Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Good news / Bad news

--Beautiful May flowers and the sweet fragrance of the lily of the valleys permeating the air.

--The lovely keepsake box Sam made made me for Mother's Day.

--The Mother's Day tea at Grace Village featuring the Apron Lady's stories, songs, and dozens of her treasured aprons. (Judy and I were in Grace College together 50+ years ago.)

--The Wild Trees tutorial two of us enjoyed during art club.

--The WhatsApp chats with a couple friends I grew up with in Argentina, and photos of their children. Sadly, Julio's daughter (far right) passed away a year ago.

--The successful completion of sophomore year for Moriah and her friend! Here they are pointing to the culprit. Elaine had to pospone her trip home to Minnesota and spend the night here due to a faulty tire. Thankfully Michael and our friends at Upland Tire were able to find her a good replacement.

--Elijah's well-done speech -- "Addiction- jail/prison or treatment? "  

--A great hike at Mounds State Park with a new Meet-up group--old and young from near and far.

And delicious smores at the end.

One of the new friends had extra tickets to the Taylor University commencement and invited me to go with her!

--A birthday wish fulfilled, the privilege to experience a wonderful graduation ceremony, hear VP Mike Pence speak, and hug one of the graduates who helped me set up my author page and website!

With my new friend Patty, the golden ticket, the commencement crowd and speaker, Aubree DeVisser!
--The last chapter I wrote included memories of my second birthday!


What a week! Our house is in terrible disarray:
--The refrigerator stopped working a week ago. Michael ordered three different parts in succession. Each attempt to repair it failed. Last night we purchased a new fridge which will arrive Friday. Meanwhile we make do with styrofoam coolers and frozen juice bottles.
--My laptop also stopped working. The Geek Squad was unable to repair it and are sending it back to the manufacturer.
--The kitchen sink drain was blocked for a couple days until we were able to purchase an auger.
--As prearranged, our main living room furniture, the sectional, was picked up to be reupholstered.
--One of the recently acquired bee hives died out or disappeared.

However, as we look back, we must conclude the good outweighed the bad. Wouldn't you say?

We had two interesting visitors, not necessarily good or bad--a racoon that came up to the back door and looked in (no photo), and a critter by our front door! That's life in the woods.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rosie, posies, and more

The greening of spring has happened. Warmer weather peaks through the rain.

A variety of seasonal blossoms come and go in the woods around us. 

Tuesday evenings when Mike is at robotics I sometimes follow a live watercolor tutorial. This week it helped me come up with a truckload of fake flowers which I can personalize and give as graduation cards. 

The happiest surprise of that day, however, was to hear my dear cousin's voice on Moody Radio!
50 Years of Rosie on Chris Fabry Live was a program to honor her, Dr. Rosalie de Rosset, and reflect on her five decades of teaching. Many called in and shared how their lives had been impacted through her caring influence. Rosie also shared what she had learned and experienced. It was a very touching, well-deserved tribute, and happened to be on her birthday!

I, on the other hand, received a gift that far outweighed the service given--one hour interpreting for a Spanish speaking family at a parent-teacher conference.

A favorite little visitor spent some time with us Thursday. We colored together, read books, or at least looked at the pictures.
If at all possible this abuela likes to include a Rebecca sighting in the weekly blog post.

Keeping her distance from a little creature, lest it jump on her, ha!
A bit later abuelo and I joined one other member of our little art club and painted bluebirds. I inserted/framed our two using scrapbooking pages. I kinda like how they turned out.

Leah can't wait to get back to art club after the end of the month when her schedule opens up again.
So, meanwhile, and as a special mother/daughter activity we attended another Painting with Laura session at The Bridge.

Leah amazes us all with her speed and style. We were the first to leave, again. I decided to finish mine at home.

I added words and more and gave it to Mother.

Saturday was a huge day for Michael. Madjax hosted a big STEAM exhibit. PhyXTGears had a large presence at the event. The team set up their pit and displayed several of the robots. They also ran a variety of games and activities. From all the photos I could tell it was a success!

