Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Sound of Silence

For the first time in a long time, it's going to be a white Christmas here!

I have a thing for snow. I love it. Oh sure, it's terrible to drive in and it turns people around me into insufferable drivers, but it's still one of my favorite things. I don't know if it's because I never saw it as a kid and that allows me to be kidlike in my excitement, or if it's just because there's just nothing else like a newfallen snow.

We have been blanketed in white for a week now and I still pull back the shades in my front window now and then just to gawk and marvel.

If you've read here before you know how I dislike silence. Well, silence as a form of response, anyway. But this silence? This snowy silence? It's one of the best things that exists! When the sound of your own breath catches you off-guard and seems like an intrusion...THAT kind of silence is where wonder begins and takes hold.

Tonight is a silent night. Holy night. Let the wonder begin. Let it take hold...of your heart.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Warm and Content

The snow is falling outside and here in my humble abode there is a fire roaring in the woodstove, Christmas music in the background, lights on the tree and on the mantle. I've got a cup of hot chocolate at the ready and a nice quiet night ahead of me. This is my home, it's where I am the most me.

Outside it's cold.

Inside it's not.

Glad I'm inside.

And you? How are you this evening?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

There is a road.

It's the one you're on. You never really know where it's going. It winds and meanders and sometimes even backtracks. It's yours. No one else will travel the full length of it with you. Others' roads will intersect with yours or maybe even parallel it for a time, but from start to finish it is your road to travel. Stop and take solace in the fact that you have something of your own. Breathe it in. Soak it up. And then?

Drive on.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall comes, fall leaves

The old leaves line the edge of the road as if waiting for a parade. The young leaves start their magical decent like it's a game of charades.

"Is it twirl? Is it dance? Is it tumble or spin?"
I can't really tell, you'll have to do it again."

Then the sunlight knifes through the tree limbs there and all I can do is stop and stare.
Fall isn't only in the air, it can be in your heart if you dare.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Letters Red

If life could be written, I would write mine in letters red. As if the ink were the blood of my heart.

A heart speaks in a language unspoken.
Especially a heart that still bleeds from being broken.

Between heaves and sighs and movement of lungs
A heart sings a song otherwise unsung.

Where sorrows and joys mingle together
Yet less of a noise than an airborne feather.

Where anguish and ecstasy coexist
Not one lifts a finger much less a fist.

This is where my soul rushes to hide
When the sky is dark and crushes my pride.

someday I'd like to have my life written in letters red, but I wonder if those written letters would be read.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Slight Light

Though the sky is dark, the night is bright.

Tonight I had dinner with my sons. That is 'sons' with an s. Now, normally that is not something to write home about for most people, but alas, I am not writing home AND, I am not most people.

My oldest boy hasn't--or hadn't until tonight--spoken a word to me in fifty days. Fifty. Days!
Whoever said silence is golden was color blind. Silence is black. But tonight there is a hint of color in my world.

Though what we shared was small talk, it was huge to me. If you're a parent you know the value of open communication with your kids. It's in the daily talk and banter that you can get a sense of their well being physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.

Tonight the door cracked open ever so slightly. And light is seeping in.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Problem With A Camera

The problem with a camera is, it only gives you a limited portion of what's really going on.

My motorcycle and I went for a ride yesterday. We took the camera, too. I couldn't take a picture of the camera, but trust me it was there.

Anyway. I wonder if I'm turning into a loner. I don't mind so much being alone. In fact, there are times when I like it a lot. Almost as much as I like short sentences. I mean, I like people too, but I'm finding more and more enjoyment in places of not-people.

For example, I stopped at this turn in the road on the Cascade River and sat and took pictures and felt the kiss of God in the air. Now, men aren't inclined to use this word very often, but I must say--it was lovely!

As I traveled further down this road it wound and weaved through tunnel-like trees and into wide open clearings, I sped up to speeds in excess of 90 mph and screamed and hollered at the top of my lungs. I sang some James Taylor, some Eagles, but mostly just corny little homemade John songs that can't be repeated simply because they're just that corny.

Maybe the fact that a camera only gives you a limited portion of what's going on isn't so bad after all. :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Tonight I decided to go take a walk after dark. The decision was actually made before dark--to take a walk after dark.

It's a beautiful night. The eastern sky is deep, deep blue. Not quite black. The outlines of the foothills that surround our valley are still distinguishable. The stars are just beginning their light show, and over there in the west, a lighter hue of blue still hangs on at the point where sky and earth meet. The aromas of early fall have become increasingly noticeable. At first a faint and delicious blackberry smell gives way to a distinct and homey cedar that is fueled by the slightest breeze. My senses are alive and I myself am pleased that they are.

As I walk I can't decide if I've come to collect my thoughts or merely to take inventory of which ones I'll keep and which ones I'll let go.

Walking is a nice way to remember my thoughts as a boy. Maybe it's because I revert back to my first mode of travel, or maybe it's because it's so simple and serene like I was way back then. Either way, it's nice. The street on which I walk is sparsely lit and I like it that way. I can hear the train whistle off in the distance and a cat scurry out from under a car as I walk on. I pass by houses where the front room is lit only by the blue glow of a television. It is so quiet now that I can hear the heel-to-toe rhythm of my own steps beneath me and I suddenly realize that I am thinking the same simple thoughts I did as a boy. I think I'll keep these.

It's a beautiful night.

I just thought I'd tell you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Late Summer's Night Song

I'm a whistler by default. And by that I mean that I whistle a LOT! Without really being conscious of it. Today as I was tooling my way up a long dirt driveway I was whistling fairly loudly I guess, because when I got to the woman's house she said, "I could hear you whistling all the way up my road. What a lovely song that was. What was it?" I, of course, was kind of embarrassed having not known I was being listened to and not really even knowing I was whistling said, "Uh, I don't really know." "Well, whatever it was" she said, "keep it up."

Two hours later as I was making the hour drive back to my building I realized I was doing it again...whistling by default. It was the same song I had stuck in my head all day. Who knows why? I surely don't, but I do know it's one of the best songs I've ever heard and it always reminds me of summer.

So...enjoy :)

Mixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I don't understand the sky I stand under

I don't know why and that makes me wonder

I don't yet know how much I don't know

The facts aren't clear, that's clearly a fact

I know God is here, but I can't be exact

I just can't know how much I don't know

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Say "Cheesy!"

I've been playing around with my photos, can you tell?

Well, I thought I'd add this one of my girl and my boy being goofy at their brother's birthday dinner.

It needs no caption. They just crack me up!

