Tuesday, December 30, 2008

as the New Year approaches

progress is

measured in the details

Two windows and one doorway to go.

In addition to getting the finishing molding around the other two doorways and four windows, I've installed a set of 3 cabinets [one more cabinet yet to be installed on other side of room]. I've kept busy with the small finishing details of touch-up painting, the hanging of framed paintings and such, the set-up and installation of our first flat-panel television [37" LCD 1080pi], replacing electrical switch and outlet cover-plates, etc., etc.

All this puts me close enough to being done that my wife finally reminded me that there is a theater surround-sound system to be reinstalled. We took it out when we disassembled the room last June. I'm going to get that put back in, but it will be at the bottom of the list ... along with the other audio and video components that have not been used since that time. Maybe by Easter for all that stuff.

By the time I return to work on Monday of next week, other than the stuff in the above paragraph, I hope to declare completion ! ! ! !

Monday, December 22, 2008

'twas the third night before Christmas

...and all through the house [well, at least in the added-onto-the back-0f-the house combination laundry and television viewing room]

I am still installing moldings around
windows and doorways
- the floorboard is now done

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I'm trying ...
I'm going as fast as I can

There were six windows which I replaced. Four of them now have trim moldings and two are still awaiting this finishing touch. Then there remains one of three doorways that still requires molding, and it is a double-wide opening at that. All-in-all I MIGHT have the windows trimmed by Christmas ... the double wide doorway will have to wait.

Now, they still need to be painted, mind you, but they're almost all trimmed.

Can I have an "AMEN"?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

delaying factor has been the season - the 'ringing the bell for the Salvation Army' Season. The two weeks before Christmas is my usual time to 'man the kettle' and 'ring the bell'. It has cost a little extra this year ... that being those hours I would have used to continue the now over 6-month long project. I am not complaining, just making excuses for my continued delay.

Check me out about Easter and I'll bet I'm completely finished.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, November 30, 2008

and the clock keeps ticking

goals and deadlines

the floor is done !
. . . . . . . . . .
The original project was the floor. It grew and got side-tracked several times in the interim. Last June, when my lovely bride ripped up the carpet in the added-on-to-the-back-of-the-house 11' x 22' TV and laundry room, I caved in and agreed to replace the flooring.

Since that eventful day, I have:
- ripped-out a closet that went across the width of the room at one end
- replaced a rear-of-the-house entry / exit door and storm-door
- replaced an interior door to the kitchen
- dry-walled and painted the entire room
- replaced 6 windows and outside storm windows in this room
- replaced an upstairs storm window [not related to this project]
- installed a new ceiling [grid and drop-in tiles] and light fixture
- added and ran the wire for 2 electrical outlets and 1 TV Cable outlet
- repaired / replaced a section of damaged floor
- built a 5' x 4' x 7" platform on which sets her majesty's stacked washer & dryer and a supplies cabinet
- installed laminate flooring [Pergo]

...and I only started the project middle of last June - WOW! Keep in mind that there was hardly a flat unbowed or straight and square wall or ceiling or floor surface anywhere in this added-on-to-the-back-of-the-house room.

- have started the floor, window, and door moldings and hope to have that part completed by Christmas.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with five of my six siblings and most of the children and grandchildren associated with this grouping of our families. I hope you had a special time, too.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Requiescat in pace

sometimes we bring it on ourselves
... and sometimes we do not

aged 51
... and 44

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It will always be yesterday, now.
We buried the both of them...
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Muncie, IN

Debby was 51 and the mother of five wonderful children - four boys and one girl.

The eldest boy now had to take charge of the arrangements for 'mom'. He flew home from California about 10 days ago. He was told "...it is almost time, and you need to be here - you need to let her see you one more time."

The next in line, another boy, received a similar message. His flight from New Mexico arrived one hour after his older brother. The other two boys and the girl live here with their dad. The eldest of these two boys graduated from High School last year; and the youngest of the two is now in 12th grade - he will graduate this coming Spring. The girl is now in the 7th grade and a joy to all who know her - she loved her mother a lot!

Together, they all shared the burden. 'Mom' stayed around for 10 days after being admitted to the local hospital. The prognosis was "days, not weeks". The cancer did its part and now she is gone.

Debbie was our good friend. A few years back when she was hospitalized for an extended period of time, three families divided up her family and took them in so dad could work. We were fortunate to be able to care for two of the boys.

Requiescat in pace.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Double Oak TX [Dallas-Ft. Worth area]

Jim was 44 and the father of three wonderful children - two boys and one girl. He was also a marathon runner and competed in events in different cities.

