The Goose Goes for Your Heart

Dear loyal, caring and generous readers and friends,

Today I come to you with great and wonderful news!

http://www.startsomegood.com/BlueStarFamilyPlatoon

As you know, when I’m not here flapping and honking about people I know and places I go, I am very involved in connecting and supporting military families. My heart goes out to the moms and dads, husbands and wives and the children of our brave troops.

Every month, I attend support meetings of these families and present them with Blue Star Banners to hang in their windows.

Two proud and grateful moms...of course, one of them is Mother Goose...

Two proud and grateful moms…of course, one of them is Mother Goose…

The stars on these banners represent a member of the family who is absent from the home and presently serving our nation somewhere around the world. Often these men and women are serving in harm’s way, sacrificing family time for the sake of the United States, to keep us safe and free.

“Why, Mother Goose? Why do you do this?” you may ask.

I do this for several reasons:

1. I have twin sons in the U.S. Navy and I’m always hoping to find other moms who want to share experiences with me.

2. I have found many good friends by “looking for the banners” in the windows of homes I drive or walk past daily.

3. Families need these connections so that they can be informed of the services and resources available to them as military families and veterans.

4. It’s a grand old tradition that is still viable today.

5. It keeps me busy and helps me to not worry so much about my own sons — I’m thinking of others, instead of myself.

Anyway, the GOOD NEWS is that we are in the middle of a very important fundraiser so that we can continue this great work. With only two weeks left in our campaign, we are on track and getting closer everyday to our goal of $2,500.

But we need YOU, dear and beautiful reader! If you can just throw $10 at us today, GREAT! I’ll take it! If you can give more, GREAT! I love you!

But if anybody believes in this easy way to support the troops and their families, please jump in TODAY!

Here’s the link to the website where we are doing our campaign:

http://www.startsomegood.com/BlueStarFamilyPlatoon

Mother Goose is most grateful for your support TODAY! Plus if you click on that link, you’ll actually get to see a video of Mother Goose explaining most sincerely why you really DO want to help our campaign…

THANK YOU from the bottom of my feathery old heart…

M.Goose addressing Marine families at the Park Ridge VFW Post.

M.Goose addressing Marine families at the Park Ridge VFW Post.

Help a Real Live Veteran TODAY

(Originally posted over at that OTHER Mother Goose Blog: mothergoosesalutes.wordpress.com)

So many friends of Mother Goose want to make a difference in the world. Here’s a HUGE way to help! A friend of mine, Richard Casper, is working with another disabled veteran, Jesse, to make a music video to go along with the song they wrote recently in Nashville with the amazing country band, Blackjack Billy.

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned country song written by a veteran of the Iraq war? Who WOULDN’T want to see this go to the next level and get some national exposure? Who’s heart isn’t breaking for all of the brave disabled veterans out there?

Friends and loyal readers, here is a link to the crowd-funding site where they are raising up some bucks to help get the video together for Jesse’s song, “Til It Feels Like Home”. I believe that with all of us working together, we’ll make this dream a reality for these guys.

http://igg.me/p/music-video-for-a-disabled-veteran/x/3648667

And here’s a video clip of Blackjack Billy singing the song.

Just imagine how this song could help vets all around the world! Let’s get behind this project, OK?

Feel free to hit that “share” button and God bless you!

Mother Goose at the Marathon

I felt the wind in my feathers as it gusted off Lake Michigan, and I was chilled to the bone with the cold mist in the air. But I stayed with the pack and didn’t falter as I volunteered to help with the Soldier Field 10 mile marathon this past weekend. Perhaps you were beginning to think that Mother Goose was out RUNNING ANOTHER marathon

Sometimes she runs, and sometimes she volunteers to hand out water to the amazing finishers of the race.

As the sun rose over beautiful Lake Michigan and over the exhibit tents in the after-race area, we donned our official T-shirts over our hoodies and leather jackets in preparation for our volunteer service.

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This was the tenth year of the Soldier’s Field 10 Mile, and a record number of runners took the challenge. In fact, Mother Goose handed water bottles to 17,500 thirsty, dehydrated and depleted runners in Chicago on Saturday morning. WOW!

Husband Goose and myself arrived at the historic stadium at the appointed and nearly ungodly time of 5:00 a.m. to check in with the wonderful people from Salute Inc. Salute Inc. was one of the honored beneficiaries of this race which is almost to say that not only did they sponsor it, but it was a fundraiser for them. A pretty huge fundraiser, for sure.