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Brain on Vacation

I've been home this week on vacation. I could've called it a staycation, but I'm not that hip.

Speaking of 'hip', did you know that it's not hip to use the word 'hip'? That's what my kids tell me.
What then? Unoldfashioned?

I think toast with peanut butter is quite possibly the best food ever. Especially if it's sourdough toast. Seriously.

Did I mention that I'm painting my house? Yep. The exterior. Fun doesn't even come close to describing it. And yesterday?...I fell off the ladder! Well, technically the ladder was falling and I joined in on the frivolity. I really had no choice. Other than a few minor scrapes on my legs and butt, I'm fine. The ladder broke in half though. It was a red ladder day!!

Today I was bored so I went to the gas station to put more air in my tires. Yeah. That bored! Anyway, I threw my wheelbarrow in the back of my truck because it had a flat the last time I used it. Can anyone tell me why wheelbarrow tires have tread on them? Huh?? Just in case you have to take that hairpin turn at 40 miles an hour in the rain maybe?

Speaking of wheelbarrows, (I'm like the king of segues today huh?) I have this fun thing I do on my route to guys who are fully engaged with their wheelbarrow. And by that, of course I mean that they are pushing it while it is completely full. It's sort of an easy IQ test. When I see them I throw my door open wildly and frantically wave at them as if we're best buds. The smart guys will give me the universally accepted head nod. The not-so-smart ones will let go of one handle and try to wave while the wheelbarrow careens out of control and invariably spills whatever's inside. It usually only takes one of those episodes to make a smart guy out of anyone :)

Well, I've gotta go now, I smell the wafting aroma of sourdough bread toasting and it's calling my name.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Toward the blue

She sits alone on the top step of the porch of trailer number 48. Alone that is, except for the baby asleep in the carseat right there beside her.

She's plucking dead leaves off the primroses I suppose she might have bought just this morning. I saw some on sale at the checkout counter at the corner store. Maybe it's just my imagination but her heart, it seems, isn't really into what her fingers are doing. She'll stop occasionally and look off toward the horizon where the cloud cover ends and there is a sliver of blue. There is a sadness on her face. I recognize it. I've seen it in the mirror. Suddenly she realizes I am looking her way and she gives me an embarrassed little smile. I return the smile and whisper to myself "it's okay, I know what you mean...this wasn't part of the dream."

I drive off, aiming straight toward that little sliver of blue.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Occasion

I'm not sure I can do the thoughts justice, but I'm going to give it a try anyway.

All day Thursday--from the minute I got out of bed--I was anticipating the night. Dinner with my loves to celebrate a birthday. I had a particularly heavy delivery day right from the start, but it didn't deter my mood. Anticipation has a way of doing that.

All three kids were working so I knew that they would not be getting bored while waiting, rather they would welcome the time to relax a bit. My son had picked an Italian restaurant in town where we would meet. I was there first.

As they piled out of the truck I could see that my youngest hadn't done as I had asked...'dress like it's an occasion'. He was wearing his usual gym shorts, a tee shirt and his baseball cap. My daughter was wearing some casual and appropriate shorts and a pretty shirt. The birthday boy had to work late so he was still wearing his work garb. Carhhart pants and a bright orange construction shirt. As it turned out, I was the only one who 'dressed like it was an occasion'. Oh well, we were all wearing smiles so who really cares beyond that?

An economic downturn does wonders for a family of four that can't decide where to eat 'til the last second. We walked in and were seated immediately.

It was so nice to be with them. It's because of them that I now know what delightful means, because when I am with them I am FULL of delight. Our interaction and banter wasn't anything out of the ordinary. There was talk of the day. There was reminiscing about days gone by. There was hopeful talk of what might be around the next bend in our life's road and my heart welled up inside me in such a way as to say "ahhh, this is what we were meant for. This is love." Each one of my kids has left and is leaving an imprint in my heart. Each one of them is uniquely wonderful. Put them all together and I can scarcely take it all in. If there is such a thing as your heart aching with joy, then I know what that means.

As I drove my way and they drove theirs, my eyes filled with tears. Not tears of sadness, but tears of overwhelming beautiful joy. My tears were my heart--overflowing. My face wet with tears was dressed like it was an occasion.

Because it was.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sixteen. (and 364)

Tomorrow my son turns seventeen.

Let me tell you a little about him.

He is very inward. There are lots of things about him that people just don't 'get'. His humor is very dry (and I doubt it'll ever get wet). His mind is always in gear. He can work circles around most anyone. He is intensely competitive. He is kind. He is generous. He cracks me up. He infuriates me. He is strong. He is brilliant. He uses few words. He loves to learn. He hates to lose. He's protective of his mom and his sister--not so much his brother. He is my son.

Tomorrow he will receive a handful of gifts and he will smile warmly. And in that exchange between his eyes and mine we will both be the recipients of the greatest gift-- love.

Happy Birthday my boy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bright Son Shine

All three of my kids are very bright (I think they got it from their mother). My daughter set the bar pretty high. At the high school she attended they have 20 of the best parking spots reserved for the senior students with the highest GPA's. She had spot number 19 (they're alphabetical).
Now, the school isn't huge, but it isn't tiny either. I'd say there are about 900 to 1000 students attending, so that's pretty good, I'd say. She graduated with a 3.9 GPA.

My oldest boy will be a senior this next fall at that same high school and it has been his goal to get one of the coveted parking spots his sister had. So far it's lookin' good. His cumulative GPA is 3.88 as I sit here now. Which is quite an accomplishment. (No, not the 'sitting here now' part!) He broke his thumb on his right hand late in the fall while playing soccer and had pins inserted to repair it. That meant he had to do everything with his left hand for 8 weeks. Not only that, but he took a week and went to Washington D.C. to attend a National Young Leaders conference and, since it was an event not sanctioned by the school, but completely independent of it, he wasn't allowed to make up missed work. Did I mention 'bright'?

And then there's my youngest. He is bright of a different color. He loves baseball, but he LOVES politics and current events. Politics to him is what baseball cards were to me as a boy. When he has a free minute he will get on the computer and hit two or three political sites to see what the pundits are saying. Not only does he know all the leaders' names of most every country in the world, he can pronounce them too!

