Posts Tagged ‘family’

Blog of the Week: December 10, 2017

December 11, 2017
Pink Floyd: On the Run

What’s the Scoop?

Regarding this particular literary exercise . . . you’re reading a rehash of my week, hopefully interesting in that you may able to relate. We live lives of “quiet desperation” someone once said. Did I learn anything last week and am I now wiser for having learned new things, always a good question. I do a daily journal, bits and pieces of which may appear in this series of blogs – I’ll leave out the really mundane stuff, grocery lists, etc. Of course, sometimes the mundane stuff provides its own drama in our daily lives such as signing up for medical insurance after going through the myriad of available options and trying to make the right decision. Thank heavens for my own stress relief in the form of gym workouts and running, which for me is meditation. For example, in my Daily Word booklet that I read, last Monday’s word was “Meditation: I experience oneness through the art of meditation.” The accompanying Bible verse was from Psalm 49:3, “My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance of my heart will give understanding.” Tuesday’s reading was about “world peace”, Wednesday was about “letting go – to open the way to new and bountiful good.” Not easy for some of us to accomplish. Thursday was “Pray for Others” in a vision of wholeness for people you may not know. Friday was “Forgive: I appreciate my innate my innate capacity to forgive.” Obviously, another challenge for many of us. Saturday was “Prosperity: My life is filled with an overflowing measure of God’s goodness.” For me, starting the day with a positive affirmation is a real boost.

Saturday’s Run

What a nice run, it was chilly and hilly, but dry. The Portland area has been enjoying a dry spell. I bundled up and took off on one of my familiar routes, a paved trail near where I live. I wanted to run about seven miles. I didn’t run fast, party because of the hills, but the run felt good, no major aches or pains. I had a few “dog encounters.” There were many people out with their animals. I try to stop and pet the friendly ones. Two big German Shepherds were out enjoying the sun. The owner told me their names were Nola and Harley. Toward the end of the run, the sun was going down, the wind was kicking up, and the temperature was dropping. I was at the top of a big hill looking down at the valley. I noticed a little kid in a green jacket. As I ran down the hill I rounded a turn and he and his mom, pushing a stroller, and their dog were coming up the hill. I said hi and headed for home.

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My Mom’s Blog

May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, in remembrance of you on this day!

Just a photo or two or three and some music to honor my Mom, that’s all.

A few notes about the music and photos. My Mom was buried in Liberty, Texas. I was able to honor her with a visit in 2015. The bird is the Varied Thrush. It represents my beautiful Mom, because I couldn’t find a good picture of her to share with you. The music is totally random but music that I thought was appropriate to express my feelings about her. The Glen Miller piece was from her era. He died in 1944. She died in 1964. Listen at your leisure to the music as I did when I was putting this together.

It was good to visit Mom's grave.

It was good to visit Mom’s grave.

Glenn Miller: Big Band (swing)
Stevie Wonder: You are the Sunshine of My Life
Norman Greenbaum: Spirit in the Sky
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Varied Thrush

Lion King soundtrack: The Circle of Life
Vangelis: The Tao of Love

I miss you, Mom!

Adam & Eve in Love!

March 31, 2017

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Tine Turner: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

The idea for this blog dawned on me in SoCal (southern California) on one of our many trips down to visit relatives and of course get away from the @#$%^&* rain for a few days – I do love that natural  vitamin D! One morning I was enjoying an early breakfast and reading the Wall Street Journal (provided by the hotel). In the “Review”, section was an essay written by Bruce Feiler. It was adapted from his forthcoming book (March 21), The First Love Story: Adam and Eve and Us.

By the way, my recommendation is that you read the article if you’re a WSJ subscriber, or just use this link and check out the video interview with Bruce Feiler. I think the essay is a very thought provoking piece, especially if you’re married and (hopefully) in love or perhaps recently fallen in love. Rather than get off on a side trail about my opinion of how important love is or what it means, I’ll just let Bruce Feiler’s ideas speak for themselves. I may summarize his ideas along the way. Also, if you have a Bible handy, it might help you to better understand if you read Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and for good measure 1 Corinthians 13 (the “love” chapter) in the New Testament. It’s a lot to digest, but I’ll provide some bullet points that might help.

