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3 posts from October 2013

Could Nolan Finley of the Detroit News be right about Obama being the real problem in the budget fight?

It's almost impossible to have a discussion about the federal budget without blood pressures being raised.  But here are a couple of points made by Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley about the almost civil war we had over the partial closure of the federal government.

President Obama complained everyday about a small band of Republicans in the House being obstructionists who put their principles ahead of a functioning government.

Finley makes the point that budgets were passed during the tenure of Bill Clinton who had Newt Gingrich to deal with.  They detested each other.  But, they still passed budgets.

Are the problems, as Finley says a lack of executive leadership from Obama?  I know there's lots of blame to go around.  But, this deserves some serious discussion without the name-calling.

How far would you travel to see your adult children and your grandchildren?


My grandson
My grandson is three-years-old and can navigate both English and Croatian. I am really proud to call him my grandson.

Their family church
My wife had a chance to see the exact area where some of her ancestors came from. We were in the churches where they were baptized and were part of. It was amazing how open the locals were to helping us.

Neat restaurant
The restaurant was on the Adriatic in a small Croatian town called Trogir. It's where we ate before we headed to the airport and our flight to Frankfurt.

One grandson and two iPads
We heard the little knock on the door and the small voice saying, "Grunpa. Grunma." It was time for our grandson to crawl in with us and our iPads.

I'm glad our kids don't live in the far reaches of Siberia.  If they did would we ever go see them?  Would we ever see our grandchildren in their own environment?  

Those are questions that a lot of baby-boomers are asking themselves, I'm sure.  The answers are not the same for everyone.  For super-wife and me, it has always been simple.  We wanted to see our kids and we wanted to further exercise our grandparent muscles.

We have two kids and since they've graduated from college, they have always lived in other states.  Our son lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for several years.  We had many great trips and visits there. Recently, we spent a week with him and his wife in Las Vegas where they live and work.

Then there's our  daughter and husband and our two grandkids who live in Bosnia.  It was part of the old Yugoslavia and is one country away from the beautiful Adriatic Sea.  What do you do if you want to see them in their own environment where they live and work?  

I'm a member of the first class of baby-boomers which means I'm 67 and my spouse is several years less.  We are not of the generation that easily buzzes around new countries on public transportation and in tiny cars on really narrow streets.

We thought about it, examined our bank account to see how many pop cans we'd have to collect and decided with some gusto to go.  

We did it.  We are into our fourth day of recovery after three weeks in Europe.  We were in Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Bosnia and Germany.

Would I do it again?  You bet.  Worst part of the trip were the teenie-tiny airline seats that have leg room for a person no more than three feet tall.  

Best part of the trip was being able to do it with my wife.  Next best was family.  My little girl is a grown woman with her own kids and a great husband.  I'm one proud dad and my wife is one proud mom.  It was a privilege to be part of their lives in Bosnia for that period of time.

What about our grandkids?  Our time with them was pure gold.  In the morning, our three-year-old grandson would knock on our door.  He'd crawl in our bed and he would use the kiddie apps on our iPad Mini's.  Our almost year-old granddaughter charmed us with her spunk and smile.  I love being part of a family.

My wife's sister met us in Frankfurt, Germany for a trip to the Hannover area where we looked for evidence of their ancestors in nearby rural areas.  That was humbling.  It was like looking into the soul of her family.

We had to take trains, figure out trams and subways and wade our way through another language in grocery stores and train stations.  

But, we did it.  And I praise God for this opportunity.  

Are you thinking about a smilar trip to see kids?  Do it.



We are home from Bosnia, Croatia, Vienna and Germany

This picture was taken this past Monday when we left the Split, Croatia Airport. We can only thank God for a great family, great time and everything else. Matt Redman needs to change his 10,000 Reasons song. We had to add a few thousand more.

My brain is overflowing with details from our trip to see our daughter, Krista, and her husband, Adam in Bosnia.  There was so much.  I'm trying to gather my thoughts and share some of our adventure to Eastern Europe and to Germany.  
The words of Matt Redman's song, 10,000 Reasons, keep going through my head where he sings about all the reasons we have for thanking God.  I think I can safely add a couple thousand more.  In the top rank of things to praise God for is the fact that our son-in-law was found to be cancer free.  He was diagnosed with melanoma a couple of months ago.
In addition to having safe travels, we gained confidence in navigating German trains, Vienna subways and European highways.  Baby-boomers can travel and figure out the mysteries of areas where their language is not spoken.
I will share more about all this, but our grandkids were great.  To say that they were a delight is an understatement.