Nothing is Random!

September 13th was a Harvest Moon in the Northern Hemisphere. A Harvest Moon is the closest moon to the autumn equinox which "falls" (pun intended!) on Monday, September 23.  The next one falling on Friday the 13th will be in thirty years in August 2049. These calendar oddities are rare to see in one's lifetime! The last Friday the 13th Harvest Moon was on October 13, 2000. I tried for two nights to capture the unique beauty of this Harvest Moon without success. Actually, no picture does this justice. I think it is best to view this phenomenon with the naked eye!

Monique and I were riding home last Friday evening from Lincoln and repeatedly looked left and right as we traveled south to Sherman. In the eastern sky, there was emerging an extra large Harvest Moon in all of its golden wonder. Then, looking to the horizon in the west at the same time, we enjoyed a beautiful and expansive dark orange light show in the pre-fall sunset. It was another convergence of God's ha…

"Best By" Labeling!

I think it is another sign of advancing age that we begin to reach beyond the"best by date" on a gallon of milk! I used to be horrified when my mother would drag out the breakfast milk and the date on it had expired the week before. I would say, "Mom! Do you realize that the date on this milk expired a week ago?" And without a direct answer she would state the obvious, "Your dad and I just don't drink milk like we used to!" I may have mumbled, "You think?!" Now that I am retired and on Medicare, I have picked up the same habit of trying to stretch beyond the "best by dates" as far as I reasonably can!

I have read around this subject using my computer "search engine" over the years, especially when we take obligatory pantry or refrigerator inventory on occasions. I am more apt to use a canned good that has expired its "best by date" than I am a salad dressing that has been languishing in the fridge for so long …

Lift Up Your Eyes!

I love giving flowers on special occasions. It has been my practice to purchase a pretty rose or roses on Monique's birthday, Valentines Day and on our anniversary to name a few of those times during the year. For me, it is a celebration of the one I love and a way to "make artistic space" for something fragrant and beautiful in our house. I have been known to display these symbols of God's perfect creation a few days before the event so that we can extend the time for celebrating beyond a single day.

Art and artist can be misunderstood. A few years ago, a friend and I attended a faculty show being held in a gallery of a nearby university. The pieces on display were mostly of the abstract variety. As my friend stood before one of the selections and studied it for a brief moment, he turned to me and said, "Mike, if we had painted this, we would have had to make an excuse for it!" We both laughed, but I'm sure that the artist would not have been amused! M…

"It Just Takes One Brady!"

Recently, Brady assembled a bedroom dresser for his sister's clothing. It was purchased at the big box international furniture store (hint: the one with the Swedish meatballs!) and came in two boxes to Matt's front door. Of course, it required assembly. Matt put the boxes aside for the week knowing that his number one son would be the "go-to-guy" for the project. Brady is a high school freshman and has had the patience and know-how for several years now to put things together following the directions and using only the minimal tools.

Not everyone has the tenacity (and did I mention, the patience?) to accomplish such tasks, but Brady, our "number one" and oldest Keppler grandson does! I can't remember when we determined that he had this gift, but since it became evident, we have depended on him to assist in various projects and now, to take the lead in fixing and assembling several things around the house. He has been a great help to me with both inside …

"Hey! Listen! I hear something!"

We are on grand kids' care duty these days while the parents are away on school business. One of our favorite outdoor activities during the summer is to patrol the neighborhood hot-spots with bicycles, scooters and for the littlest guy, on a hot wheels trike! We start out at a nearby church to cruise on the spacious paved parking lot. Then,  we walk down to a little watershed branch that runs between the church and several houses on our street only to find that it that was dry this mid-July morning, but we still threw our sticks into the crusty dirt trough where water once shed from the farm field across the way.

After this first phase of our "ritual ride," we like to move into the retirement  apartments next door to the church and to the center courtyard where an American flag flies proudly above its pole and flower-adorned base. It is here that we have recited the Pledge of Allegiance every time we have gathered in this place.This has been our patriotic practice since …

Apollo 11: Where Were You?

This week is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. It has been awe-inspiring to see video clips replayed of the moonshot during the morning and evening newscasts. On Wednesday, July 16, 1969, at 10: 32 AM (CST) the Apollo 11 space capsule, with its crew of three (Astronauts Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong), was launched atop the huge Saturn V rocket on Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. With 7.5 million pounds of thrust, it was sent into its journey 238,900 miles to the surface of the moon. It would take four days to arrive.

At precisely 8:56 PM on Sunday night, July 20th, Neil Armstrong made the first human footprint on the lunar surface with the exclamation: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind!" And history was made! In total, 6 similar missions to the moon's surface would follow over a 41 month time span between July 1969 and December 1972. This epic and herculean feat has not been matched since that time…

Teaching How to Find Value

We were on a "grocery run" and had the shopper's advantage because it was Wednesday of both an open air market that was in close proximity to the local "Super U" grocery store. The French love their markets (les marchés) because the goods are fresh and come straight from the source providers. I looked up and saw a small number of school-age children standing at the market vegetable and fruit vendors. Three little girls, that I presumed to be third graders. caught my attention as they clustered before the proprietors holding their pencils and writing down items categorized by name, weight, quantity and pricing.

I was curious and later was able to engage their teacher at the super market about why the children were such diligent shoppers. She indicated that her class was participating in a  school exercise that teaches math, writing, observation, and reasoning. Specifically, they were comparing prices between the outdoor market and the indoor grocery store. The …