One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson, a Book Review

If my review of Bill Bryson’s The Body rang a bell, consider this other engaging work by Bill, as well.

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

Since I was a kid I was impressed with the impact to the sports and aeronautical worlds of the year 1927. Hard news was impactful as well.

Sports gave us Jack Dempsey’s loss on the “long count” to Gene Tunney and Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs. To be complete it gave us the entire 1927 Yankees team, arguably the greatest baseball team ever assembled.

Aeronautics gave us the first solo transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh. He’s still around in the Lindy hop by which Americans can still dance to rock music. Those of us in San Diego have spent many an hour at Lindbergh field as well.

Very hard news, gave us the era and year pathetically of eugenics and theories of racial superiority taken to their horrible extreme shortly by the Nazis. The Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti felt the horrible sting of prejudice as well in their prosecution…

View original post 91 more words

The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams, a Book Review

A story well worth the read…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

TheUnwindingoftheMiracle is a work about the richness of life and about facing our deaths directly, realistically and peacefully. The “Unwinding” is life’s process of dying.

In this case we have a memoir of the last five years in this brilliant, Chinese-Vietnamese refugee’s miraculous life on which to focus. The book is filled with beautiful memoirs about the richness and the agony of her last days as a Harvard law graduate with a lovely interracial marriage and two wonderful daughters, though legally blind since infancy.

Materially we learn about her tremendous physicality prior to a stage IV (metastatic) cancer diagnosis. Emotionally we are privy to a difficult childhood and her reliance on her family, friends and psychotherapist through the cancer turmoil. Spiritually, she believes in an afterlife, though not the Biblical view. She has some Buddhism in her spiritual life, though no specific religion is…

View original post 138 more words

The Gift of Laughter

“Humour breaks down boundaries, it topples our self-importance, it connects people, and because it engages and entertains, it ultimately enlightens.” John Agard, an Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet, and children’s writer.

Lord knows it softens the blows of life. It eases the tensions that can develop between loved ones. It is the grease that sets the gears of relationship moving when the default setting is becoming reverse.

The comic, Will Farrell, once said that within his family he didn’t seem nearly as funny. I think that is true of relationships with depth over time. A sensitive ear and heart are required as well as the gift of laughter.

I still relish a memory that dates back some twenty five years. Kristine and I along with our five year old boy, Chad, were attending a recital by our daughter Courtney’s string ensemble. It was at her Junior High. She played cello but the group included violins and cellos.

They were playing a beautiful piece and soon Chad ambled in front of the two of us. With his little arms extended he began to mime playing a violin. I am still laughing.

The four of us, now three couples and two grandsons, still love each other dearly. By the grace of God we appreciate our precious times together while living our separate lives, thousands of miles apart