Nancy, Bobbi, Chris, Charlie


September 11, 2001 is a day most us will never forget. Bobbi and I were in Alexandria, VA for Bobbi’s high school reunion. We decided to stay an extra few days. We were sightseeing  with Bobbi’s best friend from high school Nancy Pavey and her husband Charlie. We were all staying in the Alexandria Hampton Inn.

During breakfast we saw the news feed in the restaurant that a plane had crashed into tower one of the World Trade center. At the time it was thought to be a small plane as no one really knew what was happening or was to happen that day. So, we went about our day planning to take the Metro light rail train into Washington D.C. with plans to visit one of the Smithsonian museums. We finished breakfast and went back to our rooms to get ready for our day.

I remember vividly standing in our hotel room while Bobbi was finishing up in the bathroom. Of course the TV was on and I watched the live feed as the second plane was crashing into tower two. I yelled out “another plane just hit the World Trade Center.” At that time the other two plane that crashed subsequently weren’t being reported on, so we all went down to the Metro station and boarded the train for the city.

As were were approaching Metro’s Pentagon stop, I overheard another passenger say “I can’t believe they bombed the Pentagon.”  I told everyone to look out the window where there was a plume of black smoke rising.  Charlie said, “Today isn’t a good day to go into the city.” We exited the train at that stop and crossed over to the other side and caught the Metro back to Alexandria (we later learned that this was the last train to stop at the Pentagon Metro station).

When we got back to the hotel we learned that all the flights in the region were grounded (later in the day the entire air travel in the country, and much of the world were also grounded).  Our problem was that we were to fly out of Reagan National airport the next day and to compound that I was scheduled to take pictures of a large wedding at Ft. Lewis the following Saturday, the 15th. We started considering our options as it quickly became apparent we wouldn’t be leaving the next day. We thought of taking the train, but that travel was stopped initially. We thought about renting a car, but that was impossible as none were available. We even thought about buying a car, but we had just bought a new car and that didn’t seem like a good idea. So we stared calling the airlines.

We were told that we could probably fly out the next day,  Thursday. We had a flight booked and  arrived at Reagan National that morning only to find out that all flights were canceled. We had checked out of the Hampton Inn, but we managed to get a room at one of the airport hotels. As an aside, one of the other passengers on the plane was a United Airlines pilot and while talking he said the plane he was supposed to fly that day was stranded in Germany. He went on to say planes are stranded all over the world and he had no idea how the airlines would sort that all out.

Anyway, we called and called and we managed to get booked on a flight out of Dulles airport the following evening, Friday. We weren’t all that confident and starting to panic about the wedding shoot. So I called our daughter Heather and told her that she might have to shoot the wedding by herself; she has assisted me at other weddings but never shot one solo. To compound that I had purchased new equipment that she wasn’t familiar with so I arranged for a friend at Kenmore Camera to go over the new cameras with her. I could tell she was uncomfortable with the idea (maybe even terrified as it was big military wedding that normally took both of us to shoot).

Friday we arrived at Dulles only to be told that our flight was canceled as they didn’t have a crew to fly it. But we were able to get booked on a flight early Saturday morning and with the time difference we could still make the wedding. So we found another hotel near Dulles. Saturday morning we went to the airport and stood in a long line only to be told by the Delta ticket agent that our flight to Atlanta (where we were to connect to a flight to Seatac) had been canceled, but she said no worry as she could book us on a flight and have us home in Atlanta that evening. (We were flying on frequent flyer miles by the way.) I told her that wouldn’t work as we had to be in Seattle for a wedding I was to shoot that afternoon. She said just a minute and when she came back she said that a small airline (I don’t even remember the name) had a plane flying through Minneapolis, directly to Seattle. We moved to their counter and the agent said she only had first class available and I said we’d take it. Then she said they couldn’t honor our frequent flyer miles and I handed her my credit card and I said, “book it.” She said, “don’t you want to know the cost”, I said “whatever the cost we’ll take it, just book it.” We went to the gate. The gate agent finally called for first class boarding and proceeded to board the plane.

I called Heather before the plane doors closed (this was probably about 7 AM local time, 4 AM in Seattle). I remember this vividly: a very groggy sounding Heather answered on the first ring. “Heather we are on a plane.” “You are on a plane” she replied sounding far more perky but sounding almost in disbelief. “We land at Seatac at 11AM. So you and Jes (our son) need to go to our house and load all the equipment into the Lincoln LS” we had just purchased.  “Yes I almost yelled.” I also gave her instructions to have Jes get me a change of clothes for the wedding (Bobbi had one long dress with her in her carry on) and to pick us up at the airport. I also told her I’d call when we stopped in Minneapolis with a better arrival time (fortunately we could stay on the plane).

