Day 1,112 – Thankful for Amazing Sunrises Over the Driftless

Sometimes words aren’t the most important part of my blog. Some things are so simple yet beyond explanation. Trying to put words to those things only cloud and complicate is stunningly simple beauty. Instead of writing an explanation of why I’m thankful for this today I’ll do my best to keep it simple.

God, thank you for the opportunity to witness such beauty.

Thanks!!!

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Day 1,111 – Thankful for Timestamp Moments

My Facebook memories from this day in the past left me feeling nostalgic. Seven years ago today LuLu came to live with us.

My mind was blown in very different ways. In one way it seems just like yesterday that we adopted her. Just as shocking was that it seems like she’s been a part of our family forever. I can clearly remember taking that picture and helping her become accustomed to her new home that night.

That moment feels very much like a timestamp we added to our live to market the moment for future comparative use. What got me thinking is just how many of these wonderful markers in our life we have. Over the past week I’ve caught myself pausing to appreciate several of those moments.

Those moments are usually the times that have helped define me or have helped to reset my path. They may be expected or unexpected. Some bring extreme joy, others that off with sadness and then force me to find joy in spite of my initial feeling. Sometimes these timestamp moments are so extraordinary that they don’t feel real while others are so ordinary it’s not until long after they’ve passed that the true beauty of them is revealed (like the ordinary yet incredible last hug from my dad).

Regardless of the timestamp moment description itself it marks the passing of time. Future events and experiences will become regular memories. When I attempt to decipher the true timeline I’ll lean on the light from those timestamp moments. They are the paragraph breaks and chapter titles in the novel that is my life.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of one of those moments – I appreciate each of you greatly!

Thanks!!!

Day 1,110 – Thankful for Adding to the Dream List & Kitchen Tables

I am continually amazed at how many wondrous places there on Earth. In conversation with Jesse I learned of The Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. He’d visited there and as he described I was enthralled. A quick Google image search later I was mentally adding another destination to my dream list. Just the thought of visiting of visiting such a magnificent place bring some great joy.

Much of today was spent around one of my favorite pieces of furniture, the kitchen table. It seems so basic and nondescript but these tables are the source of so many incredible memories. Many new memories were created tonight. So many laughs and fun. Long lasting friendships continued and more strongly developed. All this around a kitchen table piled with games, snacks, and drinks. A perfect gathering place for an incredible weekend with friends.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,109 – Thankful for Catching Up with Friends and Old School Gaming

Let the good times ROLL! Get it? See what I did there? 😉

I’ve had a wonderful time catching up with friends today. Spending time reminiscing and talking about life has been awesome. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to hang out with great friends. With the whirlwind of life constantly spinning by its so easy to lose touch a little. Taking time to pause and reconnect with some of the most important people in my life who don’t live nearby is something I am eternally grateful for.

Tonight’s agenda includes doing some old school gaming. There are so many excellent memories of times just like this from way back in the day, I’m pumped to make some more!

Thanks!!!

Day 1,108 – Thankful for a Simple Text, a Simple Email, and a Simple Thought

The first of today’s trifecta of thankfulness was much like the others; very simple in if itself, yet so awesome and emotion provoking. It was a short text from Becky. Her doc appointment went very well and the treatments seem to be working. How awesome is that? In order for anything else to make sense we must have our life and preferably our health.

The second item today was a beautifully simple email that almost brought me to tears. The words were exactly what my soul needed in that moment. The note was the warm blanket needed on a cold day. I’ve saved it and will pull it out when I need that type of electronic hug in the future.

The third was also very simple and straightforward. As I drove to Dominic’s soccer game a thought crossed my mind. “If today was the last day of my life how would I feel about it? What would I do differently?” With all of the stress and stuff going on today and over the past week I’ve been focused too much on the stress. Those two questions caused me to pause and refocus.

I quickly realized that I haven’t been 100% present this afternoon like I should’ve been. With that shift in mindset I took a deep breath and focused on what I could control in the minute, I focused on what I was in front of me. How fitting that what I first saw as I smiled was the sun popping out through a cloudy sky? I chose to focus on the sun.

