All the places I’ve lived, and a favorite memory from each

coast-guardMy dad was in the Coast Guard, so that meant a lot of moving around. Before I was born, my family had already been up and down the east coast, and spent some time on the west coast, too. My oldest sister was born in Key West, next oldest sister was born in Monterey, CA and then my brother in Virginia. When it was my time, the family was back in Key West. I was there for a short time before we moved out west. Here’s the list!

born: Key west, FL (December 26, 1978)

Hawaii – I was just a little guy here, about a year old, so I have three memories: attending a luau, going into a building, and going under a bridge (or tunnel?) on the way to a beach. I guess the luau is my favorite because I remember looking across and seeing my baby sitter.

Hollywood, FL – Started my academic career here at Sheridan Hills Christian School. Favorite memory: Our family took a lot of boat trips. We went down to the keys, spent nights on the water, I got sea sick for the first time, and still, these trips are easily my favorite memory!

me as 4th grader 2St. Petersburg, FL –  Attended Maximo Elementary School for 2nd and 3rd grade. Favorite memory: At school I met a friend that made me laugh so hard all the time. To this day, I measure everyone else against him. He was so funny. One of my least favorite memories: My funny friend was not at school one day, then not there the next day or the next. A few days later, his mom came in and picked up his things. I never saw him again!

Newport, RI – This is where I attended 4th grade at Underwood Elementary. Favorite memory: touring all the mansions, like these.

the-breakers

The Breakers. 62,000 square feet! 

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Rough Point. 39,000 square feet and 105 rooms!

A tie for favorite: all the lamborginis. Not sure why there were so many, but it was somewhat common to see one driving around the city. And Saabs. Lots of Saabs.

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5th grade at Widewater.

Stafford, VA – I was a 5th grader at Widewater Elementary School then moved to Stafford Middle School for 6th and 7th grade. These are my favorite years from growing up. I made great friends that I still have today. One favorite memory: trick or treating on Halloween one of the years. Somehow a friend and I got separated from our group of friends, but he and I still went around to so many houses. That was a fun night! Also, our house was situated on a golf course so we’d go out there to play football, capture the flag, flashlight tag, and hmmm, maybe hit some golf balls. I also came up with a list of things that happened in middle school that absolutely would not happen in today’s world. Here’s a link to that:

[11 Things You Can’t Do In School Anymore]

Miami, FL – Westminster Christian School for 8th – 10th grade. Favorite memory: being on the JV basketball team. And it was in 10th grade I had my first kiss. I know, I was late to the party! 🙂

New York, NY – Curtis High School for half of 11th grade. Favorite memory: I got to see a taping of David Letterman. It was really fun. We lived on Governors Island, so it was nice to have a place with grass, and trees, unlike most of New York City back then! Also, riding a ferry past the Statue of Liberty every day on the way to school was pretty neat.

Tallahassee, FL – Finished 11th and 12th grade at Leon High School. My dad retired from the Coast Guard in 1996 so we moved back towards family in Florida. Favorite memory: this is getting difficult because with each place, I have more than one favorite! But to name a few, I’d say my aunt’s lemon squares, my grandfather driving 120mph in his Isuzu Trooper to get me to school, pb and j lunches at The Brown Bag Express, basketball with friends, and graduating from the same high school my mom graduated from.

Note: I stayed in Tallahassee for college, as well. I have so many great memories in those 4.5 years. Too many to pick one!

Nashville, TN – This is where I’ve lived since the mid-2000s. Also too many great memories to pick one at the moment. So I’ll go with the lame answer: My favorite memory of Nashville is all of them. 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

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The problem with global warming and evolution

Global warming is a hot topic (no pun intended, or was it?) in politics, media, and social circles all over the US. I don’t typically throw my snow cap into the arena on this subject because it’s not something I get hot about either way (pun definitely intended), however while I was driving around for hours yesterday (sorry, earth), I came up with an interesting proposition concerning global warming and evolution. The reason I paired those together is because the folks I’ve seen most concerned about global warming are probably also believers in evolution. Lovers of science, they are! But before we get into it, let’s start with one reason why folks care about global warming. The continuation of life for mankind, right? Basically we don’t want to go the way of the flightless dodo bird.

Become extinct? ain’t nobody got time for that!

Here’s what I’m getting at: I find it difficult for anyone to believe in evolution and also worry about global warming. Why? Because evolution in it’s most simplest form is the process of adapting. For instance, adapting to things like… global warming! Humans have evolved over millions of years, they say, so why would we stop evolving now? Wouldn’t mankind be able to adapt to the changing climate, as mankind has done for millions of years? Especially since the rate of change is extremely slow. Nasa shows that the temperature has risen a bit less than 2 degrees in about 135 years. Surely generations would progressively change over the course of years and decades, right?

