Friday, December 28, 2007

When Old People Get Together

Did you ever notice that when older people get together they seem to like to talk about their health?
So....I find myself talking about my health,then looking for symptoms!
Well I have a few health issues but my life goes on and I hope I never become a bore!
This past week I was with some really nice older folks but what a chore it was to talk about my weight loss,my diabetes,COPD,arthritis and so on.I find it gets old quick.Then you get to hear about all their health issues...UGH!
So when you get together with older folks,humour us,but talk about anything but health.
Life is diverse,lets chat about anything else!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cruise Night in Roseland

Growing up in Roseland,on the far south side of Chicago.
Cruise night was every night of the week all through my high school years.
The idea was to take your car to Michigan Avenue and drive up and down and simply show off your car.
The best times were had when the streets were packed with your friends.We sure did add a lot of congestion.
It was all in fun,there were no bad intentions,just a social thing we all liked very much.
We would start anywhere,normally at about 107 th street and go south to about 119th street.Then turn around and do it again.About 20 times.
Showing off your car,waving,honking at your friends as they went by on the opposite side of the street,this was being cool.
Some of our cars were very fast,some were just amazing muscle cars of the 1960's.
Mine were a 59 Chevy Impala with a 409.A 1966 Grand Prix 3 speed on the floor with a 389.A 1968 Impala with a 427,385 horsepower from the factory.It also had a cam.
I omitted a few of the dogs.
When it got to be late and time to eat we would head over to The Pit on 127th street which was the coolest drive in ever.All our friends would be there and we just hung out till it was late.
The next day we would do it all over again.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Resting For A Few Days

It is almost Christmas I am am glad to be taking a few days off.
We will have 21 people here on Christmas day so Linda and I are thinking we will take December 26 off too.
I am looking forward to Christmas,imagine all my kids and ten grandkids visiting for a whole day.
They will be eating,laughing,joking and finally the moment all the kids are waiting for the opening of presents!Secretly I think the watching the kids opening presents is the most fun,I like watching the anticipation,the gratitude in the older kids eyes is the best.
I really think the hugs at the end are the most rewarding.
Lets make this the best Christmas ever.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Diabetes And Drugs

I have diabetes type 2.
Today I was give another medication that will make my liver produce more insulin.
This pill is Metformin.
The possible side affects listed are diarrhea,gas,headache,indigestion,stomach upset,temporary metallic taste,vomiting and or death.
So now I take 2 meds for diabetes,one for my tired old knees and I can no longer have sugar.
Am I discouraged? A tad.
I am not with out Hope though,I still have God,Linda and my precious family.
Life goes on.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Precious Memories and My Brother Bud

When I was very young and quite innocent I was showing off on my bike.
My aunt and uncle had just arrived at our house and I thought they would enjoy seeing me go very fast.
I took off from a dead stop,peddled as fast as my legs would go.
I went past the Ooms house,the Dr Roos',the Slagers,and onto a gravel driveway.At the gravel driveway I turned,lost all control and skidded to a dead stop onto a curb.
I knew immediately I had broken my leg.I was pretty vocal about the pain,the some neighbors even looked out their front door to see what all the noise was about.
Suddenly my much older brother Bud arrived to get me up and back home.
Bud obviously was a faith healer because he told me to Stand Up And Walk!
After a few attempts at walking I could see his Faith Healing Message was as valid as a TV evangelist.I forgave my brother right away,after all,if you can't forgive your family for their lack of faith who can you forgive?
The rest of the day is somewhat vauge in my memory,I do remember I was in a cast for 12 weeks and that kinda spoiled my summer activities.
My poor life was never the same.I still love my brother and I hope he knows I have forgiven him 100 per cent.Even though I seldom think about this pain full event of my childhood.
Bud,you are the greatest.

Turn Your Speakers Up Amazing Grace

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For Alistair His Favorite Song

Growing Up In Roseland Chicago Far South Side Part 4

More thoughts from Roseland.
My brother Bud sending to me to the Corner Store at 104th and Wentworth.
He sent me to buy a paper,of course when I got home he said it was the wrong one.
I went back,traded it for a Trib,which was missing sections.He sent me back once more.
No wonder I cant visit malls today!
Mrs.Stein telling me chocolate milk comes from brown cows.Ok I was 6.
A block behind me was Billy "The Fat Kid".We all lived in terror because of his mean nature.He chased us on our bikes and scared us to death.Later me and Billy became good friends.He was just a lonely kid,my friends and I were mean to him and that was just dumb.
Paying off some guy to buy us beer when we were underage.Drinking a quart of beer on the tracks when it was 20 degrees out.Being frozen and drinking Bud when you're 16,there is nothing like it.
Watching the construction of the new chimney at the pumping station down the street.I could see it from my bedroom window.I look for it every time I drive on the Dan Ryan expressway.Then I know where I lived.
Hearing of suicides on the tracks where I walked to high school,that always made me feel weird.
My dad buying a color TV,how excited we were,it was a miracle.
My mom buying my dad a Electric Lawn Mower,how he hated that thing!
My mom was deaf in one ear and the other ear always gave her trouble.My dad and I would mumble on purpose and laugh our butts off.Mom was good natured about it so it was an ok thing.
more to come

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Leader of the Band Goodbye Dan

Dan Fogelberg died today,RIP Dan.

