My Mother’s Birthday (Dedication: to all mothers)

first_imgI stood at the flower shop on Benson Street with a smile on my face. “I need a nice bunch of flowers for my mother and beside the fact that she loves flowers today is her birthday.”  “You lucky man,” the flower seller, a woman in her thirties, said also with a smile. “This bunch of flowers your mother will love.”   I said, “You started this business not too long ago?”    “Yes,” she said, “about two years ago.”   “How well is going for you?”   “Pretty much,” she replied, “I did not realize that people here love flowers.”   “How easy is it to be in such a business?”   She kept the smile in place and swept her head back, rolled her eyes, turned to look at me and said, “As I said I’ve been in this business for the last two years and my patrons have been people who have class, and love and remember how important their parents are in their lives.”  “You get customers from all over the country?”  “Not all over,” she said, sitting down behind the counter, “there are people here who love flowers and want them at various occasions.”  “Quite right,” I said. “I need flowers during an occasion like this when it is that of my mother’s birthday.”   She smiled.   I could not hide my appreciation for the woman’s remarkable interest in her flowers. Besides, I knew she wanted me to buy her product anyhow.  “My family loves flowers,” I told her, “and my mother’s birthday is today. Can you send the flowers to my mother’s residence?”  “Yes,” she said, and her sweet smile raced across my face.  “I want you to send the flowers to my mother.” “Where does your mother live?” “Tubmanburg,” I said, “the address is easy to find.”  Still keeping her smile in place, she said, “I know Tubmanburg, a small town. I have a business contact in there and we can deliver your purchase to her.”  “It’s about eight fifteen,” I glanced at my wristwatch.   She said, “Yes, the flowers can be delivered at 2p.m today. She will be contacted on her cell-phone once the flowers are in Tubmanburg.”   “That’s wonderful,” I said.   While the discussion went on, I noticed a young boy with a blue shirt and in black trousers standing further away from me, watching me. I became curious when I saw that he had tears in his eyes. I could not figure out what was happening to him and was inclined to find out.   So when I concluded the arrangement for the flowers to be sent to my mother, I walked to the boy and inquired from him the reason for the tears.  “Today is my mother’s birthday,” he said, “and the woman,” he pointed his right hand to the woman in the Flower Shop, “said the flowers cost L$1,000.00. And I’m just seven.   “She would not accept my twenty dollars.” I looked directly in his face, with personal sympathy and told him, “Ok, friend, no need to shed tears I can help you with this.”    I took him to the flower shop.  “Give this boy the flowers he needs for his mother,” I told the woman, “and I’m going to pay for it.”   She said, “Yeah, he’s been here the last couple of minutes but I told him the money he has could not purchase any bunch of flowers.  “But since you said so, ok I will let him have what he wants.”  The boy looked at me with a grin, and lowered his heard, lifting his right hand to wipe away tears that had formed there.  Few minutes later, the woman handed the little boy a bunch of neatly organized flowers. As soon as the boy received them, he began to run to the opposite direction without even saying a word to me. I regarded him with some further curiosity and smiled, remembering when I was at his age.   Several seconds later, I felt someone tucking at my clothes, and when I turned around, it was the same boy.  “’Thank you, mister,” he said, with a smile, “thanks for the flowers.” I nodded in anticipation, saying, “No problem, son, have a nice day.”  He smiled and ran off. I could not understand the little boy’s interest in flower and that the day was her mother’s birthday got me thinking about my mother. I could also not get it clear about the boy’s love for flowers for his mother. To my knowledge, it was not common for kids to show an exceptional interest in their parent’s birthdays. It was a thought I could not get out of my mind. But in these days of Ebola virus disease that had resulted into many deaths, I could agree that even a child could show gratitude towards his mother. Times were changing, I thought. Meanwhile, I felt a sense of admiration for the little boy and I wished I had known him a little better to know the kind of mother he had. In any case, he was gone and that was it.  The Monrovia weather was getting hotter, now that we were in the dry season. In the wake of the declining Ebola infections people’s confidence was creeping back to their lives. The sun was early and hitting gradually hard and many people were surprised at its early appearance.  Thirty minutes later, I made my way towards Slipway, just across from the Gabriel Tucker Bridge. The hot weather was losing its power due to the Mesurado River’s proximity to my location. The river flowed silently into the Atlantic Ocean. The sudden change of weather gave me some courage that nature had its own way of bringing reassurance that all was not lost. I began to think about nature’s provision for our existence and wondered how wonderful things, particularly happen to bring changes in the environment for our own good.   I was in such deep thought when I was suddenly attracted to the location where a small figure sat before an old cemetery that I thought had been abandoned many years ago.  What also got me interested was the blue shirt, for it was clear that it was the little boy I had encountered nearly thirty minutes ago. The boy knelt before what seemed me to be a recently constructed grave in an old cemetery. The boy sat beside a fresh bunch of flowers inserted in front that particular grave.  “What’s he doing there?” I said to myself. My curiosity got the better me and therefore I chose to find out what he was doing alone beside the grave. I descended the steps leading to the cemetery and strolled towards him. Closer, scattered graves came in view and I realized that the most recent graves could be any of the people who might died but not really from the Ebola virus disease; meaning from other natural causes and were interred there. But for a seven-year-old boy to be here alone was a mystery that pricked my attention, particularly so since I had encountered him sometime earlier.  The echoes of my footsteps drew the boy’s attention. He turned around slowly, and realizing who it was, said, “This is where mother lives,” as he pointed to the grave he sat behind, “and she is very grateful for the wonderful flowers.”  Suddenly, a lump jumped in my throat, as I was overwhelmed with emotion. I could not get over the demonstration of gratitude and love that this little boy had shown by example to celebrate his dead mother’s birthday.  Without saying a word, I began to walk away from him, and my destination was of course to the flower shop. I arrived at the shop few minutes later and met with the beautiful lady who had assisted me earlier. “Have you sent the flowers?” “Not yet,” she said, “they are about to leave the office.”  “I will take them with me,” I said, “so that I can personally deliver them to my mother.”   She wanted to know why the sudden change of mind, but I was not prepared to go into it. I felt some guilt about it somehow, especially when I compared it with the little boy’s life lesson that I had just received. The little man taught me a great deal about a child’s love for his mother even if she was no more alive. Some questions began to come to my mind: how many of those whose parents are living really appreciate them? There are some friends that I know who care little about their parents, and I realized that the little boy’s instructive lesson would leave a large mark on my person and I would not be the same again, that was for sure.  I then had some fill of excitement that I never experienced before in my life. I held the bouquet flowers neatly wrapped and held it close to me. I began to think about the days gone by when all my attention was to my mother as hers had been on me when I was a little boy. I knew I could not keep this story away from her, because by the afternoon, I would be with my mother as she would celebrate her birthday.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cross Country Teams Shine In Two Meets

first_imgStory Links Oz Memorial Results Hawkeye InvitationalIowa City, IowaMen’s Team Results1. Iowa, 262. Drake, 513. Iowa Central, 874. Illinois State, 915. UNI, 1056. Hawkeye CC, 181Drake Men’s Individual Results6 Kilometers1. Adam Fogg, 18:06.88. Kyle Brandt, 18:26.612. Isaac Basten, 18:39.514. Kevin Kelly, 18:44.527. Matt Cozine, 19:10.037. Xavier Lechleitner, 19:46.543. Kyle Cass, 20:08.0Women’s Team Results1. Iowa, 362. Iowa State, 473. Iowa Central, 494. Northern Iowa, 1105. Drake, 1236. Illinois State, 1487. Hawkeye CC, 225Drake Women’s Individual Results4 Kilometers13. Millie Bretl, 14:42.228. Rachel Selva, 15:12.730. Olivia Rogers, 15:17.133. MyKaela Cole, 15:25.844. Lindsey Rowatt, 15:39.346. Elizabeth Aho, 15:52.552. Alexa Andrews, 16:19.957. Lucy Avenson, 16:27.7Oz MemorialFalcon Heights, Minn.Men’s Team Results1. Minnesota (Gold), 212. Minnesota (Maroon), 343. Minnesota-Duluth, 754. Drake, 101Drake Men’s Individual Results4 Miles14. Andrew Berndt, 21:39.022. Joe Romain, 22:07.425. Jack Zettl, 22:23.327. Cole Friedman, 22:34.029. Bradley Brodsky, 22:56.830. Rylee Miller, 23:04.1 Print Friendly Version The Drake University cross country teams turned in strong performances in two regional meets Friday evening as the teams competed at the Hawkeye Invitational and the Oz Memorial.Drake’s men’s team took second at the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City as newcomer Adam Fogg won the 6-kilometer race in 18:06.8 at the Ashton Cross Country Course. He won the race by nearly 10 seconds in his first competition as a Bulldog.Fogg was followed by Kyle Brandt in eighth place in 18:26.6 while newcomer Isaac Basten was 12th in 18:39.5.Iowa won the team competition with 26 points, followed by the Bulldogs with 51.Drake’s women were paced by current Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week Millie Bretl again. She took 13th on the 4-kilometer course in 14:42.2, just 11 seconds out of the top 10. Rachel Selva was the next Bulldog across the line in 15:12.7, followed by Olivia Rogers in 30th with a 15:17.1 finish.Drake’s women finished fifth in the seven-team event.A group of men’s competitors also traveled north to race in the Oz Memorial, hosted by the University of Minnesota in honor of the Bulldogs’ former head coach, Gary Osborn.Drake finished third in the four-team event. Andrew Berndt led the Bulldogs on the 4-mile course with a time of 21:39.0 to finish 14th. Hawkeye Invitational Results last_img read more

Competitor killed in Donegal International Rally tragedy

first_imgA competitor has been killed in a collision at the Donegal International Rally.Donegal Motor Club confirmed in a statement that they are liaising with the family of the competitor involved.Another man has been seriously injured in the crash. The Donegal Motor Club said the incident occurred at around 12.30pm.The accident occurred on Super Stage 15 on the Fanad Head Loop.The final stages of the rally have been cancelled following the collision.A full investigation has been launched into the incident and will be assisted by Motorsport Ireland and Donegal Motor Club. A statement from Donegal Motor Club said: “It is with regret that Motorsport Ireland and Donegal Motor Club announce that a fatality has occurred during the final day of the 2019 Donegal International Rally on Sunday 23rd June.“The Donegal Motor Club are liaising with the family of the competitor involved.“The three-day annual event takes place in June each year and attracts large numbers of spectators and in excess of 200 competitors took part in this years’ event.“The relevant authorities have begun a full investigation into the incident and will be assisted by Motorsport Ireland and Donegal Motor Club. Motorsport Ireland and its affiliated clubs are recognised internationally for operating to the highest standards of motorsport safety for competitors and spectators in line with the best practice of the FIA.“The entire motorsport community extends its fullest sympathy to the family of the bereaved. “More information may be released later.”Competitor killed in Donegal International Rally tragedy was last modified: June 24th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Antonio Brown returns to Raiders camp in Napa; no helmet in sight

first_imgHe argued that other helmets provided to him as alternatives inhibited his ability to see and catch the ball, reportedly … After an extended weekend absence, Antonio Brown was back at the Raiders’ Napa facility Tuesday. He wandered in just after 11 a.m. and a gaggle of media was there to greet him.He did not carry a helmet in his hand.Brown filed a grievance last week against the NFL to wear the 12-year-old helmet he’s donned throughout his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.last_img read more

A Sacred Space

first_imgHow can you design buildings without being passionate about how they are built and the materials they’re made from? How can you engineer something strictly by the numbers, sneering at the “artytechs” who actually care about the user experience?When I was a junior in high school beginning to consider what I would study in college and do with my life, I was torn between pursuing architecture and engineering. I had already spent a few summers working as a carpenter and painter, and my favorite TV show was This Old House. I knew I wanted to build things, but after talking to practicing architects and engineers, I was dismayed by the rift between the two disciplines.A visit to Tedd Benson’s timber frame workshop gave me the answer. Dr. Ben Brungraber, Benson’s engineer, told me that there was a discipline that blended the two fields: architectural engineering. You mean, I can study the art and the science of building?Well, it turns out that while architectural engineers receive a liberal education in the science of building, we don’t fit neatly into a box. And an architectural engineer who spends 10 years as a nomadic carpenter really doesn’t fit neatly into a box.Not that I’m a big fan of conforming, but after working with architects, engineers, and builders of all sorts, I now understand where I do fit in. I’m a designer with special interests in green building and building science, and sensitive to the nature of building materials. The problem is that I can’t call myself an architect because I don’t have the right degree. I spent my 20s working as a carpenter and learning how to run a small business; for the last few years, I’ve been designing and managing projects. So last winter I decided to go back to school.Although I started my first semester looking to just get through it as quickly as possible, it turned out to be a refreshing, exploratory, intense (and time-consuming!) semester. During work hours, I met with new clients, drew kitchen details with Autocad or Sketchup, sized ridge beams, and argued with a vendor who supplied us with leaky doors. At 3 p.m. twice a week, I drove an hour to hand-draft and build paper models of theoretical projects through which we explored “spatial typologies,” “limitations of method,” and other abstract ideas. Several times I had to leave the three-hour classes early, skipping out on such discussions as the differences between two-point perspective and three-point perspective so that I could keep an evening meeting with a client to discuss bathroom budgets and the relative merits of dense-pack cellulose versus closed-cell foam insulation.Weekends became sleepless work-a-thons, painstakingly hand-drafting plans and elevations, concentrating on line value and rendering shadows accurately, or attempting to finish a model for a Monday afternoon class presentation. At work the next day, I would crank out shop drawings for a custom home theater, size another ridge beam, or discuss stormwater management strategies. Then I would zip off to the class, which consisted mostly of 20-somethings, with an instructor in his mid-30s like me.What I learned, now that I’ve caught up on my sleep and had a chance to reflect, is best summed up by our final project, a nondenominational “sacred space.” We were to work with an actual site for the first time and to think deeply about what we wanted the user to experience, but not to worry about frivolous details such as budget, construction techniques, or the location of the bathroom. Three elements were required in the design: an entry that incorporated the idea of a transition from unprotected to protected space; a stair that expressed the concept of circulation and connection; and a culminating space that fostered a sense of sanctuary, peace, and self-reflection.I had some fun with the drawings, using a night scene with the building lit from within to expose the structure in the elevation pictured above. But the project really made me think about the design process and the homes we design. It’s easy to focus on the nuts and bolts, solving the problem at hand. It’s up to the designer, however, to inject some “sacred” into the spaces we create and to really consider the user experience. It’s also the designer’s responsibility to keep from getting stuck in a box.last_img read more

