Monday, September 14, 2015

"Graduated With Honors" Gina Waite

Life changed for me last week. A person who I've grown to love and call family, passed away! My friend, George Quinton: veteran, father and friend to ALL...graduated this life with honors and moved on to the New-Years-Eve-inspired party that most assuredly was waiting for him on the other side. As I'm preparing plans to help with his funeral and the patriotic-themed luncheon that will follow, I'd love to re-post the Nutshell I dedicated to my friend. It's entitled, "Thanks just isn't enough." Please read it and share in my friend's honor!
(Love and miss you Gorgeous George!!! Wednesday dinners won't be the same without you!!! ~From one of your many squirrels!)

"Thanks Just Isn't Enought" Gina Waite
(orginally posted 11/11/14)

“You never judge a book by its cover”… at least that’s what my Mom always taught me! You have to crack that sucker open and read through the first 50 pages BEFORE you decide whether or not to finish the book! Mostly because you don’t want to invest your time into something you don’t find of any value…whether it be educational or entertaining! I think this same idea applies to people…you can’t fully value a person until you've invested time in their story. …And if their story is ANYTHING like George Quinton…believe you me…you’ll be happy to invest your time!

My friend, George Quinton, born December 18, 1921 grew up to be an avid adventurer in the 20 acre farm off East River Road in Idaho Falls. His growing up years passed quickly and realizing that he would most likely be drafted into the armed services, George made his way to Boise, Idaho to enlist for the Navy in June 1942! He was accepted and inducted into The United States Navy then traveled to San Diego for military training. After the completion of Boot Camp, George made his way to Pearl Harbor (just months after the infamous Pearl Harbor bombing) by way of former luxury-liner-turned-military-transport ship. George recalls witnessing the aftermath of the horrific events of December 7, 1941…he told me, “as much as those good ol' boys had tried to clean up after the bombings…I could still see the destruction of Pearl Harbor…including the four inches of oil that had seeped out of destroyed vessels that sat atop the water’s edge.”

George was a dedicated petty officer third class! His scope through the entirety of his naval career found him as boatswain for 35 and 50 foot boats running to and from surface vessels with much needed division detail making sure the exterior structure of the Makin Island (converted escort carrier) surface vessel was in working order. George would refuel, transport supplies and shoot the gunnery on the ship which made his time in the military pass quickly! Like many great American Soldiers George found great passion for boxing and while serving in the Navy (and unbeknownst to him) was elected to box someone against his will…his opponent breaking George’s nose in the process. That was all it took for George to get up off the ground and knock out his opponent…winning in front of his fellow shipmates! George was revered, respected and noted for his ability, just as in his boxing match, to pick himself up off the ground and succeed in the face of defeat! I think I would call that extreme resiliency! This same resiliency that would be necessary, much later in George’s life, in aiding him to lovingly care for his wife while she battled Alzheimer’s disease. The same disease that accelerated her graduation into the spirit world…for which George patiently waits to be with her again!

As my family and I have had the good fortune of visiting with George frequently and the possibility of his presence at Thanksgiving Dinner…we decided to write him a note of thanks! These are some of the sentiments we've included in our letter that writer, Cathy Maxwell, offers ALL Veterans’ on this, our Veteran’s Day:
*Thank you for enlisting and stepping forward when so many step back.
*Thank you for playing mediator between us and danger.
*Thank you for delaying plans for college, marriage, and other opportunities and choosing to serve.
*Thank you for braving the horrific and unspeakable horrors of war.
*Thank you for sacrificing time with your families and missing those significant milestones the rest of us take for granted.
*Thank you to spouses who live nomadic lives, often far away from the comforts and traditions of extended family.
*Thank you to your children who live most of their lives without your presence recognizing they must share you with the rest of the nation.
*Thank you to your parents who can only prayer for your safety and hope for the willingness of the citizens of our country to offer the best we have for you.
*Thank you for giving our country a conscience.
*Thank you for showing us who we are and what we have the opportunity to become.
*Thank you!!!! Knowing that thanks…just isn't enough!!!!
 Hope you'll Honor our Veterans AND share YOUR stories and photos with us at:"

Monday, September 7, 2015

"In Your Dreams" Jim Terry (Author of Calvin and Hobbes Tribute, samuraitiger19)

Today is Monday and for some of us that are lucky enough to have the day off due to the Labor Day holiday, I say, “ Happy Labor Day and enjoy it like none other.”  It comes but once a year and it seems that a lot of us get caught up with life and its responsibilities and we all sometimes forget to just stop, breathe and be in the moment.  Today is definitely one of those days I intend to “be in the moment” for a couple of reasons.  

First…my sister Lora is getting married to a gentleman named Glenn.  And from what I have heard from her, Glenn and those around her, she is genuinely excited and hopeful for her future ahead. 

