Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And so it ends

We've come to the end.

The end of another NaBloPoMo.

It's a mixed bag of emotions.

Sad the number of participants has dwindled so much.

Happy for those that took it to heart.

Somewhere in between my opinion of my own submissions.

I wish I'd done more.

I'm glad I made up my couple failures.

Somewhere in between my opinion of reality.

I say thank you to Kimmy and Adrienne.

Thank you for your companionship.

And thank you for your love.

This time next year will surely find us all in different places.

But I have no doubt the two of you will still be here to join me.

I also say thank you to my readers.

Thank you for your comments.

And thank you for your love.

A final thank you to my Lady.

Thank you for allowing yourself to be introduced in our own special way.

Thank you for our Christmas tree.

And thank you for your love.

I now say goodbye to NaBloPoMo.

You been a gracious host despite so many avoidance's.

Next year we promise to do better.

Until then..........

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some more Christmas fun

When I was growing up my family would always decorate our Christmas tree together. One of the memories my Mom likes to remind me of is that every year I broke a bulb. It was never on purpose, but without fail, sometime during the evening there would be shards of glass at my feet. This year that tradition continued, but for the first time in my Christmas history, I wasn't the one to break the bulb........ it was my Lady. Oh, how good it feels to have broken the curse. :)

In all the decorating last night, no one missed out on the fun. And that includes the deer that hangs on my wall. He now sports a fancy red ribbon that matches the tree as well as two bows on his antlers. Ahhh....... the joys of the Christmas season.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Tree time

As I've mentioned before, my Lady is a huge fan of the Christmas season. Setting up the tree is an intense event in her household that is so special it is reserved for her and her Mom and her next oldest sister. And yesterday I got to witness the spectacle along with her stepDad, brothers, and younger sister. But as fun as that was, tonight it was my turn.

With a wonderful hand-me-down gift from her family, my Lady and I began the decorating of our tree around 7:30pm tonight. After assembling the artificial branches on the tree base, we fluffed them to make it look full and real. Then my Lady spent a full hour and a half filling them with seven hundred lights. My only real tradition is a bulb from my High School alma-mater which I hang first and always at the very top of the tree. After I placed it in its special spot, then my Lady pulled out two special gifts she'd bought especially for our first Christmas Tree: two ornaments of our initials. It was truly an emotional moment to hang them together; me hanging her initial and her hanging mine.

After lacing the tree with bold red ribbon, we took out some old burgundy bulbs handed down to me from my Mom from my childhood Christmas trees. My Lady snapped the following beautiful picture of one of those bulbs...

The next picture is the view my Lady sees from the spot on my couch she's claimed as her own. This is what she's going to see every night, and it's nice to see the tree from her point-of-view.

As you all know, I heat my home with wood; no furnace or anything else. With the ambiant heat of a fire against the warmth presence of my Log House, I absolutely love this next picture...

As the tree was going up, we both commented that a Christmas tree looks so much better in a log house than anywhere else. And in turn, a log house needs a Christmas tree to look complete. It's crazy when I think about the fact that for so many holiday seasons this house went without a tree. Christmas is my favorite season, and I'm so very happy my Lady is intense about it as well. There are a few funny pictures, but I'll save them for later. For now, I'll leave you with a full picture of our gorgeous first Christmas tree. Enjoy...

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Well, today was a great day but I'm ending it feeling sick. Nothing major, just ate too much crappy food today. Both my Lady and I felt the same way so we ended our night early and now I'm home for the evening. I did get to experience my Lady and her Mom set up a gorgeous Christmas tree in their living room, and with my Lady's intense love for the holiday season, they donated a tree and a bunch of decorations for my last Christmas here at the Log House. Tomorrow night she has plans to set it up and decorate it for me, and I'm super excited for how festive my house will be when she's done. I'll be sure and share pictures after.

For now, goodnight.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

And how's about a third

I need to catch up so I don't feel like a loser. Hence the thrice posting in one day.

Here's what I'm doing right now.......

