When I was a kid my mother’s parents lived in a log cabin house atop a certain mountain in sunny Southern California.  It was a bit of “community,” I think  Several houses spread wide across the hilltops, some owned some rented, one person sort of “head” of the thing (maybe the owner of the majority of the rentals, I think).  

There was, down the road a ways from their place, a community pool.  When we’d go visit them, we’d all go down and spend time there.  There were never many people there, the total population on the mountain couldn’t have been that large.  The pool had a diving board, and for a long time that diving board was my great challenge.

I’d walk over to it, get scared, and walk back.  I’d maybe walk out on it, get scared, and walk back.  Maybe bounce it a little, get scared, walk back.  You get the idea. 

The feeling out on the end, knowing it’d be fun, knowing I’d be OK, wanting so bad to do it but chickening out… 

And, then, you finally did it.  Woohoo.  So worth it.

tomorrow and then…

Tomorrow is my last day at work for a year. 

OK, its really something like 357 days… but that’s close enough to a year.  

When Sharaun and I decided to do this trip, and it came time to inform the sawmill powers that be, I walked in resolved.  Not angry, not spiteful, just… resolved.  I was prepared to quit, but with intent to simply try to get back in after our trip.  I figured I’d have a good chance, my network is strong and track-record decent.  So I laid out my case; stated my intent.  And the sawmill said something like, “Oh don’t leave.  Just take some time.”  Not those words, but that was the sentiment.  So, I am.  I’m “taking some time.”

And that time begins tomorrow 5pm.  OK maybe 4pm; sue me.  The past week or so has been a blur of wrapping things up & send-off happy hours.  I’ve eaten tater tots for dinner and gotten Uber receipts with post-3am timestamps.  Not the best training for the ~80mi JMT hike I start next Friday, but a lot of fun regardless.  Re-born along the JMT into a new year… that worked out quite nicely.  

Anyway the last real work-things are now complete, yet I’ll finish my time in the office because that’s how I do.  It’s funny though, it’s like my career has wrapped around on itself… these “last” days blurring into something really familiar… sitting in a cube, mostly bereft of real work, listening to music – very much like those first days

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day at work for a year.   Guess I know what I’ll be listening to first-thing Saturday morning, huh?  Wow.


an admirable lack of sanity

Ran into a good friend in the cafe at work today.  

Even before we got to talking, I knew what the subject was going to be.  It’s OK, I’m not tired of talking about the trip… I mean… what else am I going to talk with people about right now?  It’s by far the dominant thing happening in my life so it makes sense.  The thing is… when I talk about the trip all kinds of thoughts come into my head…

… this person thinks we are insane …

… wait, am I boasting right now? …

… i don’t deserve this; man we’re entitled …

… oh yeah, this person clearly thinks we’re insane …

Yes, I love talking about our coming year on the road.  If, however, you catch me unable to quite make eye contact while we chat about it, or using short sentences and abbreviated speech – I’m sorry.  I have this really over-active sense of something like humility, that, when at its worst, makes me seem disinterested or aloof.  

But how do you talk about things?  Like, “How are you affording this?”  We saved.  “What about work?” I’ll come back.  “Aren’t you worried?”  Worried, sure, about all kinds of things… what’s new?  “So you’re just going to do it?  Just go?”  Yes; yes indeed… what better way to do it?

I’ll get over it soon, I have one more week of work and almost everyone knows now.  Sharaun put it on Facebook… so even her neighbor from 2nd grade knows.  

So much to do.  Peace.


Hi again.  Long time no talk.

I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll just do a quick thing… blurt out the meat of it… and we’ll go from there: Beginning in a mere few days, I am leaving work for a year.  We are piling the family into the RV, homeschooling the kids on the road, and traveling the country full-time.  We’ll use this time to grow closer by learning together, being active together, and serving together.

It’s not retirement, can’t afford that.  It’s just time away.  Time to reconnect.  I’ll have to go back to work, and on this side of the adventure I see myself coming back to the same sawmill & continuing my career there, but who knows what life will look like from the other side.  

Cohen, eight years old currently, would follow Sharaun and I anywhere with gusto, and he’s been nothing but excited.  Keaton, our twelve year-old, was very much not on-board initially.  So much so that she penned a three-page essay on why we should’t go (one wonders where she got her penchant for writing).  Over time, however, and with a few parent-proffered perks, she’s come around.  

Anyway there’s so much more to say but I want to start and finish something here today, post it and run away and see if I can get into the habit again.  No promises, but writing is something I love and for the first time in a long time I should have time again.  

OK then.  That’s it.  Hugs.

dad’s dream

A few days before my dad passed away (two years ago now and a story which, if I ever really get back to this, I’ll surely write in detail), he relayed to me an amazing dream he’d had.  

