Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Computer Trouble

Little Cora in a Big Chair
Good morning! I am still alive. The problem is my main computer is very very sick and may not make it. I have an old net-book but it is slow and outdated, so much of my regular work is taking a lot longer. My daily thoughts have been on hold for that reason. This blog too, but I thought I'd better check in.

I hope you are doing well during all this cold weather. I find that I'm adapting pretty well. I ran yesterday and it didn't seem too bad. You know you are in the midst of a cold winter when 12 degrees feels pretty good. I am hearing rumblings of a really big storm next week. There is plenty of time for that to change.

Little Cora is as sweet as ever. If you are looking for me, then go find her little finger. There I am firmly wrapped. ha ha. She is two weeks old now. It's hard to imagine life without her. Kedra and I are trying to show restraint and not show up at Lester and Maddie's all the time. When we moved our bed over there and they frowned, we knew we had gone too far. Just kidding. They have handled the constant company really well.

Endurance life is moving along pretty well. I am maintaining well in all three disciplines, and that's exactly what I want to do. I am going to a swim workshop on Saturday, which I think will help me a lot. It comes at a good time, a time when I am gaining a good deal of confidence in the pool, along with more comfort in the water. It has been a most remarkable journey.

Church is going well, even though the weather has been a challenge. Things are busy with new ideas and creativity. The year is off to a good start, which is very encouraging.

Thanks for checking in. I will try to be a bit more regular here. I have found a way to make this old machine work by using a different operating system. My usual way was not working.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Misreading Signs

A state trooper pulled over a car going just 19 miles per hour on the highway. As the officer approached the car, he noticed it was two elderly women and they both looked very pale and wide-eyed.

"Good afternoon ladies. Do you know why I am pulling you over?" asked the trooper.

"I'm terribly sorry if I did something wrong but I know I was not speeding" said the driver.

"Well, that is true, you weren't speeding . . . but you were going entirely too slow on a highway and that is equally as dangerous."

"No, Officer. I was going exactly the speed limit . . . 19 miles per hour!"

The trooper laughed a little to himself. "Ma’am, this is Highway 19. That is not the speed limit, but simply the name of this highway."

Very embarrassed, the elderly driver grinned and thanked the trooper over and over for informing her of the mistake.

"But before I let you go, I have to ask . . . are you ladies feeling okay? You both look awfully shaken."

"Oh sure, we will be fine. We just got off of Highway 120."

* * *

There’s a lesson in there somewhere about misreading signs. I’ll let you come up with it. That’s your homework for the weekend, and I hope you have a great weekend! Go to church for Heaven’s sake.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Living and Learning

I’m sure you’ve seen the following. From what I can gather it originates from a woman named Dorothy Law Nolte. There have been various modifications made to it, but the message is still the same.

If a child lives with criticism, she learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule she learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame he learns to be guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance she learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement he learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise she learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness he learns justice.

If a child lives with security she learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval he learns to like herself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship

she learns to find love in the world.

Clearly, all of this works in the adult work also. What do those living around me experience? That’s worth thinking about.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Burn the Bible?

Many years ago a preacher shocked me during a sermon. He had an old Bible in hand, and the next thing I knew, he literally was ripping pages out of it! Everyone watching was surprised, if not shocked, by his actions, knowing the preacher deeply respected God and his word.

It reminds me of this scene out of Jeremiah 36, where the king burns, piece by piece, a scroll containing God’s word.

The king was sitting in his winter quarters in front of a charcoal fire. After Jehudi would read three or four columns, the king would cut them off the scroll with his pocketknife and throw them in the fire. He continued in this way until the entire scroll had been burned up in the fire.

My preacher friend was making a point by ripping pages out of the Bible. He said, "While we would never rip pages out of the Bible, when we choose to ignore what is says, then we might as well go ahead." He went on to say we often pick and choose the parts we want to follow and then ignore the rest, in essence, ripping them out.

Give credit to the king for his honesty, he certainly did not hide his disdain and defiance! We are a little more secretive and subtle perhaps?

