Friday, October 28, 2011

A Gift: "The Old Gray Couple"

They have only to look at each other to laugh--
no one knows why, not even they:
something back in the lives they've lived,
something they both remember but no words can say.

They go off at an evening's end to talk
but they don't, or to sleep but they lie awake--
hardly a word, just a touch, just near,
just listening but not to hear.

Everything they know they know together--
everything, that is, but one:
their lives they've learned like secrets from each other;
their deaths they think of this in the nights alone.

She: Love, says the poet, has no reasons.
He: Not even after fifty years?
She: Particularly after fifty years.
He: What was it, then, that lured us, that still teases?
She: You used to say my plaited hair!
He: And then you'd laugh.
She: Because it wasn't plaited.

Love had no reasons so you made one up to laugh at. Lʔok! The old, gray couple!

He: No, to prove the adage true:
Love has no reasons but old lovers do.
She: And they can't tell.
He: I can and so can you.
Fifty years ago we drew each other, magnetized needle toward the longing north.
It was your naked presence that so moved me. It was your absolute presence that
was love.
She: Ah, was!
He: And now, years older, we begin to see absence not presence: what the world
would be without your footstep in the world--the garden empty of the radiance
where you are.
She: And that's your reason?-that old lovers see their love because they know
now what its loss will be?
He: Because, like Cleopatra in the play, they know there's nothing left once
love's away...
She: Nothing remarkable beneath the visiting moon...
He: Ours is the late, last wisdom of the afternoon. We know that love, like
light, grows dearer toward the dark.

-Archibald Macleish

Sunday, October 23, 2011

THE BRICK and Shameless Name-dropping

So, Friday night we drove over to Morgan and Sandra Young's home for The BRICK. Check out and wallow in envy.

Anyway, Morgan, the ever affable host, was snapping away so I'll share these photos. (We look better in black and white...vintage skin tones, you know.

It was great to run into my buddy, Erin Shultz, who is the entertainment editor at The Kokomo Tribune. She is skilled at scoping out 'What's Happenin' ' in our little town. She makes it ALL sound exciting.

She's also witty, fearless, and a Believer. We e-mail and text but our lives haven't crossed physically for awhile. She got to The Brick and we had ourselves a face-to-face time.

And here is her guy. He swooped in with ingredients for a specialty pizza.



(Large discussion of pronounciation: VAY-gun? VEE-gun?)

No matter: icky. I just KNOW it. Have I tried it? No, like sushi, I just know it will taste ICKY. (Don't tell me about California rolls, thank you.)

Now HERE'S some REAL PIZZA, homemade and fresh from the oven.

I don't know which 'one' this is but all of Sandra's non-vegan pizzas are YUM!

Ok ok. Who's that guy over there, chomping on the vegan pizza? The one who pushed the chef aside and helped himself?

Hmmmm. That would be the hub. He likes it. He also does NOT like too much PDA.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Needles and Updates

I must confess that last Friday night, I felt like we were at the foot of the highest mountain and that there was NO WAY we would climb up and over.

And, yes, I avoided James chapter 1. God has smacked me upside the hay-id several times with the book of Janes. I sank down, weak, and called out to friends to pray for us.

And so many of you did.

And God's loving arms lifted us up and over.

On this bright, autumn Saturday, I report that we are good here. One week in and we are rolling smoothly through the new routine.

Mike's glucose levels are down from the scary numbers of last weekend. His insulin time is just another thing, and a small thing, that slips in before meals, which are now planned a bit more.....who am I kidding?....planned....

Last night, we went to The Brick ( and enjoyed friends and food. Yes, food. We are learning that what looked like severe restriction is merely a more deliberate approach to what goes into the mouth.

So, once again, as always, thank you for keeping us within God's protective custody in such tanglible ways.

Oh yes, And James 1:

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (not this time, but God has directed my eyes to THIS verse many, many, many times)
20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror
24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If you have a half hour

Our church posted Mike's talk to their web site.

Today, in school, one of our teachers showed it to all of her medical terminology classes. Some of my students are in those classes. They have dropped by just to give me a hug.

Then, there are those who don't know me. Many of THEM have dropped by to give me a hug.

It comes as no surprise to those who are tech saavy but it will continue to amaze us: once something is on line, out there, whatever you call it, it will take on a life of its own.

May God be glorified.

Sunday, Octobver 17, 2011

As Mike said, once he knew that he was part of God's plan, he knew that someday he would speak at our church. That someday was Sunday.

After a rather typical, superlative Praise and Worship set, our pastor, Mark Malin, introduced Mike and then left the stage.

