Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Madness Prompts Trip Memories

“Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus” is the main railway station in Mumbai (Bombay), India. This past week, two terrorists, part of a group of 10 Muslim extremists from Pakistan (according to police), walked casually into the terminal and began randomly shooting at anyone in sight – passengers, by-standers, restaurant patrons, and those unfortunate enough to just be there by happenstance.

Their actions triggered simultaneous attacks at a half dozen or so Mumbai landmark locations, including the Taj Mahal hotel and the Jewish ultra-orthodox Chabad Lubavitch movement headquarters. At last count, over 174 people have died as a result of the carnage. The above picture shows Indian soldiers guarding the besieged Taj Mahal hotel.

Just a bit over 15 months ago, our son Gregg and our granddaughter Hayley, then 10, walked through that same Mumbai railroad station to catch a train to Hubli-Dharwad and then eventually on to Bangalore. They had traveled to India with a group of a dozen or so on behalf of their Oregon church, which at the time was looking for a resonant ministry there to support and involve themselves from here.

In our shrinking world, the threat of global terrorism appears closer than ever before. In one sense, our neighborhood now extends around the world. As difficult as it is for us old-timers to process that, we have no alternative but to grasp it and embrace it. For it is reality.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Little Trooper Is Out of Surgery

Our 2-and-a-half-month-old grandson Nathan is now out of recovery and resting comfortably with mom Jamie and dad Doug in an overnight hospital room after some surgery early this afternoon. The little guy is a real trooper and took it well.

We hope this does it with hospitals for a while; young Nathan has had more than his share already in his young life. In the pic below, taken mid last week, Nathan is enjoying the company of his friend, Sylvester the elephant.

It was almost a shame for the little guy to have to go back in the hospital environment after he spent more than a month in the neonatal ward following his 6-weeks premature birth. However, the stomach wall double surgery that was required was very necessary and, in reality, is quite commonly needed among preemie babies.

We are thankful to God that Nathan apparently has made it through just fine and that he will be home by tomorrow afternoon and back in familiar surroundings. Get well quickly, little guy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Our grandson Nathan was caught on camera yesterday by photographer dad Doug giving an adoring look at his mom Jamie. You can’t hear it, but Nathan is saying, “That’s my MOM.” He is rightfully proud.

Tomorrow Nathan is 10 weeks old, and he’s basically doing fine overall with the exception of a couple of hick-ups often common to “preemies.” A week from tomorrow he must return to the hospital environment for a day or so to have a pair of stomach wall surgical procedures. It is expected to be “routine,” but your prayers are always appreciated when a little guy must undergo anesthesia.

Grandma and grandpa got to spend all of Friday evening with Nathan and his mom and dad. Grandpa, of course, needed a nap after dinner, and Nathan joined him for a time (pic below). I didn’t actually fall asleep, as that is not acceptable with a baby on one’s lap, but I did “rest my eyes” a little. I must admit that Nathan sleeps a bit sounder on Grandma’s lap, but he seemed to do ok here. Grandmas and grandpas live for these times when they can enjoy their grandkids.

Later this evening I may have to give Nathan a phone call and offer him some “grandpa comfort,” as I hear he was a bit upset that his Seahawks lost again today. I suppose it could have been a gas bubble, but I don’t think so. His dad calmed him as much as he would be calmed and explained to Nathan that this is a character-building year for the Hawks. But I’m not sure Nathan is buying it. The little guy is very competitive. Hmmm… wonder where that comes from.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Talli’s Cross-Country Season Ends With Awards Galore

Our high school frosh granddaughter, Talli, came home last night from her X-C team’s awards banquet weighted down by medals and ribbons.

Among her many awards, this grandpa thinks her making varsity second team all-league as a frosh while at the same time getting a State pin are two incredible achievements. Talli is still in the process of recovering from a leg injury which prevented her at the last minute from actually running at State (she was mega-bummed out), but just qualifying and being there was a marvelous accomplishment.

I may have mentioned this before, but she ran the third fastest frosh time ever at her high school, and that turned out to be the 10th best ALL-TIME, all ages, at Newberg. And she’s got three years left to run!

Congratulations, Talli, you’ve got a bright future on – and off – the track!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

American Voters May Be More Sophisticated Than We Think

We have a new President-elect today, and as I try to process it all, I’m trying to ascertain if American voters are as sophisticated as some of the results would indicate. At the same time I’m hoping that we are a better country today than we were yesterday, though the issues facing Barack Obama still seem just as daunting as they were 24 hours ago.

Congratulations to Barack Obama, the new President-elect in a truly historic election.

One thing is for sure: the people wanted change – perceived or real. A second thing is also for sure: the people didn’t want some changes – perceived or real.

We’ve elected our next President who ran on a platform of "change." What those changes are going to turn out to be is yet unclear, but voters certainly declared their preference – though apparently by single digit percentages (6) rather than the forecasted double digits.

At the same time California voters passed the gay-marriage ban, and similar measures passed in several other states. Have our voters become sophisticated enough to parse these kinds of moral and political judgments?

I don’t know for sure, but it could be perceived as encouraging for the future. As to the preference for change, I’m not exactly envious of Sen. Obama, but I do wish him well. He’s got a monster monkey on his back.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ablaze in Fall Colors

Our backyard is ablaze in Fall colors right now, and we are enjoying it immensely. Of course not only is it in the back but virtually everywhere you look.

At one time we had thoughts of taking one of the tours or cruises that wind down the east coast, following the color change as you move south from the Canadian border. Well, this year at least, we’ve got our own beautiful Pacific Northwest color pageantry right here close to home.

The hues change daily, starting usually with yellow, followed by a bright orange and then the deep red. Already some trees are dropping their leaves, with the rest of the deciduous varieties to soon follow.

I think it may be God’s way of reinforcing his omnipresence through all the changes in life. For me, that’s comforting.