Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Be that as it may, I learned the hard way that four, NOT one, is the loneliest number for our family. This past Saturday, my daughter got a four-hour pass from the psychiatric hospital she's currently committed to. We managed to get both boys together and we all went to see a movie as a five-member family again. We've been five for a long time. We're actually six, but that's a story for another time and place, if ever. It's been IvesFives for many, many years. Saturday, IvesFives rode again. It was only for a few short hours, but it was wonderful. Everyone was in a good mood. The kids got along really, really well. We had tons of laughs, too much movie junk and just a super fantastic time. We saw Public Enemies. For those who might not know, that's the Johnny Depp flick about John Dillinger. It wasn't my cup of tea, but the kids wanted to see it and because everyone was so dang happy, I thoroughly enjoyed it in spite of myself.
I have written before about how difficult it is to leave her every time they lock the door behind us. This time it was almost more than I could bear. Things were so good for just a few hours. I'm a realist. I know that if we were allowed to take her home, at this point, things would seriously deteriorate once again. My brain knows that. My heart wants to control/alt/delete that knowledge. We were a somber bunch when the four of us got back in that van for what seemed like an awfully long ride home.
This song was playing in my head all the way back. It's a good song. For me, though, four will forever be the loneliest number. I can't wait for the five of us to be together again. . . for as long as forever can be with teenagers. I need it. Ray needs it. The boys need it. And Lil needs it, too, whether or not she believes it right now. She will. That is my most fervent prayer. Enjoy the song.
"And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the Heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under Heaven." –Deuteronomy 4:19
EDITOR'S NOTE: Although Dr. Buzz Aldrin was prevented from publicly reading Scripture while he took communion in the Lunar Module, he did manage to quote Psalm 8: 3-4 "When I consider Thy Heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou has ordained; What is man that Thou art mindful of him? And the Son of Man, that Thou visitest him?" just before splashing down at the end of the Apollo 11 mission. –Aimee Herd, BCN.
For those of us who were old enough to comprehend what we, and the rest of the world, were intently watching on TV the evening of July 20, 1969—it was a day like no other. It was, of course, the day Astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped down the short ladder of the lunar landing module, and onto the surface of the moon for the very first time. (Photo: History Channel)
We squinted in attempts to bring into better focus the black and white images being beamed from our planet's encircling rock some 238,900 miles away. …A gleaming white space suit and helmet, bouncing, skipping and hopping on top of the dusty lunar ground. …The blackness of pure space in surrounding contrast.
All in all it was a pretty remarkable transmission for 1969.
Although I was only 8, I clearly remember the circumstances that put me in front of a TV that day. My parents, siblings and I were on vacation, traveling by car to our next destination in the barren "high desert" country of central-eastern Oregon. Since anything to do with space travel was a very big deal in our family (On several different occasions I remember the thrill of getting up in the middle of the night just to watch TV coverage of previous Apollo rockets' various "separation" stages); stopping some place where we'd be able to view Apollo 11's anticipated lunar landing was imperative.
Fortunately, at just about the "scheduled" time, we found a tiny restaurant with a TV in the bar. The law would not permit children to enter, but my father came to my rescue and sat me atop his shoulders so I could see over the swinging half-doors.
The moonwalk had center stage that day, as the bar fell silent, and restaurant patrons crowded in for a closer view. I watched the entire momentous event while piggyback on my daddy; keenly aware that I was witnessing history in the making.
Interestingly enough, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin had secretly taken along a communion kit, specially prepared by his church, so he could take communion there in the Lunar Module. It was kept secret due to the impending lawsuit brought against NASA after Astronauts Jim Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman—a year earlier—had read the creation story from the book of Genesis on Christmas Eve, during the Apollo 8 mission. (Photo: History Channel)
Dr. Aldrin had prepared to read John 15:5 ("…I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without Me.") back to Earth, but—at NASA's request—ended up just reading what he'd written on a note card: "Houston, this is Eagle the LM Pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. Over. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way—My way shall be by partaking of the elements of Holy Communion."
Aldrin's church which had prepared his communion kit, reportedly still holds a special "Lunar Communion" service on the Sunday closest to the moonwalk anniversary.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the "giant leap for mankind," and it got me thinking about what it meant for Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin to actually walk on the moon, and return home to Earth. …And about what we, who remained here, have taken from the experience.
Perhaps Neil summed it up well when he described looking at Earth from his spacecraft saying, "It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."
Awe for the incredible beauty of God's creation, and awe for the incomprehensible immensity of God, Himself.
He gives us the curiosity to explore, the creativity and knowledge needed to accomplish, and He lets us see—in doing so—that He is still so much bigger, and absolutely omniscient.
For those who are interested, the History Channel is airing the 2-hour program, MOONSHOT, for the 40th anniversary commemoration of the first moonwalk today; Monday, July 20th at 8PM ET.
