Friday, December 31, 2004

Peace in 2005

I can think of only one wish for 2005....peace. Peace in the United States. Peace between political parties. Peace within families. Peace between neighbors. Peace in our churches and schools. Peace in our President's plans and heart. Peace in our nation's desires.

Peace for the people of Iraq. Peace for our soliders in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Peace in violence-wracked Africa. Peace in the Ukraine. Peace wherever strife and war are present. Peace at the United Nations.

Peace for the tsunami-ravaged nations of Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Sumatra. Peace for the survivors of the tsunami. Peace for aid workers bringing food, medicine and supplies to victims of this disaster. Peace for aid workers everywhere who provide help to the helpless.

Peace, and a desire for peace, in all of our minds, bodies, hearts and souls. Peace in our comings and goings, in our everyday lives. Peace in 2005.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved, as to love
It is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
----- St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Colorful Jewelry & John Steinbeck

Added two new links last night.....

The owners of Super Hero Designs make the most adorable and fun, colorful jewelry imaginable, and if you live the the San Francisco Bay area, Andrea also takes captivating professional photos. If I lived in SF, I'd love to know these girls. They look like fun!

Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck's novels intrigue me, with their rich characters, deep compassion, majestic sense of California geography and especially their almost-naive, moral outrage. I just finished reading his "The Winter of Our Discontent," so I have Steinbeck on my mind. Here is a link to all things Steinbeck. I hope this encourages you to also read or reread his tomes.

Also, please note that I added one cup unsweetened coconut milk to the recipe for my Christmas Day salmon marinade. That key ingredient gives the marinade an Asian-infused richness and depth.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Day After Christmas Musings and Recipes

Ron, Andrea and I are celebrating that great holiday, Day After Christmas, with noon brunch (waffles, sausage, fresh fruit) and an all-day pajama fest. Our beloved relatives are gone, the gifts are all opened, and even our pets (a dachsund and two competitive parakeets) have calmed down.

The family room is happily messy with holiday atmosphere.....wrapping paper and ribbons strewn under the coffee table, lights twinkling on the tree, fire blazing in the hearth. Ron and Andrea have settled in to start watching their new "From the Earth to the Moon" 12-episode video set. I will soon curl up to finish the Steinbeck novel, "The Winter of Our Discontent" and sip French vanilla cappuccino that was so kindly gifted to me by a Sunday School student.

Hard to select our fave celebration....Christmas or the Day After Christmas!
It may have been our most delightfully fun Christmas Day.....and I don't say that every year! It was a day tailor-made for warm, rich memories of family fellowship, gut-wrenching laughter, thoughtful gifts, and my work-of-art dinner.

I will be a grandmother for the first time in May 2005. We were all reduced to tears of hysteria over my oh-so-creative mid-20s son's speculation on names for his future son or daughter. Please, Ryan, if you're reading this....children should never be named after fast food (western bacon cheeseburger) or Frank Zappa's kids (Moon Unit). I don't care what wacky names hippie parents picked in the 1960s.
The dinner menu turned out superbly. I've promised to publish three of the recipes, so here they are....

