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Yer Not from Here…

our accident... (a little long, but worth the read)

Our son-in-law Jim had to leave Greenville Sunday to get back to Detroit for work on Monday, but Megan and Drew stayed with us for a couple of extra days to visit since Becka and I were able to drive them back home this week. We left Tuesday morning and drove as far as Lexington, KY, where I'd made hotel reservations. Wednesday we drove the rest of the way up to Detroit, with a short stop at my mom's house so she could see how much little Drew has grown.

We arrived back at Jim and Megan's house, unpacked, got settled, and cleaned up a little bit. Then we headed to Rackham golf course to watch the fireworks. The fireworks were absolutely fabulous! We were a little concerned about Drew as to whether he would be afraid of all the noise, especially since he was beginning to be a little fussy right before the display began. We were astonished to see, not only that he stopped being fussy, but also that he was fascinated with the fireworks. He watched them with rapt attention throughout the entire half hour display! He is really noticing things, some of which keep his attention for quite a while. Below is a picture of Drew looking intently at something....

Drew looking intently

Below is a picture of what he's watching....

Drew's mobile

The mobile plays the Michigan fight song - train up a child in the way he should go....

After the fireworks ended, we headed for home. On the way, we had a second set of fireworks - a divine appointment with an object in the road. As I drove along I-696 at 70 m.p.h. in heavy traffic at 11:00 p.m., I spotted something in the lane ahead of me. With cars on both sides and with little lead time to react, I hit what I later learned was something made of concrete. We heard and felt a loud boom under the car. I looked at my rearview mirror and from the light of the headlights in cars behind me, I saw what looked like smoke spewing from the back of our car. Megan and the baby were in the back seat. She said right away, "Dad, I smell gasoline." I changed lanes and pulled off ASAP! I said, "Megan, get Drew, and we'll all run. This car may ignite!" We ran up the embankment and away from the car. I called 911 right away and reported what had happened, stressing to them especially that we were all fine with no injuries.

Fairly soon a fire truck, an ambulance, and a police car arrived. They took Becka, Megan, and Drew right away to the ambulance to wait while I talked with all the emergency personnel. Since the car had not started to burn yet, it was unlikely that it would. So a fireman looked under it briefly to see what was wrong. He could tell that things were hanging down, the gas tank was punctured, and transmission fluid was leaking out. He called a wrecker to come tow the car. The police told me that ours was one of a string of cars that had hit that concrete in the road since they'd seen others pulled off the road on his way to get to us. They don't know exactly what it was or where it came from, but other policemen communicated that they had been able to pull it off to the shoulder of the road. The officer said I was in no way at fault in the "accident" - I'll explain why the quotation marks later.

Jim was still at work at Rackham when the rest of us left the fireworks, but when he got Meg's call, he came ASAP to help rescue us. He took the other three home, while I rode in the wrecker to the car shop where Jim has his repairs done. Jim met me there after dropping the others off.

This morning I took my car keys to the service station after Jim called to explain why the car was there. When I got there the man in charge said that he had looked under the car in the meantime and said that the damage was pretty extensive. I appreciated his honesty when he told me I really needed to take it to a Ford dealership to have the work done. He said, "You're very fortunate that the car didn't ignite from what I could see under there!" I had heard the same thing several times last night from emergency workers. We all thought of that family whose van burst into flame after they hit something in the road.

Earlier in this blog post I referred to our adventure as an "accident" - that's what we people normally call such incidents. But the Lord was unquestionably in control, and we have so many things to thank Him for! He allowed me to drive the car off the road safely, and He kept it from igniting and exploding. This happened within a few miles from Megan and Jim's house rather than anywhere along the 700 mile stretch we had just traveled. We could go on and on enumerating how gracious the Lord has been to us in all of this. I've been able to share His goodness with people I would never have met otherwise, and with anyone who reads this online.

We're hoping and praying that the insurance adjuster will be able to look at the car early on Friday. If not, nothing else will begin to happen until next week. Not that we're complaining about having to spend more time with our family here! 😎 But we really do have responsibilities back home that are awaiting us and loved ones there to be with too. Plus it will be nice to know if the car is totalled or not so that we know what step to take next. We trust the One who has superintended thus far, knowing He will expedite all these details in His good timing. He is totally worthy of our trust!!! We would appreciate your prayers in our behalf.