An only child
Alone and wild
A cabinet makers son
His hands were meant
For different work
And his heart was known
To none --
He left his home
And went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me
A gift I know I never
Can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldnt wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band.

My brothers lives were
For they heard another call
One went to chicago
And the other to st. paul
And Im in colorado
When Im not in some hotel
Living out this life Ive chose
And come to know so well.

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go --
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I dont think i
Said i love you near enough --

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It Was Good

Time it was and what a time it was,
A time of innocence,a time of confidences.(Paul Simon)

Some thoughts and reflections on a Friday night.

When my kids were little,it was good.
When my kids grew,it was good.
When they married,it was good.
When the babies came,it was good.

Sunday visits come and go,what a joy.
Smiles from the babies,what a joy.
Smiles from the older kids,what a joy.
Surprise hugs as I pass in the hallway,this is an amazing joy.

Music that stays with you,such great thoughts.
Men that have remained true friends,you guys make me a better person.
Mellow nights with Linda,what more could I ask?
Makers of such a great craft,you clockmaker's of the past,I admire you.

Life is good.

Sail On Sliver Girl

And she stays on,she is my heart.I love you.

When you're weary, feeling small When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all I'm on your side When times get rough And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down
When you're down and out When you're on the street When evening falls so hard I will comfort you I'll take your part When darkness comes And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down
Sail on silver girl Sail on by Your time has come to shine All your dreams are on their way See how they shine When you need a friend I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Growing Up In Roseland Chicago Far South Side Part 3

Sometimes my work has called me to the old neighborhood.

I drive past some of the old hang outs and can't help but pull over and look around.

There was Pete's basement apartment where I spent a good deal of time.

1966-Pete and I bought a 1938 Packard for $200.We would work on that old car for hours and hours,we chopped the fenders to make it look cool,painted over the original black colors with more black paint because that's all we had.

We seldom had the old car running and it sat on the street facing Wentworth Ave for months.We really didn't have much of a clue as to what we were doing.

There was the old vacant Pullman buildings which were huge.These were just south of 111th street.They were empty,just a lot of old junked equipment all over.Many buildings were connected in a V like shape.The roof's were where we spent time with hundreds of other kids who had made this discovery.It was a place for drugs if you wanted,most of my friends just wanted a place to hang out.

There were the 5 silos at 107th which were filled with sawdust.This was at Midland Chemical Company at 400 w 107st.

The silos were connected and the center silo had rickety old wood steps going to the top in a spiral.We would climb to the to being startled by rats at the bottom and pigeons at the top.We could only do this at night because the company was occupied during the day.I later worked for this company from 1967 to 1974.

The center solo had a door at the top where we could climb out and watch the dawn climb over Lake Michigan.We had radios with us and how well I remember hearing Sky Pilot by Eric Burden being played as loud as we could.

The silos were just a great place to be alone too,I spent many nights up there.

There was the Pumping station at the end of my street at 104th place where water was pumped to the south side of Chicago.

The few employees that were there didn't mind if we came in and looked around.What an amazing place with marble floors and enormous pumps painted bright green.

Just behind the pumping station was the local indoor swimming pool.There was only boys and girls days,no mixing of the sexes then.The water temp seemed to be at freezing no matter what time of the year. Behind the swimming pool and next to the tracks was a baseball field where I spent a great deal of my youth.There wasn't much of a left field,but we didn't really care.
more to come

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Morning Prayer

I have this prayer taped to my desk.
Martin Luther was focused enough to have this as his morning prayer.
I sometimes am not focused enough to pray in the morning.
Try this,it works.

My Heavenly Father, I thank You, through Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, that You kept me safe from all evil and danger last night. Save me, I pray, today as well, from every evil and sin, so that all I do and the way that I live will please you. I put myself in your care, body and soul and all that I have. Let Your holy Angels be with me, so that the evil enemy will not gain power over me. Amen

Time to Mourn

This past week my daughter has been affected by two deaths of people she is close to.
Both deaths are by suicide.She knew the families of both well.
We go on left wondering about how could this possibly happen.
My thoughts now are for my dear daughter as she and her husband live through the pain of the families.
We go on holding on to the Blessed Hope,for there is nothing else.
God bless you Michelle.God bless you Rob.Love is stronger then all.We have so much to live for.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jeanette Baily and Multiple Sclerosis