Lemon-Rosemary Marinade and Poaching Liquid for Salmon
source: me
Equal parts lemon juice & olive or canola oil
1 cup, unsweetened coconut milk
Freshly cut rosemary
Garlic salt
Lemon pepper
Use proportions to taste. I use the garlic salt sparingly and lemon pepper heavily. Make sure to cut the rosemary needles, to release the full flavor. I marinated 3 lbs. of salmon in the liquid for 30 minutes, in a shallow baking dish, and then baked it for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
Lime Cilantro Sweet Potatoes
inspiration - *
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into thin slices
4 tbsps, olive or canola oil
2 tbsps, garlic salt
1/2 cup, lime juice
2 bunches, fresh cilantro
Toss sweet potatoes in oil and 1/2 garlic salt, and bake in baking dish for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut cilantro, and combine wth lime juice and remaing salt. Mix into sweet potato mixture, and bake for another 30 minutes.
Proportions are not vital for this recipe. Add or reduce cilantro and lime to taste. Fresh lime zest and cayenne can also enhance the taste of this unique, addictive dish.
* inspiration = I modified the original recipe
Pumpkin-Butterscotch Bundt Cake
source - "Bundt Cakes" by Karen Plageman & Susan Herbert, 1973
1 pkg yellow or vanilla cake mix *
2 tspns, pumpkin pie spice
2 tspns, cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
2 tspns, baking soda
16-oz, fresh pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1-11-oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup, powdered sugar
1 tbsp, white corn syrup
1 tbsp, milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Combine cake mix, spices and baking soda. Add eggs, pumpkin and water. Beat until smooth as silk. Fold in butterscotch morsels. Pour better into pan and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. Let cool in bundt pan for 30 minutes, and then turn onto cake plate. Dirzzle glaze when cake is cool. For finishing effect and extra taste, I sprinkled cinnamon over the glaze.
* I prefer Betty Crocker cake mixes. BC mixes taste better & fresher than other brands.
One last time in 2004....Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Warmest Blessings (and Merry Eatings) of This Sacred Season

Warmest blessings of this sacred season to you and yours!

And also, merry eatings at your family feast. By popular demand, the Christmas dinner 2004 menu at the White home will be.....

Poached rosemary salmon with lemon mustard sauce
Rice with walnuts
Lime cilantro sweet potatoes
Peas, Julia Child style

Pumpkin-butterscotch bundt cake
Coffee, apple juice
Wine to be supplied by the best son-in-law anywhere

My son will be enjoying Christmas dinner with his new wife's family...his first Christmas (in 26 years) not partaking of my lovingly-prepared feast. He's asked for a doggie bag. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas Chaos & the Mother of All Meltdowns

I had my obligatory Christmas meltdown yesterday. You know....after braving horrendous traffic, several stores and the grocery market, I had a throbbing headache, a pulled muscle in my left calf and arthritic flare-up in my knees. All psychosomatic aches and pains, for sure, except for the pulled muscle, but a lousy, overwhelming feeling all the same.

The pressures of planning, cleaning, organizing. The pressures of pleasing so many others. The pressures of chaos, expectations and limitations. The pressure of so little time.

At Christmas 2000, we were in the midst of selling our home, packing and moving. Our home sold in early December with the proviso that we vacate by December 31. LIke fools hungry for a sale, we accepted. We were told on December 15 that our house would need to be tented and us out for 3 days, at 8 AM, the day after Christmas. And the tree would need to be gone, or it would set the house afire.

We already had a tree and hated to toss it, but it was depressingly barren. A dear friend surprised us when her children made adorable paper ornaments and Veggie Tale garlands for our tree that year. We packed and packed and packed, and cleaned and shopped as much as we could. On December 24, when I was supposed to be planning Christmas dinner for ten, I had the mother of all meltdowns.

No tears, no anger, nothing. I simply stayed in bed all day, covers pulled up to my chin (and over my head, at times). I had to. It was unplanned, necessary time-out for Debi. Amid all the chaos and craziness and packing, I did nothing. I simply stopped because I had to.

Inner peace returned to me at nightfall on Christmas Eve. We went to church, where we ran into friends who offered us their lovely home for the entire stretch from Christmas to New Years. They were leaving town for Indiana, and were desperate for someone to watch the house and dog.

We junked plans for the requisite multi-course homemade holiday feast on Christams Day. After opening gifts, we treated the family to Christmas dinner at the local Marriott. The fare was delicious, and there were no dirty dishes or chores to haunt me that evening. We stayed at our friends' home (rather than a hotel) for a relaxing respite, and then moved without a hitch. We experienced an unusual, memorable Christmas that year. All was well.

And we learned again that God's timing is perfect, and that He meets all our needs.

Lord, help me remember that today. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Mother Brown's Soup Kitchen

A real-life Christmas story to warm your heart, from today's San Francisco Chronicle. This is one beautiful way to celebrate serving others, out of gratitude for God's gifts to your life.

Mother Brown's soup kitchen began with Barbara Brown handing out homemade meals to homeless people from the trunk of her Cadillac Seville in San Francisco's downtown and Fillmore district. More than 20 years later, Brown's modest food program has grown into the United Council of Human Services, which feeds about 6,000 people a month from its permanent location on Jennings Street in the Bayview.

