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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Celebrating Birthdays--

In my opinion the more birthday celebrations the better.  I know people who stop celebrating at a certain age: "I'm too old for such foolishness," they say.  But I think you can't get too much of a good thing.

One year I "took my birthday on the road" visiting my kids close to the day and dragging out the celebration in a delightful series of birthday dinners--and cake and ice cream in three different states.

One of my friends calls her children at the hour they were born each year.  It works a bit easier for the daughter born during the day, but to greet the son born in the wee hours she has to stay up extra late.  Still it is a nice tradition and I applaud her.  In my family, calling on the day is important, but sometimes even that doesn't work, and we are glad to hear the same week if that is the best we can do.

I turned 78 on Wednesday, and due to events at church here and business in Georgia and Wisconsin where my children live, my birthday calls were before and after the big day.  An email (and an ecard from my grandson) greeted me on the day.  I smiled when both the cruise lines we have traveled with and the gym where we take our exercise wished me an online happy day.

Today, Saturday, I went to the Comfort House--Pella's Hospice facility--to say happy birthday to a friend with whom I have jointly celebrated our May birthdays over the last few years.  We never know what will happen but it looks pretty clear that my friend's 83rd birthday will be her last here on earth.  Next year we will celebrate her memory and think about her surrounded by God's love in a more peaceful and less painful place.

Happy birthday, Joyce, and for all of you others: 

                                                         A Very Merry Unbirthday.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Contest for Book Authors

Guide to Literary Agents is running a contest called "Dear Lucky Agent" that runs until May 14.  This is the Tenth Annual contest, and this year I am entering the first 200 words of my novel TOO MUCH LEFT UNSAID. 

They are looking for upmarket novels, which I think would include my 76,000 novel set in the 1960s.

Here is the URL if you might be interested in submitting your own piece.  If so, good luck!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Do you still believe in government? 

According to David Brooks, as reported on Bill Moyers April 22 telecast, most Americans don't.  Only 10% of people trust the government.

But if we are a government OF, BY and FOR the people, we don't trust ourselves. Right?

Conservatives are consistent in trying to downsize (eliminate?) government, forgetting that the infrastructure of our nation, the roads, bridges, and regulations have made it possible for business and individuals to grow as they have.

Liberals, according to Eric Alterman, author of THE CAUSE, have taken their eye off the ball, fighting among themselves and playing defense.  Because they see problems as complex, they donn't always agree on what should be done.

Liberalism is belief in reason, acting rationally in the interests of fairness, according to Alterman.

Today's episode of Moyers and Company (May 6, 2012) featured Luis Albert Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway.  He had some interesting stories to tell as a child of a Mexican father and a Virginian mother, who was born in Mexico and lived in the U. S. from the time he was in fifth grade.  He said:

In America, we forget we need to love each other.
There is no them.
There is only us.

Urrea, who spent some time with a mission group in Tucson, asks Christians to look through their Bibles and find scripture that tells us to punish and humiliate and hurt the poor among us. Find very many of those?

I believe governemnt is important, and we need to work and vote to be sure it is serving all of us. What do you think?  I welcome your comments.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tulip Time

The first full weekend in May, this year May 3, 4, and 5, is the time for a huge celebration in Pella where "A Touch of Holland" is our nickname.

This year the tulips in town were blooming at the end of March and people were encouraged to come twice: see the tulips in April and see the parades, dancing, shows and food this weekend.  There might be a stray tulip or two, but most of the plants are now bare of flowers.

May 10 residents of Pella are invited to go ahead and dig up the bulbs to plant for next year in their own yards, for the prime beds get all new plantings with summer flowers and in the fall fresh bulbs to bloom the next spring.

The last two years, just after I bought myself a Dutch outfit to wear, I was called out of town for family events and missed the festival altogether.  This year I look forward to getting a bit involved.

I will put on my Dutch costume on Friday afternoon and be a host in the Wyatt Earp house in our historical village. And I will eat many poffertjes (little pancakes).

So to all of you Dutch and non-Dutch out there: Happy Tulip Time.