Category Archives: family

Esther R. Schiveley, 10/12/17-10/14/07

Me and my grandma

Grandma and I, Mother’s Day 2006.

Editor’s note. The following is the obituary I wrote for my grandma, who died Sunday, October 14, 2007, two days after her 90th birthday.

Esther Schiveley

Esther Rodriguez Schiveley passed away Sunday, October 14, 2007 at Windsor Gardens Rehabilitation Center of Salinas. She was surrounded by more than 50 family members and friends. Moments after minister Tom Salas read the 46th Psalm, she drew her last breath and went home to be with the Lord. She celebrated her 90th birthday just two days earlier. Continue reading


Filed under family, Grandma, Salinas

Tio’s timeshare


The missus and I are still trying to navigate the seemingly hopeless waters of purchasing a home. Things came to a head Friday when our loan didn’t fund on time. This meant that our loan wasn’t recorded on time, meaning Friday. This had a number of ramifications.

  1. We didn’t get the keys to our place. We won’t get them until Tuesday.
  2. We rescheduled the rental date for our moving truck.
  3. We rescheduled the moving date for our party.
  4. We extended the lease on our apartment. Another bill.
  5. We wasted a perfectly good three-day weekend. Sort of.

So, with the moving project going down in flames, we did the logical thing. We left the 100-degree plus temperatures and headed to Capitola, a charming beach community about 90 minutes south of San Francisco. My uncle has a timeshare there and it was his week to have fun. We ate too much red meat, courtesy of my dad, who doesn’t do anything small. We didn’t catch Gayle’s, our favorite bakery ANYwhere, but we had a good time watching Cal trounce Tennessee 45-31. Heh.

I hope all of you have a relaxing Labor Day. I’ll upload some more photos as soon as I reduce the file size. The process is painfully slow, and the missus is shooting me dirty looks and threatening to hit the Labor Day shoe sales, if I don’t get my rear in gear.

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The wife returns, civilization restored

The wife returned this, er, yesterday afternoon after a week’s absence visiting her family in Southern California. Her 85-year-old father, a.k.a. The Indestructible Little Mexican Man, continues to do well.


I’ll send another dispatch tomorrow, now that my week of bachelorhood has come to a close.

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Filed under family, wifey

Back to reality — but first, the news

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We had a phenomenal time at our church’s Family Camp, held at the Old Oak Ranch in Sonora, CA. About 250 people registered, plus a number of families who came on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s hard to quantify things in numbers. Even the eight baptisms we had, for which I, as the English-language evangelism director, am doing cartwheels, tells only part of the story. Families were restored. Relationships were built. Impromptu Bible studies were held for people who had questions. Overtaxed families and screaming children had a blast as they got away from the grind of life in Stockton. Continue reading


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The short and long good-bye

I know that my Redeemer lives,

and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:25-27 NIV


Friday found me in Salinas, where I attended the funeral of a dear childhood friend’s grandfather. For those who didn’t know him, Johnny Camera was one cool cat. There was a moving and yet quite funny DVD presentation of him at the funeral chapel.

The pictures showed a man who served in combat in Okinawa and elsewhere in the Pacific Theater as an Army enlisted man during World War II, earning a Purple Heart. The pictures also showed a man who loved his wife, children and grandchildren.

Photo after photo showed him on fishing trips with his family. Another black-and white photo showed a young, muscular Johnny lifting his baby in the air with one hand. Continue reading

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Filed under family, friends, Spreckels

This just in: hot teaching assignment

My ministry 2.0 experience, the years following my return to God in the fall of 2000, has been characterized by one teaching assignment after another. I’ve had the privilege of teaching:

  •  An topical adult class on Sunday mornings at our church in Salinas.
  • A Thursday-evening examination of the book of Romans at our church in Monterey.
  • Individual and small-group Bible studies.
  • An occasional Thursday-evening topical study to our English adult congregation at our current church.

I’ve been selected to teach the adult English portion of our family camp, held each Memorial Day Weekend. Since the missus and I are relative newbies to this congregation, it’s quite an honor to be selected for the task. There’s a tremendous amount of planning that will go into this, and there isn’t much time. Continue reading


Filed under church, family, Fuller

Always good, always too short: At home with the family

Saturday found the Mrs. and I back in Monterey County visiting my grandmother, my former pastor and his wife, whom we love like family, and my family. Everyone looked a little older, a little more bald, with a few more wrinkles. Including me. But visiting family is such a rare treat for me now that I live two hours or more from them.

These pictures were taken during our recent visit. I didn’t take any of my grandmother this time. I simply forgot. It might be for the best. It’s difficult to see her in a walker and significantly weaker than I remember. She suffered a stroke in November and she hasn’t been the same since. She struggles opening containers, walking and is consistently losing weight. It took a lot of effort to hold myself together as I said good bye this afternoon.

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Filed under family, Grandma, Salinas