Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Live at the Budokan"

The Beatles are one of my favorite subjects to read about. Also, "Wayne's World" is one of my favorite movies (I know, I should be ashamed.) Anyway, in one of their conversations, Wayne and Garth describe a girl as "She is Live at the Budokan." I never knew what that meant until I read Magical Mystery Tours, My Life with the Beatles by Tony Bramwell.

Bramwell told about the Beatles doing five shows at the famous martial arts venue in Japan.

"...security continued at the five shows at the Nippon Budokan...There was a great deal of protest over using the Budokan for pop concerts, the first time it had ever been used in such a way....It was a sacred place, more usually used for martial arts displays. Later, in the 1970 and 1980s, everybody did a "Live at the Budokan" album. "

Therefore, "she is Live at the Budokan" must be a real compliment, like she is famous enough or great enough metaphorically to be having a show at the Budokan, like all those famous rock groups.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Book Review: "The Day the World Came to Town"

"The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland" by Jim Defede.

This is the best feel-good book I have read in the past ten years. It tells what happened when all those planes were diverted from American air space during 9-11.

"When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, due to the closing of US airspace, the citizens of this small community of 10,000 people played host to 6,596 passengers and crew members.
For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns, stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. It was an amazing story of how all the townspeople emptied their linen closets and provided towels, sheets, etc and set up shelters in every church, school, and public building. It was such a feel-good story of the kindness of strangers to people in need.

They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed. If the terrorists had hoped their attacks would reveal the weaknesses in western society, the events at Gander proved its strength."

There were people from at least 40 different nationalities. Orthodox Jews who had to cook in a separate kitchen. Every school and church was opened as a shelter. All the townspeople emptied all their linen closets, washed towels day and night. Strangers said to plane people, do you want to use my car? I'll be at work all day, I'll leave the keys in it in the parking lot and you can use it if you want. The Humane Society people took care of all the animals which had been in the cargo holds of the aircraft. Stores gave away their merchandise for free.

The president and one of the vice-presidents of the Rockefeller Foundation were stuck in Gander, and they treated them so nicely that at the end the Rockefeller Foundation bought all new computers for the school.

I really recommend this book!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hard Times as a young mother

My family in 1987, about six months before this story happened.

I just came across this story in an old journal of mine from 1988, and remembered how difficult it was to have all those little children. I am so thankful for how easy my life is today. Compared to being a mother of young children, teaching seminary is a breeze.

A letter I wrote to my mother from Cary, North Carolina, May 10, 1988. We had moved to Cary in December 1987. We had three boys, Adam was 6, Isaac was 4, Seth was almost 3. I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with our fourth son Bryce.

Dear Mother,
I am at the end of a long day. I thought I would tell you about it and xerox it for my journal.

We got up this morning at 8 am and cleaned the house in preparation for our arts and crafts class (two other home school families come over once a week). We made sack puppets decorated with construction paper and yarn for hair.

My kitchen was covered with big packages of food storage in various 5-gallon buckets and number 10 cans so all day whenever any of my kids fought or did something naughty I made them carry something down to the basement. Now the kitchen is almost clean and I didn’t spank or pull hair all day.

After the other kids left we ate lunch and then went on errands. First we went to the grocery store and bought lots more food storage items.

Yesterday I got my years supply of grape jelly, macaroni, and shortening. Today I got 10 bottles of 2-liter soda pop (we will use the empty bottles for water storage), oil, and mayonnaise. I keep finding things on sale and buying a bunch.

I had to fight with Adam at the checkout counter because he is fascinated with the conveyor belt that moves the groceries and likes to hold the groceries back with his hand.

Then we went to the library. It has a fun children’s playroom, and the kids went straight in there while I put our 23 books in the book return hole. As soon as I was done I heard Seth screaming and ran in there and Seth had fallen on a sharp corner of the baseboard and punched a small hole in his forehead.

Blood was running down his face and he was screaming. I laid him on the librarian’s counter and she got a bandaid and some ice wrapped in a kleenex and I carried him outside to scream for another 5 minutes. Adam and Isaac wanted to check out some books so I told them to pick out their own and gave them my library card, and they did just fine.

We came home and I read them 3 books and felt so sleepy I made them all get in their beds and we all fell asleep (except Adam, but he was quiet.) I woke up 45 minutes later.

Adam and I made a casserole together. Wayne came home just long enough to eat, then he went to church to teach his Webelos scouts. While he was gone I got Seth up from his nap and he had wet the bed. (He has been in training pants for a week but I have always put diapers on him at night).

I had to feed Isaac and Seth, and since it was Isaac’s day he had to help me with the dishes. While cleaning off the table Isaac got too enthusiastic with spinning the lazy susan that is in the middle of our table and a jar of pickled beets tipped over. It was spinning so fast the juice flew clear to the wall on three sides of the kitchen before the jar finally spun off the table and hit the floor, splashing the rest of the juice and beets all over the other side of the kitchen.

I couldn’t believe I didn’t yell or anything, I just told Isaac to start carrying food storage downstairs and he did that the whole time I scrubbed all the floor, walls, table legs, and folding chairs. The 1/4th of the kitchen floor that didn’t get beets on it was already sticky because two nights ago we had a friend of Wayne’s over and served pop. Seth spilled two whole glasses, one right in the visitor’s lap.

After I got the beets cleaned up, Adam was trying to close his bedroom window and it closed on his finger and scraped some skin off so he cried a long time.

Now Wayne came home from church so I decided since my legs hurt I would sit here and write about my exciting day. I figured you would enjoy hearing about it.

Love, Amy

P.S. As Wayne was reading this letter and chuckling about it, Seth came out of the bathroom after going potty. He said, “I dropped the roll of toilet paper in the potty. Sorry.”