I’m not sure what you think about all that. I’m not sure I know myself, but I am aware of the need to take seriously what God says. All of it. Not just the parts I like and find easy to follow. I wonder what I am ripping or cutting out and burning?

Wednesday a.m.

Good morning! Hello Wednesday! I want you to know I just got the 3rd degree. It was 1 degree when I got up, and now it is up to 3. I know it is likely to fall again, but that's life. I will venture out for a run once the sun comes up. I did not make it yesterday morning. The conditions deteriorated so quickly, plus I could not get to town. I had two unsuccessful attempts to get up the hill by my house. I didn't try the third time, forgetting it was the charm. Oh well.

I am not terribly concerned about running everyday right now. I am more concerned about doing something everyday that points to a good Ironman in November, meaning if I don't run, then I ride and/or swim. So last night I rode. I do like it when I get the run in, but with a hamstring that is almost totally healed, I don't feel the need to push it. I don't want to get reinjured, so missing a day occasionally is not going to bother me and in the long run (pun intended) may help me.

This month I have been focused on better eating. Specifically I cut out all desserts, soft drinks (I don't do hard drinks), and butter on my nearly nightly popcorn (my weakness). Those are the unholy trinity of my dietary life. I picked up about 5 pounds during the last 2-3 months of the year, so I want to get rid of that and maybe a little more. I want to hit official Ironman training in April at a good weight.

OK, enough of all that. I will say I feel pretty good about where I am, trying to balance it all without overdoing it, leading to injury and/or burnout. It's a long, long training cycle for a long, long day in November. All the endurance stuff really helps me in all the other areas of my life, and everything is going pretty well there too. It's a busy time but things are good and getting better.

The Joseph story is my preaching focus right now. I'm really enjoying it/him. There is so much to learn from him. His story is very instructive and easy to see, I think.

Today should be good, and it will be long. I got a good night's sleep, and after a couple of cups of good Honduran coffee, I think I am ready to roll. Here we go...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I was telling her about my next sermon.
Good morning! It was a late notice, but there is a 2 hour delay. That's better than calling school off totally. The temp is dropping fast with the wind howling in.  I am thinking of trying to get a run in very soon, before it gets really cold and windy. We'll see.

Let's see, what can I talk about or tell you this morning? Hmmm. Well, I had a good day yesterday. I got lots of stuff done, and the weather was a bit of a surprise. It got warmer than the predicted high. I had my day all planned out, so I wasn't able to get an outdoor bike ride in. The only negative about riding outside would have been the possibility of lingering ice/slush patches on the roads.

I did get a good 5 miler in yesterday morning before the sun came up. The sky was red, so this sailor knew to take warning. No sailing across the sea for me. I did get in the pool last night and swam a little more than a mile, which is the farthest I've gone. I saw a woman there last night. She did not swim last year but did 2 years ago. I was thinking back a couple of years...

Two years ago I had not started swimming. It was in February that I got in the pool and looked like a scared cat that had been thrown in. Rand H. watched and with a deeply concerned forced smile said, "OK..." And that began the long slow painful journey. I am still not there but I'm getting close. Ironman is in November. Before then I want to do a few other triathlons, including some without a wetsuit. I believe I will make it.

OK, I guess I better get some running clothes on and get going. Thanks for stopping by.

Moving On

I’m working through the Joseph story, found in Genesis 37-50. It’s quite a story, a compelling read! You would be blessed if you took the time to read it. Go ahead.

You will find Joseph, a not very likable 17-year-old, changing into a very powerful yet humble man. He forgives all kinds of people of all kinds of things along the way. He doesn’t seem to consider himself a victim, which would have been an easy thing to do.

I found this by Henri Nouwen. It describes what Joseph did and maybe what you need to do:

Sometimes we have to "step over" our anger, our jealousy, or our feelings of rejection and move on. The temptation is to get stuck in our negative emotions, poking around in them as if we belong there. Then we become the "offended one," "the forgotten one," or the "discarded one." Yes, we can get attached to these negative identities and even take morbid pleasure in them. It might be good to have a look at these dark feelings and explore where they come from, but there comes a moment to step over them, leave them behind and travel on.