And for the next 30 minutes, Mike bared his heart and related what God has taught him through this experience of 1) being diagnosed with terminal cancer; 2) being given 6 - 9 months to live; 3) experiencing remission; and 4) being faced, once again, with a ticking clock.

For those of you who have ridden with us since May 2009, you have seen much of the journey. Let us not forget, any of us, ever, that this entire process has been bathed with prayer. Here in Kokomo, we live within the protective bubble of your prayers for us.

For those of you who were not in attendance, let me say that I know God spoke through Mike.

What a blessing for him and me. How humbling to be used in His service. These photos are compliments of another of our pastors (and friend) Morgan Young.

And, by the way, doesn't the hub look cute????


Our love to you. Lynne and Mike

Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Wrinkle and New Toys

Last weeks was NUTS!

Mike began his new chemo regime so we wrote off weirdnesses to 'side effects.' First, he was exhausted. Then, he climbed out of bed hungry and thirsty. Again, we assumed he was making up for the day before.

He worked on his new boat while I was at school. Then, in the evenings, things really got crazy. Twice, middle of the night, he nudged me and asked if McDonald's was open. Well, yes, our local is 24/7. Is America great or what?

"I want some hot cakes," he said.

"I can make some, you know." I used to cook.

"No, that's too much work. Can you go and get me some from Mickey D's?"

Well, sure. On with the sweats, out to the car, down the street to the Golden Arches. He devoured them (the hotcakes).

We had a repeat on Wednesday night. You might question the choice of errand boy. But, right now, I like to do for him when I can. (I get the coffee)

Also, during the day, he was thirsty. Really thirsty. We purchase some of those 2 liter juice bottles and he was chugging them; we ran out of our supply of white grape and cran-apple. (Gourmets here)

Then, when I came up the drive on Thursday, he greeted me by standing in front of my car. He had a strange look in his eyes. I rolled down the window.

"Do you know what I weigh?"

Well, no, not today.

"I'm not getting enough food."

"I have a steak for supper."

"That's too far away. Take me to Fazoli's, right now!"

Oh. Ok.

We drove about a mile before I raised the question. "You can drive, right?"

"Yes, I guess."

"And we have, what? 4 friends nearby who will come over anytime, right?"



By then, we were turning into the parking lot of pasta paradise. Into the shop. He ordered fettuccine Alfredo and sucked it down.

Feeling a bit better, it was time to talk.

"Are you ok?" I asked.

"I think I'm really dehydrated. I'm thirsty all the time."

"Do you think you should call your doctor?"

Mike said that he would go out to the hospital in the morning. His thought was that they could give him some IV fluids and he'd be fine.

The next day, I received some messages. From Zach: Dad wants you to know that he's at the hospital. Hmmmmm. I assumed as much.

Then, Tom called the school and they put him through to my classroom. His message was that Mike said I should not leave early (SUCH a Bolinger!) but I should come out to the hospital as soon as school was over.

Hmmmmmmm. This is NOT IV fluids. It would have been easy to leave early, as my department head suggested, but I'm still the good wifey so I waited until 2;30.

Mike was lazing in the chemo treatment room. Then the news.

He has developed 'full blown' diabetes. His glucose was 'off the charts.' (As a non-scientist, all those numbers mean very little...except I know MY numbers are good...around 90.. and his were over 1000) They wanted to admit him to get his 'numbers under control."

He was NOT happy. He was adamant that he would NOT stay in the hospital after Saturday. He was scheduled to speak at our church and he was not going to miss it.

First came the Diabetes Educator. As she talked, the patient was NOT happy. He asked no questions (I did). Then came the Diabetes Specialist with more information. Then, Angel Oncologist. NOW the hub had plenty to say.

"I'm not doing this."

"Of course you are."

"What if I don't?"

"Then you'll slip into a coma, fairly soon."

"So what?"

She's developed a relationship with THIS incarnation of the hub. She convinced him that spending the night in the hospital would help him clear his head.

He sent me home. He was NOT happy.

And me? Here's the good Christian girl: God? WHAT ELSE??? NO, I DON'T WANT TO READ James 1.

I sent out a quick note to family and pastors and asked for prayer for us in this special challenge. God showed up, as He always does.

We both needed a good night's sleep. With another beautiful autumn day dawning, I knew that we would attack this challenge like we have everything else. Mike's rest helped him, too.

I went to the grocery store with my notes. He had a quick lunch with Tom. And so begins our new adventure...planning, poking, reading, medicating...

Mike has the icky part. Mike often speaks of TOYS. He has a whole new set of toys.

