April 01, 2005
Dr. Robert M. Maring (1922-2005)

This morning, my grandfather Dr. Robert M. Maring, retired Methodist minister, former missionary to Pakistan, and World War II veteran, died from congestive heart failure. He had just turned 83 years old a few weeks ago.

He was much beloved by his wife of 63 years and his daughter and grandchildren, by his several congregations in West Virginia and in Pakistan, by his many friends in his adopted home of Port Charlotte, Florida, by his former colleagues in the armed forces, by his late sister and his several neices and nephews, and so many other family and friends and colleagues. He lived to personally visit dozens of nations, to meet with dozens of world leaders, to tend to hundreds (if not thousands) of good people in need of comfort, and to spend his life in love and grace by the strength of his faith. It is rare to know a man of such strong will whose life is dominated not by cynicism, but by optimism. He was a good man who will most certainly be missed.

March 13, 1922 - April 1, 2005

Posted by at 11:09 AM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (2)
 April 03, 2005
My Grandfather's Official Obituary

As it will appear in the Port Charlotte, FL newspaper tomorrow:

REV. DR. ROBERT "BOB" M. MARING, 83, of Port Charlotte, Florida died Friday, April 1, 2005 at Peace River Regional Medical Center, Port Charlotte.

He was born March 13, 1922 in Huntington, West Virginia to Robert L. Maring and Hazel Caldwell Maring and moved to Port Charlotte in 1987 from Charleston, West Virginia. He was a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College where he received his B.A. degree. He received his Masters of Divinity Degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and his M.A. degree in World Missions at the Graduate School of Drew University. Dr. Maring completed study programs at West Virginia University, the Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Perkins School of Theology. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at the Theological School of Drew University.

He was an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church and has served as minister in Kentucky, New York, West Virginia and Pakistan. For thirteen years he and his wife, Evelyn served as missionaries of the World Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in the Methodist Church of Pakistan. He served either as a pastor or district superintendent from 1946 until 1987 when he retired from the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

As a minister in the church, Bob, as he is know by his friends, has been Annual Conference Secretary and has been chairperson of various annual conference boards and committees. He was a world traveler, a student of the world religions, and international relations. Since retiring he was active in the Port Charlotte United Methodist Men's Fellowship and served as Co-chairperson of Evangelism and Missions Committee. He is a veteran of World War II, U.S. Army. Member and former Vice President of the Charlotte County Veterans Council, member and Chaplain for the local and State China-ČBurma-India Veterans Assn. and member and former Vice President of the Port Charlotte Lions Club.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Rev. Evelyn L. Maring of Port Charlotte; a daughter, Karen (Lee) Rousselle of Buffalo, NY; two grandchildren, Allan (Paulette) Rousselle and Sandra (Michael) Hanagan; 3 great grandchildren, Alexander Rousselle, Devon and Sierra Hanagan; and 14 nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister, Helen Capehart.

Memorial services will be held Wednesday 3:00 PM, April 6, 2005 at the Port Charlotte United Methodist Church. Rev. James R. Kuse will officiate with military honors by the U.S. Army. Inurnment will be in Restlawn Memorial Gardens, Port Charlotte.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mission Fund of the Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, 21075 Quesada Ave., Port Charlotte, FL 33952. . Arrangements by Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory Port Charlotte Chapel.


Posted by at 03:06 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (1)
 April 08, 2005
Happiness is a Warm Check

One particular bright spot this week came on Monday, in the form of a check in the mail for my writing.

My first professional fiction sale.

My short story "Band of Sisters" will appear in an anthology from DAW Books, although the publication details are still pending. Naturally, I'll post the title and release date once we get word on when, in fact, it's going to be published.

Other submissions to other editors appear to be getting more favorable notice, as well, even if they haven't yet generated more checks. I've finally made it off the slush pile for two pro markets I've been trying to crack for years (ie, I'm being personally rejected by the editor with a thoughtful note, rather than with a form rejection note or an assistant editor's bounce), and I'm pleased to note that it's taking longer, in some cases, for certain periodicals to bounce me than they used to. Yes, it's a funny sort of progress, but progress, nonetheless.

