Honoring My French Legion Soldier Dad’s Service

world war one scene

My cousin Steve Packey displays a photo of his Grandfather Joseph in his law firm in Sacramento.  It is Steve’s noble way to remember a family member who served his country during war.

Joseph enlisted in the U.S. Army in Chicago when the U.S. entered  WWI.  He was sent to Jefferson Barracks in Missouri where it was discovered he was fifteen years old and thought too young to serve.  Officials sent him home.

From there, he marched himself up to Canada and enlisted in the French Foreign Legion.  The photo in Steve’s office shows him standing beside a car in Paris that he drove for an officer.  Soon he was fighting in the trenches.  The hand-sized Soldier’s Book he carried contained pages of military objectives in French and English. That little part of WWI history can be seen in an Iowa museum in McGregor, Iowa, if it’s still there.

Like most veterans who fought, Dad would not share the terrorizing experiences of trench fighting.  However, I was fascinated with the beautiful medal he was given following his battle wounds.  It was inlaid with ivory and green stones and I wore it often to high school on a chain..  Until the chain fell off.  I continue to regret that loss.  The few remaining objects I  have of his are a rosary and one of his fishing lures.

Joseph does leave a legacy of patriotism and courage.  I also believe he passed along a sense of adventure.  I discovered this during a Mom’s Day call from son John when I asked, “What kind of mother was I?”  And, he answered with not a second’s hesitation, “Adventurous.

This may be one of the reasons I wrote Lebensborn Secrets.  The adventures continue in Rusty Springs and Casanova Cowboy.  Perhaps even, Snowbirds.

(Again, thanks to PhotoPin for use of the above scene.)


Joys of Summer No. 2


     When an experience attaches to your memory so vividly, especially if it’s one of pleasure, you crave to repeat it.  At least I do.

      So, I expect the second joy of summer to be a Heavenly Bed.   The first was getting the golden convertible that’s ready to go on many a joyful event.

      Once upon a time almost like the Princess in the Pea, the feelings of lying upon a bed which felt like a cloud happened at the Best Western Hotel near the Ontario Airport in California.  I’ve always longed for a do-over of sleeping in a PERFECT bed/

      Always wanting to repeat that time of wonderment, when I read about the Heavenly Beds at a hotel in downtown Seattle and that the man of the couple did not want to leave it due to the BED itself, I thought why not?  There was no reason in this summer of joy to pass it by.

      The Hotel Westin is smack in the middle of downtown Seattle and not far from all the action.  Room reservations are very pricey.  Reservations however reports, “All our rooms have these Heavenly Beds,” so the bed will undoubtedly a Heavenly Bed.

      For a country girl who lives in the forest, a day in a big city will be quite the adventure.  Undoubtedly, that day will live among my top favorites of Summer Joys.  In between, there’s a lot of fun planned.  In a few minutes, the convertible is leaving on it’s first of summer picnics. 

     The sun is bright after a few days of rain. Black Sand Beach will soon see us.  The Columbia River will rush by and we’ll roast a few things over a fire.  Not to worry about tending correctly to a fire.

      Bud is a volunteer fireman for District l0 and he’ll be doing the fire and the cooking.  A man after my heart.  He’s brings me more pleasure and adventures than a Heavenly Bed will ever do.