Joseph was able to step over stuff and move on, mostly, it seems to me, because he had an awareness of God’s redemptive ability to change bad stuff into good. As he forgives his brothers, he says this:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. – Genesis 50:20

I believe that too, and it has helped me get through lots of stuff in life. God is good and faithful.

Step over and travel on!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Loving Again

As many of you know, we became grandparents for the first time last week. Our oldest son and his lovely wife had a little girl, Cora Jane. I know I am very biased, but I think she is absolutely beautiful!

All of kinds of thoughts and emotions are running through my head and my heart. Trying to harness or harvest them has been difficult so far. I know, consistent with the comments of many, I have entered into a new phase of life some call the "best" and the "happiest."

The birth of a child is simply amazing, and the love that surrounds the birth is hard to describe. I think the feeling that has risen to the top, amongst all of the others, is the feeling of being blessed, specifically blessed by God with a loving family.

We tried to embrace God’s love, seen in Jesus, as we raised our four children. We failed a lot, but God is good and full of grace. He blessed us over and over again, based more on who he is and less on what we did. Additionally, we have had a wonderful "village," comprising church, friends, and extended family, who have helped raise and bless our children. Now it begins again.

Having a chance to love a baby again, at an older age and at a different time in life, is probably the essence of that "best" and "happiest" thing. Wisdom that comes from age and experience can be brought to the new relationship with a new life. My desire, more than ever, is to love as God loves.

To say I am thankful is very inadequate, but I know God listens to my heart more than my words. He understands my love for a new child more than I do, because he feels that way about all of us.

Monday a.m.

Good morning! I'm going to ease back into this blogging thing after a few days of adjusting and enjoying. Cora Jane's birth, last Tuesday, has triggered all kinds of activity, which will start settling down this week. Rebecca has made two trips from Nashville and is still here. She leaves later today. Luke and Lydia came in. It has been a ton of fun!

Cora is doing great. She has been a little jaundiced and has to use the portable tanning bed blanket thing, which is a bit of nuisance for her and those holding her, but it's quite alright. She'll be past that really soon.

Lester and Maddie are making the big adjustment really well, it seems to me. Lester took several days off, so that's a big help. Maddie's mother stayed for a few nights last week, which was also a huge help.

I will do my best to not be the overbearing grandpa, but there will probably be lots of pictures of Cora Jane on here for a little while. Ha ha. She is beautiful, and I know I am quite biased, as I should be.

Life outside of Cora Jane went on, of course. It's a really busy time at church, but it is going very well. Yesterday was an interesting day and a good day. At the end of our morning worship we were planning on a baptism. As the cover to the baptistery was lifted, I looked down to see 3 inches of water where there should have been nearly 3 feet! It was a bit of a surprise to say the least!

Some quick thinking guys got a hose and filled up the tub that had mysteriously drained. We waited and sang and waited and sang until we had enough to do the job. It was shallow and very cold but it worked. It would have been handy to have believed in sprinkling as a baptismal mode yesterday (ha ha) but we believe in dunking or at least covering in water (Romans 6 - baptism is a reenactment of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ).

This week is going to be a busy and good one, like usual. Last week I managed to keep my running moving along pretty well, and I rode a couple of times. Swimming got shut out, do to school cancellations. I'm at their mercy. This week I must get back in the pool and make good stuff happen. That starts at 8:15 tonight.

OK. Here we go!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Heading home!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday a.m.

Good morning! Thought I would check in briefly. It's going to take me a day or two to get settled back down and into a routine. Everyone is doing great so far. We're going back to see the new family this morning. Rebecca came in from Nashville to see her little niece and is leaving later today. It's all a little crazy but fun.

Thanks for all the very nice things many have said!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

She's Here!

Cora Jane Burris arrived at 6:22 this morning! She is doing great, as are her parents and grandparents. She was 20 inches long and weighed 7 pounds and 3 ounces. She's a little beauty. If you want to find me, find her little finger. That's where she has me wrapped.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday a.m.