Two of his favorite worlds recently collided; Baseball and politics. His Babe Ruth team qualified for the state tournament and, as luck would have it, it is being played right here in my home town. On Tuedsday night they had an opening ceremony where each team was announced one player at a time. While he and his teammates were waiting their turn, the mayor of the city--who I know--was waiting to help throw out the ceremonial first pitch. While waiting, the mayor sauntered over to me and we engaged in some small talk about this and that. In the course of our conversation he told me that he was sharing the first pitch duties with a local 'boy' who had played on this same field who was now pitching in the majors for the Philadelphia Phillies and while we spoke the 'guest' walked in and the mayor went to greet him. Now, my son was watching all of this so I ran over to him and told him all the particulars about who the guest was and what he was going to do. The news spread like wildfire amongst his teammates and soon there was a lot of whispering and pointing going on.

On the ride home, after a few somewhat quiet moments, my boy says to me, "Dad, you know what I noticed?" To which I answered, "A lot of things, I'm sure, but...what?" "Well," he said, "one minute the mayor was talking to you, and the next he was talking to a big league pitcher! It seemed like he was much more himself with you." It was as if a light went on. As a politician, not only do you get to talk to cool people, but you might meet professional athletes, too!


Monday, July 14, 2008

Dear Sun,

I just wanted to tell you how nice it's been to see you these past few days. Life just feels better when you're around. Well, you're always a 'round', but you know what I mean.

About a month ago I was wondering if you were EVER coming back. But, now you have and it's a good feeling. I don't even mind so much when you play 'hide and seek' up there behind the clouds, as long as I know you won't be gone for long.

I guess it's just because I think you're brilliant and warm and your presence just lights up my life. Sometimes when I look right at you I get tears in my eyes. You have that affect on me, sun.

I'm not sure this is true, but it seems like you stay away for long periods of time--like months--and then you reappear for such a short time. If you only knew how much I miss you when you're gone! Don't go away, okay? Not this time.

Oh I totally understand the nighttime thing. It's cool. But, it's that extended leave thing that you do that gets me. I mean, why would you want to leave this place? It's beautiful. And even more so when YOU are here.

I guess I've made my point, haven't I?

I'll see you in the morning.

Just you and me.

We'll have coffee!


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Eye Can See Clearly

On days like today, when the sun is bright and life itself seems to be hi-def, I find myself wanting to slow down and let the brilliance soak into my very soul; To close my eyes, point my face toward the sun and just enjoy the feeling. And the fact that I can feel at all. But when I do open my eyes I can't help but notice a myriad of things that make me want to thank God for implanting in me this thing called enjoyment. Here you will see a few of things I enjoyed today:
The first one is one of my favorite roads--it's virtually a tunnel and when it's warm and sunny everywhere else it's cool in the 'tunnel'.
In the second one, if you click on the picture you'll see there in the middle an older gentleman working his garden. It just looks so 'Americana'.
The house is an old one built around 1860 and is now a bed and breakfast. I just love the impeccable paint job and the way it seems to have been frozen in time.
The last one is simply a bunch of flowers growing wild and bowing to the breeze if for no other reason than out of respect.

What's not to enjoy?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Summer nights (and some aren't)

As a kid growing up in southern California, summer mornings usually started out with a layer of marine air--aka fog--followed by a midday burn off and some haze and warmth. Here however, the mornings of summer are mostly like the rest of the year--a guessing game. The sun may come out or it may not. But lately we've had summer days like the ones I remember as a kid. The fog. The burn off. The warmth. And here? There's an added bonus. The sun stays up till 9 p.m. and we get sunsets like this! (and the rivers aren't made of cement)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Simple Joy

I am a simple man, as you can tell by my blog design, but I am not simplistic. I have found there is no need for grand extravagance to find joy. All you need do is to notice what makes you smile. For me, it is these:

The smell of the coffee beans when you first open the bag.

A breeze that lingers in the blinds.

The way my daughter sings/says "aww" when she thinks something's cute.

The tenacity in my boy's eyes when he runs the basepath.

Seeing the steam rise out of my coffee cup while sitting in the morning sun.

The way my son works.

Throwing rocks at the lake.

Being woken by the brightness of sunshine.

Realizing that I am loved.

Watching my kids be themselves.

The promise of a day with sunshine AND heat.

I am a simple man, but joy is also simple. If you find it you will have found grand extravagance.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Allergy Schmallergy!

Okay, so what if I'm allergic to summer, I've got to live with it. So today my youngest and I went to one of our favorite summer spots which is this freezing cold water stream with an amazing waterfall. Not many people even know about it around here. At least, that is what I surmise each time we go there and we are the only humans there.

The entrance to the creek is just a few feet away from the road, which is a meandering somewhat uninhabited country road that is flanked by the river on one side and woodsy hillsides on the other. The drive itself is almost worth the effort, but really it's the creek that makes it worthwhile for us.

For the first minute or so we try to traverse the edge of the water so as to keep our feet out of the frigid water. And when I say frigid I mean it's the kind of cold that makes your ankles ache right there in the back where your Achilles meets your heel. Bone chilling cold. But after your foot slips off the top of a mossy, slippery rock you simply succumb to the the facts. You will get wet. Your bones will ache. For a while.

We had a great time today realigning the flow of the water. That is to say, moving rocks and limbs out of jambed up crevices to allow the water to rip through in a new direction. Once we reached the waterfall we sat in the sun on the mist-soaked rocks and enjoyed the awe of it all.

Suddenly I'm not so allergic to summer after all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Official...

...I can tell by the my scratchy throat, my runny nose and watery eyes.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How it really happened

Once, in the town of Joyville there lived a man named Jimmy John Joseph Kruk. Although that was his given name, if he had a preference--which he rarely did--he preferred to be call simply 'Kruk'.
Kruk was a recluse that lived on the east side of Joyville. It is said around town that what caused him to hide away in the cabin he called home was a childhood scare. It seems that when he was a boy and the Kruks lived over on the west side near the river, Kruk had wandered off by himself as boys are prone to do. His wandering led him down to the river's edge where he happened upon a mud bog. Well, as boys are also prone to do, he got a little too curious there and before he knew it he was waist deep in mud. Stuck he was. He was stuck some say for hours. Finally, as night was tripping into a full fall, his brother found him and rescued him. From that day forward Kruk was more likely to be found indoors than out. He did not like out. No matter how hard the town's folk tried to entice him, he did not venture out. After a while they gave up trying.

Now in this same town lived a diminutive girl named Stacey. Stacey may have been small, but she was large in spirit. In fact, she was known to skip around town saying, "I may be tiny, but I am mighty and someday I will do what not one of the rest of you can do." While she herself wasn't sure what that meant, the rest of the town was convinced she was right.