A long time ago I had a care group which I enjoyed very much.I did care about the people in my group and they cared about me.It was a time of much spiritual growth for me.
I heard about a new couple in church who had expressed an interest in joining a care group.
I went to see them and Jeanette opened the door,I invited her and her husband to a Thursday night meeting at my home.
Jeanette and Garland had met in a bar on the south side of Chicago.Through God's grace they found Christ and were living a real Christian life.
Jeanette had been diagnosed with MS a few years before.
She was using a cane and was forced to resign her position at a local bank.
My wife and I were touched by Jeanette and her love for Jesus,she amazed us with her strong testimony.
We prayed at our little care group for her,and we prayed for healing.
To our dismay she had more attacks and went from a wheelchair to being totally bedridden.
In June of 1996 I was in an accident which put me flat on my back for about a year.
You know who called me when I got so depressed? Well you know who.
She called regularly and counselled me in the way of the Lord.
When I was losing my business,when I was just to drugged up to care she called.She just said this is not going to be easy.Trust in God,belive in what you have taught the group.
Man,she just kept pushing me.What a joy she was.Remember she was now bedridden.
This Jeanette was showing her love for Jesus and doing what she could for her friend.
She got worse in the next few years,losing her ability to speak,to read and even move her hands.
She loved when Linda and I would bring her chocolates and read her favorite Bible passages to her.
God took Jeanette home after she her body just gave out.
I miss you my friend,big time.
I will see you soon.
Soon and Very Soon,we are going to see the King.

Snow in Chicago

We woke up to 6 inches of snow this morning.
The pick up truck was buried and not willing to leave the driveway,neither was I.
Son number 2 (Mark) lives close by and said that he would come by and do some shoveling for us.
Neither Linda or I should be shoveling any longer,my knees are shot and I just don't want her shoveling any more.
Now small blessing come to us like this and we are grateful to Mark and God of course.
I just feel like Mark was obeying God,Honoring his mom and dad.
We made it out of the drive and were able to do a nice days work.
Thank You Mark.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease
My wife's mom has it.
She does not know us,or anybody.
She seems to know she likes chocolate.
That's it,nothing else.
Physically she seems quite healthy.It looks like she will live a long time.
We saw the signs when she was living alone,lost keys later found in the open,forgetting to eat.Thinking her car was out of gas when it was full.
Thankfully she has 4 daughters who saw these things in time to keep her from injury.
She now resides in a home where she gets the best of care.

I hope when I get older this does not happen to me.
I can not imagine anything worse.
God makes His plans,the information isn't always available to us mortals.
We know Lord how you love us,our minds try to comprehend life and we get lost so easy.

Monday, December 3, 2007

She Settles Me

So it is late but she asks kindly if he wanted another cup of tea.
Thoughts flash back to when she was 10 and he was 11.The camp was a magic place where he saw beauty in every girl.
This one changed him,even at such a young age.
Times go by,early loves last but are so futile when he had parents and she had parents.
Forward to when he was 16 and he sees her again.His friend's see her,she asks us to leave.Trouble was always around another corner,friends were sometimes trouble.
Three more years have gone by,she is engaged you hear,so is he.
His engagement was foolish,he knew this.
Hers was forced and foolish too.
She finds him lost somewhere and brings him back home.They have finally found love.
She has saved him with her love,he is still so young and clueless.
The babies came early and he sees something inside maturing,but still searching for some eternal truth.
She opens his eyes as he got lost in Kant,Aristotle and Bacon.
She says try this one,Solomon he wrote this.Ecclesiastes.
His eyes opened suddenly like a light snapped on,he is stunned.
They get lost in Proverbs,he remains on fire.
A small publication of His will is published,free Bibles are given away.
She says lets hand out tracts at Kmart,he gets punched by a cop.
Sisters join them in long discussions about truth.
He now remains convinced in the truth,that it will always be there.
They find some churches and follow some pastors.Friend abide during tough times and she always forgives him.

She still loves him and he loves her.
They laugh about the kids and grandkids now,slowly getting older but not caring much.Life goes on for the betterment of all in Christ.
His thoughts are now surfacing like they needed to.
His family is most important,his God guides him now.
So here is a love that lasted,he is amazed and cries sometimes about it all.
God made His plans,he followed and found peace.
So much to say,so much to share.My family,my heart.

To every thing, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn,turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time to be born, a time to dieA time to plant, a time to reapA time to kill, a time to healA time to laugh, a time to weepTo everything, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn, turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time to build up, a time to break downA time to dance, a time to mournA time to cast away stonesA time to gather stones togetherTo everything, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn, turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time of love, a time of hateA time of war, a time of peaceA time you may embraceA time to refrain from embracingTo everything, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn, turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time to gain, a time to loseA time to rend, a time to sewA time to love, a time to hateA time for peace, I swear it's not too late- Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds, 1966 taken lyrics from the Book of Eccleciates 3:1-11

Psalm 27 Just Let it Speak To You

The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation
27The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. 9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. 11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Letters I Have Written Or Should Have Part 2

Dear Kevin,
I am so very proud of you.
Love Dad
Dear Jesus,
You know I can't wait to see you.
Love Mike
Dear Politicians Everywhere?
Why do you make it so hard to trust you?
A Concerned Citizen
Dear Clock Manufactures Of Clock Movements,
What happend to quality?
I used to have much more confidence in your work.
You let us all down so much.
It has become an embarrasment.
Mike Lanting
Dear Caleb,
Your smile makes me so happy,I need a few smiles from you now.
Much Love,
Dear Pastor Bob Newman,
Thanks for all your giving,you and Judy amaze me.
By the way Judy will always be your better half.
Dear Soldiers and Sailors
How can I tell you what your service to our country means to me?
A million thank yous are not enough.
With Much Respect,

