Friday, October 24, 2014

Grandkids and Another Re-Run Hero

Thought for the day:  The laughter of a child is the light of a house.  [African proverb]

Armfuls of giggly sweetness: Persephone, Olivia, and Ella
We're baaaaaaack. We had a grand time in Florida with our son and his family, and ya know what? It really is true that happiness is grandchildren fighting (very sweetly, of course) over who gets to sit on your lap.

Here it is Thursday afternoon, and I finally caught up with all the comments from last week's post, but I didn't leave myself  much time to get a new post written and ready to go for tomorrow. Since so many of you commented about the amateur radio aspect of last week's post, I'm gonna do a re-run of another radio post. It was part of the A-Z challenge from 2012. I hope you enjoy it.

But first... for those of you who asked for them, a few more pictures of the grandchildren. (Since you twisted my arm...) If your eyes tend to glaze over at the prospect of looking at grandchildren pictures, scroll on down and check out the radio post. Go ahead. I won't be offended.





All five of our beautiful Florida girls. This was actually taken this past Easter, but I didn't think to herd them all together for a picture when we were down there this time around.





Ollie's favorite question: "Guess what?" (Usually followed by, "Chicken butt!" and gales of laughter.)




In case ya can't tell, our son and granddaughter Chloe were spelling WOW with their hands. (Me? I say, WOW! How the heck can we possibly have grandchildren this old?!?)



 Jordan and little brother Atlas, (AKA Bud) who was sick most of the time we were there, poor little guy. We all put in lots of rocker time with him, but he wasn't up to smiling for the camera.



Our clever daughter-in-law took this picture and added the caption. Ollie told me grandmas give LOTS of hugs and kisses, and I was more than happy to reinforce that concept. Unfortunately, the day before we left, she got sick, too.



An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, you start to age quickly. [Gene Perret]

Um, no Smarticus isn't napping here. (ahem) He's just... resting his eyes. Yeah, that's it.

Do you know why children are so full of energy? Because they suck it all out of their grandparents.  [Gene Perret]

This turned out to be mostly about our granddaughters, didn't it?. Maybe next time, Atlas will be feeling up to snuff, and we'll catch up with Jacob and Joshua, too. (Yep, quite a crew...)

Okay, now let's take a gander at that old radio post. It's fairly short... Originally, it was called, A Single Signal.

~~~~~~~~~~

Thought for the day:  Like ripples from a stone tossed into a pond, the actions of a single person can sometimes change the world.


[THEME: Amateur radio]

Think KUWAIT.


Think of August 2, 1990. That's the day Iraq invaded Kuwait.






Iraqi tank on road to Kuwait. [Wikipedia]

Think of mayhem, terror, explosions. Telephone lines cut. Fear. No way for Kuwaitis outside of the country to know how the rest of their family and friends in Kuwait were doing. Were they alive, or were they dead? When would they know? How would they know? How would the world know what was going on?

[image from Abdul's QSL card]
Now, meet Abdul Jabar Marafie, amateur radio operator 9K2DZ. 

From the day of the invasion until the liberation of Kuwait nearly seven months later, Abdul, at great risk to both himself and his family, used his radio EVERY SINGLE DAY to send vital information to the outside world about what was going on in his country.

The invading Iraqis confiscated equipment from all Kuwaiti amateur radio operators, but Marafie was able to thwart their efforts by turning over some of his older equipment, while hiding other gear ... gear he could use to feed real-time information to the rest of the world. 

If you watched any news reports about Kuwait during that time and heard a reporter mention "an unknown source" of information, that reporter was talking about Marafie. Although he has received little recognition within his own country for his heroic acts, he received the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Humanitarian Award in 1992, and is featured in an amazing documentary entitled, The Last Voice From Kuwait. (available on Youtube in three parts)

Oil fires, set by the retreating Iraqis. [Wikipedia]



Clockwise from top:
USAF planes flying over burning oil wells;
British troops;
View from Lockheed AC-130;
Highway of death;
M728 Combat Engineering Vehicle.

[Images courtesy of Wikipedia]









So, yes, think of Kuwait. And when you do, think of Abdul. A single amateur radio operator, who, with the help of a network of other amateur radio operators around the world, made a difference. A real difference.

