Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Launching of The Blub

I'm going back someday
Come what may
To Blue Bayou
Where the folks are fine
And the world is mine
On Blue Bayou

If you are of a certain age, you can hear Linda Ronstad's dulcet tones as she croons this song. It was always one of our favorites so when the hub got ready to launch the first boat (I believe it was some little sailing thing), he named his ship after Linda's song. This was long ago, before texting and other kinds of shorthand messaging swept the world.

Thinking he was being OH SO CLEVER, he carefully stenciled BLUBYU on the stern. But then he showed it to the family: Allyson, a very precise speller, and Zach, who was just learning to read.

"What's Blub You?" she asked.
"The name is BLUE BAYOU," said the captain.
"No way, Dad. It's Blub You. You left out a letter."
Zach chimed in, "Blub blub blub YOU," he chanted.
"Knock it off. Don't you know who Linda Ronstadt is?" (They did not.)
"Is the paint dry, Dad?" asked Allyson.
"Why do you ask?"
"Well, I guess we're stuck with Blub You for our boat."
And Blub You it remained.

In fact, every boat we've owned ended up being called Blub You. And, as Bolingers are wont to do, we shortened it to Blub.  Or The Blub. (Only recently did we consider that 'blub' might be connected to the noise one makes as he goes under for the third time....blub blub blub.)

Backing up
So last week, it was time for the First Mate and the Hub to launch The Blub. It is a two-man operation with me 'just doing' whatever he tells me. HE can back up a trailer; I can not.

The biggest challenge is that he is left-handed and, even after almost 38 years of marriage, he forgets that I cannot read his mind.

Hooking up the trailer
This is NOT my task. This is always HIS task. But he always always always reminds me. I wonder if ever ever ever HE forgot?

Next, we drive to the boat launch. Winona Lake has only two. This one is on the island. It is an island code of honor that we never never never tell day visitors how to find this launch. You might notice, in the center of the picture is the Ritz Carlton bird house that is the topic of the next blog entry.
Mike backs the boat up. Really this is quite the skill. I may have tried it once or twice, under his instruction. I end up with the boat twisting back to the driver's window. Not good. I am more useful standing by the side of the ramp, as a kind of guide. Should he run over my toes, he's no longer centered.

Back, back, back until the trailer wheels are in the lake. At this point, he gets out of the truck after engaging the emergency brake (DON'T FORGET THE EMERGENCY BRAKE! he says as he locks it on)

chains still attached
At this point, the captain boards his Blub and the First Mate, foot on brake, lets the boat s-l-o-w-l-y slide back, back, back until the hull can float free of the trailer.

BRAKES ON!!!. I get out and push the boat into the lake. "DON'T LET GO OF THE LINE YET," he warns.
current Blub

This is because the drama of Launch Day is just beginning.

Every autumn, we take the Blub out of the lake. We scrub it up all shiny, inside and out. The Captain drains this, checks that, fills those and declares that his ship is ready for winter. We store it in the garage until spring. But, somehow, over the cold months, something usually happens to the Blub. On Launch Day, right at this point in the narrative, as First Mate stands on shore, boat line in hand, the Captain settles into his seat and fires up the engine.

And sometimes....no, make that, almost always, the engine fails to fire. He tries. He chokes it. He speaks to it. He yells at it. And then, First Mate Lynne pulls it back to the trailer where we reattach it and drive to Patona Bay Marina for a tune up. It will be two weeks before we can try again.

I believe that's why we launched early this spring. We figured in those two weeks.

HOWEVER, the Blub fired up. First time. No choking. No yelling.


I believe I may have left early one year, assuming that the ship was ship shape. So another direction is,


All ready to play.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Next to the Launch: another rite of spring

Muscling it down

 To the left immediate side of the boat launch are several seasonal properties. As the warm weather increases, these flesh in with owners and friends to fill up our lake community. As they return, they find that there are once-a-year tasks that must be attended to.