Here’s a totally irrelevant (but wonderful) quote to get you started. I saw this on a napkin dispenser at MOD Pizza in Beaverton, Oregon on March 28th while I was eating my pizza, enjoying a beer, and making some notes in my blog notebook.

Bob Dylan, Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016:
“May you’re your heart be always joyful.
May your song always be sung.
And may you stay young forever.”
Karen O and the Kids: All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

Quoting from Bruce Feiler’s Essay

“In December 1867, Mark Twain was touring Jerusalem when he visited a room in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre identified as Adam’s tomb. He was overcome with emotion. ‘The fountain of my filial affection was stirred to its profoundest depths,’ he wrote. Twain became obsessed with his oldest ancestor, at one point urging planners in New York to replace the Statue of Liberty with a monument to Adam. He went on to write a half-dozen pieces about the first couple, including Extracts from Adam’s Diary and an Autobiography of Eve.”

“Adam, in Twain’s retelling, is initially uncomfortable with Eve. It used to be so pleasant and quiet here, he says, ‘I foresee trouble. Will emigrate.’ Eve is equally unimpressed with Adam. ‘He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not bright, and is sensitive about it.’ (who says Twain didn’t have a sense of humor!) But slowly the two come around. ‘I see I should be lonesome and depressed without her’, Adam says. Eve echoes his feelings: ‘I love him with all the strength of my passionate nature…It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this life together.’”

Patti; Tuck & Patti: Love is the Key

Adam and Eve in love? Really? Who would think such a thing?”

Feiler goes on to say that several very famous people would agree that, yes, they were in love, and that, given the transitional state of the family for the last 30 centuries – major changes with high divorce rates, lifestyles in our hyperconnected world – maybe Adam and Eve could offer some guidance.

Some Bullet Points in Summary of Feiler’s Ideas

Obviously taken out of context (you really need to buy the book or get a copy of the WSJ essay), here are some more thoughts, quoted and/or paraphrased from the essay.

  • The first couple have been victims of a long campaign of character assassination. One reason is that we rarely read the opening chapters of Genesis with the idea that Adam and Eve might be in love. He goes on to explain this important point in detail.
  • Who is God’s chosen sex, man or woman? If you read and compare Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, the answer appears different. Feiler elaborates, then concludes by saying they are entirely equal.
  • In support of the equality idea, if you look at Michelangelo’s famous painting in the Sistine Chapel, it is Eve, not Adam and not God who occupies the exact center of the room. In the third panel, the two figures (Adam and Eve) reach together for the forbidden fruit. They are not estranged, they are partners.
  • Milton’s Paradise Lost was a step-by-step argument that Adam and Eve were equal.
  • In Shakespeare’s words, “Love is not avoiding conflict; it is about overcoming it”.
  • The most underappreciated aspect of Adam and Eve is how they continually return to each other after periods of separation. They start life united, then Eve goes off alone. She could remain apart but instead returns to Adam. Once out of Eden, they could split, but instead they stay together.
Beatles: And I Love Her

Some Final Thoughts

The Bible is the first to put a man and a woman at the start of the human line. God can’t procreate. He needs human partners – starting with Adam and Eve – for humanity to succeed.

Feiler concludes his essay by saying that the first couple struggled too, yet they found a way to heal their wounds and forgive their wrongs.

Some More Music

Eagles: Love Will Keep Us Alive (Hell Freezes Over album)
Del Shannon: Sea of Love (really old song)
Karen O and the Kids: Building All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

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Birthday Blog: 2017

February 23, 2017

Another birthday, another year, I won’t tell you my exact age, but I’m right on the line between “baby boomers” and the one before that, which Tom Brokaw calls the “Greatest Generation”. But this blog isn’t about me; it’s about and for my folks.

Blogger disclaimer: I wondered in the past about social media, about very personal information, Uncle Jack’s favorite chili recipe notwithstanding, actually I thought it was very tasty :), or other more intimate information. Being a private person, it didn’t sit well with me, telling the world those things that should be reserved only for the person who is sharing or for their family and close friends. Breaking through that shell of privacy, in this blog post I’m sharing very personal information. It just seemed appropriate to say it after all these years, as a tribute to my Mom and Dad.

