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Sunday, December 07, 2014

We're into another really cold night.  Today has been sunny but very cold - just barely in the 20s around high noon - and tonight we will certainly be below zero.  We walked, but only up Jamie and Marie's driveway.  Getting from our driveway to theirs is really bitterly cold because for a few yards we have to face into that biting north wind.  When I walked every day, a few years ago, I always started my winter walks facing into the wind; that way when I got too cold to continue, it was very nice to turn around and have the wind at my back, pushing me home without freezing me.  In the summer I'd reverse the process, walking away from the wind so that when I got really hot and needed to cool down I could turn around and face a refreshing breeze on the way home.  At least now the painfully cold part of our walk doesn't usually last very long because both our driveway and Jamie and Marie's is protected by trees.  I have to say, though, the sun seems to go down really fast these days.  We're coming upon the shortest days of the year, Winter Solstice, on December 21st; from then on the days begin to get longer again!!!

Did you remember that today is the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor?  December 7, 1941.  That, of course, was the official beginning of WWII for the United States. The veterans of that war are dying rapidly, according the statistics.  I don't know many, but our neighbor, Don Encarnacion, served in the U. S. Navy, and his late wife, Mary, worked for the Selective Service during the war.  There were draft boards scattered throughout the nation in nearly every community, and young men everywhere had to register.  Once the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor, there was a rush of young men signing up.  Everyone was angry and ready to fight to defend our nation.  Lots of local young men joined the military, leaving their fathers, grandfathers and younger brothers to work the farms.  As the war continued, women were allowed to join as nurses and office workers at first, and on the home front, it was women who kept factories as well as some farms operating to turn out weapons, supplies and food, taking over jobs to release men for military service.  Later there were special branches of service for women.  This is a picture of Pvt. Hazel Anderson, who taught school in West Danville.  Hazel left her teaching job to join the WACs.  Several young Cabot women joined the military - May Wheeler was the first to sign up from Cabot, Betty Walker and Nancy Coyle also enlisted.  I don't know about Hazel Anderson, but all three of the Cabot women mentioned have passed away.  None died in service, except Nancy Coyle died as a result of an auto accident while serving.

We owe many for their service in war time.  Today was a day to remember them.

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