We're all on a journey, but not all of us will arrive at a destination of our choosing. My purpose in this blog is to journal my journey and invite you to join me as we seek Him together.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Comeback Kid

It seems like a blog takes on a life of its own - until you quit feeding it. And then it crashes and burns rather quickly. I have been off the wagon (blogging wagon, that is) for a few months and would like to jump back on.

Have you ever gotten into a funk? Just no heart for the things you've always enjoyed and it takes such an effort to do the things you always took for granted. I'm not talking depression, but just a cloud of melancholy that seems to suck the joy out of life. I've spent some time there for the last few months. As I look back I can see several contributing factors, but in the middle of it all it's hard to see what to do or where to go to get out of it.

Springtime helps. I think winter has finally whispered its last goodbye here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Not like it didn't fight to stay around. Just last week we had another snowfall and then this morning the temperature dipped into the 20's, but here at our house, we are heavy into gardening and mowing (a nasty consequence of fertilizing). I can finally take the blankets off of our tomato plants and maybe, just maybe we'll be slicing fresh tomatoes in the next couple of weeks. How, you ask? I cheated. At Neimann's Gardens (Scott and Birgie are friends of mine), they had some tomato plants left over from last season that they kept in the greenhouse over the winter, and so when I bought them they were two feet tall with blooms and tomatoes already on them. Worth every extra penny!

Everything comes at a price, including dedication to a blog. I'll write if you'll read (and comment from time to time). Welcome back to the journey.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy whatever holiday it is!

Happy mid-October fall national holiday! I don't remember the last time I heard it called Columbus day. But I would think every guy would come to its defense. It's the ultimate guy holiday.

Here was a guy who took off without knowing where he was going, didn't stop and ask directions, and when he wound up in the wrong place made it sound like that's what he meant to do all along. So I say, hats off to good old Chris Columbus, the patron saint of guys who are lost but won't admit it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Odd duck?

I know, I'm an odd duck in some ways (I'm sure my wife would say "some?"), but let her get her own blog and say it. I'm sticking with some, and if I were any more normal I'd have no fun at all. We all have our idiosyncrisies and peculiarities.

Most of the time we're unaware of them - like how we pronounce (or mis-pronounce) words - that's what thirty years of living in Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee will do to you. Somewhere along the way I picked up "ya'll" and I just can't get rid of it. The word "measure" comes out funny - at least my wife and kids laugh at me whenever I use the word (it sounds just fine to me). My wife did finally get me to switch to calling those southern nuts pĭ–kawnś instead of peḗ –kans.
I like big coffee mugs – at elders meetings on Sunday mornings, I am mercilessly ridiculed for the size of my cup (it really only holds three cups), but I don’t see any reason to keep getting up and down for refills (and I only refill it once). You would think I emptied the entire coffee pot with it.

I’ve always like canvas deck shoes – the cheap ones they sell at Wal-Mart. My daughter especially would make fun of how out of style they were (as though I care anything about style). Ironically, a couple of years ago she looked down and said “cool shoes, Dad.” I asked her if she was being sarcastic (I don’t know where she picked up that quality), and she said, “no, really – they’re in style now.”

See, if you keep doing something long enough, it’s bound to be cool sooner or later. Now, if I can just hold on long enough for the next wave of paisley ties…

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fall has Arrived

It's a beautiful time of year here in Glenwood Springs. We had our first frost last night, though on the other side of town, a little bit higher in elevation, they've already had snow. The valley is awash in color. The reds, yellows, oranges and greens of the oak brush on the mountain sides, and the incredible golds of the aspen turning. We've seen the last of the summer-like highs and are settled in for a few weeks of 50's and 60's - cool in the morning, warming up in afternoon. Perfect weather for hiking and fishing and outdoor activities. It's a great place to live (or visit, if you happen to be lucky enough to have a friend in the area).

