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Archive for February, 2010

Misty’s 18th birthday

Misty blows out the candles on her 18th birthday cake

As hard as it is to believe, my little girl is now a legal adult. Misty turned 18-years-old Saturday!

Over the years, we’ve done some pretty cool things for her birthday. We’ve partied at Great Times, and leased venues such as a skating rink, a ball room, and even Indianapolis’ own historic Hannah Mansion, a safe house of the Underground Railroad system. We didn’t want her 18th birthday to be any less exciting. I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday and, more or less, offered her the world (or as much of it as we could afford). We were both pretty shocked to hear that she wanted to have a dozen or so friends over to our home for pizza, movies, Twister, and other games. At first, she wanted us to head out for a night on the town leaving her and her friends here to go wild unsupervised. We made plans to do just that with these instructions: No sex, no drugs, and no shaving the cats! When the time came for us to leave, she kindly offered to allow us to stay. She didn’t even mind when I interrupted a movie to tell her goodnight.  🙂  When I awoke the next morning, the house was tidy, and she wasn’t even grumpy from the lack of sleep! What a great night!

As for gifts, Misty received her biggest one a few months early – her first car. She also received tickets to see Jeff Dunham this August, several books, a couple of tee-shirts, more gifts, and a few tremendous belly laughs.

Was that cake flying out of her nose?!?

Someone discovered that Misty switched over to Camp Jacob!

While the excitement of her party is over, my excitement of having raised such a fine young lady will never end. Misty, you have grown into an intelligent, compassionate, generous, and funny young lady. I am so VERY proud of you. I love you more than words could ever express and, as you know, you are my sunshine!

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I typically use my blog to keep up with family and friends, or to otherwise post something positive. This time, however, I am turning to my blog as a way of venting about a pet peeve of mine. So, if you’re not interested in hearing my opinion about family communication, then you should visit another site for now.

This evening, my family visited one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. As we’re being seated, Misty turns to me and says, “And you don’t even let me use my cell phone at the dinner table,” while pointing to a table a few feet away. Sitting at that table was another family. Their young daughter had a portable DVD player and was watching a movie at the table while everyone else simply ignored her. Now I don’t have a problem placing a DVD player into the hands of a young one on a long road trip, but come on… during dinner with the family, at the table, in a restaurant?!? Granted, she was young, but she could have contributed something – if not a good giggle – to the family conversation, right? So much for keeping the paths of communication open…

Misty jokingly said that we would visit the same restaurant in 30 years to find it perfectly quiet while morbidly obese patrons who could no longer remember how  to speak sat alone stuffing their faces while chatting, texting, and watching videos on their mobile devices. That might be a stretch. Then again, maybe she isn’t too far off, right?

We’re guilty too. We watch television nightly, and we each text, Twitter, blog, and Facebook with the best of them. I can say this though – we still talk. We routinely sit down for heart-to-hearts with each other. We KNOW each other, and that, I fear, is something that a lot of folks cannot honestly claim.

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This is a test post to check on Facebook’s RSS feed application. If it works properly, then this post will automatically be fed onto my Facebook wall. Let’s see how it works…

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Six Months in Sudan

Over winter break, I read a book entitled Six Months in Sudan, by Dr. James Maskalyk. I am a Field Partner of Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), and was introduced to this book via Dr. Maskalyk’s blog on their site. I am grateful that I learned of it, and that I had the opportunity to read through the memoirs of this caring physician.

Six Months in Sudan isn’t a book written in a formal style with proper grammer and formatting throughout. Instead, it contains the honest memoirs of a Canadian emergency medicine physician who recorded his thoughts and experiences of serving in Sudan while they were still fresh and raw in his mind. It is a collection of memories, experiences, and emotions. He wrote while angry, depressed, anxious, and grieving. He discusses intimate moments and shocking injuries. He holds nothing back as he bares even his most private thoughts prior to his departure and during his term. He also discusses the isolation that he felt upon his return. This is, perhaps, the most honest book I’ve ever read.

It isn’t a difficult read, and it is the kind of book that you don’t want to put down once you’ve begun reading. If you’re interested in medicine, public health, international affairs, or policy, you’ll definitely appreciate this book. Even if you’re not, you probably will. Beware, however, as this book is not edited for content that may make you realize that you take the comforts of your life for granted. It made me realize that I do so, and that the hardships I experience really are petty as compared to those of others throughout the world.

When you purchase Six Months in Sudan, Dr. Maskalyk donates a portion of the proceeds to Doctors without Borders and to a fund that will help students from Abyei, Sudan to access education, if the schools there are ever rebuilt.

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