Proud To Be An American

I am grateful that I was born in the United States of America because my Polish Grandparents and my Great-Great Grandparents immigrated from Holland. I am here because they took the risk to come to a new country. This week is not only the week we vote but also the week we honor Veterans. My husband is a Veteran of the Viet Nam war. This week I will honor Veterans each day in some way on my Author Page and also on my personal page and my blog Sprinkled Notes. So Veterans, This week

is for you.

My column this week in the Albert Lea Tribune and The Courier-Sentinel

This past week my husband and I visited the VA Clinic in Minneapolis. Since the elections are tomorrow and this is also the week we celebrate our Veterans it might be fitting to write about our experience with the Veterans Administration and the Clinics and healthcare.

We have all heard the horrifying stories of the terrible healthcare and experiences people have had with the VA. But I am here to tell you our experience, and they are all positive experiences.

My husband didn’t get hooked up with the VA System until somewhere in the last ten years. We had an excellent Veterans Administration Officer both in Fairmont and Blue Earth that got the ball rolling for us. It didn’t take long, and my husband was in the system, and the benefits were available to him. He is a Viet Nam Veteran, and it had been hard for him to ask for help because of the stigma of the war. It was something he never talked about.

He was a patient at the VA Clinic in Mankato and then transferred to the Albert Lea VA Clinic when it opened because it was closer to home. We have always been amazed at the care of both places, the ease of getting an appointment and the excellent staff at both clinics.

The Veteran’s Clinic and Hospital in Minneapolis are amazing. They make it very easy to navigate and find your way around with all the volunteers they have to help those Veterans who come though their doors.

We had an appointment for a scan at 10:45. We were early and we checked in. We walked out of the doors of the Clinic at 10:46. And they had told us they were behind schedule. That is another thing we have found. If he has an appointment the wait is longer to get a table in a restaurant than it is to see the Doctor. This has been our experience.

This time at the Minneapolis Clinic I met another friend. Her husband too was there for a scan. I always meet friendly and interesting people on my visits there.  I learned about her family and she learned about mine. We shared experiences and we exchanged names and business cards to keep in touch. I suspect many other people’s lives touch at these facilities because they have a bond of a Veteran.

It is awe inspiring to see so many Veterans in one place, different ages and in different situations health wise. These men and women served our country. These men and women fought for our freedom. These men and women deserve our thanks and respect. These men and women all have lasting effects for their dedication to making our lives better.

The staff at these Veteran’s facilities also deserve our thanks and respect. They work day after day to make the lives of our Veterans better and also the lives of the families of those Veterans.

Does the system have flaws, of course, it does because it is run by human beings and we are a flawed creation. The media spends a great deal of time focusing on those flaws  but I would guess there are more heart and success stories than there are horror stories. We need to focus on the good these facilities, built for our Veterans, do for all of those involved.


It is Veteran’s Day on November 11. Thank a Veteran. Thank those also who work to serve Veterans.  Freedom isn’t free and freedom wasn’t meant to be abused. A Veteran protects and serves so those rights can be preserved.


When the peace treaty is signed, the war isn’t over for the veterans or the family. It’s just starting —Karl Marlantes

There’s A Day For Everything!

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf posted in Albert Lea Tribune and Courier Sentinel week of November 17, 2014

Today is World Peace Day. Yesterday was United Nations International Day for Tolerance and National Fast Food Day.kindness day

We all know that for us every day is a special day in our lives because it is different from the day before. I hadn’t thought much about the days that people have named for us to celebrate until I picked up one of my AARP newsletters.

There are the days that we all remember: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Grandparents Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but I hadn’t realized how many special days there are until I picked up that magazine.

According to my AARP magazine these are the special days for the month of November:

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, Nov. 13 is Embrace World Kindness Day. Nov. 23 kicks off National Game and Puzzle Week, and the 26th kicks off National Deal Week. Nov. 27 we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, and then we move on to the 29th and Small Business Saturday and on the 30th Senior Sunday.

The two I mentioned when I started this column are not mentioned in the AARP magazine but are two I found on investigating days celebrated.

Since the month is half over and you might have missed celebrating some of the days I have mentioned, here are some days for you to celebrate the rest of the month: Nov. 18 is National Adoption Week, Nov. 20 is Name your PC Day, Nov. 21 is World Hello Day,  Nov. 22 is Stop the Violence Day. Here’s one I have no idea what it is and that is on Nov. 23, and it is National Sinkie Day. I would like to give credit for finding some of these to Jill Badonsky, writer of “The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder.”

I have a feeling that if we wanted to name a day and we could get the world to catch on through social media, we could add another day to the November calendar to celebrate.

There may be days when you wake up in the morning and feel kind of blah and you feel you have nothing to celebrate. I am telling you that there is always a day to celebrate. If you look hard enough, you will find one.

Remember, there is also your birthday. I had a friend who never liked to celebrate his birthday because he didn’t like to think about his age. I always told him that celebrating his age was better than the alternative. The alternative happened, and I would guess he would tell you to celebrate your life on your special day.  You can celebrate your life each day just because we wake up in the morning.

I decided to check out some more days to see what I can look forward to. I like June 18 because it is National Splurge Day or June 21, National Wandering Day. I am very good at splurging and wandering. It is cold where I live and Dec. 3 is one day I am going to celebrate, it is National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day.

If you can’t find a day you like to celebrate, then make one up and shout it the world and let others celebrate with you.

I think I will declare Dec. 26, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt Day. She is my character in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series, and I think she should have her own day. Why Dec. 26? It is a special day for her. I can’t tell you why — it’s a secret until my new book, “Granny Snows a Sneak,” coming out this month, gives it away.

Find a day to celebrate. Share that day with others and remember the turkey. He gives his life for us this month.

“You’ve to celebrate the good days because there are brutal days that make the good ones sweet.” — Brian O’Driscoll