G-paw

My grandpa is nearing his 90th lap around the sun, and let me tell you, after several laps around the track, let alone the sun, people tend to get rather tired.

My grandfather (second from left) on his wedding day

“Um… Hmmm…”, he’ll sometimes frown as he delves into his memory to collect his thoughts. I don’t blame him. It takes time to recall the name of a friend who shot the head off a poisonous snake at his farm, the night he drove nearly 240 miles for a first date with my grandmother, or standing on a podium to give a speech to his fraternity scolding his fellows for stealing sandwiches from the kitchen.

I remember eating lunch after a round of golf with him last year. As I set down my drink and began to express some of the more intricate details of life in another state, I was abruptly cut off by song.

I know a lassie as fair as can be, and she dwells where the bluebells grooooow…”

G-paw when he was a youngster
G-paw when he was a youngster

Although lately he may launch into melody at inconvenient times, I can’t help but laugh, and love him for tenderly bringing up some experience from his past tied to a tune.

The older people in your life may fall into their idiosyncrasies occasionally, but don’t neglect their wealth of experience and wisdom. You might find some life changing advice behind a note or two.

Siblings

It took me one minute to type out the title to this post. Partly because I needed to find inspiration for what to write and partly because I found that inspiration in my sister’s shoe, which uncomfortably thrust against my ribs as I sat down on the couch.

“You want me to move?” She cheeped, “Then say pleeeaaaase.”

Annoyed, I glared at her and took the long journey to the wooden chair on the other side of the room.

For those of you who have siblings or close friends you live with, I’m sure you’ve experienced the dichotomy of annoyance and charm. A dirty rock underneath which somehow lies a gem in the dirt. What makes me mad at my sister yet truly happy that she is sitting across from me? Maybe it’s because she is one of the few who has been there when I’m at my worst and one of the many who have seen me at my best. Lord have mercy on her soul. I can’t help but love her for that.

Either way, I want to sit on that couch. This chair is uncomfortable.

You’ve Got Mail

I know I’m echoing the echoes of sentiment when I say that Coronavirus has thrown a wrench in things. For many of us, home and work seem to meld together like an odd mix of jazz and EDM music. There’s a time and place for both, but blending them feels odd. Some people enjoy it, while others find it icky.

In coming to terms with this craziness, some hobbies find more space in our lives while others ebb into the wake of the pre-pandemic past. I’m finding now is actually a great time for creativity to flourish. If you find you have space for a new hobby or two, I recommend a fantastic way to funnel this creativity in putting pen to paper. Try writing physical letters.

I love savoring the elation that comes with ripping open a letter from a close friend or family member. Sometimes I get a bonus sticker, sometimes a little picture, and most often great thoughts and reflections on life. In my reply, I get to slow down and tell someone about my own life in a meaningful way.

When was the last time you sent a physical letter to someone? If you need to delve deeply into your memory to retrieve the answer, I say give it a shot this week. It’s worth it.

Old Friends

I just got back from snagging a bite to eat with a high school friend. We haven’t seen each other in a while and I thought it would be good to see how he was doing.

A waitress kindly seated us at a nearby burger joint and soon we began a vibrant conversation. Talk drifted from our recent endeavors to the good ol’ high school days. He and I ran on the same cross country team and afterwards spent a lot of time attempting to mash buttons in an effort to destroy each other in Call of Duty (he always won). I noticed a few rabbit trails emerge throughout the discussion, though allowing each of these to play their course was quite enjoyable.

When was the last time you saw an old friend? See if you can get in touch with someone who you haven’t seen in a while. Try to reconnect and find out how they are doing. It’s pretty fun.

Queue the Music

Music is a huge part of my life. It can flip my mood around, bring back nostalgic memories of good times, or help me focus on a task at hand.

A week ago a good friend and I decided to play some music that he first showed me over 12 years ago in grade school. The songs we rocked out to had been played over and over again throughout the years since my first listen, but still manage to maintain that spark that I will never be able to replicate.

Do you have any songs that bring back familiar memories or put you in a certain mood?

Music
Switchfoot’s “The Beautiful Letdown” album. This was the first music I really started listening to. My favorite songs are “Gone” and “Adding to the Noise”

 

Bike More

I have the privilege of living in the wonderful City of Fort Collins, CO. As November comes into full swing, the last of the fall leaves desert their respective trees, making skeletons of what was once green and lush. Though the onset of Winter is near, the weather still remains somewhat temperate (unusual for this time of year). I love winter, but I’m really enjoying the chance to take advantage of the weather and bike this late in the season.

Do you have the opportunity to get outside on your bike?  If you’re work or school is within close proximity, take the time to try biking there. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

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Biking to campus along the Mason Trail, in Fort Collins.

Discovering New Things

This past weekend some pals and I were stupid enough to climb Kit Carson and Challenger Point, two fourteen thousand foot peaks that thrust into the horizon like the spine of some enormous beast. The experience brought with it stunning new views along with new challenges. With conquering on our minds we left at 4:45 am, surrounded by darkness. Upon departure we were immediately enveloped by a relentless swarm of mosquitoes.  The trek took us nearly 12 hours round trip, and by the time we reached the car we were exhausted. I don’t think I’ve had more mosquito bites at one time in my life. My left leg alone is covered in at least 50 of them!

Anyways, each peak I’ve hiked in Colorado has brought with it another small glimpse into the beauty God has surrounded us with. To me each peak is a puzzle piece in the beautiful picture of God’s creativity.

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This was taken at Willow Creek Lake. Kit Carson peak sits at the upper right hand corner.