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Letters I Have Written Or Should Have

Dear Mr C.S Lewis,
Thank you sir,your books have changed my life.
Dear President Lincoln,
I do wish you would have lived a bit longer.
Did you know John Wilkes Booth's last words were ''useless"?
Dear Rev.Billy Graham,
Well done sir,your reward will certainly be great!
I went to see you in 1964,I did not believe then but you helped me find my way.
Dear President Bush,
What is the point of this war again?
Dear Gettysburg National Park Guides,
You men and women are stunning.Thank You.
Dear Customers of Mine,
Thank you for your loyalty after all these years.You are the best.
Dear Family,
God loves you so much,and so do I.
(more to come)

Friday, November 30, 2007



A mall in New Jersey has decided the Santa's they hire can longer say that.

They now must say HA HA HA !

It was confusing the little ones.Perhaps the children were thinking Santa was calling for hookers.

What is this world coming to?

I just wanna go home.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Precious Memories

The older I get,the more sentimental I get.
My kids have enjoyed my writings here so I will on.
When I was about 5 my parents decided to go to California to visit my brother who was a Marine at Camp Pendleton.
These were the days of no interstates so it was a long ride in a 1956 Buick.
I usually sat in the back seat,watching the country go by.Even them I was impressed how big our country was.I remember going through Texas and it seemed endless.
There were times when dad would lose the route and mom would look at a map and try to find where we were.
They would argue about being lost and this would really get me upset.No wonder I have panic attacks!
After finding thier way I would listen to them singing old hymns with real meaning.This is what I liked best about the trip.
We arrived in California,found my brother Jack and spent a few days with him.
Being 5,he was my hero,my oldest brother being about 12 years older then me.
We spent some tome at Disneyland and the Knotsberry Farm.
These are times I dont remember well,but this is what I have rememeberd.
Obsure memories of mine,perhaps even meaningless,but this happend to me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Daughters In Law and Son In Law

Thinking how fortunate I am to have such great people married to my kids.

Kevin married Lynn and they have 2 boys and one girl.
They live in Zeeland Michigan so I don't get to see them as often as I like.
Lynn is just amazing,she home schools her kids and is doing so well!
She truly is sweetness personified,she loves her family so very much.
Rob married Michelle and is my only son in law.
Robs first priority is his family which pleases me to no end.I have heard him talking to Michelle on the phone and he treats her with much love and kindness.
Rob is a pastor at Granger Community Church and is stunning in his messages and presentations.Rob and Michelle have three of the loveliest and liveliest girls ever.
Rob,I honor you,as does our Savior.
Abbey married Mark and they have one son.
Abbey is a devoted mother who seems to have boundless energy.She loves me and mom and just makes us very happy.She is easy to love back.They live close so we are able to see her often which we are happy about too.
Lisa married Joel,my youngest son.They have 2 boys and a girl.They also live close to us.
Lisa is the person who is a seeker.I know this,she always seeks truth.She knows her Christianity too,ya better believe it.
When I think back at the time I was a boy,a teen or even young married person,I never gave it much thought about who my kids would marry.Was I lucky? No.God had His Hand in all this.I stand amazed at you all.
Below is a family reunion vid my son Mark made from the summer of 2006.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Very Old Hymn and How It Affected Me

A Sunday night church service in a little church in Calumet City,Illinois.
The pastor announced the hymn and told us where to look in the hymnal.
I thought,I really don't want to sing some obscure hymn,I would rather sing a chorus or something more familiar.

The piano player played the first few opening notes.Then I remembered,I know this a little.
The congregation started singing,I just listened for a bit.
Then,something hit me,I did not know what.I was dumb stuck as I listened to the people singing.It seemed these kind of lyrics had been on my heart for a long time.
Perhaps it seems corny to you,to me it was a moment God wanted me to remember and I have all these many years later.

The service ended,I took my family home.
The hymn stayed on my mind.
Later that night I told my wife I had to go back to the church for a few minutes.
I went back,snapped on a few lights,grabbed a hymnbook and looked up Christ Returneth.
(You can click this link and hear the tune and see the words)

What hit was the sincerity of the author,we had shared the same thoughts,the same longing for Jesus.

It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight through darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory
To receive from the world His own.
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long
Ere we shout the glad song?

Christ returneth, Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen, Hallelujah! Amen.

It may be at midday, it may be at twilight,
It may be, perchance, that the blackness of midnight
Will burst into light in the blaze of His glory,
When Jesus receives His own.

O joy! O delight! should we go without dying,
No sickness, no sadness, no dread, and no crying,
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory,
When Jesus receives His own. O Lord Jesus, how long, how long
Ere we shout the glad song?