It's taken a while to get to this point. Do you know what happens next? Now, I need to work on my second sale. It's a long process, but this is how one builds a writing career.

Posted by at 05:04 PM in the following Department(s): Writing | Comments (2)
 April 11, 2005
Embiggening the Family

Paulette and Allan Rousselle (and their son, Alexander) are proud to announce the birth of their son (and Alexander's brother):


Nolan Theodore Rousselle

Born April 10th, 2005 at 11:49 pm (Pacific Time)

9 lbs., 10 oz.

Mother and child are doing well and will be coming home from the hospital in a few days.

Pictures will be posted here in a day or two. Or three. Definitely by Friday.


Thank you all for your support, kindness, and well wishes.

Posted by at 10:52 PM in the following Department(s): The Boys | Comments (6)
 April 15, 2005
What's in a name?

Let me begin by posting a photo of our much loved Nolan Theodore, taken just hours after he was born. I will point out that, in this photo, he looks an awful lot like Alexander did at the age of one or two months. Amazing what a couple of extra pounds will do:

Second verse, similar to the first.

Once we knew that Baby 2.0 would be a boy, we had to get serious about picking a name.

Paulette and I have a long list of names that we'd like to use for a daughter or daughters. But coming up with boys names, for some reason, has proven to be harder.

We did not know before our first was born whether he would turn out to be a boy or a girl, so we had to prepare for both contingencies. We knew that if we had a girl, our first choice was a family name from Paulette's side in the family that would, in effect, be naming the girl after her mother (and mother's mother, and mother's mother's mother). It was Paulette's idea that if we had a boy, we should name him after his father, in a similarly derivative fashion.

The story goes like this: while growing up, I'd look in various dictionaries to see what my name meant, and typically came across an entry that would say that Allan/Alan/Allen was derived from Alexander/Alexandra. My sister Sandra's name, likewise, is derived from Alexandra.

This was a coincidence that my parents neither knew of beforehand, nor expected, nor intended. But there it was, and I always thought that was an interesting coincidence.

On the basis of my telling Paulette this story, she suggested that we pick Alexander as the first name of our first born, if he should prove to be a boy (which he did). This way, Alex would be named after his father (and aunt) without having *exactly* the same name. In case you're wondering, his second name came down to a choice between Ivan and Benjamin. In the end, we decided to honor one of the more interesting thinkers and tinkerers involved with the American Revolution rather than paying homage to my interest and background in Russian studies.

(Names are to be picked at least as much on the basis of how they sound as by what they mean. "Alexander Ivan" would work well, and sounds very Russian, while "Alexander Benjamin" also sounds good and is decidedly American in tone. I'm interested in Russian history, but I am very much an American....)

With the second child on the way, we learned his gender before he was born and took quite a bit of the available time to come up with a name. We started by making a list of names we wouldn't use:

  • first names of immediate family members
  • names in the top 20 or so of the most commonly given boy names in the US in the past few years
  • names of obvious religious significance
  • and names that would be difficult to spell right the first time

Paulette has three brothers and we both have many male cousins. We wanted to avoid the problem of "Hey, why'd they name their kid after so-and-so instead of me?" I had, at one point, thought about naming our second child after my cousin who had died a few years ago in a car accident, which also happens to be the name of one of Paulette's brothers, but we eventually decided to defer that idea. Likewise, the recent death of my maternal grandfather almost made me ask to reopen the decision we had finally made, but I chose not to.

We've run into an odd situation where every group of toddlers where we take Alex, there is at least one other Alex. So, we decided to avoid super-common names. (Alexander was the 16th most common name the year he was born, but we didn't expect that to be the case at the time.)

As for religiously significant names... there are a dozen reasons for us to avoid them, many having to do with not wanting to saddle the child with too many loaded messages in his name.