-Attempting to digest my Pondi's burger
-Watching college football
-Sitting next to my Lady while she sleeps as I watch football (I guess she's informing me of her priorities)
-Posting a little on CPS
-Thinking about how much I appreciate the strength of my Mom
-Mentally packing some boxes and mentally throwing stuff away
-Wishing I had the energy to smoke a pipe
-Laughing at my Lady because she just had one of those sleeping-jolts that woke her up
-Being annoyed at stupid commercials
-Laughing at the funny ones
-Still smiling at the thought of Michigan winning today while knowing my sister must have been wondering if I was going to call her to rub it in........ which I shall not
-Trying hard not to fall asleep as I type
-Being thirsty

And with that, I bid you all adieu.

#2 for the day

I'm currently watching "The Game", Michigan versus Ohio State. The score is currently 37-27, Michigan, so I'm in a good mood. I'm going to end this post now in case it starts to go the other way and I'm tempted to throw something.

Go Blue!!!


That's twice now I haven't posted during this grand month o' posting. I've now become the person I used to make fun of. How could anyone not post if they have the Internet in their house? Oh yeah, they fell asleep. ---insert embarassed emoticon---

Well, today I shall attempt to remedy my two failed days by posting three times in one day. It's barely after 5am and I'm wide awake, so why not start right now?!

Here's my plan for the day......
-Try to get a little more sleep, but probably just do some blog surfing
-Shower (I do not smell good)
-Go to work from 8-2
-Rush home to watch the rest of the Michigan/Ohio State game........... Go Wolverines!!!
-Intersperse some housework like dishes and laundry in between other football viewing
-Take my Lady out for dinner and a movie
-Come home to catch SNL and hope it's not a rerun
-Go to bed

I'm sure very little of that will actually happen, but it's good to have a list. Until later......... Peace.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Morning Person

It probably comes as no surprise to those that know me well that I love the mornings. I think it started as a child when my bedroom was on the East side of the house which allowed the sun to pour in my windows as the morning was born. And it has continued into adulthood mainly because I rarely get/need more than six hours of sleep a night, which usually finds me awake at the buttcrack of dawn. With the exception of a few friends, I'm usually alone in this love of the morning. In fact, my Lady is still asleep upstairs as I sit here on the couch; caring more to start this day of Thanksgiving under the covers than with me. ;)

But my love of mornings is deeper than just saying hello to the sun because I'm not tired...... there's much more going on and it is a deep rooted appreciation for what the morning means to the world. In some ways, the morning hours feel as if they belong to me and me alone. There are no clients clamoring to see me, no demands from my boss and nothing I have to do for any other person except myself. I can reflect on my deepest thoughts because my body is still somewhat calm, without distraction from inner struggles. Many who know me realize that I have an overactive brain and thought process, so for me to have a moment in the day where there are only one or a few deep things to ponder is a big deal.

This peaceful feeling comes to me in the wake of the day because of the overwhelming feeling that the morning possesses and shares with me. The stillness and unity of all earthly life is a peaceful and beautiful experience. Every being, from people to critters and plants, seem to have leftover sleepiness that creates that stillness. We are all on the same page at this time of day. In the morning, it feels as if the entire population that the sun currently reaches is on the same team; that we are trying to accomplish a similar goal.

Through the week the world wakes up to begin the day with a subdued hustle and bustle. Each person is trying to get to work or school or run errands. Some are annoyed with traffic, but I understand that each person is wanting to accomplish the same goal as I am: get to work and get the day going. A school bus stopping can be a damper on anyone's commute to work but I have an appreciation for those kids as they carry backpacks as heavy as they are, starting their day, the same as I am. I can't help but smile and think about the earth waking and want to say, "Go world."

My Lady has now joined me after trudging down the stairs, her hair a mangled yet beautiful disaster. A few cups of coffee later, perhaps she will grace me with her first words of the day. This Thanksgiving morning still has the feeling of, "Go team" while families are putting the turkey in the oven, debating whether to have breakfast or save room in their bellies, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and remembering what they are thankful for.

For me, I am thankful for mornings. For the moment of peace. For a time to be with my thoughts. I am thankful to start this day, though in a staggered fashion, with my Lady and her love for the holidays. She is still in her process of waking, but I can still see her excitement to spend the day with loved ones.

