Family

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Now Truly Sacred

Antonio Gaudi, the architect of the Sagrada Familia, was from Catalunya, Spain. ~ Photo P. DeMarco

[slideshow]

Photos by Peter DeMarco

Pope Benedict XVI traveled to Barcelona last weekend to consecrate Antonio Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia or Temple of the Holy Family.


The Hornet's Nest

Apparently Namhae has killer bees. Or something like that.

Korean Father was out very early in the morning on top of an isolated mountain mowing the grass around his mother's grave, during the last days of the summer's heat. It has to be done otherwise it would become unkempt and that would be disrespectful, and since graveyards in Korea are generally small and don't employ anyone to maintain them, it's a family responsibility. The graves of those with no nearby or surviving relatives can often easily be spotted as isolated patches of chaos in an otherwise ordered scene.

Falling from the rib-breaking tree and hitting every branch

It is no laughing matter that my father-in-law fell from a tree and broke some ribs but there must be some way to work that cliche in.

On Monday, my f-i-l was collecting persimmon, when he fell. Now, he was hurt and seriously to need to stay in the hospital for a few days, but don’t think he fell from a tall pine or maple or the like.  Horticulturists could better explain, but as I understand it, you clip the main growth bud of a young tree and major branches grow instead.  This way you can have many more fruit-bearing branches and all close to the ground.

So, he fell and probably hit a branch on the way.  He went home, and probably went to bed early.  The next morning, he was in great pain so he decided to visit a hospital.  There he was diagnosed with broken ribs, admitted to a room and had his lower chest wrapped.  I suspect he was given pain-killers.


In the Name of the Father

Having chosen a name, my wife and I went to District Office to register our son's birth. And of course, we immediately ran into difficulties.

I believe that the children of some male foreigners in Korea take their father's surnames, so I didn't think we were treading entirely new territory with our decision to give our son a Korean first name and my Western surname. However, the first employee at the District Office said that she didn't know how to enter it into the computer. A supervisor was called, but he didn't know either.

Specifically, the problem related to our desire to register my son's first name in Chinese characters. This would be fine for 'the computer' if his surname had Chinese characters, but it only has the Korean character transliteration of the Western surname. Picking Chinese characters for names is hard, and I don't have a Chinese version of my surname. So 'the computer' said no.

Haeundae Beach

Korea’s most famous beach, Haeundae has been noted for its impressive beauty for more than a thousand years. It is easy to understand why when you see that great curve of land meeting the ocean. And it is also easy to understand why this natural setting draws hundreds of thousands of visitors a year to its sea and sand.


Cake-Off!

CJ recently celebrated his 12th birthday.  Some of the neighborhood girls found out about the birthday boy and decided to do a "cake-off."  First they conducted a mini-interview with CJ and asked him about some of his favorite things - colors, superheroes, candy, music, etc.  Armed with this knowledge, the girls now had the inspiration to make some nice cakes.  The best cake wins of course.

Some of the neighborhood girls that participated in the cake-off.

Getting Settled In...

Long time no blog.  Been crazy busy with work and settling in to the new digs.  So here's a quick stroll through our new neighborhood in Lakeland, Tennessee.

The house is great and the neighbors are awesome.

Question from a reader: advice for families?

A reader writes in looking for information about families and cost of living:

First off, I would like to thank you for answering many of my questions about South Korea. Chris, I have not found any information specific for families. I am married and we have two young children. Many questions have been answered, but is there any advice you can give? By the way, could you also give a cost of living price list such as rent, food, internet, clothing, etc...?

[S.N.]

S.N.,


Sweet Home Alabama

I love the South and Alabama in particular.  You get the "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" in the south.  People wave to you when you're driving by.  Folks will hold the door open for you.  Smoke actually comes out of the exhaust stacks of barbecue restaurants in the south.  What kind of real barbecue place doesn't have smoke coming out of its stack?  The kind without barbecue pits, that's what kind.  I digress.  Only in the south can you get SEC football, large mouth bass, Golden Flake potato chips, Blue Bell ice cream, black eyed peas, sweet tea and multiple American Idol winners.  Okay, so maybe you can get some of these things outside of the south, but it just ain't the same if you're not enjoying those things with company that boasts a friendly drawl or southern twang - especially company of the female persuasion with a sweet, syrupy southern accent.  I'm a very lucky man to have married my southern belle.  Yeah, Carol's drawl is pretty much gone but all it takes is that weekly phone call

Airborne Blogging

So I'm chilling in first class on our flight from San Francisco to Atlanta.  Just finished my first John and Coke.  Most people call it Jack and Coke but when you know him as well as me, you call him John.  Anyway, life is good.  Never blogged while airborne so now I've got that check in the block.  There's that other airborne milestone too.  We won't go into that.  This is a family blog.

What a whirlwind the last couple of days have been.  Between the turnover with the new Commanding Officer, finishing up last minute work items, the Change of Command ceremony, personal good-byes and the hectic travel, it's been a memorable couple of days.

Okay, down to only a couple of minutes left on the battery so must type fast...

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