Well, to make the rest of the story short, we arrived at Seatac at about our scheduled time. Heather and Jes were waiting and I had never seen a happier young woman in my life. We went to the car and Heather drove to the Ft. Lewis chapel as I changed clothes in the back seat. And, we made it to the wedding before the bride arrived. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun. But, Bobbi and I were totally wiped out as Heather drove us home. The pictures turned out well. 

Grandmother, Groom, Bride, Mother of the Bride, Father of the Bride

Wedding Party

One year, when she was in high school, Heather was the art director for our Christmas card shoot.  She thought we were an eccentric family and tried to depict that in the picture.  She sported a cast as she had an inflamed metatarsal that wouldn’t heal. In the picture Chris was attacking his computer, I was a strict teacher, and Jes was a wild soccer player.  The huge white bear had been a gift from Grandma and Grandpa to Jes.  Needless to say we didn’t use the picture for our Christmas greeting that year.  No sense in advertising our failings! 

 Some of these quirks may have been caused because of our DNA.  I recently was gifted with a 23 and me DNA test kit.  It revealed some interesting results like– no fear of heights, can taste bitter foods, like sweet more than salty foods, have freckles, and have blue or green eyes.  But it also revealed some not so good things– tend to sweat during a workout, can develop bunions, about equal chances of being able or unable to match a musical pitch.

As I age I learn that many of my relatives have or are dealing with some strange physical things caused either by heredity or just the fallen nature of this world and our bodies.  As I started my lesson for Precepts Bible study in Mark I was delighted to read again that Jesus went about healing people as He was preaching in the synagogues.  So I’m looking forward to that day when He will be with us on earth. In Revelation 21:4 The Bible says,  “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” I’m looking forward to That Day–  I hope you are too.

“Mrs. Miniver” a 1942 movie– see video above– answers some of the questions that we may have in this season of pandemic, wars, floods, fires, earthquakes, and loss.  I recommend this movie as I found it helpful for inspiration to keep doing what is right.  I recalled Elizabeth Elliot’s advice to do the next thing when going through a tough time.  Below is the poem that inspired her.

Do it immediately;
Do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly,
casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
Tracing His Hand,
Who placed it before thee with
Earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
Safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,

(an old Saxon poem)

I am comforted because we know that in the end we will see God’s glory:

I Peter 4:12  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 

 Sermon by Steve Walker fast forward to minute 25

I’ve been a lukewarm Christian.  I made plans and pushed on with my life without consulting God.  It was when my two year old sent me to my knees that I finally surrendered my life to Jesus.  Today Pastor Steve Walker of Canyon Hills Community church in Bothell, WA started a study on the book of Jude.  We are warned about a lukewarm Christian life. First, we learn how much God loves us, and then we are tasked with preserving purity both in ourselves and in the church.

Many churches have studied Romans this year.  I noticed echos of Romans in Jude.  In Romans 1 we are told to avoid every kind of sexual sin:

 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Then next, because of the sexual sin, God gave them over to even more sin:

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.  

In like manner Jude calls Christians to persevere in these last days.  The last verse of Jude is sung in the You Tube below:

I love singing the last verse of Jude as a  doxology.  It gives glory to God for keeping us from falling.

I enjoy second place.  It makes for less pressure and stress.  Unfortunately I’ve been forced to replace the person who was first place several times.  

In 1964 I was EWU ROTC Sponsor Corps vice commander.  Sadly for me the commander quit school and got married.  I had to take over.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Somehow I muddled through with help from some of the Sponsor Corps members and some of the R.O.T.C. cadets.  

In 1966 when the Spokane School district was desperate for teachers the Dean of  EWU Women talked me into teaching at an elementary school in Spokane.  She happened to be the substitute teacher who needed replacing!  

One time in 1970 I showed up for work at the library in Spokane. I was told that I had to replace a librarian in a movie that was being shot that day. 

I believe that my mom was competitive but my dad was not.  I don’t know if that is true.  But if it is true I tend to take after my dad.

I am awestruck every time I see the Olympic athletes put everything they have into their sport.  Maybe if I had been more competitive I would have achieved more with my life.  But then again God will give us the desires of our hearts if we are obedient and follow Him.  My desire was to be second place and spend more time having fun!

I particularly liked this article about the Olympics by John Stonestreet. Click here to read.