These folks invested in the ultimate bird house, more of a Ritz Carlton for their avian arrivals.Hexagonal, with 12 guest rooms, it perches upon a 10 foot pole that sways ever so gently in lake breezes. Our neighbors wanted to, um, clean it out from late fall inhabitants and so executed the maneuver where, much like a venetian blind, you grab a rope that extends from the hotel, snap it to unlock it, and then let they house slide down the pole where it can be hosed.

Except the device that is supposed to unlock the house refused to cooperate. They (mostly he) kept trying variations of the snap-and-release, growing frustrated but ever more determined. We would not have taken so much notice (there are lots of these kinds of things around here) except the 10 foot pole kept swaying, not so gently, in our direction. Wouldn't it be 'So Us' to be taken out by a stray bird house?
I can fix this.

After about 10 minutes, they got out a ladder (exactly what the gizmo was supposed to eliminate) and the Bird Dad climbed and retrieved it. Once near the ground, it became his mission to discover the malfunction and to fix it. Wife wasn't sold but as a good wife, she feigned interest.

Soon, granddaughter, wondering WHAT they were DOING??? while she was waiting to get in the lake, had a thought that she could help speed the process along.

Her attention lasted about a minute when she spied our boat now safely launched and speeding out.

"Hey. Folks! Let's get on with the water," she thought.

Mike waved, that teaser. "Hey! Wait for me, you guy in the boat," she thought.

Not to be, little Sweetie. However, Grandpa fixed the gizmo, Grandma cleaned out the hotel, they hoisted it aloft, and their very patient granddaughter jumped into the lake.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Birds (and bees?) and Flowers


I may have mentioned that we don’t exactly ‘break a sweat’ while working at our lake cottage. The only sweat we break is when the temperature rises like it has today. So to compensate to reach our philosophical balance, the hub and I have napped almost all day.

I, myself, lay down on the sleeping couch about 1:00 and, what do you know? It’s 4:30. A quick catch up on the Facebook News and it’s 5:30. Where is the hub? Why he’s upstairs, ceiling fan a fannin’, snoozing in the breeze.

Ok, this is only Day one. By tomorrow, I’m sure, I’ll get around to cleaning up the boat. That was supposed to be my task for today but as the hub did not remove the boat cover, I was thwarted and so encouraged to catch up on my sleep.

“The boat cover?  You couldn’t get the boat cover off by yourself?”  you might ask if you are not familiar with our rather unique canvas tarp. It has angles and braces and ropes…I’m betting we got a ‘deal’ on it. No, I cannot remove it by myself. So, tomorrow. Probably.
Visiting for Memorial Day

My big tasks here are the bird feeders and the flowers.

Winona Lake has the usual assortment of Midwestern birds. On occasion, some host exotics on their ways to exotic locales. Outside our kitchen window, I have two or more feeders and some suet bars. Here’s what I discovered: if I spring for the ‘gourmet’ Scott’s feed that comes in an easy-to-use carton, I get all the birds. They flock and they chase away those pesky black squirrels. If I cheap out with regular seed, the birds go elsewhere and the squirrels win.

Generic: snob birds don't like it.
Hmmmm. Momentarily curious, I compared the two seeds. Left hand/right hand. Except for the easy-to-pour thing, they look exactly the same. To me. Of course, I am not a bird. So, depending on my mood, I buy as my fancy dictates. On cheap days, tough times, birdies!

My other task is to plop some flowers in four window boxes and try to keep them alive. This is my greatest challenge here in lakeville.

Being generous to my self-esteem, I am not good with plants. I have tried all sorts of plants. Plants do not like me….they may have been communing with the birds.

We (I) try every year. Those pesky flowers usually die off. The best year for our flowers was 2009. Our neighbor asked, as a favor to me, if she could fill our planters and care for them. Why, yes Sande, you can. Sande has all green thumbs, a fact that she hides when she goes to her job as a nurse.
Across the way is another lady, Connie. Healthy plants and grass spring from her feet as she walks by, much as I image it happened in Eden. I am surrounded by men and women for whom plants are a passion. Peer pressure is a pain.

