Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter 2019

Happy Easter!

May the resurrection bring you hope and build your faith.

As the sun rises on this Easter day to warm the Earth and our hearts remember that the cross is empty, the stone is rolled away, and our Savior having defeated death is risen. 

The message of the day is love and unmerited forgiveness!

Titus 3:5-7 New English Translation (NET Bible)

he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”

Share the excitement!

He is Risen!
He is Risen, indeed!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Unwelcome Visitor

Raccoon in the Tree by the Drive
Shot through the Window of my Truck
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
An unwelcome visitor has apparently moved into the neighborhood. 

My neighbor had told me about the visitor last week, but yesterday, I had a visual sighting while backing into my drive.

Raccoon in the Tree
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
I was concerned about spotting a raccoon during the daytime as I had always thought that meant a sick animal, but I did some reading and discovered that at this time of year, nursing mothers often hunt during the day for food for themselves and at night to feed the babies--that is a scary thought. The readings also indicated that if the raccoon is not stumbling or walking never, that it is likely not sick. This raccoon was very nimble running across the neighbor's lawn and up the tree to monitor me as I backed into the drive.

The other thing the readings indicated was that if you see one raccoon, then you have an infestation. Things will likely be getting worse around here. It has been a long time since we have had raccoons. It was a few years ago when the last ones ventured through. I remember that they were always into the garbage--ugh. A terrible mess. 

I guess we will have to deal with it as it comes. And if there are little raccoons involved, the messes are sure to begin, soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 19, 2019

Dancing Lights in the Glass

Lights Dancing in the Wine Glass
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
It happened again last evening. 

It has been a while, actually since the Ides of March, when Chris and I last enjoyed ending an evening around a fire pit. The weather has been too cold or our lives too busy to enjoy an evening ending glass of wine and fire in the pit. But, last evening after mulching gardens, mowing the lawn and doing some other chores around the house we enjoyed a glass, or two, of wine around the fire pit. It was nice--it was the first evening since we had left for Florida during late March that we had been together with suitable weather to enjoy a fire pit evening. 

Fire in the OPit
Elkridge, MD
April 19, 2019
Chris and I reconnect during these evenings. Life is busy, too busy, and I need an evening of staring into the flames to help me recover from the day.

I look forward to these times which are generally cell phone free zones to talk and dream, and dream some more. The future is out there and it is being shaped by the present. 

Last evening I heard the peepers as they sang the evening away to darkness, I also heard the jets flying past and the train roaring in the distance. But, I also saw that our brown bats had returned for the year as they were winging their way across the sky above our heads. Springtime has truly arrived and the almost 80 degree temperatures made it seem as if Summer were knocking on the seasonal door.

It was a perfect ending to the day, preparing me for the challenges of today.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Fire at Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Paris
As it Was
Much has been written about Notre Dame and the fire. I know that it is almost anti-climatic for me to write something, but now that the embers have cooled in Paris and the extent of the damage is known, I have been reflecting upon the edifice and my own personal experience confronting history inside of the building. 

Notre Dame on Fire
April 2019
I was fortunate to have visited Notre Dame twice during the early 1990s, while living in Europe, I enjoyed visiting Paris and Notre Dame, in addition to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre among the many other attractions in Paris. Caricatures of my three children still hand in our house that were drawn during a visit to Montmartre. They were much younger then, of course.

It was back in the day when cameras still used film and we never really knew how the pictures we snapped looked until after processing and printing. I have them somewhere, but failed to find them before writing this blog entry.

The Coronation of Napoleon
I remember standing in the cathedral, amazed by the sheer size of the place. Seeing where Napoleon once stood and crowned himself emperor was breathtaking as was the painting, Coronation of Napoleon,  by David of the scene which is in the Louvre. I also was able to walk among the gargoyles atop one of the towers of the cathedral and look out over Paris. One day, I had hoped to return to Paris and retrace my steps and visit the cathedral again, however, that will not likely now happen. 

Watching the news, during the fire, I was there in spirit with the Parisians singing hymns and mourning the loss one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Under the Lights

GORC Park Field 7
GORC U12 (Haslup) vs Bowie
April 16, 2019
It was a beautiful evening for baseball. 

The temperatures were cool, but not uncomfortable and there was no wind. The field beckoned to the players almost calling them by name and inviting them to ply their craft on the dirt and grass.

The boys were ready to take the field and being the home team they had an advantage. They would have the last ups! And as the night progressed they really needed it.

The game degenerated a bit as the innings turned over from top to bottom. While the team kept the score close, that fact that we only had three base runners finally caught up with the  boys and the mercy rule was enforced at the bottom of the fifth inning with the score 11-1.

Mercifully it was over. Although, it never seemed as bad as the final score would seem to suggest.

But we have more work to do with our players. Practice is tonight and the next game is a week away.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Springtime Blossoms

Bleeding Hearts in My Garden
The bleeding hearts are in bloom and bushing-out as springtime deepens. 

The leaves have become visible on the trees and are beginning to provide shade to the lawn that I really need to mow, but it was too cold and windy last evening. 

There are 15 bags of mulch ready to be placed in the gardens and many more hours to spend cutting wood. Why does it seem that there are many more projects than hours to accomplish them?

I looked longingly at the pool cover thinking that it might be time to open the pool and then the 51 degree evening temperature brought me back to reality. 

All in good time.

Tonight, the baseball team has its second game of the year! Here is hoping for a better result. We will be playing under the lights as the game ends.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Musings - April 15, 2019

1. It is Monday April 15, 2019, and that means it is Tax Day! Are your taxes done? After that, adjust your withholding so that you don't have to pay as much.

Hillsborough Winery
April 14, 2019
2. Easter and the beginning of Passover occur during the same period this year. May your thoughts turn to things that are normally outside of our daily experience and give you hope for the future.

