Rekindling an old flame

handsSo I’ve posted a few blogs about my trip to Missouri. If you missed them, check a couple of them out here and here. This one, though, is diving into a deeper and more private part of my life…something I don’t do very often. It has to do with dating and relationships. I guess when I post something, I try to keep it somewhat light and entertaining so I’m a bit nervous about what this post could reveal to you about me. Maybe it’s something you don’t know? Maybe it’s something I should keep to myself? Hmm, anyway I’ll just keep typing and see what happens.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 3.09.59 PMOn our 15 hr trip from Tallahassee, Florida to Branson, Missouri my brother and I covered a lot of topics, my dating life was one of them. Being single at 38 offers a decent topic to waste time talking about, right? 🙂 To catch you up, and this is something my brother already knew, I’ve dated on and off over the years but had 2 relationships that I’d call “serious,” meaning they each had the potential of progressing to marriage. We talked about the ins and outs of each one, the reasons the relationships ended, my thoughts on that, his thoughts on that, where those 2 women are now, etc. We talked deal breakers, compatibility, likes/dislikes, faith, personalities, core values, and more.

By the end of the conversation, he was pretty much sold on me pursuing one of them again. Maybe the reasons it ended were characteristics that I’ve grown out of, ya know? Like, I’ve matured and grown into a different place than I was back then, and perhaps she has, too.

The conversation turned to something else and we didn’t really get back into again before arriving in Branson. But, of course, there was still a 15-hour drive back to Florida.

This part of the trip included one of my sisters, who also knows these relationship details of my life. So she and my brother encouraged me to write down what I’d say to this woman if given another chance. Then they took it a step further and said whatever it is I write, send it to her however I can. Such a paralyzing thought, but also I felt a flicker of life there. As if there could be something rekindled. A faint sign of life, even if it is completely one-sided. I have no idea how it would be received, how she’s feeling about relationships overall, and all that. We haven’t spoken in a long time.

I haven’t written anything down yet, and I don’t know if I will. It’s something I think about and consider doing, but I have fear of hurting her in some way and to me, that makes the whole idea extremely high risk.

So here I sit at my computer, writing to you instead. Hopefully you’ll read this and accept it as a piece of my heart, without judgement but with compassion.

-Out of the Wilderness


In the name of love…

I heard a saying recently: “Days go by slow but weeks go by fast.” How true that’s been for me in the last 15 to 20 days. It seems like yesterday I was watching deer in a neighborhood yard…

…and that’s already been 4 weeks ago! Since then I’ve been around the southeast from Birmingham to Tallahassee, Memphis, Branson, Montgomery, Nashville, and lots of little towns in between.

In the name of love.

On the way to Missouri we stopped at the Civil Rights Museum, the site where MLK gave his life for freedom and love.


My brother and two of his kids at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee.

Then we went on to Missouri, where my brother and I could do our part to serve in the name of love.

In Branson (actually it was Lampe, Missouri), we volunteered at a camp where we worked when we were in college. I’m sure I’ll post more about our time there but for now I’ll say it was a really great, exhausting, learning, fun week with him. We did a lot of manual labor type work, lifted weights, ran a 5k every day for 5 days, played whiffle ball homerun derby, and lots more. We got there on a Saturday. When my body felt like it had done all it could do, and I was ready to pack up and head out, “It’s been a great week, y’all!” I came to realize it was still Saturday. Dang. Long days, for sure!

Straight after that week was Wilder beach week back in Florida, at a little beach just south of Tallahassee called St. Teresa. This is the week all the Wilders meet up for a week of fun with 8 kids, 8 adults, and 3 dogs. Lots of love in this family!

Exhausting was this week, too, but mostly because we’re all having fun on my dad’s boat (tubing, skiing, dolphin watching, etc), playing soccer on the beach, knockout on the basketball court, volleyball on the beach, and other random fun things that don’t include flying a kite. More on that later!

I returned to Nashville two weeks after leaving. It was nice to sleep in my own bed again, to watch Leverage on Netflix again, to play sand volleyball with my friends again. But this trip was so great.

-Out of the Wilderness

Sand volleyball at camp

One thing I miss the most about Nashville as I’m on a sorta lengthy vacation is sand volleyball. My brother and I are in Missouri volunteering at a sports camp so you’d think there would be a chance to play some while we’re here…heck, there’s even a sand volleyball court! So I start the week with high hopes.
But at the same time, around here sand vball seems to be treated more as a ladies sport, and because I’m a random old dude, I won’t play unless other guys do. Unfortunately, the bros here play basketball during their free time.

That is…..UNTIL YESTERDAY! I saw a co-ed vball game going on and ditched my brother to get some sand between my toes.
Now you gotta know I’m not good at sand volleyball, maybe slightly above average. But my level of competitiveness and desire to win is entirely too high. I’ll kick a niece in the shin to get ahead.