Don’t Ever Take Them for Granted

Taking parents for granted is not something anyone should do. When they’re around, you should appreciate and cherish them. My Mom and Dad have both been gone a long time, my Mom in 1964 and my Dad in 1985. When I hear people talk about their parents, no matter what the context, it makes me think of my own parents.

First, and most important, they were good parents, in all the ways parents should be good parents – disciplining, education, providing a home, and more. On Sundays (and other days), my Mom always had dinner ready on time. With my Dad, it was doing stuff like hunting and fishing, which we did a lot of. I had many wonderful father-son “bonding experiences” with my Dad.

Rites of Passage

Pow, the loud sound broke the silence of the cold morning air. My Dad had driven us out to one of his favorite spots on the deer lease, called “Devil’s Hollow”. The lease, a big ranch probably 500-600 acres, was in the Texas hill country near Mason many hours drive away from our home in southeast Texas. All layered up to ward off the sub-freezing cold, we trudged up the hills with our rifles until we found a good spot behind a scrub oak tree. I got settled in to wait, and my Dad left. The viewpoint was great with a clear view across the draw and to the left and right. I was about 14 years old at the time. I had my hand warmers going and my multiple layers of clothing but was still cold. Soon a nice 8-point buck stepped out about 90-100 yards away across the draw. I took careful aim with the scoped rifle and shot him through the right shoulder. He took a step or two and went down. I stayed in place behind the scrub oak, and the “buck acres” started (see note). Basically, the shakes, it happens to hunters, athletes, etc. after something exciting just happened. Another buck materialized on my left, possibly a trophy buck, within easy shooting distance, but I missed (too much excitement). My Dad, who had barely enough time to get down the hill, came back to help me. We went over and field-dressed the deer and packed him down the hill. My first deer, it was a great morning for a young kid!

Note:  OK, “buck acres” is a colloquial expression, hopefully I spelled it correctly, but deer hunters are familiar with it. I couldn’t verify it online.

One of my big regrets in life is that I didn’t do more of the “man thing” with my son when he was growing up. Oh we’d set off rockets, take the skiff out on the lake to fish, and stuff like that, but that was about it. All Dads should be aware that once those years are gone, they’re gone. If you’re a Dad, don’t mess up, and I’m not excluding daughters, spend quality time with them too.

A Belated Eulogy for My Dad

I don’t remember my Dad ever saying I love you, but I don’t begrudge him for that because I know he loved me. I loved and still love you, Dad. So this is my belated eulogy to you, Dad, perhaps to make up for the shaky knees and quavering voice that I had at your funeral service in 1985, reading some Bible verses, and wanting to say more. This is my testimony to you 32 years later. Rest in peace, Dad.

1 Peter 1:24: “For all men are like grass, and all their glory is like flowers of the field, the grass withers, and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”

A Belated Eulogy for Mom

Her passing was more than 20 years earlier than my Dad, in 1964. The details of her personality and her life are not totally clear in my memory, but some things stand out. I mentioned her dinners (we used to say “supper”) were consistently on time. On Sundays after church, as I recall it was usually roast beef, mashed potatoes, and green beans. My love of cookies comes from my Mom – she’d make peanut butter cookies with the impressions made with a fork and homemade tapioca pudding, yum! The house was always neat and clean.

I’m going to quote from an old letter (January 21, 1959), just an excerpt, which I think speaks volumes of what kind of person my Mom was:

“Dearest Elaine,

How are you? I’m so ashamed of myself for not writing or calling. I think of you many times a day and pray that you are adjusting yourself to your aloneness. No one can know what you are going through until they go through the loss of their loved one. I do feel that you and Edwin had something within your own lives that few, few married people ever find. It seems very ironical and sad that mortals cannot express themselves naturally and freely. I have never learned to show or let others know how I feel.”

