23 October 2009


Germany has not felt like a foreign country, but more like home than some places in the United States. First visit here. I shouldn't have taken this long to get here but looking forward to going back. Saw almost nothing of the city. Attending a conference, mainly in a convention center and hotel. Went for a stroll to the train station today and walked by this sculpture.

20 October 2009


24 hours in Kiev, Ukraine. Wonderful people, not enough time. A place I never expected to be. That I would be drinking a coke and watching CNN in the Hotel Opera is clearly not what Stalin had in mind.

Shown here the caves of St. Anthony and St. Theodosius. Monks have been living here since the 11th century and many entombed in these glass cases. More later.

Also shown, the statue of the Motherland.


10 October 2009

96 hours in London

Day 1 Heathrow, Hyde Park, Oxford Street shopping, Piccadilly Circus, Trocadero, St. James Church. Day 2: London Eye, Strolls around Big Ben-Parliament-Westminster Abbey, "Billy Elliott". Day 3: Tower of London, More shopping on Oxford Street, Jack the Ripper Tour. Day 4 Buckingham Palace, Walk around Globe Theatre, services at St. Paul's Cathedral, Brick Lane, Bangladesh Restaurant, Spittelfields Market, Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, Dinner in Shepards Market. Day 5 Shopping, Hyde Park, Heathrow.

04 October 2009

She Conquers, one more time.......

My oldest daughter ran her first marathon today. 26 miles, 385 yards. The Twin Cities Marathon. We followed her around and cheered her on, at the 12, 20, and finish line. The achievements of my children leave me scratching my head at times, a combination of pride and wonder and thanksgiving. This was one of those times. A remarkable accomplishment that I cannot adequately describe. We were proud that she tried and even prouder than she succeeded. I will leave it to her to fill in the blanks of what this final day was like.

I dropped her off this morning, around 7am. I don't know when I was proudest. Was it from watching her step out at dawn and face the fear of failing so publicly, in one of the biggest physical challenges of her life.... or was it from watching her stride to the finish line as the conquerer of 26 miles of Minnesota pavement.

She has faced so many obstacles, things that would have knocked out a weaker one. Some of it is normal stuff that comes with adulthood, like college admission disappointments or early career struggles. Then there are the other things, Katrina evacuation, Peace Corps evacuation, a stint teaching tough kids in the tough side of Kansas City, epilepsy, weight. Other things I don't know about.

There is a verse in the Bible that on this day reminds me of her....2 Corinthians 12:9 ....My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

There are those who allow disappointments to rule them. She never does. She has built on things that others would think are weaknesses and made herself strong. For things like a 26 mile run, and much more.