The End of Summer


Alan and I went to a public lecture on prostate cancer tonight. It was dark by the time we returned, but we walked the lane several times in the drizzle, thinking about our past and our future. Tomorrow is the last day of September, and Friday is my 59th birthday. It’s hard to believe, but I think summer has finally come to an end!

More Pics of the Grand Fleebs

Colmberg, Freilandmuseum, Playpark, stuff 013Now I ask you, is this adorable or what? Little Nycteris checking out the world!

Colmberg, Freilandmuseum, Playpark, stuff 082Equal time for our Number One granddaughter, the one and only original “Fleeb”

Colmberg, Freilandmuseum, Playpark, stuff 047So, maybe I cheat just a little (giving two pictures of the new baby, but that’s what Joel sent me, so that’s what you’re getting!), but here’s the second rendition of our Grand Fleebs! I’m thinking Eowyn looks more like her gorgeous mama, but this one sure reminds me of her handsome daddy when he was a babe.

Good to Go

Our lane

Our Lane

Every morning I have the great joy of walking our lane. It serves all manner of wonderful purposes: much needed exercise, a romp with Abby, time to enjoy the beauty of nature and the ever-changing seasons, and time to pray and meditate…good for the body, soul, and spirit! Afterward comes another half hour of pretty rigorous calisthenics geared to help me shape up and rehabilitate my hip. This afternoon I had my 3-month checkup and X-rays. I am almost pain-free (some sciatic nerve pain with certain movements) and have no limp. The surgeon said I was doing great and don’t have to return except once a year for an X-ray just to make sure all is well. After six years of lower back discomfort and inner thigh problems, I am overjoyed.

I wonder why we wait so long to get help when something’s wrong? Not sure what’s wrong? Not sure what to do about it? Not sure who might be able to help? Not sure if the help offered will truly be effective? I, for one, am very thankful for those who can help…be it a doctor for a physical need, a counselor for emotional traumas, or a pastor for spiritual difficulties. I’m glad for those who study hard and know how to help, and I hope I’m always willing to get help when I need it!

So, Just Who is Nycteris, and How DO you Pronounce her Name?

Every time I tell another friend about the new baby, they stumble over the name and ask me to spell it and then pronounce it again. I agree that it is a bit unusual, but as one of my girl friend’s said yesterday, “Well, what should we expect? They’re into theater!” So, I guess that must be the explanation.

Actually, Michael tells me that one of the freedoms we take for granted is that in the U.S. you can name your baby anything you want. In Germany, parents have to choose a name out of the government-approved book of names! Because Mike and Grace are Americans, they were allowed to choose any name that they could prove was already a real name. (You cannot “make up” a name if the baby is born on German soil and you want the child registered there.)

Nycteris is pronouced “Neck ter us.” I thought it was “Nick ter us” and that probably they’re call her Nicky for short. Absolutely not. Alan thought it might be “Nike ter us” (like the “i” in bike or hike), but that is wrong too. What helps me remember is that she’s as sweet as “nectar!” Alan was praying for her the other morning and said, “Baby Nestoris…eh. whatever!” so…we’re all struggling! Nycteris (as I understand it from Michael) was a fairy princess from a George McDonald fairy tale who was forced to live in the dark underworld from childhood but when she grew up somehow discovered daylight and the upper world! Think of the wonderful transformation from darkness to light in the spiritual journey we each travel in order to find God…something like that.

Her middle name is “Mer” as in “mermaid,” a maid of the sea. Eowyn’s middle name is “Raine,” so I’m guessing “Mer” is keeping with the theme of some of God’s wonderful natural gifts to us.

Hope that helps, Jena! Thanks for asking. 🙂

Nycteris Armstrong

Just for the record, Grace had her baby in the early hours of this morning! She is all rosy and beautiful and looks like Michael to me! If you want to see a couple of pictures, click on “My Beloved Son Joel” on the right hand column of this posting and you can hear the scoop!! Both mother and baby are doing fine, and Michael, Eowyn, and Joel are also, although Eowyn isn’t completely sure just what she thinks of her new sister yet!