Christ returneth, Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen, Hallelujah! Amen.

Now I listen to obscure hymns,I think of Jesus by the campfire singing the old hymns and spiritual songs.
This hymn has stuck with me all these years,through losses,gains,spiritual victories and defeats,it is like an old friend.

James McGranahan (1840-1907) was an American Gospel song and hymn writer. Wrote the music for such familiar hymns as "Christ Returneth!," "There Shall Be Showers of Blessing," and "The Banner of the Cross," and both the words and music for "Verily, Verily," and "Go Ye into All the World." Edited fifteen hymn books. Singing evangelist with Major D. W. Whittle for eleven years.

Daughter Michelle

My mom had three sons and I was the last.I always told her she ended with perfection.
My oldest brother Jack got married and had 3 sons.
My second brother Bud got married and had three sons.
I got married and had 2 son and then my Michelle was born.We had one more son after her.
When she was born I called my mom and told her the news,we had a girl in the family.
She had a hard time believing me after all the boys.
Michelle was the joy of our life,a pearl, a diamond in a world that just made coal.
It was a joy to have her under my care,watching her grow,her first day of school.
She amazed me,she sat on my lap and we read books and told stories.
She was no trouble.
She knows Jesus and knows Him well,that is really all that matters.
Michelle now has 3 little girls of her own and I watch as she raises them.
She married Rob,the man God had planned for her so long ago.
Michelle you are still the joy of my life.
Your papa loves you very much.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


It is coming shortly!
This time lets make Christmas real for our families.
Let us remember His birth,lets read the Christmas Story to our kids and grandkids.
We need to explain His love for us.Make it real.
Let us remember the Miracle of His birth,the prophesies that all came true.
Let us not shop at stores that advertise x-mas sales.
Let us rejoice this season,if not for His birth,where would we be?
Jesus we thank you for the simple Gospel story.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Working With Your Spouse Full Time

My wife Linda and I have been working together for many years.Since 1974.
Many have asked how we do it.Here is a short explanation.We retired from our shop some years ago and now just work out of our house.
Our business is grandfather clock repair so we spend a lot of time in our little truck driving here and there.
I do most of the driving,she phones people to let them know we are on the way.I don't care for phone work much.
She also looks up addresses,it makes it much easier to have her navigate.
I do the repairs,she does the paperwork and billing.
She helps with a lot of the bending work because I have used up most of my bends.
We do enjoy each others company so that sure helps a lot!
Once we are home she checks the phones and returns calls,and then orders parts.
She tries to ignore calls after 5,and she just lets the machine record peoples calls.
In this business you can work all day and night but it takes to much of a toll.We enjoy our kickin back time to much.
Our other busness is selling books online for Amazon,Ebay,Alibris and a few others.
This means between service calls we scout for used books.
When we get home I list the books we have found,print orders and then we both pack the books for shipping the next day.
Scouting for books can be like a treasure hunt,it is lots of fun finding that special book that will sell for some nice money.
Scouting can also just be awful, sometimes there is nothing good to be found.
Our evenings are our own,we try not to work then.
We take time off,a day here and there just to mess around and do what we want.
We also love vacation time, we always spend more then what we planned,but we just don't care.
Life is good for us.I could not do much with out her ans she feels the same about me.
God has blessed us with a love for each other that gets better with each passing day.
Thank You Jesus.

Friday, November 23, 2007

More To Be Thankful For

Thanksgiving 2007
What a absolute happy time for me and mom.
We could not be happier with our family.
All 20 of us were laughing and just enjoying the company of each other.
Yes it was loud! I just kept smiling as the moms tried to hush the little ones,what fun.
So my beloved family,thank you all for the best Thanksgiving ever.
Your papa loves you all very much.
ps When the last of you left we decided to rest for a bit,mom zonked on the big chair,I grabbed the couch.We rested for a long time!

Following My Roots

For many years I have been studying the Civil War in the United States.
While reading an old newspaper I was stunned to read John Madderom (58th Illinois Infantry) of Roseland Illinois went down to Camp Douglas Illinois to enlist.He was a great grandfather,or a cousin of my great great father.
John went with 2 friends to enlist for 3 years.He was just 18.The 3 friends decided to tell their parents after they got home from Camp Douglas.Imagine the parents fear then in 1861 when the war was just starting.
John was captured,sent to Libby Prison in Richmond.His weight went to 90 pounds.
He was beat up by a drunken Confederate guard and lost the use of his left arm for a time.
In 1864 he was involved in a prisoner exchange.He was sent home but reenlisted for the until the end of the war.
When he finally came home again he married and had 10 children.
Many years ago I dragged by family down south to follow John.s trail.
We went to Perrysville Kentucky and walked the battlefeild where old John fought.It was a feeling of connection,a feeling of pride when the wonderfull National Guide people looked up John Madderoms name and verified his presense thier.
Someday I hope to go farther and follow his trail further.
Below is the history of the 58th.Organized at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., February 11, 1862. Moved to Cairo, Ill., thence to Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 11-13. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, District of Cairo, February, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, District of West Tennessee, and Army of the Tennessee, to May, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1862 (Detachment). 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Corinth, Miss., to November, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Corinth, 13th Army Corps (Old), Department of the Tennessee, to December, 1862. Springfield, Ill., to June, 1863. District of Columbus, Ky., 6th Division, 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to January, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to March, 1864, and Dept. of the Gulf to June, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to November, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to December, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division (Detachment), Army of the Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland, to February, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps (New), Military Division of West Mississippi, to March, 1865. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to August, 1865. District of Alabama to April, 1866.

