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Showing posts from November, 2015

November 28, 2015: Road Trip in the Books

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Well, we are done. Road trip completed and a success.

Zach has his gun equipment. Delivered and set-up, his shop is almost opened for business.

The two drivers and their sidekick (me) are now cozy in the warmth of our Denver home. Christmas decorations are up. Simmering chili with freshly made cornbread are in the kitchen. And Stanford and Notre Dame are playing some pretty good football on the screen in front of us.

We collectively drove 1,070 miles over two travel days. Adding a one-way flight at the beginning and a one-night hotel stay at the end, the comforts of home are feeling pretty good right now.

Our 26 foot truck did the job. Carrying 4,000+ pounds of gun machining equipment, we named our diesel-loving and dependable rental, the Heifer. She was a bit stubborn going up hills and wanted a nap rather than a start at a truck stop in Iowa. But in the end, she faithfully did her job before we returned her to the Penske store in Fort Collins.

My seat was in the middle as Garrett a…

November 25, 2015: Road Trip - Day 2

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Day two of our Thanksgiving road trip lacked roads and travel. This was our 'packing and preparing' day. We stayed stationary, enjoying the ambiance of small town living.

The setting was Monterey, Indiana. I am told the current population is 125. But in it's heyday, the count topped 250. Much has changed in these thirty years from it's peak, I've been told. The grocery store and butcher are gone, but the corner bar and post office remain.

My day started with a 6 am wake up call from my father-in-law, Larry. I had promised to join him for his morning coffee at the local tavern. This was his daily routine and I gladly tagged along. The promise of freshly brewed coffee at a bar was both alluring and inviting.

As we walked through the streets of Monterey, Larry updated me on the buildings still in use and those long gone. The latest casualty, following the migration out of Monterey to neighboring cities, was the town's grade school. But the library and bank remain…

November 23, 2015: Road Trip - Day 1

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Road Trip 2015 started today. With great anticipation, we boarded a plane to Indianapolis and immediately proceeded to Kokomo, Indiana to pick up a 26 foot rental truck. The journey begins.

An early morning with little sleep from the previous night led to some initial grumpiness on my part. As Garrett and I always start our day, I read out loud our daily devotional from the phone app "Jesus Calling". Never disappointing, the reading for the day hit home again.

My prickly demeanor was gone with a reminder of gathering daily bouquets...

"As you go through this day, look for tiny treasures strategically placed along the way. I lovingly go before you and plant little pleasures to brighten your day. Look carefully for them, and pluck them one by one. When you reach the end of the day, you will have gathered a lovely bouquet. Offer it up to Me with a grateful heart. Receive My Peace as you lie down to sleep, with thankful thoughts playing a lullaby in your mind."

It rea…

November 21, 2015: Change of Seasons

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'Change of seasons' is the phrase that is lingering with me this morning. One would think this is obvious with the recent 'storm watching and waiting'. The Christmas music on the Sirius radio line up and blast of ads for the upcoming Black Friday are constant visual and audio contributors. But it's even more than that for me.

No doubt the weather app was the most accessed iPhone button yesterday. And although Omaha avoided a rush of white powder, my welcome mat last night to Denver was a blanket of winter wonderment.

My brother, the forever Hawkeye fan, is with his daughter among the masses at Kinnick Stadium. It is cold and full of snow. With the ongoing text updates I am receiving from him, it is apparent that Iowa was well represented in the recent snow fall. Nebraska got a bye.

This change of seasons has also led to practical thoughts. Like moving the guinea pigs from their summer and fall refuge of our garage to the warm house. Lots of holiday to-do's fil…

November 16, 2015: What I Learned from Vacation

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I started writing this blog on Sunday, October 18th, shortly after boarding a plane heading home. We were straight off of a blissful one week vacation through the beautiful serenity of Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Tonight I am going to finish what I started. A bit of 'the rest of the story'.

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Vacation is in the books. And I learned a lot. There were some 'aha' moments and some 'what were you thinking?' thoughts. Amazing what a little down time away from the daily grind does for both the brain and the soul.

First revelation. I missed reading, writing, and quiet time. I missed these things a lot. My state of constant motion and nonsensical busyness really hasn't added to my quality of life.

Next revelation. I miss staying in contact with my family and friends. How did I let this happen? Definitely a lapse in judgment on my part.

Biggest revelation. I really missed normalcy with a focus on the things most importa…