Friday, December 25, 2015

God Bless Us Everyone!

More about this special Christmas posted on my starry river blog…

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

God Bless Us Everyone

Yesterday, I asked my 10 year old neighbor what he had learned about Thanksgiving in school. His answer was, "Nothing".

So I let him know that it was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the 1860's. We talked about the early pilgrims, why they came to America and the food that went along with their season of thanks. 

The first line of Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation written during the Civil War..

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God."

We do tend to forget our blessings and from whom they flow, anyway I do. I want to count them all this year. God bless our military families with blessings too many to count.

Monday, November 9, 2015


November 11th is this Wednesday…It's Veterans Day. There is no greater honor than to give a gift of thanks to our nation's defenders. This year we are giving a gift through the Gary Sinese Foundation because he never gives up finding meaningful ways to help and honor our vets.

We can all send a roaring sound of "Thanks!" in any way that most moves us. If you like, click on the link below to see how vets are being helped through the Gary Sinise Foundation and if you would like to be a part…

Veteran's Day Parade, Pleasanton, Ca

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Here I sit with a broken wrist (I thought it was shattered but actually not as bad as that) and 2 weeks into wearing a blue cast on my arm. Sometimes feeling sorry for myself and all the things I want to do but can't do. Remembering my mountain biking crash in Bend and the moment I couldn't take back--makes me mad, makes me cry, teaches me a huge life lesson.

But then Gary Sinese sent me an email this morning and all perspective is regained. My injury is nothing, nothing at all when compared to the men who lost multiple limbs while defending freedom.

Thank you Gary for taking care of our most valuable assets with love, compassion and the homes they need…thank you vets for inspiring me more than you could is the video tour of a very sweet home...

Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 once more

Tom Burnett 

Mark Bingham

Todd Beamer

I can't believe it is 9/11 already. 14 years have passed since that horrific day in 2001. On that morning, my husband and I were taking a walk along the San Lorenzo River near Boulder Creek California. It was the last day of our vacation there. From across the river, in an RV park, I could hear what sounded like President Bush speaking. I said, "Why is the President talking and why is it so loud?" When we got back to check out of our villa, we asked the attendant what was going on. And she said, pointing to the TV, "Look! We've been attacked!" We could see the infamous flames and smoke coming out of the first tower. "What do you mean attacked?" "People flew planes into the World Trade Center," "What people." "Terriorists. We're at war."

No one said another word. We left stunned and unbelieving. We drove through the small town of  Saratoga and the normally busy streets and shops were empty. Stores were closed. A sense of dread was everywhere. We walked around a bit and spoke to the only person we saw on the street. We were all almost in tears.

I heard they are unveiling the Memorial in Shanskville Pennsylvania where United Airlines Flight 93 was brought down. In the coming days we were to hear about Tom, Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham and Jeremy Glick as the men who tried to stop the terrorists from bringing the plane down. We do remember. In our town of Pleasanton, a street has been named after Tom Burnett near the company he worked for, Thoratec. I think of 9/11 every day I pass by and see the name, Tom Burnett.

Click below for the Pennsylvania Memorial website and information...

Here is the story of Jeremy Glick.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

We Can Always Do a Little More

Today was one of the greatest days of my life! I got to meet with Dr. Brenda Solomon --an incredible advocate for our military veterans as a member of the staff for the Gary Sinise Foundation.

After meeting with her and listening to her many inspiring and heart wrenching stories about our wounded and recovering veterans, I logged onto Gary's site and watched two videos…the one about his visit to Korea with the Lt. Dan Band and a video about one fine man SFC Mike Schlitz. Watch his story here and get inspired like I did,

 "While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation's defenders, we can always do a little more." Gary Sinise

What I love about Gary's website is that he lets you meet him and the vets he is helping to move forward in life and into new homes which accommodate individuals with multiple limb loss. 

To learn more and keep our vets in the front of our thankful prayers, click the link below

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Freedom's Calling

Original Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world….
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
click here to read the entire Declaration and the cause for independence

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free….You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to induge the flesh, rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." 
Galatians 5:1, 13-15

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 
Abraham LincolnNovember 19, 1863

From the words of Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians  around A.D. 50, to the Founding Fathers in 1776, and Abraham Lincoln in 1863, it is evident that freedom's call is God-breathed…with the goal to love and serve out of a grateful heart, to build and not destroy, not because it seems like a good thing to do, but because it is the essence of life.  We owe so much to those who have stood up for the cause of American freedom in the past. Thank you! Freedom's defenders are needed now more than ever. 

On this Independence Day 2015, I find myself most grateful to have grown up during a time in America's history when the gospel message could be shared freely by a friend who invited me to be born into a new life that can't be taken away. I know now that it is for freedom that Christ has set me free…I was meant to live free from fear, free from my own selfish ways, from memories of abandonment, anger and shame and free to live a life of love. Free to launch a grand dream like RoadWarriors 2010 because I felt compelled from deep in my heart to do so. I loved every minute of our venture together. It was never work. It was all excitement and joy and satisfaction. It was easy. Thanks again everyone! I'll never forget!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pleasanton Remembers: Memorial Day 2015

The best part about today's Memorial Day Service? It was obvious that everyone who attended sincerely wanted to be there. They came in walkers, strollers and wheel chairs.  They listened to every word spoken and every note of music played. Everyone was at attention so to was great!

There were bagpipes, the community band, a Color Guard, a 21 gun salute, the Gettysburg Address and Army Commanders taking part. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang America the Beautiful and the National Anthem. We learned new information about the holiday itself and about Tri Valley servicemen who had died in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Scout Troop 998 put up flags at the Senior Center and at the grave sites at our local cemeteries

Placing of the Wreath was done by Sea Cadet Jacob Wight, RADM C.W. Parks Battalion and Donna Willy
who played Amazing Grace on the bagpipe

Spenser Aquilina, Eagle Scout Troop 998 reading the Gettysburg Address

My favorite words of the day...