The oldest of the boys is now 9 years old. He is a member of the school's Chess Club, a local HVASBA baseball team [the Rangers], and a local GLASA soccer team [the Grizzlies].

The next in line, the other boy, is now 7 years old. He, too, is a member of his school's Chess Club, a local FMYSA baseball team [the Cubs], and a local GLASA soccer team [the Blue Sharks].

The youngest, a girl, is now 3 years old. Her job is to be the loudest cheer leader for both of her older brothers. She and mom go from practice-to-practice and game-to-game. Dad hasn't been able to attend these events for some time now.

They have now placed their 'dad' in a place of rest ... and they will miss him greatly.

Jim was husband to our niece Michelle. His cancer used up all their financial resources as it went from colon to liver to lungs ... all since May of 2007. She will be looking to return to the work-force soon.

Requiescat in pace.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
It will always be yesterday, now.
We buried the both of them...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

With Compassion for Others - We Build - We Fight - for Peace with Freedom

November 11
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
can do
. . . . . . . . . .
[ 6:07 ]

'Click on' the above > and remember
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
then click on this link [and keep the kleenex close at hand]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
born November 11, 1921
place Huntington, INdiana
died November 11, 1995
place Toledo, OHio
WW-II service in U S Navy
Construction Battalion
aka: SeaBees [CB's]
Honorable Discharge
. . . . .

. . . . .
born December 3, 1922
place Toledo, OHio
died January 4, 1993
place Toledo, OHio
WW-II service in U S Navy
W.A.V.E.S. - ratings AS, S2c, AM3c
Honorable Discharge
. . . . .
You can 'click-on' the picture for an enlarged view...
SEABEE's Memorial in Washington, D.C.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Do I Know You?

Go to bottom of page to read a love-story from my parents.

Monday, November 10, 2008

lofty sights

and then there were less than 3 weeks left

[over]head way being made

It doesn't hurt to have high expectations. In my minds eye, I could see getting all the ceiling grid-work and tiles installed this past Saturday. I forgot about a dinner commitment for the early evening. And I had a few ancillary chores and errands to take care of in the earlier part of the morning.

All in all, I had 5-1/2 goods hours from a friend and my own hands. I had installed 20% of the grid-work and tiles a week ago. Then on Saturday we were able to install another 40% of this 11' x 21' room.

I now have 60% of the room with new ceiling. It is my hope that I'll have enough time available through this week, including this coming Saturday, to get the remaining 40% installed.

On this past Friday we purchased the new laminated flooring ... 250 square feet. I didn't intend on buying it a full week ahead ... I just thought I was going to be done with the ceiling this past Saturday. So be it. But I am getting closer. I really expect to be able to start with flooring this coming weekend.

Any bets?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


even at 6am I had to wait in line

snaking congo lines
- care to dance?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The polling site for the precinct where I vote is in a large Presbyterian Church hall adjacent to the State University here in our fair city. I normally show up at 6am and get ballot # 3 or 4 or 5. This morning I got there at 7 minutes before 6am. When they 'opened' the door to announce that the "Polls are now open!", I made my way to sign-in and received ballot # 14. That is approximately 3 times the number I usually encounter when the doors open ... and in the span of that 7 minutes, the line grew to probably 40 or so.

Regardless of which candidate is elected, the beneficiary is the process we use to provide our country with leadership elected by the people. The people are out in droves. It is now lunch hour for many. I've driven by several voting sites. The lines are longer that I've ever seen them.

Here's to what helps make America great!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, October 30, 2008


sometimes you just have to give in...

the glass menagerie
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Several weeks ago I disassembled, right down to the rough frame, one of the six windows in the target room. My goal was to see how much time and energy were required to remove a unit, then all the glass from these double-hung pulleyed and weighted windows [there were 10 pieces of glass per unit], sand to the wood, refinish and re-glaze the entire unit, and reassemble and reinstall the whole thing. What with my usual limited pieces of time to do this task, the endeavor had spent over 2 weeks on that one unit and was not yet completed. About a week ago a friend said something like, "Schenkel ... why don't you give up and spend the money to buy replacement windows that you can install yourself and save yourself all this hassle - and maybe even make your Thanksgiving target for room completion."

As of this evening, five of the six windows are now replaced, including new storm windows installed.

Tomorrow I start on the ceiling. That will be followed by the floor [of which I have already removed a rotten section and shored it up and put down new sub-flooring].

Maybe ... just maybe ... I'll have enough done to move furniture back into the room by Thanksgiving. I may still have some finishing work, like molding and such, but it might actually be usable.

Whoops - I forgot something. I added a couple of new electrical outlets and a cable TV connection when I did the first drywalling over four months ago. I've run all the wire - I just need to get a licensed electrician to hook them to the breaker box. No fun being done, plug in the TV and nothing works. Guess I better do that soon.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, October 13, 2008

when do we make the time

last week: final mudding
this week: final sanding

...except for my calendar

So, this past Friday I got the last mud up.

Then it happened again ... the calendar thing:

Saturday morn I installed new storm door,
then rest of the day - FULL
Sunday - FULL;
Monday eve [tonite] - FULL;
Tuesday eve - FULL;
Wednesday eve - FREE after 8pm;
Thursday eve- FULL;
Friday eve - leave for annual camp out
Saturday - on camp out
Sunday - return from camp out early afternoon
Sunday afternoon and eve - relatively FREE
Monday eve - FULL
Tuesday eve - FULL
Wednesday eve - FREE
Thursday eve - FREE
Friday eve - FULL
Saturday daytime - mostly FREE
Saturday eve - FULL

I haven't looked beyond that, yet.

Anyone making book on this project? Will I get done by Thanksgiving?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, October 6, 2008

beginning of the end

final mudding begins

...but can I get it done by Thanksgiving?

No matter how I look at it, I still think there is a lot of work to accomplish yet. When I started the last week of June, I really knew it would not be an overnight project. I knew I would have days and weeks where I'd do nothing towards the project. Even now, when I can see three of the four walls drywalled and painted, I still see a lot of work to be done. This last drywall is now up and mudding has it's first application. Sanding and 2nd applications to follow someday in the next week or so ... or so.

I wonder if Guardian Angels can be talked into helping.

And then I look at my personal calendar and I see days filled with 'work' demands, and evenings filled with service and ministry commitments. TU & WE full; TH & FR may have some time; weekend full; next MO full; perhaps next TU. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll make it by Christmas. The floor and ceiling should go more efficiently. The last finishing tasks will be molding and trim work. It is going to be close. I wonder if she'll dis-own me if I don't make the deadline I myself set 3 and a half months ago.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rosh Hashana

"for a good year"
L'shanah tovah
. . . . . . . . . .

...In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation. -Leviticus 16:24
The shofar is a ram's horn which
is blown somewhat like a trumpet.

work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah and much of the day is spent in synagogue, where the regular daily liturgy is somewhat expanded. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year.
. . . . . . . . . .

To all our Jewish friends,
"L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem".
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Desert dry Diamondhead crater climb
...then 7 miles away,
hiking in a tropical rain-forest

. . . . . . . . . .
['click-on' any of the photos to see an enlarged version]

Tuesday morning, August 12, 2008

This is Rozann as we walked across the floor of the crater - see the rim in the background. This is the low-point and starting point of the climb. The top of the rim is the goal. The semi-rugged path is very worn from tourist traffic, and the stairs up some parts of the trail are narrow and steep and plentiful. Fortunately, there were several 'rest-areas' along the route up, so we could catch our breath.

his is view from one of the WWII era 'pill-boxes' at the summit. The fortifications were meant to deter an attack by sea - of course they didn't attack by sea.
Above picture is of lighthouse as seen with naked eye - below is with zoom lens.

. . . . . . . . . .
Tuesday afternoon, August 12, 2008

In a tropical rain forest, the size of things is almost unbelievable...look at Rozann next to these tree roots...look at the plant leafs behind that [she is rain-soaked, as was I - what should we have expected in a rain-forest?]

The target site for this hike was this water-falls. Was it worth the hike? Considering all the rain, and the 'moderate' rating of the trail, and the muddy clothes we 'pitched' once we got back to the hotel - of course it was worth it.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

when the saints came marching in

I was there in that number

twelve 20-30 something
single adult saints

. . . . .
I don't know all their exact ages, but I do know they're old enough to know better. And their 'better' is the way they hang-out with one another, take trips together, and serve others just for the sake of promoting friendship and 'love of the Lord.'

Since the last week of June [approximately] I have been engaged in an effort to clean-up / re-model / restore an old added-on to the back-of-the-house room. It has been slow going, to say the least.

This past week-end the saints arrived to give me a hand.