I get to renew some dusty skills on meal planning and nutrition. We will both be healthier so this is all good.

Thanks for your continued prayers as we tackle this new challenge.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' on the River

Mike and his siblings used to plan an annual hiking/camping trip in southern Indiana. They called it the L.Owen Memorial Trek, in honor of their father. These long weekends involved hauling backpacks over hilly country and camping out....really out....tents/sleeping bags/cook fires/washing in the river.

Several times, I served as 'shotgun,' meaning I drove and picked up. (MY idea of 'roughing it' is staying in a motel with no cable.)

Anyway, Mike has been a no show lately but last week, he and Lisa and Matt took to the Eel River for an afternoon of kayaking. Mike said it was so easy that he faced backward much of the time.

Except when Matt snapped these photos.

Peaceful times in God's nature.....with family...few things can be better than that?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting Ready for Sunday

Mike will be speaking at our church next Sunday. We pray that God will use Mike's story to touch and reach those who God brings to the services.

We know that our friends have been praying for us and especially for him as he prepares. And wouldn't you just know it? His throat is sore today. His strength is down. Isn't that just like the enemy -- to attack when God wants to use us in a specific way?

So, we'll ask you to target your prayers for Mike as he prepares his talk. Pray that the sore throat passes and his energy rises.

And, that God will be glorified in this man's story.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Old Dogs: New Tricks

SO us.

This is what our daughter says about her family of origin: she means that her parents put up with things that don’t work or that work just well enough to get the job mostly done. Around here, a great many do-dads and what-nots operate at less than maximum mode.

We use the thing until it absolutely doesn’t work or we lose it or we try to use it and mess it up.

We have an idea about security: we're fer it. We're just not good at it.

We have a sort of thing that opens the garage doors from inside the house. It’s only about 2” square. It’s easy to lose; the battery (or whatever) is so weak that you must press it, wait, press it again, wait, and then give it a BIG squeeze to open a door 50 feet away. So, it works.

Could we get something else? I bet we could. But until this breaks or gets permanently lost we cannot find it, this little gizmo will open our garage doors.

We used to keep one garage side door unlocked. Then, one evening, several kids broke in (does it count if it wasn’t locked? (SO us)) and stole a motorcycle. The thieves tried to move it through the door, knocking the mirrors off. They did not notice that the key was in the ignition (SO us) and so walked it several blocks and then tossed it in the weeds.

We got it back and fixed the mirrors. The hub purchased a major locking padlock that fitted into a hinge. Then, he lost the key. So that door is REALLY locked. Good thing we can open the garage doors!

SO us.

Keys – old, new, used, never used, colored, mystery – keys are an issue. That may be genetic. When my father-in-law passed away, he had a deep box full of keys. Unlabeled. Given enough time, we can unlock anything.

Combination locks: we have a collection. And on various book jackets, slips of paper, and address notebooks, we have combinations. Lots and lots of 3 number secrets. Most are not labeled to their locks.

Then, there's an ongoing challenge with electronic media.

Televisions make me shake. I believe you cannot purchase one now with a manual control. Or it's well-hidden. The one I have in my classroom is not even all that new but if you lose the remote, you’re in trouble.Or if I accidently push the wrong button, I get all sorts of menus….”Input” “Default” or “Something I Don’t Understand.” My students know that if they don’t jump to my aid. I’ll just turn the whole thing off and bore them with the lecture. They are well-trained.

Then there’s our television at home…do you still call it that? The hub purchased a big screen TV and we hooked up major cable…do you still call it that? With it, the technician handed me a silver remote with many, many, many buttons.

Plus they gave us two black remotes. Even MORE buttons. I grabbed the installer and would not let him leave until he taught me how to turn it on and turn it off.

“Easy. Just use this red one. Watch. On. Off.”

“What about the others?"

“Just don’t touch the other buttons. As for the other remotes, just put them in a drawer and leave them alone. You’ll be ok.”

After he left, I deftly demonstrated me new skills. The hub seemed content to let me be the Power Ranger of the new TV.

Alas. In the middle of the night, the love of my life landed an elbow into my side. “There’s something wrong with this TV.”

I rolled over. To my horror, he had found those other remotes and was punching away.
My go-to plan is to turn off. I turned it off. Then I took the black remotes away. “We’re not supposed to touch these,” I said.

“Then, why do we have them?”

The middle of the night is no time for philosophical discussions.

I was able to turn the TV back on. Red button.

Since then, I have enlarged my skills and now, sometimes, I can DVR (!) and find my way to On Demand.

