like most returning veterans, that civilians don't know anything about war, one of my college professors wrote to me in Desert Shield/Storm that the media were reporting on the Gulf War just like it was a football game, the media knew their audience and communications but nothing about war. I also knew more about foreigners and their armies than the civilians did. German, French, Korean armies - I knew the tactics of all my real enemies and how they were organized. Could have spent some more lifetimes learning even more, but time marched on. Now my own country's Armed Forces are like new. I have enough experience and trust to know they will do the best they can, and die or get wounded and scared forever. I also know who they fight for won't understand nor believe in them nor love them as much as they deserve. One should never waste those willing to die for you - but it seem so chic to mock them in their ignorance...
My mother's later years were very strained by her fears of the fools, almost thinking she should flee to South America if George Bush the younger took over, her friends from South America reminded her that she had very little idea of what life was like there, she has only some of the stories and terror at the hands of their governments during the repressions... I know that she would have been totally against me if she thought I would be a bully, but, for a woman devoted to the Christian turning of the cheek, very proud of my standing up and fighting in defense of the helpless and weak ones. Wish I could have done more of it, glad I can still hold the doors open for the little elder ladies at the chuch, it would still have made her proud.