1 Corinthian 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Liberty, Texas Memories

Interestingly, in 2013 I went back to Liberty for my 50-year high school reunion. Besides seeing my friends that I hadn’t seen in a half century, a couple of other notable events happened. Going to a pep rally at the new high school and a Friday night football game was a real treat, and it seemed like I was back in 1963 (Back to the Future) sitting in the stands cheering for the team (they won). But more importantly as planned, I went to see my Mom’s grave site (pictures of both my Mom’s and Dad’s grave sites are below). I wanted to decorate the headstone and found the red flowers at a store in town.

The other thing that I had planned on my trip was to go see my old house. I knew that it was still there because I Googled it before I left Portland. As I zoomed-in in Google, I was kind of amazed to see it after so much time had passed. One day I drove over to the house. It had a For Sale sign in the yard so I called the agent to see if I could look at the house. She made a call; I went over, knocked on the door, and was greeted by a friendly face. The woman living there went to high school with my younger sister, which at the time I thought was an amazing coincidence, but you know Liberty is a small town. That and good ole Texas hospitality might have been the primary reasons why I was able to visit my old home so easily. Walking in the front door, I experienced one of those serendipitous moments, like I was time traveling back to my earlier life. The furniture and decor were different, but the floor plan was the same. I walked past the living room straight into the kitchen where my Mom prepared all those meals for us. The door to the garage was on the right, more memories of pickled snakes and of freshly killed deer hanging from the rafters waiting to be processed for the freezer. Not my Mom’s favorite place to hang out. We took the stairs to see my sisters’ bedroom and my brother’s and my bedroom at the end of a long hallway. This was the same room where I had to repaint the walls and ceiling in one corner because of a disastrous lab experiment with my new chemistry set, a Christmas present.

I’m going to wrap this up with pictures and music.

Links to previous blogs about Liberty, Texas:

Growing Up in Texas

Pep Rally and the Game

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young: Our House

 

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Merry Christmas 2016

December 26, 2016

What Happened to 2016?

Update: I forgot to add quotes yesterday, which I’m doing now including the Christmas quotes link at the bottom.

I like this next quote because it reminded me of an incident in my life at my home in Texas. I got a chemistry set as a Christmas present and immediately set about using it in my bedroom. While experimenting with mixing various chemicals, I decided to heat a test tube and forgot to take the stopper out. I wasn’t hurt, but I had a nice painting project repairing the ceiling and walls in the corner of my bedroom.

John Vane
At the age of 12, my parents gave me a chemistry set for Christmas, and experimentation soon became a consuming passion in my life.

Read more John Vane quotes if you’re  interested.

Back to the Future (main them from Back to the Future soundtrack)

I watched Back to the Future again (for the umpteenth time) the other day. It’s definitely in my top 10 list of favorite movies, heck maybe even top 3, along with Raising Arizona and Predator. Further back in the list of favorites would be James Bond movies, especially the ones with Sean Connery (You Only Live Twice, Goldfinger, etc.). I noticed how young Michael J. Fox looked in Back to the Future. Of course the movie was made in 1985. I suppose it’s that aging thing, something about being relative to your own age makes a person react in a certain way. The music too is a big part of my favorite movies, Huey Lewis and the News in Back to the Future and John Barry in the Bond movies.

Coldplay: You Only Live Twice

What’s Your Point?

Someone close to me reminds me when I get off track or “excessively verbalize” – yikes, that’s not common wording, but I suppose it’s appropriate.

I was kinda getting off track, my main purpose, as I recall, was to say Merry Christmas, but I always like to throw in some pictures and music. Another thing on my mind was to mention that I’m running again (the slide show follows). For those who missed the late 2016 summer of my not running, I’m finally back. Adios to “the boot”, sayonara chump, good riddance, etc., etc.

Willie Nelson: On the Road Again

Pictures from My Recent Run

This area below isn’t terribly far from where I live in Oregon. By the way, the brown and white animals are alpacas, not horses. I also saw plenty of raptors and one dog, an untethered German Shepherd in someone’s yard, but he wasn’t interested in me.

I’m not running very fast these days, but it’s great to be out on the roads again.

Joe Cocker: Feelin’ Alright
Canned Heat: On the Road Again

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More Music and More Pictures and More Quotes

Just a few more pictures, selected at random, I do like taking pictures. and some music, then I’m done for this go-round, except for a whole bunch of Christmas quotes that I added.