For more information, follow the link provided.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
When this album (yeah, album, NOT CD :) came out, I think I put holes in the vinyl on several copies. Don't know why, but their harmony appealed to me. Then Neil Young joined in. . . hmmm. This is Teach Your Children. I liked the sound of the studio clip better than the live ones.
Even though the acid rock "stuff" was taking over, there were still a few great ballads being sung. This guy's voice used to really get to me. Here's Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge singing It's the Worst That Could Happen. The live clip was wild with the costumes and all, but I couldn't embed it. :(
In 1969, if you had told me I would even think about liking country music, I would've slapped you! But I dearly loved CCR, Credence Clearwater Revival. This is John Fogerty and the CCR guys doing Proud Mary, a big hit that year.
That was fun. Maybe one day I'll pick another year that was important in my life. . . like when I got married in 1972 and see what's on the Top 100 list. Thanks for the great idea, Cindy!
Here's something else going on around the important July '69 anniversary.
"This historic anniversary is a perfect opportunity to show America, and the world, the power of every human life."
Speaking for the organization, CatholicVote.org, former Astronaut, Dr. Joseph Kerwin introduces their latest pro-life ad which is centered around the Apollo 11 Moonwalk. View this poignant video message at the link provided. Dr. Kerwin's introduction follows…
"…our nation [is celebrating] the 40th anniversary of the historic mission of Apollo 11 to the moon. While I never personally made it to the moon, I was privileged to serve as the first American doctor in space with Skylab 2.
"I am honored to announce the launch of a new ad from CatholicVote.org.
"I [recently appeared] alongside other retired astronauts along with CatholicVote.org President Brian Burch at a press conference in Houston. The reason for the media event was that the new CatholicVote.org ad would be running regularly on local Houston television stations for the next several weeks.
"Joining me at the press conference were retired astronaut Dr. Bill Thornton, and Mr. Gene Kranz—the Flight Director at Mission Control during the Apollo program, including the famous Apollo 13 mission. Mr. Kranz was played by Ed Harris in the 1995 Oscar award winning film.
"CatholicVote.org's new ad is already creating buzz in Houston, and I can't wait for the rest of the country to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 with it.
"[On Monday] media outlets around the world will commemorate the historic achievement of Apollo 11. The courage and dedication of the astronauts aboard Apollo 11, and hundreds of others involved in our nation's space program make me proud of our great country.
"But most importantly, the achievements of the space program remind me of the potential of every human life. This historic anniversary is a perfect opportunity to show America, and the world, the power of every human life."
View the CatholicVote.org AD by accessing the link provided.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Right now, Noah is facing another very serious health crisis and is headed back to the hospital. Would you please send up prayers for this sweet baby? Noah has endured more in his short life than most of us will ever be asked to in a million years. Here's the blog address:
Leave a comment, provided you can uplift and edify these Godly but worn-out parents. Kate reads every one while she's in the hospital with Noah and they give her comfort. Recently, there have been some less than Godly comments so, please, let's get on there and lift these sweet folks up.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
FROM: Ethel the Editor
SUBJECT: Wordy Wednesday
Carla, I liked doing the last Wordy Wednesday so much, I decided to do it again. . . AND I decided to take over JoJo's blog for the day, too! Just wanted you to know there is absolutely NOTHING you can do about it either. Nyah, nyah, nyah, NYAH, nyah!!! I posted five E-words to JoJo's blog, but I was really clever and didn't give her the answers. I may not even post them here. I may just FORCE them to go to an online dictionary to get the meanings of these fantastic E-words. . . or leave them hanging. Why E-words? Well, ETHEL begins with E, doesn't it? HAH HAH HAH Now get out of my way while I 'splain these E-words to the folks. Wonder if JoJo finally figured them out. Oh, BTW, if you don't let me have this blog next Wednesday, I'm just gonna shove you out of the way and take it. . . so there!!! I guess I should give your readers the meanings to these words, huh? Okay, I'll be nice. EE
(1) Epexegesis (ep ek si jee sis) The addition of a word or words to explain a preceding word, or a word or phrase added for such a purpose. Epexegetic and Epexegetical are both valid adjective forms.
(2) Epigone (EP-i-goan) A mediocre imitation or follower of an important artist, writer, etc.
(3) Epigeal (ep-i-JEE-uhl) Living close to the ground, as certain plants do.
(4) Exiguous (ig-ZIG-yoo-us) Extremely scanty or meager.
(5) Expunge (ek spunj) To erase, strike or wipe out, destroy or obliterate.
NOTE TO ETHEL, THE USURPER: Actually, I knew them all except Number 1. Now I know Number 1, too! (giggles wildly while making appropriate raspberries at Ethel!!!) C
Okay, folks. . . let's not let Ethel have ALL the fun. How many can you use in a sentence and. . . I dare ya. . . can you put them all together? Where are the super creative (read that warped) minds out there? Leave a comment here or on JoJo's blog.