But, hope springs eternal, as they say, so I drove to our ACE Hardware Store where my friendly garden specialist was ready to help me. The annuals were arranged in bright, healthy rows. 

“Where are the Lynne-proof flowers,” I asked.
“Pardon me?”
“You know, the ones that can take it, the tough ones, the ones with attitude.”
“Oh. Do you know what kind of sun exposure they’ll get?” he asked.
“Yes. They get full sun and they must be tough.”
“Well, (here it comes), geraniums are hardy and easy.” This from his booklet, I’m sure.
“Hm. No, I kill geraniums.”
“What about marigolds? Do you like yellow?”
“I like the ones that can fend for themselves,” I returned.
“Let me show you the full-sun annuals. You might pick out the ones that look healthiest.”

He wanted to help somebody. I was turning into ‘not that somebody.’

Thanking him, I made my selection quickly, much the way that a dieter who is about to cheat eats the bad food before he has time to think. I ended up with white verbena and purple dianthus. From those little stick-in things, the ones with the ‘care instructions,’ I see that I also picked up a few white zinnias, not telling them apart. Plus some hanging-down-viney things. DO NOT TELL ME THAT I’VE CHOSEN UNWISELY, GRASSHOPPER. These are this season’s experiment.

Back to the planters. I dumped the soil and assembled everything on the picnic table. Then, we had a chat.

Remember when people talked to their houseplants in the 70s and 80s? Not I, but that may have something to do with my lack of success.

My pep talk, in capsule form: Ok, you guys. You gotta be tough. You gotta survive abuse and neglect. I’m going to try to get you some water when you need it and I’ll rip out any weeds that try to choke you. But YOU gotta be tough.

So far, so good. One week in the dirt and only ONE scrawny plant has bitten the dust, literally. (1 down.....)

Our cottage is surrounded by 12 varieties of hostas (thank you, big sister), carefully landscaped by the former owner. Now, THAT’S a tough plant. Not only does it survive ME; it spreads and fills in and looks just gorgeous. I even separated a few plants and took them home and planted them around the Kokomo house. THEY ARE STILL ALIVE!

I wish they would look good in planters.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gonad the Barbarian

  Somehow, mothers know what is best for their children.  This is an immutable law of childrearing.  Each generation of mothers begins with certain rules that were handed down by their mothers.  The new generation starts with those proven rules and modifies them appropriately to reflect changes in society and new information concerning the raising of children.  The goal of all mothers is to produce a young adult that is polite, respectful, intelligent and accomplished.  Producing such an end product would be simple for all mothers, except for one universal problem…children come with fathers, who have not a clue about raising their offspring.

My wife, the evil Lynne, is an excellent mother.  It always seemed to me that she was born to the challenges of motherhood.  I do not know where she learned the things she just seemed to automatically know about our two children, Allyson and Zachary.  Lynne instituted a system for caring for the children which encompassed almost everything they did from the time they got up in the morning till they were tucked into bed at night.  Lynne rode those children like a Marine Corps drill instructor.  Nothing escaped her iron rule.

Every night all Lynne had to do was issue the order “Time for bed, get upstairs and get ready.”  Both children would obediently march upstairs like good little soldiers and take their bath or shower, brush their teeth, put on clean jammies and crawl into bed to await being read to by their mother, who would give them a good night kiss, a last drink of water and tuck them into bed.  She only had to give the order and it was done without complaint because both children knew that you do not mess with the Lynne.