. . . . .
On Friday evening, the first two of three vehicles pulled-up in front of my house around 9pm. Each had 4 occupants. They drove from South Bend Indiana after each had gotten out of work at their 'day-jobs'. One additional vehicle with another 3 crew-members arrived Saturday morning around 10am. We also have a young woman presently living with us who joined right in with these never-before-met new friends.

Total = 12.

Their mission, and they had freely chosen to accept it, was to come to Muncie IN to help old uncle jim on his remodeling project. The goal was to relieve some of the pressures he was feeling from the slow progress he was making.

of the group, a JustinW and a SheilaP were the perps who put the group together. They just put a 'call' out to their other 20 - 30 something single friends and before they knew it there were 11 of them committed to the road trip [3 hours] and the 'Help Uncle Jim' project was launched.

There were a total of 4 men and 7 women saints. JustinW's family lives in Muncie, so he and the other men spent FR and SA night there. The 7 women stayed at our house [along with the recently moved in young lady I've mentioned - she made 8]. Bodies were everywhere - and the water heater seldom had time to recoup ... but everything worked out just fine.

Saturday was the project work-day. They did just about anything they were asked to do - and even if they had never done anything like it before, they were open to learning. They painted shutters, they hung drywall, they sanded and painted 4 doors [which included removing and reinstalling ALL hinges and knobs and locks, etc.] They removed a couple of other doors in order to move an upright freezer from an enclosed back-porch and placed it in the garage. Then they moved a spare refrigerator-freezer from the added-on to the back-of-the-house room to the space formerly occupied by the upright freezer that was now in the garage [this included removing both doors of the unit, reversing all hinges and handles, etc., to the opposite side of the cabinet - they learned a lot]. Wood furring strips were cut; a built-in toy-box was sanded and painted with 3-coats of the wife's specified color of paint. All kinds of odds- and ends were accomplished. ALL of it left less for me to do between now and completion of the job in the next couple of months.

Then it happened.

It was time for the University of Notre Dame game to be televised. Work stopped - and all of them, men and women alike, gathered in front of the TV. The women were as knowledgeable and enthusiastic during the game as any I've ever met. They claim that everything stops in South Bend when the team is playing at home - and when they are on the road, everyone is in front of a TV during the game. Such avid loyalty - wow!

When the game was over, they helped pick-up and put away all tools and paint and equipment. The men headed to Justin's house to clean up and come back in an hour or so for a huge dinner with all of us. The women began their rituals to get ready also - and as fast as they showered and cleaned up, they reported to the kitchen and dining area to help get everything prepared and set up for the banquet.

And what a feast we had. The food was great - the table conversation [we had 2 tables set up: one with 9 and one with 6] was super. We talked about quantum mechanics [I think] and guardian angels and creationism and each shared, per my question to them, about their own personal journey that eventually brought them together in South Bend Indiana ... and eventually to my house in Muncie IN. Home towns were from the suburbs of Philadelphia to the twin-cities of Minneapolis - St Paul to the heart of dixie in Alabama to Chicago to home-grown South Benders to a couple of locations I've forgotten. And each of them was responding to a 'call' from the Lord to seek out other like minded seriously Christian singles and help each other make it through the mine-fields of present day culture and society. They were nurses and computer IT geeks and homeless shelter staff and office workers and grad-students [one young lady working on a Masters in Theology] and other health care professionals including a speech pathologist and others occupations I've since forgotten.

I will N E V E R forget their faces and their pleasant dispositions and their willingness and eagerness to help.

Here's to: Justin W, Sheila P, Sarah H, Ricky T, Sarah E, Liz B, Peter G, Laura G, Meghan S, Dan R, Joy H, Allesha L - may God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit always keep them safe.

And I was there in that number, when these Saints came marching in.

- - - - -

Friday, September 19, 2008

happy anniversary

to me

September 19, 2008...
a date which will live in infamy

Today is the one year anniversary of this b-log ... and while it has been pretty silent lately, it will return!!!! as soon as the back-room project is completed.

Thanks for your help.

it is hard to top Pearl Harbor - we didn't, but...

Monday afternoon

farewell Waikiki
- hello southern east coast

[ You can click on the pictures to see them enlarged]

Pearl Harbor consumed our morning. It had an almost numbing effect on us - it really put us into a somber mood. After leaving there, we decided we'd just take a drive around the south & southeast & eastern coast and see what we could find - at least as far north as Kanehoe. It was a beautiful drive.

It took us along the 'gold coast' area - the very fabulous and expensive waterfront homes and properties. Many of them looked like movie sets - almost unreal in their opulence. Of course they were gated and the road was narrow and we weren't they only sightseers out that day. So there was no opportunity to stop and gawk and take pictures.