One summer night near the end of a summer that was peculiarly dry and hot, Little Stacey was seen running full-speed from the river straight way to Kruk's house. All the while she ran, she sang "I may be tiny but I am mighty, I may be tiny but I am mighty". No one is sure why, but on this particular night the way she sang it piqued the curiosity of all who heard it. She sounded as if she had a mission and tonight was the night. The curiosity was such that the townfolk followed her all the way to Kruk's house. When she arrived she ran right in without so much as a knock, much less a hesitation. A few moments later, to the surprise of all that had gathered--which included by this time a photographer for the Chronicle--Stacey emerged with a smiling Kruk on her arm. Someone shouted, "what happened Stacey? How did you do this??" To which she happily and triumphantly replied, "There's no mud in Joyville. The mighty Stacey has Kruk out!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shingle and Re-tired

I have some interesting people on my route. I guess in some way or another everybody is interesting. To somebody. Anyway, as has been my practice in the past I'm going to show you a picture of somebody's house. The interesting somebodys that live at this particular house are artists...can you tell?? Check out the shingle work!
(Look closely at the roof. It's made out of tires. Yes. Real tires.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things I Don't Get

Many times during a day I will find myself saying this to myself: "I wonder why that is." I mean, let's face it, there are lots of things I just don't get.

For instance--today, in a field that had just been cleared of it's wind rows of grass for silage, I saw 21 bald eagles. Twenty one! They were scattered all about a field of about ten acres or so and every one of them was facing the same direction. Not one of them looked as though it was going anywhere anytime soon. It was as if one of them--the leader, I suspect--called a meeting and they were waiting for it to begin. Weird. Very, very cool, but weird nonetheless.

Another little something that I don't get, and it bugs me to no end--why is that anyone would go UNDER the posted speed limit? After all, the road has been specifically designed for a vehicle to travel at a particular speed. They post the speed on a sign. Pretty simple. Essentially, the sign is saying 'It's safe to travel 55 MPH on this road' and yet people take it into their own hands to mistrust the engineers who studied and computed the speed limit and proceed at a snail's pace. To me, it's like going to the store with a 50 percent off coupon and telling the checker, "No, really. I only want 30 percent off. Whoever handed out these coupons must be nuts, you'll never make any money this way. 50 seems way outta line! 30 will be fine, thanks." It makes no sense at all to me.

And lastly....what ever happened to courtesy? Where did it go? How did it become passe? I sat at a crosswalk in front of a high school for what seemed like an eternity today because most of today's kids have no courtesy. None. They meandered in front of me like those cows that never come home; like ants that couldn't find their farm. To say that they were oblivious would be giving them too much credit. They were ignorant of oblivion. Maybe one of the new courses next year should be "How to behave in a society full of people that care about others." I doubt anyone would care to sign up.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

Washingtonians don't tan, we rust.

Here it is the 6th day of June and the sun has yet to be seen this month.

We have a rain festival here in Washington. It runs from January 1 until December 31.
It's not exciting, but 50 million slugs can't be wrong.

May we rust in peace.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I Got The Music In Me

I found this fun little widget today on another blog so I thought I'd try it.

They say you can learn a lot about a person by the music he/she listens to...but who are "they" and what do they know anyway??These are a just a snippet of some of my favoritest songs.

I hope it works.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Being Content

See this picture? Of course you do, I doubt I have any blind readers. See that mountain? It's beautiful huh? Yes it is. I took that picture not all that long ago of Mt. Baker, which I can see from my front window many, many days....Okay, maybe if you subtract that second 'many'. The thing is, I can't see it today. It is gray and drizzly and by most standards--dismal. But the mountain is still there.

Beauty is still beauty even when covered in gray.

Being content takes a lot of work. It takes knowing that what you see is not all there is. There is so much more to the picture. That's called faith. I can imagine many things, but I can't imagine a life without faith, can you?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

No More Weeding for Me

There are lots of things that bug me about things I've heard in church in my lifetime. Ever since I was a wee lad (I just love saying that in an Irish brogue, by the way) the fact that the Bible says that the streets of heaven will be paved with gold just hasn't landed well in me. I mean the whole of the holy book is about life beyond here and in 'the kingdom come'. So why would the place we long to go to be advertised in such a materialistic way? Where's the anticipation in that? Trading one materialistic world for another?? Well, today when I was pulling weeds in my backyard ( I know, what a lame time to be thinking about such things, but hey, I was thinking about the curse of man and how it is our lot to toil all of our days on this little green Earth God gave us. So it's lame....consider the source) it hit me. Are you ready?? The reason the streets will be paved with gold is because the stuff is so plentiful and of so little value compared to the rest of heaven, they're going to use the stuff as asphalt!!!

Talk about an epiphany :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

I think it's a good thing every so often to sit and ponder what it is in your life that you take for granted. Because when you begin to appreciate the little things, you can no longer accuse yourself of taking them for granted.

I like to play softball. I've been playing for around twenty years and I still enjoy it a lot. Not that I want to get all braggy on myself but, I can still play. On my Monday night team (I play on a different team on Friday nights) I am 'the old guy'. It's a co-ed team with players ranging from 19 to 48--which of course would be me. I play outfield. Wherever they want to put me is fine. I love to run and dive and catch and throw. All of it is just excellent!

Essentially, what I'm saying is: I am glad that even though I have an extremely physical job, I still have a healthy enough body to play a game that I enjoy that lets me feel like I'm still a boy every time I play it. It may just be a little thing, but it IS the little things we take for granted.

Friday, May 09, 2008

As you might well know by now, I am a big fan of words; how they fit together, how they come apart and why we use the ones we do when we do. I have never studied these things formally--I don't even own a suit--but they're a part of my thinking and since this little blurb is about my mind, well....what did you expect?

For example, if you study theology you're a theologian, but if you study geology you're a geologist.
If you make a comment you're a commenter, yet if you comment on television you're a commentator. Well, I may just be a common tater, but I can tell you that it just doesn't make sense.
If a fly flies by and then flies out a window, you say, "It flew out the window." But if a baseball player hits a fly and someone catches it, he flied out. Some of these things just don't fly with this here guy.
When you drive too fast it's called speeding and you, as the driver, are a speeder. But if you drive in manner that is reckless you are not recklessing, nor are you called a recklesser.
These are the silly little things that go through my mind all the time. It's nothing to lose sleep over. But then does one LOSE sleep?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Just a boy in the woods

I grew up going to church, singing hymns and listening to sermons. I was taught that this was worship. And while I still believe it to be true, as I have grown in my spirit and in my want to be closer to God, places like these have become my cathedral.