Many years ago when Allyson was about six years old and Zack was about three, Lynne took on a long term project at church where she would be gone every Wednesday evening from about 7 pm to 9:30 pm.  The children’s bedtime was 7:30 pm, so I would theoretically be responsible for putting the children to bed.  Lynne knew intuitively that I was incapable of performing this seemingly simple task, so on the first Wednesday night she gave the order to the children to get ready for bed before she left.  At 7:30 pm all I had to do was tell them to go to bed.  I could handle that…barely.

When 7:30 rolled around I gave the order for the children to be bagged.  Off they went with surprisingly little grumbling.  My sole task out of the way, I took a shower and crawled into bed, figuring I would watch some mindless TV program or maybe read.  I got something to drink and settled in to await the return of the Lynne.

All was well for about 20 minutes when I heard the creak in the floor coming from the hallway outside my bedroom.
“Zack, are you out there?”
“Yes.  I am thirsty and can’t sleep.”
“All right, get a drink in the kitchen and go back to bed.”  No reason to get out of my warm bed.
 After a short time, I heard the faucet turn on and off, then silence.  Then the creak again.
“Zack, are you still there?”
“Do you want to watch TV for a while?”  
He practically flew into my bedroom, leaped over my dozing Golden Retriever, Buster (who had staked out the lower half of the bed) and crawled under the covers.  I figured I had at least two hours before the evil Lynne returned.

About five minutes later, I heard the creak of the floor again.  

“Allyson, are you out there?”
“Yes.  I came down to check on Zack.  Where is he?”
“In bed with me watching TV.”
“Why does Zack get to stay up and watch TV?  He is supposed to be in bed.”
“Shut up, Al,”  Zack fired back.  I knew I had a problem now.
“Do you want to watch TV with us?” I inquired.
“Yes,” she said.
“Come on, then,” knowing I was outmaneuvered.  Like Zack, she streaked into the bedroom, stopped to give Buster a pat and crawled into bed.  So there we were, the four of us, happily bagged, needing only to get back to proper beds before she-who-must-be-obeyed came home.
“What’s on?  asked Allyson.

“A really great movie,” I replied.  “It is called Conan the Barbarian. You’ll like it.”

 Before I go further, for the benefit of you who have never seen this cinematic masterpiece, it starred the former governor of California, Arnold Schwarznegger, and a statuesque Swedish beauty named Brigitte Nielson, who was not cast for her acting ability, but because of her other assets. Both of them.  The movie featured lots of heads and arms being severed from the bad guys by Arnold, wielding his oversize sword.  There was lots of gratuitous nudity and sex, as well as nightmare images and, best of all, a human sacrifice scene complete with a boiling cauldron of severed heads, arms, legs, and hands.  A perfect movie for young children who are going to bed, right?
We watched for about two minutes, when Arnold (Conan) ran somebody through with his sword.
“Mom is really going to be mad if she finds out Zack watched this movie,” warned Allyson. I considered her insightful comment.
“You are right, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.  Zack, can you keep your mouth shut?” I inquired.  Brigitte was having difficulty keeping her leather halter top in place over her substantial assets.

“No problem, Dad, I won’t tell.”

“Al, you going to tell?” I asked.

“No way, Dad, but she will find out.  She always does.” This from my precocious daughter.  Arnold shot someone with an arrow, fake blood gushing from the wound.

About this time Zack said, “I’m hungry, Dad, can we get something to eat?”
“Me, too,” said Al.
“All right, I’ll go get something,” I responded.  I rolled out of bed and went to the kitchen.  I found an unopened quart of chocolate ice cream.  I got one spoon out of the silverware drawer, returned to the bedroom and crawled back into bed.  The cauldron appeared to be filled with pea soup.  A severed head floated to the top.

“Great!  Chocolate ice cream!  Can Buster have some?” yelled the kids in unison.

“Of course”, I said.  “That would only be right.”  I dug out a large spoonful and Buster slurped it off the spoon.  “Who’s next?”  I asked.