Michael, however, was exhausted by the end of the day . . . 

Sorting Game: find 10 matching pieces and get a prize.
. . .and week. Never a moment's rest for him, it seems. Even now our fridge is out!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May Celebrations Begin

 I am currently enjoying two different-year calendars that share the same dates--1946 and 2019.

The former is the year I am immersed in right now in my memoir writing. Do any of the memorable names or events listed mean anything to any of your out there?
1--Tsunami strikes Hawaii, killing over 100; US coal miners strike.
3--Japanese Lt. Gen who ordered Bataan Death March is executed.
5--First public performance of Charles Ives's 3rd Symphony; later wins Pulitzer Prize.
7--Herman Keiser wins 10th Masters Golf Tournament.
9--Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup, beating Boston Bruins 4 games to 1.
13--Al Green, singer, is born.
17--The Virginian, starring Joel McCrea, is released in New York City.
18--Jackie Robinson debuts as second baseman for minor league Montreal Royals.
19--Film The Blue Dahlia is released.
22--John F. Kennedy announces he is running for U.S. House of Representatives
25--Railroad collision, Naperville, Ill. kills 40, injures 120.
26--Marilyn Nelson, poet, is born.

The other calendar is a form of art. Every day I get to place 6 or 7 numbered stickers in their corresponding spots, very carefully--my fun activity, a reward for productivity, especially in writing.
April is complete. It is sobering to realize that one third of the year is over, time gone that cannot be recovered.

 My writing accomplishments were minor, but I did get "unstuck," finished and presented a chapter to my writing group. There is nothing to say about the robotics team. After the successful trip to World competition, they took a week off.

This post will likely contain fewer old memories and more of the week's memorable moments. A couple old photos sufaced. I glean interesting details and information from them. The first was taken in the U.S. during a one-year furlough from my parents' missionary service in Argentina.
Interestingly, the expression on my face reminded me of my grandson who is now about that age.

My 8th birthday in Winona Lake
The second was also taken in the U.S., some thirty years later, during a short break away from the missionary ship where my own family served from 1978-1983. 
Wow! Look at blonde Sammy, Michael's thick hair, and my perm!

The first memorable event was the celebration of Kristie's monumental accomplishment--a master's degree in ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) from Ball State university in the midst of series of life challenges.

Saturday, May 4, Commencement
Although she dressed for the occasion, and Malachi was saving seats for the family, in the end Kristie chose not to attend the looooong ceremony, realizing that her walk across the stage was scheduled for much later. So, they settled for a photo shoot outside the university and then went out to eat.

Meanwhile, I was preparing a surprise party at their house. Text messages conveyed the change of plans. They delayed as long as possible. The friends arrived in a timely fashion and the celebration was a success.

Sunday, May 5, Cornerstone's Spring Celebration
Kayla teaches so many groups of dancers at Cornerstone for the Arts in Muncie that half of the dance performances were her classes. Rebecca was in three of them--ballet, tap, and hip hop jazz. 

Rebecca watching the show with Daddy, posing as ballerina and superhero Owlette.
If you want to see teacher Kayla in action from the front row, go here. Or from the sidelines:

Rebecca, second from left.
Leah's whole gang was there--perfect opportunity for a family pic! There were a whole series of backgrounds painted for one of their events. These were the top family choices. 

Do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2019 FIRST World Competition-Detroit

Only a few of these beauties were left when we got back from our days away at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit. My memoir writing moments were few as well. Yet the focus of this blog remains--memories and memorable moments. It is a record of memories that surfaced during the week, whether directly related to the period I am currently writing about or the highlights to be remembered.

Monday, April 22 was my uncle Dan's 101 birthday. Of the six hirschy siblings, only two remain.

Phil, Grandma Hirschy, Mother, Dan
My latino friends from our Doulos days and I have been following the visit of the newer ship, the Logos Hope, to the ports we remember fondly from forty years ago. Someone posted this old photo from 1981 in Buenos Aires. I couldn't find our family, most likely because we took time off to be with my parents and brothers who still lived in Argentina.