This year, staff members are collecting hundreds of toys to be distributed to needy local children and for the annual Christmas feast. But for the first time, they're without the presence of their founder, who has been hospitalized for much of the year.

"I'll still be working from my hospital bed," Brown, 61, said in a telephone interview from her room at Kaiser Medical Center in South San Francisco, where she was undergoing treatment for a blood disorder.

Supporters credit Brown's organization with bringing needed services to the Bayview-Hunter's Point community and providing jobs and housing to area residents.

The 23-year-old organization will hold its fifth annual Christmas party today at the Bayview Opera House, where it expects to distribute more than 1,200 toys, said interim chief executive Gwendolyn Westbrook. More than 800 toys were donated by a Marine Corps unit out of San Bruno.

One of the organization's newest ventures is Hope House, a program that rents homes for the chronically homeless. It's part of Mayor Gavin Newsom's Care Not Cash program. Hope House, which started in June, has already provided housing for 35 people, and eventually hopes to house 70 people, Westbrook said.

Westbrook said staffers miss Brown but want her to rest and not try to rush back to work too soon. "She's a little dynamo," Westbrook said. "She cares so much."

Brown was born in Shreveport, La., the daughter of a Baptist preacher who taught her how to care for others. The family moved to the Bay Area when she was 5 years old as part of the World War II migration of African Americans to work in the local shipyards.

Brown grew up in the Bayview, married and raised three children while working at a number of clerical and administrative jobs, including at the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, the entity that oversaw joint business dealings of The Chronicle and the formerly Hearst Corp.-owned San Francisco Examiner.

Over the years, Brown saw the devastating impact gangs and drugs had on her community. In response, she began making meals to give to those in need.

"Oh, my goodness, they ate good," Brown said with a chuckle, recalling the dishes she served out of her car. "We'd make things like red beans and rice, ham hocks, greens. We'd even do catfish," she said. "I never would have thought that I'd be doing this (all these years)."

The center serves as a gathering point for the homeless, where they can shower, do their laundry and put their belongings in secure lockers. There's also a recreation area with a big-screen television. Joyce Vaughn, 49, began working at the center three years ago after being laid off from her job at Levi Strauss. Vaughn admits she was initially scared of the people who visited the center.

"At first, it was rough because I had never been exposed to that kind of lifestyle," said Vaughn, who works in the kitchen and as a dinner server. "It just showed me another side of the world I'd never seen before," she said. "It's a condition I could be in, or any of us for that matter."

Vaughn said Brown has made a difference to countless people. "This is really a good thing she's doing for this community," she said.

Brown still speaks with passion about the center's accomplishments and future, and hopes to rejoin her staff in the near future. "I just know that there's always going to be hungry people," Brown said, "and there will always be a need for Mother Brown's."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Six Days to Go, and We're Holidayed Out!

I love Christmas. But six days until Dec 25, and we're already holidayed out.

We have.....
- hung garlands of green, white and red lights on our home, to start the holiday spirit.
- attended the sumptuous Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral.
- enjoyed a Messiah concert (beautifully orchestrated and sung).
- seen the childrens' Christmas pageant at our church (extra-adorable this year).
- strolled (and munched) through our city's La Posada and Tamale Festival celebration.
- savored our traditional all-day tree & house decorating, complete with holiday music.
- indulged in baking gifts....butterscotch haystacks, cinnamon snickerdoodles, Mrs. Calvert's best chocolate chip cookies, peppermint fudge.

- taught the story of Jesus' birth, in depth over 3 weeks, to our 5th grade Sunday School class.

And yet over the next six days, we will....
- attend an office Christmas party.
- participlate in a caroling and potluck cookie party.
- host a homemade soup and bread dinner on Dec 23.
- greet and give out neighborhood Christmas gifts, usually Dec 24.
- attend Christmas Eve services.
- host our 4 children, plus 2 spouses, on Christmas Day (brunch and dinner).

