Amish Annoyance

If you know me pretty well… you know that I have an unusual dislike… the amish.

This has all developed within the last four years or so. Where I grew up we have always had both Mennonites and Amish living in the general area. I think the Mennonites are wonderful, neighborly, and hardworking folks. The amish were never a problem until they moved about two miles away.

The have their buggies on the rode after dark nearly causing a bunch of accidents (at least three close calls in my family alone). They don’t understand the concept of private property (they’ve been in our fields at least two times). This has caused us to have to put up a new gate. Even more disturbing is that parts on people’s equipment comes up “missing” after the Amish have a problem with their equipment.

My biggest annoyance… their hypocrisy. Take this article from Fox News. What do the amish do… they get “taxi drivers.” If they can’t own a car or drive one… how is that they can ride in one? In the same light… how is that they can pay someone to do their cattle hauling? Or even more annoying… come to your house and ask to use your phone?

I’m going to spend some time helping out my mom and grandma for the next couple of days. I’m expecting the Amish to show up and ask to buy some property or equipment. Hopefully their buggy can go back down the hill quick because if it doesn’t my grandma has already said she’ll call the sheriff to arrest them for trespassing. 

Now I just need to go find some friendly, fresh, home-cooked Mennonite cooking…

Funeral Post…

My grandfather, Elvis “Harvey” McBride, passed away on Monday, August 11, at St. Mary’s Health Center in Jefferson City with his daughter (my mom) at his side.

We were spared having to make some awful decisions about further care (essentially hospice). His doctors and nurses were wonderful. My pastor provided wonderful pastoral care for both my grandfather and for my family.

The visitation was on Wednesday and the funeral was on Thursday. This was a very emotional time for me and for my mom (since we are both “lonely only’s”). We heard a wonderful Christ-centered, Cross-focused message from my pastor at the funeral. Grandpa’s pallbearers were five of his great-nephews and my best friend since preschool who golfed with grandpa and me (when Elliott visited grandpa in the hospital… grandpa told him to keep hitting it up the middle).

The graveside service was especially emotional. It was rainy pretty hard and we had military honors. Two young sailors folded the flag and gave it to my grandma. Then came taps and the gun-salute.

The funeral dinner hosted by the women’s groups from St. Paul’s was as “fun” as it could be on a really rough day. We enjoyed seeing family and friends, telling stories about grandpa, and rejoicing in the hope that we through Jesus’ death on the cross.

Good Thing – First Aid Training

My stack of American Red Cross certification cards is pretty big. It includes Lifeguarding, CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer, Oxygen Administration, Bloodborne Pathagens, Emergency Response, and Standard First Aid and CPR. I’m certified in all those areas and I also serve as an instructor.

Guess what… in my ten years as lifeguard and five years as an instructor… I’ve only got in the water once in a rescue and the most extensive first aid I’ve done is do some heavy duty bandaging on a kid at camp.

My wife (who I’ve taught in FA/CPR) however, has had two seperate occasions where she has been the primary rescuer. Once at a Panera (I think) when a worker had a seizure (she was standing in line) and today at her current employment (a food service establishment) when a patron fainted.

I’m certainly proud of my wife… but it does seem funny that I’ve never had to deal with anything like that before. I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Night number whenever

In my previous post I said that my grandpa was doing 100% better. He slipped some on Monday. He was diagnosed with a very serious blood infection on Monday and they also said he seems to have had a series of mini-strokes (they aren’t really a worry for us right now). He is still battling pneomonia. On Monday he also pulled out his feeding tube and got pretty fiesty with a nurse over putting it back in. Currently he’s without a tube. Tomorrow they may put in a “peg tube” in his side. They are also going to reevaluate his condition to determine if they can do surgery on a sore that is probably causing the blood infection. That surgery was supposed to happen today , but he was too unstable this morning.

He hasn’t been alone since he came in last week. Mom and I have been here together each night since Sunday. They got us a room down the hall a couple of nights ago which has been a true godsend. This will be my fifth night at the hospital since last week.

Please continue to keep my grandfather Elvis (or Harvey) in your prayers in this difficult time.

Carrier Trip Video

From KETC, LIVING ST. LOUIS Producer Anne-Marie Berger traveled to California for a special tour of the USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. As guests of the U.S. Navy, Anne-Marie, photojournalist Scot Page and KETC board member Jeffrey McDonnell began their visit at the Naval Air Station on North Island in San Diego. From there, they flew in a C-2 cargo plane that landed directly on the Stennis, 100 miles off the coast. After 36 hours on board, they were catapulted off of the carrier’s flight deck.