Where robins sing in rounds and the silence in between sounds like grass waiting for wind. Where the color of green against sky blue pales to the splendor of the heart in you.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Like Dog, Like God

Have you ever noticed how we as humans tend to affix human qualities, thoughts and words into and onto non-human things? It's called anthropomorphizing. We do it all the time. I know I do. I mean, if you've read here before you've no doubt noticed that I try to interject my thoughts into various animals and birds all the time. There's nothing wrong with it. In fact, it's really kind of fun! The Far Side is the epitome of anthropomorphizing and, in my ever humble opinion, is fantastic! One of my faves.

Why do you think dog is a man's best friend? Because you can pretend your dog is thinking ANY thing you want him/her to be thinking. If your real best friend sat in your passenger seat and never spoke a word and slobbered on your window would he/she still be your best friend? Just because they look at you in a way you think you can interpret?? How many times do you hear someone say, "Awww, he just loves me! Look at him, he's thinking 'what a great person my owner is.'"? Or something similar. But what if the dog is really thinking in dog--not human--and it goes something like this: "big round eyes, wag tail, get better food." Or what if, when a robin sits atop a tree on a sunshiny morning chirping out it's delightful melody, it's not really celebrating the fact that it's a bright, cheery morning, but instead is sounding off to the other birds in the neighborhood..."hey you schmucks! Wake up, these worms aren't gonna last all day!" We have no idea, so we fill in the blanks with our own, human words and sentiments. And usually in our own language, because I don't know about you, but I just can't imagine cows speaking French.

Unfortunately, we do the same thing with God. God is not merely a super human with super human powers. No, He is GOD and even though we are created in His image, we are not God. Not even close. Which one of us is everywhere right now? Which one of us can create something from nothing? Which one of us can even fathom that? We say things like, "God must be angry" or "that makes God very sad", which may or may not be true in any given circumstance, but we are thinking it in human terms because we're human. But God's sad or glad or angry are not the same as our human versions of those things. In the same way that we cannot be everywhere at once, we cannot have all these emotions at once. In the same way God can be (and is) everywhere at once, He can have all these emotions at once. We affix our limited suppositions on The God that is humanly unknowable and in the process we make Him very weak and small. Like ourselves. I know I do. And He loves me anyway!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Geography and Photography

Let me try to explain to you where I am five days a week. Ready? Okay, play along with me. Hold out your right hand like you did in elementary school when you were supposed to trace it with your pencil to make a turkey at Thanksgiving time. Now fold all your four fingers in half and pretend like your thumb is twice as thick as it is. Got it? Your hand now looks like the state of Washington. No really, it does! See that space between your thumb and your index finger? That body of water is called Puget (pronounced pew-jet) Sound. The island I have the privilege to deliver to in my little brown truck is located right there in that sound. If your hand were actually land, the island is attached (with a bridge) about half way up your bent index finger. It has some amazing scenery. Here's just a sample...isn't springtime great??

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Let Go

Today was my little girl's birthday, but the thing is, she's not a little girl anymore. It's official. At least according to the the law. Today she became an adult. It's a weird feeling for me. I mean, I'M not even an adult yet, what is she doing becoming one??

I know that my children are really not mine, they're gifts from God, given to me for a time. Great gifts they are too, but it's that time thing that gets me. Every moment of your life as a parent, whether you know it or not, you're growing closer to your children. After all, love will do that to you. You give it away, you give it away, and you give it away some more. All the while those little gifts we call children are taking it in, taking it in, taking it in and learning how to give it back simply by your example. That's the way love is; it's a simultaneous giving and taking that causes you to grow closer to each other. There's no way around it. It's the way God designed it. That's what makes me wonder about people who say they know God and yet they don't love Him. Makes me wonder if they know him at all. But that's a tangent for another day. While growing closer to my daughter was the most desired as well as a most fulfilling thing for me and her, somewhere in the midst of that God wanted me to be learning how to let go.

I started learning how when she was 11 years old. That night in the summer when I crawled up on her bed at night like I always did. It was bed time. It was story time. It was kiss me goodnight time. Only on this night it was 'your mom and I are getting a divorce' time. Suddenly I had knowingly caused deep hurt in my little girl's heart. I didn't want to let go, but in that moment everything that was normal wasn't normal anymore. After I spoke that sentence and the sobbing began I knew her dreams had been shattered as much, if not more than mine had. It was the first step of letting go.

When she backed out the driveway on her 16th birthday with her two little brothers in the car and those three little hands waved goodbye, I knew that I'd be seeing precious little of that little precious girl in the days past that one. They lived eight miles away at the time, and had no other reason to come this way, but to 'visit' me. Her life was busy. She has always been an industrious student; always a straight 'A' girl and that takes time. Time and discipline. She also has always been a girl with a big circle of friends because she's a always been a good friend. More time taken. She is athletic and modestly so. While it was never her greatest passion, she would never scrimp on the training, which takes? You guessed it...time. As her dad I would never want her not to have any of these pursuits as they are all excellent and are worthy of her character, but it would mean that she would be a busy girl...with a car. Step two of letting go.

So tonight, I must surmise, is step three. Tonight she is a legal adult and harsh as it may sound, I will hold my tongue and give advice only when it is asked for. I will interject when I am asked and I will treat her as my adult daughter--with values and opinions different than my own. I am no less in love with this girl that has become a woman than I have ever, ever been. She will however, never cease to be my little girl.

Of that one thing I will never let go.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A couple of things...

First of all, look at this photo closely (click on it to enlarge). On the right hand side, about halfway up, you will see that I am sometimes a very lucky photo taker...'s a hawk that must have suddenly noticed me (or my big brown truck) and it hit it's brakes midflight, midair. Cool huh??

Last, and very certainly not least. When I wake up in the morning I will be the proud dad of a 21-year-old daughter. WHOA!! to the Nth degree!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

I find it amazing how many amazing things there are. For example this little bird. Not so much the bird, but it's choice of a perch. Notice that the other stems of grass are pretty much straight up and down and yet the one it is resting on (and swaying, I might add) is bent at a somewhat parallel angle to the ground. Now, at first glance, and maybe even at second, it would seem like an insignificant detail, but I stopped and took this picture and as soon as I did the bird flew away and the blade of grass sprung up tall and straight as if nothing had ever happened. How does a bird flying along at a fairly healthy clip, in full grip of the wind, maneuver itself to a landing on an upward stalk of green grass? How does it know it's a strong and trustable piece of grass on not a limp, dying one? Or why not simply land on the ground? Do you suppose even the birds of the air have an inherent faith that they are being watched over?

