Friday, November 27, 2015

Visiting Paris during Terrorist Attacks!

Visiting Paris During Terrorist Attacks!
On the morning of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France,  Amy Falink, a senior lecturer at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, and the daughter of Joyce Falink of Cannon Falls, was landing at the Charles De Gaulle airport.
She was taking a short vacation with a friend who was born in France. Amy’s experiences here are compiled from her entries on Facebook and in an interview.
  Amy became aware of not only the tragedy of terrorist attacks but also of “some of the most welcoming, gracious and friendly people" she had ever encountered... which to her was "significant, in light of all that happened in the city.”

Amy’s journaling.
November 13: “Today we arrived in Paris. After landing at the Charles De Gaulle airport, (her friend) Patrice pointed out the Stade de France (stadium) and he explained proudly, it was the site where France defeated Brazil in the 1998 World Cup.  Little did we know that in the evening the stadium would be the site of suicide bombings.
“The weather was beautiful... what you might imagine for a fall day in Paris.  It gave a romantic backdrop to the charming streets with bakeries, flower shops and restaurants.
“In the evening, Patrice’s family picked us up from the hotel and in honor of my visit, they took us on a night tour of the traditional Parisian sites: Arc De Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees.  
“I didn’t know that within 30 minutes, this extraordinary city would be under attack by ISIS.”
Le Terrorisme.   
 While out for dinner, Amy recalled having received a travel alert on her phone that said: “several major incidents have been reported in Paris, France”.  But she didn’t know what this meant and they continued with their dinner. 
Then they saw a news report saying 13 were dead in a Paris attack.   But they didn’t know what kind of attack it was.  Then the numbers went up. Fifty dead. Seventy dead. More than a hundred dead. 
Amy continued: “Tonight the city was under siege. We are safe but so sad for the many who were gunned down in this beautiful city. These acts of violence must end.”
She added, “Despite our proximity to the events that occurred, we were like anyone else, anywhere else in the world.  We watched the events unfold on the news and social media.
“Like everyone, we felt very sad for those who were injured and for those who died. We felt really angry that people who were out enjoying a dinner or a concert and were victims of this senseless, brutal act. What terrible pain their families must feel.  These people could be any one of us, in any part of the world.”
Staying safer...
November 14: “Today we stayed in the suburbs with family given the tense situation in Paris. Likely safer with military in Paris but we may err on the side of caution. This is an exceptional country and the people are so welcoming and gracious, even when gripped by the uncertainty of the last few days.
“French President Hollande had declared a state of emergency. What is a state of emergency, people were asking?   While the US has what seems like perpetual states of emergencies since the War on Terror, it is uncommon in France  - reportedly only two since WWII.
  November 15: “The next morning the mood seemed different... tense. It became clear what had happened. People were glued to the news... 129 dead.  There had been hostages in the Bataclan (theatre) and people gunned down in restaurants.” 
Back to Paris...
November 16:  “Before leaving France, we went back to Paris for a few days. Most attractions were still closed, which seemed to cause confusion for both citizens and tourists. There was conflicting information on websites and social media and we wandered around, trying to find open attractions. 
“We decided to spend the day shopping on the main avenue, the Champs Elysses. There were many police officers and in each store there was tight security; they checked all bags upon entry. 
“Later that evening we saw military troops at the Eiffel tower. The streets were full of people; however, the restaurants were not.  
 “On the bridges there were news crews and military troops. We went on a boat cruise on the Seine and saw doves that had been released from the Notre Dame Cathedral for those who died.  It was really quite beautiful and meaningful.”

A little unnerving...
November 18: “Heading to the airport to return to the U.S. we were re-routed to the Charles De Gaulle Airport because of the seven-hour raid on another ISIS cell. When we got to the airport, there was no more police presence that we saw, than when we arrived in Paris. 
“But it was a little unnerving when getting on an international flight when everyone was talking about bombs, terrorism. and airport threats!
Amy concluded:  “Any inconvenience to our vacation pales in comparison to what happened to those innocent victims. At times you feel guilty for enjoying yourself in a city where people had recently suffered so much. 
“Also, for years I had heard of the stereotype of rude French people who make fun of Americans. I never saw evidence of this. 
“In fact, I found Parisians to be some of the most welcoming, gracious and friendly people I have encountered, which is significant in light of all that happened to their city. Each day, wherever I went, French citizens spoke English and they were incredibly helpful. 
“I would readily return.” 


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Look at that old photo for a surprise!!!

Surprises in those old photos!

What can you find in those old photos stored away in cardboard boxes? Look close... perhaps you should even focus on what is in the background.
And you may be surprised by what you see.

It was near the end of World War II – 1945-46.
Mary Ketcham of Hopkinsville, Kentucky was only about 11 years old when her mother and father separated. Mary stayed with her father when her mother married again and was living near a military base in California.
Mary’s mother had a picture of her daughter and that picture is the center point of this discovery.