Left to right Uncle Ernest, Uncle Hollis, Grandma Isabel, my dad David –1977 –photo by Chris

The first story my mom related about Uncle Ernest, (5 November 1916 to 15 January 1980), was that she was on the North Central High School journalism staff with him.  One day he took her books from her and threw them down the school hallway.  She was stunned.  Then he went and picked up her books and gave them to her.  He asked her out on a date.  When she went home and told her family that she had been invited out, her older sister Evelyn, insisted that my mom get dates for her and their friend so that they could go as a group.  When my mom told Ernest that her sister and their friend wanted to be included, Ernest brought his two brothers, Hollis (25 May 1912 to 10 November 1985), and David (22 June 1914 to 11 March 2003), along with him.  From then on my mom and dad were a couple.  Uncle Ernest met is wife Emily when he was teaching at Whitman College in Walla Walla.  Both couples were married in 1939– Ernest and Emily in September and Dave and Grace in November.  Hollis and Jeanne were married in March of 1940. 

The second story my mom told happened when I was two years old in 1945.  We were enjoying a day at a beach.  My mom loved to swim so she asked my Uncle Ernest if he would watch me.  Ernest assumed that I would be like my brother, Jay, and cousin Kit, and play in the sand.  No such luck.  I took off after my mom and jumped off the dock into the deep water.  Ernest had all of his shoes and clothes on but jumped in after me and brought me to shore.  He assumed I wouldn’t do that again.  Unfortunately I took off again and jumped in and he had to rescue me again.

When I was a  senior in high school Uncle Ernest advised me to develop a passion about something, and to choose that as a major in college.  I developed a passion for boys and dated as many as I could!

When I was in college Uncle Hollie gave me a whole bag of candy bars.  I was very popular in the dorm as long as they lasted.  When our daughter, Heather, was born, he built a rocking horse for her.  She still has it and used it with her children.

Hollis photo by Chris

Rocking horse by Hollis

I’m thankful that Uncle Ernest out lived his mother, Isabel, (26 March 1887 to 3 September 1979), by a year.  It is too difficult for a parent to loose a child to death.  Below is a favorite verse of my great Uncle Jay– Grandpa Claude’s younger brother.“I know not where His islands lift Their fronded palms in air;I only know I cannot drift Beyond His love and care.” Whittier
He knew God who is a stronghold for us.

 Duncan Gardens Spokane, photo by Chris

The lives of my grandparents, both sets of which settled in Spokane, seemed to be well ordered.  One grandfather was born in New York State and one grandmother was born in Wisconsin. The other grandmother and grandfather were born in Iowa.  Both my parents and my older brother were born in Spokane.  The Inland Empire, so it was called, seemed to be the ideal place to dwell.  But then WW II happened.  Families were displaced as a result.

Spokane Falls photo by Chris
My family ended up in California.  We adjusted to the mild weather and wonderful growing conditions for orchards and vegetable gardens.  We were thrilled when we had snow one day.  We didn’t need to change out of our summer clothes to enjoy the snow as it was all melted within hours.

Me with Evy photo by Grace
Then, due to a career change for my dad, we moved to Alaska.  That was culture shock for sure.  We wore heavy clothes almost all year round.  It was dark all day during the winter and daylight all day and night in the summer. My dad did shed down to a short sleeved shirt when the temp hit 0 degrees.  

Dick, Dorothy, Evy, Jay, me, neighbors. Photo by Grace
Two years later we were transferred to Washington D.C. We lived in Virginia and Dad commuted. What a shock to the system.  We were expected to wear more formal clothes, say “sir” and “ma’am,”use “white” fountains and rest rooms, attend “white” schools, etc.,etc.  I felt restricted– hemmed in.  The humidity was heavy and oppressive in the summer.  We had hurricanes and other heavy weather. The drivers were not prepared to drive in the snow. 

Jay, Emily, Grace, Wayne, Davy, Evy, Dave, Kit, me, Rinda. Photo by Ernie
But then I met some very nice people.  At church I felt loved– especially because of Reverend Mac and his family, and other kind people. When I attended Madison College in Harrisonburg, VA I had a roommate from southern Virginia.  Her accent was so deep we had difficulty understanding her.  When we were assigned to read “Uncle Remus” in our children’s lit course she read it to us flawlessly. I then appreciated people from different cultures.
I thought of all of this culture shock I had experienced in the past after reading two novels recently.  The first book was “Frontier Lady– Lone Star Legacy,” by Judith Pella.  It involves a woman being rescued by a tribe of Indians and marrying one of the chiefs.  I enjoyed learning about the different thinking of the various tribes.  But it was a shock to me to see that they had no knowledge of Jesus or about His love and sacrifice for them.  There were some who did know in their hearts that there is a God. Because of that they chose to do what was right. 
Then I read– “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” by Zara Neale Hurston.  It is written in that deep southern dialect which makes it hard to read.  I wished I had my old roommate to read it to me. Through the whole book all I could think about was that these are little sheep who have no Good Shepherd. They were running hither and thither living but not knowing the care of Jesus.  If they had only known about God and how good His laws are they wouldn’t have been so lost.  But there were some in this story who knew instinctively that there is a God and that they are accountable in the end.  
And now we have culture shock in America.  Some are so lost and have no idea that they have a Good Shepherd to watch.  God has revealed Himself through creation and through His Word.  No one has an excuse.  I pray that all will turn to God before it is too late.
How about you?  Have you ever struggled with culture shock?

