Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Of course the fun came when the tower became the target of flying stuffed animals. If only tearing down our own monuments was so easy.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
At dinner, we passed around the bowls filled with various makings for the tacos. Like most nights, we had cooked our own food, preparing for when society was re-entered. Each took their portion, leaving some for the next.
When at last the salsa made its round, one young man poured it all upon his plate and then passed the empty jar. When he refused to share, I told him I would have to portion it out. As I reached across the table, his fork slashed out like a striking snake. In the nick of time, my hand pulled back.
My eyes lifting to meet his, found his plate of food on it's way. Salsa flooded into my eyes, burning, clouding them from the incoming jar that had become a missile. Off my forehead, it crashed to the ground. Over the table, I met him with a bear hug and held on until help could arrive.
Life can seem so out of control at times. While there are some things we can control, there is much that we can not. Coming to grips with this is a battle, as we struggle with what we feel entitled to and go to great lengths to get our way, blurring the lines between what we want and what we need. The need to control makes us do things we never thought we would. Our faith seems to be greater in our own effort to hold things together. At least that is something I have to fight inside myself, daily.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Head in hands, he sat mute, staring at the depths of the waiting room floor. How did he find himself at the courthouse? How had it gotten to this point? He shared of his family and how his wife was trying to keep him from his little girl. Oh how he desired to see her. Today a judge would decide.
His mother sat next to him. Her despair written on her face. Her maternal instincts set on preservation of this shattered family. She wondered what would tear them apart. Who would be so vicious.
Their stories plucked my heart, playing a sorrowful dirge. Wishing them well, I roamed to another waiting room in search of my acquaintances.
Down the hall, another room with flickering florescent. The only colors contrasting the drab decor, purple and blue that painted her face. She sat crying. Her mother had accompanied her as well and tinkled the chin of a swaddled baby. Through her tears she told of nights filled with terror. Blows rained upon her fragile form and a desperate attempt at escape. Today a judge could grant that freedom.
The pitch of the music changed, my heart sick. What could I offer, in silence I pondered.
Each story, a reflection of the same light traveling through a prism. As I looked at each facet, the light changed to reflect the view of the story teller. Having only heard one, without looking through another, how my opinion would be different. Even my own lens of experience, changes the view.
Through what prism will you view?
Anyway, back to the Peeps. They really are scary things. Peeps, it seems, colonized our planet in an effort to escape the ammonia rich environment on Venus, at least that is what scientists Scully and Mulder shared back in 1996. There is an abundance of scientific research on these invaders.
Tried to set one on fire once. Animal rights groups are probably cringing, but lets face it they are sugar and oxygen mostly. I rather like my oxygen, unsweetened. The way we take care of our oxygen around here, they will most likely have to move on to another planet soon enough. Wonder where they will go next?
Keep an eye on these pesky critters. When they start to disappear, you may want to start considering real estate somewhere outside our atmosphere. Or maybe we could just stop treating our planet like a trash dump.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
There eyes wide with wonder, six fearless adventurers took off around the house. The obvious treasures were gobbled up quickly as the real search began for the elusive few remaining eggs.
On the window sill, only slightly above their wandering eyes sits a bright blue. From the crook of the tree peaks a marvelous yellow.
Cole stands over the lid to the well house, ready to drop the eight feet down into the gloomy shadows in search of booty. Others walk ever shrinking circles of desperation. Right here, a finger points, smiles return as they run in glee to capture yet another.
We are all searching for something, yet sometimes we make it harder than it really is. Our eyes easily skip over what is right before them, thinking it can not be that easy. Sometimes it takes another to point it out for the scales to fall from our eyes. Or seeing what is just out of reach, we declare it is too much and sit with basket in hand.
I feel that way at times. More recently as I am job hunting. I have been blessed with an amazing part time job, but it still keeps me from my family more than I would like. Still chasing my Easter Egg.
What is it that you are searching for?
Monday, March 23, 2009
"When picking up chicks, be gentle, but firm so they do not slip through your fingers. They are soft to pet, but can peck pretty hard. Hold them close to your chest, they like to hear your heart."