~~~~~~
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Time's running short for you to enter this month's contest on author Carol Kilgore's blog. You can win free stuff there every month, but this month? It's an autographed copy of my novel Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade PLUS a copy of a very cool poetry book, Old Broads Waxing Poetic. Just click on the spiffy contest badge in her sidebar, and post your response to the prompt. Go ahead... it's easy! Ya can't win if you don't enter.


                                       Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Willie, our "grandpuppy"

74 comments:

  1. You certainly have fine looking grandchildren! I bet you hold auditions and pick the handsomest candidates. Hadn't seen post about Marafie before --a very brave young man, and a clever one. We need those, and it looks like these new generations of beautiful young people are up to the challenge. An exciting time to watch the world, to be part of it.

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    1. Thanks! They're all sweeties. (Most of the time.)

      Marafie was very clever to fool the Iraqis when they were confiscating amateur radio equipment from all the hams. And then to risk being on the air every day! It still amazes me that he didn't become a national hero for all he did.

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  2. You have a beautiful family! Grandkids are fun and it looks like you know how to enjoy them.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, grandkids are the best. We can play with 'em, love 'em, spoil 'em (just a little!)... and then go home. All the joys without any of the day-to-day responsibilities of raising them.

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  3. Hi Susan - lovely to see the grandchildren and you both having such fun or sleeping around them!! Can quite understand why you 'wander' down to the seaside relatively often. I hope that they all recover from the bug ...

    Your Amateur radio story is fascinating ... I was in South Africa and we didn't get much news about the Middle East .. so a couple of things I need to check out. Abdul was a wise and brave operator ... and good to see the re-run ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary. Thanks. We had a super time. Our daughter-in-law told me the kids are all feeling a lot better now, thank goodness.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the rerun. I think it's one of those kinds of stories that bears repeating. Abdul's quite a guy.

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  4. This story was interesting. Thanks for sharing and I loved photos of your family.

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  5. How wonderful it is to see grandparents bonding with grandchildren. It is always a good time. And about the competition who sits at the lap first, ut's true. My siblings and I used to argue who stays at grannies bed with her whenever we stay overnight at their place.

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    1. How wonderful it is to have the opportunity to bond with our grandchildren! I adored my grandmothers, but it's even more enjoyable being a grandparent than it was to be a grandchild.

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  6. Susan... I am thrilled you were able to visit your grandchildren... I would love to spend time with my grandson, he is such a sweetie... ;)

    It's wonderful that there are people strong enough to stand up for what they believe in... we should always be grateful :)

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    1. Launna... thanks. Me, too. It's always a joy. I hope you get to see your grandson soon, too.

      Yes. It's good to know there are still some genuine heroes in the world.

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  7. Dear Susan, you have lovely grandchildren - and so many! We will have to wait for quite a long time, I think - our 'children' (=son&DiL) are just finishing their Law studies (having taken both their doctorate, too), and will of course start their career first - they are still young (but are we?). So: I love to see your sweet grandchildren!

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    1. Dear Britta,

      Thank you. Yes, we have a lot of them. Thirteen in all. It's funny, because I used to tease our kids about being "slackers" for not providing us with grandchildren in a "timely manner." You know... "When I was your age, we already had three children, etc, etc, etc." But it was all in jest. If they didn't choose to have children, that would've been just fine. (Our daughter and SIL probably aren't going to have any... just cats!) But, boyohboy, once our sons and DILs got started, it was like they didn't know when to stop! So your son and DIL may provide you with a baby or two to spoil before you know it.

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  8. That was an inspiring 'radio story' indeed. I do hope after being around your delightful 'grands' that you too don't come down sick.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked the story.

      Me, too. But, hey, getting sick is a small price to pay, right? What's a little fever and puking compared to all those hugs and kisses?

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  9. Why is it that I only have Grand-SONS, one or two Grand-DAUGHTERS might help to balance things a bit. I have told them, but.....

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    1. What can I say? Kids don't LISTEN! Maybe there will be a little girl somewhere in the future for you... but I already know how much you adore those boys.