Good morning world, go team, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm getting old

Well, not me exactly, but my existence and those in it. At least that's how I felt tonight. On the biggest party night of the year, not a single one of my friends wanted to party. One of my couple friends has always thrown a Thanksgiving-eve party, but this year the husband was feeling the effects of a cold and decided a party wasn't in the cards. I sent out multiple emails and text messages asking who else was doing something, or even wanted to come over to my house, and except one invite to go to dinner, I got no responses. Grrr.....

While I would never be so selfish to ask someone to abandon their family just to provide me with a good time, I have to admit I was annoyed at the lack of anyone wanting to hang out. I guess my circle of friends just isn't into that kind of thing anymore.

It's been interesting seeing this phase of my life through the eyes of my 22 year old Lady. She is a wonderful creature who is fully willing to accept all of my friends as her own, but in that experience, she has noticed that at my stage of life (and the corresponding stages of my friends' lives) that most everyone is married with kids. While she loves kids and is great with them (she has five younger siblings, in fact,) she has none of her own and in hanging out with my friends, she isn't getting to experience those friends as just themselves, but rather as parents. She likes and accepts my friends, but it's clear she has missed out on knowing them as I once knew them. She's never once complained about that and I'm certain she doesn't care, but it's something I can't help wishing she had been able to experience about me and about them.

So, I just feel like I'm getting old, that's all. And I wanted to party tonight, that's all. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The season of invitations

Last year was a rough year for me, but the thing that made it somewhat managable was the outpouring of compassion from my friends. Being alone on my first major holiday had the potential to be a sad time, but at last count, I received nine invitations to join other families as they came together for Thanksgiving dinner. It felt wonderful to have so many people care about me being alone. This year already I have five invitations. While having my Lady in my life is the number one thing I'll be thankful for this Thanksgiving week, a close second is knowing I have an amazing network of friends in my corner. I feel like this may be a lame post for its shortness, but that's all I'm really thinking about right now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wing Night

My Lady and I are getting wings tonight, so I thought I'd sneak in a post before my laptop is destroyed by greasy finger drippings.

mmmmmmmm............................. wings.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Last Party at the Log House

The latter part of this week was consumed by a great tragedy in my life. When I sat down to write last night's post, I had every intention of talking about what had happened and its strange connection to this moment in my life. But it wouldn't come to the surface, and even now can not find its way to print. There is much sorrow mixed with helplessness and the events simply don't form full thoughts that would make any sense. I want to tell you all, but I think I need to be in a certain emotional state to adequately make sense of it...... and that's not where I'm at today.

Instead I want to remember the events of last night and share some of them with those who weren't here. As the title of this post presents, last night was the Last Party at the Log House. It was a smaller affair than many of the other parties the House has hosted, but as some of us reflected later that night, it was the perfect size. In fact, it turned out to be one of the most amazing parties ever. Even though there were some obvious faces absent that would have added to the atmosphere, the vibe of the evening was amazing.

The term, "Wake" was mentioned more than once, but not in a sad way. As my friend Steve informed us, the traditional Wake was usually a party to say goodbye. And with laughter, alcohol, food, destruction of property, beer, fire, dollar-bets, dancing, trivia, drunken-remodeling, music, laughter that made our faces hurt and stomachs ache, we all felt we gave the Log House a proper Wake. We all had our chance to say goodbye in our own personal way, and we all had a good time doing it. And then the night ended as it should have, with some of my best friends in the world, Mike & Ginny, sitting around the kitchen table with me and my Lady until after 3am.

I've said it before, it will be a sobering moment when I move out of this house I've called my home for over thirteen years. My childhood home is the only place I lived longer (and only by one year,) so this is a big deal to me. There are a lot of good memories in this house as well as some very bad ones. But as Mike reminded me, whatever category those memories fall into, the Log House was just the setting, not the thing that happened. And so that's how I choose to say goodbye: remembering the Log House as the place that held me in its arms for many, many years and provided me with the chance to grow friendships and make lasting memories.

