Saturday, August 25, 2007


Welcome Home

Our kids are taking to little Wes pretty well. Corrie fawns over him quite a bit and loves to hold him. Jack has bursts of adoration which quickly end so he can go back to his higher priorities, such as playing with Wesley's car seat. I even am pleasantly surprised by how long Corrie will simply sit and hold him.

Jack wants Mommy sometimes, but overall, there seems to be peace among the siblings, at least at the outset.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Apollo 13

In some ways, Wesley's birth could not be a more ordinary thing.
Millions of children are born every day, and this was after all, our
third. For the doctors and nurses at the hospital, this is every day
stuff. They see it just as I see the stack of bananas each day, and
though there is more to this, I can't help but think it must become
ordinary. If a doctor felt with each newborn they welcome the way a
parent felt, I may ask for a competent doctor who was not so
emotionally crippled by the circumstances.

In the film Apollo 13, the astronauts are asked about the "routine" nature of flying to the moon. It had been done already, and the public had already moved on
from it.

When I watch the news, I see some big stories. A big
part of my home state is underwater due to abnormally high rainfall.
One of the NFL's biggest stars is pleading guilty for gambling and dog
fighting. The president of the United States continues to plummet in
the estimation of the country, as his second and final term draw ever
near to a close. And then there are the dozens of piranhas whose world is filled with the insatiable desire to fill the Oval Office chair with their inauthentic behinds.

But as this young man enters the world, there was no greater headline for
Stephanie and I, as well as our families on that day. Stephanie and I
were grateful for our hospital. In their ordinary work, these doctors
and nurses struck a unique balance between concern and respect. They
needed to ask the same somewhat obvious questions, but they did so with
a respect for our intelligence. The unobtrusive Minnesota element really seemed to shine through at the U of M hospital, and I found an exemplification of the intangible thing which gives this part of the country its character.

Wesley is eating well, and is mother is recovering. It is a momentous time. And it reminds me that I should never be too terribly
caught up in what the world sees as significant or valuable. For there
was no bigger story for me on the night of August 21 than the arrival
of Wesley Tov Bascom.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


By the Numbers, Wesley Tov Edition

1-One baby boy welcomed to the world last night-Wesley Tov Bascom

2-Number of pushes it took for Stephanie to deliver him

3-Number of kids we have-we're outnumbered folks.

9-Pounds, 14 ounces-his weight

11:20PM-Time of birth

22-Inches long

Charles Wesley is a name burned into my subconscious, as I grew up singing his songs of praise. His contributions to the Kingdom are without measure:

"He left his Father's throne above
So free, so infinite his grace!
Emptied himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!"

Tov is a rich yet simple word in the Hebrew language. All three of our kids names appear together in Proverbs 3:3-4:

"Do not let kindness (Hesed, Corrie's middle name) and truth (Emet, Jack's middle name) leave you; Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good (Tov, Wesley's middle name) repute in the sight of God and man."

We are very thankful for his safe arrival!

Monday, August 20, 2007


By the Numbers

.99-How much of a dollar I had to spend to buy a recording of "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young off itunes. A truly lovely song.

1-Day until we go to the hospital to welcome our new son to the world

2-The number of people who already know his name (Steph and me)

3-The number of days it has rained straight here. There has been significant flooding down the river. On the bright side, things have never looked greener here.

7-Sick calls at work on Saturday-and it was not a sunny day.

8-Cases of avocados I ordered on Saturday for the store.

12.95-The amount we pay a month for basic cable, which gives us the right to tune into the most truted name in news, CNN. I am still trying to figure out how I had survived up until now without them. On the bright side, we get better reception, a discount on phone service, and more baseball!!! (We also get WGN Chicago)

17-Strikeouts by Johan Santana yesterday. If he had pitched nine innings, he would have had a shot at tying the record of 20.

19.99-Price of my phone card for the hospital.

Tune in tomorrow, for quite probably there will be some exciting news!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Al's Breakfast-Yes, it is that good

I visited a local institution for the second time today, and confirmed that it may be the best breakfast I've ever had. Al's Breakfast is almost in the shadow of the 35W bridge, and I had my first real glimpse of the fallen bridge this morning as my father in law and I visited Al's.

As you can see by the picture, it is literally one row of stools at a bar. As Pop and I waited for two seats to open (one seat was open on the end), we noticed Al's in action. As one patron in the middle of the bar departed, the cook behind the bar requested that everybody move down one seat to make room for us.

As I sat, I ordered a cup of coffee. The diner coffee was super. I ordered scrambled eggs with jalapeno cheese, and a pancake short stack with real maple syrup. The eggs were amazing and spicy, and the pancakes (my second try of them) are maybe the best I've ever had.

Vin Scully once spoke this way of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn (where the Dodgers played). "Ebbets Field was not going to make it easy for you. If you wanted to go, it was not going to be easy. But once you got there, the cast of characters was struly remarkable..." The same could be said for Al's. It truly was not easy this morning, as so many roads are closed because of 35W. The spirit of the city was a thing to see this morning. Al's sums it up very well. The chatter at the bar did involve the bridge, but mostly it revolved around the hearty food, a cuisine that sums up Minneapolis so well.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Wise and Severe Words

We pass by John Piper's "Desiring God" office every time we go to the hospital for Steph's checkups.

Here's what he has to say about the tragedy in our hometown...


Minnesota Nice

Minnesota nice is our version of southern hospitality. One person described it this way to my wife before we moved here-"They won't bring you casseroles when you move in, but if your house burns down they will be there the next day to help you rebuild."

I thought of this as I heard about all the joggers along the Mississippi River helping dozens of people to safety yesterday. While other citys' heroics are front page news, the bravery of these residents of Minneapolis is not what I see in the headlines.

It is the unassuming decency of the people that gives this place its soul. I'm still a Calvinist in the end, so I affirm the depravity of man. But there is such a simple human dignity to this place that seeks not its own.

We can only mourn with those who have lost so much.

I only wish this fine city could be in the headlines of the NY and LA Times for other reasons.

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