American Veterans Join Fight in Ukraine

The Ukrainians have been fighting the invasion of Russia in an increasing number of

Cities.  MSNBC has constant coverage of the struggle and the amazing resistance. 

I also found an amazing article from the New York Times online (3-5-2022)  that outlines the stories of

American Veterans who are joining the fight in Ukraine.

The article starts with a volunteer named “Hector” who has already served two violent tours in Iraq

as a United States Marine.  Since then he has gotten a pension an a civilian job and thought he

was done with military service.  But recently he boarded a plane for one more deployment, this time as

a volunteer in Ukraine.  He checked in several bags filled with rifle scopes, helmets and body armor

donated by other veterans.

“Sanctions can help, but sanctions can’t help right now, and people need help right now,” said the

former Marine, who lives in Tampa Bay, Fla. and   asked that only his first name be used for security

reasons.  “I can help right now,”

He is one of a surge of American veterans who say they are now preparing to join the fight in Ukraine,

Emboldened by the invitation of the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier this week

announced that he was creating an “international legion” and asked volunteers from around the world

to help defend his nation against Russia.

Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, Dimytro Kuleba, echoed the call for fighters saying on Twitter,

“Together we defeated Hitler, and we will defeat Putin, too.”

Hector said he hoped to train Ukrainians in his expertise:  armored vehicles and heavy weapons.

“A lot of veterans, we have a calling to serve, and we trained our whole career for this kind of war,”

He said.  “Sitting by and doing nothing?  I had to o that when Afghanistan fell apart, and it weighted

heavily on me.  I had to act.”

You can read the entire article online by searching for The New York Times:  ‘I Just Can’t Stand By’:

American Veterans Join the Fight in Ukraine”.

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On Creating Legacies –  a Blog for the New Year 2022

Bring me the sunset in a cup – Emily Dickenson

In the last year, I finally broke through my creative writing block that accompanied the isolation of

the pandemic.  My creative resurgence started early in 2021 with a project long overdue for my late

husband Tim Robinson – a “Tribute” written about him, intended to be completed sooner for his family.   

Tim was part of the famous “Watergate team” at the Washington Post, and was rewarded with a

Scholarship to Yale Law School.  He later became editor of the National Law Journal, and just before

he passed away he was named editorial director of a new company called AOL. 

Happily I finally broke through my emotional barriers and created a draft of Tim’s Tribute that I can take

with me to Alabama this coming March for input from family members and Samford staff — and

complete soon afterwards.  (By the way, I also have to credit my partner Bob Allen for encouraging me

to tackle this project.)

In 2022,  I want to start submitting freelance articles again for publication.  In fact, some of my

heroines in literature were only published posthumously, including Emily Dickenson, one of my favorite

poets — so I  feel lucky that , like Tim, I was trained as a journalist and had lots of practice  meeting

deadlines early in my career.  When I was later hired by an editor, Barbara Hendra at a publishing house

in New York – Simon & Schuster, I even got the opportunity to write a book (Divorce and the American

Family), as well as make my Grandmother Lehotan’s poppy seed cakes famous in a cookbook,

“Grandma’s Kitchen.”    As a result, my Grandmother’s blue porcelain stove, along with a copy of the

Book are featured in a museum in upstate Michigan.  Now that’s a legacy!

Laughter Meditation during the era of COVID

I started meditation many years ago when I was invited to a weekend retreat in my 20s in Brooklyn and discovered the soothing effects of this ancient practice on stress.  I can’t imagine getting through the ups and downs of my career and personal life without this relaxation for my mind. 

Eventually my specialty became laughter meditation.   Laughter lowers our blood pressure. As Michele Blood also promises on the cover of The Laughter Meditation CD, “Laughter increase vascular flow.  Laughter boosts our immune system and laughter releases positive endorphins into the brain that creates higher oscillation in our physical and ethereal body.”

I am amazed that this CD remains a bestseller online, where it is also highly recommended that you play this tape for anyone who is ill, depressed or in the hospital. Of course, I could never have predicted a pandemic as bad as COVID, but now is the time to keep in a high vibration and this CD is the answer!

Labor Day Trip 2021

I was so excited this year to have two major events to attend the Sunday before Labor Day with my partner Bob Allen.  My cousin Tom, a missionary priest, was being honored at a special mass and luncheon at his hometown parish in Emmett, Mi. — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church —  less than an hour north of my condo in Warren.  We arrived early to visit Father Tom at his childhood home near the parish, which his sister Mary Alice makes sure is maintained for his visits.  I also met Tom’s other sister Madeline, who lives in Frankenmuth, and other relatives at the reception.  We shared a table with relatives David and Linda Rykwalder, who made sure that I got their information to stay in touch.

 Bob and I then drove to Frankenmuth to check into the Bavarian Inn before driving to Vassar for the 4pm wedding of my great niece Chelsea Holland and her fiancé Mike Massa.  It was an outdoor wedding on the estate of her parents, my niece Linda and her husband Mike Holland.  I went to both events with Bob, whose late wife was related to the Hollands, so he was considered part of the family.

The Return of Creativity

On the Road South Again

I was reminded again this month how the pandemic put a hold on on most of my creativity as a writer, except blogs. I

felt that I was just struggling to keep

my health together and lucky to be reading and using my studies on meditation with Pragito Dove

during that time. My friend and companion Bob Allen also kept me hopeful,

And now I am additionally recovering from cataract surgery.  My left eye was operated on in June, my right in

early July and I am delighted that I don’t need glasses anymore –

although my Doctor will soon give me a prescription for reading, since very small print requires me to

occasionally use a magnifying glass.

I am looking forward to traveling again later this month to visit Bob’s son Wes and his family in Richmond, Va.

It will be my first visit to Virginia since I used to live in Reston before the death of my late husband Tim.

Since I plan to start writing a tribute to Tim when I return, the trip should bring back a flood of memories!

Honoring Chelsea and Alabama

May was an incredible month that included a road trip to Alabama and South Carolina – and a bridal shower for an amazing great-niece, Chelsea Holland. 

First, the shower for Chelsea Holland and her fiancé Mike was held in a beautiful venue, MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township, Mi.  It was a chance to spend time with relatives I have rarely seen during the pandemic.  I met my niece Cheryl, sister of the bride-to-be’s mother Linda Holland, for a quick trip to the beach in Harrison Township – joined by my partner Bob Allen.  I was at a table with my sister-in-law Maria and her daughter Susan.  The pandemic had kept us apart, but it was fun to catch up.  I was amazed at the energy of my great niece’s mom Linda, a chiropractor at Henry Ford Hospital.  I also met the mother of the groom Mike for the first time.

The road trip in Bob’s car included visits with my late husband Tim Robinson’s family – Terah and Bob Sherer and Nelson and Connie Robinson.  I had missed them greatly during the pandemic.  I was able to interview  Nelson to get family history for a tribute book on Tim.  Sadly, one of Tim’s closest friends from high school, Rick Watson, had died lat year – but we got to visit with his widow Jilda, who had also been a classmate of Tim’s – and she gave us a tour of her remarkable family property in Empire and a delicious home-cooked meal. We also met her two sweet rescue dogs.

The trip ended in S. Carolina with an amazing stay over-night with my late husband’s sister-in-law Martha, whose late husband died in California.  Martha eventually returned to her home state and now lives in a new home in Simpsonville SC.  She put us up overnight and treated us to an amazing meal in a top-rated local restaurant.  What a beautiful ending to our southern trip!