SERVICE - Investment and capture of Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 14-16. Occupation of Fort Henry February 18 - March 6. Moved to Savannah, thence to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., March 6-25. Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7. Mostly captured. Regiment consolidated into four Companies and organized with remnants of the 2nd, 7th, 12th and 14th Iowa Infantry into a body known as the Union Brigade, Army of the Tennessee. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29 - May 30. Pursuit to Booneville May 31 - June 6. Duty at Corinth till October. March to Iuka September 18-20. Battle of Corinth, Miss., October 3-4. Pursuit to Ruckersville October 5-12. The several detachments of Regiment concentrated at Camp Butler, Ill., in December, 1862, and on duty guarding prisoners till June, 1863. Ordered to Cairo, Ill. Garrison duty at Cairo and Mound City, Ill., Paducah and Mayfield, Ky., till January, 1864. Action at Mayfield November 2, 1863. Skirmish Obion River, near Union City, Tenn., November 19, 1863 (Cos. "G," "H," "I," "K"). Ordered to Vicksburg, Miss., January 21. Meridian Campaign February 3 - March 2. Red River Campaign March 10 - May 12. Fort DeRussy March 14. Occupation of Alexandria March 16. Battle of Pleasant Hill April 9. Natchitoches April 20-21. About Cloutiersville April 22-24. At Alexandria April 26 - May 13. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. Yellow Bayou May 18. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss.; thence to Memphis, Tenn., May 22 - June 10. Lake Chicot, Ark., June 6. Defeat of Marmaduke. Smith's Expedition to Tupelo, Miss., July 5-21. Near Camargo's Cross Roads July 13. Harrisburg, near Tupelo, July 14-15. Old Town (or Tishamingo Creek), July 15. Smith's Expedition to Oxford, Miss., August 1-31, Tallahatchie River August 7-9. Abbeville August 23. Mower's Expedition to Brownsville, Ark., September 2-10. March through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Price September 17 - November 19. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., November 21 - December 1. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. Moved to Eastport, Miss., and duty there till February, 1865. Expedition from Eastport to Iuka January 9, 1865. Movement to New Orleans, La., February 8-26; thence to Dauphin Island, Ala., March 6. Campaign against Mobile and its defenses March 17 - April 12. Siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely March 26 - April 8. Assault and capture of Fort Blakely April 9. Occupation of Mobile April 12. March to Montgomery April 13-25. Duty at Montgomery and in the District of Alabama till April, 1866.

Mustered out April 15, 1866.

Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 75 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 4 Officers and 211 Enlisted men by disease. Total 298

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Here is who I am most Thankful for:
Kevin Lynn Andrew Aaron Sarah
Mark Abbey Alistair
Rob Michelle Maddie Whitney Belle
Joel Lisa Joel Brooke Caleb
Thank You!

For Linda

I wanted time to stand still for a moment.
We have our photographs,our memories,
'remember the first time we did this'?
I wonder what you think of
Now that we are a little older.
Our kids are gone our job is done
Now we come home to a house that is empty.
We live differently and see Jesus
moving our lives around.
Memories of all the blissful moments
I have spent with you surround me today.
Forgive my my many faults
and the pains I have caused you.
How thoughtless and foolish I have been.
I don't always know why you love me
I just know that you do.
These times have gone by so fast
so remarkably fast
and Lin we are so blessed with this wonderful family.
Now we look forward to Heaven
and you have been my little piece of it.
Sail On Silver Girl
I Love You

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Oreo Thief or How I learned to Forgive

A very long time ago as was my custom I fell asleep on my couch after church and a large meal cooked by my lovely wife.
A habit of mine was to indulge myself in a few Oreos before my nap.
As I began to slumber on that hot August day,I remembered I had 4 kids and I should hide the Oreos lest they eat them and get fat,lazy and eventually quit school and live in my basement forever.
I slid the Oreos under the couch safe in the knowledge I was a good father and I cared about my children so much.
It hard to confess a daughters crime,but again I do love her so here goes.
Michelle Dawn was caught red handed and the evidence was all over her face.
As the crime was being committed my wife quickly snapped a photo of said crime thereby preserving her sins virtually forever,Thank the Lord for Kodak.
She never really said she was sorry.I think she was 2,but that's really not an excuse is it?
It wasn't easy but after many years I did forgive her.I think it was 30 years until I was able to put it out of my mind forever.
I think she learned from all this,how a fathers love will always prevail over his justifiable OUTRAGE!
I should have been more careful with hiding the evidence,but you don't expect things like this in life.It really has made me a more understanding dad.
I love you Michelle Dawn.

