About Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes a 7-year-old beagle and a 5-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, dog boarding, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

Project Skyhawk

I was riding around town the other day and saw a display sign that said… PROJECT SKYHAWK. I thought to myself, “I don’t have any idea what that is, but I want to be a part of it.”

Is there anything more tough sounding, more manly, that makes you want to grunt and growl like PROJECT SKYHAWK ?

-Out of the Wilderness

Advertisements

That time I was a special guest at an elementary school job fair

I recently was asked to be a guest at an elementary school job fair. I said yes, so I showed up alongside a pediatrician, a dentist, and a couple of police officers. I was there as an author (I’ve written 2 children’s books) and to be totally honest, I was pretty nervous! And not because of the cops or the dentist. I obey all laws and I floss*!

Talking in front of large groups frightens me, even if the large group is small people. 🙂 I started off by introducing myself and then getting the spotlight off of me and on them. I’d ask them to share what they’d write about and that led to some funny comments and great ideas. Lots of ninjas, sports, unicorns, princesses, even one about being a Chinese teacher (this student was not Chinese so I thought that was funny/cute).

It was all going so well! Hey, one boy even asked his teacher if my job was a wrestler because he thought my muscles were big. Helps to wear a tight shirt every once in a while, kiddo! The downside to wearing a tight shirt is clear, though; sweaty armpits. Yeah, I said it. This shirt I had was tight under my arms, I just hope the kids couldn’t see it getting damp all up in there haha.

That was pretty much the worst of it– oh, except when one student asked a question and I repeated it louder for the rest of the class, “She asked about–” then a couple of boys chime in, “He, not she…”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s a he, not a she,” they replied.

OK, yeah, that was the worst of it. Or was it when one young girl asked if I brush my teeth? It wouldn’t mean that much, except that she was sitting on the front row!

In all seriousness, the kids were great. Every he and every she, all of them made me laugh, had good questions, and were interested in my two books. I shared a little about each and I just hope they felt encouraged to keep writing and keep coming up with great ideas for stories to tell. As quickly as the event started, it was over.

Way to go, champ! I walked out to my car thinking I came off pretty cool. Then I glanced over to another area of the parking lot where those cops were surrounded by all the kids; police lights flashing, sirens howling. Dang it, I’m so not cool. I bet those cops brush their teeth, too.

 

-Out of the Wilderness

*when I remember to

I promise I’m not a confrontational person… usually

I am a pretty passive person, I’ll admit. I’m not one to confront people and I’m ok with that. But when I see folks being lazy at the wheel or breaking laws on the road, sometimes the monster comes out. Maybe on the flag football field, soccer field, or basketball court, too, but we won’t get into that right now 🙂

Today I was in my own neighborhood going a little less than the speed limit (which is 35 on the particular road where this incident occurred) and this flippin’ fart sniffer just had to go around me. What ticked me off even more is where I found him a couple minutes later… take a look:


Yeah, this ding dong was in such a hurry to get to church! Way to go, Seabiscuit. I was as nice as I could be when I told him not to drive like that through my neighborhood. He was quiet for about 2 seconds then said, “…OK,” and drove off.

What a booger munch.

-Out of the Wilderness

Deep sleep and vivid dreams

I softly say a silent prayer like dreamers do.
Then I fall asleep to dreams, my dreams of you.
Roy Orbison

Yesterday I had one, and today I had another; extremely vivid dreams. Moreso than any dreams I’ve had in a long time. The first included one of my grandfathers who passed away a few years ago. He wasn’t exactly in the dream, though. Here’s what I remember about it:

In the dream, I was thinking about the temptation of lust that men face, that I face. It can be a tough thing to keep under control and then my thoughts turned to my grandfather who served in World War II. While at war, he was away from my grandmother but then when he came home, the war ended for him and he was able to be with her again. It was clear to me that this was symbolic of the war I face spiritually. There is an enemy with weapons of war all around me, and yet I must win the war so we can be with the woman I love (wife, girlfriend, or the hope of either in the future). I also heard my grandfather’s voice in a greeting he left as an outgoing message on his answering machine. 