You see, Mary’s mother, Louise, had married a Herbert Lundell from Cannon Falls, MN. After his hitch in the service was over, they came back to live in this area.
Herbert and Louise farmed many years, Mary recalled. They milked cows east of town and later moved into the city for 15 years until Herb died.

Mary used to come up to visit her mother during the summers. After she graduated from high school she decided to stay here. You see she had met Edgar (Ole) Olson and they were married a year later.
Her mother's "stuff'!
But it wasn’t until many years later that Mary was going through her mother’s “stuff” and found some pictures from their life in the military. Louise and Herb had been living off the base with other young couples. Herb was in the Army but their friends were in the Air Force.
Two of these friends were George and Frances Thompson. On the right side of the picture there was a picture of a girl. It was a photo of young Mary. It almost seemed like she was looking over the situation!

Now some Thompsons had come to Cannon Falls. He had come to be the pastor of Urland- Wangen Prairie churches. Could they be the same people?
Mary explained, at that point in my life I grew spiritually through Pastor Thompson’s Bible Studies and such.
Pastor Thompson died in 2002.
Mary and Frances...
Mary recently visited with Frances Thompson at the Angel’s Care Center where she was recuperating from knee replacement surgery.
Frances recalled those days during WWII. She and George had a one room apartment. This one room was the kitchen, bedroom, living room and closet. You had a one burner unit to cook on. In the middle of the hall way there was a gas stove that you shared with the other tenants.
Housing was hard to find back then, Frances explained, and you were happy to get a place.

(Having fun while washing clothes? Frances Thompson recalled using the wringer washer in the shed while she and George were living off the base in Santa Maria, California during World War II.)

Frances and George had been married in 1945. He was released from the service in 1946. He went to seminary and after his first parish in South Dakota he came to Cannon Falls in 1966.

Mary doesn’t believe in coincidences. “God always has a plan.”

And that picture of the Thompson’s taken so many years ago... with that little girl seeming to be a part of them... came true. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How smart are you? Pretty smart!

You’re really smart!

In a single day your brain generates more energy than all the cell phones on the planet.  
You are a thinking being... daytime thinking is a “building” process - a gathering of facts.  Night-time thinking (or dreaming) is a “sorting” process... deciphering what is important to you.
  Don’t you feel smarter all ready?

And here’s more

Before the tsunami disaster hit near India in 2005, animals of all kinds headed inland for safety.  Is it only animals that have these extraordinary senses?
This information is coming from two books.  The first two ideas are from “Switch On Your Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf, who has worked in the field of cognitive neuroscience for 30 years.
The last one is from “Warning Dreams - Sleeping with Your Eyes Open” by Craig Groethe.

And this means?

So how do these books relate?  
They both suggest that the human being has more potential and opportunity for awareness than we have been using.
Craig Groethe spoke at a Cannon Falls library session a while back.  He focused on the importance of your dreams.  
He has been interpreting dreams for 16 years.  Has done about 7000 dreams, had a radio show and taught small groups.
Groethe believes that dreams can be a guide to lead to healthier and happier lives.

Dreams are

He suggests that you know more than you think you do.  Dreams are a symbolic language.  Dreams can give you insight, direction and warnings.
 One time a man dreamt of a car accident... where he swerved and killed a man.  Ten years later he was driving along and saw the very same “accident” unfold in front of him.  His dream came back to him and he made a different decision as to how to swerve and the death was avoided.

Historical dreams

Historically we have dreams like one recalled by Abraham Lincoln... where he walks into the east room and asks the guard, who died in the White House?  He was told: the president was assasinated.  About two weeks later the tragedy happened at the Ford Theatre.
Or Paul McCartney’s dream of a song back in 1965...  which he titled “Yesterday”.  Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein based on her dream.  And the theory of relativity was touched on in a dream by Albert Einstein.

“Gut” feelings

Groethe explained that we can base our decisions on our “gut” feelings.  Intuitively, man has learned their importance.
He continued, the dream might not be literal so look at it symbolically.  
Every morning he and his wife talk over their dreams at breakfast.  He had suggested that you write down your dreams during the night... or use a recorder or smart phone.  (Although talking to a recorder in the middle of the night may a little disturbing to your partner!)
Groethe believes that dreams are knowledge, insight, direction, or the future.  Repetitive dreams mean some information is trying to get through to your conscious.  Like the man who repeatedly dreamt of losing his billfold.  Groethe suggested he was losing money but didn’t know where it was going.  Later on the man filed bankruptcy.  Groethe wonders if he would have been able to avoid that if he had figured out his problem sooner.

What to do

Some of Groethe’s suggestions to learn from your dreams are:
Write them down in a journal.  The main facts, colors, emotions, the date and time of your dream, and give a title to the dream. 
Ask yourself what the dream parallels in your own life. 
Look for the unusual or what is out of place.
Share it with people who are “safe” for more insights, from them and you.
Research what the symbols in your dream might represent.  A rainbow may not mean the same thing in every dream though.  
In his book Groethe reveals more of his faith or belief system.  

What was learned

But what I got out of the thoughts of these authors is that we really are smarter than we think we are!