Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sagamore of the Wabash

What is “Sagamore of the Wabash?” I had never heard of it before May 30th. It is an award created by the state of Indiana and is the highest honor in this state. In the past, it has been bestowed upon “astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians, and citizens who have contributed greatly to Hoosier heritage.” For more information, check out

Since my family and I have started attending Hope of Israel, a Messianic church, a few of the members invited us to the ceremony honoring Dr. Chaim Weizmann. Who is Chaim Weizmann? He was a chemist who developed a new technique for industrial fermentation in the production of acetone. He and his associates established Commercial Solvents Corporation right here in Terre Haute, Indiana (my great-aunt actually worked there). His discovery led to the Allied victories of WWI and WWII. He was later selected to be Israel’s first president in 1948 and served until his death in 1952.

The C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum hosted the ceremony. Eva Mozes-Kor is one of the museums’ founders and author of the book, “Echoes of Auschwitz.” She and her sister Miriam were Holocaust survivors and were one of the many pairs of twins tested on in Auschwitz by the infamous Dr. Menegele, during WWII. She has made trips back to Auschwitz and publicly announced that she has forgiven Dr. Mengele and the Nazis for their sadistic treatment.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Indiana Congressman Larry Buschon and Terre Haute’s mayor Duke Bennet were present, with the governor presenting the award posthumously to Dr. Chaim Weizman.

Towards the end of Pence’s speech, he said that he had a special announcement… that Eva Mozes Kor was also a recipient of the Sagamore award! Applause was plentiful. No one deserves the award more than Kor.

I was happy to witness this historic event, even though I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Kor or any politician there (we had to leave early). Years ago, I went to the old museum and had the honor of listening to Michael Kor, Eva’s husband, speak. Since then the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. museum had to rebuild due to a fire (intentionally set), so it was nice to see how amazing this new building is. We live only a mile or so from the museum, so maybe within the next few weeks we can get over there again and look around a bit more. I did have a great chat with a gentleman who lived in Germany as a young man and escaped before it was too late. He and his family came here to America and he later served in WWII.

Until next time!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Days of Our Lives

Don’t worry, this is not a post about the soap opera; it’s just a cheesy title for this entry.

Been busy the last few weeks and have many entries to post. One that is way over due, about Eva Mozes Kor and an event hosted at the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. museum. Maybe I can put that entry up early next week. Awesome pictures will be included.

Haven’t written much this week in regards to my novels. Which is okay; it’s good to take a break now and then and let the creative juices simmer. Close friends of ours asked me to babysit their granddaughter this week and help out with the housework. These folks- I love them completely and would do anything for them, but I do so appreciate getting paid. This is only for a week, but I’ve been praying for a “job.” I consider this also a test for my endurance, anxiety wise. I am so high strung/shy and backwards/OCD that I wasn’t sure I could hold down a job. But God knows our strengths and our limitations better than we do.  

So, I have been spending my days with a little girl, who I consider like a niece. Only God knows if I will ever have children of my own (it’s doesn’t look like it); I’m not overly maternal. I sort of consider motherhood a calling, the way the priesthood/church/mission field is and I have yet to receive that call. Still, there is no sweeter feeling than a pair of small, thin arms wrapped around my neck. And nothing makes me smile more than a childlike giggle. Nothing breaks my heart melt more than when she is hurt and needs to be held and comforted. This is probably the most difficult job I have ever had, but above all, the best.

Meanwhile, we are having work done on our property. A privacy fence now encloses our backyard, that way we will feel more protected, our furry babies will have more freedom and it will keep the lurkers out (druggy neighbors, nosy neighbors, animal abusers, trash pickers, etc.). It has gone smoothly for the most part, until yesterday. My sister had a lot to deal with due to a certain person. Won’t go into it, because it’s not really worth mentioning or harping on. Hopefully the next few days will go better for her.

This Saturday, my Mom, aunt, sister and I go to lay flowers on the graves. It’s overdue, but better late than never. We haven’t seen Dad’s grave since Thanksgiving. We bought special black and orange silk flowers for him; black and orange in honor of his high school, Gerstmeyer (those were the school colors). It will be bittersweet, I’m sure.

Until next time…