Traditionally, newspaper columnists have offered up little lists about this time of year, designed to inspire, amuse, or inform their alleged readers by giving their resolutions, opinions of the preceding year, predictions, or wishes for the coming year.
It seems appropriate in this space to present some historical thoughts by writers from the past on the passing of the old year and the coming of the new. Seeking them out, we found some witty, some cynical, some incredibly optimistic, some full of wisdom, and some—well—a little boring.
“When we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out.” St. John Chrysostom, 347 A.D. Continue reading
It’s a little anticlimactic to watch the ball drop in New York on New Year’s Eve knowing it’s a rebroadcast from three hours earlier, and after you’ve seen all the fireworks go off hours earlier in Australia or Japan or London. I wish it turned 2019 at the same time everywhere. Having so many time zones is so confusing. Here’s a simple test: what time is it right now in Frankfurt? In India? In Japan? What did I tell you, confusing, huh? If it weren’t for smartphones and their apps, we wouldn’t be able to keep it all straight. Continue reading
Many Portland drivers probably wonder why there are so many curb pop-outs on Portland streets. The pop-outs, also called bioswales, are usually shaped like rectangles or triangles and filled with plants, grass and a drain pipe.
While advocates think the bioswales are important to protect water quality, a new report https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditservices/article/705164 released by the Portland Auditor shows that there is little evidence to support such claims. The problem is the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services doesn’t have a monitoring plan. Continue reading
50 years ago today, over 500,000 United States military personnel were deployed to Vietnam. The New Year of 1969 brought many of the same experiences of 1968. 1968 was the year of the greatest number of casualties during the Vietnam War. Almost 3 million warriors served in Vietnam. Thousands were from Oregon. All totaled, there were over 58,000 American troops who died in Vietnam; 710 of them were Oregonians.
These were the sons and daughters of the Greatest Generation. The Vietnam generation of warriors went to war and served their country well. Yet, when they returned from serving their nation, they did not get a Thank You, let alone a “Welcome Home”. Continue reading
Increasing funding to Oregon’s school system may seem like an admirable attempt to give all kids their best shot. But the answer to our never-ending quest to educate children isn’t blowing the budget; it’s smart spending. The most recent public school spending proposals fail to mention a potential source for the extra billion dollars per year in education spending they include—which would be compounded by Oregon’s extraordinarily expensive public pension plan. Raising Oregon’s already-high taxes to hire more teachers while promising pensions Oregon can’t deliver is a recipe for disaster. Continue reading
One hour? Do I have one hour? Well, I could eat lunch…or I could text a friend…or play “Words with Friends.” I could run my many errands, and drive over to Starbucks and get a quick coffee…but did I hear that there are some people meeting for an hour to pray?
My friend who runs Apple of His Eye Charity, felt compelled to open their office each day for prayer. One hour, Mon- Fri. from noon – 1pm. Who would come? Who would give up their lunch hour to pray for the orphan, widow, poor and forgotten around the world?
Tj was called to start this charity through a penny she found on the ground while running. She had been arguing with God about taking the next step, but God definitely got her attention during this prayer run. At first, she dismissed the dirty penny as worthless Continue reading
We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy Perfect Light. Continue reading
Wayde and I absolutely love being grandparents. Our hearts stop when Jordana and Johnathan reach out their little arms to us, when they cry out, “GiGi…Papa!” I’m constantly taking pictures. I want to record, to remember every moment. They grow up so fast. So, I got our pictures taken for Christmas; it was a beautiful morning. We had gotten up early to make sure we were ready in time, gathering some last-minute items to hopefully hold the babies’ attention so we could obtain that perfect picture. As we pulled up to the tree farm, I could just make out the top of the camper through the trees. I was excited to see the scene that our photographer, Kristi Crawford, had created for this season’s shoot. She did not disappoint us. It gave the feeling of being on a cozy winter holiday, far away from all the complications of life. Continue reading
Another Christmas fast approaches, prompting delightful memories of Christmas long past. Oh, the wonderful traditions that filled our days come December 1st! I was one of two girls, older than my sister, and “full of vinegar!” My memories are numerous. Those days it always snowed! Every Christmas was white. We lived in Northeast Portland on the corner juncture of four streets – Alameda Dr., Mason, 20th, and the hill that led down to Sabin grade school. That hill was long and even turned a corner! The sledding was amazing – for both us kids and our tireless parents.
We all knew each other well – as neighbors did in those days. Television was fairly new and radio was our old standby. Tucked in the breakfast nook, finally home from school, my sister and I could hardly wait for the radio to blare forth with: “And Here’s the Cinnamon Bear!” Half an hour Continue reading
On a crisp, clear morning 104 years ago, thousands of British, Belgian and French soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches, and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the Western front. In the hundred-plus years since, the event has been seen as a kind of miracle, a rare moment of peace just a few months into a war that would eventually claim over 15 million lives.
But what actually happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of 1914? And did they really play soccer on the battlefield?
To this day historians continue to disagree over the specifics: no one knows where it began or how it spread, or if, by some curious festive magic, it broke out simultaneously across the trenches. Nevertheless, some two-thirds of troops — about 100,000 people — are believed to have participated in the legendary truce. Continue reading