Quickly forgetting that ‘ice cream at bedtime’ and ‘eating in bed’ was forbidden, Zack chimed in.
“Me,” he said.  I handed the carton and spoon to him and he carved out a mountainous bite and slammed it down.  He handed it all to Al, who took a bite and handed it back to me.  And so it went for at least a half hour.  Black robed creatures were waving their capes around the soon-to-be-slaughtered. “Mom is really going to be upset, Dad, if she finds out Zack was eating chocolate ice cream this late.  He is going to have nightmares,” said Al.  (How does she know these things, I wondered?  That generation to generation thing?)

After all that ice cream, Zack said, “I’m cold.”  So I reached down to the foot of the bed and pulled my prized blue, satin eiderdown comforter out from underneath Buster.  Not without a growl. I wrapped the three of us in the comforter so that only our heads showed.  Zack had the ice cream underneath.  Arnold chopped off another head. 

 And so it went for about thirty minutes.  All was well in the kingdom of Dad.  That is until about 9:00, thirty minutes too soon, when we heard the back door open and close!  The Mom! Back early!

The kids promptly ducked under the covers.  “Be quiet and don’t move,” I whispered. “We will wait until she takes her shower, then you tiptoe upstairs to your bedrooms.  All right?”

“No problem, Dad,” said the kids.

Into the bedroom marched the Lynne.  “How did it go?” she asked.

“No problem,” I replied.  “Piece of cake.”

“I am going upstairs and check on them.  Did you have a bedtime story?”

“Kind of.” I responded.  About this time, I heard a giggle from under the covers.  The Mom zeroed in on it immediately.

“Are those kids in bed with you?”

The twin traitors threw back the covers and said, “Hi, Mom.  Dad said it was OK if we stayed up and watched TV with him.”

“We had chocolate ice cream, too. Want some?” asked Zack, handing her the dripping carton and much used communal spoon.

“I can’t believe this.  The one time I leave you in charge, you break all the rules.  They are children, Mike.  What’s the matter with you?  Do you have any sense at all?”

“I guess not,” I confessed.  I thought I was done being yelled at when Arnold cut out the bad guy’s heart and held it aloft, blood dripping.  The Lynne looked at the TV screen in horror.

“What are you watching!?  This is completely inappropriate for children,” she shouted.

“Told you, Dad,” confirmed Al.

“We are watching Gonad the Barbarian,” said Zack. Arnold threw the still beating heart into the boiling cauldron of man parts.

“What are you thinking, Mike.  Zack is going to have nightmares all night.  I can’t believe this!”

“Told you, Dad” confirmed Al.

“You kids get upstairs to be right now.  Move!  I will deal with you tomorrow morning!  You have both been very bad.  You know the rules!”She had made her case.

Properly chastised, barely holding back giggles, the two apprehended felons marched upstairs to their respective cells.

“Good night, Dad,” they said in unison.  “We had a really good time tonight.”

“Good night, gang,” I responded.  “We’ll do it again sometime.”

“Don’t even think about it, Mike,” warned the Lynne.  And that was pretty much the end of it.  By the next morning the Lynne had calmed down and the kids seemed to have survived their first solo evening with Dad.

I am tempted to tell you that on the Wednesday nights that followed, I conformed to the Lynne rules.  But that would be a lie.  I am a lawyer, right?  I do not follow rules well.  I am the Dad, right?  Dads don’t know about no stinking rules, right?

So in the weeks that followed we ordered out for delivered pizza on Wednesday nights.  I did not worry about the lingering smell of garlic and cheese in the bedroom.  Or the crumbs under the sheets.  Or the tomato paste smear on the covers.  Or the uneaten piece in the box under my side of the bed.

The Lynne never said a word.  After all, it was Dad’s night, right?

Mike out.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How a Believer Passes

Let me first get this out of the way. I knew, I just knew, that sometime during this week, SOMEONE would quote I Corinthians 15:55:

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

OK, I get it. For the believer, physical death is not the end. We close our eyes here and open them in glory. When our time comes, it’s blink blink and we’re there. Death does not win. Christ overcame death. For this, I am eternally grateful.

