Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer of Light

My new blog is up and running at WisMoms.com, I'm putting fresh material on that blog, so if you want to keep up with my family, you'll have to check out both sites. Today I wrote about Mia and what she teaches me about faith. I'm really excited about being a part of the new site. There are forums for moms on all sorts of topics. and an interesting discussion on politics is getting started. It seems that I'm not the only one who has a hard time deciding between voting on moral issues or more immediate economic concerns. I struggle with this each election day. I know where I stand on abortion, stem cell research, the death penalty and gun control. The problem is that no politician stands the same way I do on all of these issues as well as campaign reform, Social Security, health-care, and tax cuts. Where do we find a politician who will honestly do the best for their constituents as opposed to their own pocketbook? I'm so frustrated with my state governor Jim Doyle. The state Senate and House pass a bill, and he vetoes it. The congress doesn't pass a bill he wants passed, and he signs it into effect anyway. He promised that he wouldn't raise taxes, but he's proposing a $1.25/pack tax on cigarettes, a tax penalty on oil companies for their large profits, new taxes on hospitals, plus other taxes he's slipping in here and there in the budget. Are we supposed to believe that the new taxes won't be passed on to the customer? So much for no new taxes. And Governor Doyle, who is so angry at Big Oil just happens to have mutual funds invested in two of the largest oil companies. Talk about a hypocrite. I want to stand on a mountain and shake each Wisconsin resident by the shoulders until they come to realize that Doyle isn't interested in fulfilling his campaign promise to not raise taxes. He's going to raise them in other ways, and then continue double-dealing with how the money is spent. So if you are a Democrat and voted the party line to elect Doyle, doesn't it make you a little angry?

On a lighter note:
Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer is about Mick Brannigan, tough guy ironworker, who gets his life turned upside down by the Lord. Mick and his wife Layne are struggling to deal with their youngest son Dylan's diagnosis of sensory integration dysfunction. Dylan needs someone to work with him daily, and Layne can't leave her cushy law office job, so she suggests that Mick take a break to care for Dylan. Mick laughs at the idea. To him, being a father means working a job and bringing home a paycheck, anything less is unmanly. But then God laughs in Mick's face and soon Mick is out of a job and trying to put his neighbor's house back together. Mick has to learn what it really means to be a father from the Father himself. I love Cramer's other books, but they are heavy and spiritually deep. This book has equal depth but also a broad sense of humor that makes for delightful reading. Mick isn't afraid to laugh at himself, and it's obvious that much of this book was written with a smile on its author's face. Several chapters are almost stand alone essays, specifically the one about a visit to an unnamed Florida theme park. Mick's escapades with his three children, several chickens, goat, unruly dog and neighbors made me laugh out loud several times. As Mick grows, he befriends another neighbor and soon starts takes up photography, even entering photos in a local competition. Cramer manages the difficult job of describing the photos so that I could see them in my mind. Mick's faith grows slowly, but steadily and never in a showy, proselytizing manner. This is almost Christan chick-lit for guys. Cramer never fails to write a tremendous message of faith and life.

I'm running on empty today, but the Lord's kept me going. The picture today is from yesterday. After I got done blogging, I went into the living room and caught Mia doing this. I sneaked back out and grabbed the camera, catching this shot.