Milbloggie Voting 2012 is Now Open!

Voting is open for Military Blogger of the Year. Witty Little Secret is a finalist and I would be honored by your vote. Voting does not require a sign-up or login. Just clickiness. Just two little clicks!

Step One. Go to the VOTING PAGE and click on SEE NOMINEES for BEST U.S. MILITARY SPOUSE BLOG. There it is. In blue. But wait. There’s more …

Step Two. Find WITTY LITTLE SECRET and click! Right inside the pretty round circle. Now find another computer and do it again. Heh.

Step Three. Share Witty Little Secret on your Facebook page by going to your status update, typing “vote for Witty Little Secret!” and entering my website address ( Facebook will automatically direct people to this page.


Thanks so much, everyone! Voting is open through Friday April 20th and the winners will be announced in Washington DC on May 11th. You can vote once from every computer you have access to!



Big Sarge

The Fourth of July in my little town is a homestyle celebration. It comes complete with neighborhood fireworks, a city-wide salmon feed, a cruise-in car show, a street dance near the tavern, and of course the obligatory Independence Day Parade. In years past the Official Parade Marshall has included the retired school crossing guard sporting his traditional red, white and blue mohawk, and a dog that once ran a relatively successful write-in campaign for mayor.  It’s the kind of parade where everyone waves at the volunteer firefighters because they know them mostly by name, cheers for the rodeo princess, and stands in awestruck reverence as the Mustang club rolls by, partly out of envy, and partly because they can recall when half the members were working on those same cars in the high school car shop twenty or thirty years ago. After all of the Farmall tractors roll by, it ends with several of the largest tow trucks you’ve ever seen in your life.

I know it’s not July any more. Stay with me here for a second.

Flash back to the Second of July, 2011. Husband is home for R&R and the country is filled with patriotism and hot dogs and I’m pretending it’s all because my husband is home. It’s the day appointed for us to begin placing our lawn chairs and blankets along the traditional parade route to secure a position close enough to the candy-throwing to ensure a cinnamon bear or two, but far enough away to avoid being pelted by the spray of the super-soakers wielded by the Little League All-Star float-riders. I’m driving along to peruse the possibilities, and I see something unusual.

It’s a man in ACU’s – including boots – running along the road (pretty fast I might add) with a huge United States flag.

Now I’ve run with a flag before, and it ain’t easy. I ran a relay once where the baton we used was a flag and let me tell you, the training I did helped me nada. The weight and resistance and torque and “look at me” factor that a flag adds is just, well, excruciating. But here was Big Sarge, running along happily in the heat of the day on (not kidding) Main Street. I knew there was something to it. Something important. I just didn’t know what.

I diverted from my mission, flipped a u-turn, and rolled my window down. I hesitated for a moment and almost drove away, wondering if he would think I was some love-starved cat-calling gal with a penchant for boys in uniform (which I am).  But I overcame my shyness and yelled out, “smile, sir!” And you know what? He did. He smiled. So I snapped a picture with my phone:

patriotic runner

Big Sarge exceeding the speed limit

I posted it to Facebook moments later, with some comments about what a real runner looks like. It caught the attention of a few friends and we were all mesmerized by this man running with our American Flag in hand. A couple of days later as we sat in our lawn chairs along the parade route, we were astonished to see him opening the Ridgefield procession! We yelled out, “that’s the guy in the Facebook photo!” My heart really swelled to see someone honoring our heroes that way. I imagined who he was and why he was running. I thought about fallen soldiers in a desert far away and I looked over at my husband, standing behind me. I assumed that this man’s run was a gesture meant for the Fourth of July. And then I forgot about it.

Until yesterday that is, when I received a comment from a reader which led to a mini conversation. It went something like this:

DAVE: Dig the Blog Lori … my family and I are not separated by a deployment but I am stationed in Salt Lake City for the next three years while my wife and four kids still live at home.  I promised my daughter that the high school she starts at is where she will graduate … Anyway I hope the days go fast until your husband returns.  I have another 3 months until my next visit home.  Take care! SFC Dave Sivewright

ME: That’s rough Dave. My Dad stayed behind when we moved between my sophomore and junior year. I can relate! God speed to you! See you ’round.

DAVE: Thanks Lori!  It’s a kinda small world.  My dad was in the navy as well … you’ll probaly see me running with the US flag when I am home.

+ I gasped +

ME: Hey, I took a picture of you one day, Dave! I yelled, “smile sir!” And you did. You’re on my Facebook page. I love you, Sarge.

DAVE: I remember that lol. I would like to get a copy of that if possible.  Thanks Lori.

I laughed thinking of how many of my friends commented that we’d like to know what the real story is behind the guy who runs with the flag, and here I was with his name, rank, and email address. It was like striking gold. You can’t exactly stop a guy running down the street to ask him what he’s doing and why. And yet here he was, commenting on my blog, and becoming my newest friend on Facebook. I’ve always said this blog has drawn me closer to the military community than the DoD ever did. And now, I’m right again (she likes being right). My ramblings and emotional exposure have officially introduced me to someone right here in my own hometown that was otherwise completely inaccessible to me through the vagaries of PERSEC and the necessary inability of security measures to connect military members in any kind of official capacity. And it’s not the first time, either.

Interwebs, I love you. But sorry. Not as much as I love Big Sarge.

Not Today

We’re counting days now instead of months. And I’m not ready for him to come home. I’m just not ready.

I haven’t finished the basement. I haven’t organized the playroom. I haven’t finished the refi. It feels like I haven’t done anything.

It feels like all I’ve done is laundry and dishes and grocery shopping. Over and over. And over.

But I have hugged the kids. Over and over. And over.

And there was the half-marathon. And there was that little writing project that, well, kinda went viral. And there was that nonprofit-thingy.

And other things.

I’m horribly insecure about my failings and yet entrenched in what may be my own stupidity. I’m really dialed in to the well-worn track of my own complicated routine. I’m not ready for him to come here and retrace my steps and attempt to create efficiency out of chaos. I don’t want him to put me on an alternate track, even if it’s better. I don’t want him to tell me I’ve done it wrong while he’s been gone. Even if I have done it wrong. I’m not ready for that.

And I’ve developed bad habits, some he won’t tolerate well. I turn the TV on too loud to drown out the silence, sometimes. I spend too much time on the computer, sometimes. I escape from the kids by disappearing in the bathroom, sometimes. I drink wine with dinner too often. I kick and flip and toss and don’t sleep. I feel antisocial on Fridays at the end of the workweek. I use too much ketchup on the turkey burgers that I keep making even though I’m the only one that likes them. And I’m stupidly late, all the time. Too late. Too often.

And other things.

october 2011

October 2011: Tabula Rasa

I’m ready to look up past his chin toward his clear blue eyes and know that he remembers the real me. But I’ve changed a little too much for him to find me. I’m ready for him to get off the airplane, hold me in his arms tight, and promise me he’ll never leave for that long again. But he won’t be able to make the promises I want. I’m ready for him to sweep me off my feet and tell me we will live happily ever after. But happily ever after is a lot more work than that.

I’m not ready. Not today.

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