Belgian Food

In Belgium we were looking for a good restaurant with our friend, Hugues, and we came across this one.  We didn’t choose to eat here, because we wanted tradition Belgian food, but we thought it was pretty funny.

Instead we chose one that served us outside.  It was delicious!

We also found the best Belgian waffles with lots of toppings to choose from!

All too soon is was time to say farewell to Hugues, and to be on our way.

 

 

 

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Belgium Up Close

When reviewing my photos of Belgium I noticed several showing some of the details of the city, so here they are.  I love this exquisite detail on old buildings and cathedrals.

It was great hearing this small group perform.

Hugues

One of the reasons we wanted to go to Brussels was to see our dear friend, Hugues, one of our first Rotary exchange students that lived with us years ago.  It was exciting to meet him in the square, and to spend a few hours with him.

And clown around with him.

So now we had our own private tour guide and he showed us all around.

Of course, he took us right away to “Manneken Pis,” the peeing boy, which oddly I had never heard about before.  He’s quite famous; you can buy statues with clothes for him; what a riot.

Hugues also showed us where to find the best Belgium chocolate, explained all the important government and international buildings and showed us some beautiful places.

Next time we go we’ll need to see his family and the area where he lives and works, but it was great to see him again.

Change the World

I read a great devotion from one of our local pastors in our newspaper’s “Minister’s Moments” recently, and have asked permission to share it in full (make sure you read to the very end). This is so true and helpful, especially in times like these.  He begins with a quote from another writer:

Part of the truth always includes our own shortcomings.  We do well to begin by confessing them.  When I confess my own sins, I tend to make peace, and when I confess the other person’s sins, I tend to make war. — Samuel M. Shoemaker

It is only natural to want to blame something or someone.  Holding people accountable rings hollow because it has been said so many times with no measurable change.  The finger pointing, telling others that they are responsible, the media is to blame and the list goes on, does not change the perception and action in our society.  Our public conversations don’t go anywhere but around and around with no real path toward a resolution.  My role in this?  I get silent and stew.

Then this prayer comes to mind and I add the emphasis in italics.  “Lord, make us (me) instrument(s) of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let us (me) sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.  Grant that we (I) may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we (I) receive; it is in pardoning that we (I) are/am pardoned; and it is in dying that we (I) are/am born to eternal life” [quote from St. Francis of Assisi].

I realize this prayer is about me.  I am not going to pretend that love will solve all the ills of society.  I cannot change somebody’s life, but I can change mine.  What I can do is pay close attention to those around me.  Not to get others to do my will, but to seek to understand their fears, hopes, and dreams.  I don’t seek to explain their and my fears away; I acknowledge that their fear is real for all of us.

How will I turn the tide of fear and hostility?  I will work on living beyond the anxiety of this point in history.  I will acknowledge my own dread and hostility and not share it with others.  I will work on going in a different direction; I will go toward the hope, when faced with despair; I will move toward the light when in darkness; I can seek faith when in doubt; and when I am sad I will work on being open to joy.  I can seek understanding before explaining.  I will own the power of my own humanity and love.  For me, it is about affirming the dignity of every human being through the love of Christ.  This is how I choose to change the world and make peace for myself and for others.  — Rev. Doug Wasinger, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Buffalo Bulletin, 2/21/18

 

Thanks

Here’s a big whopping thanks for those who:

  • Have been sponsoring precious children through the years
  • Regularly write your child and encourage them
  • Provide monetary gifts for Christmas and birthdays
  • Pray for children and families
  • Take a vacation to visit your child
  • Encourage friends to do the same

Games

We had fun hanging out with our friends in Jackson.  There’s plenty to do, even without wifi or TV.  In this photo we’re playing Left, Right, Center.  My goal was to get rid of all the candy bars I had left over, and the scheme worked for me.  Everyone else won rounds of the game except me.

There’s plenty of time to sit and admire the mountain views.

We took our friends to see the Cunningham cabin, and I couldn’t avoid taking a few “through the window” photos.

We also drove them through the National Park.

Then we returned home and shot some pop cans with a bb gun.  We all found out it isn’t easy to shoot from a moving swing, but it was a lot of fun.

 

 

 

Eclipse

We had a great opportunity to watch the full eclipse of the sun at my dad’s home in Jackson Hole.  Some friends from Kansas–Gretchen and Jim–came to join us, as well as two of our kids.  Thankfully, the weather was great that day.

Paul and Jim set up tripods for their cameras and we watched the entire process with great enthusiasm.  We had free glasses from the library.

We saw the crescent sun in the shadows from a colander we had on hand.

And also in the shadow of the trees.

But the most exciting moment, of course, is when totality arrives and the beautiful horizon lights up in all four directions.

We could clearly see the corona effect.  Then, very soon, it was daylight again and it was cool to see a jet that had apparently come across the Tetons to view the total eclipse turn back to the North.