In These Trying Times

Remembering to be grateful

With everything seeming so scary and uncertain right now, I will admit I’ve not been the best about seeing past my own anxiety for myself and my loved ones, and haven’t necessarily taken the time to recognize the sacrifices others are making.

So far (knock wood) all my people are safe and sound.  Even with a few family members considered “essential” (myself included), none of us are in any high-risk situations and our exposure to the corona virus is no greater than someone who is going to the grocery store.

Obviously that’s not true for anyone working on the front lines: doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, EMTs — anyone coming into close human contact with others who may or may not be infected with this dread contagion.  Their willingness to put their own health and lives at risk to keep the rest of us safe is a phenomenal act of courage and selflessness. So until it’s safe to say it in person, or to give out hugs and cookies, let me just take a moment to extend my sincere gratitude to all who serve in this capacity: thank you, each and every one, from the bottom of my heart!

Veterans Day

Our humble thanks

November 11 is the day we honor the US armed forces for their military service.  Considering that we currently have about 1.4 million active service members serving in the five branches of the military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard — out of a population of around 324.9 million (at this writing), I am especially grateful to the very small fraction of people who are shouldering the burden of our national security.

So… to all our military members, active or retired, let me share my heartfelt thanks to you for all that you do, and all that you sacrifice. (Also, a shout out to the military family members who have experienced or continue to live with the unique burdens of carrying on a quasi-normal life while your loved ones are off doing their duty.  I know that ain’t easy.)  We owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.

A few things for veterans around Austin, in no particular order:

Veterans Day Deals & Freebies

Austin Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day Giving Back Programs

Veterans Services in Travis County

Also, not in Austin but a really cool place to check out even if only online:   the Veterans Memorial in Anthem, Arizona.  It features 5 staggered-size pillars with ellipses (representing the 5 military branches) which, at precisely 11:11 am each Veterans Day, the sun’s rays will pass through “to form a perfect solar spotlight over a mosaic of The Great Seal of the United States.”  Cool, right?  It’s some amazing engineering, and quite lovely to behold!  You can watch a time lapse of it it here if you can’t get out to see it in person.

A final note, for any active or retired military who are considering buying a home and would like information on VA loans, please feel free contact me.  I work with an excellent team of folks at Premier Nationwide Lending; they are extremely knowledgeable and caring, and have programs designed for service personnel and their unique situations.  Together we’d love to work with you to get you and your family into a new home — or if nothing else, a chance to say thank you in person.

Happy Veterans Day!