In most shots I’m in a blue jacket with white stripes on the sleeves. I’ll hopefully post some of my own video in the future.

Update on Grandpa and the family

Grandpa is doing well…. 100% better than my previous post. He is out of ICU, breathing better, blood pressure has been stabalized and is talking. He got pretty fiesty last night and pulled out his feeding tube and then stood up beside the bed. Much better today. The move wore him out so he rested most of the evening. I’m pulling another night shift just to have somebody close by and watch out for him (my family lives about 40 minutes from the hospital).

Mom is home now after being in Alexandria, Virginia for her high school class reunion. She actually missed it because of the health crisis. My mom rocks… she drove 998 miles on Friday straight through with only stops for gas, bathroom breaks, and soda. 15 1/2 hours = average speed of 64.5 miles per hour roughly. She’s a trooper.

Lisa was also here with me this weekend so last night Lisa (my wife if you haven’t figured it out), my mom, and I went to a wedding. One of my cousins married a young lady from my church. We got to see lots of family, lots of friends, and some of my old teachers. It was a blast all around. My pastor did the ceremony and gave a great sermon. It is so nice to hear Jesus mentioned not simply as an example, but as the Savior of the world. I also have to say my pastor is a great guy because he came twice in two days to check on my grandpa. My grandpa doesn’t come to church much at all and doesn’t consider himself religious, but he loves my pastor. They always visit in the Chinese restaurant in town and he loves talking to Pastor and pastor’s wife. Pastor always gives him the Gospel. When pastor walked in the room on Thursday night when things were looking grim he prayed one of the most beautiful prayers I’ve heard pointing my grandfather to the cross and to what Jesus did for him.

Today I preached (sermon number 4) at my home church. I preached on the Gospel text (Feeding of the 5,000). I had been prepping for this one for a while since it was somewhat of a special occasion. A family at my home church has an endowment fund set up to support seminarians. I’ve been close with the family for just about my whole life. The endowment is named after a woman named Elora. I was confirmed with her autistic grandson and went to high school with her granddaughter. Today was a family reunion for them of sorts and a dinner was held in my honor at their house. I was invited to preach because of this. I have to admit… it was fun! My pastor even commented that I must have been reading Nagel. I also taught Bible story on John 20. This was done on the fly (since I just finished a John course at the sem) and I haven’t had time to prep with grandpa being in the hospital. I may post the sermon… I may not.

Well, I’m off to bed. I’ll keep posting updates. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Prayers for Grandpa

I’m sitting in the hospital (St. Mary’s-Jefferson City, MO) with my grandfather right now. I got in at about 10:30 p.m. last evening… and spent the night.

Over 13 years ago he had a single bypass, heart valve replacement, pacemaker implanted, and an internal defibrillator implanted. For the next 12 years he had no problems. A little over a year ago he had a bought with pneumonia and hasn’t been the same since. He’s been hospitalized at least four times this year alone. He was brought in by ambulance two nights ago when my grandma couldn’t get him out of his chair. He went into respiratory arrest last night and I rushed to Jeff City from St. Louis (I was coming this afternoon anyway to see grandpa and preach at my home church). My mom is currently driving from Washington, D.C. where she was at for her class reunion. The problems are: his kidney’s nearly quick working because of the lasix they gave him (last month) for pneumonia, also his blood pressure was down dramatically

This is especially difficult for me since I was raised by my mom, my grandma, and my grandpa. My father has never been in the picture (left when I was less than a year old) so my grandpa has been and still is my father. He taught me how to golf and still gives me tips. He taught me how to shoot. He taught me so many things about being a good man and being kind, gracious, and loving.

I ask for your prayers for him (his name is Elvis) and for my family.

Almighty God and gracious Father, in Your mercy look on those whose increasing years bring them weakness, anxiety, distress, or loneliness. Grant that they may always know care and respect, concern and understanding. Grant them willing hearts to accept help and, as their strength wanes, increase their faith with the constant assurance of Your love through Jesus Christ, their Savior. Amen.

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need, look with favor upon your servant Elvis. Assure him of Your mercy, deliver him from the temptations of the evil one, and give him patience and comfort in his illness. If it please You, restore him/her/them to health, or give him grace to accept this tribulation with courage and hope; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.