Twenty-five years ago last January, Mike was introduced to a young American soldier in Germany. Later that month they decided to go on a weekend skiing trip to Andermatt, Switzerland. (M would like to interject a cautionary note: If it's been years since you were on the slopes, do not try to re-learn to ski in the Swiss Alps. You will find it very humbling--but that's another story.) On the way back up to Freiburg, they stopped in the city of Luzern, Switzerland, where M took this picture of the young man on a famous footbridge called the Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge). Mike calls the picture "The Mysterious Stranger," and it's one of his favorites. Can you guess who the "stranger" is?
You'll probably do better with this if you are a member of our tribe. That's because five months later, back in the U. S. of A., the young man joined our family when he married the gal who would someday become my adoptive sister Bonnie. If you're still in the dark, he's my adoptive brother-in-law, Fred! Here's a pic of Bonnie and Fred on that occasion:
Oops--that reminds me: I think I forgot to wish B & F a Happy Silver Anniversary last month, so I will correct that right now! BTW, do people often take medieval weapons to weddings? I've heard of the occasional shotgun, but swords?
Mike is always going on about the terrible things that will happen if people don't stop wasting the earth's precious resources. Right now the destruction of forests is high on his hitlist. He fusses about the cutting down of trees to make paper that mostly ends up as junk mail, giftwrap, grocery store coupons, and political posters. He says it's better to plant trees than to destroy them, as their leaves take in huge amounts of a harmful greenhouse gas called carbon dioxide, while giving off life-sustaining oxygen for us to breath.
I'm with him a hundred percent on this. In fact, here is an even worse consequence of a tree shortage that he seems to have overlooked: