Archive for the ‘Blink’ Category

Sometimes when you dream…
Your dreams come true.
In extraordinary ways…
Suddenly, a day can be so amazing…
And sometimes when you yearn, you burn the air.
And then you are not the same.
And the world is-

Oh. I apologize. Perhaps I should say “good morning”. Now, where was I? Oh, yes.

Once upon a time, I met a little woman. Sometimes, she is known in the space here as “The Little Frau”. And the rest is history. History, in the making, that is. You see, life comes at you fast. So fast, sometimes, that you don’t see what is coming next. Sometimes that can be bad, but more often than not, it is good. Very good.

Having number one son surprise you by signing up to be in a musical is just one such surprise. And, may I say, the performance was amazing. The beginning and ending lyric vault moments of this nostalgic post today are courtesy of “Little Women”, the Musical. A team of kids performed it wonderfully at his school the past two nights.

As I look around this morning, the women, and the men, in my life are not so little anymore. Sometimes they seem to me larger than life.

As a small child, I used to lie in bed at night and wonder what adulthood would be like. I hoped it would be good. I had no idea it would be like this. I think I like it, warts and all. That is an understatement.

It was not so very long ago that I sat around another’s breakfast table, a strange man in a strange house, learning of other’s ways that had not been my very own. This morning, the tables were turned, as one shared his breakfast within the routines that have become ours. Truthfully, it doesn’t seem all that strange from where I sit today.

In days gone by, I’ve visited with others about their kids, and others about their new grand kids, and the miraculous stories between them all. Amazing is an understatement, especially when we compare reality to those “sometimes when you dream” days gone by.



Lest I neglect the obvious, life is no cakewalk. But life can be very good. I think that is how God intended it. The challenge for us is to find the good, or even better, to help create it.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
(Ephesians 3:19-21)

She asks how I am,
And so, how am I?
My days are the usual day.
I wake up, I go out,
Time goes by.
My days are exactly the days
I have lived since arriving here.
In fact, how I am is amazed how
This comforts me year by year.
I work and I eat.
Life is muffins and jam.
The house is nice and quiet now.
That is how I am.
. Thank you, Professor Bhaer for helping open my eyes to it all.

But, even as I write this now, the natives are awaking. The house will not be so quiet soon. The dream lives on.

Sometimes when you dream…
Your dreams come true.
In extraordinary ways…
Suddenly, a day can be so amazing…
And sometimes when you yearn, you burn the air.
And then you are not the same.
And the world is-
….Amazing. Christopher Columbus, indeed.



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It’s been an interesting week….
It’s been a good week…
It’s been an unexpected week…

I am not a country music fan, per se, and yet I awoke this morning with a 10 year old John Michael Montgomery tune rattling around in my head, and that only scratches the surface….

…..Sink or swim you gotta give it a whirl

Life’s a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don’t worry about what you don’t know
Life’s a dance you learn as you go

The longer I live the more I believe
You do have to give if you wanna recieve
There’s a time to listen, a time to talk
And you might have to crawl even after you walk
Had sure things blow up in my face
Seen the longshot, win the race
Been knocked down by the slamming door
Picked myself up and came back for more

Life’s a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don’t worry about what you don’t know
Life’s a dance you learn as you go

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Actually, I do. Maybe I go to extremes to avoid going to extremes. Once upon a time, in a land not so far far away, I might have said that in reverse. Comprende?

So, as I thought on this earlier today, the words of a Billy Joel tune rattled in my head:

Call me a joker, call me a fool
Right at this moment I’m totally cool
Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife
I feel like I’m in the prime of my life
Sometimes it feels like I’m going too fast
I don’t know how long this feeling will last
Maybe it’s only tonight

Darling I don’t know why I got to extremes
Too high or too low there ain’t no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
It’s all or nothing at all
Darling I don’t know why I got to extremes

Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m shot
Sometimes I don’t know how much more I’ve got
Maybe I’m headed over the hill
Maybe I’ve set myself up for the kill
Tell me how much do you think you can take
Until the heart in you is starting to break?
Sometimes it feels like it will

Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain’t no in-betweens
You can be sure when I’m gone
I won’t be out there too long
Darling I don’t know why I got to extremes

Out of the darkness, into the light
Leaving the scene of the crime
Either I’m wrong or I’m perfectly right every time
Sometimes I lie awake, night after night
Coming apart at the seams
Eager to please, ready to fight
Why do I go to extremes?