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  10. Really fun! I'm enjoying similar pleasures at the moment, and for a couple more weeks until we return home. I like the two quotes-- hilarious!

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    1. Yes, isn't it? With all the children you have, you must have a LOT of grandchildren to enjoy. And I'm sure you do just that.

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  11. What a lovely bunch of grand-kiddos! Fantastic pictures. Sorry some of them were sick, but so glad you got to spend time with them. :)

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  12. You have some awesome grandkids there and wow, Abdul deserves a medal for his courage!

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    1. Thanks We're kinda partial to them...

      I think he does, too... from his own country. It's kinda odd the only award he received came from OUR national amateur radio organization.

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  13. What an adorable family! I've got kids right now who fight over my lap, and it makes me happy...although there's not much lap left...thanks to the pregnancy belly. Anyone who gives up the joys (and headaches) of children are really cutting themselves off from the joys of life, eh?

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    1. Thanks! Our children (and their friends) used to vie for my lap and attention, too, but there's nothing sweeter than getting that from grandchildren. They seem to think we're celebrities or something.

      Absolutely. The joys far outweigh the headaches.

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    2. You are celebrities--always will be in their eyes. Best part of "maturing," eh?

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    3. You bet! Grandchildren are the grand prizes we get for living this long.

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  14. haha the hat just fell down right? Looks like lots of fun was had and hopefully not too many germs were spread, but what the heck, as they fight over your lap.

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    1. Yep! Just slipped right down there...

      Germs were probably spread, but oh well. Like you say, they DID fight over my lap. That more than makes up for it.

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  15. I love the first picture of you and your granddaughters. All of you look alike, and even better, all of you look really happy :)

    Y'all come on over and sign up to win Susan's books. Remember, they will make great Christmas gifts, too!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, we do look a little bit alike. (But they have more wrinkles...!)

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  16. I LOVE the photo of the grandchildren on your lap! Covered in love! Your grandkids are beautiful -- and what a great shot of Smarticus! ;)

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    1. Thanks! That's just how it felt... "covered in love."

      Yeah, he's a good sport. He wasn't sleeping... just posing for me.

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  17. He's just... resting his eyes. Yeah, that's it.

    I've actually reached the age where I finally realized the difference. I rest my eyes when I want to relax but stay awake just enough to pay a little attention to the television. When I sleep, I'm out and dead to the world.

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    1. Men have a real knack for resting their eyes... and for napping. Especially men who've been in the military.

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  18. very cute kids and you can brag and tell tales all you want. Glad you had such a nice time. Now enjoy the weekend and ....rest the eyes

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    1. Thanks, but I'll try to restrain myself. (I don't wanta be one of "those" grandmothers...)

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  19. You were in my state and you didn't visit me? Oi!

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Sorrry. We didn't meet up with Pixel Peeper this year, either, and she lives fairly close to the kids. Didn't do any tourist-y things this time around, either. Maybe one of these years...?

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  20. Love the quotes about the grandchildren. I knew you had quite a few, but I guess I didn't realize you had thirteen! I only have three granddaughters...after having three boys, the balance of pink and lace and princesses and such has been restored in life.

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    1. The funny thing about those quotes is they're so close to being true!
      Kids have an endless supply of energy. We don't. Coincidence? I think not...

      After having three sons, I KNOW you're enjoying those granddaughters!

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  21. Being around the Grandkids is such a blessing, after a short time with our Grandson I am kind of like Smarticus and Willie the Grandpuppy, resting my eyes becomes a requirement too.

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    1. I know what ya mean. Those little ones are overflowing with energy... and questions. But what a blessing!

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  22. Love all the pictures of the kiddos! And yes, you look far too young to have grandkids that age!

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    1. Thanks! Olivia doesn't think so. She thinks I'm reeeeeeally old. She's our little "inspector." She did a thorough job of checking me out, and then wanted to know why my eyes are so old, what's that mark, that spot, that wrinkle, why is the hair white by my ears white, etc. HA! Good thing I love her.

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  23. Love the photos of your adorable granddaughters! The first one with you, and your three "mini-me's" is my favorite! You are simply glowing! Sorry cute Bud was feeling sickly, and that it was passed on to his sister.