These are the questions of the little boy left in me.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He's watching me.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hard Questions

I'd like to make a sheep out of oak......wooden ewe?

I'd like to make an alphabet out of birch.....wooden 'u'?

I'd like to know what happens when you fall into a bin of toothpicks....wood in you?

I'd like to know where you can study forestry in college.....wooden U?

I'd like to know what would happen if you replaced smokeless tobacco with bark....wooden chew?

I'd like to make a pair of slippers out of alder....wooden shoe?

I'd like to know how I got to be this way....wouldn't you?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Ned The Threedle

There once was a boy named Ned. Ned lived in a place called Toodle. In Toodle everyone owned a poodle. One day Ned's poodle died so he moved to Threed. When you live in Threed you're called a Threedle. Since Ned was a Threedle Ned learned how to thread a needle. Now Ned the Threedle could thread the needle like no other Threedle could. Oh sure, other Threedles were good at threading needles but none as good as Ned. No needle ever threaded was threaded better than a needle that Ned had threaded. No no no. Ned the Threedle could thread a needle like no other Threedle needle threader. So if you're ever in Threed and you need a Threedle to thread your needle call Ned the Threedle cuz no one ever threaded a better needle than Ned did.

So what does this have to do with ANYthing? Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. Sometimes I just get bored and make up lame stuff. This is exhibit 'A'.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

So tell me...

...why aren't you telling me what you think? I know...yes, I KNOW that there are a select few (very few) of you who read this here little thing called a blog and don't comment--it's called lurking, people. If you did this in public you'd be called 'rude', but this is cyberspace and evidently every thing is permitted. However, tonight I am calling you to task. I want to know why you're so quiet. Now, don't get me wrong, I like quiet and all, but you should not simply lurk forever, one might question your upbringing.

Here's the assignment: in one sentence or more tell me what prevents you from putting that little floating thought that you're thinking into writing here. Simple huh?

I'm waiting...

(those of you that normally comment are free to chime in and make your astute observations as normal, of course!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Snippets of a day in the life

Today it snowed and it rained and the sun shone bright. I took my coat off, put it back on, took it back off, put it back on...Froze, sweated, shivered, felt nice. It was the last day of March but it felt like a day that belonged in January.

I saw a coyote, a bald eagle or three, too many deer to count, countless horses and cows, chickens, swans, ducks, geese and a wolf.

I delivered signs and clothing and paper and office supplies and tractor parts and pet food and trees and titles and documents and guns and carseats and books and cd's and whatsits and thingamabobs to one hundred and twelve different addresses over the course of a hundred and fifty three miles in the span of nine point three hours.

I laughed, I talked, I thought, I sang, I prayed, I whistled, I texted, I called, I ate, I drove, I ran, I jumped, I had fun!

My greatest observation of the day (although I've had it before) was this: There is one sure fire way to a woman's heart. Jump out of your truck smiling and hand her a box with these two words on the side....NORDSTROM SHOES. Don't ask me why, but it works every time!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sometimes it's just cold.

I had worked hard all day to get to his game, as I like to watch him play. Actually, I like to watch what he does when he sits on the bench, too; the way he engages people, his mannerisms, his smile. But, I digress.

The old wooden stadium was built for a football crowd, long before soccer became a high school sport. The grandstands run east to west and, luckily on this day the wind was out of the south so if you sat high enough the wind might miss you. The game time temperature must have been close to 40 degrees. At least that's what it read on the bank's sign just outside the campus. But with the wind's assistance it felt like a lot colder.

I sat (and sometimes stood) alone way high in the bleachers. I'm sure some thought it to be strange. There were thirty, maybe forty people in attendance, most of them parents or grandparents of the players, I'm sure. There was a small group of maybe eight or so students that must have had a friend on the team, or maybe they needed an excuse not to go home. Either way, it was nice to see.

The game was fairly uneventful--unless you were watching every little thing your son was doing. Many times I felt like cheering when my boy broke free from a defender at breakneck speed--only to have the ball go the other way--and cheering wouldn't have been appropriate. Many times I felt my heart swell with pride and I heard myself say "way to go" or "atta boy". It was at those particular moments I would look down and see my former wife and her husband all decked out in hoodies and wrapped in a warm blanket, seemingly oblivious to the game being played. It was in those moments I felt the most alone. Suddenly, the bleachers couldn't block out the cold.

Sometimes the hardest thing about this whole single parent thing is NOT being able to share what you feel as a parent with the only other person who might understand what it is that you feel.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Do you ever wonder what those two days were like? Those two days Jesus spent in hell for things he didn't do? Not only did he die a horrendous death for being perfect, but then he had to bring those sins to hell and defeat Satan and his legion of demons as proof that he was indeed The Christ. There were no Pharisees or high priests or even true disciples there to witness it. It wasn't something done so as to be recorded for posterity. But it needed to be done. Death had to be defeated in order for us to live. Jesus wasn't quietly laying behind a stone trying to figure out how to escape his burial cloths, he was fighting for the future of eternity. He was fighting to ensure that everything he ever said and did up to that point was true and He did it for you and for me. He fought death and won! It seems like our Christianized version of the event is sanitized to the point of making it into a glorified fairy tale. I know that Jesus languished in hell for me, because of me, so that he could spend eternity with me. It is the only identity I will ever need.

Happy Easter.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Quiet Chapter

I have myriad of things to write about and still tonight I am still. It seems I have found a quiet chapter inside that needs my listening. I don't know how and I surely don't know why, but contentment has found me and, for tonight, I will share it with you in silence.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The post in which I use way too many parentheses (which, if you look at it long enough will look misspelled)

Today I was breathing (of course, I was breathing) when suddenly something foreign (no, not Canadian, that would be sick) was absorbed into my innards. As we speak (which, by the way, if you're speaking while reading this, is a little weird in and of itself) I am getting dizzy and starting to get the chills (how does one start to get the chills?) so I can only surmise that I am getting sick (No! not Canadian). Don't you hate it when people (you know who you are) say, "Yeah, that stuff's goin' around", as if stuff hasn't always been goin' around? (Except that day back in '32) So I am going to have some tea (shut up!) with honey and lemon in it. The thing is, when I went to the cupboard to get the honey (you know, the kind that comes in a little bear-shaped bottle) it was completely crystallized (no, not the bottle, the honey) to the point where there was no liquidity at all (poor little bear was all stopped up) so I put him (although it could be a her...hard to tell at this stage of honey bottle bear maturity) in the microwave for about thirty seconds. I'll have you know that twenty seconds would have been plenty (did you know that really, really hot honey runs like water?). I now have a steaming, hot cup of tea (shut up...again) with really runny honey in it (and I have one bear with really runny honey in it).

