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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thank You

Thank you, Father, for the uncountable and innumerable blessings you've poured into my life.

Thank you Corinne for the love in your eyes and the touch of your hands and your humor and for putting up with mine and for sticking with me even when all seemed lost.

Thank you Lauren for being such a sweet, smart girl and for lighting up so brightly whenever you see us. I dare say I've learned as much from you as you have from me.

Thank you Mom and Dad for raising me, for teaching me the way I should go, for helping me to see the wonder and beauty and hope and humor in this life on God's Way.

Thank you Mikel and Shannon for adopting Corinne and I as surrogate parents, for letting us love you and Richie, Lauren and Sam, for coming home again, for letting Lauren still be such a huge part of my our life.

Thank you Katie for being one of the most wonderful people I know. Come home!

Thank you Ellyn for agreeing to be my only big sister (instead of my aunt), for forgiving me for NOT being there when you needed me a few years ago, and for loving me like only a big sister can. ;-)

Thank you Ben and Mandi for becoming more than "just cousins" to me this year. I love you both.

Thank you also to Lilly for being one of Lauren's best friends!

Thank you Steve for the excellent discussions of the truth and our life in it, for the many hours together on our bikes, for your patient and constant work to reunite something which looks permanently broken to so many others.

Thank you Mark for being there whenever anyone needs you, for always trying to be The Blessing that we seek for our brothers and sisters, and for being one of my oldest friends.

Thank you Darren for keeping me sharp, as David says, "like iron sharpeneth iron!" I've learned things from you, too, that I didn't seem to be learning anywhere else.

Thank you Frank and Bonnie for loving Lauren so much, and Frank for our new friendship!

Thank you Jim and Dee for trying to see past (or ignoring) my foibles, for being our friends, and for always reminding us to keep the Kingdom of God at the top of the list and the front of our minds.

Thank you Eric and Bonny for forgiving me for my temper (which got the better of me a couple years ago) and for everything you bring to our ecclesia.

Thank you Rich for the friendship and the work over the years. 7 ½ years!

Thank you Joseph and Andy for the work and the chance to make something(s) fun.

Thank you Corinne for the love and magic you work in the kitchen, and for how much you love to share it with our brothers and sisters (and anyone else who eats real food).

Thank you Robin for coming back into Corinne's life. She's my best friend, and you've made me happy by making her happier than I could do alone.

Thank you to Kim and Dave and Tiff and Joshua and Jed and Sarah and dozens or hundreds of other people, too many to list, who have brought love or peace or adventures or joy or laughter into my life, who have taught me something, or somehow managed to learn something from me.

Thank you, Father, for blessing us all so thoroughly, and for providing each of us as blessings to each other.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Our First Attempt at Camping

This was quite a weekend.

Occasionally, our ecclesia goes camping together. It's not every year, but probably 3 out of 4 years, in mid-June. Wanting to share new experiences with Lauren, I decided to give it a go this year.

I've never camped. Maybe 30 years ago, when I was little, Jed and I used to camp out in our back yard, but otherwise I've never camped. That's ridiculous.

We all got spots near each other at the Hopeville Pond State Park (thanks to Ellyn for organizing the whole weekend). Not being a camper, I have no tent so Mark and Michelle loaned us theirs, and an air mattress. Gary and Ellyn loaned us a couple of sleeping bags, and Lauren and I headed over there Friday evening.

Mark helped me set up the tent (he wasn't staying over night) and pump up the air mattress, then we all settled in around the campfire. At about 10:30 I said goodnight to everyone because she was falling asleep on my lap and I wanted to let her sleep in the tent. After a diaper change and lots of fun taking out my contacts near total darkness, she was curled up like a kitten on one of the sleeping bags, fast asleep.

That lasted for a little over an hour. More than enough time for me to fall into a deep sleep.

Then, she woke up. Happy. VERY VERY HAPPY. She came over to me. She patted my face. She laid her head down on my chest and said "aaaaahhhhhhh", then went back to sleep for three minutes. Then she kissed my cheek and slept with her head on my arm... for a few minutes. Then she laid down completely on top of me and slept for a few more minutes. Then she tried to get into the suitcases.

Lauren is so tired…This went on for hours. She wouldn't settle down, and would cry when I try to put her back on her own sleeping bag. Otherwise, she was perfectly happy... but also totally wide awake and unwilling to let me sleep.

At 3:45 AM I finally gave up. By 4, we were both back in the truck and headed home.

I think if I were ever facing torture, I could handle some pain, but they'd break me in a day or two with sleep deprivation.

I/we slept until late morning, then drove back to the camp site. Saturday night we didn't even try: just went home, got a good night's sleep, and went back again Sunday morning.

I'm glad we tried, and I hope we can try again next year when she's a year older.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year, One and All

2006 was a good year for me and mine, in many ways.