Secondly, the seventh of September always holds a special place in my heart, as it is my Mother’s birthday.  She would have been a young seventy-two years old today.  “Happy Birthday Mom! We miss and love you!”

So while reflecting on what this day means to me and the events that will transpire with my sister's wedding, I also ran across a touching story and lesson to be learned that was written in honor of a thirty year old cartoon strip that we all may know or at least have heard of…Calvin and Hobbes. If you are not familiar with the comic, it simply is a young boy, Calvin, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, and their adventures together, which are generated from Calvin’s imagination. 

I often caught myself reading these books while hanging out with my younger brothers when we were all still young and at home.  I always found them to be fun and entertaining. The best thing about reading this comic strip was always the message contained within it…the message generally was one of joy and happiness.  I have come to find out over the years, and even though I also "grew up" like Calvin does in the story below, that an imagination goes a long ways...I have conquered many mountains in my day with my imagination...I have leaped tall buildings in a single bound in my imagination...I have become a captain of a ship and sailed the seven seas in my imagination...And during those times when I might feel a bit somber, because I want to be closer to family for events like weddings or birthdays and I can't be there, or realize that my Mom is no longer here with me when I want to call her on her birthday and tell her, "I love you," I take a deep breath, find my imagination once again and quickly remember that anything is possible..."in your dreams."



"Calvin? Calvin, sweetheart?"

In the darkness Calvin heard the sound of Susie, his wife of fifty-three years. Calvin struggled to open his eyes. God, he was so tired and it took so much strength. Slowly, light replaced the darkness, and soon vision followed. At the foot of his bed stood his wife. Calvin wet his dry lips and spoke hoarsely, "Did... did you.... find him?"

"Yes dear," Susie said smiling sadly, "He was in the attic." Susie reached into her big purse and brought out a soft, old, orange tiger doll. Calvin could not help but laugh. It had been so long. Too long.

"I washed him for you," Susie said, her voice cracking a little as she laid the stuffed tiger next to her husband.

"Thank you, Susie." Calvin said. A few moments passed as Calvin just laid on his hospital bed, his head turned to the side, staring at the old toy with nostalgia.
"Dear," Calvin said finally. "Would you mind leaving me alone with Hobbes for a while? I would like to catch up with him."

"All right," Susie said. "I'll get something to eat in the cafeteria. I'll be back soon."
Susie kissed her husband on the forehead and turned to leave. With sudden but gentle strength Calvin stopped her. Lovingly he pulled his wife in and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips. "I love you," he said.

"And I love you," said Susie. Susie turned and left. Calvin saw tears streaming from her face as she went out the door.
Calvin then turned to face his oldest and dearest friend. "Hello Hobbes. It's been a long time hasn't it old pal?"

Hobbes was no longer a stuffed doll but the big furry old tiger Calvin had always remembered. "It sure has, Calvin." said Hobbes.

"You... haven't changed a bit." Calvin smiled.

"You've changed a lot." Hobbes said sadly.

Calvin laughed, "Really? I haven't noticed at all. "There was a long pause. The sound of a clock ticking away the seconds rang throughout the sterile hospital room.

"So... you married Susie Derkins." Hobbes said, finally smiling. "I knew you always like her."

"Shut up!" Calvin said, his smile bigger than ever.

"Tell me everything I missed. I'd love to hear what you've been up to!" Hobbes said, excited.

And so Calvin told him everything. He told him about how he and Susie fell in love in high school and had married after graduating from college, about his three kids and four grandkids, how he turned Spaceman Spiff into one of the most popular sci-fi novels of the decade, and so on. After he told Hobbes all this there was another pregnant pause.

"You know... I visited you in the attic a bunch of times." Calvin said.

"I know."

"But I couldn't see you. All I saw was a stuffed animal." Calvin voice was breaking and tears of regret started welling up in his eyes.

"You grew up old buddy." said Hobbes.

Calvin broke down and sobbed, hugging his best friend. "I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry I broke my promise! I promised I wouldn't grow up and that we'd be together forever!!"

Hobbes stroked the back of Calvin's hair, or what little was left of it. "But you didn't."

"What do you mean?"

"We were always together... in your dreams…' ”

♦ Hope you'll let us share your stories and photos here at our residence "In a Nutshell." Email us at 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

"Back to School" Gina Waite

I know not EVERYONE feels the same about the day their children go back to school for the year...but my Mom and I were completely simpatico on this point and I had to take the opportunity to share what I'm feeling today. On behalf of my Mom, myself and anyone who can sympathize with the feeling of loss (even thought it may be loss of organized chaos) ...I'm posting these Back-to-School sentiments...Today: