jeudi, février 24, 2005

Friday night Lisa and I stayed home with the little boys.

Saturday I went to visit my PawPaw. He was home from the hospital and still very weak from what ever it was that went wrong (They seem to think it was a minor stroke.) Then MK and I took our little boys (his 1 and my 2) to the park. They played for a couple of hours, and while I did push them on the merry-go-round a few times, they mostly entertained themselves and Mike and I discussed had a good conversation. Later evening Lisa and I went out to eat with a number of her work friends. This was to celebrate Lisa’s then upcoming birthday which was still in the future. After a meal at Copeland’s we went out to a local club, where we meet my brother Terry, his lady friend and my cousin Kevin. We went to the Frosty Factory to her Morgan (our daughter) sing Karaoke.

Sunday we went to the Lutheran Church. It was a nice service. After Church we spent the day at home.

Monday was a do a little work around the house day. That evening I did the usual work with the boys. The boys read to me, which is our regular practice and did other homework. Once the homework was complete we went up stairs to the loft and wrestled. They consider this to be great fun. My job is to stay on my knees and get pummelled. I throw them around gently and do a good deal of tickling during these matches. After all that we had the usual round of baths and prayers before bed.

Tuesday I fixed Lisa and the kids breakfast (bacon and eggs) for her birthday. Later I went to see my Pawpaw again. He was doing much better. He strength has returned and was back to his old self. When I left there I ran errands (bought a few books) and then went home. Tuesday evening Lisa and I went out to eat with our friends the Klinemans. This was Lisa’s actual birthday. We had a good visit at Outback Steakhouse. After supper we came home.

Coram Deo,

samedi, février 19, 2005

I've had to work my normal 6 am to 6 pm daylight shift since Tuesday. Four straight daylights, during the week is always rough, especially now that I work the top operator position. It is a busy job on week days. I worked off Friday afternoon and don’t have to return to work until Wednesday night.

The most trying thing this week was yesterday. My grandfather, who will be 85 in a couple of weeks, seems to have suffered a mild stroke. Lisa called me yesterday morning and told me that PawPaw had been rushed to the hospital. She didn’t know which hospital or why. I was working but took time out where PawPaw was. I called the hospital and talked to Mrs. Esther (my step grandmother) and found out that he was doing ok.

After work I rushed home, got cleaned up and went to the hospital. Pawpaw was weak, but was doing ok. He is a very modest old man and is not comfortable in public. I stayed there for a couple of hours and helped as best I could.

At one point he told me that "It is good to die when you are young. It’s hard to be old and feeble." That made me so sad. PawPaw is such a wonderful man. I love to visit him at his house. He has such wonderful stories to tell. We sit in chairs nest to each other and he tells me stories from the past. Sometimes he forgets that I am not fluent French and he will tell start speaking to me in French. I try to keep up, but I only cathch bits and pieces. Once Mrs Esther told him top speak English, because my French is not good, but he told her that I knew French well enough to keep up. I did not have the heart to remind him that my ability to speak or understand Cajun is poor at best.

PawPaw, Adam Johnson (pronounced Ah-dahm Jean-sonne) is a Cajun. He learned what English he knows from his children. My mom spoke no English when she started the first grade. She learned English the hard way, in a school that would punish Cajun children for speaking their native French, even though they could speak no English whatsoever.

Paw Paw is getting old, but I remember when he was a very strong man. When I was 18 I worked at the Port now and then. We would fill the holds of ships with rice and the rice came on pallets in 100 pound sacks. PawPaw had been a farmer (sharecropper) but moved to Lake Charles and went to work at the port in the early 1960's.

By the time I worked at the port PawPaw, who was 58 years old, had worked his way up to the job of crane operator. He would operate the crane for and hour and then he would have an hour break. He would then come into the ship’s hold and throw my sakes so I could have a break. That 58 year old man could work circles around me when I was 18.

PawPaw is a devout Roman Catholic. He is a wonderful man. I love him dearly and I hate to think that his time on this earth is now growing short. His generation is the last of the Old Cajuns for whom French is a first language. When the last of his generation is gone most of our Cajun Culture will have died with them. Just thinking about that makes me want to cry. I love this culture but it is almost gone, even now it is only a vapour that is barely visible. I too is a victim of modernity and America’s Anglo hegemony.

I thought MK and I would get together this evening, but that did not happen. Hopefully we will share a bottle of wine later this weekend.

Coram Deo,

lundi, février 14, 2005

I had to work Saturday which should have been a day off. After work I came home, I got cleaned up and went to Outback Steak House to meet Lisa, Ytska and another lady friend of theirs. We had good food , drinks and conversation. Christian was working, as was Ryan, our nephew, so they passed by and joked or commented as often as they could. We all had fun.