In my lifetime, a car radio was an option. You could get a car with a blank dashboard. If you went for the electronic option, you would turn on the radio (click the nob to the left), you could dial in a station (manually turn the other nob) and then set that place by slipping your pinkie under a button, find a hole, pull the button out and then push it back in. That locked in that location until you wanted to change it.

Simple, simple, simple.

Today, we both have car radios that are much more complicated. You need to rest the instructions on the seat and work through 5 pages, step-by-step, to change channel choices.
Until Indiana joined the rest of the world and adopted Daylight Savings Time, we did not have to change the clocks. Now we do. THAT takes another session with the directions.

Or we could move to Arizona. Toss up.

My car clock is currently 5 minutes slow. It’s almost time for ‘Fall Back’ when I’ll have to dig out the booklet, so I live with this wrong time shining at me from the dash. SO us.

Mike’s radio/clock/CD/GPS/microwave (kidding) (I think), is much more complicated. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that to change the time, you’d press the CLOCK icon. You’d think. That only makes things flash. You still have to figure out what nob or button or dial will change the minutes and seconds, and set AM or PM.

We have more than a few small radio/CD players that we cannot use. We cannot figure out how to change channels. Occasionally we get frustrated/motivated and give it a go. Luck and persistence sometimes gets us a channel change. Sometimes. But it's hit or miss.

SO us.

So, is it any wonder that the hub has a small clocked radio/CD/alarm clock by his bedside that has perplexed us both for quite a time.?

Several, several years ago, when he needed it, the clock got set to go off at 7:00 AM. It would buzz, slowly at first, and then accelerate to a whine and then a loud, long beeeeeeeeeeep. If he was slow to respond, his reward that that beep. It was annoying enough to get him to slap it off before that happened.

It’s a cheap clock and it is about 10 minutes fast. AND it still was going off every day at 7 AM

(6:50...SO us.)

It’s been almost 3 years since the hub needed to rise at 7. The clock still sounds the alarm.
I asked him if he would like to turn off the alarm.

“Yes, but I don’t know how.”

SO us.

However, what did we find inside the drawer right under the clock? The booklet. (Notice: near the clock. What a concept!) The one that shows how to set the clock AND turn off the alarm. I report that the hub figured it out. We no longer get the alarm.

So, Daughter Dear: nanananana. Old dogs/new tricks.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Two Specific Prayer Requests

And so ends another gorgeous weekend at the lake. From last week to this, the trees have gone from the hint of autumn to full bore explosions of red and orange and yellow.

Out away from town, there’s that almost forbidden scent of burning leaves. Ok, I know it’s probably bad for the environment, but to me, it’s as much a part of autumn as are caramel apples. Yum.

And let me repeat: YUM!

As you head into this week, our friends, we’ll ask for specific prayers on our behalf.
Mike begins a new round of treatment on Monday. I believe he gets ‘infused’ on Monday, takes pills for 6 days and then back to the oncology department. Except for the poison part, he looks forward to these trips: the unit is staffed with angels who smile, pat, hug, and giggle whenever they can. As for the treatment: we hope to buy time, to keep new growth in check, to see many more glorious weekends together.

Speaking of weekends, next Sunday, Mike will be speaking at our church, Oakbrook Community Church, in Kokomo. Way back two years ago, our minister interviewed Mike who was, as you may remember, facing mortality in the face. That interview was used in a church-wide small group setting. About 6 months ago, another local church asked to interview Mike. Then, they posted it on their web site and, as they say, it went viral. Then, about a month ago, Mike spoke at the Kokomo Huddle, a weekly lunchtime men’s meeting at the YMCA.

Each time, Mike has come to see that this is, at least, one of the reasons that God has waited to take him home. Mike has learned a lot and has been able to impart that to others. We know it is God’s work. So, the next time, up there on the dais, all by his lonesome, facing his homies, he feels the pressure and import.

Look, you and I know that he’ll do fine. What our prayer is: that God will be honored, that God’s message for someone in attendance will be clearly delivered; that Mike will have the energy to do his job at both services, 9 and 11.

That’s it for now. Thanks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gift of Hospitality

It's one of the greatest gifts: there are those who open their houses to others and make their guests feel at home.

Such gifted folks are Morgan and Sandra Young. About once a month, their Friday night becomes THE BRICK. Folks follow their noses to the house on S. Indiana. Fresh, homemade pizza heads the menu; guests may bring some items; and once you've been, your invite is a given for the rest of your life.

Morgan and Sandra hope that guests will bring guests. In the two years or so that we've been regulars, the group has grown into an eclectic gathering.