Parrikar makes birthday resolution

first_imgPanaji – Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on his 62nd birthday on Wednesday said in the coming year he would work towards extending the duration the State Legislative Assembly meets to more than 45 days a year. He was speaking to reporters at the State Legislative Assembly complex after cutting a cake in the presence of legislators and Speaker Pramod Sawant during a break in the winter session of the Assembly, which began on Wednesday. Mr. Parrikar said, “My resolution is that the House should run for a longer period. From the coming budget session, the House should run for a minimum of 40-45 days a year. So, next year, I will cross 40 days because if a House functions for a longer time, then those who asks several questions can then spread their questions over more days. If the House does not run for a longer time, there are no pointed questions. If there are no sharp questions, there are no solutions.”last_img read more

NGT criticises Ministry on Chardham highway project

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday rapped the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for not submitting a plan on the disposal of muck from the construction site of the Chardham highway project in Uttarakhand.A Bench headed by NGT acting chairperson Jawad Rahim gave the authorities time till April 19 to comply with the previous orders and file the action plan.Noting that the Ministry had failed to submit a plan despite the tribunal not passing any interim order, the green bench said: “Even muck dumping plan which we had directed to file has not been filed or produced today. This can hardly be appreciated. Be that as it may, we restrain ourselves from imposing cost but we make it clear that no further adjournment would be granted in the case.”The green panel further said that its previous orders would be continued till any other order is passed.Earlier, on March 21, the NGT had said: “Material placed by the project proponent (MoRTH) shows that the project activity has commenced somewhere in the year 2015, therefore we do not intend to pass any interim order but till further hearing of the issues, the project proponent should restrain from felling of trees.”NGO for stay on projectThe directions came while the tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Citizens of Green Doon, a Dehradun based NGO that had sought a stay on the road widening project. The petitioners had further claimed that the construction work was being carried out in violation of environmental laws.last_img read more

‘Why fix it if it’s not broken’: No trade talks for Magnolia after PBA title run

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netANTIPOLO CITY—After four years of struggling to return back into its place at the top, Magnolia has finally figured out the winning solution to win a PBA championship.Players have come and go, most notably franchise’s face in James Yap who was shipped Rain or Shine for Paul Lee, but the Hotshots’ core, those who wore the old San Mig Coffee jersey, remained the pillar of success for the team.ADVERTISEMENT Mark Barroca won his second Finals MVP after the Hotshots wrapped up Alaska in Game 6 Wednesday while the older veterans Marc Pingris and PJ Simon provided emotional leadership.That’s why Magnolia governor Pardo said that management has no plans to trade away its key players especially after the Governors’ Cup title run.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief“The core of the team will be retained,” said Pardo. “We’re happy with them, in fact most of them have been renewed already.”“We’re not into trade talks, and there’s a saying right? Why fix it if it’s not broken. We won and why would we break it up,” added Pardo in Filipino. Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion After back-to-back UAAP titles, Ateneo’s Isaac Go is also First Honor for 2nd straight year Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño For the team, the franchise’s 14th title was a culmination of hardwork and sacrifices the past few years, which have been rocky, to say the least.Magnolia finished as the second-worst team in the league in 2016 with a 12-24 record for the season until the Hotshots took a risk in Chito Victolero, whose only credential back then was lead the Columbian franchise to its lone playoff appearance in 2016 Governors’ Cup.But Victolero, who also led the Hotshots to three semifinals stints, has won the respect and admiration of his players, and the result of that is hard to miss.“Coach Chito is a players’ coach, he’s really someone that the player admire,” said Pardo in Filipino. “Players love him, and these players would put it all on the line for him.”“Even the import’s (Romeo Travis) going all out and he’s not even a Filipino,” said Pardo. “He had a hamstring injury, he had a cut on his brow, but he didn’t quit. Chito does a great job of motivating players. Hats off to him and we’re lucky we got him.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

