Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A little fence isn't going to stop me

OK so I finally found a spot where I can come and clear my mind and do some writing. It is a little ways away from our home but it's worth the drive. Maybe about 10 or so miles but it is a place where I can sit and park and hear the surf and see the ocean. There is just something about the ocean that inspires me to write. Anyway, I drive up today and this guy is putting up a fence right in front of my wonderful view. A FENCE!!! It's not like people have been walking all over the area and dogs have been pooping the place up. It looks nice and you can still see the ocean through the slats but it STILL kind of hacks me off that it obstructs my view a little.

Oh well, I can still hear the surf and see the ocean. I will just have to learn to adjust. Who knows, maybe they don't want me parking here and writing. Doesn't matter I am still going to write and someday I will look back on this and laugh.
Speaking of Dogs- Man's best friend, I am feeling kind of guilty for not bringing my Bailey with me today. She ALWAYS wants to go where ever I go. Even if it is just a ride she loves to go. I could be going out to the car to get something and she will be in the car as soon as I open the door. She will jump in and head to the back window immediately, just waiting to go so she can bark at something. She loves to bark at people, or other dogs and especially anything in the back of a pick up truck. It could be bags of trash, it doesn't matter she will bark at it and be mad if it doesn't bark back.

She has been a faithful friend and we love her so but since the girls came her world has been turned upside down and she has had to take 2nd and even 3rd place when she was so used to being first place. Oh well, she still loves us and puts up with us. Even when we are attacked in the middle of the night by our girls.

That's right, Aly had a bad dream and woke us up about 3:15am and climbed into bed with us, THEN about an hour or so (I think, I was in a sleep funk) Lili wakes up crying for the second time wanting to see Daddy. Well , Shelley has to pee really bad so she drops off Lili with me, remember I am in the sleep funk, and Lili immediately wants to lay down beside me but she can't because Aly is there, SO she begins her "WHY DADDEEEE???" and wailing like I have chopped off her left leg. SO I let her slide off of me onto, you guessed it. But of course, Aly can sleep through a hurricane (which is good living here in Florida) and it doesn't effect her at all but I have mortally wounded Lili and she will never recover from her DADDEEEE dropping her off and letting her land on Aly.

In the mean time, Bailey is the smart one and gets up and moves to the recliner because the big dog (that's me) starts barking that "everyone is up now" and so on and so on...

Everything calms back down and we all get to sleep until Aly needs to warm up her feet. Well, the place she chooses to warm her feet is NOT my choice place. She loves to wiggle her feet under my butt and sometimes IN my butt crack giving me a serious wedgie that I DO NOT like especially when I am in a sleep funk and WANT to be asleep. SO I tell her if she is going to play then she needs to go ahead and get up which in turn hurts her feelings because she is still sleepy and wants to sleep but she thinks the big dog is till barking too so she complies. Sometimes it's nice to be the big dog.

And this is my life.
You gotta love it.
I sure do!!
(and you thought this post was about a fence to keep our Bailey in didn't you)


