Monday, May 29, 2006

A Day at the Beach

My oldest daughter took this photo of her dad and little sister last weekend while we were having a day at the beach. Even though Dave is 50 plus years old he still likes to throw rocks in the water and see how many times he can get them to skim across the the surface of the water. He's tried to show all our kids how to do it, but I am not sure how successful he has been. I guess its one of those skills that takes YEARS of practice to get right.

If you look off in the distance, you can see the Olympic Mountains. We can go weeks without seeing them due to overcast clouds. However, if we are lucky, the clouds part and we are treated to a spectacular day like the one that this photo was taken.

If you put your mouse on the photo, you can view a larger version.

Throwing rocks to see how they skim over the water on a gorgeous day like this one is not something we take for granted.

Masters of War Redux

Did I happen to mention that I REALLY hate George Bush and all his cronies? Just when I think he's done f***ing things up, he pulls another really nasty rabbit out of his hat, and then I'm depressed all over again.

I seriously want to know how much the personal wealth of his partners in crime has increased since he took office. I have a pretty good guess that many, many millions of dollars have found their way into their pockets as a result of the war in Iraq. Gee, I guess they missed a couple of pivotal sermons at church over the years, because there's no other way to explain how they can turn a blind eye to the horrific human cost of the war on the citizens of Iraq, and on our dead and maimed soldiers.

A long time ago Bob Dylan wrote a song called, "Masters of War." Sadly, its just as appropriate today as when he wrote in the '60's. Too bad the words of this song can't be dropped as leaflets over the White House.

Masters of War- Bob Dylan

"Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul"

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Book of My Life

Sometimes its hard to put one's thoughts and feelings into words and/or song. However, I think these lyrics by Sting kinda sum up life for those of us Baby Boomers who are getting up there in age.

The Book Of My Life Lyrics - Sting

Let me watch by the fire and remember my days
And it may be a trick of the firelight
But the flickering pages that trouble my sight
Is a book I'm afraid to write

It's the book of my days, it's the book of my life
And it's cut like a fruit on the blade of a knife
And it's all there to see as the section reveals
There's some sorrow in every life

If it reads like a puzzle, a wandering maze
Then I won't understand 'til the end of my days
I'm still forced to remember,
Remember the words of my life

There are promises broken and promises kept
Angry words that were spoken, when I should have wept
There's a chapter of secrets, and words to confess
If I lose everything that I possess
There's a chapter on loss and a ghost who won't die
There's a chapter on love where the ink's never dry
There are sentences served in a prison I built out of lies.

Though the pages are numbered
I can't see where they lead
For the end is a mystery no-one can read
In the book of my life

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Roots- The Anglo-Saxon version

This is a photo of me that was taken on a recent trip to England. I am standing next to the crypts of my 11th great-grandparents. They are buried in the churchyard of a beautiful church in a lovely little village in Somerset County, England. Their son, my ancestor came to the US in the early 1600's, and left a legacy of descendants that included numerous U.S. governors, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a Secretary of State, to name a few.

During our visit to the west country of England, we had a wonderful time exploring the villages and churches where my various English ancestors lived. We owe a big thanks to several kind villagers and vicars, who took the time to share their love of the history of their communities and places of worship. Meeting them and learning a little about my ancestors' lives made all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Southwest England- A beautiful place to be from

This is the road into the village in southwest England, where my ancestors lived before immigrating to the US in 1823. While in England this past month, I was able to visit the where 3 separate lines of my English ancestors came from. I have to admit, it's pretty weird to walk the same streets, sit in their church pews, and hear the church bells just as they did generations and generations ago.

Thanks to great document archiving on both sides of the ocean, I have been fortunate enough to find the passenger records, wills,
and land records for many of my ancestors. Now, if only those records revealed something about their personalities and/or nature. Guess that must be left to my imagination!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back from the Old Country

Looks cold, eh? This is my husband and I on the ferry from Helsinki to Tallin, Estonia. And no, this photo was taken in the dead of winter, it was take in last month (April!)! This photo doesn't even begin to capture the cold wind that blows when you are out on the open sea!

While we were in Finland we rented a car and took trains, so we were able to see a fair amount of the country, especially the west coast area. We discovered that a good chunk of Finland is flat as a pancake. In addition, as it was April, there was still snow on the ground in many places we visited. The good news is that we had a great time getting to know more about my husband's ancestors and meeting LOTS of really nice Finns. We heard rumors that Finns were not very friendly, but we did not find that the case at all. Everyone we met were friendly, helpful, and more than willing to bend over backwards to make sure we enjoyed our brief stay in their country.

Perhaps someday we can go back when it is summertime and see what Finland looks like when flowers are in bloom and the days last 'till midnight!