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.

img_20170630_190243420.jpg

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

Advertisements

3 miles up hill both ways

Remember your grandparents rough life walking to school up hill both ways? Totally not even possible, right? Well, I’m being as serious as I’ve ever been when I say that my brother and I have run a 5k two days in a row, same path but reversed the path the second day and, y’all, it. is. up. hill. both. ways.

Or at least it felt like it. I’ve never felt as old as I do right at this moment, typing, and my back hurts, my knees ache, I’m thinking about my bedtime (it’s 8:16pm, so what?), I’m upset I missed Wheel of
Fortune tonight and my dentures are cracking!

image

OK, OK, some of those aren’t completely true, but I tell ya what, my body is
hurtin’ all over. I’ll say this in my defense though: along with running, we’ve worked out and worked outside a ton in the last two days. In a nutshell we’re volunteering at a summer camp so we can both keep believing that we can hang with 20 year old guys.

It’s going OK to very OK. But I feel every bit of 38 years old. And really all it took was to see young counselors at this camp going hard every second, every day, and smiling about it.

image

But my brother and I did set a personal elevation record on today’s run. Same
route as yesterday but somehow we ran higher. Take that father time! Take that earth! We’re setting records!

-Out of the Wil….zzzzzzzzzzzzz

image

Great and not-so-great games for kids on road trips

Nashville, Tennessee to Tallahassee, Florida. Tallahassee to Memphis,
Tennessee. Memphis to Branson, Missouri. Those are all road trips I’ve
been on recently and while they might not be considered long road
trips, the shortest was still over 5 hours. The longest was about 10
because with children, it just takes longer. Think about stops for
snacks, potty breaks, etc.

The first leg of my trip I was with my dogs and they are great
travelers. That was Nashville to Tallahassee. From there I launched
out with my brother and two of his kids to Memphis, Tennessee. I was
quietly anxious to show these two nieces a couple of spots that I hold
in high regard- Graceland (Elvis Presley’s home) and the Lorraine
Motel (where Martin Luther King, Jr gave his life for the cause of
equality and “freedom of the whole human race”).

But we’ll get to that! Before leaving on the trip I looked up sites
with lists of fun car games to play. I jotted down a list of 9 games.

image

The game we enjoyed the most starts with this line: I’m going on a
picnic and I’m bringing a _________. There is where you fill in a word
that starts with A. The next person repeats the line, along with the A
word and adds a B word. The next person repeats it all, plus A, plus
B, and adds a C word. On and on it goes till you get to Z and it was
so fun. We all loved coming up with odd or silly words for each
letter. And to keep the game going without anyone getting frustrated,
it’s more than OK to help out when someone gets stuck along the way.

We also played 20 questions which I’d say was the second most popular
game. We each came up with a person, place, or thing, and then
everyone else in the car had to guess it within 20 questions. It was a
little tough for my youngest niece because she’d fire off 37 questions
in a few seconds, so it may be best to go around one by one to ask the
questions, as a way to prolong the game and keep it organized.

image

Another top 3 game was using a print-out map of the United States.
With the map you can mark off every time you see a state, whether it’s
on a license plate, billboard, road sign, etc. This one is good
because you can do it for a while, set it aside, and when another
state name pops up, pull out the map again and mark it off. So it
could last the entire trip as a game you do, then come back to.

We also added a twist to it where I had the girls close their eyes and
point to anywhere on the map. I’d say something like, “This state is
where you were born.” They open their eyes and read off the state. You
can come up with fun ways to set it up- you met your husband in this
state, you will get a job next year and move to this state, etc. That
was fun!

The game that didn’t work so well was the question game. This is where
any conversation taking place has to be in the form of a question. For
instance…
Person 1: How was your day today?
Person 2: How do you think my day was?
1: Is it safe to say it was an amazing day?
2: Does a bear poop in the woods?
1: What kind of answer is that?
2: Aren’t I free to say what I want in this country???
1: What country are we in, anyway?

And so on. I think it would work best for older kids, or adults. But
even when my brother and I tried it, just he and I with my nieces
listening along, it just didn’t ever really take off.

So I hope you can try out some of these games and help make a long and
potentially hectic trip go by fast and make some great memories along
the way. And if you’re ever in Memphis, make sure to at least drive by
Graceland and check out the Lorraine Motel (if you have time, also add
going into the home of Elvis, and into the National Civil Rights
Museum next to the Lorraine Motel).

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

-Out of the Wilderness

All the jobs I’ve had with my brother

The other day I was thinking about how a lot of the jobs I’ve had are thanks to, and were right along side, members of my family. Probably because we’re both guys and only a year and a half apart, it was my brother that I worked with mostly. Going all the way
back to 4th grade, I remember helping him deliver newspapers when we lived in Fort Adams; military housing in Newport, Rhode Island.

