Archive for the ‘In Memoriam’ Category

Sweet Dreams Big Girl

Monday, September 5th, 2011

As many of you know, Tessa, my Great Dane is 13+ years old. That’s incredibly old for a Dane. We have been so lucky to have her, and she’s been a really special girl.

We lost her on Friday, and I cannot find the words to describe how much she has meant to me and Big R.  So instead I’m opting to do a simple slide show of some of my favorite pictures of her.

I’m not very good at “all things technical”, so to get it to play you need to click on the link and download it. Then you can play it from there.


November 22nd 1963

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Every year on November 22nd, I recall the day that JFK was assassinated. Just like everyone who was around at that time, I remember it like it was yesterday.


I was in the 6th grade; Ms. Schuller’s class when it happened. There were only a handful of us that were allowed to go to gym class that afternoon, because we were the only ones that had all of our assignments done. (I didn’t really, but I figured I’d go to gym first and worry about the consequences later. It was one of my favorite things). Half way through gym class we were called back into our classroom. Ms. Schuller was teary eyed.

Our President, John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas Texas. It was a moment in which the world stood still. A television was brought into our classroom and together we watched as the grim details of the afternoon unfolded. Then we were finally dismissed.

It was a Friday afternoon, and I remember that my older brother was in the hospital with pneumonia that he got every year due to asthma. It was the worst time of year for him. Being a (probably) pretty typical and selfish 6th grader, I was a little upset that my regular programming was cancelled for the weekend (due to the assassination and all).

The images of John and Jackie riding in the limousine and coming to the grassy knoll in Dallas were shown over and over again.


I was a kid in Minnesota at the time, and didn’t have the foggiest clue what a grassy knoll was. But I remember the almost unbearably sad images of his children, Caroline and John Jr. staring in disbelief, certainly too young to comprehend what had happened, but sensing that something horrific had happened. And I remember Jackie, showing unbelievable control at the worst moment of her young life. Even as a 6th grader, the emotion of it was all too real.

Seeing John-John salute his fathers flag draped casket was almost too much to bear.


The horse drawn carriage followed by the family walking in the street was heart wrenching. And I remember the “riderless horse”.


Then, as if the assassination weren’t enough, there was the drama of Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby. OMG!!! There was no end to it!!!


It’s amazing, that even as a 6th grader, the images of that week were seared into my brain.

Do I think that Oswald was the lone assassin? Not a chance. Not that anyone cares what I think. But we will probably never know. Maybe we’re not meant to.

Rest well John. We hardly knew ye!

Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Today, November 11th is the holiday when we remember and honor our military veterans who have given so much for our country, and for the freedoms that we too often take for granted.

We honor the present, and the past, the living and the dead.


We honor those who serve SO far from home, and all the comforts that we enjoy. Many of them just kids.


We can never repay our fighting men and women for the price they pay for us. But please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and spend a few minutes giving thanks for what they do and have done for us.


The Grizzly Man Diaries

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

I don’t know how many of you have watched this series on Animal Planet, but I found it strangely fascinating. It’s kind of like going by a traffic accident that you don’t want to see, but you can’t make yourself look away.

I came onto the scene of this show late in the season. I only got to watch two episodes, and the second one I saw was the last one.

It chronicles the life of Timothy Treadwell, who started a seasonal expedition at Katmai National Park in Alaska, to observe the grizzly bear in the wild. It started in 1990 and ended on October 5th 2003.



While watching the self-filmed and hand written diary of his life with the bears, (and the foxes) I was torn by my response to him. On one hand he seemed very sincere, but on the other hand he seemed almost like a character from a cartoon or a sit-com. Honestly, he reminded me of “Stewart” from Mad TV, the child played by Michael McDonald (which is somewhat unnerving given that he is living among grizzlies). I mean no disrespect, but there was something very odd about him. In the episode with the foxes, he kept expressing over and over to them in a very child-like voice, that he loved them, and thanked them for letting him be in their lives.


It would have been more than a little creepy if it didn’t seem so heartfelt. It just felt awkward. I don’t even know how to describe it: sincere, but a little creepy even so.

Timothy would frequently try to interact with the wild creatures he was filming. Not something I would expect to see.


You can watch some people do the “nature” thing and know that they are totally capable, and able to handle whatever comes along. That they are doing it the right way and are being as safe as possible. Timothy did not strike me as one of those people. The whole thing made me feel uneasy - like he had no business being out there.

His girlfriend decided to join him in Alaska in October of 2003. His last entry on October 5th 2003, stated that he was ending his expedition, and going home.


On October 6th, 2003, the dismembered bodies of Timothy and his girlfriend Amie were found. Their lives were lost to the grizzlies.


The irony of it gave me chills. He had survived 13 seasons in the wild with the grizzlies and the day before he planned to go home, they killed him. I don’t even know what to say. Whether to recommend this series or not. I just know that I had to watch it - HAVE to watch it. They are still airing the show, and I will continue to watch, even though I find it unsettling. Maybe I’m just hoping to make some sort of sense of the whole ghastly story.

If you’ve watched it, let me know what YOU think. I’m hoping I’m not alone out here.

We Remember

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

I guess pretty much everyone will stop and pause at least once today, to remember that terrible day when our world was forever changed. To remember where you were when you heard the news. To remember the way it felt. To remember the helplessness of it all. The struggling to understand what was going on.


On this day, we reflect upon our country and what it means to us.


We remember the unspeakable horror that was inflicted upon us, and we remember the countless number of people who were killed, and maimed, and who had family and friends ripped from them.

With gratitude we also remember the countless others, who helped, and served. We will be forever in their debt.

On this day. . . we remember.