Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why do you read?

As of this moment, my site has been viewed 1,363 times. Assuming that 1,000 are me ; ) that leaves 363 views by others! As I losely watch the hits list, I understand some: Greece, NY (Wingman), Colorado (my Ranger Buddy), Dallas (an old College buddy), Paris (who ever can understand the French)... The question I sometimes wonder though is about the others if I can be so bold to assume that it's just one person in Cheyenne and Houston and Jacksonville and other places I see frequently... I can't help but wonder why you read and what you find here. It's of no matter, and if you've found this blogsite you're welcome to stay, I just remain curious.

I'll stop here. Though it's nearly 4PM in Fiji (the time my blog is set at), it's after midnight in central New York. Good night!

Why I write

Life for me is not a continuous path, but rather a losely link series of vivid events. At least that's how I remember it. Somewhere in my lifes journey, I realized that writing is a comes from God as all gifts do. I don't know when, but one day long ago, it became important for me to capture an experience in writing and save it. I've written ever since. Trying so hard to tell a story so well, that the reader can feel what I felt. Sometimes it's hard, and sometimes I fail miserably, but still I try. In my life I've been blessed richly. I've parachuted and scuba dived in the great Pacific Northwest. Climbed mountains and bridges. Loved deeply and learned to be aware of wonder. So many things...and to coin the phrase, "I've lived to tell about it!" I like this blog thing...I'll find a way to save these entries for my daughters and convince myself that they'll care. Nothing too deep today...just a hint of why I write.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Those eyes...

Eyes are an enchanting thing. I remember the National Geographic that came out, the picture on the cover was that of some young Afghan girl with dazzling eyes...the picture captured the nation. On a lighter note, I remember being a younger man and looking deeply into the face of a beautiful young lady, "...Your eyes, they're like two brilliant glowing stars floating (pause), floating around in the empty space in your mind!" In 3 seconds, she went from nearly swooning, to utter confusion, to "I'm gonna hit you so hard your mothers gonna yell." I was only joking!

That girl over there is Eli. It's not likely she'll ever make the cover of a magazine, but she's got those eyes that make a father tremble. They're like a storm on the sea, like the moon glowing at night...mesmerizing, beautiful, enchanting. They could melt a stone - it's a good thing I'm harder than that! She's disarming. She's also brilliant and tough as nails. What do you expect from a dad who was a once upon a time soldier : )

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Birthday

The birthday girls is in the middle. We celebrated with an 8AM breakfast - including a sunday! Now they're on their way to Myrtle Beach, SC for 3 weeks with Gramma Joan and the Bop...tough life for a kid - NOT! Happy birthday G!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is Arch street, and we're telling stories

My name is David (last name held for lack of memory). No Mr. Chris, you need to leave work at home and be on vacation. This is Philadelphia and you're here to see the sites. After a short lecture, we were back on track. Now it was David's mission to make my day. We're going to drive to the boy king, and while we're on our way, I'm gonna tell stories. We're going to have fun, and Mr. Chris, we'll be there in 15 can time me. Now, we can't leave early...those are the rules...we leave at 4:00 PM on the nose. At 3:45 we rolled off bound for the Franklin Institute - he didn't want to be late I guess! But before we left, the girls got to ring the trolly bell (see the photo)!
Off we went, a right, then a left...The new center is a whole football field long (3 times for effect). All the men of that day were masons...I'm a mason too. Wawa means peace, there's little Rome...and the line that he kept bringing us back to... "Yeah, this is Arch street and we're telling stories." Well, there was not we, but he kept our attention wrapt, in fact I was hoping we'd be late just so we would remain entertained. For the record...16 minutes...I should have bet him a cheese steak!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A dancing, what I do...

