Friday, August 10, 2012

Devastating Manila rains while we are in the dry United States

We send our newsletter through our Gmail accounts, some through Steve’s and the rest through Marcia’s.  To Steve’s surprise and dismay, he recently discovered that many email addresses of our readers had somehow been removed from our reader list.  So Steve went through name by name and recreated the list to the best of his ability.  We realize that this may mean that you have been re-added after having asked to be removed, or you may now be in both lists, in which case you are receiving two of these emails.  So please inform us so if you would like us to change your status – to be removed, or to be taken out of one mailing list to avoid duplication.

We have no idea how long ago this glitch occurred, so if you had stopped receiving the newsletter and want to read the ones you missed, you can go to our on-line blog site.  Just go to your favorite search engine and enter “Steve and Marcia.”  Much to our surprise and delight, we are the first entry to appear on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Duckduckgo!  We are fast approaching 35,000 hits on our blog site.  So we know someone out there is interested in what is happening on Corregidor!

We are very saddened to learn about the terrible rains that have devastated Manila in the past few days.  Our friend Karl happened to be in Manila and took many pictures of the flooded streets.  We are including several of Karl’s photos showing just how much water was in the streets.  Notice how, despite the miserable conditions, most of the people are smiling.  This is the Filipino way.  Given the population of Manila, we can certainly understand how one million people were temporarily displaced from their homes. The floods were not due to a typhoon but rather by thunderstorms that just settled in and continued to pour out rain.  To our many friends in Manila, we hope you are safe and dry.
Ironically, here in the States most farm areas are so short of rain that yields are going to be much lower than anticipated, with some farmers losing their entire crops.  For example, there will be a severe corn shortage this year, with yield predictions of only 30% in many areas.  Currently we are experiencing our first real sustained rain since our arrival in the States six weeks ago, but do not know if rainfall at this point in the growing season can improve those yield predictions or not.
We have been in Michigan since late last week, busy with family and friends.  We have especially enjoyed spending time with our grandchildren, seven in number.  The oldest is almost 13 years old and the newest will reach the 3 month mark next week.  Brian constructed a spider web ‘house’ from left-over yarn from their mom’s knitting projects.  A number of friends from our years living and working in Michigan have contacted us to make dates, much appreciated opportunities to reconnect on a face-to-face basis.  We’re facing the “we’re not as young as we used to be” issue, realizing that late nights – and especially after-dark driving on roads frequented by deer – are better avoided.  That makes it a challenge to visit busy friends who live on later schedules than we do.

Highlights included spending some time with our friends Al and Renee.  They treated us to lunch, and then we walked together around the Michigan State University campus for a couple of hours.  MSU, which was originally an agricultural college, has beautiful gardens and riverside walks.  Notice the photo with the young boy jumping on tile panels.  He is playing music, and you can see how eagerly his sister anticipates her turn.  Notice also the huge flower peacock, and Al spinning the large stone in the water fountain.  We also made a stop at the justifiably acclaimed MSU Dairy Store on Farm Lane.  The biggest problem is deciding which of the many fantastic ice cream flavors from which to choose.
Once again, Dick and Nancy Adams treated us to dinner, with their daughter Kim and son-in-law Christian joining us.  You may remember Dick from several blogs as the last member of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment to visit Corregidor.  Dick, who just turned 90, is looking forward to returning to Corregidor in a few years to reclaim the “oldest returning veteran” record (unofficial, of course) on the Rock.  Note the photo showing the back of Dick’s jacket, a gift to him at a recent veterans’ reunion.
Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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