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Our very first event was to assist in the Kids Blitz. Those little kids were so excited to actually be on the ground, on the exact field where their favorite team, the Chicago Bears play. In fact, it was pretty surreal for Mother Goose, too!

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And then we volunteers built a wall of water right there in the stadium, right in the end zone, in the exact spot where so many football battles have been fought.

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The first runner entered the arena and crossed the 50-yard line, the Finish Line, with a time of 49 minutes and 57 seconds! He ran TEN MILES in less than 50 minutes! I will tell you that Mother Goose ran her 5K (3.1 miles) last year with a finishing time of 42 minutes…not quite as fast. His name is Dan Kremske and he didn’t even look slightly exhausted, obviously he’s done this sort of thing before.

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More and more runners crossed that finish line over the next three hours. Every single one of them a hero in their own right with stories to tell and battle scars to show off to family and friends. We were completely amazed at the endurance and the joy of these men and women. Of course, Mother Goose was completely disabled after her race — not at all full of vim and vigor to attend any sort of after-race party activities.

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It was a GREAT TIME for everybody — runners received medals from the hands of American servicemen and women, the Gatorade and waters flowed sweetly. There were bananas all around for a little potassium lift.

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We were inspired by the events of the day, and do not be surprised if you see Mother Goose crossing that 50-yard line next spring! Serving water to the runners is fun, but not as much fun as running on rubbery feet for ten miles along Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive…
Stay tuned.

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And God bless you today.

Love, Mother Goose

Remember Richard Casper?

Many of my lovable and loyal readers will remember the four-part series I wrote in February about Marine veteran Richard Casper — his adventures, his mishaps, the injuries he suffered as a result of being hit FOUR time by IEDs in Iraq, his return home and his eventual healing through arts and music.

Well, Richard is moving forward with his vision to help fellow injured veterans. Here’s a link to a blog beautifully written by Tiffany Schertz, wife of a brave Marine vet who lost his leg in Iraq and was badly burned by a suicide bomber there. Richard took her husband Jesse down to Nashville to write a country song with the band Blackjack Billy. Mother Goose could never have covered this follow-up story better than Tiffany who is a brave wife and mom herself.

http://amarineslove.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-few-weeks-ago-jesse-took-trip-to.html

Please read her story, and share the video of Richard singing Jesse’s song. We have to help one another and this is a great way to spread the word that our brave veterans aren’t just sick and injured — they have HOPE and great GIFTS to share with the rest of us.

God bless you today for caring about our servicemen and women!

M.Goose Spots Some Banners in the Windows

(Originally posted over at the OTHER Mother Goose site: mothergoosesalutes.wordpress.com)

Sometimes Mother Goose just goes out joy riding. When I was a youngster, we’d drive through the countryside, the dirt roads and sometimes the trails through the forests…just to go for a ride. We would look for deer in the fields at twilight, a gravel road with agate potential, a blueberry patch along the side of the road. Sometimes we went looking for “real estate”.

Back in the 60’s in the country parts of northern Minnesota, any random passerby could pull into the driveway of an abandoned house and walk right into the empty house. These “real estate” adventures comprise some of my fondest memories. With our parents and grandparents permission, we could go snooping around other people’s homes and lives — houses full of stuff were highly regarded as treasure to our family!

Imagine fully furnished homes just empty of people and left to the rages of time! I began my stamp collection from the abandoned mail of these homes. We also collected antique “Ball jars”, door knobs, glass medicine bottles, barbed wire and tools. Once we found an abandoned home in a quiet valley complete with a functional piano on the front porch. I launched into my memorized material and entertained my family. For some reason, we never felt like we were trespassing…just checking the “real estate”.

Today I didn’t go into any of the homes I stopped at — just stood outside. I didn’t leave anything but blessings. I didn’t take anything but pictures.

Blue Star Banner in Stickney, IL

Blue Star Banner in Stickney, IL

A Blue Star Banner, a Marine flag and a U.S. flag flying proudly in front of my friend's home.

A Blue Star Banner, a Marine flag and a U.S. flag flying proudly in front of my friend’s home.

A Blue Star Banner in a watchful Berwyn neighborhood.

A Blue Star Banner in a watchful Berwyn neighborhood.

Only God knows the deep pride and sorrow of a Gold Star Family.

Only God knows the deep pride and sorrow of a Gold Star Family.