What can I say, that “be like Mike” commercial went straight from TV to my eyes to my brain to my heart to my soul to my life to my evil determination to rule the world. Watch out LeBron! Watch out Kerri Walsh Jennings!

Wow, went off on a little tangent there.

OK, back to volleyball. I hopped on the court and played socially for the first few points. But there were good players on the court. I channeled my inner Brandon Sommers attempting an entertaining/encouraging play by play commentary as we hit back and forth. Brandon’s the master, but I tried. Meanwhile, I’m also determined not make a fool of myself by trying too hard amongst these middle/high school/counselor folk.

It was so fun! A great reminder of the fun I have in Nashville playing sand volleyball. Plus the net is low so I did take the opportunity to spike one on a high school guy. Call it a learning opportunity for him. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I bet karma will pay back once I’m back in Nashville. But for that one moment in time, I was April Ross. I was the wind beneath your wings. I was the future of American volleyball. I was the lion king.

Naaaaa sibenyaaaaaaaa!!

I was like Mike. Except in volleyball. But also not at all as good as Mike.

-Out of the Wilderness



There I sit, by the lake.
Two squirrels snooping around for something to take.

Empty fruit cups beside a trash can.
Squirrels descend on them like a crazy fan.

One squirrels gets it, he’s licking a cup.
The other can’t figure out how to turn it up.

He bites and scratches at the bottom.
It’s upside down, little guy, is what I want to tell him.

His buddy going to town,
searching around,
Whole head inside the cup, cleaning it up and down.

Meanwhile the other still determined to taste
the deliciousness of the leftover fruity waste.

From a distant tree a third squirrel appears.
Hops to the trash and strikes fear.

He runs the other two off, up the trees they run.
Third guy now owns this land under the sun.

The cups are now his, too, and trying to fill his tummy
He goes to the cup that’s upside down, what a dummy.

I approach with a goal to help out,
but he runs off with the cup in his mouth.

And such was my morning as I sat by the lake.

Sunday morning playlist

I’m pretty much obsessed with Spotify these days. For a long time I was a “free” member. That’s where you can download songs and play them, but it was always on shuffle, you can’t back up to previous songs, or skip 4 or 5 songs ahead. You also can’t select a song to listen to it. So a few months ago I became a supscriber and I haven’t
regretted it for a second! Since then I’ve put together a playlist I listen to when I need to reflect, to worship, to be calm. If you’re interested in songs that help remind us of how big God is, yet how
personal He is, and how much He loves us, take a listen to my most recent worship playlist.

King of My Heart – Kutless

Sun & Moon – Phil Wickham

In Awe – Hollyn

Holy (Wedding Day) – The City Harmonic

Come Thou Fount – MercyMe

How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill

There Is A Fountain – Selah

Clear – Needtobreathe

This Blood – The Prestonwood Choir

Canary Cage – The Whistles & The Bells

-Out of the Wilderness

Will you still love me tomorrow?

Last week I dropped off my two dogs, Piper and Asia, at a kennel because, along with my brother, I’m volunteering at a Christian sports camp for a week in southern Missouri. Now we’re in the middle of our week here and I wonder what my dogs are doing. What are they thinking? What are they barking at? Is Piper chasing rabbits? Is Asia biting Piper’s ears to play? I miss my dogs! I even had a dream about them last night. There were a couple of puppies in the dream, too, and at one point I was carrying all of them in a Kroger grocery cart. No idea what that means but I hope they’re doing OK! I’ll see them Sunday and I just hope they still love me, much less remember my name!

-Out of the Wilderness

Judah and the Lion – Suit and Jacket

I first came across Judah and the Lion from their song “Take It All Back.” I thought it sounded a lot like Eminem actually. Check it out real quick:

Right? Two totally different types of music, though, that’s for sure. Now they have another song out called “Suit and Jacket” and I love it even more than their last single.

I ain’t trading my youth for no suit and jacket
I ain’t giving my freedom for your money and status.

The lyrics are about not conforming to the status quo: go to school, get a job, get married, work for 40 years, retire. Not that living your life like that is bad or wrong, but I think from maybe my generation or one up from mine, and down we care more about what we’re doing and having a sense of gratification from our work, being fulfilled in our work instead of a needing security from our job. That’s why the word career has always been taboo to me. I can’t imagine working in one place for 25, 30, 40 years. Now with that said, I know planning for the future is important. I think the older people get they realize that while living in the moment is great, you gotta have a plan. Store away for winter in a sense.

And I ain’t trading my dreams for no 401k
And I ain’t giving this fire for a cold, cold heart.

It’s why I left Florida. It’s why I became a production assistant. It’s why I’m determined to not work in a corporate setting ever again. It’s why I have 3 part-time jobs. It’s why I’m writing this post. I don’t ever want to settle for what I am supposed to be doing at 38 years old. What I’m expected to be doing. What I “should” be doing.

So instead of doing whatever you should be doing right now, here, watch this…
“Suit and Jacket” 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness