Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Allison is 21 and last night we went to her birthday barbeque. Allison and our daughter Abbie have been friends since the days when they were wearing the onesies.

During the evening I was reminded that it was Allison's great grandfather who gave me the news that my grandmother had died. This was the grandmother (my mom’s mother) who during the childhood years of Allison’s grandmother, took care of the Brown children when the parents had to be away.

And the notion that relationships flow both deep and wide was reinforced when Allison’s uncle recounted the bicycle trek he and Abbie’s oldest brother took across Oregon from Newberg to Adrian.

All of that and much, much more was yesterday. The greatest thing for Allison and for Abbie is the tomorrows.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The 1988 Newberg High School graduating class will hold its 20th reunion September 13. This is Trina’s class. Night before last I responded to a request from one of her classmates for a photo and remembrance that could be displayed at the event.

Trina’s classmate replied with a “thanks” for sending the material. The line below her name and phone number was: I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives (Tracy Chapman). This might be part of her current automatic email signature, or it might be unique to this one message. Either way works for me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My two sisters and his sister will be with my dad in Caldwell, Idaho, on Father’s Day. I’ll be here in Newberg—400 miles away.

Perseverance comes to mind as I think about my dad. You can’t make a living with 80 acres and a herd of Jerseys unless you have a lot of perseverance. The word also applies before and after his years on the farm.

Growing up without a mom is a road with steep hills and switchbacks—a ditch on one side and an abyss on the other. His mother died when he was two. I’m thinking that’s when my dad started learning perseverance from his dad.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Relay for Life theme this year is Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back. The tenacious aggression of cancer demands a concerted response. Cancer is a pit bull and letting it wander loose is really not an option.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I’m trying to imagine what a transparent overlay of Mark Hatfield and the Vietnam War might look like over top of the U.S. military involvement in Iraq. I’m going over Lon Fendall’s manuscript for a book on Hatfield that Barclay Press is publishing. I can’t imagine anyone reading Hatfield’s long (and often lonely) journey of opposition to the Vietnam War without thinking about Iraq.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” Robert Frost’s words came to mind as I backed out of the driveway this morning and noted the fresh bark dust on the little berm on the neighbor’s side of our property line. A year ago it was continuous grass without a line that defined what was ours and what was theirs. From a landscaping perspective, it is an improvement. But like Robert Frost said, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The next 24 hours is a significant period on the road to the White House for Barak Obama. It involves the last 2 primary elections, undeclared delegates announcing their candidate, and a “victory” speech. I’d love to hear Obama say, “This is not a victory speech. In this campaign there is only one victory speech and that will be in November.”

Moments ago I heard Cat Stevens singing, “Now I’ve been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is. Why must we go on hating, why can't we live in bliss. 'Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train. Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again.”

Sunday, June 01, 2008

It’s Sunday morning and the faithful have gathered. Hometown Friends Church is trying to take a break from the normal routine. It’s a time to slow down and make some intentional efforts to look and listen for what God is doing and wants to do in our lives—individually and corporately. Today our looking does not include being able to see a printed schedule for the service. I like knowing what’s coming next, but right now I have no more idea of what’s coming in the next 60 minutes than I do of what’s coming in the next seven days.