3. While visiting wineries yesterday, we discovered a a bucolic scene in northern Loudoun County.

4. It was a rough start for our Under 12 baseball team on Saturday. We dropped our home opener 12-6. But, the game was much closer than the score. A very few small things could have cause the score to be reversed! Next game is Tuesday night!

Lt Col (ret) Dick Cole
5. Retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders who rallied the nation’s spirit during the darkest days of World War II, has passed away. Cole, who was then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the No. 1 bomber during the daring 1942 raid to strike Japan, was 103. His passing reminds us of the lopsided struggle against the forces of Imperial Japan during the early days of World War 2 and how this band of 80 men who participated in this spring raid raised the spirits of America and got the country back on the road to eventually triumph against the forces of oppression. Read more in The Air Force Times

6. I am happy to be back home in Maryland after a week of travel. Maybe I will be caught up by Wednesday.

7. While I am not a fan of rain on the weekends, at least the rain yesterday meant that I did not feel guilty for visiting some wineries instead of working in the yard! I have 15 bags of mulch ready to be places and a lawn that actually needs to be mowed. I believe i will be very busy this evening.

8. Let me wish all of you a Happy Easter and/or a blessed Passover.

9. Today in History. On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson, age 28, becomes the first African-American player in Major League Baseball when he steps onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn to compete for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson broke the color barrier in a sport that had been segregated for more than 50 years. Exactly 50 years later, on April 15, 1997, Robinson’s groundbreaking career was honored and his uniform number, 42, was retired from Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bud Selig in a ceremony attended by over 50,000 fans at New York City’s Shea Stadium. Robinson’s was the first-ever number retired by all teams in the league.


Tiger Woods, in a Stirring Return to the Top, Captures the Masters at 43 - The New York Times

Is America Becoming an Oligarchy? - The New York Times

Exclusive: U.S. waters down demand China ax subsidies in push for trade deal - sources - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

A grade school class in Somerville, Massachusetts, recently wrote me to say, ``We studied about countries and found out that each country in our world is beautiful and that we need each other. People may look a little different, but we're still people who need the same things.'' They said, ``We want peace. We want to take care of one another. We want to be able to get along with one another. We want to be able to share. We want freedom and justice. We want to be friends. We want no wars. We want to be able to talk to one another. We want to be able to travel around the world without fear.''
And then they asked, ``Do you think that we can have these things one day?'' Well, I do. I really do. Nearly 2,000 years after the coming of the Prince of Peace, such simple wishes may still seem far from fulfillment. But we can achieve them. We must never stop trying.
The generation of Americans now growing up in schools across our country can make sure the United States will remain a force for good, the champion of peace and freedom, as their parents and grandparents before them have done. And if we live our lives and dedicate our country to truth, to love, and to God, we will be a part of something much stronger and much more enduring than any negative power here on Earth. That's why this weekend is a celebration and why there is hope for us all.
Thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Radio Address to the Nation on the Observance of Easter and Passover, April 2, 1983

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Tail End

April 13, 2019
The end of the family birthday season has arrived. It is a long season, beginning during late-September and concluding in April during which there are ten specific celebrations.

Ethan Conquering the Candles
April 13, 2019
Yesterday marked Ethan's birthday. The family gathered together to mark the event. It is the last birthday celebration until September. I hate to call it the "tail end" birthday, because he was the first grandson--but it is what it is. Everyone else managed to fit their birthday's somewhere in between. Not that any of us really had a choice.

I find Ethan's birthday to be special in a unique way. He shares a birthday with Thomas Jefferson! Most people are not aware of Jefferson's birthday, but by sharing it with Ethan at least our family is cognizant of the date.

Happy Birthday Ethan! May you celebrate many more!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 13, 2019

From Blizzard to Sun

Denver International Airport
April 11, 2019
The week of travel is over and I have thankfully returned home.

Somewhere over the Western U.S.
April 11, 2019
It was an interesting week given all of the places that I visited and sights that I witnessed. 

Thursday was an interesting day. I awoke in Denver in the aftermath of the bomb-vortex blizzard and headed to the airport to depart for sunny southern California. It was cold and the aircraft were covered with snow, as were the ramps and taxiways. 

But my flight departed on time, to the amazement of many,  and along the way I was treated to a spectacular scene somewhere over the western U.S. I wound up with a rare window seat in the aircraft, I almost always get aisle seat, but once we were underway, I enjoyed the scenery for a while. I loved this image because try as I might, I could not find any evidence of human affect on the land. There was not even a roadway in sight.
Morning Arrival
Los Angeles International Airport
April 12, 2019

I was happy to deplane in Los Angeles and enjoy the sun and palm trees. 

Although my stay in LA was only an overnight, I did enjoy the relative warmth after the blizzard and, of course, I always feel better when I see the palm trees. 

All-in-all the trip was a success and I am now happy to be home with the travel behind me. Amazingly, I was three-for-three in on-time flights crossing two different airlines. 

Time to get back into my normal day-to-day life.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 12, 2019

Out the Hotel Window - Los Angeles, CA, April 2019

Out my LA Hotel Window
April 11. 2019
For the last evening of my trip, I wound up at a hotel with many stories between me and the ground overlooking LAX. I can hear the sounds of the aircraft engines as they run up in preparation for taxi or takeoff. 

The scene out my window is busy! There is traffic and there are aircraft. There are people scurrying too and fro. 

It is scene of life and activity. I am well about the chaos, but I can still hear the activity.

It was a much nicer day in LA on Thursday than I experienced on Wednesday during the Colorado Spring Blizzard! What a mess that was. 

Well, as I leave this morning, I am finally heading home and soon this trip will be a memory.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Los Angeles, CA
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