Then there's the spelling issue. Paulette and I both grew up with having both our first and last names mercilessly mangled by anyone we needed to give our names to, and since we are giving my last name to the child, we may as well give him a first name that's easier to spell correctly on the first try.

Now then: with these stipulations (only four of them!), we found it nearly impossible to come up with a name.

For a while, Andrew was at the top of our list, until we discovered its religious significance. Theodore was also at the top of our list at one point, but we simply didn't like any of the common nicknames for Theodore.

Nolan is a family name on Paulette's side, particularly drawing from Irish family members. We both have Irish grandparents, so going with an Irish theme felt right to both of us. It's easy to spell right on the first try, even though it's not one of the most common names in the US. It's meaning, in Irish, is "noble; faithful." Those are virtues we can happily endorse. (Most other Irish names mean "stout warrior" or "brave warrior" or "fearless warrior" or "drinks too much".) We are unaware of any religious significance attached to the name. And neither of us have any immediate family members who share that first name (although, alas, one brother does have it as a middle name -- we let that slide).

His middle name? Well, since Abraham was out of the running this time (rule number three), we opted to pay homage to another stand-out American president: Theodore Roosevelt. In other words, a name synonymous with "bold warrior".

If there should be a Baby 3.0, we will use a different set of rules for picking the name, just as the rules for Name 2.0 were different from the previous time. But that's an if for another time. Right now, we are very happy and very blessed to welcome Nolan Theodore into our lives.

There is, however, a postscript to this naming story...

By complete coincidence -- and I swear that neither of us noticed this until long after we decided upon the names -- I realized recently that the first letters of Alex are "AL" while the last few letters of Nolan are "LAN"... and so, in a very roundabout and accidental sort of way, their names still kinda add up to being a derivative of mine.

Posted by at 07:25 PM in the following Department(s): The Boys | Comments (4)
 April 22, 2005
I picked the wrong week to quit caffeine

Between Nolan being on an inversed schedule -- sleep all day and stay up feeding (or, if not feeding, crying to be fed) all night -- and Alex's recurring homesick blues (he likes the new house, but is confused that we haven't returned "home", and so his insecurity at night has ratcheted up a bit), nobody's getting much sleep at Casa Rousselle.

Ever the professional.That doesn't stop us from generally doing well during the day. I've been getting back to some level of productivity at work (although, when I tried to kick caffeine a few weeks ago, that was *definitely* the wrong week to try that).

Even Alex is getting into the "professional" act. We went to have our taxes prepared at a certain national chain a couple of weeks ago (just before Nolan arrived), and our appointment was late in the evening so that there were very few people there. Alex watched us working with the accountant, and then went to one of the vacant desks and played out what he saw. The guy was a total professional. And very, very cute about it.

I'll be posting more photos soon of Nolan, I promise. For logistical reasons, I've been unable to download any more photos to my computer just yet. But it will happen soon. Really!

In the meantime, I'm probably drinking twice as much caffeine during the day as I had immediately prior to quitting. This isn't about addiction... except so far as I'm hopelessly addicted to sleep, and the withdrawal symptoms are overwhelming. I may have to eventually go back to sleeping again. THEN, perhaps, I can kick the caffeine. It seems like I need one or the other.

Posted by at 06:42 AM in the following Department(s): The Boys | Comments (3)
 April 28, 2005
Questions

Quiet time.
What color will his hair be? What color eyes will he have? Will he get along with his older brother? Will he have his mother's eyesight or mine? Will he be athletic? Will he be an extrovert? What kind of temperment will he have? How can I be the best possible father I can be for him? How can I help him to become the best person he can be?

All in good time, grasshopper. All in good time.

Posted by at 10:44 AM in the following Department(s): The Boys | Comments (0)

Copyright (c)1998 - 2010 by Allan Rousselle. All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed, all reservations righted, all right, already.
Click here to send me mail.

The author. January, 2010.
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