And we've done NO Christmas shopping! That's not as disastrous as it sounds. By mutual consent, we give gifts only to our children and children-in-law. All but one are adults. who, truthfully, can't think of anything they need or particuarly desire. We buy gift cards.... Best Buy, Nordstroms, Borders, Cheesecake Factory, Mervyns, Amazon.... and a few, small personal presents for them. Our 13 year old will have plenty under the tree....CDs, Old Navy clothes, acoustic guitar stuff, perhaps tickets to a professional lacrosse game, and the like. (We offered her a cell phone, but she's not interested. An iPod is over this year's budget.)

My most cherished gifts to my family are wonderful, satisfying meals and an atmosphere conducive to loving family fellowship and relaxation at Christmas.

Yes, I love Christmas. But I love the peace and quiet of the day after Christmas even more. And I love the return to the normalcy and texture of our everyday lives.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

Lots of hot air lately about the audacity of some to wish us "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas," as if well-wishers were somehow inflicting harm on us. Well...I guess it would be nicer to hear "Merry Christmas." You know....a bit more personal since I'm a Christian.

Does it really matter, though? In this day of "Mean Girl" attitudes and Red State/Bue State hostilities, I'm just happy to have someone smile and offer me season greetings. Perhaps I'm too easily pleased. But perhaps too many thin-skinned people make it all and only about themselves and their insecure, paranoid feelings of victimhood.

I mean, please......the "Happy Holiday"ers are merely attempting to be both pleasant and inoffensive. Consider the alternative...they could just ignore us.

I, for one, am grateful for a kind smile and any cheery word from another.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Into the Lion's Den - Daniel Gets Eaten on The Apprentice

Donald Trump selected stoic West Point and UCLA graduate and software exec Kelly Perdew last night to be his next Apprentice. He selected Perdew over Jennifer Massey, the glamorous yet tough-talking Harvard and Princeton attorney.

I felt a bit sorry for Jennifer. It was filmed in front of a live audience, where she was subjected to a nonstop barrage of scathing, semi-cruel comments. It was over-the-top and unprecedented, and it cut her to the quick. People acted like it was battle...the true-blue Americans versus the villanous Iraqi insurgents. It felt like Daniel was in the lion's den, but this time, the lions won. They feasted satisfyingly on Jennifer's carcas, and licked their paws after the feast.

I felt a little sick watching it. Truth be known, the Donald appeared uneasy and unsettled, too.

I don't think I'll watch the program again. It was mean-spirited entertainment at the deep expense of someone else. Not my idea of good, decent fun.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Stress-Free New Years Resolutions

I've been known to make ambitious, exhaustive lists of New Year's resolutions, whereas Ron never made any at all. As the years roll by, Ron and I become more and more alike in our New Year's resolutions philosophies.

My resolutions for 2005 include ones you might expect.....write, continue to tutor in writing, continue to seek inspiration, send at least one manuscript to prospective agents, parenting, faithful Bible study, new car, save. You know the list.

But my list also includes two you may not expect.....make for family and friends 30 to 50 new dishes in 2005, perhaps by working through an untried cookbook or two. I'm thinking Chinese and Japanese wok cooking and French country cuisine. Greek might be fun, too. And second, to spend more time savoring beautiful parks and public gardens.

Ron has announced just one 2005 resolution: for he and I to dine at every Mexican restaurant in our city's Hispanic Old Town section. (There are about 15 authentic, family-owned eateries, all Mexican)

One more resolution.....that you, too, will adopt a couple carefree resolutions to lift your spirits in these stressful times.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Donald Picks an Apprentice - The Loser Is the Real Winner

The question of week clearly is Jenn or Kelly? Kelly or Jenn?

If you haven't a clue about the identities of Jenn and're not addicted to "The Apprentice." Your Yahoo calendar isn't cyber-reminding you of the 3-hour Apprentice marathon this Thursday evening. Shut off the phone, turn off the porch lights, because we're not answering either. The Donald is going to choose his next apprentice.

