40 Bags of Ducks

I call them “bridges.” These jobs I take to get me to my next adventure—or to the other side, so to speak. All the while, I continue to write, to gather thoughts and words, to put them down and plan and dream of the day when I’m sitting out on my big closed in porch, writing from dawn to dusk as the sun filters in through the trees, golden in morning and orangey red when I close my laptop down and pour myself a glass of sherry or wine or champagne. The end of the day when I know that I’ve poured my heart out on paper and that the words now have the time to flow out of me unrestricted by time or financial worry. Those days are coming.

I’ve cleaned houses, scraped and reapplied PUSH/PULL stickers from business door fronts, blogged for a penny a word, sold vacuum cleaners, edited resumes and articles and online copy, had my own column for a short period of time, and most recently, I am working as a “storefront fundraiser” for the Marine Corps Veteran’s Association. A most worthy cause. Not an easy job, however, standing on concrete for eight hours a day in front of a store front, and asking every single person who walks by if they’d like to contribute, donate, “help out” our veterans. It’s the stories that get me through the day; the people who call me “hon” or thank me for what I’m doing. The stories that touch my heart—the father who lost his son, 23 years of age, a year before and comes to get a hat in remembrance of him, tearing up as he stands there on the sidewalk, until I, too, feel my own tears—ones that come from remembering my own Marine brother, Tony, who went missing 46 years ago without a trace. I feel his pain as I remember my father and mother living with the unknowing for 30 some years before they passed.

Yes, we need to support our troops and veterans. We need more organizations like the MCVA who funnel this money back to programs like Fisher House and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, among others. More than that, we need peace in this world of ours so that no fathers and mothers need to cry over the loss of their sons and daughters, or wives over their husbands, or children over their fathers and mothers.

My inventory list included “40 Bags of Ducks.” These little costume-clad rubber ducks are given as gifts for those who donate. Children squeal over them; adults collect them; they go home in the pockets of kids and moms all day long. So, next time you see someone who is raising money for our troops and veterans please open your heart, and your wallet. Until the day peace prevails, we need and appreciate your donations and your support.

For more information, visit: www.marinevets.org

carriesuepepper

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