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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is always something to be thankful for and not just on this day!
Today and always I try to be thankful for all I have.

-my wonderfully giving, caring, and loving husband

-a roof over my head

-my family

-health

-a job

I give gratitude for all and pray for those who have less.

I was thinking back to last Thanksgiving and how much more I have in my life since then.

-a new home

-a dream job on Broadway

-two new healthy nephews added to the family

I hope that everyone enjoys the day and gives thanks to everything they have, even if it’s not as much as the person next to you!

Thank you to those that are away from their families especially our servicemen and women; All the civil service workers who are on duty today; All the transportation workers who are bringing people safely to their destination- especially pilots and bus and train operators;

Life is a gift! Celebrate it everyday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Army Football Tradition

Last weekend me, my dad, brother, and a few friends continued a yearly tradition of going to West Point Military Academy to see a football game. We make it an all day event, we pack the truck the day before with chairs, a grill, lots of yummy food and adult beverages. This year the weather was great! It wasn’t too cold, although I had a few layers of clothes on 🙂

It was perfect timing this year coinciding with Veteran’s Day! My dad is a Navy Vet and it is always nice to be around him when there is any mention of celebrating Veterans and their sacrifice and service for our country.

The national anthem was playing just as we walked up to the stadium and it was so nice to see how patriotic everyone was- the whole group of people on the street and sidewalk walking up to the gates stopped and removed their hats to listen.

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Before the game, as they usually do some service people parachute out of airplanes over the stadium- it’s really neat to see. During halftime of this game, a few young people who had recently joined the military were unofficially sworn in on the field. And at the end, despite the score of the game, the military band plays the alma mater song and both teams stand and remove helmets and face all the cadets while it is played.

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I hope we can continue this tradition–our group keeps growing! 

Thank you to all the Veterans who served and are serving our country. Thank you for your sacrifice and for keeping our country free! 

God Bless America! 

Hurricane Sandy–1 Year Later

I know it’s a few days past the 1 year anniversary, but after catching a few stories of the year since Hurricane Sandy I couldn’t help but think about where I was a year ago. 

I remember getting an email from my father-in-law saying “Will Leanne meet Sandy?” I don’t think any of us realized the impact the storm would actually have on my world or the state we live in. 

I was working a Stage Management job on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. We thought for sure we were going to be diverted because of the storm. I remember there being a day with a little bit of rain which we thought was due to Sandy. 

As the time passed I found myself taking every little moment to check the internet (which isn’t so easy in the middle of the ocean) and to catch a glimpse of news on one of the few channels I had in my cabin. My mother was good about keeping in touch with me through email and updating me on their current situation.  It was quite tough for me to be away from my family not knowing what the storm was going to bring. 

The area we live in gets flooded a lot and we (my brother’s house in particular) have been surrounded by water too many times in the last few years- I was scared that might happen yet again. 

I can still remember the last conversation with my mom just before they lost power for almost three weeks, “They say we are going to lose power and it might be out for quite a while, we are prepared and so are your brothers, we just have to wait it out.”

And as they waited it out, I watched the news showing the storm hit our state and NY, feeling helpless. Every now and again I’d check Facebook and my email to see if there was any word. Everyone was safe, just no power. But so many others weren’t as lucky. Even still to this day there are so many people not back in their homes. 

I got off the ship after the storm had done it’s damage, we were in New Orleans. I couldn’t help but see both the pictures of New Jersey and New York and remember the pictures of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Having been in NOLA only 3 short years after the hurricane and now 7 years later and still seeing some homes and businesses not back up and running I could only imagine what our state would look like. 

My sweetie and I had the privelige and honor of joining a group that went down to help clean out in Union Beach, NJ. I was humbled by what we saw and so glad I was able to help out, even if it was just one household. 

I continue to put my name out to volunteer with the American Red Cross and other committees that help people in need- I think it’s the least I can do knowing that my family made it through the horrible storm without too much damage. 

Hopefully, New Jersey and New York will continue to rebuild and will be stronger than before the storm hit!

If anyone knows of people or businesses in need of some volunteers please leave a comment! 

Observation in Life #2–Everyone’s Life is Unique

While away from home on a mini-break a few weeks ago visiting my sweetie, we spent some time walking around both the cities of Nashville and New Orleans. We have been to these cities before with different shows but every time it’s a little different, sometimes it’s the weather, sometimes it’s the atmosphere we are surrounded by.

This time I tried to take in more of the city– I observed more of the people who live in these cities all the time. They work and raise families just like we do back home.

The warmer weather on this visit allowed us to see more people spending time outside- hearing the live music on almost every street corner is one of the most distinct feature of Nashville. I often passed by a man or woman playing their guitar with their dog nearby and an open guitar case with some small change in it and wondered what their life was like outside of this street corner entertaining tourists.

In New Orleans, there were people spread out throughout the French Quarter asking strangers who passed by for money, food, water and some even asked for beer.

I did have to stop and think of how blessed I am and how different my life is from so many others in this small world. Even as I rode in a cab to meet Pete at work, we stopped at a red light and my cab driver rolled his window down and gave some money to the man on the off-ramp of the highway- dressed in ripped, dirty clothing he held a sign asking for some money.

My heart strings get tugged at when I see people like this no matter where I am, and I wish I could help all of them–Sometimes the best I can do is smile and politely say hello.

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I can only hope that I can continue to do the best I can for my life and my family and help as many people along the way as I can.

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