Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary

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Thanks to all of you who sent your best wishes and to those who came to celebrate this special day with Bob and Judy.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Introducing the blog manager

Perhaps I should introduce myself, after writing that last post. I am the blog manager of this site. Feel free to contact me directly once I install that feature. My handle is espiritu paz and my name is Abigail. I have worked with Bob for quite some years as the faculty administrative assistant, at Bethel Seminary. I first bonded with Bob on Mennonite and pacifism themes during a time when he was sort of my boss, while I was his student. I did an independent study with him and he had me do some presentations on pacifism in his ethics courses. Over the years, Bob and Judy have sort of adopted me and I have adopted them in return, as it has become a mutually edifying relationship. I’ve stayed on as Bob’s ad hoc assistant, even though he has retired from teaching, making it possible for him to continue to have a platform from which he can be creative. This blog is one of those venues. So I will occasionally post on this blog in contribution toward and along-side the works and interests of Bob. I do have my own blog at

benedictions and squirrely conversations

There are a number of things that are very particular about hanging out with Bob and Judy. One thing they like to do is go to buffets: Chinese buffet, Old Country Buffet, anywhere where you don’t have to feel obligated to do that shady tipping thing. The other thing they like to do is simple meals at home. So, when I was summoned for computer items/my birthday meal, I picked the simple meal at home, with pita and veggies.

Of course there must mention be made of Prairie Bible College where Bob and Judy met and its emphasis on missions and the particulars of obscure communal rule. This time, particular table etiquette was delineated. One must sit upright in their chair at all times pivoting from the hips as one leaned forward to eat soup as one tipped the bowl away from one’s self, taking care never to slurp. Hungry farm boys had to be re-cultured from their habits of slouching into their plates and wolfing down their food. For this was a school of missions and according to the history of missions one often ends up dining with the heads of state in various foreign countries. Grace and proper etiquette are required in these situations.

After a thorough lecture on how one obtains a doctorate and goes about finding a doctoral mentor, Judy turns to me and asks, “So now you’re prepared to go get your doctorate, as this was the unabridged version.” It was becoming apparent that someone had put a quarter in Bob again. I hadn’t seen this side of Bob emerge for quite a while. “It’s the drugs! It’s the drugs,” Bob exclaims as he motions toward the large shoe box of medication and vitamins that are ever present on the dining room table, as he launches into a demonstration of how one then presents his/her obscure and irrelevant thesis in such a way as to remain credible with much academic pomp. “You see,” he adjusts his imaginary coke-bottle glasses, “string theory is related to the configuration of atoms that are discombobulated within space-time and translated into the dimension of squirrel. This is proven by the experiment performed in the atom smashers. Hey, did you know that Minnesota has the greatest amount of atom smashing tracts anywhere. There’s one atom accelerating channel that runs from Chicago to Duluth. But the squirrels have taken control of it and influence the outcomes of all experiments performed in it. This is what is meant by the dimension of squirrel. Yet only a select number of scientists know and understand the dimension of squirrel. And one can know by looking deep into/behind the eyes of a single squirrel, who is your average bounding around outside on a tree, squirrel.

Judy offers us another piece of corn on the cob, and frets at the long piece of silk hanging from the ear. “No thank you,” Bob counters, “I’m not into eating string theory, currently.” And he continues as before.

Yet things eventually turn earnest as Bob’s quarter runs out and I’m about to head out the door. Computer stuff was very nearly forgotten as we hurriedly try to address the list of items I am to address with the blog and such. But Bob and Judy are praying people and they insist on giving me a birthday blessing before I head out the door. They ask for God to give me the best year of my life, closing in a benediction, “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before the only wise God our Savior...”

That he give you wisdom in squirrel theory.

Perhaps Mr. Bag Man will emerge one of these days.