EndNotes archive for Dec. 2012

MONDAY, DEC. 31, 2012

The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball rises to the top of it's 135 foot spire, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, in New York. A crowd cheered as the ball dropped in a dress rehearsal around noon Friday as preparations continued for New York's big welcome party for 2012. (John Minchillo / Fr170537 Ap)

The first day of "school"

I returned to my newspaper job after my four-month sabbatical spent in Chicago. I didn't sleep very well last night, butterflies. But everyone was so gracious and welcoming. My computer fired right up. I started working on a story. It felt in some ways that...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 30, 2012

"American Bandstand" host Dick Clark is shown in this 1974 ABC photo.  (Abc-tv)

Looking back

At the end of the year, we take time to look back and remember the people who left this life. Each person leaves a memory upon our hearts, memories of sharing their gifts with courage and grace; these are some of the people who inspired...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 29, 2012

Oliver Stone (Associated Press)

The way male leaders look: Then and now 

I have been watching Oliver Stone's Showtime series Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States. It's fascinating in ways, big and small. And here's a small thing I'm noticing. The men who ruled throughout the world, throughout the 20th century, -- Stalin, FDR, Winston...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 27, 2012

For Becky Nappi blog. Cree photo

The outward sign of cancer 

My friend Chris, a woman I have known since we were both girls, was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, and very soon had a double mastectomy and now, she is undergoing rather rigorous chemotherapy. Her beautiful, thick hair started falling out in clumps on...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 25, 2012


 Wise men  bring gold and frankincense at a Nativity scene  in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Trees in the Horn of Africa that provide most of the world's frankincense are failing to reproduce  and may be headed for a crash, experts say. 
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

The Nativity Scene

The nativity scene offers us comfort at this time of year and a visual reminder of the Advent and Christmas seasons. While the nativity scene is a tradition, where did the tradition come from and what do the symbols mean? What is history and what...

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MONDAY, DEC. 24, 2012

For Becky Nappi blog

Decorating for the dead

Yesterday, I put some flowers on my father's grave in a Spokane cemetery. After, I took a walk in the lovely place. I noted at least a dozen graves where family members had decorated small Christmas trees or placed blown-up Santas or beautiful wreaths. It...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 23, 2012

Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Six-year-old student Jack Pinto, who was killed Friday when a gunman opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School, is scheduled to be buried at the cemetery Monday afternoon. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

From darkness...to light

The nation and others around the world have responded to the anguishing pain following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. In these dark days of grief and gun conversations and heartache, residents of Newtown have received an outpouring of love – in the form of donated food,...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 22, 2012

World without end, Amen

So, the world didn't end. I wonder for the folks who really got into it in 2012, it was a way to focus depression, despair and suicidal ideation. I know for my sisters and me, it was an excuse yesterday to share some cocktails at...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 20, 2012

Sharing grief knowledge 

In some of the Sandy Hook tragedy news coverage, you see men and women interviewed who have survived tragic deaths of their children through violence in a school shooting. You would never characterize these men and women as "getting over" the death of their children,...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 18, 2012

Moment of silence

The governor of Connecticut is calling for a moment of silence Friday at 9:30 Eastern time (6:30 a.m. in the Inland Northwest. He's also asking churches to ring their bells 26 times to honor the victims. Here's hoping we generate a huge response in both...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 16, 2012

Obama weeps as he addresses the nation. (Associated Press)

Comforter-in Chief

President Obama arrived in Newtown, Connecticut today to meet with families who lost their sons, daughters, wives, friends and with first responders. At a community vigil, he offered words, our words, of comfort and promise to move ahead to understand and act to address this...

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SATURDAY, DEC. 15, 2012

Relentless December dark is good response

We are living in the darkest days of the year leading up to winter solstice on Dec 21. Waking up to the dark and seeing it descend upon us so early in the afternoon seems the best response to yesterday's horrific slaughter of innocent children...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 14, 2012

Sunrise over Lake Superior from Duluth, Minn. (Scott Wolff)

A call to end our violence

The day has been long: with horror out of Connecticut and our beloved President Obama weeping through his words. When will Americans be courageous enough to demand that we change our culture? When will we stand up and work together to change our desensitization to...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 13, 2012

12-12-12: The world didn't end 

Mistakenly, I thought the Mayan end of the world date was yesterday, 12-12-12. Wouldn't that have been a sexier date than 12-21-12? Anyway, this means there will be a few more days of hype around the predicted end of the world. Dang it.

