With a heavy heart, we’re packing the last few bits of our downsized belongings for the anticipated move to Portland (hereafter referred to by its airport code PDX). The past few weeks have, surprisingly, allowed us opportunities (and time) to spend these precious few moments with our friends and family in KC.
On the right is a picture of an autographed picture of Sophia Loren that was hanging on a wall of the condo. The previous owner, apparently, was a big fan. Unfortunately, she’s taking the photo. The photo was so vintage and cool that Holly and I seriously (for a wee moment) considered attempting to write the picture into our contract but decided against it.
Anyway, I’m writing this from my call room at the Topeka VA Medical Center. Thus far, my last Internal Medicine call of my intern year has been quiet. Outside of pronouncing a patient deceased and admitting one sick patient to the hospital, I’ve done nothing but study a bit and type away on this blog.
Speaking of work, pronouncing a patient dead is a heavy thing. There’s a tendency of medicine to dehumanize and mechanize this necessary fact of life and my work. However, this always caused me to reflect on the temporality of life and the goals of medicine in general. Did this patient die with dignity? Did they die without maleficence? With what life experiences, religion, ideals, relationships, successes, failures, hopes, careers, and loves did they approach their death? What did this life mean?
So, with these thoughts before I attempt to turn in for some more reading, studying, and some sleep, I approach our move day, now less than 36 hours away. Holly’s picking up the Penske truck tomorrow morning and should have it back at home by the time I get home from the hospital.
This past Saturday (14.06.2003) my parents threw a generous farewell party for Holly, Hannah, and me at their farmhouse in Burlingame, KS (south of Topeka). My father cooked an incredible meal for us all (a Cajun boil with dirty rice and lots of good cold beverages). My mother was the best Hostess, and my brother impressed as the Valet.
Friends and family from all over Kansas and Kansas City, MO were in attendance. It was truly a gift to see them all and spend some good quality time with each of them before the inevitible move to Oregon the next Saturday (t-5 days).
There was an engaging game of croquet, of which Jason Copling was the victor (although there was some controversy over the hint that Richard Chatfield-Taylor may have “thrown” the game). It was a real nail-biter right up until the end, when we all thought Jason Cupp was going to come out on top. But, Alas! Copling surprised us all with his skill, grace, and “gentlemanly behaviour.”
There were some friends who could not come, of course, and there were none that we invited that we won’t miss terribly.
God has really blessed us these 5 years of our marriage (and 15.5 months of parenting) vis-a-vis many amazingly loving and tender relationships with friends and family.
Our last church service at Jacob’s Well was the next day, and this was heartaching, since we had found in Jacob’s Well (and West Hills Community Church before the Well) such a wonderful community of people who really yearned to live and serve in life-changing ways.
Throughout all the above, I can see God’s sweet, delicate, loving hands. He has gifted us beyond belief or merit.
We are excited about our move to Portland, but we are terribly sad to be leaving our friends/family in Kansas and Missouri. As someone told me this weekend, the move is completely bittersweet. Such contradiction in that word, yet so true and appropriate. We will miss you all. Stay in touch.
Deep, lasting love to you,
Peder - Holly
I was perusing some old photographs on Ofoto that I had taken from our summer 2000 New England camping/hiking/etc trip. The pictures in this post were from a hike we did while in New Hampshire’s White Mountains near Franconia Notch. Since we didn’t have the time that summer to hike the entire AT trail, we decided to hike to one of the well-maintained huts, the Greenleaf Hut via the Greenleaf Trail.
It was a great hike Holly and I did that day. I remember it was so steep with large rocks that we became convinced, through our fatigue, that we would never reach the hut. But, of course, we pressed on and found the hut and its view of Mount Lafayette to be beautiful and inspiring.
Once inside the hut, we enjoyed some warm apple cider and chatted with one of the staff, a French Canadian, who was spending her summer working at the hut.
The trip was incredible, and I snapped this picture on the way down from the hut via the Old Bridle Trail (ouch!). Can anyone tell me what this flower’s name is? Or, better yet, it’s genus and species? This one of the more beautiful pictures of plants that I’ve taken.
The dew on the petals makes the color and contrast even more striking. Isn’t it an amazing thing to admire something and not know what it’s called?
I’ll never forget this hike with you Holly. My best memories in life are with you.
Sometimes, intentionally contemplating an image for a length of time stirs unexpected emotions and thoughts.
Like this image for instance. At first, I was thinking about how nice and spiffy it would look with a new set of Restoration Hardware (link purposefully not included) hinges and some Sherwin-Williams paint slathered on it.
Then, I was thinking how cool “old-skool” is, and that this is another example of how “old” can be “new.” Some painted antiques are left that way- with peeling and chipped nasty-looking green paint rather than refinishing it. Interesting.
Then, of course, it happened. If you think (or write) about an image long enough, transcendence (not in a Kantian way, though) is bound to occur. Funny how that happens.
So, here it is. I’ve been introspecting a lot lately secondary to the book I’m reading, John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart. It’s definitely popular Christian pulp. However, ignoring the generally poor diction and organization and broad/hasty generalizations, I think this book has a lot to say to men about manhood. I’ve found that the book’s subject (not the content itself) has caused me to think.