After supper Lisa and I picked the little boys up at their Aunt Rhonda’s and came home. We went to bed early, got up Sunday morning and went to worship services at Covenant Presbyterian Church, here in Sulphur. After worship I took the little boys to Longville to visit the folks and Lisa went to Lafayette with Yska. They went to pick up Yska’s sister at the airport.

Sunday evening MK came over to our house with a bottle of red wine (Franciscan Oakville Estate Merlot 2001 [a very good wine]) and a Christian Book Distributers (CBD) academic catalogue. We drank our wine, drooled over the books in the catalogue and spoke with Morgan and Christian. There were several thousand dollars worth books that we wanted to buy, but we decided that we could only afford , between the two of us, a couple of hundred dollars worth of books. Mike is going to order his and my books and I will pay him back.

This morning Christian and I got up and went to court for a traffic violation that he had received for a fender bender he was in. The process was by alphabetical order so we got out of there quickly. Christian was the first one up.

Lisa and I are going to go out to eat this evening for Valentines Day.

Coram Deo,

samedi, février 12, 2005

Yesterday evening I left work and, as is my norm, I went straight home. Lisa and the boy’s were the only ones there. They were on our bed watching Pirates of the Caribbean.

Lisa had, after I told her of my plans to take the little boys camping, made arrangements to go out to eat with one of her lady friends. I had insisted that she keep her plans and I stayed home with the boys. I joined them on the bed and finished watching the movie with them. Lisa went to meet Yska for supper.

After the movie the boy’s wanted to watch the part disc about how the movie was made, so I put that on. While they watched that I took a hot bath. After I had bathed the boys wanted to draw skeletons so I got them paper and they would pause the DVD on the making of the movie on sketches of skeletons and draw them. They thought that was great fun.

I poured a glass of red wine and laid down with a book. We were all still together in Lisa and my room. I had to take frequent breaks from my reading to look at the latest skeletons that one or the other of the boy’s had just drawn.

We had a good evening with them drawing and me reading, drinking red wine and looking at their many pages of skeletons. I managed to finish His Excellency . It is a good biography of Washington, that does not mythologize him.

That is the gist of my evening. Just a quiet night with the little boys. This may seem like a boring evening to some people, but I enjoyed it.

Coram Deo,

vendredi, février 11, 2005

I’m at work today on my day off. I was called out this morning, because Peter called in sick. This killed my ability to take the little boys camping this evening. I’m glad I didn’t tell them about my plans. On top of that, Lisa called this morning to tell me that our youngest son was sick, so the camping trip might have been been cancelled for that reason as well.

Yesterday evening I was home alone reading. I heard the doorbell and went to answer it. Rev. Duke pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) had come over to visit. I invited him in and we talked for about an hour. It was a nice visit; Pastor Duke is a personable gentleman.

After Rev. Duke left I went back to my reading. I FINALLY finished reading an unabridged version of Homer’s Iliad. It took me some time to read this work. I took a sizable break from it at one point, but returned to it a while back. I read a translation by Samuel Butler. It was published in 1942 in Club Classics series.

I am also hope to finish Joseph Ellis' of George Washington this weekend. It is titled His Excellency: George Washington . I don’t have far to go to finish it, so if I have just a little time I can easily finish it this weekend. I've also finished John Calvin’s section of the Institutes that deal with the Ten Commandments. It was VERY good. I am now in Book II Chapter 9 of the Institutes.

Coram Deo,

mardi, février 08, 2005

It has been a while since I last wrote for this blog. Lisa and I have attended a couple of Mardi Gras Balls and I took the little boys to a Mardi Gras parade last Saturday. But we will miss the big parade tonight (Mardi Gras eve) because I’m working the night shift and will be at the refinery working instead. I would not trust anyone else to take my little boys to the parade, except for Lisa and she has no desire to go without me.

Our eight year old has finished reading a biography of Christopher Columbus to me. He was very proud of his accomplishment, and besides that I had promised a monetary reward for completing the book. That too made him happy.

MK and I are hoping to take the little boy’s camping this coming weekend or the next. Terry and dad have been working on the camp site in the wood at the back of Dad’s land.

This last Sunday, Lisa was not feeling well, so I decided to go on my own to the local Episcopal Church. I worshiped at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church here in Sulphur. The people were very friendly and helped me to navigate the Book of Common Prayer during the service. I enjoyed the liturgy and found the sermon to be quite good.

I was hesitant to attend this church because it is in the ECUSA, which is one of the most liberal denominations in the country. I had mentioned my desire to visit an Episcopal Church to Bill Smith and he told me that he thought the Rector of the local ECUSA Church was pretty good (i.e. conservative), so I visited and very much enjoyed the worship service. The liturgy was nice and I was welcomed to participate in the Eucharist, which meant a lot to me.

Bill and his family have moved to Louisville where he is now pastor of Community Presbyterian Church. I hated to see them go, but I do hope he uses this move to get his doctorate.

Coram Deo,