Thursday, February 28, 2013

Love is a Many Splintered Thing

Sad Sign of True Love

What has society come to when we proclaim our love with a Sharpie instead of a pocketknife?

Used to be "Our Love" was etched in stone, lasting forever and ever, amen. Then we moved to carving "Our Love" in living trees, where it would last a generation or until Big Business cleared the lot to build mini-mart.

Now, Candy and Richard prove "Our Love" is Sharpied on felled trees, destined to last until someone marks it out with a bigger Sharpie.

Love is a many splintered thing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On The Trail at Daingerfield State Park

The last several days have been miserable in East Texas.

Cold. Rainy. Thunderstorms. Lightning. Hail. With just a “tease” of warmth here and there.

But the weekend turned out glorious, and glorious weekends deserve to be spent outside.

Daingerfield State Park
Daingerfield State Park is just a 30-minute drive from the house, so Becky and I laced up our hiking boots, packed some water, and headed out for a little daughter/father bonding time with Mother Nature.
We started out our trail-breaking quite late – around 3 in the afternoon – with a clear sky and a bit of chill in the air. Pretty much a perfect day. The trail is about 2.5 miles long around the lake, clearly marked, and has some gentle hills to climb. We made it around in about 2 hours, just strolling and stopping to take plenty of photos.

But that’s just technical info.

The REAL fun began the moment my daughter agreed to go with me.

Hiking with your children is more than just covering the distance in the quickest amount of time so you can get back home to watch your favorite TV show.

Trail and Lake
It’s about discovering who this young person is – what they dream about, their goals, their likes and dislikes.

It’s about finding out who their friends are.

How they feel about school and their teachers.

It’s about discovering who they have a crush on.

About what music they listen to.

It’s about making a connection with a person who will always be a part of yourself until the day they put you in the earth.

And on that day, she’ll remember you spent a day hiking with her instead of being at work or glued to the TV set.

And maybe she’ll say something nice about you.
About how you two walked the trail at Daingerfield State Park, on a chilly day in February, just you and her.

You won’t be there to hear it, but it’s nice to know anyways.

Canoe on Lake

Becky outside texting.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Windmill Sunrise

I thought about sleeping in.

No need to go chase a sunrise while the blankets are warm.

And I wonder how cold it is outside?

Too cold to be out and about on a perfectly lazy Saturday morning, I bet.

But then again, this could be the sunrise I'm waiting for.

The perfect sunrise.

And unless I put feet to the floor and go see for myself, I'll never know if it was or wasn't.

Ok. Out of bed. Put on clothes. Forget about shower and teeth. Time to move quickly. The sunrise waits for no man, especially me.

Camera battery charged? Check. Wallet in my pocket? Check. Gas in the car? Check.

Move, move, move. I know just where I want to be. Past main street. Past the traffic lights. Out of town. No time for a speeding ticket. Keep moving. "C'mon, mister. Can't ya see I'm in a hurry?" Drive, drive, drive.

And there it is.

Pull over.





Windmill Sunrise

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Here and Ever After

I'd rather spend an eternity in hell,
listening to fell sounds of
nails on chalkboards,
scratchy records,
screechy school bus brakes,
cats in heat,
scat singing,
soup slurping,
gum smacking,
knuckle cracking,
a fork being scraped across a plate,
a student's excuse for being late,
a baby crying, day or night,
or a grown man screaming with fright --

than watch one minute of Oprah.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

On The Trail at Lake Bob Sandlin

When you get that urge to get off the couch, head outside, and enjoy the great outdoors, it's best to just forget about anything else you "have" to do, and get up and GO.

Lake Bob SandlinThat's exactly what Becky, my daughter, and I did today. We headed out to Lake Bob Sandlin State Park to hike their 4.5 hiking trail.

It was 10 a.m. and 40F by the time we arrived at the trailhead, and a brisk breeze was making it a bit chilly -- but we knew it wouldn't take long for us to warm up.

The trail is well marked, flat for the most part with a few steep bits to get your heart pumping, and quiet. We didn't see much wildlife, but we did hike past a primitive composting toilet "shack" that Becky wouldn't have used if I'd given her all the money in the world.

(I thought it was pretty cool, but I'm a guy.)

Beck on a BridgeThere's a trout fishing pond beside the trail and we stopped their for a little rest and swig of water. A group of Boy Scouts were trying their luck fishing, and some of the boys were students at the school where I teach. After a quick "hello" and "how do you do?", Becky and I headed on down the trail.

"We go to Wal-mart, and everybody knows you. We go on a hike, and everybody knows you," Becky said. "How is that?"

I replied, "I'm just awesome."

We made it around the trail in a little less than two hours and I learned three things along the way:

1. Being outside is better than being inside.

2. Spending time with your family is time well spent.

3. I need to get in shape.

Trail and Shadows

Brim Pond

The Pines

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vulture self esteem

I imagine a vulture would think himself debonair, if only he had the vocabulary to think it.