Gratitude on Memorial Day

“Patriotism is merely a religion – love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag, honor and welfare.”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twin)


A grateful thank you to all men and women who have served our country in times of war and peace is due every single day, not just on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. We must also extend gratitude to those who waited at home for their loved ones to return, hopefully the same strong young men and women who left to defend their country or protect another country’s right to exist. Honor all those who have answered their nation’s call, in whatever way that they could: Victory Gardens, assisting their neighbors, prayers for safety.

At the same time I yearn for the day we no longer hear those calls. Are we humans capable of living in peace? I think of songs we sing in church and contemplate their confusing messages: “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “I Ain’t Going to Study War No More.”

All religions teach peace. Often we greet each other by bowing and saying “Namaste,” or “The sacred in me greets the sacred in you.” Even shaking hands indicates that our hands hold no weapons. These behaviors are ingrained into our daily lives, yet we forget or disregard the meaning behind them. Is this dichotomy the reason so many of our returning veterans are committing suicide? We send them to war. The next day they are at home and expected to act like the horror never happened. We can’t forget violence in 24 hours.


Mixed messages about peace and war assault us on all sides. On one hand we talk about war to impose peace. On the other we see the damage war has caused to the minds and hearts of all involved. Our holy books teach us peace. We ask that you implant a stronger desire for peace than we have for dissention.
And, so it is.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at:

Sharon D. Dillon,,
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at

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Sagging IQ and other drooping body parts

Only a few weeks remain until the “mandatory” 50th high school class reunion. Mandatory does not refer just to attendance, no matter where you live, but you must also compete for the most successful, most beautiful, most hunky, most prestigious degree, and who can still Twist and Rock Around the Clock.

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren are discussed in whispers. Even though we’re all 68, we are not “old enough” to have such people in our lives. Some of us play tennis, golf and pickle ball, or say we do. The guys talk about their football heroics, not mentioning this is on the Fantasy League.

I can’t speak for everyone, but my mental acuity has slipped just a bit. From being above average, I now have to stop, think and hope I find the word I’m looking for so I can sound as intelligent as my much younger supervisors. Like many others my age, I’m retired but still working.

A few days of ago several of us had a farewell party for a coworker. When the bill came it had basic charges at the top, several paragraphs of text that no one read, then way at the bottom was the suggested tip and signature line.

Because of the huge gap between meal details and the tip/total section I became confused. Luckily, my twenty-something supervisor was sitting next to me and helped me decipher the receipt. I told her, “Don’t tell my boss I can’t read. She might fire me.” She assured me that as long as I can count change, I’ll still have a job. I signed the receipt, stuffed the credit card into my wallet and handed the folder back to the wait staff.

Soon another bill was presented to me, for the same items. I began to wonder what was going on. My supervisor looked at the bill, compared it to my credit card and assured me it was mine. Looking in my wallet I realized I had an extra credit card. I passed it down the table and went through the payment procedure again. This time I remembered how the system worked. Whew!!

Now that I’ve covered my still superior IQ, I want to talk about the “still beautiful” part. Not to brag, but I need full head-to-toe Spanx with old-fashioned rubber girdle reinforcement. By the time I get all the body parts to stop jiggling and drooping, I’ll have enough body armor to compete in the local police terrorism training. Actually, I’m willing to bet I could compete at any of the military installations in this area.

Can you imagine those young service members’ faces as this old woman wrapped in Spanx and rubber girdles walks through a hail of bullets, calling out “I’m rubber. You’re glue. What you shoot at me will bounce back and stick on you.” Meanwhile, they will be in full body armor, ducking and firing from protected positions.

My hair can look young again with the help of my local salon professional. She can wax my brows and upper lip and tint my hair to its former, glorious coppery strands. She can add “fillers” and extensions to make my hair look as thick as it was many years ago. I’m counting on her to weave so tightly that all my sagging facial parts are back in their 18-year-old position.

Guys, you might not get this, but any woman of our generation will know exactly what I’m saying. Our mothers braided our hair so tightly we thought our eye lashes grew from our brow line and our eyelids reached almost to our ears.

See, just a few minor touch-ups and I’ll be 18 again.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, May 25, 2014