From the Heart: Oh, what a week it's been!

Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
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As if last week's excitement with a kidnapping and shooting just up the road wasn't enough, there was much more in the next few days.  Tuesday was Kimball's National Night Out celebration. Because I was still catching up on getting the paper done that night, I couldn't spend much time there. But it sure looked fun! Friday marked the beginning of a grand Summer Olympics in   China. It was also the beginning of this year's Kimball Days celebration. It rained Friday afternoon, but that didn't spoil the fireworks Friday night. I was out and about as usual Friday afternoon and evening, and then again Saturday morning. Taking pictures and soaking in the "atmosphere." Saturday was a gloriously beautiful day, and there were lots of things for people of all ages to enjoy. After that, though, I was gone from the scene. I still can't believe I missed half of Kimball Days! But it was for a good reason. I was actually in the hospital - first the Emergency Room then later in a room in the Pediatric ward - with my son. We all thought it was appendicitis, and were even ready to operate in the middle of the night. Fortunately, though, it turned out to be a viral infection that that is now much better. A close call, to be sure. I would like to thank Marguerite Laabs and Jonathon Green for pitching in and taking photos at Kimball Days events I couldn't attend. I am very grateful to have their - and your - support! But there was more than a stay in the hospital that distracted us from Kimball Days this year. Several people have already asked about this, since Georgia (the country) rarely makes the news in the U.S. I'll skip to the "happy ending" here: so far as we know, all our friends and family there are okay although shaken and weary. I keep thinking of an example to explain the situation there. It would be like the Iron Range (in northwestern Minnesota) decided it wanted to be part of Canada. When Minnesota sends in troops to protect its territory, then Canada swoops in with 100,000 troops and 150 tanks that have been waiting at the border for weeks. Dozens of fighter and bomber planes fly over the area. They bomb and destroy Duluth and Superior, and send half the population running into the woods. But it doesn't stop there. Canada bombs the Minneapolis airport. It destroys Brainerd. It also bombs St. Cloud, Willmar, St. Paul, and Lake Minnetonka. Thousands are dead; tens of thousands left homeless. Simultaneously, Canada riles up the southern part of Minnesota that wants to be part of Iowa. They bomb and shoot and kill there anyone who wants to stay part of Minnesota. Oh, and while they're at it, Canada bombs 3M and Armour, and they close off the Mississippi River to traffic. At every opportunity, the prime minister and foreign minister of Canada tell the world that Minnesota provoked them and that we're the villains. When Minnesota pulls out of the Iron Range, Canada keeps bombing and killing for days until the rest of the world finally screams loudly enough, "Stop!" So, today (Tuesday), Canada and Minnesota - I mean Russia and Georgia - agreed to a cease-fire brokered by the European Union. I spent much of the day watching events unfold on CNN. A rally in front of Parliament in Tbilisi   cheered Georgia and its strong ties with the United States. There, in the background of some of the shots of the crowd, I could clearly see our apartment. That was a relief. So was being able to talk with family, and to use Skype (video conferencing via computer over the Internet). Just being able to communicate was essential. Russia jammed TV signals and hacked Georgian news web sites. At one point, a relative in Georgia was on our computer here (via Skype) watching CNN reports on our TV here across the room. It would be funny if it wasn't so serious. Let's hope the "excitement" is done for awhile now. And now you know why we've been a little distracted (and tied to cell phones and computers) for several days.