Will it be cool, calculating blonde Phi Beta Kappa Princeton attorney, Jennifer Massey, who has the killer political instincts of a litigation lioness? Or will it be West Point graduate Kelly Perdew, the shrewd, silent software MBA exec who, unlike 4 other Apprentice wannabes who selected reward jewelry for loved ones, spent all $10,000 on a big, fat luxurious watch just for himself?

It's fashionable these days to reward our soldiers, so that would be a bonus PR coup for Trump. But Jenn picked the strongest team for the final competitive task....Kelly picked pushovers and distractable Raj. Kelly fits the Apprentice 1 Bill Rancic-mold.....a hands-on exec-level worker bee. Her corporate majesty Jennifer delgates. Really delegates.

If Trump is smart, he'll select Jennifer. With her ferocious defensive gifts of gab, she'll negotiate his casinos out of bankruptcy in no time.

No matter who the Donald picks to be his next Apprentice...remember this: the loser is the real winner. Rumor has it that Apprentice 1 final-round loser, Kwame Jackson, makes tons more bucks than Bill.

And Bill actually has to work for the unbearable Donald Trump.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

This Woman Must Be Stopped

From the December 9 entry in "Simple Abundance - a Daybook of Comfort & Joy" by Sarah Ban Breathnach....

"There is a woman still at large...charmed and dangerous. She waves her clever hand over room and it looks like a page from House Beautiful. She waves her creative hand over the fruits of the earth and a feast appears nightly. Her thumb is green; her herb vinegar is curing; her potpourri recipe is sought; her PTA cupcakes are from scratch; her Halloween costumes are legendary; and she still wear a size 8. Her celebrity lawyer husband adores her, her five summa cum laude kids think she's wonderful.

She finished her holiday shopping, wrapping and sending in November. Now, she's turning her attention to making her own New Year's Eve confetti out of naturally colored crushed egg shells. I know this because I've just received her annual Christmas letter. Be forewarned. It's speeding its way to your house.

This woman must be stopped. she undermines our domestic tranquility. She threatens the common good. "

No kidding!

Goodness knows I adore watching Martha Stewart on TV, but please, God......don't let her live in my neighborhood. :)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Fun Knitting Discovery

Here's my new fave of the adorable, fun-type blogs....The Yarn Junkie. If you have a yen for any sort of cute hand-knitted goodie, you'll find it here....handmade just for you.

And it looks like you can learn to knit here, too. Something to do in front of the TV on these chilly almost-winter evenings.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Hand Me a Wild Strawberry

I'm working on a book that recounts the funny, sweet and wise reminiscences of some seniors in a senior daycare center. Here's a clever story that one man shared....

Once upon a time, a man was being chased by tiger, and he came to the edge of a cliff. Looking backward, he saw the tiger approach, so he jumped. On the way down, he reached out, grabbed a bush and was saved. He looked down and saw another tiger waiting at the bottom of the cliff, smacking its lips. Just as he felt the bush begin to weaken, he noticed a wild strawberry growing out of a crack in the rocky cliff. With one hand, he reached out, picked the strawberry and ate it. And he said to himself, “Now, that’s a delicious strawberry.” And that is just how it is with us!

Life, they say, is a terminal illness. From the day we’re born, we know someday we will die, and we never know when it will be. Some of us in this room have been told we have serious illness. But that goes for all of us, even if we feel well now.

In the course of human history, the moment in which we live our lives is just long enough to eat and enjoy a wild strawberry.

If we follow the stories about the Big Bang that they now say launched the physical universe, and how many billions of stars there are with no life, we wonder at the miracle of life on planet earth. In another billion years, the energy may all dissipate, or another star might collide with our sun.

So what? We have time today to pick a wild strawberry and enjoy it and give thanks.

Every since Hiroshima, and now with 60,000 nukes on earth, we look down and see that tiger opening its jaws.

Please hand me a strawberry.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Culinary Occasions of the Heart

As some women do crafty projects or savor dressing their home, I love to spend the occasional cozy Sunday afternoon making a special meal for my loved ones. I take a craftsman's pride in dishes well done.....dishes designed to nourish and please family and friends. Dinner created for family occasions.

