Garage Angst: My Treasures / Wife’s Junk

If it was up to me, I would not have tackled the outer garage today.  It was my wife’s idea.  She is an angel (not literally) … and we have had this discussion before, somewhat paraphrased below, between my wife (the angel) and me (the non-angel):

The Angel:  I want to get the outer garage cleaned out, today.
Non-angel:  You know, I think this is something we should both agree on.  I don’t WANT to work on the garage today.  If we do, its a lot of work, and it will take a great deal of time.
The Angel: That’s okay.  I’ll just work on it myself.
Non-angel: (Pause … an ominous pause) Yeah, I know how that works.  If I am not there with you, you might get rid of things that I don’t want to get rid of.  And … I will see you working in the garage and I start to feel guilty, and then … I’m sucked into the Garage Angst.
(My wife smiles a beautiful smile mixed with a slight mischievous grin …)
The Angel:  Well I guess you will just have to help me, then, so you don’t feel guilty.
(At least we are both laughing)

So, bravely I entered the Garage Angst.  Over the last three months, I have procured three different cabinets / chests from random finds along the mountain roads up here, where people put items out by the road that they do not want anymore.  These three “units” were like gold, as I thought of the cool stuff I could store in there …

The Angel:  These three cabinets / chests … are out of  here.
Non-angel:  No!  No, no, no.  I’m going to use them to store things in.
The Angel: Why haven’t you been using them?
Non-angel: Because I have not had time to get to them.
(My wife’s smirk says to me that she knows I will probably never get to them.  We negotiate, and I get to keep one, but two have to go.)

I have a well-worn leather tool belt: two different pouches for nails and / or wood screws; one holder for a hammer, two narrow pencil shaped slots for drill bits / razor knife / screwdriver – – – $5. WOW !!!  Anyway, the belt that went along with it was about two notches too small for my medium-sized girth, and I replaced it with another belt … But I wanted to keep the original belt.

The Angel:  Are you kidding me? This has to go!
Non-angel:  No.  You never know when it might come in handy.  Besides, it’s leather and leather is expensive.  And, I might go down to a 32 so that it would fit.
The Angel: This is the kind of thing that you don’t keep around. It just takes up space.
(The belt was sent into exile.)

Lastly, for today’s adventure, a pair of old boots came up for discussion.  My son’s boots are bigger than mine, and he was getting rid of his.  True they were old, and one of the dogs had gone after the back of the top of the shank, tearing it off …

The Angel:  Don’t you already have three pairs of boots?
Non-angel:  Yeah, Honey, but a mountain man always keeps extra boots.
The Angel: Once again, I’ll remind you: just because you live at 8800 feet in the mountains does NOT make you a mountain man.  Secondly … No.  The boots are going.  Look! Its torn in the back! 

I really don’t like cleaning out the garage.  Why?  Because afterwards I  admit (silently to myself) that she was right on this one.  Admittedly, it does look better.  The only problem is the garage angst, because  I didn’t really need the fourth pair of boots.

Your Shoes? No, I Have Not Walked In Them

Two guys, friends, walking down a road … to a place called Emmaus (uh-may-Us) … thinking through, talking through, some crazy stuff that … stuff that had brought about disruption.   With authenticity in their discourse, no comments were made like “Oh, I know how you feel …”, or “You think that’s tough, you should hear about what is going on with me …”, “Believe me, I know what that is like …”

Hypothetically: if you are talking to me I am not compelled to say “I know how you feel …”, because I don’t know how you feel.  How could I?  I am not you; I was not “there”; I don’t have your wiring …

There is no reason to compare my story with yours, to “trump” your story.  Story is sacred, private, personal.  If someone is telling me their story I am grateful, honored, and privileged.  Attempting to trump their story … What does that make me?

One’s choice to tell me some sensitive pieces about their pain, relationships, disappointment, is a courageous and a profound choice.  I am a fool to express that I know “what that is like”.  I don’t know what it is like.

Your shoes?  No, I have not walked in them. And, it is also true, that you have not walked in mine.

I listen; I watch; I search; I sense … And if I speak, I hope it is not a waste of one’s time, or mine.

Father’s Day Blessing, Sacred Gift

The opportunity came for a roadtrip … So me & the family came to see my dad.  The young man (Dad) is 90 this year.

Sat with him on several occassions for some great discussions.  He told me bits and pieces of numerous stories from his years of living a life of courage, honor, peace, thankfulness, love.  Joy: quiet joy; unmistakable joy; joy that is transcendent.  I was reminded of my own prodigal being.  I was reminded of his humility, his wisdom, the pleasantness of being with him.  I was reminded of his redemptive realness: a man who doesn’t play mind games; a man of few words, other than those worth hearing.

Heading back this morning encouraged, and hopeful.  Wow.  What a great gift.

