Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A gentle protest against a billboard

Moving to another country should affect changes in a person. You start to understand and appreciate the various perspectives people hold of another country. One instance that I observed this new understanding was when my son, Josh, returned home from his stays in Africa and South Korea earlier this year. He seemed to have a more sympathetic openness than he did before he left.

I'm slowly beginning to understand the cause of that change in someone who lives abroad. As you live around other people, you start to connect with them; you start to identify with them; you start to understand their point of view. That's a great benefit of living among another group of people and it hopefully has a reciprocal effect.

For my part, I do understand that people overseas have legitimate gripes with American policy and the way that Americans behave at times. Nobody likes a nation who is prideful, boasting. Nobody likes a big shot. The Lord says that pride comes before a fall and I'm saddened by American pride which is observable across the sea. Also the constant flow of trash from Hollywood is a grief and embarrassment too.

Although I don't defend the wrongs of America, I do love the good parts of her. I am an American through and through. I love my country and I love the people of my country and I love being one of those people. That doesn't mean in any way that I love everything about America or that I want to move back there from Scotland anytime soon . I just know that I'll always be strongly connected to America no matter where I live.

So since I seem to be growing so diplomatic and understanding, why is it that one silly billboard should bring out such passionate musings?

You'll see what I mean in a minute, but in my rational mind, I know that one billboard should never speak for a country. I wouldn't want one thoughtless individual to represent me and all my people.

But this billboard was posted right between Morrison's Grocery Store and Airdrie's town centre (which is about the most visually prominent location in town), and it blurted out a message that hit me like a jolt.

This is a clear example of how words that are perhaps not even meant to be taken seriously bring discredit to the writer and pain to the reader. Careless words hurt. In our MET (home group bible study), we are studying about the power of words in the book of James. A Scottish friend said this week, "The old rhyme about 'sticks and stones' just isn't true." How right he is.

This kind of blatant and unfeeling free speech absolutely wouldn't be tolerated if it were directed at another nation of people. The fact that this kind of comment is allowed implies that everyone knows that America has big enough shoulders to handle such a verbal jab, but that doesn't make the jab fair or true.

It is a forgivable crack, slapped up on a billboard that will probably display a dog food ad tomorrow, but since it appeared in a public place, it needs a public protest - at least on one wee blog.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Flowers from Jimmy (the flower-man) ...

Glasgow cafe view with Can.

Family camp at Lendrick Muir ...

Scottish view - spectacular!

Just in case
you need some space ...

I'm not so sure.

Candace on a mountain bike ...

other bikers - and the like.

No longer a "little" she's 18 now ...

need a word - :cow' 'pow' 'sow' .

Note to explain a recent spill ...

my new favorite drink - it's a big deal.

I can stop right now
So nobody knows
This silly streak.
Oh well, here goes.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Trip to Glasgow

Here's an excerpt from a quick email I wrote just now:

Canny and I went to an orientation day today in Glasgow. First we walked to a nearby bus stop, then we caught a bus to the train station, then we caught a train to a subway, then we walked to the University of Glasgow. First thing we did was spend about an hour and a half in a big room going from booth to booth talking to people in departments that Candace is interested in. Very helpful. Then we went to a lecture on "Why study Scottish Literature." Very great. Then we ate lunch in a little cafe. Very yummy. Then we shopped in charity shops (kinda like Goodwills.) Very fun. Then we took a tour of the sports facility. Very exercizy. Then we took a tour of the theatre (British sp.) building. Very artsy. Then we reversed our transportation extravaganza home. The only snag was that we missed our last bus home from the train station and had to walk the last 1.2 miles. No biggy.

Just wanted to tell you all that.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bedrooms of colour

Less words, more photos ...

Mind you, none of us have come near completing our room decorating. I feel devious even showing you photos with the kids gone to Glasgow today, but their grandmother wanted to see the paint jobs - and so I'm going on a sneaky reconnoissance op.

Let's keep this hush, hush - okay?

Come along while we sneak upstairs ...

Shhh, here's Amy's room. Nice light shade she chose, huh?

Here's Ben's room - the clean part of it.

And Candace's room in all its purple glory.

And here's my room which I share with my roommate. And yes, my room is the same color as Amy's. Her color instinct is just fabulous and I just plain like the green.

Another photo of interest ... Ben is seen here resting after a strenuous hike up and down Ben Ledi in the Trossach Mountain Range last weekend.

Also ... here's a view from the top. My camera phone has a neat panoramic setting where it glues 3 photos together. Click on the photo to see it enlarged. Glorious!