A Song For Belle

To my Belle,a very special girl.
Are you looking at the moon tonight?
Are ya looking at the moon?
Are you going in the sunshine today?
Will you go by the sun?
Are you with your friends today?
Will you play all day?
Is your Dorthy dress close by?
Will you wear it in the sun?
Will you wear those Dorthy shoes today?
Come over to my house in that pretty dress.
We can watch Superman twice if you like.
And when your looking at the moon,
Know how much papa loves you
Because I will be looking too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Growing Up In Roseland Chicago Far South Side 2

What happens to us in our youth must define us. The memories of Roseland are burned deep within me.
It was not a utopia by any means,just a wonderful place to grow up.
There were football games at 103rd street where were scared of riots-Fenger High School versus CVS or any other school.
There was my cousins new fancy Schwinn was stolen in front of Gatleys People Store,how naive we were just to leave it in front of the main door.
Gatleys had a machine in their shoe department to x-ray your feet.How many times did mom make me put my feet in there to see if the shoes would fit? Fooling around as teens we would go get our feet x-rayed.
But it was a time of innocence.

I remember being scared to death of 2 sonic booms at about 11 PM on a warm July night.Of course we had no idea of a sonic boom,my dad and I went outside to see what we could see..nothing at all. Our neighbor Bob suggested we get in a car and go up the ave to see if we could see anything at all. I could sense nervousness in my dad and Bob,these were scary times,in 1963. President Kennedy had just announced missiles were in Cuba pointed at us.

We often played baseball right in the street on 104th place. A sewer cover was where the pitcher stood. Some times third base was the tail of Mr.Slagers 56'Buick. The rest of the bases we made up as needed.

Some of the bigger kids once drew a toilet in chalk right on the street.Someone called the cops,when the cops came they told us it was illegal to draw a toilet in chalk on a Chicago street.
High school years were very tough,these were the sixties where some kids used drug and some remained straight.I was a beer drinker then,it was easy to get some guy of legal age to buy us some.

It was cold drinking beer along the railroad tracks in the winter months.We did it just to prove to each other we could do it. I am glad I never developed a taste for beer,to this day I would rather have coffee and still have my senses intact.

The drug users were plentiful. My best friend Bob used heavily until his death in 1988 .Bob's death had a profound effect on me..

I had told Bob of Jesus since I was saved,he just kind of blew me off all through those times. Two weeks before Bob died he did accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The drugs he took held onto him until he finally overdosed. I still believe firmly the Bob accepted Christ. His sister Mary Ann told me he did.I have to believe that.

Bob lived directly across the street from my house. Some of my earliest memories were of me asking my mom if I could go to Bob's house to watch Captian Kangarooo on the tv.
We hung out together, we could laugh and just be ourselves all day. Drugs killed my friend Bob and I remain sad yet today.
end of part 2,more to come.


My wife and I are aliens.
We look at he junk Hollywood produces and the junk the music industry produces and we look at each other shaking our heads in disgust.
To all the Penn type people,Britney type people we don't care about your politics,your drug use,the abuse of your bodies or anything else about you.
Time will tell how you survive in this world,time will also tell if you survive the next.
You may go to jail for a few hours or a few days for offences to society.I fear for you,a real judgement is coming.
If you are in the entertainment business that's fine,entertain us but don't tell me I need to be green like you.Don't try the guilt trips on me.
We can survive without you and your self important ideas.
Now we shut off the television when the grandkids are over for fear of your sickening corruption.We turn it off when we are alone and put on some good music.We don't need you.
I am glad we are the aliens,I am glad we don't fit.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Email To Whitney

Sometimes God places one Grandchild upon your heart in a big way.
Having 10 grandkids is one of my lifes top blessings.
No,there are no favorites but God did speak to me about Whitney a week ago.
If I love my grandkids so much,imagine God's love for us.

Dear Whitney,
I thought of you a lot while I was on vacation last week.
I kept hearing this pretty song and you kept coming to my mind.
It is called Precious Jewels and is sung by Alison Krause.
I got a note that said you loved me and that made me sooo happy,thank you.
Well you know your papa loves you very much.

When He cometh, when He cometh
To take up his jewels
All his jewels, precious jewels
His Loved and His own.

Like the stars of the morning
His bright crown adorning
They will shine in their beauty
Bright jems for his crown.

He will gather, He will gather
The jems for His kingdom
All the pure ones, all the bright ones
His loved and His own.

Like the stars of the morning
His bright crown adorning
They will shine in their beauty
Bright jems for his crown.

Little children, little children
O love their Redeemer
All the jewels, precious jewels
His loved and His own.

Like the stars of the morning
His bright crown adorning
They will shine in their beauty
Bright jems for his crown

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Growing Up In Roseland Chicago Far South Side Part 1

There were no secrets in Roseland.
Everybody knew you and where you lived.
Mrs Reilly caught us boys smoking under the Butlers porch. How she saw us I never new.

My mom found out about in about 5 minutes.