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What a View

Today I am sitting in front of the beautiful Atlantic ocean enjoying the waves and the breeze. It is a bit chilly I might add although it is definitely worth it. I am amazed at the number of people coming and going to the beach to walk or pick up sea shells or just look at the ocean. I am parked by a ramp that you can drive down onto the beach if you have a four wheel drive vehicle. Alas, I do not and that is probably a good thing because I am someone who could get a four wheeler stuck I am sure. The picture above was taken at this spot a few months ago when we were out and about. I wanted you to see it so you could be jealous. Also it is considerably more choppy and many more waves crashing ashore than in this picture. Remember I said it was breezy.
I choose to come here today to spend some time in introspection. Some renewal time alone, just me and my thoughts and Rush Limbaugh on the radio for a while. Yes I am a fan and I am happy to admit that. I have learned a lot from him and am not ashamed to admit it. Anyway, I was listening to his program today as a distraction from my own problems, of which there are many. And it was a welcome distraction at that. After yelling at my more than understanding wife and putting the "fear of daddy" in my children's eyes, I knew it was time to make some decisions in my life, some concrete, definitive decisions. Maybe I am in the throws of a midlife crisis. Perhaps I am just feeling "blue", my metabolism is kind of slow so that would explain why "blue Monday" would hit me on Tuesday. (for those of you who are unaware, yesterday is designated as "blue Monday" because so many people take their own lives on that day. Due to the holidays having been over and the holiday bills racking up etc. Sad huh?)
Anyway, I am not in the end your life group by a long shot, been there done that and have the scars to prove it. Not any good reason to even contemplate that. No my need is for a time to re group, recoup, rethink, rework, revitalize, whatever else "re" I can think of and perhaps some new terms that would apply. Brooding, contemplation, deep thought, heart searching, introversion, meditation, reflection, rumination, scrutiny, self-absorption, self-examination, self-observation, self-questioning, and soul-searching. (I love
The funny thing is, the more I think about myself, the more I am drawn to others and their situations. People I have no real idea about just one of those "feelings" you get sometime. I attribute it to the Holy Spirit speaking to my soul, my heart. For example. As I am sitting here writing this a man pulls up about 30 feet from me in his car. Apparently he too is here for the view and a bit of quiet time. I can't help but notice that he has his hand covering his eyes as if he is weeping. I don't notice shoulder shrugging or body jolts. Of course I am not staring at him I am simply noticing him in my peripheral vision as I type. But occasionally I do look at him and notice that his face is red and his eyes are too. My heart reaches out to him and I begin to pray for him. Just that simple. I am praying "Lord please help this man. If he knows you then please draw him closer. If he doesn't then please draw him to you. And if there is something I am supposed to be doing then please give me the knowledge and strength to do it." If you know me and how I think then you know I am already imagining this guy pulling out a gun and blowing his brains out right in front of me (that's the dramatic side of me) and I am trying to figure out if I should get out of my car and waddle over to his car and maybe ask him if I can help in some way when suddenly he reverses his car and drives away.
Hmmmm, well that was a little weird. Then about 5 minutes later another guy pulls in at the same spot and just sits and looks at the ocean for a while and then drives off. Undoubtedly I am at a prime spot from which to view the ocean on this stretch of highway. SO I kind of just attribute all of that to coincidence. But is there really anything that is coincidence to a believer?
There have been too many amazing, even miraculous "things" that have happened in my life to accredit them all to coincidence.
As I sit here writing, I am overwhelmed at the very thought of these incidences flooding my mind, one right after the other, reminding me of the awesome power and detailed interest my Heavenly Father has for me as His child. And I mourn for the time I have waisted not enjoying the comfort of His loving embrace and sheltering wing.
As I look out over this wondrous scene I see so many sights that speak to me and perhaps to even you, whoever you are reading this (once again no coincidences). There is a sail boat off in the distance that has drifted past me. Actually I can't even see it anymore. It began at my far left and now has drifted way down past me on my right. I remember looking at it as it got closer and noticed that it had no sails up. On a windy day like today, no sails?! I was wondering why and I realized that maybe it didn't need sails today. It was just going to make it on the power of the wind moving the boat. I could be wrong of course and they were using their motor, but to me the message I got was from the sailboat enjoying the peace of just being moved by the power of the wind.
I have only been out past the breaking waves in a boat once that I can remember and the quietness of it always struck me. Kind of like when you walk out on a pier, way way out on a pier and you no longer hear the breaking waves, just the wind of the ocean in your ears. Anyway, this sailboat spoke to me of the turbulence my little family has been in this past year (and then some). How we have not had wind in our sails sometimes and even if we had sails and didn't have the strength to put them up we still were kept moving along by the power of the wind.
I am reminded that I have known my Heavenly Father for some time now and if you are arrogant like me you would think that I would have Him figured out by now and know how any given situation will work out. Well of course I don't and He continually amazes me with something new. Something totally off the charts. Way out in left field and yet ideally suited for me and my little clan. What an awesome God, what a loving father, what a magnificent adventure He plans and executes for us His children. (What am I referring to? Come back soon and I will tell you.)
And just think of the people who don't have this relationship with Him. It breaks my heart. Just as I imagine it hurts His. SO much pain and no where to go for healing. SO many who are looking and think that they have an answer, but not THE answer.
Well, I have typed myself into a real need to pee. AND there are no places to go and pee around here so I will have to end my diatribe here and ask that anyone reading this please continue to pray for our family and especially me as leader of our family. I know God is at work. We have asked Him to be. We have seen His hand and continue to rest in His mighty grip. However, we are only human and our patience runs thin sometimes and I lose my mind and yell at my wife and scare the kids. For those of you who have never done this you won't understand, but for those of you who have, well you know.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to drop in. I appreciate all your kind comments and encouragement. Love to you all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We'll keep the light on for ya !