We men look to fights, our fathers, sports, woman(en), and/or our careers (etc, etc, you get the point) to validate our masculinity. The above will never truly validate us. What is relevant, however, is that I realize that God the Father looks upon me as beloved AND a man. This is revealed through the Word and through fellowship with godly men (e.g., the guys in my Impact Group). This is difficult, though, since it requires me to absolve myself of further attempts to rest on my own laurels and endless striving to “prove” myself.
It is interesting, though, that this “striving” seems to be a part of the work ethic that drives the productivity of our culture. Could it be that our culture, through mass entertainment and diversions, stays us from introspection, thus perpetuating our endless-striving while never knowing what really drives us? Hmm.
So, I’ve opened this door of introspection. Shall it never close?
OK, I’ll freely admit it…
For whatever reason, I’ve Googled myself several times over the years. It’s rather fun discovering where (and in what context) my name is on the Internet. It’s rather humorous following some of the links to the Scandinavian Peders of the world and learning what other Peders with a ‘D’ are up to.
There’s this one Peder, his name is Peder Pederson. His name always comes up when I auto-google, and I’ve been wanting to e-mail him. Maybe we could be pen-pals of a sort. If he’s a chef, I could maybe antagonize him and get him to say, “BÝrk! BÝrk! BÝrk!” \insert maniacal laugh here/
Sometimes, I’m on the brink of an existential crisis when I realize that I’m one of a very few PeDer’s in the States. Hehe. Perhaps I’ll start a website “www.peders-with-a-d.com.” Heck, everyone else seems to have one - personal websites are “all the rage” now. www.pederwithad.com is available, I just checked. Maybe, I could stage a world-wide reunion of Peders, and we could have a lutefisk buffett. Sweet!
Back to auto-google: I’m trying to figure out why I’ve done it. Is it pride? Curiosity? Fear? Boredom? Most likely, it’s the second with a little of the first (for what human behavior is without a little pride?).
If you haven’t googled yourself, do it today, and who knows what you might find out about yourself!
Parenthetically, isn’t it interesting that the name of this popular search engine has now become a verb?
Holly and I rented and watched the DVD last night. This was the worst Bond film I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen them all, but this was horrible. The plot, the acting, the cinematography - all of it was reproachable. Has anyone else seen it? What are your thoughts? Does Brosnan need to be put “out to pasture”? And, Berry - her acting seemed forced, at best. Cleese (Q) and the Aston Martin were probably the only highlights of the film.
Why do we, as Americans, put up with such mediocre entertainment and waste our valuable time with it? I’m as guilty as the next person, but I’m realizing the value of my free time is much more than the 4 USD that the DVD cost to rent. We often settle for so little, don’t we?
As many of you know, I am an Internet DJ in my spare time. In 2000, I started Dr. Horner’s Classic Jazz Corner in my frustration with the paucity of good jazz on the FM radio and Internet. Everywhere I turned, nearly every jazz song I heard was “smooth.” I’m not a fan.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the worldwide interest in my favorite sub-genre of jazz (straight-ahead and classic). Since then, the CJC has become widely listened-to, even staying in Arbitron’s 75 most-listened to music webcasts in the world for over 4 months last year. This speaks to the enormous world-wide interest in this great art form.
Since that time, Clear Channel Communications and other huge media conglomerates have begun to dominate Internet radio akin to FM. And, with the recent RIAA and CARP fees and royalties that webcasters (most of them hobbyists like me who pay out of our pockets to do it) are now faced to pay, more and more of the uniqueness of Internet radio is being squashed. Webcasters either need to join a music server provider like Live365.com (who, vis a vis collecting fees from thousands of hobbyist webcasters spreads these fees over a large number of webcasters), pay ever-increasing fees and royalties, or quit altogether. This, in effect, is, once again, homogenizing Internet radio to our culture’s detriment.
Anyway, the good news, is that Live365 recently made some changes to the broadcaster packages, and I know have more server space to work with (translates to a longer, more varied playlist).
Who caught coverage of the Aqaba (Jordan) summit today? I was able to listen to some commentary on NPR’s Talk of the Nation on the way to work this afternoon after clinic.
Disregarding Bush’s difficulty in pronouncing contiguity, the summit speeches contained some profound conciliatory comments and language. Sharon pledged to pull out of “unauthorized settlements” and Abbas declared an end to terrorist activities from the Palestinians. Bush seems to have finally become interested in playing a more central role in the Mid-East peace process.
It seems likely to me that this will be an extremely difficult and unpredictable process. The Israeli definition of an “unauthorized settlement” is assuredly different than the Palestinian, and Abbas will not be able to thwart all Palestinian acts of violence. Unfortunately, I do not see (that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist) any current signs of peaceful Palestinian civil disobedience. The Tax-Revolt of 1988 in Beit Sahour comes to mind. This act of Palestinian Christians (in one of the few West Bank towns left with a large percentage of Christians) serves as a model of how peaceful civil disobedience can be strongly effective in voicing outrage.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process will be full of religious rhetoric. I am curious as to how much influence (good or bad) Palestinian Christians may have upon the process, if any.