04 August 2003

I went canoeing for the first time on Saturday. It was fun, and gave me some "bonding time" with my half-sister and her daughter, but my shoulders are killing me. I told my sister that she is going to have to put a brick on my niece's head, because she is getting too tall. She's going to be 12 in October, and she is alread 5'5"; one inch shorter than me. Of course, my sister is 6'1". My other sister (also 5'6") and my brother (5'8") decided that she must have gotten all the tall genes Dad had to impart. She's putting them to good use as a firefighter. My niece plays basketball.

This canoe trip was just part of the festivities of the annual family campout. Of my grandfather's eight children, six were in attendance, and nine of the 25 grandchildren, ten of the uncounted great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. The ages in my family are all messed up. My oldest cousin is older than my youngest aunt and has several grandchildren, and my youngest cousin is about to start 7th grade. We're an odd bunch without the odd ages, but that's ok.

I ask your prayers for my aunt and uncle: they recently moved because of a scandal at the Protestant church where my uncle served as minister for many years. A teenager falsely accused him of sexual abuse. Even though the case was dropped for lack of evidence and the boy admitted that his claim was false, my uncle's reputation suffered a tremendous blow. They decided to move to a ranch and start a Christian retreat center, but they're having some trouble getting started. At one point they were down to $60 in their bank account, but thankfully some friends bailed them out. Please pray for their success.

And for Lizzy's friend Sarah, a brave teenager who died of cancer last week, may her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

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