One of the things we have been looking forward to during our time in the Detroit area this week is to attend the 25th reunion of one of the classes for whom I was class sponsor when I taught high school up here way back in the last millenium. We're looking forward to seeing many of the class members who will be there, to meeting their spouses, and to seeing several former colleagues who will be in attendance on Friday evening. I'll have to update you on this in my next blog post. I'm sure you can expect something about aging - these "kids" are now about 42 or 43 years old! They're 12 or 13 years older than I was when I was their class sponsor. Yikes!

I was looking through my files to find something appropriate for our current situation. We have commented several times today how nice the firemen, EMT personnel, and policemen were last night, the 4th of July - a night when there was probably already much going on that demanded their attention. They were so kind and helpful! The story below is funny, and we hope it won't be our experience as this latest saga in our lives continues to unfold.

Yer not from here, are ya?

The owner of an old-fashioned corner grocery store in a small country town was fond of quoting a Scripture verse after each sale. He had three old friends that would sit around a pot-bellied stove, playing checkers on a faded board. His ability to produce a Scripture verse for all occasions never ceased to amuse the old timers, and they would listen to see what verse he would come up with relevant to the sale made.

A lady purchased some material and he said, "She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands."

When a man bought a sack of flour, he said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."

A little child came in and bought some candy and he said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

It was nearly closing time when the chimes over the door jangled loudly. A well dressed young man entered, obviously a stranger from one of the larger towns down the road. "Help you?" offered the proprietor.

"I need a blanket for my horse," said the man. "He's out in his trailer, and it's too cold for him without a blanket. Bring me the nicest one you've got!"

The store owner went in the back store room and came back with a brown blanket. "That'll be five dollars."

"Five dollars? You've got to be kidding!' said the man. "This horse is a thoroughbred. He gets only the best! He wouldn't stand still for an old five dollar blanket."

Without comment, the store owner took back the blanket, then merely selected a different color and brought it out. "This one's $25 dollars."

"Now, look," said the young man. "Perhaps I didn't make myself plain. This isn't just any old horse! He's worth thousands! Now I want the best, most expensive blanket you've got! Comprende?"

The owner once more went into the store room, pulled out another color of the same material and brought it back. "This is the only one left, and it's $100."

"Now that's more like it!" exclaimed the man enthusiastically as he paid. Throwing the five dollar blanket over his shoulder, he left.

The old timers stared silently at the shopkeeper as they waited to see what possible Scripture he could come up with for that sale!

Going behind the register, he rang up the hundred dollars and said, "I was a stranger and you took me in."


(This rings especially true to us!)
"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." - Richard Bach

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A woman who is in assisted living with my mother said something to us the other day that I thought I'd share with you....

"Europe is a nice place to visit, but I sure wouldn't want to have to dust it!" - Joan

What She Wants in a Man

The past few days have been wonderful and just plain full! As I reported in the last blog entry, Thursday was a big day with a birthday, an anniversary, the arrival of loved ones, preparations for the rehearsal dinner, and the rehearsal and the dinner. The wedding of our son Mark and his fiancee Katie, Friday evening, June 29, could not have been more beautiful. We were so happy to have in attendance dear loved ones, and many friends from various periods of our lives, past and present. We will treasure the memories from the last few days. Below are some pictures from the rehearsal dinner and the wedding:

The pork barbecue from Henry's Smokehouse and everything prepared by Linda Abrams was delicious! Below is a picture of Mark and Katie going through the serving line at the rehearsal dinner at Lake Robinson. An enjoyable evening at a beautiful place!

Mark and Katie at the rehearsal dinner

Mark and Katie both have nephews named Drew.

Here's a picture of the parents and Mark and Katie...

This picture is of Katie's immediate family...

This is a picture of Mark's immediate family...

Here's the wedding party...

Mark and Katie having a little fun before the wedding began...

Our grandson Drew was not having fun before the wedding.

Here's our couple with both nephews in their finery - kind of like whipped cream on an onion - one Drew in his tux and the other Drew in his searsucker suit...

For several of the pictures, special thanks to moss-foto.com! (They're the pictures above that I'm in - I couldn't photograph myself very handily. 😎 ) If you go to moss-foto.com, you can see all the wedding pictures.

One thing I love about young people in general is their youthful optimism, being an eternal optimist myself. Today's iv highlights how optimism meets reality through the course of life.

What She Wants in a Man, Original List:

1. Handsome
2. Charming
3. Financially successful
4. A caring listener
5. Witty
6. In good shape
7. Dresses with style
8. Appreciates finer things
9. Full of thoughtful surprises
10. Imaginative and romantic

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 32)

1. Nice looking
2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
4. Listens more than talks
5. Laughs at my jokes
6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
7. Owns at least one tie
8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries
10. Romantic at least once a week

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 42)

1. Not too ugly
2. Doesn't drive off until I'm in the car
3. Works steady - splurges on dinner out occasionally
4. Nods head when I'm talking
5. Usually remembers punch lines of jokes
6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
8. Knows not to buy foods I don't like
9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
10. Shaves most weekends

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 52)

1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
2. Doesn't belch or scratch in public
3. Doesn't borrow money too often
4. Doesn't nod off to sleep when I'm venting
5. Doesn't retell the same joke too many times
6. Is in good enough shape to get off couch on weekends
7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh underwear
8. Appreciates a good TV dinner
9. Remembers your name on occasion
10. Shaves some weekends

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 62)

1. Doesn't scare small children
2. Remembers where bathroom is
3. Doesn't require much money for upkeep
4. Snores only lightly when asleep
5. Remembers why he's laughing
6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himself
7. Usually wears some clothes
8. Likes soft foods
9. Remembers where he left his teeth
10. Remembers that it's the weekend

What She Wants in a Man, Revised List (age 72)

1. Breathing
2. Doesn't miss the toilet



"God will spare no means in order to be the center of your attention and affection." - Andrew Franseen

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HE: Gross! This coffee tastes like mud!
SHE: That's funny, it was fresh ground this morning.

Zen Sarcasm

I have received several lists of sayings that are called "Zen Sarcasm." I thought of them today at work at IT Help Desk when we were talking about the Novell Zen agent used on the network. I don't know that either the agent or the list of sarcastic witticisms have a thing to do with "Zen," but I pass the sayings along for your amusement.

Zen Sarcasm

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

3. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

4. Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.

5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

6. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

9. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

10. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

11. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

12. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

13. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

14. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

15. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

16. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

17. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

18. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

19. We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our bottom ...Then things get worse.

20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and laxative on the same night.

21. There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

22. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

23. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday ... around age 11.

24. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

25. That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

26. The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly.

27. The secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures.


This is a big week in our family. Thursday is Nora's birthday, Megan and Jim's anniversary, and Mark and Katie's wedding rehearsal. Jim, Megan, and little Drew should arrive sometime Thursday mid-day. And then Mark and Katie's wedding is Friday evening. I will probably post some pictures this weekend of all the various activities and celebrations.

I've been a bit nostalgic this week with all the things going on in our family, and I thought of one of my favorite pictures of a delicious moment in parenting. This week's bridegroom was 6 months old in the picture below. Sunrise, sunset....


"Into the fabric of the normal, God weaves miracles." - Dr. Drew Conley

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(If you can't hear me, it's because I'm in parentheses).

Oldly Weds

The wedding of our son Mark and and future daughter-in-law Katie is only 10 days away. We know so many young couples getting married this summer and even this fall - I guess that goes with teaching at a university and attending a large church. With all these young couples, I thought it would be fun to enjoy the experiences of two older couples.

There were two elderly people living in a Florida mobile home park. He was a widower and she a widow. They had known each other for a number of years.

One evening there was a community supper in the big activity center. These two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on, he made a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered up his courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?"

After about six seconds of "careful consideration," she answered, "Yes, yes, I will!" The meal ended and, with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective homes.

The next morning, he was troubled. "Did she say 'yes' or did she say 'no'?" He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory. With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her.

First, he explained to her that he didn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a little more courage, he then inquired of her, "When I asked if you would marry me, did you say 'Yes' or did you say 'No'?"

He was delighted to hear her say, "Why, I said, 'Yes, yes, I will,' and I meant it with all my heart." Then she continued, "And I am so glad that you called, Dear, because I couldn't remember who had asked me."


On their way to their vacation destination, an elderly couple stopped at a service station. The attendant came out and said, "Hi! Fill it up?" to which the old man replied, "Yes, please."

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE ASKED IF WE WANTED HIM TO FILL IT UP."

To pass the time during the fill up, the friendly attendant asked, "Where ya goin'?" to which the husband replied, "We're going to spend our vacation at Hilton Head, in our son's condo."

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE ASKED WHERE WE WERE GOING. I TOLD HIM TO HILTON HEAD."

The attendant then said, "You're in luck - the weather there is supposed to be perfect for the next two weeks.

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE SAID THE WEATHER WILL BE NICE."

The attendant then asked the man, "Where do you live when you're not on vacation?" to which the husband replied, "We live in Richmond, VA." The attendant said with surprise, "I know a woman from Richmond. She talks non-stop and drives her husband crazy!"

His wife asked, "What did he say?" and her husband yelled, "HE SAYS HE THINKS HE'S MET YOU BEFORE!"


"Our human heart is an idol factory." - Dr. Drew Conley

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A lady wrote to an advice column in a newspaper, "I have been engaged to a man for some time, but just days before the wedding, I've found out he has a wooden leg. Do you think I should break it off?"

Dads Survive Somehow

Grandma and I are enjoying seeing our grandson Drew on webcam over the internet as we talk by Skype to Megan. He's cooing and smiling more and more, just like his grandfather. At Drew's check up last week the doctor said he's now passed the 8 pound mark and is doing very well. Yippee!

As a final installment for Father's Day, here's an article by Dave Barry I found in my files. I chuckled and LOL often while reading this one - it's so exaggeratedly true!

Miracle of Birth: That Dads Survive
by Dave Barry
Sunday, January 23, 2000

So my wife and I are preparing for childbirth. When I say "my wife and I," I of course mean "my wife." She will be the most directly involved. On behalf of all men, I just want to take a moment here to get down on my knees and thank whoever invented our current biological system, under which the woman's job is to have the baby somehow go from the inside of her body to the outside of her body, in clear violation of every known law of physics, and the man's job is to stand around looking supportive and upbeat and periodically no matter what is actually happening to the woman, say, in an upbeat and perky voice, "You're doing great!"

My wife thinks the only fair system would be, every time the woman had a contraction, she got to hit her husband on the body part of her choice with a ball-peen hammer. Of course she is kidding. But only because her contractions have not yet started.

We've been going to Childbirth Classes, which involve sitting in a classroom filled with expectant couples and a mounting sense of dread. The teacher usually starts with a scientific discussion of childbirth, in which she shows us various models and diagrams to give us an idea of what will be happening when the Big Moment arrives. In my opinion, the most informative way to do this would be to hold up a bowling ball and a drinking straw, and say: "Basically, this has to go through this. Ha Ha!"

But our teacher keeps fairly technical. After a while, we're starting to feel confident about this childbirth thing. We're thinking, "OK, all that has to happen is the cervix has to dilate to 10 centimeters! How hard can that be? I wonder what a cervix is? Also, centimeter."

So we're pondering these abstract questions and maybe thinking about what we're going to have for dinner, when suddenly, with no warning, the teacher turns out the lights and shows a horror movie. Oh, it starts out innocently enough: There is a nice couple consisting of a woman who is pregnant and a man who is supportive-looking and generally has a beard. They seem happy, but you just know she's going to go into labor. You want to stop her. It's exactly like those scary movies where the heroine goes down into the basement, and you want to shout, "Don't go down into the basement!", except in the childbirth class you want to shout, "Don't go into labor!"

But she always does go into labor. It seems to last a lot longer than necessary. Hours turn into days, and still she is in labor. Outside her window, the seasons change. Her doctor grows old and gray and eventually is replaced by a new doctor, and still this poor woman is in labor. Her husband keeps telling her that she's doing great, but you can tell from her expression that he's very lucky she doesn't have a ball-peen hammer. Eventually she becomes so deranged that she apparently does not even notice that there is a cameraperson shooting extreme close-up footage of...OK, let's just say that it is not her most flattering angle.

When the woman gets approximately to her 15th year of labor, she begins making noises that you rarely hear outside of nature documentaries and her husband edges back a little bit in case she gets her hand on a scalpel. The movie now becomes very explicit, causing the entire childbirth class to go into a mass cringe, all of us hunched up and involuntarily protecting as many of our body parts as possible. I use this time to practice my squinting, which is the most important thing the husband learns in childbirth class. I use a special Lamaze squinting technique that enables me to prevent virually all rays of light from penetrating my eyeballs.

When the woman in the movie makes a noise identical to what you would hear if a live yak went through a garlic press, I unsquint my eyes just enough to see it happen, the Blessed Event, the timeless miracle that makes the whole thing worthwhile: An alien bursting out of the woman's chest cavity. No seriously, what happens is that the woman has a baby, via a process that makes what happened in "Alien" look like a episode of "Teletubbies." Then our childbirth-class teacher turns the light on, and the pregnant women all turn to face their husbands, and they all have the same facial expression, which says: "this is not fair." We husbands respond supportively and pat their arms in a reassuring manner because we're sure that they're going to do great!


"The task of Christian parents is to transmit their heritage to the next generation." - Dr. Jim Deuink

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Grandpa Rob

People who say they sleep like a baby obviously don't have one.