Paper or plastic, ma’am?
wdMy first real job, though, was bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie in Miami, Florida… once the area recovered from Hurricane Andrew, that is. Who was bagging there, too? Yep, my bro. The dynamic duo at your service! I have a few memories from this job. The one that stands out most was this lady that came through the line, you had to keep an eye on her, for sure. Even thinking about it now, all the fear I had in the moment rushes back. I think she just had some sort of mental disorder but here’s what she would do: grab something from a nearby shelf (like a candy bar next to the register), throw it on the ground and step on it. At one point, she had a loaf of bread in her hand. Tossed it down, stepped directly in the middle of it. I couldn’t believe it. She did this with a few other things, too. Weird stuff, man.

We gotta wake up at what time????
hardeesFast forward a couple of years and my brother and I were spending the summer in Monticello, Florida. Our dad was starting a new job in New York, so he went up early, before the rest of us moved there from Florida. My mom was spending time in Tallahassee with her parents. So there we were living with my dad’s parents in a house they built off of South Mulberry Street. Well, about a block away was a Hardee’s. We both got jobs making biscuits on the weekend. We only worked a couple days a week, but just knowing we had to wake up at 4am both days was enough to ruin the entire week. But it was pretty awesome to have grandparents that woke up with us, made us breakfast, and drove us the 1 block to get there. And our boss was funny, in a “does he think we’re curing cancer?” kind of way. One time a batch of biscuits came out overcooked. Lost the batch. Boss proceeded to punch the wall. Classic.

You’ve got to scalp ’em Seminoles!
Two years later we were both students at Florida State and he helped me get a job at the Leach Center, where he was already working. We both worked there for the remainder of our college careers. This job reinforced the importance of being on time. They didn’t have much tolerance for being late, I’ll say that! We both made a lot of good friends there, some we are still friends with today. And by the way, if you’re ever trying to use someone else’s ID to sneak in somewhere, at least make sure you kinda sorta possibly look like them! College kids, man, you’d think they’d be a little smarter 😉Leach New Inside

It’s where, now?
Another place we both worked was a summer camp in Lampe, Missouri. It’s called Kanakuk. I know, I know, I just said a few words you may not have heard before. But Lampe is about an hour south of Branson and Kanakuk is pronounced can-uh-cuck. An amazing place for kids to learn sports taught by college athletes and at the same time, grow in your relationship with God. No, I was not a college athlete. Unless you count being intramural champs, baaabbaaayyy! DSC09261My brother and I both count Kanakuk as a big influence on our lives, from the people we met and worked with there, to shaping our outlook on life and faith.

We’ve also worked together on various video projects over the years. One might be a workout video, another a sports highlight reel. Here’s one we made recently of his son, my nephew, playing football.

So I’ll finish by saying that of all the things my brother is great at (sports, public speaking, being a brother, friend, etc), he’s also been a great co-worker. And he’s got an amazing younger brother, too!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

A week at summer camp: Part 2

So tagging on to my previous post about going back to summer camp, I was most excited about these three things:
1. My nephew going to Kanakuk/ road trip with him and my brother
2. Seeing a few old friends
3. Serving any and all staff for the week
Immediately after walking into the camp on opening day, I hugged a guy that meant a lot to me when I was working at K-West. Actually, he and his wife met at K-West during one of the summers I was there. DSC09255 DSC09254He goes by the name Sparky and she goes by Rachel. Awesome people. So glad I got to see them again. I also got to see the director of K-West, Ward Wiebe, an awesome man who I also reference in this post.

I knew in my heart of hearts it was going to be a great week, but I didn’t know I’d leave inspired by all the people there. It’s a whole different culture where they really do put God first, others second, and themselves third. I have become so accustomed to “the ways of the world” that I forgot we’re commanded to love other people like we love ourselves. This week at Kanakuk was a refreshing reminder of the second greatest commandment (the #1 commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength).

Good times in Missouri! There was also a bird nest in the teepee my brother and I were sleeping in. I’ll write more later about those baby birds, and more about what I mean when I say we slept in teepees, it wasn’t a typo.

-Out of the Wilderness

A week at summer camp: Part 1

It was the summer of 2000. I was between my junior and senior year of college and I was off to Missouri to be a videographer at a popular Christian sports camp in Lampe, Missouri. It’s called Kanakuk. DSC09261My sister had worked there in the mid-90s and my brother, too, in the late 90s/early 2000s. This was my first time experiencing Kanakuk Kamps, but not my last. I’d come back in 2001 and 2002, all three times working in video. After the last summer, I “settled down” in Tallahassee with a “real job” and began the life of a “young adult.” Life was all…fancy guyThen I moved to Nashville and life was all… brayI worked at CMT for 9 years, but then got laid off! the horrorSo basically I’ve had the entire summer to do whatever I want with the comfort of a generous severance package. Long story short, and because my brother was taking his son to Missouri for a week at Kanakuk, I tagged along to volunteer with my bro at a summer camp I hadn’t been to in almost 15 years! I was excited to go back, and really excited about the road trip I was about to take with my brother and nephew. DSC09183 DSC09184 DSC09188 DSC09190 DSC09191 DSC09193 DSC09194 DSC09197 DSC09198 DSC09200 DSC09202 DSC09203 DSC09206 DSC09208 DSC09211 DSC09214 DSC09215 DSC09217 DSC09226 DSC09228 DSC09231DSC09233 DSC09237 DSC09239 DSC09243

We made it to Missouri! The 7+ hour drive went by so fast. It was July 3rd so that’s why there were so many flags flying. Even these…DSC09260But anywho, politics aside, we were in Missouri and excited about it. Check back tomorrow for more!