The End (parenthetically speaking, of course!)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Imagine if you will...

...imagine if you can.

You open your eyes and you're standing in line at the very last audition to the very last "American Idol". Ever. You are ushered into the stadium where there are hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of people when suddenly there is an eerie silence. Helicopters appear over the edges of the stadium walls and they are headed your way. The stadium lights go black. Not a sound is heard. You look up in the sky and suddenly you and only you are standing in the center of what seems like a million candle spotlight emanating from each helicopter and a voice deep and still announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, the auditions are now closed. The person you see standing here in the light is our winner!" You expect to hear thunderous booing and hissing, but instead the throng goes absolutely crazy with the loudest cheers you've ever heard. A microphone is lowered out of who knows where to dangle in front of you. You step up and say, "I don't know that to say. I don't understand. I didn't DO anything. You must be mistaken because I...I...I don't deserve..." And then you blink.

You open your eyes and you're somewhere completely different than you were just a second ago. And someone is holding your hand? Wait, he's not holding your hand, he's shaking it. Your eyes look down at your hand and trace the hand that is shaking yours back up to a bespectacled little man. It's Bill Gates! In your other hand is one of those gigantic checks that you get when you win some sort of prize. You lean over to read it at it says 'Pay to the order of...and there, right there in that all important line is YOUR name! And the amount? Fifty billion dollars. Fifty. Billion. With a 'B'!! In all the excitement you barely even noticed that Mr. Gates was going on and on about how he 'had never met a more deserving person' and, evidently he was talking about YOU! You shake your head as if to say, 'you must have the wrong person'. You try to explain that you probably weren't supposed to be there, since just two seconds ago you won the American Idol award, but your words are dwarfed by applause as everyone looks at you and cheers as mountains of confetti fall from the sky. So much confetti that it makes a New York ticker tape parade look like a pullstring party popper. The cameras flash endlessly...And then you blink.

You open your eyes and you're standing on the steps of what appears to be a castle of some sort. When you look closer you realize it IS a castle. And not just a Disneyland castle, but an actual authentic castle! You are surrounded by a cast of extremely royal looking people. You surmise that this must be a coronation of sorts. In an instant there are servants surrounding you with what looks like a gown of significant worth. And a crown. You find yourself a bit dazed as they seem to be draping the gown on YOU. And the crown too! The trumpets blare and a decree is read..."It is hereby declared that (fill in your name) has come to claim the throne that was long ago created here in the castle of the land that bears his name." You say, "There must be a mistake, I'm not that old and this country is named after me?" The throng of people, in unison replies, "We have been waiting for you since long before your birth." The voices sound like what you've always imagined an angelic choir would sound. It is grand! It is majestic! It is about YOU! And then you blink.

You open your eyes and you realize that you have experienced in mere human terms what the first three blinks of heaven must be like.

You deserve none of it. You did nothing for it. You were chosen because YOU are YOU!!!!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Post About A Post

Even an ordinary thing can become something beautiful. For instance, this fence post. At first glance it was just another in a long line of posts. Upon closer inspection, however, it is clearly different. When lined up properly, it's flaw--the hole in it--allows you to see something you simply can't see through the others. Thank God for the hole He's creating in you because, given the right perspective and the right moment, someone's going to see something beautiful beyond the hole.

p.s. It also never hurts to have a bright, shining light overhead either :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

When silence
comes a' calling
from someone
who once cared

Her silence
is appalling
your heart
for once dared

When silence
it is falling
it's something
best unshared

When silence
comes a' calling
pretend like
you're not there

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dancing in the reign

In my teenage years I began to really love music, so of course I listened to AM radio a lot while driving around in my 1970 Duster. I liked all of the usual stuff any teenager in the mid-seventies liked: The Eagles, Boston, Kansas, Firefall, Loggins and Messina, Steve Miller Band, etc. and if I liked a band a whole, whole lot I would splurge and go buy the 8-track so I could listen whenever I wanted to. I also liked Christian music at the time. (Once again, I know...weird. But hey! Does that surprise anyone?) However, most Christian music was slow and schmaltzy to me until I heard Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill. I loved both of them! One of my favorite 8-tracks was called "In Another Land" by Larry Norman. Well, Larry Norman died this weekend and I heard about it this morning on the station I listen to. My very favorite song on the album was the title track. I know it backwards and forwards and upside down. I sang it all day today. Here it is: (by heart)

A thief fell out of heaven
Two loaded dice
But the Lamb rolled a seven
Back to Paradise
The bread was finally leavened
So I had a slice
As the sun began to rain

Water fell from fountains
And then turned to wine
Rocks fell from the mountains
In a chorus line
He came in tails and top hat
And He looked so fine
As the Son began to reign

A fox snuck in to steal away the grapes
But the man who ran the vineyard shut the gate
So he could not escape

And now we'll live forever
In another land
Everything is changing
Like it first was planned
Did you get your invitation
To come play in the band
And let the Son begin to reign

Larry Norman is now in another land dancing in the reign.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Simple Things

I have come to find the beauty in simple things. Yesterday as my brother and I were out taking pictures on a very springlike day I took this picture...

...I'm think I'm going to call it "Insulator" (by Barb Dwire)

The wire reminds me of my humor...rusty and twisted :)

Friday, February 22, 2008


Have you ever stopped to notice the sound of wind through a tree? I did just that today...I know, sometimes I'm just weird that way, along with many other ways, but I digress. What is wind? It is air that is moving, but where is it going? Where did it come from and what did it replace? Who tells it to move? Does it have ears to hear? Why doesn't it make a sound when it stops?

Isn't it funny that we can no more explain wind than God and yet we rarely give it a second thought? Air is the one thing we know of that most closely resembles God in it's qualities--it's invisible, it's everywhere, it moves, it's powerful, it sustains us--and yet we believe in it with every fiber of our being because some smart guy says he proved it? Yet we can't believe in God because smart guys don't get it??

Tomorrow, when you feel the wind in your hair and it makes you feel something new--say 'hello' to God and thank Him for brushing up so close to you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three Little Hands

I'm not sure how it happened or what triggered it, but as I was on my drive to my route today an old, painful memory hit me square between the eyes. I guess I was wondering how it is that I have made it this far; how it is that I was able to carry on.