"I know how to do it dad!", then his focus shifted from chickens, "Besides, girls give you cootie pocks!"
"What pray tell are cootie pocks?"
"When a kiss spreads all over your entire body! It's gross!"
Well, some lessons will have to wait until he gets a little older. For now we'll settle for making sure the chicks are still alive when they get back in the tub. Happy Spring!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Came across this the other day. It was like a little treasure I had misplaced and found again hiding in the dark recesses behind the couch. Got me to thinking and so thought I would share. Peace.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The smallest of the family, who had just a few minutes ago been bouncing off the walls, said "Hands and feet. Without them I could not do a lot."
His brothers and sisters laughed, picked on him, thinking he was joking around. When it got to me, I echoed his prayer. For me it was a gentle reminder, sometimes it is the most simple things we can take for granted.
What are you thankful for today?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Yesterday, I went to lunch with Logan. I try to do that at least once a month, and it is typically a blast because they let me stick around for recess. I almost had that privilege taken away.
When I was in elementary school, we had a principal, Mr. Garber. He loomed over us, tall and skinny with fingers like daggers. He must have been raised by ninjas, because you would never hear him coming, before his long, bony finger shot into your collar bone. Like the Vulcan nerve pinch, he would completely incapacitate the most wily adversary. At that point it was too late and "mercy" and "uncle" would not alleviate the suffering. You did not play around in the cafeteria.
Lunch yesterday was chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, green beans and an orange. After consuming everything, in an attempt to influence our young in the way or veggies (especially after yesterday's blog), I began to eat my orange. Oranges can be fun, because you can make teeth out of them. Always good for a laugh.
It became like a virus, kids three tables over saw me, laughed and proceeded to make teeth themselves. Hapless cafeteria workers tried to staunch the revolt, but were thwarted when one ingenious child decided to stick a whole orange in his mouth. If it was funny going in, it was fall in the floor hilarious trying to get it out. Hundreds of kids joined the uprising, as I came to the realisation I was doomed and began to flinch at the memory of those fingers.
I got busted by a stoolie at my table and had to apologize. Luckily, the cafeteria lady showed mercy and I was allowed to play on the playground.
Influence is a funny thing, you don't have to do a whole lot to use. Each of us influence many each day, without even thinking about it. Maybe it is the lack of thinking about it, that leads us into these situations, where we wonder how it ever got to this point. Oh well, better go as I have to write "I will not not play in the cafeteria", 100 times before lunch.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
"You must try everything on your plate!"
The call to arms was raised, as scouts peered across the expansive battlefield that was the dinner table. They are good for you, what sinister propaganda of the parental machine. If they were good for us, why did they taste so bad and cause our stomachs to evict their foulness in putrid streams of bile?
We constantly devised plans to thwart the veggie loving army and elude their consumption. My brother, in one attempt, dumped pepper on his mashed potatoes until they become gray. Tears running down his face, we gasped for oxygen, laughing as he was made to eat them.
Cheaking the veggies and asking to go to the bathroom would not work. Dogs and cats turned up their noses at collaborative consumption. Accidentally dropping your plate off the table may work once, by you only avoided your fate for a night. It was a lonely place, in exile with a plate of beats, hoping that the tea was strong enough to wash the taste from our mouths.
Trying everything was defined as a spoonful, and my eventual victory came in measuring a spoonful of limas and then taking them one at a time like pills, washing them whole into my gullet. Hoping they would not germinate and eat me from the inside.
I have finally succumbed to the mind control, as vegetables do not hold sway over my taste buds anymore. I rather enjoy them, except the lima beans. Permanent scarring on the palette still causes retching at the mere smell. Children...there is no hope in defiance...resistance is futile...the vegetables will win!
"Don't leave that dirty uniform lying on the ground!", called Wonder Woman.
"That's okay, I'll get it cleaned up in a jiff, as soon as I finish cutting the grass.", Flash blurted out as he zipped through, a streak of red left in his wake.