Good morning! Here we go again - a new day and a new week! I’m thinking this is the week little Cora Jane makes her entry into the world. We are looking forward to meeting her. She is officially due to arrive on Wednesday.

Wow, that was a good weekend. It went fast and I managed to cram a lot of things into it. It’s a fairly busy time for me right now, and I tend to thrive on that and the steady pressure it applies. I get a little more efficient and focused in all areas.

On the endurance side of life I had a good weekend. I went to the pool Friday night, after watching a few of our church boys play JV ball. I made my way back and forth across the pool. It all totaled up to 1600 yards. My next goal is to move on up to the mile. I was almost there and probably should have done it Friday, but we got a late start. I was the last one out of the water, I think.

Saturday morning I ran my first 10 miler since September, and it went fairly well. I was pretty pleased with the effort. My hamstring did fine, so hopefully I am ready to get going again. After the run and a quick breakfast, several of us hit the Energy Lab for a spin. I got another hour in.

Yesterday was a long, full busy day at church, but I managed to squeeze in a 21 mile ride outside. Bill and Scott joined me, and then we rode into Troy outside of Orleans. He quickly turned and headed out to 337 on a quest to ride the strong south wind to a time trial course personal record. He got it, averaging 26 mph, but there was too much of a western part of the wind that prevented him from taking the course record away from Iron Bill.

Wow, this is going to be another busy week, and I am ready. I woke up at 4 and quit fighting the urge to get up around 4:30. Here we go!

Bridge Builder

Once upon a time two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, fell into conflict. They had worked together for years, but now they hated each other. It began with a small misunderstanding but quickly escalated to a war of words, then actions.

One day a stranger, looking for work showed up at the older brother’s home. "I’m trying to provide for my family and I can do any kind of carpentry work." The older brother was pleased to employ him.

"I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor. In fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week, there was a meadow between us, but he took his bulldozer to the river levee, and now there is a creek between us. He did this to spite me, but I’ll show him! I have pile of lumber by the barn. I want you to build me a fence so I don’t have to see him anymore."

The carpenter agreed to get busy. The older brother had to run several errands in a town faraway and would be gone overnight. The long summer day gave the carpenter many hours to work, and he worked into the darkness. He got up early the next morning and finished his task.

The older brother returned and was shocked by what he saw. There was no fence. Instead the carpenter had constructed a nice, solid bridge that spanned the spiteful creek. As the older brother looked at the bridge, he was surprised to see his younger brother approaching from the other side.

Before the older brother could say a word, the younger brother said, "After all I have said and done to you, I’m surprised you built this bridge. I’m sorry for what I did. Let’s work toward working together again." The older brother embraced his younger brother in the middle of the bridge and agreed to rebuilding their relationship.

The carpenter, packing up his tools, watched the reconciliation with a smile. The older brother said to him, "Don’t leave! I have many other projects for you around the farm."

"I’d love to stay on," he said, "but I have many more bridges to build."

In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

Let’s all strive to build a bridge and make some peace this week.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Golf in Heaven

Two 70-year-old men had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Frank was dying, Joe visited him every day. One day Joe said, "Frank, we both loved playing golf all our lives. Please do me one favor, when you get to heaven, somehow you must let me know if there's golf there."

Frank looked up at Joe from his deathbed and said, "Joe, you've been my best friend for many years. If it's at all possible, I'll do this favor for you." Shortly after that, Frank died.

A few weeks later, Joe was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to him, "Joe, Joe ."

"Who is it," asked Joe, sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"

"Joe, it's me, Frank."

"You're not Frank. Frank just died."

"I'm telling you, it's me, Frank," insisted the voice.

"Frank, Where are you?"

"In heaven," replied Frank. "I have some really good news and a little bad news."

"Tell me the good news first," said Joe.

"The good news," Frank said with joy and enthusiasm, "is there is golf in heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before me are here too. Even better than that, we're all young again. Better still, it's always Summertime and it never rains. And best of all, we can play golf all we want, and we never get tired. And we get to play with all the Greats of the past."

"That's fantastic," said Joe "It's beyond my wildest dreams! So what's the bad news?"

"You're in my foursome this Saturday."