The answering machine part was out of left field, but it was so nice to hear his voice again. It was just as real as if he were sitting next to me right now as I type! I don’t understand dreams because of things like that, how real they are in the moment. Anyway, I woke up with such clarity about this battle I face. And to be fair, women probably face something similar, but I wouldn’t dare try to speak on their behalf!

A couple of Bible verses that relate to this dream:

“Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.” Deut. 3:22

“But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” Romans 7:23

 


Today’s dream was about moving to a new city. Not the first I’ve had about such a subject, but here’s how this one went…

I had already decided to move from Nashville to somewhere north. But in the pit of my stomach this choice felt like the wrong one. Like, things here are building into something great, and I’m about to leave it all behind. Though it felt wrong, everything was already packed and a trailer was already hooked up to a Jeep Wrangler. My departure was mere minutes away when my Mom asked something about my leaving and I started crying. I asked for a particular DVD that I needed to watch in some sort of attempt to confirm or challenge my resolve to leave. I remember the scenes I watched confirming that I needed to stay, but wondering how I’d go about breaking the news. 

I woke up before officially deciding to stay or go, but knowing deep down that I would stay. And thank the Lord for that! I love it here, and don’t want to leave, even in dreams… which is kind of funny because I had a powerful dream before I decided to move here saying almost the exact opposite: it’s OK to move to Nashville. That dream was over 12 years ago now, and represents part of a very important time in my life.

A couple of verses that relate this dream:

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

“Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” Jeremiah 42:3

 


Anyway, there’s more to think about with both dreams but what I’m taking from them now is that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, here in Nashville, even though it’s a couple of states away from my family who I love so much… and that there’s a war going on for the attention of men. Will I suit up and fight?

 

-Out of the Wilderness

My neighbor wants me to kill a deer

I just looked up when deer season begins because I wanted this post to be timely. You know what’s going to happen now, right? Any advertisements that pop up on my Facebook page or other websites I visit are going to be about hunting, camouflage, or deer jerky! Oh, great. Maybe I’ll do a quick search for vegan mayonnaise, that’ll fix it!

Anyway, I have a neighbor a few houses down that loves to hunt. He’s schooled me on when to go, where to go, what to wear, and he’s very kind to offer me a spot next to him in the deer stand when he goes hunting. Once he even showed me what a successful trip looks like. In his backyard, a tarp was hanging from tree limbs, constructed to block the view of a deceased deer hanging by his hind legs because… I guess that’s what you do after you’ve killed a deer?

So the first time he asked me to go hunting with him, I struggled to come up with a way to say no (because I have a hard time saying no to almost everything). But in the subsequent times he’s asked, and it’s an ongoing thing, I’ve found it’s easier to decline by saying something like, “I don’t eat meat,” or “There’s no way I could kill a deer,” which are both true.

His response, “Don’t eat for three days.”

He explained that if I skip eating for the three days leading up to this hunting trip, I’d be more willing to kill because I’d be so hungry. Maybe that’s true. I can imagine that anyone who thinks they’re about to starve to death would be willing to do things they wouldn’t normally do. The plot of Alive* is now floating through my mind. Uhhh, gross!

But here’s a glimpse into my personality…

We were on a family road trip and I was sitting in the back of the van. I must’ve been 11 or 12. All of the sudden a bird slammed into the windshield and I started bawling.

A few years ago, a friend of mine lived with me as he searched for a home to buy. During this time, whenever my dogs dug up a mole, my friend was the Undertaker. I just couldn’t exterminate the moles myself.

A few weeks ago a small spider inside my car descended directly in front of me as I was driving. I was able to get him to land on the steering column where I slapped down, trying to squash him. He looked dead and I immediately felt terrible about it. I wondered why I thought he should die?

I reference those stories to show you how much of a weiner I can be when it comes to killing animals or even insects. I never want to, nor could I, kill something as beautiful and harmless as a deer. I feel bad when I kill things I don’t even like (spiders)! Well, snakes? I’m typically not as sad when one of those dies 🙂

img955887.jpg

-Out of the Wilderness

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a percentage of any completed transactions through the Amazon link on this page.