A drone view of our old home appeared on facebook today--Doulos Phos Anchor Isle, now a resort, hotel, and museum.

April 24 was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Last week I wrote about Michael and Bob Craton's experience one memorable Resurrection Sunday in Eastern Turkey and the stories they heard about that event in history.

PhyXTGears headed to nationals after big season
Wednesday we left very early for Detroit. Michael always drives the team trailer to competitions. Our friend Donna Banker met us in the long line of team vehicles waiting for their turn to unload. She took me to the COBO Center Detroit where I picked up all the name badges for the team.

After delivering them to Michael, we took off for some time together. She took me on a beautiful drive along the shore to a very good eatery--the Nautical Deli.

We had a lovely time together before she drove me back into Detroit to the church that hosted the team for four days. Donna was very brave to deal with the complexities of city traffic and very generous to travel 30 or 40 minutes both ways to spend that time with me. Last night she wrote from the hospital asking for prayer-- what she thought was heartburn turned out to be A-fib, so we are praying for her.

I was in time to meet the team and proceed with them to the People Mover station. We used public transportation the whole time we were there to go back and forth to COBO, to the showers at the YMCA, to the Rennassaince Center for evening meals and other events.

I like newspapers, even the 19th century bronze one at the station.

The two days of qualifying matches were spent in the stands cheering for our team, . . .

Team 1720 drive team at their station, lower left.

. . . or in the PhyXTGears pit checking/fixing the robot--Space Walrus, . . .

. . . or walking around the ginormous convention center checking out different areas such as the Innovation Center exhibits, the FLL pits (FIRST Lego League) from so many different countries, various workshops, and more. I earned my first Urban Boot Badge--a Fitbit award for steps achieved! One day alone I got in 19,639 steps! Ha!

On one of those walks with Michael we saw this jet engine which triggered a memory from when he was in college at John Brown University. There happened to be a jet engine down the hill from the campus. His roommate Jack Roberts was running for student body president and they decided on the theme: Jet away with Jack! Six guys attempted to move the enormous engine up to campus and failed. That night, around 1:30 a.m.,  Michael and one other guy, only two of them, figured out a way. Leveraging it onto skids, they dragged the engine up the hill with a truck. The skids suffered the most, worn down to 1" thickness. He can't remember whether Jack won or not. Ha!

I think grandson Elijah (14) enjoyed t/his FIRST event--407 teams from 70 countries playing on six different fields or subdivisions; thousands of people, lots of noise; a whole lot to experience.

Friday evening FIRST arranged for an entertainment option--opening night of The Avengers! There was another option--Robo Prom. Four of our students chose that, and we went as chaperones! Ha!
Kaylee is our only senior on the team. 
Two seniors ;-)
We have a younger group this year, a great bunch of kids.
It's great to follow the alums of the program. We met up with one young man who now helps out with another robotics team while he is a student at Purdue.

Garret and his mom

His team was in a different subdivision. Surprisingly, though they were ranked 13th, they did not get picked in alliance selection. Hard to believe that it was the end for them.

On the other hand, Team 1720 ended up 23 out of 68 and was picked as the fourth or alternate team by Alliance # 2. Competition was tight, defense was brutal and we lost by two points in a rubber match.

Archimedes Alliance #2
Interestingly, the alliance that beat us ended up losing to the champions by one point!

So, why do we do this? I think the following poster says it all.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


A week of remembrances: Holy Week to meditate on Jesus' last week on this earth; the annual Seaman memorial; ongoing condolences for friend and coworker from M/V Doulos, Em Namuco from the Philippines; photos and posts about the visit of the new OM ship, Logos Hope's visit to Uruguay; and the surprise visit of a family friend who grew up with our kids.