Tonight was the dance recital. Not just 3 Button girls, but a fourth...the mommy. They were fabulous, and I had the best seat in the house. The sound guy. Not as taxing as on Sunday morning with a 32 chanel board...this was really a matter of timing and a single button to push. Sure, the dance teacher (who is wonderful in every way, by the way) and her stage people were a little demanding, "Louder, quiter, music now," but that's what show business is all about isn't it?! We had a great time, and so did the kids. They're cute, and funny, and I found one of the tap dancers very interesting - in fact, I think I'm going to ask her for a date...wish me luck! Besides all the fun work, there's the fellowship with the lighting guy. So anyways, when I'm not managing construction, or just trying to stay afloat, that's what I do.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Fast movers...

It was 21 years ago, but I still remember it like yesterday. Thank God it was only practice. We were peeking over a ridge line, watching the A-4s practice their strafing and bombing. They're fast, and loud, and the flew for most of the really was impressive. We moved that night...LRRPs only move at night. Another morning, another ridge, looking for anything that moved. We were hoping for a column of tanks, instead we found a Tactical Operations Command post (a TOC). We'd be heros for the mission, and we knew it. The protocol was clear. Once we radiod in the TOC, we'd have 1 hour to exit the area (the army has a more colorful phrase, but I'll spare you that!). "TOC in the open, Over...I repeat, grid coordinates 15347690." 8 digit grid, the A-4s would have no problem finding the TOC. We packed quickly, ready to move out. I was throwing my ruck over my head and onto my back - a slick move infantry soldiers learn quickly. I looked up, and there they were. 2 A-4s, fast movers. Low, and fast like lightning. Time stopped for a split second and I almost swear I could read the pilots name on the skin. A second later they were gone, the trees now waving in the jet wash as the ground rumbled. I was terrified, we all least the new guys. In that moment I felt so vulnerable. We never saw them coming, never heard anything until they were past, and then the sound was deafening, reaching right into your chest. We turned and watched as they fired their missles. Small tactical nukes, we had been briefed. We were too close, still in the fallout radius and we all knew it. So much for the hour. Nobody said a word other than "move out," for a very long time. We all marched silenty, considering our mortality. We made a pact; that never again would we call in an airstrike until we were clear...the TOC wasn't going anywhere. And we were hero's for the day. The Colonel was in the tent - we smoked him. The 7th was without effective command for 8 hrs. Enough to secure the battle. We sure didn't feel that way though - like heros. This isn't an anti-military entry...just a memory - that's all.

A kid asked me the other day, "are you a veteran?" Yeah, I said. "What war?" I'm not a war veteran, I said. For the 11 years I was in, we were mostly at peace. God was gracious to me, I know I'd be a different man today, had I gone to combat. I'm proud of my red beret, of my airborne wings and my DI hat. I'm proud I had a chance to serve. And I'm proud of all the men who've served before, during and after me. Combat or not. There are some things worth dying for, and though I feel blessed to be alive, it was worth the risk...Freedom is worth the risk.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

What I do...

2 years ago, I built a building...we'll, "we" built a building. Today was the day it was finally dedicated. Caird Hall. No one noticed that the anodized letters were really plastic. Instead, they all laughed at the jokes he told, watched the ribbon fall off the wall and smiled as Mr. Caird became teary eyed when the president talked about how proud his father would have been... It's universal isn't it? The Power of a father in our lives. I mean no discredit to mothers, by the way.

Anyways, I built the building. I guess in a sense, I'm one of those who know it best. And apparently he likes engineer/architect types. So I stepped into the breach of the tour...pushed to the front with Mr. Caird. "We've formed a real community here," I started. "It's beautiful and popular and quite durable with slate and oak and such." He was thrilled. Everybody was thrilled. And then we all went our seperate ways. The event was over as quickly as it started. So much preparation. So much energy and anxiety by so many people to secure a wonderful experience for an aging man who had just pledged $3.7M and put his name on the building while some of his classmates looked on with pride.

I built Caird Hall. I got to tell its story just a little bit today. Then I drank a Pepsi, picked up a dedication pamphlet for my scrapbook, and went home to love my daughters intentionally. Life is good isn't it?! Sometimes that's what I do.