We eventually came to and thence through the beachfront communities of the southern-east coast. The waves were moderate and a lot of wind-surfers were out trying their hand at managing their sails.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I forget

Here we go again

Which one's are the Republicans?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

this November

vote your conscience


. . . . . . . . . .
[ 3:34 ]

CLICK on the above >, then be sure you cast ballot
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
...and a big "THANK YOU" to Joy for sharing this with me

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

speaking in tongues

Every VOTE counts

As a small child, many of us display characteristics and behaviors that can foretell some part of our future. What do you think? Could this have been a home video of any of our Blog Fathers? Cast your vote in 'comments'.
. . . . .
[ 1:59 ]

. . . . .
'Click on' the above > and then cast your vote.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

there's always room for one more

God has a plan for each of us

No room in the inn?

It has been over a week since I've posted ... and for several posts before I stopped, all I had written about was our Honeymoon - 25th Wedding Anniversary - Current August 13 Anniversary Celebration in Hawai'i. I will complete some of that, too, soon.

Life has not been without the usual busyness, as well as some extra busyness - ergo, no posts. Besides regular work days and various ministry activities, I have embarked on an adventure which I've reference a few times in the last couple of months - that being the remodeling of the added-on to the back-of-the-house TV and laundry room [not added on by current residents but by those prior to us]. It has been consuming the few hours extra I'm able to steal in the course of a week. And it is finally starting to look like something is being accomplished - that makes my wife happy which makes me happy ... but it is a slow process.

The B I G event of the past week is a new member to our household. No-o-o-o-o-o, it isn't a household pet [ie: dog, cat, bird, etc.]. It is a human being. No-o-o-o-o-o, it isn't a baby, either - we've raised our kids and, while we've talked of adoption and/or foster-care, we've not done that, either.

We've gained a 22-year old recent college graduate, who, upon approaching graduation, realized she didn't want to leave our town while her fiance was taking another year to complete his degree. She wanted, if possible, to find a good Christian living situation for herself - that is, a Christian environment in which to live...with a family or couple, and thereby provide that biblical hedge between her and that which so much permeates the culture around us.

They both are committed Catholic Christians and are working very hard to remain pure for their marriage next May 2009 - and beyond. She was referred to us by the DRE [Director of Religious Education] at the Campus Newman Apostolate parish where she is an active member.

So how does such a referral come about? and how does one make such a decision and choice? Well, first, the DRE knew us through our recently ordained nephew with whom she struck up a friendship while she was working on her Masters in Theology at the seminary at which our nephew was studying. She learned that we've done this before. This young woman is the tenth early twenties woman with whom we've shared our home in the past 15 or so years.

If you've ever shared living arrangements with anyone, you'll already recognize that it is not always easy ... and that applies whether it is a husband and wife, or any other related or un-related people. We've been there before, so we've tried to prepare for the difficulties that can arise with personalities, life-styles, habits, preferences, etc.

There were friends of ours who experienced some extreme financial difficulties - they lost their house and their small business. We let them move in with us until they could get on their feet. That lasted several months, to the best of my memory. That was 15 years ago - and we're still friends. In other words, people can decide to get along, even in difficult situations.

There was another time we took in 2 of 5 children from one family. The mother needed a lengthy hospitalization [8 weeks] and the dad needed to work. SO, we and two other families took in the children and kept them until things got back to normal for them. We think this is normal Christian living and think more people ought to be doing it, too. Share what the Lord has given - make room for others in the Inn.

Living together and renting a room are very different things. We are not perfect beings, and with all the years we have under our wings, we have definite patterns of life and behaviors long developed. But, we are very willing to work at it, bending where necessary to make it work - and she is, also. So, we'll give it go and see if we can all survive until her wedding next May.

Well, I gotta get back to sanding some dry-wall 'mud'. I've promised this job done by Thanksgiving. The walls get done all the way around, first - than the floor gets done with a laminate hardwood pattern material - then the ceiling gets redone [??tile, drop-in, drywall, suspended?? - not sure which yet]. If we decide to put drywall on the ceiling, then that would require painting - and that would cause us to do the ceiling before the floor.

