Veteran’s Day

Thanks to all who have given their lives while serving in the Unites States Armed Services.

If you don’t know, William’s middle name is in honor of one such person. You see, William’s great grandfather on his mom’s paternal side was a Marine. During World War II, he was sent to fight in the Pacific War. I don’t know all the details, but this is my understanding of the events.

During one island battle William’s great-grandfather, Robert, was in a foxhole. Another soldier in his unit named Philip jumped into the same foxhole for some reason and broke Robert’s arm in the process. I have no clue how events unfolded from there other than at some point all of Robert’s unit were killed yet he survived—probably because he was moved away from the line to have his arm treated, or was not cleared to participate in a later battle until his arm had recovered enough.

In any case, when William’s mom and I were going over names for William before he was born. I suggested William Robert—William after my grandfather and Robert after her grandfather. However, that caused some concern that his nickname might become “Billy Bob”. So in honor of Philip and the jump that in all likelihood saved Robert’s life, this is how he became “William Philip”—a very regal name I think (as is “Ann Margret”)! Of course, most people know him by his nickname Liam. I like both, but he asked me a couple birthdays ago to call him William, which I do, although in many cases I just call him the ubiquitous “bud” and have to change to Liam or William depending on to whom I’m talking.

Because of this being a national holiday, the kids and I were able to take a day off. We decided to go fishing and a bike ride. I am personally not much into fishing and cringe at the thought of us actually catching a fish as the kids want to keep and eat it, but the kids are into it. Being a Boy Scout in the South taught me something about how to de-scale, gut, and cook a fish, (the big prize there was seeing how many “failed” lures—salmon eggs, corn, etc.—were in the guts…eww) If we actually catch something now, I just want to take a picture and send it back! Thankfully in all our fishing trips so far we haven’t caught anything.

I wanted to get William a new pole as his current one was really short. Plus I had been reading up on fishing and didn’t think the clip-on bobbers we used now were right.  Again, I don’t want to catch a fish and when I did I remember it being just a pole, some line with a hook, and a Salmon egg. But the kids really want this for some reason and that’s why I did the research. First stop was to get some new supplies.

When we got to the river and I was putting the new bobbers on, (a little more complex as they have you put a knot at the depth you want but let you do so without having a bunch of line swinging free when you cast—really neat actually), some guy arrived and started setting up his boat. We started talking and right before he launched, he grabbed a really big worm from his bait box, cut it in several pieces and gave it to us. Gross, (along with the bit how worm farmers do this as they’ll grow back, and even if they die the fish will love them), but really nice.

After a while of fishing, I asked the kids if they wanted to go on a bike ride. Both said sure. We had been using the new bobbers and bait for about an hour with no luck and were pretty much out of cut worm anyway. William and I took our remaining bait our hooks off and threw it in the water, but Ann wouldn’t touch it and asked me to. I don’t know why, but I told her it was a worm and “just do it.” While William and I walked off the floating dock she did.

Then we started on our bike journey. William wanted to explore a sledding hill we saw during our drive to find a fishing place. (For those that know the area, we started a little East of Newberg and Hines Drive and ended up at the sledding hill past Inkster.) I thought that it was a good goal at the start as William wanted to see it closer, but didn’t realize how far it was from where we ended up. After a little over 5.5 miles of riding, (the path has some nice mile markers as well as hills), we made it to the destination. I pedaled to the top and found some guy there sunning himself. William walked up a minute or two later and asked, “how did you ride up this?” I answered, “gears—I have a lot of gears.” The sunning guy lifted his head and smiled. William then said, “you’re not riding down” and I not thinking responded, “that’s the fun part!” Of course then I started wondering if it really was the fun part. Unfortunately I was on the hook then and took off thinking “right hand back tire, left hand front—easy on the left and no worries!” Near the end when I was feeling better about not flipping over, I was heavy on the back brake and leaning to do some slides to head over to Ann who had opted to watch all this from the bottom.  “You dropped my water bottle,” she said as I rode up. (This was in the pouch on the back of my bike which I guess it wasn’t fully zipped as I took off.)  Ok, back to pick that up while William rolled partway than ran down the rest of the hill. All in all it was over 11 miles riding in “not so flat” conditions and a temperature of 95+ not counting “the hill.” Yes, I made sure the kids weren’t in danger and we did stop for water and breaks,(and we all put on sunscreen a couple of times).  At the last couple miles I was getting more worried—especially at the last big hill as Ann had gotten off her bike, but they wanted to press on and by the top of the hill Ann was riding next to me.

At the end of the day, we loaded the bikes on the car, found a 7/11 to get juice and a treat, then headed home. Ann said that this was something her friends would do and I said, “what, work out than negate that with ice cream?” “Yes,” she replied flatly.

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