Lest we forget

I received an email from one of the genealogical sites that I subscribe to, revealing that my paternal grandfather, Raymond Dellinger has been drafted for WWI.  This is his draft paper.

I am not 100% sure but I don’t think that he was actually sent to war.  Lucky for him as so many veterans of WWI died of battle wounds and disease.  I was intrigued that he was a bank clerk in Nebraska.  His older sister had married a doctor from Nebraska but the family had previously lived in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.  My grandfather was born on the Chickasaw nation in OK.

I never had the opportunity to meet this Grandpa and he died when I was a child.  He was so handsome with gray eyes that I would have loved to have seen him in person.  Now I know where the recessive gene for my blue gray eyes comes from.  My father had brown eyes and my mum had blue.

Kerry with dark, dark blue gray eyes

Grandpa Dellinger

As I am looking at the WWI drafts I see that 20 more relatives had been drafted into the war.  I do not know how many actually fought but my great uncle Earl (grandpa’s brother) was a Marine and fought in the Battle of Managua, 1927.  Then an incorrectly spelled name caught my attention, a distant cousin named Tony Ortiga (Ortega).  His draft fell into a strange category of Indians, Insane and Prisoners.  Well, in my family it could be all three….but what awful world categorizes those groups together? It was Folsom Prison in Tony’s case.  I wonder what he did?  Be careful when you open the genealogical closet because you never know what skeleton will fall out.

As I was reading this sad draft, I could hear Johnny Cash playing at Folsom prison.

‘When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry’

Somehow that is the perfect segue from my last post on trains to this one on Memorial Day.

Lest we forget. Rest in Peace.

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Celestún Beach, Mexico

Entry to beach

Perfect Playa

Doesn’t this look like paradise?  Where are the people? Celestún is famous for the breeding grounds of flamingos and the area is a bio preserve.  This means that Celestún hasn’t developed as much as other places in Yucatan such as Cancun.  It was warm but very breezy as you can see from the waves.

After I walked along the beach, I investigated some of the streets close by.  First I saw a group of elderly ladies in various stages of ill health that had been to the local clinic.  I doubt their medical care was as extensive as mine but they were happily chattering as they walked home.  They had probably known each other from childhood and I looked at them in quiet envy.

Celestun village street

La Palapa Restaurant

There were a few restaurants and one was right on the beach.  I really needed a clean restroom but ordered a local beer and admired the view.  The restrooms were like most in the area – spotlessly clean, smelling of bleach with that fantastic foot pedal to flush the toilet.  There was also a clean wastebasket to put your toilet paper in.  The pipes are too narrow and the paper pollutes the pristine environment.  I thanked my hosts kindly and walked out.

Only in Mexico do you get a crucifix in the bar…

As I rounded the corner, reality struck me in the face.  An old sick dog was seizing in the road.  Her eyes were sunken and she was just hours or days from death.  I immediately went into triage mode.  How could I euthanize this dog, likely a stray?  I had left my tranquillizers at the hotel which I could have crushed into some tuna.  As I stopped and stared, I knew I could do nothing.  My rabies vaccinations are long since out of date.  The dog was not mine and it might not be culturally acceptable for me to be the angel of death.  In Cairo most people disapproved of animal euthanasia as it was God’s decision when we die.

I walked on with the knowledge that as much as I would like to, I couldn’t live in a poor rural country.  In Belize I snuck food out of the hotel to feed the starving dogs because there were no shops.  When I got back to the car, Angel, my driver, asked me what I thought of the village.  I told him truthfully that it was exquisite and charming.  Then I told him about the dog in halting Spanish – to my astonishment he seemed to truly understand my dilemma.  Ah, the yin and yang of life.

Cat Mural Celestun

Venom

Black Widow Spider

I decided to create my blog on WordPress because I thought there might be less negativity than other forms of social media. For the most part it has been a perfect way to express myself in words and pictures. Twice in two weeks, however, I have received comments that were both negative and unpleasant. The first time I decided to call out the racist, Racists come in every color, but the second comment I deleted. Despite my initial common sense reaction, deep down I felt hurt, low and discouraged.

Many times I have sympathized with fellow bloggers, truly hurt, when someone has made a nasty comment. Why do people do this? It is a free press but kindness and etiquette should still come first even if you vociferously disagree with another post. Occasionally I sigh when a new follower has very different political view or set of morals but I can still appreciate them.

This particular comment was in response referred to my post Courtship by an Angel which was very quickly followed by My True Valentine – a testament of my love for my husband. You can read the post about Angel but here is a quick summary: On my recent trip to Mexico I hired a local driver, about 37, married with children. At the end of our time together, he started complimenting me and indicated that he might like to cheat with me. NOTHING HAPPENED nor did I do anything to encourage him. I was utterly complimented by a much younger man desiring me.

The comment was from a regular follower (no longer I assume) and I suppose that’s why it is so upsetting.

“This is so sad and the ‘delighted giggles’ at a man willing to cheat (on his wife and children) is part of the problem and only encourages men to overstep the mark. I pray all women gain a high sense of self- esteem and not rely on compliments by anyone else to boost them. Yes, it is nice to be healthfully complimented but seriously, ladies, wise up to the deviance”

My self-esteem is low; mental illness gives me a strange form of body dysmorphia and a general insecurity about anyone liking me. As for flirting or, more accurately, being engaging – I do it with everyone and every species. Babies, old ladies, cats, dogs – they are all prey to me charming them into submission. If only it was truly that easy to have self-esteem and not rely on compliments… I suspect I hit a nerve and I truly sympathize with anyone who has been profoundly hurt with infidelity. It is not deviant behavior, though, just human.

My personal experience is that there are much worse things that can happen to a relationship. My father mentally abused my mother and abandoned both of us. As humans we find it hard to be with just one partner or the divorce rate would be lower. None of those statements, or my flirting, indicate that I endorse cheating in relationships or life. Forgiveness is a wonderful quality and I wish I were better at it. I feel that some of my followers read my blog about churches but neglect to see older posts that talk very openly about sexuality. For any new followers – I am a left wing liberal who loathes our President, guns and a stupid wall. Ironically, I can no longer have physical sexual intercourse because of a rare medical condition (which I will talk openly about in a future blog). It struck me that some of my sadness and longing for a ‘normal’ sexual life might be emanating from me like a beacon.

Let’s lighten this blog up! I was chatted up by a handsome young man in a foreign country with a different culture. For all I know my open personality and solo traveling was a signal that I might be available. The one wise thing I did was not to make him feel bad when I was alone with a strange man in the back of beyond. But as for charming…it continues. I have two older admirers in the produce department of my local supermarket. One is Hispanic and he likes that I thank him in Spanish. The other is Southern and loves my accent. Last week they were subtly fighting for my attention. Southern Gentleman, with some teeth missing, won the battle and we started chatting. I laughingly said, “I can’t be the only lady with a foreign accent in here”. He deftly responded, “But you are unique…” I walked off with a spring in my step and as far as I know neither of them intend to leave their wives for me. It would be a waste of time because my preference is a full set of teeth and a tad younger. 🐆