* * *

I guess my question is this: is that really bad news?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Lady Wisdom

Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
"Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life with meaning."

If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face;
confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don’t waste your time on a scoffer;
all you’ll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
that’s different—they’ll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it;
tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
mock life and life will mock you.

Proverbs 9:3-12 The Message

Thursday a.m.

Clearly they are
Hey, good morning! What this? There may be school today? At the regular time?? No call yet, so it's looking that way. After nearly 3 weeks off, I think, as hard as it will be to go, most everybody needs to get going again and probably kinda wants to. Most of us long for some kind of routine, a routine that we look forward to vacating later on. Such is life.

I have tried to get back into a routine this week and have been fairly successful. Most of us have some kind of connection to schools, and it's clear to me the rhythm of the schools has a big impact on all of the local culture.

By the way, I can NEVER spell rhythm right. I always have to look it up, which now involves simply doing a Google search with my attempts at the word. Then Google asks me, "Did you mean: rhythm?" Well, why, yes, I did mean that. Thank you for helping me out, Google.

OK, clearly I am feeling a bit goofy this morning. I am hoping this a good sign for sermon prep. Hmm, that doesn't sound very good, does it? Oh well, I am going to be living the Joseph story this morning. It is such a great story. Things so often look so bleak for Joe, but the whole time God is working silently in the background in a powerfully redemptive way. Yes, that will preach.

Got a good 5 miler in yesterday during my lunch hour, and I hope to crank out another 5 later in the day today. I don't think I will spin today, but you never know. I need to work on core and upper body strength. I really really need to do that.

I hope you have a good day!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Selective Amnesia

Selective Amnesia

I was struck by the idea the first time the commentator said it. Talking about Andrew Luck having a disastrous first half of football against the Chiefs but then turning it all around, leading one of the most amazing comebacks in memory, the commentator said, "He has amnesia!"

Luck, like all great quarterbacks, has "selective amnesia," meaning he has the ability to quickly forget about bad passes, interceptions, and fumbles and move onto the next opportunity. Luck, and others, would be quick to tell you they go back and learn from those mistakes later and then dismiss them again.

Selective Amnesia.

God has selective amnesia! He chooses to forget some things about you and me, if we are in a relationship with Jesus. The writer of Hebrews spends a lot of time talking about Jesus, his blood, and its cleansing ability. In the midst of all that, the writer calls the readers to remember that God forgets (8:12).

I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

God has amnesia and we need it too. We stumble, sin, make messes and mistakes. As much as possible, we need to learn from them, fix what we can, and then move on. Paul remembered to forget (Philippians 3:13,14):

. . .One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Please don’t allow your past, if forgotten by God, to keep you from enjoying the present and anticipating the future.


Good morning! It's a balmy 16. Wasn't it weird how warm 10 degrees felt yesterday? There is a good sermon in there about how quickly we adapt to our environment, changing our feelings and perceptions, but, hey, I'll spare you.

What's this picture about? Well, during our annual Christmastime drive, the boys and I drove by the Boogie grounds and found this beautiful work of art.  It reminded me of an unpleasant encounter that occurred last summer between a drunk boogie biker and his leathery chick (both clothes and skin) and one my bicycling buddies. I can't really go into detail here but it resulted in a new moniker for one my friends, Iron Bird.

Speaking of cycling, I managed another hour on the bike trainer last night with Jimmy, Scott and Denny. This post-supper workout was a nice replacement for an outside run. Right now I am focusing on trying to do at least one workout in one of the disciples of running, biking, or swimming per day. Some days I do two, and occasionally I will get all three. I'm just staying in touch with all three.

Being a triathlete is complicated from a clothes standpoint. I have piles of clothes and towels and equipment that is hard to manage. It is especially difficult in the cold months. There is a lot more to wear and keep up with. I still have not figured out a good way to do all this. Kedra is patient with me, as usual.

Yesterday was good. I got a lot done. Today is going to be another good day, I just know it. School is out again, so the vacation continues for Kedra and Ben. Hopefully they will go back to school tomorrow. I think everyone is ready to settle back into a routine.