Pray for us.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Friday, August 22, 2008

...may they rest in peace

2403 men, women, and children killed—and 1178 wounded

USS Arizona
. . . . . . . . . .
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 the Imperial forces of the nation of Japan waged a deadly and devastating attack on the forces of the United States of America on the island of Oahu in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Now we come from all over the world to visit this memorial, this monument, this tomb. We simply refer to it as 'Pearl Harbor'.
. . . . .names of the U.S. Navy forces entombed in the USS Arizona
. . . . .
On Monday morning, August 11, 2008 we rose before 5am. We readied ourselves and made our way to the Hotel's Kuhio Beach Grill Breakfast Buffet. Some were apparently there when the doors opened at 5am. We arrived at 5:20am and found the room half full already - and this was before 5:30am on a Monday.

After completing our breakfast feast, we made our way to the 'Tours Lobby' area of the hotel. This is where tour buses picked-up and dropped off their pre-ticketed passengers. This was a very efficient and very well thought out part of the life and design of this tourist resort. We arranged tickets the day before at one of the Hotel's several Concierge stations.

ur bus was scheduled to pick us up at 6:15am. It was on time, but a member of a group of 13 men, women, children had not found her way down from her room - and the rest of us waited. The driver was very polite and courteous - and very emphatic ... someone needed to find this person and get her to the bus. Every minute we delayed would mean we'd be 15 - 20 people farther back in the line at the gate. The woman showed up within moments of that pronouncement.

Monday morning ... 6:30am ... highway H-1 from the east side of Honolulu at Waikiki Beach to Pearl Harbor on the west side of Honolulu ... traffic not unlike many large metropolitan cities on the mainland ... a driver who seemed to know the route and the traffic blindfolded - it all added up to a trip at unbelievable speed, considering the traffic and congestion. We arrived at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Gate by 6:50am - we were the second small tour bus to arrive. We were in the first 25 or so people in the line. By 7:15am, less than half an hour later, the line was almost around the block.
. . . . .
Once we were through the Visitors Center, and after watching a short film on the story of the attack, we were transported by passenger launch to the memorial itself.

Above is the entrance to the memorial, directly over the remains of the sunken destroyer USS Arizona [seen below], the tomb for those personnel still on board when it was sunk.

. . . . .

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

blessed be the Lord's Day

...out one side door and into the next

Sunday Mass not 100 feet away

It didn't take much effort to walk to church on Sunday morning. There was a 6am, 8:30am, and 11am Mass directly across the street from the hotel - we made it to the 8:30am celebration.
. . . . .
St. Augustine By-the-sea Roman Catholic Church
- Waikiki Beach, HI -

. . . . .
[in the extreme upper right corner of the picture you can see the form of 5 or 6 balconies on the hotel - that is how close we were.]
. . . . .
The celebrant was a native Hawi'ian priest ... at least he sure looked like it - and then he opened his mouth and spoke ... his accent was NOT Hawai'ian. Now, he did have native relatives on the island and that is why he was there - he was on vacation visiting relatives. His home parish, he told us, was an African-American parish in Oakland CA. There were a lot of vacationers in the church that morning, besides him.

As a note of some interest to some, Sen. Barach Obama was also on the island all week on vacation with his family and visiting relatives - and causing an uproar wherever he went. He visited old friends, and the High School he attended, and lots of other 'photo-op' locations - and he played golf several times. The rest of us went about our own agendas.

After Mass we went back across the street to our piece of Paradise and found our way the the big breakfast buffet at the hotel. Let me tell you, I've not seen a bigger spread than this. And because of the high percentage of Japanese visitors to the island, there was ample opportunity to try foods we don't see on our table at home ... at least Rozann tried some ... I stuck to bacon and eggs and pancakes and waffles and fruit and juice and coffee and pastry and ham and fried potatoes and sausage and cereals and...

The doors opened at 5am each morning. We were there bright and early every morning of our stay, between 5-6:30am, except that first day we went to Mass first. Then we could get a good and timely start on our day.

People of Praise, an ecumenical charismatic covenant community with 22 branches in North America, has a branch in Kailua, on the eastern windward side of the island. We are members of a People of Praise branch in our hometown - Muncie, IN. At 2:30pm they were scheduled to have a weekly branch meeting which includes prayer and singing and sharings and fellowship. We were going to be there and meet some new people ... and see some others whom we already knew. It was a wonderful way to spend a Lord's Day afternoon.

After the meeting, we went to dinner with several of the local members. By the time we ate and talked and drank and talked, it was time for us to head back to our south side of the island location before darkness set in.

As we were still somewhat sleep deprived from the trip over, we went directly to the hotel. We ordered up a 'pay-per-view' movie and watched the latest Indiana Jones outing. I think we both fell to sleep while it played.

