Friday, November 21, 2014

The President's Speech and My Family Who Were Immigrants to this country.

My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.
That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this country we love.

Barak Obama

Here are my grandparentson my mother's side who immigrated from Norway and settled in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He built many of the Centennial homes in St. Paul and together they raised my mother and aunts and uncles in the new country.  My Grandmother Sophia told the children about the troll under the bridge and sang them songs to put them to bed.

My Great grandparents on my father's side came from Germany and also settled in Minnesota.  My great grandfather and his brother fought for the North in the Civil War and after the war built a cabin of bur oak on the Minnesota prairie.  My father grew up on a farm and then graduated the University of Minnesota and then earned a PhD from the University of Missouri.  He won many awards for his original research in physiology and pharmacology. He did much of his scientific work at Michigan State University.
               

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Piliated Woodpecker

We have many pileated woodpeckers in our neighborhood near Lake Michigan.  They make huge oval shaped holes in trees while seeking grubs and insects embedded in the wood.

Their voices sound insane and wild.  Their red black and white feathers are striking.  I took this photo through my window.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Link to the Korean War: an Eyewitness Account

Memoir: Eye Witness Account from the Front Lines Korean War  Click on the link

After serving on the front lines in Korea, Norm went to Michigan State University and earned a B.A. and an M.A.

Today Norm has retired from teaching.  He recently was inducted into the West Michigan Hall of Fame for his work in banning the pesticide DDT and many other environmental victories.  The photo was taken in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, MI where he was presented with the award.

Norm is active in the V.F.W, and the American Legion.  The photo below shows Norm in the local Memorial Day Parade.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November on Lake Michigan

Powerful waves hit the Foghorn on Lake Michigan where the Grand River flows into it.  November is the month of huge waves and surfer dudes seem to like it but these waves can be dangerous.  The breakwater takes a beating and needs to be fixed.

Since most people have other navigation instruments on their boats, we don't hear the foghorn on foggy days any more unless someone sets it off.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Cruising the Snake River: Lewis and Clark

Norm and I took a Lewis and Clark trip out west and I loved the way the water reflected clouds as we cruised along.  We followed the trail Lewis and Clark took without the hardships and learned how these explorers opened the West for the U. S.  We also learned about the geology of the place.  It was a wonderful journey.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Into the Abyss




Into the Abyss

I take a deep breath and descend
dreaming of wells
and whales in a midnight sea,
of a dragon’s foot in the bedrock.
A bird sings long before dawn.

I ascend
wearing lapis lazuli
of deepest blue shot through with gold
and walk a road strewn with black walnuts.
Trillium in profusion bloom around the trees.

Divine children walk and talk at birth—
I dance with a child in my arms
dance away from demons and thieves.
We see through green glasses,
we hike in sturdy shoes.

People we don’t even know stand in the wings
to watch our ragtime dance.
Venus blazes its shining pathway on the sea
narwhals, male and female
rise side by side to greet us.

The Wilderness Within by Barbara Spring


This book is widely available on the www and in bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, The Bookman, Schuler Books and Music