Monthly Archives: September 2007

Round Two

Or maybe three, depending on how you count series of driving lessons.  Anyway, my kids are all done this stage in their lives; now I am involved in helping Massa and Yaounde to cross this hurdle. 

Today, Massa came prepared with his learners permit so we had them over for lunch and then we went out driving for an hour.  He is getting it.  By the end of the hour we were changing lanes on 15th Street with a certain amount of smoothness and confidence.  Shoulder checks were done well.  Signals remembered.  No accidents or even near misses.  Going well. 

Then coming in for the landing he forgot to look both ways himself as we drove across 4th.  He went by the movements of the other drivers – which worked out OK.  And since I was watching, I knew it was safe to cross.  But I had to point out to him that he has to know for himself that the way is clear; it is not enough to count on someone else to have checked for you.

We did this driving lesson mostly in English.  I think he may be ready for formal drivers trainning in English.  That would be a big help since my time in the evenings is sort of at a premium and they don’t get enough practice if it is just me practicing with them.  It would be nice if they could get theri licenses before snow falls.

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Sipping Coffee

Tonight we had our first orchestra evening.  One can hardly call it a practice I guess, since we didn’t really play anything.  We just registered and picked up our first sheet of music to look at and I suppose practice.  It looks formidable!  There are some little squiggily lines in between the notes that I haven’t ever seen before.  One of the music teacher types told me she thought they were eight note rests.  And there are lots of switches between pizzicado(sp?) and arco which means some tricky bow handling will be needed.  We are thinking that someone should invent some kind of bow holster so the bow could be dropped on a notes notice and picked up again just as quickly. 

Anyway, we were all glad to see each other again after the summer and headed down to the Bison – which is now open on Thursday nights – for some more chatting over good coffee.  So we did. 

I am looking forward to this year of orchestra.  I don’t feel so totally incompetant this year as a bass player – even if I don’t know how to play those little squiggly rests.

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Speaking words

Speaking Words of Love
Often we remain silent when we need to speak. Without words, it is hard to love well. When we say to our parents, children, lovers, or friends: "I love you very much" or "I care for you" or "I think of you often" or "You are my greatest gift," we choose to give life.

It is not always easy to express our love directly in words. But whenever we do, we discover we have offered a blessing that will be long remembered. When a son can say to his father, "Dad, I love you," and when a mother can say to her daughter, "Child, I love you," a whole new blessed place can be opened up, a space where it is good to dwell. Indeed, words have the power to create life.

From Henri Nouwen via


I don’t come up with quite the quality of words that Nouwen did.  But I recognize that even my words are important.  As I speak them I am either speaking love to people or, well I guess the opposite is hate.  I always hope my words are not quite so strongly negative to be taken as hateful but I know that when I speak words quickly, without thinking, without caring about the person I speak them to, they can hurt.  There are occaisions when I deliberately say things to hurt another in anger. 

I always end up regretting those angry words.  And they can’t be taken back.  I can try to make amends for them but I can never really take them back.

I was reflecting on my day yesterday – a pretty normal day at work.  There were lots of patients that forgot their appointments and one mother bringing her child for sedation who confessed that her child had had some cereal and juice that morning – which means they are automatically cancelled for safety reasons. 

Sometimes I regret that I am not more of a person of words.  But I wonder if angry words would come more easily then too.  It would not have been helpful to the child in pain for me to berate her mother with words.  It would not have been helpful to the three young women who came in with far too much decay to berate them and make them feel belittled.  They would have left with a message but it would likely have been that they weren’t worth much in my eyes.

Their worth in my eyes – hmmm.  I need to remember that each one, each person is loved by the one who lovves me most as well.  God never drives us away because we have not met his expectations – because we can’t really.  And he just keeps loving us anyway, delighting in what we do accomplish. 

And my family; I am glad that I can express my love to them in words.  And in hugs.  And in time spent with them.  I hope they learn to do the same with their children – even when the kids don’t want them around.  Just keep on loving and finding occaisions to say it with actions or with words.

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Baby pictures

Doesn’t he have the most beautiful hair!  He looks a lot like his dad – so far.  Has dad’s forhead and nose.

You will find a set of pictures of this little guy if you click on this Flikr link

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A day with the baby

Spending time with my grandson.  This is one of the best ways to spend a holiday.  Mom and Ronin are doing so well.  We had a visit from the nurse this morning.  He’s gaining weight and his poops are turning orange(that’s good by the way).  

It is fun to see this little guy becoming more alert already.  Right now he is swinging and he seems pretty content.  

I’ve taken more pictures but will have to download them when I get back home. 

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