My Christmas gift from Esther this year was a handheld GPS unit that I can use while hiking, running, cycling, boating and driving. I have been experimenting with it in many venues this past month, but finally had the chance to bring it on the water. The Garmin Oregon 400c comes preloaded with a coastal navigation map, meaning that it has detailed info and maps for all salt water locations in North America. I took advantage of a sunny afternoon and jumped in the canoe. The device works like a charm. It was interesting to watch my speed over ground fluctuate as I paddled against or with the current. It is something that you can sense by watching the water and surrounding landforms, but becomes painfully or pleasurably obvious with a GPS. One of the very nice features of this Garmin unit is that I can sync it with my computer and have detailed analysis and maps of the route which can be stored and catalogued. Speaking of 'electronic toys,' this week is the announcement of Apple's long awaited 'iSlate' Will it have the same success as the iPod and iPhone?
Having had the opportunity to visit Haiti twice in the last ten years, the images and stories on the news feel doubly painful. The sights, sounds and smells now return, not with nostalgia, but with a pathetic sadness. While our sister church and the people we know in Haiti have been spared from death and injury, there are so many who are obviously in grief and unimaginable pain. A family in Port Orchard mourns the loss of their daughter who was working in an orphanage. Fortunately, a good friend from church, Rebecca Miner, is safe in Cape Haitian. It is difficult to understand how a country so close to the US can be so deprived and now devastated. It is likewise difficult to comprehend God's purposes in natural disasters. We can only trust in His wisdom. We can also hope that in the rebuilding of this country, social and political dynamics will change to allow the people of Haiti to rise up with dignity and hope.
OK, I'm a little late on the post, but last weekend we had the Christmas Eide bash in Southworth. In addition to the now 16 members of the clan, Jenny's sister and husband and son also joined us before going back to Georgia. That made 19 in the house for two nights! Surprisingly, we all fit without too much inconvenience. Jill (Jenny's sister) and Marcus (that's with a c and talks with a southern drawl) took some pictures of the whole clan. We had planned some beach shots, but the weather was awful and we had to settle for inside shots. I'll post one when I get them. We had a great time. Marti provided a variation of the white elephant game that was a lot of fun. Special this year was the presence of Ada and Jackson. The two babies received large amounts of adult attention. I'm sure that they had to recoup this week. Life has almost gotten back to it's routine here in Southworth; Calvin will leave tomorrow for Trinity, leaving the empty nesters to push feathers around and take long winter naps.