As I sit and listen to my boys playing superheroes, I wonder...I never remember playing with them this way, capturing the moments in between the daring rescues, the mundane that even superheroes must endure. It gives me a chuckle just to listen to the dialogue, as someone uses their super strength to take out the trash.
I guess with most heroes there are thousands of moments that lead up to that one shining moment when they are needed. Or maybe it is in those thousands of mundane moments that we are the true heroes and paving the way for our sidekicks as they grow up.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Reading the newspaper the other day, maybe for some encouragement, right? Everything going on is so much fun. Then I stumbled upon this...
Congress Huddles on College Football...seems that since schools accept state and federal dollars, the federal government is getting involved in college football playoffs. Before you get on the Democrat big government bandwagon, it is co-sponsored by a Republican. Does not list who the sponsor of the bill is, but it would require that they drop the term "National Champion" or face penalties. Another bill would withhold federal funds from colleges that do not participate in a playoff system.
Is it just me or should the flag be thrown and 10 yards assessed for walking around the field aimlessly? Where are our priorities?
Monday, March 16, 2009
Post your Final Four, Final Two, Champion and score of the final game. Winner gets a book out of my amazing book collection. I'll tailor the prize to the winner.
Good luck all!
I don't know what it is
Something's wrong with our eyes
We're seeing things in a different way
And God knows it ain't His
It sure ain't no surprise
~Aerosmith, Living on the Edge
The other day I was playing hide and seek with the boys and having used up all the typical places, decided to have a little fun. A couple pieces of large cardboard, laying around from an art project, draped nicely over maybe a third of me as I placed myself in the center of the living room. Giggles forewarned me of the impending pounce, mere seconds before Cole crashed into me.
"How did you ever find me?", I inquired with a big smile.
"X-ray vision. I can see right through things."
"Really, what do you see when you look at me.", I played along.
"I see you. Your hair and clothes."
I did not have the heart to tell him that it did not take X-ray vision to see that. But I guess it takes quite a bit to see beyond the externals when our eyes fall upon another.
I was quite challenged by @markbatterson the other day, when he was talking about Brennan Manning's new book and quoted, "The Father not only loves you, he likes you." What a different perspective it must take...
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Precursor to modern day "reality television" we set up tape recorders and cameras to capture the intruders from the mystical realm. Sounds played back, kept our imaginations running wild, any attempts at sleep banished.
As I grew older, these pursuits lost interest, buried in the recesses of my mind. Once though, they crashed back into the realm of possibility. My cousin stayed over at the house, we were up most of the night playing Tecmo Bowl. He had gone into the front of the house to get a soda, when I heard a female voice call my name beckoning me to come to the front of the house. Halfway down the hall I met my cousin, who had heard a similar call for him. A quick search of the house for mischievious friends, came up naught. We never came up with an explanation, just a renewed fascination in what goes bump in the night.
Happy Friday the 13th! Any ghost stories you would like to share?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
She was born in a wood pile, found by a real estate customer of mine, and given to me. Miko, our cat, has been with us over 10 years now. She has slowed down a bit, but always keeps life interesting. She seemed to have the most fun when we lived in Florida. Chasing all the lizards for fun and a snack and exploring around the lake, until...
One day she was there, the next day she was gone. We searched high and low for her, asking neighbors, who were familiar with her antics. Climbing the screens on their porches to get on their roof, was a favorite exercise. This was heart breaking to my wife, who is a cat person, but as the days went on our attention changed to our first son, who was born two months later. Our hope of seeing Miko again was lost.
Logan's first week home from the hospital, we heard a soft meow from the backyard. Surprised, we went to see whose cat had stopped by to visit. It was Miko. She was skin and bones and had long gashes down both her back legs. Taking her to the vet, we found she had been a victim of alligator attack.
Ever year, we would get a gator or two visiting the lake and have to get the local croc hunter to come remove him. Many a day I watched kids playing in the lake, waiting... Miko was probably taking a quick drink when the gnashing jaws crashed out of the water, her leap not quite fast enough she escaped, but with a permanent reminder. She probably holed up to gain strength those two months, living on bugs or mice.