So why are people vocal about global warming these days? Well, people like to argue.

People want to fight. I think that’s really what’s at the heart of most of these protests and rallies (whether it’s about Trump, or about science (yes, there were rallies about science recently!)). And before you get onto me about using parenthesis inside of parenthesis, I’ll go ahead and say, yeah I just did that. Wanna fight about it?? 🙂

Then there’s science. It’s my belief (until someone enlightens me) that all those science rally supporters can’t have their cake and eat it, too. Either evolution is real, in which case they’d believe mankind would be able to adapt to global warming; or global warming ending the human race is real, in which case they’d have to resolve within themselves that maybe mankind can’t adapt and evolve so maybe evolution isn’t a thing.

Evolution and global warming are not two soapboxes one person can stand on.

Anyway, I’m no scientist, but I think I’m on to something here. Feel free to enlighten me if you care and have the time! *Picking up my snow cap now from the middle of the arena*

-Out of the Wilderness

 

God is able

A phrase that’s been on the front of my mind lately is one you’ll hear in sermons, in songs, or written on posters or in sympathy cards. It comes from Ephesians 3:20.

God is able.

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If you’re like me, though, every once in a while you might ask yourself, “What is He able to do, exactly?” I think the Sunday School answer is everything. But that doesn’t necessarily help me when I’m stuck in traffic and frustrated, or when I make a mistake at work, or when I say something that’s not exactly encouraging to someone. Or for you, maybe you’re losing patience with your kids, or lost out on a big work project, or didn’t do so hot on a recent test. Or maybe you just accomplished something significant, or did get that big work project. There’s still a need for God even in those situations, right? It could almost be anything at all that points us to a need for something more.

What has made the phrase relevant in my life recently is acknowledging that I sometimes get caught in this cycle:

Feeling discouraged <turns into> thinking something will or won’t happen <turns into>  doubt <turns into> unhealthy behavior <turns into> guilt.

So I’ll admit, then, sometimes I wonder about it. “Is God able?” I’ll ask. Is He actually able to help me with what I’m doing today? Using the cycle above, is He able to keep me from diving into discouragement, etc?

Then recently it dawned on me: Yes, He is. Because His ability to “do” isn’t constrained by and doesn’t rely on my belief that He can. He can. He can. That’s it. He can. It’s like wondering if a beagle howls. Or a dolphin jumps. Or if grass is green. The answer is yes, yes, and yes. Whether I believe it or not, the grass is still green. A dolphin will still jump. A beagle will still howl.

And God is able.

So I’m thankful today that even in my wavering ups and downs where for one minute I’m singing How Great Thou Art and the next I’m quoting one of my favorite lines from Rescue Dawn – “God, why don’t You help us when we need You most?” – God is still there, and He is still able.

-Out of the Wilderness

An apology to my mom

I can now say with certainty that I must’ve been pretty annoying sometimes when I was growing up. But not just me; also my brother and sisters. I’m not taking the fall alone on this one! You see, I was recently napping. Just like this except alone, so not like this at all, but you get my point.
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Then out of nowhere one of my dogs, who’ll remain nameless (cough cough Asia cough), uses her megaphone bark to let the neighbor’s dogs know she’s inside but still very aware of their complete inferiority. Then Piper arises from her slumber to join in with all the fun barking.

Is it a full moon or something?

Still horizontal on the couch, I realize my nap will not be continuing and it dawns on me. My poor mom. All she ever wanted was a 30 minute nap. “Wake me up in 30 minutes,” she’d say. “Wake me up at 5,” she’d say.

But either me or my brother, probably my brother, yeah MY BROTHER! would wake her up before we were asked to with a whisper that went something like this: “Mom, <insert irrelevant question here>”. Sorry Mom! He was really annoying wasn’t he? 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

Stay calm, count to 10, then go slash his tires~~

Anyone that knows me, knows that certain things really tick me off and I can get mouthy about it. I think it boils down to a few things, when people do stuff that comes from:
1. laziness
2. entitlement
3. arrogance

My response to those things is something I’m constantly working on (more honestly: battling with). Today this jack leg passed me on a neighborhood road and it ticked me right off. Here’s the dash cam footage:

Funny thing is we both ended up in the same parking lot about a minute later, he arrived 10 seconds before me. Way to go, dim wit! I shouted a few things at him, he looked my way, and kept walking…into Planet Fitness…to roid rage on the dumbbells.

-Out of the Wilderness