And, I know I should not pick and choose, taking a phrase out of context but let me anyway. “Where is your sting?” ARE YOU KIDDING???? My sister-in-law has died. My baby brother’s wife. His kids’ mom. A daughter. A sister. A friend to many. And it stings. It hurts. And even though time will help to lessen the pain, as our hearts are wounded, it will never go away.

We all will find a new normal. ‘Things will get back to normal,’ they say. Only that normal will include a hole, an empty space that nothing can fill. Not ever.
Another text from the week is  II Corinthians 5:6-8  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  For we live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

I get this, too. When it’s all parsed out, I know that Janelle is where we all prefer to be; sometimes that’s hard to remember because life here can be pretty darned good. But in the depths of our souls, we long for heaven. I’ll see Janelle again, in whatever reality that heaven is.

OK, done with the rant: on with the report.

Family and friends converged on Charlotte this week, to mark the passage of Janelle Hayes; she died May 10 of an aggressive brain tumor. My brother Ken reported that there was time for him and the kids to sit with her, hold her hands, and tell her they would be OK and that she could go. He said that she closed her eyes after that and shortly “left us.”

Janelle, as well as her extended family, was a believer. She asked God to heal her. She pleaded with God to heal her, if it was within His will. And she was as ready as one human can be to accept that will.

When it became clear that her healing would take place in heaven, I was not sure if Mike would be able to go, physically or otherwise. Long trips present challenges, from comfort to medication requirements. Also, he and Janelle had formed a special bond since her diagnosis last August. I had suggested that this gathering, the family and all, would be like a dress rehearsal.

            But it was all his idea. I knew it would be hard. He LIKES hard. “I owe it to her,” I believe were his exact words. We drove straight through on Sunday and back on Wednesday.  Sunday night, while Mike and I crashed and slept, I hear that the cousins entertained each other with stories (true and otherwise) about their various parents. On Monday morning, the extended contingent crammed into the Hayes home.

One of the reasons we sisters began our annual get-together was that as we stood around my dad’s casket in 2000, we realized we were becoming a cliché; we were only physically seeing each other at funerals. We decided to change that.

Me and my guy
Funerals DO serve that purpose. I don’t remember the last time so many cousins had sat around a table together. They had time to go out, just the cousins, several times. I do not know much about this nor do I choose to try to find out.

            Ken and his daughter Britt had firmed up all of the arrangements. Monday was for visiting. Monday night was for visiting the family at the church where Janelle had directed their day school. Lines of former students and present students with parents stretched down the hall. Ken and Britt arranged that Janelle’s casket, while open, was turned away so visitors could choose to ‘view’ or ‘not view.’ Britt and the cousins had decorated and arranged pictures and mementos to commemorate Janelle’s life. At Britt’s direction, her mother’s body wore her Sisters’ pin. Nice touch, Britt.

The sisters: Lynne, Kris, and Jan
            The evening was full of reminiscences, happy stories that underscored how sad is her passing. Then it was back to the house for more visiting. 

            The next day, we drove out away from Charlotte to the cemetery, a beautifully maintained park with walk ways, gazebos and benches for resting. Here was the graveside funeral of our wife, mom, sister, cousin, friend, and teacher. It had been drizzling all morning. As we entered and took our seats, the sun broke through and the birds began to sing. What a gift from God to all who mourn.

Then, back to the house and back to the Hampton. Tuesday night, we gathered at Steel Creek Church for a celebration of Janelle’s life. Ken wanted, as he knew his Janelle wanted, that this would be a praise and worship time, that all in attendance would know that Janelle was at home with her Lord.

Ken had asked the sisters (Jan, Kris and me) to say something. Apparently, everybody in Charlotte who knew Janelle already knew the sisters as she talked about us and our annual get-togethers quite often. We wore some sister gear, our custom shoes and shirts, and said our brief thing. Besides Ken’s introduction, our niece Brittany took the microphone and spoke of her mom. It was hard for her and she carried it off with class.