Chicago: Wake Up Sunshine
Doobie Brothers: Listen to the Music

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Thanksgiving Day – Just Pictures and Some Words

November 25, 2016
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Dad and Son at the Beach

It’s good to step back from all the things going on in our lives and remember the important events, like Thanksgiving Day. Just some brief thoughts before I jump into a few pictures, some quotes, and maybe some music.

Huey Lewis and the News: The Power of Love

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for my family, because they have enriched my life beyond measure. Families should never be taken for granted.

Henry David Thoreau
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
Read more Thanksgiving quotes.

I am thankful for my country and feel very fortunate to live in the United States of America. I was reading in the American Legion magazine about the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. A man who had survived the attack, a sailor on the USS Tennessee, described what it was like to be there when it happened. We should all thank the many men and women who have made sacrifices to protect our way of life.

Coldplay: God Put a Smile on Your Face
Ronald Reagan
“If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.” Read more Reagan quotes.
John F. Kennedy
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Read more Kennedy quotes.

I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship my God freely and express my beliefs freely.

Take a minute and express your own thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day.

Just Some Pictures

I like taking pictures. More of my pictures are here.

Music from the Lion King: The Circle of Life
Family

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Eagles: Spirit in the Sky

Birds

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J. S. Bach: Toccata in D

Scenic

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What Happened at Crystal City? (Part IV)

August 12, 2016

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The Monkees: Last Train to Clarksville

Saying Goodbye to Crystal City

On February 27, 1948, the Crystal City Internment Camp officially closed. I’m writing this 68 years later in August 2016. I’m not by nature a history buff, never was when I was in school, and I’m only a bit more of a history buff now. However, the whole story about Crystal City got under my skin and made me want to try to understand why it happened.

Stuff Happens, but All Lives Matter

Try this, to put it in perspective for you, to make it personal. Think about something that happened in your life, perhaps a turning point, a wrong decision, a happenstance that sent you down a whole different path. Maybe it was temporary and your life later returned to “normal”. I can think of several episodes in my life – serving a year in Vietnam as a sailor, moving my family cross-country not once but twice. Give it some thought, and you’ll probably come up with at least one episode. How would it have affected your life if you had been one of the thousands of Germans, Italians, or Japanese who were interned (confined) in a camp during WWII?

The answer is “dramatically” of course. Read the following quotes from the book.

More Quotes from Jan Russell’s Book

“Eb Fuhr, who was 17 when he was interned and 22 when he was released said, ‘No one can appreciate the intense terror of government power and the despair of hopelessness that we felt behind that barbed-wire fence’. Then he said, ‘By the same token, no one can appreciate the thrilling sense of freedom I felt when it was over.'”

“Carmen Higa Mochizuki was eleven years old when her father, a poor farmer in Peru who made his living selling milk from his cows was arrested. The government seized her father’s assets. They lost everything in an instant. Her mother, father, and nine siblings were transported to the United States, under American military guard, from Callao, Peru to New Orleans. Their passports and visa were confiscated.”

“At the port in New Orleans, the women, and children were marched to a warehouse, forced to strip, and made to stand in line naked. ‘Then we were all sprayed with insecticide that stung our skin,’ remembered Carmen. ‘Since we had no passports or proof of identity we were arrested as illegal aliens and put on a train to Crystal City. During the train ride, the sister thought we might be killed there.'”

“Politics” Defined: Merriam-Webster
  • “Activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government
  • The work or job of people (such as elected officials) who are part of a government
  • The opinions that someone has about what should be done by governments : a person’s political thoughts and opinions”

Does politics enter into any of this? Was Executive Order 9066, the order that allowed FDR to set up Crystal City even legal. I decided to do some research to answer that question.

Some Wikipedia Stuff

“United States presidents issue executive orders to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself.”

By the way, don’t feel obligated to use the links, but you might find the information edifying.

Use this link to see a list of the number of executive orders issued by past presidents and the current president. By far the most, FDR issued over 3,000 executive orders. You might note that the Federal Register, especially if you’re a “research hound” like me, makes for some very interesting reading about what has been published by various agencies.

