Wednesday, January 30, 2013

good day, sunshine

“Good day, sunshine. Good day, sunshine. Good day sunshine…” That’s all I can remember of that Beatle song. My kids complain that they know the lyrics to every pop song ever recorded during the 1970’s, but only the first line. . –But wait, I do remember another line: “I feel good. You know she looks so fine. I’m so proud to know that she is mine.”  

Roxanne and her mother flew in to Orlando while Henry and I were on our fishing trip. When we left the boat, we drove to Andy and Erica Ramsaran’s house—Erica is the daughter of Henry and Lisa. As we opened their front door I heard a sound that I could pick out in the Metrodome, my wife Roxanne’s voice. The past week had been a good one. But to hear her voice was like sunshine after a long stretch of cloudy days. I gave Roxanne a hug. Then I gave her mother a hug. (I tend not to be a hugger, but a few years into our marriage, Roxanne said, “You can at least hug my mom.” So I do hug her mom. I like her mom. I’ve liked her ever since she said to Roxanne about 35 years ago, “I can see what you see in him,”) 

Andy had supper ready for us: London broil, grilled chicken, brats, pork chops, and I think he had some sort of a vegetable. I tried not to just sit next to Roxanne. As in most social situations, the boys were with the boys and the girls were with the girls.I think that's because women talk about people and relationships and men talk about things and significant events--like food fights. Henry says he loves being a grandfather. During the day Henry has a whole lot of things going on. But at meal time, his grand kids get his full attention. "Woooow!" he shouts as another piece of broccoli goes flying across the table and makes a crash landing against the bib of three year old Gio.

We spent the next couple of days at the Sardina house where I interviewed Henry for a biography. (By the way, this will be my last blog for a while. I am putting Henry’s biography in blog format which can be found at Henry kept on channeling over into preacher mode, and, of course, we had to take a little time off to argue theology. Also Henry is involved in many people’s lives. So thankfully, our interview time had many interruptions. Even so, one of my fingers is still cramped from so much writing.

The Sardinas are wonderfully hospitable people. Their house is about three blocks from the beach where Roxanne and I walked a couple hours each morning. She saw a dolphin jump. I saw hardly anyone on the beach because the temperature was a frigid 68 degrees. We attended their church fellowship where Roxanne’s mother shared her testimony with the ladies. One lady there was deeply moved by the Holy Spirit during this time.  She expressed great interest in what this “saved thing” is all about. Two days later she drove over to visit Henry and Lisa to find out more.

We visited Roxanne’s nephew and wife, Brent and Lisa Olson. Brent is an officer at the air force base about five miles from the Sardinas. Brent was born a leader. As a high school student he coached the Lake of the Woods Bears to their three winningest seasons ever despite being handicapped by an interfering high school coaching staff.   My son-in-law Daniel Triestman had Brent in his first cabin counseling at Story Book. After the second day, Daniel moved out of the cabin because he said there was nothing to do. Brent got the campers up in the morning; he made sure they all pitched in during cabin clean-up and that they all made it to chapel on time. And Dan said Brent's night time devotions were excellent with good participation from all the campers. “You can’t move out,” I told Dan. “But Bubba (Brent) is doing such a great job.” I finally persuaded Dan to move back into the cabin, and to fill up his time Dan wrote some of his best camp songs ever. (A CD of these songs can be obtained by e-mailing Billy Howell at
Brent is being promoted to Captain this next month, then General in July. And I think Commander in Chief sometime in 2014. 

On Thursday morning the three of us took off for home. Roxanne and I shared driving. Roxanne’s mom sat in the back reading the biography of Harry Truman. We stopped overnight at the Great Smokey’s National Park where we hoped to do some hiking. But when we woke up, there was a quarter of an inch of ice on our car, so we did the only sensible thing and drove through the freezing rain over the winding Appalachian Mountain roads. In beautiful Hammond, IN we stopped at a hotel very reasonably priced and with such special amenities as bullet proof glass for their desk clerk. 

Then on to beautiful Story Book Lodge Christian Camp. It wasn’t until we passed through Cloquet that anxiety again rolled over me. “Now what am I going to do?”  I could tell you I would have a colonoscopy, which I did, just this morning. It wasn’t too bad. And I could tell you I’m going to write the biography of Henry Sardina, which I’m in the process of doing. And I could tell you a host of other things I’m thinking about doing. I have nearly infinite possibilities. But I wish I could just go back to work and do my old job. It would make my life so much simpler. Several of the carriers that I supervised have told me they think I was the best Circulation Manager ever. Several of our carriers predated me at the Mesabi Daily News and they had been though 27 different managers in 27 years. My tenure as manager was 6 years, twice as long as any other. I appreciate their kind words. But I realize I won't be going back. 

Elijah in his discouragement saw the Lord display Himself with great power through wind and an earthquake and a great fire. Then we read, "After the fire came the sound of a still, small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he got up and stood." (I Kings 19: 11-13) The Psalmist writes, Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire more than you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For to me the nearness of my God is my good." (Psalms 73: 25-28).

I really do know that it's not about circumstances, it's about nearness. Being kicked out of my comfortableness, my routine, has made me desire so much for the Lord to be near me; and in quietness, to hear His voice.

So for right now, I’m going to write and see what jobs might be available. And every morning when I wake up, I do get hear the voice of my wife and I will listen for the Lord's voice. And I'll push the anxiety aside and I'll sing, "Good day, sunshine. Good day, sunshine. Good day, sunshine..."--maybe I should Google it and find out the rest of the words. 


  1. Larry, that is nice what you said about Roxanne! Our family all agree that you have a great wife. !!

  2. I can see what she sees in you, too. I understand your feelings about being unemployed - 14 months made me realize how much I was (and to a lesser extent still am) finding my identity through my job. My life, however, is in Christ, and He showed me through my unemployment that He should be my identity. I'm glad you have some projects and activities (hopefully some more pleasant than a colonoscopy) to keep you active. Remember that the results aren't in your control - you're to love and obey Him, and He's going to guide you. If He wants to make you Commander-in-Chief next summer, He could - He really could. His way is perfect, so trust in Him.