She has been with us many years, and several moves, since then. Now she is more like a mother to the boys, sleeping on their bed, following them around to keep and eye on them. The hair still does not grow on the scars that tattoo her back legs, memories of her past adventures.
"You are almost there.", they encouraged us as we met them, sitting on a bench, by the last incline before the farm.
He was retired, she a simple bus driver. Together, they were happy. They had been coming here for years, discovering new things with each trip. About the land, about life, about love.
They take more rests along the way, sitting by each others side. Each moment captured, the life wrestled out of it. They spoke to everyone they saw, or would give them the time. Watching them stare out into the valleys, I wondered what they saw with wisened eyes.
I feel there is much we could learn from those sitting by the side of the path.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
these are the rules:
1/put the link of the person who tagged you on your blog
2/write the rules
3/mention 6 things or habits of no real importance about you
4/tag 6 persons adding their links directly
5/alert the persons that you tagged them
-i read around 150-180 pages an hour. luckily i love to read so the "talent" is not wasted.
-i would willingly be deserted on an island, as long as i could take my family. would probably prefer the wilderness for desertion though.
-i can reach my nose with my tongue, and then some.
-if you ask, i will tell, i am not ashamed.
-i was once a clown named sunshine, ok maybe i have a little shame.
-i have a large scar down the side of my leg from diving through barbed wire fence. why were we in such a hurry, well that's a story for another day.
whom shall i tag: dotcom, daniel, roughruby, rich, jake, alicia.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
a. Logan creating a panorama of color on grandma and granddaddy's steps for when they return.
b. If there is any particular color in creation he was wearing it. We met at the food court @ the mall in Roanoke. Definite personality, inside and out.
Care taken in the creation of each. Each with unique finger prints upon them, reflecting their creator. Who would tell them otherwise?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I was once young and dumb, now I am not quite so young. Reading Jon's words in Lynchburg Living this month got me thinking back over my life and some of the times I came close to the edge. There were times when that seemed the point of adolescence, to see how close we could come without taking the fall, or at least one not too high.
Back in high school, One night I was hanging out with my cousin, with nothing to do but wait for our friend Chappy to arrive. I don't know if we had watched one too many westerns with stagecoach robberies or played off our internal drive to be misfits, but we got the bright idea that we would ambush him as he came up the road.
This was a pretty easy task as my cousin lived down a gravel road that wound through the woods to the top of a hill. An expanse of trees created a bubble of solitude from the neighbors and a canvas to paint our adventures on.
We crept through the woods until we found the perfect spot, only one neighbor between us and his house, and they seemed to be in for the night. The thing about gravel roads, you can hear people coming for miles. Gravels crunching was our starter pistol and we pulled dead trees across the road to impede his progress.
Slinking back into the shadows, our hearts beat like bass drums threatening to give us away. When the car came to a stop, those drums nearly stopped. It was not Chappy. The man unfolded himself from the car, looked at the barricade and pulled his pistol from beneath his seat.
"Come out now!", maybe he thought we were crazy enough to be target practice.
Dry sweat flooded out of my pores, as I wondered how long I could hold my breath. Barely twenty feet of trees separated us from certain doom. We dare not move or make a noise. After what seemed like an eternity, the man removed the branches and went on to the neighbor's house. What once was fun, had turned into a nightmare. I don't remember much else about that night, memory lost to the overriding fear.
I am unsure the statute of limitations on getting a whooping from your parents, but expect to find out next time I see them. I was once young and dumb, now I am not quite so young and maybe a little wiser.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I read your blog on Love and this is what came out. Love Lies. Not in the bad sense. Love Lies Down Before Me. That was the sentiment.
In Between by Vagabond King
When you've got a lot to say.
And all the words get in the way.
Is the price too high to pay?
When you don't know where you stand.
When you hold a broken hand.
Will you give it all back again?
Do you hear me when I cry?
Do you know the reasons why?
Did you think of me tonight?
Will you wonder where I am?