There is no constitutional provision nor statute that explicitly permits executive orders. The term executive power in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution refers to the office of President as the executive. He (or she) is instructed therein by the declaration “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 5 or face impeachment.

From ThisNation.com (August 8, 2016)

“Executive Orders are controversial because they allow the President to make major decisions, even law, without the consent of Congress. This, of course, runs against the general logic of the Constitution — that no one should have power to act unilaterally. Nevertheless, Congress often gives the President considerable leeway in implementing and administering federal law and programs. Sometimes, Congress cannot agree exactly how to implement a law or program. In effect, this leaves the decision to the federal agencies involved and the President that stands at their head. When Congress fails to spell out in detail how a law is to be executed, it leaves the door open for the President to provide those details in the form of Executive Orders.”

Wrapping it Up

Remember Howard Beale in Network. See my earlier blog, America, Part 2, August 1, 2013. Are you madder than hell and not willing to take it anymore?

I told myself I’d let this piece about Crystal City speak for itself and not politicize over it. But I felt compelled to add a bit of political content to educate and make sure the issues were clear.

For me, the bottom line question is, if in fact the U.S. government was instituted (from day 1) to serve the needs of the American people, are the American people’s needs being served?

That’s it, I hope Crystal City was a good read for you!

Blogger’s Note

I  am admittedly a “train freak”, something about the sounds, the vibrations as it passes, etc. If you happen to be in Sacramento, I highly recommend you go to the California State Railroad Museum. I was there in 2008 and was very impressed with the exhibits (several full-size engines) and a well-presented history of the transcontinental railroad. The museum sits on the site where it ended.

Blind Faith: Can’t Find My Way Home

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What Happened at Crystal City? (Part II)

May 9, 2016
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Gospodor Monument

Note about the pictures and the music: One of the structures in the monument represents the Holocaust, which seemed to be an appropriate photo for this blog. Please Google Gospodor Monument for more information. The picture in Part I, if you’re still curious about it, will eventually be explained. I guess I’ve always had The Police song on my favorites list, and one day while I was swimming laps I decided it was a good choice for this blog. Did I hear someone say “what an understatement”!
The Police: Every Breath You Take

Introduction to Part II

Giving the appropriate credits and attributions is always a necessary part of what I write about in my blog. Without good sources for information and inspiration, the creation process would be much harder if not impossible. One of my sources is a book by Jan Jarboe Russell, The Train to Crystal City, published in 2015 by Scribners, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. I will annotate any direct quotes with her name in this and any succeeding installments. Other credits will be included as needed.

The Five W’s and the H

I highly recommend Jan Russell’s book. The following synopsis comes from Amazon where I bought my copy.

“During World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called ‘quiet passage’. Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged for other more ostensibly important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.”

Jan Jarboe Russell focuses on two American-born teenage girls, uncovering the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families’ subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and above all, ‘is about identity, allegiance, and home, and the difficulty of determining the loyalties that lie in individual human hearts’ (Texas Observer).”

Most of us older types and others, perhaps younger history buffs, know about the internment camps that existed during the war, on the west coast and other locations. Manzanar in California is the one that I remember. However, Crystal City was the only family internment camp during World War II. I’m including a Wikipedia link. Be sure to check it out. Wikipedia has included a very interesting map and photos. The number of locations is kind of mind-blowing.

Also, the following caption from a photo in the Wikipedia piece is interesting and ironic.

“The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was composed primarily of Japanese Americans, served with uncommon distinction in the European Theatre of World War II. Many of the U.S. soldiers serving in the unit had families who were held in concentration camp in the United States while they fought abroad.”

More to come in Part III. Read the book if you get a chance.

Two parting quotes

The first quote is off-topic but appropriate for the holiday (May 8), and the other quote is on-topic and also very good.

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Rudyard Kipling
The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men. Lyndon B. Johnson

 

Priorities – Are They Important?

April 16, 2016

In this blog I’ll be sharing some photos from recent memorable runs and hopefully some thought-provoking ideas about priorities.

