Life and death, and “Skol, Vikings!”

Last week will go down as a landmark on my life’s timeline. For anyone who saw my recent post about having a gun pointed at me, you’ll know what I’m talking about. And for those that missed it, you can click this link to be caught up, or… to make a long story short, a fellow motorist driving aggressively pulled up next to me as we were moving down a Nashville road and used his gun to make his feelings known more clearly.

For a few days after that brazen encounter, I had a headache which is very out of the ordinary for me. My head hurt because the brazen encounter took time to truly sink in. This happened. I could’ve been hurt.

What was I thinking?

More questions than I have answers for continue scrolling through my mind; did he try to pull the trigger and it malfunctioned? What was he thinking in that moment? Was it a 9mm or a .22? Why was he so aggressive? I’ll never know how drastically my life would have changed if the gun had gone off and I was struck by the bullet, or something less painful like the bullet just hitting my car. As close as he was, we were maybe 15 feet from each other, the chances of him hitting his target were pretty high. What if I died that day? What if I was shot, but didn’t die? Who would I rely on for help? Who would care for my dogs?

The bottom line truth is this: even though he didn’t pull the trigger, my life has changed forever. I guess it would be presumptuous to say exactly how because only time will tell, and right now I don’t know all the ways my life will be different from this one random afternoon. I do know the way I drive will be different. God only knows what the future would’ve looked like had things turned out worse, so I’m taking this as a warning to think before I act, and a gigantic blessing that I have another chance to correct my course, if that makes sense. A do-over. A reset. A fail but with no major penalties.

So that was the first half of the week. Then I found out an acquantance of mine passed away very unexpectedly. He’s a friend and fellow filmmaker with a couple of my friends, and someone I worked with on a huge project from 2015 to 2017. The news hit my two friends hard. They were close to him, and though I didn’t know him as well as they did, my heart became heavy the instant I found out. I’m sad for his family, I’m sad for my friends. It doesn’t make sense when such a great person takes an early exit, and we who are left behind are the ones who lose because of it. It’s hard to come up with something positive in circumstances like this, because the best scenario is one where he isn’t gone, but something cool happened on Sunday that I’m believing is a silver lining, a little gift from above that is sweet in it’s own little way. This guy was the biggest Minnesota Vikings fan this side of Heaven, and yesterday the Vikings pulled off a win in the final seconds of their playoff game, and it was pretty unbelievable. I won’t give a play by play recap, but they won on a last second, 61-yard touchdown pass as the seconds ticked down to end the game. I heard on the radio that right before the play started, the Vikings had roughly a 6% chance of winning the game. It was only that high because they were down by 2 so a field goal would’ve won it. But with 10 seconds to go and no time outs, 60 yards away from the end zone, TVs were being shut off across the country. The game was over. But uh uh uh, not so fast! Hike, drop back, launch, a catch and a sprint to the end zone for the win! It was a highly improbable ending, but so, so sweet. The biggest Vikings fan on that side of Heaven was jumping up and down, I’m certain.

Now another week has already started and I’m very curious about how it’ll unfold. I wouldn’t mind a week where nothing happens, a week that is so forgettable that I already forgot it and it hasn’t even happened yet. But if it turns into a week where God teaches me something, not to mention where He might have in fact intervened to save my life and my way of life, I would count that as a win, too.

And another Minnesota win would be pretty nice, too. Skol, Vikings!

-Out of the Wilderness

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And she went out into the snow… oh wait

Nashville got some snow yesterday.

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This is Piper and her heater.
She went outside only to eat frozen worms.
That’s new for her.

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At least she’s “sharing” the heater now.

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Poor Asia gets boxed out most days.

These are my dogs, and I love ’em!!

-Out of the Wilderness

Adventure hike to a foggy lake

Today we went on a mile-long trail that included a stop at Percy Priest Lake in southeast Nashville. It’s been a particularly foggy day so I snapped some photos that I really like. The island, the bridge, even a boat that went by, they all took on a mysterious tone. Take a look at today’s adventure through Longhunter State Park.

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The time my dog ate my dinner

PiperThere I was, relaxing and looking forward to a night in. Maybe turn on Netflix? Maybe check out some YouTube videos? It was shaping up to be a good night, that much was certain.

There it was, my dinner fresh out of the oven. This particular meal was veggie burgers, one of my favorites right now. I had set the baking sheet with the burgers on top of the stove, thinking, “This seems out of the dogs’ reach.” I stepped away for a second and lo and behold, Piper surprised me.

There she was, eating something off the kitchen floor. Had she managed to paw the veggie burgers off the stove? I knew she was food driven but this was quite a feat. I was resigned to the fact that my much-anticipated dinner was down the tubes. Or was it?

There they were, two beautiful 4-ounce Sweet Earth veggie patties still waiting to be arranged atop a ketchup-layered bun. But then what was Piper eating? This is where things went in a direction I did not see coming. It took a second for my mind to process that a treat I gave Piper earlier made her stomach upset which caused her to make them reappear on the kitchen floor, along with the doggy-doo she had just eaten from outside.

There it is, the full truth and nothing but the truth– and I’ve said it before— my dog eats her own poop. But now she’s taken it to a whole new level. Not only will she eat her own poo, she’ll also vomit it back up, and eat it again.

Here I am, writing about it because well, this is my life as a dog owner. But hey, I’m a dog owner that got to eat is awesome dinner that night, so there’s a silver lining for ya!

-Out of the Wilderness