Roseland was really special place,it was more like the suburbs than Chicago.
The neighborhood people would wave as you drove your bike through,it was ok to cut through anybodies yard to get to the next street.

The main feature about Roseland was going up the ave.,or going down the ave.There was no difference,it was said without much thought,you knew what it meant.
The Ave was Michigan Avenue from roughly 103rd street to 120th street.It was filled with shops of everykind from jewelery stores to hobby shops to furniture stores.There were food shops of all kinds too where you could get a cup of coffee for a dime and stay all day if you liked.

The street where I grew up was the typical everybody knows everybody street.104th place was a place where you didn't need to lock your doors,there was so little crime .
There were a few cops, an Ex Chicago Bear,people who worked at labs, painters, racists,crossing guards and lot of old people.
The secret division was between Catholics and The Dutch Reformed.We tolerated each other and never talked religion among the neighbors.I don't think anyone knew any Jews.

We knew Catholics might get into heaven if they were good Catholics and we being Dutch knew we were safe in the Kingdom. Our church was within walking distance and in the summer I would walk with my Gramps.These are things one does not forget..

Gramps brother Abe would join us on Sunday evening services.We would see him coming down the street drunk as can be.My mom would shudder,the tell him he better come with.We always sat way in the back but old Abe would sing louder than all. My school,Roseland Christian was just an alley crossing away,so I was seldom late.I went there from K to 9th grade.Most teachers there were good but some were just awful.
They practiced the relgion of of the times, We Are Dutch So No Need To Talk About Real Salvation Or Jesus.Looking back now I think they taught us just old testament doctrine,which was not bad just not complete.I never heard the real Gospel til much later in life.
Boundries we respected as kids ,never go north of 99th street,that is where the blacks lived,never go west of Michigan Ave,thats where the dreaded Kensington boys lived.They had a reputation of being thugs.I don't think this was true,but we believed it then.
more to come...


On August 13,1962 the Roseland neighbourhood where I grew up was in shock.
The Butler family lived two houses away from me.
Dad Butler decided to drink on a family picnic,he had way to much.
On their way home he was swerving on I 94 near 159 street.These were the days before proper guardrails.
He had a had on collision with another car instantly killing my friends Eugene,age 13,Larry age 12 and Billy age 6.The boys mother also died at the scene.
These were boys I played baseball with every day,football on the cooler days,basketball and street soccer too.
How could God let this happen?
My friends from the neighborhood were in shock.It was all to surreal for us kids.
About 10 of us were pall bearers at the funeral,we were made to wear white shirts and red ties.I helped carry Eugene.
So here I sit so many years later,carrying these things in my heart, could I have 4 kids and 10 grandchildren?
How come I am so blessed with a family that loves me?
What is fair Lord?
Many years of confusion have gone by,many years of searching for answers.
Many times I questioned God and His wisdom,many times no answers came.
Answers are still waiting to be answered,questions still remain.
I know Jesus and for now it is enough.
I still think of these guys a lot,hoping we will meet again.
By the way,dad Butler walked away with no injuries.Marylyn the one daughter who did not attend the picnic had to be sedated.

My Grandfathers Glasses

I have a pair of my grandfathers reading glasses here on my desk.They sit on the corner in a hard leather case.
Sentimental I guess but it seems I can never get around to putting them away.
He lived with us until I was 9.
The last time I saw grandpa John he was waving to me from a second floor hospital window.
The funeral message was delivered by a fine old pastor who was a friend of the family.The pastor spoke of Grandpa John and how much he missed his Effie.She had died many years before.
Grandpa really just wanted to go Home.
We would play sock-baseball up in his bedroom and just laugh at how silly we were.We used a pair of rolled up socks and a fly swatter for a bat.
He was always there,a friend who shared a house.
He never drove a car,he walked everywhere or took a bus.I remember walking so far to downtown Roseland my legs about fell off!His hobby was to visit funeral homes on Michigan Ave,now that wasn't to enjoyable for me! We walked to church most Sundays twice,there and back again.
We took the bus to South Holland to visit family,what an endless enjoyment he was for me as a kid to have him so close.
John and Effie had 3 kids,Dottie,Margie and Sid,they are all gone now.But what a day that will be when I get to see them all again.So, I just can't get around to putting his glasses away,when I see them they just make me smile.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Old Friend

When I was 12 years old and in school (about 5th grade I think) I had a girl in my class named Manny.She also went to my church.She and her family immigrated from Holland,so her English wasn't great.
I felt so sorry for her because of her poor English.She had a hard time communicating.
Manny was blind and needed help moving her typewriter and portable desk from room to room.This was assigned to me for the most part.
Manny had fiery red hair so we laughed a bit about how we had that it common.She was very pretty and I think I was in love at 12.
I remember her smile mostly.
Well in 6th grade Manny got sick and died.I don't know the disease that killed her.
All the girls in my class went the the funeral,the boys were not allowed to go.I have no idea why..I have been reflecting on Manny Fietan my whole life.
I have a feeling I will see her again.Thank God