Friday, August 31, 2007

Jill, Joel, and Jan?

They’d once gone to the woods together, where he tried to enter her world of absorption as she fixed her gaze on lichen—but his mind had wandered like a free-range chicken, and he ended up thinking through a sermon based on Philippians four-thirteen. (From Jan Karon, "Out To Canaan")

Jill and I have been doing some camping the past few weeks. Nothing serious--quick overnighters with our dog, big tent (to accommodate the dog), and shiny new Coleman stove. We sit around some, hike some, read some, and--when Daisy allows--sleep some. It's good.

Two weekends ago Jill's brother Luke joined us on a whim. We camped near the top of Guanella Pass (@10,500 ft). Memorable moments included waking up at 2:30 am and looking at the stars--they were amazing. Like handfuls of salt sprinkled on a dark canvas. The next day, we tested Luke's flat-lander lungs and hiked our first "14er"*--Mt. Bierstadt. Luke was a champ.

Last weekend, Jill's folks were out and we rented a cabin in the mountains. Except for our dog deciding that she had to hunt mice in the middle of the night, it was a good trip. Again-=-hiked some (Rocky Mountain National Park), read some, sat some, slept some. Oh, and we gamed some. I didn't win every game of Settlers, but two out of three isn't bad. (Of course, I'd rather not talk about Ticket to Ride.)

Here are some pics of the past month...

*A "14er" is a mountain that is over 14,000 feet. There are 54 (56?) in Co. Some people make it a goal to climb all of them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bachin' It: An Ode to Jill

I've been "bachin' it" the last few days. Jill has been in NY visiting her family since last Friday. That means that I've spent a lot of time doing "sermon research" (watching movies and reading), going for long bike rides*, eating nachos and drinking Pepsi One (that one calorie really does make a difference).

But she's finally coming home today.

That's probably good--on many levels. It's good because I miss her, of course. But it's also good because our household probably can't tolerate her absence much longer. Things just seem to go down hill when she's not around. And it's not just the fact that she has a much lower threshold for messiness than I do (why put in the dishwasher today what you can put in tomorrow?). Here's a short list of the (minor) catastrophes that occurred while Jill was gone.
  • On Saturday, I went for a road ride with a local bike club. 60 miles should not have been a big deal. But I forget to take food (I thought we were out. Talking with Jill Sat. night, she reminded me that we were not--I just hadn't looked in the right spot). Well, I blew up--big time. I've never felt so awful on a bike. Toward the end, I even wanted to puke going downhill. Sunday, my lungs/chest still hurt. I'm sure this would not have happened if Jill were around.
  • Food wasn't the only thing I forgot on Saturday. I also forgot sunscreen. I got my first burn of the year (pretty good, really). Saturday night my increasingly "noble forehead" had little strips of burn where the sun snuck through the vents in my helmet.
  • Sunday, I decided to make myself a frozen pizza for supper. Frozen pizza is usually one of life's little pleasures for me (I even splurged and got Digornoes). But it's less pleasurable when you forget to take the cardboard out from under the pizza when you slide it in the oven. Thankfully, no fires.
  • Monday night, I read a spooky article on rattle snakes right before bed. I tossed and turned and had bad dreams all night. I suspect my beloved wife would've censored my reading material (or, more likely, told me to go to bed earlier) and prevented this too.
  • Even Daisy has been affected by Jill's absence. Last night, I had to let the distraught pup out three times. This morning I discovered that it was because of a nasty case of diarrhea. It could've been from her snarfing of the neighbor's peaches. But I think it was because she missed Jill. Regardless, it was very nasty. But even that wasn't the worst of it.
  • The worst of it happened on Sunday. I decided to pick up some ice-cream with my Digornoes. Coffee/fudge = good. The bad part was that I didn't realize until I got home that it was "fat free." What a disaster. That too, I trust, would have easily been avoided if Jill were at home.

*CL: I road the first section of the Colorado Trail on Monday. It's sweet. I'll post pictures when my computer starts cooperating. That may or may not be after the Second Coming.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Things I DON'T LIke About Living in CO

One of my dreams is to live in a place that is "safe." No crazy weather (hurricanes or earthquakes). No venomous snakes. No scary bugs.

Apparently, CO is not that place.

Aside from an occasional blizzard and a perennial drought, the weather is great. But I'm not a fan of the wildlife.
Two weeks ago I saw a rattle snake while mountain biking. And today, I was told that a woman from church got bit by a black widow while looking for something in her garage.
Yikes. THAT's creepy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bad Timing

Jill and I got new neighbors this week. My pal Pico (from seminary) and his lovely wife Kim (from Kenosha, WI) moved into the house on the other side of church. They'll be living there for the next year while Pico (AKA"Chris") does a chaplaincy internship (AKA "CPE) at a local hospital (AKA "Swedish"). Jill and I are delighted at the prospect of having friends our age around--but we're trying not to be overbearing or creepy about it.

Chris and Kim, on the other hand, are probably just happy to have had their worldly goods arrive. They've been waiting for almost a week for the moving truck to get here, and Monday it finally did. But apparently, they weren't the only fresh faces to move into the neighborhood. How do I know this? Well, on Friday some concerned citizen went around stuffing pieces of paper into mailboxes and behind screen doors, informing all that a registered sex offender had just moved into the area. Yeesh. That's some bad timing.

Hopefully, Chris (and Kim) don't get too many dirty looks.