With the party done and the mess (mostly) cleaned up, tomorrow starts the packing, gifting, throwing away process. But even as I begin that, the Party itself will begin to become a distinct memory in itself, and will ring clear in my mind as one of the greatest moments I ever had in this beautiful place. And so I raise my glass to you Log House. Thank you for everything. Cheers.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tonight we say, "Goodbye."

A lot has happened this week. Much of it I haven't found the right words to explain out loud. Too much of it has been sad. Still more of it has caused emotions to rise in my chest too deep to define. And all of it has caused a pause that leads only to saying, "Goodbye." Tomorrow I will try to sit down and write about how it has all played out. For now, I shall simply wrap my arms around my Lady and accept her hug of support as I wait for others to join me in my farewell.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Score one for me

Due to a major event that happened yesterday (which I'll post about this weekend) the Internet is down at my house. So I'm back at the coffee shop where all this blogging nonsense started. Ill probably be posting here for a couple days, so I might as well get used to it. But enough of that.... here's the real post for today.........

I did not enjoy being a student. Really. School was a drag when there was so much world out there that needed to be explored. So, in High School, when I found a teacher that not only grabbed my attention but kept it too, I was enthralled. She was an advanced Math teacher and was amazing at connecting with her students. The way she taught was intriguing to me which in turn made me learn so much better than I normally would have. That was until one day when our worlds' collided.

We were learning a new math process that was hard; really hard. But beyond being difficult to grasp, the path it took you down to get the answer was nonsensical and a ridiculous waste of time. After spending three or four days really trying to wrap my brain around it, I finally had to raise my hand and ask that question every Math teacher must dread: "What am I ever going to use this for in the real world?" You could physically see the blood rising in her eyes.

The next few minutes were very scary as this small-framed woman I had never once even seen annoyed was now yelling and screaming. It was a very surreal moment that is still one of the most intense moments I've ever had in my life. She finished her tirade with the following statement, "Find me in twenty years and tell me what you think about what you said." Well, today that happened.

I walked into the lobby to invite a customer the tellers had told me needed to renew a CD. To my surprise, it was my teacher. After we had taken care of business, I reminded her who I was and about that conversation. And then, with a smug smile on my face, informed her that the stupid Math she had been trying to teach me that day was a waste of my time and held no worth in my current existence as a Banker. She was truly shocked to see where I had ended up in life, but gracious with her apology. I thanked her for being a great teacher, but made sure she knew that following the rules and refusing to think outside the box wasn't always the best way to deal with kids. She agreed and we parted ways. It was a satisfying moment that I was glad I was able to check off my life list.

And so I don't ruin the trend of mentioning my Lady in every post this month........... I can't wait to tell her about the interaction. My Lady is extremely intelligent so I'm not sure she'll approve of me treating a teacher like that, but I know she'll smile at my little life-win.

Score one for Sam.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Well, darn it

I missed a day. I had every intention of posting, but then my Lady and I fell asleep on the couch watching TV. I awoke at 12:05 and introduced the palm of my hand to my forehead with a groan. But in a midnight-hour-justification of NaBloPoMo's thirty posts in thirty days, I've decided to post a half hour late.

My Lady has left for home, and I shall now leave for bed. My apologies once again to all four of ELEVEN's readers for the late post. Goodnight, all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Movie Night

Tuesday nights have become a movie night for my Lady and I. Tonight we chose a movie from Redbox (my first experience with it) called, The Tree of Life. We're only forty minutes into it and we're both kind of annoyed with it. It's an awkward movie including a fifteen minute visual depiction of the creation of the Earth. There's been very little dialogue except for random quoting of scripture. I have a few people in my head I want to recommend it too for the oddness that it portrays, but that may change if it progresses in the same unusual path with little to no storyline.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dinner on the table

Monday's are the longest day in the banking world. I usually start by pulling into the parking lot between 7:15-7:30 and usually don't leave until 6:15-6:30. Today was the excess of those times and the end of the day was exceptionally rough due to some very poor customer service by my manager which ended up possibly costing me an investment sale. To say I was uber ready to go home would be the understatment of the year.