Will you wonder who I'm with?
Will you wonder what I did?
Where there is You.
There is just Me.
Between us is Everything.
mentally kicking myself for not stopping, i try to run the calculations in my head. how far back was the last gas station, how far forward until the next? when was the last time i saw a car on this road? would they stop for me? would i want them to? is it too far to walk? if i cut through the woods, what lives there? do i go forward or back?
but alas, i made it to the next stop. what was sheer terror a few minutes ago is now forgotten. full of fuel i am ready to continue forward. how often we let our fear of the unknown overtake us and keep us rooted in or place, neither reaching forward or back, stuck. a sad life indeed, never reaching our destination.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
He could see daylight ahead in the distance, he was almost home free. His heart raced, only so much faster than his pursuers. Not daring to look over his shoulder, he pulled on all his reserves to make the last sprint.
Seconds later, my cousin lay bloody and broken among the shards of glass, all that was left of the sliding door. He never saw it coming as he smashed through on his way out of the house, during a game of tag.
Love can be like that, sneak up on you when you least expect it and then leave you broken and bloody. Long after the shards of glass have been picked up and removed, there is that sliver still stuck in you, making it's way from your hands to your head, and ultimately to your heart. That sliver cuts like a surgeons knife though nerve ending, separating you from feeling to stop the pain. Making you wary of love and what it has to offer.
I have been there. After high school, I found my heart ripped out, stepped on and spray painted black. I think the spray paint was just for spite, lol. I wandered for years, feeling little, promising myself I would never give myself away again. It was not worth it. I could get what I wanted and then slip away like a thief in the night, leaving the pain for someone else to deal with.
Through those three years, as much as I was protecting my heart, it was filled with unmet longings. I was searching for something to make me whole again, something to make me feel again. I tried to find that "missing piece" in many ways, but left with bloated tongue, I thirsted still. Then I met me wife. And then I found God again.
It's alright to be afraid, David, because this part won't be like a comic book. Real life doesn't fit into little boxes that were drawn for it. ~Mr. Glass (Unbreakable)
Life does not fit into neat little boxes, and neither will your heart. What once started as protection, becomes the parasite, sucking the life out of your heart. We have to remove the splinter of glass and stop listening to the lies it tells. If you love again, will it hurt? Yes, it does sometimes. I have found though, that love is greater than a few shards of broken glass.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Snow ball fights, reminiscent of landings on the beach during the great wars, left us with rosy cheeks and a few bruises. We followed the trail of snow monsters, in search of their lair. Sledding and snow boarding, filled our hearts with glee until we collapsed panting on the cushion of white.
Johnny Bob joined our family today, although he'll probably only stick around for a day or two. He has an aversion to the sun. There is just something about the snow that gives everything a freshness, as if you are seeing it for the first time or in it's pure form.
Don't mind the date, my camera was acting up and until I get the cord for the Mac, I am stuck posting at the library and can't edit the pix.
The fear I had though was that someone would come along, at an inopportune time, and pull a shade that was an exterior wall, thus exposing whatever was going on inside the house. Maybe I was feeling guilty that day, thus exposing my faults, or maybe it was my failure at the LGN diet coming back to haunt me.
In life, the shades rarely stay down and sooner or later, what has been hidden gets exposed. The attempt at keeping them hidden, only compounds the stress when we eventually have to deal with our issues. I have found that having a group of people you trust, that will come alongside you, is essential in life. Who do you allow to see behind the curtain, in your life?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Along the way, Carl learns several important things. The power in saying Yes, is found in embracing new experiences. We miss out on a lot of life by saying "No" or believing that we are not good enough to accomplish something, or that we have nothing to give. On the other hand, Carl realises that you can not say yes to everything. Relationships lose their specialness and little time is left for the important things.
I have found that when you say "yes" to one thing, you are saying "no" to another. In other words, you are choosing to place the importance of one activity over another. There are many good things we need need to say "no" to so we can be great at what is really important in our lives. At the same time, we don't need to let our disbelief in ourselves limit what we choose to attempt.