Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sometimes It is Just Too Weird

During the summer of 1972, between my freshman and sophomore year, I went to study in Mexico City with a KSU program.  About twelve others went too, and at the end of the program, three of them - Lyle Pishny, Mark Holt, and Francie Johnson - drove home from Mexico City.  They stopped for one night in Albuquerque, and they spent one night at the cabin before returning to Manhattan.

I had lost track of nearly everyone (except Ann Zutavern), but when I became a Trustee for KSU, Lyle was also a trustee.  I made sure to find him and reminded him of several of the things that happened to us during the trip.  We had a good laugh, enjoyed renewing our friendship, and moved on.

Last September, we were talking with our friends Carol and Steve King, whose family has had a cabin close to ours.  Carol and I grew up together at the cabin, and about 15 years ago, we solidified our friendship, and we have been close ever since.  At the time, Carol mentioned that she knew a very fine lawyer in Kansas City named Lyle Pishny.  Huh?  When I told her I knew Lyle and that he had actually been at the cabin, we all shook our heads in amazement.

Today, I finally had the opportunity to share the news with Lyle.  We were at the KSU Trustees meeting, and I was determined to find him.  I looked and I looked for him . . . and then noticed he was sitting right below me.  Ha, ha!  I showed him a picture of Carol and Steve, and asked him if he recognized them.  He looked at me, saying, "Carol and Steve.  How do you have a picture of them?"  When I explained the association, he was as astounded as the rest of us were.

We took a picture of ourselves, and then sent it to Carol and Steve.  This is one association that is so weird . . . and so fun!

Pacific Beach

After Caleb's third birthday, the family (two grandmas, two grandpas, mom, dad, and Caleb) went to San Diego to decompress.  We could not have gotten more glorious weather, and the beach was not at all crowded.  We could not have asked for a better situation.

We took Caleb to the beach, and he loved picking up the sand and squeezing it through his fingers.  He was introduced to seals and sea lions, he saw porpoises, and he got to ride several rides at Belmont Park.  Mom and Dad were able to take some time to themselves, and Don and I took the 4:00 a.m. wake-up time.  We knew littles ones do not adapt to the time zone very easily, so we were prepared.

I am ready to go back right away!

This little guy sure loved looking at us!

Shadow of the Wind

I had requested that our book club read Shadow of the Wind, and it was chosen for our May read.  I didn't realize the pressure I would feel, hoping everyone would like it.

I had read it back in about 2004, and I really like it then.  But when the moderators began to preview the book, I wondered if I had ever read it at all!  They described a book I had totally forgotten.  So I decided I had better re-read it, and I am so glad I did.

When I first read it, I think I was just trying to get done with it.  This time, I was able to take my time.  I had missed so much the first time, I discovered.  Not usually one to pay huge attention to the writing, I found I luxuriated in the language.  One of the moderators described Zafon as a Spanish Shakespeare, he was so elegant with his words.

I had recalled that the scenes were dark, the story was dark, and indeed it was.  But I had forgotten how convoluted and twisting the plot was.  I had to pay attention again, and I still got confused.  Had not remembered any of it!!

If you need a beautiful read, full of action and a challenging mystery, this is it!  Love this book!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Perfect Pass

For the football lovers, this book is a must read.  S. C. Gwynne, who wrote Empire of the Summer Moon, details the life of Hal Mumme and how he created the Air Raid offense.  As a football fan, but not a strategist, this book helped me know what to look for in a play and why the Air Raid offense has been effective.  I loved this book, and I will probably read it again!

Sweet Baby Mia


Two months ago seems so long ago, and yet it seems like yesterday.  Rest in peace, sweet little one.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Death of Expertise

What a timely book this is!  The author's contention that people in the US disregard the advice and information of experts is well presented in this important book.  He discusses not only how people seem proud of the fact that they are uninformed, but he also shows that not all opinions are created equal, despite the conventional wisdom these days.  He takes on higher ed and its failings (even though he is a professor), the internet and its influences, the media and their troubles, and even experts themselves.

His advice to read more quality information, read from several sources, and examine carefully claims made by so-called experts should be fair warning to all.  Unfortunately, this will probably not be a book that is read by the masses but instead by those who already do those things.  I found many examples of myself in the book (I hate to admit it, but it is true), and I gained a great perspective.  I highly recommend this book - it is a fairly quick read and well worth it!

The Holiday Blur

And now it is 2018.  Between Thanksgiving with Diana and Daniel, the Gaskills, and Kenton, Kylie and Chase, a quick trip to KC for Di and Daniel to see Mia and Caleb, and then a KSU game, Daniel quickly found out the Norton family does not let moss grow under its feet.  We had a marvelous time, culminating in a big KSU win.  The weather was perfect for tailgating, and by the time Di and Daniel left for Austin on Sunday, we had had a great weekend.

Pre Christmas was highlighted by a concert by Chris Mann.  It was so fun to be in the audience and see what a great performer he is.  That voice!  On my way into the concert, I hit a pothole and fell flat.  Don said I looked like the Wicked Witch of the West when my cape folded up around me.  I wasn't hurt badly, was able to walk into the concert and back to the car, into the restaurant, and knew I was fine.  Except once I went to bed, my foot stiffened and I literally could not walk.  Luckily, by the next evening it was better and by Monday morning, I would never have known I had fallen . . . except my hand still hurt a bit.  Four weeks later, it was still hurting, so after the x-ray revealed a healing fracture, I am now in a splint.  Oh boy . . . thank goodness it has not been real painful and is almost healed!

Kenneth, Melinda, Mia, and Caleb came down for Christmas, which was a true joy.  Caleb loved my snow globes, the train, and all of the other decorations, and when we lighted the luminarias, he really enjoyed watching them.  Santa's footprint the next morning intrigued him (it is now a plaster cast), and the fact that the reindeer carrots were gone sealed the deal.  Little did Caleb know that Jordy and Nelson had gotten ahold of the carrots long before the reindeer did!  It was hard to say goodbye to them on Tuesday.

Finally we spent New Year's Eve with a group of church friends.  It was a great way to usher in the new year and we are praying this year is a better one than the last.