-Out of the Wilderness

Popular YouTube Videos

I’ve been posting videos online for 4 years. To date, there are 153 videos under the Driftwood145 label. I’ve listed the 12 most-viewed videos below and descriptions of each. Which is your favorite?

Boney M: Hooray! Hooray!
views: 3,425,401
I discovered Boney M in 2006 when I was in Vietnam along with my sister and brother-in-law who were adopting a baby girl. We were in a taxi, the driver had a disc playing. The two songs I remember hearing were “Rasputin” (which is another great hit from Boney M) and “Hooray! Hooray!” Boney M has been popular internationally since the 1970s and were produced by the same guy who later produced Milli Vanilli. This video gets views from all over the world, especially outside the United States. Here’s the monster international hit, “Hooray! Hooray!”

Boney M: Mary’s Boy Child
views: 543,994
Probably my favorite Christmas song of all time. This also could be Boney M’s most well-known hit simply because it’s played on radio stations around the world during the Christmas season. The song, the video, both are great. I love this band from the 1970s. Here’s Boney M’s Christmas classic, “Mary’s Boy Child.”

Football Hit / Green Bay vs. Jacksonville
views: 194,403
This video was recorded in the 2007 NFL pre-season when the Green Bay Packers played against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Desmond Bishop (#55) laid a hit on Reggie Williams (#11) that popped his helmet off. Some say it was because of his dreads, others just admit it was a good hit. But also a good job holding onto the ball. This video proves pretty well that people like watching football hits.

Lost Error
views: 133,270
If you don’t watch Lost, this video will be lost on you. Here, Charlie is in the Looking Glass Station, held as a prisoner not long before he died. Charlie gets punched in the face. No blood on the face. Then he has blood on his face, then later, the blood is gone again. Small mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. Here is the Lost error…

Bike Wreck
views: 93,314
The title pretty much explains itself. Except the bicycle rider does a matrix style exit off the bike, thus avoiding a collision with the mailbox. The video has been picked up by America’s Funniest Home Videos and has aired on that show a few times. Check it out!

Taylor Swift Star-Spangled Banner
views: 72,781
Taylor performed the National Anthem on a Thanksgiving NFL game featuring the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions. It was November 23, 2006, quite early in Taylor’s career. Surprisingly, this is probably the most controversial video on my YouTube page. Comments range from calling the performance amazing to blasting Taylor as a terrible singer and ruining the song. What is your take?

Zac Brown Band perform “Free” on Late Night with David Letterman
views: 77,050
“Free” was released on April 12, 2010 on the album “The Foundation.”

Surprise Marriage Proposal
views: 59,310
I was working at Kanakuk Kamps in Lampe, Missouri in 2000. One of the staff members was about to take a day off to spend it with his girlfriend. She came to the front office to meet him there. From there, they were going to walk to the car. Once they left the office, the guy faked an ankle injury. His girlfriend went to the office to get the first aid kit. Little did she know the ring he would offer her was in the first aid kit! So she brings it out to him. He talks about how much he loves her, etc etc etc. Then he switches knees, pulls out the ring, and shocks her by asking her to marry him. Once she says yes, you can hear the campers cheering in the background (some with bottle rockets). Very creative way to propose!

Play Beyonce Clown off, Keyboard Cat
views: 39,680
Not much can be said about this one. Two videos were already on YouTube. I combined them. Here it is:

The glory days at Florida State
views: 17,121
This team featured Chris Weinke, Anquan Boldin, and a few other star athletes. The NC State Wolfpack featured the quarterback, Phillip Rivers. He was a cheap player back then, as you can see in the video. Can you tell I’m not a fan of Phillip Rivers?

Marching Chiefs… Florida State Band
views: 14,781
This performance was from the night before the 2007 Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN. There is no band like the Marching Chiefs. Here’s their performance of “Seminole Uprising.”

Vietnam Karaoke
views: 11,221
I went to Vietnam in 2006 with my sister and her husband. They were adopting a little girl and I tagged along to videotape the process. More videos can be seen on my YouTube page about the whole adoption process, meanwhile, though, check out the experience I had singing karaoke one night in Vietnam. They do it different there, it’s not in front of a bunch of people you don’t know. We got our own private room with a television and a couple of couches. So then we sang songs in front of each other in the little room. And yes, the last song on this video is “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. Enjoy!