Icy rain drizzling on our back patio. A fire warming our family room. Ron and the dog half-awake, watching football and golf. Andrea gone to a church middle school event. I baked two bundt cakes, one for dessert and one for my son and his new wife. (I'm not convinced either cooks yet....) The take-out cake was simple vanilla with raisins, finished with vanilla glaze....perfect for breakfast, snacking , anything. Dessert was a French vanilla-fudge marble cake with fudge glaze.

Sunday dinner for six....Ron and I, Andrea, Kevin (21 year old stepson), Ryan and Giovanna...was a Dijon-apple glazed pork roast, my in-demand garlicky potatoes, creamed spinach with onions and, of course, French vanilla-fudge marble cake.

We talked and talked, and laughed until we cried. Our sons.....ages 21 and 26.....ate like they hadn't tasted home-cooking for months. We loaded their departing arms with cake, beginners cookbooks and old videos. We hugged and exchanged words of love as they left.

It was the kind of family dinner you take for granted when you're young.

It was the kind of dinner you hold in your heart as you get older, and they become busy adults you don't see nearly enough.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Prayer Request for Encouragement

Hooray hooray hooray hooray hooray hooray!

Friends...particularly those who know me personally...pray pray pray for me to continue my ministry at my other blog, Heart, Soul & Humor.

Through my writings there, plus months of my persistent emailing, posting to other blogs and cyber networking, I have engaged a few well-regarded Democratic Party types to start to reexamine Roe v. Wade. To relook at abortion. To comprehend that 40 million abortions have been performed since that January 1973 decision.

No kidding.....I have an active and lengthy email dialog going with several bigwig Democratic types, and it's exciting beyond words to see them admit (at last) that, yes, the right to kill a child at many (or most) stages of pregnancy is a travesty.

Please pray for me to be able to continue to engage others on this issue. It's just exciting to see bit of progress! Finally. It's a start. Just as I was feeling's an encouraging sign for me to keep pressing on.


Thursday, December 02, 2004

Autumn Admiration

Southern California weather has been perfect the past few weeks....crisp cool, clean air; bright blue skies; trees in shades of daffodil, pumpkin and crimson blending with olive and kelly greens; white snow caps on distants peaks. It feels and looks like autumn from somewhere else.

Walking to our car few days ago, Ron and I wondered why people worship God in buildings when His natural sanctuary is so much more inspiring to behold. We need no more proof of God than the whisper of wind, the warmth of sun, the ripeness of fall foliage, the scent of late-blooming roses.

All's right with God's world. If you stop and notice.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Rattlesnakes for Advent

Received a cute Advent calendar Christmas card in the mail today. The front has soft-hued angels, shepherds and Wise Men surrounding the nativity scene. Inside are cheery words about a baby in a manger, angels on wing, shepherds quaking in fields and the world shouting in joy at the baby's birth.

I love Advent calendars. It's fun to slowly savor again the story of Jesus birth by opening one window a day until Christmas. It was a nice gesture by the sender.

So I set the sweet card here on my desk, and opened the December 1 window. And lo and behold, there was a picture of a.......coiled rattlesnake, rearing back to strike, and the words, "He will strike your head. Genesis 3:15."

Huh? An Old Testament approach to the Christmas story? Jesus isn't in the Old Testament. Well, except for a prophecy here and there. There's very little cute, sweet or cheery about the Old Testament. Certainly not a rattlesnake striking my head.

This may be a fascinating Advent calendar.

Losing an Unborn Child

I've been pregnant 3 times, and had 3 healthy, fullterm aged 13, 26 and 28. I'm also the stepmom of a 21 year old, who I've known and loved since he was 4 years old. I was born to be a mother....biologically, sure, but I mean emotionally. It might be my most natural role in life. I truly can't imagine a satisfying life without parenthood.

My son and his new wife are almost 4 months pregnant with their first child, our first grandchild. They received the news yesterday that they might lose this baby to miscarriage. They're bewildered and overwhelmed....they seem numb. She's confined to bed, and seeking the help of medical specialists.

I've heard that spontaneous miscarriage happens routinely, but there's nothing routine about losing one's unborn child or grandchild.

It feels sad to lose a precious child you never got to know.