I’ve loved you all over the world…

I first laid eyes on her in 2007. Great curves, light, and sporty. My Nissan Versa is nearing it’s 10th anniversary as my main squeeze when it comes to getting me from A to B, and I gotta say, what a ride it’s been! With her CVT and her auxiliary input and all 4 of her cylinders, she’s made zipping around the southeast something to write home about.

And although I’ve never literally written home about her, I did jot down some landmarks in the first year of our relationship. They honeymoon phase, if you will. Here ya go…

mile 10 got the keys.

mile 110 drove to Percy Priest Lake for wakeboarding and cliff jumping.

mile 340 bought the first tank of gas.

mile 655 returned home from a Nashville Sounds baseball game.

mile 684 sneezed in the car for the first time.

mile 747 returned home from a couple garage sales.

mile 1,623 trip to Cincinnati, OH to visit family.

mile 2,300 drove to corn maze in Whitehouse, TN.

mile 3,717 rock hits windshield, crack begins to spread.

mile 4,265 fighting to stay awake on 231 returning to Nashville from Tallahassee, FL.

mile 5,263 first oil change, location: Action Nissan in Nashville, TN.

That’s just a glimpse, but I’ve had a lot of good memories thanks to my car. She’s nearing 180,000 miles today. That’s probably 93 in car years! I know I won’t have her around for a whole lot longer so for now, this post is for you Black Pearl!

-Out of the Wilderness

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The Reawakening: Part 7

There seems to be a possible twist in this exciting adventure.

Cincinnati, Ohio. A family of 6 preparing for another school year. 4 young daughters have only known life in Ohio but have a Mom that urgently prays for God to open up doors for them in Tallahassee, Florida. It’s been years since my sister, their mom, has felt her heart longing for life near the rest of our family, in the Florida panhandle. I absolutely adore my family and when my sis told me about her prayers, I proclaimed if she and her family move to Tallahassee, I would to. If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t think it all the way through, and made the promise before I rationally thought about what it actually means for me to leave the city I love. Years have gone by without any developments for my sister’s family… until now. You see, it’s pretty much all rested on whether my brother-in-law can get work in North Florida as an engineer. Tallahassee being a relatively small town (not including the college population), I guess finding work he’s qualified for isn’t as easy as you might think. But later this week, he’s making a trip there for a face-to-face interview with a potential employer. This is their second or third interview and from what I’ve heard, it looks very promising. Now I’m hearing chatter about the promise I made a long time ago. I joke that it expired. But if I’m being totally honest, the idea doesn’t sound totally absurd and it’s something I’ll be thinking about over the coming weeks.

Could this be a twist I never saw coming? Could my time in Nashville be coming to an end? Frankly, I’m shocked those words are even on the table because I love it here.

The Reawakening: Part 1

DSC08335Walking through the quiet, snow-covered patch of woods in a small town north of Cincinnati, the only sound is that of feet crunching through the day-old ice and two young dogs chasing the scent of animals out looking for food or huddled under trees that had fallen months before. A nearby lake is turning to ice. The only color is that of little red berries hanging from thin, bare branches. It was in these moments, away from desks and deadlines, a dream is reawakened. The only danger to a stale routine is that of a heart again stirring for adventure.

Animal Tracks in Snow

Below are a few animal tracks I came across north of Cincinnati, Ohio. With a good amount of snow, it was nice to be able to see these even hours after the animals passed through. There’s one set of tracks that I can’t identify. If you know what it is, feel free to respond below!

Christmas in the Snow

The highlight of this season is supposed to be family, being together, all that kind of stuff… but secretly, my favorite thing to do is take the dogs to the woods behind my sister’s house in Ohio. Piper (a beagle) hunts as if there’s no tomorrow. Asia (mixed) runs as if she stole something. It’s fun to watch. Here are a few pics…

Easy Decisions on Election Tuesday

It’s 2012 and you know what that means, we elect a president for the next 4 years! For most, the decision on who to vote for is easy because you either like this guy:

or this guy: 

But for those who are still undecided, perhaps these easy choices will help you have enough confidence to pick a President, also.

Decision #1: Wearing a pair of brown shoes. Obviously, choosing a pair should be easy… unless you’re me. I realized during a Sunday church sermon that I wore 1 shoe from 2 different pairs. Was God laughing? Probably.

Decision #2: This is an easy one. Of course you want to wash all your clothes at the Jumbo Washette! But, isn’t a jumbo washette just a normal-sized wash? You can’t have a large miniature pincher. It’s simply a doberman pincher then.

Decision #3: Stay one more year, kid.

My college or career goal is…

Decision #4: When it’s hailing outside, do you: A. drive in it, or B. not drive in it…?

Now go out there and vote, you can do it!

The Needle Test

A few months ago I participated in an activity known as “the needle test.” If you are unfamiliar, ask a female and they’ll tell you it’s about finding out the gender order of children you’ll have. Some swear by this method of revelation, others are more sceptical. Whether it’s reliable or not  I can’t say, but in three separate tests, it gave me the same results. According to the test I will have a boy, then a girl, then another boy; Three children. While I find the results interesting given my current situation (single and barely dating), you may find it interesting that a 31-year old male participated in such an activity. Rest assured that your interest is well-grounded. I sometimes take part in things better suited for baby showers or bachelorette parties. But I’m still all male. I’m not ashamed to say my favorite movie is “Elizabethtown” and in rotation for second place are “500 Days of Summer” and “The Notebook.” I’ve been created with a soft heart, and most of it reserved for family so naturally, I was curious about what results the needle test would give for my future family. I’m also curious why we scream when something hurts, what it means for good people to have bad habits, and how fame and fortune affected Alex Rodriguez. As an 8th-grader at Westminster Christian School, I didn’t see A-Rod often (he was in high school then), but he seemed nice enough, except for one story my brother told me. I wonder if A-Rod has ever done the needle test? Alex if you’re reading this, let me know what results you got. And if anyone else reading this knows why good people have bad habits or why we scream when something hurts, feel free to share.

The results of the needle test are something I’ve thought about since then. If it’s accurate, if I will eventually have two boys and a girl, when is it going to happen? Who is it going to happen with? My parents would have loved for it to happen five years ago. Back then it would have been in Tallahassee, Florida with a girl I’m no longer friends with. She’s a great person from a great family, however not fit for the role of my wife or my children’s mother. Just a passenger on the road for a short while, but not for the long haul. Speaking of roads, a local Nashville pastor once used the illustration that if you’re in Nashville traveling on West on Interstate 40, you will go to Memphis. That’s where you’re going. You can’t travel on Interstate 40 and hope to end up in Ohio. It won’t happen. The pastor then applied it to life, saying if you’re on the wrong road, you’ll end up at the wrong destination. I love that illustration because of it’s simple truth. As I apply it to my own life, I wonder what I want my destination to be. If I want the needle test to be accurate, then the destination is marriage. If the destination is marriage, I need to find out what road takes me there. Once I find the road that takes me there, I need to find out if I’m on it or not. Road signs tell the truth. If I see a road sign labeled “friends with benefits” I’m on the wrong road. If I see a road sign labeled “compromising what I want most” or “settling” I’m on the wrong road. However, if I see “Godly,” “great,” “blessing,” “gift,” “faithfulness,” “challenge,” “don’t give up,” “right,” chances are I’m on the right road.

Chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.  ~Zig Ziglar