Sunday, April 21, 2019

Not the Easter Greeting I Expected

This year has been awful... for once, I'd like to wake up and not be greeted with horror, but this wasn't the day for it, with more than two hundred individuals being killed in coordinated church and hotel bombings in Sri Lanka. On the holiest day of the liturgical year, these innocent people were killed by monsters.

Easter has always been my favorite holiday, it always signified the real turning point in the Spring, with the early blooming flowers at the peak of their glory, and the birds hitting their stride here in the northeastern United States. Sure, there were Easter Sundays when I'd shoveled snow while wearing shorts, but the overwhelming feeling of the Earth's renewal has always been there for me.

I just got off the phone with my mom and my brother Vin. Mom is down in Alabama, having flown down for Vin's retirement from the Army. Everybody in the family is doing well, mom called all of the 'satellite offices' both here in the States and over in Europe. Vin joked about having only had two jobs in his life... as a high schooler he worked in a local produce store, then he was commissioned as an officer in the US Army and never looked back... what they told him was the first twenty years didn't count. Vin is going to send out resumes, perhaps take a course in government contracting, and practice playing the guitar a lot. I'm grateful that, even as the world seems to be going to shit, the family is doing well.

My Easter has been pretty low-key. I got to work early to feed the cat and I had a funny encounter with a sixty-ish couple. Most of the time, I work alone, and I adhere to a 'my job, my rules' policy when it's just myself and Ginger. We are closed still, but when a woman knocked on the front door and requested, through a Chinese-to-English translation app on her smartphone, to use the restroom, I let her and her, I presume husband, in the building and pointed out the restrooms. I tend to default to 'compassionate' mode, and I haven't been burned yet- I think that I am a good judge of character.

When she was finished using the restroom, the woman thanked me, then, via the app, she told me that she and her husband were visiting from 'Snow City'. I mused, 'Snow City?' and without missing a beat, she said, 'Syracuse.' I needed a laugh after the horror and disgust I felt this morning, and she delivered an honest laugh. I gave them one of our brochures for the coming season, pointed out the website, and used an online translation on the desktop here to provide a quick précis of the site. They left me in a better mood than I was in when I arrived, and I'm grateful for that. No matter how terrible the human race in the aggregate can seem to be, most individual persons are wonderful. I didn't go on an Easter egg hunt today, but I found two good eggs.


DerFarm said...


I doubt this is news to your brother, VIN, but combat veterans have first call on positions at the VA. Quite literally, any open position that he has paper qualifications for CANNOT be given to a non-vet over him.

Further, he can "buy" his service time to count towards his retirement. Since I would assume he is roughly 45, he can purchase the years of active duty (not really expensive, but look to have to pay $15K-$20K) and retire in 5 years with 25 years of duty attributed to the VA.

Moreover, the same deal can be found in certain other positions. I know for a fact (because I did it) that UAB (University of Alabama, Birmingham), the Sherriffs Dept of LA, and I think U of Maryland does this also. Non-gov't position usually require 10 years of service for vestment, gov't requires either 3 or 5, I can't remember which.

Good luck to him.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thanks, Vin is going to do well whatever he sets his mind to, he is extremely intelligent, has a superlative education, and charisma to burn. I think he wants to take a few weeks off to see friends he hasn't seen in a while and then he will undoubtedly find gainful employment.