Generally things in Portland – and especially in my residential, suburbia neighborhood – are nice and quiet and that’s how we like it, especially with the little ones. But of course, as we all know too well unfortunately, no city is completely crime-free.
I know that crime exists, and I also know that there are very sick people everywhere. But I guess I hadn’t heard about the two men who had been accused of sexually molesting little boys. That really hit home, especially given that I’ve got two boys of my own. Anyway apparently they were arrested a year ago but sentencing was only passed just now at the US Federal Court, Medford. They got pretty substantial punishments, so that was at least something. It seems they will be in prison for more than 25 years and then, after that, will have a 20-year term of supervised release.
Still, I like to focus on the nice things about where I live and this was a bit unsettling. I guess that’s why – as much as I can – I avoid the news. But Daniel happened to be reading the local newspaper and I saw him look a little troubled so I asked him what it was about.
Let’s hope there’s some good news to counter this in the next few days. Sorry to have been a bit of a downer today…hope you are privy to some nice news, wherever you are.
Thankfully my kids are rarely sick. During the winter months they’ll of course pick stuff up from play-dates and pre-schools and get the odd sniffle or two, but other than that we hardly ever have to see a doctor. Oh, apart from the fact that Ethan sometimes teethes so bad, we often mistake it for something more. Still, Daniel said it was high time we find a pediatrician for the kids and I knew he was right.
So I checked out Pediatric Associates of the North West with which I was really impressed. From green-based clinic services (which is definitely my philosophy) to a whole slew of medical advisers, pediatricians, practice nurses and more, this is really going to be a great and easy option for my kids if/when the need arises.
Clark Clifford was more than just an aide to a US President. Of course, this position was incredibly commendable in and of itself, but vis-à-vis Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people, the man had a great influence. And to those back in the day who recognized his efforts, he was thanked.
On November 29, 1947, President Chaim Weizmann wrote a letter of thanks – the original of which is housed by The Shapell Manuscript Foundation in its ‘Between the Lines’ collection. He said: “Our mutual friend… has kept me informed of doings in Washington, and especially of your magnificent cooperation in many critical situations. In these days of struggle and readjustment we are desperately in need of understanding friendships, and it is good to know that we have in you a genuine friend of our cause. I assure you, and I wish you would in turn assure your great Chief, that we desire nothing but peace and amity with our neighbours, and that we have no aggressive designs on any of them. We shall always be mindful of the Biblical injunction: ‘Zion will be rebuilt in Justice’.”
Clearly Clifford’s efforts were gratefully received by the Jews.
Clark Clifford achieved a lot – in many spheres – in his life. Born in 1906, he graduated law school from Washington University and worked in his field in Missouri for 15 years. It was during the Second World War that he became an assistant naval aide and was thereafter promoted to naval aide to the president of America, in the Navy. Two years after the war, he was appointed as general counsel and it was through this position that Clifford participated in the drafting of the National Security Act. Other political positions he held included adviser to John F. Kennedy and Stuart Symington, as well as later on, sitting on (and becoming chairman of ) the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Aside from his political career, Clifford was a successful lawyer in Washington. In this capacity he represented various large corporations, facilitating their work with various government regulations. One of his largest clients was Howard Hughes, owner of the Hughes Tool Company.
Together with General Maxwell Taylor, in the late 1960s, Clark Clifford went to Vietnam on a fact-finding tour and advised Lyndon B. Johnson to send more troops there if he wanted America to win the war. A year later he took over as Secretary Defense from Robert McNamara who had been pushing the President to go the other way vis-à-vis the war and the troops.
Clearly Clark Clifford did a lot in his life, both politically and in the world of business. But what he will be most remembered for by the Jews and the people of Israel is the influence he had on President Truman and America’s support for the State of Israel.
We’d had a great weekend with the kids but then I was really craving some “us” time just with Daniel. It so happened my sitter Donna was available last minute, so we said we’d just be gone for a couple of hours and she was fine with that. The kids were watching TV and falling asleep anyway and she just adores them so it was mellow when we left the house.
Of course we went to our favorite haunt, the Floyd’s Coffee Shop on SE Morrison Street. It’s just great there. The coffee is excellent – they serve Stumptown Coffee. This is really important for Daniel who seems to think sleep is over-rated, a trait our second-born has unfortunately inherited. I love the soup bread there.
So we were there for just over an hour and it was just great chilling, people-watching and ending our weekend on a mellow note. What a great kick-start to the work-week ahead.
It’s always good to get away. No matter how much I like living in Portland, it’s just fun to do something different and get away from the humdrum of my day-to-day existence. So Daniel said to get the kids ready; get Galvin set to drop off at the kennels and we would take a nice drive somewhere that included a bit of alcohol (in the form of sophisticated wine-tasting of course) that would also be kid-friendly. It sounded absolutely perfect so I enthusiastically packed all our bags without any complaining.
A little more than an hour after we set off, with Ethan sleeping peacefully in the back and Jayden watching Blues Clues on the iPad fixed to the back of my head rest, we arrived at Pheasant Valley’s Bed & Breakfast and Winery. It was absolutely stunning. I couldn’t have chosen anything better if I would have planned it myself. I was truly delighted and thrilled with Daniel’s choice. Right smack bang in the middle of Columbia River Gorge, the atmospheric air was wonderful for the kids too and I immediately put a smile on my face.
On Friday night after a delicious wholesome, hearty home-cooked meal, we got a babysitter and went walking. I love window-shopping so we did a lot of that and then just enjoyed the scenery. We got back at around 9 and took in an early night so we could be up full of energy for the active day ahead.
We started with kayaking (the boys LOVED it), then Daniel took Jayden fishing (he was a little bit interested!) while I put Ethan in the baby-carrier and went walking. Later on Daniel went river-rafting and the kids and I enjoyed a bowl of French onion soup. Both kids passed out for around 2 hours Saturday afternoon, leaving Daniel and me free to enjoy a tasting of some of the most excellent wines to have ever graced my palette.
Thankfully we had used the online booking facility to reserve our spot at the Indian Creek Golf Course which Jayden got a real kick out of watching. He even “helped” Daniel putt a few holes and really had a good time. I was just busy chasing Ethan around the gorgeous greenery. Later that night we took the kids to a restaurant in Hood River – Riverside, located on E. Marina Way, which was a little pricey, but we felt worth it – especially as the kids had a blast.
We drove back this morning and now the kids are settled in their room playing with their toys. They had a great time for sure, but I think they are pleased to be back. As I always say, there’s simply no place like home. Now I just have to brace myself for the working week ahead.