Sunday, January 27, 2008

January 27, 2008

We had a young husband/father come home from Iraq this week. He has been in the desert for 15 months as an MP. Those that know him say he has changed. How could he not be? His two young sons, ages 3 and 4, are getting reacquainted with their daddy. The youngest is still very suspicious of him and emotional and stand-offish. For half of his young life he has not been with his father. His wife is so elated and happy. We are thrilled that he has come home safely. We wish that they could all come home safely! And now he is to go through a 7 day "reintegration training". This is not a bad idea. Elder Karn says they had no such program in the days of the Vietnam War and within 48 hours of shooting the enemy you were back home without any kind of intervention. Some did not reintegrate and they had good reason. Anyway, we have visited weekly this young husband's wife for the last 2 1/2 months. We have appreciated the opportunity to get to know her and the two boys. The boys both call us Grandpa and Grandma Karn. Our standing appointments are now over and we are glad this story had a happy ending. We are not sure if they will PCS (permanant change of station) now or finish out the 3 years here in Baumholder. We hope to get to know this soldier better as we certainly love his family and we appreciate his sacrifice.

Our volunteering has opened up some opportunity for learning new skills. At the Creative Arts Center, where we spend 3 hours every Friday, we now work in the professional framing shop. Bruce gets to run fast and noisy machinery cutting up the fancy molding and also working a cutter on the matboards. Pam gets to sort and stack the thousands of decorative moldings and hopefully in time do some dry mounting or frame making. It is a really fun place. They loaned us some pictures for our bare walls. We are making friends there and also having a great time.

At the Thrift Store where we spend 4 hours volunteering every Monday we mostly sort out contributions. Most of the stuff people leave is junk or garbage. Every once in a while we come across some clean, folded, barely worn clothes. We appreciate that! What the Thrift Store is unable to use is contributed to the German Red Cross. Last Monday we reported to work on time and found the store closed. We forgot it was a holiday! The birds are singing like Spring is approaching. We hope they are right! Although Mother Nature can fool herself and make us sorry. But the daffodils are coming out of the ground and we have consistently been in the 40 degree range for a few weeks. There is some budding growth on the trees and bushes. I am excited to see the Rhododendrons bloom but that won't be for a few months I am sure.

We have had a long Sunday today. We both spoke in Church and Pam taught the Relief Society lesson. Then we had the young missionaries over for dinner. Now the dishes are washed and we are in our relaxing clothes. We are grateful for some "down" time to recover. We have some traveling to do this week so it is nice to take a break.

Hope all is well with all of you.
Sister and Elder Karn