Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thomas Jefferson

Now, a lot of people get bent out of shape about old TJ - "he's not a Christian, he was a deist..." or about his alleged children with Sally Hemings. BUT... I DO have some thoughts on that. First off, we are in GREAT DANGER when we put today's social/cultural standards on the past. For example... a deist today means God created the Universe and has left it to chance. Not so 200 years ago. And READ his writings. TJ said, "I tremble when I think that God is just and will not lie sleeping dormant forever." Also, he gave $50 to the American Bible Society with the following attached note: "It has just come to my attention taht there are families in this country who do not own a Bible. Please use this money to provide Bibles for them. Reading the Bible makes a man a better father, a better citizen and a better husband."

What about the Bible he "re-wrote", you say? SO glad you asked. What I have read and heard is that he did that for the Native Indians because he wanted them to only hear the words of Jesus, NOT because he didn't believe the miracles, but because he didn't want them to consider Jesus another "witch doctor".

Did he have a crisis of faith when his wife, the love of his life, died suddenly? Most certainly. AS many people have.

ANYhow - I actually just wanted to tell a couple of fun stories about him. But, now I'm worn out from defending him. But here's one:

President Kennedy had all of the Nobel Prize winners dining in the State Dining Room in the White House. He said to them, "This is perhaps the largest group of intelligence ever assembled to dine in this room. Except for when Thomas Jefferson dined here alone."

And - he and John Adams were quite the politcal rivals throughout their careers. However, they ended their lives GREAT friends. AND... they died on the same day: July 4, 1826(yes, exactly 50 years after the reading of the Declaration)

that's all for now. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

stories from the road

I am on a respite - on Long Island. with the hochstedler fam. it's been really nice. although they roped me into painting - and seriously - they are SERIOUS about it.

I just finished three tours in a row - and i loved the second one. The first one of the three I liked because I liked the lady who organized it, although they had serious punctuality problems. The second one I LOVED because the Principal doesn't let the kids mess around. And then there was the third one... you KNOW you're in for it when the PRESIDENT of the company you work for says, "We're sorry. Really we are. Everyone has to do them once."

Generally, on a 7 day trip, I MAY call the office once - just to check in and let them know I'm ok. I called the office a MINIMUM of three times a day... everytime with another hassle... beyond exhausting. And the office was secretly LAUGHING... I KNOW they were... actually, they are what got me through it. Because they were fully sharing my pain - as best as can. But every morning I KNOW they were waiting for the heinous stories from the day before.

So, here's a VERY SMALL example of this trip. The teacher(s) have decided that their students CANNOT drink soda on the trip - so for every dinner the office was instructed to have the restaurants serve water or milk to our kids. Day Four this cute kid, Marcel, (and the kids were absolutely DARLING) is asked by someone else what's for dinner. He says, "Cheese. And butter. And milk." And I said, "Marcel, you like a nice big glass of MILK for dinner?" And he says, "Drinking milk straight makes me throw up."... poor thing...

And the really classy 55 year old female founder of the school walked up to me and YELLED in my face that "You and me are gonna get into it!" ... because I was walking her kids UP the gangplank away from the water before she TOLD me I could...

ok - deep breath... :)

I can't tell any more of the stories - there's no chiropractor near to take away the stress, and it's too early for a drink.