Sunday, June 15, 2008


Father's Day was bittersweet for me today, having buried my father about two weeks ago. My wife, kids, and in-laws are always great on Father's Day, though. Alisa always gets me a card and a nice gift, and the kids always make something special at school or in Sunday School. Usually it's a custom tie with the kids' picture on it, or a hand-made card, piece of pottery, t-shirt, etc. Alisa is much more deserving of Mother's Day than I am of Father's Day. The kids are deserving of nothing. Sounds harsh I know, but in our home, every day is Kids' Day.

The kids are counting down the days until school is over; I imagine their teachers are too. They get out on June 18 and go back the day after Labor Day. Michael had a particularly difficult year. The transition to middle school was not smooth for him, but the challenge has made him stronger and I'm sure next year will be much better. His grades were surprisingly good, compared to how the year started. There was something discernibly wrong with him at the beginning of the school year. After a lot of research and doctor's visits, we discovered he is allergic to most foods. Wheat, corn, soy, eggs, milk, tomatoes, and yeast, to name a few. He subsists primarily on rice and teriyaki chicken or beef. He can eat fruits and vegetables, but he is unwilling to do so. The other kids are also mildly allergic. Michael takes some digestive enzymes and other treatments for the allergies. The doctor says that his allergies should subside at some point in the future. I had a missionary companion who had similar allergies, but he could not resist his food temptations. He also couldn't resist the temptation to go on splits with another missionary and see a Van Halen concert. Too bad for them some church members saw them in the crowd, but that's another story. Every so often this unnamed companion of mine would go on a binge and eat an entire half-gallon of ice cream; he'd then spend the rest of the night in the bathroom. Everything he ate would eventually come back out, but I'm not sure which end.

Joseph is the best for eating healthy foods, but he's also the one with the biggest sweet tooth. The number of different things Adam eats can be counted on one hand: potatoes, meat, cheese, rice, and fruit. Benjamin's tastes are similar to Joseph's. At least they eat my homemade chili, which is mostly beans. I love beans and legumes. There's so much you can do with them, and they're so good for you. Alisa's uncle used to say "The more fiber it has, the more you should eat. The less fiber it has, the less you should eat." I'm kind of nutty about fiber. I take a fiber supplement every morning, just to make sure I'm getting some during the day. Some days I don't eat well, so I know the fiber is doing some good. My brother's friend, a gastroenterologist, said if you're not getting enough fiber in your diet, a supplement will help. Most Americans don't eat nearly enough fiber; too many prepared and processed foods available. That's why colon cancer is so prevalent in this country. We are also too sedentary. We've moved past the agricultural age, through the industrial age, and now reside squarely in the information age. There's not a lot of physical movement required in the information age. It used to be we had to work, physically work, 8-12 hours a day in the field. My grandparents grew their own fruits and vegetables and lived quite independently until a couple years before they passed away. Grandpa and Grandma Passey lived to be 96 and 97, respectively. Their lives are a great example of work ethic and cooperation. My Grandma Krogh was a workaholic. I learned a lot about a hard day's work from her. She would put us to work mowing the lawn, clipping the hedges, raking leaves, painting, helping with the roofing project, you name it. I'm very grateful for these examples, because I think we're slowly losing the work ethic of the previous generation. People say that we are busier and work longer hours today than we did in the past. I would agree we are busier, but that doesn't always mean work. I think more and more people are becoming allergic to work and exercise.

A lot can be said about the relationship between physical activity and mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The benefits of physical exercise on our brains and our spirits is often understated. My goal is to get more physical exercise, and more sleep, so I can be a little sharper. I'm going to go pump up my tires so I can ride my bike to work tomorrow.

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