Here is the only picture we got of all 15 of us who spent a week together at the beach. It was a wonderful week. Pictured left to right standing on the ground are DQ,Dennis,Sue,Paul,Diane, Mik, Matt, Ann & Mark. Coming down the stairs from top to bottom are Lexie, Mary, Emily, Samantha, Sofie & Michelle.
Long ago, when I was a young mother, I took my little girl to the beach. When she stood on the shore and saw the big waves rolling in she was afraid. I told her to hold onto my hand and we would go into the water together. She held on tight and we waded into the surf together. Soon her grip on my hand loosened and she was jumping up and down and squealing with delight as she jumped though the waves.
This week I went to the beach with my little girl. I am no longer a young mother. Now I am a grandmother with an overlarge body and legs that are a bit wobbly and unsteady. I stood on the shore and saw the big waves rolling in and I was afraid. My daughter said to hold her hand and we would go into the surf together. I held tightly to her hand. Soon my grip loosened and I was jumping up and down in the surf and squealing with delight as I jumped through the waves.
On this date forty-nine years ago my beloved and I plighted our troth to one another. (I looked it up. That means to pledge truth, or to promise faithfulness in all parts of our life together.) Forty-nine years ago truth and love were about all we had to pledge to each other.
I was 20 years old with two more months of an unpaid internship before finishing my nursing degree. My beloved was 23 years old with a college degree, good prospects and a telegram offering him a temporary job. I had a car and he had an old pickup truck. I had managed to save $600 from my part time work as a nurse's aid. That $600 seemed like more than enough for us to start life together. We rented a small, furnished apartment behind the hospital where I was working and set up housekeeping. My husband began working shortly after our three day honeymoon. Before we had used up our $600 he was bringing home a paycheck. He was a research scientist and made a good salary - $600 a month. I never once worried about not having money, even though we had almost none. We worked hard, enjoyed long careers, raised a family and are now retired.
Our love and the promise of a wonderful life together seemed like more than enough forty-nine years ago. It was.
Did you have a job and money saved when you got married?
Brian McLaren is a thoughtful Christian author who often makes me think. I really liked his response to Obama's speech last night about the crisis the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought to our nation. You can read it here.
A beautiful, delicious Edible Arrangement was delivered this afternoon. We love it. The card says "Happy Anniversary." We will celebrate our 49th later this week. The card was not signed. The only people we can think of who would send such a lovely gift would sign the card and take full credit for their thoughtfulness. Did you send us this lovely gift? If you did, thank you.
Like the rest of the country I look at the pictures from the gulf coast and become angry. Lives lost, fragile wetlands lost, beautiful beaches lost, livelihoods lost, confidence in big oil companies and the inspectors who are supposed to regulate them all lost. The problem is that our anger seems to be a wasted emotion. Our collective anger must take this tragedy and use it as a lesson for our future. Although this is the biggest, this is not our first big oil spill. Big oil spills have polluted our waters and our land many times over the years. We look at the tragedy and become angry, then the news becomes old and we move on to the next big breaking news event. We continue to live lives that demand great amounts of energy. We need the oil to sustain our way of life, so we turn our backs on the tragedy and tell big oil to drill more wells, find more energy. “Drill baby drill,” just does not to be a very good solution. If we continue to drill as we have done, there will be another disastrous spill.
We are the problem. We can recycle and change to low watt light bulbs, but without new public policies we will suffer more oil spills over and over until the wells run dry. We must find better, cleaner, more efficient ways to produce energy. We must change the way we and the world use energy. We must find the money to develop new technology that produces energy without needing oil. As a nation we need to be willing to look for a better way.
I'm tired of being angry. I'm tired of trying to figure out who's to blame. I'm tired of the tragic stories. It is time to spend real effort on finding a better way.
Saturday we joined with more than 50,000 people for a major protest in Washington DC. It was one of the most inspiring and enjoyable protests I have ever seen. We went to cheer as over 40,00 runners and walkers participated in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. We were there to protest against breast cancer and to raise money for research and treatment in the race to cure this awful disease. Tee-shirt reading was funny and inspiring with their protests against breast cancer. Some of my favorites said “Yes they're fake. My real ones tried to kill me!”, “Operation Second Base,” “Stop the War in Myrak,” and the ever popular “Save the Ta Tas.” Five from our family participated in the race.
Our older son and son-in-law ran the race.
Our granddaughters jogged the race.
Our younger son had an inspiring story of his own. About six months ago he decided it was time to get healthy. His obesity had put in in very bad health. He had little strength and energy and was not very happy with himself. He began to diet and exercise and started to lose weight. So far he has lost just over fifty pounds. His cholesterol and sugar levels have returned to normal. Three months ago he set a goal of walking a 5K race as sign of his commitment to a better lifestyle. If you had asked me a year ago if Paul could walk a 5K I would have laughed at the improbability of the idea.
Saturday Paul was laughing as we all cheered him across the finish line. It was a great accomplishment! He made me cry. I was so very proud of him.
Yesterday we decided to take advantage of one of the many wonderful free things to do in Washington DC. We joined throngs of school children and tourists and spent the day exploring the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. It was a wonderful day. Dennis was interested in the exhibit on Charles Darwin and the Origins of Man. The school children hurried through the exhibit in search of the dinosaur bones while we lingered and pondered what we were seeing. It was a fascinating, well-done exhibit. We ate lunch in the museum's cafe and discussed Darwin's theory of evolution. The evidence is compelling that all life is related. The image below is Darwin's Tree of Life, showing his explanation of the descent of man from a common ancestor. After lunch we headed off to the Imax theater and saw a 3-D movie about dinosaurs. Exploring the dinosaur bones after the movie made the bones more interesting. This world of ours is very, very old, about 4,600,000,000 years.
We did not have time to go upstairs to see the Hope Diamond, the moon rocks or the Egyptian room. We'll save that for another day.
At the end of the day our grown up granddaughter, who works in one of DC's big office buildings met us for dinner at Union Station. I was amazed listening to this young lady tell about her day as an accountant. When did our grand-baby grow up into this beautiful, articulate young woman?
Friday evening we went to a dinner and a movie. The movie was “Prince of Persia” which was far more enjoyable than I had anticipated, full of sword fighting and high adventure. The previews for upcoming movies seemed a bit strange. I think Hollywood has run out of new ideas. All of the previews were remakes of movies I've seen in years long gone. Previews were for “The Karate Kid,” “The A -Team,” “Tron,” and “The Sorcerer's Apprentice.” They were good movies then. I guess Hollywood figures they'll make money again.
Saturday was the big Memorial Day parade in our town. It was full marching boy scouts, baton twirling girls, and flag carrying veterans. It would have been better without the hour's worth of politicians running for office in September's primary election who marched ahead of all the civic groups. The politicians should have been humble enough to follow all the kids who came early and waited far too long for their turn. I guess humble politician is an oxymoron.
I always enjoy Sunday because I love going to church and worshiping the Almighty God I love with people that I love.
Monday we enjoyed the first pool party of the season in our daughter's backyard. Hamburgers, hot dogs and splashing in the pool on a 90 degree day welcomed summer in a wonderful way.
There was time for working in the yard, reading and a nap between all the other activities.
This year for the first time we celebrated this day with a son and a grandson in the military. When people gave thanks for all those who have served in our military it felt much closer to my heart.
I love this country that is my home. God bless America.