Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Hurrah for the Glorious Fourth! I hope your hot dog and potato salad and Jello with little marshmallows and ice cream or Popsicles are particularly fine this year, and the fireworks are truly amazing. We live right next door to Aquila Park, which has an excellent display, set off at the bottom of a steep grassy hill while we sit along the top, so they go off close overhead – nice. The forecast is for scattered showers starting late in the afternoon, so . . . bummer. But we’ll see. They may scatter themselves elsewhere or hold off or finish up early.

I went to our biggest farmers’ market this past Sunday to order the geese for Michaelmas, and as I was working my way back to the car, I came across a booth selling spectacular bouquets in beautiful vases, and bought this one, all in shades of yellow, including roses. Ten dollars – the heavy glass vase alone is worth that. So it sits on our dining room table looking elegant.

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The needlepoint bunny I’m stitching for my sister Dolores is coming along, though rather slowly, because I’m experimenting with blending flosses.

I’m changing the order of events in Tying the Knot. The plot is getting complicated and it’s going to be challenging to get all my characters in their correct places here and there to move the story forward. Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse from early on, when Betsy is talking with her ex-husband about their days in the US Navy, when he took her along on the USS Ranger aircraft carrier’s annual Dependents’ Day Cruise:

“Maybe you would have, at that. Remember that Dependents’ Day Cruise I took you on?” he asked. “You really liked it — and didn’t get seasick.”

“That was fun,” she said. Back in the day – and maybe still today – U.S. Navy aircraft carriers held annual “Dependents’ Day Cruises,” during which they took crew members’ relatives to sea for a day. Aircraft were launched and recaptured, did fly-bys and other demonstrations of skill. The USS Ranger was Roo’s assigned ship and Betsy was pleased to go aboard.   It was an experience like no other and Betsy’s mind warmed to the memory: The deafening roar of jet engines, the dizzying stink of jet fuel, the rush of air down the flight deck as the huge ship accelerated into a wind so powerful she could literally lean against it; the curious swift and purposeful movement of men in red, yellow, green, brown and blue knit shirts as they fueled, started and then guided the pale gray jets into position to be suddenly thrown forward from the bow into the air, the roar as they circled the ship, dropping from a height to a few yards above the water, the anxiety and danger as they came home, planes teetering downward one by one to reach for one of the huge cables across the stern with a tailhook which dragged them swiftly to a halt. And all the while, off the port bow hovered a helicopter called the “angel. ” Its role was to scoop up pilots whose aircraft failed to make air speed on launch or to catch the arresting gear on landing, while their multi-million dollar planes swiftly sank beneath the waves. (Once, years later, she’d had a conversation with an Air Force reservist who explained that while Air Force pilots were brave and skilled, Navy pilots were insane.)

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