Mon09222014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Getting ready: Haugh About That?

At the door to my bedroom, my father stood in his dark-blue suit tapping his foot. Staring at his 16-year-old daughter, he ordered: “Jackie, hurry up. We’re going to be late.”

In the Madden family, punctuality was right up there with perfect manners and good hygiene. We were never allowed to be late for anything. Being tardy for school, church or dinner was equal to a mortal sin. It was a sign of disrespect and punishable with near death, or at least a good grounding.

“Dad, I still have five minutes,” I hissed, desperately trying not to be insolent. “You can’t rush a girl when she’s in the final stages of fluffing herself.”

And with his signature “harrumph,” he pointed at his watch and said, “You just wasted one minute. You have four left.”

Since I was a child, I’ve found it amazing that he could shower and shave in less time than it took to pour a bowl of cereal. I, on the other hand, seemed to need an entire day. Now, I often reflect on how the tables have turned as I watch my 96-year-old father get ready to make his final journey home.

Each day starts with a simple routine – a sponge bath in bed followed by breakfast. Once completed, it’s off to his tattered and worn-out recliner for a day filled with what appears to be devoid of anything substantial. With his eyes closed, he looks like he’s asleep, but I know better.

Jack Madden is a gentle man who converses with the Lord daily. In those quiet hours, he connects with the spiritual world. I know my mother is calling him to come be with her, but he’s not ready. He has things to think about, a lifetime to remember and people to pray for.

This enormous job of caring for my dad has me constantly re-evaluating the gift we call life and a family’s involvement. Why do some die young and others live way past what is deemed reasonable? Has medical science gone too far in keeping people alive longer than they should be? Is it a requirement that adult children take on the caregiving of their aging parent after they’ve just raised their own children? There is no right or wrong answer to such questions. Only what works for the people involved.

Years ago, I made a promise I’d never leave my father alone in a nursing home, a vow that definitely has had its mixed blessings.

I often find myself feeling trapped in a house that smells of adult diapers. The floors and walls of my once pristine-looking home are now permanently scarred with divots from the metal spokes of his wheelchair, and sometimes my heart rages over the unfairness of it all.

But the rewards are many. With my dad by my side each day, I’ve learned not only about my heritage and the incredible human being I’m proud to call my father, but about humanity – especially mine. While it hasn’t always been a pretty sight, I’ve learned to set aside my selfishness to put this treasured individual first. Doing the right thing feels wonderful.

So, as I watch him get ready to give me that last goodnight kiss, I pray, “God, let him take all the time he needs for that reunion that awaits in heaven.” As far as I’m concerned, this is one time my daddy can be impolite and throw punctuality out the window. I’m thrilled he’s too busy to die, because I’m too selfish to let him go.

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