Up the Avenues and Down (Part Two)

A Gold Star Banner in the window stopped me dead in my tracks.
The family of Army Sgt. Joshua W. Harris never forgot his face
Killed in action September 17, 2008 in Gerdia Seria, Afghanistan
His vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device
Only twenty one years old, so young, so brave
So gone … along with three others

Another time, another place, another IED
Hearts and lives and families ripped to shreds
Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day 2013
A day to celebrate those who fought for America’s freedom
A day to remember those who have died in the name of freedom
Can justice run up the avenues and down?

red stuff of life ended

Remember those whom we have lost to the ages.

The Legend of Adam and Erik

Mother Goose jumped at the chance to write a sea shanty today, the third day of NaPoWriMo. This prompt went straight to my fowl heart, for indeed I am the proud mother of twin sailors in the United States Navy.

‘Twas the year of Nineteen ninety
So earlie in the morning
That my twin babes were born
So earlie in the morning.

I named one Adam, the other one Erik
So earlie in the morning
So glad to see them that frosty winter morn
So earlie in the morning.

My boys went off to boot camp
So earlie in the morning
My tears they fell like rain
So earlie in the morning.

I missed them so, how could they go
So earlie in the morning
My heart was filled with pain
So earlie in the morning.

They tested well for nuke, do tell
So earlie in the morning
The training was rough, but they were tough
So earlie in the morning.

Away they drove to Virginny’s shore
So earlie in the morning
I cried and cried to see them more
So earlie in the morning.

They hoist the mast and set the sail
So earlie in the morning
They work the valves and man the rail
So earlie in the morning.

My sons are now brave sailors
So earlie in the morning
On Old Honest Abe they’ll spend their days
So earlie in the morning.

Adam and Erik in dress blues

Mother Goose Speaks Out

I’m just a goose! How do I find myself in these amazing places with such wonderful people? I’m baffled and honking about it!

M.Goose addressing Marine families at the Park Ridge VFW Post.

Once upon a time, Mother Goose was a regular mother with just the barest notion that our nation was at war. Whilst soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen fought valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mother Goose turned her beak in the other direction. In fact, she buried her head in the sand. You may have called her Lady Ostrich in those days.

And then the impossible happened — my twin sons enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and my ostrich life came to a screeching halt. Even though they are still stateside, training for a highly technical and difficult position onboard nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, to this goose, military family life has already begun. Of course, when they eventually get deployed and head out to sea to see the world, Mother Goose will probably have a nervous breakdown. Maybe a double, twin-sized nervous breakdown…

Last evening, Mother Goose and her ever-supportive gander attended a wonderful meeting of Marine families in a nearby suburb of Chicago. Let me just tell you right now, these are some of the bravest, kindest and most gracious moms and dads that I have ever met.

As the sharing time progressed around the room, several parents reported that their sons had returned from active duty around the world, including combat action in Afghanistan. Two families had just experienced the gut-wrenching days of knowing their sons were now “boots on the ground” in the hot war zones of Helmand Province. Some were active and stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. There was a new “poolie” present with his family — just freshly enlisted and in preparation mode for boot camp next summer. All stages of U.S. Marine life were shared — hugs and tears and common wisdom were served up as easily as the delicious potluck dinner.

I was there at the meeting because I wanted to speak to the group about Blue Star Banners, an American tradition dating back to WWI. Military families are encouraged to hang the banners in their front windows to inform the neighborhood and the community that one of their sons or daughters is serving in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces during a time of war or hostility. Each star on the banner represents one soldier or sailor — of course, Mother Goose is proud to fly a banner with two blue stars.

We left the meeting humbled by the patriotic hearts, the faith and the love of these U.S. Marine Corps families. We will return to their next get-together to present Blue Star Banners to these amazing moms and dads. Now it’s time for Mother Goose to get to work. Honk! Time to buy more gold fringe at the JoAnn Fabric Store to glue to my banners.

I buy my banners from the American Legion online store. Then Mother Goose attaches the gold fringe to the banners — it makes them look extra special.

P.S. Do you know of a military family in your neighborhood? Please let them know about this wonderful old tradition. Please visit my Facebook page to see pictures of Blue Star Banners in the windows as well as pictures of our many friends’ sons and daughters in the service. Feel free to “like” our page if you are so inclined and share it with your friends. And, of course, please continue to pray for the troops — until they’re all safely back home with their families.

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 64,142 honks to date

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