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The Gift of Life


Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, December 18, 2000

When the phone rang at three a.m. last Monday morning, my husband Joe sat straight up out of a deep sleep, "Baby time," he said.

With one foot on the floor, he then heard me saying, "Yes, you can dry ginger and black peppers.”

After a pause, I asked the man with a deep accent on the other end of the line, "Where are you calling from?"

"Tanzania."

"What time is it there?"

"Noon," he replied.

After answering his questions as best I could, I lay back down. In my Internet-based business of selling food dehydrators, books and supplies, giving advice in the middle of the night is not all that unusual.

Then a few minutes later the phone rang again. This time, we were both convinced it had to be my son, Eric, or his wife, Shayla announcing they were on their way to the hospital, but again it was the Tanzanian devil. This time he wanted to know how to dry bananas.

Everything had been ready for weeks: the crib, high chair, blankets and most importantly lots of lots of room in our hearts for unconditional love. We had talked with other first-time grandparents about the sheer joy of an absolutely fabulous, beautiful new baby.

The responsibility of being grandparents and passing down our traditions to another generation helped Joe and I acknowledge how influential our grandparents and parents have been. We remembered the cookies, the Sunday pot roasts after church, tobogganing on fresh snow and hot chocolate, the family get-togethers, the stories, and the fishing expeditions. We talked about how going to our grandparents meant there was one safe place, when the rest of the world seemed out of control and scary. They provided the rock, the foundation, and the base that we could always count on.

Since Eric and Shayla knew they were expecting a boy, my grandson has already had an identity for quite some time and I think this has helped all of us to connect with him. The wait was all that was left. One night I dreamed of a little boy standing next to the road with two older Indian men, one on each side of him. Eric dreamed of seeing his son lying in his crib, looking up with open eyes.

Then on Wednesday, December 13th at 10:59 p.m. Hunter Evans Gehrke entered this world. At the hospital, I saw Eric and Shayla instantly bond with this little buckaroo, falling into the role of parent as naturally as one breathes. I was overwhelmed with pride watching .....
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Up In Smoke

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 15, 2001

Lately, there have been many commercials by teenagers on a crusade against smoking. They sight that “Big Tobacco” companies have targeted underaged smokers by using cartoon mascots, supporting high school sporting even ..... 
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Winter Birds

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 22, 2000

January 1, 2001: We hear birds singing and see activity in fir trees as we drive slowly past a farm bordering the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Dana Gardner and I are participating in the Whitewater Christ ..... 
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What’s In A Name?

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 8, 2001

While it may not have mattered much to Romeo’s Juliet, names are of paramount importance to those working in the biological sciences. Naturally, in the absence of names a discussion on virtually any topic would prove at ..... 
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Escape from America

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, December 11, 2000

I guess I’m a snowbird at heart because every year about this time, once the temperature dips below zero and looks like it’s going to stay there awhile, I start yearning to go south. Way south. All the way down to Ecu ..... 
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Rural Free Delivery

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 15, 2001

When it is seventeen minutes past noon, it is time for us to get the mail. Most of the time we can set our clocks by our mail delivery person who is very punctual. I once commented to him regarding his remarkable punct ..... 
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Chicken Run

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 22, 2000

“It’s hard being brave when you’re a chicken.”
~from the movie Chicken Run

I am not much of a golfer. I rationalize my poor scores with the notion that I am involved in too many other activities to dev ..... 
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Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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