Road Trip Dreams

Currently on the road, with the FAM, unpredictable experiences: especially when we head down to the South, a two-day trip.  Bad coffee from … whatever name you choose (service stations, convenience stores, travel centers); restroom stops; continually asking the continual question “Where are we?” …

Accents change; scenery changes; architecture changes, climate changes, and I either relax a bit, or become more anxious, or both.  Another phenomenon: road trip dreams.

“Fell out of a slumber, slammed into The Awake, my mind didn’t break, I rattled, I rolled, my mind was in tact, I was back from the land of the Z’s … GPS Lady talking smack, I told her to be quiet, she said ‘Don’t talk back’ … Oh, yeah: road trip dreams”

What would life be without road trips?  Without bad coffee? Having to stop more than you would like? What would life be like without one of the great philosophical questions of all time – – – “When are going to get there?” And what would life be like without road trip dreams?

“Unfortunately, Sir, You’re Not Good Enough”

Truth trumps lies.  Lies are powerful, powerful enough to come out in the lead.  So, what trumps what? Truth?  Or lies?

I wrote a post, February 16, 2013, “Fata Morgana, Men and Elusive Strength”…

I first heard of this concept, referred to as “Phantom Morgana“, from a New Zealander, in Antarctica.   Its my understanding that “Fata Morgana” is the more correct term (the a’s are pronounced with a short o vowel sound).  “Fata Morgana” is a mirage; also defined as:

  • an optical phenomenon, rays of light bent when they pass through air layers of different temperature;
  • layers of different temperatures are in a steep thermal inversion;
  • where an “atmospheric duct” has formed. 

    English: The eight frames image show how Fata ...
    English: The eight frames image show how Fata Morgana mirage is changing constantly the appearance of the two ships. Four frames in the first column is ship # 1, and four frames in the second column is ship # 2. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fata Morgana gives the impression of buildings, cliffs, and such … where no such  objects exist.  A Fata Morgana is elusive, even with a plausible definition.  A Man sometimes needs to be reminded: he does have what it takes.  A man does not always own what he has been given.  Even though a man has what it takes, he may not want to embrace his giftedness. When the lies come, and they do come, the journey can be difficult, harsh, confusing. Many men buy the lie: “Unfortunately, sir, you are not good enough.”

Truth is underrated.  To make “all this “worthwhile, we … as men … need to use the gifts we have been given.  We have what it takes.  Lets do this.  Time to bust a move.

Man Hides … Who is Edward Snowden?

The question … on CNN (no, I’m not a CNN fan, but I am a news-junkie): Who is Edward Snowden?  He is a 30 year old (somewhat) young buck … who grew up in North Carolina, dropped out of high school but went back to grab a GED before (eventually) embarking on a spy career.  He had a decent salary for a high school dropout, $122,000.

Christopher Boyce‘s comments are insightful, about Snowden’s situation: “Snowden is doomed” … …    Is Boyce a bit dramatic, here?   Boyce’s 25 years of incarceration, that ended in 2003, might be part of his biased assumption that Snowden will experience the same consequences.  Boyce may be ticked if Snowden escapes prison, after Boyce’s 25 years in the SLAMMER.  Until recently a question on the table was … how to get the boy out of China, back to the States.  Now China is, apparently, off the table.  Russia is the place where Eddie is going, ” … I’m leaving, on a jet plane. ‘Don’t know when I’ll be back again …” (Peter, Paul, and Mary – lyrics for “Leaving On A Jet Plane”)

It’s not like anyone would sell Snowden out, in Russia.  By the way: as an eccentric, I notice the strangest things in life, like the similarity between the names “Snowden” and “Snowman“.  The latter was Boyce’s partner Daulton Lee in a “real life” spy scandal, later wrote about in a book using their code names: Boyce – “The Falcon” and Lee – “The Snowman”.    Well, plenty more to say … but time will tell about WHO … Edward Snowden really is, and what he will do.


“The problem is not that we ask for too much … but that we do not ask for enough.”


Some souls “settle” for less than what they should.  Passion plays a part in this drama.  In the movie “The Edge”, billionaire Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) and photographer Bob Green (Alec Baldwin) are being stalked / harassed / terrorized … by a vicious grizzly (Bart the Bear) somewhere in the northwest corner of the continent.

Bob Green (Alec Baldwin) cries out in desperation to Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) “What are we going to do?!”  The older, wiser, Morse says in a quiet but passionate, determined voice: “What are we going to do?  We’re going to kill the (BLEEP).  That’s what we are going to do.”  The message (my paraphrase) seems clear: “I’ve had enough of this bear … its time to end this.

Passion,”want” …  versus “wantlessness“, “settling” for less.  Morse wanted to survive, and that meant that he would have to kill the bear; and that is what happened.

Life is short.  I will not settle.  When I am being stalked, harassed, by the adversaries of fear, mediocrity, or the lie that I don’t have what it takes … I need to be ready to end it.