Right before I left, I noticed an email from my Lady stating she was going to be making me dinner. I'm not sure I stopped having an emotional overload the entire drive home. And then I pulled into my driveway and saw the lights in my house on, and caught a glimpse of my Lady bustling around the kitchen, and the emotions bubbled to the surface.

If you know me well, you know I am the not the type of guy who expects his woman to have dinner ready or even sees a woman's place as in the kitchen or doing laundry or any of the other chauvenistic things people say about woman. In fact, the entire time Ell and I were married we worked different shifts and her having dinner prepared for me when I got home was a rare thing. But as I pulled into the driveway and then walked into my house to the smell of good cooking, my heart smiled bigger than it may have ever smiled.

I wrapped my arms around my Lady and felt her breath against my chest, and sighed a giant sigh of happiness. At that very moment, I felt an intense wave of love for this woman in a way that was new to me in so many ways. What I've done to deserve such an gracious act of service is beyond me, but for the first time in my life I knew it was something I had been craving and needing. Here was a person, herself having worked a long day of work, willing to sacrifice her evening for the pleasure and satisfaction of her man. I don't know what the future holds for the two of us, but tonight I saw a vision of us being happy many years in the future.

To be completely honest, the thought of her making me dinner felt like I was putting her out and expecting something I didn't deserve to expect. But her willingness to please me by cooking dinner for me made those uneasy feelings float away on the smells of her cooking. I love this woman, and I hope I can do enough to make her equally happy with me as I am with her.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not my own

I'm too tired to post my, "reflective" thoughts tonight, so instead I thought I'd tell you all something weird that happened today. While my Lady and I sat on the couch watching football, the new owner of my house showed up outside. Over the course of a few hours, he had mowed my entire yard and raked up and hauled away all the leaves that covered the lawn. As he worked, I began to feel like an outsider in my own home. Someone else was taking care of what was once my responsibility. Someone was on my property without being invited. It was an odd feeling.

While none of what happened is actually out of line or wrong, and it's not as if I didn't know things were going to be different, but it really hit me that my home is no longer my home. I was worried about things that I had never been worried about before. I was aware of my personal space more than I ever had been before. And I was protective of my belongings more than I ever had been before. More than at any time before today, I no longer wanted to live here. I love this house and am proud of what it has been for me, but it's time to move on.

I guess this turned out to be reflective after all.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Que: Rolling eyes

I don't have anything interesting to say with the time I have left in the day. I hate to put up a useless post, but I don't want to miss a day of NaBloPoMo. I promise a, "reflective" post tomorrow about some things that were passing through my mind all day today. There's way too much in my brain about it and I want to be sure and give it the time and respect it deserves.

On that note, I'm signing off so I can snuggle with my Lady. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011


Well, it has arrived..... The best day ever invented. :)

To commemorate the event, here's a list of a few things in my life that include the number eleven:

To start with, it's my favorite number and something I say almost every day
The name of this blog
The beginning of the Perseids meteor shower (August 11)
My Dr. Grabow "Special 11" pipe
My Nate King "Irish-Dane 11-11" pipe
My CPS 2010 POY (Pipe of the Year), stamped number 11 of 50
The title (11:11) of a CD by one of my favorite musical artists, Rodrigo Y Gabriela
The amount of years I've been in the Finance Industry
Name of Jack Iron's band
The year I met my Lady
The size of my work shoes
Part of my Grandfather's favorite saying: "Forty-Eleven"
My phone extension at work

There's many, many other things throughout my life that have included the number eleven, and all of them have been good. I feel like I should make this post a hundred eleven lines long, but for now I'm going back to enjoying the whole day with my Lady. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I would like to introduce you to.....

..... my new website. A few months ago I created a website and then bought a domain name, but as luck would have it I had a hard time figuring out the updated codes to get it online. The other night my friends Chris and Kate came over for dinner with my Lady and I, and Chris offered to take a look at it. Within a few minutes he had my website online. Hooray! The site includes a link to ELEVEN, a link to my AT TrailJournals page, a link to buy my book(s), another interesting page, and a contact form. I'm so very excited about this.

