Miss You Nate

Nate, the star of many ads in Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, etc, lost his battle this week to lymphoma.

Nate was diagnosed with lymphoma about a year ago, and responded well to treatments for awhile. He seemed to feel good and was nearly his old self. Recently however, he began to struggle more and finally reached the point this week where he couldn’t fight any more.

While we don’t know how old Nate was, we do know that he was well loved the past seven years in our home.

Nate was rescued from the local county animal shelter, where he was malnourished, had skin disease, dental problems, and a seriously broken leg. The volunteers who saw him at the shelter had to carry him to the car as he couldn’t even stand. Due to the long period of not being treated, his leg had to be amputated.

Nate’s recovery surpassed everyone’s expectations. Nate quickly learned to walk and even run on three legs. Even when he would fall, he would cheerfully get up and go again. He loved being loved, and showed this with a wagging tail for every hug.

This week, we were able to all say our good-bye’s to Nate. We miss you Nate.

Good to be home

The first thing I noticed when I arrived home was the clean air and the blue sky. Granted, we live in the country, but this even applies to the Chicago airport where we changed planes.

We had spent a week in China before going to India. China was cloudy most days, so we never really did see the sun. Then in India, not sure if it was sunny or cloudy as the smog was so bad. Hard to believe unless you see it, but India even seemed smoggy inside their modern Delhi airport.

If you live without smog and pollution every day, you easily forget how blessed we are to have clean skies. But on this day, I’m breathing deep and loving it.

Delhi
Delhi

Farm
Farm

Jeff, Mac, and One Cool Kid.

Spent the morning visiting an orphanage in Delhi, India. Delivered a truckload of much needed medicine, and received some huge smiles in return.

These children are awesome, but very much in need of loving families of their own. This orphanage is well managed, with children ranging from newborns to age 3, and from very likely to be adopted to virtually no chance. Heart breaking. Will continue to pray for these children.

Enjoying our Work

Just back from India this afternoon. Very successful trip, but exhausting. To keep our time away from home as short as possible, we work very long days, and then nights are more work, social, or travel. Did I mention exhausting? We reviewed probably 2000 items, primarily from three countries, by eight different Designers, from over 50 factories including our own factory, with staff from China, the US, Indonesia, and India. A whirlwind. Great trip and great to be home. By the way, the Lord answers prayers. The sciatic pain going down my leg due to my ruptured disc got better every day of the trip. I’ve had intense pain since August 10th, and amazingly it started decreasing right before we left. Thank you Lord!

Sciatica

I don’t get too stressed normally, but I am very concerned about the China/India flying before us. It will be days/nights sitting on a plane, yet I can’t stand to sit for more than a few minutes due to my ruptured disc. I’ve been standing at my computer at work for years, but now any sitting is painful. Need lots of prayer to get through this trip. I will admit that my leg pain has diminished just slightly this weekend, and we leave on Wednesday.

Addiction

I have an addiction. This word might be a little strong, but the older I get, the more I value being able to work out and play sports. Somehow when you are in your 20’s and pain-free, it’s hard to appreciate the abilities and health God has given you.

My favorite sport now is singles tennis, and tennis is probably the reason I’ll have an epidural tomorrow at Duke. Large extruded disc pressing on my sciatic nerve. Not fun, and I’m at week 5 with this.

I’m still trying to be as active as I think I can get away with, but it’s tough. My routine of an ab session before 7am with a few guys at work, tennis or lifting at lunch, and then an exercise machine at night while going through my mail is not possible now. Yes, I’m addicted, and struggling with changing my habits. My physical therapist told me that if I have trouble putting my socks and shoes on in the morning, tennis doesn’t make much sense. Guess he’s right.

Clinton

Even if you don’t agree with his politics, pretty cool meeting President Clinton at the Vegas market. As President, he certainly made an impact in the US and beyond. Today, he is much more involved in humanitarian efforts, including his work with President Bush in Haiti, several countries in Africa, etc.

While we may not agree on some points, I think most of us do believe that America is a blessed nation, and as a blessed nation, we can’t ignore the suffering in so much of the world.

Thank you President Clinton for lending your influence to help some of those who need it the most.