To all of my family near and far, to my ecclesia here and worldwide, to all of my friends new and old, close or distant:

New Year!

Hoping 2007 will be even better, for all of us...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Season of Change

I'm not afraid of change, generally, but that doesn't mean I'm immune to the stress it brings. Right now so much around me is changing that there seems to be another source of stress no matter where I look.

  • Macrobyte has been doing fairly well this year... enough that Corinne put in her notice and is finally staying home again. It's been a long, long time. She still has some healing to do. Hopefully being able to focus on some other areas of her life will help with that. (Plus, I never wanted her to have to work in the first place.)

  • Our plans for Thanksgiving this year have been pretty messy. Corinne thought she was going to have to be working so she didn't sign up to serve the shelter. That was a disappointment. Then she gave her notice. I believe things have worked out and we know where we're going, but it hasn't yet been finalized. Wherever we end up, they'd better allow us to bring some food! :-D

    Seriously, I can't imagine going to a big dinner like that, with Corinne, without at least a few pans/dishes in the back of the Blazer.

  • Jed (my brother) has lived with us since late July, 2005. Despite the obvious stuff like space issues, (occasional) fraternal friction, and some loss of privacy, I have truly loved having him here.

    Unfortunately, he's not just moving out, he's moving away, putting an entire continent between us. It's for the best of reasons: he has found true love, but Alycia lives in British Columbia. Logistics were such that it made more sense for him to go there than for her to come here, at least for now.

    So there's a trailer-full of mixed emotions over this one. I couldn't be happier that he found her, but I'm selfishly sad that his find is our loss. Plus there's a hint of jealousy, because he's moving to my favorite place, somewhere I haven't even managed to visit since Corinne and I went to BC on our honeymoon in '97.

  • Jed has been our ecclesial secretary for years. Him leaving is a bit like throwing all the cards up in the air. While I think it's good to shuffle things around, it's most definitely a source of stress.

  • Mark & Michelle are pregnant! This is officially 'super cool,' the only downside to it is that Mark isn't willing to be the secretary in Jed's place because he's going to have a new baby to care for. I don't blame him, but it's too bad because he was the obvious choice.

  • As long as I'm listing stuff that's changing... my Mom and Dad are moving their 'warehouse' to a completely different facility. This isn't a real big deal for me, but it's one more happening in a family that's a little overloaded at the moment.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Isn't that enough?

Monday, August 2, 2004

Congratulations Mark and Michelle Drake!

My friend Mark Drake married Michelle Shaw on Saturday. Friday night was the rehearsal dinner, the wedding was on Saturday at 2PM, the picnic reception at 5PM.

This all had Corinne and I very busy (though she was much busier than me). I was a sort of semi-usher in the wedding: I read Genesis 2: 18-25 and Ephesians 5: 17-33 at the beginning of the ceremony (my brother, Jed, actually 'performed' the wedding), and then organized/managed the process of a couple hundred people flowing into the "receiving line."

Michelle was absolutely radiant. It's too bad I don't have a single picture! I was supposed to be the assistant photographer also, but Corinne needed my help with the reception more than Bonny Pride needed my help with the photos, so I think I made the right choice. (Unfortunately, I didn't make this decision until after purchasing eight rolls of film and a pack of batteries for my 35mm rig, and charging up and cleaning up my digital camera.)

The picnic reception was a great success! Corinne had been told to expect as many as 200 people there, so she prepared enough for a "few extra." Frank Locke ran his gas grill to cook Indian chicken kabobs. Jim Burns ran two grills cooking hotdogs and hamburgers (and nearly getting smoked into a stupor). I ran three grills, cooking some burgers, some cajun-rubbed flank steaks (which were later cut down into thin strips for consumption) and some more chicken kabobs. Lesson learned: running three grills at once is a bit of a stretch, especially when everybody knows you're the husband of the caterer and so asks you dozens of questions about what, where, when, and how. Things ran much more smoothly when I handed one of the grills off to my Dad.

Our ecclesia had another picnic Sunday afternoon, to finish off some of the food. I took Corinne home right after meeting so she could get some (much needed) sleep, and then returned in time for the tail end of the picnic. When we were all done, everybody took home whatever leftovers they wanted. I grabbed five "Gladware containers" of Potato Salad, the Cajun flank steak, and Indian chicken... and then brought three full catering trays of food to the W.A.R.M. Shelter. :-) (Like I said, she made a "little extra." She cooked for 200 adults, but my best guess is that the reception had 100-120 people, evenly split between adults and kids.)

This entry is officially about Mark and Michelle, who Corinne and I are both very happy for, but I have to say (for the umpteenth time) that I'm incredibly proud of my wife! That she was able to "put aside," or at least work-through, all of her own pain while producing such incredible volumes of truly excellent food... well, she's just amazing. The totally oppressive heat and humidity finally wore her down Saturday afternoon so she left the reception a little early, but not until after all of her work was done. What a woman!

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