Emanuel Cleaver II For Congress: It is a Family Matter

As long as U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver has served in government, the Mesle family has supported him. Our loyalty to him is ongoing because we believe he personifies the ethics, civility and judgment essential to wise governance.

On behalf of ourselves, and my late father, we ask for your support of Representative Cleaver. We believe he is good for Kansas City, good for Missouri, and good for our nation.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II

Carl Mesle at The K

Today would’ve been Granddad’s 100th Birthday. I’ve thought about him throughout the day today, scrolling through many wonderful memories. One of my recent favorites was the day he threw out the first pitch at a Royals game. It was September 2010, and as the oldest Eagle Scout in the Midwest, he was the lucky man who got to go out on the mound and throw the pitch. He was so happy that day, with 4,800 scouts there to celebrate with him, along with his family. So here is a photo of him on the big screen, smiling ear to ear, in honor of the Royals’ incredible third win against the Orioles tonight, and in honor of his (almost) 100th birthday.

GranddadFirstPitchBig hugs, Granddad. We will miss you always.

68 Years Of Great Living: Happy Birthday Terry

Today is a day to celebrate.  Terry Christenberry turns 68.  He lives a wonderful life, filled with travel, family and friends. IMG_4393 France IMG_3516 Great Britain DSC_0861 Cuba IMG_3584 Amsterdam It is, truly, a wonderful life.  Congratulations Mr. T.  You are the best. May your future be joyful and long.  May your family and friends love you as much as you love them.

The Beauty Of Amsterdam

We spent Thanksgiving in Amsterdam this year with the Rooijens, Meg and Jake.  It was a wonderful holiday.  We were fortunate to spend this uniquely U.S. holiday with our Dutch family.  We did not know it would be the last holiday we would share with Rudy. But it gives us quite special family memories.

Amsterdam is a city of great beauty.  the historic center represents elegance and power.


Even during Amsterdam’s winter season, flowers are in abundance.  The varieties are endless and the prices are quite modest.


Laura, Michel and Sophia live in a lovely urban apartment, with restaurants, markets and retail shopping to rival New York or Paris.


In the center of town, adjacent to the canals, we came upon this wonderful caravan which is, or could be, a home for a Roma/gypsy family.

While nothing like the kind of housing we have come to expect in the states.  It is quite lovely in its uniqueness.



It is with great sadness that our family deals with the loss of our beloved friend, father, husband and the world’s best “opa”. Born Roelf Michel Rooijen, but known to all as “Rudy”, he was one in a million.  He was well-loved and respected by his family and friends.  With his partner and equally wonderful wife, Evelien, he cherished his role as a grandparent and lived life to the fullest.


Terry, Meg and I met the Rooijens when Terry’s daughter, Laura, met and married Rudy and Evelien’s (also wonderful) son, Michel Rooijen.  Thereafter we shared our lives with them as our children and then our granddaughter, Sophia, brought us together in Amsterdam and in Kansas City.  We celebrated Laura and Michel’s wedding in Maastricht, Sophia’s birth in Amsterdam, Thanksgiving in Amsterdam and barbecue in Kansas City.  Our lives are far richer because of our friendship with this special family.

His death was a horrible shock to all of us.  A pillar of strength throughout his life, he seemed invincible.  His death leaves a hole in our lives and our hearts.

The Canals of Amsterdam

Nothing reflects the personality of Amsterdam more than the canals in the heart of the historic city.  Built during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, the canals of Amsterdam are a tourist wonder and a local delight.  The canals are also a constant reminder that in a city that sits below sea level, the sea and the land are intertwined.


The canals were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List effective 2010.  Neighborhoods surround the canals.  Swans swim on the canals.  House boats on the canals are the homes of some Dutch residents.


Many of the homes surrounding the canals predate the canals themselves.  This photo reflects the elegance of one Dutch neighborhood.

The canals extend through Amsterdam’s cultural center.


They reflect the history of the city for locals and tourists alike.

Carmel By The Sea

There are few more scenic regions of the United States than Northern California.  Meg and I spent 3 glorious days driving through and photographing the California Coastline, visiting Carmel and driving along Big Sur.  As a mother, life doesn’t get much sweeter. As an amateur photographer, even my limited skills are bound to capture some of the beauty of the area.

This photograph of the bluffs, the water and the sky , is my favorite photograph from the trip.



Evening in Carmel has its own beauty.  The softer colors of the sun and sky at dusk are worth experiencing.

Sunset in Carmel

The Green Lantern was a bed and breakfast located an easy walking distance from the ocean and the downtown restaurants. Definitely a great place for mother-daughter bonding.