Monday, October 29, 2012

Safety in the face of danger

I've always had this unexplainable fascination with extreme weather. Someone told me once it was a guilty pleasure, but I don't always like or enjoy floods, blizzards, etc. Instead, I am in awe of their intensity, their power, their ability to put the human race in its place. We may be the most powerful and resourceful species, but we are no match for Mother Nature. Extreme weather shows us that with force.

As I sit here in my new house, complete with a furnace, sewer, city water, and all the trimmings, I miss my old house where despite all its faults, I had a fighting chance against extreme weather. In that thick walled, 180 year old house, I could lose all forms of utilities and still withstand the onslaught of most anything outside. I perfected water retrieval, heating, cooking, and everything else needed to survive without the comforts of the common world. So even though there's an ease of life in this new house -- no need to gather and cut wood, pump water, or build a fire from scratch every night after work -- the first flicker of the lights caused by mister/missus Sandy caused an immediate sense of fear throughout my body. Why fear? Well, what was I going to do if I lost just one of those creature comfort utilities?

Those two paragraphs are vastly different. Sorry for the rambling. How about a recap?

I have a weird sense of love for intense weather... and I miss my old house in the face of said bad weather.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My favorite car ever

A few years ago I was sitting around with some friends discussing the phenomenon of OCD. Admitting everyone has a little OCD in them led to each person in the room trying to figure out what their individual ugly/funny sides were. My friend Chris had a particularly memorable one involving cars. He shared, "Whenever I hit a pot hole with one side of my car, I feel a strong need to hit one with the other side of the car." We had a fun night swapping crazies, but that was the only one that stuck with me.

Even all these years later, I still smile a little when I hit a pothole. Okay, a very little smile, but it's there. Anyway, as I was driving home the other day I was thinking about my own car habits with my beloved Volkswagen GTI VR6. While most of them aren't necessarily OCD (or maybe they are), they are still a little funny and unique. Here's a few of them:

  • When the temperature is in the 50's outside, the driver's side window is down a few inches
  • In the 60's, both windows down a few inches
  • 70's, Driver's side all the way down and passenger side down a few inches
  • 80's and above, both windows down all the way
  • When I bought the car brand new off the lot, a burning smell caused me to wonder who was burning leaves in their yard
  • Around 50,000 miles, the same smell caused me to look around for a junky car possibly on fire 
  • 100,000 miles, Could that be my car that smells so bad? Nah.
  • 150,000 miles, Wow, my car smells like it's not doing good.
  • 200,000 miles, Great, what's on fire now?
  • 200,000+, I think I can make it home before the fire catches the rest of the car on fire.
  • I used to wash my car once a week but it hasn't been washed one time since living in NC.
  • In the first six years I owned my GTI I put 190,000 miles on it. In the following three years, only 26,000. That's less than any single year of those first six.
  • The GTI gets the best gas mileage over 55 mph. So much for that ol' wives tale.
  • The other day there were seven idiot lights lit up on the dash. It looked like an x-mas tree.
  • To the best of my memory, at least ten people have learned how to drive standard in that car.
That was fun. :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Redemption Journey

Saturday morning my future bride will drive me to the bottom of a mountain in Georgia and I'll step back onto the Appalachian Trail to finish the miles I missed in Georgia. I'll hike thirty plus miles in three days and mark that state off a life-list trip that was cut short. I've shared with many of you my disappointment with the mental struggle I had the week before breaking my foot, so I'm looking forward to going back and regaining some of the dignity the trail took from me.

I promise to bring back pictures and stories, and I can already feel the story growing in me that I'll write when I get back.

Until then... I encourage all of you to get outside this weekend. Even if from afar, let's enjoy God's creation together. :)