When I was just a young boy, not a little boy, for I never was "little", I remember laying in my bed and looking up at the ceiling wondering. I would wonder about everything. I wondered how clouds were formed. I wondered how ketchup was made. I wondered why there were mosquitoes. I wondered why I had a penis and my sister had a vagina. Of course I am still working on that one. I wondered where God came from.

It made sense to me that if we were created, that we came from somewhere, and I accepted that and there was a God who started it all up and I accepted that, then He must have had someone who created Him and so on and so on etcetera etcetera etcetera. I would usually end my "wondering" with a sigh and a realization that I was still just a young boy and that I would find all that out later on as I got older. I would then turn over away from the light and fall asleep.

I always slept with the light on because I was a "frady cat". I needed to be able to see what was in my room at any given moment of the night, without having to turn a light on. I needed to be able to focus my attention to that weird creaking noise that would happen at any given moment in the middle of the night. I did NOT believe it was just the "house settling". I wanted to see that paranoid drug crazed maniac BEFORE he plunged the nine inch knife into my heart. I wanted to be able to SCREAM before I left this planet. I wanted others to hear my warning shout so that they could save themselves.

Perhaps if you had grown up at "Collinwood" you would have slept with the light on too. For those of you who don't recognize the reference to "Collinwood" it is from a series in the late 60's early 70's called Dark Shadows and the house in that series could have been the house I grew up in. You see I grew up, well until I was 16 years old in a beautiful old home that belonged to my Grandparents. We lived with my Grandparents in their 13 room mansion near the big city of Columbia SC. We lived with them because my father (their son) was an alcoholic and absentee a lot and well we would not have had another place to live if it had not been for my Grandparents looking out for us.

My Mother was the faithful, stable, responsible one who made sure we had all we needed and a lot of what we wanted. She gave up her Independence and suffered through years of "sucking hind tit" living with my Grandparents. Now don't misunderstand me. I love my Grandparents and am so blessed to have grown up around them but I understand now as an adult things I did not begin to understand or even "wonder" about as a child. She never begrudged sacrificing her happiness for us so that we could be "brought up" in a secure environment full of love. She was an awesome woman to have done that. And she never told me, not once in my lifetime that I was silly to be afraid of the dark. She seemed to understand my need to have a light on. She never spoke the words, "there is nothing there in the dark that is not there in the light" although there were plenty of others who did.

Quite frankly I don't understand what the hell that means anyway. It certainly never comforted me. The whole point was to be able to see. Also, I never was one of those who believed that if you covered your head with your bedspread that you would "magically" not be seen by whatever monster or psycho was getting ready to chop or eat your head off. I think because of the nature of my "bedroom" I was forced from an early age to adapt and "evolve" into a higher learned young man who could stand in the face, or perhaps in my case, lay in the face of sheer terror and stare it down until the fog of sleepiness exercised it's power and I fell asleep. And I am here today as a testimony to the will to survive.

I have to attempt to describe my bedroom so that you will get the whole picture. My "bedroom" was in fact designed to be a library in this home. It had many built in shelves and a built in desk in the corner. It had so many shelves with pictures and books and busts of people and pictures of family members etc that even though it was my bedroom it never really felt like a bedroom. The room itself was adjacent to the downstairs living room or "den" as many refer to it. We always called it a living room because it's where we did most of our living. Anyway, the room was about 16 feet by 14 feet give or take a few feet. It was a huge room. It had bi fold doors at four entrances. Those kind of doors that are in front of a lot of closets. Two of the doorways were blocked so that we could make use of the space. But they still had a creepy feel to me. All of the entrances had those little windows over them which looked really neat but made me sooooo paranoid that those monsters were looking in my room even when the doors were shut.