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us...that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.

We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom."
(President Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863)

"The 30th day of May 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country" 
(from General John A. Logan's Memorial Day Order May 5, 1868)


Remembrance Day 2015

Some things I remember:

On May 29th, 2002, my husband and I had the honor of attending the graduation of our neighbor Damon Field from the United States Air Force Academy. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave the commencement speech. Not only did he bring every member of the audience to tears with his honest words of encouragement and praise for the cadets who would be thrust into the face of war, but he handed out each and every diploma and shook the hand of each and every graduate....1,000 graduates! We watched Damon grow from a 6 year old little boy into an incredible man, husband and father. Today, Damon continues to serve in the Air Force.

Fortunately as far as I have learned from my search, none from that class of 2002 have fallen in battle. But today is the day we remember and honor those who have given all. The Air Force Academy has dedicated a wall of remembrance to all graduates who have died in service to America. Volunteers helped to make this wall a reality.

A few years ago, I remember walking through an airport and seeing a big, strong, military fit kind of man wearing a tee-shirt that read simply "John 13:15". I went home and looked up the verse.

"Greater love has no man than he who would lay down his life for a friend." 

Today is the day we honor and remember those 
who have such profound love.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Miracle Miles

For some reason, today's  post "Miracle Miles" was never published during the active days of remained only a draft. But as we approach the 5th Anniversary of launching RoadWarriors--Memorial Day 2010-- it seems like perfect timing for read again about people who felt compelled to be a part of the plan. 

Miracle Miles: from draft to post

"I believe every decision to become a road warrior or to sponsor a road warrior this summer was a miracle. It was fairly easy to come up with the idea for Road Warriors 2010, but giving life to an idea or creating something from nothing requires the supernatural. Here are some of the stories that happened behind the scenes, some of the daily miracles that moved our project out of the realm of an intangible idea into the reality of hearts and hands reaching out to make a difference to our injured servicemen, women and their children.

Our everyday Miracles went like this...
The minute I saw Uncle Credit Union President Jim Ott riding his bike on Foothill Road,  I knew I was going to invite him to be a Road Warrior or sponsor. Huffing and puffing along side him on my mountain bike, I gave him the rundown of what we were trying to do. He told me to bring some info by his office at the Credit Union. I did.

Next thing I knew, he was writing a story 
about us for the Valley Times. 
That story led to the largest single donation I received!

The funny (miraculous) thing about it is that I had explained the idea of Road Warriors 2010 to this "BIG" donor a month earlier I was afraid to ask him outright to be my sponsor. Prompted by reading Jim's story, here's the unexpected email I received from the man I wanted to be my sponsor but never had the courage to ask, John Silveria, Director of Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association.
"As I fight the tears as I write this, I want to sponsor you! Please let me know what I can do to help. "

When I read the email, I cried too. This was a miracle to me. John has two sons serving the United States in the military today. Not only did he write a check from Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association to sponsor my 1,000 miles at 75 cents/mile, but he launched our 9/11 campaign at the Pleasanton Farmers Market to bring in a matching $750.00...a campaign which encouraged one Pleasanton mom and daughter to bring their 9/11 donation in a baggie filled with quarters. They had spent the morning digging up ten dollars in "spare" quarters to give to wounded warriors.

Bringing donations on 9/11 to the Farmers Market 

I think that little baggie was a miracle because it was a picture of someone's heart being touched enough to change an idea into an act of love, a hand reaching out to help another.

For me, another supernatural helping hand appeared when I reached out to a long lost high school friend Robert Sherwin who had graduated from West Point. I hadn't talked to him in almost 40 years. Almost immediately, I got a positive response from him. "I’ve got my check already written out and am getting a matching one from my HR team tomorrow.  I’ll meet my goal of having both mailed before Thursday, and you and the Road Warriors will be $500 closer to your goal." I had been afraid to contact him after so many years, but man, look what happened -- I am so grateful!

 Our sponsors and donors are the ones who gave our miles and sweat equity meaning beyond our own satisfaction, an impact bigger than ourselves. 

Our sponsors helped turn our miles into tangible miracles."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lately and 9:37

The Pentagon Memorial

I played golf last week with a man whose son served in Afghanistan, was wounded and now is out and home, having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life.

Although life goes on for me in a pretty "normal" fashion, his story reminded me that so many people's lives have been altered forever since the war that began on 9/11/01.

It also reminded me, on the night of the Behghazi attack in 2012 -- the anniversary of 9/11-- I had just seen a documentary video produced by Gary Sinese about the Pentagon Memorial. I had never even heard of this memorial until then. It was so moving and so important to document what happened that horrible day…In addition to his video, the Pentagon Memorial has a website where all Americans can become acquainted with the memorial, each person who was lost and learn how to help…it is a very thoughtfully designed remembrance, beautiful and respectful.

Pentagon Memorial
The Pentagon Memorial captures that moment in time at 9:37 a.m. when 184 lives became intertwined for eternity.  Each victim’s age and location at the time of the attack have been permanently inscribed into the Memorial by the unique placement and direction of each of the 184 Memorial Units.

Thank you to every person who has logged onto this blog. Thank you to every vet, every family member who has lost a loved one since 9/11/01 and mourns them forever…thank you for your eternal sacrifice. It is daunting and heroic to live each day with such loss. Again, I cannot imagine. But, thank you a million times…you are not forgotten.

The names of each person killed are engraved on 147 wing-like monuments