If you'd like to check it out --and I hope you do-- the link is here:

Try it out and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wow, these eyes are heavy

My Lady and I split a bottle and a half of wine and we're having a hard time staying awake. So before I commit a party foul during NaBloPoMo's first ten days, here's my post for 11/09/11. I know it sucks and I apologize for its sadness, but I promise to make up for it the next couple days. For now though, my Lady's arms and sleep are calling out to me. I bid you all adieu.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A contest

My friend Andrew suggested a fun idea for my NaBloPoMo experience this year...... having my Lady ghost write a post and see if anyone can guess which one it is. So here's how it will play out: Starting tomorrow and extending throughout the rest of the month, each post has the potential to be ghost-written by my Lady. So, if you're reading a post and think it was written by her, simply type the word, "Ghost" in the comments. On December 1st I'll announce the correct answer. Whoever gets it right will get a prize yet-to-be-determined. There may only be four people reading ELEVEN these days, but it should still be fun. :)

Monday, November 07, 2011

The vacation has begun

In the world of banking, it's a requirement for all non-exempt employees to take a full five days in a row as paid time off. So far this year I hadn't done that. With Veterans Day coming up on Friday, I figured it was a good time to take those five days while only having to use four vacation days.

I started the first day of my vacation texting my Lady a, "Good Morning" message, lounged around until 11:00am, posted on CPS, drank an entire pot of good coffee, and smoked my pipe. Then I worked outside in the gorgeous Fall weather cleaning up the yard for a couple hours. After that I visited the grocery store to gather supplies for the dinner I was planning for my Lady. I returned home, shaved, showered, and started dinner. My Lady ended up making dinner (which was probably for the best) and we enjoyed some wine as we ate. And now she's curled up in a blanket and snuggled against me as I write this. All-in-all, it's been a great start to vacation week.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Christmas Ale

I broke one of my cardinal beer rules this year and started drinking Christmas Ale before Thanksgiving. My friend Mike broke the same rule but justified it by declaring, "I could be dead tomorrow." I like that reasoning. Here's a picture my Lady took of the event. This was a first for her, and I believe I'm doing a good job of making her a beer snob up to par with me. :)


Saturday, November 05, 2011


Tonight I had my first local hibachi experience. Many years ago I went to a Japanese restaurant in Columbus that ended up being a $700 night; thankfully paid for by the Dad of one of my friends. After that amazing meal, it's been hard to imagine anything more amazing than that meal. But tonight, with the urging of my Lady, I broke that fast.

It wasn't anything like that meal almost a decade ago, but it was still fun. The cook did some flipping of broccoli into our mouths, he shot Sake into my Lady's mouth, and he lit the grill on fire in the shape of a heart. It was a good time and the food was good too.

At the end of the meal, I was surprised by a visit from my friend Kate who had seen my car outside. And now I'm sitting on my couch watching college football while my Lady is doing her nails next to me. A great night all around.

Friday, November 04, 2011


My Lady sent me a couple emails at work today that I immediately wanted to save forever. At first I was angry they were stuck in something as stupid as my work email. And then she reminded me I could forward them to my personal email and save them forever. Why didn't I think of that?

As I thought about that later in the day, I was struck with how important "words" are to me. When I was a Youth Pastor I used to send my students letters of encouragement and advice. As the years went by, I saved every one of those letters. Whenever I would have correspondence with my family and friends, I saved those as well. I even have every email and letter traded between Ell and I before, during, and after our divorce. There's just something about "words" that seem so permanent and binding to me. It's as if those "words" would be lost if I somehow got rid of the papers/emails they were written on/in.

Another way this takes form is in books. In the last year or so my book collection has dropped significantly. But even though many of them were books I didn't need or even want, not a one of them were thrown away. Not because they were junk or anything (because some of them were,) but it would feel like true sacrilege if I threw them in the trash. I can't explain it, but I'm not sure I could ever throw a book away.

Blogging is the final form of my insanity. I think I would feel a massive loss in my life if this electronic record of my words were to disappear. What a horrible thought. Really, it gives me the chills just thinking about it.

