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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Friday, December 21, 2012

Speaking of George Bailey

Last week I wrote about our new puppy named for the hero of Frank Capra's Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life.
 
Last night, our school family felt like they were in the last scene of that movie when all the neighbors come into the living room of the Bailey home with a laundry basket full of collected money for a friend in need.
 
I'll not go into detail here, but our laundry basket was full and running over, and those present know what that means about the offering. It was well over DOUBLE the ambitious goal.
 
Imagine with me that the picture below is of over 600 "neighbors" not in Bedford Falls but in Fruitport, Michigan, gathered not at the Bailey home but in the living room of our school with standing room only in the back, the best attended Christmas program in the history of our school.
 
 
Our annual Christmas concert is full of traditions. For instance, the band plays "Sleigh Ride" each year and invites alumni and alumni parents to come up with their instruments and join in that iconic song. This year there seemed to be more "joiners" than ever, packing the stage. Then at the end of the program, a new tradition began: the high school choir (left of picture) had about 20 alumni, parents and teachers join them in singing the Hallelujah Chorus. I was one of the adults singing with them, and at the end as we closed with a congregational song, I could not resist taking this picture of our friends and family. It was a wonderful night in a wonderful life. We give Him all the glory!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Meet Bailey...the Best Stocking-Stuffer Ever!

I have not had time to write as often as I'd like here at POI over the past year, and I miss this dimension of ordinary living, but I wanted to share this picture of a very happy puppy named Bailey on my blanket-covered lap. Julie and Natalie typically have him, but they plopped him on me a few nights ago as I was watching the news, and I snapped this picture with my phone.
 

Bailey weighs less than three pounds at nine weeks and will be six or seven pounds as an adult.

He's named in honor of main character in the holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life." Was there ever a truer friend to the underdog than that selfless George Bailey who lassoed the moon for his girl, saved the Bailey Building and Loan, stood up to Potter, hid ZuZu's petals in his pocket, and helped an angel earn wings?

That's a lot to wrap up in a name for such a little puppy, but that's how the family (and even extended family) settled on his name. It was not until days later that we learned there was a children's story about a dog named Bailey who goes to school... a fact that was icing on the cake.

Readers here at POI may recall our Westie "Rudyard Kipling"--better known as "Kippy" who was a member of our family for over 13 years. It was last Christmas Break that we experienced that difficult day when the math of "dog years" and reality of crippling pain leaves no alternative but that sad anddreaded drive to the vet who truly understands why tears come easier than words as you talk through the steps of saying goodby to a friend.

The sadness of that day (and an assessment of our own stage in life) kept our home puppy-free for nearly a year, but in late September Natalie began showing us pictures of what breeders call a "multe-pom." Her kind hints met firm resistance for weeks, and then one night, I said, "Nat, I'm fine with the idea, but you know Mom has good reasons ..." I barely got out the sentence,  and to my surprise, Julie was ready to join in Nat's excitement and call a breeder in Rockford. Once the pictures of Bailey came  to her phone, there was no turning back. She was ready to have a little friend in the house again.

When my girls are happy, I'm happy... and I'll admit it. I like little Bailey, too. They can put him in my lap anytime they want.

A few nights ago I was trying to take a picture of him in front of me on the kitchen floor. He suddenly scampered behind me and crawled up through the tunnel under my arm as if to say, "Shoot, if you're going to take a picture, you might as well be in it with me. We boys have to stick together."

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