And if I stand or I fall
It’s all or nothing at all

Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes

I can relate, and not. I think I will keep going, especially for today. As the words to a Mandesa song related to me as I turned the key to the Jeep a few moments ago this morning Why am I waiting for tomorrow…?”“. I don’t think I am.

Darling, I think you know why.

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“Morning: it is zero-six AM”.. Yes, I can see that, thank you.

My morning alarm has one of those awful text to speech synthesizers, and in order to wake yours truly, it is loud. After being shocked into awareness today, my first thought was of the work I have to do today. I am an accountant working on a big report for later this week, and I have pages yet to fill.

Travel author Rick Steves speaks with wistful joy that same phrase about his passport booklet. After a recent quick business trip across the pond, I noted the same thing about mine, and I wondered about trips yet to come.

But, will those trips ever come? Will the work awaiting me at my office ever be completed? I know my boss sometimes wonders that same thing, but I digress.

As last week painfully reminded me, none of us has any guaranties in life. Accidents happen. Illness swoops in suddenly. These are matters of inches, indeed.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

“Morning: it is zero-six forty-two AM (now)”.. Yes, I can see that, thank you, and I have work to do, at least for the moments that are indeed mine, however few they may be.

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‘Tis a long and sullied tale; one full of late nights, molded bread, freezers, flames, Big Red chewing gum, and Aqua Velva. (not to mention a most unfortunate Santa Clause) And, truth be told, it really has nothing to do with the Lorax.

“Oh, good, Mr. Grinch, and Mr. Lorax, too.”. Such we’re the roomie’s words upon finding his space occupied by the stuffed companions of another’ childhood past. (but not yours truly, BTW). We did a lot of things with those dolls. Lorax handball, Lorax volleyball, adventures in the freezer with Mr. Lorax, etc., etc., and his rightful owner never knew. To this day, it’s quite possible that someone’s grandchild in Kansas is playing with an old stuffed Lorax whose nose is held on by a 26 year old wad of chewing gum.

So, what’s this all about, you might ask? Well, it is 40 year reunion weekend for the Chorale at my alma mater, the place I also happen to work each day. While I was never in Chorale, one of my apartment mates was, and I’ve spent the weekend in conversation with his son about zombies, WWII vintage aircraft, and tales of his dad’s antics past.

As I was drawing dad a map to find our house last evening, it needed all of the important relevant landmarks: here is Hardeman, here is ESUSA, here is Phase III room 222, and there is the Lorax. He and son laughed, and later that night, he said “son, Mr. Lorax guided my way tonight…he was the beacon of hope.”

That’s a great way to think of our friends. A part of my progeny attends old Alma Mater today. Next year, the other two apartment mates/partners in crime with “Big Dave” and myself will see a part of their progeny join the few, the proud, the Eagle Nation. I look forward to it greatly.

Now, if you will excuse me, young Mr. William has a thing or two to teach me about the ceiling altitude of the B-29 and why Japanese carriers had two decks. Just like old times…


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It started off as a beautiful day. Then, it all changed“. Such were the words of a colleague late Tuesday afternoon as we remembered the accident on the front of our campus from earlier in the day. We did not know the victim, but grieved for a friend who was involved and for the victim’s family. One minute, all is well; the next, and you can’t go back. Unexpected, indeed.

A very young child began the week like many others. All seemed well and good. By Tuesday, only hours after the aforementioned accident, he too was gone, the victim of an unexpected and aggressive infection, and we grieved for the friends and family in their time of loss. One minute, all is well; the next, and you can’t go back. Unexpected, indeed.

A mere two days later, I said “see you later” to my son as he exited the vehicle at school.
I fully expected I would. Hours past, until the phone rang during lunch. Seeing the mother of a friend of my friend on caller ID suggested I should answer. “He is OK, but something has happened” were the first words I heard. “The ball ricocheted off him”, I was later told. “We were concerned”.