Not sure what any of that means, but it's a very real thing to me. Part of me wonders if this fascination with "words" comes from the fact that I visually see every word I write, hear, say, spelled out in my mind. It's like I'm reading the words as they are spoken or heard. I see them. Every one. It's weird, but very real.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The greatest season of all

From the first time I heard it I've been intrigued with the phrase, "seasons of life." For so long I thought life was just life and it had a start and an end and everything in between just was. But when I break down my life as phases --or seasons-- it brings new meaning and purpose to each thing as it happens. Some of those seasons are short, some of them are long, but there's no denying that everything falls into a season of existence.

For a couple years now I've felt stuck in a sad, disheartening season. But as much of a downer as that season has seemed, it opened my eyes to a season that preceded it that I now see as being nothing but life with a blanket over its head. There was distrust, avoidance, denial, and dishonesty all within its walls. Much of that was my own doing, which is plain for me to see with a little bit of help of Ell finally being honest with me. With one simple email, the blanket was removed, the muffled fakeness was revealed, and then my life as I knew it was abruptly ended. Which then opened up the season that consumed the last two years.

Thankfully, that immense sadness has been replaced with a season I can only describe as hope. As I write this, I'm sitting on the floor of a house that is no longer my own. My Lady is behind me on the couch, softly exhaling as she sleeps. The walls around me are bare of anything unneeded or unnecessary. And a determined smile is set firmly on my face. I have little to my name at this point in my life except the things that truly matter to me. That makes me happy. That gives me hope.

This next season of my life may look scary or even stupid to anyone looking in from the outside. I have no home and very little belongings to put in one if I had it. In four months I'll be quitting a career I'm really, really good at. I have a Lady that is fourteen years my younger. And when people ask me what I plan on doing when I get back from my hike, my always-answer is, "I don't know." All of those seem way outside the normalcy of life. All of those seem like the exact opposite of what a rational human being should be doing. All of those seem like I'm taking a lot of risk with a potential for a lot of pain. And so while all of those must look crazy to the outside world, they are in fact, energizing and exciting to me. The world and my life are wide open right now, and that makes me feel so alive.

This new season will be different. There is a new Lady in it. There will be a new home in it. There will be no job in it. And there will be a grand adventure in it. And when I come out of this season, I have to wonder if it will not have been the greatest season I've ever had.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Goodbye, Log House

I'm going out with my Lady tonight, and since our evenings often tend to stretch into nights and next days, I figured I'd get in a post now before I lose the day.

Besides my Lady, the biggest thing happening in my life right now is the sale of my house. After spending two and a half hours going from one gov't agency to another to get Ell's name off the house, I was informed last week that we had done one of the papers wrong. Of course it wasn't caught by any of the four departments I had gone to that day (I mean, who would expect them to inform me of an error?!) so when it was caught by the title company, it meant having to get a brand new Deed recorded. After fighting with them for days and then spending another wad of cash out of my own pocket, Ell was emailed the corrected form to sign and then had to overnight it to me from Texas so it could be recorded correctly. After all that (obviously abbreviated for ease of reading) nightmare, tomorrow afternoon I will no longer be a homeowner.

It's a very strange feeling, to be sure. Today I pulled in the driveway from work and it hit me that would be the last time I did that while I owned it. This wonderful house that has been my home for almost thirteen years will now be owned by someone else. The new owner has granted me the freedom to live here until I leave for the AT, but even so, every day will be birthed with the knowledge that it's no longer mine. Strange.

Sometime this month, my Lady and I will be throwing the last party here in the Log House. It has the potential to be a somber time, but it will probably be just as much fun as all the parties held here have been. And despite any remorse or sadness, I'm very excited for the next season of my life. The house will be missed, but it's time to move on. Goodbye, Log House.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

By the skin of my teeth

Wow. I almost missed the first day of NaBloPoMo. I started the evening making dinner for my Lady, then we addressed and stuffed envelopes for the last party at the Log House, then we watched Glee, and then we spent the next two hours talking about our relationship. It was one of the most amazing conversations we've had to date. I am so wonderfully attracted to this person, and I am so, so happy right now. As I write my first entry to this great month of daily blogging, I'm wondering how much of the month will be about her. If that ends up being boring to you, I apologize to you in advance, but I refuse to stop smiling. :)