Our first full day in paradise was over. Tomorrow it would be time to start seeing the sights. Our tour bus to Pearl Harbor was scheduled to pick us up at 6:15am ... and we needed to eat breakfast before that.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, August 17, 2008

keepin' on keepin' on

the inevitability of things not going according to plan

Aloha, y'all - Part 2
. . . . . . . . . .

American Airlines terminal at Honolulu
. . . . .

...and then God said

Landing in Honolulu was quite exciting.

First, it meant we 'made it".

Second, it confirmed that the 'Garden of Eden' [aka: Paradise] was not created anywhere near the Tigris or Euphrates rivers - it was on an Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The light puffy clouds, the sunny bright-blue sky, the multi-shades-of-blue color of the surrounding waters, the palm trees, the beautiful green of the plant-life on the sides of the great volcanic mountains, the sandy beaches, the dark-tanned complexion of inhabitants, the seemingly genuine greetings from all whom we encountered ... "ALOHA", and the sincere "Mahalo" affirming their gratitude for our being there - all of this testifying to the surreal sense of being in paradise.

But, of course, just when we had assured ourselves that all was wonderful, then we had to deal with the real world ... again.
. . . . .
We found our way out from the air-line's terminal to the 'Rental Car' bus-stop. Once on board the bus for our rental car company, we were ready to take on renown traffic congestion from the Airport [west of Honolulu] to the Waikiki Beach area [east of Honolulu]. All our arrangements for this trip had been made last March - plenty of time for anyone involved to have things ready for our arrival ... or not.

We knew gasoline prices on the mainland were high ... and we had been told in advance that prices for everything in Hawai'i would be higher - significantly higher. Trying to respond defensively, we had reserved an 'economy-class' car to drive while we were on the Island.

Apparently, so had everyone else who had arrived before us that day. None were available.

Upgrade? Would we be interested in an upgrade? Sounded like the old 'bait and switch' to me. "How much extra?", I asked.

"Extra? Why would you think that?", she responded. "There will be no extra charge. We don't have the vehicle your requested. The upgrade is 'on us'. No extra charge."

Paradise? Maybe we were there after all. My mainland cynicism had gotten me ahead of the reality. Of course we'd be glad to accept an upgrade. "What kind of vehicles would be available?", I asked. "How about a 4-wheel drive Jeep Wrangler - get you off-road onto the more secluded beaches and sites?"

Damn the gasoline prices - we were taking the upgrade!
. . . . .
H1 highway from Airport through the city
. . . . .

It was still daylight when we arrived at our hotel - the luxurious Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. It truly lived up to the reputation we expected. When we planned this trip, this is exactly what I was sure we'd never be able to afford - but we did it any ways.

After all, we were celebrating our never-before-taken honeymoon, our 25th wedding anniversary, and our current anniversary on Wednesday the 13th. This was absolutely the ideal.

Hotel Entrance
. . . . .

I pulled up into the Arrival entry lane and was faced with my second major decision [the vehicle upgrade was the first] - to 'self-park' or to 'valet park' or to find a lot or garage a couple of blocks away for much less of a daily fee [maybe]. Being the big spender that I had already exhibited with renting a gas-guzzling Jeep, I ventured into the world of 'Valet' parking ... at least for the first night.

Marriott situated this resort directly across the street from the eastern end of Waikiki Beach on 5.2 acres of luxuriously landscaped and manicured grounds. The rooms were in two separate towers - one with 25 floors and the other with 33 floors ... and all the rooms had balconies with beautiful views.

Hotel lobby . . . . . . . . . . . . Sunset from inside room

. . . . . . . . . . . . . View from balcony . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . .

It was now after 7:30pm Hawai'i time [1:30am back in Indianapolis], the sun was beginning to set, and we had not eaten any dinner. Time to check in and get something to eat.

Check in went flawlessly. Our room was almost beyond expectations. The view from our room on the 26th floor was mind-numbing. And our stomachs wanted to visit Paradise - one block away was a 'Cheeseburger-in-Paradise' restaurant. Off we went in search of the perfect bed-time snack. It was 9:30pm in Honolulu [3:30am in Indianapolis] when we returned to our room and fell into bed.

See y'all tomorrow ... today is over.