Then, a brief message from Kelvin Smith, their pastor. Part of his text was from Corinthians 13. He zeroed in on the last verse:
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

He raised the question: the GREATEST is Love? Really? We are saved by faith. We live with hope. So why is love the greatest?

Because it is eternal. Janelle does not need faith. She’s with her Lord. She does not need to hope for heaven. She’s there. But love….it is for here AND there.

Another nice touch.
Then, Uncle Steve Amerson closed it out with “How Great Thou Art,” and “Be Exalted.”   (www.steveamerson.com)

Back to house again for several hours of joyous fellowship. The Hayes part of the family can be a bit loud.
The cousins had time to hang out and make fun of their parents.

Then, we said our goodbyes and prepared to return home. Brother Ken went from that chaos to an empty house. That has to be another difficult thing.

From here, we know that Ken is surrounded by friends, many from his church family. We know that they will check on him and help him as he needs. We know that Ken will find his way because God will help him.

We know that Janelle is happy and healed. But we will be sad now…we will long to see her again.
Below are some shots from the week.
Grandma Hayes (right) and some of her grandchildren

Girls and Grandma

Friday, May 11, 2012

For Janelle

So, our sweet sister Janelle has shrugged off this shell. She has come home to that place which we all long for. We are sad and joyful at the same time. We know, we really know, that Janelle now exists in that plain of perfection. We know, we really do, that we will join her again, soon.

And God knows. When we send a part of our hearts to heaven, it helps to loosen our grip on this life. We now have someone waiting for us. Our hearts will ache for reunion. Our hearts will ache for Heaven.
It’s so human of us, at times like this, to speak of Heaven and our friend in the terms that we can understand. We say, “He’s hitting all holes-in-one,” or “He’s strumming lead in the most awesome band.” Or, in this case, “She’s moved into that great craft room in the sky.” We want to think that we can know what Heaven is like, for our friend and for ourselves.

C.S. Lewis said, in his space trilogy, that earth is, not sinful, not fallen, but BENT. What should be straight cannot exist. What should be easy to know cannot be known. Not here. Not ever. 

It is in Heaven that we will join with our God and the saints that have arrived ahead of us. It has been suggested that while we can dream, we cannot really comprehend. But let’s try; take our senses: in heaven, there are so many more colors, more than bright and dark, more than just those puny 7 from the ‘bent’ spectrum. Sound? So many that we’ve never heard before. Melodies and harmonies that blend and spin. Scents and tastes beyond our wildest dreams. And for our ‘hands,’ textures and shapes from that unbent somewhere else.

So for our sister, everything is not just better, but best. She, with her keen sense of style, can weave among glories as never before.

Everything is BEST in heaven.

We miss so much of what is Janelle. We will miss her smile. It lit up her face and it spread to all around her. How can that smile ever be better?

Can't imagine. But it is.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

News and such

Last Friday, we attended the IVY Tech year end banquet.

GUESS who was named Adjunct Professor of the Year.

Go ahead, GUESS.

Yes.  Michael Bolinger.  He got a neato certificate, a check, and his name on a plaque at the main campus.
Woooo hooo.
Today, he administered his final exam, tabulated his grades and got them posted in record time.
Soon, we are hopping on the motorcycle to cruise about the country as it is 85 degrees outside; there's a nice little breeze going on.

Tomorrow, we drive down to Indianapolis; we need to check in at University Hospital by 7 (yawn) and then His next ERCP will commence at 9.  He'll be a bit snowed...happy, really, for the rest of the day. It would be a great day to purchase something outrageous....there would be no complaints. But, as you may know, I'm the low maintenance person.....so this won't happen.

Hope to let him snooze and head up to the lake for a sunny weekend.

That is all for now. Thank you for your prayers. God continues to bless us.