Pray for Maddie. She has been pretty sick with bronchitis that included fever. We want her feeling all better to have her precious baby, Cora Jane. Soon!

Enjoy your day today!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Thought Control

You can and should control your thinking.

Philippians 4:8-9 — Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Tuesday a.m.

Rebecca, Maddie (Cora Jane) & Lydia
Good morning! Up to -6 here this morning, so we are going in the right direction. It may drop again before the sun comes up, however. These temps without the wind are not too bad, but the wind mixed in really makes it hurt. I experienced it full on a couple of times yesterday. It simply hurt. I think that's the best way to describe it. It's going to warm up soon.

The waiting and watching for Cora Jane is intensifying as we get closer to the due date, which is about a week away. The doctor told Maddie a while back she thought the baby would come early. Tomorrow Maddie has an appointment, so we'll see what's going on then. Poor Maddie had a cold and slight fever yesterday. We are praying for her to feel better as soon as possible.

Yesterday was pretty productive. I have a nice home office that was warm and inviting, and it encouraged me to get a lot done yesterday morning. I ventured outside around midday and found the town pretty quiet. I worked at the church office for a while and there wasn't much going on. I went out to see some people and run a few errands. People were heeding the advice to stay in. Even Walmart was quiet.

Since I was in Bedford, I dropped by the Energy Lab for a spin on the bike. It was good to spend some time with the dynamic duo of Jimmy and Denny, both off work yesterday due to the cold. After the spin I got home in time for a good supper. Then it was time for football. I like football a lot, but I value my sleep more. Yes, I went to bed at halftime. Evidently I missed a great game. I don't really care. I feel good this morning, after a good night's sleep.

Today I will hang around in this nice home office for a while, waiting for a bit of a warm up. I am going to spend some time with Joseph -- the one in Genesis 37 and following, work on a big Marriage and Family Alliance project, write a letter of recommendation, correspond with a few people about various things, and then venture out for more fun. They really should make a reality show about my life. It would be a great sleep aid.

Here we go!

Monday, January 06, 2014

New Year of Love

It’s a little late, but it still applies: Happy New Year!

Did you make any resolutions? Have you already broken some of them? Oh well . . . I have some goals, like usual. The biggest, and it’s probably not measurable, is to allow the Spirit of God to continue his work of conforming me into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Here is a helpful thought from a Kentucky Monk who lived and died a while ago. He really gets at the heart of transformation and heart of changing the world.

So instead of loving what you think is peace, love others and love God above all. And instead of hating the people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed—but hate these things in yourself, not in another.

– Thomas Merton in New Seeds of Contemplation

That’s worth thinking about all year long! My prayer is for 2014 to be an amazing year of living in, and living out, God’s love.

Happy New Year

Good morning! Remember me? Remember this? Yes, I took a little break from the blog and from my other daily writing. I need to do this every once in a while, and the Christmas break was a good time to do it. We had all kinds of very good distractions and disruptions to our normal routine.

Rebecca was home for quite a while. She went back on Saturday. Luke and Lydia were at our house for a little while before Christmas and left Christmas night to go to her home in Knoxville, TN. There for a few precious days we had everyone around. We had our Christmas festivities on the 22nd. We are not concerned about the day/date. We just want to be together at some point.

Part of our tradition is for the boys and I to go on a long drive through the county and/or surrounding counties, just exploring and seeing interesting things. This year we decided to go find the junk yard featured on the dumb TV show, Porter Ridge. Found it. Life made.  ha ha. We had a great time.

As the year closed, I managed to reach one of my big goals for the year. I managed to get my 3,120 miles for the year, thanks to a few outside rides and some time on the trainer. I fell short of my running goal, due to my injury, but still managed 1201 miles for the year. Swimming miles are harder to measure, but I recorded around 26 miles of swimming. It was a decent year of building toward Ironman Florida.

OK, now I've got started again. I will seek to regain my rhythm for writing. I am really looking forward to 2014 being on of the best years in a long time. There are lots of exciting things going on and coming along, including a little grandbaby, Cora Jane. She should be here soon.

Try to stay warm today!