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Need to Nomad Blog

"Thankful Generations" WWII Project - Part 2

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Meet a true American hero, my Uncle Arthur. He served as a radio man with E Company, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division.  Fighting in the European theater in December 1944, he was seriously injured when an artillery shell hit a tree just over his fox hole, shrapnel severely shredding his legs. He was evacuated on the back of a tank, ultimately endured 74 operations, and was in the hospital for 4 years and 9 months. Pictured below with his parents on the day of his discharge from the hospital, he survived his injuries and went on to marry my Aunt Diane with whom he had four children, my cousins Ann, Aileen, Arthur and Alan. Uncle Arthur passed away in 2007, at the age of 83.

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Only on rare ocassions during my childhood did we see my fathers' extended family, because of our frequent moves with the Air Force. However, in the summer of 1972, at a memorable family reunion in Massachusetts, the whole family gathered for a beach party and barbeque. My uncle was there, a kind and quiet man as I recall. I was in the presence of a true American hero, and I didn't even know what that meant. I was nine years old and totally oblivious. 

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Nor did I ever show my gratitude. I never even knew I should say thank you to this brave man who sacrificed so much for our security and freedom. 

It is within this context, and with tremendous respect and thankfulness that I dedicate my next Thankful Generations tapestry to him. Thanks to my cousins Ann and Aileen, I am able to share his story with you, and capture his image as my next beaded tapestry.  

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The bead pattern to the right reflects 36,195 beads that capture the photographic image of Uncle Arthur during basic training in the 1940's. A monumental undertaking indeed, I estimate that this project will take four months to complete. The finished piece will measure approximately 8 by 17 inches. Stay tuned for updates as this amazing piece of art emerges on my loom.  

In the meantime, I am looking forward to reconnecting with my cousins, learning more about my Uncle, and sharing their stories with you as I create this unique bead tapestry. Thank you, Uncle Arthur. Thank you for the freedoms we enjoy. I will never forget.

The Long and Short of It

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When I was nineteen, I had three basic and rather shallow ambitions. 

  1. to own a classic Mustang - check. 
  2. to have an acoustic guitar - check. 
  3. to get a tattoo - nope, never happened. 

Oh, well. Two out of three isn't bad, especially at that age. My other objective was to drastically change the long straight hair I was born with.

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Over the past thirty years, I have tried practically every length except floor length. From just above my hips to just above my ear lobes. My hair has been so short someone actually called me "little boy". My hair has been so long I could almost sit on it. 

I've sported tight curls that made me look like Gilda Radner in a "Roseanne Roseanna Danna" skit. Soft perms have given me gentle Farrah Fawcett "Charlie's Angels" waves. And believe me when I tell you regardless of the amount of heat or curlers or chemicals applied, long curly hair is just not in my cards, no matter how desperately I have tried.

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The biggest issue for me is the in-between phases in which I constantly find myself. When long, I cut my hair short. Once short, I moon over the days of long and straight. I love both extremes. I love the freedom of short hair and the versatility of long hair. The problem is a matter of math and time. If A = long hair and Z = short hair, the distance between A to Z can be instantaneous. However, the distance between Z to A is a torturous eternity! 

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Jobs dictate to a certain degree which look I wear. Let's face it. My chances of avoiding "hard hat hair" are certainly better with long and straight! But short and sassy gives me the edge I need to kick butt when I need to, which is one of the reasons why I love super short. 

As my fiftieth birthday approaches next week, I am giving myself a break! Enough of this dichotomous existence. I am drawing the line in the sand. No more nomadic journeys with my hair! 'Nuf is 'nuf! No more super shorties, no more chemicals, no more heat. The first grays are starting to show and I relish every one of them!

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In my next fifty years I am making the best of what I already have. Long and straight is:

  • awesome
  • easy
  • versatile 
  • low maintenance
  • inexpensive
  • classy 

And lest I forget, long and straight is what my husband loves the most, for he, too, has pined away when the scissors strike. I'm going to the stylist today, Alan, but just for a trim …  

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