[to be continued]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

another second chance

My Way Sunday
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
modern technology

[Thanks to my dear wife, we are able to reproduce some of the pictures we took, as would be typical of what you would see on a trip like this.]
. . . . . . . . . .
Aloha, y'all - Part 1

. . . . .
our base of operations
. . . . .
Common Hawai'ian Words:

aloha - love, hello, welcome, goodbye
hale - house
kane - man
luau - traditional Hawaiian feast
mahalo - thank you
mauka - a directional, toward the mountans
makai - a directional, toward the sea
pau - finished, complete
poi - staple food made from taro
wahine - woman
lei - garland, usually of flowers, but also of leaves or shells
. . . . .Diamond Head crater rim
. . . . .

We experienced a wonderful celebration of our time together. We visited most of the island in our 5-days and 5-nights there. We saw typical tourists sites and we visited with a number of friends who live on the island in the Kailua area [eastern windward side of the island].

We visited only the Island of O'ahu, which is home to Honolulu, the state capital. It is not the biggest of the islands in the state, but is the most inhabited.
. . . . .looking east towards Waikiki Beach [in distance]
. . . . .

The island of O'ahu is divided into five main parts:
  1. Waikiki/Honolulu Side: contains Honolulu International Aiport, Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, Manoa Falls, University of Hawaii, Diamond Head Beach Park, Ala Moana Beach Park, Hanauma Bay State Park, KoKo Head Mountain, Sandy Beach Park, just to mention a few.
  2. Windward Shore: contains Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach, Polynesian Cultural Center, Kaneohe Beach Park, Chinaman's Hat, the Mormon Temple, just to mention a few.
  3. North Shore: contains Turtle Bay Resort, Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay Beach Park, Waimea Falls and Gardens Hike, Turtle Beach/Laniakea Beach, Hidden Beach, just to mention a few.
  4. Leeward Shore: Kahe Point Beach Park, Makaha Beach, Ko Olina Resort and Marina, Waianae, Kaneana Cave, just to mention a few.
  5. Central O'ahu: contains the Dole Plantation,Wahiawa Botanical Garden, World's Largest Maze, just to mention a few.
at the Dole Plantation
. . . . .

In The beginning

On Friday night August 8, we stayed the night at an Indianapolis hotel near the airport. We needed to be at the airport at 7am to begin our adventure - and an adventure it truly was ... right from the beginning.

The plane was full.

Our itinerary was to take us from Indianapolis to Dallas to Honolulu - all via American Airlines.

Our first Indianapolis plane never left the gate.

A mechanical problem with a hydraulic pump left us stuck there. No replacement pump was available locally. The nearest was in Chicago. They could, and would, get one to Indianapolis in several hours, but that was a sure way to miss all those connections out of Dallas for many of those on board - including us.

All passengers whose final destination was Dallas - Ft Worth [DFW] were set aside as a seperate group. They would be placed on other flights going to or through DFW. Those who were making connections through DFW, like us going to Hawai'i, were then worked with individually to place on other flights to get us to where we were intending to go.

American Airlines
. . . . .

The net result for us was a rearranged itinerary - new flight plans and new time-table. We were now getting to Hawai'i by adding a stop.

Indianapolis to Chicago
Chicago to LosAngeles
Los Angeles to Honolulu

Our arrival in Honolulu was originally scheduled for 3:40pm Honolulu time [6 hours behind, or 9:40pm Indianapolis]. Our new arrival time was now set for 5:55pm Honolulu time [11:55pm Indianapolis] - only 2:15 behind our original schedule. Not too bad. Our arrival in Chicago was just in time to make our connection. The flight to LosAngeles was in the process of boarding when we arrived at the gate - but we made it.
[to be continued]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Any Way Saturday
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
We got home last evening.
After having had no sleep for 33 hours straight, I half-way unpacked and went to bed around 9:30pm and slept until 8:16am this morning.
Then my lovely wife woke me up and reminded me that I had volunteered to help set-up the hall [tables and chairs] for the wedding reception this afternoon.
We finished that - went to the wedding at 11am ... to the reception that lasted until 4pm ... helped clean-up the hall ... came home and went to the 5:30pm evening vigil mass and came home.
I sat down at the computer.

It was my intention to post some pictures from our 25th wedding anniversary trip to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
I took almost 30o great pictures - make that probably closer to 250 great pictures - keepers - and another 50 of the trash-can variety.
and started to download these 300 great pictures.
There were some other older pictures from an earlier June wedding, so I wanted to delete those older pictures.

Can you guess what happened next?

And now the media card is empty.
And you don't get to see any of those 300 great pictures ... and neither will any of my kids ... or other friends ... or my wife [who is at the grocery store while I stayed behind to download these 300 great pictures].

Have a great Saturday.

When I get over this, I'll try to post some comments about the trip.