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12, 2012

Lunar eclipse: The moon is shrouded in the early morning fog above Hauser Lake on Wednesday during a penumbral lunar eclipse. This occurs when the Earth moves between the sun and moon but the three celestial bodies do not form a perfectly straight line. The moon then travels through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow (penumbra). The moon’s visible surface still receives some direct sunlight, but the Earth obscures parts of the sun, as seen from the moon. (Kathy Plonka)

In the messy trenches with Jesus

As we move into the almost third week of Advent, the days continue to get darker and longer. The third week of Advent is one that calls Christians to rejoice! The waiting is almost over. Thank God. After a day of mall violence and fiscal...

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MONDAY, DEC. 10, 2012

The night sky as it will appear tonight at 7 p.m. at Spokane Falls Community College’s planetarium.

Hope and Medical Miracles

She almost died. This lovely child. But today she is cancer-free and her remission may have been helped by using a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS.Science in the 21st Century. What next? Scientists continue to tinker and imagine and research and try,...

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Photo for Endnotes blog

The nameless mailboxes

The mailboxes at Rush University Medical Center, where I spent the past 12 weeks as a chaplain intern, have been stripped of our names as we leave and a new group of interns prepare to begin their 12 weeks after the first of the new...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 9, 2012

A rainbow from a morning thunderstorm paints the background for an American flag in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. (Orlin Wagner / Associated Press)

Same-Sex Marriage in Washington 

Day One: Licenses have been granted and rituals – large, small, formal, simple – are legalizing love that has been. Love for a few years as well as love that has been steadfast and true for decades. Take a look at one love story on...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 7, 2012

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, American ships burn during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (Associated Press)

Never too late to tell

Elizabeth McIntosh finally has her story published. Her reporter’s account of the Pearl Harbor attack was considered too graphic to print decades ago. Yesterday, the Washington Post printed her words. The account is graphic – and reminds us of the tragedy, the victims, and the...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 6, 2012

Eating history

Today was my "graduation" from the Rush University Medical Center chaplaincy internship program. The most fascinating three month experience of my life! To celebrate, we interns, along with our supervisor and supervisor in training, ate at a Chicago landmark, The Berghoff Restaurant in downtown Chicago...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5, 2012


Tiffany, a 20-year-old homeless woman, left, and her boyfriend rest early Thursday morning in their tent in the Dishman Hills Natural Area. Police found several similar camps in the hills this month.
 (Brian Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Advent of the unexpected

As Becky wrote earlier this week, Advent is the season of hope, longing, surprise. And answering “yes!” That sneaky God speaks to us through prophets, unsuspecting. Enjoy a favorite read of mine this season…And keep your heart open to the prophets in your midst. (S-R...

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Stars align: Kennedy Center honorees, from left, jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, actor Robert De Niro, opera singer Grace Bumbry, comic genius Mel Brooks and musician Bruce Springsteen stand at the Kennedy Center Honors gala in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. The awards  recognize those  who have defined American culture through the arts as a living memorial to John F. Kennedy.     (Associated Press)

Take notes~Dave Brubeck has died 

A composer, pianist and jazz legend has died. Dave Brubeck died of heart failure and would have celebrated his 92nd birthday Thursday. He left us a remarkable legacy – all that jazz. He played for leaders – President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev - and was...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 4, 2012

Among the many family Christmas traditions: Lighting candles on an Advent wreath.  (File / The Spokesman-Review)

The Advent Yes

Advent is my favorite liturgical season, because of the promise it holds of Christmas. It's a season of watchful, contemplative waiting. At church Sunday in my "adopted" Chicago parish, Old. St. Patrick's, the church recited an Advent prayer written by the Bob Kolatorowicz of the...

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SUNDAY, DEC. 2, 2012

Sickness everywhere -- or not 

When I traveled to Rome in 2005, I saw priests everywhere, working, studying or just visiting Rome. I commented that no wonder the Vatican isn't worried about the priest shortage. The pope and others just had to look out their windows and they saw priests...

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.



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