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Category Archives: family

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see the world… from a different angle

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As I sit here on Thanksgiving, missing my friends and family, I am thankful for the lessons I have been taught on seeing the bigger picture. I am thankful for the opportunity to be away from home today.

I am climbing. I am no longer looking up at the daunting task ahead. I am in it. The journey is not some ambiguous story of future endeavors. I wake up everyday and get to work. I am an Airman.

It is a small change in title, but the ultimate destination will find me in a world I could not have ever imagined as a child. Occasionally I get caught off guard by the magnificence of the things that are going on around me. I go in to work, walk past three mission ready helicopters with crews ready, to save lives. I walk into a hanger with men and women working tooth and nail, day in and day out.

Last week I got to refuel a helicopter that remained powered up because it was engaged in a mission. I got to sit in the cockpit as another was pulled out to the launch pad. All without really recognizing the immensity of what those small tasks were adding toward.

But really, this is all just the secondary part of my day. The true daily honor is the moment I stand before the heros who are training us. The Rescue Swimmers. The moment I get put in the leaning rest position, ready to do however many push-ups they deem appropriate. The moment I enter the pool in the morning and do a warmup 500. The moment when I hit exhaustion, and it is demanded that I sprint down, and underwater back. The honor is mine, to be molded. To become what I believe I can be. To become what they are training me to be.

It is far from easy. There are many moments when I don’t want to do what is asked of me. When I don’t want to do another push-up. When I dont want to get in the cold water. When I don’t want to hold my breath any longer… But then you do it anyway. You see the world from a different angle. From the future looking back, what do you want to say of yourself. From under the water looking up, what do you want to know of yourself. From inside the helicopter looking down, what can you do for the world.

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ham sandwich…

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I truly am sleepless in Seattle. So much ahead. So much keeping me restless…

Tonight for no reason an act of complete generosity caught me off guard. I was at a bowling ally unlike any I have ever been to before. It was bright, happy, smoke free and family filled. The owners were courteous and polite, an happy to have us as guests.

As I lined up on the lane, a man and his wife watched over their adorable kids, whom bowled with perfect bowling etiquette in the lane next to us… (Yes, there is an etiquette to bowling.) As I watched in awe, their 4 year old daughter picked up an 8lb ball and rolled a down the middle strike. I walked up and told the parents it was incredible to see kids with such manors. As I picked up the ball, I threw a meager 4 pin first frame. The father came up to me and handed me a ball, and said, “put this on for size… How’s that feel?”

The rubber center grips felt clean and sturdy. I said… “Great! Thanks.”

He said, “It’s yours… Have fun. It’s a great ball.”

I smiled and went to work on the ball… Learning it. Getting a feel for its cut. I have been rolling spin for years now, but I have never made the move to use a three finger roll… I forewent the extra step and left my thumb out. I rolled my first game in a similar fashion. I rolled a lousy 76. One of the worst games I’ve thrown since I was a 5 year old kid with the bumpers down…

I looked at the ball… Closely. It’s colors were deeply inlaid. It had a presence. As though it had a story. I heard the dad say again… “It’s a great ball.”

I looked up at him, and back down to the ball, whose thumb hole faced up at me… As I examined it, I noticed an etching next to the hole… A key. I put my thumb in, and presented the lane, prepared to throw the ball the way it was meant to be thrown. A three finger spinning strike filled the frame.

I looked up to see the gentleman smiling at me, as he left the lanes with his family in arm. I finished the second game with a 164. By no means my best scoring round, but without a doubt the best game I have thrown to date. At the end of the evening, as I returned my shoes, I asked the owner about the ball… Partially because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t the lanes’ ball.

He told me, “It’s a special ball. It’s a storm. It’s a great ball.”

I told him how the gentleman presented it to me, and he just stood and smiled. “What a generous man”, I said.

“He really is…” The owner replied. “He really is.”

 

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Last stand…

All waves have passed, and here I stand.
Last castle standing in the sand.
My twig held colors, still they fly.
And soon the world shall all know I;
Shall fear no swell, nor break on shore.
They shall not tear down my sand-mented door.

Dad… dad look, right over there. One castle left,
so do you dare? I’ll go, I’ll smash, oh here I come!
What do you think Dad, should I jump?

Just leap and bound son, don’t be scared.
That castle there, it shall not fare.
High tide still has three hours ware.
And even if the breaks don’t reach;
Look son, that storm, heads towards this beach.

 
 

let me tell you something about trying…

Rowing isnt for the weak willed. It is a challenge. It is a test of character. In the thickest moment of mental frustration, what you feel isn’t always satisfaction. More often than not… It’s pain. Because if you can even sense acomplishment, before you have it, you probably got distracted. You aren’t there yet.

To think… I haven’t even been on the water yet.

One week.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in adventure, family, Fun, life, love, rocks...

 

Why rocks…

The stability of everything is relative. Relative to the underlie of a greater purpose. Our platforms in life are always changing. Friends, family, work, recreation, hobbies; all of these things are dependent upon the ability to adapt to change. And truth be told, change is not easy; don’t let anybody fool you.

The struggle comes in the finite details. Just as it does over time, in the bedrock, and ground that we build atop. The change of the seasons, and the fluctuation of weather patterns exist in the world around us. These effects mold the earth upon which we walk. All the systems, and eco-systems, and bio-spheres around us are dependent upon the ground for life. It sustains us. It unites us.

Even the deepest depths of the oceans depend on the sea floor. And being as it is, it too shows the effects of time. Tsunami’s and hurricanes, tides and currents, all are connected.

This to me is beautiful. This to me is life, and is all that really matters. Because when we come to understand that all things are connected, we raise ourselves to a higher sphere of understanding. We begin to correlate events in our own lives to the chaotic reality of the world we live in.

Humanity’s disillusion of separation from all of this is flawed. It leads to lashing out, anger, hostility, pain, heartache, and the killing of anything that says otherwise. There is plenty of sadness to be overtaken by. Our time on this planet is our own. It is ours to decide what to do with it, and it is ours to decide what not to do with it. It is a beautiful predicament. It is our curse, and our blessing.

SO I say, go forth, and do good. Stand tall against the resentment of change. BE strong, firm, and fair in the face of ignorance. Never dismiss an argument simply because you do not agree with it, but rather, come to search for the rationale behind it, and if it is flawed, be elegant and kind in your dismissal.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in family, life, rocks...

 

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…Pampy’s rocks and tunnels:)

Graduation hadn’t been but a couple of days, yet already it seemed ages ago. Life was blowing thru the young man’s hands as he stood on the back balcony of the train. The passenger cabin was far enough back from the engines to smell the burn of coal in the air.

He wasn’t Pampy back in these days though. To the world surrounding his young eyes, he was Sol. His smile was not as innocent as it was before the war, and he looked and felt much older than he really was. The swift gust of air and the depth of blackness of the tunnels put a grin on his face. Traveling by train is always a bit more of an adventure. The tunnel passed and Sol made his way back into the cabin. The windows were down, so the fresh air of the oncoming mountains filled the cabin.

He was nervous, and his fellow passengers could sense it. The man sitting next to him was a shoe keeper from Paris and had seen the apprehension in young Sol’s eyes, “Détendez ! C’est des vacances!” he would say, telling him to realax, enjoy the vacation!

The sun was shining and the air was getting cool. Sol’s ears popped incessantly for the next two days. His eyes gazed out to the tops of what began the French Alps. He winced up at the sun out the window, and with another sudden gust of air and pitch darkness, a grin spread across his face. “C’est des vacances…” he told himself… “…c’est des vacances…”

 

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