Thanks!!!

Thanks!!!

Day 1,107 – Thankful for Time Traveling & Enjoying Autumn Leaves

Today I spent much of my day in Rice Lake. The drive up from La Crosse is pretty stunning. Driving in the driftless area never ceases to blow my mind.

As I headed north it was almost like I was time traveling. The leaves started off as almost all green and then worked their way into a colorful display by the time I got to Rice Lake. On the way home it was like I was traveling backwards to Spring, from reds and yellows to green again!

Most of the drive was in silence as I have many thoughts I was focused on. That said, there were several times when those thoughts were totally derailed by the beautiful show Mother Nature was putting on all around me. Each awesome vista around each twist in the road brought great joy.

Thanks!!!

Day 1,106 – Thankful for a Good Samaritan and an Unfinished Meal 20 Years Ago

There haven’t been many unfinished meals in my life. Exactly twenty years ago tonight there was one I’ll never forget.

As I was still a little nervous about Becky backing out of our date I was sure to check in part way through the week to make sure we were still on. All systems were go so I headed down to La Crosse right after work in Minneapolis on Friday.

As luck would have it I took the slow way there via Hwy 61 which put my arrival a little later than expected. I’m pretty sure the Big Dude Upstairs may have been questioning this date as well as my parents’ 1979 Chevy pick up was stopped in its tracks with a flat tire. The old truck didn’t have the best of jacks and I was only armed with a pager (📟) as this was the dark period before cellphones. Even my eternally optimistic spirit was starting to feel the crushing weight of reality squish my dream.

I must’ve been quite the pitiful sight as I was cranking away on the jack and seeing the truck raise only millimeters every few seconds. The Big Dude Upstairs pretty much had two options as near as I can tell. Throw me a lifeline or put me out of my misery via a distracted driver (most likely changing out cds as there were no cell phones to look at 😉).

Mercy was the option and my lifeline came in the form of a super nice middle aged dude who had an industrial car jack in the trunk of his four door car. The working jack made short work of the tire change and I was back on the road. Thank you so much Random Good Samaritan Dude!!!

For safety’s sake Becky had a couple of friends and one of their boyfriends waiting at her apartment for me. By the time I was able to call her from a pay phone at the Kwik Trip in Lake City they’d already gone or left shortly thereafter. I’m pretty sure it’s because they knew I was obviously good people. I mean c’mon, I’m the guy who pursued and wooed her for hours while she was drinking until I got her to say yes to a date using some supremely excellent pick up lines. For reals, they could trust me, I’m an Eagle Scout (yup, that was one of my lines!). Stand back ladies, I’m all Becky’s! 🤣

Once I finally arrived at Becky’s apartment well over an hour and a half late riding my rusty steed that was older than Becky I reeked of exhaust. Pretty sure there was another minor miracle performed in holding the rest of the truck together for that long drive!

We saddled up and headed out to the most glorious first date location we could think of, Chi-Chi’s. It was only a matter of minutes into the conversation that I realized she was even more awesome than I’d picked up on at the wedding. Our conversation was awesome and we both felt pretty nervous. My nervousness was most focused on making sure I didn’t screw this up. Hers? I’m not sure if she was feeling like an exit wasn’t close enough or if she was nervous about having to let me down after the quest I’d just been on to get there. Who knows, you’ll have to ask her yourself.

For reals, it was amazing. In just a few minutes it was like everything in the world faded away, it was just the two of us, and it was perfect. I wasn’t planning ahead or seeing a perfect future, I was focused on enjoying the perfect present we were sharing. It was amazing. Period.

By the time we left there was still about half a meal in my plate. I was so caught up in getting to know her and spending time with her that I couldn’t focus on eating if I would’ve tried.

Here we are, 20 years later, and I still remember that i fishies meal. More importantly, I still remember that wonderful feeling of everything being perfect in that moment.

Thanks!!!