We were lucky. We were blessed. A matter of a few inches higher, and an arm injury becomes a head injury, severity of a level I would rather not imagine. Bones may be broken, or maybe not, but the pain and hurt are there. As I helped tie his shoes this morning, I couldn’t help but think: One minute, all is well; the next, and you can’t go back. Unexpected, indeed. And, may I add, we get to go on, at least for today.

But, for how long? Thankfully, unexpectedly, this does not go on forever.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:35-37


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“Outlive Your Life”.   The latest and greatest book by Max Lucado bears just that title.   As we look around Vienna this week, I can’t help but think that being remembered into perpetuity was at the heart of those with money and power over the ages.

One of the largest “tourist spots” in Vienna, ironically, is the Cathederal in the city center named after Saint Stephan, Stephansdom.   The Holy Roman Emporer Frederick, who died in 1494 shortly after the time Columbus discovered “the new world”, is entombed inside the cathederal.   The following is what Wikipedia has to share about his burial site: The construction of Emperor Frederick’s tomb spanned over 45 years, starting 25 years before his death. This impressive sarcophagus is made of the unusually dense red marble-like stone found at the Adnet quarry. Carved by Niclaes Gerhaert van Leyden, the tomb lid shows Emperor Frederick in his coronation regalia surrounded by the coats of arms of all of his dominions. The body of the tomb has 240 statues and is a glory of medieval sculptural art.

Interestingly enough, I’ve been inside Stephansdom several times over the past few years, but I’ve never been motivated to make a pilgrimage over to Frederick’s tomb, nor did I even truly realize who he was or that he was buried there until reading about the history of the building on the web last night.   I wonder how many visitors to Stephansplatz can say the same thing?   Whatever his intentions, which seem fairly obvious by the devotion to constructing his tomb, I’m not sure Frederick is outliving his life, in the truest sense of the phrase.

While I have yet to read Lucado’s book in its entirety, I have been through the first chapter, and understand the spirit of the message to be that by making a difference in the lives of others today, specifically with the example of trying to stamp out world hunger, we are changing the world, and thereby we are outliving our life.

Gutenberg is another great example.   Here is someone who created the ability to print and place copies of the Bible into the hands of the common man and woman.    Dare I say that Gutenberg has made a huge difference in the world and in the lives of countless millions?   Certainly more that Emporer Frederick.    And yet, how many even realize who Gutenberg was?   We don’t have his picture, although we have painted portraits.   The Europeans have been kind enough to erect statues.   But when you open your Bible in Oklahoma, or Vienna, Austria, or Xian, China, you don’t see his picture and a link to his blog or other writings.    All the same, he truly did outlive his life.

What about us today?   We blog.   We take pictures.   We leave mementos for others.   But, may I argue, that is not what outliving our life is all about.   On the plane over the other night, my neighbor in 38E talked about his view of Heaven, and that it is the memories we leave behind with our friends and family, but that when those people are gone, so are we.   No real Heaven exists, essentially, in his view.   How sad.    In recent years I have collected pieces from the homes of my now deceased grandmothers.   I have black and white portraits from generations of family, some whom I remember, some whom I never met.   But they all tell a story.   I have a few tangible mementos, from furniture to small decorative pieces, from both homes in my office.   I have my grandfather’s New Testament that he carried with him into the Pacific Theater in the 1940’s.   I have a few of my other grandfather’s engineering guides, even though I’m not an engineer, and I unfortunately never saw enough of his life to develop a relationship.     And yet, they continue to outlive their life, not through these tangible “hand me downs”, but through the impact they made in the lives of their children and others.    I continue to encounter people in my walk who knew my grandparents, and who say great things about the difference the relationship made in their lives.   And, these people are changed for the better, and they will hand that down, and those people will hand that down, and so on, and so on.

So, to my point?   How do we outlive our life?   We can try to make a difference in stamping out world hunger, as Mr. Lucado suggests.   That is good.   But, each of us can’t do that alone.   May I suggest we take it one moment at a time, one person at a time, and do our best to make a lasting impression for the good, and not for bad.   There is, and has been, enough of that in this world.   Which leads me to and leaves us with the greatest person to walk this earth in human form and outlive their life.   Amen.

Hebrews 9:23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

I will now go about trying to outlive my life this day.   Along the way, I’ll have to succeed in outliving yesterday’s Wienerschnitzel…

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