The fifteenth Taylor University Chapel in memory of Richard A. Seaman was followed by a special luncheon with family and friends. We look forward to this inspirational event and to reconnecting with the family each spring. He was a beloved business professor who impacted many in his short life. He died suddenly at age 42. Ironically, this memorial coincided with tax day.

In this old photo we were celebrating Em Namuco's 35th birthday in Santa Rosa de Calamuchita, at my parent's home in Argentina, forty years ago. We were there with a team from the ship Doulos. Our children were 8, 6, and 7 months. And my youngest brother Alan, in the middle next to Em, was only 16. So many memories.

Eduardo Wojnarowicz (on right) was a member of the Doulos Singers forty years ago. Their music touched many hearts, however, the greatest impact was on their own lives. Eduardo was thrilled to be able to visit this newer ship. Here he posed with ministry leaders onboard, Randy and Kimberly Grebe. They have stayed in our home a couple times!

Kyle Doane moved away a long time ago, but he has always been a good friend to Leah, in fact he is Kayla's godfather.

So Holy Week began with Palm Sunday and a special Kiddie Kampus program with Rebecca and all her preschool friends singing excitedly, expressively. So cute!

Maundy Thursday I was thinking of one of the last things Jesus did with his disciples when he knew his time had come--He washed their feet, and urged them to do the same (John 13). I am reminded of two things: the daily cleansing available to us from taint of sin, and Jesus' commandment to love one another.

Interestingly, the 2019 calendar dates are identical to 1946, the year I am working on as I write about my childhood.
April 20, 1946, my parents wrote:
This is Easter season and a big one here in the Argentine. Last night at 6 o’clock (Good Friday) we put Rita in her cart and went up to the main street to see the big parade. It looked like all of La Carlota was there to parade the streets in hopes of saving their souls. The procession began with a boy carrying a cross. He was dressed in a fancy white cape. Behind him came about 75 children dressed in their best clothes. Next in line came men and women carrying lighted candles, chanting as they went. All the women wore netted veils. Throughout the whole procession were three images. These they bore on staves like the Israelites did the ark. The first image was of Christ, the second of Mary and the last of Christ resting at the foot of a cross after His death. The priest walked before the last image and at every street crossing he would stop the image and chant off a few lines of something. . . On a cross out in front of their church is written in Spanish “Save your soul” so I suppose they were in the process last night. . . Mrs. Dowdy told us that every year they bury or go through the act of burying Christ and some people actually think that the Lord dies every year. 
Saturday, Michael and I visited Mother in Grace Village. Brother Alan and nephew Daniel joined us in the main dining room to celebrate Easter with her. It is always good to catch up with one another. The big news was that Daniel is moving in June and will be taking up a new career--culinary studies.

On Sunday our family got together to celebrate the Resurrection. There were many precious and memorable moments. I can only highlight a few. Our little ones entertained us delightfully. 

Jude is in Kindergarten, already reading well. He read us the Easter story.

Zion loves the book I read to his third grade class and wanted to read it to the whole family. He did so with great expression.

Then Rebecca danced for us (with Kayla's coaching, of course) as a celebration response.

Michael told us of an Easter Sunday long ago, probably 45 years ago, when he and Bob Craton were in Turkey to make a documentary. Interestingly, Bob wrote about the same memory.

Christ is risen! Many years ago I celebrated Easter in an Armenian Church in Eastern Turkey. Many members of the congregation remembered relatives and friends who were martyred for their faith during WWI. One woman told me how her father, brothers, uncles and cousins had sung a hymn as they were marched away to their deaths. Christ is Risen had a meaning to that congregation that most of us American Christians cannot comprehend.
Michael added a few other aspects of that memorable experience. The host served everyone from the roasted lamb by tearing off pieces and handing them out, no utensils needed. Their home was part of the jail complex where the condemned men were held. Another memory of that march to their end, was the sound of the women making the high-pitched tongue-trilling sound for celebrations--the kelele (?) Martyrdom ushered the men into the presence of the risen Christ.

 He is risen indeed!