Monthly Archives: June 2011

Blast from the past – 1969 Karmann Ghia

I was going through old photos this morning and stumbled upon a picture I hadn’t seen in quite a long time.  However, every time I see it I get a little misty-eyed remembering the fun I used to have with my 1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

It wasn’t my first car – I wrecked that one about a year after I got it (the day I paid it off, in fact).  No, the Karmann Ghia was my second car – purchased for $450.  The passenger door didn’t have a latch – it was held shut with a bungee cord wrapped around the passenger seat head rest.  The seatbelts were wrapped around the seat frame (not bolted to the floor).  The body of the car had plenty of dents and rust.  Also, it was a very old, sickly baby blue color.

My dad and I did a lot of work on that car.  Bondo filled in a lot of the gaps and covered the rust-holes that were knocked out.  I didn’t have the money for a real paint job, so I painted it myself…with spray paint.  Yep – black spray paint.

I don’t know how many times I replaced the tailpipe on that thing.  I began to make regular trips to a salvage yard in Topeka that had old Volkswagen parts.  I know very little about cars, but I got to know that car very, very well.

The car was parked at my parents house while I was in Desert Storm.  I’m told it was accidentally backed into and the small amount of damage that was done totaled out the car.  When I returned from the war, my car was gone.  I didn’t even get to tell it goodbye or take it for one last spin with Beach Boy songs blaring out of the tiny speakers.

Whenever I see a Karmann Ghia on the road, I’m like the dog in the movie “Up” that is easily distracted by a squirrel.  My head turns, my ears perk up, and my heart races just a bit.  Linda and I joke that some day I’ll have a Karmann Ghia again.  As the years go by, it seems less and less likely.  Sigh…

410th Evac Hosp: 20 year reunion

Linda and I spent Saturday at the BG William Menninger Army Reserve Center in Topeka with a bunch of old Army folks.  The scary thing is that I was one of them.  We had gathered to celebrate our return from Desert Storm 20 years earlier.

Our unit was a 400-bed evacuation hospital (think M*A*S*H, but bigger).  There was more than 400 different staff – everything from doctors, nurses, medics, pharmacy staff, lab staff, communications, laundry, mechanical, drivers, administration, and many others.  I was a medic in the emergency ward of our series of tents; I worked the night shift just about 7 days a week.  I had just turned 20 years old and on a journey to growing up.  I had been pulled out of my studies in Music Education at Kansas State University and found myself learning a lot about myself and what was important in my life.

As most know, I changed my major to nursing upon returning and I asked Linda to marry me.  My experience in the emergency ward in Desert Storm had a very strong impact on my decision to enter the medical field.

At the reunion, I met up with several individuals that I had not seen in over 18 or more years.  Unfortunately, my best friends from the war were not there.  In fact, I’ve lost touch with the one person that meant the most to me.  I still hold out hope that I’ll find him some day.

The unit commander was the first to see me upon arriving.  He made a bee-line to me and Linda and quickly relayed to Linda how much I meant to him when under his command.  He recalled a pretty nasty incident that occurred between me and a senior enlisted and how I had conducted myself with class; he commented on how much that had impressed him at the time.  His eyes began to tear up while telling Linda how much this meant to him.  I can’t tell you how much this meant to me.  Thank you, COL Crisler!



Tina Fey is easily one of my favorite comediennes – her work on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock has provided innumerable laughs.

Linda obtained her recent book from the library. After reading it over the matter of just a few days, it is now in my possession and providing yet even more laughs.

I highly recommend this book!

By the way, this is my first attempt at posting from my phone. Let’s see how this works?!

Happy Birthday, Su

Today is the birthday of my youngest sister, Su. She and her husband, Eric, will be joining us later in the week for her annual birthday trip to the Royals.

We love you, Su, and are very much looking forward to seeing you.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Fathers Day

To my father, father-in-law, and the many other men that I know that are fathers – Happy Fathers Day.

Father                                                                 Father-in-law

I will be spending the day working in the ER – someone has to be there!

New website

Recently, Apple announced it will no longer be updating and supporting the software iWeb.  This is the program with which I’ve been generating the blog.  I create the post in iWeb on my computer and then upload it to my domain host.  The upside is that it is very simple to create the posts.  The downside has been that I’ve only been able to post from the one computer that has the program and file loaded on it.  With the announcement from Apple, it made it a lot easier to make the decision to change the way I manage the blog.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to change from iWeb to something else.  I chose WordPress as my new vehicle for blogging.  It’s easy to use with the ability to customize.  Additionally, I’ll be able to post from any computer with access to the web.  In fact, I’ll be able to post from my iPhone.

Hopefully, this means that I can post updates a lot more often since I won’t be restricted to the one computer.

Let me know what you think about the new site.

Emily gets award to finish elementary school

Emily received the Gold Presidential Award from President Obama for scholastic achievement – having obtained all A’s for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade.  In fact, I’m sure she did so for all of her years there, but the award only recognizes the last three grades.

Awesome job, Emily.  We are all very proud of you.

Seventh grade, here we come!

Anna gets award at middle school

Anna received an award as school came to an end.  She was listed on the honor roll and had high grades in 6 classes.

Unfortunately, we were both working (I was working night shift and Linda was out of town judging a piano competition).  Thankfully, Grandma and Grandpa Maag stepped in and represented the proud, adoring parents.  Additionally, they took pictures so we could experience it.

So very proud of my big girl.  Congratulations, sweetheart!