The snow will be here soon enough, and our thoughts will turn to snow tires and snow shovels, but for right now, we are enjoying Fall for all it's worth.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oops! This is what happens when you let your blog go inactive for too long. They put you into limbo. I guess I'd better get back in the swing of things and start writing again. Check back tomorrow...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Are They / They Are Among Us

All Coloradoans are proud and relieved – I know I am. We are leading the nation in a much needed area of concern: Space aliens. Yesterday, Jeff Peckman made a proposal before the Denver city council to establish an Extra-Terrestrial Affairs Commission, and at a bargain price of only 75,000 taxpayer dollars. I can tell you’re already jealous. I’m surprised that some city in California hasn’t beat us to it (and for all I know they may have already), but it is still a proud day for Colorado. We will have a detailed plan for what to do, not if, but when we encounter space aliens. Our emergency workers will be trained in how to respond to run-ins with extra-terrestrials. And to think, I would have been ignorant had I happened to meet a space alien before this training was available. It makes me thankful there are people who have the time and interest to look after me in my ignorance. The only obstacle now to getting it on the ballot in November is 4,000 signatures. Sign me up! It will be a perfect complement to the other major issue in the November election.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Roofing 101

I didn’t realize there was such a controversy over hammer versus air gun for putting shingles on your roof. In fact, the only one I’ve heard who thinks that old school is superior is Greg, but then again, Greg has never seen me swing a hammer. I figured it up – each bundle of shingles has 22 shingles and I have 150 bundles of shingles (plus 9 boxes of ridge cap shingles) to lay. Putting 5 nails in each shingle would mean, if I was able to drive each nail with one swing – which I can’t – I would swing the hammer more than 17,000 times (and that’s not even taking into account the misses, which would be many, where I put a divot into the face of the shingle or bend a nail sideways). So far with an air gun, in one day, I’ve put up about 500 sq. ft. of shingles and haven’t noticed a badly driven nail yet. I do carry a hammer for the occasional double tap (two nails at once), and drive the second one in, but other than that, I’ve only seen a remarkable consistency from the air nailer that I couldn’t begin to accomplish by hammer.

The real story was Saturday morning, when Brent and his two sons, Nick and Jessie showed up to help me get the shingles on the roof. Brent, who is a member at our church, is a general contractor here in the valley, and one of the most sought-after in Aspen (which is saying a lot!). He heard that I was going to roof my own house and knew I was in over my head. He offered to come over and help, and despite my polite refusal, he insisted it was no problem. So he, Nick and Jessie (both also in the construction business) showed up on their day off. Brent brought his skid loader (a fork lift on steroids) and lifted the pallets of shingles up above the porch where we carried them up to the different areas of the roof. After about an hour, I knew I was in trouble – I definitely wasn’t up to the task physically. The bundles weigh 80 lbs. and hoisting them on your shoulder and carrying them up a steep pitched roof to the top and stacking them is more than my sedentary lifestyle had prepared me for (who was I kidding thinking I could do it myself carrying each bundle up a ladder to the top of the roof?) These guys were like machines – they weren’t even breathing hard! I told Brent I swore I would never be out-worked by a 20 year old, and he said, “Don’t feel bad – these aren’t just any 20 year olds – these are my sons. They have been doing this since 4th grade.”

When we had finished getting the shingles on the roof, Brent started nailing the shingles – we have a skylight above the entryway and he also knew it was going to be more complicated than I realized. So he not only nailed about 20 rows of shingles, but cut, bent and put the flashing around the skylight. Watching him work was like watching an artist. He did everything so skillfully and precisely – he never had to stop and think how to do something – it was all second nature. I watched in awe… and more than a little humbled – not because I didn’t know as much as Brent, but because before that moment, I didn’t even know that I didn’t know – the worst kind of ignorance. That I thought I could do this by myself was the height of arrogance – and what a mess I would have made if I had. But Brent and his sons not only got me well on the way, and instructed me on the details I would need to handle, but literally saved my life (even helping carry the shingles, I was probably on the verge of a physical meltdown). I am indebted to three guys who were angels from God.