Amir Tsarfati spoke last Sunday in Bothell, WA.  He is a messianic Jew and is an Israeli.  You can find out more about him on his website  His sermon sprinkled with humor, was thorough.  He covered the appearance of Jesus to the disciples after the  resurrection, and then the prophecies in the Old Testament.  If you would like to know more about end times he gives scripture references.  Click on the You Tube above to hear his 45 minute discourse.

My dad did some writing about family in his later years.  He wrote this about Evy several years after she had passed away.  


I’m not very good at remembering names, but some stick with me for 
various reasons. Out of hundreds of men in my medium tank battalion, 
I can recall only 2 names. Captain Kidd was so easy, but for a 
beautiful name it was Peter Rigoletto Spinabella. Difficult names I 
find are forgettable. My neurologist spells his last name K-O-O-I-K-
E-R (pronounced Quaker). Trying to pronounce it over the telephone 
gave me fits. Some names I try to identify from national origin, 
others with personality. 

Evelyn was a shy personality — a wall flower. She had an older 
sister who tended to dominate, and a younger brother who got lots of 
attention. When Evelyn learned to read, books were her best 
friends. She read History, Biography, Art Music, Languages, 
Economics, Political Science, the Encyclopedia and lots more. 

Often artistic objects would appear around her; a large painting, a 
small painting, an afghan, a tool box
 When asked about them she 
would shrug it off with “Oh I did that in my spare time.” She played 
Guitar, Clarinet and Saxophone. 

When selling Girl Scout Cookies in a big office, she found that while 
she could not speak to the whole crowd at once, she was comfortable 
with one-on-one contacts. Her shyness drew sympathy and customers 
found themselves buying more cookies than they had expected. The 
Girl Scout leaders were puzzled by her far above average sales. That 
sort of surprise at her success was happening more and more often. 

When a statewide band or orchestra was being formed, she decided to 
take her clarinet and try out in an over packed field. Aggressive 
candidates urged the conductor to choose them. Evelyn as usual stood 
next to the wall. Finally the conductor decided to put on a 
blindfold and listen to each one without peeking. He was astounded 
to find that he had put Evelyn in first chair when he had not even 
noticed her before. 

Evelyn attended a couple of institutions of higher learning including 
University of Washington. She graduated from U. C. Santa Barbara 
with a degree in Mathematics and Computers. She went to work at 
Ampex, the company that Invented taped TV shows for broadcast. For 
sports they introduced Instant Replay. Their customers were TV 
stations and networks. The company kept finding more useful chores 
that Evelyn could handle. She earned a graduate degree in 
International Finance by staying hours after work to listen to 
professors who were successful business men throughout Silicon 
Valley. These professors urged Evelyn to consult with them by 
computer and TV screen; that introduced her to key figures in that 
technical business. She gained many important and useful contacts. 

Evelyn wound up moving up from Ampex to Ampex International. Each 
morning she checked the Wall Street Journal on Financial Money 
Markets. Salesmen and representatives of Ampex called her from far 
parts of the globe. She was not chief of anything but they needed to 
know “Should we require cash for the sale or would it be safe to 
extend credit?” With several phones on her desk she was able to 
answer questions or help people make connections. A truck driver 
might come to the loading dock to pick up crated equipment and find 
nothing ready. Instead of working upward through responsible lines 
of control, taking much time, the driver could go to Evelyn to 
explain his problem. She would make a phone call and the driver’s 
problem was solved. 

Her experience with credit made her invaluable to the credit union. 
When a borrower decided to buy a car she found there was no stopping 
it even when poor deals were set up. She did her best to make sure 
her credit union got the best deals. 

Evelyn was taller than average, so what little dating she did was 
with men who were taller than she was. One (Jay Richwood) was 
especially smitten by her personality and she finally married him. 
She made sure he completed a degree in Pharmacology. He got a job 
representing a drug research and sales company. 

Then it all came apart. She was struck down with Lymphoma cancer and 
died at the age of 49. Many of those in the large group of Ampex 
mourners were heard to say “What will we do without Evelyn?”

( Yes, the whole family was lost without her.  She was the support of all of us.)

The Kings Return, a Dallas based a cappella group, arranged, “God Bless America,”  and performed it in the above video. 

Have a wonderful 4th!🎆