    Radio operator Abdul was quite a hero. Thanks for re-posting this enlightening story, Susan!

    Julie

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    1. Thanks. Mini-mes, huh? Love it.

      My (lazy) pleasure. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  24. Such beautiful grandkids. Aww, poor bud. Hope he and his sister are much better now.

    The story of Abdul is a fascinating one. It's always easy to forget those behind the scenes, as it were. What a remarkable man.

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    1. Thanks. We're kinda partial to them. According to our DIL, the kids are feeling a lot better now.

      Glad ya liked it. I think he's a fascinating guy, too. Took stones to do what he did.

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  25. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your grandchildren. What a lovely family you have!

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    1. Thanks for having such excellent taste.(HA!) And manners...

      Really, we're very fortunate.

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  26. What a beautiful, beautiful post. By the way, I have used the same excuse a few times, even at work. I'm just restin me eyes, luv! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thanks.I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      If you have any concerns about over-using the "restin' me eyes" explanation, you might occasionally profess to be checking your eyelids for pin holes..."

      Greetings back atcha.

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  27. Loved seeing all the photos! Amazing post.

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  28. I don't mind seeing pictures of your grandchildren because they are legitimately cute. What always kills me is seeing a slew of pictures of very ugly children/babies followed by "Ohmygawd aren't they just SO adorable? Look at this one isn't he so cute?" - (posts picture of a swamp creature that looks like it crawled out of a sewer)

    I... never know how to comment on those ones. "Yes, those are nice pictures! I love the way they were taken, and the colors are... neat!"

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    1. Thanks. I have a feeling all grandparents think their grandchildren top the charts for being cute and amazing.

      HA! Ever the diplomat.

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  29. Your young granddaughter in the center of the 5 beautiful girls (is she Ollie?) bears a strong likeness to you. Lucky girl; lucky you.

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    1. Yes, that's Ollie. Thanks. There may be some resemblance, but our Florida grandkids all have sweet slim oval faces like their mother, while mine is shaped like a Moon Pie. But a happy moon pie. I'm definitely lucky.

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  30. Your son looks a lot like you, Susan. Thank you so much for posting all these wonderful photos. You look so happy!

    And that K post was one I remember giving me chills (in a good way, of course) the first time I read it.

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    1. You think so? I think he and our daughter look more like my husband, and our older son looks more like me. Except for the gray hair. The kids have more of it than I do. HA

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    2. That one picture of him and Chloe, I just see similarities there. You look lovely in that first pic, Susan. Glowy. :)

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    3. Thanks. Being around kids always makes me... glow. And glisten. (Nice girls don't "sweat"...)

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  31. Wow -- I LOVE the pictures! What a fabulous family!

    And I vividly remember the Iraq invasion of Kuwait -- it seems like just yesterday. Has it really been almost 25 years ago?!?!?! But that's an awesome story about Abdul.

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    1. Thanks! I don't know about "fabulous", but we ARE fun!

      You're right; it is hard to believe it's been that long, isn't it? The older I get, the worse my perspective on the passage of time. Some of the things I still consider "new" around the house have been here for almost forty years. Crap.

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  32. Your grandchildren are gorgeous and it's true what they say, an hour with them makes you feel young, but longer than that and you age very quickly. I remember visiting when mine were young and sleeping the rest of the day.

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    1. Thanks. You're absolutely right. Grandchildren the world over have a natural talent for wearing out their grandparents. But it's a small price to pay. After all, recuperative naps are supposed to be good for us, right?

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  33. What a wonderful picture of the grandchildren and an absolutely fascinating story :-)

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  34. Amazing photos and it looks like great fun was had by all...I hope Atlas is feeling better.

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    1. Thanks, and we did have a terrific time. Atlas is his usual cheery self again.

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  35. You have a cute grandpuppy and gorgeous grandbabies (though it looks like they're not all babies anymore). ;) Glad you had a great visit. :)

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    1. Thanks. I think the kids are pretty darned gorgeous, too, but you're right. Some of them have the audacity to be teenagers already.(But shhhhh, they're still our babies.)

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