December 23, 2008


Posted in family, memories at 3:18 pm by jimazing

cimg5298-thumb.JPGLittle Molly sleeping in the cradle.  Seeing her brings back so many memories for me.  I made this cradle with the help of a couple of good friends.  I had bought the plans with the intention to make it for Danae, but couldn’t seem to find the time.  Sorry Danae 😦  By the time Melody came along it was done and ready for her.

I wanted to make it from poplar wood and asked my friend Mike Flannigan where I might find some that wouldn’t bee too expensive.  Money was extremely tight back then.  He said that he had a poplar log that was ready to mill.  He took it to the mill to have it cut up and let me have my pick of the lumber.  He only charged me what it cost him to have it milled.  As you can see, it was beautiful wood with only a few knots or flaws.

It was called a “Noah’s Ark” cradle and included plans for converting it to a toy box.  The toy box phase included a lid that looked like the top of the ark and rollers to push around like a ship on the sea.  I never got around to finishing that part of it.  In fact, as I got into the building of phase 1 of the cradle, I quickly realized that I needed help.  My good friend, Jim Kassner volunteered to help me.  I don’t know how many evenings and weekends we invested in the basement together (mine and his), but they are very pleasant memories.  The end pieces were especially challenging.  They are extremely thick and the wood was hard so it took a lot of sanding to shape the the curve properly.  We used Jim’s joiner to trim the boards for the sides so they would fit together as one wide plank.  I worked in the music repair shop at the time and used our paint spray booth to put on the finish.

I imagine that most people who look at her in the cradle see a beautiful baby and an interesting cradle.  I see that and so much more… floods of wonderful memories of good friends, of having not nearly enough money to live on and of God’s provision in spite of us.  Many children have slept in the cradle… their names are all written on the bottom.  Now my grandchild is sleeping in it.  How cool is that?!  Add Molly Nicole to the cradle roster.  May you have just as rich memories as mine when you are 50 and writing to your grandchild.

December 17, 2008

Welcome Molly Nicole

Posted in family at 6:43 pm by jimazing

cimg5190.JPG I would like to introduce you to the latest Anderson girl.  World, meet Molly Nicole Ogren… Molly meet the world!  Molly arrived late this morning while I was travelling to Charleston.  I have been here for a couple of hours and she has been in the nursery that whole time… so I am axious to actually meet her myself. Click here to see a slide show of photos that Jeanie took early on.

While driving down, I was thinking about my last post and how I want to be one who influences the world to be a better place for my daughters.  Now I have one more daughter to consider… a GRAND daughter.  As I was pondering the influence I will have on her, I began to think of the influence she will have on me.  When I was a youngster, the order of things was like this:  the adults influenced the kids and the kids were influenced.  It was very much a one way street.  As an adult, I have a much broader perspective.  I see influence between the generations as a two way street. My daughters and sons-in-law influence me greatly… and I am glad.  They have gifts, strengths, talents, experiences and perspectives that I do not have.  My life is much richer as I welcome their influence.

Little Molly is already influencing me.  All the way from Charlotte to Charleston, I felt as if I were being pulled by an unseen force… the grandpa magnet.  Molly, I can hardly wait to hold you.

December 14, 2008


Posted in family, personal, stories at 10:17 pm by jimazing

   Isabelle Allende opened her talk with an old Jewish saying; “What is truer than truth?”  “Stories,” she answered, and began to tell some stories that stirred up a blog entry…  Listening to her stories, I found myself stirred in a way that she probably didn’t intend, but then again, she doesn’t know my story.  Isn’t that the power of a story?  Each of us hears the same story, but we hear it from our own perspective.  Stories don’t lead us all to the same thoughts or the same behavior.  They have the power to stir fires of passion that already exist.

   reading-1986.jpgIsabelle’s told stories about women throughout the world who are making a difference, or sadly, who cannot make a difference.  The 18 minute video is at the end and I hope you will give her a listen. Her stories fanned the flames of a passion that I didn’t even realize was smouldering in my heart.  She told three stories of women making a difference and women who have no voice whatsoever.  She told stories of women who were (and are) raped and beaten for no reason at all.  Shoking and saddening!  She mentioned Wangari Maathai, whose story I heard on Speaking of Faith a few weeks ago… about how she made a difference in Kenya teaching the village women to plant trees which led to changing the livelihoods and even the very climate of her home.  Inspiring!  But that is not what stirred in me.

   I am the proud father of four wonderful daughters (who are very much grown up despite the implications of  this photo).  Without ever really articulating it to myself or to them, I always wanted my daughters to be strong, independent women.  I wanted them to be able to think for themselves and to have the power to follow their passions. I recognized that they were all beautiful and smart, but they were each so unique.  They have gifts, strengths and abilities that no one else on the face of the planet has.  I knew my life was better because they were in it.  Now that I see who they are and who they are becoming, I realize that the whole world is a better place because they are in it!

   My daughters have a voice!  I want a world where their voice is heard… free of preconceived notions about what women can (or should) do.  I have every confidence that they can overcome these obstacles, but it is unnecessary friction.  The friction limits what they can accomplish with so much energy wasted just making heat.  Let’s make the world a better place for my daughters (and all daughters) to succeed.  We need them more than we know.