Near the end of his life, I began writing down and recording the things he said, particularly when I thought I might forget them or that they were especially valuable.  As he relayed the below, I cribbed it into my phone, in outline form, attempting to be inconspicuous about it for fear of breaking his concentration.  

For the first time, I’ll attempt to turn that outline into something more readable.  It won’t be perfect, because there is a lot of context to that last week or so I’d need to give to really set the stage.  But it’ll be OK, I think.  In fact, maybe it’ll be better without the context.  

In his dream my dad had died and arrived in heaven.  

He told me that, upon arrival he was greeted by Thomas, disciple of Christ.  Thomas was with him in a room with many doors, each one numbered.  In arriving, dad had come in through door #14, that seemed important to him.  Thomas explained what my dad called “the truth about heaven.”  That truth being that each of the numbered doors represented an alternate reality, what my dad called a “layered multiverse.”  

Dad relayed Thomas’ words, “Through each door are alternate yous in alternate worlds.”  Thomas explained that humans have been seeking to understand and explain these multiple realities for eternity, and their attempt, and ultimately inability, to do so was the genesis of the various religions of the world.  Several had got certain parts right, but none got it perfect.  Thomas noted that the physicists of the world were the “truest” priests, and that they were very close to truly figuring things out.  

Finally, Thomas asked my dad if he had any questions.  Dad wanted to know four things, in the following order:

  1. Could he see his mother and father?
  2. Was it OK to doubt?
  3. What age are people in heaven?
  4. Do people eat in heaven?

Before I get to the answers my dad got from Thomas, let me break narrative stride for a moment (that is, if I ever had it).  Yes, dad said the words “layered multiverse.”  Here was my dad mixing things he loved, misunderstood, desired and feared… all jumbled.  His love of science and science-fiction, his misunderstanding and fear of Christianity, his desire to have had more time with his mom & dad, his feelings about his current condition.  When I reflect on the dream he relayed to me, it is simply dripping, overripe, with what I imagine was in his head in those last days…

So, according do dad, how did Thomas respond?  Like this:

  1. Yes, dad’s parents were there & he could meet them immediately.
  2. Thomas explained that almost anyone would surely doubt.  I could tell in his tone that this “permission” from Thomas was important to my dad.
  3. There is no age in heaven.  To each person, those they interact with are the age at which they best remember interacting with them when alive.
  4. Eating is optional, but totally unnecessary.  

In his dream my dad had died and arrived in heaven.  

In real-life, he would only live another few days.

One day I’ll write about it properly.  

I wrote quickly.  I likely wrote poorly.  


the creak of dusty bones

It’s Saturday morning and we’re getting ready to take Cohen to baseball practice.

He’s nervous.

He’s six.  Keaton is eleven.  

Sometimes that’s hard for me to comprehend.  

Listening to the Grateful Dead channel on satellite radio.  

Just got back from a week-long vacation at Disneyland (for Keaton’s birthday).  

Decided I’m going to wear flip-flops today despite the overcast skies and chilly temperature.  

A lot has changed, but a lot has also stayed the same.  

I want to start writing again, mainly because I think it’ll help me re-assert my forfeit claim on my own time.  

I figured maybe I’d start small, something easy.  

Try to keep it up.  

Not giving myself the best odds.

That’ll do.


eatingWork has conditioned me to hate scheduling.

To hate the way everything needs to be “calendered,” the way that my free time tends to be parted-out in snatches here and there.  These days I get the greatest sense of relaxation and freedom-from-commitment when I have exactly nothing scheduled.  I can have things planned, just not scheduled.  Knowing that I have to get something done, or go here or there, at some point over a weekend is not as bad as knowing that I have three successive “appointments” which will consume my entire Saturday.

Call it my internal protest against how wall-to-wall we tend to book ourselves.  Even leisure can loom like an obligation if it’s very neatly planned to occur in the three hours between the trip to Home Depot to replace a screen and the promise you made to help a buddy replace a dishwasher.  It’s also partly my strange obsessive notions about time and getting things done.  I like to be done with something.  When I’m finished with something I like to take step back, admire it, and enjoy a quick moment of zero-obligation.

At work I’m usually booked in thirty-minute increments, and more often than not my entire day will be a series of quick-turns between the current meeting and the next.  Over and over again, each minute of lateness becoming additive with successive obligations and no breaks in between.  It’s not rare that by 4:30pm I’m running a full 7min behind and I’ve still not had a spare moment to answer email or make a phone call.  Sounds silly to say this is tiring when there are guys digging pools all day in Florida, but it is.

And so work has soured me on the whole thing.  Even if the obligation is to go somewhere and have a good time, I’ll sometimes be put-off by the “deadline.”  Silly, huh?