Friday, July 23, 2010

PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN....

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE ABOUT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…..

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: On April 3, 2009, United States’ President Barack Obama gave a speech in Strasbourg, France to German and French students where he offered an apology for the Bush era, declaring that America had “shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” towards its allies.

SECRETARY OF STATE DEAN RUSK: President John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of State Dean Rusk was in France in the early 60's when French President Charles de Gaulle decided to pull out of NATO. de Gaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?” de Gaulle did not respond.

SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL: When in England, at a fairly large conference, President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if the United States’ plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. Powell answered, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”

BOEING ENGINEER: There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly, “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people. They are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities. They have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day. They can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships. How many does France have?”

UNITED STATES ADMIRAL: A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?” Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.”

D-DAY VETERAN: A few years ago, Robert Whiting, an elderly American of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on."You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France !"

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tree Houses and Oceans

Recently, I was getting Ethan ready to head to pre-school, and he said, "Daddy, why don't YOU go to school, and I will go to work! How 'bout that Daddy?" There are some days I would prefer to go back to my days in school when life seemed somehow more simple and secure.

Ethan is fast approaching August 25th when he enters Kindergarten leaving behind the BSU Childrens' Center where he has developed and been nurtured for almost three years now. Somehow Kindergarten seems to be the kick-off to a hectic life of deadlines and rushing around...the merry-go-round of life that is unrelenting. I'm enjoying immersing myself in his childhood because I know how fleeting the time will be.

"Fleeting" because my 85 year old stepdad, Karl -- the greatest man I have ever been blessed to know -- is faltering. I'm 36 years younger than he is. When I'm 85, Ethan will be 42 years old. Will he look back on his years with me as fondly as I do of my years with Karl? I hope so. It won't be from lack of me trying. I spend as much time with him as possible, and 2010 will go down in our family history as one busy year! The memories we are making!

In March, we spent over a week in Florida completely immersed in the Disney experience down to the hotel, meal plan, transportation, etc. It was awesome. Ethan got to be Jedi, a pirate, and had a great time.


In July, we spent time in Oregon...exploring Portland's zoo and the Oregon Museum of Science and Technology. This was followed by a few days on the Oregon Coast where Ethan ran into the ocean for the first time with complete abandon and delight...a trait he exhibits in most of his life.

Ethan and Daddy also built a tree house in the backyard this year. As we progressed, his plans for the structure matched his vivid imagination, and we laughed and laughed. One evening when his mom escaped for some well-deserved "Mommy time," Ethan helped carry boards, picked up scraps, screwed in decking screws, etc. He asked at least 5 times that "This is actually kinda fun isn't it Daddy? You and me?"
It was. It always will be.

Next we're off to McCall for a weekend and then head to Coeur d'Alene where Mommy and Daddy participate in the Idaho Governor's Cup while Ethan impatiently waits for a visit to Silverwood.

Making memories. That's what it's all about. I have such great memories of Karl, and I hope Ethan's memories of me are just as special.