First the runs – actually, let me rephrase that, first I’ll tell you about two of my recent runs with words and pictures.

You may have seen my piece about What is Serendipity? a while back.

Run 1 – Big Bird Lives

Interestingly enough, referring to one of the two run/walks I’ll tell you about in this blog and speaking of Great Blue Herons, a couple of my Tuesday running/walking group buddies and I saw one at Commonwealth Lake this week. Commonwealth Lake is in a local neighborhood near where I live. “It was amazing” to see this magnificent creature standing on the shore line of the lake not more than a dozen feet from the path where we were walking. The bird didn’t flinch, just stood there looking around. They’re actually very large birds. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera.

By the way (just a quick note) about my walking/running – sometimes, due to various and sundry aches and pains, I walk rather than run. I enjoy both running and walking, the main thing is getting off the couch and going out to get some exercise.

The Allman Brothers – No One Left to Run With

Run 2 – Another Run in the Sun

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Mike & Jim along the Columbia River

On the second run on a Wednesday with a couple of other running buddies – be patient, I’ll get to the part about “priorities” eventually. Someone had suggested we run in a location where we hadn’t run in a while. We met in Vancouver across the river from Portland. It was a bright sunny day with a bit of a breeze, and we took off east toward Mount Hood and ended up on a paved trail that follows the river. I’m including pictures that I took. Afterwards we had a late lunch and drinks sitting in the sun. Everybody was out enjoying the weather. Eat your hearts out Californians, you take your sunny weather for granted, we Oregonians relish those wonderful sun-filled days.

The “Priorities” Part

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What would your ribbon say?

The topic presented in my church one Sunday this year was about priorities, mainly how to focus on worshipping God, loving people, and using things in that order. I guess the first two priorities are pretty obvious, although you can substitute another word for “God” if you prefer. On “using things”, that covers a broad area – spending time texting, etc. – I guess the point is that “using things” should be the lowest rung on the priority ladder. I think the pictures illustrate that choosing your priorities carefully is what’s important. If it’s a choice between going for a run or spending time with my family, which one do I choose? For me for years, running took priority over everything. One day I realized that there were other things that should have a higher priority.

Take a look at the pictures. I was walking along the trail in Vancouver when I saw “The Soul Tree”. At first I didn’t know what all the ribbons were about until I stopped and read the sign. I decided to add my own ribbon (“My Family”), and I took pictures with my phone.

I’ll end on that note, but hopefully your priorities are well chosen.

Just a few quotes to end with . . . check out Brainy Quotes for a lot more.

Tony Blair
It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it’s an irresponsible government that fails to choose.
Whitney Houston
I have priorities. Maintaining my daughter is my first.
Myles Munroe
Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.

 

Eulogy for Boomer

January 8, 2016

Goodbye old pal, we’ll miss you, big time!

Blogger’s postscript: Just wanted to add some important details that I left out yesterday.

Boomer started out as a southern California dog, roaming the streets of Sun City and eventually becoming the property of my mother-in-law, Eileen. She brought him along when she moved up to live with us in Oregon. Boomer was her pal and companion for years until she died. Then he lived with us after her passing, and he became our pal and companion.

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Boomer wearing his snow jacket.

Circle of Life (from the Lion King soundtrack)

Seeing that big, open-mouthed grin with that wonderful tongue with black spots (were you part chow?) was always a joy.

Your response to my touch when I scratched your back side, moving that leg back and forth. It made me feel good too.

  • Scientists say that dogs (not sure about cats) are beneficial to humans because there is a chemical response that actually lowers the blood pressure and relaxes both the animal and the human when they interact. Pretty cool, eh!

Boomer, I hope you reconnect with your old friend Eileen, and I hope you and Morty (our other dog that died in 2013) meet up and have a great time running around together.

A couple more pictures – the tongue with the spots and his “summer” buzz cut.

Quote: I learned the roots of any relationship (from working with dogs) – honesty, integrity, loyalty. It’s hard to find a human to give you all three. But every dog, that’s all they know. Humans are the only species that follows unstable pack leaders. Animals don’t . . . why would they? (Cesar Millan, dog whisperer, in Men’s Journal)

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