The ceilings, if you will remember at which I stared at to wonder, were made of pine. Dark wood with protruding beams and lots and lots of knots in the wood. Perfect for imagining faces in them. At one end of the room was a full floor to ceiling mirror that was about 7 feet across. BUILT IN!! And at the other was a set of beautiful giant windows that took up the entire wall and were covered at night by giant curtains that you had to pull shut at the FAR end. In other words, when you entered this creepy but beautiful room at night when no light was on, you had to go to the other doorway, which was blocked off remember, just to turn on the light. THEN you had to go to the super creepy window and close the curtains, making sure to hurry so that the homeless murderer could not see the apparent fear on your face. I mean it was just a little scary. Did I mention that there was a chandelier in the room and that the ceilings were 10 feet? Oh yeah. Now do you understand keeping the light on? I am having the hairs stand up on the back of my neck just remembering it.

Oh well, I don't know what got me started on this subject. Just needed to vent a little. I think I was wanting to talk about wondering. I think it's because my little heartbeat asks me questions that are so full of her wonder. I know that she wonders an awful lot. Currently she is wondering why Daddy yells so much and sleeps so long and cries sometimes.

I don't have to wonder. I know it's because I have left my first love and I miss Him terribly. I have been angry at Him for so long for a number of reasons. It's because of Him that I can wonder. And wander. Which He has let me do for some time now. I am angry that He directs me to the place I need to be and to learn what I need to learn. I think I am just like my little girl when she gets angry at me. She will lay in my arms and cry and grimace and I will talk sweet to her and love on her and she gets even angrier. But then after a while I can always make her laugh even if she doesn't want to. Just like me when I recall all that God has brought me through and I can laugh at this little bump in the road.

AND I know that I don't need the light on anymore but I sill like one in the other room so that it sheds a little light into our room. Of course for going to the bathroom and such. Because quite frankly I would rather not be awakened if a crazed maniac makes it into our room to send us to Jesus. I just hope it is quick and while I am DEEP asleep. Just rest assured there is a light on in this house somewhere at all times.

I hope that someone who gives my eulogy will be able to say that about me. And NOT that there was nobody home either.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy New Hone

My beautiful little laugh bunnies enjoying each other
and of course we enjoy them enjoying each other!!!!
Greetings and Happy New Year to all who read this.

Wow. A brand new slate wiped clean and ready for us to fill with memories to last us a lifetime. As I sit and write this I am reminded of the conversation I had with my oldest on New Year's Day. We were discussing what a "New Year" meant. I got to explain it to her in terms that I was sure she would understand, in fact they even made sense to me.

I told her that a new year was like a brand new piece of paper. Being four years old and LOVING to draw and practice writing this really hit home. She also LOVES clean white sheets of paper. I explained it like everyone was getting a new piece of paper to draw and write the events of the year on. Maybe their hopes and wishes and plans etc. I told her that the last year was just like the piece of paper you have been writing on and drawing on for a while and you have used up all the good areas to create in so you want to move to a "new" sheet of paper. She liked that definition so there.

Well if you are like me you NEED a new clean sheet of paper. If just to look at and ponder for a while. Maybe that's why you will read this on January 8 or later instead of January 1 or 2nd. It's not because my wife did not encourage me to write here. She said it could "hone" my writing skills and I could use some "honing" I am sure... what ever that means. I think I know but my mind is a big Swiss cheese block and I could be wrong so Valerie (if you read this) I will have to, well, OK, for ANYONE of you who know me you know I am about to go online to and find our what "hone" means. Hold on a sec. AND according to that website it means- to make more acute or effective; improve; perfect: to hone one's skills. So there. I DEFINITELY need to do that. As you can see from the rabbits I chase.

I think this is a year in which to hone some skills that are getting a bit rusty. Oh yeah the definition also refers to sharpening a knife or some other instrument in need of sharpening. Kind of like our minds I guess. So I will be honing. Perhaps here. Perhaps there. Keep a look out. Until then enjoy looking at three of the most beautiful creatures of our AWESOME GOD'S creation. Until I hone some more...

Celebrating Shelley's birthday.

AM I a blessed man or what???

Celebrating Aly's 4th birthday. She is making a wish here.

And getting that wish fulfilled here !

My two butterfly hunters. Enjoying a birthday gift.

Notice the unopened box in the background

with the writing "not gone through yet"