Apple to launch a 5G iPhone with Qualcomm and Samsung modems next year

first_imgIt has long been speculated that Apple would launch its first 5G enabled iPhone in 2020 – a year later than the first wave of 5G phones is hitting the market. However, those that timeline was slightly delayed when Intel missed its initial developmental guideline for its 5G smartphone modem. Reports later indicated that Apple could unveil its first 5G-enabled phone in 2021. But it seems that Apple’s 5G dreams are back on track thanks to its settlement with Qualcomm.TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will release its first 5G-enabled iPhone in 2020 with Qualcomm and Samsung modems on board. In a note obtained by CNBC, Kuo said that the 5G iPhone would spur a wave of sales and upgrades with a number of users opting for higher-end models. And since Apple doesn’t release its iPhones before September, iPhone lovers will have to wait till September 2020 to know what the Cupertino, California based company has in store for them.”We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power,” Kuo wrote in his note.Apple said that it shipped a total of 217 million units of iPhones in the financial year 2018. Kuo, who is known for making predictions about Apple products, expects that number to reach about 200 million units in the financial year 2020.”We are positive on the high-end iPhone models’ replacement demand in [second half of 2020] thanks to the 5G iPhone. We expect the total iPhone shipment will respectively reach 188-192 million and 195-200 million units in 2019 and 2020,” he added in his note as obtained by the publication.advertisementAs far as Apple 2019 lineup is concerned, the iPhones this year’s lineup would include support for the LTE networks. In addition to this, Apple is also expected to upgrade the front cameras in its 2019 iPhone lineup. Kuo believes that Apple would ship the iPhone 11 with a 12MP front camera instead of a 7MP camera and that this feature would be not only be available in the high-end model but also in the low-end models of the phone. Kuo also said that the Apple iPhone 11 would include a triple rear camera setup with a 12MP superwide angle lens.At this point, we don’t know much about the 2019 iPhones or its 5G iPhone past the rumours and what Kuo has predicted so far. But Kuo has a pretty good track record at predicting Apple products so it is safe to assume that the 5G iPhones are coming next year.ALSO READ: | Apple, Qualcomm working to bring future iPhones with in-display fingerprint sensorALSO READ: | Apple’s 5G iPhone could be delayed until 2021ALSO READ: | Apple won’t release a 5G iPhone until 2020last_img read more

Fincantieri to Set Up Cruise Hub in China

first_imgzoomImage by WMN Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed contracts with the Shanghai City’s District of Baoshan to set up a cruise hub dedicated to support the shipbuilding and maritime activities in the cruise sector.The hub builds upon the agreements between Fincantieri, CSSC and Carnival Corporation & plc announced in February 2017 for the construction of two cruise ships, the first ever made in China for the local market.The deal for the first two ships is worth around USD 1.5 billion. The ships are planned to be built for the Chinese market at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) yard, a facility of CSSC Group. The first delivery is expected in 2023.Fincantieri said that the hub will act as a fundamental industrial basin to supply this production. As disclosed, 70% of the total value of a modern cruise ship is realized through the supply.Under the deal, the district will provide financing, tax commercial and administrative benefits, land for necessary development and other resources, in hope of attracting foreign investors and suppliers to the district.“Fincantieri has given a broad support to the district in defining the preferential policies to attract suppliers and will promote the park in its network and in the industry as a whole, as a foundation for the companies which want to access to the opportunities of this project. In this way, the group will become a lever for the establishment in China of its supply chain or of other SMBs, which would greatly benefit from this operation,” the shipbuilder commented.This project is part of the initiatives undertaken by Fincantieri in China aimed at developing the local cruise market, which in the coming days could reach new goals.last_img read more