Avoiding Little Miss Crankypants

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednesday.

We are now a week away from Christmas and the usual frenzy seems to be gathering steam. Yesterday there was a shortage of parking places at the local Post Office; I thought I might be flattened by an enormous SUV driven by someone evidently feeling less-than-jolly. Inside? Bah humbug moments everywhere. We have all been there, feeling we’ll be crushed by what can seem like an overwhelming number of commitments, celebration and obligations that can also create frustration.

I was grateful that yesterday was my usual volunteer shift at the gift shop of a local nursing home. There’s nothing like spending some time away from the fray among those for whom each and every day is precious, it will set your mind right in a hurry. Even if I arrive feeling like little Miss Crankypants, I leave feeling better. Little issues I turned into gargantuan crises have been returned to their proper places.

That made me think about the enormous effort this past weekend to get wreaths placed on as many veteran’s gravesites as possible. It is a project called Wreaths Across America, something I first wrote about last year at this time. The organization works to honor veterans by placing wreaths at gravesites during the holiday season. One of the activities related to the placement of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery is a ceremonial escort of the trucks carrying the wreaths. This year’s escort officially began at Maine’s West Quoddy Light, the easternmost point in the USA.

Wreaths Across America Facebook

Wreaths Across America Facebook

The convoy on its way to Arlington.

Wreaths Across America Facebook

Wreaths Across America Facebook

National Wreath Day was this past Saturday, below we see a truck getting ready to drop off its load of wreaths at Arlington.

Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America

A look at Arlington National Cemetery after the volunteers did their work, via Brit Hume’s twitter photo.

Brit Hume

Brit Hume

It snowed later at Arlington, the National Cemetery posted this photo on its Facebook page, thanking all WAA volunteers.

Arlington National Cemetery Facebook

Arlington National Cemetery Facebook

It was also snowy at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elgin, Illinois; this photo comes via NuMark Credit Union, one of many organizations donating time, money, services, and of course, wreaths.

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NuMark Credit Union Facebook

On the Wreaths Across America Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Facebook page, Christopher Jackson posted this photo, writing “I had the Honor of placing a Wreath at my Father’s Grave.”

Wreaths Across America Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Facebook

Wreaths Across America Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Facebook

Virginia’s Daily Press shared this photo from Hampton National Cemetery.

Daily Press Twitter

Daily Press Twitter

Volunteers laying wreaths at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, via the Cape Cod Times Twitter feed.

Cape Cod Times Twitter

Cape Cod Times Twitter

M. Scott Mahasky posted this photo on Twitter of Army NG Sgt. Anderson volunteering at Arlington.

Wreaths Across America Facebook

Wreaths Across America Facebook

Mr. Mahasky also shared this image of a wreath being placed at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

M. Scott Mahaskey Twitter

M. Scott Mahaskey Twitter

There are now 700 locations in all 50 states taking part in the movement, including 24 national veteran cemeteries on foreign soil. Below, ceremonies in Alaska.

Wreaths Across America Facebook

Wreaths Across America Facebook

From Jacksonville National Cemetery via the Florida Times-Union Facebook page.

Wreaths Across America Facebook

Florida Times-Union Facebook

Volunteers place the majority of wreaths, but family members also come to take part. Below, the activity at Houston National Cemetery.

Houston Na

Houston Na

Hunter Harvey, also at Houston National Cemetery. He misses his dad.

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Wreaths Across America Facebook

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this season.  While that’s exciting and even fun it is not necessarily important.  A simple green wreath and red bow can be a powerful reminder of a loved one lost and a memory honored.

16 Comments

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16 Responses to Avoiding Little Miss Crankypants

  1. You are my hero, tpp. Really, truly, thank you for reminding me that being good is valuable and possible. xoxox.

  2. I got so choked up reading this and sooo happy I did not miss it. i am going to share it on my blog today to have others come take a look. What a beautiful and moving tribute. I have been so crazy busy haven’t’ had my usual surplus of time in blogland and am sorry I haven’t’ been around but really happy I saw this. Absolutely beautiful!! Talk about putting it in perspective!!

  3. PS That last picture STILL has me balling!

  4. Kathleen Lisson

    Thank you.

  5. One of my favorite posts you’ve done! I live so close to Arlington, and I think next year I really want to volunteer to help.

  6. Tess Moran

    Thank you for recognizing this very important tribute to our fallen service men and women and their families and friends. Merry Christmas!

  7. kathleen

    I needed a box of tissues after reading this. Thank you !

  8. What a moving tribute to loved ones who will be missed this holiday.

  9. BJ

    A very moving post that makes you count your blessings and say a prayer for those brave men and women and their families.

  10. Still in tears – we who have not lost a loved one looking after us sometimes forget in the hustle and bustle of Christmas – but this really makes me think of so many other. Wonderful work – well done.

  11. Barbara

    SO SO SAD – That is what Christmas is all about – our loved ones and those around us. Sending prayers into the heavens for the loved that have gone before us and thanking God for all we do have.

  12. What a wonderful thing to do America – if only we had the same initiative – very moving photos as well. Looking forward to catching up on reading your posts – Europafox

  13. Thank you for posting this! What a beautiful entry. That last photo–so moving. Thank you for telling us all about this national effort to put wreaths on graves–what a profound gesture. And kudos to you for giving your own time to volunteer at a nursing home. What an angel you are! <3

  14. These images are amazing. I cried! Awesome post

  15. Baltimore Prep

    This is a little late as I have fallen behind on my reading with the holidays, but thank you for sharing this. I volunteered at Arlington for the wreath laying this year, and it was even more moving to see these images in person. There was no shortage of volunteers to help lay wreaths, but assisting in their removal is a far less enticing opportunity. This year, volunteers are needed on Saturday January 25 to help with this clean up.

  16. You are wonderful to volunteer *and* to let us know about the need for assistance on the 25th. I will share the info on the TPP Facebook page.

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