When you enter, you can migrate to the kitchen where, on one counter, Sandra has stacked a wall of rising dough, captured in plastic bags. Then, over there are bowls and packages of toppings. And, the Brick for baking.

And the wine/soda/water/coffee/etc. for the thirsty pizza lovers.

So, last Friday, there we were. Morgan, a man of many talents, has a photography business and sent these photos of the hub. I wanted to share them with you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Interesting Legal Scenery

My friend, and former Chief of Police, Thomas Dinardo, is a man of many personas, more than “good cop/bad cop.” As he would tell you, each of the personas has its particular use and purpose. Not all of the personas are appropriate in a particular situation. Some are frequently in use, and some get taken off the rack, dusted off, and put into use only under special circumstances, and then returned to storage. As Tom would tell you, the trick is to know what persona needs to be utilized. That takes years of experience.

Being a cop and doing police work involves a lot more than just carrying a gun and arresting someone. In fact, Tom would tell you that good cops are frequently called upon to improvise plans to deal with all sorts of different events which are not criminal in nature. People frequently unknowingly create situations that require police assistance. He would also tell you that much of police work involves defusing situations so as to not arrest anyone or create alarm. Consider the following event and ask yourself how you would have handled it in real time.

Judge Eleanor Stein presided over the misdemeanor and small claim court in Kokomo for a number of years. “Judge Ellie,” as she was locally known, was an elegant, educated Jewish grandmother. She brought judicial decorum and impeccable manners to the local court, where the underprivileged, uneducated, unwashed public routinely appeared. I always thought she brought class to the system. I liked her a lot.

Judge Ellie was not long on legal knowledge, which is not generally needed in small claim court, anyway. She rarely found criminal defendants “not guilty,’ which often irritated the defense bar. On the other hand, she could hardly bear to put anybody in jail, which evened things up with the prosecution. It all worked out most of the time and, as they say, justice was served.

One afternoon Tom was waiting to testify in Ellie’s court. He was reviewing his notes in the case. At that time the criminal defendants were also seated in the same row. The study of his notes was interrupted by Judge Ellie, who asked, “Officer Dinardo, would you approach the bench?”
Tom got to his feet and warily walked up to the bench looking for a reason Judge Ellie had requested his immediate presence. Seeing nothing out of order Tom quietly asked, “What can I do for you, your Honor?”

At that time, Judge Ellie leaned far over the front of the bench, turned and lowered her head so no one could see or hear what she was going to say to Tom, who moved as close as he could get to her. “I want you to take care of that for me,” she whispered. She jerked her head back the opposite way, her eyes never leaving Tom’s, as she tried to direct his attention to the opposite direction she was looking. Tom turned slightly, scanned the crowd, and told her he did not see anything.

“Not there, Tom, over there,” she said, motioning with her head.

Tom turned to the new direction and scanned the criminal occupants of the first row. At first only the usual suspects were observed. And then, Tom’s supernatural powers of observation zeroed in on Bob Dough, who was seated right in front of Judge Ellie. Bob was completely oblivious to the goings on around him as he was quietly talking to himself and the demons who had been occupying the bottle of wine he consumed before court. Except that the alcohol was not the problem. Not by a long shot.

Unfortunately, Bob had lost the crotch of his Goodwill pants, which had allowed his unrestrained immenseness with all related attached parts, to come to a state of quiescence on top of his chair in direct line of Judge Ellie’s elevated view.

Tom immediately said, “I’ll take care of it, Judge.” Tom positioned himself between the offended judge and sat down in front of Bob.

“Bob, what is the matter with you?” said Tom. “Your crank is falling out of your pants, man. We can’t have this."

At which time, the half inebriated, partially conscious Bob put both of his feet on the floor, leaned over to get a better view, and moved his knees further apart. Of course this allowed Bob’s now totally exposed member and its lesser lights to, literally, fully escape Bob’s pants and to allow them fresh air and the sun, much to the horror of some and amusement of others.

“Oh my goodness,” said Bob. “What am I going to do? I can’t go home, I have to testify in my case.”

“You are going to have trust me on this, Bob. I’ll see to it that your case is last so you have time to change and get back here. Now go home and change your pants.”

Bob headed toward the court room door, running a gauntlet of curious eyes. Just as he was almost to the door, Tom said, “And Bob…remember that underwear is not optional in court. See you later.”

Judge Stein said, “Officer Dinardo, the court is in great debt to you today. Thank you.”
“No problem at all, your honor. I am always here to protect the community…from whatever.”

Mike out.