This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Preparation: Busy Weekend

Garage Sale!

Kristi was so excited to get rid of things.  I don't think there is anything that can make a Dutch woman happier than cleaning house and throwing out the old or unused items.  I can't even count or imagine the number of times I have been at the desk and asked Kristi if she has seen such and such an item, and the next minute I hear the front door close, and I watch as she heads to the garbage can and pulls out whatever I am looking for.  Since I am approaching the old and unused category I am getting a little worried that the next "morning" sound I hear will be the dump truck giving me the big hug, and putting me on my head with all my mementos heading to the other side of Dutch heaven. 

Devin becomes an Eagle Scout

It was a great event to see Devin receive his Eagle Scout rank.  I believe being an Eagle Scout puts you in the category of "FINISHER".  There is nothing like completing a long term goal and having it on your resume'.  Missions and college are in the same category.  They are NOT the end-all standard, but having those experiences in your makeup immediately lets people know you are a "finisher."
I was honored to give a few "grandfather" remarks at the event.

This man has a silver Beaver hanging around his neck.  His name is Val Gene Black.  He has been very, very active in growing boys to men in the Livermore area for many years.  He also happens to be my first cousin, and will turn 90 in October.  I have 72 first cousins.  When Kristi started to meet all my relatives through the years she had a hard time because of the age differences.  She used to refer to him as Uncle ValGene, but I said I know he is older than us, but he's my cousin, so I just call him ValGene.  I had six cousins even older than ValGene.  I helped stir up a cousin's reunion last summer, my Dad's family one weekend and my Mom's family the next weekend.  It was terrific for me.  We sat in birth order and told stories about each other and our grandparents.  I highly recommend the experience.

On Sunday Tyler, our grandson, spoke in church before leaving for Florianopolis, Brazil.  I was a nervous grandfather wondering if Tyler was going to sound mature enough for his new challenge.  I shouldn't have stressed at all.  I know his parents pretty well so that alone should have calmed me.  I guess I can be a bit of a pessimist, as Kristi tells me I occasionally tend to be.  (I call it being a realist).  Anyway, I haven't heard a better talk from a departing nineteen year old - but I do have a little bias.
We really don't have much of a role in our children's lives so we are off to see if we can do some good.

Mother's Day

Here are two very special women in my life - and I think turned out to be pretty good mothers.
On the right is Kristi visiting with her Mom in her weaving room -  Mom Kruiswyk or "Oma" before Kristi earned the title.   Oma's first name was Geertruida, which sounds pretty nice in Dutch.  However, in English Gertrude didn't hack it for her, so she was called Trudie or Truus.  As you can see she was a weaver.  Her large loom was behind me when I took the photo.  She always knew how to spin and Kristi has the first spinning wheel her Dad made for her mother.

She would have had her 98th birthday yesterday on Mother's day.  She helped out with the Dutch resistance during World War II hiding handguns in the folds of the carpet of their stairs while Kristi's Dad was a POW down in Tittmoning, Germany.  She wasn't happy Kristi married me but through the years we became friends and toward the end of her life she told me she loved me.  Just one more lesson that the final chapter is never written.