Most of the memories surrounding the last days of my marriage are a blur if anything at all. Most, that is, except those two or three minutes that it took for the U-Haul to disappear from sight as it drove away. I was standing alone in the driveway of the house we called home for the past 7 years--where I would 'live' alone for the next 2 weeks--and out of the passenger window all I could see were those three little hands frantically waving goodbye. It was then that I knew my life would never be the same. It was then that I knew a whole new pain. I don't know if there's a way to describe that kind of pain. My heart was so heavy I could scarcely move a muscle, but I knew I had to wave to let them know I loved them.

In an effort to live fully from my heart, sometimes I have to open a door that I painted shut. You have just been given a brief peek behind one such door.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lately I've been thinking about lovely. Yes, lovely. Why is the word so seldom used these days and what does it really mean?

I think it is used so seldom these days because our society is enamored with the exterior and being lovely has very little, if anything to do with the exterior. It is an interior quality born of the heart. It has more to do with the glint in your eye than the color of it. More to do with intent of your heart than the careful calculations of your words. More to do with the way you carry yourself than the way you look. More about the maturing of your soul than the aging of your skin.

My mom turned 82 on Thursday and yet I think she's becoming more lovely with each passing day. Her face is wrinkled and her hair has just started turning gray. Her pace is slowed and her accent thickens almost daily, but nonetheless she has become a very lovely woman. She easily could have chosen otherwise.

When she was 13 years old she moved out of her parents' home to go to work as a maid. "That's just how it was in those days", is how she puts it. She was the youngest of 6 children and never had much in the way of material things. Life was hard in the Netherlands in the 30's and 40's so every healthy person worked to help feed the family. My mom never knew any different. To this day she doesn't think of that time in her life as a hardship, but as a blessing.

In 1951 she and my dad married. Shortly thereafter, they--along with my dad's parents, his 5 siblings and spouses (with the exception of his youngest sister, who was single)--moved to 'the promised land' of America. Think about that for a minute...she left her own family behind to start a new life in a new country with a new husband. Together they had a total of 12 American dollars to start their life here. My oldest brother was born in 1952 and by the time he was 3 years old he had 3 sisters and a brother! You read that right. My mom had a 3 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old, and then? Twins! The fact that her hair is just now turning gray is a matter of amazement to me. And she wasn't done yet. By the time my oldest brother was 7 there were 7 of us!

Remember now, this was before the days of disposable diapers and formula and battery operated child swings. As you can imagine, my dad had to burn the candle at both ends to finance the endless sucking noise known as 'children eating'. My mom orchestrated the chaos at home alone for the most part. I have no idea how. That was just the formative years. Can you imagine this?...When I turned 13 she suddenly had 6 teenagers under her roof? Can you say, 'insanity'? And once again, my mom would say, "I didn't know any different" with the most genuinely understated smile you will ever see.

Tomorrow my brothers and sisters and assorted other family members will gather together to pay tribute to my mom. A woman who in my eyes has become the definition of...Lovely!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It isn't....but it IS...

It isn't rocket science
but there is chemistry involved

It isn't a game
but it's best when there are x's and o's

It isn't a potion
but it is intoxicating

It isn't a disease
but it makes you dizzy

It isn't explainable
but you will know it

It isn't a flavor
but it's delicious

It isn't a novel idea
but there's a book about it

So...what is it???

It is LOVE!!
The very essence of God Himself. It is the most inexplicable, unfathomable, undeniable, indescribable, truest thing there is...just like God Himself.
This life is a journey of finding, knowing, grasping, holding, and giving of this crazy little thing called love.
(I dare ya not to get that Queen song stuck in your head now!)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Sun and the Ocean

At evening, when the sun dips down to kiss the ocean, she blushes red and he shines bright. They hold fast each other slipping into the darkness, giving way to the moon and it's soft light. Nightly they show us their daily devotion as slowly they meet and the two become one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Scoop it!

Isn't it funny how the smallest things trigger memories?

Just now I went to get myself a bowl of ice cream and realized that my son had had a bowl last night and had used the scooper so it was in the dishwasher. I went to my utensil drawer to see what else I might use and voila! the memory was triggered....

When my kids were maybe 9, 5 and 3 their mom had an evening job so it was up to me to do dinner. And by 'do' I mean, put what my then-wife had prepared into the oven. When dinner had been eaten and we'd had a time of playing and schoolwork (at least for my daughter) one of the kids would invariably say "Dad, let's do ice cream!" Never did they say "Let's HAVE ice cream." No. Ice cream took some 'do'ing.

I would get out the bowls, choose the ice cream and turn to the utensil drawer and say " where can that ole ice cream scooper be?" I would then proceed to 'scoop' the ice cream with every conceivable thing I could find, except of course, the ice cream scoop. There was the tea ball thingy. The garlic press. The tongs. A corkscrew. A wire whisk. A spatula. The mixer attachment doohicky....all done to the tune of hilarious children laughs. Oh it was fun!

Thank God for memories that make me laugh!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I just went to the grocery store down the street to get some stationery to write a letter to my daughter and the strangest thing happened.

First you must know that there is a growing population of Russian immigrants moving into our city and that near the grocery store is a church where, on Sunday nights they hold services that are given in their language.

So, as I'm looking up and down the aisles trying to find where they might hide things like stationery, I notice this one very prim and proper looking older woman perusing the magazine rack. She was wearing a nice dress with dark leggings and a dark, woolen winter coat. Very church-like attire. And as I pass her by she rips a big, loud fart! I am SO not kidding!! She didn't so much as flinch or move a muscle (at least not visibly). Is that just part of the culture?

It was the grossest, funniest thing I've experienced in a long, long time.
Thought I'd share it with you all. :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What warm on the inside looks like...


Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Father and His Boys

A few feet from where I sit there are two boys that bear my name. My blood is in their veins. And while at this moment they're both sleeping, my concern for them is heightened. They are my boys. God has loaned them to me for but a brief time and it is my privilege and responsibility to steer their lives for a few, numbered days. I don't know the number, but God does.

Outside the sky is dark, the wind is howling and it is cold; a stark contrast to the quiet, warmth that is our home. As males we love the violence of wind and welcome cold and dark as challenges to be reckoned with. We're rough and tumble, dirt and mud. We're loud and boisterous, wild and strong. We understand these things about each other, but will the world even try to understand?
I know it will be an uphill battle. I know the temptation to retreat when misunderstood. I know the urge to hide the pain; to go it alone--isolation seems the easier pain to endure. I know these things too well.

I also know my Father...He stands with open arms. I hope I can model that to my boys because...the sky is dark, the wind is howling and it is cold.